Same Recipe, Different Dish

Photo by DapurMelodi from Pexels

Recently I was introduced to this idea that if someone we consider to be a successful person gave their younger selves the same exact instructions to follow to be just as successful, they wouldn’t be able to recreate the same wealth. The major supporting argument is that most of the time, we ourselves are unable to describe a lot of the nuances that happen in between the steps and decisions we make, so any directions would essentially be an incomplete one. 


This sounded promising, but it was difficult for me to grasp such a concept with people I haven’t deeply researched, like Warren Buffet or Steve Jobs. So I tried to think of it in terms of people who do something every day, but get different results each time. 


I was first reminded of a Pho cook who Anthony Bourdain once introduced us to in “No Reservations.” This lady would cook a giant pot of Pho broth each day for over 20 years from the same recipe; but as described by Bourdain, the taste would be great yet different each day. Same cook, same recipe, but different soup each time.


Similarly, in the realm of martial arts it’s common practice to practice a technique to the point of painful boredom and irritation. Like in the movie “The Karate Kid” waxing-on and waxing off the car turned the protagonist into a physically capable person. As I noticed with my own martial art training, the physical movements might be the same, but there are so many things happening on deeper levels of physiology and psychology. As Bruce Lee might observe, no two punches are the same. And this is probably the reason why different students progress at different rates. Different students, same training, yet different (but not any less valuable) results.


I’ve noticed a similar thing lately with a drawing class I’ve been taking. Since I’m still new, I’ve been incessantly  drawing lines, ellipses and boxes. The teacher mentioned that no two lines are the same, and I could feel my emotions change as it swung drawing from line to line like a monkey. It reminded me of the saying from Heraclitus, that “We can never step into the same river twice.” The river is always different because it’s moving. And we are always different because we are growing.


Maybe it is important to examine why we follow certain things closely, and to not judge ourselves if we don’t achieve them by following the advice of someone else. I’ve fucked up cooking eggs by repeatedly following the same recipe, but I’ve also had good egg days. And yet for some reason, I have a hard time explaining everything I did when it happened “correctly.”


Weekly Q&A: What Is The Best Way To Enjoy Stinky Tofu?

This week’s question comes from Foodie411. If you enjoy reading, ask an anonymous question here!

Q: What is the best way to enjoy stinky tofu? And what does it smell like?

Stinky tofu is usually sold in open-air night markets because of its strong stench.

A: The biggest problem with eating stinky tofu is the horrid smell. The best way to get rid of the stench is by immediately throwing that shit away, and then slapping yourself for almost eating garbage. The night when I tried it, most of the people in line were either drunk or eating it as a dare. As for the second part of the question, I think the best way to express my disgust is through video — so stay tuned this week for my stinky tofu rant!

Screw “Y.O.L.O.” And Escargot

You only live once!

– hold on a sec –

If rap lyrics make people aware about having limited time on Earth, and if one of those morons plows through a mountain of cocaine and dies, they will not receive my sympathy. In fact, I wouldn’t feel sympathy for anyone who died doing what they wanted. I’d be happy for them! Wouldn’t you? We all have to die eventually. The other day, I read an article about a married Japanese couple that had sex for the first time. Both died at climax from heart attack. What a way to go!

It makes you wonder about people. If the phrase “YOLO” stimulates a response in the cerebral cortex of people to make stupid decisions… the reality of their life must have sucked pretty bad. You’ve got other problems if rap lyrics are the “10 Commandments” of your life. I would suggest a better source of motivation. Perhaps Buddhism. Those guys seem pretty detached from the world.

A lot of people give Drake, and most recently, Nikki Minaj, criticism about not living their lifestyle according to their lyrics. Honestly, who cares? Most people don’t even have the money to live a posh lifestyle, so perhaps their disillusionment needs to be facilitated with drugs and alcohol. I have no complaint towards actor-turned-rapper Drake, or the message he delivers. Actually, inspiration can come from any source. The other day, I accidentally stepped on a snail outside my door. I was really upset. But then I realized that escargot might actually taste disgusting, and it inspired me to never try it.

People fail to understand that popular media figures don’t dictate how we should live life, they are just a reflection of our crappy selves. We used to think it was stupid that Romans killed the messenger if they weren’t satisfied with the message. Now we worship messengers that bring us unsatisfying messages. What the hell is going on?

Maybe I’ll try escargot if explicitly stated on Nikki Minaj’s new single.

Going “Nuts” For Cashews

I was eating a bag of crunchy, lightly-salted Cashew nuts today. They have a contrasting texture that is rough on the outside, and smooth on the inside. The delicious nuts can be very addicting; full bag of nuts one moment — next thing you know — empty bag. My throat started to get itchy from mild allergies, yet I couldn’t stop eating the nuts because they were very tasty. It is really fun to chomp down on their semi-hard surface with my front two teeth, and chew away with my molars. The extra salt on them was dehydrating, so I drank something to quench my thirst. I could just stop eating them: but I was addicted. The crunchy goodness got the better of me and I finished the entire bag.