Thursday, May 23, 2019

Jerry Paper, Charles Yu & My Moon My Mom

Weekly Update 2019-20: Carefree lounge pop from Jerry Paper, my trust in Charles Yu's restaurant recommendations and a weekend with my mom for mother's day.

Music: Jerry Paper
Summer weather is synonymous with watching HBO's High Maintenance. In this new third season of the show, I've noticed the composer Chris Bear has been adding a lot of Jerry Paper to the soundtrack. It fits the mood (and my own) well, a sort of carefree lounge pop with interesting sampled sounds to make up the melodies. Jerry Paper himself is pretty free as far as spirits go, experimenting with the genre of electronic music because of his personal distaste for the genre as it was. He challenged himself to create something that he liked, and it seems like he succeeded.

I especially love his collaboration with BadBadNotGood on 2016's Toon Time Raw.

In amongst all the Mother's Day activities, I managed to get some time in at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. I dragged Sasha to see Junji Ito speak in his first ever North American event. It was amazing to see his mannerisms and hear his personality through his voice (even though he doesn't speak English), it was all a bit surreal to see how normal he was considering the terrifying things he's put to paper in his most popular works. I bought his new short story collection, but I'm not ready to read it just yet. Gotta work up to it.

I managed to get a nice couple of hours of drumming time in last Tuesday before the finance and HR teams move into that area. I'm not sure if it's any better than if sales had moved in, considering HR generally stays in the office quite late. Ah well, I have come in on the weekends to play before, and I wouldn't really mind to do that once in a while. It'll just be a bit more effort to carve time out of my life for it.

This weekend I plan to attend no fewer than two conferences, one on accessibility and the other on global tech disruptors. My friend Brian is having a housewarming, and I need to do a bunch of research to plan my trip to Japan.

I'm also kind of dreading doing the planning for Collision Conference on Monday, since it's four days, like eleven tracks and about a zillion speakers. Good thing it's so close to my office so I can duck in and out a little if I want to. Apparently 25,000+ attendees are expected, which just reminds me of when I attended a Disclosure concert at the same venue when the band was in their heyday. The coatcheck broke out into bedlam and people started stealing coats. It was pretty bad.

It'll be fine! I'm stoked to see Seth Rogen talk about his new cannabis venture.

Random Thought: Charles Yu
As part of our big Mother's day extravaganza, I took my mom to a Chinese restaurant that's supposed to be the authentic mainstay for the Chinese population in Markham. It's called Maple Yip, we weren't sure if anyone spoke English to even serve us, and we knew there wouldn't be any other white people dining there. But it would all be worth it for the promised authentic food, unlike anything you'd find in the Spadina Chinatown (American-Chinese Food).

The menu includes items like fried silver thread sprats (fish?) with seasoned pepper salt, slow braised double cooked pork belly with preserved Chinese mustard greens, and some sort of wintermelon soup served in a hollowed-out melon rind. Those are just to name a few.

The payoff would be high, but how did we muster the confidence to walk into such a place, or even find out about it in the first place? It's all due to the relentless restaurant research of one Markham-based man Charles Yu. I have mentioned him before on my blog, paying homage to the food legend that he is.

His profile on Chowhound, a forum for restaurant reviews.

Through Chowhound, Yu explains how to order if you don't speak Cantonese, which season of the year to order which special, and when in the week or day to visit for the smallest crowds. "Staff are pleasant, and unlike many restaurants, extremely patient and will help you out." These are the kinds of things I like to know so that I can have the best experience! Especially because the family-owned restaurant is closing forever in June, we knew we had to go.

If you take a look at the profile photo above, I think the user experience of Chowhound is actually a big part of what makes the content of the site so good. Instead of the usual "follow" or "friend" button, it reads "+ Trust" which I think is a very strong choice of copy. Am I going to click a button that declares to the world that I trust a stranger from the internet about their food recommendations? the case of Charles Yu (and if I had an account), the answer is yes. I was equally tickled by the fact that he's been a member "since The Beginning" of Chowhound's existence. 

Back to Maple Yip...

They didn't give us the complimentary red bean dessert (either because we didn't order enough food or because they didn't think we'd like it), but I'll forgive them because the food was verrrry tasty. I want to try the Hand-Fried Chicken at Full House next.

We also went to Sky City Mall (because if you're on that side of town, that's where you go).
I love me some cheese foam tea. This one also had mango puree.

A cheese tart; you break off the crust and dip it in the middle.

Inspiration: My Moon My Mom
I treasure my mother so much, she is the best mom in the world. She cooks her special dishes for me even though she doesn't like cooking, she pretends not to like cutting my hair, and she drags me around to weird restaurants and art exhibits. We planned this past Mother's day weekend in such a fashion - Maple Yip and bubble tea and cheese tarts, the Aga Khan Museum and world grocery store and wedding dress shopping with my sister. As one does.

I really enjoyed the exhibit on the moon, I have recognized in myself some kind of affinity to the moon in the past few years. Unabashedly I do sit and stare at it through my window sometimes, especially when it's full. I feel a connection between its cycles and my own, even if there isn't really one there.

It was a good weekend :)

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