Last June, I bought a parcel of lettuce, that I immediately stored in the fridge, and left for a couple days. When I took it out to make a salad and washed it, I found a very small snail.
A good friend once called it "the magpie instinct," for there are certain things—fripperies—women, in general, are suckers for and can often be found hoarding for no reason: tarot cards, pretty stationery, postcards, glorified vaseline in pretty tins. Particularly everything scented, from personal perfumes to stickers to diffusers to candles.
I think you see where I am going with this: I am the first to admit my "magpie instinct" is quite strong, and thus it is that I collect all of the above, as funds allow. Note I say "as funds allow", for pretty things that do not directly contribute to survival are considered by others as "luxury goods" and are therefore expensive.
Let's do the math, shall we?
There are generally three things that go into a candle: wax, wick, and additives, such as fragrance and dye. For wax I chose soy, because I've found soy burns cleaner and doesn't give off the oily smell that paraffin does when burned, not to mention paraffin is a known source of environmental toxins*. For a wick, I chose wood, because in my experience wooden wicks produce almost no noticeable smoke—except when being lit and put out—while cotton wicks produce a low level of near continuous smoke. Plus, the crackling sound wood wicks make is really neat, almost like a mini fireplace. Additives are the most costly, costing me around 3300 KRW (about 3 USD) for every 200mL candle I make. I don't bother with dyes, because they're one more additive to morph into harmful compounds when burned, and when in doubt, the creamy surface of a plain wax candle goes with any container or interior decor scheme.
This brings me to a total of 8500 KRW for a candle that gives me about 50 hours of burn time. About 17 cents per hour is far cheaper even than the cheapest decent candle on the market, for a product that's tailored specifically to my tastes... not to mention that it's the making of the candle that's the fun part.
So lo, my first batch of candles:
Now that "Figure Queen" Kim Yuna is all set to retire (though you can bet your imaginary gold medal that politicians will be demanding that she reemerge when the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics roll around four effing years from now), I thought I might post a retrospective of my favorite programs...
In my travels on the virtual spiderweb that the denizens of the planet Earth so like to frequent, I have come across a unique creature called a Heston blumenthal (note to self: assess the possibility that the Linnean name of this species will be subject to change based on phylogenetic evidence). What is most interesting about H. blumenthal is that it is the first discovered species that subsists on entropy: that is, in order to get from point A to point B, H. blumenthal adds several steps that increases the total amount of entropy generated, and by this process seems to thrive.
I think every summer, I make at least one visit to Gangwon-Do (Gangwon Province). I'm not the only one: the rugged natural beauty makes the place a popular summer holiday destination for nature-lovers: mountain ranges and cliffs overlooking a sea teeming with life, supported by freezing nutrient-rich currents that come following the coast from the north.
When I go to Gangwon-Do, it's usually to trek Seollak-San with my college's Alpine Association. This summer, my destination was a little further south, the quiet coastal village of Yangyang.
It's been quite a while since my last post, during which I did a rather hellish OB/GYN round and a physically exhausting but also highly entertaining GS round. And now it's finally summer holidays! So an update on what I've recently been up to, and things I would like to do during my newfound (and short-lived) freedom. Predictably, it's all about food.
In fact, it's high time I updated my bookmarks list, mainly because the traffic I contribute to certain food blogs and cooking channels on Youtube far, far outstrips the sum total of the visits I make to those websites to the right column in the past year. In addition to Smitten Kitchen, 101 Cookbooks and Simply Recipes, I've discovered Foodwishes, Cooking With Dog, ShinShine, and Eat a Duck I Must (the last title which I find really cute: a phonetic approximation of the Japanese "itadakimasu" into English). I've also found the various About.com guides to ethnic food to be a rich repository of surprisingly excellent recipes.
So some of the things I've recently cooked: