Smile #7 – Bring on Fish Livers and Jellyfish

Surprise, Surprise!

Rather than attending the networking event as planned, JB and I decided to go for dinner instead.  She recommended a nearby local Japanese restaurant, Musashi Japanese Restaurant.

Upon walking in, we unexpectedly caught my best friend with her boyfriend and her uncle and friends.  It has been years since I’ve last saw her uncle.  He is in town only for a few days and what a coincidence it was to run into him!  Although she claims I have stalked her on Facebook, I actually haven’t checked my account in a few hours.  (I saw her check-in when I got home that night…)

Her uncle graciously invited us to join them at the table.  He also ordered more food for us.  Many of these items are unavailable in the regular menu and since we are special guests of the chef, we get the honor of trying them.

As each dish arrived, we stared with questions, unable to comprehend what was presented to us.  Her uncle and his friend laughed at us and uttered, you American kids are so used to burgers and pizza.

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Fish Liver … I had no idea fish has a liver, let alone one that size! But flavor wise, it is not fishy. The liver melts in your mouth immediately.
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Fried tofu It’s crunchy outside, smooth inside. Garnished with seaweed.
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Can you guess what’s in it? The round pieces on the top is sea cucumber. The red stuff is jellyfish. The black pile is seaweed. The grey/yellow is mackerel fish.
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Tonkotsu Ramen – Eggs, bamboo slices, pork slices, seaweed and of course, ramen Keep in mind that all Ramen dishes are dined in only.

Tonight, I have tried some very unique and new food.  Not sure if I would order it again, but I’ll be sure to visit this restaurant again.  🙂  I didn’t go to a ‘networking’ meeting per se, but this was just another type of networking…one with FOOD!


Smile #6 – Go Team Mama!

My mom’s latest obsession is my iPad.  Yes, my mother has discovered the diverse assortments of apps.  From Ninja Fruit to Mandora to Dizzy Fruit to Blox, her addiction is growing!

She listened and watched tentatively as I demonstrate how to play each game, whether to slash the fruits, or flipping to the next card, or pulling out the Mandora before time’s up.  Then off she goes to beating all my records.

Her competitive spirit increases with each game.  She plays diligently until she beats my record and I hear a shout of victory.  Perhaps that’s where my competitive side originated. 🙂

At times, i join her and it becomes a mother-daughter bonding moment.  Our competitive spirits join hand leads to shattering records.  🙂

Go Team Mama!  🙂  Who dares to challenge her?!


Smile #5 – Drunk in Lebensmittel

The semi annual Queen’s feast is back once again.  Three course meal for the price of a regular entree screams perfect date night to me!  This time, we chose to dine at Waldhorn, a German restaurant.

We walked in to an open atmosphere.  The interior is picturesque with two floors and a musician dressed in Lederhosen playing music on his accordion.  Combine dinner hours with Charlotte Restaurant week, the volume was quite high.  As we wait, we ordered a half a liter of beer each.  Warsteiner and Weihenstephan was on tap!  By the time we get our seats, I already finished my beer and ordered another one.

The meal also came with half a liter of beer.  Can’t get enough of it!  Tipppssyyy!  🙂

Our meal can be summarized in one word.  DELICIOUS!!!!

I ordered the soup of the day (right) and he ordered Ungarische Gulaschsuppe (left).  The pretzel bread was warm and wonderful when dipped in the soup.  🙂

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He ordered Jagerschnitzel vom Schwein which is pork cutlet, spatzle and red cabbage.

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I ordered Gebratene Ente – duck with bread dumplings and red cabbage.  The meat was so tender!  And I haven’t had bread dumplings in such a long time, I devoured it so quickly!

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Final course of the night!  D-E-S-S-E-R-T-S!!  🙂

Never judge a book by its cover…or in this case, never judge a dessert by its look.  Although this red puddle of goo isn’t the most appealing, it is actually really good.  The sweet from vanilla ice cream and whip cream mixed with the warm and sour raspberry sauce.  Best combination!

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How can I go to a German restaurant without getting the famous Apfelstrudel!  It would be like going to NYC without getting one of those I love NY tee.  Scandalous!

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After this trip, I’ll be sure to visit soon again!  🙂  This restaurant officially earned a top spot on my favorite restaurants!  FOOOD!!

Smile #4 – I Resolve to Follow Through!

There is something soothing writing in the dark.  The imaginary boundaries are lifted as the darkness spreads.  With my laptop projecting the only source of light, I am snuggling cozily into my bed and my fingers feeling free to tap away to my thoughts.  🙂

It has been a while since I last attended a networking event.  In fact, a few minutes before the meeting, I was on the edge of not attending.  But I am glad I stick it out.

Charlotte Lean In is a share space for women [and any brave men] to discuss relevant career topics.  Tonight’s event discussed mentoring, how to find one, how to be one.  The impact mentors have on our advancement and growth.  The room seated women from different backgrounds, different stages of their career path.  From freshly minted college graduates to well-established professionals all eager and willing to share their thoughts.

The lecture slides were helpful to direct the conversations, But I enjoyed the discussion portion the most.  We were given three questions to explore.
  1. What’s your next big career goal?
  2. What’s getting in your way?
  3. What can you do to overcome?

The conversations were very fluid and casual.   At the end, I came to a new realization.  I have always been more focused on the short term, my today/next day/this week/this month to do list.  But sometimes it’s more helpful to have a big view point.  While being agile and adaptable is important, perhaps it’s time for me to explore deeper into my 10/15 years plan and set out to reach it.

 Below quote was shared with us that I thought was interesting:

It is not who you know or what you know, it’s who knows you.  ~ David Avrin

Tonight, I left with new business cards and contacts.  I am glad that I followed through.  🙂

Smile #3 – Doraemon, My Hero

It has been ages since I watched an episode of Doraemon.  This anime grew up with me.  It is sad and regretful to hear the Hong Kong voice of Doraemon’s voice has passed yesterday.  Lam Pou Chuen is considered the king of anime voices.  His works include many anime characters, dubs for dramas and movies.

Doraemon is a future cat with a pouch filled with gadget from the future. His more famous gadgets include a time traveling machine drawer and the wishing door.  Nobita Nobi often runs into disasters, Doraemon will always find the perfect solutions.  Unlike other series, moral lessons are strategically embedded in each episode.

I decided to search for an episode for old time sake and found ‘大雄與嫲嫲的回憶’ – Nobita Nobi and Grandma’s Memories.  In this episode, Nobita was cleaning out the shed and found the teddy bear his grandma made for him.  Looking at the bear, Nobita thought of his late grandma and wished to see her again.  He asked to use the time machine to go back in time.  He saw the little him asking his grandma for fireworks.  After going through town, Grandma came home and told him that no one had fireworks.  Little Nobita stomped his feet and started crying and screaming at his grandma.  Nobita realized how unreasonable he was as a kid.  When he returned to his home, his mom thought he was a burglar.  He quickly ran in his grandma’s room and explained that he is Nobita from the future.  Grandma smiled and without question believed his words.  When he asked why, she replied because why would I question Nobita’s word.

When Nobita was little, he used to ask grandma what do you want to be when you grow up?

Grandma would reply I already am what I want to be.

Little Nobita would say, Oh, what are you then?  Tell me!

Grandma simply replied being Nobita’s grandma.


Although I don’t remember watching this particular episode, it did trigger some childhood memories.  I remember watching the series and wishing I owned a Doraemon.  I could fly, be invisible, stop time, travel to the future and back.  The adventures would never end!

As of today, I still have a key chain of Doraemon hanging in my bedroom.  It will always be my favorite and dearest anime.  Doraemon will always be my hero.  🙂