•9:02 PM

A few days ago I told my dad about our plan to move to Portland, OR and his immediate response was to ask 'WHY'. Normally, I would answer that question with a plain but effective 'WHY NOT'. I basically told him there are numerous reasons and by writing this, I wanted to lay out plainly and clearly of the reasons why we HAVE TO move.

First of all, Portland is not the ultimate, metaphorical destination of our goal. It's a physical, geographical destination of the relocation. Most important things for us, at least for me, is not being here. Portland just happens to be more attractive and accessible than other candidate cities. I am constantly reminded of where I am living now and I mean that in a bad way. I feel that there are so many wonderful things this world has to offer and I am not taking any of it.

There are many things I like to do. A lot of them are big city amenities like taking kids to a real zoo, going to the planetarium, the aquarium, and museums, and enjoying plays, musicals, and concerts. I don't mean concerts by crappy pop singers or We-Sound-Exactly-Like-Other-Bands' rock 'concerts'. I mean real concerts by real musicians. But more than that, there's food.

Food is a big part of my life as is for everybody else that's alive. Limited availability of food kills me. If I have to go to Wal-Mart to find the freshest produce and versatility of ingredients, that's just sad. I can't find any seafood without frost burn. There are only, usually, four basic choice I can make here for seafood : frozen cooked shrimp, frozen raw shrimp, breaded fish sticks, and battered fish sticks.

Restaurants here aren't any better. It seems to me, there are five types of restaurants here: fast food chains, 'Chinese' / 'Mexican', 'fine dining', bars, and Subways. 'Fine dining' is probably the number one misused term and the second is 'casual dining' or 'family restaurant'. In Midwest, more than likely 'fine dining' means over priced casual restaurant or family restaurant with cheap linens and 'casual dining' means full bar with seating area on the side where they serve the same food as the bar. By 'family restaurant', they really mean fast food restaurant with beer and wine license - the same dirty, hard plastic looking table with equally sticky booth or chairs. Service is quiet the same, non-existent. Only real difference is the price. If you pick up a Burger King's menu and add low grade steaks and walleye in there and voila! It's their menu... and their competitor's menu. It's sad.

Take a look at my birthday dinner, for example. I wanted to do this for two years now. I've been kind of thinking about it on and off. I wanted to accentuate one ingredient in each dish and name the whole dish just that. For example, for the first course, I am going grind lean pork, firm tofu, and foie gras together and make them into shumai and serve it with chive foam. I am going to give an accent to the flavor of the foie gras and name the whole dish 'Foie Gras' because I want everyone to taste that it's foie gras. The problem is foie gras just happens to be really hard to find in the middle of nowhere. I can get it through one of the vendors from the restaurant but I don't feel like getting five or ten pounds of stuff that costs $70 per pound. I can order it online and pay $60 for 6 ounce of it and pay another $30 for shipping. Truffles are hard to get, too. Oh, yeah. There's going to be a dish called truffle. But we'll talk more about that on next post. Not all things I'm trying to get are really not that expensive or rare. Half the stuff you see on magazines, you can't make it the way it's written. I had to substitute four ingredients and omit one when making kimchi and there are only nine ingredients in that, including salt.

The world is offering a more fun, enjoyable, and delicious life and I'm gonna take it.

Oh, there is one more reason. ACS Sucks!