normally i don't remember my dreams, but i had a weird one last night and kept repeating the details in my head so i would remember it when i finally woke up. i sent maureen the details, this is what i wrote verbatim:
suddenly it’s at night and i’m wandering around chongqing. not sure what happened to my ride or my flight, maybe i’m out collecting some last minute souvenirs. i’m feeling sad because i don’t want to leave, and i’m savoring my last moments in the city. i walk by a market i haven’t been to in a while, it’s late enough they already pulled down the metal gates, but a few shops on the edges are still busy, lit by generator-powered hanging string lights. being that this is hilly chongqing, i’m either walking uphill or downhill. i’m walking up an empty plaza and i see a little kid just wandering alone by himself. i look up and i see another older child, and i see a man who must be their father. i go by them but suddenly the father lunged at me and tries to grab the red duffle bag i’m holding, trying to steal it. we have a tug of war, all the while he’s apologizing. unable to pull the bag away, he unzips the duffle and pulls something out instead.
i made another matcha latte this morning. not only did it warm me up, but i wasn't hungry afterwards either. instead i went about vacuuming the house and tidying up the kitchen. i went to star market briefly to stock up on stouffer's frozen lasagna on sale ($2.50/each). though the packaging looks the same, there are actually 3 different flavors: cheese, meat sauce, and meat lovers. meat lovers is the best, it used to be called 3 meats before the name change. weirdly enough, star market also sells smaller serving size versions of the same lasagna at the same time, for people who like to pay more for less. stouffer's also has a new meatless lasagna made with plant based protein. i was tempted to try it but it was only half the size for the same price. star market also sells matcha powder, about the same price i paid online. returning home, i noticed that the color of the cycle track resembles the color of matcha.
back at home i finally did a water change on my aquarium. about 2 inches of water had already evaporated since the last time i cleaned the tank before christmas. the water itself was pretty clear, and there was hardly any algae growing on the glass. there was however some hair algae growing on the driftwood, choking the java ferns and robbing nutrients from the anubias roots. honestly, if i want to control the hair algae i should hand-pull them every week. even after cleaning there still seemed to be a lot of it. i put new activated carbon in the filter and used the dirty aquarium water to feed my plants.
around 4pm i did a load of laundry. by that point i'd gotten a little hungry and fixed myself an instant bowl of tonkatsu flavored ramen. it was actually pretty good, or maybe because i was just hungry.
at 8:30pm - around the 23 hour mark of fermentation - took out the jiu niang to give it a taste test. i'd opened the instant pot earlier and saw mycelium growing on the inner surface of the jar which is a good sign that the sugar-producing mold was active. at 23 hours there was already a good amount of liquid inside the jars. not enough to float the glutinous rice, but enough to fill the jar up to the top of the rice level. there was a strong jiu niang alcohol odor and the rice and liquid tasted both sweet and sour. i put the jars back in the instant pot for some additional fermenting, hoping it will turn even sweeter. i also tried my 2-month old 12-12-2020 (v3) jiu niang. it was a version that seemed over-fermented, with a combination of sweet and sour. it'd produced a lot of alcoholic liquid, and was becoming more wine than sweet rice dessert. anyway, i gave it a taste figuring it wouldn't be any good, but it was actually surprisingly sweet with a strong alcohol aroma.
i was going to make korean rice cakes but realized i had some vegetarian buns my 2nd aunt had made yesterday and that my mother gave me. i steamed them in the microwave and ate them with some bean paste hot sauce.
i spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out how to embed a 360° panorama into my blog. because i develop locally first, i was running into CORS security issues with the XMLHttpRequest from the photo sphere viewer API. it only worked when i uploaded onto my web server and made it live. i'm still not quite sure what went wrong, and whether if there's a workaround, but in the meantime it works.
i didn't prepare for bed until 3am. by then my jiu niang had been fermenting for 30 hours in the heated instant pot. i took them out for a taste test. all the glutinous rice were floating with about half a centimeter of liquid at the bottom. there was a strong jiu niang fragrance and it tasted very sweet with a touch of sourness. they were ready to eat though so i left them on the kitchen counter to cool off before putting them into the fridge tomorrow morning.