Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy holidays

I start and re-start posts and everything sounds so banal to me that I end up hitting delete.

Yesterday, my friends gave me Christmas cards that made me laugh so hard that I cried. I was at Souplantation with mascara streaming down my face. I took out a stack of blank cards today and started writing cards. It felt a little bit like sitting with a stack of yearbooks in high school and reflecting on the past year. 

Higher education ruined me. I was always studying around this time. By the time finals were over, it was mid-December and too late for me to get into the holiday spirit, so I just decided to forgo the hullabaloo and toss a couple of gift cards into my purse. 

I'm trying to get better. I'm trying to revive the holiday cheer, because those cards meant something to me. Little tokens of appreciation, little bits of holiday cheer meant something. I'm not going to overthink it anymore. I will start enjoying the holiday season again, especially since I'm not going to be preoccupied with finals anymore, and no one ever sets a trial for Christmas. (knock on wood)

Ending with some gratuitous pictures. 





Wednesday, November 21, 2012

finally going out

End of trial feels like end of finals. Reprieve, for now. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trial mode

The days past so quickly now. Remember when I described my mental state as one of captivity? I'm doing a mental sprint. My work day starts at 6 PM now. That's when we all reconvene for the day and start prepping for tomorrow's trial. We have to get exhibits ready, witnesses ready to go, make sure witnesses and experts are flown in. There are a ton of moving pieces, all the time, and it's pretty cool to watch everything unfold. I heard I missed some fireworks today with one of our witnesses. I'm still a bit incredulous that I get to experience this pretty early on in my career.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I used to love the American Girl series when I was younger. Every single book ended with "Changes for __" and took place in the winter time, I guess that's when changes happened. Molly's dad came home. Felicity's grandfather died. Kirsten made it across the Oregon Trail or something. Did I make most of those up?

Changes for Anh.
I turned 2__ on Sunday. 
KMak is back.
It's my first time being on a trial team and we're going to trial tomorrow. Well, technically, it's a final arbitration hearing, but it's essentially a trial. I can't believe it's finally happening. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

mental captivity

There have been a few times in my life that I experienced what can only be described mental captivity.

Mental captivity is a state of mind that is reached when you are focused on a long-term project. Every bit of output is focused around this one, possibly ginormous project. You are unable to think of anything else. Every bit of new information you learn is for the sole purpose of advancing this project.

When I was a 2L and I wrote a "note" for my journal, I was in a mental prison. My sole reason for existing was to describe and criticize a singular immigration policy. As the due date neared, I kept a page counter on my gchat as I plodded steadily to the 35 page minimum.

Last year, I studied for the bar exam, the most important exam of my adult life. Everyday, I was obsessed with memorizing every single rule that I could. It was my sole focus. It was my life.

Right now, I am on a trial team. We are going to trial in 13 days. Every thing I've worked on for the past month revolved around this case, this set of facts. I stay up at night researching, drafting, review production for possible trial exhibits. I can't think of anything else. Can't wait to escape my mental prison after all of this is over.

Mirror mirror


Monday, October 29, 2012

halloween

I bought a costume at the last minute, so I didn't end up recycling the cave woman costume.

Here I am as Belle:





On Friday, I was a cat:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recycling a costume

No time for anything this year!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Shredder Costume- How To Make Armor

I made 4 pieces: 2 shoulder pieces, 2 wrist pieces, and a small Shredder claw using craft foam and duct tape. I bought the craft foam at Dollar Tree. It came in a big pack like construction paper.

1. Measure your arms so you can determine how big to make the pieces. You're going to make 4 rectangles.  Here is a picture of an arm. I marked the areas where you need to make measurements using blue lines. Please ignore the red, because I don't know how to get that off the stock photo.

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2. Draw your pieces on a piece of paper and use the pattern on your craft foam.

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3. Cut out the craft foam pieces. Then you're going to need to curl the foam pieces using heat. Easiest way to do this is to turn on your gas stove and hold the pieces about 6-8 inches away from the flame for a couple of seconds. Wait for the foam to start to wilt and mold the pieces to your shoulder and arm. I just shaped my pieces over my shoulder and arm.

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The piece should look like this when you're done.

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4. Cover your pieces in duct tape.

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5. Draw a fin pattern and cut the pieces out of foam. I used 2 fins on the shoulder pieces and 4 fins on the wrist pieces. I made them all the same shape and size.

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6. Cover the fin pieces in duct tape.

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7. Tape the fin pieces onto your arm and wrist pieces. The pieces should look like this when you're done.

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I taped ribbon on the underside of the armor to attach it to my costume. This was good for the wrist pieces, but not good for the shoulder pieces. I think sewing or taping the shoulder pieces directly to the costume is more effective, but I made my Shredder costume a tube top, so that wasn't an option for me. I also didn't make a helmet.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

jay kay

You know things are dire when this is what passes for a joke.

Me: Omg [coworker] we're going to be best friends at the end of this case. Or double suicide. Whatev.
Coworker: We'll write our suicide notes in legal memorandum format. Conclusion: we had to legally kill ourselves. It was the only way out. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

thoughts from a first-year associate

      When I was unemployed, there were days when I thought, "Why did I go to law school?" That thought was quickly followed by, "What else could I possibly do with my life?" 

      There are still times when I turn my chair around and stare out the huge window, wondering what how it would be to be in the great big out there, writing the next blog, book, whatever captures people's imagination. Dreams die hard. 

       There's always this fear that I'm not good enough to be a writer, or I guess a successful writer. It's always nagged at me. Sure, I love it, but am I good at it? It's different with law. There's training involved with practicing law. It's like tennis. If you're around people who are good at it, you pick up a couple of things. So I hang on to this blog, shouting out into the wind, releasing my thoughts at the end of the day. 

       I haven't had a single day in which I dreaded going to work. When the weekend ends, there's a collective groan across social media, bemoaning Mondays. I feel especially fortunate, because I don't feel that (yet, knock on wood). Even when I was at my old firm, I never dreaded Mondays. I knew there was an avalanche of obligations waiting for me on my desk, but I knew that by Wednesday, I would have dealt with most of the urgent tasks. At this firm, I have the luxury of time, and there's always something to keep my mind occupied. Work doesn't feel like a grind. 

      I guess law school wasn't such a bad idea after all. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Invisalign, Tray 9

No close-ups of my teeth this time. I have nothing new to report. I look at my teeth all the time now and am really happy with how they are straightening out. I am currently wearing tray 10. It's been 5 months since I started and I have another 3 to go. I already see a big difference in my teeth and can't wait to see how the front teeth turn out in the next 3 months.

Here is a rough before and after. Left picture is no treatment/natural teeth and on the right is my tray 9 smile.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Saw this guy while on a walk


Rachel's engagement party

I've known her since I was six and she was four. Time flies.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Invisalign, Tray 8

Officially at the halfway point and I'm very happy about it. Sometimes, I think to myself that I miss my old hamster teeth. Few people want their crooked teeth, but looking like a hamster was sometimes cute.

The other thing I noticed is that the trays are starting to get annoying. There was a period that I didn't feel them at all, but now, several times a day, I am acutely aware that they are in my mouth and I get the urge to peel them off. However, I resist.

Tray 8
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Tray 5
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

experience counts

Late twenties was scary to me. All these huge life-changing things were supposed to happen. I told myself I had to be married at 27, because that was the age my mom was married. I'm getting closer to 27, and this arbitrary deadline had slipped away.

I hear no ticking of my biological clock. My own mother had me at 41, in Vietnam no less, and everything thus far has gone swimmingly. (Close friends may disagree, but to most people, I am mentally and physically healthy.)  I've seen too many women give birth past their mid-thirties to beautiful babies to be truly worried about possible health risks of delaying childbearing. 

I worry less about "the one," marriage, or babies. With that freedom, I am not so worried about protecting my heart. I never wanted to fall for anyone in the past. I was always worried that if a relationship didn't work out, then I would have wasted my time. The years spent in the relationship could have been years looking for "the one." I spent roughly 7 years of my teenage/adult life in relationships (7 years in the aggregate). There were times when I kind of knew things were not going to work out, but the moment of truth hadn't actually happened. I agonized over ending it as soon as I knew or using the old wait-and-see method. Many men preferred the second way. I was all about efficiency and time.

Experience is worth more than time. I don't mean "experience" in the hackneyed way of learning through living, or taking something away from the relationship. I mean experience in the actual day-to-day life of being in love and feeling intimacy with another person. Before I learned how to enjoy the day-to-day experience, I treated dating and relationships as screening mechanisms. I wanted to "know" as soon as possible, so I can rule out one more person and move on. In a way, I was shielding my heart. I didn't want be disappointed. I didn't want to get my hopes up. I didn't want to feel too deeply for anyone. .

I still am that way (sort of, kind of) but giving up on time, efficiency, and deadlines allows me to enjoy the process. I think to myself, "Okay, so maybe so-and-so isn't 'the one' (or the one I end up with), but for years, he made me so happy." That time wasn't wasted. That time was spent cuddling, laughing, and being so close that it was inconceivable we would ever drift apart. It doesn't matter if I have dozen of these "failed" relationships, because I would have spent all those years in love. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"A story can end sadly in that the storyteller doesn't get what he or she wants, but those aren't "depressing" endings to me as long as the person learns and can express that beautifully. Sometimes it's harder to learn and accept a hard truth than it is to find new love. Sometimes it's more valuable too."- Modern Love page

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Invisalign, Tray 7


Almost at the half-way point!
Tray 7:

Bottom teeth don't overlap as much, you can really tell on the right side of this pic. Top teeth don't turn toward each other like a book anymore. My filling on the front tooth is still chipped, but we can't fix it until everything is done. At my last appointment, we did another interproximal reduction aka trimmed my teeth a little on the bottom row. Didn't hurt. I hate the feeling of permanence, like if someone trims my teeth, that bit of tooth is going to be gone forever. Then again, I want a straight smile forever, so it doesn't really matter that my teeth are being trimmed. I'm getting a little lazy and keeping my trays out for more than 3 hours a day on some days. I have to stay more disciplined.
Tray 1:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Foie gras ban

I've never thought much about foie gras. I've had pate. I think I get the gist of foie gras. Then came the ban. Once a temporal limit was imposed, I became a foie gras fiend.

First stop, foie gras and jelly donut at Umamicatessen.

This was my first exposure to foie gras, and it was lovely. Creamy mousse in the middle of a toasty donut. The jelly didn't add or detract for the donut. I would have been okay with it.

Tonight, I had foie gras as an appetizer at The Little Next Door. My friends and I were disappointed as we expected a chunk of the organ. We got a chunk of what looked like pate. It was much more buttery than pate and not bad, but I still long for a slice of the actual seared organ.

Tomorrow, I have reservations at Animal for their Loco Moco. This is the most foie gras I've ever had in my life. Going out with a bang. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wish tree

Little Tokyo. Love downtown.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fringe

Almost wore this out but I chickened out.  It looked like I was wearing a skirt of shredded paper.


Orange all over


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Love is so short, forgetting is so long."- Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Invisalign, Tray 5

Week 1 of a new tray doesn't hurt anymore! I guess that's good, but it also kind of sucks, because I was using it to diet. Ha. No new revelations, but I am pretty happy with what's happening to the top row. My teeth are being pushed in gradually, but surely.

Tray 1:
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Tray 5:
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California Bar Exam

Some of my FB friends have disappeared; many have posted in much greater frequency. (I was the latter type when I studied for the bar.)

I am a California Bar Exam survivor, and these are my words of advice.

MBE
I found the BarBri MBE questions "harder" than the actual MBEs. I put harder in quotes, because the BarBri questions didn't do a very good job of mimicking answer choices you would find on the MBE. When I did BarBri MBE "difficult" level questions, there was always a deceptively true answer and the correct answer would be worded in the most convoluted way possible, making you wonder how that was even an answer choice. The bar questions had actual distinctions between the answers, so if you know the law, you don't have to take the extra step of deciphering the test drafter's wording before getting to the right answer.

Take the BarBri MBE with a grain of salt. I would suggest doing the online version in review mode, or whichever mode that allows you to see the answer right away. Learn the rules that way.

Essays
Do them. Do them all if you can. At the very least, read them and read the correct answer. One of the essays on the July 2011 exam mimicked almost exactly one of the previous essays, so I didn't even have to issue spot. I just spat out all the issues, their rules and the application and finished the essay 30 minutes early.

On the actual exam, issue spot on the exam booklet and write your essay outline in the exam software. It saves a little bit of time. This is an old habit from law school. Always write an outline first so you don't miss any issues.

Performance Exams
These are tedious, but should be done. I did two full ones and outlined others. It's a good idea to get BarBri feedback on these. I spent a lot of time memorizing and not a lot of time working on these, but they are a huge part of the bar exam.

The BarBri Schedule
Not necessary to keep up with the whole thing. I don't think I know a single person who did all 100% of it. I also don't know anyone who read all of the big outline. The Convisor outline is all you'll need. Also, when an "easy" topic for you comes up, just spend that time on a topic you don't know as well. There's no need to study exactly the topic they tell you to study. It's a good way to make sure you give all topics equal time, but I think it's prob a good idea to do a little swap when you need more work in a certain topic. I think I ended up doing most of Con Law (because I was weak in that) and maybe 50% of Evidence (one of my stronger topics). There's room for customization!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

casual work




The motto at work seems to be, "Come as yourself, but leave a suit behind the door." Nice to imagine what I can wear once I start chipping away at that mountain of debt. I love floral prints as well as these mint and coral shades popping up all over.
casual work

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Invisalign, Tray 4

Tray 4 means 8 weeks. Holy crap, I've been wearing these things for 2 months! Nothing new to report. I'm noticing a slight gap forming between my two front teeth. I hope that's part of the plan, and not because the filling on my two front teeth are interfering with the process. After 2 months, I notice a slight difference in my teeth. When I go back and look at old pictures, I see a bigger difference. My rabbit teeth aren't as prominent. You can see the difference in an old pic I posted before I got the Invisalign. Not a huge change, but I'll keep taking pictures of my smile as the treatment progresses. Excited for my new teeth!

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Friday, May 18, 2012

These earrings have been chilling in my drawer for the longest.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Loving target today

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Midday break. Love my new life.


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My macarons came in the loveliest lavender box. Real employment is much better than funemployment. Ate all 5 on the way back and didn't get a chance to take a pic. Salted caramel was amazing. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Invisalign, Tray 3

I put on my new tray at night and slept through much of the soreness. I wore the tray on as much as possible the first week, so this week hasn't been so bad.

I started to work out a little planned laziness system with the trays. During the first week, I'll be super careful and brush as much as I can. Then toward the end of the second week, I'll be a little more lax and just rinse in between beverages, since I know I'll have a new tray soon. I also keep my meals to a minimum during the first week of the new tray, because it is annoyingly sore every time I remove them. The longer I wear them, the easier the second week will be.

I forgot my hygiene bag for the first time yesterday. I bought a new kit and am keeping that in my office. Not brushing isn't really an option, since I am extremely worried that my mouth will smell bad. I also kind of miss chewing gum. These are my observations thus far. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

626 Night Market

It was a disaster. I went last weekend, along with all the Asian-Ams in the SoCal area. There wasn't that much food, just a corner with a couple of vendors. Most of the vendors were various community organizations and product marketing teams. I was expecting a huge food fest, like maybe the Tofu Festival or Curry Festival. There was not enough space, not enough food. I didn't even eat there. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Invisalign, tray 2

I had my teeth trimmed this morning. It didn't hurt at all, not even a little pressure. My dentist used a high speed tool and what looked like a metal file. The file slipped in between my teeth maybe twice. I can't even tell the difference. My teeth don't look very different, so I won't bother taking a picture until the next couple of trays. I got trays 2 and 3 this week. I have tray 2 on right now, and my teeth are a little bit sore, but not as bad as last time. I haven't tried to eat anything hard.

Asian Night Market is tonight! I am going, but these new trays are going to make it hard to eat. =(

Friday, April 13, 2012

lucky lucky

My mom told me to go to the temple, because the gods are watching out for me.

I almost believe her.

On Wednesday, I was given a little over 24 hours to oppose an MSJ. (That's legalese for big effing project.) I swore up and down that I would quit my job. My office bff and my assistant both told me to stay.

Wednesday evening, I interviewed with the partners of a boutique firm in downtown LA.

Thursday, I went to work after sleeping for 4 hours, finished up the MSJ, and got ready for filing. I sat under my assistant's desk and told him I wanted to just walk out the door and never come back.

I came back to my office and saw a missed call. I called back immediately. One of the partners at the boutique said, "We'd love to have you join us." My heart raced. "Yes, I'd love to come," I said calmly.

More money. Better firm. Closer to home.

Thank the gods. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Week 1 of Invisalign

It doesn't hurt anymore! The first day was the worst. I didn't think it was that bad, but compared to today, it was definitely pretty bad. The first three days were no better. I took Ibuprofen, but that did nothing. I had to eat yogurt, pudding and egg whites. I can eat normally now, but it's still hard for me to open my mouth wide. My teeth also feel sensitive when I bite down, but I think my teeth finished moving, because the aligner doesn't feel like anything.

I just finished 6 motions in limine in less than 24 hours. Practicing law sucks. I'm in the early steps of trial prep, and I've never gone to trial, so I don't know what anything is. I'm learning as I go along. The Rutter Guide was no help in trying to figure out the time limit to file motions in limine, and it seems like most practitioners file their motions before the final status conference. The court set the final status conference at my hearing on Monday, and I had to get my motions in 16 days before April 30. I had about 2 days to write them. No one at the office can help, since we were all overloaded with cases. One of the assistants quit last week, and we  had a new associate come in, so we're a little short-staffed.

There's been so much dramz at work. My work bff and I talk about writing our memoirs about being at a tiny, craptastic plaintiff's side firm pretty much everyday. She feels the same way I do. We like the nature of the work, but the speed at which we are required to work, and the expectation that we'll pick up other people's slack is killing us. More next time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Invisalign, Tray 1

New teeth and new nose were always on the top of my "to fix" list. I've grown to accept and like my nose. (I've also learned to fear rhinoplasty after all these surgery makeover shows.) Teeth? Those can still be fixed.

I finally have a job. I finally have a little bit of money to spare. I promised myself in undergrad that as soon as I make money, I am going to fix my teeth. Now or never, I told myself in February. I made an appointment and the dentist molded my teeth that day. About 5 weeks later, I got my first tray.

The trays were not as bulky as I thought and did not irritate my teeth or gums. There's a persistent soreness, similar to an itch that won't go away. I've had them on for three days now, and the first day was the worst. I am tempted to take them off, but I also don't want to screw myself out of $$$. Since it's my own money, I'm a lot more diligent about sticking to the treatment plan.

Another annoying thing is how often I have to brush and floss! I eat more than 5 times a day, and I can't do that anymore, since I have to take out the aligners, brush my teeth and brush the aligners every time! Whatever, it's like being on an 8 month forced diet and I won't have buck teeth at the end!

I did some research beforehand and knew that taking the aligners off was not an easy task. They are really stuck on to my teeth and I definitely didn't want to break them. My dentist told me that I would have to wear the broken pieces until my next set came! I followed the instructions the dentist gave me, which was to remove them from the inside and push the aligner out toward my cheek until they popped off. It hurts to take them off. The pain is bearable, but it's enough to make me think twice about taking them off to eat.

My crooked teeth (ignore my crappy skin):
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The trays are not noticeable, and most people don't notice that I even have them on, unless they look at me closely.

Attachments:
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These guys are pretty weird. They look like little fangs growing out of my teeth. I have attachments on both sides. It didn't hurt to get them on. I have to get my teeth trimmed at my next appointment, so I'll blog about that when it happens. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Last weekend was hell. This weekend was amazing. Hunger Games premiere on Friday. Wedding on Saturday evening in Costa Mesa. Went straight down to San Diego after to meet up with old friends and celebrate our friend's birthday. Will update more when I get a chance to sit down and finally blog.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How I see myself this Saturday night:



Closer to what I actually look like this Saturday night:



Eff these motions. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mary Kay fail

My cousin won a "spa day" which was really a Mary Kay marketing gimmick. We did our own facials. The salesperson tried to tell me it was better than sitting in a dark room and having a stranger do my facial. It wasn't.

They also told me about a "business opportunity" in which I can "invest" $100 to sell Mary Kay products. Hey lady, why don't I invest the traditional way and buy a couple shares of your stock? That way, you can sell the product and I can get the money.

They also said I could take tax deductions for taking "clients" out for meals such as my girl friends who are interested in Mary Kay products. They said, "That's why doctors and lawyers do it." My cousin looked at me and asked, "Do you want to quit your job to sell Mary Kay?" I nodded. What a joke. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

International Women's Day

   I didn't know there was such a thing until someone started posting about it.

   That's a lie. I came here to talk about why my FB friend posted: "Are women still seeking equality?" Is that a serious question? I can't even talk about it, because the issue needs to be re-framed. The better question is, "Are some humans still facing disadvantages due to their sex/gender?" It irks  me to see important discussions obscured by the old battle of sexes rhetoric, but at the same time, I am too old and lazy to engage in more internet arguments/discussions.

   As I reflect on this question, I concede that I certainly don't face the same challenges as the women of generations past, but it's also premature to say that equality has been reached. Are some humans still facing disadvantages because of their sex and gender? Globally, yes. Domestically, yes, to a lesser extent.

  For me, I wouldn't use this day to celebrate simply being female. We've come a long way from a culture that led Simone de Beauvoir to designate us as the second sex. Girl power made sense in a time when women were powerless, but now, these girls-run-the-world Beyonce-type iterations seem almost like a perversion of what was once a powerful thought. These slogans further affirms the men-women dichotomy, and ultimately, that's not what feminism is about. It's about correcting the institutions that deny humans rights because of their sex/gender. Nothing too controversial about that. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shortnin Bread

Another extended lunch break. I wasn't too impressed with this place, but I'll reserve Yelp judgment unless it disappoints me again.

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This cream puff was disgusting. The bacon chocolate chip cookie was okay. The salty bacon in the cookie reminds me of the salty pork in mooncakes. Meh.