PRODUCT REVIEW: Yogurt Hotdogs

I didn’t really think it was possible before for yogurt and meat to exist in the same sentence except for when it is being used as a dip (and from what I remember yogurt is used as a dressing and a dip for some flatbreads but my food history is sketchy, so don’t trust me.) but when I saw the Yogurt Hotdog, being a fan of both yogurt and hotdogs, I immediately bought it wanting to give it a try since I am after trying new things, especially food items I’ve never eaten before.

Okay, I admit it. I jumped at the notion of buying it because I saw it was ‘healthy’ and thought it a better alternative to the usual hotdog, which is in a way correct since it is made with chicken meat instead of red meat and has 25% less fat, zero trans fat and no preservatives (I’m a bit doubtful about this). I didn’t buy it for health reasons because I am not a health junkie nor do I believe that it has the ability to alleviate health problems brought about by food, rather, I bought it because it’s very intriguing and catchy to the eyes.

Now for the review. But first, here’s a picture you guys can ‘picture’ it better.

20170622_053746[1]

Taste wise it was pretty sour, but what did I expect? Yogurt is sour unless it’s flavored then it only becomes mildly sour. Actually while I was eating it I wasn’t quite sure what it tasted like, if it was salty or sour (maybe both?). It’s pretty interesting, the first three bites but eat three more and you’re bound to have a sour yogurt overload that’ll make you want to eat it with ketchup or some dip of some sort (I highly recommend Cheez Whiz with this).

Texture wise it did look and feel like a veal sausage, the ones that I used to eat at hotel buffets. It was that white and that smooth-looking but of course, since veal is fattier than chicken, it naturally is more flavorful.

Overall, I would recommend this if you’re the health nut type but beware the sour taste. It won’t taste like your ordinary hotdog EVEN if you fry it. Regardless of cooking method the texture and taste stay the same. Don’t eat more than three at a time and you’ll actually get to appreciate it

(ps. i stupidly ignored the serving size. )

Lost in Los Banos (WEEK ONE)

So in case you didn’t know yet I’m currently taking a review class for the nutrition and dietetics board exam at the University of the Philippines Los Banos and though I’ve had alot of absences (heh!) I can say that the past two weeks of staying in a dorm and waking up  at 6:00 (EDIT: 6:15-I’m not a very good liar [still probably a lie]) to get to the campus and listen to the lectures.

Truth be told I stopped attending the lectures or finishing them when I realize that the content of the lectures were the same as the manuals they gave so we just decided to learn it on our own. This is actually one of the most enjoyable parts since me and a fellow “reviewee” felt that we could stay and rest freely and reveiw on our own terms more often (which proved to be productive for the both of us since we both passed the first examination). The other fun parts include saying random stuff with our other housemates, cooking, making fun of myself (I have a very strange sense of humor) and of course, eating with them and having deep, meaningful conversations with them.

At first I didn’t want to go to UPLB nor did I even want to review. I didn’t want to take the boards in the first place but for some reason, being around the right people at the right place motivated me in a way and seriously introduced me to a new, more practical mindset that enables me to take any challenges head on. Sometimes it’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone, becoming less rigid and understanding other people that’ll be the key to your development and growth as a person.

 

this is short. i have nothing to share.

behind iridescent lights

 

Though brightness is around

And darkness can’t be found

The whole time she is before him

A thespian in full effect

Temptress nakedly cloaked

He sees through the guise

He realizes

That she is only a girl

In a costume, living in play

All by herself in a fantasy world

It’s always been her curse

Hot it’s hidden can’t be determined

But oh the plays, the shows she’d put

Now the curtains are coming down

The applause has yet to be heard

Her disguise has been found out

Playtime’s over

Reality is knocking on her mind’s

Wooden door.

REVIEW: Top 5 Books

I’m sure you all know by now that I love reading books and I have loved reading since I was a child. Books were my friends before my friends were even my friends and they continue to keep me company when no one else wants to. The only problem is besides the financial,sifting through for my favorites. Over the years I have read a grand many good books, most of which I truly enjoyed but the five that I’m about to discuss here are the ones that stood out for me because of some relevance to my life, a good plot, or both.
CAVEAT: This is not a book review. I am not here to criticize. I’m just here to talk about these books and why I love them so much. Don’t expect anything professional here. I am not a book critic. I repeat. I am not a book critic. I am simply sharing my feelings about these books.
1. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. SALINGER
I don’t claim to be unique or original or hipster or cool or whatever and yes I am aware that this book is overrated-god, if I had a penny for every bad review I saw of it on the net, I’d be wealthy. But all that aside the reason why this has been my all time favorite book is because of the main character Holden Caulfield. Now I know many adolescents and once upon a time teenagers will get me when I say that I did relate to him at one point in my life (occasionally still do), with what feeling alienated and cynical and being overly critical of everyone around me and unfortunately being the very thing (or becoming) that I hated. It was a very confusing and depressing time in my life when I felt that everyone around me had their shit together and I was here all sullen and sulking and complaining about the world. It was the time when I thought nobody would understand me but because of this book I was able to somehow find ‘someone” that felt the way I did even if he was just a fictional character.
Now on that note, those “feelings” still come around but now they don’t come as often as they used to do-the so called ‘Dark Ages” and ‘Dark Plagued Ages” of my life and although I don’t feel like Holden Caulfield anymore (except on certain occasions), I still treasure this book and will continue to, forever remembering it as the book that helped me get through my most emotionally tumultuous years.
ADDITIONAL FUN FACT:  In honor of J.D. Salinger’s birthday, I make sure to read The Catcher In The Rye  every January 1st!
2. THE BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar is a lot like The Catcher in the Rye- the themes are similar, the feel of both books are alike. I recently told a friend whom I recommended the book to that it is ” Catcher in the Rye for 20 something college girls”. Usually the books I like the best are the ones that I can relate to-books that have touched me in a way, books whose characters I see myself in. One particular part in this book (not the exact words, just the gist of it) is when Esther is talking about being in  Physics classes and passing and getting good grades but none of it meaning anything to her, she being asked what she wanted to be and her answering that she didn’t know. It was something that I had felt in the longest time and it was half saddening and half gladdening to know that someone had felt the same way and put it to words years ago.
Another bonus is the Fig Tree discussion she had with Buddy. I saw a comics version of it (will upload later!!!!) and it talks about all these figs that are supposed to represent the various goals she had for herself and she could only pick up so much lest they would all fall down. Now don’t think I’m trying to toot my own horn here by saying that I am Sylvia Plath but don’t deny that we all felt that way at one point: us wanting way too many things and having too little time to accomplish them all. Like we can only pick one. I want to be a writer, an artist, an actress (?), a director, a spoken word artist, a blogger, a dancer, a photographer and so many more but I know in my logical mind that I can only choose a few of those.
On that note I don’t know if the book helped me get better or not. The book was a hundred and ten percent relatable-perhaps too relatable that it’s basically holding up a mirror to you and telling you, ‘hey, this is what you are right now’. It did remind me a lot of how much farther to the deep end I had gone and I was just a few steps away from suicide (which I did not continue with). The book just triggers me in a way but it’s like an addiction-I know it sets off negative reactions in me yet I continue to read it.
3. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
Ahh. Now this one. Where do I even begin with this book.
To sum it all up-it’s a book with such a simple plot yet such complex emotions can be felt while reading it. I don’t know what it is about Murakami and other Japanese authors but the ultra simplistic style of writing is made up for by heavy feelings. I don’t know man I just get all these pretty, breezy, city like aesthetics rumbling in my mind that are so beautiful yet so melancholic that I just literally DIE of sensory overload whenever I read this. Still, like all the other books that have impacted me emotionally, I continue to read it like the masochist that I am.
Anyways, I don’t really want to be a spoiler here for those who haven’t read it so I’ll just point out certain parts of the novel that really struck a chord in me.
a.) Whenever the narrator  Watanabe describes himself as an ordinary person, a plain guy with no redeeming qualities.
b.) Watanabe falls in love with his dead best friend’s girlfriend who has serious, deep-seated issues of her own that caused her to just drift further and further away from reality and eventually ends up in a rehabilitation center for people just like her.
c.) He is an ordinary person who befriends strong minded, liberated, confident individuals like Midori Kobayashi, a free spirited, outgoing girl and Nagasawa, an ultra rich, intelligent, popular classmate of his.
d.) The countless 60s music references-KILL ME I LOVE EVERYTHING 60S-70S
e.) The part where Midori tells Watanabe about the Marxist group in school and how she wanted to join because she had read Das Kapital and felt strongly about it only to have the boys tell the girls to make rice balls for their meetings. Honestly what I liked about this part is where Midori ranted that these guys were only throwing around fancy words that were hot at the moment (as this was set at the backdrop of civil unrest in Japan) only to get attention from girls and be popular only to end up working for the very same capitalist companies they protested in their youth years later.
Since I am a boring person in real life and can identify with Toru Watanabe, sometimes I can’t help but wonder what it was like to be a Midori or a Nagasawa-to just be carefree and outgoing and not give a shit. In the book, Nagasawa says that sleeping with girls is just a game to him, that he would just meet them, fuck them, and leave them. To have that level of coldness coupled with that intelligence is something I wouldn’t mind having. That’s not to say of course that I relate more to Naoko than Midori but I wish I could lean more on the liberated side as I can get quite reserved at times, depending on who I’m with.
Toru’s dead best friend was everything that he wasn’t- confident, a good speaker, entertaining, funny which in my opinion is the cornerstone for his future friendships. He is usually drawn to people whose personalities are the opposite of his as they were drawn to him which gets me thinking, our first best friends really do set the standard for our future friends. I find myself looking for friends that are a lot like my best friend or at least have some qualities that remind me of her-that way it becomes more comfortable.
4. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
 Oh boy. Ohhh boy. Now this. This book. This book riiiiiight here.
This book right here was a roller coaster to read. I mean seriously. When I wanted to read this book I couldn’t find the standard version, all that was available in stores was the original scroll which was a lot  longer. A year later, I go back to the same bookstore only to find that the EDITED AND RELEASED VERSION HAS BEEN RELEASED BY PENGUIN BOOKS OH MY GOD WHY JUST NOW?!? WHY DID YOU LET ME BUY THE UNEDITED VERSION THAT WAS SO GODDAMN LONG AND GODDAMN HARD TO READ?!? IT EVEN HAD THE ORIGINAL NAMES OF THE CHARACTERS THERE!!!!
also the new version is a few pesos cheaper than the original scroll one  HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?!
Okay enough of that. Despite being lengthy and a roller coaster ride of a read, I did enjoy reading it but I have to be honest, I read it mostly because I wanted to study the writing style. As you all know Jack Kerouac belongs to the Beat Generation who are known for using this style-like the spontaneous, at the top of your head, first thought best thought, stream of consciousness style of writing. It was dazzling, truly. Just to see all these random words coming together to form a story is simply a beautiful sight. It’s a true aesthetic for me, playing with words and such, experimenting and all. If it didn’t make me want to go out on the open road, it at least prompted me to try new styles of writing.
The plot here is way too crazy if there is a plot at all. Actually it has no plot, it’s just about Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise going out on a crazy road trip and meeting all sorts of people-all of which based on actual people Kerouac knew. Again, it’s an aesthetics trip. You picture the open road and you picture travelling, you picture radio, you picture alcohol, you picture good times, you picture freedom.
Yes. This book represents freedom to me not only in its themes but in its writing style. I think we could all use a little bit of freedom nowadays (not that we are slaves) but sometimes as a writer people expect you to follow certain ‘rules’, people telling you that you have to write like this or you have to type like that, and that stories need to have a plot, stories have to be coherent, poems have to rhyme and such. This book is actually refreshing (keep a cup of coffee or a can of beer by your side when you read this-it’s even more fulfilling!) read when you feel so stumped about most of today’s literature. It has a unique, unparalleled spirit that’ll leave you mystified and captivated (a little spinny) at the end!
5. Queer, Naked Lunch, Junkie all by William S. Burroughs
I am sure you have caught on to me by now. You have now realized that I like the Beat writers. Well yeah I do. Most people will tell you that the writing is rubbish, it’s nonsense, it’s just silly and jumbled. Actually that is true. Pick up any Beat Generation work and it’s a bunch of words all thrown together and whatnot but since I am never one for the conventional types of writing, and since I like the weird and incomprehensible, it gets a pass. It’s just so free. I don’t know, but whenever I read something by the Holy Trinity of the Beat Generation (Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs) it’s just so entertaining because everything is spontaneous and I am one for spontaneity.
Anyways, since the theme is liberation, I like that Queer talks about homosexual relations in a time when homosexuality was being condemned and looked down upon, which is a sign of going against the rules, breaking tradition (which is another favorite theme of mine). This book cracked me up because of its cynical way of narration and the fact that Mr. Burroughs was just so blunt about everything, even the sexual details. It’s shocking just the same. Junkie offers a deeper insight on what it’s like to be hooked on junk. I read somewhere on the net (must’ve been Wikipedia, m not sure) that Burroughs used to go to med school which I think is the reason why he gets real scientific and specific when explaining the junk effects (the sciencey terms and all). Naked Lunch got a bit gross at times and is a little confusing to read. Again it has no plot. In fact, in the book, it says that you can start at any page in the books. It follows a nonlinear approach which again is comforting because I don’t like order and I’m having a hard time organizing stories.
So mainly I can say that WSB really has become my inspiration for writing. I hope to one day be able to write a book so random and so raw with the ability to shock people.
BONUS!!!!!!!
Tarantula by BOB DYLAN (yay!!!! Nobel Prize for Literature 2016 winner!!!)
I have been a fan of  folk music in since I was a kid. I also have been a fan of poetry since I was a kid. You get folk and poetry put em all together you get Bob Dylan. I’m actually not at all surprised that I became a fan of Bob Dylan. Though I just recently (3 years?) gotten into Bob Dylan, like in depth listening, I knew it was just bound to happen. I was just headed that direction and I didn’t fight it. If you wanna know my favorite bands btw, I’ll do another entry on that.
So yeah, Dylan. It was always bound to happen. I remember listening to “Blowin in the Wind”  as a kid and singing along to it in the car. That and ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’. I didn’t know those were his songs until my dad told me so and now that I know, like I said, it just follows.
For those of you who are questioning The Bob’s position in music and why he’s so popular and why he is the standard of a songwriter, it’s simple: he managed to merge music and poetry perfectly, beautifully, and also relate it to the turbulence of his times, calls to action through song so to speak. His music tackles topics far and wide ranging from social issues, to love, to religion, to politics, feelings-damn you name it!  Seriously. If you haven’t heard a Dylan track I urge you to do it now. You are missing out on life if you haven’t listened to Dylan!!!!!
On the note of Dylan being a poet, yeah he is. He actually has a book entitled Tarantula which I saw years ago but went out of stock quick but because of him winning the Nobel Prize in 2016 (HOORAYY!!!), it was in bookstores all over-by the dozens! Like where were these when I had the money?! Okay enough of that. My cousin secretly slipped me some cash and I bought it the instance I saw it. Why not?
The book is reminiscent of Beat poetryYEAH BEAT AGAIN. IF U HATE ME BY NOW GTFO!.
The book is reminiscent of Beat poetry which Dylan says influenced his songwriting a great deal. The wordings are funny, random, whimsical, sometimes nonsensical. Playful in general which made it fun, confusing, and funny all at the same time. Like I said before, I am always for spontaneity and freedom and since this book embodies those, there’s no reason for me not to like it.
My favorite part? The ode to Lead Belly.
Look it up, Tarantula by Bob Dylan. I won’t advertise and guarantee satisfaction, but I was satisfied so yeah.
Anyways, that rounds up my top 5 (6) favorite books.

pretty baby

pretty baby

look what you’ve done

showed yourself a mastermind

when we thought you were a doll

charade is up the cat’s crawled out

the light has emanated through

your brokenness shows

 

pretty baby

you held us all

played us like puppets on your strings

for your little show

now the strings have snapped, now we’re free

you’re just as fragile as we believed

 

pretty baby

of the pale skin

drained of blood was she

when out sprouted her

secret luscious reveries

not as innocent as she seems

but still trembles with fear

 

pretty baby

after all the shoulders to lean

and the buckets to catch your tears

the towels lent to weep

now we get it

it was all just a magic trick

 

pretty baby

your time is up

you’re no longer fooling anyone

when all’s been said

and we’ve seen what’d been done

you’re just a sad little someone

with a lot of time in her hands

to put up the grandest failure of an act

Wet Candies

 

He was a ghost with his pale skin

Ever vivid when he speaks out

Every touch was symphonic

But his mind was out of sync

He never wanted any of your money

Never understood any of your ladies

All he wanted was the rainbow

But all he got was wet candies

And now he’s flailing in their hues

Every touch of his it turns to gold

His gold they all used as jewelries

That stayed on their necks until their skin would bleed

Never taking off, want to show their wealth

No idea they looked funny

His gold they buried in their yards

Never letting down their guards

Pretenses of mourning, crying tears of lost

If only you knew what those tears were made of

He was a ghost with his pale skin

Ever vivid when he speaks out

Every touch was symphonic

But he was a walking tragedy

Citadel Walls

 

What hammer do you propose we use

So that the walls might collapse before us

And that sunlight might finally hit your immaculately

Pale skin,

You who isn’t short of intellect nor ability

Mystery it is to us why you refuse to see

See the world that surrounds us

And the true good inherent in is

For if, as you suppose

Intentions would og wrong

Come out and see the sunlight

So it might illuminate the right

On all you thought was wrong

What hammer do we gotta use

To break down your citadel walls?