Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thrown Back into the Fire that is Manual ...

Here's a quick recap of round two of driving manual (alone!) ... and yes, this time the assignment was more difficult:
  • The Boy needed someone to re-park his car (a Subaru WRX) to the other side of the road while he was away. Street cleaning was the reason.
  • WRX was currently sandwiched between two cars.
  • The Boy's roommate knows how to drive stick, but couldn't move it 'cause he doesn't have a license in the States. I'm the opposite. We made the worst combination. He stayed in the apartment while I went out to attempt the impossible by myself.
  • I propped a pillow in front of the car that's behind the WRX.
  • Going backwards actually went smoothly. I had perfect control with the reverse gear.
  • But I stalled going forward while trying to get out of the spot.
  • People were walking by.
  • Cars were driving by.
  • I got over my embarrassment.
  • I stalled about 5 more times before I finally got out of the spot.
  • Continued to roll forward (still in 1st gear) and made a clean U-turn into a perfect parking spot behind a line of cars.
That's all ...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Getting a Move On ... Finally!

Winter was such a lull. If you asked me "what's new" anytime during the winter months, I most likely said "nothing." All I really remember doing was working, cooking dinner, and watching TV.

But with the help of warmer weather and good dance music, I think my productivity has shot through the roof ... relatively speaking, of course! I'm still as lazy as ever, only I'm a bit more proactive in doing things that I'm interested in. So if you can humor me, I'd love to tell you what I've been up to lately.

(1) Looking for simple good eats
Yesterday, I decided to visit Formaggio Kitchen and Pemberton Farms for the first time. I've passed by these places countless times, and my foodie friends keep talking about Formaggio in particular. Now, I don't consider myself a foodie at all. I'm a fan of technique and the overall process of creating a product--but having discerning tastebuds is something that kind of escapes me.

For example, I tried a comte cheese off a sample table at Formaggio, and I thought it was good. I tasted the brebis that the cheese counter guy picked out for me, and I thought it was good. Then I tasted the comte again and realized that the brebis was far far better! But that's about all my tastebuds tell me. Nuttiness? what? Fruitiness? what? Acidity? wha--okay, I know what these things MEAN, but I can't really identify the elements that make a particular cheese special. The only things I learned was that I bought a sheep's milk cheese, and that there is a difference between a "strong" cheese and a "full flavor" cheese. I think I'm okay with learning a little at a time, but until I develop a discerning palate, I'm definitely not a foodie.

Anyway, in the vein of keeping it simple but trying something new, I got the brebis and a ficelle onion loaf from Formaggio, and dried blueberries from Pemberton Farms. I'm considering getting a small bottle of truffle oil, but I wonder if it's real or imitation ... not that I'd be able to tell. ;D

(2) Turning that brown thumb into a vibrant green one
When I was at Pemberton Farms, I saw that they had cilantro plants! Now, I know it's hard to keep alive and that I might as well start from seed, but remember ... I'm lazy. So I got the cilantro and picked up a ginger mint and a purple sage as well.

When I got home, I promptly transfered the plants into a planter, and set it next to the pepper+basil+rosemary planter that I already have. I also recently bought a Topsy Turvy (which grows plants upside down) and a tomato plant to go with it, so I set that up as well on the back porch. I am a bit worried though, since that corner of the porch looks like it's too windy ... I'm half expecting to see my plants blown over and the Topsy Turvy on the ground by the time I get home tonight! Eek.

Well, we'll see how long this growing experiment lasts. If it all dies within a couple weeks, I'm going to be so sad.

(3) Photo-photo, moto-moto?
I recently attended a photoshoot on Friday for Yin Chang of Gossip Girls (she plays Nelly Yuki). I didn't do the shooting, but I guess I helped direct? Either way, it adds to the list of photo stuff I've been working on.

So far, I'm done with Harvard's Eleganza09 photos, a sorority's chapter photo, and images for a few Mochi articles. I realize I still have photos to edit and post for a friend's wedding, but that's personal stuff. :) I also need to do a photo for an upcoming Mochi article, but it involves make-up, of which I know very very little. Gah! Anyone want to help?

(4) Last minute is the way to go
I received an email yesterday about joining others from BCNC for a gala/fundraiser/annual(??) dinner by the Mass Asian American Commission. Free tickets that usually cost $80? The possibility of meeting gov't officials including Sam Yoon? The opportunity to dress up? I'm so there!

Why am I in such a talkative mood??

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Try, Try, Try Again

If you never understood why I choose the handle "LittleMissPossible" for this blog, let me explain a little. I'm not really your most optimistic person, but I'm really not your least, either. I've a penchant for trying new cuisines and skipping around from industry to industry, yet sometimes I feel like I'm too practical that I don't think certain things can be done. (I like to call it being realistic!) But really, I'm just depriving myself and others by being a Debbie Downer.

Anyway. I think I can do more, and I think I should do more. I figure that giving myself an optimistic-sounding URL will in turn be a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. I am Little Miss Possible! I can install that AC unit by myself (with my roomie helping me lift it first)! I can move that fridge by myself in order to clean the coils! I can make sopes! I can make chicken hearts appetizing!

So when Mike, my neighbor downstairs, suggested we switch car keys so that we can move each other's cars when needed (we have tandem parking), I said sure. But then he asked, "Do you know how to drive standard [manual]?" Uh. My boyfriend taught me some? When in doubt, press the clutch, right? Apparently, my minimal experience was enough for him. We switched keys, and I was secretly happy at the prospect of practicing a bit of manual on his car.

Fast forward to today. I wanted to switch the cars because I might need to pick up an easily-inebriated "friend" and his licence-less roommate tonight, and Mike's car was parked behind mine. I was hoping one of the neighbors would be home to help me move around the cars, but alas ... there was no one home. I was hoping to have a roomie or two help me look out for pedestrians just for safety ... but again, the entire HOUSE was empty. I was totally on my own for this! And here's how it all went down ...

I couldn't shift into reverse for some reason. It's right next to the 1st gear, so when I thought I had it, I ended up going forward and (lightly) hitting my car. I was kinda embarrassed at this point. If I left the car like this, then Mike would see that I totally failed. I decided that if I still couldn't find reverse, then I would put the car in neutral and TRY to push the car back to its original position.

So I ran into the apartment to Google "volkswagen golf manual rear" to look up tips, and I found that I had to slightly depress the clutch to get it into gear. I tried shifting in this way, succeeded(!), then accelerated out of the driveway ... but a little faster than I wanted. Okay, make that a LOT faster than I wanted. It really would've been nice to have extra eyes to make sure no one was in the way ...

However, it was worse getting the car back into the driveway. After I moved my own car out of the way, I had to put Mike's car back at the end of the driveway. I must have stalled FOUR TIMES in a distance of 10-15 feet. I'm so glad that no one was there, 'cause I think I've totally embarrassed myself.

But I finally got the job done, and I now know how to put the car in reverse.