Spring fever

I feel Spring today. Not that it is much different than the previous few days but perhaps because we’ve had a string of sunshine and warmth my soul has gotten in the mood. When we lived in San Jose, Spring was heralded with the aroma of Osmanthus fragrans all around the valley. As well as the apricot blossoms and such – but that intense scent of Osmanthus was pervasive. I detected that yesterday on a short walk, which triggered memories of life in the suburbs, with a garden and a long warm season. (Cue thousand-page recollection here, a la Proust. No, on second thought I’ll spare us all. My francais is rusty anway.)

Boo wants to help blog

Boo wants to help blog

In San Francisco, nothing means Spring has arrived like the annual GAYVN awards. This time hosted by Margaret Cho, with Janice Dickinson and Alec Mapa too! At the Castro Theatre, third year in a row I believe.

Stop AIDS Project is sponsoring the “Tailgate” pub crawl event tonight. Should be lots of fun and people – given the great weather I expect to see everyone out.

The stars are in town for the event, check out either of the Gold’s gym locations. I saw Nick Moretti working out at the Castro location today. Looks like his ribs are healing okay. And of course, they will be out tonight at the Tailgate events. See you all there!

P.S. When Gay Today asked who was the person most likely to have an After-party only a publicist could cover up the answer was (ta-dah):
“Is there even a question that it’s not Erik Rhodes? That’s why we love him! We just hope we’re there when it happens!”

Holla at my boy! Go Erik!


Behind the scenes of Mission Street Food

I’ve had a few posts on Mission Street Food, the Thursday and Saturday night high-concept reincarnation of Lung Shan chinese on Mission at 18th. Each night with a different menu, the responsibility of a bevy of guest chefs from around town.

The customer line up

The customer line up

I ran across this blog post that gives a detailed behind the scenes look at how this all takes from from the chef / restaurateur point of view.

Story here.

Gardenia tea

I’m at Peet’s on Market to do some writing (fiction, not a work assignment this time), enjoying the window seat view of the street traffic. As if I needed a reminder that Spring has arrived in addition to the delightful sunny weather (it has warmed up from yesterday) I ordered a “fancy jasmine” green tea rather than my usual coffee. I’m not swearing off coffee (yet) but I’ve already had a morning cuppa at my usual (Queen Malika). Time for a change up. The aroma is so floral it’s as if I am sitting with my Macbook in a field of flowers. Or, really, in a greenhouse dedicated to gardenias – because that is exactly what this tea scent reminds me of. So much so I have to wonder if the leaves are infused with gardenia oil. The flavor is okay – kind of overwhelmed.

Dance, dance, ODC dance!

odcI was looking forward all week to the show last night by the marvelous local modern dance company ODC Dance Company, which performed a show called Small Plates at Yerba Buena theatre. I don’t say that to evoke an “oh, oh he must have been disappointed” suspicion. Just to explain that all of a sudden yesterday morning I got a rush writing assignment and I really would have preferred not to have that deadline hanging over me last night at the performance. I briefly considered skipping the performance, since I’ve been crying for assignments for months and all of a sudden, poof! But I let my ‘bad advice bear’ convince me I could get the assignment done after I got back, and I had been looking forward to it so!

Anyway, the performance was spirited, athletic and crisp. I told my friends who hadn’t been to a modern dance performance before that it was to classical ballet as modern art is to Rembrandt. Inspired by it, probably requiring an understanding of it to appreciate it fully, but trying to portray things beyond a realistic storyline. So I couldn’t tell you what the dancers were trying to evoke exactly – just that the movements, synchronization, sound and lighting effects felt as if they must be coming from somewhere deep inside the dancers. What they were doing felt organic – how else could they have learned all the movements and positions? The music was for its own part a bit abstract, at parts with voiceovers, at other parts with just very complex rhythms.

And if you don’t like ballet – and I do not – you should still try modern dance. You might also call it a very intellectualized Cirque de Soleil. I hope no one from the ODC sees this because they will probably be horrified at the comparison.

As an enticement, the “small plates” Thursday night performances feature free wine and food at 5:30pm (convenient if you work downtown) and the performance starts at 6:30 and ends by 8pm. All for only $20 which is a good deal. Did I mention the dancers are hot?

Of course, I wasn’t able to finish the assignment after the dance. We got back early enough but I didn’t get a good train of thought going on how to approach the particular topic (the thrilling topic of distributed agile project management as exemplified in Simon & Schuster’s new web presence) until midnight. So I packed it in and got up at 6:30 this morning and managed to finish by the deadline.


Okay, the headline is an opaque play on “Food Odyssey” so consider yourself ‘splained to. It’s time to catch up here.

Before I left for Chillmington last week, Shmoopy and I invited two friends over from Berkeley to dine with us at Mission Street Food on Saturday night. It was “Meat Night” for the ever-changing menu, which this night meant charcuterie as well as good ol’ South Carolina barbeque pork and slaw. So we had all starved our lil ‘selves in advance so we could eat as much as we wanted and not have to throw up afterwards.

You know that means the whole affair ended tragically. We had wine at our place first then went over to Lung Shan at 18th and Mission to put our names in. It was maybe 7:15pm, and raining. While I drove around to park, the others went in and found that the wait was said to be at least two hours. And since we had all starved ourselves, what could have been an excuse to wander up and down Mission and Valencia on a Saturday night didn’t sound too good, we decided we had to change plans and eat elsewhere.

Since I had parked nearly back in the Castro and we didn’t want to walk all the way back just yet, we decided to stick with the Mission for dinner. Plus the variety of restaurants is better. So we hiked up 18th and asked at Farina, the new-ish genovese spot. They could only seat the four of us on the sidewalk (too cool that evening) or at the pasta counter. The counter would have been great for two, but four can’t converse. So we continued looking. Regalito was ruled out because someone had already had a lot of Mexican recently. We went back to Valencia and asked at Luna Park, but they couldn’t take us either. We looked at Fritjz’s menu – but nice as it is for breakfast or brunch no one wanted the crepes for dinner.

We ended up at an anonymous Vietnamese joint nearby instead, and ordered way too much. And it was okay but if we had known we couldn’t get into MSF that evening we could have gone to Tao Cafe which is a nice higher-end Vietnamese place on Guerrero.

We did have a fun evening after all the drama, and we got to catch up with our friends. MIssion Street Food – we’ll try you again later!

On the road

I’m blogging today from a Starbucks in Wilmington, Delaware. You know, Delaware, the first state and ever popular “Home of tax-free shopping.” So you know I’ve already been to the mall and stocked up on stuff from H&M and PacSun. Wow I feel like a Valley Girl. And just as old. That was like when I was in High School.

Speaking of High School I have been back in touch with literally more high school friends than I can remember, grace-a-Facebook, and I now have need for my yearbook which, luckily, still resided in my Dad’s bookcase in the basement. The bookcase I shall now call the storehouse of memorabilicrap. I actually spent a few minutes looking through the old “Encyclopedia of Knowledge” volumes. They are still there just like when I was five or six or whatever. Interesting mix of articles, some less PC than others for today’s reader. Buddhism was called one of the world’s great religions, although Bulgaria was called backwards. I got tired at the end of the Bs. But at least now when people contact me on Facebook I can try to look up a picture on my old yearbook or see what organizations they were in.

I met my Dad’s personal trainer at the YMCA here, one Bonnie Honeycutt, a young woman of perhaps 70, and a retired staff member who volunteers time to help senior members who need customized programs. He now spends as much time at the gym as I do, at least. He knows the cardio equipment as well as the nautilus.

And now I am at Starbucks, using their wireless access, looking for a pastry crust recipe to make an apple gallette. Because the internet is completely dispensable for my father who does not even do email. In fact he is still in the “I prefer to get my cash inside the bank” timewarp. So he’s way before email.

Joy lite

I’ve just read the box scores from various news services on the oral arguments this morning for the parties before the California Supreme Court on the question of the legal validity of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages.  More significant were the lines of questioning from the justices in response to the orals, since the justices have had months to read the written briefs for and against the ballot prop.

Most outlets have a reading that a majority of  justices see no reason to overturn the proposition.  Which is making my lunch hard to digest right now.

Quiz – Oxymoron or not?  Simmering my anger at religious followers who turn at queers their own unconscious self hatred at failing to meet impossible standards of righteousness set by invisible figures who last were a part of society hundreds or thousands of years ago (depending on the religion) while trying to eat a Healthy Choice roast turkey and green beans with cranberries?

Methinks I should just stuff my mouth with Lays while reviewing the next round of coverage.

I did headline this ‘Joy lite’, though, for a reason, and it wasn’t that the frozen meal was delicious (although it was tasty).   My day has had a small bright spot.  I was on an errand over at SF General Hospital on Potrero this morning, and on the way back I wanted to stop at the new Duc Loi supermarket to pick up lychees for a sorbet.  Padma Lakshmi’s Lychee Cardamom sorbet to be precise – a delicious dessert.  My joy wasn’t the supermarket (which is a gem, especially given its location on Mission at 18th) – my “joy lite” or “joy-illa” perhaps, given the neighborhood, imageswas avoiding a parking ticket. I got distracted at the market looking at all the tropical fruit varieties and got back to my car with one minute left on the meter. And up and down the block brand new white paper tickets fluttered on windshields like little flags of surrender to the great DPT gods – except for my car.  Phew!

So, thank GOD for the little things.  He doesn’t seem to be doing us any big favors these days.