All the small things

Has anybody said something along the lines of "your YouTube history says a lot about who you are"?

Someone might as well say that. I mean, sure, nobody really looks at their YouTube viewing history - I think - but that dictates the videos it suggests you watch. And chances are, on those nights when you just sit in front of your laptop, not sure about what to do, you'll just click on one of those recommendations, and down the rabbit hole you go.

My recommendations, of course, lean towards K-pop lately. If you've read my almost 3,000-word essay on my music blog a few weeks back, you'd understand. Or maybe you'd frown at how I have lost all credibility despite me arguing that all four of Mamamoo's members have strong vocals. Ew, Niko has no taste!

I've been watching other things, though. This past week I found myself watching old episodes of the British (ergo, original) edition of The Weakest Link. That meant me looking for episodes of the Philippine edition. I stumbled upon three: two from the original run with Edu Manzano as host, and one from when Allan K. took over. Both did a good job, although they did different approaches to snark - Edu, with his baritone and his action movie background, was angry and a bit brusque; Allan, with his expressive face and his comedy bar training, was more down-to-earth, if not a bit long-winding. Allan also had this weird thing with his mouth when he said the show's name, though. He starts "link" with his mouth open on one side, and ends it with the other side. It's hard to explain, I realize.

There are, of course, clips from the American late night talk shows, although chances are the recommendations I get are for clips I've already seen. I'm that guy who knows when new clips from The Late Show go live. I'm also that guy who doesn't subscribe to any of these shows, because, well, I know when the clips go live - and, anyway, I return to them at night, when I have time to lay back.

Today, though, YouTube recommended I watch this channel filled with videos of miniature food being cooked in miniature pans.

"Ikaw ba 'to?" I ask Shalla.

"'Di ba, naghanap tayo ng Re-Ment?" she answers.

We did, yeah. Our dates lately have revolved around us two watching YouTube videos at my place. Maybe it's us really saving up for that Malaysia trip this November. That also partly explains the whole K-pop thing. But, yeah, my girlfriend likes miniature things. You know, those little plastic toys - little bento boxes, little soda bottles, that sort of thing. I have not bought her those, however, despite the few times she's looked at those displays longingly whenever we end up at a toy store. I've only gotten as far as Whipple, and those two times when we were gifted with Popin' Cookin.

That last time, Icka got us two packs, one being a takoyaki set that actually involved baking in a microwave. We failed that one - the tako analogue was too wet and impossible to form; the yaki analogue was too dry and ended up making six balls instead of eight. Worse, though, is how it creeped Shalla out with how real it tastes like. "Sa susunod, matamis na lang gawin natin," she said.

Anyway, that YouTube channel.

We watched this guy - we're sure it's a guy; the hands give it away - make miniature okayodon. A quail egg was cracked methodically, meaning, with a special tool.

"Miniature apple pie!" Shalla sees in the sidebar, and she clicks on that.

It's the same guy, slicing an apple into small pieces with a miniature knife. And rolling out dough with a miniature rolling pin. And assembling the whole thing with... it's hard to describe, really.

"This guy has a lot of time on his hands," I say.

The only thing that's not sized to scale is the oven toaster he uses to bake these pies. It looks like something lab technicians would use to sterilize beakers, though. I'm not sure.

"Must be a sad life," I add, and instantly I feel a tinge of regret. Here I am, judging a guy solely on this series of videos he's making - the amount of miniature items, the attention to detail, the admittedly entrancing sound he makes while doing all that. There's no background music, by the way; just the sound of him slicing an apple with a miniature knife.

We watch a few more videos. He makes miniature cheeseburgers, with the patties made from scratch, but they stick to the pan, because there were no eggs in the mix. He makes miniature deep fried chicken, which makes this weird sound when they go to the miniature deep fryer. He makes miniature macarons, which look terrible, frankly. He makes miniature strawberry shortcake, which he does not make from scratch, using two slices of loaf bread for the base, making the whole thing closer to a strawberry sandwich despite all the piping. He makes miniature pancakes, the first attempt not cooking cleanly, and both attempts ending up too thick.

"Oo nga," Shalla says. "Sad life nga."

We then watch a video of this guy doing pancake art. We just assumed it's a guy, for some reason. We jump to a video of him doing the whole thing step by step - drawing with pancake batter, putting it in the pan, drawing more while in the pan, a fairly elaborate process the pan has to be the right heat and the drawing has to be at the right time.

"That's closer to art than latte art," I say.

And your responses...

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