winter blues, originally uploaded by i.anton. that i have a moment to breathe:

on david chang

i am a cook. not a chef, but a cook. i care about making good food, and being part of a community. i care about inclusion, and warmth, humility and honesty. above all else, knowing that my food was raised with care matters to me. there is so much about food that is celebrated that i just don't give a hoot about, so to find this profile of someone who feels the same way about so much of this stuff as me was really exciting. and to see him doing well was even better.

i especially loved the parts when 1) he recognized that just because he's not some great chef cooking fancy food, it doesn't mean he can't have standards and put everything he has into it, and 2) when his only goal was to be better than the crappy japanese restaurant across the street.

on barack obama

we cooked, he came, he said hello, he spoke, he ate, he went. there was mayhem and teamwork, and we nearly set the place on fire. it was all good. and the secret service guys were very cordial.

he's very inspiring in person. i got to sneak upstairs and see him speak for about ten minutes. the room wasn't very big, and everyone was so star-struck (even the celebrities!)--we all got so swept into what he was saying. he seemed so unrehearsed, so natural. the man is a great orator--you've got to give him that. he's just so positive. yeesh.

on the state of my muscles

for about a month now, i have been going to this super hardcore gym where they essentially beat me up. it's kind of incredible, and i totally love it. it's essentially a cult, and i've been officially inducted. it feels so good to get stronger, and leaner. i love it. the best part is that there are basically no machines there. we do all of the work on our feet or with our own body weight. they do have rowing machines, though, and luckily, i am really, really good on them (from when i did crew in college).

today was one of the hardest days yet, and part of our circuit was rowing. i was basically the weakest and slowest (yet youngest) one in my group on all of the other stations, but every time we'd get to the rowing machine, i'd whip out these crazy times. the woman next to me--totally strong and in amazing shape--kept looking at my clock in disbelief until finally, on the last round, she huffed, "you're really good!" it was pretty cool, because everyone else in the class is in such great shape, and i'm just plain not...yet.

the amazing thing is how quickly i've felt myself change--so many exercises i couldn't do a month ago are second nature already. i love it!