I sniffed the odor of death a couple nights ago.
Okay, I exaggerate, but at the time, it sure felt like dying. Fellow bloggers, you’ll know what I mean.
A kind reader had alerted me that some of my blog posts weren’t showing the images. This being a food blog and all, that just wouldn’t do. A food blog without pictures is like a brick of gluten-free bread—all dense and nutty with no sensorial pleasure. So I tried to fix it, even though I am technologically obtuse. Big mistake.
To skip all the computer jargon, I tinkered around with some functions. I was pompously confident that I can fix this glitch by myself. And of course, I ended up stupidly erasing my blog’s entire database—that means all content including posts, images, comments…everything.
I grabbed the hair on my fathead, pulled and cursed. And cursed. And cursed and pulled some more. More than three years of labor—all wiped away with one freaking click! Gone! Obliterated! Poof! To think that I had extinguished my entire blog for the sake of some pictures! My ears were burning red with self-fury and I’m pretty sure I dribbled some Drool of Rage.
With trembling fingers, I typed an SOS message to an online forum. I tearfully contacted my blog host’s customer service. And then I Googled and read article after article about database restoration. Most of the language they used went way over my head. SSH? SFTP? Command? Sql file? What the jabba jadee what?!
I suddenly felt like I had the IQ of a squished bug. Thankfully, a kind soul by the username bh_wp_guy came to the rescue on his white stallion cyberhorse. Two hours later, with the help of his instructions and Google, I managed to import a backup file by first using a FTP server and then “commanding” the sql file by logging into SSH.
Another click. And zing! Burp and Slurp is back! I almost wept with relief and gratitude. If bh_wp_guy lived any closer I would have brought him a home-baked chocolate cake. My brain was swollen up, buzzing with previously foreign words like “mysql” and “batch_readline” and many, many “ERROR” messages. I no longer felt stupid. I felt like my IQ had leapt up to the 150s.
It was 9:35 p.m. Finally, I could have dinner.
Later, tears and sweat wiped away, belly filling up with cotija-spinach buttermilk bread while watching White Collar on Netflix, I recognized this issue for what it was: First-world problem.
You’ve probably seen those memes. A guy cries into his pillow: “I need to pee but the bed is too comfortable.” Or a girl sits forlornly with her head buried between her knees: “My raisin bran muffin had too many raisins in it.” And those cute cats yowling: “I need to fart, but nobody’s home.”
Hahahaha, because we see ourselves in those memes. How guilty of these first-world problems are we? I can list several instances this past week in which I griped about something ridiculously insignificant: I ate too much good food tonight and now I can’t enjoy that chocolate rugelach, boo hoo. My Nexus 7 tablet’s wi-fi doesn’t work outside my house, darn it! I have nothing to watch on Netflix—DISASTER! I ran out of gorgonzola cheese—must go to store NOW!
All that, even while I research and report on sex trafficking and North Korea’s prison camps. There’s nothing wrong with having privileges—but sometimes it astounds me how much I take my privileges for granted. It’s something that I need to be more aware about, considering that I often feel impoverished while living amidst countless privileges.
For example, food. I’m trying to be more careful with my dining expenses, which is why you might see more Asian food than say, Italian or French. And yes, occasionally I feel annoyed that I have to worry about every dollar that flitters out of my credit card. But I’ve been blessed with great many, many wonderful meals. Some are homemade. Some may be cheap grub, but tasty nonetheless. And I’ve even been treated to some pretty high-end cuisine—without having to pay a single cent.
Some time ago, a fellow blogger, Jo Dee, asked me out for dinner– her treat! I wisely said yes.
I met her a fancy French bistro called Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa. It’s a dim little restaurant located in a giant shopping mall. I was so pleased to meet her, but I will not disclose much about her as she seeks privacy.
We were also each given some kind of canape, an open-faced sandwich-type thing:
It had a brioche toast topped with some kind of beef with some kind of spread and drizzled with some kind of oil. Forgive me—I was not really paying attention!
I did, however, perk into attention when the server delivered our first course. Jo Dee had a lovely creamy tomato fennel soup:
I had a forest of mushrooms:
Assorted sautéed gourmet mushrooms with mushroom “foam.” Topped with balsamic glace, salad greens and served with a crostini spread with soft cheese and extra-virgin olive oil.
This was heaven on a plate! The mushroom was meaty like steak, soaking up the acidic-sweet balsamic sauce. To be honest though, I still have no idea what edible “foam” is for besides its novelty.
Now for our main course. My dining companion had her favorite steak tartare:
Raw cubes of Angus filet, a softly fried egg, crusty French bread, fries and a medley of fixings.
Not as artfully presented as Hotel Bel-Air’s, but that is again a first-world wah-wah. The steak was wonderfully fresh and all the components came together as a pleasant edible masterpiece.
Me, I had the Scallop risotto:
It had some artichokes in it—very buttery, very savory. The scallops were soft and tender to bite, rich in juice and flavor. The risotto was creamy in feel yet retaining its al dente texture. Amazing.
My parents tell me I have “kou fu” (口福), or literally, “mouth blessings.” Meaning I eat well. And I totally agree; I’ve been blessed to eat so much good food in my life, and it’s all thanks to privileges—privilege of meeting the right people, growing up in a fantastic country (Singapore), coming from a food-loving heritage (Korea), living in a multi-cultural city (Los Angeles).
I didn’t earn my privileges, but hey, I can earn my right to enjoy them by being grateful for everything I have right now.
Question of the Day: What first-world problem did you have today?