February 2006 Archives
Dav IM'd me today proposing to eat lunch here. I couldn't go until 2pm so I was starving, but it was totally worth it. Dav picked me up with his motorcycle and off we went, pregnant belly and all.
I was pleasantly surprised. Right downtown, in a beautifully designed space with minimalist decor, we had delicious and healthy Japanese shojin food. Honestly, I could imagine we were in some hip Omotesando cafe in Tokyo. Since it was quite late, it was empty but huge, so I imagine they get a bustling lunch/dinner crowd.
Dav had curry udon that came with pickles and a tofu side. I had a yam croquette, veges in a sesame sauce, and vege rolls with seki-han rice. I ordered nice soba-cha too (buckwheat tea). For dessert, Dav had a perfect coconut jelly dish, and I had my favorite matcha shaved ice with adzuki beans. We're definitely going back!
Now that Ian and I no longer work together, it's been a while since we've hung out. So they came over for dinner on Saturday. This was also to give Izumi a break from having to cook in their living room in a make-shift kitchen as they are remodeling their kitchen.
As always, it's refreshing and tons of fun to interact with the kids. We put on a few xbox games and they giggled like crazies watching how badly they drove in the car-racing games, or how cute their characters were in a lego-themed star wars game we have.
After dinner, we played Mille Bournes, an old time favorite of Ian's and mine. But somehow the game progressed very slowly (we were all stuck with no gas, a flat tire, no green light etc. forever), and the kids quickly got bored. Us adults played dutifully, hoping a winner would put us out of our misery. But it was a good time, sitting around the table as family, just shooting this shit.
Our friends Brian and Tameeza started a Salon tradition, and we attended the 2nd on Friday. About 30 people gathered, nibbled, sipped, and socialized until the bell rang, and we all piled into the living room. The question we all took turns answering was, "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail."
People interpreted this in different ways, as in what would one do in this current life that we don't do because we're afraid of failing, or what would one do if one could do anything, like create a gene that would make all humans shift their "racial" types every 2 years (Dav's idea). Or give everyone the ability to do lucid dreaming.
I had 2: become the mayor of a small conservative town somewhere and introduce a Burning Man type lifestyle. Assuming I wouldn't fail at this, I'd be most interested in how this process is achieved, i.e. what the change process and struggles would be in people's philosophical, religious, and deep personal beliefs.
My 2nd choice was to become a world-renowned cheese expert, and create my own cheese. By the end of the evening, my nickname became Mayor du Fromage, and Dav adopted Bullshit Sheriff - after a heated discussion where he called out someone's bullshit. So now Dav and I want to create personas (and matching outfits) to walk around the playa as Mayor du Fromage and her Bullshit Sheriff.
If you've been following my blog, especially from the Tokyo Tidbits days, you know about Mieko. We used to work together before the word "blog" even existed. When I moved back to Tokyo in 2001 for a few years, I was super lucky that she was back too from SF for about 6 months for visa reasons. Triple lucky that Noriko (we all used to work together) was also back for a year for visa reasons. And the three of us together had soooo much fun in Tokyo.
Anyhow, when I moved to SF in August 2003 to be with Dav, both Noriko and Mieko were back in SF. So we've had this really nice international coordinated moving of sorts. And at times we didn't see each other often, but just knowing we all lived in the same city was comforting.
Now, Mieko is going back to Japan...for various reasons that were building up and I totally understand. It's just time. I know we'll always stay in touch, but it is sad that this era of living close together will end. Next time I see her, Dav and I will be parents, which will make our spontanteous outings to see independent bands more difficult. Mieko is hugely into the music scene both here and in Tokyo, and has introduced me to very cool bands. I will miss her and all her music insights for sure. But I am happy for her new adventure and am sure this is right for her.
Yes, I'm really into food these days. Everything tastes so good! I've just started putting extra something on my thighs (and Dav says my butt is bigger already), so this pregnancy thing isn't just about the belly. Sigh. But I'm enjoying it now that it's more obvious I'm growing a little being versus carrying a beer belly.
Anyhow, last night was a delightful work-related dinner. We've had 4 of our Japanese 6A members working here for over a month, and since they are leaving tomorrow, we took them out for dinner. Lilia suggested Acme Chophouse and it was perfect in terms of offering a memorable meal that one would just not find in Tokyo.
To be honest, it's the kind of place I'd never go on my own, and would only eat such a type of meal once every 3 years or so. It's huge and meaty. Only one fish dish. We did family style so we got to share a variety of dishes. Two things: 1) the meat is organic top quality meat and absolutely delicious, and 2) my body can tolerate only so much meat!
We all had a good time, and I think our Japanese team got all proteined-up for their trip home! Sekimura-san got some good pics here. Clearly, both of us started our picture taking with our lobster bisque soup :)
Decided to go out for dinner, but wanted somewhere new, so we drove to Tenderloin to randomly try a place. We choose mangosteen at 601 Larkin, and it was excellent Vietnamese food!
We started off with some sort of "blue" tea that came in the tiniest of tea cups. Then we had sweet & sour soup that was perfectly spicy, kept steaming hot with its own little table fire. The tea's flavor was doubled when contrasted to the soup. In addition to fresh imperial rolls, we had an elegant lemongrass tofu dish. I highly recommend this find. They have a beautiful card too (last pic).
It's cash only though so come prepared.
Helen, a campalician fellow member, came to visit SF from Colorado. She was here while Dav and I were in Colorado! But we managed to get one meal in together, which I cherished. We haven't had much time together, but connected when I was trying to organize last year's Campalicious. Helen swooped in, made my excel sheets look nice, and kept my sanity. Later, we began exchanging emails, and I've admired her courage on her blog to discuss her inner most thoughts and feelings. I tend not to do that, but really enjoy learning so much through her.
Finally getting some face-to-face time to catch up was perfect. Looking forward to a deepening relationship. : )
Click to see video.
After staying at Keystone, we headed to Copper Mountain, another resort that apparently the locals like to use. We stayed in a gorgeous condo that was right smack in the middle of the resort village. This was also arranged by Colorado Ski Country just like our Keystone stay.
Others continued to ski or snowboard, but in the late afternoon, we all met up for snow tubing. My gosh, that was fun! I started with the slower trail, screaming my way down, afraid I'd crash and hurt my belly. But as I realized there really was no way I'd turn over, since the slopes are carefully built, I ventured onto more. Dav and I held on to each other's tubes, got a spinning start by one of the operator dudes, and went flying down. It felt like a roller coaster and Dav laughed his head off watching me scream my lungs out. I highly recommend it!
Later, we all met for an après ski drink, and I enjoyed a virgin cosmo. At dinner, we found the cutest dog decked out in doggy booties, waiting for his master. Up to then, weather had been quite nice, but by dinner, it got down to -8, rare for CO, and very cold indeed.
The last pics are of our condo. There was a photo frame on the fire mantle with a couple in front of a mountain. I guess this was to make the condo feel homey. Dav promptly left his mark by drawing in a cute dinosaur popping up in the mountains (it's hard to see, but it's there to the right of the white square glare on the picture close-up).
Overall, it was another fantastic stay. However, the altitude did catch up with me, no matter how much water I drank. The last night I didn't sleep well, had to put on a humidifier, and still woke several times dehydrated. By morning, I was exhausted. We had to wake early to get our shuttle back to Denver airport, and I was completely out of it.
Then when we got to Denver, our flight to SF was cancelled, so we had to be rerouted to Oakland. Luckily, everyone else was heading that way to attend the Tech Crunch Naked Conversations launch party, and Buzz kindly drove us all the way from Oakland to SFO so we could pick up our car. I wanted to go to the party, but was pretty much in bed from 5pm until the next morning!
I've known Buzz via Active Words, but on this trip got to know a lot more about him and all his amazing personal stories. We discovered that the house in Parenthood with Steve Martin was Buzz's! Dav and I promptly rented it last night to see his house. It was actually a touching movie and I got all teary-eyed by the end (yes, I definitely am more teary-eyed than normal and try to hide it it's so embarrassing).
Click to see video.
Yep. Being pregnant, you'd wonder why I came to this skiing/snowboarding heaven. For sure, Dav is snowboarding to his heart's content and loving it. When I was in the gondola, looking at the nice smooth slopes that were totally not crowded, I wished I could get a few runs in too.
But I went snowmobiling instead! I had no idea what to expect, and am more of the quiet sports type (sailing, hiking, bicycling) (that is, when I rarely actually do sports), so I thought I'd not enjoy the obnoxious motor sound. Indeed, the noise was obnoxious, and I felt bad for all the animals we must have disturbed. Plus the gas stank.
However, I have to say it was a fantastic experience. We drove out into the country, and went on some beautiful trails. There were 6 total in our group. However, me and Scoble's wife Maryam drove much slower than the others, and we were left behind. So for the most part, I had no one in front of me, and I could pretend I was alone. Don't worry, we had a great guide who would wait for us at every turn, and even served us all hot chocolate mid-trip.
Most memorable? Since I'm pregnant AND I've been drinking a lot because of the altitude, I had to pee...in the middle of the snowy mountain. I had so many layers to peel off, and then my poor bare butt in the cold...I sure won't forget that!
Once there was daylight, I was astounded at the beauty here. I am more of an ocean gal, always living somewhere close to water. Here, it's dry and high altitude with majestic mountains and bright white snow all around. It's feels festive even though it's a normal day here.
I woke to find Dav out on the balcony, all bundled up, working on his laptop! It was actually having fan trouble, so the cold was perfect. The resort is huge, and after breakfast, I walked around and found several ice sculptures. Dav took off snowboarding, but being pregnant, I hung around with DL Byron, Steve, Scoble, and his wife Maryam. We went up a gondola and were going to have lunch at the top, but the winds were too strong so we came back down. It was still worth the trip.
Dav and I arrived late Tuesday night in Denver, CO at Keystone Lodge. Our first time in this Colorado Ski Country area and we are super eager to see the snow, but it was too dark. Instead, I thoroughly enjoyed discovering our room. Cabin-like feel, but with fresh flowers, giant bed, lots of goodies, etc. Haven't been on a winter trip in a while so this is quite nice.
Click to see video.
Today was just gorgeous. Beautiful summer hot weather. What a treat in San Francisco! We lounged around on our patio, listening to podcasts, and reading. Our housemates Emerick and Sara joined for their studying (aren't they adorable?). Awesome day!
[UPDATE: Dav got out his camera and we started goofing around with pictures. First just Dav, Emerick, Sara, and me. Then Mike joined. Then Kunal. Our whole household is goofy, and I love 'em all! The sunset was fantastic, no? I'm still surprised when I see myself in pictures with others. Am I really that short??]
Pete and Katia are expecting a girl in early April, 3 months ahead of us. They are part of Campalicious, and also got married at Burning Man this past year. It's exciting that our paths are timed so similarly! I'm sure Katia and I will be sharing hints and helping each other out.
Unfortunately, with busy lives, we hadn't seen each other forever! Finally we got to have breakfast all together. Dav and I had a super lovely time catching up with them. I couldn't resist getting a belly picture.
Dav has been at Code Con, and Saturday night, there was a party at Annie's Social Club (917 Folsom St. @ 5th). Caught up with a few friends and had a casual but fun good time. They were playing mashup music and we danced a bit. We joked how this baby-to-be has had quite the weekend, beginning with strip clubs, and now dancing to loud music. I could imagine the Boom Boom noise she was feeling.
I enjoyed the geek decorations they had up for the occasion. Quite an eclectic crowd.
I found out about a woman who gives North Beach strip club tours for couples, and signed us up secretly from Dav. To spice up this surprise, even though I had no doubt Dav would love this adventure, instead of telling him about it, I created a card ostensively from "a secret-admirer" who wanted to take Dav out for a good time. In the card, it specified to meet at Cafe Prague at 5:45 sharp, and look for a woman with a bob haircut and flower in her hair. Dav would obviously know it's me, but nonetheless, I wanted to set the stage to pretend it was someone else.
But the card never arrived in the mail. So I had to pragmatically explain the gist without too many details.
Then I was late getting to Cafe Prague myself, and in my frantic change into my "secret-admirer" outfit in the car, I failed to notice my hair was sticking out of my wig. I pinned the flower on and ran to the cafe. I had time to adjust my costume once there, but I realized I'm just not a pro at such role-playing. Practice will make perfect though, right?
Anyway, about 22 of us were in the tour, and to be honest, it wasn't anything special that Dav and I couldn't do on our own. I thought we'd get more historical background (we got some) or insider information. Nevertheless, it was fun. The dancers had a great time since we, as such a large group, offered tons of tips. We went to 4 places, then a boutique where Dav bought me fabulous earrings, and finished with dinner at the House of Nanking (fitting all 22 of us together was insane!)
THE most amazing, wondrous experience...EVER.
Last night, we were watching a movie in bed. As usual, Dav had his hand on my belly.
I knew I should be feeling something soon, and every night lay quietly checking. But as I was concentrating on the movie, I suddenly realized that the gentle bubbling I was feeling - that in the back of my mind I must have absent-mindedly passed off as gas or digestion - must be Gargle. It was a split-second "OMG" dawning. I sat up, and told Dav, "this must be Gargle!!!" And when I thought about it, I was even more sure because they were irregular and definitely something I'd never felt before. I lay back down and concentrated, and sure enough a few more bubbling nudges came through.
This is a HUGE leap in further connecting with this little being...I knew this would happen and looked forward to it, taking my time to gradually relate to all this, but actually feeling a little "hi" from Gargle was just sweetly fantastic.
I've been thinking lately about how my parents went through this transition, from being single adults, then married, then parents. To me, they've always been Mom and Dad. And to Gargle (we'll think of a real name someday, I promise), Dav and I will just be parents for a long time. She won't even consider that we have this rich life as a couple entirely before her existence. Weird! We're becoming the older generation!
Just last night I was IM-ing with my dad and thanked him and mom for being such cool parents. He replied, "Thanks for being a cool kid. Lovely to have you around." I'm just beginning to imagine my parents raising my brother and me from a tiny spec of practically nothing to who we are now.
Went to see the "Traditions Unbound: Groundbreaking Painters of 18th-Century Kyoto" exhibit at the SF Asian Museum. I loved the variety of calligraphy painting, and it was displayed well with good explanations about what was unique in each style or how the painters broke out of certain standards. There was some really nice eye-catching pieces that I wish I could have at home.
Photos weren't allowed in the special exhibit area, but was OK for the regular area. So I picked out neat facial expressions that struck me as beautiful or cute.
Click to see video.
This morning, we went down to the San Francisco court house to have a judge (or actually a commissioner) hear our case. It was pretty straight-forward, but all new to me. We had to raise our right hand and swear we were telling the truth, and answer into the microphone "yes" twice (and were told if we didn't answer "yes" there would be more questions for us). Basically, we verbally spelled out our old names, and the judge verbalized the spelling of our new names for recording purposes.
I was able to video Dav's turn, and you can hear the judge spelling Dav, Impossible, Yaginuma. She didn't bat an eye. And then it was over!
So we are now officially and legally the Yaginumas - 柳沼. This post is very much for Gargle who will grow up as a Yaginuma, and by reading this can get a sense of how Dav and I actually adopted this family name for ourselves, and how it's an exciting new chapter for us.
Following my recent post of geeky Waka, Dav made this adorable addition to one of the pictures.
hmmn: musings from the far east(erwood)
Big in Japan
Ed the Cat
Anil, the Nigritude Ultramarine
A Full Belly
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