(A/N: I was feeling really generous today and decided to post the next chapter here first..again! ;-) So enjoy!)
Life was good after graduation, and my little blow up on my parents. Becky and I stayed in our apartment, both of us working where we had our internships, and still learning together about how to be adults. Our normal shenanigans continued, dancing around the kitchen in pajamas, watching movies, going out and having fun, and taking care of our hamster, Fred. Becky had finally convinced me to let her show my story to some different publishers, meaning I was her first client in her career as a publishing agent.
Of course being published requires funding of some sort, and that usually came from my parents. I wasn’t about to ask for any help from them after my blowup and refusing to come home, but the funny thing was I didn’t have to. Every week or so my parents made these “pity phone calls” and we would try to humor one another by making small talk, and I knew that no matter how upset I was with them I couldn’t simply write them off. I happened to mention to my father that Becky was trying to get something I wrote published, and without any question my father coughed up the financial means to get it done. I’ll always believe that it was in a desperate attempt to patch things up, but I wasn’t about to turn it down. Every other thing they offered to help me with I refused, but this was something I knew I needed help with. If I won that contest, maybe I really could be a published author.
Exercise in illustrating a tarot card every day. To decide which card to make each day, I draw a card from the deck.
Today’s card is: Queen of Cups A figure in your life that is nurturing, compassionate and able to instinctually understand the emotions of others. Because of this, they are usually generous and kind hearted.
I decided to take it upon myself to have a great day. Not relying on anyone else. Buying myself a massage with my favorite therapist, upgrading to aroma therapy. Going to tip him more than the already-generous tip I usually leave. Then I’m heading to West Hollywood to watch one of my favorite shows in a gay bar with friends from every world I live in. Afterward I’m staying in a hotel room, which I paid for. I don’t need no man, I don’t need to rely on anybody for anything. Why? Because tonight, I am an ADULT! (But I won’t drink coffee. GROSS!)
THE DAY HAS BEEN WARMER than usual, but not necessarily in a GOOD way, and there’s this GUY who’s kinda been staring at a BUILDING for way too long, so she has DECIDED to approach him for NO REASON whatsoever. maybe she’s feeling a little bit GENEROUS today, who knows.
I decided, driving back from a meeting today, that my porch needed colour.
So I bought some flowers.
Found this while I was out yesterday.
I looked it up and found out it is a Pennsylvania Dutch greeting and it extends a warm and friendly greeting. The facing Distelfink birds provide “a generous measure of happiness and good fortune”. The lucky star and greenery add luck and bountiful life.
Stuart Brioza and his 1-Michelin Starred eatery that adopts the old-school Dim Sum concept has been a flame to the moths that are today’s food connoisseurs. Failing to secure a table at every attempt before, we decided to heed the advice of the website that shall not be named. Got in line a little before 5PM to reserve one of the walk-in tables.
15 minutes before the hostess opened the door, these came:
A generous gesture, and luckily I love bittersweet chocolate so this tickled the palate off the bat.
And of course we had to take advantage of the rare dining opportunity, so we ordered one of everything from the provision carts.
A plethora of ingredients and cooking techniques alike. Brioza deserves a round of applause for pushing this business model as it is the perfect way to showcase the talents of a diverse kitchen staff. The problem? Quality control. It’s hard to have a small handful of Exec/CDC’s quality gate every dish. The result?
The standout Bad Provisions: Duck Liver Mousse with Cornbread Greasy little corn biscuits with a fatty, greasy mousse and nothing to offset it. Arctic Char Tartare with House Chips The chips just did nothing for this. The tartare by itself with the capers and avocado was good, forget the chips. I would have rather had a saltine. Wonton Absurdly thick wrapper, unforgiveably bland soup. Manilla Clam Rockafeller 2 big ass overcooked cherrystones with some thick soggy crust of greasy breadcrumbs and shit. Anything with their House Kimchi The Tofu Salad was comparable to me cubing some store-bought firm tofu, and throwing some store-bought kimchi on top.
The awesomely Good Provisions: Anything with their Quinoa Furakake Fucking awesome idea. This put their simple Heirloom Tomato Salad into the levels of orgasmic.
Pickled Local Anchovy-Tomato Toast Chanterelle Toast
Nice move pickling the anchovy to reduce the fishiness. The Chanterelles were buttery, maybe because it was laying on a thick primer of Chanterelle mayo.
This was a highly anticipated set for me. Sweet corn and Cowgirl Creamery’s staple in anything is just unfair good. The other 2 were OK, but overall the texture was not what I was expecting. The brown-ness I’ve seen in other pictures led me to believe they were supposed to be real crisp. Definitely not the case.
Halibut Tartare ‘Constructable’
What an amazingly beautiful dish. Visually and conceptually stunning. House Nori crackers. Halibut Tartare served with sliced radishes and cucamelons. Absolutely refreshing to the palate.
Red Trout, Mandarin, Hazelnut-Garum Vinaigrette
Perfect preparation of a fillet of fresh fish. Ultra crisp skin with a MR core. All of the other stuff thrown on top served little to no purpose, or the fish was so good, my memory chose to forget about it.
CA State Bird with Provisions
One of the dishes they claim to their fame, but they should stop. It’s a buttermilk fried quail, and the execution is lacking. The crust was so thick I was eating just as much of it as I was the protein. Fix this please.
Maitake & Duck ‘Fried Rice’
A greasy cast iron put full of soggy rice and mushrooms with more greasy fried onions on top. This was so greasy in fact, we packed it home in a standard white box and it instantly leaked through.
Bacon-Curry with Crispy Beef Sweetbreads & Pickle
Shitty curry with fried sweetbreads. An aweful twist of an offal Chaat.
Roasted Bone Marrow with Mushrooms & Pink Peppercorn
Up until this point, we had easily had a sufficient amount of food. We asked the waiter to reassess our order for a “One of Everything” and solicited him for what is absolutely a “must-have” here. He mentioned the bone marrow, I opted out of it reasoning that if you’ve had one, you’ve had em all. He wholeheartedly disagreed and promised that their version would change my mind. Out comes a slab of roasted bone marrow with crostinis topped accompanied by a parsley salad. What the fuck. I don’t know if it’s a joke, but this is as stereotypical as it gets. So proposterous in fact, I had thoughts of the waiter requesting the kitchen to pump a standard Bone Marrow dish to spite my comments. Besides the fact that they serve it with peppercorns and a house Fleur, it’s the same fucking bone marrow dish every other pretentious restaurant has on their menu. Was it delcious? Yes. Did you piss me off? Hell yes.
The combination of fresh, tangy, and savory ingredients to build a beautifully free form-ish ice-cream sandwich with just an ever-so-light spread of raspberry coulis inside. Out of this world, ungodly, sell-your-soul good.
‘World Peace’ Peanut Muscovado Milk Unpictured but I didn’t think peanut milk was going to bee so tasty, or it could have been the muscovado sugar. Either way, they brought a few shot glasses and poured it table-side out of an old school milk jar. As he walked away, I asked him if the remnants of the jar gets recycled, and he said no. I then proceeded to request that he left that with me and it would get taken care of.
Conclusion I feel like I was a little hard on SBP. They’re a well-intentioned group of folks operating an honest restaurant sourcing local ingredients. My problem is with the hysteria built around dining here. With so many fine dining establishments in the city, hell even just in the Western Addition there has to be a reason to their overwhelming growth in popularity and in my opinion the food is secondary.
(strictly speaking that’s not true; I have gotten AAs on Sakura heavy single and on GENOM SCREAMS heavy double, but they’re conventionally considered not “real” 10s, for what it’s worth)
(also strictly speaking I only got a AA by Extreme standards; I’m still 4 greats away on Supernova and beyond. But whatever, I’ll take it)
Hadn’t played very much DDR in the past few weeks, but my timing was better than usual today so I decided to have a go at the ol’ PS. I also managed to get below ten greats on PARANOiA KCET ~clean mix~ and threaten my record on Healing Vision ~Angelic mix~ (14 greats and 2 misses, with something like 2 greats for the entire last 2/3rds of the song; old record was 12 greats, an extremely lucky score that I was never remotely able to repeat).
Pump It Up’s grading is a lot more generous on accuracy, so I haven’t really been keeping track of individual scores. PIU has a scale that goes from 1 to 7 stars for the easier charts and from 1 to 7 skulls for the harder ones. The skill ceiling is much higher in PIU than in DDR (at least Extreme, which is the DDR I’m familiar with). I have, after considerable effort, managed to pass my first 1 skull song, Power of Love (on nightmare difficulty, which is like DDR’s heavy double), which seems about as hard as the medium-to-hard 10-footers in DDR. It’s tricky to compare difficulties, though, because of nuances in grading and the greater ease of stepping in PIU. The harder stepcharts are also written differently, where DDR’s are more relentless and are structured like boss levels whereas PIU’s intersperses its ridiculous sixteenth step patterns with some easy parts.
I have managed to full combo a few 6- to 7-star songs and, as I mentioned before, have breached into the skulls by passing Power of Love nightmare. I also now have the high score on the machine, which is flattering, but I don’t think many people pass through who know how to play well.
27 April 2015 —-PARANOiA Survivor heavy single: 53 greats, 1 miss (old score: 66 greats, 1 miss, 4 November 2007) —-PARANOiA KCET ~clean mix~: 9 greats (old score: none recorded, probably below 20 greats)
Today my #beautiful #princess, Mikaela, turns #8. Eight years ago this little girl entered my life weeks before her scheduled C-section which, in hindsight, was probably a warning that she would continue to surprise us on an almost daily basis! The #middlechild and our only #girl, Mikaela was the only one to #PottyTrain herself (before she was even 2!) and the only one who decided that they wanted to read before kindergarten. She started Kindergarten with a second grade reading level, and ended it with a 5th grade reading level. She is #smart, #funny, #compassionate, #generous and obviously is just a beautiful soul inside and out. She can already #cook several basic meals with minimal supervision, and she loves to draw. She is a speedy #soccer player and a frighteningly good tree climber. She was the first of her siblings to swim to the deep end all by her self. She wants to grow her #hair out like #rapunzel. Her eyes are often lavender. I genuinely cannot wait to see what the future holds for my #precious little girl. Happy #birthday baby girl!