#274 The Kindness Diaries.JPG

#274 The Kindness Diaries

01 October 2017 // San Diego, California

“The small moments, the small acts, the small changes. We always think that change needs to come in broad strokes. That in order to follow your dreams, you need to get on a yellow motorbike to cross the world on kindness, but maybe the real epiphany is to pay attention to all the dreams unfolding around us. If I could make one promise to myself, I decided it would be this: when I got home, I would leave the bloody phone alone. I would pay attention. I would let my heart break open a little more. I would allow myself to be happy.”

–Leon Logothetis

Book No. 39 of 2017

The Kindness Diaries is also a Netflix series, and while the book has just a little extra detail compared to the show, it mostly covers the same ground: Leon traveling around the world by yellow motorbike without money, relying on the kindness of strangers.

Still, I wanted to double up and read this book– a light, fun, and simple, but still pretty motivating one. I could relate so much to his experiences. I’ve never circled the globe by bike, of course, but I have taken a lot of trips and I’ve gotten myself into lots of uncertain situations. Without fail, I’ve ran into really kind strangers all over the world who are willing to help out, and I think that’s done so much good to my outlook on life.

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

#275 Pray for LV.JPG

#275 Pray For LV

02 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Las Vegas. Some days the best way to show up is to mourn with those who mourn, but keep showing up and loving brilliantly.

#276 World Curry.JPG

#276 World Curry

03 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Whenever I feel a little under the weather, the first thing I do is pretty much triple my water intake, take a ton of naps, and try to clear the airways with as much spicy food as I can get my hands on. Spiced up pho, ramen, curry, wasabi, all fair game. Oh, and movie marathons.

Yay for alternative medicine.

#277 Sambal

04 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Mission 40: Make the Indonesian chili paste to be used on shrimp, fish, chicken, beef, or pretty much anything that makes sense.

The Results: I found plenty of recipes for sambal that were fairly complicated and twenty ingredients deep. Then I learned from some people a little more familiar with the item that sambal is often made pretty simply- five or six ingredients. I’d rather pay for that than twenty so I went with: red chilies, garlic, lemongrass, shrimp paste, and a little bit of sugar and oil.

It turned out pretty much the way I would. Getting to work with a mortar and pestle was pretty fun, and this made the perfect paste for flavoring fish.

#278 Meeting Jeremiah.JPG

#278 Meeting Jeremiah

05 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Got to finally hang out analog with Jeremiah

Welcome to San Diego, man. Glad you're a neighbor.

#279 Friday Night Freeway.JPG

#279 Friday Night Freeway

06 October 2017 // La Mirada, California

I love to travel, but that’s a totally different statement than I love to transit.

#280 Walk to Defeat ALS

07 October 2017 // Bakersfield, California

Had a real memorable time in the Walk To Defeat ALS on Daryl’s squad.

There’s no denying that some parts of the human experience are terrible. Being one of many people coming together, though, that is one of the best parts.

#281 A Weekend With Nephews.JPG

#281 A Weekend With Nephews

08 October 2017 // Bakersfield, California

A weekend with the nephews is three board games running simultaneously, sifting through a gigantic tub of Legos, reading business best-sellers out loud to a four year old, and spending two days becoming a better person.

#282 Deanna’s Birthday Dinner

09 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Hey guys!

Today my favorite person in the world had a birthday. And we had a really, really good time.

Thanks to everyone who came to Bali Hai or did anything today to help Deanna feel special, but most of all, thanks to Deanna for always helping me be a better person, being the best puppy mama a Beignet could ever ask for, and giving the world so much light.

#283 To Sell Is Human

10 October 2017 // San Diego, California

“Where negative emotions help us see trees, positive ones reveal forests.”

–Daniel H. Pink

Book No. 40 of 2017

I was able to benefit from this book before even reading it. I found a PDF explaining Daniel Pink’s ideas about the “new elevator pitches” and used them to strengthen the way I talk about Plant With Purpose.

Since one chapter turned out to be so helpful, I figured, why not give the whole book a shot? That chapter remained the most useful out of the entire book, but the whole was still worth the read. I don’t think I needed much effort to convince that just about everyone is in the business of selling in some way.

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

#284 Natural Beignet.JPG

#284 Natural Beignet

11 October 2017 // San Diego, California

“If you can’t accept me at my stinkiest, you don’t deserve me at my fluffiest.”


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#285 Road to Sac

12 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Where this freeway ends is where my journey begins.

Eight hour drive to Sacramento after an eight hour day at work. The plan is to stop and take a nap whenever and wherever I feel a bit of tiredness coming on, but to drive when I’m awake. All worth it to see two great friends tie the knot.

#286 Justin & Caytlin.JPG

#286 Justin & Caytlin

13 October 2017 // Sacramento, California

I still remember when Caytlin first told us about her first date with Justin three years ago while we were camping at Yosemite. They’re now officially Mr. & Mrs. Weaksas and their wedding couldn’t have been more fun.

We’re so happy for the two of you, and Charlie Waffles the Corgi, of course.

#287 SacBrunch

14 October 2017 // Sacramento, California

One quick bite before getting on the road again.

By road, I mean a really, really long drive down to San Diego, and by quick bite, I mean a really large bite of a Mexican scramble surrounded by fun people.

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#288 Moviepass Kind of Night

15 October 2017 // San Diego, California

After such a quick turnaround with Sacramento, long drives, and packed weekends this month, we were ready for the chillest day-off ever.

Thankfully our Moviepass cards showed up just in time. And I enjoyed It even more than I was expecting to.

#289 Hanging With Allison

16 October 2017 // San Diego, California

You know what trend I’m all in favor of? Sea salt foam on top of drinks.

I’m also in favor of friends like Allison coming to town for a visit.

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#290 Mission Bay Prayer Cycle

17 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Plant With Purpose works in Northern Thailand, where religious and ethnic minorities face a ton of persecution. Our Thai staff has started the quest of bicycling a circuit from Chaing Rai to Chiang Mai and back, while praying for the peace and unity throughout the region.

In solidarity, I got to start my Tuesday by biking around Mission Bay with my US-based coworkers. I love working in a spot where this is the sort of thing that happens on any given weekday.

#291 Katsu Curry

18 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Mission 41: For last year’s cooking challenge I made chicken katsu and was really happy with the way it turned out. I knew I wanted to do it again so for this year, I took on the extra challenge of trying to do a katsu curry.

The Results: It turned out pretty good! I had to improvise with quinoa chips (I know) when I found out we didn’t have panko crumbs like I thought. Still I’m happy to have a few leftover pieces waiting in the fridge.

#292 Side Hustle

19 October 2017 // San Diego, California

“It's not just about avoiding or overcoming economic uncertainty, it's about creating something for yourself and having ownership over that, and that's a wonderful thing.”

–Chris Guillebeau

Book No. 41 of 2017

I typically enjoy what Chris Guillebeau puts out, and this was no exception, though I didn’t think I would be reading it so soon after it’s release. I love his side hustle ideas, especially since this approach to life largely helped me put food on the table while in grad school.

This time around, I took other insights regarding how to help get some of my other passion projects off the ground. I’m still seeing the ways I’m benefitting from having gone to his book signing in La Jolla a month ago!

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

#293 Coffee at James

20 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Live compassionately, live creatively, and you’ll be the sort of person the world really needs right now.

Every time I see somebody who defies living by “the template” in order to make compassion a priority, I’m reminded of how much an impact that sort of person usually has without even realizing it. It makes me want to do everything in my ability to encourage everyone to develop these two traits in whatever way that looks like in their life. It really would change the world for the better.

#294 Almost Brewing

21 October 2017 // San Diego, California

So many almost-awesome things this weekend, but also so many really good things.

Like... showing up to this bar wearing a Phillies cap and finding out that Rhys Hoskins was actually there an hour before. BUT then immediately getting the best nitro cold brew I've ever tasted, for only $2.50.

Or ALMOST going to a Canine Carnival full of costumed dogs BUT putting an old tank top of Deanna's on Beignet instead.

Or ALMOST eating at Snooz but being driven away by a stomach that protested against an hour wait time BUT getting bagels and good quality time with Ben and Rachel.

Or ALMOST getting a picture with Daniel but forgetting my camera BUT getting to hang anyways while the Astros won the pennant.

Almost a good weekend but still a good weekend.

I started the year with the goal of reading through 52 books before it was over. I figured it would be doable, but still ambitious given how long I usually like to linger over pages. I got off to such a hot start, too, and by March or April I think I was about five books ahead of schedule.

Then things started getting busy. And I ran into a few dense books that took 2-3x as long to get through, so I fell back on pace, and then behind.

For the past few months I’ve been either right on pace or behind by one, and I anticipate a busy November. Also- I really needed a slower paced weekend, so I decided to try to get through these three nonfiction titles in just a couple sittings. They aren’t long reads, but they are pretty good ones.

#295 How to be Cool at the Pumpkin Patch.JPG

#295 How To Be Cool at a Pumpkin Patch

22 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Here's a quick guide on how to be the coolest crew at the pumpkin patch:

1) Bring your dog.

2) Watch her start madly barking at the animatronic witches.

3) Get props for her Halloween Spirit.

Needless to say, Beignet Baby's first pumpkin patch visit was a success.

#296 Literary Lockdown.jpg

#296 Literary Lockdown

23 October 2017 // San Diego, California

I started the year with the goal of reading through 52 books before it was over. I figured it would be doable, but still ambitious given how long I usually like to linger over pages. I got off to such a hot start, too, and by March or April I think I was about five books ahead of schedule.

Then things started getting busy. And I ran into a few dense books that took 2-3x as long to get through, so I fell back on pace, and then behind.

#297 The Magician King.JPG

#297 The Magician King

24 October 2017 // San Diego, California

“He took a deep breath and sat up. Away from the warmth of the goddess’s body he shivered in the early morning ocean air. But even the cold felt good to him. This is life, he kept saying to himself. That was being dead, and this is being alive. That was death, this is life. I will never confuse them again.”

–Lev Grossman

Book No. 42 from 2017

I read Book One from The Magician’s Trilogy earlier this year and was kind of disappointed. It wasn’t so much an homage or allusion to Harry Potter and Narnia as it was glorified fan fiction. So why did I go ahead with the second book? I’m still not really sure, but probably at least partially because I got them as a set.

The good news is that I liked Book Two a good deal better. I still found Quentin to be a pretty annoying protagonist, but less so compared to the first. The plot this time around showed more restraint and paced itself much more nicely. I even hit a groove with it in the middle.

Still not a particularly winsome book, but enough of an improvement that I’d consider giving Book Three a shot.


#298 Eight Flavors

25 October 2017 // San Diego, California

“You can find these eight flavors in kitchens from New York to California, used by families whose ancestors came from everywhere, from Italy to Vietnam. And through these eight flavors, I learned that American food has a complicated, continuously evolving identity– just like Americans themselves.”

–Sarah Lohman

Book No. 42 of 2017

Reading this book felt so much like listening to a Gastropod episode, which may or may not be how I initially found out about this. It’s a very detailed anthropology of Lohman’s canon of American flavors: black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and sriracha- that selection itself could stir up lots of discussion.

I enjoyed the book. It would get pretty dry sometimes, then I would read a little historical episode or a scientific expose about an ingredient that would be utterly fascinating, providing some balance all over again.


#299 Longanisa Breakfast Sandwich.JPG

#299 Longanisa Breakfast Sandwich

26 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Food Mission 42: Not long ago I saw a video of Alvin Cailan explaining his favorite breakfast sandwich, which was a little bit surprising. It looked great, but there were so many personal preferences that were different to mine. He marbled his eggs to make them not runny. He mentioned he used Spam in lieu of longanisa. There were other things I loved about it, though, like julienned scallops as the green. I decided to try doing one my way.

The Results: Smashing some of the longanisa into patties helped them work in a sandwich. I kept the egg runny, which was mostly good, but it did make things a bit harder with how spongy Hawaiian rolls can be. The scallions were a hit. I’d love to try this again, maybe with brioche buns instead.

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#300 How To Be Everything

27 October 2017 // San Diego, California

“It is tempting to try to whittle down all our interests and backgrounds into a single motivating force. The danger of trying to devise a single Why is the risk of oversimplifying things and just applying a new version of the specialist ideal to our lives. Understand the patterns and forces that move you, but learn to be comfortable with your plurality. You are a complex and nuanced creature. You contain contradictions and surprises. That’s a good thing.”

–Emilie Wapnick

Book No. 43 from 2017

Emilie Wapnick uses the term “multipotentialite” to describe people with a wide variety of interests who prefer not to limit themselves to one endeavor. Jack-of-all-trades has a negative connotation, and renaissance man has a positive one, but they’re two sides of the same coin that this book is all about.

So much of it resonates with my multipotentialite, try-everything, enneagram 7 self. And while most business books are pretty firm with insisting that mastery of one thing is better, the early part of this book was extremely affirming, especially as it describes strengths more common among these types: synthesizing information, adaptability, big picture thought, etc.


#301 JB’s Bachelor Party

28 October 2017 // San Diego, California

I ain’t a bachelor, but I bachelor partied to celebrate JB.

Looking forward to welcoming you into the family, but really, it feels like that’d already happened years ago.

Also, there’s a monster at the end of this post.

#302 Continuing the Conversation.JPG

#302 Continuing the Conversation

29 October 2017 // San Diego, California

I made the news this weekend! And not for anything terrible! Quoted in the UT and got my mug on CBS. They decided to go with a clip where I look really bored and spaced out, which is unfortunate because the actual event was anything but boring.

On the same day as headlines also covered a White Lives Matter rally in Tennessee, my church hosted a Talk Race Forum, with a wide variety of congregations and other community members attending. It was a productive workshop, forcing us to confront the ways in which white supremacy is ingrained within each of us.

I think churches have a pivotal role to play in confronting the sin of racism, and should be the leaders of bridge-building. I see a lot of churches strike out in that arena, but I'm glad to be part of one that participates. I'll gladly lend my food-coma'ed, head-scratching face to that.

#303 Pad See Ew

30 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Food Mission 43: In prep for Thailand, I decided to take a stab at one of my favorites- a good pate of pad see ew.

The Results: It wasn’t quite what I was going for, but it still made for a good dinner (and I made enough to keep feeding myself with for the following week.) Still, I can’t wait to get to Thailand for much better pad see ew than I’ve ever made.

#304 Stranger Things-O-Ween

31 October 2017 // San Diego, California

Our Stranger Things Halloween marathon (half-marathon?) was totally enhanced by the presence of some Eleven-themed cocktails.. 

Behold the Eleven…

+ Blended scotch
+ Dry vermouth
+ Soda water
+ A pinch of sea salt
+ A dash of maple syrup
+ Of course… a garnish of Eggo waffles

So good you just might find yourself upside down! Take it easy or you’ll be feeling like a Demogorgon the next day. One too many, and you just might go full Winona. Consider yourself warned and don’t blame me if you wake up to big tears in your wallpaper.

Philippe Lazaro365