31 December 2008

Life Lessons of HSM3 (but not really)

Last night, I saw High School Musical 3 at the Dollar Theater with this awesome chica, my sister and her friend. I felt like I was babysitting (even though it was Taylor's and my idea to go). This was also my third time to see it, but my FIRST time paying to see it.

OK, so none of that really matters except for the fact that Disney did a great job with HSM3. The Made-for-TV movie turned big screen blockbuster was really professional. The music and choreography were flawless, making all three viewings more than tolerable.

My only complaint is that I didn't see any Asians! My sister and I briefly discussed the matter on the way home. It really struck me that she noticed. As an Asian woman (omg, I'm a woman?!?!) pursuing a career in Media, I often think about and notice the lack of Asians in the Media all the time. Is it intentional? Are Asians being discriminated against by casting? Or is it because Asians have chosen not to be present in Media, and have instead chosen to pursue a career as a doctor, lawyer or ambiguous business person?

Whatever the reason is, I hope I get to change all of that down the road. Having my own talk show is a dream, among many, I've had since high school, a time where you focus a lot on "what you want to be when you grow up," an ongoing theme throughout the film. And while I don't think I'll start feeling like a grown-up until Monday (when I start my first job out of college!), I just realized that all I have is now. Post-graduation, I am free to dictate what I do and pursue what I want. After high school graduation, four years of college stood before me. Now, to take from Natasha Bedingfield, I am staring at the blank page before me. I will be honest, the general lack of direction really got to me. I had good days, and I had bad days. But now, I am learning to embrace it. And learning is a part of life, right?

But the lack of me doesn't take away from HSM3, so GO SEE IT!

14 November 2008

November 4th

Obama is elected our 44th President!!!  I hope that I am not breaking this news for you.  Anyway, this post is just to note my special experience and complete happiness on election night.  

On November 4th, 2008, I worked at the Associated Press (my little side gig that I have going on).  All freaking night.  And while I understand that I was part of the news, I was still a little sad that I couldn't watch the suspenseful election night coverage with the rest of America.  So I got people to text me updates throughout the night.  I can't even begin to explain how unnerving it is to get a text saying that McCain is in the lead.  I started plotting my move to Canada (I know, threatening to move to Canada is such a cliché thing to say but my aunt currently lives in Toronto so it's not so out of the blue).  I am so glad he didn't maintain that brief lead.

I was done at the AP around 1 AM and left so I could go home, sleep and come back at 10 AM.  When the subway came and the doors opened, passengers cheered and applauded.  It was very unexpected since the only voices that you ever really hear on the subway comes from the homeless people pleading their case on why you should give them money.  It sent chills through my body.  That happened at each stop and you could feel the happiness.  It was amazing.

It's been well over a week and I still can't believe it.

10 November 2008

November: National Blog Posting Month

Dear Beloved Blog and It'll Be Ok Readers:

I am so sorry that I have neglected you for the past two months. Life became busy and priorities shifted. You had to take a backseat, but please know that I love you just the same.

I just learned that November is National Blog Posting Month, a commemorative month of observance invented by the blogosphere community to help people build a habit of blogging everyday (including weekends!). And while it is almost mid-November, I will start now anyway and I promise I will try my best.


Jennifer Pham

15 September 2008

We All Die...

"We all die.  The goal isn't to live forever, but to create something that will." -Chuck Palahniuk

02 September 2008

Meat and Potatoes

For those of you who are unaware, I am from Dallas, Texas. A place where a meal is not considered a meal without meat. So what's a vegan to eat when her sister wants to make steak and potatoes for dinner on day two (of five) of playing "House?" She makes her own steak (Seitan cutlets to be exact), and here's how:

You will need:
1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbl soy milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 cup vegetable broth

This recipe is inspired by my current go-to vegan cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance. I found the recipe to be too salty (which is rare because I happen to be a big fan of salt) so I just took the basic idea and seasoned with what we had in our pantry. First, I made my own broth using hot water and vegetable bouillon cubes. So if you're opting to make your own, I would just put the cubes in the water and turn on the heat and prepare the seitan while you wait for the cubes to melt. To make the cutlets, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add in the cold water and it will turn into this weird dough. Kneed it (I just stretch it out and fold it in half over and over again) for a minute or so. Be careful of overworking it because it will get tough. Then I rolled it into a log and cut it into six even pieces before I shaped them into "steaks."

Hopefully, your broth will be simmering by this time. Drop the cutlets into the broth and cover for 20 minutes. You will need to flip the seitan once halfway (at 10 minutes). During this time, you can make the wet mix in one bowl and the dry mix in another bowl for the dredging and the frying.

Wet Mix:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soymilk
2 tbl flour
1 tbl ketchup
1 tbl mustard
1 tbl nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Dry Mix:
1 cup flour
3 tbl nutritional yeast
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large frying pan, heat about 2 cups of oil (I used canola). To test if the heat is high enough, I took a wooden chopstick and dipped it into the dry mix and then into the hot pan. If it sizzles, it's ready. If it doesn't, then wait some more. Pat the cutlets dry with a paper towel before dredging. Once everything is ready, dip the cutlets into the wet mix and make sure it is completely drenched. Then dip it into the dry mix and make sure it is completely covered. Now you can fry your cutlet! Flip them over when they look "ready" to be turned and/or are golden brown.

I served them on a bed of spinach sautéed with garlic with a sprinkling of sautéed mushrooms on top, "streen" beans, fresh corn and vegan garlic and chives mashed potatoes (recipe in a later post) to my favorite vegan: ME!


29 August 2008

John McCain: The Distorted Moderate

Senator John McCain claims to be a moderate Republican (i.e. conservative on most fiscal policies and slightly more liberal than his Republican counterparts).  This actually made me a little happy inside because I have a huge problem with extremists (of all kinds).  To borrow from the theme of Bridge to Terabithia, "Keep your mind wide open."

But as I read more and more on this witty centrist from Arizona (did you see him nominate Jay Leno for president on The Tonight Show?), I have found that he is not moderate at all, not even in the slightest sense of the word.  He makes traditional conservative votes for the most part (90% of the time according to Obama) and very rarely, he deviates erratically in his "liberal" ways, resulting in an uproar within the Republican populous.  He has been conservative when voting on foreign and military policy, on economic policy, on abortion rights and on gay rights.  So my question is, what else is there for him to vote on that makes him so "moderate?"

Today, he announced that he has chosen Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice President, an obvious strategic attempt to gain the support of diehard Hillary fans,... even though Hillary endorsed  Obama on Tuesday, surely the sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits can't be that angry.  As a woman, I am offended that McCain would think that I would ignore that his issues contradict women issues and vote for him anyway solely because he chose a woman as his VP.  It's about the issues, not girls vs. boys.

So who is Sarah Palin?  According to MSNBC, she is currently under investigation for abusing power in Alaska (she tried to have her ex brother-in-law fired from the state).  Haven't we seen enough (more than enough, in my opinion) of exploitation from Bush?  Even if the investigation is still open, any speculation of this behavior is enough reason for me to say "Hell to the No."

Sarah Palin is also three years younger than Barack Obama, the same Democratic nominee labeled as inexperienced by McCain.  Does that mean Palin is even more inexperienced?  What are you trying to tell me John?

In tune with his grandfatherly ways, McCain still thinks it is OK when women don't receive equal pay for equal work.  So does that mean that if and when McCain/Palin sweep the polls in November, Palin will receive less pay than Dick Cheney currently earns now?

John McCain: Moderate?  Debatable and semi-relative (depending on who you ask).  Hypocrite?  Most definitely.

27 August 2008

Pasghetti with the Phamily

Today is day one (of five) for the Phamily without our precious mother.  Trinh left for Toronto early this morning to reunite with her eight siblings (my maternal family tree is hugely Catholic) and to attend my cousin's wedding.  My dad, sister, Lucky and I were left behind with the arduous task to watch the house during her weekend of fun.

My dad went to work this morning and didn't get home until late afternoon like a normal working person.  During that time, Christine and I woke up at 11 and did what we loved best: shopped and made food.  We visited J.Crew and perused their final sale.  All sale items were an extra 40% off.  I got this skirt in honey glaze which was originally $98 but after the 40% off and then a 10% student discount, the grand total came out to be $16.33.  It was a STEAL.

After a brisk stroll around NorthPark, we returned home and made a cozy dinner of spaghetti and garlic bread.  Yum-O! Christine made an extra plate of sausage links to complete the meal for the carnivorous section of the Phamily, who can be seen below.

Daddy enjoying his meal while Christine serves up a STORM!

Well, I'm off to take a nap.  Why?  Because if my mom left early for the airport, that means I got home at an absurd hour after dropping her off.  :)

Hillary Has a Heart...and Shows It!

Ever since June 3 (day before my birthday), we have rarely seen Senator Hillary Clinton in the political spotlight.  Agitated Hillary defenders were basically left wondering what to do.  Should they reluctantly hop on the Obama bandwagon or vote in opposition to the man they had originally thought unfit and untrained to run their country?  I wouldn't know personally because I wasn't a supporter of her but that's what I would be thinking.  Well, Tuesday night of the DNC was Hillary night (according to CNN) and surprisingly, it was a good night!  In a semi-overwhelming message of unity, Democrats were told to move forward and to keep fighting.  Let Us Unite!

Overall, I thought the actual speech was super dramatic but that it also needed to be in order for her message to be as stimulating/motivating as it was.  She focused a lot on the progress of women (her mom was born before women's suffrage; Chelsea has the opportunity to vote for her mom) and that made me wonder if Hillary fans were supporting Hillary the person or the progress of women.  If not now, when will the opportunity for women will come?  2012?  Keep on fighting and we'll get there.

Personally, I was really surprised at her speech.  Up until the very end of her campaign for the Democratic nomination, she was a robot.  But all of the sudden, she wears a different energy (with no help from that orange pantsuit contraption) that is relatable and real.  Dan (who suggested that I post this "controversial" political commentary) attributes it to all the sleep she's had, which is a good hypothesis.
Aside from her newfound spirit, Hillary delivered some great lines along with a great anecdote of Harriet Tubman's fight for freedom.  
"No way. No how.  No McCain.  Barack Obama is my candidate."
"We don't need four more years of the last eight years."
"To my supporters, to my champions- to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits- from the bottom of my heart: Thank you."

Hillary also challenged her supporters and asked why are you in this?  Were you in this campaign just for me?  Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?  I thought that was really powerful and more importantly, it made me think.  So... why am I in this?  I'll save that for another post.

So... why are YOU in this?

I can't wait for Billy to speak!!!

06 August 2008

Where Does the Time Go?

"Time is the ultimate scarcity." - Prof. Marc Lieberman, Economics Principles I

In London, wondering what time it is...

Big Ben told us the time and we were so thankful.

25 July 2008

Super Easy Vegan Peach Scones

This is my variation of a basic scone recipe from "Vegan with a Vengeance."  You really could add any fruit.  I chose peaches because my mom went overboard when we went to Sprouts and she saw that peaches were 39¢/lb.  Also, I added lime juice to the soy milk to give it a tang that resembled buttermilk.

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbl baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (I use lime because we never have lemons!)
2 medium peaches, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease your baking sheet (I lined mine with foil).
In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients, minus the peaches.  Then add all of the wet ingredients.  Mix until you don't see anymore wetness.  Don't be alarmed if the dough isn't "dough-y," it's supposed to look like crumble topping like this:  

Then fold in your fruit.  To form the scones, I used my 1/4 measuring cup and scooped out the dough.  I put a little more on top and pat it down with my hand on the baking sheet.  You can yield about 16 scones depending on how big you make them.  I only got 12 this time.  :) I also sprinkled some sugar on them before they went into the oven.

12 minutes....

These are great to have for breakfast or a snack with coffee, tea or soy milk.  I like my scones heated up (15 secs in the microwave) with vegan butter.  My mom and sister will most likely eat these as is during our drive to Austin early tomorrow morning.


21 July 2008

I Wanted to Change the World

By Unknown Monk, 1100 A.D.

"When I was a young man,  I wanted to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.

When I found I couldn't change the nation, I  began to focus on my town.  I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.  My family and I could have made an impact on our town.  Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world."

The future of the World!

16 July 2008

So You Think You Can Dance (dance, dance, dance, dance, dance)

Since its debut in 2005, my summer is not a summer without a season of So You Think You Can Dance.

I missed the first 10 minutes tonight but it'll be OK because of YouTube!!  I tuned in during what seemed to be Chelsie's solo, which didn't look that good or maybe her energy faded by the end because her smile sure did. Chelsie and Gev's jive routine was good. I completely agree with the judges. I didn't notice Gev at all. But I feel like that's because he was wearing all black and was overshadowed by Chelsie's flashy gold costume.

Highlights of the show include:

-Seeing the pregnant choreographer dancing and spinning
-Mark's weird and wonderful solo.  I still love him even if the judges hate him.  It's unconditional.  Even his cheesy "vote for me, my number is #" was adorable.
-Singing along to Twitch and Comfort's first performance to "Open Arms." However, that was the only good thing about the routine.  In fact, it was so bad that my MOTHER commented, "That was bad!"
-Twitch and Comfort's hip-hop routine to "Forever" by Chris Brown
-Katee's dad wearing a "Katee's Dad" shirt
-"He's a man!"-Courtney and Mary, referring to Joshua
-Spankenstein routine
-Will and Katee's pas de deux

I can't wait for the results show!

15 July 2008


"Revel in your imperfections, be entertained by your problems and know that once you looked ahead and wished you were where you are now.  And once again, you will look back and smile." -Unknown

14 July 2008


Today, I witnessed a true act of kindness that came from pure love.

After dinner, my parents and I went for a walk around the neighborhood with Lucky (our puppy).  As we turned the corner to get back on our street, I see this elderly couple in front of their house.  The woman was tending to her flowers and the man was sitting on his rocking chair.  I hoped that I will have a rocking chair to sit on in front of my house.  I also noticed a giant, fake Wishbone-looking dog pulling an empty wagon in front of their tree and thought, "Hm, that's interesting lawn decor."  I see the man get up and go inside the house and my attention reverted back to the sidewalk.  Moments later, Lucky is barking and is pulling on his leash.  I see the man crossing the street over to us and he is carrying a container full of dog treats.  He says to us, "Every dog that passes by my house gets a doggy treat" and gives Lucky two treats.  Lucky is petrified of strangers so I had to hold him and the man tried to give him a kiss but Lucky resisted and tried to bite him.  So we talked briefly.  He tells us that he has three dogs and that he is so in love with him.  Then he shook my dad's hand and then we said goodnight.  The entire experience was so beautiful and so pure.

After we parted ways, we continued our journey home (5 more houses to go!).  Lucky is very attached to my mother and in turn, my mother likes to play tricks on Lucky.  Whenever we go walking, at some point, she will let my dad walk further ahead with Lucky and then she will hide behind a tree or a parked car and see how long it will be until Lucky notices.  Well today, she hid in between mailboxes and it was THE funniest thing ever.
When we got home, my mom and I went night swimming while my dad watered his flowers.
Today was a wonderful day.


Need something new to do on the Internet besides refreshing celebrity gossip blogs and snooping on Facebook?  Visit FreeRice.com!

This is a fun way to increase your vocabulary but more importantly, for every word you get right, twenty grains of rice is donated through the UN World Hunger Program to help feed the hungry.  The site was launched on October 7, 2007 and 38 BILLION grains of rice have been donated since.  The rice is bought with money from sponsors when you visit the site so play often and tell your amigos!
Feed your mind and hungry people! I just learned that phlebotomy means bloodletting AND I donated 500 grains of rice.  I love it when the little bowl fills up.

I get so happy when I find things like this on the web. :)

12 July 2008

Long Live the Internet!

As I trudge through this journey of finding my first job (it's surprisingly hard to find one that matches both my interests AND skills, ... or maybe I'm just really picky), a string of thoughts go through my mind.  I think about how long I will remain in this state of frictional unemployment.  I wonder what city I will end up in.  I think about what particular path I should carve out for myself to reach my ultimate dreams/goals.  Then I rationalize that the best thing to do is to take it one step at a time and that right now, I should focus on finding my first job.  

Most of the jobs I've applied for were found on the Internet, but other than that, have I exhausted all of my resources?  I think about how big business moguls started out.  How did they find their first job?  They didn't have the Internet.  So I wonder, what did they use and how did they do it?  Newspapers is the immediate answer that comes to mind.

The point is, I just realized another part of my life that is dependent upon the Internet and you know what, it's not so bad!

11 July 2008

A Vegan Remedy for Ailing Vegans

Looking for a vegan remedy to your sore throat? Try Amy's No Chicken Noodle Soup!

I stumbled across this vegan version of the "cure all" soup at Sprouts today and it is indeed light, tasty, comforting, and of course, contains no chicken, just like Amy promises. The tofu was a little hard for my taste and I, of course, added salt but this is a delicious option if you're sick and don't have the energy to stew over a pot of soup that already conveniently comes in a can.  But have no fear, I will undoubtedly try to make my own tasty version once I am well.

It's also low fat so I totally had room to wash down a Tofutti Totally Fudge Pop.
This chocolate novelty is oh, so goooooood going down my throat. After the soup, ice cream and TONS of hot green tea, I think my grossly, inflamed tonsils decreased in size a little. Just because you're vegan does not mean you are denied comfort food when you need it most! Here's to a better tomorrow! :)

10 July 2008

Hello and Welcome!

Hi! Welcome to my blog! The title was inspired by my catchphrase "It'll be OK!" and a conversation that took place during my freshman year of college between my good friend Julie K and me. It was originally intended to be the title of my book (and someday, it will be!), but right now it's a blog.  But it's free!  So read me PLEASE!  Thanks for reading! :)