Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanks for the Food

感謝 (kansha) - Thanks, gratitude

Last Thursday was the first time in five years that I was in America for Thanksgiving. To be honest, Thanksgiving has never been that big of a deal for me. My mom is an awesome cook and puts together big family dinners pretty frequently, so the whole giant turkey dinner thing never really got me particularly excited.

Still, I felt like I should do something for the holiday given how long it had been since my last proper Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, my poor student budget didn't have room for a trip back home, especially considering I'll be going back for Christmas in less than a month. So, on my own here in Berkeley, I decided to take a shot at making my own Thanksgiving dinner.

I invited over a couple of my international classmates for there first Thanksgiving and we had a good time and good conversation, all over far too much food. I'd never cooked any of the turkey day staples myself before, so I was a little anxious to see how everything would turn out. In the end, the pumpkin pie was phenomenal, the mashed potatoes were great, the gravy was solid. and the turkey was a little overcooked. Given that pretty much aligns with my values for what's most important in a Thanksgiving meal, I'm going to go ahead and say that all in all dinner was a success.

As a bonus, it was a fairly aesthetically pleasing feast, which means I can leave you with these shots of the food:
Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin Pie Mashed Potatoes Roast Turkey Thanksgiving dinner

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Full Commitment

寄付 (kifu) - Contribution, donation

Just before moving to California, I told my sister I was thinking about growing out my hair. Her response: "Homie, just because you quit your job doesn't mean you can just let yourself go."

Well, baby sister, I'm afraid you were wrong.

In fact, I'm being encouraged to do so. Today marks the first day of No Shave November. You may have heard of Movember, where people grow out a mustache for the month. That's mere child's play. We go bigger here at Haas - we don't shave at all. As such, from today until November 28th, no razor will touch my face.

What would compel us to such madness? Has business school driven us crazy? Have we gotten to comfortable in our California lifestyle? No no, my friends, there is a good reason behind this. We're doing it for the children. More specifically, for the kids who participate in Special Olympics.  
At the end of No Shave November, we will be auctioning off the right to shave body parts. The top bidder gets to shave said body part however want (apparently people get pretty creative with this stuff) and it will remain that way for the last two days of the month. The guys are completely at the mercy of the winner.

There is a second part to all this, which is were you come in, my dear friends and family. I need your donations to help me fight on through this journey of hairiness. It will be a long and scruffy four weeks, but if your commitment and mine unite great things can happen. 
I've never gone even a week without shaving before, so I can't promise things won't get ugly, but I'm in this for the long haul and need your help. I plan to post daily pictures on facebook and flickr, documenting the growth of this beast for better or worse. You'll be able to follow the brutal blow-by-blow from start to finish.

But wait, there's more!

To keep things interesting and up the stakes, I'm taking it one step further. Not only am I auctioning off my face, I'll be offering up the bear rug on my chest as well. Everything from my waist to my neck, to the highest bidder. Think a tall, lean Austin Powers. There's a lot to work with and I'm hoping someone will do impressive things with this giant canvas.

Haas has a long history of supporting the Special Olympics and we want to keep that tradition going strong. As ridiculous as this event might sound, it really is for a good cause and your dollars will go to help kids who could use a little light in their lives. I've volunteered as Special Olympic events before and the kids area always so happy to be there. Even if you don't think it is worth donating just to watch me make a fool of myself for the next month, do it for them.

And with that, I leave you at the starting line of this epic undertaking: the picture of Day One:

Day One