Now that it’s getting closer to summer, one of the easiest dishes you can make is cold tofu.

morinu tofu, doubanjiang, soy sauce, sesame oil, homemade chili oil, scallions

You don’t even have to cook. Just grab stuff from your fridge.

The Japanese version is called hiyayakko (冷奴) and the Chinese version is called liang ban tofu (凉拌豆腐). Same thing.

Get some good tofu

  • Look for silken tofu! You want the softest, creamiest, most delicate tofu.
  • I recommend checking out a local Asian store.
  • I’ve looked at Trader Joe’s, Kroger, etc. and the ones here in Richmond either don’t carry silken tofu or have some weird non-Asian brand where the texture is completely off.
  • I’ve…

Pollen Season is upon us here in Richmond.

pixel 4a + snapseed

I still remember that first spring in Durham. Was rooming with Gabe in Randolph. Think I had the window open one afternoon and was like why’s there sawdust on the windowsill? I’m not sure how I eventually figured out that all the yellow powder was pollen, but by then it was all over my keyboard, my desk, my pretty much everything.

Definitely a North Carolina and Virginia thing because growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I never even knew pollen was visible. …


thoughts and things from the last week. this week includes books I read, things I wrote, food I cooked, and oh yeah I started a new job

Smoky Mountains, TN — Epson RD1

(I started) A New Job

Yeah so Monday was my first day at HubSpot and it just feels good to be at a tech company again.

People are young and cool and hyped about work. We spent this whole first week just using our product. And I get to be fully remote!

I’ve always low-key dreamed of living the nomad life. Spend some time exploring cities across the US. Looks like that will finally be possible!

I’m excited.

(I read) Fly Already by Edgar Keret


originally type(writer)ed up in december. this looks a lot better in single spaced typewriter font but ya know medium doesn’t let you do that.

tuesday, december 8th, 2020

henrico, virginia. 1°C

well. I really messed myself up.

my wrists.

divinity and baldurs gate gaming marathons. fun. not good though.

no actual breaks. no turkey. no dc, no chicago, no nyc for a week.

no rest.

constant work and writing.

going to sleep after 12:24. waking up by 7. (thanks mudae.)

at least typing here ain’t that bad.

by the end of this I hope I will have healed.

this being…


I’ve been a fan and customer of Robinhood since 2015. That ended today.

1/29/2021 update: to make things clearer, I’ll be splitting this piece into two. This one will be my opinion of Robinhood as a customer, and I will do a separate, neutral piece about GameStop and the movement behind it.


NYC summer 2017 | olympus pen f + kodak 400tx

Despite growing up in a family of watermelon slappers, I’ve moved on to the yellow spot technique. Last Wednesday I was royally rewarded with one of my best melons so far — the highlight of my week.

A year ago, I was going on weekend trips two or three times a month. Driving down to Durham or bussing to DC and New York, I gave myself routine injections of friend visits, movement, and liberal restaurant spending — anything to take me away from the Richmond suburbs where The Mall was a ten minute walk from my apartment, and there were…


durham, nc in spring 2018 — nikon fm + kodak tri-x

Emptying out the dishwasher.

Doing my productive stuff in the morning so that I can feel good about spending the entire afternoon playing video games.

The living room being clean after Alex took out the recycling and I vacuumed yesterday and then cleaned the countertops this morning.

Dusting off the piano.

Michelle playing the opening of Rach 2 on the piano while I’m making pizza sauce. Listening to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2 makes you just go “the piano was made for this!” and feel so satisfied.

Opening up a can of San Marzano tomatoes without the can opener getting…


Durham, North Carolina — Spring 2018 (film)

The fall I moved to Richmond and just started working, Andy visited on the way up from Durham. I think we were just talking about life after Duke when I said that one of the best parts of my post-college life would be shopping at Whole Foods . Not something I’d ever expected.

I don’t think my family had ever once gone to Whole Foods growing up. We were very much a Sunday morning coupon-clipping, Asian store vegetable shopping, bulk item Costco visiting, suburban Illinois Chinese family.

And I get that. You don’t go to Whole Foods to get Red…


New York City — March 2019 (film)

After not really reading anything since stay-at-home started, I finished two books (short novels, really, but I’ll take anything to pretend to be productive).

Yesterday, it was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold. I love Marquez and his winding sentences — I copy them so much — and the starched up blood-and-sweat stained South America where they reside.

Then this afternoon I found a PDF of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and read the whole thing (yes, all fifty pages, can you believe it) while lying on my stomach on the Vineet rug (I’ve rebuffed many couch offers and urges…


Beşiktaş, Istanbul — January 2020

So now that I’m going to be here in Richmond, at home for the while, I thought I’d at least list out what I hope to do.

I want to keep on practicing piano. Read some more books—I’m like 30 pages into Sense of an Ending and three pages into The Housekeeper and the Professor and really just hoping I can at least finish one of them before semi-starting another.

I need to keep on running even though my race got canceled (goodbye external motivation). Did a long run two days ago and have been super sleepy and tired and…

Brian Lin

Brian Lin is a writer, runner, and stray cat lover. A recent Duke grad in CS and English, he is a software engineer by day and a typewriter poet by night.

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