Sep 032008

Yesterday we drove out where people hike, bike, picnic and all sorts of outdoor activities. I chatted with some people crouched down against the hillside and they showed me the berries that were safe to eat. When I was a kid I ate all kinds of random flowers and plants around my neighborhood. It’s a bit of a miracle that I never got sick.

I found these berries

The berries I picked are crow berries. The nice woman told me that they are great in jams with other berries and that they have a lovely deep color when cooked. They were crunchy and a little tart. They did not have a distinct flavor and were not sweet. I also found some wild blueberries that were mushy in the center and pretty sour. I think I’ll stick to the grocery store variety of those.

I made a video about our hiking adventure.

Aug 302008

I’m in Alaska right now. The weather is mild and the sun doesn’t go down until 9pm. I’m with Justine on some crazy-fun adventures.

At SFO I had a veggie burger with bacon. Ya, that seems a little weird, but veggie burgers are reliably tasty. They almost always use Gardenburgers. The animal burger actually cost less than the veggie one which is very fishy. Then I noticed the additions. Ooooo jalapenos, yummmm blue cheese. I just couldn’t resist the bacon.

My veggie bacon burger

As soon as we got off the plane yesterday morning we went straight to the spa. Justine and I have our priorities straight. After several hours of relaxation and eating fruit, we went out to dinner at Glacial Brewhouse where we stuffed our bellies with delicious food.


My cajun crusted halibut was tender and sweet and very spicy. The snap peas where a little overcooked imo but they tasted fine. I also had a bit of Justine’s salmon and it was surprisingly good. I usually don’t like the taste of salmon but this fresh wild salmon was deeeeelish.

Cajun halibut

I also enjoyed the apple currant bread pudding. It was rich and moist and spiced with Christmas. The sauce it swam in was very sweet but I liked the rum flavor.

bread pudding that I actually liked

We were also lucky enough to be given a tour of their brewing facilities in the back.

You can check out what we did today at Justine’s blog.

Aug 252008

So there’s this old Chinese man that plays this two-stringed instrument in the bay area. I’ve seen him in Berkeley (on campus and outside bart) in downtown SF and Chinatown. It as an erhu, and when he plays it sounds like cats being skinned alive. When I was in New York in may I was lucky enough to hear some music from the erhu (along with another instrument I’m not familiar with). It was quite lovely. Here’s a shaky short video of the musicians. It was very pretty, and such a vast difference from the old Chinese man.

Apr 082008
No joke sandwich

Eating in New York is dangerous. There are tourist traps everywhere — good food that is really expensive, pretty food that is no good, or food that is just plain bad. My latest trip to New York (pics) was foodgasmic.

We went to Katz, 2nd Ave Deli, Blue Smoke, La Famigilia, and some awesome restaurant — all places I would recommend trying. Employees Only was fantastic for drinks* (that was the December trip).

I feel like a NY sandwich could eat me. When we went to Katz, I ordered a turkey sandwich since I figured it would be lighter than the red meat ones. It was two slices of bread with a mound of giant chunks of real turkey pieces. No lettuce, tomato, onions, sprouts, arugula or anything I would expect in a California sandwich. Just meat and bread. The sandwich was decent, but I liked Dennis’ Ruben much better. I’d never had a Ruben before so I don’t have anything to compare it with, but it tasted really good. There is absolutely no way a person could/should eat an entire sandwich in one sitting from this deli.

Blue Smoke was mouth watering bbq goodness. Authentic bbq was also a first (what we Californians do in our backyards & parks is what bbq snobs call ‘grilling’). The ribs were tangy, sweet, saucy, and tender. I also experienced the best mac & cheese ever.

With so much animal consumed, I needed meat decompression when I returned. I can’t imagine eating meat every day.

Thoughts on vegetarianism & ginger smash drink recipe
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Feb 052008

I bought this cake during my December trip to New York, and it was not happy. I’m a huge fan of Delessio. I’ve heard good things about Kara’s Cupcakes but I haven’t tried them yet. Whole Foods has decent grocery store ones. I like that they sell a few vegan varieties. Where are all the good happy cakes?

Dec 172007

The redeye lands us in New York around 7am. After dropping our bags off at the hotel a little before 9, we wander out into the streets again. It is bitter cold and I am still dirty and groggy from the plane ride. Time Square is only a block away and Dennis is happy to wander into Toys R Us with me. It is overwhelmingly large. The ferris wheel spins invitingly, displaying all it’s empty carts like colorful lures twinkling in the midst of the toys. There was no way I could resist it.

Nov 032007

Whew! Adobe max was great. I met a few fantastic people, including my east coast self, Ed Finkler. Terry, though flattering, is quite delusional as I am not anywhere as badass as Ed. Turns out that Grant Skinner (hotshot flash dude,) looks just like Scott Blonde from the back/side. I almost died when he turned and smiled at me, and then I realized it wasn’t Scott. It would have been neat to chat with Grant, except what would I say? “Hi, uhh, your blog has saved my ass…Do you have any maple syrup?”

Being there made me think that Adobe was the best company in the world, and everything they did was heaven-sent. The sneak-peek was probably my favorite event (see video. It contains little snippets about Visual Communicator, Photoshop Express, flash 10 features and Seam Carving), though I couldn’t tear myself away from the conference with all the fantastic talks.

In such a male-dominated industry, I feel like I should be wary of people who approach me, but meeting new people is _so awesome_. I love making new friends, but no, I’m not going to make out with anyone outside of a club who I met at a conference.


So here’s my creative solution: colored bracelets. Green indicates single and yellow indicates not single. Unsingle people can wear yellow. This idea is directly inspired by stoplight parties (Remember back in those college days where your shirt color indicated availability? Ya, those parties). If we were clearly marked, people could talk to each other with fewer assumptions. One problem I can see is that one green person may have trouble approaching another green person because #1 doesn’t want #2 to assume attraction.

I don’t think any conference would encourage such a rule, but it would be an interesting experiment. Perhaps the solution is better applied to the ‘looking for investors’ and ‘looking for investments’ problem. At least this would be applicable (and useful!) to more conference people than the single/not single problem.

Jul 092007

After looking at all the menus at MGM, we chose Fiamma. Good Italian is difficult to find in SF, so it seemed worthwhile to try this cute Italian place.

The meal:
beet salad
octopus salad
grilled hamachi
lobster gnocchi
spaghetti & meatballs
donut holes

The best drink I had was at this restaurant. It was some brandy/cherry concoction that was (amazingly!!) not disgustingly sweet. I don’t know what is wrong with that city–the bartenders there are overall horrible. The drinks are expensive (~$12) and weak, the alcohol they use is complete shit and then they add a ton of sugar. Really, Rose’s lime juice is gross. Please use real limes.

The special of the day was the beet salad with string beans, arugula and parmesan. I absolutely love roasted beets, but these didn’t come out as well as I had hoped. They were just the tiniest bit undercooked and there a strong raw garlic flavor to it. The garlic and truffle oil were overpowering all the other flavors. Fortunately, it was the only disappointment of the night. The octopus salad with fingerling potatoes was really freaking good. It has a dense meaty texture and wasn’t overly salty. I skipped the beef carpaccio because raw meat is a little too bloody for me.

The gnocchi had a nice bit of resistance to it–it was creamy goodness and not mushy. The chunks of lobster were divine with the cremini mushrooms. Andy had the hamachi with pecans, which also was quite tasty. The fish was not overcooked and I loved the crunchy little nut bits. How does one justify $30 spaghetti? By putting kobe beef meatballs on it! It seems a little silly, but it was worth it–al dente noodles, fantastic sauce (not to tart or sweet), and those meatballs were deliciously tender.

Heavenly donut holes. They were sososososo good, and each golden fluffy ball came on a stick to facilitate dipping into their wonderful sauces. The panna cotta was also amazing. The accompanying almond cookies were crunchy bits of goodness. Props to the pastry chef Elizabeth Katz–she knew what she was doing.

Cost ~ $100 a person including tax, tip, and 2 drinks.

Decor was nice and so was the service. This place was a great experience. It was the only good meal we had in Vegas. Other restaurants were mediocre to lame to I-want-to-block-that-out-of-my-memory. It’s certainly worth trying and I would go there again the next time we’re in Vegas.

May 102007

Tribeca has long finished, but I still wanted to share a few stories

I arrived Wed eve so that I could document the opening party. The traffic was horrendous from the airport, so I was running late. I quickly get ready, rush out the door, hop into a cab, and… sit in more traffic. I am almost at the BMCC theater when I realize that I had left my cell at the hotel. With no way to meet up with my contact (who had my press pass) I turn around and go back. I burst into my room, madly looking for that little chunk of plastic and metal to which I am completely enslaved. It’s shiny red surface laughs at me as I scoop it up from the bathroom sink. I dash out of the room as I call my contact. Downstairs in the full lobby I head straight for the escalator at full speed–*smack!* It was me versus the glass pane and I lost. On top of that, the event is wrapping up, so there’s no need for me to go anymore. Waiting for the elevator I notice that the elevator-man is looking at me. “It’s one of those days,” I sigh. “I saw,” he says sympathetically.

Yummy apple
After some moping, dinner, and more moping I decide to go to the apple store. That’ll cheer me up. What’s more fun than the apple store? A 24/7 apple store! After my brilliant performance of Agorophobia I do some more dancing and singing on ustream (9 minutes in I sing What a Wonderful World, 26 mins I make funny faces, somewhere in there I sing grr’s song).
When I decide to stop streaming, several people come up to me to chat. *blahblahblah* Finally I walk back to the hotel around 3am. I manage to upload a bunch of video as I prepare for bed.