Week 12: the algorithmic art of making a steak

If you’re a vegetarian you may not want to read this post. Ever since my earliest memories as a child, steak has been involved. My dad can make a MEAN steak. So, its natural I that I picked up in the art of making a steak. Now, there are many different types of steak, rib eyes, filets, sirloins, prime rib, NY Strips etc. However, depending on what kind of taste buds you have, some steak are may or may not be better for you. I personally, am going through a midlife steak crisis because I cant figure out whether or not I like a Ribeye vs a Filet. Knowing your preference in steak is crucial and will vary in the way you will cook it.  So for the purpose of this class, I am going to go over how to cook a Ribeye. Keep in mind, Ribeyes typically have more flavor than most steaks, however, the downside of this is that they also have a lot of fat. This can get annoying, especially if you have a bad steak cutting knife.

Step 1) Go to the Grocery store and pick out your steak. Make sure you read the label, all steaks are differrent.

Step 2) If you want to increase the tenderness of the steak, its pretty vital that you don’t freeze it and you eat it the day of purchase. I don’t really understand what it is about this, but I feel like it taste better and you dont have to worry about defrosting it.

Step 3) Steaks pretty delicious by itself, but if you dont have something to eat with it, it may be a pretty boring meal. I personally would like to recommend one making a baked potato, or corn. You cant go wrong, they’re cheap, and super delicious with lots of butter (dont go overboard butters not too healthy).

Step 4) Cooking the steak: there are multiple ways to do this, for best results (and I mean by a long shot) your gonna wanna have a BBQ ready. However, you can also use an over, George Forman, or even a baking pan. For instruction purposes, I will teach how to do it over a BBQ.

Step 5) Seasoning: easily one of the most important of all steps for making steak. This is what will determine the difference between your steak and your next door neighbor who thinks he knows a lot about steak but doesn’t. Garlic salt, and seasoning salt, or any other seasoning of your choice will have a different outlook. Its always good to experiment, and if you have no idea what to use, BBQ sauce is always an okay option. Some people like to rub the seasoning in with thier fingers while other lightly sprinkle it. I personally recommend rubbing it in and trying to get it to absorb into all the pores. If there is a particular seasoning you may like, feel free to let the steak marinate in it overnight. *** Its vital you don’t use too much seasoning, this will destroy the steak, and all the time and money will have been for nothing.

Step 6) Ask yourself, “What temperature do I like my steak?” I personally like in between Rare and Medium Rare. Placing the steak in the BBQ and the amount of time it is spent in there is crucial. This part is all about being patient and checking on your steak until you get a feel for the rate it is cooking at. Poke at it, the softer it is, the more Rare it is. Try cutting into it and see if it is at the temperature and color of your desire.

Step 7) Remove your steak and enjoy your delicious meal. Try alternative cooking styles and research how pros do it, in some cases ovens can have certain advantages over BBQs.


A typically made sirloin, However it is topped with Parmesan crust cheese.

The above picture is of a steak I made, I added a baked potato on the side and luckily had some left over bacon from the morning prior. As you can see the dark red color is an indicator that the steak is cool. Also keep in mind that its okay to eat uncooked steak, it chicken and other animals you have to worry about. If money is ever an issue, remember sirloins are usually the cheapest and can be pretty good. I hope you have enjoyed reading my post and remember the art that goes into making a steak the next time you try one.


Week 12: classmate interview Mary Quach

So it looked like I was a few minutes late and everyone was just about finished with their interviews except for Mary! I think it was a strange and delusional morning for me because I had previously done an all nighter and probably wasn’t making any sense as I spoke with her. Either was she was really cool and put up with how pissed I was about finding out the score on my last exam.. I learned a lot about Mary, such as she is really into art and drawing. I give her props for that because drawing is super difficult, at least for me it is! Usually she draws people which is even more difficult. Shes not sure where lifes going to take her but she does know that no matter what happens its going to involve her major, psychology and child development. I asked her why and her response is that she just enjoys kids, in fact, when that day many years down the road comes by she plans on having three. As far as her favorite dessert goes, it would probably be something Vietnamese but shes not really sure. Her favorite thing to do in the whole world is sleeping and her second favorte thing to do is go on walks, but not the cliche way like long walks on the beach. She dorms at hillside and loves it but also is ready to go out and experience some indpendence. If she was only given three days to live she would travel and eat like a pig, which I totally agree its a great idea. Some small dreams she has is to travel to China and Hawaii, and if she could be any animal she would choose to be a dog. This makes alot of sense because dogs sleep alot. It was super cool meeting Mary and anyone who doesnt get the chance to meet her is totally missing out.


Week 12: Interview with an artist Piet Eppinga

Piet Eppinga’s work is phenomenal. As we walked into the Werby Gallery, we were surprised to hear him describing each individual piece of art. Most artist usually sit outside of the class and wait for students to ask rather than give an in depth tour. His tour and passion for his work actually made us more interested to learn. His art is unique because each piece has a story with different representations. For example the first piece he went over with us was family relations. Every part of his work has a sense of significance , even from the pot on the head to the table top on the ground. For example, the table top is fifty years old and in order to hold up a piece that weighs roughly 650 pounds, he needed to apply a layer of plywood for support. As for the piece, one can see the two faces of two individuals being messhed together. They appear to look the same, however, there is a large wedge which separates the width of the heads. this is representative of the different roles a father has in comparison to the mother. The father and the mother also reside on what appears to be a mesh of clay with white stones. This shows how parents lie above the children on a hierarchy but also need them for support. 

The next piece is also very real. His purpose of this piece was to paint a picture of the difficulties a woman has by being a mother. For example, she has very large breast which are to show that by having children they can be both a blessing and a pain. The skirt she is wearing has images of flowers which appear damaged to show that nothing stays good in life and eventually everything will get worn out. She can be looked at as a metaphor for both men and women. The pot on her head represents the burden she carries of losing her friends and family over the course of her life.


This next piece is the artist favorite, it is of a petite woman with curves to represent beauty. The woman is considered to be a fertility figure, similar to what is the fertility figure of the 21st century. She also has a phallic pot on her head to add to the feeling of perfection. There is a small white rock inside of her, similar to wear a uterus would be located. Its the center of her universer and is to remind us that life should focus on all paternity. the whole piece is made of clay and rust, and in order to add color to the pot, it has a splash of metal.


As we move on to the next piece, I cannot hold back my awe struck face. The pieces are so large and I could only imagine the difficulties each piece had to have been. As we are standing in front of two large breast, surrounded by three large Xs, we are informed that we are staring at the Queen. The Xs represent power, whease the globe attached to her is to show that she rules over land and is full of wealth. every piece has a purpose, even down to the four markings on her back, which represent the weeks of the lunar month.


The next piece I though was very interesting, alot of the artist work is based on the roles of women in our society, however he tried to tackle the complications of being a father. He says fathers and sons usually arent very close, its considered to be a vicouse cycle because father after father’s cant figure out how to fix the connection.  The image may be hard to decipher but it is meant to be a small boy leaned against his father for support. The artist closed the gap that is typically found between fathers and sons.


I think in order to get more of a feeling for this mans work, please visit his website at Pietspottery.com!

week 11 artist interview Patricia Rangel

So as soon as I walked into this gallery I had the strange sense of Deja Vu. There was many structures with a dirt that looked so familiar to the city I grew up in. It sort of reminded me of my child hood and running through old deserted chicken farms and cow fields. Having come from the central valley, I had to ask if the artist had ever been to my home town. It turns out she was from Dinuba, only 30 minutes away from where I grew up. All the dirt used in her art work had come from that area as well as much of her inspiration. I think its very interesting that her favorite piece is the one composed of the least amount of dirt.20150409_114439 She grew up surrounded by alot of cow dairies, fences, and fields. A side story is that some of the metals and dirt come from a cemetery which reminds her of a loved one she recently lost.  Other than its beauty, I think the coolest part about her art is the fact that after shes done, she can smash it up with a sledge hammer. The dirt is usally extremely packed so smashing it up can be very tedious. She loves to work with metals and participates in the MFA; in addition her dream is to continue her work  and to one day open up her own studio.

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week 11 classmate interview Natsuki Fukayama

Today I met someone really cool, way cooler than me. Natsuki is an exchange student from Japan, but! not really…. She was born in Japan but when she turned six months old her family moved here in PV. She spent the first ten years of her life in CA but since she was born in Japan shes not actually a citizen. This is totally unfortunate because she has no idea which country she likes more and its totally a pain to have to apply for citizenship, or so I’ve heard from my old coworkers at El Torito.  Anways, as a child she never really thought she was Japanese, especially because she was kinda darker than most of the kids at her elementary school. When her mom gave her the 1 month warning that she was moving, she was in for a ride. Living in Japan wasn’t all that easy, there was a culture shock and lots of snow. As a matter of fact, Natsuki hates blood because when she was younger she decided to ride her bike in the snow and cracked her jaw. Apparrently, she bled pretty much everywhere and completely ruined her beautiful white sweater. She loves sushi! However, I was amazed when she told me that the sushi here is nothing like it is in japan. This was an utter shock. Her major is film and she has a dream to one day share her love of American films by signing contracts with companies such as Warner in order to have them screened in Japan. She loves Japanese films, but definitely not anime. The difference between films in Japan and the US is that the comedy genre is much less appreciated. If anyone ever wants to hear the amazing stories of Natsuki, you better make it fast because this is her last semester here.


week 10 my art project

This is the first hand made piece of art I have done in 5 years, thanks to the help of a good friend, I was able to bring together some ideas that I love and mix it with art. So as one can see, by looking closely, there is an image of a snowboarder looking down the mountain and is about to experience the thrill of a lifetime. This picture is probably the closest I can get to describing my favorite pastime to others. Its pretty much the height of my leisure and the most fun I could ever have. Even driving up the mountain and putting on the gear while experiencing the cool winter breeze is amazing. I enjoy it so much I have a hard time even describing the emotions. Whats significant about this picture, however, it reminds me of my first time in lake Tahoe and sitting against the mountain looking down at pretty much the entire world. Its very surreal and I hope this picture can influence more people to do what I do! Also, the background are a bunch of checkers I was able to create by making a collage of papers and taping them together. It may not look like much compared to the masters of art I get the chance to interview, but I think its pretty bad ass.


week 10 artist interview Kaclica Chhin

So this is the artist I chose to interview, her work really drew my attention for obvious reasons. I feel as though she has entered an area of art that is outside the norm of spectrum. After having the chance to interview her, the nobility behind her work became more clear. She feels that individuals today are not open to speaking with each other about sex. My interpretation of her work appears to be undoing the veil that our society may appear to be subconsciously blocking. Although her work may seem controversial, I don’t think it is easy to expose ones true feelings towards such a topic.So hats off for Kaclica, in addition,  the artist also made it very clear that by posting her work, others can have an increase in self esteem in regards to their own bodies. In today’s world, everything is always telling everyone they need to look like Angelina Jolie, which is not necessarily a positive thing. Fortunately for people like Kaclica, we can all have a reminder that everyone is beautiful in their own way.