December 2001

Summary: Christmas vacation at Applewood Inn in Guerneville, California

Dates on this page

Sat 1

Breakfast at home, coffee at Starbuck's at 18th and Castro, saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Castro Theater, lunch at Thailand Restaurant, then went to Sweet Inspirations so that Patrick could write and I could read Homepage Usability by Jakob Nielsen.

Sun 2

Patrick went to Jumpin Java while I ran errands and shopped Valencia Street for a lamp, a gift exchange gift, a bookcase for work.

Mon 3

Worked on the Outreach section of the website at work. Pizza for dinner at home.

Tue 4

Worked on navigation on the website at work. I saw a Segway scooter on the front page of the newspaper somewhere and visited their website for the first time. First impressions: interesting, geekly, slickly marketed. Shopped at Walgreen's' huge holiday sale with Patrick. Amy and David came over to chat and to try some sassafras iced tea. Patrick makes ravioli with cream sauce from Lucca for dinner. He rented Shrek but we didn't have time to watch it tonight.

Wed 5

Worked on the Curriculum and Calendars sections of the website at work. Had pizza for dinner at home. Watched Shrek on DVD with Patrick.

Thu 6

Worked on the Events section of the website at work. Patrick made pork chops, mashed potatoes, and steamed asparagus for dinner. Went to our first Guerilla Queer Bar event—Extreme Karaoke at Tango Tango in the TenderKnob. We got there around 9 pm. I thought this was fun. I think Patrick had a good time, but later he said he didn't enjoy it much. The crowd was mostly our age, it seemed. We watched people make fools of themselves, including one guy who couldn't help stripping his flight suit during his songs. Many of the songs I had never heard before. Patrick ran into a friend from SF State—Craig Fox. We talked with him and his friend Dan. As the night progressed, Craig started calling his friend "Drunk Dan" in response to Dan's unruly insobriety. We eventually left around 11:30 pm with Craig enlightening us with late night MUNI bus strategy.

Fri 7

I can't remember what we did today.

Sat 8

Visited the post office to mail a package and retrieve another. Stopped at Jelly Donut. Met our neighbors Penny and Ryan who live upstairs in 890 Capp. Worked for Marcia. Shopped for a paper lantern at Cliff's and Walgreens in the Castro. Ate pizza at Marcello's. Had planned to attend Jamie's party today but did not. Patrick had a special DJ mix arranged on his laptop, but since we're missing the party maybe he'll save it for next weekend's party.

Sun 9

Stayed home all day. Wrapped Christmas gifts and wrote Christmas cards. Visited Cala for juice and chicken soup.

Mon 10

Worked on stylesheets for Internet Explorer 5 for Windows. Homemade pho with chicken for dinner.

Tue 11

Worked on stylesheets for Netscape 4 for Windows. Homemade pho with chicken for dinner.

Wed 12

Worked on stylesheets for Netscape 4 for Mac OS. Lunched at Empress Garden for the first time. Patrick works on chapter 8. Had wor wonton soup—delicious. Burger and fries for dinner.

Thu 13

Patrick makes pot roast, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli for dinner. Still working on chapter 8.

Fri 14

Worked on more content for the website: PharmD current students, prospective students, entering students, visitors. Incorporated Cindy's changes. Got feedback from James. Resolved PharmAdMIT database and printing issues for James. My old office furniture got moved out of my office.

Sat 15

Today Patrick and I took BART then MUNI to Irving Street so that he could work in a coffee shop and so that I could work on Gail's website. On the way over, as we emerged from the tunnel that passes under Buena Vista Park, we both heard the driver say "Solid Gold" over the speaker system. We looked at each other wondering what would cause the driver to mention Solid Gold at this moment, and then we realized that we were at Carl & Cole Streets and that the MUNI driver's thick Asian accent combined with the inconsistent speaker sound quality that exists in MUNI trains created for us an amusing moment. Vicki's birthday dinner at Siam Bay in Oakland with Leslie, Josh, Manuela, Chaya, Judith, Mary, Alice, and four others whose names we missed. We got Vicki a purple mica tea light holder shaped like a lotus blossom.

Sun 16

Robin and Amy and David visit to eat and play. Amy made lots of delicious food: goat cheese and bread, spinach salad, bean soup, gingerbread cake with dried fruit compote. Patrick and I served chai tea and M and M's. We played games: Hearts, Boggle, Taboo.

Mon 17

Painted my office at work. I didn't have to paint the whole thing (as if my office were big)—just one large nine square feet patch and some touching up here and there.

Tue 18

New office desk and chair arrived. Phillip and Jerry from Steelcase delivered and installed it. I set up my stuff in my new office. Worked on the prospective students section of the new website. Did usability testing with Kyvan and Joel. Patrick had a long day, so we decided to eat at Rasoi for dinner.

Wed 19

At work today on my way back from the bathroom I passed a (presumably) empty box sitting in the hallway that said, "Warning: Do not open unless you have reviewed guidelines for handling human tissue." Worked on site structure today, rescinding my earlier decision for a strict site hierarchy. Patrick and I met with Harold Lustig for financial planning. Dinner at Pomodoro Pizza.

Thu 20

Holiday Luncheon with the office staff (Chris, Cindy, Rodney, Ena, Debrah, Melissa, James, Joel, and me) at Gordon Biersch. Unfortunately, Debrah couldn't go because she needed to resolve class scheduling problems with another office. Cindy and Chris let us go shopping for a few hours afterwards—very thoughtful of them, as many of us hadn't yet finished our Christmas shopping. I stopped at FAO Schwartz to get a gift for Patrick. After we returned, we worked a little more and then did the gift exchange. Patrick got deli items from Harvest Grocery for dinner. Watched The Grinch on DVD with Patrick.

Fri 21

Got permission from Susie to use a larger default font size, use tab-style leftside navigation, and to change the footer links for the PharmD section. Worked on stylesheets. Watched "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" on DVD with Patrick.

Sat 22

Worked on pooa. Watched Sleepless in Seattle on DVD with Patrick. Neither of us had seen it before tonight. I surprised myself by recognizing the Dahlia Lounge and many other Seattle spots.

Sun 23

Worked on pooa. Watched the Criterion version of Notorious on DVD with Patrick.

Mon 24

I can't remember what we did today.

Tue 25

Breakfast at home: french toast. Opened presents. Sam gave us matching jackets from Eddie Bauer, a 60-minute Yoga Tree massage gift certificate. Patrick's mom gave us the chocolate version of Monopoly and a gift box of old photos from her and Patrick's childhoods. Amy and David gave us Martinelli's apple cider and two champagne glasses. I gave Patrick a collection of seven Pre de Provence soaps, including three triangle-shaped ones flavored in tangerine, cucumber, and pear. Tina and Daniel gave us a gift package of homemade lemon and orange lollipops, two mini springform pans, spiced pear and first rain votive candles, and a cookbook by Le Cordon Bleu. Read the "Twas the Night Before Christmas" storybook window displays at Macy's. Saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Wed 26

I can't remember what we did today.

Thu 27

Patrick and I pack and take off in the car for Guerneville for a 3-night stay at the Applewood Inn. It's our first vacation more than one or two nights away from home since our weekend trip to Santa Cruz on 2002 Sep 15. Before checking in at Applewood, we lunch at Pat's Restaurant: a cheeseburger for me, a Santa Fe sandwich for Patrick. Patrick picked Applewood from a number of choices we found on the Web. At US$155 per night, it's more expensive than other places, but we skimped on most of our other trip expenses, so it all evens out. We stayed in Belden House #2. The best thing about our room was the view: hundred-foot evergreen trees dripping with rain. The worst thing we could think of was not very significant—the bathroom floor was made of flat black hexagon tiles that were pretty but also very hard and cold. We enjoyed having the docile Applewood dogs Sassy and Balki roaming. After checking in and touring the grounds, we took a nap, then had pizza (chicken, mushroom, and garlic cloves in a white sauce) for dinner at (I think) Angelo's. Afterwards, we barhopped: Rainbow Cattle Company, then karaoke at the Triple R, then Fife's. It was very dead, however, so we didn't stay out late and ended up at Applewood watching cable.

Fri 28

Applewood includes a delicious breakfast in our room prices—very European, Patrick thought. Coffee, yogurt with mint sprig, cheesy egg scramble, roasted potatoes, a croissant, fresh-squeezed orange juice, cranberry juice. We visit the Korbel winery and take their free tour. The tour is pleasant and unremarkable except for the 10-minute movie in the middle of the tour which is so poorly written I wanted to laugh out loud without remorse throughout its entirety. During the movie, a man says the word "time" ominously, repeatedly, and randomly in an attempt to create a prominent theme in the story. The movie also includes nonsense such as "He is literally tasting the future," filler scenes such as video of a hand picking up dirt and letting it fall, a flyover of the winery that is alarmingly fast, more like a bombing run rather than a leisurely survey. The best thing about the tour is the free tastings at the end: we sampled four Korbel champagnes as well as a cream sherry. Lunch at the Korbel Cafe. Napped. Read in front of the fireplace: Frank reading "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by J.K. Rowling, Patrick reading "Allan Stein" by Matthew Stadler. Fajitas at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Drinks at the Eagle where we chatted with a friendly bartender. Left the Eagle and went to Fife's where we met Michael, Mark, Brian, and the bartender Donald. Hung out with Brian (and later Ryan) in their cottage.

Sat 29

Breakfast at Applewood: coffee, granola and milk with mint sprig, cheddar and artichoke heart egg bake, roasted potatoes, a croissant, fresh-squeezed orange juice, cranberry juice. Visited the Applewood garden. In the middle of winter, there wasn't much to be seen, but we could tell it is a breathtaking garden in spring and fall. We saw olive trees, artichoke plants, rose bushes, and empty planting beds for all kinds of herbs. Took some photos. More fireplace reading. Lunch at Spark's, an all-vegan restaurant: spinach tofu scramble, roasted potatoes. More reading at Guerneville's only cafe. Napped. Played chess in the evening during which the owner of Applewood surprised us with some freshly popped popcorn. We never finished our game because it was getting on 8:30 or so and we feared the restaurants would close. Dinner at the Pasta Boys restaurant at the Triple R Resort: roasted vegetable and duck soup, breaded steak, filet mignon, chocolate mousse torte. Best things about dinner were the aforementioned soup and the piano bar, which made our evening more romantic. Patrick requested "I Remember You" and the pianist began playing it almost immediately. I fell ill shortly before dinner (we're convinced it was the tofu I had at lunch) so we stayed in afterwards and watched "The Breakfast Club" on cable teevee.

Sun 30

Breakfast at Applewood: coffee, granola-topped yogurt cup with mint sprig, two slices of bacon and two buttermilk pancakes topped with sliced banana, roasted potatoes, a croissant, fresh-squeezed orange juice. Returned home via Highway 116 through Sebastapol and Cotati. Although it rained all four days of our trip, we had a fun and relaxing time. A late lunch at the Chinese restaurant on Mission between 24th and 25th where we discover too late that the food is really awful. Played a game of Scrabble in the evening with Patrick.

Mon 31

New Year's Eve. Patrick and I picked up Sam at the airport in the morning. I slept most of today—very tired, not sure why. Sam came over in the afternoon while I slept and gave us a bottle of Korbel Natural. In the evening, Amy, David, and Robin came over and we caught each other up on our vacations and played a game of Scrabble. The game ended right at midnight: David taking first, then Frank, then Patrick, and Amy. Resolutions were made. David's were: to become the Neat Freak, to continue studying Chinese and to also take on German, and to release at least one of the open source projects he has been working on. Amy's were: to be more creative, to do more yoga, and ?. Patrick's were: to be in a better position to own a pet dog, to get more exercise, and ?. Robin and I did not make resolutions. At midnight, we had Martinelli's apple cider and the bottle of Korbel that Sam had brought over earlier. On one day this month, we can't remember which exactly, Patrick found out that the Bellingham Review is interested in publishing "Love is the Rage" with a few changes.