Monday, May 23, 2016

Intransigent Transience in California

I've recently begun the process of opening a home bakery. I've been baking my whole life, and recently quite a few people have asked me to bake for their occasions. I filled two paid orders, and the state of California requires that I do all the paperwork to fulfill a third. The environmental health department requires labels for every product I'll sell, but it's a fully custom bakery so I don't know what I will sell. That means I have to cover all the bases, and that's a mind-boggling number of permutations.

Californians are the first to jump on "health" food trends: juice cleanses (do more harm than good), superfoods (not really that super), organic (misnomer and misguided), etc. The ones that affect my bakery are gluten-free (very few people actually have gluten sensitivity), milk-free (legit; sources vary but ~75% of the world population and 25% of the US population lose the ability to digest lactose after weaning), and egg-free (religious, moral, or sometimes health-related). This is making my life very difficult at the moment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

America's Fracturing Political Parties and Terrifying Election

I'm a real estate agent in Silicon Valley now, and as such, I have to keep politics off my Facebook page to avoid offending anyone. Because this blog isn't the first thing I want popping up when people Google me, I've distanced my actual online presence from this. Therefore, I can talk about politics here.

 First of all, I'd like to take a moment to apologize to the rest of the world for Donald Trump. I'm so sorry. He really doesn't represent the American people; at least, not all of us. Obviously, he's doing surprisingly well, so he does represent a large number of people. That scares the hell out of me. My firm opinion in this election is best summed up by a picture of a campaign sign that says, "IDK Just Not Trump".

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Toastmasters Contest Speech: "Chasing Failure"

Recently, I won my club speech contest and competed at the Area contest level, which is a first for me. Another first for me was that I managed to make this speech without using notes. Although I didn't win the Area contest, I did get a lot of compliments and gained confidence to continue entering contests. Here is the speech I made for the annual International Speech Contest:

Chasing Failure

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Happy Ending

I am not an ESL teacher this year. I quit my last ESL teaching job (hopefully) ever in December. This year, I am starting by getting married. As you have come to expect from me, my wedding will not be a normal one. The ceremony itself will be in my fiance's hometown in India at the end of this month. We leave from the San Francisco Airport next Friday. After we get back, we will have a reception here in California for friends and family who can't or won't make the trip to India. After the reception, I am going into real estate. There is a man in my Toastmasters club who is a real estate broker, and he is excited to get me set up with his firm. I just need to take three classes and a test. Unless I'm the worst real estate agent ever, I will never have to teach English again!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Marriage of Different Cultures

Toastmasters CC Manual Speech #6 Vocal Variety - December 19, 2014

Marriage of Different Cultures

In less than two months, I will marry my Indian fiance. Many people, including my mother, have warned me that it's more difficult to marry someone from another culture than from your own. But every marriage is a marriage of different cultures.