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Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time

After the insane, meaty Christmas eve dinner my family had, we chose to return to our usual hotpot Christmas night dinner. Fish balls, shrimp balls, thin slices of meat, veggies, and all kinds of veggies are the usual components of this DIY meal. It’s akin to the Japanese shabu-shabu that people may be more familiar with, where you cook whatever you want as you please in a central pot at the center of the table. 

This is how it usually goes: we make a personalized sauce for dipping which is actually a cocktail of any or all of the following

  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • black bean and garlic sauce
  • hoisin sauce
  • chili paste
  • sri racha

and probably at least 10 more that I never use and can’t identify. The more daring members of my family, like my dad, like to crack a raw egg and add it to the mix. I’m not a fan of this, but I have tried it before. It doesn’t really affect the taste so much as it changes the texture.

This year, my brother and I were especially spoiled with fresh, live crab–live meaning my mom brought it home live and we cooked it along with the other meats in the hotpot. It was so tasty and I have to admit (though I’d never personally tell him this since his head’s already big enough) that I was pretty impressed with my dad’s knowledge of how to clean and prepare the crabs quickly. He rarely cooks, but always tells us about he used to work restaurant jobs in his youth in Hong Kong, the only evidence of this coming in spurts like this one.

After we finished dinner and dropped my brother off at the airport for his 2 week trip to Guatemala, I decided it would be a good idea for me to finally subscribe to the Flickr Pro account. For those who don’t use the site, Flickr Pro comes with some awesome features that aren’t available on the free account, like Stats. Whilst browsing my stats, I came across links to references to my pictures. I was shocked, a little bit flattered, and pretty annoyed to find how readily my pictures were being blogged by strangers without being cited as the photographer. These blogs were getting hundreds of hits and my pictures were being commented on and ‘liked’ like crazy, without me having any idea.

Which brings me to the lovely watermark you now see at the bottoms of my pictures. Made by my friend Brett, the logo was inspired by a sticker I had on the back of my old car. Hopefully it’ll help to stop some of this crazy rando-blogging that’s been going on.

Hence, this Christmas turned out to be yummy and informative. Fellow photographers take note! Watermark your pictures, even if it is a little bit annoying.


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