Weekend 38: GT birthday celebration

I don’t usually like using this word because it has a religious connotation to it, but I feel very blessed right now to have the people I have in my life.

Just a few months ago I feel like I was complaining all the time about how few friends I have in the Bay Area and how I have no real reason to live here beyond working at my job. Then all of a sudden I looked around and found myself throwing a party with ~20 invitees who I had met from my job, all of whom I care very much for and would be really sad if we ever stopped working together. I feel somewhat validated that yes, in the past year, (less than a week since the one year anniversary of when I moved into this house!) I have made relationships with people at work to the point that they would take four hours out of their weekends to hang out with in celebration of me.

So much love for these people

Lessons learned today:

– Trying to throw a healthy party will not work out too well because in the end, the things that people eat first are the cheesiest and the meatiest and the greasiest and the thing that is left at the end is the salad
– Buying four Costco-sized boxes of lettuce for 20 people is a gross overestimate of the general public’s love for raw vegetables
– Do not put beer in the freezer
– Pinatas are awesome fun
– Using a wheelbarrow as an ice cooler is a fucking awesome idea and I wish I had taken pictures of my wheelbarrow filled with water, ice and alcohol
– To chill drinks, you need to use ice AND water, not just ice
– To clean a grill, heat and use an onion
– Despite your best intentions to have only homecooked foods, sometimes, premade Costco foods are just far more logical of a choice

Costco shopping with Julia and Amy on Saturday. It was the fullest Costco cart I'd ever pushed before
I'm ready for my pinata.
Me and my three desserts. My friends know me well.
Kathy and Amy ❤

I feel like it does not do me any favors when things consistently turn out awesome despite my incredibly last minute planning. Ideally, I will know what I want to do next weekend when I go back to SoCal. But that is very unlikely to actually happen.

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Maybe I should be doing something besides blogging

I have somehow gotten myself into throwing a party with ~20 coworkers coming to my house. It’s 2am and I just spent the last hour cleaning my room. Now I really wish I had set up curtains, laid down a rug, hung up my posters, and bought an actual light fixture at some point in the last twelve months so my room had a personality. I am not sure what will happen tomorrow … I have to go buy ground beef and make patties out of them, having never done so before. Thankfully, Amy’s husband Joone will come help set up the charcoal grill for me. I need to clean the living room and the dining room and the two bathrooms and the outdoor patio. I am embarrassed to say I’ve never once cleaned the house beyond vacuuming my room or washing the dishes so I have no idea where anything is…

I will go to sleep now and try to shake off my paranoia about not having enough food or throwing an awkward party where everyone stands uncomfortably because I have no outdoor seating. Of all the things I need to do, cook, clean, set up entertainment, the one thing I have checked off my list is “create a playlist.”

While cleaning my room, I discovered I own the following posters.

The only one that has a frame ... and I store it behind my surfboard
I'm not quite sure where I will hang this anymore
I thought this would compliment the gloomy Seattle weather I'd one day live in
My most recent purchase ... a SF poster I bought in Chicago

Thursday I went to the Bon Iver concert at Greek Theater and it was amazing. I don’t know what concert I could go to that would ever top it

I hope that night lasts in my memory for a very long time

Weekend 37: More Chicago

Listening to: Nervo ft. Afrojack & Steve Aoki  – We’re All No One (Hook N Sling remix)

I think I say this at the beginning of all my posts but I am EXHAUSTED.

I have not yet converted from Chicago time to CA time and I sort of don’t want to. I wake up at 5:30 am which seems to be the only way I have any time to myself in the day. I have about an hour of free time before I leave for work. Monday, I went to Amy’s house after work and made chicken and cupcakes. Tuesday, I went to Laura’s house after work and watched Glee. Wednesday, I left work early to bart to SF and take part in a 3.5m run with some coworkers, then out for dinner with them. All three days, I made it back home around 11pm, promptly dropped my shit on the floor of my room, showered, and fell into bed. Tomorrow is BON IVER LIVE OMGGGGGGGGG.

And last week? Well I was at training all from Monday through Friday. Awesome!!! I felt kind of like I was back in college, where there were friends around me practically every minute of the day. On Friday, when I was back to being by myself again, I found myself constantly texting EVERYONE while eating lunch because it was so lonely to not have anyone to talk to. That was an awesome week. I love the Q Center because it’s like a little bubble where I don’t have ANY worries. I don’t worry about work because I can hide under the cover of “training” at my level, I don’t worry about food because they basically stuff us FULL of food with three meals and breaks every two hours to get snacks, and I don’t worry about cleaning up anything because a maid cleans my room EVERY day. It is the greatest.

Monday was mandatory social night. Marina, Lindsay and I stayed long enough to play out the game but instead of going to the on-site pub afterwards, we decided to grab some wine glasses and beers and walk around outside the Q Center. This was the first time I’d really talked to Lindsay and she is HILARIOUS.

Tuesday, Marina and Lillian came up to my room and we ended up chatting until really, really late at night (at least, in Chicago time. I think I always felt like it should really be 1am and I’d look at the clock and it was only 8pm). No, I think we talked from dinner until 11pm.

Wednesday, Marina left because she didn’t have manufacturing training, which made me SUPER SAD. Eugene and Lillian went with a bunch of other people to Chicago via a rented hummer limo. I opted out because I just wanted a night of doing NOTHING so I attempted to run around the lake and read and do productive things with my life. My run around the lake was thwarted because I found out there isn’t just one single path hugging the lake, so I just went back to my room after a half-assed attempt at exercise. Instead I had dinner with Lindsay which is just about the best way to pass four hours in a day after training.

Thursday, we had another mandated social night. It ended up being pretty awesome – they had us split into teams and make various Italian dishes. My team was tiramisu. The end product was delicious but I am really disgusted by the ingredients involved. One team somehow made THE MOST delicious fucking bruschetta I’ve ever had in my life. I don’t know what was on the bread but it was crazy addictive.

Friday, training ended at 11:40 and we all headed back to the airport! I grabbed a towncar with Lindsay then parted ways with her at the airport terminal *tears* During the week I had scrambled to find a CS host and luckily found one Thursday night, so I took the El to our meetup spot. She was running late so I ate at a closeby Italian restaurant outside the station, and it ended up being quite delicious. My host then swung by in her car and I dropped off my stuff in her car and then parted ways again to walk around downtown by myself, since she was busy. It occurred to me while walking that I had just given a complete stranger everything I owned, including my work laptop, but somehow that is the magic of CS.

I took the El to where I thought Gold Coast was, which is like a richer neighborhood, supposedly with mansions on Astor St. I walked around rather aimlessly and finally decided I didn’t care if I got to where I wanted or not, and just started getting lost in the city. Somehow, once I decided I didn’t care about where I was going, I ended up stumbling upon Astor. Which I think is kind of how things usually go when I travel. It’s hard to know if I’m going where I want to go in Chicago because I usually seek out more affluent neighborhoods, which you can identify as the apartment buildings disappear and more single family homes appear. But in Chicago, there is consistently a mix in housing, so from far away, I can’t tell if I’m heading away or towards where I want to go.

I texted Andria for tips on where to go, and took her advice of walking along Lake Shore Ave and Michigan Ave (main shopping street). Then I had to make it back to meet up with my host for dinner. We went to a nearby pub but I was so full from lunch I didn’t even want anything. Then we went to Dunkin Donuts, for my taste of their iced coffee. Prettttyyy good!

I ended up not being able to fall asleep until around 2am, THEN I woke up at 5:30 which was when Kathy’s flight landed so basically I began the following day after 3 hours of sleep:

– Took the El to meet up with Kathy at the nearest stop from our AirBnB reservation
– After settling in and meeting Juliette, the assistant to the people we were renting from, we headed out for brunch at Lola’s in Logan Square. My CS host from the week before had told me about the restaurant and I REALLY wanted it but it was under renovation last week! So I’m super glad we were able to go because I had THE MOST AMAZING french toast

The runniness in the french toast was pure perfection

– Headed downtown for THE BEAN which Kathy was supppperrr excited about. We walked around a LOT and I think by 2pm my feet were already hurting since I’d been up and about for 7 hours already…
– Ate at Portillo’s in downtown Chicago
– Went into a few stores along Magnificent Mile. My favorite was going to Crate & Barrel with Kathy and nearly thinking that buying a $800 chair wasn’t completely out of the question. We talked about our life plans, mainly how she had these milestones set when she was younger and those completely went out the window. Since I don’t want to have kids, I like that my life plan is just “work here for a few years, take a leave of absence and live in NY, work a little more, move to Seattle, find someone there, that’s all.” None of this, “meet someone by this time, engaged by this time, have kids by this time …”

– Also spent a significant amount of time in TopShop which Juliette told us is basically Kate Moss’ store. The only other one in US is in NY I think, but Juliette says there are a TON in Europe. The style is nicer than H&M but the prices are many times that and the quality is not particularly improved. My favorite was when I saw a piece of clothing and went “I HATE that!” and Kathy looked at it and without being ironic or sarcastic at all said “I LOVE this!!!” and another time she saw something and was like “omg cute!” and I said “that’s hideous.”

– Ate at Lou Malnati’s which I thought was REALLY good, despite Kristen saying she didn’t like it. I’ll admit the crust does not compare to Little Star’s cornmeal crust, but it was yummy to me!

– Walked around Navy Pier and found the Stained Glass Museum, which was the only reason I wanted to go to Navy Pier. We also got to witness a pretty awesome fireworks show in celebration of fleet week, which was fun. Finding the stained glass museum was difficult. We had initially walked past it and went to the very end of the pier before having to turn back. It is not advertised at all and there are no prominent signs which is kind of dumb since there is not much else that is better than that museum on the pier! It wasn’t what I expected but I thought it was worth it one room that had stuff like this.

– We had plans to eat at The Purple Pig but it was 11pm and both of us were exhausted. I was already not certain whether I’d even be able to make it back to the El Station, so I guess The Purple Pig will be for next year!

——————–

Sunday:

– Woke up and got ready for the day. We met Benny, who was staying in the other room of the apartment. He is from Ireland and graduated with an electrical engineering degree but decided to travel for a little bit since he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next. He decided he liked traveling so much that he just kept doing it and now he’s been on the road for eight years. CRAZINESS. He has a blog, the kind that has many visitors and actually makes revenue for him. I found him really fascinating and if we hadn’t met him, I would have felt like the whole AirBnB experience would have been rather lame

– Brunch at Longman & Eagle’s which I had gone to last week for lunch. This time I got the duck egg hash which was ok but not what I was expecting

– We had had grand plans of getting bikes and going to Lincoln Park and possibly kayaking. Maybe in our free time we would go walk around some boutiquey stores near Wicker Park Instead, we decided maybe we could just go to Molly B’s for cupcakes. It was a CRAZY CUTE store!!! I think their specialty in cupcakes is having fillings. Pretty delicious!

– Then we looked at the time and realized we had basically forty minutes left. We were going to go get hot dogs from Hot Doug’s but realized it was closed on Sunday. I was totally kicking myself for that but it turned out we barely had enough time to make it back to the airport anyway, so everything worked out for the best. Basically Sunday was purely eating day.

– Took the El to the airport then said our goodbyes there. I will forever associate the American Airlines terminal of O’Hare as my goodbye terminal because it is where I parted ways with Lindsay and Kathy!

Sunday happened to be very overcast and when we left Molly B’s, it started to rain on us. For whatever reason, it seems like O’Hare flights are constantly being delayed.

I am really tired and can’t think of a good conclusion.

 

Waiting to begin my workday…

Last night I had the option of:

1) doing more work
2) sleeping
3) reading
4) watching Vampire Diaries
5) blogging

Work was exhausting and I didn’t do a fraction of what I had intended/am scheduled to do. Then I ended up going to over to Amy’s to make chicken and cupcakes and stayed until 11:20. Good thing she lives about three minutes away from me – I feel like I could have fallen asleep at the wheel. I ended up reading a page of my book that I REALLY want to finish but am afraid I won’t have time for, then fell asleep with my window wide open to let in some cool air.

Woke up at 5:30 (thanks Chicago time!) and watched Vampire Diaries … now it’s 7:51 and I’m waiting for my carpool so I can start another day for work. It is supposed to be in the 90s today but I have decided my outfit today will involve a very warm and snug cardigan. I’m wearing a tank top underneath so there’s no chance of taking the cardigan off. I wish my wardrobe were more extensive so I could adjust for the weather accordingly, but I only have the few pieces in my closet.

Hopefully I can write a blog about my last weekend in Chicago. I feel like if I leave a post unposted for more than two days of work, all the excitement of that post gets sucked out.

Chicago Part 1b

There are some days when I think, I loveeeeee my job and I loveeeee the people I work with. Today is one of those days!

I’m now at the Q Center which is where my company holds its trainings. It’s an old women’s university, now converted to house people from many different companies all at once for trainings that don’t really teach us anything. We have private rooms with our own bathrooms. There is a nearby lake where we can rent bikes and/or run around. There is a bar, which really seems like it had been converted from a small meeting room. And it’s practically in the middle of nowhere, which is how they make sure we do not ditch training!

I woke up in Chicago around 9am which I realize was really 7am in CA time. After trying to plan out my day (mostly for naught as I ended up taking so long to do the first few things) before I did the following:

1) Walk back around the Renegade Street Fair. By the end of my trip, I think I had walked up and down the fair five different times. Each time I would see something totally new.

2) Breakfast at Milk & Honey. I went with a lighter, healthier choice of granola. It was “house-made” but I went to sit at the bar which is in front of the kitchen and right in front of me were bags and bags of granola, packaged like you’d buy granola in the store. The packaging DID say Milk & Honey on the top but I find that very intriguing. Where is this granola made? Who is actually making it? How much is this cafe spending just to get personalized packaging? It was good though, so no complaints. I just wish I had gotten a picture of the interior because it was super cute

The view from the bar is unfortunately far less interesting

2) Walked to the Damen Blue Line metro station, which meant walking past Wicker Park. As an owner of the movie Wicker Park, I was disappointed to see that it wasn’t as leafy as I had envisioned

3) Took the El to Logan Square, where I walked around, ended up passing through a farmer’s market, then ate at Longman & Eagle which was one of GQ’s 2010 Best Restaurants. I only wish I weren’t traveling alone so I could have also tried the duck confit hash!

Swan Creek Pork Belly Blt, Arugula, Tomato Fennel Jam, Pickled Red Onion, Secret Sauce + egg

4) Headed back to Wicker Park. I had thought I might have time to squeeze in Millennium Park or possibly Gold Coast to explore the mansions, but no time! I decided instead of walk up and down Renegade YET AGAIN. I bought my host a cute little calendar thing and bought a blood orange juice and finally called it a day

Damian Blue Line stop

5) Went back to my host’s apt, said my goodbyes, and then went on my way to the O’ Hare airport!

I was supposed to meet up with Marina, my fellow coworker, but at the last minute I realized that we were in completely different terminals. So instead we just got different limos (?). I am not sure if what I sat in was a limo. I would say it is a town car. I shared it with this older man who works at Accenture. We talked about the terrible weather in Pennsylvania and how apparently sink holes can appear out of NOWHERE. He sounded very terrified of the idea of living in CA where there are sometimes earthquakes and I was like …. I can’t believe you’re scared of earthquakes when a sinkhole could appear and either swallow your whole house or take the gas and sewage pipelines and just completely blow up your whole neighborhood!

I checked into my room around 8, thankfully just enough time to make it down for dinner! The office doesn’t go to training all at once – otherwise it would be CHAOS! My group is Marina, who works with me on my current client so between the both of us we can tell REALLY interesting stories, Lillian and Eugene, both of whom are the kind of people that get along with EVERYONE. We ended up talking until about 10:15, partly in the cafeteria and then moved into a sitting area off to the side. But now we have to go to bed because training starts at 8am. How horrible.

I’ll add pictures tomorrow. I don’t even want to get out of bed right now.

Weekend 36a: Chicago!

Conversation with my mom today on the phone:

me: hi
mom: oh, hello!
me: what are you doing right now
mom: i’m on the exercise bike …. what are you doing?
me: um … walking
mom: where are you walking?
me: um … in Chicago
mom: ……………………………………… WWWHHHATTTT?!!?!?!

So I’m in Chicago now! Not a random last minute trip but the way my day went, it might as well have been. My company does its training in St Charles, IL which is like a suburb of Chicago. Far enough away from Chicago so that people can’t escape training and vacation in the city, but close enough for people to claim they went to “Chicago” for training. More accurately, we go to the Chicago O’ Hare airport before taking transportation to our ACTUAL destination.

Sights at an El station

Last year I just booked my tickets so I would go to and from the training center directly. I didn’t even think of possibly extending my trip, until Justine told me she wanted to do that and I was like WHAT A GOOD IDEA! So I extended my trip to leave this Saturday at 7:30am and to leave next Sunday around 6:30pm. This first weekend I’m on my own; next weekend my awesome coworker friend Kathy will be joining me!

Because of my client and its taxing effect on my body and mind, I not only failed to figure out what my plans were before flying out, I also did not figure out where I WOULD BE SLEEPING TONIGHT. By far my worst case of procrastination. I sent out a few CS requests on Tuesday, then got panicky and sent out a few AirBnB requests on Friday, as in 12 hours before I’d arrive in Chicago. When I boarded my flight this morning, I honestly had no idea where I’d be sleeping tonight. Thankfully, one of the CSers got back to me and called me while I was on the plane, so when I landed I listened to a message that told me how to go to her apt! Loveeeeeee. The day before I was in the office and telling Julia, Amy and Kristen that I had not yet made hotel reservations and they were all freaking out and I was like “don’t worry about it! Everything will work out. No seriously.” and look! It did!

I think I ended up at my host’s place around 3 or 3:30 and then I just spent the next few hours trying to figure out where to go. I ended up going to the Renegade Crafts Fair in Wicker Park (where my host lives) and it was AMAZINGGGGG. omggg… it’s like all the greatest things from Etsy in a street fair. Apparently they come out to SF and LA as well. The street of tents was so long, that going down AND back up, I thought I was close to the end then realized I wasn’t even half done.

I think women at crafts fairs have much better makeup than woman in general. Maybe because they are more "artsy"

There was a Ray LaMontagne poster I kind of liked and then I saw the Feist poster I liked and had found online that time in Seattle. Chicago is where you actually BUY these hard to find posters! The guy, Ryan Kapp, who did 4 Seasons in Chicago also had a tent up and I was like OMGGG I have been looking for this FOREVER. Unfortunately, the price for all four screens was like $200 which is outside of my price range. I settled with a little business card that had the shrunken image.

I ended up buying a poster of SF … so now I have a Seattle poster and a SF poster! (picture of that to come later)

Even the food signs are cute!

Then I went to Mana Food Bar, which my host, Kristina, suggested. I have eaten alone in Seattle and was fine with it but today I stupidly chose a seat at the corner and I realized too late that the restaurant is so narrow that if you are sitting at the bar, you have nothing to look at besides a gray wall VERY close to you. They should rethink that layout. I wish I had chosen to sit outside or by the window or in front of the hostess so I could stare at something other than a grey wall for my meal.

I didn’t take any pictures 😦 because it was so dark  I knew it wouldn’t come out well anyway. The food was DELICIOUS though. Well, I got a five spice tofu, which didn’t taste any better than when my mom makes tofu. I shouldn’t have gotten something so Asian – that was my fault. I ordered a Mana slider, which is a slider with a patty made of brown rice and mushrooms. It was SOOOO FREAKING GOOD. I might have to go back and buy another one because they’re $3.50 each. Wait, I just realized $3.50 for a slider is not a great deal. Oh well. IT IS WHEN IT’S THAT GOOD. I also ordered a potato pancake, with pear chutney and crema. It was pretty good, a lot of strong flavors, but still tasty.

I wish I had more energy so I could look up tomorrow’s restaurants. But it’s like 1am Chicago time and I woke up at 5am today so my body is dying. I was falling asleep on the El today. So after the street fair I took the El to downtown Chicago to try and find Navy Pier but due to my incompetency, that was a failure. I only wanted to go to Navy Pier for the Stained Glass Museum which Kristen and I TOTALLY missed when we went to Navy Pier on the roadtrip! The Lonely Planet tourbook seems very adamant that this is a must-see, so I think I will see this with Kathy next weekend.

Since the museum closes at 10pm on Saturdays and it was already 9:30, I decided to cut my losses and take the El to Lakeview and walk around. It was not what I expected but still nice to walk around. I basically walked down two long streets full of bars. One, closer to Wrigley Field (which I ALSO just coincidentally stumbled upon with no intention) was very sports bar-y, as would be expected. Another, very close in distance but very distant in clientele, was super gay. Sometimes I think cities like San Diego and Chicago and Seattle have a much higher concentration of gay people in certain areas compared to SF.

Walking around Wrigley Field was the killer for me. I feel like my legs may never recover right now. My eyes feel so nice when I close them, which means it’s time to sleep.

* Added bonus: before I left for my self-exploration time, my host let me eat ice cream that she HAD MADE. Amazing. Now I want an ice cream maker to make sorbets!

1) Pear Riesling (as in the fruit and the wine), 2) Dried Fig and ... something ... 3) Lemon Blueberry, 4) Cucumber Honeydew

Couchsurfing always reminds me how mundane my life is

Weekend 35: Relaxation from Labor

I had previously written Weekend 44: Seattle and thought “WTF HOW ARE THERE ONLY EIGHT WEEKS LEFT IN THE YEAR?!” I just recounted on the calendar and surprisingly I did not lose count of my weekends! You might think, well, how hard could it be – you just add one to the last post. I will tell you – it is surprisingly very difficult.

My plans for Labor Day included: one day where I just holed up in my room the entire day and watched so much tv that I would crave socializing, plan my weekend in Chicago, take my car to get the oil changed, vacuum, and read. Looking back, I did none of those.

Well. I read one chapter of The Imperfectionists. The second chapter was written in italics and that daunted me, so I stopped reading.

Let’s date back because now I am actually starting to do things not just on the weekend but during the week! YAYYYYYYYY

First I need to go collect my bagel from the toaster oven. I woke up at 6am feeling fully rested and figured I’d go to the client a little earlier and clean the audit room. I think now I have decided to just blog instead.

———————

Randomly placed picture of soup I helped make on Monday

Well. It’s now the next day. I do not know why but even if I sleep at 1am, my body snaps awake at 5:50am.

I am about to fly out to Chicago in two days and I do NOT YET have a place to stay. I was supposed to research on Tuesday but … I’m not sure what ended up with my time. I figured I could do it Wednesday, but then I ended up going to Pinkberry with Amy. Thursday, I went to Cafe Biere in Emeryville (SO good I got the Po Boy and Amy also gave me half of her lamb burger to take home) and Fenton’s (I told Julia that Ici’s would be better and at the end of the night we ALL regretted going to Fenton’s) and got home at 11am. I was practically falling asleep on the 880, so no research then either. Tonight I am somehow going to two happy hours – one in Walnut Creek for the team I’m on and one all the way back in San Jose for a coworker who’s leaving and I’m actually friends with. Tomorrow I’m going to go to some sort of volleyball tournament in Stanford with Jon and Josh. Then Saturday morning at 7:30 I will be flying into Chicago so … I guess we’ll see how this situation works out.

AND THAT. Is why. For the past few weeks I have talked VERY little to my mom, to the point that I kind of wish she would call me to force the call because every night I’m too exhausted to think of trying to have a conversation with anyone. Also why my room has gone unvacuumed for far too long. Also why my car’s maintenance light has been up for the past 900 miles and will probably be up for another 500. Also why I have FB photos to post from a month ago, why I have not yet called my doctor’s office for my results after they had called me twice, and why I have FREAKING MAIL to send to Caroline and Tanya for the past TEN WEEKS that I have not yet sent because I am never able to make it to a post office. Maybe if I had six more hours in the day. Then I’d be able to do well at work, go out with friends, handle my personal life, AND have a decent night sleep. Nope.

Let’s see. LAST Wednesday … had a happy hour with my team. Conversation always revolves around venting about our senior. Every day we go RESTART BUTTON in an attempt to forget about all the past shit we’ve gone through and we try to be optimistic but somehow by the end of the day at least one of us has gone on a rant with F bombs flying everywhere. Yesterday he amazingly pissed every single one of us off. Usually it’s one person in particular who gets the brunt of it one day. I’m just happy I have the rest of the team because <3!

Did I do something Thursday? No idea. Friday was early close for Labor Day Weekend … I went to Skates on the Bay with Laura, Albert and Soo Jin. Classy happy hour! Being classy is rather expensive. But the oysters were SOOOO GOOD. I would totally go back just for the oysters. Like an order of twenty. My team was supposed to leave around 3pm but I left my client around 5:30 I think and I did not care at all because Friday was just SO freaking fun. Unfortunately, it was a day that our manager came out so at the end of the day she was like “do you guys even do work?” Around lunch time, I had thought I could hold out until happy hour and not eat but I got so hungry I was like SAFEWAY TRIP! So some of us went and Kathy said “I’ll split a fruit tart with you.” But I get there and they don’t have any halves left, just WHOLE fruit tarts (like the size of a pie). Well, I came for fruit tart so I would leave with fruit tart, regardless of how monstrous it was. Good thing I got the whole though! The entire thing was gone within an hour. I had our client contact come over and eat some too and it felt like a freaking party. She told us how if she doesn’t pass her CPA exam, she’ll probably have to move back home and marry some trucker or logger and become white trash and run a meth lab out of her trailer to make money HAHA

We had sort of yelled to the other room where our manager was sitting to come and eat pie but apparently she didn’t hear. An hour goes by and we were like “why isn’t she coming – there is no way she would pass up fruit tart” and towards the end of the day she comes over and is like “YOU GUYS GOT FRUIT TART AND DIDN’T TELL ME? That is a CLM. Career Limiting Move.” I guess everyone had gone over to our room to eat fruit tart and our manager looked up and asked the single person left in the room (who doesn’t like fruit tart) where everyone was and she was like “I think they’re all in the other room eating fruit tart” at which she promptly came over to investigate.

So yes. SATURDAY. Went to watch Crazy Stupid Love with Laura and Jessica. It had way less Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling than you would expect based on the commercials but overall a pretty good movie. Also went to the Sunnyvale farmer’s market where I bought peaches and pluots. I don’t know what happened in my life to prompt me to buy farmer’s market fruit and sorbet from Whole Foods. A part of my brain is thinking who do you think you are! Buying premium foods on your auditor’s wages! Go back to Safeway!

I was supposed to go with Laura and Jessica to pick up their mom at the airport, but after sitting on the couch for a few hours I decided to go rock climbing. When I left the gym, I checked my phone and saw I got two texts (BTW I HAVE UNLIMITED TEXT NOW. It comes at a VERY opportune time because after being in Seattle with Antoinette for a single weekend, I am now, eight years later, into text): one from Laura saying her mom’s flight arrived at an unexpected time and they had to immediately leave, and one from Amy saying “do you want to come over for dinner?” I also got a voicemail from Amy who had said in a very annoyed tone “YOU KNOW IT’S NOT EVERY DAY I INVITE YOU TO COME OVER. YOU COULD AT LEAST CALL ME BACK.”

So I went over to Amy’s and we made delicious salsa and … umm … omg I can’t remember! This is going to bother me. OH. Creamed corn. I kept saying WHY can’t we just make REGULAR CORN. I don’t understand the fascination with creamed corn. It kind of turns my stomach. But so does 2% milk so maybe that’s why.

SUNDAY. Also went to Laura’s. We did Korean BBQ in the backyard. The Kuos like to huddle around the grill and immediately grab the meat so if you sit and wait around watching tv, you will be left with nothing. Laura also presented me with a gift her mom bought me from Taiwan. My immediate reaction: OOOOOOOOOO AWWW HOW NICE! Her reaction: Wait. You don’t know what it is yet. So … my mom buys THE MOST ridiculous clothes for me and my sister in Taiwan.

So now the downside of having a practically-adoptive Asian mom, and thus TWO Asian Moms, is that now I have TWO PEOPLE GIVING ME RIDICULOUS CLOTHES FROM TAIWAN.

New shirt for weekend wear

Then we sat through a 2.5 hr long slideshow presentation of Laura’s Mom’s Pictures from Taiwan. 1) Her pictures are very … Asian parent. Meaning, the framing of the shot is generally wonky, people in the pictures are RARELY looking INTO the camera, pictures of the SAME thing are taken OVER and OVER again, and the things they find interesting ARE NOT INTERESTING to photograph! 2) Laura’s Mom talked in Chinese throughout the slideshow so I couldn’t even understand anything she was saying! She kept asking if we knew this and this historical important Chinese figure and I was like no! I don’t!

I just don’t understand … I am certain that all Asian people go through the “1 … 2 … 3!” countdown. Yet people are ALWAYS looking off-camera. I just don’t understand what they decide to look at in the last second.

Albert and Soo Jin drove down and unfortunately had to sit through about an hour of it. Meaning, approximately a third of the slideshow. Then we went to Yardhouse. We were told it would be a one hour and forty-five minute wait but it ended up being twenty minutes. They’re weeding out their clientele! To only the truly hungry and dedicated. We missed happy hour and by the time it rolled around we were way too full to take advantage of it. Too bad. There are no Yardhouses in Seattle. I will miss that too.

Monday. Laura’s. Again. Drove up to SF to drop off her sister and then went to some seafood restaurant in the Castro that I can’t remember the name of at all. AHA! Woodhouse Fish Company. There we go. I got a ahi cheeseburger that was really delicious. We then decided to take a brief walk to feel less full. Nice to just walk around on a MONDAY!!! I couldn’t tell if SF felt emptier because everyone had left to other parts of CA, or if people just generally aren’t walking around the Castro on a weekday afternoon.

Then Amy texted me and I went over to her place again. I have had a lot of Amy time this week. Apparently she felt so bad that on Saturday she invited me over for dinner and just fed me salsa and creamed corn. I don’t know how I ended up in a situation that someone felt so bad about the food they had given me to eat one day, that they would want me to come over to eat a proper meal, but I like it very much. The thing about Amy is that she spends a LOT of money on food and the process of making food. All of her kitchen gadgets are fancy. It’s like … shopping in a Sur La Table and Crate & Barrel if you go through her kitchen shelves. She also shops at Whole Foods and seems to think that you HAVE to buy $3 butter and fancy flour and fancy chocolate. I always go “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BUY THE CHEAP ONE” to which she always responds “because this tastes better!”

So we made chocolate chip cookies and chicken soup with dumplings that day and watched a recording of the VMAs. The dumplings were … good in my mouth but in my head I was like THIS IS JUST FLOUR AND BUTTER. It was some sort of American dumpling that involved just flour, butter and leek. It only tasted good because it was like eating VERY buttery bread! VMAs were interesting and I like how I still know the people and songs. Not too old yet! Maybe Britney Spears is hopped up on drugs and sedatives and all to keep her from going batshit crazy again, who knows. But I really like how when the camera pans to her, she always reminds me of a mom watching her kids in some sort of elementary school performance. Like, no longer immediately IN the action but an invested spectator. She always gives me a mom vibe now, which may not be what you want in a singer celebrity but it works!

Cookies and MTV

Ok now it’s 7:10 am and while I managed to dress up in decent business clothes, I have to now throw together a breakfast and lunch. At least I got this entry in before the weekend! Pictures later.

OK. SHIT. Now it’s 7:45 and while I put together a lunch, after scanning my blog for dumb grammar mistakes, I AM NOW REALLY LATE AND WILL MISS FERNANDO AND GREG’S CELEBRITY GOSSIP. WAHHH