Something special happened yesterday. It was a brief moment but it keeps replaying in my head.
Sung has gotten really (and I mean really) into fishing. I am not too much of an angler but I like to join him because it’s a great excuse to spend a few hours in nature. Yesterday we woke up at dawn, packed some bagel sandwiches, and drove out to the river near our house.
My high school years were atypical. I didn’t attend a four-year high school. Instead I did an assortment of online classes, some community college courses, and homeschool.
One thing I really wanted to try was a team sport. I wasn’t very coordinated but I liked to run. So I decided to do track. Fortunately for me, my hometown high school allowed me to practice with their track team and compete at meets. I just wasn’t allowed to wear the school uniform.
I practiced with the team for one season, and at the end, I went to my first and only track meet.
Two things are true for me: I’m grateful for health care and I’m afraid of the dentist. My appreciation for medical professionals doesn’t alleviate the anxiety I feel when a stranger pokes around in my mouth with sharp metal objects.
The other day I went to the dentist for the first time in a while. I wanted to get my teeth checked out since this is my last year on my mom’s insurance.
I always ask Sung to read my newspaper columns before I submit them. He isn’t much of a reader or writer, but he has an innate sense of good vs. bad with anything art-adjacent.
This month, I wanted to celebrate my marriage and highlight my new last name. I used my blog post about how Sung and I met. Now, everything I wrote actually happened at one point or another. But I played around with the timeline because I wanted to make the story as interesting as possible. Like any story pulled from real life, it only tells one sliver of reality.
This story begins with two women: Giulia & Julia.
My college roommate, Giulia, grew up in São Paulo, Brazil and moved to L.A. for university. During the first year we lived together, her childhood friend Julia also moved to L.A. to start her career as a model.
Giulia and Julia have known each other their entire lives. Both women are beautiful, and Julia is especially stunning with supermodel proportions. After she was signed by a modeling agency, she would get all kinds of clothes for free. That’s how Giulia ended up with boxes and boxes of expensive, barely-worn swimwear.
If I hadn’t quit my job, I wouldn’t have met the love of my life.
Two years ago, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant called Hinoki and the Bird. I was tired of handing out menus and walking around in high heels. My dream was to become a bartender, and I thought I stood a chance because I’d previously been a busser and a barback at two other restaurants.
When I asked Hinoki’s management if I could train behind the bar, they brushed me off with “maybe next year.” I was too impatient. I took their response as a sign that my future wasn’t in the restaurant industry.
“Secrets” might be a bit of a stretch since I’m sure you can find these tips in any cooking tutorial on YouTube. However, I was no stranger to the kitchen when I was growing up, and I didn’t know all these until I started cooking with Sung.
Sung cooked for five years in Los Angeles. He started as a line cook at a fast food place where he fell in love with the profession. After working his way up at several restaurants, he was promoted to head chef of a trendy fine dining restaurant. That’s where he got to manage the kitchen, create menu items, all that cool stuff. And it’s also where he met me.
I’m lucky to live with a chef, not only because he makes delicious food at home, but because he’s teaching me the art of cooking. Today I want to share the most important things I’ve learned from sharing a kitchen with him.