Summary: We meet my second nephew Matthew, Gilroy earthquake, DSL setup with sonic.net is a sweet dream, Patrick's first visit to In-n-Out Burger, Lodestar Quarterly's first reading
Dates on this page
On the bus to work today I saw the world's largest Hello Kitty backpack. The backpack was probably 16 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches, and it was on the back of a young child. Bright yellow and red, soiled with a year's worth of dirt. (The backback, not the child.) Today we had a major outage of Internet connectivity at UCSF. I was on the phone reporting the problem and all I said was, "I'm calling to report..." before I was interrupted by the technician—they're working on the problem. Service was restored in about an hour or two. Went to the doctor to see about my knee which had started hurting now and then since my first time doing yoga in February. He said to put ice on it when it hurts and to take naproxen twice a day for 3 weeks then reevaluate how that treatment has been working. After work I made return address labels and installed a pair of miniblinds in the bedroom. Patrick had run errands today with Sam at Home Depot, Pier 1 Imports, and Eddie Bauer. They had lunch at Chevy's. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, peas, shitake mushroom risotto.
Last night I dreamt I befriended a light brown whippet that was friendly and playful. I also dreamt that I was in a hardware store and Kelly Hawk gave a long-winded speech about feminism and empowerment to a large crowd doing their hardware shopping. I remember getting bored and sneaking out before he finished but congratulating him later on such a fine speech. I also dreamt that very fat people had taken to the streets in g-strings. It was probably San Francisco, though there was nothing in the dream to verify that it was San Francisco. They were promoting some political cause (probably body type discrimination) and one of them made the cover of some magazine because of it. Today at work I uninstalled Office XP and installed Office 2000 for James. I met with Susie to discuss recent Web site issues: Contracts and Grants, Financial, Web banner, and About Our Web Site. I did more WCAG sweeping of the Web site—making small edits to keep those pesky accessibility problems away! Dinner at home with Patrick: salmon, french-cut green beans, Safeway frozen fried rice. (The Safeway fried rice was terrible—what was I thinking when I bought it?) After dinner, Patrick wrote some (or maybe he just surfed the Web) and I made a mix called "handclaps to go" which are songs that contain (preferably tricky) handclaps.
Signed up with spamcop.net after Carlos Robinson told me about it. I intended to start working on the Web banner today but got a late start and so only got 1 hour of work done on it. Dinner at home with Patrick, Amy, and David: grilled shrimp with lima beans and bowtie pasta in a lemon butter thyme white wine shallots sauce, chocolate devil's food bundt cake with lemon creme frosting and chocolate chips, Turning Leaf cabernet sauvignon. We played Scrabble, then watched the Towlie and Kenny Dies episodes of South Park. Final score: Frank 213, David 131, Amy 119, Patrick 116. I drove Amy and David home and picked up the wall mirror they had saved for us from the old apartment.
I cut my hair, changed the vacuum cleaner bag. Patrick and I had lunch (spinach and mushroom pizza, iced tea) at Round Table Pizza of Colma, which has no round tables—only square and rectangle. We visited Lani, Rob, Jeremy, and Matthew. It's our first time meeting Matthew. He's sleeping when we arrive—a very quiet baby. The gift we bring is a Boppy. We didn't know they already had something like it, but thanks to Target gift receipts, they don't mind exchanging it for something else. (They need 3- to 6-month-old summer clothes.)
I slept in while Patrick went to Jumpin Java. I dreamt I was in a Seattle hotel and I was at a convention of some sort. People had speeches and were mingling cocktail party style trying out their speeches on small audiences—whoever was nearby. One by one, they each got on stage and did their speech. After it was done, there was a party at someone's. I left the hotel with two guys I had met, but as we were walking down a steep hill I changed my mind about going because these people didn't really interest me. It started to hail, and I covered myself with something. (I can't remember what now.) I started back up the hill to the hotel, but it was very steep so it took a while to climb back up. On the way up, I passed a delivery entrance to the hotel and there was a garbage compacter. Just as I passed by, an employee fell in to the garbage compacter. From the sidewalk, I tried to see the controls to it, fearful of pushing the wrong button and sending the guy to his death rather than saving him. That's when I woke up. (That's the end of the dream.) Today I cleaned the big closet. Patrick and I took a walk to Sigmund Stern Grove—a park only two blocks away from our new apartment. The park has lots of trees, mostly eucalyptus, so it smells great—naturally! We watched the San Francisco Dog Owners Club gather with their pets. We watched the dogs play and pee and poop. It was fun. We notice today something hanging from the bottom of my car. It's probably a piece of the car damaged from the driveway at the old apartment which didn't have a proper slope so the car scraped the bottom some every time I came in or out. There was no good solution to it I could think of. Dinner at home: stuffing stuffed chicken, steamed broccoli, tater tots. Patrick mixed music and wrote. I created and completed change of address forms.
At work, I worked on the Web banner and met with Tracey Lee regarding the Contracts and Grants and Financial Web subsites. Lunch was a half order of fried rice from the Courtyard Caffe—an insufficient meal, but I didn't have time for more. Patrick and Georges took down (and later restored) the neighbor's fence so that they could get our couch through our front door. It's the last piece to our new apartment feeling complete. We are thankful. Dinner at home with Patrick: stuffing stuffed pork loin, yellow and green squash, cheddar rice pilaf. Created a flyer for the upcoming Lodestar Quarterly reading on May 25 at the downtown public library.
Ordered a 25-foot ethernet cable in black for Patrick to use his laptop at the dining table when working. Patrick and Sam went to Stonestown to find Sam a new baseball cap. Completed the first draft of the Web banners. I created XHTML and imagemap versions. Completed the ergonomic exercise provided by human resources. It's a Shockwave thing—you step through various screens which tell you how to sit, adjust workspace, and so on to reduce or prevent things like carpal tunnel syndrome. Sam brought over another housewarming gift for us: a tan clay vase with Chinese characters and (I think) Greek borders. Dinner at home: alfredo chicken with cavatappi, french-cut green beans, pugliese rolls. Last night we got all solid green lights when I turned on the DSL modem, so I tried getting it configured today but Sonic said that it's not due to be live until May 14, regardless of the green lights. No big deal—that's still faster time-to-live than Speakeasy last fall, which never got my connection working and is still attempting to bill me for it. Die, Speakeasy, die! Updated wallet emergency information cards.
Today on the bus to work I saw a car with a smashed-in window near Quintara and 22nd, probably the work of a car burglar. A few days ago I saw another car like it near Lomita and Lawton. It makes me fearful of my own car now that I have to park it on the street. Mike Webb stopped in the office to install a DB2 client so that I can access student information from their database using ODBC. Previously, very cumbersome access was provided to get to this data, and there were no databases talking to each other. People couldn't be certain they had the most current information. Susie Levings and Joyce McKinney came over afterward to discuss URL names at UCSF—they're looking to provide standards or guidelines to people at UCSF to choosing domain names, hopefully a structure that would promote consistency across the university's hundreds of Web sites. Aaron came over to see our new place and to celebrate his acceptance to NYU's doctorate program in literature. He brought a bottle of Korbel, and he and Patrick toasted to his future PhDness. Way to go, Aaron! Dinner at home with Patrick: stir-fried pasta from last night with some added cut asparagus and whole garlic cloves, sweet bread with butter, leftover champagne. Patrick wrote some more in the evening. I was exceptionally tired after dinner and decided to nap, but it turns out I slept until midnight then got up (couldn't go back to sleep) and surfed the Web and checked e-mail and tried to secure my additional 3 IP addresses with Sonic (but couldn't—I have to wait until the DSL is live). I defragmented Patrick's laptop.
Patrick went to Jumpin Java to write. He also went grocery shopping at Tower Market with Sam. At work I worked on the banner in the morning, went to the computer admins meeting in the afternoon, then worked on the banner some more, then worked on suggestions for Brian Warling and Kamal Gill on their WebCT browsers page. I had lunch at Panda Express. Dinner at home: baby back ribs with lemon rosemary marinade, corn on the cob, rice pilaf. Patrick wrote some more in the evening. Our 25-foot network cable arrived from techonweb—a very pleasant ordering process and my order arrived quickly. The cable enables Patrick to use his laptop on the dining table in the kitchen while still being connected to our mini rack mount unit in living room number 1. While scraping bird shit off my car I met our neighbor Beth. She drives a really old Honda Civic like the one Chris De Lay had except hers is (or used to be) white. She seems very nice, and I thanked her for taking down the electrocution wire placed along the top of the fence so that we could get our couch in the front door. She said it was her boyfriend who did that and she didn't know about it much, but I smiled and said thanks again nonetheless. I invited her to drop by if she felt like visiting.
I trained Kristina on how to use the laptop. She's taking it to a retreat for the Health Policy and Management Pathway at Sonoma Mission Inn (lucky her!). I told her to go to the baths there if at all possible. The digital camera I ordered under Susie's account arrived today, so I had fun setting it up. It's a Canon Powershot G2. Originally I had ordered a Kodak DC4800 but it seems Kodak was discontinuing it and I couldn't find a place that still had it that would also take purchase orders. At the computer meeting yesterday they announced VPN clients for Mac OS 8 and 9 and Windows XP, so today I updated our operating system requirements page on the Web site to remove the warnings about workarounds for no VPN clients for these operating systems. I shopped for an Iomega Microdrive 340 MB for the new camera. I shopped for a new computer and monitor and printer for James. I shopped for a new computer for Chris. Bought flowers, bussed home. Dinner at Watergate with Patrick. When we arrived, we saw what we call the Yeti Motorcycle parked on the sidewalk in front. This motorcycle had hair growing out of it, like a living beast. It's hard to explain, so when we put more pictures up, this one will be among them. We had a special dinner to celebrate getting settled in our new apartment and Patrick having cooked many good meals in it already. Patrick had ahi tuna carpaccio, roasted wild boar (which tasted like pork—not chicken!), chocolate pecan tart. I had seared day boat scallops, filet mignon medium (it was so cute!), banana nut bread. After that we stopped at Brian and Kelly's to hang out. We searched the Web for old Anything Box tunes and a sound clip of the Sad Mac "Chimes of Death" but we were unsuccessful at both. (Google needs an audio tab, huh?) Brian bemoaned the possibility of being laid off soon. They told of last weekend's indulgence at (we think) Le Jardin d'Eau in San Jose. They showed off the giant Dymo labeller they found on eBay. It's about 8" x 16" x 16". It's got a letter dial as big as a dinner plate (or maybe a charger, even). They have two type wheels, and we were all quick to complain the inability to kern or change font sizes to whatever we wanted.
Oatmeal at home for breakfast. Dropped Patrick at Jumpin Java so he could write. I got the car washed at Divisadero Car Wash. I got there early, so it went very quickly. I stopped at the gas station to fill my tires with air, but I didn't want to pay 50 cents for air, so I skipped it. Went to Tower Market for groceries for tonight. Vacuumed at home. Cleaned some 2-year-old gum from the trunk of my car (and I don't know how it got there). The computer was having problems ("VxD error in VMOUSE(03)") so I set up a separate mouse temporarily and made backups of both computers just to be safe. (I eventually resolved the problem by changing some setting in the BIOS—I can't remember what it was now.) I took trash and recycling out. We had dinner with Brian and Kelly in our new place: braised beef with garlic, baby bok choy with savoy cabbage in mustard shrimp sauce with pickled ginger, 1999 Notre Dame des Champs cahors, ice cream: peach Breyers, Haagen-Dazs chocolate sorbet, Haagen-Dazs cherry vanilla. There was no NextBus prediction for an L-train to take them home, so we all got in my car—Brian and Kelly's first ride since I got my car in December 1998. We had intended to only drop them off and return home, but as we approached their house, we saw a parking spot. Actually, Patrick saw it: "Hey, was that a parking space?" We were all surprised to see such a rare event in Brian and Kelly's popular Church Street neighborhood. I jokingly said, "Should I take it just because I can?" and everyone said "yeah" so I did. We settled in to their apartment for a few minutes and then went down the block to the Pilsner Inn, a neighborhood gay bar. I didn't want to sit in the back patio because of the cold and the smokers, so we sat near the door and got drinks. The place was more crowded than usual, Brian reported. They treat the Pilsner like a second living room. "At least there's stuff to look at here," Brian said. Patrick and I had been to the Pilsner a few times before, but we were still newbies. Brian taught us that Chow, a trendy home cookin' restaurant next door, frequently sent customers waiting for tables to the Pilsner because they have no waiting room of their own (and their own bar is frequently filled with diners). Chow's reputation as a fine place to eat has spread to all communities—not just the local gay ones, so it's not uncommon for straight people (frequently tourists) to have their first gay bar experience walking through the doors of the Pilsner having no forewarning of what to expect. Brian loves watching these people as they enter as the looks on their faces are priceless. I joked that one could set up a business taking Polaroids of them as they enter and then selling them back to them in the back of the bar like the photo scams at amusement parks on, say, the log ride.
I woke early before Patrick. I caught up on news and stock information and e-mail. I tried unsuccessfully to locate PDF files of the manuals for my 1994ish Sony stereo receiver STR-D715 and for my even older Advent Mini speakers. Instead I found forum postings from lots of other people trying to find this information. I realized then that I had saved the original paper manuals, and I found them in a folder labelled STEREO COMPONENT MANUALS inside a box labelled IMPORTANT PAPERS. I realized I would make a lot of people happy if I captured them with Acrobat and put them online, but I just don't have the time right now. Maybe later. Sony sucks for not doing this. It would be so easy for them (unless they don't have the original files anymore, which is certainly possible). At least Advent has the perfect excuse: we're no longer in business. I needed to find them to figure out ohm ratings to figure out the best way to hook them up as secondary front speakers for living room #1 rather than as back speakers for living room #2. I took a nap not long after Patrick woke up and we ate oatmeal. I slept all day, and was surprised when I woke up and the clock said 5:30 pm. Patrick had gone to Jumpin Java to write. Dinner at home: chicken breast stuffed with apple and almond in shaosing wine sauce.
Patrick went to Jumpin Java to write. I made small changes to the Web site for Joel. Shopped for a flat panel monitor for James and a new computer for Chris and set up the paperwork for Cindy to approve. Went to the eye doctor for a routine checkup—all is well. I put my 2002 sticker on my car. Patrick went to Seven Eleven for some cookies and ice cream and soda. Scanned old greeting cards that we had received so that we have electronic copies for our electronic scrapbook (not currently publically available yet—sorry!). Leftovers at home for dinner with Patrick. Patrick and I watched some South Park episodes: "Aspen" and "It" when an earthquake occurred. I got Patrick to huddle under the dining table with me; he prefers hurricanes instead, so I felt the need to train him on correct earthquake actions. We felt two distinct tremors very close together. We learned later from Sam that it was centered around Gilroy. About a 5-point-something quake. We finished watching South Park. Patrick read some from "River Town" by Peter Hessler while I made a CD jacket for the DVD that Brian and Kelly let us borrow containing clips of South Park episodes. I defragmented our hard drives.
Banner review arrived yesterday, so I worked on changes today for a few hours. I priced James's new computer and monitor and printer and set up the paperwork for Cindy to approve. In the afternoon, I began preparing print versions of the graduation information for Joel.
Continued on the grad info for Joel in InDesign. Chatted briefly with Susie and Cindy regarding recommendations for how our URL should appear in printed materials. They're putting together a great set of brochures for prospective students that describe profiles of real people in the school: students and faculty. Started working on the student database, but got errors with the ODBC connection that Mike Webb provided. Grad info HTML page mockups are two-thirds done. Probably ready tomorrow. Dinner at Ton Kiang with Sam and Patrick. We took Sam out to dinner for helping us out with our moving. We got Menu 2: any 12 items for US$39.00. We got barbecued pork buns, green chives and shrimp dumplings (twice), pork dumplings (twice), Shanghai meat dumplings, sticky rice with meat wrapped in a leaf, scallops and shrimp dumplings, pot stickers, foil wrapped chicken, vegetable and pork buns, and egg custard tarts. Afterwards, we drove through Golden Gate park, then Sam dropped us off at home. Patrick has been making new mix tapes for the car. And, like usual, he went to Jumpin Java to write earlier today. Tonight I tested our DSL speed that we recently set up with Sonic.net. We were promised 384 kbps minimum, but up to 1.5 mbps for down, and 128 kbps for up. Tonight, when I measured at 9:50 PM, we got 1254 kbps down and 110 kbps up. Way to go, Sonic! I'm very, very happy we chose Sonic. I'm going to recommend them to all our incoming students next month or so. I installed more Windows updates and software updates. I updated my bookmarks page.
I handed off HTML mockups of the graduation ceremony info to Joel for review. I edited the PharmD application, the formal acceptance letter, and the first summer update letter for James. I updated Cindy's, Chris's, and Melissa's computers with yesterday's Microsoft security updates and additional Office updates. I continued wading through SIS tables to plan building the student database.
Patrick and Sam went to Stern Grove to practice Shao Lin Chuan martial arts. They plan on doing this weekly, every Friday. More Windows and Office updating: Kristina, James, Joel, Debrah. Caught up on e-mail. Spent half an hour on the phone with HealthNet getting small health insurance headaches figured out. After work, I met Sam and Patrick at a cafe at 9th and Lincoln. There was supposed to be a UCSF GLTBA social coffee hour at 5:00 pm, but we couldn't see anything happening (Patrick: "No one here looks gay! Well maybe except those two cute Asian boys.") so we went to Squat and Gobble at Market and Sanchez. Sam has been eyeing an attractive waiter at this cafe cum restaurant, but he's had trouble getting the nerve to introduce himself, so we decided we needed to see what the fuss was all about. We weren't sure if he was working tonight, but there he was right when we entered, sitting at a table having a crepe. He got up and we ordered while he stood at the register waiting. I had a cup of potato leek soup, Patrick had a cheesy chicken crepe with a side of grilled potatoes, and Sam had a spinach salad. Through the course of our meal, we'd exchanged some words with him—he was also our waiter—but we never figured out his name. At times, Sam came close to spitting something out, but we never heard what he would've said. I took some photos of Sam while we waited for our food. Sam even had the waiter take a photo of us 3. Sam dropped us off at home. We were planning to go to Liquid later tonight. I took a disco nap, and I told Patrick to do the same. "But I'm not tired!" So he stayed up and downloaded movies. Around 9:00 pm, Patrick wakes me and says it's time to wake up but he's really tired. I would've gotten up, but he seemed resigned to staying home, so I continued to sleep.
Woke up at 6:30 am, caught up on e-mail and craigslist. Patrick woke up at 8:05 am. Breakfast at home: oatmeal. I made this weekend's to do list this morning: vacuum the bathroom, pay bills, finish change of address notifications, put away phone cords, measure speaker wire needed for left speaker in living room 1, go to hardware store, go bicycle shopping in the Mission (Patrick is thinking he'd like a bike), see the spiderman movie, read Second Island (I'm editing as I read—I think I'm on chapter 13), scan memorabilia (we keep a digital scrapbook), take photos of the new home, change 5dollar SSH IPs. Patrick added 2 things: see Nicola Harwood's play called "Horse Latitudes", buy groceries. Today Sam, Patrick, and I caught the first matinee at the Alexandria for Spiderman. I thought it would still be crowded, as Spidey has only been open for a week or two. However, we didn't want to go to the Van Ness theatre because that theatre was also showing Star Wars II so we didn't want to deal with the crowds. It wasn't crowded at all—we watched the movie with about 60 other people. The movie was fun. The special effects were fantastic, and the predictably present love scenes were well-written. In a way I'm bored with superhero films because in every film the characters' motives are all mostly the same. The only things different are the costumes, actors, settings, and music. After the movie, we went to Sam's place where we spent about an hour trying to figure out why his brand new G4 responds slowly to a DVD made with iMovie. Turns out another DVD works fine, so hopefully he doesn't see any more trouble with other movies. Patrick and I went to lunch at In-n-Out Burger in Daly City. It was crowded. We were surprised to see so many gay people. There was a cute gay guy we sat next to. He was with his woman friend who had great black spaghetti strap sandals. He was wearing khaki-ish shorts with wide legs, so it was easy to see up them. He wore boxers, but that's about all I saw. Patrick ran into his friend Eric Rose who was with his friend whose name we can't remember. There were at least 3 other tables with gay men. We didn't see any lesbians, though. It was Patrick's first In-n-Out experience, and he liked it. He thought it was very clean and he liked the food: "At least you can taste the separate flavors in the burger." (We both got #1's.) After lunch we went to Home Depot where we got a bunch more things we needed for our new home. We came home and Patrick became Downloadman (tending to Morpheus) while I became Handyman (installing a gate latch and wiring a speaker in living room #1). We had leftovers for dinner. Patrick wrote some for Second Island. It's been a productive day.
I woke at around 8:30 am and Patrick woke up an hour later. I had gone to sleep very late. Stayed up to read and edit more of Second Island. I had started chapter 16 when I decided to stop at 3:00 am. Consequently, we shared breakfast (oatmeal again), and Patrick went to Jumpin Java while I went back to bed to sleep until the early afternoon. I woke up again, vacuumed the bathroom, paid bills. We got a late dinner at World Wrapps. "Never again," I said, after having been served lettuce that had turned brown and potstickers whose edges were turned hard from sitting out. I wrote on a napkin: "If you expect your customers to return, then serve fresh lettuce and fresh potstickers," and we left it for whoever was to clear our table. After dinner, we saw Nicola Harwood's closing night of "Horse Latitudes"—a play about young love and Native American life in Canada.
Patrick went to Jumpin Java. Dinner at home with Patrick: garlic-stuffed pork chops, steamed asparagus, rice.
I set up the HP ScanJet 4470c that arrived yesterday. Installation went smoothly, and I am impressed with how HP has improved their software since I bought a ScanJet 5pse several years ago for home. I spent most of the rest of the day throwing out files I didn't need anymore—anything to make more space in my tiny, 60-square-foot office. Now that the scanner is here, I have only two square feet of writing space left. Dinner at home with Patrick: beef stir-fry. Played Scrabble with Patrick: I won 360 to 203.
Set up a Samsung SyncMaster 170T monitor for James. It's a 17-inch model, and it's quite beautiful. It has a lazy susan embedded in the base so discreetly you wouldn't have thought it was there. Setup was a breeze—James kept pointing at the "Auto" button while I was manually setting size and position, and once I pressed that, it automatically adjusted the entire display and looked perfectly. The rest of the day I spent trying to build our student database. However, I also talked with Mike Webb today and he agreed we need more collaboration on how I can get data from their database—he gave me some instructions and installed an ODBC or DB2 client-something on my machine, but I have no data dictionary to tell me what's what and what I can access. Dinner with Amy and David at Nirvana. We were served by a sexy cutie named Derrick. We had the appetizer sampler platter. David had a Sprite and spinach and tomato noodles. Amy had a Nirvana Colada and mango taro noodles. I had green tea and tiger prawn noodles. Patrick had a Saketini and salmon linguine. I also got back my Qube, which had been living with them until we got our DSL installed.
Set up the Qube early in the morning before work. Worked on a Web form for the Request a Speaker feature. Cindy brought bagels for us to enjoy in the morning. Joel returned the Madonna biography by Taraborelli that Patrick let him borrow. Dinner at home with Patrick: corn muffins, corn on the cob, roasted chicken, baked potato. We watched last season's finale of "Will and Grace."
Spent most of the day making lots of changes to the Web site and almost finishing the Request a Speaker form. It seems to be trouble free except that in IE4.x/MAC the submit button doesn't appear for some strange reason. I decide to make this page live anyway since a lot of other updates are waiting, and I'll tend to this issue on Tuesday. Met with cindy, Joel, and James about notifications to entering students. Later I also met with Mike Strizich, Mike Webb, and Alex Lange to discuss data sharing issues between our departments. They handle data with the Registrar's office, and our office relys on information from them for transcripts, contact information, and so on. We are seeking to pull data from them so that it's easier for us to manage than their current processes. Both meetings went quickly and were productive for all. Leftovers at home for dinner. I take a disco nap, but wake at 11:30 pm, about 30 minutes after Patrick has gone to bed. I stay up taking care of financial paperwork, catching up on e-mail, and reading Chapter 16 of Second Island, which Patrick has just finished writing.
I just realized today that parts of the journal are broken, but I don't know why. Patrick and I went to Stonestown to get him a new pair of dress shoes, which he needed for the reading tonight. We chose a pair from the Kenneth Cole New York line at Nordstrom and had lunch in the Nordstrom Cafe: cobb salad and Nordy water for Frank, chicken sandwich and potato chips for Patrick. This afternoon at 4:00 PM was the first Lodestar Quarterly reading. Aaron Jason hosted our presentation of readings by Lauren Wheeler, K.M. Soehnlein, Katherine V. Forrest, and Felice Picano. Ms. Wheeler read several poems. Mr. Soehnlein read from his story in Issue 1, "Jones Was the Guy." Ms. Forrest read from her forthcoming science fiction novel. Mr. Picano read from a fascinating work in progress about the early twentieth century death of his uncle, Vicenzo Picano, and the resulting mystery surrounding it. About 60 people turned out for the reading—not bad considering it's Memorial Day weekend and plenty of locals are likely to be out of town. Lodestar Quarterly has 121 subscribers, and since our first issue went live in mid-March, we've had over 2600 unique sessions (visits). After the reading, Patrick and I went to dinner at Millenium with a bunch of our Lodestar Quarterly speakers and staff: Aaron Jason and his boyfriend Jamie Schindler, Daphne Gottlieb, Karl Soehnlein and his boyfriend Kevin, Felice Picano, and Katherine Forrest and her partner Jo Hercus. Millennium is a fine dining vegetarian restaurant. For our large party, they prepared a special menu with our event name at the top: "Lodestar Quarterly Reception Dinner". The choices were: STARTERS—grilled asparagus new potato salad, warm spinach salad, oyster mushrooms on the half shell (raw plate); ENTREES—Asian style Napoleon, phyllo tamale, spring risotto verde, linguine with artichoke and dill tomato sauce; DESSERTS—two choices: (a) chocolate cherry cake with peppered espresso cookie or (b) cacao nib and peanut-studded cannoli with chocolate tart, white chocolate mousse, chocolate truffles, and chocolate sorbet. Amanda was our server, and considering the size of our party, all our service was between adequate and good—not extraordinary. Drinks were Ty Nant sparkling water. One half of the table had a French syrah called Mas de Janiny (2002). The other half had Coteaux des Baux from Chateau Romanini in Provence (1998). A neighboring table had a tablecloth catch on fire from someone who left a candle on the seat of a chair and folded the tablecloth back but then left to take in some dishes. That was the most severe error in service the whole evening, and it did not cause as much alarm as you might expect. Listed on the menu: Chef Eric Tucker and Sous Chef Bruce Enloe. Everyone talked about their own projects, Lodestar Quarterly, and the Lambda Literary Foundation's recent change of directorship. After dinner, Jamie and Aaron took Patrick and I to the piano bar called Martuni's for a drink—a thank you for us picking up the check at dinner. I had never been to Martuni's before—it was fun, as piano bars usually can be.
Breakfast at home: oatmeal. Patrick washes dishes then goes to Jumpin Java to write. I stay home to vacuum, take out the trash and recycling, invite Brian and Kelly to our barbecue tomorrow, clean the shower, order prescription refills, mount a shelf on the wall, remove stains from the carpet, fix problems with the journal (turns out the arg_separator configuration changed when I upgraded to PHP 4.0.6, so it's now arg_separator.input—once I changed that in the php.ini file, all worked as expected). Bought new pillows at Nordstrom's. Patrick bought a new polo shirt on sale at the Gap. Grocery shopping at Safeway. In the evening, we took a short nap before driving over to Brian and Kelly's to hang out. Their friends Chris and Trudy are in town staying with them for a weekend visit. They were exhausted from the day's events when we arrived. Brian showed me the "What kind of Asian are you?" humor e-mail that had been forwarded to him, and we all laughed at it. We talked about old computer media, new electronic music, old Disneyland rides, Star Wars II, how Chris now hates Orlando, where he and Trudy moved so that he stay employed with Disney. We listened to St. Germaine and Adam Freeland. Brian pulled out old photos of his trip to the World Trade Center as well as a very old postcard book of scenes from Disneyland circa 1960.
Memorial Holiday. I trimmed my hair in the morning. Sam and Brian and Kelly came over for a barbeque. Our fridge was filled with 4 floors of animal carcass for the grill: chicken legs marinated in Caribbean jerk sauce, pork chops marinated in char siu sauce, lemon-rosemary hamburgers, and two kinds of Aidell's sausage: apple chicken and spicy cajun andouille. We also had grilled portabello mushrooms, baked beans, grilled corn on the cob, vegetable shishkabob, tortilla chips and salsa. Drinks were root beer, "Purple Haze" beer, and ice water. Sam brought all kinds of goodies: chocolates, chips, the grill, almonds, piroulines. For dessert, we had It's-It ice cream sandwiches and Lavazza coffee. We showed Brian and Kelly their first episode of Queer Duck. We watched the chili cook-off episode of The Simpsons. Patrick mixed music in the evening.
In the morning, I went downtown to shop for a tripod, head, and carrying bag for the digital camera that Susie recently purchased for the School. Spent the afternoon looking for possible alternatives to these purchases on the Web and making small Web page changes for Chris. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover barbecued burgers with potato buns, skinny french fries, cream of corn soup. We were gonna play Monopoly, but I was tired so instead I shopped for cardboard boxes for storage and Patrick did some musicmixing and writing.
Today I spent 7 hours at a new employee orientation for UCSF. Yes, I was hired over 10 months ago, but this is a new program to which my supervisor Cindy decided it was okay for me to go. Joel and Kristina, two other hires in my office, also attended. I gave Joel permission to be a guest journalist and provide coverage of today's events, so we'll see if he comes through or if he's as flaky as a southern biscuit. If he doesn't in a few days or so, I'll provide my own version. Dinner at home: Patrick took bbq leftovers (chicken, yellow bell peppers, mushrooms) and mixed them in with pesto bowties and grated parmesan. Yummy! Slept early.
Slept for 12 hours last night. Worked on banners for Martha. I asked Pac Bell to send a duplicate bill to my office since we are having trouble receiving mail at the new home address. Dinner at home with Patrick: steamed chicken, steamed broccoli, sticky rice. We played chess on Yahoo! Games (I won!).
I got so many things done today. I did Windows security updates for the whole office. I unpacked the speakers that arrived for James and set them up in his office. I resolved problems with the U.S. Post Office and esurance. I did more banner work. I researched more purchases. I troubleshooted a problem that Chris had with a Pine mailbox that was 249 MB. Dinner at home with Patrick: tuna, green beans, wild rice.