September 29, 2004

.... or, meriko learns empirically, redux.

Tonight's lesson:
It really really really does take longer for those layers to cool than you think it does. Be not fooled by their cool-to-the-touch surfaces. They are only trying to trick you into spreading that thick whipped praline ganache between them early. They want to sit and slowly warm it , the better to startle you with when you turn back from the chocolate glaze you are concocting and notice bulges where you had nice clean flattened cake sides.

(I do wish someone had a video of me carrying the cake into the cooler room on its rack, valientlytrying to keep the top layer from sliding off, cursing all the while. Would have been great test footage.)

Posted by shock at 11:25 PM
September 27, 2004

New boots. New scent (fig & apricot. yum.). New pants.
A lovely visit from Beca & Annika last night. My best girlfriend, my favorite baby, sushi & Sims2.
A perfect San Francisco shopping Sunday, replete with jazz and sandwiches on Maiden Lane. (See boots, scent & pants, above.)
Stunning symphony, all dressed up. (Yes yes, photos to come.)
Pop-tarts, bacon, pizza & cypresses with the purple-haired girl. Did you eat at Foriegn Cinema on Saturday night? We may have shelled your peas.
Cuddling galore with my favorite musician/programmer.

My weekend was good medicine to cure what ailed me last week.
Now: to keep it firmly in mind to ward off the creeping work stress.

Posted by shock at 08:59 AM
September 24, 2004

I'll set the scene - you tell me the story, ok?

7:20am, Friday morning.
2 MINI Coopers (one red with a white top, the other black with a checkered top) are racing down 280, southbound. The early morning sun is rising higher and higher to the left of the windshield. They play tag with a large maroon Hummer.

Your turn....

Posted by shock at 09:28 AM
September 21, 2004

I love the chill in the air when I wake up and go to sleep.

I love trying to decide, each night, if it's the right time to add quilts to the bed.

I love the smell of the rain that pervades the city.

But I do need to remember to start setting the coffee pot before I go to sleep. Getting up in the twilight of dawn has its own beauty- but without the promise of a steaming cup of coffee, the bed is awfully cozy.

Posted by shock at 07:06 AM
September 20, 2004

So many girls having tea and scones in their hats and dresses and gloves. Miss Anne, we wish you the very bestest. (Mo, the AP went over quite nicely!)


Have you ever seen us looking quite so ....normal?

Posted by shock at 08:12 AM
September 19, 2004
wood & steel

sinkblog.jpgI came home from Amsterdam to find another home improvement complete - a new double stainless steel sink & butcher block counters replacing the last of the crappy laminate ones. The kitchen is really starting to come together! I just have to match the wall paint so I can finish the wall next to the stove, and find a patch for the small gap where the backsplash didn't quite reach the stove. And I have a stack of butcher block leftover for making into really nice heavy cutting boards. Mmmmm. It's rainy and cold and bright here today. Sounds like a perfect day to enjoy the new kitchen space and make soup, hm?

Posted by shock at 09:20 AM
September 18, 2004


How I look when I'm "almost as beautiful as the beautiful people". At Supperclub with the two Tims in Amsterdam. (See below.)

Posted by shock at 09:27 AM
September 11, 2004

Last night, in the bar of the very hip, very strange Supperclub, we were having a cocktail before we went up to bed for supper.

A colleague turned to me and said, "You know, I think you're doing very well! You're almost as beautiful as the beautiful people here!"

I chose to take that as a compliment.

Posted by shock at 11:09 PM
September 09, 2004

Everything feels familiar & different all at once here.
The weather is perfect. It feels just like home. (Not the current heat wave of home, but my normal lovely San Francisco cool but sunny weather.)

The cobblestone streets are amusing and seemingly treacherous. I'm making my peace with them. The buildings are old, old, old. I adore them.

Sat outside and had a beer at 7pm last night, in Dam Square under the incredibly large phallus (the homo-monument). Went to dinner with a large group at Kantjil. Tremendously good Indonesian food. Rice table (rijsttafel) for 12.

The trams are terribly cute. The train is efficient. My hotel is out near the airport (about 10 minutes away), so getting to and fro right now consists of a shuttle to the airport, where I take a train to Centraal Station. It feels a little like staying in Oakland if visiting San Francisco. It's ok most of the time, but leaving to catch the last train-shuttle combo when everyone else is going out for a drink at midnight is kind of a drag. Probably good for sleep though. (Who wants to sleep? I'm in Amsterdam!)

The girls are very attractive. So many boys who look SO young with pronounced cheekbones, and modboy curls.

I want a bicycle to ride while I'm here. I promise not to talk on my celll phone while riding it, though. No desire for a car whatsoever.

I have failed to get reservations at De Kas, but get to try Supperclub (Eating. On beds. How strange!), and we ducked into another cute restaurant (name to come) and made reservations for Sunday.

Today: To the RAI for IBC. Tonight? Who knows!

Posted by shock at 11:51 PM

So, here I am in the Frankfurt airport. Kinda a zombie after the 10.5 hour flight from SFO. Stumble around a destroyed terminal that looks like something out of a Bladerunner set. Figure out we need to get from Terminal A to Terminal B. Head through German passport control.

Tim's ahead of me. He knows some German. Chats inaudibly with the passport dude.

I step to the front. He looks at my passport.
"Coming from San Francisco?"
"Sprechen sie Deutsch?"
"Um, I'm sorry?"
"Sprechen sie Deutsch?"
"Oh, no."
"You were born in Germany..."
"Oh, yes."
"Have a good day!"

Lordie, I feel like a dork.

Posted by shock at 01:50 AM
September 08, 2004

In a few hours, I leave for Amsterdam.

Wish me luck, great Indonesian food, and tulips!
Back in town Monday. Miss you already!

Posted by shock at 09:08 AM
September 04, 2004

Days like today happen, and I wonder if I shouldn't have been a craftsman of some sort. (This is a little like wondering about the cooking, except I actually invest a lot of time in the cooking. So not quite the same, after all.)

This morning I suited up in sunscreen and went out to the yard. Cleaned up all the birch tree poo. (It's that time of year.) Fussed the ants something fierce. Did a bit of weeding. Watered, deeply and thoroughly.

Moved on to the furniture. Spent a couple of hours oiling 2/3 of our teak yard furniture. Methodically rubbing nicely scented oil into the wood slats, watching it turn deep golden. Feeling the ache in my arm, and the sweat on my skin. There's a kind of zen to it, really.

Watered the yard some more. It's hot enough that the basil is starting to put out a few leaves. The fuschias must be crying for water, all the time.

Put together some end tables for the living room. Really pretty things, morter & tenon joinery, peg & hole. Just a few key screws to fasten it all in tightly. And tops that are removeable trays.

I liked putting the wood together. Working in the garden. Oiling the thirsty wood. There was a visceral satisfaction there that was so lovely. I did a lot of cleaning today, too - but that kind of satisfaction is really different. It's in the end product - the clean, lovely house. The former sort is as much about the process as the result.

Yep, that's definitely it. The process. I remember the summer I rode horses regularly - I enjoyed caring for the horses almost as much as I did riding them. Some days, more. Currying, rubbing down, the works.

Interesting, isn't it? Thought I was going to be a scientist. Went into software & management. Cook to save my sanity. And sometimes, some days - I just wonder what it would have been like to woodwork for a living.

Posted by shock at 09:08 PM