Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year! I can’t believe 2013 flew by so quickly…..way too quickly. 2014 is the year of the horse, the same zodiac sign of the year I was born! My New Year started off with a weird dream. I dreamt about someone giving me a strange gift. I can’t even explain what it was. The gift was an object that can only be seen or made sense in ones dreams. But the purpose of the thing was for business use, some kind of part to a counter or something. IDK. It resembled a detachable shelf of a desk and came with a built in AC and heater, ideal for hot summer days and freezing winter nights. Inside this thing behind the sliding glass, there was a bunch of tickets that people take when waiting in line. Now this befuddling object of my dream may be ideal for someone who runs a business…like a shop or something. And I don’t even run a business, so I don’t know what use I would have for such a thing. All I know is that the object of the dream was work-related. I can only interpret that the built-in heater and AC indicate what I am always wishing I had when I am working. In the summertime, I die from the heat. In the wintertime, the cold gets unbearably uncomfortable (though I’d take a cold winter day any time of the year over a scorching hot icky day). Maybe the built-in AC and heater represent working in comfort, saving me from the unbearable discomfort of torturous weather conditions. As for the tickets, there were so many of them. In business sense, lots of tickets mean lots of business. Although such an object has no relevance to me, I would like to think that the dream somehow indicates good fortune and prosperity…..wishful thinking. I read that a dream about receiving a gift symbolizes luck or prosperity. I am iffy about believing into what dreams mean and I am not superstitious at all. But it wasn’t a bad dream to start off the New Year with, especially when the ending of the previous year was less than pleasant.

I spent the last week of 2013 feeling like SH#T! I am still recovering and feel much better today. I had a major case of food poisoning and thought I was going to die. It started last Friday night. And I have nobody but myself to blame for this one.
At the restaurant, beef tartare is one of the items on the menu. For this dish, we only use high quality, FRESH meat. When the meat is about to become old (of course not when it has already become old, but right before it is about to become old but no longer FRESH FRESH to be served to customers), we cook it up and feed the staff. We make tacos or whatever with it. So on Friday night, I had some beef tartare left that was about to get old. The meat still smelled and tasted okay. Instead of cooking it, I decided to serve it raw as is. It tasted fine.
When I get home, I start feeling queasy. Around midnight, I begin to wonder if the sip of wine I had earlier that night was making me feel this way. I start to feel this way when I had way too much to drink, which is why I stop after my limit. But the sip I had was way too little to be making me feel like this. I almost began to wonder if I was suddenly experiencing a rapid decline of alcohol tolerance with myold age. Usually about ten glasses or so would make me feel sick. So that little sip making me sick would be ridiculous.
Around 2-3am, I go to the bathroom…and B-A-R-F!!! I puked out what I had been holding in. I felt much better after puking. Then ten minutes later, I felt the urge to puke again. OMG this went on ALL night. I was running back and forth to puke. And the puke session lasted until approximately 9pm the next night! I even had to call in sick Saturday. I couldn’t even eat anything because it would have made me puke even more. All I had that day was a tangerine and some Orange Juice, which made me puke more immediately after…so I just stopped eating altogether.

It’s funny. I was the only one that got sick. Three other people ate the beef tartare, -my boss and two of the waiters. But they are French! Could that have something to do with it, possibly?? Their stomachs probably have enzymes that my Korean stomach does not. It’s ironic because a couple of days before the night of getting sick, my boss told me that he got sick from eating bad Kimchi at a Korean restaurant. And I have eaten plenty of bad Kimchi and never got sick from it. This can only mean that our stomachs are designed differently lol.

When the puking finally stopped, I was finally able to get some sleep. And I felt much better…..still weak from not being able to eat and from all that vomiting, but much better. I was able to make it to work on Sunday. I had some soup and cereal that day, just enough to fuel some energy into my frailing body. I had to eat something to keep up my energy to be able to work. Luckily, I didn’t vomit at all that day.  
Then come Monday, my day off….a day when I can eat whatever.  By Monday, I was STARVING. Every time I puke or have a hangover, I crave something soupy. I went for some soon tofu for lunch. I went to Chodang. The quality of the place really went down over the years. I don’t really like the place, but it hit the spot that day (hey I was starving for days).

That day, I had this urge to pig out and eat until my belly pops. For dinner, I checked out this new Mexican place (that got rave reviews). But I didn’t really like the food there much. The joint used to be this Chinese place called King Dragon. I have been going to King Dragon since the 1980’s. That used to be our GO TO place for Chinese-Korean food. But sadly, the quality of their food went down over the years too. I have so many memories of King Dragon. I used to love Jjajangmyun (black bean noodles) as a kid. And I’d always go there to eat Jjajangmyun. I grew up going there. My parents had gatherings there. My grandma had her gatherings with other grandmas there…Even after I got older, I still went there. But yeah….the place closed down and is a Mexican joint now. And they sure did a good job of making the place look like it was never a Chinese-Korean restaurant there. It looks like a chill place to come hang and enjoy a few drinks…but I’m not really a fan of their food.
After eating the mediocre Mexican food, I was now craving PIES! I was craving cream pies. One slice was not enough. I went a little overboard and bought three different types of cream pies. I was really making up for the days of not being able to eat.

And after all the food consumption, I started to feel that same uncomfortable queasy feeling again. Uh-oh. I wasn’t able to control myself and now I was paying for it again. You guessed it…another puke session. That night, I lost sleep again, spending most of it in the bathroom. I was badly in need of a good rest, but it’s impossible to sleep when you are feeling nauseous and running to the bathroom every so often.
And the next day (New Year’s Eve), I was scheduled to work….still queasy, still feeling like I’m about to die. Great…working while feeling nauseous, weak, and miserable..NOT FUN!! And on top of that, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to eat all night because we were expecting a super busy night. So yeah….I was dying all night. But I survived..

I got home a little before midnight. I must admit that driving on the freeways on NYE always makes me a bit paranoid because of all the drunk drivers. I guess before midnight, all the drunkees are most likely to already be at their destination of wherever they plan on getting drunk at and don’t start driving out until after midnight.  And fortunately, all the drivers that night on the way home seemed like safe drivers. Nobody was speeding or making crazy lane changes. I guess it’s from the fear of knowing that there were so many cops on patrol that night. I hate people that speed or drive like a turtle on the freeways. That is one of my greatest pet peeves. Why can’t everybody drive at a normal, legal speed limit (like me)? Speed laws were made for a reason. Mofos that drive 100mph should really not even be driving. It’s like they are trying to prove something or whatever. And don’t even get me started on those people that drive 15mph on the freeways lol. I don’t even know why they even get on the freeways to drive that speed. But yeah…I made it home safe and sound! Still sick, but safe.
All I could do when I got home was take a shower and lay in bed. I watched the remainder of the countdown on television. Miley Cyrus was performing when I turned on the tube. She had a crazy year. I miss her long hair. I don’t know why she wants to keep it so short. I don’t understand women that like to have their hair so short. Anyways, I liked that one song that she was performing. I’ve never heard that one before. I’m not sure if it’s new, but I’m iTune-ing it. Ohhh…then come midnight, Jenny McCarthy kisses Donnie Wahlberg. I didn’t even know they were dating!

It’s New Year’s Day now, and after a good rest, I am feeling way better! This morning, I had my yearly Ddukguk.  I didn’t really eat much the night before, so I woke up starving. But this time, I paced myself and eased into the pigging out. Eating a bowl of Ddukguk symbolizes consumption of another year. I remember when I was a kid, a kid on some kiddie television program wanted to eat five bowls of Ddukguk so that they can gain five years of age (cute and lame at the same time). I never understood or really went by that gaining another age on New Year’s thing. I guess it’s what they do in Korea, but hey….I don’t live in Korea. I ate Ddukguk today, but I am still the same age until my birthday.


  1. How cool that this is your zodiac year!! I love reading about the zodiac animals and seeing if it matches up w/ the person.

    Weird dreams are always scary. I've literally forced myself to wake up a few times from a nightmare.

    Your beef tartare dish looks beautiful. I hate yolk but I've always loved the way it looks on top of the tartare. I'm so surprised that you were the only one that got sick. Makes me wonder if it really was the tartare?

    Yeah i think you overate after you felt better. I totally do the same thing too. But I don't barf afterwards like you :)

    Happy New year MK!

    1. That is crazy how you can force yourself to wake up. How do you even know you are dreaming?

      It's funny....everyone else thinks that the tartare was not the cause of my getting sick. I can't deny that that can be a possibility. However, that night when I was vomiting, the very thought of tartare was making me nauseous and I can just feel in my gut that it was the tartare that made me sick. And when I went in to work the next day, just looking at tartare made me want to vomit. It's also possible that I could have gotten the portion of the tartare that had mild bacterial growth already started on. And maybe my stomach is super sensitive to it compared to the other folks. But yeah, you are right. it could have totally been something else. Nonetheless, I feel quite strongly that it was indeed the tartare that made me sick. Why else would the mere thought of tartare make me want to puke? And I've always liked tartare.

    2. Because the mind is a weird thing, and makes associations constantly. You'd already noticed (and thought about ) the borderline
      status of the meat before you ate it. When you decided to go tartare you had to be thinking about that too. You got sick, your mind snapped back to that and now the thought creates an associative nausea. A while back I had something in the house 3 out of 4 considered borderline. (I'll think of it) I insisted it would be fine, and it was also to be reheated. My wife got deathy sick that night, insisting it was the dish. She was the only one who got sick. There were bugs goin round, and I figgered she'd caught it. A few days later I caught it, well after the food poison window had expired. Sometimes youre just ready to take ill and chicken, beef, grease, booze or even just lack of sleep seems to set it off. Just sayin....

    3. I know - it's weird - but I swear I've forced myself to wake up during a bad nightmare. I don't know how - but it happens when the nightmare involves someone or me getting hurt.

      I was doing research on Chinese New Year 2014 (don't forget it's 1/31 this year) and I love reading about the zodiac description. Here's yours:

      People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure, although their endeavor cannot last indefinitely.

      They cannot bear too much constraint. However their interest may be only superficial and lacking real substance. They are usually impatient and hot blooded about everything other than their daily work. They are independent and rarely listen to advice. Failure may result in pessimism. They usually have strong endurance but with bad temper. Flamboyant by nature, they are wasteful since they are not good with matters of finance due to a lack of budgetary efficiency. Some of those who are born in the horse like to move in glamorous circles while pursuing high profile careers. They tend to interfere in many things and frequently fail to finish projects of their own.

      The weaknesses suck for every zodiac so don't worry :) But I love reading the signs b/c when they're good, I'm always like 'oh yeah that's *totally* me' but when they're negative I'm always like 'please, this whole zodiac concept is BS'.

    4. lol I think my horoscope sign (Taurus) description is more accurate zodiac sign....way more accurate. I seem to have a lot of the typical Taurus traits.

    5. tableside, that can be a possibility too, but it could also be regular food poisoning.

  2. Im doubtful you got food poisoning from the beef.
    Aside from you being the only one, youre all professional cooks,
    dealing with raw meat daily. I find it unlikely that you guys would
    consume bad meat--you just know the product too well.
    I personally suspect you just picked that time to get sick--like a lot
    of us do during this season. Sounds like a short term flu to me.
    Tho I admit your timing with the beef sucks. lol
    You also have indicated in other blogs that you tend to have a more or less
    sensitive system when it comes to certain things food wise.
    **shrugs** Youre the only one who got it--who knows. :\

    1. No idea what else it could have been. That day, I had cereal before work...went to work, had some family meal (pizza) that the morning people made...ate pizza again (served again for the night ones), along with the taretare. When I get food poisoning, it gets ugly. I puke my guts out and can't stop. Thank goodness it rarely happens though.

    2. Btw tableside, have u ever given any customers food poisoning before? If you have or ever do, that could possibly be a good reasoning lol.


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