Final Recipe – Movie impressions and spoilers

It seems I was hit with new ideas form this blog: writing my impressions on movies or series I watch, books I read, and .. well, I don’t play video games.

This is a movie from 2013 and it’s a South Korean and Thai production. This is a drama about growing up, family reuniting, and it has a happy ending. There are also a couple of more funny scenes, but comedy isn’t on the menu of this movie – see what I did there?

I watched a version dubbed in Chinese [most likely Mandarin, but I can’t be sure at this point], though originally English was also spoken in the movie. The movie was also subbed in Chinese and English, and the dubbing part didn’t bother me much.

You might want to skip the colorful text if you don’t want to read the SPOILERS AHEAD…

A man from Singapore loves cooking, and his son does too. The man however wants his son to become something else – an engineer perhaps. The son leaves his father and own son in order to appear on a cooking show and doesn’t return. The man is left with raising his grandson, but in the end sends a message to the son telling him he no longer has a family to return to.

Some 15 years later, the grandson is now studying to become an engineer himself, but he has a penchant for cooking as well. His now ill grandfather runs a restaurant but the business isn’t going well.

The grandson decides to join a cooking competition in hopes to win the big prize and help the business. Little does he know the man he needs to impress with his cooking skills is his father.

The final stage of the competition reunites the family and everyone is happy.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE MOVIE

  • they made cooking and the results look like art. Well, in real life, most expensive restaurants present food in an artistic way, so they weren’t far off from reality with this.
  • the movie has a happy ending. You want to watch a movie to relax in summer? you’re either going to watch a comedy or a movie with a happy ending. A little redundant since most comedies I remember watching have a happy ending, but there are other movie genres with a happy ending too.
  • one of the messages I got from this movie was to trust my instincts. This is a life lesson I try my best to obey. Luckily I didn’t really need it lately.
  • the movie makes a good point about what lying can do to a relationship. Many other movies do too. Yet, we never learn.
  • another message I saw in this movie was not to let relationships die. Comfort is no. 1 relationship killer: it makes us or our partner stray, and makes others grow apart.
  • there’s also a lesson to learn here: it’s OK to follow your dreams. Just make sure they [the dreams] can bring food on the table, or that you follow a path that can bring food on the table. [IE: you like painting. Awesome! but artists have a hard time making money, so better work as some sort of a designer instead, and paint on the side. At least until you can sell your art for big bucks]
  • be stubborn when it comes to work, not when it’s about relationships.
  • the movie points out what matters more in life: family.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT THE MOVIE:

  • that acting wasn’t the best I’ve seen.
  • I also think it sets some unrealistic expectations when it comes to cooking and following our dreams. Making it into a competition can’t possibly be THAT easy. Being a chef is more difficult than that, I believe.
  • I also think that 2 side characters fell in love in a quite unrealistic way.
  • some scenes, or at least the ending was predictable from a certain point onward. This is not such a bad thing after all: you can still watch to see how the events fall into place from one situation to the other, to end the way it’s supposed to end.

Verdict: I liked the movie, I give it 3.5 stars, and I think you should watch it if you want to see something light that is easy to follow, and perhaps predictable at times.


My next review, next week, will also be about a movie. Action movie!


© 2013- present The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

Shadowscapes Tarot – King of Wands

The first thing to notice about this card is the strong warm light coming out from the back of the male character seen in the center of the card.
Lions surround him. His wand is actually a staff with a lion head at the top.
He has impressive stag horns – an indication he is out of this world.

I can’t stop seeing similarities in imagery with the knight of wands card: strong light, strong men, lions, long staffs, and horns.

It seems as if the knight finally matured into the king, but still kept a wild side. Whatever adventures the knight was searching for, helped him become stronger than he anticipated: he seems to be able to control the nature with his very presence.

He is quite majestic, just like a stag.
I’m not sure if the lions in the air are a manifestation of his power or not, but it might.

This king has his feet well on the ground – as the sphinx at his feet indicate. His legs are apart, for a more stable stance.  His mind is very active, he’s quick in thinking, and he might think well out of the box. His opinions are strong. He could make you think like him, if he really tries.


You can read more here.

 

My failed Nail Polish Challenge

I like painting my nails these days. It’s relaxing and fun. I tried challenging myself to see for how long can I keep my manicure. The answer? not too long.

I suspect it may have something to do with using cheap polishes, or not being a professional, or even with the fact that I use my fingers and nails a little too much.

In any case, this entry will have quite a few nail pictures, with little explanations.

FIRST ATTEMPT – remember I’m not a nail professional

day 1: 

day 2: nail polish called Revers MatriXL, shade unknown

day 3: oh, my cat! lol

day 4: still pretty-ish

day 5: oh the horror, the chipping started. Challenge aborted. LOL

SECOND ATTEMPT

day 1: Brand: WJcon cosmetics or something.

day 2: learn more about this deck here and here

day 3: I use this agenda as my bullet journal.

day 4:

THIRD ATTEMPT

day 1:

day 2: oh, I need glasses. I’m short sighted.

This is where I gave up. One of the reasons I gave up was that I forgot to take pictures of my nails.

BONUS PICTURES:

and

And if you want to see more pictures, that don’t have nails in them, checkout my instagram account!


© 2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Shadowscapes Tarot – Eight of Pentacles

We see a big black and red spider building his web. He is close to what appears to be its center. He used a near-by tree branch as the basis for his web, as well as a rather thin whimsical grass-blade for a second side. We don’t see a 3rd point of support, which makes me think this spider is not as wise as we would assume. His web also has some holes and doesn’t seem ‘perfect’. Any wind blowing can tear it apart, which probably happened already.

If you look closely at the art on the card you can see 2 human-like figures and 3 faces in the tree branch. How scary is that? Maybe the web is more effective than what we first thought?

Since Stephanie chose a spider and its web for this card – we can see the obvious reasons, I think it’s also a warning? Be wary of those who always seem to have a plan ready? To be careful not to fall into traps carefully designed that we don’t see them? [like a fly] – think of a bad loan [like the payday loan], or of the secret charges of a hotel, since the pentacles can represent money..

Or is it that when we think we have the secret plan to success [of any kind] we should work at it in secret, in ways that would make people wonder ‘what is he up to’ ? [I’m not sure what I mean here, but something close to being an entrepreneur in a niche nobody thought of before, or is yet to be explored in your area].


More information here.

I experienced a reality shift

Sadly, this is not a recent occurrence. It happened in January of 2015, most likely on the 1st, maybe 2nd. I apparently didn’t write about it right away, but I can’t be sure why. This entry is an identical reproduction of what I wrote in my handwritten diary/dream journal – yes, i record in it both dreams and various daily life that affected me in some way. Here it goes:

I believe this was the date. It was pretty late at night and I went to buy some stuff we still needed.

On my way home, when I was passing the street across [note: at the traffic lights, with no incoming cars], I suddenly lost sense of time and place. Reaching the other side I realized I had no idea where I was, what time it was, nor what was I doing there. It felt as if several centuries passed by me in matter of seconds. 

Reaching home, A. told me she felt the same.

I’m disappointed I didn’t write more regarding what happened, however I have a rather vivid memory of that night. So what happened was this:

I was in the middle of the street when suddenly I couldn’t move my body, everything started spinning, and I SAW how the night turned into light, people walking by me, cars too, and everything was happening so-so fast. Whatever I saw was passing by me so fast, I felt like in a tunnel – everything and everyone was warping around me. It also felt like a HUGE amount of time warped..

Gotta mention that it was a snowy January that year, and it snowed since December the previous year. While time was warping the snow was also gone, the cold sensation wasn’t there anymore [as if the snow was fake, like in a dream]…

And when I made it to the other side of the street everything seemed “back to normal” but I’m not sure it was or that it is. I wonder why did I have that short memory loss? I couldn’t even figure out who I was, nor my surroundings, nothing at all. 

I was lucky there was no incoming traffic, like mentioned earlier, though most likely they would have honked or detour me.

The warping tunnel was not going back in time, nor going forwards in time… maybe more like a repetition of everything that happened till that moment?? And if we see time like a straight street along which we walk, what i saw was more like a street to the right that we suddenly decide to take to reach a street that is parallel to the one we were walking on – and on this side street we decide to walk like crabs instead of walking like humans. (I’m not sure if this makes any sense.)


I wrote this entry because I experienced the Mandela Effect – we all know now he died in 2013, but I remember him dying back in the 1990s (maybe in the 1980s, in prison), either way not in 2013.

For me, the title of the movie is “Interview with A vampire.” I can’t talk about anything else that people usually associate with the Mandela Effect because I wasn’t exposed to them. I didn’t have books with those Bernstein Bears [note: my auto-correct suggested this spelling, I’m not sure which one is the correct one with “a” or with “e”), I didn’t watch Star Wars, nor Forrest Gump, and I wasn’t exposed to any products, events, or commercials others include in ME.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Shadowscapes Tarot – Ten of Pentacles

On this card we see a young woman riding a dragon. She holds a peach and the dragon has a pentacle-coin dandling from one of his claws. There is a castle in the far distance.
The general color of the card is a vibrant green with hints of golden – making me think of money. There is only one corner that is purple.. [royalty?]

~~~
the image makes me think that the financial security is not necessarily self earned, or at least not entirely. it comes from a strong supporter. he too might have something to gain to help out. this particular image makes me think of a ‘sugaring’ relationship. [please do your own research on this subject if you’re not familiar with it.]

The dragon hoarded a fortune and is maybe too old, or tired to enjoy it all by himself. Sharing it with the young woman he can be sure it will be put to a good use – the fruit she carries has a pit as well, that can grow into a tree. But she needs some help, even financial help to make this happen. The dragon might get enough just from seeing the woman using the resources she receives for something good.

Her belly seems rounded – sign of pregnancy. She might be full of ideas that need proper care and resources to grow and materialize.

I think the Rider-Waite card is well interpreted here.

It also seems like to me they’re having one-another’s back. There’s trust between them. Partnership – mostly in a business-like environment.


More information here.

it’s OK not to stick to a workout routine

If you read my last few post, you might remember I’m trying to bullet-journal, and to also introduce some workout sessions in my life. Of course, since I’m notoriously lazy and sometimes I have projects to work on, working out daily is impossible.

And that’s OK.

And it you also want to work out more, you came to the right place, because I will try my best to encourage you on your journey. I’m not a trainer, nor a health guru – but you already know that. I’m just sharing my experiences to help others that also struggle like me.

The biggest mistake I noticed I made was to expect myself to workout daily, the way I have the impression others do. Others, in this context, are various bloggers and vloggers I either follow or sometimes stumble upon. And you know what? I’m pretty sure this is wrong,  because we sell dreams. While my intention is NOT to sell dreams, I can’t know who will come across my blog one day, reads it, and thinks “oh, I wish I was more like this author” [I secretly hope for this, to be honest]. Personally, I wish my writing style was more funny, similar to that of the guy behind My Crazy Chinese Family blog – but now I’m going off topic. Let’s return.

WHAT ARE MY RESULTS SO FAR

Last month I managed to workout during 11 days, out of 30. I’m not really impressed, but I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.

This month I only worked out 2 days so far. I want to improve the number, but we’ll see how things go.

My workout sessions lasted about 30 minutes and less. I get out of breath very fast, my heart pumps like mad, and I have to stop or else I feel like fainting. It’s OK to stop your routine when you feel like fainting! You also don’t have to work out for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time!

Most importantly, when I was done, I would feel happy and proud of myself. Something to do with my body releasing more endorphins. Feeling more happy can motivate a person to keep at this new found routine.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK OUT?

There are many reasons for people to be interested in starting this journey: to get back in shape, to prevent weight gain, to participate in a marathon, to simply change their lifestyle, for health related reasons, and even because they think they should.

So, how about you? Me, I could subscribe to all the reasons above, except the marathon. I simply can’t run it makes me feel like veins and nerves are breaking in my brain, I can’t see well anymore, and faint. It’s really bad. [on a side note, I see many people running downstairs, back and forth. in a way I feel I should do the same, and I feel guilty because I can’t. How silly is this? it’s not like anyone knows…]

My advice to you is not to compare yourself to others, because everyone is unique. And if you feel fine without working out, nobody can tell you otherwise.

Challenges you might face

Starting and getting into it is the most difficult part. Also, having a busy schedule can make you feel like you don’t have enough time for this. These are my 2 main reasons why I only worked out for 11 days last month. I hope to change this.

Having to wear appropriate clothing that you don’t own. Sure, it’s better to work out in workout pants, but honestly, as long as your clothes allow you to make any movement you need to, then it doesn’t really matter. you could be working out naked, but please do so only in the privacy of your house.

Speaking of where to workout, many think it can only be done at the gym. Or they think a gym subscription will motivate them into visiting it. Truth is, this is unlikely. Instead, stretching a bit after you wake up right beside your bed is perfectly fine. There are countless routines that can be done at home or even outdoors.

Now, if you want to have more muscles, you’ll want a gym membership and to be strict abut visiting it. A personal trainer will be very helpful as well.

WHY DON’T I SEE RESULTS?

Results don’t appear overnight. We’re somehow programmed into thinking results appear instantly, but this is the biggest lie we could ever believe. 11 days of working out and a reduced amount of food consumed in June [mostly because the heat took away my appetite] made me lose 1kg. It’s not a lot, but slower results seem to be the ones that stick more.

So results will appear only if we’re consistent. Also it depends on why we start, on our somatic body type, and the type of routine we try. My somatic body type is the one that gains weight the easiest and has the hardest time losing it – and I forgot what’s called. oops.

CONCLUSION

Whether you decide to exercise more or not is fine! whatever you will wear to do so is fine as long as you’re free to move as you like. Not doing what others do, is also perfectly fine and OK. Don’t do something just because you think you must: you don’t.

I hope you’ll feel more inspired to live your life as you please because sometimes it takes courage to do so.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

how to become your cat’s favorite human

You might already know I own 2 cats, but I will talk about the younger one for he likes me a little more than the older one. You want to know a secret? You can also make your cat like you more than the rest of the family [if you have a cat, that is].

DISCLAIMER: this method is not 100% foolproof, and is more successful on kittens. It is still worth giving a try – hopefully your cat is not a the spawn of the devil and can be [gently] handled. i credit expert cat owners with the discovery of the method.

I hope everyone planning on getting a new cat or kitten will find this short entry a bit useful. If you dislike cats, I hope you will change your mind about them a bit.

So this is Mikey, the younger cat – he turns 6 years old on July 4th. I cannot tell you how attached to me he is.

To put it into perspective, he knows when I arrive home, he doesn’t let his older brother come to me, he makes sure to leave his scent on me whenever he can [even when I’m in the bathroom], and he cried a lot last year when I would be gone to my 9-5 jobs. That’s not all, he also gained a lot of weight last weight: it seems he ate his feelings [and i feel bad for it].

One of the ways he showed his affection was by ‘cleaning’ me while i slept – my face, hands, arms, hair, whatever he could. His older brother never did it. He also loves sleeping next to or on top of me.

i dont think it’s healthy to sleep so close to the cat.. but what can i do?

So, how come he prefers me?

You must know I got him when he was a kitten, and I basically stole him from his family and mother. I don’t think he was fully weaned, but he was eating cat food.

So, when I got him, i had to act like cat-mom, and make him relieve himself. This is easily done by holding the cat over the litter and gently rub her behind with a damp towel – it should have the same texture as a cat’s tongue. Your cat will believe it’s her mother taking care of stuff, and in a way will think you’re said mother – your scent is all around after all, and her mother’s scent is not. It’s almost natural that you’ll be replacing her mom at this point.

There is one more important step you should not ignore, when going through this process: “burying the gifts” AKA the cat pee and poop. Gently grab one of the cat’s front paws [or hands if you prefer] and move it from the front towards the back, while touching the sand [or litter bed. we use a special type of sand.. bentonite, clay? I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I recommend silica type because it disappears, so you throw away less stuff.] The movement should imitate the one the cat does when she covers her waste.

This paw movement should be done right after wiping her behind with the damp towel, even if she doesn’t relieve herself. This is one of the best methods to teach a cat where ‘the toilet’ is, no matter the age. It is especially useful when changing houses and getting a new cat.

If for some reason you consider changing the type of litter, make sure to do it gradually, so that the cat will get used to the new type slowly – or better said so she won’t realize. if you change it all of a sudden [because you couldn’t find the one you usually get] try this method I described above.

Cats can be and are just as loving as dogs, perhaps even more so. This is why an older cat will take some time to get used to new humans, if re-homed. She might act distant with her first humans, but maybe she’s generally more distant. Remember that not all cats are the same, just like not all dogs are the same.

I hope you found this article a little helpful.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Thoughts after 6 months

Dear readers,
6 months have [almost] passed as I type this, and by the time it will go up, the situation wouldn’t have changed.
I think this is a type for freelancers and bloggers alike to draw a line to see if the they follow the plan they set at the beginning of the year. It’s a time to think about what we learned, lost, and gained. It s also a time to try and reset goals for the 2nd half of the year, if the results are not the ones you expected. If you’re not a business, you’ll probably have a harder time setting quarterly goals.

WHAT I GAINED

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think I gained much – except for a lot of weight, OOPS . When 2016 ended, all I wanted was a ‘different’ year, with hopes for a better one. Well, so far so good – it was better than the previous one. I gained 10 kg in about 2 weeks, back in January. As June comes to an end, I still haven’t lost 1 kg. Maybe I should go back to this post and remind myself on how that’s done. 😉

I also gained a bit of insight into how I can keep myself on a more productive line: bullet journaling.  You can read about me discovering it in this post. I can’t really have an opinion on how this goes since not even a month passed since I started it, but I think that if I keep at it, I will have more results by the end of the year.

I also gained some insight that proves I’m not as mature as I’d like to be. For instance, it seems that when I decide I want something, I want it RIGHT NOW, despite some other factors clearly stating it is impossible to get. What do I mean? Last year we decided we’ll move to either Canada or France, with later deciding on France – closer to Romania, therefore easier and cheaper to do. I thought we’ll be doing this in 2 months tops… but, haha 6 months later and we still have to buy tickets and stuff. It turns out, leaving for another country is more work than I previously anticipated. This pill is a bit hard to swallow, to be honest and only someone who is still immature will not see it.

WHAT I LEARNED

What did I learn..? Thinking about it, I can’t really tell, but let me try…

I learned some Mandarin Chinese – since my memory is super bad, I can’t remember if I ever mentioned I’m teaching myself Mandarin. I studied mostly grammar aspects, and soon I will have to start with learning the Han characters [this is what I understood they’re called in China].

I also learned that no matter how much I love cats some of them are simply not for me, or that I can’t take care of all of those that come my way. That cat found some human to take care of her, but I will be lying if I said I don’t miss her: she was hilarious to be honest, despite her destructive nature. But, as I accumulate more years, I realize I need calm and peace more than anything.

I also learned that creative people can’t work for other people, at least not in a 9-to-5 environment.  While I may not seem so at first sight, this blog is proof enough I’m creative, as well as some of the drawings/doodles you occasionally saw [there is one right in this post, higher up 😉 ]. You can also see the unedited version below, because I couldn’t decide which one I like more. The cursive is how I really write in my dream journal – should I post pictures of it?

I am learning now to be a bit more flexible. For instance, if I plan something in advance, I must be prepared to change those plans. Freelancers or business owners will probably know this struggle more than other folks.

WHAT DID i LOSE

Well, for starters I lost a stable job, or better said I gave it up, but mostly because it was eating my health away. I didn’t search for a new one. Well, you might think I have less money coming in, and this might be true. However as a ‘freelance writer’ I can tell you I had projects that paid as much as the job I gave up did. Basically a project lasting 2 weeks brought in as much dough as a month slaving away at the job. [I do plan on writing a blog about my experience in the ‘normal’ work-field, but I don’t know when].

PLANS FOR THE UPCOMING 6 MONTHS

I plan on continuing with the bullet journal I started – I really see it as a good way to keep myself organized and on track. I do recommend it to all my readers. I also need to improve it, as the first month planning didn’t impress me. Since I never did this before, I can’t now how to do it in a way that works for me – but I will.

I want to workout more – not really to lose weight [as I’m not sure it will happen], but my body simply asks for it [at least at times]. I will hopefully lose some weight as well.

I will study more French – I can read it, I understand quite a bit, but speaking it… that’s a whole different story. I will obviously continue with Chinese as well, so this will not even be mentioned. After we move to France [it’s a matter of when not if], I will have to find a job [I want to buy a house there, as renting is something I’m done with] and being able to understand and speak the language will be helpful [for obvious reasons]. I also want to apply for the French citizenship [or naturalization] so I will also have to study more about France’ history and culture and so on. This thought actually excites me.

AND YOU?

How was your year so far? what aspects will you improve? or do you have any piece of advice for me?


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Exploring Bucharest

This blog entry is LONG overdue. And I mean, 1 year overdue! wow! So, everything you’ll see here was recorded in 2016, but I never got around to do anything with all this material. Today is a good day to show you all that I gathered.

I like looking at old buildings and imagine their history – what did they look like when they were new, what did people think of them, the lives of those that lived in them as well as what did they think of the construction they called “home.”

Some buildings are nicer than others, but I rarely discriminate – I’m usually able to see beauty in the weirdest places and forms. All the images are from Bucharest, but you won’t see them in any travel guide as they’re generally from residential areas. The video will show you both sides of the river splitting  the city in half and was recorded in early spring – March, and then a few weeks or a month later.

The next few houses cannot usually be seen by tourists. Well, I forgot where exactly they are located, sorry.

I know where this one is. On a very quiet street, uptown, in a very posh and expensive area. The street has 2 lanes, one for each direction. In my opinion, the picture doesn’t make it justice, or maybe my memory is bad. The roof covers the sides, like a mountain house. I remember it was love at first sight when I laid my eyes on it the first time around.

The next one must have looked really good at first. I really like that patio in the “tower” – it must be my favorite feature of this house.

I wonder if anyone bought this next house. It looks really bad, but I see a lot of beautifying potential in it. Since [I’m pretty sure] it was on a quiet street, the possibilities are quite many for it.

Next, is an old and rather ugly apartment building. I believe its facade was redone, but it simply is not as impressive in my eyes. I forgot why I took a picture of it – perhaps the creepiness factor was what drove me to it. Maybe it looks better in real life? Anyways, you can easily see this one downtown as it is on one of the main street tourists are taken on a double-decked bus.

I also like mosaics. The one with blue tiles can be seen downtown in Unirii Square, in one of the fountains. I’m not sure if all the fountains have the same mosaic design, because I never really paid close attention. Perhaps they’re just similar? The brownish one was the floor of a shop uptown, in an old building. That’s all I remember.

And if you made it this far, maybe you want to take a short bus ride with me? Tourists don’t really get to see this scenery.

You should let me know if you want more posts like this one. I still have some unpublished pictures.

Until next time, stay safe!

[ps: i just started learning Chinese, so please don’t be too harsh on me]


© the owner travels to 2013-2017. All rights reserved.