Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Another week, another trip. This time to San Francisco, which is one of my favorite places. I had two good meetings, some "team building" with the onsite group, and a bit of time to wander around the city... Unlike my recent trips to Dallas, NYC, Seattle, and Boston, the weather was NOT unseasonably cold. In fact it has been beautiful. Finally.

I had lunch at Yank Sing yesterday - a wonderful DimSum restaurant. This is my 4th visit and I've finally got comfortable with the concept, and am no longer shy about asking for exactly what I want and not waiting for the carts. As always, the Peking Duck is something at on paper I would never eat (the fatty layer...), but in practice is flat out delicious. At the end of the meal, I surprised the hostess by saying "shi de hen hao chi" - it was delicious. Which strangely led to a fragmentary exchange in which I BELIEVE she was saying I reminded her of Alton Brown from Food Network. Very interesting.

On the language tip, last week in NYC I was riding an elevator and a couple came in having an apparent argument, hissing at eachother in french. I didn't react, but suddenly I head the woman tell the man "Tais-toi - il peut comprendre francias, hein?" (ssshh - he could understand french!) Again, I didn't react, but I though it was interesting to catch myself being referred to in the third person... All the more reason to keep my languages current.

I met Al and Topsoil for dinner last night in the Mission area, near the Castro. It was a very good Tapas place and we were coursed: I liked almost everything... Al had a funny comment - "there is no other food where the degree to which I hated it as a kid and the degree to which I love it now is as extreme as Brussels Sprouts." It was a wonderfully cerebral way to express it... Alas, even though I've seen some pretty innovative preparations of the Sprouts, they remain horrible horrible devils cabbage to me.

We got talking about a documentary released recently about an obscure 1960s popstar who still makes strange records and sounds like "Roy Orbison on LSD". Naturally, after dinner and a walk around the neighborhood (past Dolores Park, which was gorgeous), I was treated to a glass of scotch and a listening to said music at Al's place.

When we walked in, we were bemused to find that their houseguest (who has been there for a couple of months) had turned the heat WAY up, and was lounging around naked. Ah, San Francisco. He threw on a pair of shorts for a little while, but by the time I left, he was floating in the communal hot tub, lights on, naked again. They live in a little "secret world" in the Mission - only a garage visible from the street, opening up inside to 4 house/apartments and a small courtyard. And nakedness is just fine with everyone. I think Al has found a good place in the world for himself.

And the music listening... let's say the early 1960s stuff sounded a bit like Tom Jones with a Tom Petty accent, and the later stuff sounds like 1980s Nick Cave crossed with yes, Roy Orbison, but also a little Klaus Nomi thrown in for good measure. For my journey home, I had to put on some very energetic pop music to counterbalance the strangeness.

Im SFO waiting for my plane, which is substantially delayed due to mechanical issues (fix them, take your time), but life is good because as I sit here, on the muzak is Fake by Alexander O'Neal. That was a fabulous Jam/Lewis production.

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