Archive for December, 2008

Maybe it’s the hair

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

while the crab has opted for the hawk of late, i’ve been running with the samurai look lately. I’m sure it makes me look younger, but today while checking out at the supermarket, an older gentleman remarked to me:

how was the christmas haul this season? where you a good boy?

he said it in such a way that I was sure we wasn’t joking.

all of this has happened before

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Once again, i find myself living in my aunt’s basement, if only for a couple days this time. It all feels vaguely familiar enough to coax a reminiscing blog post out of me and close the books on a season of change.

the basement:
is now a remodeled basement worthy of being called a guest house–52 inch flat panel tv, pool table, new bathroom. It’s pretty swank.

The coffee shop :
the korean girls have been replaced with a korean dude. He doesn’t seem to be as affected by my charms.

The house:
is now sporting some brand new landscaping. gone is the gopher hole ridden plot of dirt. in its place is some eco-friendly paving stones and low maintenance foliage.

Oh, and for those who are curious, no, i have not had another run in with the birds. Then again, it is winter time . . .

Heading East

Monday, December 1st, 2008

uh . . . i meant to post this a long time ago. photos will be forthcoming.

The trip east has concluded. Happy to report no major or minor accidents. We pretty much kept to schedule despite taking off seven hours late. note to budget truck renters in SF, a 2pm pickup time coincides with the 2pm closing of the rental place. It’s not a good idea to be ten minutes late.

I was planning on blogging more during the trip, but there was always something else to do/think about. Some notes:

  • california is a beautiful state.
  • nevada is a desolate wasteland
  • wyoming has lots of interesting rock formations and windmills
  • interesting tidbit about wyoming: carmen and i were the only non-white people in the town we visited
  • nebraska: they don’t call them the corn huskers for nothing
  • There is a great little coffee shop in gothenburg, nebraska called the locco espresso.
  • all the women in the middle of this country seem to have blonde hair and blue eyes
  • chicago seemed like a nice town. it was the first chance during the trip where carmen and i got to head out after the drive. There’s also a nice breakfast diner called the West Egg which has suprisingly good coffee. It was also nice not being the only non-white folk in a given city.

all in all, not a bad trip. ~700 miles a day. we finished in 4.5 days with a long last few hours trying to get through the lincoln tunnel. Managed to have only one real argument revolving around a dropped dib that got lost in the truck somewhere.

holiday cookin’

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately. There are many reasons: watching tv on a tiny 24″ lcd doesn’t quite give me that HD thrill; the pocket book it tight, so we don’t go out much; i need to get my fill of tasty food; cooking is like engineering lite–prepping food is akin to building libraries, devising the execution plan such that everything comes out hot at the same time is kinda like software engineering, and in the end you get yourself a nice little product. Sometimes i almost enjoy the execution more than the end food product (not that the food is bad, but i just like executing).

Anyway, I got ambitious this year and decided to cook thanksgiving dinner for carmen’s mom. The menu was as follows:

  • Empanadas
  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Roast Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce

Many an astute reader will notice the menu is similar to our first annoual pre-thanksgiving warm-up dinner. That is not a coincidence. I opted to swap out the tart cranberry sauce for a more traditional one and one of carmen’s mom’s friends brought the mashed potatoes. I think this meal actually turned out better than the first. the turkey was a bit juicier, the stuffing had better taste–although not entirely better consistency, and the cranberry sauce was a major leap forward.

After eating two turkeys in as many weeks, i think i’m officially done with the bird for a while. time to move on to some red-meat.

1st annual Pre-Thanksgiving warm-up dinner

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Went off fairly well. After planning for weeks and getting some practice in, it was game time. The menu was as follows:

  • Empanadas
  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Roast Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Tart Cranberry Sauce
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes

To round out the menu, our friend Mel was nice enough to bring some salad and mac and cheese, the chungs brought dessert, and everyone else brought the libations. We also threw in some brioche rolls from balthazar.

All in all, everything turned out pretty well. The day started of poorly as i quickly fell behind in making the empanadas, but I was able to catch up in prep time for the soup and mashed potatoes. The turkey also took a bit longer to cook than anticipated which threw the timing off.

The whole meal took about 11 hours of cooking which left me pretty tired. We also moved through five bottles of wine in what seemed like 1 hour.

Unfortunately, i don’t think we have any pics of the event, but perhaps someone else was able to capture a few snapshots here and there. Many apologies if you didn’t get an invite this year. Carmen and I were a bit nervous about our first house party, so we kept it low-key. We’ll throw a bigger bash next year!