Sunday, October 26, 2008

Korean-Chinese Food, Part 2: 탕수육

Read part 1 here...

Onward with my (very belated) postings about Korean-Chinese food!

탕수육 is pronounced "tang-soo-yeok" and usually Romanized to tangsuyuk. It's essentially sweet-and-sour pork. (Also spelled tangsuyuk, tangsuyeok, tangsooyuk, etc.)

Back in the day when I was a kid, the sweet-and-sour sauce was a bright, unnatural red. Around the time I was in junior high school, it became a more natural color (I guess beige/caramel/honey is more natural than nuclear red!). I kind of miss the obnoxious bright red color, but the rest of the dish is the same. I actually never thought there was a difference in taste between the sauces, and still don't know why all of the restaurants I ever went to suddenly changed colors at the same time.

I think tangsuyeok is one of the easiest dishes to make, provided that you have good knife skills and don't mind deep-frying. Because I absolutely abhor deep-frying in my own house (have you ever tried it?? Oil ends up splattered EVERYWHERE!), I will never be making this at home. I like the comfort and cleanliness of eating it in a restaurant, thank you.

I've found that lately, at a few of the restaurants around my parents' house (in Cerritos, heavily populated with Asians), they ask what kind of meat I'd prefer. It used to always be pork, without question, but can now be made with beef, as well. I'm sure you could ask if they can take a chicken or a goat or a lamb and do it ... but Asian restaurants are usually all about the beef and pork.

Because I grew up with the pork, I like pork tangsuyeok best. It's quite funny, because I've been noticing that deep-fried pork gets really dry. I guess that's why the meat is smothered in a heavy sauce! The meat being dry is completely besides the point, because all you taste is the overwhelming sweetness and sourness of the sauce, with the additional crunch of the deep-fried crust.

Unlike in American-Chinese restaurants (ahem, Panda Express), sweet-and-sour pork in a Korean-Chinese restaurant always (ALWAYS) has a crispy, light, cornstarch-y exterior. The sauce is dosed on top just before serving, ensuring that the pork remains crunchy. If you ever order tangsuyeok in or pick it up to carry out, you'll receive two containers- one with the fried pork and one with the sauce.

I digress.

Since I like the pork, I'm talking only about the pork. The pork should be lean and cut into relatively thin strips (I like the pork kind of in sheets, rather than in sticks, if that makes sense- more 2D than 3D).
The batter is quite simple- cornstarch! I know that some people like to use the Western breading method: (1) flour (2) egg (3) cornstarch. I believe most Asians cut up the pork, throw it in a bowl, add beaten egg and seasonings, then dip the meat into the cornstarch before frying. Either way will work, though I'm biased towards the easier (2 bowls rather than 4- I hate washing dishes) method and it seems to yield pork with a lighter, crispier coat.

Any way you do it, the pork should be coated with cornstarch somehow and then deep-fried to oblivion. I metioned the dry interior- this is not a dish with which to savor delicate pork flavor! Once the pork is fried, make the sauce.

Most restaurants serve the sauce with vegetables inside. (I personally hate mushrooms, but I know lots of people love them and they are traditional in tangsuyeok sauce. They don't ever make it onto my plate, so I'm not going to include them here).

Bring up to a boil some soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. While it's coming up to a boil, deal with the rest of the sauce- the veggies and the cornstarch slurry. Vegetables (I'm used to cabbage, carrots, onion, and cucumber) should be stir-fried briefly. Obviously, add them in order of their cooking time- carrots and onion first, then cabbage, then cucumber for just a minute or even less. The cornstarch slurry is used to thicken the sauce (as in the jjajangmyeon) and help it not to separate (keep it congealed ... which sounds so gross, but it's true!). A cornstarch slurry is just water and cornstarch. I like adding as little water as possible so it won't affect the viscosity of the sauce too much.

Combine the sauce and the slurry together and stir. The sauce should thicken up and become slightly less glossy, and it should happen really quickly. Once that's done, deep-fry the pork once more (twice-fried pork means a super crackly coating that can withstand being drowned in the sauce for a little while).

Add the vegetables to the sauce, stir to combine. Plate the pork, pour the sauce over it, and that's it!

As with any stir-fry or deep-fry, having all the ingredients prepared and waiting will make everything much faster. Usually, the amount of time that a flame will need to be used for this dish is about ... 10 minutes? Maybe even less if you're a pro!

It is, in truth, so much easier just to order it. I did mention my hatred of oil splatters, right?

I've been meaning to be a good blogger, but it seems that there are always reasons for me not to be. I need to learn to fight harder for what I want and make time for the things I want to do!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Korean-Chinese Food, Part 1: 짜장면

One specific type of cuisine that I crave frequently is Korean-Chinese. There many ethnically Chinese people that have been born and/or raised in Korea. In Korean, they are called 화교 (pronounced hwa-gyo). Since I don't live in Korea, I couldn't tell you who serves Korean-Chinese cuisine there and how it really tastes (although from what I recall, it's very similar to the food served here).

I guess more accurately, I crave American-Korean-Chinese food.

The restaurants I most often go to (where the owners know my family and we all chat before the food arrives) are all owned by hwa-gyo (I guess now they're American). They're unique in that they speak both Chinese (I think it's Mandarin?) and Korean fluently, and usually speak English quite well, with a smattering of Spanish (their busboys tend to speak Spanish more readily than English). I was always intrigued at how quickly they could switch languages, and how Korean they sounded. No strange accent!

Anyways, back to the food.

The two dishes I absolutely love are 짜장면 (jja-jang-myeon) and 탕수육 (tang-soo-yeok). My real favorite, which I crave (usually while I'm at my apartment, where I have no easy access to it), is jjajangmyeon. (Also spelled jjajangmyun, jajangmyun, jajangmyeon, etc.)

As with naengmyeon, the "myeon" in jjajangmyeon means "noodles." I always thought that "jja" meant "salty" because that's what it means when you use the word in a sentence. It turns out that "jja" means "fried," because the sauce is stir-fried. "Jang" means "sauce," and it a word frequently used (ganjang is soy sauce, kochujang is chili paste sauce, etc.)

Jjajangmyeon is a deceptively simple-looking dish. It consists of white noodles and a black sauce over the noodles, much like alfredo sauce over fettuccine noodles. I've been told by many of my non-Asian friends that jjajangmyeon looks disgusting, because the sauce is ... well, black. Like tar. (Personally, I think it's more of a dark brown, like good dark chocolate).

I've never had any aversion to jjajangmyeon, probably because my parents were feeding it to me since I was a very small child. There are a lot of embarrassing pictures of me with sauce all over my face when I was a baby. Most children start with jjajangmyeon and work their way up to the spicier noodle dishes (my sister graduated to jjambbong, a spicy seafood noodle dish, which I never understood the appeal of). I stayed stuck on jjajangmyeon, and every time I eat it, even now, it reminds of me of happier days (your youth always seems like it was happier, doesn't it?).

I made jjajangmyeon by myself for the first time this year. It seemed intimidating, for some reason, and I never felt the need to try it. After living in the Marina del Rey area for ... eight years now (with one year in KoreaTown in the middle), I couldn't stand not having easy and fast and delicious Asian food places around me. So I decided to brave it and make jjajangmyeon myself.

I'm not completely crazy, though, so I bought the noodles. I'm not a pasta-maker. I prefer dried semolina pasta to fresh pasta, so I applied the same logic to myeon: I would like packaged myeon better than something that would take me forever to do by myself (and I don't appreciate being coated in flour from head to toe, either).

I bought a jar of jjajang (it's called chunjang at this point, which means "spring sauce." It must be fried in order to be called jjajang). Chunjang is made mainly from roasted soybeans, and before fried, it looks a little gritty and smells tangy. My mother was with me when I bought the chunjang- I forced her to come along and tell me which brand is best. She laughed at me and told me they're all the same, the difference comes in what I put in the sauce and how well I cook it. (Thanks a lot, Mom).

I drove back to my house determined to make jjajangmyeon and make it how I liked it.

Looking back on it, I was really frightened for nothing. Even the first time I made it, it only took about half an hour to make the jjajang, and that included a few frantic phone calls to my mother.

I like my jjajang with beef, carrots, onions, and zucchini (or squash, but I prefer zucchini). Everything gets chopped into the same size (very small- it's a sauce, not ratatouille) and then sauteed. I sautee the beef first, add the onions, add the carrots, and leave the zucchini for the very end. I'll also add anything else I have that needs to be used up (bell peppers, chili peppers, potatoes, garlic, anything) and throw them in the pan in the order in which they need to cook.

Once everything's somewhat sauteed, I add a little bit of water. While the pan is simmering, the chunjang needs to be fried into jjajang. A nonstick pan is essential, as chunjang is insanely sticky. The pan needs to be really hot. Add a splash of oil (and don't even bother being stingy, it won't help a bit) and then add the chunjang and stir fry until the oil and chunjang are combined and smooth. The color and texture changes a little- the grittiness is smoothed out and the color mellows from a pitchy black to a softer dark brown.

The jjajang then gets added to the larger pan full of meat and vegetables. Everything gets stirred together. At this point, it sort of resembles a beef stew- somewhere between water and gravy. To get it to the right thickness and viscosity, I use cornstarch. I know there are substitutions that are supposed to be healthier, but it's only a spoonful, and I don't really care. I've just used a large splash of oil, what's a little cornstarch going to hurt??

The cornstarch gets mixed in with a bit of water and dissolved before adding to the jjajang. While stirring the jjajang, add the cornstarch mixture in. The sauce magically thickens up and sets.

Boiling the noodles is standard stuff- boil, boil, boil and then drain well.

Serve the jjajang on top of noodles for jjajangmyeon, or over sticky white rice for jjajangbap (자장밥), a very Koreanized dish using jjajang (I eat jjajangbap once the noodles are gone and I have leftover jjajang that needs to be consumed).

Jjajangmyeon is usually served with kimchi and pickled daikon (called 단무지 (dan-moo-jee) in Korea, takuan in Japanese).

I always find it funny that jjajangmyeon is one of the most popular delivery foods in Korea. I mean, Americans would never think that spaghetti would make a good delivery food- can you imagine all those teenage delivery kids with spaghetti sauce in their cars?? In Korea, it's very common to get jjajangmyeon delivered, and it's really cheap.

I know it's not really Korean food, but it reminds me of Korean people, people that I've known since I was a kid. (Strangely, as a child, I hated (HATED) mixing the noodles and sauce together. Like in the picture, the sauce is served on top of the noodles, and you're supposed to take your chopsticks and combine. I hated doing it, passionately, because it made my chopsticks "dirty." Up until probably high school, I always made one of my parents do it for me. I was a weird kid.)

I'm writing my next post about 탕수육 (tang-soo-yeok), the other Korean-Chinese dish I love. Hopefully I'll be done tomorrow. You know, if pesky things like my job don't get in my way!


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

R.I.P. 안재환, 최진실, 장채원, 김지후

I can't take it anymore, I have to vent.

With the fourth (FOURTH!) high-profile Korean suicide in one month's time, I've lost my ability to see things coldly and from a distance. Yes, it's four people. Yes, we wouldn't have heard about these things if they weren't famous. But for every celebrity, there are hundreds (sometimes thousands, tens of thousands) of fans standing behind them, young people that are impressionable, older people that are disheartened.

Remember when Brooke Shields first began speaking about her postpartum depression and how many women flocked to her? Everyday women had been going through it for years, thousands of women, and they finally had a celebrity advocate. Those women were willing to speak about their experiences and more willing to take medication because a public figure had reassured them, told them about her experience. It's like that but a hundred times worse for these Korean celebrities, because they are worshiped by the youth. Mimicked in their dress, their hairstyles, their slang ... their actions.

See the problem?

First, a little bit about the four recent deaths:

September 8, 2008:

Ahn Jae Hwan (안재환), born on April 25, 1972, commits suicide by apparent carbon-monoxide poisoning.

He leaves behind his wife, comedienne Jung Sun Hee (
정선희). They were married last November.

It has been reported that Ahn Jae Hwan was suffering from failed investments and was deeply in debt, up to 4 million USD.

October 2, 2008:

Actress Choi Jin Shil (최진실), born December 24, 1968, hangs herself in her home.

She leaves behind her two young children, a girl and a boy.

These children have been through a lot. Both are under the age of 9, and have seen their parents divorce (bitterly and publicly). Their mother was awarded sole custody, and she even had their last names changed, so they would have her name rather than their father's. Their father was accused of domestic abuse and adultery, and because both parents are famous (their father is a professional baseball player), everything was dragged through the media.

It is rumored that Choi Jin Shil lent money to Ahn Jae Hwan, something she denied in the weeks before her death.

Choi Jin Shil was also a very close friend to Ahn Jae Hwan's wife, Jung Sun Hee. Many reports have been called them best friends. Jung Sun Hee was still in shock and mourning for her husband, and finds out that her best friend has also committed suicide.

October 3, 2008:

Public figure Jang Chae Won (장채원), born in 1983, hangs herself.

She is Korea's most famous transgender, coming to fame first as a transvestite and then eventually having a sex-change operation.

October 6, 2008:

Model and actor Kim Ji Hoo (김지후), born 1985, hangs himself.

He was famous for being on "Coming Out," a reality show about coming out of the closet. He came out as being gay, still quite a taboo in Korea, particularly among the older generations.

It is said that he was very depressed from netizens (internet citizens) criticizing him for being gay.

It seems as though the common theme in all four deaths is that they were all depressed. Money trouble, family trouble, harassment from the media- something that all four of them experienced.

The word "depression" is thrown around a lot in Korean (우울증), but it is almost like a feeling. "He's cheerful." "She's annoying." "He's depressed." It doesn't seem like it's treated as an actual condition that needs medical attention, which is how it is treated here, in the states.

I know that I'm an American and so I have a very different understanding of depression. I know plenty of people on anti-depressants, and I know lots of people that go to therapy. I think it's healthy for people to deal with their depression (or any other feelings) in a way that helps them to work past their obstacles. I don't judge anyone for taking medication or for seeing a psychiatrist.

In Korea, it's completely different. Taking anti-depressants is the same thing as admitting that you have a mental disorder. "Depression" in the American sense is, to Koreans, a mental disorder, on par with bipolar disorder or psychosis.

It's the result of a centuries-old culture that disdains weakness and appreciates strength and perseverance. I know this, but I still find it so incredibly unfair.

What if any of the four deaths could have been prevented? What if Choi Jin Shil could have lived long enough to see her children get married, to meet her grandchildren? What if Ahn Jae Hwan had lived long enough to have children with his wife? What if Jang Chae Won had lived long enough to see that transgender rights were implemented, and they weren't heckled, weren't tormented? What if Kim Ji Hoo had lived long enough to see gay marriage become legal?

Like the butterfly effect, these deaths have irrevocably changed the course of history. Maybe in a big way: Maybe one of the descendants of one of these people would have come up with a cure for cancer or AIDS. Or maybe in a small way: Maybe one of them would have lived long enough to cry at their child's wedding. Regardless of the effect, regardless of how big the ripple might have been, history has been changed by the taking of lives.

The suicide rate in Korea has always been high. Among the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of 30 countries, Korea has the highest suicide rate. The thirty countries:

Czech Republic
New Zealand
Slovak Republic
United Kingdom
United States

These are developed countries with no lack of food or education. Among the third-world countries, there are nations with a higher suicide rate than Korea. But within the OECD, Korea has the highest rate. In 2005, 26.1 out of every 100,000 Koreans committed suicide, compared to 10.2 out of every 100,000 Americans.

It's not a good statistic, and this issue needs to be resolved. The whole idea of depression needs to be viewed differently in Korea, or the numbers will keep climbing, and the population will continue to decline. These celebrities are, even through their untimely deaths, bringing to light a serious problem that Korea must deal with.

I do hope that all four of these people have found some semblance of peace, and I hope that they are forgiven by those that love them. To take your own life seems so selfish and self-serving. How can a child ever forgive their parent of such a thing?


Friday, October 03, 2008

My Favorite Summer Dish: Naeng-Myeon

Preemptively, let me say that I seem to use the term "my favorite" quite loosely. I should start saying "one of my favorites," but that's just too long and unwieldy.

Today was the first cold day in my area. I live in Playa del Rey, one mile from the Pacific Ocean, and I work in Culver City, full of studio stages and therefore always hotter. I work at the Sony lots, which means that I work adjacent to a giant power grid that is on the land here, and that place seems to just emit heat. So usually, home is about 10 degrees cooler than work.

Because I woke up to a cold, crisp day, my mind immediately told me that it was fall, and that summer was over. (It helps that I had to wake up at the crack of dawn for an 8:00 a.m. meeting. No one in visual effects is a morning person, least of all me!) Because I thought summer was over, my body immediately told me that I wanted naeng-myeon, a classic Korean summer dish. I always want what I can't have, like Asian pears in the middle of May or pumpkin pie in June. I'm weird, what can I say?

Naeng-myeon (냉면) literally means "cold noodles" (naeng = cold, myeon = noodles). You'll see the word "myeon" a lot in Korean cuisine. Although it's usually spelled "ramen," most Asian languages pronounce the word "la-myeon." Again, because "myeon" means noodles. (Also spelled naeng-myun, nang-myeon, naang-myun, etc.)

Naeng-myeon is a cold noodle dish in an icy soup (broth?) that's usually served in a stainless steel bowl with stainless steel chopsticks. The soup is ensured to be extra chilly by adding crushed or cubed ice (it's delicious when it's slushy ice and you can eat it with the noodles).

The actual noodles are usually made from buckwheat or kudzu and have a lovely springy, chewy consistency. I'm very sensitive to the textures of food- I don't like mushy food, I like chewy food. I've been told that naeng-myun noodles are a weird color, which I don't really get, but that's probably because I've been eating it since childhood. They're sort of brown, I guess, usually with little black specks.

I have to clarify here and say that I'm talking about naeng-myeon in soup (물 냉면; 물 = (mool) means water), not "dry" naeng-myeon (비빔 냉면; 비빔 = (bibim) means mixed) that's served dressed in a sauce made mostly of chili paste (고추장). I've always loved naeng-myun in soup, and am not all that partial to dressed "dry" naeng-myun. The soup (called 육수, pronounced yook-soo) is tangy, tart, sweet, icy, and perfectly spiced (assuming you get good yook-soo). I eat naeng-myun for the soup as much as I do for the noodles.

I've been day-dreaming about naeng-myeon and I've totally forgotten the point of this post. Oh, well.

So continuing on with my random rambling about it, naeng-myeon is usually served with boiled egg and thinly sliced cucumber. That's all I like to put in my naeng-myeon, occasionally floating some quickly pickled slices of radish and thinly sliced beef, when I'm feeling like an over-achiever. It's delicious with just the egg and cucumber, I promise. Sometimes, I'm really lazy and just eat the noodles with the soup and nothing else.

Some people really love the liquid mustard that comes with the noodles, but I really don't like the flavor. It has a horseradish-y flavor that I don't like. I find that I enjoy vinegar-y, pepper-y spice, but I don't like horseradish or wasabi, which hits a different part of your tongue.

I'm starting to miss the summer, and it was 85 degrees just two days ago!

Naeng-myeon might look rather complicated, but it's very easy to prepare. Having boiled eggs on hand helps, but isn't necessary.

The noodles can be purchased dried or frozen. I think the frozen is supposed to take less time to cook, but I like the taste of the dried noodles better. They're a little thicker and a little chewier, and I can leave them as al dente as I please. The frozen noodles seem to get a bit waterlogged in the freezing process, which makes them softer once cooked. (The picture above is one of dried noodles. I'm being selective and only blogging photos of things I like).

Regardless of what kind of noodles you have, they must be boiled in water that's been brought to a roiling boil. The more roiling, the better! A wimpy boil will result is oddly cooked noodles that are cooked through in some places and crunchy in others. Boiling in a large amount of water is recommended, too, so that the water temperature doesn't drop too much once you've added the noodles.

The noodles need to be constantly tossed and turned while boiling- they are highly prone to sticking (to each other, the pot, your hand, the stove...) and moving them around keeps them from doing so.

Once the noodles are cooked, they should be drained (regular American colanders don't work because the holes are too big and the noodles will slide out, but a sieve will work just fine) and then rinsed in cold water. Rinse until the noodles don't produce any more bubbles, which means that the starch is off of them and they won't stick together too much while they sit in the sieve.

My mom makes little noodles nests, which I love. You take some noodles in one hand and pinch the center of them in with two fingers of your other hand. Wind the noodles around the hand pinching the noodles in, and leave the noodles in a little ball. Naeng-myeon will stick to itself as it dries, and the nests are a perfect way to just pick up a certain amount of noodles, rather than trying to de-tangle the noodles and somehow get a portion into your bowl. The noodles can be kept in nests in the fridge (I put them into a Tupperware container). They keep very well and since they're supposed to be eaten cold, it's a perfect leftover dish.

The soup is much, much easier than the noodles. They come in powders or in frozen liquids. The frozen variety are usually pre-portioned for one person, in a sealed pouch. They look kind of like frozen Capri-Sun pouches. I prefer the powders, because you can control how strongly flavored you want your soup to be. I usually like mine very strong, with lots of ice in it that melts (and so dilutes) it. If using the powder, make sure you prepare it before you start boiling the noodles, so you can refrigerate the soup for as long as possible.

After the noodly nests have been prepared (I like small nests, and since I have small hands, I need about 3 or 4 nests for one serving) and the soup is chilling, slice up some cucumbers (the thinner the better) and perhaps some radish (Korean radish is like daikon, but chubbier and shorter).

I put the noodles in a big bowl (I don't own stainless steel bowls, so just a big ol' soup bowl), add the soup, throw in as much ice as I can, and then top with cucumber and whatever other toppings I have (I really do enjoy boiled egg in this).

I have to go home and make some for dinner tonight...


Thursday, October 02, 2008

R.I.P. Choi Jin Shil

Korean actress Choi Jin Shil was found dead of an apparent suicide the morning of October 2 (almost a full day ago, U.S.-time).

She will always be, to me, the beautiful woman in one of the first Korean T.V. shows I ever watched. She went through a lot, as all of us do- a divorce, custody battle for the kids, her good friend's husband committing suicide. I hope that she has found peace at last.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008


(So many posts today-- it's been that kind of day!)

The movie I am working on has updated the website.

Take a look and watch the trailer and see what you think. I watched an earlier cut of the movie a couple weeks ago and quite liked it!

... And Tom Cruise has a website up now, too.


Yearning = Doing

I was trying to put the thought of traveling out of my head. After all, I need to work, I need to figure out my career, I have family here, etc., etc.

However, it seems that my yearning for travel has nicely coincided with the fact that there are people who would like to hire someone that does what I do, and those people happen to be far away from here.

In the past two weeks, I have talked to three different companies (one company I just contacted today and they haven't gotten back to me yet) that are all based in the Bay area. Two companies would have been a coincidence, but three companies? That's like ... fate? : )

I'm not a huge believer in fate- I think things happen for a reason, but not necessarily reasons that we can fathom at this exact time. I believe that usually, we know what those reasons are in retrospect, once we've learned what we're supposed to from that experience.

Anyways, I feel like I might be moving up north. I would be really happy if that happened, but simultaneously, very sad to leave my family, my friends, my home.

I hope it all works out as it's supposed to with the least amount of hassle ... I'm excited! Change is coming!



Do you Twitter?

I do!

I don't know if I'm going to keep it or not. We'll see.


Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris

I finished reading Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim a couple nights ago, but refrained from posting anything about it.

I think that's the sign of a good, though-provoking book. It remained in my head for the past couple days, sort of percolating. Simmering in the back, while I began reading The History of Love: A Novel, which is taking me forever to get through. ForEVER, for reasons I will explain once I've actually read the whole thing (... in a year).

Back to David Sedaris! I really love Me Talk Pretty One Day. It was funny, irreverent, hopeful, sweet, and had this pure voice. Not that it was virginal (by any means), but that it held one true note, and I got the theme of it immediately. Maybe I just like being spoon-fed the message, but Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim was a harder read for me.

It felt a little jagged and disjointed. Don't get me wrong, it was still a good book. But after Me Talk Pretty One Day, I felt deflated. The few essays in which Sedaris discusses Hugh, his long-time boyfriend, made me glad I was single. Isn't that sad??

Sedaris didn't give me the hope and the wistfulness that I got after Me Talk Pretty One Day. It's true, it's not like all books by one author are the same. And perhaps he's over his hopeful phase. But I read the book anticipating that I would be smiling and laughing, and it didn't happen.

I think it was a case of mistaken expectations, and that's my fault.

I hope to read this book again someday, when I'm in a better place and not depending on authors to lift my spirits. Then, perhaps, I'll fully enjoy it.