Dirt Candy Yelp Review

Yelp is undergoing maintenance…

I had a great time here. Every dish brought out flavors of that ingredient, even some vegetables that I don’t really care for, being a picky veggie eater.

I noticed that the bread they served was light and flaky. This I liked.

Mushroom! was an amazing appetizer and best part of the night. When foie gras is banned from California, I would eat this portobello mousse as an alternative. The sweetness of the campote balanced out the savory.

I had Corn! and loved the grits, and the sauce surrounding it, which I think is the huitlacoche with pickled shiitake center, or is it the other way around? I’ve never had “Mexican truffle” and nothing tasted pickled so I’m a little confused, but I know that made the dish for me. The science of tempura-poached egg is mind-boggling.

Celery Cheesecake Roll was me venturing into the unknown. I normally dislike raw celery, and enjoy it when it’s boiled down, but I wanted to see if it could redeem itself through dessert. The celeriac ice cream was refreshing, and the best part, while the roll was very celery. I didn’t care for the candied grapes.

I shared the Nanaimo Bar with some friends, and we all had trouble digging into it because it was frozen. Once I got it properly in my spoon, I fell in love with the crust. Also, I am not a mint fan, but because it wasn’t overpowering, I really appreciated this dessert.

Wait staff really knew their stuff! The restaurant is coming out with a cookbook!


I had the opportunity to check out this movie at the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival. It coincidentally relates to where I’m going, and gave me insight on the difficulties that these communities have had to, and are still going through, and how I can relate it to the struggles of mine and my family’s lives. Fukushima was totally not where I had expected, nor wanted to be, but I didn’t choose it, like how I never chose to be gay, or how my parents didn’t choose Vietnam to fall into Communism. Fukushima never chose to worry about radiation. There is only so much control we’re allowed to have. You just deal with things as they come, and that makes life a challenge, and worth telling.

Radiation math

I was planning to go to the Museum of Natural History today, but after getting some concerned messages and links to even more concerning “on the ground” stories, I figured I should do some quick number research to reassure myself that I’m not leaping into this without looking.

The NRC reports that on average, we get 620 millirems (6.2 millisieverts) of radiation per year, half from natural sources, half from manmade sources. Fukushima has a radiation map that measures radiation in MICROSieverts per HOUR in areas of Fukushima Prefecture. The majority of Fukushima is at .25-.50 microSv/hr. If my math (and Google conversion) is correct, that’s less than 6.2 mSv per year.

In any case, one can get radiation through so many different ways. Heck, I soaked in a radium hot spring in Misasa, Tottori on one of my trips to Japan. And one just needs to be conscious about what they are eating, and how they live. I will be out in the countryside where I’m not surrounded by millions of electronic devices.

My math notes!

1 millisievert = 100 rem

24 hrs/day => 365 days/year => 8760 hrs

Average of 620 millirem per year = 6.2 millisieverts per year, half of which is from natural sources


5 microsieverts/hr

43,800 microseiverts/yr = 43.8 millisieverts

At worst, you get 7x more radiation than normal


.25 microsieverts/hr

2190 microsiverts/yr (35%) = 2.19 millisieverts


.50 microsieverts/hr

4380 microsieverts/yr (70%) = 4.38 millisieverts


1 microsieverts/hr

8760 microsieverts/hr (104%) = 8.760 millisieverts

Official Announcement

So JET announced the placements and I made my official announcement on Facebook, but I realized I never made an official announcement or process in getting into JET on this blog.

Originally I signed up to be a Coordinator of International Relations (CIR). These guys work in the prefectural office, and work more with the community, such as PR for the area, hosting foreign guests, teaching English to adults, and translating, as far as I know. I wanted to get experience in working in a Japanese office, using business Japanese, grooming myself for any potential work with Japanese companies in the future. I was very lucky to have gotten past the application process and get a CIR interview. However, I got accepted as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) teaching kids from elementary to high school. I am taking this as a sign that I need a sabbatical from working in an office space. I want to utilize this time to educate and mentor kids, since I don’t plan to have any of my own. I also want  take advantage of any free time to visit other Asian countries and really discover my comfort levels in transitioning between an outsider and part of a collective group. How will being a queer female Asian(-American) be perceived, or accepted?

If anything, I hope to pass the Japanese Proficiency Test Level N1 by the end of my first year of JET.

Oh, and where will I be? Fukushima Prefecture!

Future from Fukushima Broadcasting Channel


Separation anxiety from stuff

I am giving most of my stuff away and getting anxious about it because I’m going to have to buy or try to find a good deal for some of this stuff again. It’s mostly around electronics and appliances. I’m possessive with them, as if they were just for me and me alone because I bought them new, and I’m gonna use it until it breaks. It takes a moment to realize that if they’re not being put to good use, what’s the point of keeping them, and I think that they’re going to a better place.

Vietnamese ingredients in Japan

I was wondering about where to find Vietnamese ingredients in Japan, so I could also make Vietnamese food while I’m there, and I went to Google it. Unfortunately, nothing came up when I searched for it in English. So I switched to Vietnamese and found this website for a store located in Gunma-ken. Completely in Vietnamese.

I’m forced to use Vietnamese!  This is really exciting! I’m not being sarcastic!