America’s salad landscape has since gotten so exciting since my childhood salad days comprised of iceberg/romaine lettuce salad mix dressed in Ranch, Thousand Island or Caesar Salad dressing. As the modern salad becomes a main dish in its own right, dressed in various condiments and accompanied by meats or seafood, here’s a fresh ingredient to … More
Frustrated? Disappointed? Cynical? I can’t quite nail down how I was feeling after finishing Megha Majumdar’s A Burning. The book lights a fire, burns and builds up hope, but ultimately comes crashing down, disintegrating the ashes bit by bit. I wanted a happy ending to this novel—I was somehow hopeful all along that one of … More
Eat, pray, love? Nahhhh. Let’s drink, eat, and exfoliate. I am talking about homemade soy + barley milk. Growing up, soy milk is a familiar breakfast item—a favorite childhood breakfast menu of mine was pairing a Taiwanese rice ball (飯糰 fan-tuan) with a bowl of slightly-sweetened soy milk. The items, prepared on the spot, were … More
I can’t tell you a lot. Except, watch Kahaani, a 2012 Hindi-language thriller directed by Sujoy Ghosh. My one hint for you is that Kahaani is the Hindu word for story. Who is telling who a story? And whose story should you be paying attention to and detangling? The Plot The film opens with the … More
Growing up in the U.S. I have vague memories of celebrating the Lunar New Year. Sure, I kind of remember that the holiday is about 15 days long and on occasions when relatives were present, I received lucky money. But since moving to the U.S. in grade school, I mainly just remember eating hotpot with … More
“The hardest part about becoming someone else was deciding to. The rest was only logistics.” Stella, The Vanishing Half I was hooked by Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half the moment I read the opening chapter. I churned through the book into the wee hours of the night, finishing the book in one sitting after several … More
Dear Hsieh With You readers, happy new year. What a year 2020 has been. And I think I can safely say that none of us were prepared for the life-changing year. In face of the uncertainties that still loom large in regards to the pandemic, more specifically when will it end and when can life … More
The title of this post is a bit misleading. Totoro has always been somewhat electronic. Joe Hisaishi My Neighbor Totoro is an 1988 animated film from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. Nearly all of Studio Ghibli’s films have been musically scored by the same man, Joe Hisaishi (久石 譲). Hisaishi is a titan in the Japanese … More
Despite growing up in sunny (Northern) California and now living in even sunnier Southern California, I seem to have a preference for cold places. When I studied abroad in Beijing, I experienced a winter that averaged about -10°C, or 14°F. The year I worked abroad in Seoul, I celebrated one of the city’s coldest Christmas … More
In the time of coronavirus lockdown, chasing the romantic sublime in Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2
The idea of music affecting wellbeing and emotions is at least as old as the writings of Plato: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” Music, even sad music, can evoke positive emotional responses. A 2,400 subject study from Durham University in the United … More
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