6. Take a shot. No mixers. No ice. No chasers. – DONE.

The night I turned 21, my roommates took me to TGIF so I could order my very first drink. I remember feeling so cool, naughty and a wee anxious.  At the time, I  had not acquired a taste for alcohol (in fact I found it to taste terrible) but I was twenty ONE and I just HAD TO.  So I did what any weenie would do and ordered myself the most Jamba Juicey item on the drink menu – Strawberry Daiquiri (for the first and last time ever). Thankfully my roommates were not about to let me get away with my juice in the sippy cup, they ordered me a Kamikaze. I obliged. That was my first and last “shot.”

Fast forward to June 2013 when a friend had his birthday party at St. George Spirits – a beautiful distillery in Alameda. After an awesome tour we went into the tasting room where we were going to not have one shot but SEVEN of their gins, whiskey, vodkas, bourbon, brandies and absinthe (okay it wasn’t a full one ounce portion for each but the sum of the parts must have been!) The very nice man behind the counter educated us on how to properly taste liquor:

  1. Do not swirl. (this causes the something something in the liquor to react to the air too much)
  2. Do not sniff. (this will do nothing for your perception of the liquor. this may just burn your nose hairs)
  3. Do not swish in your mouth. (see #1)
  4. Breathe in. Drink. Breathe out. (the taste of the liquor is best enjoyed as you breathe out and take in the bouquet of flavors)

These rules were life-changing! Armed with this information, I proceeded to taste, taste and taste and was able to actually discern flavors instead of feeling like I was just sanitizing my GI tract. Though this tasting was enjoyable, I am too cheap to add this to the regular rotation of drinks. Me wants more volume pulease!


This must have been earlier in the tasting because my face is still flesh colored.


Look ma! We both are wearing highlighter shorts!


Muggle Problems


I love you Harry Potter.

Topping the list on my “30” before “30” is reading the entire Harry Potter series FOR THE FIRST TIME. I am pleased to report that I am on Book Four. However I am starting to feel so sad that I’m reaching the midpoint in the series that I have contemplated taking a break to make it last longer. Then my addictive nature kicks in and says SCREW IT. GIVE ME MORE HOGWARTS. I have been so obsessed with Harry Potter for the last week and a half. Sweet Tim bought me a Kindle to encourage productive hobbies during this summer so I don’t end up watching hours of Hoarders or begging friends and strangers for lives on Candy Crush. I don’t think he knew he would awaken the dormant (very dormant) book monster.

I am still getting up before 6am (thank you circadian rhythm that has been forever changed by teaching) but now I just lay in bed for an hour reading HP. Car rides are really quiet now that I am reading. Tim actually made me put down my book a week ago while in the car so I am reminded to be a well-mannered human and have a conversation with him. Thank the Lord he has been so supportive of my HP obsession despite my recent(?) social ineptness. Last week in NY while riding the subway I sighed, looked at him and said “Tim, I wish there were wizards, witches and magic!” He responded, “There are! They are just hidden from us Muggles.” So. Sweet. I love this man. I almost kissed him in the subway right then and there.

Today while making travel plans for the wedding we are attending in SoCal, I hit a new low (or high depending on how you look at it). I literally let out a big sigh and said aloud, “I COULD REALLY USE SOME FLOO POWDER.”

“30” before “30”

Taken from Flickr - HankWord.

Taken from Flickr – HankWord.

I started hearing about this list a few years back when a few of my friends started turning thirty. This milestone is getting close enough that Tim asks me once every three weeks what I want to do for my THIRTIETH (in a voice reminiscent a grade school teacher teaching his class how to say the word thirtieth) birthday. I always answer the same way: “I don’t knowwwwwww” in that whiney indecisive voice I save exclusively for my husband. After that I usually try to change the subject because I am a firm believer that things will not come to pass if you simply ignore it.

But when I am alone, I do think about turning thirty. And then I get excited and start scribbling down ideas, hopes, dreams and adventures I want to have. I have written several iterations of this list and it’s actually been really hard to come up with a solid 30 before 30! Because I like following rules, I’m going to change them so suit my needs.

Rule #1 – It doesn’t have to be 30 things.

The moment I tried to push myself to hit 30 things, the list started moving toward things that I felt like I should do instead of things I genuinely wanted to do. Examples of these obligatory adventures include: watching the Star Wars Trilogy, Reading a Tolstoy something and going to Chinese/Korean school (feel free to convince me otherwise). This should be fun, challenging and life-giving – not out of guilt or obligation! (This is a reoccurring life-lesson for me)

Rule #2 – It doesn’t have to be by the time I’m 30.

Not that I don’t love deadlines. Because I actually love them. I didn’t want to feed the fear of turning 30 by imagining that something was over. Thankfully Tim has gone before me and I’ve seen first hand that 30 doesn’t suddenly you turn into dinosaur. Not only that, you may actually get better. This analogy is totally kitsch but last time we were wine tasting, the wine guy (what do you call them??) was saying how young cabernets are like teenagers – loud, in your face, lacking sophistication… but as they age they are more refined, smooth, and confidently comfortable in their own skin. I want to believe that this is exactly what getting older is like. So there is no hard deadline for this list. I’ll just keep chugging along as I am alive and kicking!

Candy’s “30” before “30”

  1. Read the entire Harry Potter series
  2. Successfully carve (The snowboarding kind)
  3. Order room service at a hotel
  4. Fitness Goals (Dead lift 2x my body weight, Clean and Jerk my body weight, Back Squat 1.5X my body weight, run a 7:30 mile, complete 10 doubleunders, carry Tim up a flight of stairs)
  5. Give  something away every day for 30 days straight
  6. Take a shot. No mixers. No ice. No chasers.
  7. Memorize a meaningful piece of writing verbatim.
  8. Write a letter to my grandparents in Chinese.
  9. Write a letter to Tim’s parents in Korean.
  10. Grow something from a seed and eat it.
  11. Expand my egg cooking repertoire: poach the perfect egg, make hollandaise, soft-boil egg, fried egg
  12. Make macarons
  13. Debone a chicken
  14. Bike somewhere to run and errand and bike back (background info, I just learned how to ride a back last summer in a Google Parking lot. I haven’t gotten on a bike since.)
  15. Make curtains and pillows.
  16. Make a five course gourmet meal
  17. Learn all the lyrics to a rap song.
  18. Watch a movie in a park (I am not allowed to fall asleep)
  19. Swim (getting in the water counts) with a large mammal (non humans)
  20. Visit the South (as defined by me) This includes: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina
  21. Read a play in one sitting.
  22. Complete a race of some kind.
  23. Write a letter to Obama.
  24. Give generously. Anonymously.
  25. Build something out of wood.

Let me know if you want to join me on an adventure. I would LOVE the company!