If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.

Bertie Charles Forbes, Scottish-born American financial journalist, author; known as the founder of Forbes magazine (1880-1954)

Image Credit: Wikipedia
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낮말은 새가 듣고, 밤말은 쥐가 듣는다.
English: Words spoken in the day are heard by birds, and words spoken at night are heard by rats.

Unknown, Korean proverb

Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people.  Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.

Harvey Mackay, American businessman, author, syndicated columnist with Universal Uclick (1932-present)

Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.

Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian adventurer, ethnographer (1914-2002)

Isn’t elegance forgetting what one is wearing?

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, popularly known as Yves Saint Laurent, French fashion designer, founder of eponymous fashion house Yves Saint Laurent YSL; regarded as being one of the foremost fashion designers in the twentieth century (1936-2008)

Image Credit: Odyssey

“Nunca hay que vender la tierra.  Es lo único que queda cuando todo lo demás se acaba.”
English: “Land is something one should never sell.  It is the only thing left when all else is gone.”

Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus, The House of Spirits (1982)

+seeing+

Note: Because I didn’t write a book review in a while … x ec

So, I’m currently taking an American short story class because 1) I love short stories, and 2) I need to finish my minor.  As a typical discussion class, we examine various texts, representative of the American canon and compare how each author and relevant work tie into a certain theme.  Last week’s theme, “Fantasy and the supernatural,” had a special story: Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes (English: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, 1955), a short by one of most recognizable writers of the 20th century, Gabriel García Márquez.

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Before diving into this story, there are some things that need to be clarified.  Firstly, I find that categorizing García Márquez into an American short story is tone deaf.  Although it’s geographically correct to refer to his works as part of American literature, we all know that when we hear America, we (incorrectly) only think of the United States.  You can’t just pick one of the best parts of Latin America and reject the rest of their diverse culture.

Beyond this, I feel that American literature lacks imagination and magic; there is an interesting article written in The Atlantic which talks about the inevitable pitfalls for Americans because of this missing creativity.  García Márquez’s writing is therefore separate from the typical American literary design because he effectively uses fantastical themes to give both the writer and readers solace, in comparison to the somber and the inevitable fall of society tones that many American writers use.

Secondly, this isn’t the first time that I have read this story.  Prior to this class, I read this in one of my Spanish elective courses because you can’t study Spanish literature without García Márquez – he’s even talked about in English-speaking creative writing courses as a model!  However, no two professors will speak on the same text in exactly the same way, so I believe that it was great to experience this story in two different perspectives.

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Here’s a quick summary of the text:

After three days of rain, an old, unkempt man with large wings lands in Pelayo and Elisenda’s backyard.  To the disbelief of the two, a neighbor suggests that this man must be an angel.  However, the old man’s presence begs the age-old question of physical evidence and faith, as the deeply religious town are torn between mocking and praising the winged man.

In this short story, García Márquez demonstrates the use of magical realism, where the supernatural and other fantastical characteristics are presented in a mundane setting.  A common theme of magical realism is the passing of time; time becomes fluid like water, but still fits perfectly with the logic of the plot.  In this story, we see the use of this technique with the entrance of the old man.  His wings are clearly a part of him, as we know that people aren’t genetically predisposed to have them, which establishes the fantastical aspect.

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The historical implications of this technique are important because during the time of publication, García Márquez’s native Colombia was facing La Violencia (English: The Violence), a 10-year civil war.  We see a rural town that’s effectively run by the words of Fr. Gonzaga, a show of the importance of religion as government to the rural folk.  When a “divine” figure who doesn’t fit the archetypes of God’s angel enters their lives, touched by mortality, we see that their actions aren’t consistent with their religious beliefs.

If this man is really an angel, then it shakes not only the foundation of the Church, but also the town, which is heavily reliant on the religion because he didn’t understand Latin or Aramaic, the “languages” of God.  However, if he isn’t an angel, the townspeople are still hypocrites because the tenets of Christianity state to help the poor, yet no one truly helps him, only Pelayo and Elisenda’s child seems to bring the old man some semblance of happiness.

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Gabriel García Márquez, shows us why we need to be well read.  Though he isn’t as reactionary as other writers, he is a great example of reactionary writing.  These types of stories are not only great to read, but they’re invaluable history lessons about the author’s home country’s political, social, and economic turmoil.  Some writers try to escape these terrible situations through writing beautiful art, or they are extremely critical of their country’s situation.  Either way, it’s a treat and a warning to work towards a brighter future.

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Purchase the short story collection with the original version here and English translation here.

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Image Credit: Wild Works

+drain+

Korean 101

Here are some helpful translations below.  As mentioned in a previous post, some words won’t have a perfect English translation.

  • 홍두깨살 – eye of round, part of the cow’s round
  • 아롱사태 – center heel, part of the cow’s shank
  • 생강 – ginger
  • 진간장 – Jin-ganjang, soy sauce
  • 청주 – Cheongju, traditional Korean rice wine
  • 미린 – Mirin, Japanese rice cooking wine
  • 미작 – Mijak, Korean cooking wine
  • 건고추 – red dried chili pepper
  • 청양고추 – Cheongyang chili pepper

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Today I’ll be sharing my 장조림 recipe, pronounced jang-jorim, a Korean soy sauce braised beef dish.  I know that sharing this dish kind of goes against my whole health crusade, but Korean food is my comfort food, and we all need a little comfort food once in a while.

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Ingredients: 4~5 servings

  • 500 g (~17.637 ounces) of beef, eye of round or center heel cut
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 onion, ½ for boiling, ½ cut into large pieces
  • ½ of a large green onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 15 grams (~.529 ounces) of ginger, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorn
  • ½ cup of soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of cheongji, mirin, or mijak (whatever you have; either works!)
  • 2 red dried chili peppers, or 1 Cheongyang chili pepper (I used 2 long green hot peppers), sliced

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Steps

  1. Cut up the beef into squares and soak in cold water for two hours. According to an old tradition, soaking the beef makes it softer, as the blood’s forced out of the meat.  Who knows if this is scientifically accurate, but hey, who am I to question tradition.
  2. In a large pot, add the uncut onion half, scallion, garlic, ginger, and black peppercorn in boiling water for 10 minutes. During that time, take the beef out of the cold water.
  3. Add the beef to the broth and cook that on high heat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, let it cook to completion for an hour, with the lid on.
  4. Take out the beef after the hour’s up. Here, there are two options: to cool it completely, or to continue and cut.  With the latter, continuing without cooling will make it chewy, so if you don’t like that texture, I would advise you to cool it completely.  Personally, I like the chewy texture, so I just continued and cut the beef into long and thin strips.
  5. Heat the soy sauce, sugar, and cooking wine (and water) in a saucepan, and bring it to a simmer. While it’s simmering, add in the chopped onions and green pepper for two minutes before adding in the beef.
  6. Cook the beef for 3-4 minutes on medium heat before serving. Enjoy!

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Notes

  • In Step 3, this should be self-explanatory, but you should be checking the beef periodically. As it’s cooking, you’ll notice these weird opaque pieces come up to the surface of the water.  You should remove these pieces because they will somehow make the dish taste funky as it sticks to the side of the beef.
  • In Step 5, it is imperative that you dilute the marinate. Jin-ganjang is highly concentrated, so a little bit will go a long way.  It may seem like diluting the marinate will ruin the recipe, but that isn’t the case.  Considering the beef to soy sauce ratio, just having the extra liquid will help the soy sauce cover everything.  And since it’s water, it’ll evaporate, and you’ll be left with a great dish.

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If you have any questions regarding the broth, or anything else, please leave a question down below!  I’m also sorry that I don’t have pictures to show because when reviewing my pictures, I saw that they were all foggy pictures due to the steam 😭.

IMAGE CREDIT: Diagram Site

If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake.  You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.

Elon Musk, South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, investor, engineer, inventor (1971-present)