03 December 2007


Dr. Em of Pulse tagged me as a blogger to answer five questions. (Sorry, it's so late-- wait for rare moment of me writing in Filipino-- nagkalito-lito kasi yung DSL). So... Here I go!
How long have you been blogging?
Believe it or not, I set up a personal website for my various sketches and essays waaay back in (wait for it) 1997. I recall there was also space for me to write about restaurants, food, music, and TV shows. Its original name was Flights to Fantasy, as I was a huge Final Fantasy fan then. I learned HTML for that! The design I felt was quite impressive for someone in 3rd year high school-- back then. It underwent several redesigns after long periods of me not writing (coding in HTML was long, thankless work) before I renamed it and settled on A Simple Life (coding in Dreamweaver), then I took a long hiatus for med school and killed it. This current blog you're reading started this year, after I'd imported my also-killed Friendster blog (as Friendster blogs blew chunks) in May 2007 (not April, but I did date my sketches with false dates to put them in front).

What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?
Up until after I graduated, the only things I've ever baked were cookies, brownies, and cake out of a box. Somehow it led people to believe that I was a better baker than I actually was, but somehow I got cocky due to the sheer volume of cooking shows I've watched in my life and would think to myself when we ate in a pâtisserie, "I can do that." I joined the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts and Letters in 2006. They are WILD in there. The photography of Patrick and Joe (Graeme was not yet posting pictures at the time) blew me away and I wanted to replicate how they communicated deliciousness through the photos. But my inspiration for actual blogging is Clement of A la Cuisine. Anyway, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and start a blog to push my limits on how many different cooking skills I can learn, and as a bonus, to be able to make every single dish I love. Which is a lot. So, I really only started to learn to cook when I graduated med school.

Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun?
No way. It's all fun and games here. I think my main reason for losing steam in my old websites was the lack of feedback.

Tell me 3 things you LOVE about being online.
1. I love learning. I get bored disturbingly easily. To see what other people are up to around the world excites me. It helps in being fearless with the world and yourself. It helps in opening your mind to new people and new experiences. It helps to cope with failure and gives you the courage to try again.
2. Friendship. It's been said about friends at work:

The people you work with, are people you were just thrown together with. You don’t know them, it wasn’t your choice. And yet you spend more time with them than you do your friends or your family, but probably all you’ve got in common, is the fact that you walk around on the same bit of carpet for eight hours a day.

It's not true for everyone but it's a little true for me. Now we're not together anymore, I have to content myself with seeing them once every two weeks for the usual dinner and drinks. And I rarely want to talk medicine. However, I've made great friends online and I pretty much have something to look forward to everyday.
3. Well, it's great to be appreciated. If the people around you don't eat dessert or only want to eat the same thing all the time, it can be very lonely indeed!

Tell me 3 things you STRUGGLE within the online world.
1. Your efforts falling flat on their faces. I remember one of the first things I made I was proud of-- Terrine of Almond Panna Cotta and Pineapple Gelée. I thought, since the folks at the eGullet forums are so tough, maybe it's my "in." Nobody said anything for a long while, and I felt like shit. Graeme was first and the only one who liked it, and it was great to have finally made a good friend. But if he hadn't, I might have punched a hole through my monitor.
2. Cliques. For some reason, the same way that friendship translates over the internet, so do cliques. Some people will just never give you the time of day because they don't want to know who you are.
3. Since I can't think of much else, I'd say self-censorship. But this is pretty much an issue in real life, isn't it? Being nastily fun is okay in my book (even if I dial it down a lot so as not to freak out gentler readers), but I try to stay away from hostility and revert it back to a pleasant atmosphere, because the flipside is, if you tell people that they are rude and just generally awful, they will rip your ass to shreds and you will flame each other forever. I'd rather slip away and not give them the traffic. (Right, G? :) He has read how deep my distaste can go.)

Who to tag next? Graeme, Ann, Dhanggit, dp, Aloy.

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