28
Jun 15

A brotherly visit

My brother Greg and his girlfriend were in town this weekend, and of course I had a blast.

Thursday night

They were staying in San Francisco part of the time and with me in Oakland part of the time. Their first night I met up with them for drinks and dinner in the Mission.

I was late but still got there in time for one drink. Greg’s girlfriend was so cute. When she saw me, she said, “Yay, my favorite!” and gave me a big hug.

For dinner we went to Delfina. SO GOOD. We had a salad and calamari for appetizers, and I had the duck pappardelle. For dessert my brother’s girlfriend got the panna cotta, which we also shared.

The weekend

Saturday was our aunt’s 80th birthday down in San Jose. It was at the same restaurant as my uncle’s party but a smaller affair since my aunt wanted something more low-key. The food, as always, was good. Only downside was that I didn’t get to sit with my brother and his girlfriend, whom, by the way, all of our relatives immediately adored.

On Sunday we hung out around Oakland. Greg’s girlfriend loves farm animals so I was hoping the grazing goats and sheep would be around. And they were! We got up close and personal:

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For brunch we went to Rockridge Cafe. Yummy eggs! Then we headed out to the Mountain View Cemetery, which I had no idea was so close to where I live. The place is beautiful and enormous. I loved some of the statues:

The cemetery is the burial place of some notable people, including Samuel Merritt, a mayor of Oakland and the namesake of Lake Merritt; J. A. Folger, the founder of Folger’s Coffee; Domingo Ghirardelli, the founder of Ghirardelli chocolates; Joe Shoong, the founder of the National Dollar Store chain; and, creepily, Elizabeth Short, otherwise known as Black Dahlia.

I was sad to see my brother and his girlfriend go, but I was glad they were able to visit me before I move back to the east coast.


25
May 15

The Castro, the Mission, and Petaluma

My east coast friends don’t often have the chance to come to the Bay Area. So when my friend Yiannis said he was coming for a wedding in Petaluma, I was thrilled.

Flore

We met at this cute place in the Castro for brunch. He was on New York time so he was starving. I wasn’t but I still pigged out, promptly falling off the diet wagon. I had a “sausage scramble,” which had goat cheese in addition to sausage, with a side of potatoes and a mocha. It was all delicious.

Graffiti, San Francisco style

We weren’t heading out to the wedding until later that afternoon so we had time to walk around. Yiannis used to live in the area and wanted to show me his old haunts. Along the way we saw plenty of cool graffiti:

Plus, cactus leaves for sale!

Mission Dolores Basilica

We also had time to visit the Mission Dolores Basilica, which even after six years of living in the Bay Area, I never visited. The stained glass was beautiful:

And the garden out back was lovely:

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La Taqueria

After all that walking, we got hungry again and stopped at this awesome place in the Mission. I got a quesadilla, but it was way bigger than I expected, and I only finished half. Yiannis, on the other hand, plowed through three tacos and three (count ‘em) THREE beverages:

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Not judging.

Petaluma

The drive out took longer than expected because of the traffic. I loved seeing another part of the area. It was beautiful in a way but quite dry of course due to the drought.

The ceremony was scheduled to start at four, and we got there at 4:20. D’oh! Luckily for us, they were having a late start, as a lot of weddings do, and we didn’t miss a thing.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. Instead of cloudy and foggy, it was sunny and warm-ish for a change. During the ceremony I saw a hummingbird hover over a pot of flowers. Later Yiannis’s friend said she saw one land on their archway as she and her wife took their vows.

The hors d’oeuvres were yummy and I enjoyed half a glass of chardonnay, and half a glass of champagne, as evinced by my red face:

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Everyone I talked to was delightful, especially Yiannis’s friend, but except for this drunk woman who cornered us and proceeded to tell the same story about ten times in a row, and kept insisting that Yiannis go to her house for a home-cooked Mexican meal despite his saying that he was leaving early the next morning.

But all in all, it was such a lovely wedding, and such a nice visit with my friend.


06
Dec 14

Thanksgiving 2014: Noodles, wine, and biscuits

Sure, there was the Thanksgiving feast (read: Mongolian hot pot) at home, but there was also much ingesting and imbibing with friends in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

Xi’An Famous Foods

I met up with my college roommate Sandy for lunch in the city. Besides an alma mater, we also share a love for Chinese good. So I was thrilled to learn a Xi’An Famous Foods had opened in her neighborhood on the Upper East Side.

I first heard about the restaurant from Anthony Bourdain, which is almost always a guarantee of good food. I got the oxtail noodle soup.

Looks great right? Well, unfortunately looks was all it had. No, that’s not entirely true. The flavor was good, but it was lukewarm. Maybe the servers, who were all white, didn’t know that noodle soup has to be burn-your-mouth-hot. Then again, doesn’t any soup? So I was pretty disappointed. At least the company was good.

ChikaLicious

I also had the chance to see and stay with my friend Yiannis. One night, craving something sweet, we stopped in ChikaLicious.

While it might sound like a chicken place, it’s actually a dessert bar — New York’s first, according to the website. Also according to their site, the line sometimes goes out the door, but that Saturday before Thanksgiving, there was no wait.

I noticed a dough’ssant in the wild —

— before settling on the banana custard pie.

Banana-custard-licious!

Sweet Science

One morning Yiannis and I met up with his sister and her friends for her birthday breakfast. One of her favorite places is Sweet Science in Brooklyn, and with good reason.

I got the biscuits with sausage gravy and bacon:

Decadent and delicious!

Amalthea Cellars and Sharrott Wineries

Good times were also to be had in my home state. My friend Ellen was also visiting for Thanksgiving, and we met up with our other friend Aki, who lives in New Jersey. She and her fiance had to drive one of their friends to Philadelphia so she suggested a couple of wineries along the way.

I’ve never been to a wine tasting before and thought I wouldn’t be that into it since I’m not a fan of wine. But it was actually really fun. The combination of the small amounts with a wide variety was perfect for me. Plus! I never knew wine could be sweet. All I knew about were the very dry ones. Turns out I love sweet wine.

Our first stop, Amalthea Cellars, offered 11 different tastings for $6, plus a little tour of the place. I thought the Leda, a “dry ‘travel style’ rose” with “notes of strawberry,” according to the info sheet, was so pretty:

Although for some reason the tour guide looked right at me when he said it “goes well with Chinese food.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ My favorite was the Callisto Gris, a “bright red apple and strawberry notes.” Of course it was sweet.

The second place was Sharrott Winery, which offered six tastings for $12 plus snacks. By that time I was pretty tipsy, as was this big group of loud ladies who were traveling by bus from winery to winery. (We had a designated driver in Aki’s very kind and patient fiance.)

Hiro Ramen House

Our next stop was Philadelphia and a ramen dinner. Hiro Ramen House is apparently the place to be. We had a 20-minute wait, but it was totally worth it. For appetizers we got the karaage, or fried chicken, and takoyaki, octopus balls:

I got the spicy ramen, which really hit the spot post-wine tastings.

Lotus Garden

All good things must come to an end. To close out my visit, my mom and I had a goodbye lunch at one of our local favorites, Lotus Garden. It’s not bad for central Jersey, and seems authentic, if only because it’s usually packed with Chinese people. I got the beef noodle soup:

Not as good as Mom’s but better than Xi’An Famous Foods, I have to say.

Until next time!


03
May 14

Sad about strangers

"This is just a break, right?"

“This is just a break, right?”

Lately I feel like I’ve been hearing a lot about troubled relationships — couples separating, thinking about separating, questioning their futures.

Most recently are two writers I admire. Admittedly, I think it’s more their lives I admire than their writing, of which I’ve only read some blog posts and many Instagram descriptions.

From their pictures they seemed to have the perfect life. A loving marriage, two beautiful little girls, successful writing careers, the woman especially (her book is being made into movie with a very popular young actress). More than once I’ve thought, I want her life.

But then I noticed a change. They stopped appearing in each other’s pictures; they stopped commenting and liking. There were no family shots.

Then the kicker: they spent the holidays apart.

I worried. Isn’t that silly? I was worried about two people I didn’t even know. I worried as though it were my own relationship.

Last week the woman finally came out and said that they had been living apart for a while.

It bummed me out, a lot more than it should have. I’m not sure why. I mean, they’re strangers, right? Why should I care? But following people on Instagram or any social media, keeping up with their lives, you feel like you know them.

It also made me wonder why some people break up and others stay together. Those of us who’ve had relationships that haven’t worked out — did we make the wrong decisions, are we not satisfied with something less than it once was, did we not work hard enough to fix things? Or are other people fooling themselves?

I know it’s useless to wonder. It doesn’t change anything.

RWS_Tarot_12_Hanged_ManIt’s been more than a year since my own life status change. While it certainly doesn’t feel new anymore, I do feel like I’m in a holding pattern.

That was one of the cards that came up during my tarot card reading with YP: the Hanged Man, which in its position meant that’s how I look to the outside world, as though I’m in a stalemate.

Then again, while it may look like I’m in a holding pattern, in some ways I’m not. I’m enjoying living on my own, doing exactly what I want when I want, not constantly worrying about what someone else thinks. Because of my personality that’s what I always do. It’s hard for me to turn it off. The only way I can is when I’m on my own.

I met my ex-husband when I was 21 and was pretty much with him for 12 years. After we split up, it was only four months before I started dating someone. I dated that someone for two months, we broke up, and about five months later I started dating someone new. He and I dated for six months, broke up, and four months later I met someone else. I dated that guy for two months, we broke up, and five months later I met MB.

Before last year, the longest I was single was five months (which seems so weird to me because I’ve always thought of myself as a wallflower), and during those times I was single, I spent much of it getting over a guy, trying to date, or actually dating. This past year and two months, excluding the time I was grieving my relationship, is really the first time I’ve concentrated fully on myself.

Maybe that’s why I’m so reluctant to give it up, at least for now.

typing-womanIn other news, a few months ago, I finished this paranormal teen romance novel I’d been working on since last March. I was loving it but now I’m a little discouraged. I queried a bunch of agents, and I’ve gotten several rejections so far, including one very kind, personal one from someone who had requested the entire manuscript.

Now I’m wondering if the book wasn’t quite ready. I think the premise is there but maybe the story could be stronger. But I’m not sure yet what I want to do, if I want to revise the book or plow ahead with the sequel — or sequels — which might help me go back and improve the first installment. The advantage of plowing ahead is that it would keep me creating for a long time, instead of trying to sell. Creating is much more fun.

In the meantime, I’m still working on short pieces. I had my first article published at Quartz, “What 21st-century libraries can learn from this 19th-century institution,” and continue to write for the Wordnik blog, most recently about horse racing terms, selfie variations, Heathers slang, and when a thing isn’t “a thing.”

I’m still loving my new digs, which seven months later, aren’t so new anymore, although not according to the neighbor I rode the elevator with other night. She eyed my suspiciously before finally asking, “Are you new?”

I said not really, that I’d been living here since August.

“Oh, that’s new,” she said.

Whatevs.

I had thought I’d stay only one year, but now I want to stay at least another one. In the beginning I wasn’t used to not living within walking distance of everything I could possibly need. But I’ve gotten used to it. While I can’t just pop out to pick up food or whatever, I can make sure to stock up things when the opportunity arises.

Plus I’m totally spoiled in other ways. The gym right in the complex, my own washer and dryer, all the space, the quiet and beautiful surroundings.

While at my old apartment, I had to wear earplugs every night because 1) my neighbors were super-noisy and would come home at two AM and fight, have sex, or talk on the phone for three hours, 2) the floors were hardwood so you could hear every footstep, and 3) the walls were so thin you could hear everything else, here I never have to wear them.

The only things that ever wake me up are birds in the wee hours of the morning and, get this, a full moon on a clear night. Like, the sky is so clear that the light of the MOON wakes me up.

I’m not ready to give that up either.


05
Jan 14

Social for a change

To be honest, since moving to San Francisco, I haven’t made that many friends. It’s mostly my own fault. When I was in a relationship, I didn’t feel the need for more than a couple of bus. Plus I’m also a shy person. So when a classmate from my krav maga school invited me out for a drive to the beach, I was glad.

She had a friend in tow, this guy who runs ultramarathons. What’s an ultramarathon, you may be asking? It’s a marathon but way longer. We’re talking 50 miles. Running 50 miles in one sitting. Yeah. No thanks.

Before heading out to the water, we stopped for bubble tea and fried snacks at this place in the Richmond District. I don’t get out to that part of town much. Too bad since that’s where all the really good — and cheap — Asian restaurants are.

We got to the water just as the sun was setting.

Needless to say it was absolutely beautiful. But also freezing. That’s the thing about San Francisco. During the day it’ll be warm, but as soon as the sun sets: freezeville.

When we got too cold, we left for Xi’An Gourmet in Inner Richmond where we were meeting my classmate’s other friends. One of them was another crazy marathon runner, although instead of ultramarathons, she runs regular ones a few times a month. Like, she’ll fly to other cities just to run a marathon. Nutso.

Despite all the crazy running, she and the ultramarathoner were impressed my classmate and I do martial arts. We took that opportunity to show off our various injuries, scabbed knuckles for me (from punching incorrectly, admittedly) and general bruising for her.

It was fun being social for a change, especially over delicious noodles and dumplings.


07
Dec 13

Catching up, the Thanksgiving edition

The rest of Thanksgiving weekend was super fun.

The dinner that my brother cooked was delicious: turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing with sausage, buttery mashed potatoes. I can’t even remember what I did that night. Probably worked on my novel a little and watched TV a lot.

Friday we all stuck around the house. None of us wanted to do Black Friday. I took a walk down to the shopping center and back — luckily no dog chased me this time — which was over 3.5 miles. The day before I worked out in the basement: running around the perimeter, squats, push-ups, burpees, jumping lunges, sit-ups, etc. I got pretty sweaty.

Oh yeah, I also spent a lot of time sorting through and packing up old books. I had SO MANY.

Saturday we had our family outing. We got lunch at this Chinese place that specializes in xiao long bao, or little juicy buns, and afterward we went to look at my parents’ new house.

Right now it’s just the foundation, but we could see what the other houses looked like, as well as the club house, which was huge. It has a small gym (though still bigger than my condo gym), a dining room, a little kitchen, a theater, and an indoor pool (there’s also an outdoor pool). Dad said he might actually go swimming.

I really like the idea of Mom and Dad living there. Right now Dad walks only on our tiny street. He used to do the three mile walk to the shopping center, but now he feels like it’s too dangerous for him. After they move, he’ll be able to walk all around the retirement complex, as well as on the trail behind the club house.

After that, we went shopping for a couple of hours. I got a little black jacket and some new jeans.

That night was my brother’s 20th high school reunion so he was off fairly early. I saw a couple of friends over the next couple of days, and then Monday morning my brother and I got coffee. We hadn’t had the chance to hang out one on one before then, and he was leaving that afternoon. It was nice catching up and chatting.

That afternoon, after he left, it hit me that I was leaving the next morning, and I still had work to do as well as packing and cleaning up. But I was stressed out only for a couple of hours before I got everything organized.

The next morning, although I was exhausted, getting to the airport went smoothly. Security however took a year. I thought I’d be tagged for TSA pre-check like on my way in, but I wasn’t. The line seemed like all old people. They were SO SLOW getting their stuff ready for the scanner.

By the time I got through, I had only half an hour before boarding, enough time to pee and buy a coffee and water. Luckily Mom gave me some food, including a roast pork bun, which I inhaled.

The flight was full but since it was Virgin, it didn’t feel as cramped. The lady next to me had B.O., but she was very nice. After we landed I kept running into her: at baggage claim, on the BART.

Oh yeah. When I first boarded, my seat mate, not the lady another guy, was in my seat arranging his shit. I let him I was waiting, and he said, “Just a minute,” and then stood there getting out his headphones. Meanwhile I’m blocking the aisle and there’s a whole line of people behind me.

I was like, seriously dude? You can’t move in and do that? I said, “There’s a whole line of people waiting,” and he very reluctantly let me in.

SERIOUSLY?

The lady behind me was like, “That’s very kind of you,” and these two older men across the aisle smiled at me like, “You go girl.”


28
Nov 13

A Thanksgiving Post

I’ve been at my parents’ since Sunday morning. My flight was good — in fact, it got in early, but since it was a red eye it felt interminable and as usual I couldn’t sleep much.

Getting to the train took longer since something was wrong with the shuttle, but I made it just in time. Actually, as I was running down the stairs with my suitcase, the door closed.

“Please wait!” I yelled, and I’m guessing the conductor heard me because the doors reopened.

At home I ate something, showered, then slept for about three hours. I could have slept more but I wanted to get on east coast time. Plus I had some work to do.

That night and the next day I was just at home. My brother was in town but he had gone into the city to hang out with friends. I went into the city that night after dinner and went straight to the YP’s, where we just chilled, watching Hunger Games again in anticipation of Catching Fire the next night, although we ended up talking over most of it.

I thought I’d have no problem sleeping that night, but it actually took me a long time, and then I was up early. Got probably just a few hours.

We went together to the YP’s office and worked all day, which was fun. For lunch we went with a couple of his coworkers to get “Indian burritos.” They were so good. His coworkers’ orders were taking a long time so we waited outside since some lady’s perfume was giving YP a migraine and I was about to pass out from the heat. We were standing there talking when suddenly I looked up and there was my brother!

“That’s my brother!” I said.

I had posted on FB where I was, and he happened to be in the area. Too funny!

After work, YP and I grabbed dinner at this cute place. The food was good — we both got the curry tofu — although the portions were pretty small.

By then it was raining and windy, but I still preferred to walk rather than take the subway. It wasn’t too long to the theater, about 20 minutes. His sister got there first and snagged us seats.

I kept picturing the theater jam-packed, so I thought it was hilarious when we walked in and it was his sister and one other dude. I guess people were traveling or staying in because of the weather.

We all agreed the movie was SO GOOD. Even better than the first one.

The weather was worse was when we left. We cut through a Whole Foods, where YP picked up a few things and I got a snack — salmon sushi — since I was starving after our meager meal.

Since it was almost 11 on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, people had very full carts AND there were hardly any registers. The couple in front of me drove me crazy. The man insisted on bagging first before swiping his card. Swipe then bag, idiot.

Back at the YP’s, I ate my sushi, he had a PBJ, and we watched The Mindy Project and Brooklyn 99. I had the herbal relaxant my acupuncturist suggested to help with my teeth grinding. During Agents of SHIELD, I promptly lost consciousness and will need to watch it again.

I crashed hard that night. Slept solidly for a good six hours.

Got up early to do some work and then went to meet the ES and SB at 10. We had a late breakfast/early lunch at Pret, and had fun chatting and catching up. Then ES and I caught a bus to the train station and, just in time, caught the 12:07. It was pretty crowded but we each got a seat. At first we weren’t together, but then very quickly her seatmate got up, and then we were. We chit chatted the whole time, and it made the ride go really fast.

That night ES, AY, and I met up for happy hour at this very nice, kinda kooky place. It’s in the middle of a sculpture garden and on the way there, there a lot of giant sculptures along the sides of the road.

We had drinks and a TON of food since the little plates were so cheap, just $2 to $5 each. We talked and talked and talked. Eventually we talked about stuff from 20 years ago, which we always do, but now it makes me feel kinda old. We were three women in our early 40s reminiscing about the 1990s. Good lord. But it was tons of fun.

We stayed until about 10, and I slept hard again.

Did some work this morning, and also managed to get in some revisions for the novel. Yay! The last time I worked on it was November 24, four days ago, and I think I probably barely did anything then.

I was going to write a blog post for work but I don’t know if I will. If I feel like it later, maybe. I need to work on my novel more, and hardly anyone else is working at my company. I had a problem this morning and everyone basically ignored me. *Shrug.*

Right now my brother is cooking Thanksgiving dinner. The novel calls but I also just want to watch a movie.


26
Oct 13

A visit from Mom

Since I moved out to the west coast, I don’t get to see my parents that often. So I was glad when my mom came out for my uncle’s 80th birthday dinner in San Jose.

Although the dinner was the main event, complete with several courses —

— for me it was secondary to my mom’s visit.

We met up on the train, and I took her to my fabulous apartment in Oakland. It was her first time seeing it, and she loved it, as I expected.

Our first night we spent a relaxing night in, eating leftover noodles from my aunt and watching TV. The next day we headed out to Oakland Chinatown.

My mother used to go often when visiting my grandmother in Berkeley, and she still remembered where things were. We had dim sum at a place called Legendary Palace. It was very good:

I had managed to convince my mother to make me dumplings so we found a grocery store and got the ingredients. And, long story short, voila!

Mom thought the wrappers were weird, but to me the dumplings turned out delicious. I ate a million.

Before we knew it, it was time for Mom to fly back to the east coast. I brought her to the airport, and as we said goodbye, she looked sad. But I told her I had fun and she looked happier.


08
Jun 13

Used to things

Getting used to:

  • Eating dinner whenever I want.
  • Eating whatever I want for dinner.
  • Eating dinner at work.
  • Enjoying eating dinner at work.
  • Not worrying about being noisy in the early mornings.
  • No noise in the next room as I try to fall asleep late at night.
  • The middle of the bed.
  • Having toilet paper, paper towels, soap, juice, etc. last much longer.
  • Less laundry.
  • More quarters.
  • A lower electricity bill.
  • Higher rent.
  • The cable bill.
  • Entertaining myself.
  • Not expecting anyone at the door.
  • An empty apartment when I come home.
  • A peaceful apartment when I come home.
  • No check-ins during the day.
  • More check-ins with friends during the day.
  • Not worrying.
  • Not wondering where this is going, what’s happening.
  • The idea that this is how it’s always been.

27
Apr 13

An East Coast Birthday

As expected I had a mostly great time on the east coast. I say mostly because my parents and I ended up spending all of Friday afternoon at the emergency room.

First off, let me say that everything turned out to be fine, but we only knew that after hours of waiting and tests.

That day we were up early to take my dad to the doctor for an exam. We expected to be done by lunchtime, and then I’d head into NYC around three so that I could meet up with YP in time to go to parkour class with him. Things didn’t go as expected.

My dad fainted during his exam. My mom and I were waiting in the car – the waiting room was crowded and stuffy – when we saw an ambulance and paramedics pull up to the doctor’s office.

“Who could that be for?” my mother wondered. We shrugged it off.

Several minutes later, a nurse came out.

“Is he done?” my mother asked.

That was when she told us he had passed out.

“What?!” my mother cried, jumping out of the car and scurrying with the nurse back to the office.

We found my dad sitting in the exam room, surrounded by paramedics. The doctor and one of the paramedics explained that it was probably a normal reaction, but that we should take him to the hospital to get checked out.

“I don’t want to go,” my dad said, but we convinced him otherwise. As they loaded him into the ambulance, he looked very pale and out of it. I was glad we were going.

My parents kept thinking we’d be in and out in an hour. I knew that wouldn’t be the case, but I didn’t expect it to take as long as it did. We were there until about six thirty.

Like I said, everything was fine, and it was a tremendous relief to learn that. Although waiting around for hours was annoying, everyone was super nice. The nurses, orderlies, doctor, everyone. And I was really glad I happened to be there. If I had heard about it afterward or during, I’d have felt so helpless and guilty.

It’s tough when your parents get old.

I ended up heading up to NYC after dinner and got to Brooklyn after 10 (I was still on west coast time so I wasn’t too tired). I was meeting YP at his sister’s. I walked into her apartment to find a group of people sitting in the dark. I thought they were watching a movie, but then YP snapped on the lights and everyone yelled, “Surprise!”

I was indeed surprised, especially since I recognized only two out of the five people there.

But it was such a nice gesture on YP’s part. He brought out a platter of cupcakes lit with candles and everyone sang. It was lovely.

Riding the subway to and from Brooklyn, I realized how much older the population is in my neighborhood in San Francisco. I’m no spring chicken, but the New York subway seemed full of youngish, cute and artsy men, while in SF I don’t see that as much. In my ‘hood, it’s all baseball-cap wearing douchebags, 100 year old Chinese men, aging hippies, or drunks/drug addicts.

The next day YP and I met AK, my writer/library school friend, at the Met. We saw several exhibits, including Photography and the American Civil War, which I found fascinating. And as tradition goes, I visited the Greek hall, namely a specific site.

perseus_rear

I saw the Buddhas too. I’m not a complete degenerate.

Afterward we walked around Central Park. The weather was very nice all weekend. A bit chilly and windy but sunny. Plus all the trees were in bloom.

centralpark

That night we met up again with YP’s sister and another friend, and saw Oblivion. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t good either. Mostly it was boring, and I fell asleep several times. Also, the whole time I kept thinking how much younger Tom Cruise’s love interests were. One I kept thinking was like his daughter because her coloring was similar to his.

The next day I met my college pal SB for lunch. On my way there, I saw a mother and daughter, who couldn’t have been more than eight, in matching fur vests. Ah, the Upper East Side. I got to see SB’s husband and daughter, too, briefly, before we headed out for a yummy Asian lunch.

I was meeting AK for coffee near Union Square and was planning on walking. SB walked with me most of the way before heading back.

Another strange sighting was that apparently the lobby of the main Pfizer building, where I used to work, is now a bank. I don’t know if the whole building is a bank now or just the lobby. Either way, weird!

AK and I had a very nice chat, and then I headed back to YP’s.

I was pretty pooped so we had a relaxed evening. A walk on the Highline (another NYC tradition for me) with this view of some very cool graffiti –

graffit_highline

– and an Indian dinner.

Another NYC tradition is that YP gets me hooked on a new TV show. Last time it was Revenge (which has gotten really stupid since), this time: Hannibal. It’s well-done, and I love Hugh Dancy (aka Mr. Claire Danes) and all the actors, but it does make me think, Goddamn, there are a lot of serial killers in that town. We also watched a French movie to get in the mood for our trip to Paris in a few weeks. Again, I fell asleep several times, but from what I saw it wasn’t very good. YP and I both thought Isabelle Adjani was wholly unconvincing as a diva-starlet.

The next day, Monday, I headed back to SF. Surprisingly the flight back, which is longer, felt shorter. I watched TV and slept. Across the aisle from me was an adorable toddler who kept grinning at me and saying, “Hiiiii!” I wanted to kidnap him.

By the way, on the food ordering system, I noticed the option to send a drink, snack, or meal to another seat. I thought it was for parents to buy drinks and meals for their kids. I see I’m going to do well in the singles world.