Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The quest for bibingka

So one of the dishes that my mom knew how to make well (she was a better baker than a cook) was bibingka, or a dessert made from sweet rice flour. When my mom was still alive, she made it quite often, but trying to get the recipe out of her was almost impossible. She had given me a recipe, but it had turned out so horribly that I figured she just did everything by hand and eyeballed the ingredients. I figured that since she passed away back in '03 that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to make it.

Last week, though, my coworker shared me her bibingka recipe, and surprisingly enough, it was about as close as I could find to how my mom made it. She gave me the recipe and I made it for some friends over the weekend. It was so disgustingly easy to make I couldn't believe that it took me this long to do it.

Anyway, here's the recipe, if you're so inclined--btw, it's definitely high carb and greasy as hell, but definitely worth it.


1 cup glutinous rice flour (My mom used Mochiko, but make sure that the flour is glutinous, otherwise it won't work)

2/3 to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it--I made it with 2/3 cup and it wasn't sweet enough)

1 cup cow's or coconut milk (I prefer coconut milk, though cow's milk will work just as well)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

pinch salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

Grated coconut

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until incorporated. Place mixture in a greased cookie sheet or baking pan, preferably a wide shallow baking pan to make it more chewy and crispy. Top with coconut. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown and center is clean (about 20-30 minutes).

Monday, August 27, 2007

Joz can be happy with me now...

I scored an A+ in my organic chemistry lecture.

Now just waiting for the lab grade (which hopefully I'll get an A+ in too).

Does this count, Joz? :P

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The PCAT's over!

Just finished the PCAT two hours ago.

Frankly, I was expecting it to be a lot worse than I was expecting, though the math threw me for a loop (Calculus! ACK!).

I finished everything a lot quicker than I expected, particularly the chemistry portion, which I thought was going to be hard--but luckily, taking organic chem 2nd semester so soon really saved my ass.

Considering that I'm prohibited from really talking about the test material (which is to be expected), there was one incident which I took a really guilty pleasure in seeing, even if it may have been totally mean/rude/whatever.

When the chemistry portion was completed, the proctor had called time, everyone had completed the exam except for one Asian woman, who kept on writing, despite repeated demands from the proctor to stop and a number of her assistants telling her to stop. She was dismissed from the exam, but not before watching her scream, taking her exam, beg and plead ("I'm going to die if you won't let me take the exam!") to let her continue, and left, after everyone in the exam room was looking at her, when she realized she wasn't getting her way.

Frankly, I don't feel bad about it because I've seen this happen way too many times and these Asian women have gotten away with it (it may just be a West Coast thing, but I've seen this in high school, in college--some girls have even tried it in the classes where I was teaching, and I was harsh with them). It isn't fair for the rest of us, especially since 95% of the people taking the test were Asian, to see one girl get an advantage over the rest of us. I'm glad that the proctor stuck to her guns and kicked her out, and called security.

I don't understand why these women think that this strategy actually works, and if anything, annoys and irritates everyone else around them. And I certainly wouldn't want her to be my pharmacist.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Off to bed (before midnight, no less!)...

Have my PCAT tomorrow morning. I took a practice exam and I did really well, so hopefully tomorrow shouldn't be too bad.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A sign that my body knows the stressing out is almost over...

I have another 24 hour sickness thing. Scratchy throat yesterday, now runny nose. I just need to crash tonight when I get home, and I'll be fine when I wake up tomorrow morning.

Blah. I guess that's the good thing about having a decent immune system, I know what's going to happen.

Just as I have my final in about 2 hours, and my PCAT Saturday morning.

I just need to collapse for about a week, and I'll be fine...too bad that's not going to happen.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

O-Chem is almost over!

So my o-chem lecture final's over and I just got back my two midterms, with only the final to go.

My first exam I scored 136/150, where the mean was a 96, and on the second exam I scored a 141/150 with the mean being a 113.

Considering that the (hot) professor said that a mean was a solid B, which is 70%, with the curve being as it is, I have a soild A+ going into the final.

Which means just a bit more studying the next couple days, and then going over my other stuff for the PCAT on Saturday.

I am SO celebrating Saturday night. :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thoughts in my head...

o Last weekend of organic chemistry is this weekend. It's made me realize a number of different things, the scariest of which is that I actually like studying this, and that's not even pointing to the fact that my professor is hot.

o I'm feeling really confident that pharmacy is where I'm headed. Partly because of this class, but it's weird how naturally this is all coming to me. It really makes me wonder what was so hard for me to deal with 15 years ago that I couldn't get my shit together to do this before. Of course, this is looking back with 20/20 hindvision. I remember how alone I felt when I was 18, coming out in the early 90s, and scared shitless that I thought people would dis me after I came out to them, and the amount of emotional stress that I had to deal with. It makes me realize that I actually did have the personal strength just to get the double and finish both chemistry and ethnic studies, when other people probably would've dropped out. I knew for me that wasn't an option. Maybe I just knew back then that there was reason why I had to do this damn chem degree.

o Howard's leaving for Seattle in 3 weeks, and although I'll see him at least once or twice by the end of the year, I'm hoping to visit Seattle in October. Part of me is bracing for that inevitable emotional roller coaster that I'll be going through when he does leave, and I'm actually relieved that I won't be doing any classes until the end of September so I can try to recover somewhat from it.

o If anything, his moving is forcing me to do things on my own--stuff that I'm used to doing, but realizing that the only person I'll have to really think about is myself. It's a really weird feeling since I've had to think about Howard and/or other people for the past 10 years. I've started to re-establish contacts with friends, make contacts with new people, and getting people to know me as "Efren" instead of as "Howard and Efren". It's disconcerting, and strangely liberating at the same time. The weird thing is thinking about hooking up with other guys and saying I'm "single", especially since so many guys wouldn't hook up with me because I was taken. I wonder how that'll change...

o It's weird how telling people about my changing relationship with Howard is akin to coming out--again. It's also made me realize the resentment I've had towards people who've looked to us as role models b/c they're too damn lazy to find partners on their own and who want to live vicariously through us. It's weird because even though Howard and I have always expressed our individuality even as we have been a couple, it seems like very few people actually believed it. I've always looked to Howard as his own separate person, and that's what I find attractive, and annoying at the same time. I can be with him, and yet we're not so codependent on each other that we can't distinguish ourselves from each other. Which would probably be hard to do anyway, given how different we are. :)

o I wonder whether staying in SF is worth it--or if moving to Hawai'i is worth it. Obviously, both have their positives and negatives, and if UCSF rejects me, then it's a moot point. It's just weird for me to realize that I've lived here in the Bay Area for about 10 years, and part of me is getting the itch to travel, even though my heart will always be here. Will I have the balls to make the decision that I need to? Who knows?

Monday, August 13, 2007

At least spell my name right!

Originally uploaded by AiYahh
The husband found this on a sidewalk in the City...I wonder who this "Effran" guy is...interesting!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Brain. Imploding. Must stop.

So I'm in the midst of taking this 4 week intensive course in 2nd semester organic chemistry, which means my weekends have been fucked. I'm also really exhausted from a lack of sleep since I basically get no real days off until August 25, since I have my final exam on August 22, and the PCAT on August 25.

I've been taking this course over at New College, over at their Science Institute, where all the major 18-week science courses (general chem, organic chem, physics, bio, microbio, and anatomy and physiology) are condensed into neat 4 week blocks. I was a bit hesitant because I didn't know what to expect and how the coursework would be.

Midway through the course, I think it's the best decision I've ever made. I'm used to o-chem being such a horribly cutthroat and overall bad experience because it's a typical weeder course. There's a sense of camaraderie since we all know that we're there to pass the course, and it won't do us any good to be rude to anybody in the class. I'm used to being a lone duck while taking these courses, so it's pretty cool to feel like there's a sense of people really wanting to help each other out.

It also helps that the instructor is really hot. Hot Latino guy, pretty boy, but very easy on the eyes, and a good professor. And I think I scored a perfect on the first midterm, so hopefully I can get an A+ in the class (compared to the C I got the first time around back in 1993 *sigh*)

It's also interesting to see the decidedly leftist political bent of the course--what with the professor talking about the evils of plastics, and that we're making biodiesel fuel in lab, all the while enjoying all the Bush-bashing that's been taking place. I've never seen so much politics in a science course, so I have to admit I'm really enjoying it.

The main shock and talk of the session is a major scandal that's been evolving at the school, since we got word the Monday after classes started that New College was in danger of losing their accreditation because of a lack of transparency and accountability for leadership and financial issues. Of course, most of us were shitting bricks, but after we got word that the earliest accreditation would be revoked (if it got to that stage) was October 2008, we were all safe. The president of the school, who's been at the center of the controversy, just tendered his resignation, so that should be a sign of good faith and that New College will be able to keep its accreditation.

Overall, though, I wish I had known about this sooner. I'm probably going to take microbiology through New College, even though it means schlepping my ass to Hayward for four weekends, but I'd rather have the inconvenience of that instead of 18 weeks of driving back and forth and having to rearrange my work schedule again, plus taking an online psych class so I can minimize the amount of time I have to commute to take classes.

Then I'm free from coursework until I get accepted for pharmacy school.

Ok, back to being a hermit. :)