This year may have been the best holidays ever. When I got home on Saturday from the airport, Sam drew me a bath while he finished up dinner, which was delish, especially his mom's yellow squash soup! Then we set up a wifi network in the apartment and now I'm in wireless surfing heaven. Except for my laptop's very short battery life and its tendancy to crash.
Then on Sunday, I woke up and made pancakes and cookies. Then, we joined my brother and every other Jewish New Yorker at a viewing of King Kong. And then, off to Grand Sichuan for hot pot. I must be the only person who actually injured themselves eating hotpot - in the process of biting into a bamboo shoot, I managed to spray my nose with boiling broth and now have a burn.
And Monday, after a morning of closet organization (can you believe it - all my clothes fit in there with Sam's stuff - amazing!), it was off to brave the mob scene that is the Met on the day after Christmas to see the Van Gough exhibit. It was worth the wait. Top that off with Hannukah dinner at my parents and it was a rocking weekend all around.
I'm in NY all of this week, and then its back to SF for four more workdays before I'm back for good! Which means I got everything I wanted for the holidays.
This weekend I met up with a bunch of Stanford grad school friends from last year to go skiing up in Tahoe. It took me a while to get up to Tahoe on Friday, due to some changes in car arrangements. After much confusion, I ended up hanging out in Berkeley for the evening with one grad school friend and his friend from undergrad, and then catching a ride with one of his other friends much later in the night. I slept the whole way up though, so at least the ride went really quickly.
Saturday, we skiied at Northstar. The snow was ok - icy at parts, especially towards the end of the day, but not as bad as I had expected given the relative lack of snow. And I was able to keep up with everyone else, so it was a pretty good day. The hot tub at the end of the day felt awesome though.
Once we were back at the cabin, there was lots of hottubbing, pasta eating, poker playing and catching up going on. Until I fell asleep on the couch within the first round of Mafia. Apparently people were jumping on me and I still slept through it. Amazing.
Today, when we woke up, there was over a foot of fresh snow on the ground. We headed over to Alpine Meadows to check out the fresh powder conditions. I was super excited to ski on the 18" of snow on the top of the mountain. Until I headed down the first run. I don't think I've ever skiied on anything like that before. And I soon learned that I can't. I fell at least 5 times on my way down and it took me over an hour - I just couldn't turn! Or see anything because of the heavy snow and my sweat fogging up the goggles. I gave up after one run and hung out in the lodge until lunch when everyone else gave up.
Thankfully, it hadn't continued snowing as heavily on the roads and we were able to make it home in some traffic, but pretty good conditions. A great weekend overall.
Saturday I shouted into the phone when F (my coworker who lives in the same building as me) called me at 8:15am to see if I wanted to get breakfast. I proceeded to groan no into the phone and then went back to sleep for another 3 hours. By the time I finally did drag myself out of bed it was close to 1pm and I decided to make my way over to the Exploratorium to take advantage of another piece of my Citypass. It was such a beautiful day that I ended up walking there, checking out the beautiful houses along the way.
The Exploratorium is a children's science museum, and I thought it was pretty neat. I got pretty tired of being on my feet after a while, but I was very impressed by their life sciences portion of their exhibit. One thing I found particularly suprising was the very liberal stance on stem cell research they took - there were plaques all over talking about why stem cell research is so important, which seems kind of daring given the current political state of mind, but then again, this is San Francisco.
After the Exploratorium, I had been planning to head to SFMoma, but my late start in the morning didn't leave me much time, so I took my time in the Marina area and enjoyed the beatiful views from the beach.
Once home, I rested up for a bit, but F and her friend J convinced me to join them out on the town. We headed to Polk, figuring we'd find a place somewhere around there, and ended up at Blur. They were playing great music and the bartenders were cool guys, so we ended up hanging around there all night. At 2am when the bar closed I was close to beat, but the bartenders asked us to hang around after closing to hang out with them and a bunch of other patrons, which was pretty cool. It was a fun time and J had a great time and ended up dancing on the bar, which the bartenders got a kick out of.
However, when I was falling asleep in my french fries at 3:30am, I realized that I was getting old and can't handle two nights of partying in a row. Or staying out until 4am. I'm too young to be getting old.
A possible use for all that paper you throw in the recycling bin
Busiest weekend in SF since I've been here, so I'll spread it out over a few posts.
Friday night we had our office holiday party. It rocked.
We went out for drinks before dinner at this cool bar with an awesome jukebox, Tonic. They have gummy bears as bar food. How cool is that.
Then it was on to Ana Mandara for a delicious dinner. And lots of good wine. So much better than past holiday parties with halfway decent catered food. And great conversation.
And then, off to the afterparty at The Dragon Lounge. With out boss. I love the people I work with. Its the only part I'll miss once I'm out in NY.
Last time I was home in NY, I noticed that one of my parent's cats, Jonas, was looking skinny. Turns out he got very sick soon after that, and though he lasted longer than anyone expected without eating, my parents eventually had to put him to sleep. They got him when I was in college, so I didn't grow up with him, but when I was living at home after college, he was my buddy. I'm glad that I didn't have to see him waste away.
One of my best friends is doing her vet internship in NY and when I told her Jonas was sick and that my parents would be looking for a new cat to keep Cleo (their other cat) company, she volunteered to keep her eye out around the hospital. Sure enough, a few days after Thanksgiving, a black female kitten turned up relatively healthy and in need of a loving home. My parents jumped in, and now they are enjoying the playfulness of JoJo, named in Jonas's honor. Doesn't she look like she could be Maddie's sister? Sounds like her demeanor is the same too.
Lucky for me, I'll be back in NY for the holidays, for the week between Christmas and New Years (just booked the ticket last night!) so I'll get to greet Miss JoJo soon enough.
Yesterday, my coworker and I went to the Asian Art Museum, since we got CityPasses from work and wanted to start using them. We were lucky and Saturday just happened to be the first day of a new show about 18th century Kyoto painters, which was great. I really liked the general collection though. We ran out of time to see everything, but I really liked the east asian art, since the south asian art tended to be lots of religious stuff. One exception was the Indonesian rod puppets (wayang golek), seen above. I really want to see a performance now because they look so interesting. I also really loved the modern Chinese paintings - the ones featured all were done with black ink, almost like a variation on calligraphy, but regardless of how abstract the brush strokes were, there was always a red stamped signature in the corner. The contrast was beautiful.
Today, I was hoping to make it to the newly renovated DeYoung Museum, since I was already going to be in Golden Gate Park for frisbee, but even though I ended up not playing because my knee has been hurting me, I stayed around to cheer until the end of the game and at that point, I would have only had an hour in the museum and didn't want to be rushed two days in a row, so that will have to wait until next week.
My coworker who is also from the NY area and is also here temporarily were talking this morning. She was back east all of last week moving stuff out of her apartment so that she can sublet it out while she's here for training like me. When I asked her about how the moving went, she complained how hard it was to get all the little things moved, all that stuff that she didn't even realize she had accumulated over the 6 years in her apartment.
I sympathized, and then proceeded to count how many different places I'd lived in the last 6 years. Since the fall of '99, I've lived in 8 apartments, not counting the few months I lived in my parents apartment since furniture wasn't involved, or my time here in SF or the 6 months I lived in England since each of these moves involved only suitcases and no changes of address. How is it possible with all those moves that I still have so much stuff?