Foodie Friday: Shoyu Peanuts

Shoyu peanuts: soy sauce flavored nuts with a crunchy edible shell I wasn't quite sure what to think about these treats when a family friend brought them from Hawaii. Looking at the package, I noticed the label of "shoyu peanuts." Shoyu basically equates to soy sauce, so I was hesitant about the flavor choice. However, when I tried them, I really enjoyed these peanuts. They've got a satisfying savory taste. They actually remind me of Boston baked beans (the red sugar-coated … [Read more...]

BookBub USA Deal

"Now is a lucky time for you--take a chance." I was so excited to score my first BookBub deal for 99 cents—in the USA! I’ve done some other BookBub promos before (international for Seniors Sleuth). The popular newsletter offering discounted books gets about 300 submissions a day to be featured in their daily emails; they accept only about 10-20% of those requests. Getting selected at the 99 cents price point was a huge win for me. It meant that I actually would receive revenue for … [Read more...]

Magic Castle

I've always wanted to visit the Magic Castle. The problem is in getting the invite. (Well, you can stay at the nearby hotel to gain entrance.) The Magic Castle Hotel is right next door. Otherwise, people can only attend if they get a special guest pass from a member of the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. The Academy is a non-profit organization that devotes itself to the advancement of magic. They decorated the Magic Castle for the month of October. The Magic Castle is basically a … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: SENIORS SLEUTH is on sale!

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Foodie Friday: Blue Lagoon

Blue lagoon: an Asian-inspired iced tea of brilliant blue I heard about a new Asian fusion place (Shiok!), so I checked it out. What I wanted to try the most wasn’t the food but this drink. After all, I do like vivid colors, as seen from my post on light bulb drinks. The “Blue lagoon” offered a lovely citrus flavor—there was even a slice of orange floating in it. Paired with a floral green tea, it had a great combination of sweet and tang. I’d drink it again, especially to see the … [Read more...]

#BookReview: Exhalation

5 stars Genre: Short Stories (science fiction) Exhalation: Stories Pros: InventiveVaried styles of writingComplex narratives that really make you think Cons: Some stories didn't draw me in as much as the others Yes, Ted Chiang is amazing. I really like how he explored some of the scientific concepts and how it would really impact humans. Also, I loved how versatile Chiang is in his prose. He's able to write with a lyrical or historical air, but also able to switch to … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Light Bulb Drink

Light bulb drink: beverages served in hollow light bulbs This is a fun trend that I've seen sprouting up. The drink's rainbow color really drew me in, so I bought my slushy at the local night market. (It's a blend of tropical flavors.) The drink-in-a-light-bulb concept originated in Korea, spread to Taiwan, and then became Instagram famous. Here's the hashtag for it: #LightbulbDrink. Fun fact: You can even buy light bulb bottles online to make your own drink! … [Read more...]

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is iconic. I haven’t been there since I was a kid, so it was great to recently visit the theme park. Here are some of the highlights from my time there: WaterWorld I really enjoyed this show, loaded with stunts and explosions. Since I also sat in the “Soak Zone,” I got sprayed a lot. (Tip: The extra refreshing even starts pre-show.) Tram Tour Of course, I saw the back lot. Beyond the thrilling tram troubles, I liked seeing the various props used in … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: UCLA Extension Building

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Foodie Friday: Obanyaki

Obanyaki: mini stuffed pancakes These puffed-up Japanese pancakes open up to reveal delicious interiors. Custard or red bean paste is often used as a filling inside the round treats. They're quite similar to taiyaki, except without the stylized fish shape. Though they're often eaten for dessert, tweaked recipes make them more savory by inserting meat, vegetables, or curry. Want to see how they're cooked? Fun fact: They're named after the Oban coin. … [Read more...]