February and March 2007 Highlights

Emil's Groundhog Day Birthday

Sarah and I made hamburger cupcakes for Emil's birthday in February: we used yellow cake "buns," chocolate cupcake top "burgers," green frosting "lettuce" and red frosting "ketchup." We topped them off with real sesame seeds for the full effect. They looked great and tasted good, and as you may be able to see from the picture at right, they even squished like a burger when you ate them.


Home Projects: Finishing Touches

Robert makes fun of my tendencies to consider small details, but for awhile now there were a few small, finishing touches on our apartment that I just wasn't satisfied with. The telephone table I inherited from Aunt Mary and Aunt Grace (above left), which was mahogany painted beige in an earlier life, had an ingenious design (a chair that pivots out from underneath a small desk, yet also closes up to act as an end table) but an unappealing color. I had tried to remove the beige paint at various points in the last two years with chemical strippers, hand sanders and scrapers, and an electric sander, but nothing seemed to work very well, and the electric sander in particular was putting a lot of stress on the glued joints of this rather old piece. Rather than risk having a pile of sticks on my hands, I gave up and painted the table part red and the chair part blue, as you see above. They're beautiful and vibrant and look great in the corner of our living room--the perfect finishing touch for that area.

Another spot that needed just a little extra something was the exposed brick wall in our bedroom over our long connected desk, a space of about eight feet long. Using an assortment of wood frames in various sizes and finishes, some unmatted and some with nice white mats, I framed and with Robert's help hung old pictures from both of our families: we have Grandma Helena's wedding picture, our wedding picture, my parents' wedding picture, my father's parents' wedding picture, a picture of my father's mother and her father from when she was a young girl, a picture of my mother with her brother and parents from when she was a young girl, a picture of my mother's father and his uncle (who had accompanied him to this country in 1903), and two pictures of Robert's father as a young boy with his parents and mother's mother. They're great to look at together, to see the generations of family, and I love the assorted frames against the brick.


San Francisco Trip (JOIM Conference)

Robert had to go to a finance conference in San Francisco during my spring break, so I went along--it's surprisingly rare, actually, that these things intersect, and it was really a lovely treat. We got to see Lara and her boyfriend Wei, meeting them for an excellent dim sum and getting to see their apartment, and then we wandered around Golden Gate Park, admiring the wildlife (above). While Robert was at the conference sessions, I chased food items around San Francisco, stopping for homemade mochi, artisanal salami, organic cane sugar cola, Ferry Terminal farmers' market dried fruit, Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, and other delights. We also got to eat at E&O (fabulous Southeast Asian small plates and fun drinks, great for sharing) and Anzu (unusual, delicious Japanese food with Spanish and Italian accents--including the best risotto of any kind that I've ever had, with crab, scallops, rock shrimp, and uni). Below left you see Robert and Fei Fei (a UCLA friend) on a cable car, and below right you see me in front of the Bay Bridge with various spoils.


East Buffet (Main Street, Flushing)

The weekend after Sarah's birthday, we went to New York with Sarah and Suzi, all staying at my parents' apartment in Bayside. Friday was an eventful day in Manhattan, including terrible terrible sleet and hail and snow, two visits to the Indian Embassy, lots of cab rides, dinner at S'Mac (the all-macaroni-and-cheese restaurant at 12th Street), and dessert at Rice to Riches (the all-rice-pudding place on Spring Street). The graham cracker rice pudding, slightly warmed, was the highlight for me. Saturday was a lower-key day in Queens, ending with excellent Bon Chon Korean fried chicken from Northern Boulevard, and including a stop at East Buffet on Main Street for a dim sum/sushi buffet lunch feast. Weirdly, there was a cotton candy machine near the entrance of the buffet, and the woman working there explained that they had just gotten it and were trying it out. Apparently lunch included at least one freshly made cotton candy per person--this was so unexpected, and so tasty, that we were all thrilled (especially Sarah).


McDonald's Shamrock Shakes

The day after our East Buffet jaunt we drove back to Boston from New York (thanks to Robert and Zipcar, in that order), with Suzi in the backseat moaning about--er, politely mentioning--how much she wanted a special St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. In our investigations we discovered that: 1) Shamrock Shakes aren't distributed in NY, 2) a lot of people online are way more obsessed with these things than Suzi is, and 3) a medium shake is about as large as even the most dedicated Shamrock-Shake-lover (or generally minty fresh fan) can handle. Suzi was thrilled when the second McDonald's we stopped at in Connecticut yielded an abundance of Shamrock Shakes. Robert was fascinated by the food coloring intensity (see below). Sarah and I were astonished at just how awful these things tasted--toothpaste plus bubblegum was my general take on it, but Suzi was happy and Robert can get caught up in anyone's fanaticism, so we were all content.

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Created: 3/18/07. Last Modified: 3/18/07.