Here Comes The Boom!

 

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pic from here

 

I just rewatching Here Comes The Boom a comedy movie by Kevin James. Launched at 2012, this movie told a story about a teacher that goes around being a punching bag in an MMA cage to help his friend and saving the music program that threatens to be stopped because there’s not enough funding. It is a cliche story.

What I love about this movie is the character of Kevin James, a passionate teacher that lost his fire due to the degradation of the school system. There until the problem arise and he wanted to help as well as impress the school nurse. I said it already, it is a cliche. But the scene where he found out that the music teacher he helps actually really care about the students to the point of bought used instruments and repair it to be lending it to the student, and he decided to go back to his old self and teach passionately, it is cool to watch!

The perseverance and the willingness to give it all to his student is really a gem for somewhat a low-key movie. It got me thinking when was the last time I gave my all to sacrifice for others, how many opportunities I have wasted just because I refuse to get out of my comfort zone. This movie has relighted a fire in me.

Well, I decided to rewatch this movie because I wanted to watch some light comedy with MMA-ish ambiance since I am starting a 6 weeks workout program to lose this weight and hopefully getting this broken back into the old glory. I tried to watch my food intake as well as putting more workout during my day.

I just hope that I can achieve what I set in the beginning and keep this fire lit for a long time. It will be a pleasure if my fire can help you guys re-lit your old goals or even lit a new one!

Now, I have a KM plus to swim.

Work It Smart

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One thing that I remember clearly from the culinary school is the importance of Mise En Place. Mise En Place is a French term for put in place, it emphasising the importance of having all things that you will be needed during service time, such as your garnish, sauce bottles, and such. In general just preparing all the things that you going to use. For example, when you cooking a fried rice, then your mise en place including activity such as mincing garlic, chopping spring onion, dicing meat, cracking an egg, up to preparing the wok that is going to be used.

Mise en Place is being done to make sure that it will provide a smooth activity afterwards, whether it services or cooking stuff. Well, it might look cool when you do things a la minute, but it won’t be smart, isn’t it? If you can have it ahead of time it always betters that way. No one likes to go to war with a half assed prep anyway. That’s why, there is a saying that you can judge a chef by how they do their mise en place, chefs, whom able to do a great prep and keep things in check and neat is more likely to have a better career. Good mise en place also ensures that you will have things more organised and will safe a lot of time and energy.

to quote Anthony Bourdain;

“Mise-en-place is the religion of all good line cooks… As a cook, your station, and its condition, its state of readiness, is an extension of your nervous system… The universe is in order when your station is set.”

Once, my class was having a joint lineup with a junior batch that will go to the apprenticeship site, and the chef instructor asked us to give some tips for them, most of my friend said to just listen to the head chef’s instructions and work hard. Yes, I agree with it, but only partly. What I think the most important is to be able to work smart. How to plan what you have to do for the day. I was having a hard time during apprenticeship because I wasn’t fast enough, the first two weeks I felt like a slowpoke in a racing competition against ratata. But as time goes, I get a bit better. I tried to get a grasp of the pace in the kitchen and learn about things that have to be done, Including prioritising stuff.

It helps, a lot!

Working hard is good, a lot of places would love to have a hard working personnel. But I am sure a lot of places would love a smart worker even more. Let me remind you, working smart is not working lazy, cutting corners here and there. But, to do things that need to be done in the most effective and timely manner. By doing that not only you got things done, you should also be able to save your energy for another project. Like working out, doing some freelancing stuff, or even prepping your own big break.You might not get it right the first time, but while you keep adjusting you should be getting the right tunes that work for you.

Let’s us start to working smart!

The Super Samoan!

I grow up watching WWE, since the time it known as WWF. An era where pre-Hollywood The Rock feuding with the likes of Stone Cold, Triple H, and such. High flying Hardys, table breaking Dudleys, and annoying yet fun Christian and Edge. I watch it until the era where Edge going single and was the Champions, Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio exchanging belts, and I stopped. Because of an incident that caused an underaged mimicking the moves and ended up died while doing it, and the shows was taken off the air in my country.

As I watching wrestling growing up, and now I wanted to get more in shape and get fit. I figure I need some kind of body goals. People tend to go with those people that super bulky and buff when they go for a fitness goal. Well, it’s not weird, some says to keep dream big, right? I have goals too, I wish that someday I will have a body like Brock Lesnar. Having a big dream is not a sin, but it is also important to have something more realistic. Just like when you want to run a marathon, you have to start running, do a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and then you go to the marathon.

Brock Lesnar is very jacked, I’ve seen his training routine on youtube and I even out of breath just watching it. The cool thing about him is not only he is strong, he also possesses a speed and agility like a cruiserweight wrestler. But I am aware of my condition right now. He was an all-American champion and a pro athlete his whole life and I was this fat Asian boy that play basketball and eat all the time, and when the basketball stops it just mean that I got extra time to eat. In a short, I was a couch potato.

As I said, it’s nice to have high goals, but make sure you have some that still reachable, and you work yourself over time. While I heard the news that Brock Lesnar is going to make his comeback at the UFC Octagon, I was stoked and excited. I wasn’t a big fan of UFC before, but I would like to see how he do in the octagon. Since the WWE is ‘scripted’ and the performers are considered more as a performer than an athlete. The rants can go for another paper regarding that issues. My point is I wanted to see him fight in the octagon. The build up for the match is huge, not surprising tho, remembering that both of the biggest giants is backing  this event. I am not gonna talk about the result and stuff because it is full of scandals and such. What I wanted to tell is when I know the one that will face Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, I was again stoked.

The man was Mark Hunt, the Super Samoan, a New Zealand fighter that known as a big hitter, whom also a winner for K1 Tournament in Japan. Why I got stoked? Well, it was not a surprise that some heavyweight fighter can be a bit chunky. Let’s make it this way, if you bumped over him in the street, you won’t have a thought that he is a UFC Fighter. When I youtube some of his old matches I was even more blown away, he is actually a great fighter. It led me to look for his biography, Born To Fight, where he share the struggles of growing up and how he can get into his position right now. I would highly recommend it.

What got me in his story is, he was never a school jocks, a well-established athlete, he might have his stint when he tried out for a rugby team, but it eventually went south. Regardless all his shortcomings he always found a way to get back on track. The determination of a ghetto boy, a story of an underdog. Which is a more relatable story to most of us, I find this motivating. For me, I love to have a big goal, but it is important to have something that still reachable for the moment. I might still have a long way to go towards the physique of Brock Lesnar, but in a meantime, I will head for Mark Hunt and from there, I started to go towards the very end of the track!

I write this post as a motivation for me since I started to working out regularly and losing my excessive weight in order to be able to do a proper activity without exhausting myself and pressuring my body to the extent, and of course to be able to have a taste of those amazing delicious treats awaits. This body has cost me some dreams and it is time to gain back the control!

Culinary Student Journal, Final Entry

Yes, this will be my final post regarding this Culinary Student thingy.

I am actually imagining having posting this post on 2017 with a lot of dazzling picture from the graduation and all the creation during my final project, but instead, I have to post this prematurely.

Regarding of my back condition, I’ve decided to call it a quit. At start I thought it will be okay, I know it will be a tough environment to go through and I never have a slightest underestimating the pressure in the kitchen. After the first three month, I think I can start to getting the groove, but the game changes when I start the apprenticeship. Being a kitchen staff is not easy, moreover staying as a trainee. In my opinion, the environment of quick paced and heavy working load is really give a toll of your body.

I am actually lucky enough to have such a helpful head chef that willing to customize the schedule for me. And with a thought about having two weeks work and one week school, I was hoping to have a lighter routine during school week. Apparently, things won’t always go as planned. During this past few weeks, the back pain is getting more and more, despite the back braces I wore and my swimming session.

Having to quit the school is quite a hard decision for me to make, remembering the struggle I went through for this program. Moreover the friendship that we’ve built during the past six months. People said that friendship that been built over hardship can last longer, is quite true. We’d support each other during the struggle at the earlier stage and become each others support system. But yeah, good things must come to an end. It is not easy to leaving my friends at the academy, but sometimes we must take different paths.

I like to think this is like a moment in top chef when one cheftestant being sent home. Of course with difference that I am not chef, moreover top chef, yet, and this is not a competition. Even though I feel a lot of resemblance, when we put in group and have to nailed the recipe given, when during exam we felt like in those quickfire challenge with the prize of getting good grades. The way we kinda avoid working with people we don’t fond of, and such, and such.

What’s next?

I’ve been dreaming for a long time. This is the time for me to start doing it. I have a couple business plan in mind and I will use my time in the future to really make it happen, instead just burying them in the notebook and this wandering mind.

So yeah, This post mark the end of my journey in this little red dot called Singapore.

Let’s stop dreaming and keep busy making the dreams.

Regards.

Culinary Student Journal, Week 22

This week I started to read the book from William Wongso about Indonesians cuisine. I find this book is very intriguing, because it breaks down the flavours that usually served inside an Indonesian plate. This book might not be dissecting in a super detail way, since it might be a countless book to really detailing what goes but it gives a brief introduction about what you will find in Indonesia.

Having this book in my hand actually makes me appreciate the complexity of Indonesian food. I was never the best appreciator for Indonesian food, because just like everybody, I took it for granted. Growing up eating the food and the easy access to buy it, I never have the willingness to cook it. But now, living abroad and moreover studying culinary, I wanted to at least try to introduce various Indonesian flavour, maybe not as a chef or something with a fancy title, but as an Indonesian that proud with the diversity of flavour from home.

On Complaining

I realise that this posting is mostly about me complaining about how though live are and such and such. Most of my friends also have the same problem, maybe they not write it down in a post or something, but when we hang around and going out, they share the problems with the group. I am totally okay and 100% not against it. That’s what friends are for anyway, to become support system when we were down and to share the joy when we were on top.

I do also complaint a lot, but I find that we have to draw a line for when to stop, haven’t us?

Nowadays I try to second guessing my complaint. Yes, I do felt tired and exhausted, but as well as the others. I try to find another way to handling the issue instead just merely complaining. I am not saying that I will not complaint anymore, I just trying to limit my complain and try to not repeatedly saying the same problem over and over and over and over and over again.

What I feel is since we already have a hard time, let’s not make it worse by complaining to much. It is okay to let your emotion out, but it is not okay to keep repeating it on every chance you have. In my opinion, you’re not complaining anymore, you are just whining. Let’s not make the times even harder by being so negative.

I think my goal for this week is to not complaining too much. We millennials already have quite a bad mark on it, like a Chinese saying the young generation is a ‘Strawberry Generation’ 草莓族. That refers us to be like a strawberry that can’t hold any pressure just like a delicate strawberry is. We have a lot to improve and show the society wrong, that we are can be as tough as the others and we are not a quitter.

Oh and one more thing, I will try to stop justified my bad decisions. LOL

See you guys!

Warmth The Belly, Warmth The Heart.

I’ve ran into this commercial by Tiger Beer Singapore from instagram, and today I youtube the whole video. The campaign is about preserving the street food that most of the people has taking it for granted. One of the video is about a third generation of popiah skin maker, that wanted to continuing what his father and grandfather has done since 1930s. there is one more video about a Char Kway Teow stall owner that been asked what makes his mee is different with others, he said this

“No two sets of handwriting are the same, and like handwriting the taste can’t be replicated.”

and to reach that level, he put so much effort and hardwork to what he did. He start his day as early as 3 AM in the morning, to prepare selling at 6 AM. He said, he will do this as long as he can do it. Once he feel like he start to slowing down, then he will know it is the time to stop.

On another video about an uncle that sell Hokkien Mee, he said something like this,

“In life, if you have clothes to wear, food to eat, things to do, and you are healthy, that’s good.”

yet, another motivation from a 73 years old uncle. He has gone through the hardships during his youth until he can reach the point where he is right now. Yes, for others he might be just another uncle selling hokkien mee at hawker center, but It is all back to our perspective and how we can appreciate what we have.

Seeing this video is actually giving me motivation to keep going. Yes, sometimes it will get tiring and depressing, but the road to a nice place mostly are bumpy and windy, right? Sure there are roads that already paved and directed, but unfortunately that things only happen for certain people.

 

I am lucky to found these videos, these are the kind of food I love to eat. Something warmth, something soulful (and occasional McDonalds). These videos also give me a second thought about food. Yes it is nice to have a beautiful plate to please the eyes, but it also not a wrong thing to have something that warmth both the stomach and the heart.

Anyway, let’s start to be grateful and stop taking things for granted.

 

You can check the video in here, here, and here.

Culinary Student Journal, Week 9

Heyho!

Sorry for the late update. Last week was fun, a whole week doing breads and having the assessment for the pastry module. Finally the weeks of basic training in the kitchen is done and we going to start the service weeks from Wednesday. Yes, we got this two days off for the Chinese New Year, which is the reason for this late post. I was helping out my mother to preparing some dishes, where I make the Chicken Stew and Chocolate Sauce, also Banana Choco Chip Bread with my brother. It’s nice to able to cook again.

During the previous two weeks, I remember one of the instructor asked what makes you come to the school and I answer to be able to learn the basic skills so I can cook a better food that makes people happy and start my own homey place(s). I am not hoping to have a million branches, but only one that very comfortable, although I am not closing the opportunity to open my franchise in the future.

While I spent the holiday with finishing the sorcerer’s apprentice, a book about a stage life in El Bulli. Which encouraging me to learn even more in the kitchen, not only that, I also started to thinking what I wanted to achieve with cooking. Is it the fancy molecular gastronomy, high-class fine dining, or rustic classic. I think I will go with the classic touch, which going to give my customer a feeling of a home cooking. Nothing against the fancy fine dining or a innovative molecular stuff, I just want my style to be the rustic classic one, classic with a bit of modern touch.

As I said, the following weeks I will be learning about the front of the house services and will start my apprenticeship pretty soon. It is such an thrilling yet scary, but a good kind of scare, feeling.

See you next week guys!

 

Get Real

When I was a child, I thought what we gonna do is already decided. we shall study, graduate, get a job, get married, yadda yadda, and it all is sort of automatically done. Because I see everybody doing it and as a human being, I just take it for granted.

what a naive brat I was.

Sometimes I feel that I already spent so much times doing things that I think I loved, but ended up changing to another thing that I thought I love it more. Right now I can only think that was it really I didn’t love the previous thing, or I just run when I faced with the trouble. I used to think that if I love to do stuff, it will all easily flow.

What a naive brat I was.

Right now I am got struck by the same question again. Is this the stuff that I really wanted to do? Did I just stalling to get up and get real and hiding behind the thing called ‘passion’? Do I really feel that this is my real passion? If it is, why I do feel pressurized by it? doesn’t it supposed to be fun?

Stop being naive, you brat!

When you do something, there won’t be all smooth, happy, and jolly. you have to feel the struggle to achieve the position you want to go to. Just by doing that, you can appreciate the position that you will be achieving.

Stop being naive and get the real world, you brat!

It won’t be easy, but at least learn one thing. Stop taking anything inside, be smart and filter some shit out. You might struggle at first, but you will be thankful later.

Tomorrow Will Be Better

taken from

taken from here

Isn’t it a common phrases to give to someone, when they had such a bad day or moment. It is easy to pat their back and say, “don’t you worry, tomorrow everything will be just fine.”

Well, it is nice if it is happened. But what if it isn’t?

We can not just go around in our happy go lucky face and believe that tomorrow will be better. Of course it is nice to have such a positive attitude, but how long we can keep that positive attitude? It will worn out at some point. Just like a consistent droplets of water on a stone, that will create a hole. Much negativity will worn you out and make you hard to think positive.

Or, how I like to say it being realistic.

I’ve been in such a bad place for these couple years, at first I think, there will be something better, yet after a couple bad judgment, I started to feel bad for myself, it is hard for me to stay positive. It is like the previous failure will always stay and haunt me every single time.

Of course it will come and haunt me every time if I don’t learn a bit from it, that is why you need someone to boost your confidence up, not that you can’t do it by yourself. But, to have someone agree with a self confidence that you built, will kinda give a closure to your self-proclaimed statement. It is a prove that you are not just an individual that full of yourself, that couldn’t figure how much you can chew.

A good friend(s), in that case will keep you in check. They will help you to boost your confidence up and keep your feet on the ground. Well, of course they can only do so much. If you from the inside still feel like a worthless being, they can say anything and you won’t even budge, bad thing, you might feel them too pushy and go away from them. So, basically, to make tomorrow actually better, we need to go inside our head and try to think every good possibility that can happen along the way and what bad if we don’t move.

After that, your support system can come in and boost you up. Only after you start the first ignition.

Yes, it is not an easy task. If it is easy, then we don’t need all the motivation talkshow. But it never a loss to try something new. We need to slowly changed our mindset and hope that tomorrow will be better.

I heard a phrase that goes,

“A rainbow will only shown after rain.”

Yes, I am also in a progress to enjoying the rain and wait for the rainbow. But I will try to find a way to make all the waiting worth it.

Oh, a little old chinese song won’t hurt either. This song titled “明天會更好”-MIng Tian Hui Geng Hao, translated into the title of this post. This was sang by various Chinese Artist in 1985 following the success of the song “We Are The World”. This song was originally written to commemorate Taiwan’s 40th independence anniversary from Japan colonialism.

*video from vancelam youtube account