Chocolate and Nuts

A small packet of dry roasted Mauna Loa brand macadamias given to me by the studio manager has been sitting on my desk for the past 2 weeks.

Today, out of spontaneous hunger, I opened it.

It was like eating white chocolate macadamia cookies without the cookie and without the white chocolate.

I didn’t like it (despite my gorging of eating peanuts on planes). It felt like I was getting the part I disliked. The reject.

Because I never liked nuts.

There’s a chocolate covered nut piece from See’s candies sitting naked in my living room right now.

Parking in San Francisco Part I

Finding a parking spot in San Francisco is like being in an unfaithful relationship.

You don’t ever want to leave. Because you know the moment you do, it will be taken.

At least there’s street cleaning once a week. So that you can revel in the satisfaction that you aren’t the only one left alone.

Tell me that you watch…

Onscreen, a closeup, unflinching shot of twentysomethings become entwined after they have a fight. Then the scene fades into two fortysomethings lying in bed almost divided by an invisible line, them pretending to sleep but only desperately hoping for the morning.

With On Demand in hand, my sister and I watched nearly the entire first season of HBO’s new series Tell Me You Love Me.

Based on various reviews, it seems that it hasn’t created a following. It’s a series of honest conversations between couples. A realistic look at the problems. Even though there’s a lot of gratuitous sex (since it’s HBO, there’s no wandering shot into black), unlike most TV shows, it doesn’t use it to sensationalize. (Unlike that sensual scene in the last Matrix that kept going and going…that I started wondering why I paid full price to see it in theater…)

Three couples with separate issues see a therapist for their individual concerns. We watch the three couples (a twentysomething dealing with monogamy, a thirtysomething with infertility and a fortysomething with losing their identity as sexual beings) and the therapist’s significant other. Although everyone on the show is Caucasian and perhaps better-than-average attractive, it’s not to distract the viewer from the content of the show.

It’s nice to hear the halting speech, the attempts to clear the air during the argument. Or the intensity of someone’s anger and tragedy. A desire to communicate the need, but the inability to do so. In some way, it’s not entertainment, but it’s a I hope I won’t be them, but I’ll learn how not to be them.

The parents are touring

Although my sister and I traditionally have afternoon tea during thanksgiving weekend, this year because our parents insisted that they spend quality time with us, we invited them along on our adventure through San Francisco.

I was a little wary at first. Knowing that my parents are getting older. Could their energy be equivalent to what we found interesting? Or at least would the things I found interesting be as interesting to them?

Although we have lived in the Bay Area forever, they never really knew San Francisco the way I did. At least…the way I knew it now. They know chinatown and the golden gate bridge. And fisherman’s wharf, but not so much else.

And so thus the rapid tour of places we went to.

(gotta love the pre-designy illustrator map!)

I planned this all yesterday in 5 minutes. And so we got out of the house around 10:30 am with a quick stop in Oakland Chinatown so that my mom could drop off her library books and then head toward the tollbooth…

1. Brunch/Lunch @ Modern Tea in Hayes Valley

2. A short walk around Hayes Valley where we kept running into strollers and pets.

3. Shoes and clothes…and expensive organic foods at the farmer’s market around 24th in Noe Valley

4. A short reststop in my apartment in the Mission where my mom took a nap and the rest of us enjoyed the first episode of 24 on the projector and 5.1 surround system provided by Chris And some nice tea from my tea collection

5. Walking along Mission to the “99 cent” store and other discount fashion…which all looked too cheap

6. Twin Peaks

7. Walking around Clement in the Inner Richmond where we walk through bakeries, newspapers, groceries, a kitchen supply store, asiany stores…

8. Dinner at Burma Superstar waiting outside 20 minutes before it opened, increasing the anxiety for everyone around us because there wasn’t a line and omg who is going to be in front…are we going to have to cause a scene because we were so rightfully first omg!

9. Dessert at Mango Medley in Outer Sunset where I got confused driving down 25th (note: I have never been a big fan about Asian Desserts, but my sister insisted that we find one after she experienced Guppy House in Rowland Heights in SoCal) — my parents were quite pleased with the Hong Kong style decor, but I was a bit upset that my parents spoke in Cantonese about people who spoke…Cantonese… <3 Mango!

A turkey lacking

This year, my mom decided to hold the thanksgiving dinner at my grandfather’s house since he is getting old…and forgoing the dinner at Peony.

My sister and I were enthuastic initially because our family has never had a real Thanksgiving dinner. But our mom wanted to take charge even though she wasn’t going to be present. She gave us the responsibilites of being in charge of the salad and the dessert. But she refused to let us take responsibility of the turkey and the sides.

Regardless, we suggested a green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and cornbread stuffing.

And unfortunately, we got the Chinese version of those sides…and forgot to bring the turkey. The half turkey that we left at my parents’ house. In the oven. Fortunately in the off position.

So we ate the dinner. With Chinese sticky rice, my mom’s version of green bean casserole (that actually didn’t have any green beans), and a peppery tri-tip. In the “dining room” on a formal dining table.

Then my sister and I gave in to go a friend’s place in San Francisco where we had the real food on paper plates while sitting on the floor. Both un-american and american all in one night!

In memory of food

Pumpkin gelato inside a real pumpkin!

I don’t like pumpkin pie, but I love pumpkin in anything else. Especially in forms I normally consume. Like gelato!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow evening, I will be making a organically grown baby spinach salad with dried cranberries and carmelized walnuts delicately tossed with crumbled Idaho blue cheese with a slight dash of pepper and an elegant drizzle of honey, hand-picked and filtered from our local farmers.

Onward holiday cards

Following my annual tradition (and how I have seen a stir of blog posts in the last few weeks)…

I’ll send a holiday card to you!

Considering that I found a big set of holiday cards hidden in my shelves and just recently acquired a variety of cards. Including a set of religious cards…that don’t seem to apply to any possible recepients.

If I don’t already have your address, let me know and I’ll ping you. And of course, let me know if you like snow, animals, red, Santa Claus, trees, etc.!

Cross the animal!

The first time I heard about animal crossing was 2 years ago in my game design class. We were studying the phenomenon of simulations and multiplayer games.

The idea that people would play the game at certain times of the day was compelling. That people would wait until 4 pm or whatever specified time to do…something. That itself was interesting.

So when I got my hands on a Nintendo DS, I immediately started playing Animal Crossing. Note that I rarely if ever play games. If I do, it’s often slow spurts of tetris. There was once when I was hooked on drugwars for awhile. And snake on my phone. I played the itunes game on my ipod…but all that was for idling.

There was a point in my life when I was younger that I would play the Sims and SimCity until the depth of night (11 pm when that was considered late for my age). And then one day, I stopped playing, knowing that if I returned, it would stay the same as the last time I played it.

But in Animal Crossing, it’s not and perhaps that’s why it keeping me around. The fact that if I disappear for days, 3 weeds per day will appear. That I will never ever pay off the mortgage. That all the townspeople will be mad at me…

One thing that I have learned in Animal Crossing is that…money do fall off trees.