Dec 11, 2005

Whiners make for entertaining blogs.
It's true. The most entertaining blogs tend to be people who complain and whine a lot, especially if they do it with a flair. It doesn't have to be about anything significant, or even intelligent. It could be the most inane drivel, but I'll probably still read it for its entertainment value.

Frankly, I just haven't had much to complain about in the last while. I can recall one thing. It involved going to the mall in search of some costume for Halloween (I ended up spending a couple bucks on acrylic paint and brushes and making a papier mache mask, yes, my inert creativity was busting out). One of the stores (speaking of busting out, the very brand had a fashion show on TV recently) was playing Christmas music, at Halloween.

It doesn't really "feel" like Christmas right now here, given it's California, and either sunny or rainy. It certainly didn't feel like Christmas a month and a half ago, when every other store was decorated with pumpkins and skeletons. Corporate marketting does, in fact, amaze me every so often.

I haven't updated much lately, which most likely reflects the fact that I haven't been doing much reading, and thus haven't felt creative enough to write anything. I certainly don't have flair; when I'm lucky I can bite the style of some Pulitzer Prize winner that I have been reading. Hopefully, if you're interested, the photos on my Flickr (see the left sidebar) have been sufficiently entertaining. I can think of three updates worth mentioning.

First, I celebrated my birthday by being treated to the "best" restaurant in the United States, The French Laundry. Once upon a time, I was easily wow'd with food. In retrospect, it had a lot to do with novelty. The first time you experience a new food or preparation, you're blown away. It might still be good, but it certainly loses its ability to blow you away when you get accustomed to it. I still order foie gras and duck confit, and although it's often good at whatever new restaurant I try, it rarely has a wow to it.

French Laundry wow'd me at least four times. The cauliflower pasta was very good. Not "very good for cauliflower". Just very good. Wow. I think part of the trick here is, none of the portions are large enough for you to be satisfied. You want more of every dish that comes to you. This is a prime example. They did something to the apple served in one of the cheese courses. It was a brand new flavour, and that's not something I get often. Wow. The elements of the blue cheese course combined to form something entirely new. If you put the cheese in your mouth along with the watercress, candied walnuts, and grape jelly at in your mouth at the same time, it is a profoundly different experience than just savouring the cheese. Not something I had expected. Wow. Finally, I've had plenty of dried fruit, but I've never had compressed fruit. That's like, pineapple flavoured paper. Wait, it's real pineapple? Cool. Wow. The rest of the photos are here, if you haven't seen them already.

Speaking of which, at 27 you feel old. I think 25 sounds like you're still on the line. At 26, I was in denial. This year, I had to face the fact. I'm a quarter of a century old. Actually older than that. Can you imagine? Btw, thanks for all the birthday pics.

I don't feel like it. Except for my memory. Incidentally, I've had the word "biter" at the tip of my tongue all day, and it's just clicked minutes ago.

The second item is that I've realized I'm perfectly happy writing computer code for 80hrs a week. Really. However, tell me I'm in charge of people and my job is to go to meetings with higher ups and set schedules; I'm leaving work at 6 each day. Go figure.

Lastly, I've learned the joys of shooting my photos in RAW. You can recover a heck of a lot from a poorly exposed shot. It just takes a lot of time. I had a great time going to Death Valley over Thanksgiving. My highlight was definitely taking photos of the crazy landscape. The weekend up to this point has mostly been spent postprocessing and uploading the pics. There's definitely more there than you'd be interested to see.

Post-lastly, congrats to Toby and Clara, but you knew that already.

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