So Hard

In following up with one of Wednesday’s posts, “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk,” I’ve thought about some of the issues, such as even posting some detail what happened. I’ve tried to protect the innocent/guilty with omitting the name and any more incriminating details. That part’s always a challenge and even then, readers figure it out. It’s definitely the case with one professor from my graduate school who once posted on the drunken antics of one her colleagues, though a second-hand narrative from her students. She omitted the name, but anyone acquainted with the university’s English Department could figure it out who this guy was.

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You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk

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I’ve been writing about paper forms of communication in several of my recent posts, but technological forms of communication are still an urgent issue. One of the most commonly used technology is the telephone in its various incarnations over the past one and half centuries. It’s also among the most commonly abused.

Disclaimer: The numbers displayed in the image above do not belong to any of my friends. 1/14/08, 11:00am.

Drunk phone calls are always fun to get. Actually, they’re not. One of the most dangerous things about mobile phones, especially in the hands of the inebriated, is the ease of getting a hold of people and having no qualms about harassing them. Even better yet is when they leave those messages on the voicemail system that they’ll have no memory of, yet are all too painful for the recipients.

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Paper? Pen? Write? That’s Right

img_0206Early on this year, there are some people in my life I feel compelled to write to and it’s certainly not by e-mail. For them, I plan to use paper, pen, and our trusty postal system. That means, actually write letters.

Why do it? Sure it’s going to cost some in paper and stamps, but isn’t Internet usage cheaper? Yes and no. Despite the urban legends, there isn’t a charge to send and e-mail and I’m not aware of any pending cyber-tax. However, many of us pay for e-mail in that we pay a lot of fees for internet usage. Some people do all their e-mail from work. Fine, but those us who don’t have that privilege, we pay for home internet signals and even data plans for our phones. Also, some places like to charge money for WIFI signals, and even if they don’t, we all wind up spending more money in coffee. It’s a false economy for sure.

Besides, which makes your day more – a paper letter from someone you care about or an e-mail from them. I’ll take paper over bytes any day.

Sunnin, West LA

While our main objective was to get to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, my friend Brian (Sharon’s boyfriend) and I decided to stop by Sunnin Lebanese Café in West Los Angeles. It’s a longtime favorite restaurant of Brian’s, going back to his undergraduate days. It’s the second time I’ve eaten there. Sunnin is light on the wallet, has an interesting variety, and is a satisfying eat for the money.
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The owner was offering some kind of spinach special today, but neither of us were feeling very adventurous. It was hard to go wrong with anything from their sandwich selection and also a few of the appetizers. We got four of the appetizers and shared them between us.
Some appetizers Rekakat
First photo, clockwise: Baba ganoush, pita, hummus, stuffed grape leaves . Second Photo: Rekakat.

Brian had the falafel sandwhich (not pictured), while I went with the beef shwarma. As far as the shwarma offerings in various San Diego places – no comparison. This one is too good, almost putting me in a food coma.
Beef Schwarma Sanwich Foiled Beef Shwarma Sandwich unfoiled

I haven’t been by a Starbucks yesterday morning, but no problem. Who needs the Christmas blend when you can have the thick Turkish coffee in a tiny cup. That small shot kept me going all day, and even drinking the sludge was part of the fun. Finishing things off, there was this goat milk pudding with honey and pistachio nuts. I don’t know what the name of it, but it was absolutely delicious.
Turkish Coffee Goat Cheese pudding with honey and pistacchios

Overall, good food, good times, minimal bill shock. Now if I can only find somewhere as good as Sunnin in San Diego.

At the Linkery – Again

I went to the Linkery the second time this month. Last week, it was a crowded dinner party affair for Jen and I got to meet some interesting people. This time, I met up with my longtime friends Sharon and Nadia. I haven’t had the chance to hang out with both of them at the same time in a while, so it was nice. Plus, I haven’t been able to go out to lunchtime foodie adventures with Sharon in a while, and going out with her for lunch or dinner is always fun.

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Much to Nadia’s amusement, Sharon and I took pictures of the food, starting with the chorizo and goat cheese flat bread. This was our starter.

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Nadia ordered the picnic plate with the potato salad and cole slaw. This time, there was no confusion.

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I ordered the same thing as I did last time. I freely shared the sauerkraut with my friends. Sauerkraut’s going to have it’s day and Trader Joe’s will stock it. Only, they don’t carry it now. Trader Joe’s, how do you expect me to replicate this $$ experience on the cheap?

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Sharon ordered the butternut squash with Israeli couscous. Wonderful vegetarian option, but Sharon has a link.

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After dinner, before dessert, Sharon gave us some Dove’s chocolates. The insides of the wrappers were like fortune cookies.

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Mine said “Be Fearless” and “Smile Before You Go To Bed. You’ll Sleep Better.”

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Sharon’s read, “There’s a time for compromise. It’s called later.”

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Nadia’s read, “Send a love letter this week.”
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Dessert was lovely. Sharon, Nadia, and I all shared the carrot cake with lemon cream cheese icing.

While the food was great, the best part of the evening was being able to catch up with Sharon and Nadia. Happy Holidays, friends.

Confoundingly Fun Fondue

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There is never a dull moment whenever I hang out with Melodie. For her birthday, something completely unexpected happened – her chocolate fondue caught on fire!

Melodie was after an interactive kind of dining experience – one where the everyone was active participants in cooking the dinner, so something like the Turf Club or the Strip Club sounded good or even Benihana. Fondue fit the concept nicely, so Fondue Fusion & Bistro, formerly known as Forever Fondue, seemed like a perfect choice.

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Saturday night was her birthday, and a lot of Melodie’s friends showed up, including some mutual friends of ours Gema and Rob, also known as Downtown Rob. We know each other through Twitterville, but several of Melodie’s other friends know her through other contexts, such as work and yoga classes. I got to talk to some of them as I was seated at the other table.

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The owner obviously loves Picasso, as there were reproductions of his work on every wall. However, Gema found the display of a Guernica print very disquieting. Perhaps the owner didn’t think through the effects the painting may have had on the diners. However, the lack of thoughtfulness didn’t seem to end there.

The menu itself was bewildering, especially the fondue combinations. It took the waiter several times to explain to all of us how the combos (or All Inclusives, as they were called) worked, and even then we were all confused.

I found the booths to be very cramped, but I’m a very big guy. Thankfully, there were a few chairs at my table.

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To a minor digression from my mini-rant: Drink Porn. These martinis were very lovely.

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Rob wanted to get a signature shot of him holding a martini, so here it is. In the short time I’ve known him, I can tell lots of stories. He’s that colorful a person. He’s also very fun to party with, which is a source of all those stories.

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In spite of my earlier complaints, the food was actually very good. My newfound friend and I got to enjoy Queso Fiesta, which consisted of beer, Wisconsin Cheddar, and some jalepeños. There was plenty of sourdough bread, apples, and vegetables for dipping. Then there were the salads, which were satisfying, but were too much. Then, the main course, which consisted of meats and vegetables to be cooked in broth were delicious and easy to cook.

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Some more cheese fondue. Yum!

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Here is the birthday girl enjoying some of her fondue.

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While waiting for the broths to boil, it was was fun to watch the vegetable broth. With the vegetables swirling about, it looked as if there were tiny fish swimming around.

The dessert fondues were also wonderful. My neighbor and I ordered the same items for our inclusives, so we got a chocolate and Irish creme sauce. Melodie’s was simply a chocolate fondue. How it caught on fire I don’t know, but our friend Rich poured something on it to get it to burn brighter. It took a few clicks to get it right, but I finally wound up with the intense photo at the top of the entry.

Overall, a very good time was had by all despite whatever confusion occured. I even got a pleasant surprise in the end. In the tab shared by me and my neighbor, we expected to pay $37 each for our All Inclusive. We were only charged for one, so it was cheaper for both of us. After that, a few of us went out for drinks and karaoke.

Wasn’t Funny Then and It’s Still Not Funny

Every once in a while, people tell me I need to lighten up and get a sense of humor. I use to believe that, but the truth often is the person who says that is also the perpetrator of a joke that absolutely was not funny. A couple of months ago, someone I thought was a friend of mine made some hurtful jokes about me to me.

My friend Tamika‘s post on confrontation addresses how some bigger problems could have been averted if they were confronted sooner instead of later. I am on the other side of this issue since I’m not fond of confrontation (unpleasant business) and if I did confront someone right away, I wouldn’t be very nice. In this situation, I wanted to tell my friend to shut the fuck up or to go fuck himself when he was making those jokes. However, easier said than done.

We were doing one of those large turnout annual walk-runs that go to a good cause when this friend decided to make incessant jokes about my wieght. Several times on the route, he pointed to a group of bears and said I should join up with them. If that wasn’t enough, he went up to a mutual friend’s five year old son of a  and tried to get him to say that I was “curvaceous.” His mother was shocked and asked my friend what he was trying to do with her son. Fortunately for him, she didn’t bitch him out (which some parents would).

I know I would not have accomplished anything by going off on him, especially in front of someone and her children. I did say a few times that I wanted to kill him, but this came off more as a frustrated attempt to make a joke of dealing with it. Easier said than done, I could have told him to stop his jokes and that they weren’t funny. Instead, I waited to calm down so that I could peacefully confont him.

I chose to address the issue a week later when he called me on the phone. Despite calmly bringing up the issue, he was offended that I waited this long and then he lost his temper. He then tried to bring up an issue with me and went on about it until the conversation was over. By the time I hung up, I decided I didn’t want to talk to him at all.

I didn’t want to go through the hypocrisy of pretending all is OK, so I just avoided a whole group of people just so I I wouldn’t have to say hello and act chummy with him. I could have met them in the social context without acknowledging him but it took too much energy to do so. I wound up losing out because I avoided people who had nothing to do with my issues with him.

Sorry about the vagueness of the post. It would be easier to be more specific. Recently, I decided to stop avoiding the social context (which is more than social), and decided to make nice with the friend. He invited me out to coffee and the whole conversation was small talk, skirting the issues that drove us apart in the first place. Towards the end, I told him I thought I’d never talk to him again. When I detected this could have turned into a repeat of the phone conversation a month and half before, I thanked him for extending the olive branch. With that said and done, I’m not sure if I could ever hang out with him like we use to. I don’t want to be in a situation where he thinks he can be comfortable enough to insult me again.

My new boyfriend

As you may know, I have a new relationship in my life and it is with my iPhone. A friend mentioned in an e-mail that I have satisfied my Apple fetish for now. He has also said to a mutual friend of ours that this device is my new boyfriend. Oh god, what a high maintenance one it is.