Archive for kimchi

a journal of the plague, sword, and famine year

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2022 by xi'an

Read two successive books about seeking lost sisters, The Last House on Needless Street and Second Sister, after finishing the third book in a row involving a dead god, aptly named Three parts dead. This third one was rather enjoyable, thanks to the world construction, except for a blah ending. The first one, by Catriona Ward, is perplexing, complex and frankly a bit stretched in its gradual exposition of a multiple personality (disorder) patient. The “horror” side never really set for me, which is fine as it never does. Furthermore, this is the very first book I ever read where I saw a few words (correctly) written in Breton, as well as a thread with the Breton myth of ar Ankou, the local Death personification. Kudos for that! The second one, a physical book that I picked rather instinctively / hurriedly in a Barnes & Noble in Philadelphia is a thriller set in Hong Kong. Despite a bit too much of infodump on internet (in)security and hacking, and some caricaturesque sides, incl. the final coup de théâtre!, I enjoyed it as a page-turner. (But I now wonder if I am not getting prejudiced against Kindle books..!) Except for the anti-protest paragraph. Also read a nice BD, Les Animaux Dénaturés, borrowed from Andrew, which is an adaptation the 1952 book by Vercors, that I saw eons ago as a theatre play. The interrogation on what constitutes humanity (vs. simianity) is the driving force of the story, but it is somewhat marred by the killing of a newborn child that seems to negate the whole fight of the main characters.

Thanks to a short (train) visit to Coventry, I stayed overnight in the center of the city and enjoyed a fabulous dinner with friends at Jinseon Korean BBQ Restaurant, recently reviewed by Jay Rayner in The Guardian. Marinated thin slices of beef, pork, and lamb almost immediately cooked on the white hot (ring) coals, along rice and plenty of kimchi and hot sauce. And a sip of soju. Not an everyday fare, for sure, but quite delightful (and even more as my single true meal over two days!)

Watched a fraction of Swedish Black Crab, with Naomi Rapace playing the central character, but despite potential connections with the current survival war of Ukraine against the Russian terror, I quickly lost interest in the very shallow plot and in the accumulation of unrealistic scenes and heavily programmed eliminations of the characters (sorry for the spoiler!). For one thing, expert skaters skating 100km should not take days to cover the distance. For another, a military commando operating in the far North should wear appropriate clothes, not a sweater and a loose scarf!  Luckily enough, I have had no screen nearby [me] to distract me on my round trip flight to NYC from reviewing Biometrika submissions. (The flight back to Paris amazingly took less than 6 hours, thanks to extremely strong tail winds.)

day zero at ISBA 22

Posted in Kids, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2022 by xi'an

Very smooth trip to Montréal, esp. when considering the global trend of travel disruptions. Nothing lost (except for a tea thermos filter), nothing broken or stolen from my bag, no delay, no queue at De Gaulle for once. I even got a front & window seat in the plane, with a quiet neighbour who slept most of the time (and kept her mask, thanks!), no disruption from other screens, and a six hour run for processing as many Biometrika submissions, with an almost instantaneous reply from one AE (or AE⁺⁺⁺!), solving a riddle from the Riddler, and booking a few things in Montréal like the local Vélib (biXi!!!) and a slot at the only pool that opens at 6:30 (thanks Amy and David!). Funny that the flight attendants came and checked everything was fine because I declined food and beverage for the entire flight (my habit nowadays).

And, despite a very hot day in Montréal, equally smooth access to my Airbnb, incl. the episode with a good Samaritan calling after a passenger in the [747] airport bus leaving without his bag! Enjoying kimchi dimsums at Harbin Dumplings while waiting (with no xiaolongbao on the menu!). And sampling later my first Montréal bagel of the trip (which was only OK!), while being surprised at the high cost of food in the dépanneur where I bought them.

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