Trip to the City


Went up to the City tonight to have dinner and spend time with Elina. Elina had journeyed down south on Wednesday night to partake in communal dinner, so a journey back north was in order, if only to get my kitty fix.

The first thing I did (well, no, probably more like the fourteen hundredth thing, but, really, who's counting?), was, of course, step on the sign in her elevator that says, "Don't step."

Last time we went out to dinner, we walked back from the restaurant we ate at. After looking for a restaurant to go to, and coming up pretty much completely empty, we decided to walk over to that restaurant for dinner. Sure, we had eaten there before, but the food was good, and the menu was large enough to warrant another visit. So, off we went to Flippers for dinner.

On our walk back from dinner, we passed by the local federal building which has a small field/meadow of grass that appeared to be native grass, the kind that is all tufts. Elina commented that the grass looked really soft, so I wandered over to touch it. It was, indeed, soft.

The meadow is a triangle meadow that starts at ground level, and is walled in with a slanting wall that grows four feet high, or so. I walked up the wall and, at Elina's encouragement, into the meadow and squatted. I had handed her my camera before I walked up, so she quickly snapped a few pictures.

Somehow she managed to take a number of good pictures of me. I'm sure it's her talent with the camera that ruined my usual "1 in 7 photos of me is good" ratio, because it certainly wasn't my charm.

Might have been the cold, though. San Francisco. Always cold.

The only downside of the evening was heading home early. I went to catch the 9:30 train (note to self: learn to catch taxis, take lessons from Elina, she has amazing taxi karma), so that I was home by 10:50. The 10:30 train wouldn't have me back to Mountain View until 11:40, and the 12:05 train? Ugh. So, I caught the 9:30 train. Made the evening much too short, and me much too distracted about watching the clock.

Step one: dinner


I went up to the City tonight to visit with Elina, have dinner, see her place, pet Mr. Kitty, talk about website designs and the like. I had intended to head up last week, but was thwarted first by work, then by a migraine. This week, today, however, I was successful in my journey. I, of course, took the train up. I'm starting to really, really like taking the train up. Talk about concentrated time to relax, accomplish tasks, and just mediate on nothing, watching the scenery out the window.

Instead of my usual hop-off-the-train and hustle-down-the-Embarcadero route, however, I hopped into a taxi (good lord, will I ever be rid of the need to use taxis - maybe I should start comparing taxis in various cities, most from a novice taxi rider's perspective, at least until I become an old hand at these taxi things), and rode a $7.60 ride to her place.

Her place is an incredibly adorable little one bedroom, with lots of late afternoon light, high ceilings, and cute nooks and closet spaces. It is, of course, also nicely decorated, as is the way of Elina. I suspect that, if she wants it, we could use her as the fourth lady flipping in our little band of adventurers. I'll have to check with Mom and Heather first.

After the little tour, and lots of Mr. Kitty snuggling, we dashed off to Flippers, a gourmet burger joint which also happened to have a fantastic array of vegetarian items available. My eggplant wrap? Can you say bigger than any burrito I've ever had? Yeah, I can say that, too.

I enjoy listening to Elina's stories, expecially the ones where she states the obvious stupidity of those around her. Most of our taxi ride over and the parts of dinner where I wasn't talking about ultimate or the client meeting this morning, was taken up by the story of Black Love Calendar. Oh, to have had a voice recorder for that conversation: I'd have a humourous post instead of a no-one-cares-what-you-had-for-dinner post.


We were intending to take a taxi back to her place after dinner, but we became so engrossed with our conversation, and the brisk walk, that we forgot to stop and wave down a taxi. Which suited me just fine: I like the walking and the reminder that this city just isn't as big as some people think it is.

The walk back did, however, take time that we had intended to use discussing website designs, so upon arrival I just jumped into the discussion. I think it went really well, and I'm very excited to see what she designs. She commented on feeling nervous about designing a website, but I'm in the least bit nervous. All of the school projects she's shown me have been fabulous. Since I'll be translating it from design / image / PDF (<sarcasm>oh, joy, my favorite task, theming</sarcasm>) into HTML, any bad HTML will be totally my fault.

Which works for me.

I wasn't sure about the travel time back to the Caltrain station, so I left around 9:05 to catch a taxi back, nervous about being able to catch one quickly. Elina accompanied me downstairs and outside, then walked to the street and tapped on the taxi waiting at a light right in front of her place. What was I worried about again? I don't know, I made the train with ten minutes to spare.

Her taxi luck is just like that.

Wet noodle victory


I went up to the City last night for dinner with Cal and Elina. Been meaning to spend time with them, as I had pretty much fallen off the face of their world last year, and seeing Cal at SxSW reminded me that, hey, these two are pretty neat, go spend time with them!

At some point in the evening, Elina commented that she'd pick me in a fight against Cal. Mind you, it'd have to be a drag-out, no holds barred, cheating allowed AND encouraged fight, but she'd still pick me.



Against a man who has about 5 stones on me.

Have I mentioned how much I love Elina recently? Probably not enough.

Cal immediately took the challenge, and tackled me.

Well, sorta.

So, I have these years and years and years of fighting with my older brother. I have those other years of avoiding showers at college with four guys trying to somehow, any way, get me into that shower.

I think they liked it when I resisted. Made the game much more fun.

So, here Cal is, trying to tackle me and throw me over his shoulder to claim victory. I immediately dropped into a defensive stance, backed up down the hallway, and, well, sent little love-taps to keep him at bay.

I was mildly unsuccessful in two ways. One: I received the love-taps right back. Two: the floors are hardwood and I was in socks. One good tug and I'm back in the living room, and once again, easily tackle-able.

That's a word, right? Tackle-able?

I had to resort to Annie's wet-noodle technique of going completely limp to avoid being thrown in the air. This, of course, frustrated Cal, as I wasn't exactly playing by the house rules. Which is good, because no one told me I had to play by them. When the two of them played by the rules, both of them got hurt. Me? All I had was the full embarrassment of landing on my ass when the I was flipped backwards.

Eventually all agreed that, yes, Cal was indeed stronger than I am, but I was in better shape than he was.

If we had to run five miles before we fought, well, then, I'd claim victory.



Went up to the City on Thursday night. I had intended to be in the City for the second day of the Future of Web Apps Summit, but had too much work to do. Instead, I missed Day 2, worked all day, then trained up to the City to have dinner with Elina.

A fabulous idea.

She met me at the train station, and we wandered to the bookstore close by (the Borders near the ballpark), to find a San Francisco Magazine. The goal was to find the food section, pick out a restaurant from the review section and head over. Somehow, I think the copies I receive from my subscription are different than the ones in stores, as there weren't any restaurant reviews, and we ended up using another magazine.