Tuesday, March 30, 2010

how do you like dem apples?

once upon a time there was a neophyte foodie hunter who spent her first formative years in the tenderloin. quietly wide-eyed, she watched her mother look over warped used pans for a fifty cents at a local salvation army when her mother was taking breaks from her job and her school work. her mother was neither a crack head, prostitute, or into local crime. it is called poverty. period. those who say that crime only impacts those who are involved in crime have never been poor. because, let me tell you, the idea of crime only impacting those involved in crime is a huge load of bull shit.

one rainy afternoon, i was with my friends in day care and we were proudly showing off our just made dried noodle necklaces while dancing on top of the threadbare rugs to some music flowing from the record player. then my mother, rushes into the room, kneels down to hold me, crying. i look around quite confused and i see two stern looming men in dark blue uniforms. it appeared that they were there with my mother. yet, one of them spoke very gently to my mother, making no motions to touch her, which belied his sternness....and i relaxed a bit as i didn't see him or the other as a threat. unlike some other people. then the men in blue escorted my mother and me to their car and this was the first time i rode in a police car. i remember watching the rain drops connect into a stream and dance across the back seat window....wondering why my mother was crying, why we were in a car (we didn't have a car...we took muni), and who were these men that were taking us home? you see, my mother had been grabbed and taken. then she got away. i felt such a feeling of powerlessness and anger. i think anger was one of the emotions that i had an over abundance of while i was young. i've mellowed out quite considerably. i'm still rather intense [understatement], but i'm nothing like i was when i was younger [truth]. looking back at this moment, which is one of my earliest memories, i can see how this event was pretty pivotal for my rather intense drive for my life to be different and somehow just "knew" that i would make my life be different....because for me, there was no other choice, it was just going to be different. period.

so maybe you'll understand dear hearts, why after some processing when i returned from new york and researching apartments on the upper west side, i thought..."wait a sec. i'm looking at apartments on the UWS. is this really happening? when did this happen? that i can afford this? i mean, rationally, i know that i have worked damn hard through university and various jobs for years, but emotionally?.....the UWS isn't beyond my reach anymore....and if the UWS isn't beyond my reach....well, what about pac heights? why not reach for a secret dream?"

i decided to just look at what was available in pac heights before i responded to some of the brokers re: the UWS....just to see. there was still the cynical part of me that thought, "hmmm, can a gal that started out in the tenderloin really end up in pac heights?"

then it all happened so quickly.

there was an apartment that looked perfect for me through the description and fuzzy photos. i left a voicemail and emailed them w/a copy of my resume, rental history, and my credit score....and about 5 minutes later i received a call asking if i would like to see the place in a few hours....and when i walked into the apartment, i just knew that this was it. it is a lovely space, the light is perfect for taking photos, and i could see myself happily cooking, writing, and working. the next day, while i was riding muni on my way to sign the lease, i could feel myself tearing up behind my huge bug-eyed sun glasses. i love these sunglasses. they hide a multitude of sins and unexpected emotions....because who really wants to cry on muni? but i didn't cry, sucked it all in, and pulled myself together for the signing and such. then, after the signing, i was having an email conversation with a loved one based in nyc, "talking" about the whole experience....and he wrote to me about how i should be impressed with acknowledging where i came from, how hard i've worked, how far i've come, and how fortunate i am to have met people who have helped me be where i am today.

then i did cry, for reals. gawd dammit.

so maybe you can understand dear reader, why i'm saying aloud through a watery half smile, "a gal of the tenderloin is going to pac heights. how do you like dem apples?"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

still processing...

there are many things on my mind at the moment...but as i mentioned earlier, i needed some down time to process. alone. i haven't given up on the blog or anything like that....i'm just processing.

isn't that a lovely shot of the inside of a pork steamed bun btw? i bought and ate this one from OTD on bush. i do love that place.

until later...


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

you really have a hold on me

you really have a hold on me.

i find myself not wanting to leave.

it was as i suspected.

i doubt that it will take me very long to come back to you. as we spent time together these past few days, it was rather shocking how i could actually "see" us together, how comfortable i am here with you, and how i can feel so peaceful among the blares, thumpings, treads, horns, sirens, and utter lack of silence.

i feel like i am in my element and perhaps, this is where i am meant to be.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

not so curmudgeonly

good morning.

i'm blogging from the bed, taking small but ongoing sips of my jasmine green tea, and recalling last night's adventures wandering around brooklyn.

the evening began by meeting up with someone from the university days and then stopping over into a co-worker's party at a high rise that had a rather amazing balcony view of the brooklyn bridge. after a few drinks, socializing with radio people and the like, we all headed over to park slope in brooklyn and wandered around for quite a bit, chatting and walking and taking in the surroundings. a couple of places we stopped into was this bar-ish music venue place called union hall that had an indoor bocce and then had dinner at rose water. rose water is known in these parts for doing local, seasonal, sustainable, and organic when possible. in a very odd way, i felt like i was in berkeley....well, if it wasn't for the fact that berkeley shuts down, like, at 9:30pm. we were out in brooklyn decidedly past 9:30pm. we didn't get back to our place in the city until well after 2am.

as a result, i'm feeling like i am in a bit of a recovery mode at the moment.

it was one of those evenings where i think i will recall the company more than anything else. despite my typical and completely anti-social ways, i went into "work mode' at the party and was quite social. i doubt that any of the party goers realized that i really dislike parties. if i live here, i have a feeling that i'll probably be in that mode more often at various events and such. yet, the party isn't what i will recall the most from the evening....i think i will recall the laughter before and after the party the most.....and how i really do love being around folks with strong personalities, almost effervescent backbones, and honest observations. it was also a good reminder that despite being a curmudgeon, i am not indifferent to everyone upon first meeting. there are folks that i actually "like" right away.

well, i think it is time to finish my tea and actually get out of bed. another day in new york awaits!

union hall, 702 union street, brooklyn, ny, 11215, +1 718-638-4400, http://www.unionhallny.com/home.php

rose water, 787 union street, brooklyn, ny 11215. +1 718-783-3800, http://www.rosewaterrestaurant.com/

Friday, March 19, 2010

morning adorableness

i woke up "bright eyed and bushy tailed" this morning....

and went off in search of morning beverages for us. i came across this tres adorable cafe called cafe lalo. i wandered in and asked if they did drinks for take away ....and was relieved when they did. the place was pretty adorable.....

and has quite an assortment of sweets....

and the gal that helped me was super nice. as i am in new york, my expectations regarding the coffee itself were not exactly high. yet, i was pleasantly surprised. we were both quite happy with our drinks.....one coffee and one cappuccino. my cappuccino was pretty smooth.

aren't these cups adorable? well, i think it is time for me to get ready for the day. until later dear hearts.....

cafe lalo, 201 west 83rd street, (off of amsterdam), new york, ny 10024, phone: +1 212 496 6031, http://www.cafelalo.com/main.html

Thursday, March 18, 2010

in new york

i made it.

i'm staying at this absolutely enormous and tasteful studio on the upper west side. i had almost forgotten how happy i feel...just being here. i love the sounds of the city. this is obviously a good place to live as long as one is in a certain tax bracket and i suppose i'll need to find out if i am in the appropriate tax bracket. i sense research in my future.

after our plane landed, we dropped off our stuff, freshened up, and then decided to wander around. it is rather wonderful the amount of food options there are....just within a few blocks of this apartment. after doing a bit of window shopping and peeking at various menus, we decided upon paying a visit to tangled vine. it is a wine bar with pretty substantial nibbles. its wine list makes up producers that practice organic, biodynamic and sustainable viticulture.

i find it a bit ironic how this is the place we end up at. it is very appropriate....don't you think?

then after a meal of nibbles (i.e., charcuterie, mushroom fricasse with duck egg...sooooo goood, and these veal ricotta meat balls that were tender pillows of wonderful yumminess) and absolutely tasty glasses of wine, we took a short walk over to the shake shack to grab some frozen custard.

i love frozen custard. this isn't a treat that is readily available in california which is a huge tragedy. HUGE. anyway, the flavor of the day was coffee and donuts....

......and it was absolutely sublime.

i am completely stuffed...with happiness.

ahhh, new york....how i have missed you.

tangled vine, 434 amsterdam avenue, new york, ny 10024, phone + 1 646.863.3896, http://www.tangledvinebar.com/

shake shack, 366 columbus ave at 77th, +1 646 747 8770, http://shakeshack.com/

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


well, i'm about ready to fall asleep.

it is a bit difficult to believe that i'll be on a plane tomorrow headed for new york. i started to get excited about going to new york late last night....and i also realized that i haven't really made any plans to do anything while i am there. i think the distinct possibility of me living there for at least a month pretty soon is making me feel less pressured "to do" anything specific on this trip. not being quite certain about what i am going to do on this trip made for some interesting packing though.... regarding what sort of clothes to take....

but other stuff is a given....

yes, those are what they look like. yes, i am packing them. i've been trying to get into the habit of packing them when i travel...just like taking my toothbrush. i can almost picture some of the raised questioning eyebrows of some loved ones....considering my resistance to playing the field. as LKB pointed out....i am the biggest prude she knows....and yes, i would agree with LKB's assessment.....i may be a prude but i am a practical prude. i even double checked the expiration dates.

i decided to share this particular tidbit because i realize just how much of a taboo it seems for women to discuss this in the open....and we should be responsible for protecting ourselves. who knows? maybe i'll fall head over heels in lust for someone at first sight during my travels (unlikely but for the sake of argument, lets say that may actually be a possibility). i figure that if i am in a situation when i am about to bone down with someone, i sure as hell want to make certain that i am protected. while i doubt that i'll change my position on wanting to actually know, like, and respect the person i'm having sex with (which for me....takes time....yeah, i was totally born in the wrong time period), i also wanted to show an example of just because you bring them....you don't have to use them....but it is good to have them there...just in case.

anyway, after packing and such, i needed to get out and take a walk and clear my head.

i was tired (still am actually) and definitely didn't feel like going back home to make some dinner. i decided to stop into a local place that does "fast food" a bit differently.

for example, the sweet potato fries aren't "fried" but baked.

the burgers are on whole wheat buns and also significantly smaller. usually if i come to this place, i'm all about the sweet potato fries. yet, to be honest, i think i was too tired to really enjoy eating anything....but knew that i had to eat something or else i would be STARVING tomorrow morning before i head to the airport.

well, i think i've hit the super duper tiredness wall and am going to go crash now. til later dear hearts.



i'll be seeing you. soon.

i've sent off my final projects. i've turned on my "out of office".

i can finally just unwind with my bowl of tea....the heat warming my hands as i cuddle the bowl....the scent of jasmine lulling me into a state of comfort .....

and of course, i find myself thinking about you.

i've been running from thinking about you....from feeling about you....from what it means to love you....and what it is going to mean to see you so soon.

i am conflicted and torn.

it was so difficult to leave you last last october...and here i am, about to get on a plane tomorrow morning, to step into your intensely seductive embrace once more.


my god, i have missed you.

when i am with you, i feel at home. i feel like this is where i am meant to be. it feels like an odd and seemingly irreconcilable mixture of comfort and exhilaration. does this scare the absolute fuck out of me? oh, yes it does. it always has. from the first moment we met.

i am not stupid.

you don't exactly have the best of reputations.

i believe heartless and unyielding are common words that have been used to describe you. lets be frank shall we, you can be quite an asshole at times. yet, i love you anyway....despite rhyme or reason. it was safer when you were thousands of miles away. yet, now...when i see you tomorrow, the questions that will be continuing to lurk within my mind are "will i live here with you?", "are we going to give this a shot?", and perhaps the most terrifying questions will have to be answered.... "what happens if it actually works? what happens if i don't ever want to leave? will i just become absorbed and become another of your faceless nameless admirers and somehow lose site of who i am? or will the very things that draws me to you....your intensity....your take-no-prisoners-attitude.....be the very things that drives me away?"

so much uncertainty.

yet, this is what happens when i confront a hopeful semi-secret dream and am faced with potential heartbreaking disappointment....and perhaps the even more dreaded sense of failure....maybe i'm just not good enough to make it, in new york.

yet it may be time to find out...for certain.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

uncertain and unknown

hmmmm. loved ones over the past few days have been like "what is going on?", as i have been unusually "silent". i think there were a few alarms that went up around the bay when they saw how long the "rethinking" post was up for....and there are only a limited amount of people that know who i was referring to in my independent hearts and loves postings....and even those folks may not fully realize exactly who i was referring to. i maybe a bit loosy goosey regarding privacy of my own life (hey i did make a promise to myself that i would be more open) but i'm pretty protective of my loved ones' right to their own privacy which is why i don't speak of or write of specifics in certain situations where loved ones are involved.

in addition to wanting to be there for loved ones in the way that they need and want to be supported, i am processing quite a few things that are separate as well.

i've needed to get this major project for work done before i head off to nyc, so i know that there was this part of me that really wanted to hold it all together until the project was done. it is pretty much complete now. i'm just going through take another pass through it tomorrow as a final check....i made so much substantial progress on my work project over the weekend (by bailing on my asian american film festival plans) and today that i stopped into a place near me that does dishes from singapore. i was in the mood to get out of my place for a bit, eat something spicy, and give myself the space to do some processing.

so i slowly and methodically made my way through the deep fried hard boiled egg and tofu with chili sauce, the chicken gizzard curry-ish thing, the veggies in a peanut sauce, and a side of crunchy anchovies and peanuts.

the restaurant was super nice as the anchovies and peanuts don't come with what i ordered...i asked for it on the side....and i noticed that they didn't charge me for it. i made certain that the tip was significantly more than usual. maybe they knew that i needed an extra treat.

as i was taking a break, slowing taking pics, and noshing on my lovely and rather large lunch.... i thought to myself how i should take my own advice about giving myself the space to think about things...about what i want....and what is going to work for me.

i'd been thinking about these things under duress situations (i.e., combo of crazy ass work pressure in dec, travel, being ill for over a month, worn down, etc. etc. etc.). now, i am trying to give myself the space in less chaotic circumstances to think more about what i want and what i am going to do. i still don't regret some of the crazy ass things i've done recently. i was true to me and i am still trying to be true to me.

now it seems that being true to me is doing my own emotional hermit thing.

to be clear, it isn't like i've shut the emotions off.

there is a lot boil and toil going on....i think that is a mistake that a lot of people make when they look at people like me....thinking that because we don't say anything....that there must not be a lot of stuff going on or that we must not be feeling things.....but that isn't the case....well, not for me at any rate. i am usually extremely careful about what i say aloud as i realize how saying certain things put other actions into motion...and i don't want to say things that i will regret later.

recently, i am finding myself more reluctant to discuss what is going on....as i feel like i need to figure a few things out....on my own and without outside influence. at the end of the day, the only person that truly knows what i want is me. the only person that i am going to hold accountable and responsible for my actions....is me. i am also supremely aware that the person that is the hardest on me....is me.

i suppose my own independent streak is making itself known at the moment.

also, the visit to nyc this time is very different. this is the first time that the primary question in my head....that will frame how i percieve new york is "can i live here?".....or perhaps, the more accurate question is "will i live here?" maybe there was this part of me that knew something like this was going to happen, as i ended up scheduling quite a few days off when i return from new york. it is very likely that i will hole myself up in my place....giving myself the space outside of work or other things...and just think.


at this moment, what do i know for certain?

i know that i want to feel like i have lived and worked somewhere else......living and working somewhere is decidedly different than a "holiday" visit. i have a strong feeling that i will always return to the bay area. the bay area is home. i want to take advantage of the flexibility and opportunities i have now at work to see if i can make this work for me.

i know that i want to follow my instincts and intuition...which is a bit more challenging for the left-brain driven goal-oriented foodie hunter. there are certain practical aspects of me that are like "WTF is going on? who has invaded our body over the past few months?" there is a lot more uncertainty and unknown by following instincts and intuition. yet, what i am discovering for myself.....is that it is all coming down to trust.

small but huge word that is....."trust".

it comes down to trusting myself.....and trusting that no matter what happens, even if i find myself in front of yet another open door, on my knees....that i'll make it work for me and that i'll be ok.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

silent morning