Sunday, December 03, 2006


I was so absolutely bummed to hear that mushroom season 'was ending' already this year. Mostly because this is my first winter since I got bitten by the mycological bug that I have lived away from where there are many. I.e., I now live in the city and am bummed that I can;t go crawl around in the pine needles and mud that is my 'back yard' and come out with several pounds of yummy fungus that I would have to pay upwards of $12/lb for in the city IF I could find them.

So I was very happy to find this morning that my land lady was sorely mistaken - mushrooms were still out in abundance. I didn't even have to crawl - I just walked around the property and in about 20 minutes picked up nearly 15lbs of Boletus (relative of the Porcini - and often what they are called). I gave half to my land lady, and brought the rest home. I cleaned them all up and sliced them up for drying like I do every year, and then remembered that my oven here in SF is new, and doesn't have a pilot light... which has always been essential for mushroom -drying. Hopefully they'll be OK. If I'm really lucky there'll be some still around next week when I go back up...I gave most of the #1's to my land lady (tight little baby Boletuses that are mostly light colored and a bit wet because they haven't even emerged out from the ground yet - hard to find.), so these guys look a little old, but dried they'll be awesome. Hopefully the pepper grinder gives some sort of perspective.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Why I quit the Restaurant business

People ask me that all the time. I have many answers, but this is definitely one of them: &

Thanksgiving Post

Turkey Day. As one who never ate Turkey on Thanksgiving growing up (thanks, Dad!), somewhere in the back of my mind I never really understood what all the fuss was about. As far as my inexperienced self could tell, it was a lot of fuss over an over-sized, under-moist bird. And the concept of eating at 2 or 3 (does nobody appreciate that this means you really do have to get up at 5 to put the damn thing in the oven??) is totally foreign to me.

Enter my experience with my old boss, Rob. After 3 years of eating yummy brined, de-boned, stuffed and trussed Turkey (or 'Turkey in Bondage'), on my first Thanksgiving solo I could not stray from the concept. I was hooked.

So - I ordered a Turkey from the local butcher's ( a real old school butcher's), and brined it overnight in a garbage bag lined 5 gallon bucket (good thing the BF is a contractor and has these things lying around). Getting that puppy in the fridge meant I had to pull out 2 shelves to get it to fit, but these are the things that you do... we were going to host Thanksgiving at ours, but my co-cook, David, has a Kamado in his back yard, and this is what we wanted to cook our bird in, so to his house we went. I was still convinced that de-boning was the way to go (besides, it's really fun in a carnal sort of way). I let David do all the butchery, and I have to again say that for one who has never done that sort of thing before, he is really good! I only showed him a couple of tricks, and like the enthusiastic Canadian that he his, he totally rocked it. I put the Turkey in it's merry bondage, and cinched the hell out of it, as we found out that the thing would not fit on the grill. We decided to hang it from inside the lid instead, and I was cinching to try to make it shorter. Added a bit of cooking time, put came out phenomenal. As I ended up with a 16lb bird instead of a 14 (long story), our timing was off anyway. And we managed to eat by 7 (only 2 hours off of the planned 5pm!!). I also have to add, that if you take our the rib cage, etc, carving the bird is much easier, as you just cut off slices (like if you were serving a pot roast...). That way the man of the house can take his self-proclaimed proper place at the head of the table carving the bird, and you don't get the whole fight over whether or not he knows what he's doing (which often, I have found, they don't).

Good friends, a lot of great food, and free-flowing wine. A good time was had by all. And the Turkey is awesome! Even re-heated with no gravy, it is extremely juicy and yummy, and the left overs are not at all tiresome. I am only slightly pissed that David got all of the bones for soup.... Can't wait until next year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The things we do for....boredom. I had about an hour of it the other day, and so was born. It petered out about the time I was figuring out how to do automated photo galleries, so that'll be incorporated soon. As will some animation bits. (And yes, I know about the broken links....). Still not bad for a closet geek who doesn't have any web software (and refuses to use iWeb - I find it damn useless...).

Those of you who HAVE visited, will know which kitchen's mine...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

California Emissions

My Jeep. It has been quite the topic of interest in my life. Many hate it, some love it, I refer to it as 'The Albatross'.

I got my registration renewal notice in the mail a little wile back, and I have to get it smogged this year. Major pain in the ass. So. After the requisite amount of freaking out, I take it to a mechanic that I drive by everyday, does smog checks, and has a stellar reputation on Yelp. Literally 10 minutes after dropping it off dude calls me and tells me that he couldn't do the smog test on my car because the check engine light didn't light up when he plugged in the computer. He goes on to tell me that it will cost about $200 to rip open the dashboard and determine whether or not it's a burnt bulb, or (more likely) if the electrical system is failing in the dash. This, to me, is the death knell for my car.

Craig is not convinced, so he calls his mechanic (the guy who has been taking care of my car for the past almost two years, and who doesn't do smog checks). His mechanic confirms that you have to have a check engine light to get a smog check done, but tells us that he'll figure out what the deal is with the light for $75. Craig and I figure it's worth it to know whether or not I need to scramble to buy a new car and agree. We take it in, and he proceeds to call me periodically throughout the day to ask me strange questions: did the other mechanic run my VIN number through the system, what exactly did the other mechanic say, and so on. Finally his assistant calls me that afternoon to tell me that my car's ready and I can come pick it up. But, of course, she can not tell me what the hell's going on with it.

So the next morning I walk in to the mechanic, where he hands me my keys and a smog certificate. Evidently, he never had to tear open the dashboard - after some research, it came to light that my car was manufactured 2 months before the Clean Air act took effect in 1990. So I didn't need a check engine light. And he only charged me $100 for the whole ordeal (smog checks run from $35 - $50 a pop).

3 days later my registration sticker arrives in the mail from the DMV - and the whole time I have an exhaust leak and a whole in my muffler so big that I set car alarms off as I drive down the street. I take comfort in the fact that the world is a better place with California cracking down on air-polluting cars like mine. ::grin::

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Smaller Is Better

My good frined made this. And the cat's name is Lucifer - possibly one of my favorite cats of all time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google Buys YouTube

I can't believe these yahoos got 1.65 BILLION dollars. Two Kings? Are they high? Are they in front of a TGI Friday's?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

This is a .... barm

'Barm'. It's gotta be one of the wierdest words ever. And some of the oddest looking stuff, too. Basically, it's starter that you've fed, let get all frothy, fed again, and then let ferment (preferably as slow as possible to get a more 'sour' flavor). I let mine ferment for about 12 hours in the fridge, and then pull it out and let it sit under the oven light for a few hours until it comes back up to roomish temperature. And you know it's gotta be good, because the stuff actively bubbles while you watch it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Glory shots of my latest loaf of home-made sourdough bread. It takes me about 3 days to make one, as I feed my starter (I love my starter, but it does not make for a romantic pet...), make a barm, ferment my barm, make my dough, ferment my dough, let my dough rise, shape my loaf, let my loaf rise, and then finally bake my bread. Fun times. The close-up of the crust (yeah for Macro settings on digital cameras!)is somethiing I am particularly proud of. The fact that I can get a crusty criust that is shiny and a golden brown in color and crackles as it cools... it's like porn.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Battle of the Sunflowers

And the afore-mentioned Miracle-gro sunflower. Or as my friend (The Dark Lord) put it, my flower on steroids. You can see the other guy grown in last year's dirt on the right. Both had a layer of compost as mulch - although I don't know if I would do that again in containers. Even though it helped keep down weeds and helped keep my plants hydrated on really hot days - I think that it promoted a lot of bugs. Some of my plants (and the lower leaves of my sunflowers) got eaten by some bug I never saw. I doused my plants (the non-edible ones) with warm soapy water a couple of times, and that seemed to do the trick. Either that or the drop in temperature ;)

I may be on to something

While living in Japan, I used to drink various hot beverages that we got out vending machines. This morning I went to make my tea (I hate it that I quit drinking coffee!), and realized I didn't;t have any milk. Like a true domestic demi-goddess (not yet a full-fledged goddess yet...) I have powdered milk - I use it in my sourdough bread (I live in SF...) and in my yoghurt (of course I make my own yoghurt). After I managed to get all the clumps dissolved (ew!), I cam o the realization that my tea now tastes exactly like 'Royal Milk Tea' - a flavor of beverage that comes out of a vending machine, and almost always had cornflower blue itty-bitty flower wallpaper motif on the cans. Weird how two things like that can connect in your brain - and how powdered milk can take on a different sense of importance in your cupboard...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Worst Movie Ever

I know that the above title is an intense statement - but trust me, I have been subjected to the WORST movie EVER. I should have known when I read the Netflix sleeve and saw Mark Hamill's name.... I also am embarrassed to admit that I managed to stay awake throughout...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My baby Sunflower

This is my baby sunflower I grew on my deck - as anyone who has actually BEEN to my house knows, there are pots and pots of things growing on my deck. This sunflower was grown in last year's dirt w/organic compost. The base of the flower is about 3/4 inch in diameter. Sadly, the two others I planted 6 weeks after this one in some miraclegrow I found (damn evil stuff) are about to bloom, and are twice as tall, with 3 inch buds. They should be blooming in about a week. But this guy's so cute! I am resisting the urge to post pictures of my bolted and blooming arugula... I can't get rid of the flowers...they're trying so hard to be alive...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I have a major problem, and I curse all those (fabulous!) Apple geeks who came up with the widget concept. And for coming up with being able to access them all instantly with the click of a wheely-button. I just downloaded a gazillion of them. They're fun - they're cute - are they helpful? Only when you (don't) have to kill time and/or procrasitnate.... I have hours of wasted time ahead of me....

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Japanese BBQ

I had dinner at a friend's house last night... and he has a Kamado and it is awesome! As a food geek, these things are like the ultimate toy on my wishlist! They are so well insulated, and they can be used screaming ot, or at low low temperatures, depending on what you're doing. My friend did a slow-roasted brisket (6 hrs) with one (small) batch of charcoal. So cool! And they're really pretty, too...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

'The Way to Peace'

My Friend Steve wrote the following:

Dear friends,

I find myself deeply troubled and disappointed as I consider the global situation, as I'm sure many of you do. However dark these times may seem, I do believe there is hope. I wrote the following as an expression of the frustration and despair I feel, and the hope and faith I find growing amidst that dispair. I encourage any of you who find hope, truth, love, compassion, or anything else of redeeming value in these words to pass this on to as many people as you can.

Many blessings and much love,

As violence continues in the Middle East and around the world, it is easy to do any number of things. One can despair, deny, ignore, rejoice, laugh, cry. Whatever of these one may do when violent conflict arises, it is safe to say that most people take sides, urgent to be on the "right" side, instantly becoming entrenched in polarized conflict with the "other" side. Some people do it because their life depends upon being on the side of their neighbors. In the United States, where those of us not personally serving overseas are a relatively safe distance from the conflict, there is more room for debate about which side is the "right" side. No matter which side a person takes, the process of taking a side in violent conflict is nothing more than rationalization. If the history of violence among human beings has taught us anything, it's that any action, no matter how much suffering it brings to the world, can be rationalized. I will not deny that it brings me great frustration that few people seem to understand how this works. Not that they can't apply this principle to whatever "other" side they believe they are fighting against. It's always easy to see the faults in one's enemy's rationalization for violent action when we are stuck in our own polarized positions. When we look at our own rationalizations for our own positions, however, we always find a convenient "but"- and as a good friend once told me, "but" is a very stinky word. Look at all the "buts" in this war on terror. Of course we want peace...but they hate America...but they hate freedom...but they're trying to wipe out Israel...but they're EVIL! And of course, the "other" side has just as many stinky buts as "our" side does.

Many people I have interacted with are pacifists, I suppose I can include myself here. One could say I take the side of peace, and refuse to take any other side in violent conflict. Because I want peace I refuse to take sides. That is because each side always blames the other for the violence, and therefore neither side takes responsibility for creating peace. Hezbollah says "we will stop killing Israelis when they get out of palistine." Israel says "we will stop killing Lebanese civilians when Hezbollah stops killing Israeli civilians." Or as I like to call it, the "well they started it!" rationalization. Yet, there is danger in taking the side of peace. Anyone seriously interested in peace would do well to be cautious of making an enemy out of those that engage in violence. Simply thinking of another human being as one's enemy is violence on a very subtle, yet powerful level. It is very easy to become self-righteous for those who take the side of peace, and self-righteousness can lead to further rationalizations for violence- and why would anyone who desires to see a more peaceful world choose to bring more violence in to it?

I recently watched a documentary about the Weather Underground. In case you don't know, the Weathermen (later when they were forced into hiding, the Weather Underground) were a militant splinter group off the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) during the 1960s. Their stated goal was the overthrow of the American Government "by any means necessary." Their opposition to the United States Government was based upon the fact that the Government used violence and oppression against the people in Viet Nam, as well as poor and black people in the United States. They wanted a more peaceful and just world- something I believe most people desire. Their belief was that anyone not with their revolutionary cause was an enemy and a potential target of aggression. They carried out many bombings intended to destroy symbols of oppression without killing anyone (the Capitol Building, the Pentagon, Police Stations, etc.) However, as their war continued, a few members of the group decided to up the ante and target human beings. They planned the bombing of a policeman's ball which, had the bomb they were building not exploded prematurely and killed three members of the Weathermen, could have killed hundreds of people. It is astonishing how easily people can justify violence in the name of peace. Even so, as I watched the documentary I found myself empathizing with the cause of The Weathermen, defending their actions, and rationalizing my defense of their actions. It took me some effort to step back and observe what was happening within my own mind- which made me appreciate just how seductive violence can be.

So how do we find the peace so many of us desperately desire? I believe that if those uf us who want peace understand how there are no sides; if we understand how there is no "us" and "them" no matter who we believe the us and them to be; if we understand how we create our own enemies- then we will be better prepared to bring lasting peace to the world. In order to do that, we each must understand how we do take sides; how our mind is conditioned by the world we live in to react to certain conditions in a way that puts us on one side or another in conflict situations in ways that seem to defy our wills. We were taught to live in forced dichotomies and we can un-learn it! We must work to let go of our polarized positions- let go of the idea that our polarized positions put us on the "right" or "good" sides different issues- if we want to know peace. Peace is not some end goal to be reached someday- that's just procrastination. Peace is something we can bring to the here and now. We must embrace truly unconditional and equinaminous love in order to dispel the hate that fuels violence. It all starts with awareness, and that's where I'm at. I'm simply aware of the violent, partial, judgemental patterns that lie within my own mind. As I develop that awareness and cultivate love and compassion, I have faith that these patterns will fall from my being of their own accord.

Now, while I believe that understanding the self and learning to embody peace is the only an individual can bring lasting peace to the world (and I believe there are infinite paths to that understanding), I also believe that violence is necessary. Violence is a teacher. Violence teaches us that violence is undesireable. It also teaches us, however slowly it seems to do so, that violence only begets more violence. Just as a drunk needs to drink as long as he needs to drink in order to learn that he doesn't want to drink anymore, the human race will continue to engage in violent behavior until it decides- one person at a time- that it has had enough and chooses to abstain from violence. We will either do that, or we will be at war until the end of our species as surely as an unreformed alcoholic will drink until the day he dies. The choice is yours to make.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

html zone

As some of you may or may not know, I have been doing a website for a dear friend of mine in Mendo county who's trying to start a quiet B&B. At her request, it's pretty low tech and not all that flashy, but it gets the info accross. Some of the formatting still needs to be fixed (pictures squished together, etc) but it's up and running. As she picked out picky fonts and I did a quick job of getting it up and going, be sure to view it with Firefox for the full effect. Much improvement to follow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Flickr genious

I have to admit that whoever the people are that are behind the scenes at Flickr, and that actually make the funtioning of the site possible, are friggin' brilliant. While the Flickr site is down they are holding a contest. A contest! Instead of the stupid - we're sorry we can't help you blurb, they have put up two big dots. And if you print them out, color them in, take a picture of them, and post them on Flickr, you could win a pro account with them. So basically, as a Flickr usuer, I could potentially spend the time that the site is down calmly humming a little tune and coloring (and trying to stay in the lines), instead of fuming and stomping around. All in the hopes of obtaining something that's not really gonna cost Flickr a penny. So they promote their site, apease their fans, and give me a sense that they're gonna give me something all because they got too much data to store in their data centers. Amazing. Again.Who comes up with that idea?

Mice and Taxidermy

When I moved to San Francisco, I heard a rumor that there was a store that you could go to that, among other things, had stuffed mice in various outfits. Yes, mice. Today I recieved an email that was forwarded to me by my boss that was an announcement to participate in a mouse taxidermy class. I live in a crazy city. Here's more info. Have fun.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

disturbing thought of the day

what have we come to when you are the last car to pull up to a four-way stop sign, and none of the other cars are going because they're all on their phones?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Too funny

I can't help it - this is too funny - their website has many many more, and the history behind the Belaggio reenactment.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


My cousin, Amelia, has a new website and has published her sketchbook. I have seen her sketchbook (as of early 2006 anyway), and some of her artwork. She is truly talented in many, many arenas. Great to see someone doing something with the talent that they have.

Battle of the Jeeps

I, as many of you know, drive a beaten up 1990 Jeep Cherokee (white). The trials and tribulations of owning such a vehicle are a completely different story, and my car could have it's own blog and keep it updated more regularly than I am updating this one. Anyway - today I stopped at the store on the way home from work to get dinner supplies, and I pulled into a parking spot right next to a brand - new Jeep Liberty (silly looking underpowered Japp wannabes. but anyway). Due to the fact that my car has a huge hole in the muffler, just pulling in to the spot next to it (and the was ample door opening space!) set its car alarm off. Like crazy. I got out and walked in to the store, did my shopping, etc., and sure enough when I started my car to leave, the alarm started right back up again. Oh Joy.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mystery Flower

flower, originally uploaded by caitlinvb.

I have no idea what this flower is, but it grows wild around my cabin in Mendocino. Its leaves looks orchid-like, but that's about it. And after these flowers are done, they make bright cobalt blue seed pods that look like single grapes. It's very cool.

Sunday Morning

Tilox is kicking my ass! I can not get past level 10! Hurray for Sunday mornings.

High School Memories

I just found out that the high school that I went to in Japan no longer exists. And even worse, they joined together my old school and our rival school (ironically, their marching band is in the Rose Bowl every year...) into one mega-religous high school. In the same building(s). I don't know whether to seel sad, angry, or even if I should feel anything at all...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My mom sent me this...

Watch the video entitled: How to tell when you're using too much baby powder

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Question for Foster Farms

OK. Why is is that any food you see on the shelf in the supermarket (and I'm talking big scary Safeway here) has to list every minute ingredient, as well as whether or not they process nuts and other allergens on the premises on packages, and yet on packages of meat they don't? Literally - I picked up a package of chicken that said '100% natural Chicken and natural florvings' on the front in big yellow letters. And yet there was not list of ingredients printed with the Nutrition Panel on the back. Very very scary. And this isn't Purdue or Butterball or some really evil mass-producer, this is a company trying to get into the more mainstream market with an all-natural edge. It looked like a package of chicken thighs to me. How was I to know? Scary.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Confession of the day

Long though I have been famous for liking odd food combinations - my current obsession is... it's almost too much....Stash Double Spice Chai Tea with French Vanilla Coffeemate in it. Gross, I know, but so so so good....It's particularly great at 3 in the aftrenoon when things get just quiet enough in the office that I think I might go insane....

Friday, April 28, 2006

Egg Heads

As I have a tendency to do things back asswards, I am now going through my files and documents in preperation for my new computer - which I happen to have already bought. Anyway - I found this picture - it circulated a couple of years ago in the mass email circuit, but is still damn funny.

**On second thought it makes absolutely no sense to anyone who wasn't around/has forgetten the whole Cabbage Patch phenomena.

**Thanks to the grandparents who waite in line for mine!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


And yesterday I bought a new computer... that's right, I walked into a store with a healthy bank account balance, and walked out with a much lighter wallet, and a surprisingly not-too-heavy box. I named my new computer Hal, as the minute I turned it on, it started talking to me, and then it took my picture. I feel like I am finally in the future. I do mourn for my old computer which is 6 years old and sitting next to my new one...mostly I mourn when I'm not too busy playing with my new one ;) Had I not bought this maachine, I would never have known that one needs a computer with aa built-in camer AND a remote....I am totally stoked.

My Princess

I recently - OK last week, I've been busy... - I purchased my first in what I hope to be a collection of vintage kitchen appliances. Yes, it hurts me that much that I don't work in a kitchen anymore.... Anyway - I got this beaty off of Craig's list, and I can't believe the great shape that it is in...My Dormeyer Princess.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Jenner Grade- need I say more?

I love my drive to and from Menocino County. Hwy 1 is one of the most enjoyable roads to drive on. Spectacular views, ocean, sky, seals, gulls, cows, green pastures....and Jenner Grade. This is a strectch of the coast that is particularly elevated and riddled with hair-pin turns and cows in the middle of the road. Needless to say, every year a small number of unfortunate souls end up going off the road into the ocean. On my way up last time, I got off the freewy in Pataluma, per usual, and got onto my back road- behind a Coroner's truck. I followed it patiently, morbidly thinking about that fact that those trucks don't need sirens t get to where they're going. When we got to where it was going. A particularly sharp hairpin turn on a steep grade. They were pulling what could have possibly once been a car out of the ocean with a tow truck and a winch, and I saw why the coroner's truck was there. Meanwhile, I am stopped, waiting in my car for the various response vehicles to maneuver to stop obstructing traffic. By the time I left, I was shaking and in tears, and was extremely happy to not only reach my destination, but to have my guy waiting there for me. A little brush of mortality goes a long friggin' way.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Another night on Haight St with the SFPD

I went to a friend's art show opening yesterday on Haight St. As we were leaving, we noticed that there were a group of police officers in the middle of the street we had to cross to get back to where I parked my car. So instead of walking straight, we turned up the street, and stopped in front of a way cool furniture store to survey the scene. At this point there were people milling about (this is a Saturday night around 8ish), taking pictures of the cops. My friend and I looked up the street and there were about 20 police officers in full riot gear walking single file down the street, headed straight for the middle of the intersection on Haight st. And this is not the busier The Haight, this is just a random neighborhood, with not even that many shops or businesses. The oddest thing is not a single person had a clue as to why the cops were there. According to one guy there "maybe was a protest (earlier) that afternoon - maybe". I searched the newspaper this morning- not a single mention. I am still baffled as to why I had to dodge amored police vehicles and motorcycle cops on the way to my car (and then out of the area) last night.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Scary thought of the Day


A Hummer H2 could be driven around the world 244 times on the excess calories Americans consume each year.

-Harper's Magazine.

And just think-they get really crappy gas mileage.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

March Nabe Madness!

Recently, Craig's best friend stayed with us for a few days. On the last night he was with us, we made Nabe, a Japanese hotpot that I grew up with, and that I dearly love (and miss). Craig fell in love with it when he had it at my family's, and has since bought a japanese nabe pot and everything. anyway, here is my bastardized version of it (the Japanese would dissaprove, but it's so yummy....):

For one gallon of water, add 5 or 6 3 inch or so long pieces of Konbu that you have wiped with a damp cloth to remove excess salt. Let sit in cold water for 30 minutes. Add leek tops, and any chicken, pork, or fish (or all three) bones you might be using (I usually just have some chicken bones). Bring to alomst a boil, remove konbu. Let boil 10 or so minutes, add a BIG handful of Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) at a rolling boil, and turn off heat. Let steep a minute or so, and strain out stuff. Take a ladlefull of broth, and pour into small bowl. Add 2-4TBs of Miso, and stir until incorporated. Pour Miso into pot. Put on heat (and on burner on table, if you're set up for it), add meat or fish, leeks, tofu, Shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, napa Cabbage, and spinach. In our family we do a few courses of this, and then at the end do a 'noodle course'. My family likes to used dried Udon, Craig and I like frozen Udon (they're fatter). We put Shichimitogarashi (Japanese seven spice pepper, or whatever. little orane capped jar), dried yuzu, grated ginger (sorry I forgot it Ziad!), and Ponzu (with yuzu) and soy sauce on the table, for whoever wants it. Fresh ground black pepper is awesome with the noodle course.

I love this stuff the next day, reheated with an egg poached in it. I aso highly recommend turning down the heat in your house when you make this, as it warms you right up. Good stuff, and goes really well with Sake, cold beer, and not to be too corny, friends and family.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Floods this year

This year the flooding in Mendocino and Sonoma counties has been pretty substantial. Or maybe it just seems that way because last year wasn't so bad. Anyway, I of course neglected to record the worst floods (around new year's), but I did have my ancient camera on me the last time I went up the coast. And managed to not lose my car to the flood (hurray for Jeeps and their high clearance!!), but did watch a guy lose his BMW to water going up the tailpipe and flooding his engine. Not so cool. Anyway- pictures are up on my Flickr account (click on the badge at left so I don't have to put a link in here...), and are kind of tough to see, as I had issues with getting out of the car every time I wanted to take a picture. Too cold and gusty. The sad news is they just dug these huge trenches on either side of the road to prevent this sort of thing, and this is the the first major rain post-digging, and it really didn't seem to help much. The cows look particularly miserable.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cell phones and toddlers

OK- with two linguists/huge brains/academic freaks as parents, I have a tendency to watch people and the way they talk, write, emote, communicate, etc. I was watching the three year old I am currently kid sitting (today is the third and final whole day) talk to her mom on the phone, I couldn't help but notice that her speech is entirely corrupted by the cell phone. A. was talking on her house phone, but knew that her mom in Santa Barbara was on her cell. Evidently where they were, the cell coverage was a bit sketchy. Anyway- amongst her not-quite-correct sentences the phrases 'are you still there?' and 'can you hear me now?' were imbedded with perfect clarity. After hanging with this kid for as long as I have, I know these phrases to be a bit past her ability to construct english grammar. I found it to be a bit depressing, and am working on getting my land line in my house put in that much quicker.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Armed and dangerous in Petaluma

So- I was driving up to Mendocino county the other day - I wish I was still attached to there.....I loved living there so much....when I get pulled over in Petaluma, right as I am going from 101 to country back roads. The officer tells me that someone has carjacked and stolen a white Jeep Cherokee (which is what I drive). I give him all of my info, and of course due to the fact that I am still in the process of moving, none of my addresses match. I tried to convince him that it would be weird for people to try to steal an identity with my last name, but alas, he still wanted the K-9 unit to search my car for firearms. Oh Joy. I managed to not have my car searched, but by the time I left the little make-shift white Jeep Cherokee holding pen, there were 4 of them, all old, and mostly making funny engine noises. I would hope that someone wasn't actuallydumb enough to steal an old Cherokee. I'd go for something Japanese, myself. At least you know'll they'll run.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Foggy San Francisco

So I spent the afternoon on Berkeley kid-sitting (which is a whole 'nother story), and was driving back on the Bay Bridge at about 9:15 went I got the craziest urge to eats tons of Chinese food. There was no traffic and for once I liked the song on the radio (iPod is on vacation....), so I'm singing along in a good mood, until I want to eat dumplings or stir-fry or whatever so badly it makes me crazy. Then I rolled down my window (did I mention the balmy 60 degrees after dark in February factor?), and realized that it was because the city of San Francisco really smells like dim sum. After years of people's jokes about it, I realized that actually, they have a point. San Fran is covered in a haze of dim sum steam. I am gonna get me some today.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Not so trivial trivia

I have no idea how as a computer savvy trivia geek, I never found out about the "How Stuff Works" site. You'd think I would have come accross it during one of my late night arguments with one roommate or another about some inconsequential thing worked. Yeah for yet another means of time suckage.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mac Peeps

I graduated from Macalester College in 2003. That said, there are a lot of Mac peeps in the Bay area, in SF in particular. For example- I went grocery shopping today and the car I parked next to in the lot had a Macalester sticker in the back window. (For the record that was the second time that had happened). But when I came out of the store, I was sandwiched by two cars with Mac stickers. I thought that was a bit odd, and somewhat feeling my lack of a Mac sticker, I drove home. It beats the time I got flagged down at a busy intersection because the pedestrian crossing the street was a classmate I hadn't seen since graduation.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I was on South Van Ness this morning on my way back from shopping- when I noticed that there's a SFPD billboard at the freeway entrance. It listed a cop shooting that had occurred with the suspect's car model and year and lisence plate number, yet the color was listed as 'dark'. I couldn't help but wonder why they would omit this seemingly important piece of information. As it was I was suspicious of every single 1990 Nissan Maxima that drove by me (except for that newish looking white one).


I have been unemployed for almost 3 months now. And have sent my resume to 104 companies. I have had 5 interviews in person, and have been offered one job, that I might actually lose money if I take, as it's way far away and the commute might cost me too much. And yet all I seem to do is bake things....and this has given me time to set up a blog and a flickr account. Oh joy.