Wednesday, June 30, 2010

heading back to the bay

i feel like i have been gone for quite some time.

these past few weeks have been a blur. at least my cold-whatever-it-was is gone. there is a project that i'll have to finish by friday and then i am going to be taking the weekend off. i'll be sending a note to folks in the uk reminding them of the whole "4th of july" concept and how i will not be available over the weekend or monday. i think some break time is in order.

oddly enough, i felt the desire to be home the strongest when i stopped into this place called "cooks fresh market" on 16th street in denver. it was a place i would have expected to see in the bay. this place carried an abundance of dried fruits, nuts, oils, charcuterie, cheeses, olives, granola, sparkling waters, premade desserts, sandwiches made to order, etc etc....and i noticed that they even carried some california cheeses. when i saw the california products, i went "aww, will you look at that!"

it was a good place to take a break while i enjoyed my yogurt, honey, cheese, olives, and sparkling water.



do you like my companion?

it was a gift from a japanese vendor.

i miss being home. i miss having regular access to the amazingness of the bay area produce. i miss having access to my kitchen. i miss being settled.

the past couple of months, i have felt a bit like a hobo. i know that there are folks that thrive on the travel....the always getting on a plane....going somewhere....etc. etc. but perhaps what they don't say....or think about....is how much you miss out on the everyday things that are going on in loved one's lives....because you are always on the road....rushing from project to project....city to city.....country to country. or how about them not talking about how difficult it is to plan things....when you don't know what city or country you are going to be in or for how long.

i have a lovely life. no doubt about it. i have a good job. it pays well.

after i read the nytimes about food writers asking for comped meals/food in exchange for exposure this morning, i was thinking about how my hobo job has enabled me to visit food-centric places as well as buy artisan food products, food lit books (new hardcovers no less), or tickets to food events that i would not been able to afford 15+ years ago. it is a position of privilege that i have worked very hard for. yet, in many ways, i am still pretty lucky. also, unlike professionals journalists or writers, on this blog i am beholden to no one....i don't have to answer to editors, advertisers, market research statistics, or the wants/needs/desires of any particular demographic. this is one of the reasons that i write this blog....it is where i am beholden to no one except myself.

i am able to share what i am passionate about or what i am thinking about for no other reason than because i want to.

perhaps that is why some of you read me (other than the food porn that is)....because you know that what i say is real for me...and is true for me in this moment....and is not motivated by "comped" meals or products.

well, i have to go catch my flight....i'm not certain what is up and how come i can't upload the images. i'll do so later. much love and hugs to you all dear hearts.

xxooo

Sunday, June 27, 2010

empathy

i am in denver at the moment. it is about 8ish in the morning and i am sipping on hotel coffee with some leftover goat cheese and fig beignets from my lovely dinner last night.


i will write more about that dinner later. i am about to start in on a work project so that i can visit tattered cover, take some pics in LoDo, and meet up with VLD for tea. yet, before i get my head into this work project, i wanted to share with you a random moment i had at the denver airport yesterday as i was heading toward baggage claim.

at the denver airport, there is a train that takes passengers to the various terminals and baggage claim. there i was, zoning people out, carrying my bag with my laptop and the tunes on my ipod were blasting much louder than necessary. despite my zoning people out, i did notice something a bit unusual. there was this girl, she was about 16, and she was holding her mother's hand. they ended up standing next to me on the train.

now, how many 16 year old girls do you know are willing to hold their mom's hand in public? ummm, it is usually around age 12-13 when the kids usually walk in front or behind their parents in public places....not only as a way to assert their independence but also because parents are becoming decidedly "uncool".

the reason why i noticed the hands first was this girl was substantially taller than both me and her mom, so the hands were closer to my line of site. i had to look up to really see her. when i looked up, i saw that she was holding back tears. then i looked at her mom and i saw the exact same thing.

now, this wasn't a "we had a fight with each other and are keeping things in". or at least, that was my feeling on the situation. my read on the situation was that something was obviously wrong. not a "little wrong" but a "freakin big wrong".

because here you had, two women...one young....one older.......having the exact same eyes....both fighting so much to hold things in....yet the tears were there and they weren't going anywhere. the tears were in swimming in a stasis around their eyes. the mother had a small purse with her....and the girl was holding nothing except her mom's hand. no travel bags or travel-oriented accoutrements....and we were all in a part of the airport where you had to have just gotten off a flight. this is pretty unusual behavior these days.

i found myself in a wee bit of dilemma.

do i say something knowing that saying something will crack their control that they are trying to maintain....or would they rather that their control be cracked and know that someone recognizes their pain and is trying to offer comfort? i did not know these women. we were all random strangers on a train. yet, it was obvious that they were suffering and it seemed rather inhuman to just pretend that it was not happening. so i slowly reached into my bag, pulled out a pack of tissues, opened it, and offered it to the younger woman since she was the closest to me. this whole thing happened in the span of a few moments by the way. it is interesting how it takes longer to explain that it does to live it.

the young woman looked a bit surprised and reached tissue. then i said, "you can have the pack." then the tears began to slowly fall. she said thank you and looked at her mom. they both had a moment of processing this. control regained. then her mom said thank you as well. then we arrived at one of the stops and the mom in a bit of panic asked me if this was baggage claim and i said "no, it is ok, it is not this stop." and the mom seemed to resettle into herself....almost with a bit of more determination.

i didn't ask any questions because i didn't think it was my business, but i waited until we exited the train toward baggage claim before i put ipod earbuds back into my ears. it is a challenge isn't it? to try to figure out how to offer comfort and support without intruding. as i walked toward the area to pick up my bag, looking back that moment that just happened, i also found my eyes tearing up a bit. i found my reaction odd and not odd at the same time. odd, because i don't know these women.....yet, not odd, because for all of my socially awkward driven analytical self, i do have empathy...and how could i not feel for them? and their pain that they are obviously trying to hold in? and hold it and themselves together?

i didn't tell my colleagues when i saw them at baggage claim what had just happened, and i wasn't even certain i was going to tell you, dear readers. yet, it did happen and is something that i've been thinking about.

well, it is time to get to work.

until later dear hearts.

Friday, June 25, 2010

burly

it has been quite an educational experience.

i've just got out of the bath and am mentally re-visiting my recent visit to a local sports bar.

yes, dear hearts....you read those words correctly....the foodie hunter was in a sports bar. the foodie hunter ate nachos that consisted of thin crunchy chips and melted not-cheese product. not only was the foodie hunter in a sports bar, but i was there with a bunch of blokes. i was drinking soda water with lime (unshocking) and they were not (again unshocking). i bet i could have looked down at my watch and have seen that it had been 3 minutes and 33 seconds before the first reference to morning wood came up.

naturally, this was just a warm up.

then i proceeded to obtain my first multi-component lecture about the pros and cons of various popular prostitution areas in thailand vs shenzen. there was much detail about how to obtain appropriate services and in-depth comparisons regarding the various sales pitches that would occur. it seems that there is much controversy on the subject.

i learned that when i bring up how asiaSF has great gender illusionists whose bodies are quite lovely, supple, and how difficult it is to tell that they are men.....and be sincere in my wonderment and admiration for that (one of my favorite bday celebrations i've had occurred at asiaSF).....the discussion will not return to strippers for the rest of the evening. this is a free tip btw.

then, i had my suspicions reconfirmed that straight men are probably the most catty people of my acquaintance. i heard all sorts of these blokes' thoughts regarding mutual male acquaintances' weight, clothes, shoes, driving styles, sexual relationships with specific known and unknown individuals, broken hearts, lack of courage approaching women, and the purchase of sexual services on various business trips as they cheated on their significant others. to be fair, one of the blokes mentioned how he when he saw the cheating going on, he couldn't believe that those male acquaintances were risking bringing in disease into their marriage bed and could not see himself cheating and, you know what? i believed him.

the piece de la resistance though was the evidence pointing to men's obsession with breasts being expanded beyond women's breasts. i am well aware of men's fascination with women's breasts. what i didn't realize was that straight men could be so obsessed with "man boobs" and feel so free to caress and tweak their own as well as each others' breasts in a sports bar.

i've also learned that some blokes, despite being on their 5th+ beer, are quite protective if another member of the group decides to turn their sites on me. i've learned that i can actually be ok with this protectiveness. shocking! since when have i been ok with someone else doing something for me that i know that i can do myself? i don't know, but that was pretty shocking for me. it also makes for an interesting dynamic considering the various conversations that occurred before and after this.

i've also learned that some blokes, even on short acquaintance, seem to instinctively know certain things about me. for example, when one bloke asked me "why do women go for the burly men that are dumb as brick?", i was actually rather taken aback by that question than anything else i had heard that evening.

i mean, this is ME, who has not in her entire history of dating has gone down that route.

then another bloke pipped in, "you are asking the wrong girl about that one." then, in what was probably the most serious part of the evening, i reiterated, "i wouldn't know about that."

because, i think we all know dear hearts, that despite all of the well visible foodie hunter faults....i've never fallen for the burly type. perhaps a man with a burly sense of justice, a burly heart, and a burly brain....but not burly brawn.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

forgotten

i had forgotten a few things. i had forgotten what it was like to speak to someone and not have to say very much because they know exactly what you are doing, what is going on, and completely understands what you are saying and sometimes just as importantly.....what you....or rather...what i....was not saying.

in many ways it was a relief.

it was also a reminder.

i am near atlanta and i had been debating whether or not to talk to him. i have very few opportunities to speak to him anymore, face-to-face. sometimes, when one says things aloud....one knows that one cannot take them back and may set certain things into motion. yet.....for better or for worse, i am not big on dishonesty or deception. sometimes this is to my detriment. yet, my intuition was saying that i should speak to him while the very practical side of me was saying "this is such a bad idea. are you mental? this is bad as in bad. not bad as in bad ass." then i reminded myself that i was going to start paying a lot more attention to my intuition and not let the super duper analytical brain override it every time. my intuition was telling me that he would want to know rather than not and if i want to maintain this relationship in the years ahead, i should say something now....not later.

it would be the harder path though.

so i sent an email asking for a meet up and it was almost eerie how easily i found myself ushered across from him. despite his crazy ass schedule that makes mine look like i am napping, he had made the time, and i had his full intense attention. i am not one for small talk, so i launched right in and provided an opening. then waited. he knew exactly what was going on and spoke just as bluntly.

it was a reminder that just because i don't see someone very often or have regular contact with them, doesn't mean they don't know or see exactly what i am doing, where i am going, and what i have done. it doesn't mean that they don't know me or see me.

very clearly.

it also reminded me that.... once upon a time.....many many years ago....he saw potential in me that i didn't even see in myself and handed me an initial opportunity that allowed me to realize this potential that changed everything for me. then, a few years later, did it again on a much larger scale.

now, i realize why it was so important for me to say something.

it is because i respect him.

Monday, June 21, 2010

from over 30,000 feet

maybe i'll add a picture later. this is a bit of a novelty, i'm blogging from my flight. this is the first time that i'm on a plane that has wifi (it is $12.95 for the flight). i'm not certain if this is a good thing or bad thing.....to be able to be able to blog from the plane.

it is good if you need to get work done, communicate with colleagues, or loved ones. it is not so good as sometimes when the more stressful moments like turbulence and such hit, it can be a bird's eye view of all of the neurosis that may occur. i have never been a fan of flying. i look at flying as something that is necessary in order to get from point A to point B. my reactions to turbulence really vary depending on the flight and how tired i am. if i am super tired, i hope to have a doze through it....as opposed to feeling my pulse spike and jolt every time there is a significant bump or shake. i get annoyed at myself for the spikes in my pulse and the feeling of fear.

we are over central arkansas at the moment and the captain has asked that we stay seated due to the bumpy air. what is going through my mind at this second is that i am thinking about everyone that i care about. it is sort of my mantra i repeat to myself with images in my mind or things i say to myself. i remind myself that each person that i love dearly, knows that i love them. this helps.

it is rather morbid and pragmatic at the same time. if anything happens, i want my last thoughts to be of those that i love and care for.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

i know i can

"just breathe."

i find myself muttering those words to myself quite a bit these days. one reason is because this cold-whatever-it-is makes it difficult for me to breathe and i say this to myself as i make myself yet another spicy noodle soup. this version is a thai influenced soup with tom yum paste, coconut milk, tofu, green beans, spinach, and mung bean noodles.




another reason is that despite being sick, traveling around like a banshee, not feeling settled into my new home, not feeling settled anywhere actually.....that me muttering "just breathe" is a reminder to stay the course and be true to who i am. be honest with who i am. be comfortable with who i am. be responsible for who i am.

those that love me or hate me know that i am an intense and driven person. there are times that i hold myself to a standard that many look upon with disbelief or believe to be improbably or impossible to achieve. yet, these same people will continue to look upon me with puzzlement when they realize that my standards for others are not the same for myself. yet, it was not until the last few years that i realized that despite not holding others to the same standard, sometimes others observe the pressure i put upon myself and integrate some of that same pressure and expectation into their own lives. i have been told quite a bit over the past three years that for someone who is known for being so observant, i can be quite clueless about my impact upon others.

for me, the only person i compete with is myself.

i am not saying that i'm "the best" (far from it actually.... in too many things to count) and that i have no one to "compete" with, i am saying that i push me....i push me far more than other people ever could. also, i'm not going to look at what someone else is doing and have that spur me into behaving differently or "better". i'm not quite certain why i'm not wired that way. i want other people to succeed, do well, and be responsible for themselves. while i see others attempt to "squash" or "demean" others who are doing well in an attempt to make themselves feel better, i am usually quite horrified when i see this behavior.

there was a time when i was difficult on myself because failure was not an option. being hurt was not an option. hurt and failure were "bad words" or scenarios to be avoided through careful strategic planning and tactical implementation. if i am being a bit more gentle with myself and look at myself through eyes that are a wee bit wiser, i can understand why i took this perspective for such a prolonged period of time. i had hurt for such a long time and didn't want to feel it anymore. as a young'un, i thought, "there is nothing that can hurt as much as this. i've had my fair share. i don't want this anymore. i can avoid it. i'll graduate from university, get a job, control my life, be independent, depend on NO ONE, and i will never feel hurt this bad ever again."

oh, such youthful arrogance.

the wee bit wiser me is shaking my head at myself and my arrogance at trying to out run, out think, or out smart being hurt or experiencing failure. there is a part of me that believes that because of this arrogance, i obtained my comeuppance with experiencing years filled with loneliness, hurt, and feelings of failure. the reason why i am able to speak or write of this now, is that it has taken me years to recover from the worst of it. to be comfortable with it. to be responsible for it.

those who have been with me since the beginning of this blog have had a bird's eye view of the whole thing. you've seen me make some difficult choices, work through the consequences of my choices, and seen me work through my recovery from various kinds of heart break.

it seems to be an ongoing process.

while i am still pretty hard on myself, i no longer have the same fear of failure or hurt that i once did. they are no longer "bad words". now, i am more pragmatic. if it is going to hurt, then the taking the risks and feeling the subsequent hurt had better be fucking worth it.
i gave up a while ago trying to avoid either of them (and in certain cases ran headlong into them) because they are going to come no matter what. now, i see and have chosen avenues and choices that have the potential to lead to hurt or feelings of failure, and i am accepting of those potential outcomes. i take responsibility for these risks. i am not sadomasochistic. i don't actively seek out failure or hurt through self sabotage. rather, i have more confidence that i will still be ok through it all. i don't just "think" it intellectually.

i believe it.

i know it.




Thursday, June 17, 2010

food & thought at sfmoma

so i went after all.

if you are interested....i've posted the set
of pics on flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/foodiehunter/sets/72157624175283917/

xxxooo,

foodie hunter


hapa ramen


despite the fact that i had "red lettered" the opening of hapa ramen in the ferry building on my calendar, i almost didn't go this morning. i'm still feeling the effects of this cold or whatever it is that i caught in vegas. i wasn't quite certain if i was in the correct state of mind to be visiting the ferry building. one usually has to be in a pretty tolerant state of mind when visiting the ferry building as opposed to being a ms. cranky pants. then i reminded myself that soup is always good for a cold so i put my cranky ass self on muni and headed over to the ferry building.

i was there before 11am and there was already quite a line.



the lady that took my order (which i suspect was mrs. hapa ramen....and i mean this with all due respect and not meaning that her identity is absorbed by her husband....but hopefully you all know what i mean) was super and sincerely friendly. after a few minutes i did wonder a bit about the wait until i paid a bit more attention to folks ahead of me picking up their orders.

there were individuals picking up 2 or 4+ orders of ramen at once.

remember this was before 11am.

dude.

i am glad i got there when i did.

i had heard and read a lot about things that happened at the coffee bar....and the email/online comment drama that followed. i was there that evening at the coffee bar but after about 10 minutes, i decided not to wait in line because i was too exhausted from the recent move to wait. yet, i remember i was glad that people came out for it. i had no idea that they were going to get slammed like they did. i remember reading through all of the aftermath and thinking that i hope that folks give them another chance....and it looks like they are.

so i approached my bowl of ramen today with much anticipation....


it is quite lovely isn't it? i ordered the pork ramen with a sous vide egg and i squirted on some sriracha sauce...

it seemed almost sacrilegious to poke into the egg....

but of course i did.

then i dug in.

the fresh noodles were lovely and slightly chewy. the pork was meltingly tender. i also happily by passed my spoon often and just picked up my bowl to slurp the broth.


it was comfort in a bowl.


i'm very glad that i went. i will definitely be back.

maybe i'll see you there.


hapa ramen, http://haparamensf.com/ ,
thursdays farmers market 10-2pm, ferry plaza farmers market, one ferry building, san francisco, ca 94114, http://www.cuesa.org/markets/days/thursday.php

so i am sick


so i am sick.

i am pretty certain i got whatever this is when i was in vegas. before i took this job, i was hardly ever sick. in my previous job, i would travel about once quarter....mostly to chicago....but i wouldn't get sick. yet, since i have been in this job for the past couple of years, i seem to get sick every few months.

it is rather annoying.

so here i am, having difficulty breathing, not able to sleep, and not wanting to take the cold medicine that makes one sleepy because i have to be working by 7am at the latest....and the cold medicine makes me too groggy. i have a feeling that i won't be up for the meatpaper and bluebottle event tomorrow evening at SF MoMA which is quite a bummer. i was looking forward to that. yet, i think i am going to need as much rest as possible before i head to ATL next week. because i have been sick since i've returned from vegas, i've been eating a lot of spicy soups. there are many spicy soups in my repertoire. it probably surprises no one that what i decide to make is dependent on my mood as well as what i have in the fridge and pantry.

this afternoon, i decided to use some bun bo hue paste as my basis for my broth and kind of go from there.....

while i put a very large spoonful of paste into a pot of water and let it simmer, i went into the fridge and pulled out some gio lau (vietnamese sausage made from pounded pork and nuoc mam....often steamed in a banana leaf), some green beans,.....


rau ram.....


and spinach.

i did have some bun bo hue noodles but since i was doing this on the fly, i hadn't pre-soaked them. one typically needs to pre-soak certain dried noodles before cooking them separately from the broth. oftentimes, for vietnamese soups, the separately cooked noodles and broth are added together right before serving. just to be clear....i wasn't making bun bo hue....i was just using some paste as a base. putting green beans and spinach into bun bo hue is a bit blasphemous....so hence, i just told myself that i wasn't making bun bo hue....but making a soup "inspired by it". i do this a lot....make random noodle soups for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack....etc....out of what i happen to have in my kitchen or pantry. i also make an concerted effort to add vegetables into my soups.

yet, i must admit i was also feeling quite lazy and didn't feel like cooking the noodles separate. so i just grabbed some mung bean noodles instead......



and added them, the green beans, the sliced gio lau, and some shrimp paste into the pot.


mung bean noodles are good noodles to cook in the pot broth for like, a minute or two, and then they are ready.......


i added the spinach right before i took the pot off the heat.


then poured everything to a large bowl.....


and topped it with some rau ram, fried shallots, and a squeeze of lime.



for me, this is the perfect sort of soup to have when i am sick. it helps clear out the sinuses for about an hour or so. i'll probably have some variation of a spicy soup tomorrow as well. maybe if i eat enough spiciness, it will burn this cold right out of me.

one can hope i suppose.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

who i will be

the first time i returned to the 'loin after moving into my new place in the city, i found it to be a supremely uncomfortably emotionally loaded experience. as a child, i left the 'loin with some rather layered memories...the majority of them not exactly positive. i don't like being poor. i just don't. a large motivation for me moving through school so quickly and getting a capital J - capital O - and - capital B as soon as possible was because i had no intention of ever being poor again. ever ever ever. i wanted my not being poor to be a direct result of using my brain and working hard. i have worked hard....very hard over the years to avoid ever being in that space ever again.

for someone who can be so smart about some things i can be quite stupid about others. i mean, duh, of course there was going to be some emotional reactions to returning to the 'loin....but i didn't even consider that it would have an impact upon me. yet, it did. as i have mentioned previously in this blog, i understand why some people decide never to return to where they came from.

it is unpleasant to be reminded of not-so-great memories. it is unpleasant to remember what it is like to be hungry. it is unpleasant to remember how normal it was to be around violence, crime, drugs, and an invisible yet binding stench that becomes integrated into your skin. it is unpleasant to think about how under different circumstances and different choices, you may have remained there.....or that you may return there....because you have no other place to go.

lets be honest here.

it is fear. it is my fear.

once i realized that it was fear and and why being in the 'loin made me so uncomfortable, i decided to keep going back....because, for me, once i actualized that this was my fear, i knew that i needed to confront it. immediately. on a continuous basis. i made myself go to different markets, to different restaurants (such as this one where i grabbed some pho)



as well as walk different paths in and out of the 'loin.

my objective was to create new memories, look at the 'loin through adult eyes, and remind myself, that who i am today is not the powerless child i once was....and that i have made very different and difficult choices to ensure that my life would be different. i needed to walk through the streets of the 'loin fully present, my head held high, and fully own that this is where i started my life. it is one aspect of my life that shaped who i am. yet, the choices i made after i left continues to shape who i am and will be.

a place does not decide who i will be.

i decide who i will be.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

back in the city

i am back in the city. i could feel myself exhale as i got off the plane, switched the ring to the appropriate finger, and thought about how glad i was to be back in the city.


the last few days have gone by so quickly. i have been working on my project associated with the vegas conference but i also had time to hang out with a loved on on saturday afternoon. at the time, i thought i was just tired from the trip. yet, what i didn't realize was that i was fighting off a full blown cold which has, unfortunately, hit me pretty hard. i had actually written out an entirely different post of saturday afternoon and then i realized that it wasn't really what was on my mind and somehow seemed dishonest.

it was a lovely to hang out with this loved one on saturday afternoon. we hadn't seen each other for a while and it was great to walk around the saturday market at the ferry building, hit up borderlands, borderlands cafe, humphry slocombe, and then end our time at il cane rosso at the ferry building.


my appetite seemed to be ginormous that day as i ended up ordering a brisket sandwich......


AND the asparagus salad.


both were just lovely.



i remember thinking how nice it was to have a mellow hanging out sort of a day with a loved one. while we were nibbling, sipping, and looking out into the bay at il cane rosso, they mentioned how this felt like "vacation". i remember laughing at that comment as it was so true. it has been a while since i have been that relaxed....not running around to do something specific or not being around tons of people where i feel the energy being sucked out of me. it was good to be back in the bay area.

as i walked this loved one to the train station, things took a bit more of a serious tone and they said how glad they were that i was happy. oddly enough, i hadn't until that moment thought about how loved ones would be able to see the difference in me. i am glad that i was able to live in berkeley's gourmet ghetto for a while to recoup and obtain my bearings from the divorce. it was something that i needed to do. berkeley provided a known and comfortable place for me to recover, rediscover certain things about myself, and learn quite a few new things about myself. now, i feel like living in the city is moving forward as opposed to recovery. living in the city is something that i chose for myself and only for myself....and i returned to the city in a markedly better state than when i left it.

it is a new beginning.

Friday, June 11, 2010

leaving las vegas

well, i'm at the airport. i've been taking advantage of the free and fast wireless at the vegas airport to work on my report for the conference before my flight begins to board. yet, i thought i'd take a quick break away from the report and let y'all know that i'm on my way home.

after i woke up this morning, my demeanor picked up considerably when i reminded myself that after a few more hours at the conference, i get to go home. it will be lovely to breath air that doesn't have the lingering scents of stale cigs, alcohol, and other things. the song "smoke gets in my eyes" has a whole new meaning to me when i am in vegas. when i look at myself in the mirror, i think i look hung over with reddened eyes despite skipping out on evening activities and not indulging in any of the city's infamous vices. to be fair, i am staying on a pretty cheap hotel. if others stay in one of the more luxurious oriented hotels, it isn't as bad. the smell is still there....but it isn't as prominent as those hotels probably paid a lot more for their ventilation system. it will also be lovely to have access to my kitchen and see less of people who look at vegas as an extended drink til you drop sort of party.

i have always been this old and crabby btw. even when i was, like, 10 years old.

i'm usually pretty tolerant of this sort of behavior. my philosophy has been more along the lines of "don't fuck with me and we are all good". yet, sometimes, it gets a bit tiresome to ride an elevator up 30 floors with people in loud drunken states....screaming at the person next to them as if they were yards rather than inches away. so it was with some relief that i got on the monorail to the conference knowing i'd only have to be here for a few hours longer.

on the positive side, i found a small kiosk in my hotel that sells a simple egg salad sandwich....


yes, there is probably tons of mayo and they do load in a lot of the egg salad (this is about double of what they put on sandwiches in the uk), but it didn't make me feel like there was a lead weight in my stomach afterward and i also didn't feel lethargic.

i am going to do my darnest to finish as much of the report today/tonight as possible. it looks like i'll be seeing JB tomorrow...and the plan is to go to the ferry building market as well as introduce JB to one of my favorite places in the universe, humphry slocombe. hmmmm, those are definitely my kind of motivators for getting work done. well, i should get back to it.

until later dear hearts....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

winding down in vegas


it has been a pretty productive last couple of days. i'm winding down at the hotel right now. i have one more day of the conference and will be heading home tomorrow evening. then, i'll have 48 hours to put together and complete a project based on the conference. fortunately, i made quite a bit of headway this evening so i'm on track to meet the deadline. while i was pretty good about not eating utter crap while i was in the uk a couple of weeks ago, i've been eating quite a bit of non-healthy food for the last two days. see top pic of a sausage egg sandwich that i picked up at the conference this morning as a prime example.

i can actually feel the impact upon my body and will be making more of a concerted effort tomorrow and for the rest of next week to eat better.....or to eat how i normally do when i am home. i find that it is extremely easy to eat non-healthy food while traveling and not having access to my kitchen. also, given the heat, i'm less inclined to walk around to find things to eat. the hotel i am at doesn't have options like the lovely bouchon bakery. i loved having access to bouchon the last time i was in vegas. this time, i am staying at a decidedly less fancy hotel. the amenities are not that great and the wireless is incredibly unreliable. yet, i got what i paid for....as this room was prob about 25% of what my room at the venetian cost. it is about two or three steps up from a dump....and about 10 steps below the venetian.

yet, it is very close to the monorail station which is one of the reasons why i picked this hotel.

i've been taking the monorail between the hotel and the convention center which has been nice as it means less walking around in the heat and sun.


unfortunately, the stations are outside. the stations are covered, but still outside and hence....can get pretty warm. the heat is no surprise as vegas is in a desert. yet, i'd rather take the monorail than walk...especially considering the amount of walking i do on the conference floor. by the time i leave the convention center, i'm not feeling inclined to do any more walking. i just feel like taking a bath before settling down on one of the beds, doing research, and working. interestingly enough, one of my colleagues ended up with a limp after his first day....from walking around the convention floor for hours. it is times like these that i am very glad that i am in "walking" shape. there are many people at this conference that are not....which just serves as a visual reminder that i should definitely maintain a balanced eating lifestyle.