February 2002

Summary: Second anniversary with Patrick, Jeremy performs "Frere Jacques"

Dates on this page

Fri 1

Development server still down—can't work on the website. Instead, I create drafts of new class schedules in Microsoft Word for Debrah to examine when she returns on Monday.

Sat 2

Patrick is still sick with a cold. We stay home all day. Kelly and Brian stop by for a surprise visit. Patrick and I play Scrabble. Pizza from waiter.com and Mr. Pizza Man. We watch a Doctor Who episode, during which I fall asleep.

Sun 3

Patrick is still sick with a cold. We stay home all day. I get a few things at Walgreens. We watch Simpsons episodes.

Mon 4

At around 9:30 am, I get an email from Julie saying the development server is back online. I finish stylesheets for Netscape 4.x for Windows and Mac. Netscape 4 is really awful on both platforms. I couldn't get everything to be perfect and had to write some code just for Netscape 4. I put in a lot of changes from James and Cindy and Susie and Joel. I talked with Debrah about new designs for the schedules of classes. She likes them and we agreed that I would try one layout as landscape instead of portrait. I installed Word 2000 for Ena and Melissa. Picked up sandwiches from Subway for dinner. Patrick, still sick, went to the store during the day and it wore him out. He also agreed with Jason Baum to do some directed writing consultations.

Tue 5

Usability testing in the afternoon with Kristi March and Aaron Huwe. Patrick makes broiled salmon with fresh dill, lemon, and scallions. Baked potatoes, green beans, and walnut sourdough from Grace's Bakery.

Wed 6

Patrick makes my favorite breakfast for me before I go to work. Reggie from One Workplace put my tackboards on the wall. Lunch with Ena, Joel, and Patrick at Nan King Road Bistro. Susie and Martha and I do a graphics review of the new website. Our launch date is pushed back again, this time to an uncertain date about 2 weeks from now. I removed Debrah's UPS because it was acting strangely. Dinner is takeout from Popeye's. Amy and David join us for dinner. Of us, Patrick was the only one who'd had Popeye's before. The food is surprisingly good for fast food, and David declares it better than KFC after tasting only the sides: red beans and rice and mashed potatoes and gravy. Afterward, the four of us play Harry Potter UNO. Patrick wins with 436 points (we quit when we got tired of playing), David in second with 168, Amy in third with 157, and me in last with 0 points.

Thu 7

Lunch at Burgermeister with Joel. We talk about the Winter Olympics. Joel disses Enya. At work I put in changes from yesterday's meeting with Martha and Susie. Too tired to do anything tonight, so after leftovers of Popeye's, I went right to bed.

Fri 8

Met with Martha and Susie again—more "final" review. My bookcase arrived and Joel helped me set it up. It's the clipper bookcase from Crate and Barrel. It cost a bundle, but I like it a lot. Patrick made a stir-fry with spaghetti noodles and bacon and onions and red bell pepper and portobello mushrooms—his own invention. I caught up on e-mail and browsed some SVG demos while Patrick napped. We had called Nina and were planning to meet her at a place called Speakeasy in the Haight, but Patrick didn't wake from his nap, so we just ended up staying in for the night.

Sat 9

Woke up around 2:30 am and couldn't sleep so I caught up on e-mail. Finally got sleepy around 5 and went back to bed. Woke up at 11:30 am and was very groggy all day. I cut my hair. Patrick and I went to lunch in Noe Valley. We wanted to try a new cajun restaurant but by the time we got there they were closed for lunch. Instead we ate at Pasta Pomodoro. Afterward, we went to the 2nd annual queer youth art show at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. We were disappointed by the exhibits as well as the really awful lighting. We'd lean over a table to view a piece closer only to have our shadows lean right into the artwork, obscuring our view. We got there right at 5 and it took us only a few minutes to see the whole show and decide it probably wasn't worth staying for the performance or refreshments. We went to the Castro and had dinner at Nirvana. We rented two movies at Superstar Video: Kiss of the Dragon and a gay X-rated animated film that turned out to be funny at times because of its satire but mostly awful because the animation was such poor quality.

Sun 10

Slept in. Oatmeal for breakfast. Patrick went to Jumpin Java to write. I stayed home, cleaned, did laundry, scanned photos for Aaron, and worked on websites. Chatted with Lani (and she put Jeremy on the phone for a bit so that he could demonstrate his skill at singing "Frere Jacques.") Put together an anniversary gift for me and Patrick.

Mon 11

I worked in a lot of changes from Friday's meeting with Martha and Susie. Converted newsletters from Susan Heath into PDFs for the new website. It's not the ideal way to put this content online, but it's about all we have time for, and Susie promised me we'd work out a different scheme for news as a long-term project and that these would eventually go offline. I recreated the mastheads for the newsletters in Adobe Illustrator because the JPEGs that Laura sent me were not ideal for vector scalability in PDF files. Lunch with Joel and Ena at Nan King Road Bistro.

Tue 12

Usability testing in the afternoon. It's Mardi Gras. Patrick and I go to dinner at ?, a New Orleans restaurant in Noe Valley. The crab cakes were tasty, but I got a bit of shell—disappointing. They were served with vanilla aoili—interestingly savory, but I thought it made an odd pairing. My entree was crab ravioli, which was very delicious. Patrick had the jambalaya, which turned out to be very dry, and Patrick says that ain't the right way to cook jambalaya. We shared the chocolate bread pudding, which came topped with pecans, chocolate sauce, and white chocolate shavings. Patrick said it was the best part of the meal, the best bread pudding he's had in a long time.

Wed 13

WebCT Interest Group meeting. Installed Internet Explorer 6 for Chris to resolve a problem with recognizing ActiveX components. Amy joins us for dinner again. Patrick makes Catalan chicken tonight, his own recipe: minced garlic is stuffed under the skin, then whole garlic cloves, mushrooms, olive oil, parsley, green onions, and breadcrumbs go on top. The chicken is roasted uncovered for 75 minutes, basted frequently. Spanish rice on the side. We three play cards and have the doughnuts Amy brought for dessert.

Thu 14

Valentine's Day. At work, I started changing the code for the templates I made so that they are more flexible. When I hand these templates to other School of Pharmacy web developers, we want them to be able to change color schemes with ease. Joel brought in Valentine's Day treats for everyone. He went all out: cherry chip in vanilla cupcakes with pink frosting, red heart candy sprinkles, colored sugar, and white jimmies on a deep red cocktail napkin. Also a small bag of candy tied with ribbon. I brought in small pre-packaged Hershey's Hugs and Kisses, which Patrick bought and I labelled (red text on clear labelling) with my P-touch labeller. When I got home, Patrick had set up new pillar candles and had prepared the bed for the massage he had been telling me I'd get today. He had made a splendid dinner at home: huge steaks of seasoned halibut and sides of new potatoes topped with an orange-based sauce. For dessert, a cherry pie from ?. For drinking, an Orangina-like refreshment from France. We watched the first half of West Side Story (1961) on DVD before I got tired and we went to bed (and Patrick managed to work in my massage at the end).

Fri 15

At work I upgraded everyone to Office XP Professional and installed critical Windows updates. I worked more on templates. I ordered a new computer for the new pathway position that will be starting in a few weeks. It's a Dell Optiplex GX240 small form factor.

Sat 16

Picked up doughnuts at Krispy Kreme in Daly City. It's our first visit to a Krispy Kreme. We get two dozen for US$10.99: one dozen glazed and one dozen assorted. I thought they were overpriced donuts—you're paying for the fancy box, which doesn't allow stacking. (Each donut lies flat in its own space in the flat-like-a-pizza-box box. They aren't put into boxes on their edges.) Patrick said, "They're okay. They're not the best, but they're fun. There's something Japanese about them, like this... mass-produced happy food." We visit my sister, Rob, and Jeremy in Mountain View. Patrick and I are amazed at how much Jeremy is speaking since our last visit. He calls us "Uncle Frank" and "Uncle Patrick" with ease. He is like a parrot. I teach him how to say things like, "What's goin' on?" and he says it right back (but only once and then it's forgotten). We all go to lunch at Passage to India. The food is delicious and the service is efficient. Patrick and I return to SF to go to Kabuki Springs where we have full body massages and enjoy the use of the baths area. We dine at Mifune. We watch Shakespeare in Love on DVD.

Sun 17

Anniversary day. Breakfast with Amy in our kitchen. Patrick and I go to a matinee showing of a silly play called "The Mystery of Irma Vep" by Charles Ludlum. We return two DVDs to Superstar. They are 2 days late, so we're expecting to pay a little extra, but we didn't expect $23. We feel burned. We go to Spike's today, which is exactly two years since the day we first met in person at Spikes. There are no seats, so we try Starbuck's. Full there also, so we end up at Castro Tarts where we read, me from "Best New American Voices 2001" and Patrick from "Acts of Worship" by Yukio Mishima. For dinner, we eat at Ma Tante Sumi. The food by chef Brenda Buenviaje is excellent in taste and presentation. The restaurant's service is likewise impressive. Sake poached lobster crepe with enoki mushrooms, braised leeks, and shiso; ginger pork dumplings in roasted garlic soy broth with bitter greens and daikon chiffonade; grilled ahi steak with truffled edamame, shitaake butter, and yellow squash; miso roasted chicken with mushroom gravy, potato puree, and Asian vegetables; a 1998 Sancerre; Asian pear upside-down cake; trio of creme brulees: vanilla, lemon verbena, dark chocolate; coffee.

Mon 18

UCSF holiday today, so I'm catching up on things that needed doing. For example, I updated the contact information on my website—it has been 3 and a half months out of date! I scanned photos in for Sam. At my suggestion, Patrick makes spaghetti noodles with chunks of salmon in a cream sauce. He's never done such a recipe before, and it turns out perfectly. (He added a perfect amount of spinach, too.)

Tue 19

At work we had a staff meeting which included a showing of "Campaign UCSF"—a 12-minute marketing video for the university. I did more template-building and 4 hours of usability testing. Dinner tonight is leftover pasta and some pumpkin squash soup that Patrick picked up from the deli today. Patrick and Amy go to yoga class tonight. Patrick and I find out from Amy that we'll need to move out at the end of our lease.

Wed 20

Swapped UPSes with Debrah since hers was not working consistently well. Reinstalled Acrobat for James to resolve a bizarre ":300" error message with Acrobat Distiller upon startup. Got further with template work. Updated the glossary with Susie's changes. Created document drafts of the new Internet service reimbursement policy for Cindy. Rolled in changes to the graduation Web pages for Cindy. Lunch with Joel at Darla's. I thought his praise for last night's figure skating event would never end. It's our first time at Darla's. I have a bacon cheeseburger and fries. Joel has a BLT. Leftover salmon pasta at home for dinner. Patrick met with Jason Baum for directed writing and later Yasuto for Japanese lessons. I chatted with Dexter for an hour. He gives me lots of tax and money advice. Mom and Dad are coming to the Bay Area tomorrow.

Thu 21

Put in new policy pages for student misconduct (cheating), professional disqualification (substance abuse), and grievance procedures. Joel and I had lunch at Nan King Road Bistro. Amy came over for dinner tonight. Patrick made a shrimp and three bell pepper stir fry. They both went to yoga class afterward. I stayed home and updated Patrick's laptop with some Windows updates.

Fri 22

Updated the draft of the Internet Service Options document. Installed Windows updates for XMLHTTP and VBScript handling. Helped Chris install drivers for the Lexmark Optra Color 45 in my office. Updated the glossary with Susie's changes. Lunch is a leftover box lunch from the Inside UCSF event this weekend. Patrick makes a flawless dinner: pork chops his way (pan-fried with whole bay leaves, some rosemary, and lots of chopped garlic), i can't believe it's not buttery mashed potatoes, and perfectly crisp asparagus. He writes more of Second Island while I run more Windows updates and catch up on e-mail and craigslist fora. Went to sleep very late.

Sat 23

Slept most of today. Patrick and I went to dinner at Saigon Saigon in celebration of his finishing Section 2 of Second Island. He plans to do some edits over next week, then send off the first 2 sections to Mitchell. At Saigon Saigon, we had garlic snapper and roast duck with vegetables. We rented and watched Austin Powers (the first one) on DVD.

Sun 24

Started a non-dairy diet again, as my eyes have gotten itchy beyond the controlled state I remember a few months ago. Patrick worked on edits for Lodestar while I worked on Gail's website and did some chores. We had sandwiches at Javalencia Cafe. We planned to go to yoga class at Yoga Tree, but Amy found out that the class tonight wasn't for beginners like their website said it was. Template work begins on Lodestar. Dinner at home: roasted garlic-stuffed chicken with vegetables.

Mon 25

Our new pathway person started at work today. Her name is Kristina Hallett. I met her, and she seems pleasant. Leftover roast chicken for lunch. Patrick went to his film class. I had dinner at Panda Express. Came home, showered, and worked on Lodestar.

Tue 26

Doctor appointment with Denny Tuffanelli, who was disappointing primarily because this was my first visit and he chose to spend all of 10 minutes with me before quickly saying goodbye and running down the hall to his next patient. He took off so fast that he forgot to give me a prescription he wrote on his pad—I got it 10 minutes later while checking out. He offered no compassion or empathy for my complaints. In my experience, this behavior is inevitable with doctors late in their careers, so I'm unperturbed, even anticipatory. When I'd mentioned I'd seen Dr. Robert Adams in Menlo Park, he made the typical remarks that most doctors do about Dr. Adams: "Oh, well Bob Adams certainly knows what he's doing," to which I replied, "Well, he certainly didn't when I saw him." And that was quite true, as Dr. Adams was careless in his readings and ultimately hasn't done a thing to help me. I made revisions to the templates for the Center for Pharmacogenomics, Center for Chemical Diversity, and Center for Consumer Self Care. Updated virus files for all computers. Amy comes over for dinner: Pork tenderloin, baked potatoes, peas. I take my first yoga class at Yoga Tree. Patrick and Amy had been going a few times now, and they were both surprised that I agreed to go along. Tina sent me an e-mail today in which she said, "they use macintosh at the school and i am so not used to this any more. you saved me from the mac and brought me into a better, brighter pc world." I did not intend to be her computer operating system savior, but I guess it turned out that way after all. And it made me wonder if fifty or a hundred years from now the elderly Hispanic women at the Mission BART stations will be handing out booklets praising Steve Jobs and Macintosh or Bill Gates and Windows instead of Jesus Christ.

Wed 27

Met with Susie and Martha: some site review, but mostly template revisions. We also talked of the sad state of the UCSF home page and what we were going to do about it. Late this afternoon is when the templates finally start to look like they're in their final stages. Lunch by myself at Nan King Road Bistro. This time I deviated from my usual (#1 not spicy) and got #6 not spicy: chicken and prawns lunch special. Made screen snapshots of PharmAdMIT 4.0 Build 0004 for Chris. Instant dinner: sirloin of beef, green beans, garlic mashed potatoes with soy milk, dinner rolls from Grace Bakery—mmm mmm mmm. Went to sleep right after dinner. Woke at midnight itching my eyes, then got up and updated the journal. Patrick intended to finish his revisions for Sections 1 and 2 tonight—I don't know if he finished, as he worked more after I went to bed. I missed tonight's supposedly spectacular perigee of the moon. I couldn't sleep, so from 1:30 am to 3:00 am I reread Second Island from the beginning, making edits along the way. Patrick had been hoping I'd be able to look at it before he sends it off to Mitchell. I make a few changes—mostly missing commas, as Patrick isn't fond of using them. Some of the sentences seem new to me, so I suspect he's added some here and there to the early chapters. I'd made it as far as "I'd have my walk without distractions" which is now the middle of chapter 3 before deciding to try to sleep for 2 more hours, having to wake earlier than normal for a 7:30 am meeting with Cindy and some students about how to provide student contact information on the Web while maintaining students' privacy. My eyes burn rawly from too much itching, and I can't help but think that Dr. Tuffanelli probably didn't realize the consequences of his actions yesterday.

Thu 28

It was a very busy day at work. I had a meeting at 7:30 am, which is much earlier than I usually go in to work. I met with Cindy and Mary Anne (the Dean) and the student leadership group to determine a course of action for putting student contact information on the Web while maintaining student privacy concerns. Phase I will be simple: use PDF files with a common, shared password, since they already have some of this data collected for creating printed picture books and contact info directories. At noon, I met with the web team and the Dean, and we did usability testing of the soon-to-be-launched redesigned School of Pharmacy Web site with the Dean driving the browser. We found that she wasn't a scroller and that she relied heavily on the leftside navigation (both points contrary to most student-tested behavior). At 3 pm Susie and I met with Jill Garland, who manages Web sites for the School of Medicine to discuss our Web usability testing techniques. I managed to squeeze in some changes and content updates. Worked through lunch by eating pork tenderloin with stuffing in my office. Patrick has been catching up on some reading. Right now he's been reading Yukio Mishima's Acts of Worship. Yesterday I started on Workflow That Works by Kelly Goto and Emily Cotler. Dinner tonight is quick and yummy: takeout burritos from El Farolito, black cherry Calistoga for me, "starfruit flavor" Gatorade for Patrick. I wake at 3:00 am from itching my eyes. I catch up on web browsing, e-mail, and journaling.