The Flying Tiger Restaurant

Location: 2958 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6K 1R4
Tel: 604-737-7529
Rating: Excellent (5/5)

Sandra and I finally had the opportunity to go together to The Flying Tiger restaurant the other night (as she had already been twice with friends of hers). This restaurant, just down the street from us on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, is getting rave revues and I can see why.

First off the atmosphere and ambience are great. Whoever did the design and lighting did an exceptional job. The menu itself is also superbly done as it has a great selection of food. Even my wife, who is a vegetarian, found many delicious dishes to choose from. During our dinner we had the following dishes.

  • Drunken Prawns
    BC Side Stripe peel & eat prawns flash-seared with garlic sweet chili and Shaoshing wine, 5-spice.
    Delicious! These prawns were huge in size and since Sandra doesn’t prefer seafood, I enjoyed them all to myself!
  • Three Mushroom Shoyu Tofu en Papillote
    Shiitake, oyster & enoki mushrooms, roasted sesame oil butter, edamame and tofu steamed in a parchment envelope.
    This doesn’t seem like much when you get it but the flavours within it are incredible!
  • Hawker Street Noodles
    Fresh egg noodles, shiitake mushrooms, crispy chicken, wild prawns, squid, snap peas, bok choy shoots, nam prik pao, oyster sauce, sweet soy.
    We had a vegetarian version with no seafood or chicken in it but next time I’m going to ask for it on the side so that I can still have it myself, since they charge the same price with or without it. The waitress said she didn’t think it would have much flavour without the seafood and chicken but we both enjoyed it a lot.
  • Szechuan Green Beans
    Wok-seared green beans, garlic, shallots, sweet chili.
    This was the only dish that wasn’t up to par. Sandra said she had it before and it was amazing but this time they dumped too much sauce on the beans and they got a little "drunken". 🙂
  • Deep Fried Chocolate Stuffed Banana with Caramel Sauce
    Deserts are not listed on the menu and this was the only one they offered but it was still delicious nonetheless.

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal and I’d highly recommend it to anyone in town. Tips for next meal? Since dishes come out one at a time (tapas style), we think we’ll order basmati or garlic fried rice next time, as I would have loved to have soaked up the sweet garlic chili sauce from the prawns with some rice and it would have helped out a lot with our "drunken" green beans as well. If anything I’d say go with a group of at least four people if you can, as you’ll really get an opportunity to explore a lot of different dishes in one sitting.

Friends with Money

View on Amazon.comStarring: Jennifer Aniston, Frances McDormand
Rating: Good (4/5)

A lot of people to whom I have spoken, including my wife (who had seen the movie on her own with a friend of hers), didn’t find this movie very enjoyable. However, I was quite surprised to find that I thoroughly enjoyed it when I rented the DVD the other day. I think the particular reason for this is that I enjoyed the depth of the movie and I’m not sure if a lot of people saw that depth to it.

For example, my wife found the movie depressing. And yes, while the apparent primary subject of the movie is depressing, the inner layers of it instead make us stop and think as to what is truly important in our lives (especially in today’s society where so much emphasis is placed on external materialism versus our internal humanity). If you watch the Special Features section of the movie, you’ll see what I mean, as many of the actors themselves described why they were so drawn to the movie and the emotional human stories interwoven and layered within it. And without a doubt, the director, Nicole Holofcener, sums up the movie perfectly when she asks the following question.

"Are we the people we want to be?"

Saucony Grid Excursion TR Running Shoes

I’ve finally made the leap out of my computer chair and into getting some serious physical activity with a pair of Saucony Grid Excursion TR trail running shoes. So far I’m thoroughly impressed with them. When I tried them on at Forerunners, I compared them to about four or five other brands and they easily won out. I guess the best comparison I could give would be that these shoes feel like I’m driving in a sports car that’s low to the ground and has great traction versus the other running shoes that felt like I was driving in a 4×4 that had huge balloon tires, that while providing plenty of traction and cushioning, still made me feel like I was too high off the ground and could easily lose my balance. It’s kind of hilarious when you think about it though because we’re only talking about a minor difference in height but I still easily felt the difference nonetheless. Even more interesting is that even though the Saucony trail runners felt like they had less cushioning than the other runners, they actually felt like they had more spring to them.

So why trail runners versus regular running shoes? I actually find any type of forced physical activity to be boring which is why I never have the willpower to get out and be active. And yet if I’m playing around, say like tossing a frisbee back and forth with a friend, I can run around getting tons of exercise yet I don’t think of it as "working out" (which is why I was so active as a kid). That’s why I chose the trailer runners. Instead of just running in a straight line, I’m trying to make it more enjoyable and exciting by running all over the place and over all sorts of things. Thus I could be running on a trail near the beach, leap up onto a log, run to the end of it, leap onto a rock and finally leap off that back onto the trail. In effect, I want to be fully engaged and have some interaction with my environment around me instead of just running in a straight line like I would if I was on a treadmill in a gym.

So far, so good. I’m getting active and having a blast doing it. 🙂

Type vs Subject

Hmm, I’m already stumped. I thought categorizing my entries would be easy to do to create separate "streams" but it isn’t. Why? Because I’m finding that everything is connected in my entries. For example, I could be talking about playing the World of Warcraft. So you might think that’s easy, just categorize the subject of the entry as "Gaming" or something like that. But it’s not that easy, because often times my inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places. For example, when I’m playing online, I’m continually thinking about communities and the cultures within them. Therefore, do I add those categories as well thus making it now "Gaming", "Communities", and "Culture"? As I said before a while back in a previous post, the more categories I add the more absurd things seem to get, so I’d rather not have "subject" categories at all.

If anything though, I find it easier instead to categories things by type. For example, categorizing entries as "Books", "Movies", or "Music" is really straightforward, since if you click on that category you’ll see a listing of the books I have read. Yet if I do this, then what do I call my regular entries that aren’t books, music, or movies? Do I just categorize them as just "Blog" entries? Seems weird, yet at the same time how do I separate my content in these "streams"? Or should I really be worried about this? Yet if all of my content is merged together, I find this a detriment because it makes it more difficult for people to follow a specific "aspect" or "facet" of my life. Instead they have to see everything I talk about (although they have the choice to read it or not).

Again is this a bad thing though? Hehe, for some reason the song "All of Me" by Frank Sinatra is playing in my head now.

"All of me
Why not take all of me"

Streams vs Spaces

This is just a little background on what I meant by "I think I’ve found a ‘structure’ I can live with" that I mentioned in my last post.

For the longest time, I’ve been frustrated with blog formats (which is why I drive people nuts with changing my site so much because I like exploring and experimenting with different things). Therefore instead of the typical blog format, I’ve instead been searching for a format that focused more on a "spaces" approach (i.e. rooms, etc) because different spaces allowed for different forms of social interaction. In effect, each room or environment that we step into in the real world, changes how we socially interact with others. In a business environment, we may be speak professionally, not letting our emotions show. Yet in the back corner of a quite cafe, we may express our deepest emotions to a good friend. And even more so, in a night club environment we may speak and behave wildly different with others, as we let go of a lot of the things that may hold us back from expressing ourselves fully. Therefore each environment provides a different social context to interact within and will change how we outwardly express ourselves.

Now here’s what I just realized though. My website here is not so much a "space" but instead is more an extension of myself. Specifically an extension of my thoughts and interests. As others like Dave Winer have pointed out, it is more like a conversation "river". Yet within this river are streams of focused conversations on specific topics of interest. That is the approach that I’ve finally decided upon and will go forward with. One of the main benefits of this approach is that it will allow me to feel like a "whole" person because my one conversation "river" will switch from various stream topic categories. Therefore I might talk about technology one post, culture another, and then computer gaming in the next. In effect, this allows me to relay my full identity, not just a single fragment or facet of it.

And yet the greatest strength of this approach, its wholeness, is also possibly its greatest weakness. A lot of people today are not interested in knowing everything about a person which is why most bloggers recommend having a very focused topic niche for your blog. Instead they recommend creating different sites. I, for some reason, just can’t do this. I’ve tried and I keep feel like I’m fragmenting myself so that people only see certain sides of me to the point of being stereotyped. In addition, I find separate sites a really complex approach for maintaining my conversations, as I’d rather have everything in one location. Therefore, at the very least, if I provide "categories" for my journal, or as I like to call them "topic streams", people can then so choose to follow only a single conversation stream instead of having to listen to everything I have to say.

Of course, in closing, the hilarious thing here is that the format I’ve now chosen is very similar to the default blogging format that many people use today. In a sense, I’ve come full circle. Believe me though, I still don’t think it’s perfect. I’ve got a few other ideas that I’d like to experiment with but due to the approach I’ll be taking, this experimentation "shouldn’t" alter my current structure but hopefully will instead work with it.