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Went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty today, and liked it. It’s the sorta movie that’ll keep a warm smile on your face and a fuzzy feeling inside you throughout the movie. The conflicts in the movie doesn’t really hit you anywhere close, and you’d root for the guy but not because he’s a reflection of you or anything like that. Though I did feel like somewhat that I myself have been driven along the road of life these past few years by a plethora of external events. I keep hoping for a big picture, or an inner drive to push me along, but I guess I have to do more than hoping.

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Yesterday I was driving my wife, her mother, an aunt and a uncle somewhere. While crossing an intersection about a block away from our destination, a small truck ran the red light from the right side, seemingly without slowing down (probably going at least 30~40 km/h, which is pretty fast given the size of the street). I had begun honking when I realized that the truck wasn’t slowing down ahead of the intersection. I was already in the intersection when the truck crossed the stop line and turned left, heading toward the front passenger side of my car where my wife was sitting. I steered my car away to the left and apparently the truck did slow down enough to steer behind me. It was only after the truck had passed that I could let out a “夭壽!” in Taiwanese (I had to tone it down with the in-laws in the car). But upon reviewing the events in my head, I realized that I did not do enough; that if the truck had not braked I would not have been able to avoid a collision. And in truth, when I saw that truck coming at us, I could almost feel the impact of the truck into the side of my car.

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Had ramen today at Ikki (札幌らーめん一騎). The shop claims that the ingredients, including the soup base was flown in from Hokkaido. I just found it salty without the richness and aroma to fully support it. I ordered a miso-based ramen and I just couldn’t get past the saltiness. The noodle was cooked to my liking, and the meat was tender. The menma (fermented bamboo shoot) I could do without. Honestly, I don’t know whose idea it was to put menma in ramen, at least the kind they were using here. It’s got such a strong taste and smell that it never blends with the rest of the ramen, it might as well have been served on a separate plate. We also ordered gyoza, which was disappointing as well. The taste was similar to the frozen gyoza I used to buy back in Japan, so I guess you could say it’s authentic. They attempted to have the crispy pan-fried layer sorta worked with the flour and water mixture they added, but it was so thin that it barely offered any texture at all. Aside from that, the top of the gyoza was more than a few degrees colder than the bottom, which makes me wonder if the gyoza was pre-cooked then pan-fried, rather than going through the steaming/pan-frying in the same go. And lastly, to top it all off, the open kitchen gave us front row seats to listen to the cooks swear in the back. Lovely. Guess who’s not going back to that restaurant again?

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