January 1, 2005

Happy New Year!

My warm wishes to you and your family in the New Year!

We had our traditional Korean New Year's dish, Duk-Gook. Duk means rice cake and gook is soup in Korean. I don't know the reasoning behind this being the New Year's dish, but perhaps it has to do with the chewy consistency of the rice cake: may your efforts stick and you become prosperous. Plus, the traditional rice cakes used in this soup are long tubes in appearance so they may signify long life.

I like chewing on these rice sticks by themselves. A thin coat of sugar makes it a sweet snack. To make Duk-gook, start with a beef stock. I prefer anchovy soub base, though. Put cut scallions, zucchini, onions and/or potatoes, salt and pepper into the soup and continue to boil. Add sliced rice cakes until they are tender. Beat eggs and drop them into the soup. Serve hot. Add dry seaweed for flavor, if desired. Happy New Year and go blue

I am not one for loud New Year's Eve events so yesterday was no exception. I did go to a 7 pm show of Les Misérables in Hollywood (I know, Hollywood) with M, Lauren and her mom (my sister). I was really excited to see the show with Lauren, who loves musicals and singing in general. I had seen the show more than 10 years ago in Boston and have very fond memorie of the experience, mostly stemming from my love of literature. After all, I did spend many years studying it. On the other hand, M, who had seen the show in New York at about the same time, didn't remember the experience fondly, but I suspect it had much to do with being dragged to the theater by his father than with the show itself. In any case, if Christmas and holiday season don't teach you about true love, redemption and charity, the story of Jean Valjean will.

Here my sister and Lauren, our French coquette. Not our cars, by the way.

There were short people, tall people, beautiful people, homely people, young people, old people and everything in between. Many women were dressed to the hilt, perhaps anticipating a fabulous New Year's Eve party. Lots of people of color, including Asian Americans. Glad we get out to enjoy things like this. When Eponine came out to sing, African American women sitting behind us wondered aloud, "Why are they calling her 'Ebony'?" No doubt, they would have their particular explanations for that. By the end of the show, Chinese American women also sitting behind us were practically sobbing.

After all, we're in Hollywood.

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