June 2004

Summary: I take a week off after Patrick returns from China, Scharffen Berger chocolate factory tour, dinner with Brian and Kelly and Patrick at Chow, visited Buena Vista Park and took a few photos, dinner at Zazie with Melissa and Patrick, our first time to Smack Dab, Angel Island Hike with Travis and friends, Lodestar Quarterly Issue 10 goes live, Patrick goes to jury duty (and I was on call but didn't have to go in), Galen's Pre-Pink Saturday Party, my first time to San Francisco Pink Saturday, San Francisco Gay Pride Parade and Festival with Patrick, dinner with Galen and Patrick at Xiao Loong

Dates on this page

Tue Jun 1, 2004

Slept in. Breakfast at home: scrambled eggs, chicken apple sausage, hash browns, leftover cheddar and chive biscuits. Made a purchase at Mr. S. Errands in the Castro: Walgreens, Skin Zone. Patrick took a nap while I did weight training and cleaned up the apartment. Snack: leftover steak fries, an orange. Dinner at home with Patrick: small salad with mixed greens, basil, diced tomato, creamy basil dressing, croutons; pesto chicken boob burgers with lettuce, tomato, sandwich spread; baked potato with cheddar, sour cream, and chives. Watched Legally Blond taped from TV.

Wed Jun 2, 2004

Slept in. Lunch: Cafe Cacao (510-843-6000, 914 Heinz St, Berkeley). Our server was Ben who was friendly and knowledgeable of the menu but seemed to have a few too many tables. Service from him and the other staff was mostly attentive, but could have been better. 2 iced teas, 1 arugula and walnut salad (split plate), 1 grilled Niman Ranch ham and cheese (split plate), 1 pot de creme, 1 Queen of Sheba cake, 1 medium coffee = $32.29 after a $4.25 tip. Went on the Scharffen Berger chocolate factory tour, given with grace and style by Sarah (or Sara?) who described for us where chocolate comes from (cacao trees) and how it is made. We got free samples of finished chocolate, free samples of cacao nibs, got to touch the cacao materials in various stages of processing, then tour the factory. The tour was free, and even the parking was free! The tour ends up in the gift shop, of course, but we weren't pressured to buy anything. This was a fantastic way to spend a few hours. We stopped at Viking Trader, a furniture store, to inquire about ordering a Rybo Vivid chair. They took my contact info and said they would get back to me. We drove back to the Castro, where I bought at De La Sole a pair of athletic shoes called Rescue (moss/granite) made by www.palladium.fr. I hadn't been seeking exactly this pair, but they fit all my criteria: dark colors but not completely black, no white or light color at the base, lace tightly, removable sole, understated visual design, comfortable. Ran in to Kevin S and Zander (or Xander?), met his (partner?) Daniel, chatted with Kevin a few minutes. Patrick and I had an almond latte (Patrick) and a chai (Frank) at Starbuck's on 18th. I read from Iris Chang's The Chinese in America. Patrick read from James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room. Dinner at Fuzio (469 Castro St): curry chicken and iced tea for Patrick, Singapore pork and water for me, waiter is Tomaz G who is reliable. $24.94 after a $3.40 tip. Rented Kill Bill Volume 1 on DVD from Superstar Video, then went home and watched it. It was gory, as I had heard, but it was well worth it, and I was reminded how much pleasure it gives me to experience a Tarantino creation.

Thu Jun 3, 2004

Went to a matinee of Kill Bill Volume 2 at the Century 20 in Daly City. Met our plumber Fred who is making some changes to the house plumbing. Patrick went to a reading. I stayed home to do house chores (dishes, laundry, dusting, vacuuming) and weight training. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, steamed broccoli with pepper, baked potato with sour cream and chives. Scanned in photos, organized files.

Fri Jun 4, 2004

Slept in til 10:00 am (me) and noon (Patrick). Breakfast at home: cheddar eggs with tomato, onion, basil; biscuits n butter; hash browns. Early dinner at El Farolito: uno carne asada super burrito, uno pollo super quesadilla, tortilla chips, dos Cokes. Walked through Noe Valley, took the bus to the Castro where we ran errands: Superstar Video, Walgreen's, Injeanious, Cala Foods. Home. Patrick made a cherry pie with the cherries I pitted yesterday. Reviewed Patrick's photos which had gotten developed at Ofoto. We titled the different albums but he still wants to add detailed captions before we send out the links. Patrick chatted briefly with Sam who is in New Orleans visiting his (Sam's) mom. Patrick worked on Second Island and job hunting and budgeting.

Sat Jun 5, 2004

Slept in til 9:30 am (me) and 10:30 am (Patrick). Breakfast at home: cherry pie for me. We had all kinds of plans today but we did none of them. Part of the reason was we were tired and we didn't know why. The other part of the reason was my eyes were swollen from being itchy lately and I had to lie down with the ice pack over them. Patrick's stomach has been uneasy now that it's readjusting to American, Italian, and Mexican cuisines. We essentially slept all day except I did a little bit of weight training: arms. Dinner at home with Patrick: baked chicken with ginger, rosemary, olive oil; baked potato; corn on the cob. Cherry pie for dessert.

Sun Jun 6, 2004

Weight training: legs. Breakfast at home: cherry pie for me, eggs and grits and toast for Patrick. Sat in Dolores Park. Walking to the park along 18th Street we came across a woman dressed quite stylishly in a very loud dress imprinted with flowers. Patrick took a second glance back after we passed her and saw that she had a bowl of fruit salad tucked under her arm. He laughed, thinking how righteous it was for her to be carrying a bowl of fruit salad while wearing that dress, and I had to agree. At Dolores Park, we sat on a bench and read from our books and watched dogs play. Coffee and chai at Maxfield's, a relatively new coffee shop at Dolores and 17th. Patrick thinks the owner of Jumpin Java opened Maxfield's, but he's not certain. Went to BriKelJess's—Brian let us see and sniff the soap he's been making in the kitchen—delightful! His e-shop is indeed open for business—check it out at mayobaby.com. Jesse is away in Michigan for his sister's graduation. Brian told us a short but heartwarming story about a phone call with him—another milestone in the Saga of Jesse. Dinner with BriKel and Patrick at Chow: small hearts of romaine salad with blue cheese dressing, mozz and basil pizza for me, greek pizza for Patrick, chicken salad for Brian, pork chops for Kel. Watched Simpsons "Fraudcast News" at BriKel's. Patrick makes coconut creme brulee for tomorrow. We watch Simpsons and parts of the 50th Tony Awards and parts of Star Trek Voyager. Patrick got a little bit of sunburn on his neck and shoulders from today's sun.

Mon Jun 7, 2004

Updated current students news and calendar. Cable management at the fax machine. Gave James a flat plug extension cord. Installed a flat plug extension cord by Debrah's laser printer. Updated anti-virus on the laptop, charged the battery, tested wireless in the student lounge. Updated firewall page to include a link which Chris De Lay sent me for BrickHouse. Confirmed that wireless is now working in the student lounge—hooray! Created a poster for the student lounge to announce the wireless access being live. Backed up Chris's computer in preparation for upgrading to Win XP. Ordered an extra power adapter for our Dell Latitude C400 laptop so that one stays in my office for easy plugging and one stays in the to-go kit with the laptop. Set up redirects for the wireless poster. Met with James to discuss the electronic forms drafts he prepared. They look good, so I asked him to send me as close to a final version as he could for examination. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover baked chicken, hearts of romaine salad, ciabatta. Watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone which was recorded from TV a few weeks ago.

Tue Jun 8, 2004

Breakfast: Patrick made spinach and cheddar scramble with hash browns. Work. Helped Ena with a stuttering mouse and a dysfunctional CD-ROM player. The mouse was fixed by uninstalling IntelliPoint 5.0. The CD-ROM player was fixed by opening the computer and reseating the rather flimsy connector to the drive. Restored some documents for Cindy from backup tape. Lunch at desk: double cheeseburger, half order of curly fries, half order of onion rings. Confirmed with James that his caller ID service is now working. Confirmed that the student lounge wireless is still working. Sent an announcement about the wireless going live to all students. Posted the wireless poster in the student lounge. Chatted with Cindy about a print project she has coming in a few weeks. Chatted with James about the electronic forms project. Weight training at home: arms. Dinner at home with Patrick: fettucine with shrimp and fresh mozzarella with summer vegetables. Watched a Simpsons episode. Watched an episode of America's Test Kitchen about chocolate sheet cakes and carrot cakes. Dessert: coconut creme brulee. We didn't have this last night because the batch was botched somehow.

Wed Jun 9, 2004

Oatmeal for breakfast. Student computing software CD-ROM meeting with Kevin, Kirk, and Rosemary. Upgraded Chris's computer from Win 2000 to Win XP. Worked on a VPN issues summary document for the student computing subcommittee. Lunch: takeout from the cafeteria: Santa Fe chicken sandwich, onion rings: $6.39. I almost died today when I stepped into a crosswalk on a green light and a bicyclist turning right on a red light nearly crushed me into the pavement. I heard him mutter "Sorry" as he passed without braking, and I only wished I had my baby carriage with me at the time. Dinner at home with Patrick: cow burgers with red onion, spinach, Tillamook cheddar, mushrooms; side of leftover pasta salad, side of tater tots. Dessert: coconut creme brulee. Watched 2 Simpsons episodes. Patrick met with Aaron and Erick separately today.

Thu Jun 10, 2004

Breakfast at home: oatmeal, oranges. Dealt with a rather pernicious trojan (or something) which had gotten on Chris's computer in the process of upgrading from Win 2000 to Win XP. The first symptom was that Windows Updates would appear to install successfully but when I revisited the Windows Updates page they appeared to have not been installed. Further investigation revealed unusual behavior: msconfig and regedit and regedt32 would close by themselves after 3 to 10 seconds of being open. Running 'netstat -an' at a DOS prompt revealed connections established to and both on ports 6667—IRC trojan? Sophos 3.80 with today's virus defs and today's copy of Stinger both failed to identify these nasties. I resolved the problem by disconnecting the machine from the network, restarting in Safe Mode, changing Windows Explorer to display hidden and system files, finding kuamgrd.exe and smsc.exe in the system32 folder and deleting them, deleting all instances of kuamgrd.exe and smsc.exe in regedt32, removing other unfamiliar items from keys such as ( HKLM | HKCU ) /Software /Microsoft /Windows /CurrentVersion /Run, reviewing Black Viper's Web site to make sure I didn't make services too restrictive, deleting all files in the Windows Prefetch folder, and restarting normally. I identified these 2 exes as the culprits because when I'd delete references to them, they'd reappear after restarting. In msconfig, smsc.exe identifies itself as "Win32 USB2 driver" and kuamgrd.exe identifies itself as "Microsoft Update Machine." There was another thing I got rid of in various places called Netropa Multimedia Keyboard—I have no idea what that was, so out it goes. (No exe file associated with that that I could tell.) Debrah's USB mouse wasn't working—I unplugged it and plugged it back in and it was fine—took only a minute. Worked on the VPN issues and software requirements documents. Quick lunch at the cafeteria: chicken sandwich, onion rings, water. Computer support coordinators meeting. Weight training at home: arms. Dinner at home with Patrick: chips and salsa, shrimp quesadillas, Mexican rice.

Fri Jun 11, 2004

Breakfast at home with Patrick: French toast, sliced orange. Telecommute day. Link checking. Updated stylesheets for win moz and win ie to set line-height for pre to 110% and to adjust L and R margins for ordered lists. Investigated Chris's problem from a few weeks ago—he's unable to connect with VPN from home, found a solution—I think: firewall config? Lunch: wild rice and chicken soup, oyster crackers, fresh bread. Worked on the software requirements document. Snack: mini pizza with fresh mushrooms, marjoram, thyme; Neapolitan ice cream sandwich. Worked on Authentication and Authorization (AuthN/Z) comments on the Final Draft Password Policy. Updated HPM pages for Kristina, sent her links to review. Dinner at home with Patrick: poulet au citron, organic greens salad with French vinaigrette, country bread, brie.

Sat Jun 12, 2004

Breakfast quesadilla. I slept all day; my eyes were itchy. Patrick wrote and did house chores. Early dinner at home with Patrick: leftover poulet au citron, Richard-Lenior market zucchini-tomato gratin, country bread. Went to 2 readings in the evening. Ian Philips and Matthew Sycamore Bernstein (Matthilda) at A Different Light. We left this reading early in an attempt to see Trebor Healey who was reading at the same time at the Make Out Room in the Mission, but once we got there Aaron didn't want to pay a $3 cover to see a nearly-over reading, so we left. We took a taxi back to Jamie's place, then Patrick and I got a late burrito at Azteca, then dessert at Sparky's.

Sun Jun 13, 2004

Breakfast: cheddar egg muffin, ham steak, hash browns. Organized and color-corrected photos from Patrick's trip. Ofoto doesn't offer all the color correction features we wanted, so we pulled the high-res versions off our Ofoto CD, made the adjustments in Photoshop CS, then uploaded them back to Ofoto, replacing the existing images. Explored and took photos at Buena Vista Park, had coffee and chai at Maxfield's. Dinner at home with Patrick: two-color linguine with mushrooms and ham steak in a cream sauce topped with baby sage, country bread. Weight training: arms.

Mon Jun 14, 2004

Oatmeal with banana. Updated current students news and calendar. Prepared and submitted an RFO for renewing Web hosting. Placed an order with Cyberguys for label zip ties and cd-rs. Admissions changes for James, reviewed them with him, made them live. Ran linkcheck. Labelled keys for locks. Worked on electronic forms for James. Dinner with Melissa and Patrick at Zazie: Fresh, hot bread for the table. Melissa had chicken tagine with cous cous, eggplant, onions, peppers, and tomatoes; Patrick had a spinach and gorgonzola and walnuts salad, duck confit. I had spinach and gorgonzola and walnuts salad, corn cakes with peppers, spinach, sour cream, salsa. Patrick and I each had chocolate brownies. The bill was about $56 before a $6ish tip. Patrick didn't like how our waiter repeatedly said "how's it goin' down there?" but I thought the service all around was appropriately affable and rather attentive with but one error: Patrick was interested in the soup, a cream of spinach and watercress, so he ordered it. However, the waiter returned to our table shortly thereafter to say that they were out of the soup. We were surprised at that (though we didn't say so), considering that we had arrived just before 7:00 PM. Had they made only enough soup for the 10 or 12 customers who were seated before us, and did they all order soup? No less than 15 minutes later we saw some kitchen staff filling a nearby tureen with what appeared to be—yes—the day's soup. In retrospect, Patrick and Melissa both thought their portions were rather measly for the price, but the food was indeed all quite delicious. It's hard to say when we might return again for another visit.

Tue Jun 15, 2004

Oatmeal with banana. Student computing meeting—David M talked about his project. Software reqs chart. Lunch: ate Panda Express in Saunders Court. My fortune: You will be fortunate in everything you put your hands on. Linkchecking. Met with Cindy. Deployed lock tags for Chris and me. Deployed locks and lock tags for Cindy, Debrah. Worked on my performance evaluation self-appraisal. Dinner at home with Patrick: pepperoni pizza, organic greens salad with heirloom tomatoes. Coded 4 works for Lodestar.

Wed Jun 16, 2004

No breakfast. Self-eval. Minor Web changes for Cindy and James. Linkchecking. Worked on uploading schedules for Debrah and Cindy. Early lunch: tostada salad from Carmelina's. After work, Patrick and I went to the Smack Dab at Magnet hosted by Kirk Read and Larry-bob Roberts. It was our first time to a Smack Dab event. Once a month, Smack Dab presents an open mic for performance artists, poets, writers, singers, and other talented people. I was afraid of falling asleep because of having worked all day, but I didn't even come close. We went primarily because we knew Trebor Healey would be reading. The place was packed, and we were among the last to get seats. Ian Philips and Greg Wharton happened to arrive at the same time and we four shared a bench right up front. It was like an evening of free entertainment. Upon arriving we learned that Trebor was one of the featured acts as was Shanique Scott, a rousingly funny soon-to-be master of comedy. At the crosswalk at Market and Castro, we passed 3 gentlemen in their 20s dressed for a night out, and we heard a brief snippet of their conversation: (brightly) "Hey! Do you wanna go to Fabrics for Free?" Patrick and I were amused; I guess it was just the way it was said. We got pizza slices before going home. Coded 3 works for Lodestar.

Thu Jun 17, 2004

Biceps and abs workout. An orange at home before I left. Cafeteria breakfast: eggs, sausage, potatoes, toast. Linkchecking. Finished schedules, sent it to Debrah and Cindy for review. Alerted staff to new locks and a new AC adapter for the laptop. Started coding new computer requirements. Lunch: mushroom quesadilla from the cafeteria. VPN issues document. Put together reimbursement receipts. An orange for a snack. Collected files for telecommuting tomorrow. Dinner at home with Patrick: homemade minestrone soup. Coded 19 works for Lodestar, sent the links to Patrick for writer review. Looked up "Fabrics for Free" on the net but couldn't find anyplace that called itself that. Winamp 5 hangs on me every time I attempt to listen to streamed music. Attempted a dirty reinstall with version 5.03a—same problem. Did a clean reinstall with 5.03a accepting the defaults except the modern skin. Now all is better. No—wait. Some streams play, some hang. Frequence3 hangs consistently. Had a great chat with Judith Blankman.

Fri Jun 18, 2004

Breakfast at home: cheesy eggs and hash browns. VPN issues document. Lunch at home: canned soup with oyster crackers. Electronic forms for James. Today Patrick and I met our new neighbors Adam and Christina who are moving into the upstairs apartment starting today and tomorrow. Adam is a computer geek and Kristina is a teacher of intervention math, currently looking for employment. They both seem friendly and easy going, so Patrick and I think we'll all get along pretty well. Dinner at home with Patrick: fettuccine with vegetables in a cream sauce, country bread.

Sat Jun 19, 2004

Workout: legs, glutes, triceps. Coded the last work for Lodestar. Went to the Castro. Breakfast at Orphan Andy's. Patrick got his haircut at Nice Cuts. We got groceries at Safevay. Lunch: leftover pasta. I cropped and edited images then coded the page for issue 10 due for release on Monday. Dinner at home with Patrick: white cheddar macaroni and cheese with asparagus and mushroom.

Sun Jun 20, 2004

Breakfast at home with Patrick: bagels. Met Travis and friends at Pier 41 for a hike at Angel Island State Park. Attending: Travis, me, Patrick, Hao, Allex, Timmy, Alan (Allen?), Tony, Dale, Dennis, Remi, Stephen W, Scott and Andy, Wei, Bryan, Charles, Galen, Rich. I know I've forgotten a few people, too. Angel Island is a mountainous island in San Francisco Bay. The ferry ride over was reminscent of Marseilles and Chateau d'If and Ratonneau because we passed right by Alcatraz Island on the way over. We hiked 750-feet to the top of Mount Livermore. We were treated to panoramic views all around the bay. Weather was very good—warm in the sun but cool in the shade. Everyone brought lunch along, which we ate at the top. Patrick and I had campagnelle pasta salad with red onion, parsley, olive oil, mushrooms, red bell pepper. We also brought fresh bananas and oranges to eat. We shared Mother's pink and white circus animal cookies with everyone. On the downhill hike we stopped at the Angel Island Immigration Center which houses old photographs and other exhibits of the Asians who were detained here and the Caucasians who worked as immigration authorities. Detainees had carved Chinese poems into the walls bemoaning the fates of the anonymous authors, and all of this is described in the book I've been reading lately: The Chinese in America by Iris Chang. After the hike, everyone went home to shower, then most of us met again at Bryan's place for a barbecue. We learned later that Bryan has a barbecue every Sunday—we were astonished at that. And that he shares his place with Adam and Eric. We met a bunch more people here who didn't go on the hike: Hugh, Kong, Anson, Joe and John, Winnie, Ted and Emery, Matt, Steve L, Eric, and more. Anson and Kong recruited Travis for a softball league. I introduced a bunch of people to alllooksame.com. Rich showed his photos on the big-screen television. People watched Queer As Folk and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. (I forget who) played Speed with playing cards. For dinner we had barbecued cow, potato salad, tortilla chips, Pepsi.

Mon Jun 21, 2004

Oatmeal for breakfast. Chatted with student Felicity S about mailbox corruption in UCSF WebMail. Linkchecking. Chatted with Susie about homepage redesign, alumni changes. Minor Web changes. Updated current students calendar and news. Made live draft schedules for Debrah and Cindy. Started on Cindy's poster project. Dinner at home with Patrick: cheese ravioli in red sauce, biscuits. Lodestar changes. Made live issue 10 of Lodestar. My favorite piece this month is Shrimpboat Willie by Ian Philips.

Tue Jun 22, 2004

Oatmeal with banana. Poster project for Cindy. Some Web changes for Susie: Homecoming, Alumni. Lunch: sandwich from the cafeteria, orange, banana. Troubleshot mailing label printing problems for Ena: restarted the printer and her computer—everything is fine now. Revalidated the PharmAdMIT database for Melissa. Home. Weight training: arms, abs. Printed out an invitation for our upstairs neighbors to our forthcoming N'awlins Cookin' event. Dinner at home with Patrick: roast chicken, leftover pasta salad, baguette. Edited Patrick's China photos, which involves using the hi-res images we got from Ofoto on CD-ROM, cropping, color correction, and other image editing. Took care of Lodestar bounces, deleted some e-mail addresses from our list, which now has 372 subscribers. Patrick and I both have jury duty this week. Each night we have to call the jury hotline to find out if we're called in the next day. So far we've not been called in. So far so good.

Wed Jun 23, 2004

Cheerios with freeze-dried banana and strawberries. (The package says "summer-fresh goodness" or something like that.) Link checking. More alumni edits for Susie and Marie. Poster project for Cindy. Lunch: sandwich from the cafeteria. Send the poster project to Cindy, Mike, and Don for review. Worked on electronic forms for James in the afternoon. Fixed Flash for Kristina—it wasn't working and when she tried to reinstall it would hang partway through. Picked up a few groceries at Golden Produce. Met Patrick at Starbuck's on 18th. Got pizza with Patrick at Escape from New York pizza. We used a coupon we found in the frameline film festival brochure—one free slice. We saw Matthew Davison from our seats in the window and waved to him, so he stopped a minute to say hello. Still hungry, so we went to El Castillito for dos tacos. We stopped to look in the window of a new hair salon at 4051 18th Street called It's All About You (415-621-2965) because a sign on the window said the haircut included a free blow job. A man ran out, said hello, and handed us a business card—very friendly. He explained that the owner (or co-owner?) was Vietnamese so his English wasn't that good and the sign was supposed to say "blow dry." We were amused. Went to GAWK (Gay Artists and Writers Kollective) Pride—a reading event at Magnet. The event was supposed to start at 8:00 pm and they hadn't started (or even announced anything) by 8:15 pm and there were only a handful of people there so we left. Home. Archived medical documents. Balanced the checkbook and bills.

Thu Jun 24, 2004

Weight training: arms. Oatmeal with banana. Set up recent grads listserv, started preparing rotation of the listservs. Electronic forms for James. Chatted with Melissa about PharmCAS sudden changes. Updated graduation e-mail page and sent out an announcement to grads regarding the forthcoming closure of their accounts. Lunch with Melissa and Ena: We walked to Yummy Yummy but there was a long wait for a table. San Tung had an open spot, but I refused to eat there because of last time. We finally decided upon Mae Thip. I forgot what everyone ate but we talked about clothes shopping, topsecretrecipes.com. Dinner at home with Patrick: frozen pizza. Patrick met with Aaron in the evening. Good news: I didn't get called in for jury duty! Hooray! My badge number was 568624. I'm free from jury duty until at least June 21, 2005! Patrick had to go in to jury duty today. They chose 26 people for initial jury selection, but since the process isn't completed, Patrick has to return tomorrow. After dinner I dusted and vacuumed and tidied while listening to John Williams scores. Archived photos from Angel Island and the Cherry Blossom Festival. (Thanks, Travis!) Watched an old Simpsons episode live: Homer Loves Flanders. Reviewed keyboard shortcuts for Firefox again. Researched backup solutions (again). The last time I did this I thought DIBS was cool but it didn't seem very easy to implement, so I never tried it out. Now I'm not sure what I'd like to do. I'd like to stay away from tape if I can. The Onstream DI30 drive I've had for years has worked pretty well, but support for it essentially disappeared and I'd rather not deal with media if I can avoid it.

Fri Jun 25, 2004

Oatmeal with banana. Updated Sophos on home computers. Edited an Ofoto album for Sue and Susie. Today's playlist: All Beastie Boys. Updated the CSHP mailing list for Tiffany M. Electronic forms for James. Lunch: leftover pizza. Did weight training during rest breaks: upper arms, upper abs, pecs. Dinner at Xiao Loong (www.xiaoloong.com, 415-753-5678, 250 West Portal Avenue) with Patrick: xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings), spicy dry fried chicken—not spicy, combination chow mein, Oolong tea—about $32 before a $5 tip. Xiao Loong is a brand new restaurant in the space of a former Chinese restaurant which was a typical greasy chopstick kind of place. The change of ownership is a welcome one. The interior is completely refurbished and redecorated to be modern and upper-middle-class elegant, making it the closest such Chinese restaurant to us now. The food is all quite delicious; the menu includes a variety of dumpling dishes. Patrick's fortune: The mysterious side of your nature makes you most alluring. My fortune: You will be a dragon of creative fire this week. Watch your aim.—Patrick made a funny joke while we were driving home. We saw a jogger wearing a nondescript sweatshirt with mulberry striped pants, and I said, jokingly, "Who's he running from?" And Patrick replied, "The fashion police." Rented and watched Harry Potter 2 (The Chamber of Secrets) on DVD at home.

Sat Jun 26, 2004

Haircut. Grocery shopping at Sunset Super. Watched Harry Potter 2 extras on DVD. Patrick started making cold sesame noodles with shredded chicken but came down with an allergy attack, so I finished making the dish. I also made strawberry cupcakes with pink frosting and pink sugar sprinkles. Returned the DVD. Went to Galen's Pre-Pink Saturday Party—just me, Patrick stayed home due to allergy attacks all day long. Met Joe M, Jennifer, Jesse, Justin, and a bunch of other people whose names I can't remember since I'm writing this particular sentence on July 2. Pink Saturday is an evening celebration in the Castro during Pride Week on the night before the parade. I don't know why I never heard about it until this year, but it's been going on for years. It's essentially a whole lot of mostly drunk and drugged-up people who gather in Castro Street between 19th and Market to watch mostly drunk and drugged-up people in apartment windows take off their clothes and occasionally perform simulated or real sexual acts. It's what I imagine New Orleans is like during Mardi Gras. Not exactly the same, certainly, but the flavor is there, I think. DJs in different areas spin different kinds of tunes—vintage disco, the latest house, breakbeats. We even saw a rock band playing (unofficially?) in front of Cliff's Variety. The crowd was pretty mellow and the weather wavered between alright and chilly depending on the breeze. Met Michael G shortly after dropping Galen and others off and finding parking up Market a ways.

Sun Jun 27, 2004

Patrick seemed to have recovered from his allergy symptoms from yesterday, so we prepared to go to the Gay Pride parade today. Just before leaving, however, we discovered a black and white cat who had settled down just outside our front door. The cat was a big one, and it wouldn't run away even when we got close to it. Patrick thought it was a girl cat that was pregnant and put out some rice milk. (We didn't have any cow's milk left.) The cat didn't even touch it, so we thought it was hungry and Patrick put out a little bit of canned salmon, but it wouldn't eat that, either. We also put a cardboard box next to it with an old towel in case it needed the shelter, but it wouldn't move into it. Eventually, we just left hoping the cat would be okay. Caught the tail end of the gay pride parade. Went shopping at Benetton on Jesse's recommendation, found a zip-up sweater jacket for Patrick that was on sale for 50% plus an additional 20% discount. The saleswoman tacked on to her pitch: "That's 70% off!" to which I replied, "No, it's not." The saleswoman called her manager and continued to look puzzled as I tried to explain. She said, "Well, that's how we've been advertising it" and, eventually, "I'm not that good at math," among other things. The manager came upstairs to where we were, and she too insisted that it was 70% off. I proceeded to give a friendly but instructive lesson in basic math, and the manager's calculator went click-clack-click and eventually they finally agreed with me, and we were all laughing about the whole deal afterwards. Patrick and I went to the Gay Pride Festival afterwards. Lunch at Quizno's, about $12.66 for both of us. Ran in to Remi and Jesse, then later Gregg and Justin. We tried to meet up with Galen, but poor cellphone service prevented it. Grocery shopping at Golden Produce. Home. The cat from this morning was gone, and in its place was a wine bottle from Adam and Christina thanking us for having found their cat. Mystery solved. Shower. Dinner at home with Patrick: salmon with dill and ginger, mashed potatoes, asparagus spears, bread. Dessert: slices of an Asian pear. Edited Patrick's China photos. Patrick had some sneezing today, but not as bad as yesterday.

Mon Jun 28, 2004

Oatmeal with banana. Linkchecking. Updated 2004-2005 academic calendar documents with newly announced graduation date. Worked on password managers. Poster presentation for Cindy. Updated P2 schedule. New computer arrived, so I started setting that up. Lunch: sandwich and pasta salad from the cafeteria. Dinner at home with Patrick: combo chow mein. Watched Simpsons and a documentary called Examining the Castro.

Tue Jun 29, 2004

Electronic forms for James. Lunch at desk: sandwich from the cafeteria. Eye doctor appointment with Dr. Will Chantaduly at Eye Gotcha. This appointment was okay except the doctor's fees seemed to eat up all my vision coverage benefit that I got with Vision Service Plan, and I didn't have any benefit money leftover for any contact lenses. Well, they said I had $5 worth, but would that even buy me one pair? Dinner at Xiao Loong (www.xiaoloong.com, 415-753-5678, 250 West Portal Avenue) with Patrick and Galen: We had waited a long time for a table, so when we finally got seated they treated us to a free plate of deep-fried spring rolls—very considerate! We had sizzling rice soup, dry sauteed asparagus, black bean chicken, steamed rice. Patrick had a Tsing Tao. Patrick's fortune: You want to get even, but you will be better off concentrating on getting ahead. My fortune: Put work responsibilities aside for the day. Focus on family and friends. Galen's fortune: You will meet someone special at a social event. All the food was delicious (again), and we had a great time chatting with Galen. Ice cream (me and Patrick) and milk (Galen) from Rite-Aid afterwards.

Wed Jun 30, 2004

Electronic forms for James. Met with Melissa to discuss electronic forms, but we instead talked about and made changes to the Submit the Application page and the After Submitting the Applications page. Lunch at desk: leftover chow mein. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers. Was very tired tonight, went to bed early.