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A Day in the Life

I’ve got IT going on… I guess

Just the other day I was recounting the story of how I was being hit on by another man in, no, not San Francisco, but Denver. I couldn’t remember many of the details of the story, but today I happened to stumble upon something I had written about the event back in January, 2007. I thought I would post it here for the entertainment of my readers.

——-

This would be a fantastic people watching story… unfortunately, in this tale, I was the one being watched. This takes place at the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, CO on December 28, 2006. I was in Denver visiting my dad just after Christmas and I happened to receive a wine opener kit from him. As luck would have it, though, I already had one, so I decided to return it to Sur La Table, from whence it had come.

So, my sister, dad, dad’s wife and I piled into the car and headed to the mall to make the return. When we arrived at the store, I walked up to the counter, placed the Rabbit Wine Kit on the counter and told the clerk that I wanted to return the item which I had received as a gift. When the clerk started speaking to me, it was quite obvious that he was gay. Now, I don’t much care for stereotypes, but the plain and simple fact of the matter is that some are true, and the mannerisms, speach patterns and demeanor of this particular sales clerk fit the classic mold of the gay man. In the past, I’ve never felt uncomfortable talking with gay men. In fact, I’ve had many gay friends… but this guy was different… this guy was hitting on me.

It all started innocently enough. He asked to see my ID for the return. No problem, I handed it over. He looked at it.

“California, I see,” he said, noticing, I imagine, that my ID says “CALIFORNIA” across the top.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Oh! San Francisco,” he exclaimed, “that’s a great city.”
“Yes, it is,” I answered.
He smiled, gave what I perceived to be a wink and then asked, “Can you take me home with you?”

OK, seriously, what am I supposed to say to that? I can’t say “NO” without seeming really rude and I can’t very well say “SURE WHY NOT” or “WISH I COULD” without making him think that his flirtations are welcome. Instead, I just opted to give a light chuckle and say nothing in response. Apparently this wasn’t enough of a cue to get him to stop trying to pick me up. He continued to talk about how much he loved San Francisco, and how much he wished he could live there, and how he often thought about how he could transfer from the Sur La Table in Denver to one in San Francisco. All the while he kept asking me questions about where I lived, where I worked, what I liked to do, how long I had been in San Francisco, where I like to go out, and so on. At one point my sister, seeing what was going on, came over and stood next to me, but after about 30 seconds she had to leave because she found it too difficult to keep a straight face. This guy was obviously & unabashedly flirting with me. Slightly annoyed with the whole affair, and really just wanting to get my gift card and get out of there, I glanced around and noticed that I was being spied on from several vantage points within the store – my dad from near the front of the store, my dad’s wife, Betty, from behind me, and my sister through a product display case off to the side. They were all in hysterics over this situation.

I’m not sure if I should have flattered, but I was mostly annoyed. After the whole thing was over, Betty kept on for the entire day about how I “still had it,” whatever “it” is. I opined that it wasn’t terribly great to have “it” when “it” was only useful with other men, but that apparently I was just in high demand.

Oh well, maybe someday “it” will be truly useful again.

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I was in the United States Submarines!

Living in the SF Bay Area, I see a lot of interesting people – pretty much everybody in San Francisco has something interesting about them. I could probably make a living writing blog entries with all the great content people in this geographic region provide for me.

As is my usual custom while walking to work, I stopped for a cup of coffee and a muffin near the office. In the few minutes that I was in the ING Direct Cafe, a homeless man that I see frequently around the city showed up on the sidewalk. Not a big deal – he’s always been very friendly and has frequently commented on how well I dress (especially when I’m wearing a tie, which I’m not today). But today, he was a little different.

Now, it isn’t unusual to see homeless people acting a little, how can I be delicate… strange (?) in this city, so it doesn’t shock me when I see odd-ball behavior; however, I have never seen this particular homeless man talk to himself or yell at (seemingly) nothing. Not so today. As I was walking up the sidewalk towards him – his back toward me – I heard him start to yell. What was this about, I wondered? As I came closer, I could see that he wasn’t yelling completely randomly. He was standing only inches away from a parking meter and was yelling at it furiously, as if it were a human being.

“Are you listening to me?? I was in the United States Submarines, do you hear me? Answer me!!”

Clearly to his dismay, the parking meter did not answer and the homeless man became even more enraged by this defiance. He saluted (I’m not making this up) the parking meter. The parking meter did not return his salute.

“Is that all you have? I was a Submarine! We played a huge role in the United State Defense Attorneys!”

The parking meter was unimpressed. At this, the homeless man huffed and puffed, storming around in circles on the sidewalk, devastated that this parking meter was refusing to recognize the significant contribution that he had made to the US Defense Attorneys as a Submarine. The last thing I saw (and heard) as I turned the corner to head to my building was the man now yelling at a wall. I guess he’d heard that the walls have ears.

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Where are they now?

Friends from Notre Dame

Dinner & A Movie Night

This is actually rather embarrassing, but today, quite by accident, I discovered that I had a scanner at home. Apparently a printer that I got for free with the purchase of a computer a couple years ago was an all-in-one unit, something I had apparently been entirely oblivious to until today. I can’t tell you the number of times that I wished I had a scanner in my house. I’ve been carting the most important things that I want scanned to my office and doing it there.

Other things that aren’t so urgent, though, have been put on hold. For instance, I have a huge box of photos in my closet that’s just been sitting there for the past five years. I’ve often thought about how I would like to scan at least some of them so that I could preserve them digitally, but the obstacle – however small – of getting the photos and a scanner together in the same place at the same time has prevented me from doing anything about it. Until today.

Immediately upon discovering the (well concealed) scanner on my Canon printer, I grabbed a small envelope of old photos from the box in the closet and looked through them. How this particular assortment of photos ended up together I’m not entirely certain, but among them were several photos from a dinner and a movie night that one of my friends hosted, with full permission, while house sitting for someone while we were all students at Notre Dame in March, 2002. As I was looking at these photos, I realized just how different life was ten years ago. I had just turned 20 years old and I had still never had a serious girlfriend. Sure I’d been on dates, but I wasn’t really much for dating in high school, and pretty much only had a date for things like Prom. I was studying finance and film and I planned to pursue a career as a film Producer. I hadn’t yet traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Thailand, Japan, China, India, Kenya, Spain, Ireland, or Scotland. I hadn’t yet met Adam Fairholm, so it certainly hadn’t entered my mind that I would one day be running a San Francisco-based tech business with him. Imagine how little each of us knew about the future of our lives that night. As we gathered to eat dinner (tacos) and watch a movie (Annie Hall, if memory serves) on that March evening, I doubt any of us was thinking about what we would be doing on February 21, 2012. I certainly wouldn’t have said that I’d be sitting in a Palo Alto Starbucks writing about that night.

So what did all of these people get up to, and where are they now? With the exception of two people in this photograph, I’ve actually seen everyone pictured at least twice since we graduated in May, 2004, and some of them I’ve actually kept in touch with pretty regularly. So, here’s what I know.

DongHyup - Dong was one of my closest friends at Notre Dame, and we’ve traveled somewhat extensively together. Domestically, we’ve been in New York, California, Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Utah. Internationally, we’ve traveled to Korea, Thailand, Japan, and Australia. Not quite three years ago, Dong returned to his native Korea to fulfill his obligatory military service. He had a strong fashion sense, so I always pictured Dong completing his military service in Prada boots with a custom tailored Burberry uniform. I don’t think it was quite like that. In fact, early in his military service he was a tank driver – a mental image that I still think of with a smile. After that, though, word of his skill in the kitchen had apparently gotten out and he was assigned as the private breakfast chef to the General. He recently completed his military service and is now living in Seoul working for a major Korean technology manufacturer – the company that manufactured my cell phone, actually. We have stayed in touch regularly during the 8 years since graduation and the next time I’m in Korea, I will almost certainly see him.

Matt – Matt is one of the two people in this photo that I’ve neither seen nor heard from since graduation. Matt was roommates with Johnny (see below) during our senior year, but I more or less lost track of him after that. I heard that he went to medical school, but that’s where my knowledge ends. It seems that even Facebook and LinkedIn can’t answer the question of “Where is Matt now?”

Suzanne – Suzanne, Karrie, and Laura were all roommates when this photo was taken. Of the three of them, Suzanne is the one with whom I’ve had the most interaction since graduation. During a particularly stormy winter in Denver, Suzanne came and stayed at my dad’s house for a night while I was visiting for the New Year since the roads were closed to her home in Vale. Several years after graduation, Suzanne got married to another Notre Dame grad, Mike. I attended their wedding in Omaha, NE. Mike and Suz have been to visit me in San Francisco twice, and I’ve also been to visit them in Denver, CO several times. Mike and Suz spent nearly a year traveling through South America in 2010-2011, and I had hoped to visit them there, but it never materialized. They are now back living in the Denver area and Suzanne is working at an elementary school. I actually just had them over to dinner at my dad’s house while I was there in January of this year.

Johnny – Johnny and I were roommates at the time time this photo was taken, and of everyone in this photo, Johnny is the person with whom I have most recently spoken on the phone. Our last conversation was just yesterday, in fact. Immediately after graduation, Johnny, Dong, and I all traveled to Korea together to celebrate. It was Johnny’s first, but certainly not last, trip to the Asian peninsula. After graduating from Notre Dame, Johnny went to Harvard Law School, where I had the chance to visit him one time during a trip to New York. It was my first visit to Cambridge, MA, and a very memorable one for several reasons. First, I discovered that Cambridge Commons has an amazing selection of beers on tap and also fries up a mean batch of Tater Tots. I also had the chance to attend a student Mass, a story which Johnny can relate to you if you’re ever fortunate enough to meet him. After graduating from Harvard, Johnny went on to work for a prestigious law firm in New York City, and I was able to visit him there during his tenure, as well. At that time, he was living near the East Village, in close proximity to one of the intersections where we shot scenes for Across the Universe during my stint in the Hollywood film industry. In 2009, after a couple years of corporate law, Johnny received an offer to teach law at Seoul National University, an opportunity that he jumped on. It’s not difficult to convince me to travel (have you learned that about me yet?) and within the first few months of his time in Korea I was already back over there to visit him for a week. We discovered an amazing bar – TV Bar – which, sadly, has since closed. When I last spoke to him yesterday, I learned that Johnny is now married. He told me in December that this was a likely development, but it was a surprise to learn that it had already happened – it was done without pomp and circumstance in New Haven, CT, a few weeks ago. I hear rumor that there may be a larger ceremony in the works in Korea (he met his bride there), and, surprise, surprise, I’ll make every effort to attend should that happen. He is still technically employed by SNU, though it sounds as if he’ll be returning to the United States this year and return to the legal practice in New York.

Karrie - I last saw Karrie at Mike and Suzanne’s wedding, but prior to that I had actually seen her in San Francisco when she stayed one night on my futon during a drive up to the Seattle area. She came with her dog, Jacc (named for the building at ND’s campus), and it was nice to catch up with her. Karrie was a pilot with the Navy and spent a good deal of her time on air craft carriers around the world. Apparently she is now living in Texas and, like I just did, she is preparing to celebrate her 30th birthday in March.

Laura – Laura and I met through a mutual friend, Nicole, and it was actually because of Laura that I ended up meeting both Karrie and Suzanne. We were both studying film and would end up working together at the student television station that I started with a small group, NDtv. Laura and I would also later date, an experience that was, if nothing else, transformational for both of us. After graduation, Laura joined the ACE program and went to teach in Pensacola, FL. After that ended, she began to work as a Campus Minister in New York, a job that she had the last time I saw her at Mike and Suzanne’s wedding. That was the first time I had seen her since graduation and it was a perfectly sociable reunion. I would end up seeing her one more time in New York during a visit out there – the same one where I visited Johnny in the East Village – but I haven’t been in touch with her since. The last I heard, she was no longer working in Campus Ministry, but was now working at her high school Alma Mater.

Lance - Read all the entries of this blog to learn what happened to this guy.

Diana – Diana is the only other person, apart from Matt, that I’ve completely lost track of. Since Johnny and Matt had been roommates, I at least had the Johnny connection to keep me somewhat more informed about his whereabouts, but Diana has, sadly, slipped away entirely, it seems. If the Alumni directory is to be trusted, at least as of 2009, she was living on the East Coast, but more than that I don’t know.

Eight people in this photo, and eight vastly different stories. Some of us have flown planes, others have flown tens-of-thousands of miles in planes. Some have worked on movies & TV sets, others have watched movies & TV. We’ve turned into doctors, teachers, architects, entrepreneurs, business executives, husbands, and wives. I feel so lucky to have had such good friends 10 years ago, and even luckier that I’ve managed to stay in touch with at least some of them to the present day. I wonder which picture from this year I’ll look at in in 2022 and think, “wow, life was so different back then.”

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Chilkoot Trail Here I Come!

Manor Avenue House

Our House on Manor Avenue

It’s funny how quickly things can change over the course of only ten days. Ten days ago I posted a list of things that I wanted to accomplish in my thirties. On that list was to return to Alaska for the first time since the fifth grade. My family lived in Alaska for one year when I was in the fifth grade and I really loved living there. I remember the address of the house we lived in: 4366 Manor Avenue, Juneau, AK 99801. I even remember the phone number we had: (907) 789-1235. (This phone number is now assigned to the Association for the Education of Young Children – Southeast Alaska, apparently.) I have a lot of fond memories of my time in Alaska: Bullwinkle’s Pizza, getting picked up from school by a limo on my birthday, family outings to Fred Meyer, wandering in the woods, visits to Mendenhall Glacier, accidentally bringing down the computer system of a global mining company, my first experience of a BBS, and having a huge crush on my fifth grade teacher.

Mendenhall Glacier

A few weeks ago my friend Mike Liliedahl asked if I wanted to hike the Chilkoot Trail with him from Alaska into Canada over the summer and I was really looking forward to it. We were going to start in Juneau with his brother’s wedding and then head up to Skagway to begin the journey. By the time I posted my list, though, it sounded as if that wasn’t going to be able to happen, after all. But, a few days later I got word that Chilkoot was back on, and now here I am only 10 days into my 30s and I’ve already booked the plane ticket to Juneau, we’ve purchased the passes, and we’re scheduled to summit the Chilkoot Pass on July 26, 2012. Now that the trip has gone from the conceptual stage to the “this is actually going to happen” stage, I find myself both excited and a little nervous. I love hiking – I grew up hiking in the Rockies and I’ve done plenty of hiking in California, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and elsewhere. That said, though, this will be my longest hike – 33 miles – and the first time that I’m hiking with camping gear.

Elevation Profile for the Chilkoot TrailAdd to that this slightly daunting elevation profile and you’ve got the makings of a truly challenging journey. On the first day we’ll be hiking to Sheep Camp. We’ll overnight there and then undertake the bulk of the vertical climb on Day 2 as we cross the border into Canada and end up at Happy Camp. On that Day we’ll climb over 2,000 vertical feet into a high alpine ecosystem. Despite the long days, I’ve heard that even experienced hikers have been known not to make Happy Camp. Day 3 will take us to Bare Loon and Day 4 should be a breeze, landing us in Bennett, BC.

It looks like I’ve got some training to do! Thankfully, I’m currently training for a 10K trail run in Napa that will include 700 feet of vertical climb in the first 2-miles, so I’ve already started a portion of the training for an ascent. The elevation, itself, should also be manageable. After all, I grew up in the high desert, so 3,500 feet should pose no problem. So, it seems that I’m already starting the check things off my list. So far, the 30s are treating me pretty well.

Categories: A Day in the Life, General | 2 Comments

Learn Korean

Learn Korean at IICLast night I was out at a Karaoke Lounge call Do Re Mi for a friend’s birthday party. It seems that, for some reason, karaoke lounges are a huge deal in east Asian culture and this particular one, despite being in Japantown, is actually a Korean music studio. Ever since college, I’ve had a fascination with all things Korean, primarily due to the fact that I had some very good Korean friends while studying at Notre Dame. I’ve already visited Korea three times, and I’m considering another trip later this year. As I noted in my post on Entering the Fourth Decade, I want to learn a new language and Korean is one of the languages I’m really interested. So when I walked out of our karaoke room after four sweet hours of karaoke goodness and saw this sign for “Korean Classes at IIC,” I was very excited.

San Francisco is a city with many things, but one thing that I had never really seen before was a good Korean class. I’ve actually looked for them before, and I have found several language programs that claim to offer Korean classes, but they are four or six week courses that meet only once a week and offer only introductory lessons. I already know a tiny amount of Korean, enough to say hello, order food, and generally confuse Koreans, so a single four week class where you would learn to say hello, order food, and generally confuse Koreans wasn’t what I was looking for. It turns out, though, that IIC offers seven different levels of Korean which meet for an entire semester. Unfortunately, I’ve missed the chance to register for the Spring, 2012, semester, but now that I know this opportunity exists, I might finally be able to learn the language. Now if only I could find an actual use for speaking Korean.

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Szechuan Tofu with Green Beans

Last week I bought some spices for a Szechuan pork dish that I was creating and I decided to put those to use in this vegan friendly dish for lunch today.

Ingredients

  • 14 oz extra firm organic tofu
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp hot broad bean paste
  • 1 Tbsp ground chili paste
  • 2 Tbsp chili oil, divided
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fresh ground ginger root to taste
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/8 cup cold water

Drain tofu and cut into 1/2″ pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup soy sauce, bean paste, and chili paste. Drain any excess water from the tofu bowl. Add hot sauce blend to tofu and stir gently to coat. Cover and let sit 30 minutes.

After tofu has marinated, heat half of the chili oil in a large frying pan at medium to medium-high heat. After oil is heated, spread tofu evenly in the pan and allow to cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, place the green beans in the tofu marinating bowl and stir to collect any remaining hot sauce. After 2 minutes, gently turn the tofu and allow to cook undisturbed an additional 3 minutes. Remove tofu from pan and set aside. Without rinsing, add remaining tablespoon of chili oil to the pan. Add onion and saute over medium heat until tender. Add garlic, ginger, and beans and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add warm water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and let cook until the beans begin to feel slightly tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small dish make a slurry with corn starch, the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, and cold water. After the beans are cooked, uncover and allow liquid to reduce, if necessary, to a quarter of the original liquid. Add slurry to the pan and stir moderately until the sauce thickens. Add tofu back to the pan and mix in gently. Allow tofu to heat thoroughly, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Serve over brown rice.

Categories: A Day in the Life, Food | 1 Comment

A Year in Review – 2011

At the end of each year, I like to look back at the things have happened – a retrospective of sorts. I haven’t always been completely diligent about doing it, though a few of my previous attempts are available for your perusal: 2006, 2007, 2010. We’re already a little more than 6 weeks into 2012, but I still feel like 2011 is recent enough to take a look back and see exactly what happened.

2011 was a transformative year for me in multiple regards. It was a great year for business, friendships, travel, and personal health. Here is a summary of my year in 2011:

  • I attended a “bar-warming” party at the home of my friends Ryan and Caitlin (1/8/11)
  • I joined the ranks of Godfather when Emily Mia was baptized (2/19/11)
  • For Lent I gave up the elevator in my apartment building, a decision that would indirectly lead to me losing about 50 pounds by the end of the year (3/9/11)
  • The earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan put the Pacific Coast of California on Tsunami Watch (3/11/11)
  • My friends Trish & Jamie welcomed Siena Frances Beckman into the world (4/10/11)
  • New Orleans beckoned when Adam and I were selected to present at the National Catholic Educational Association conference and I had the good fortune of being able to visit my friend Hans there, too (4/26-29/11)
  • I made my own marshmallow for the first (and still only) time (4/30/11)
  • I visited the State of Tennessee for the first time on a business trip (6/1-3/11)
  • I visited the State of Tennessee for the second time for the crazy purpose of taking a girl out on a date for her birthday; at least I got to see Graceland on that trip (6/23-28/11)
  • Mike and Saribel got married at Mission Santa Clara; I smoked my first-ever cigar at Mike’s bachelor party (6/5/11)
  • A dear friend, Kane Hardenstein, passed away after a tragic swimming accident in April that left her in a coma for over two months (7/4/11)
  • World Youth Day was in Madrid, Spain, and I got to go shoot video interviews with really cool people (8/16-23/11)
  • New Hampshire and Vermont got checked off my list of States to visit, though my plans in Vermont had to be changed at the last minute because of the terrible flooding they experienced (September)
  • Jesse and Christine got married in Newport, RI, and on that trip I bought a case of wine from Newport Vineyards (9/4/11)
  • My car was broken into in my garage, causing a delay in my departure for a wine tasting trip to Napa (9/18/11)
  • 8 people from Germany, France, and Belgium stayed with me as part of the Couch Surfing project (October)
  • I was a judge at Cupcake Camp; I had to jump start the car of one of the contestants afterwards, too (10/23/11)
  • My friends Binh and Nina got married (10/29/11)
  • I ran in my first-ever “competitive” race, the Triangle Expressway 5K in North Carolina (11/20/11)
  • I hosted a dinner party that started at 6 p.m. and didn’t end until 5:30 a.m. the next morning – it was truly epic (12/10-11/11)
  • I flew approximately 40,262 miles
  • The dinner club I started in 2010 gathered to enjoy seven amazing meals; together we shared about 40 different wines and at least as many exciting culinary experiments, including Seafood, Citrus Salad, Blue Cheese Ice Cream, Grill Roasted Duck, and Croatian Soup

While there were some difficulties during the year, overall, 2011 was a really fantastic year and I am very grateful for all of the experiences that I had. I’m looking forward to an amazing 2012, as well!

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Entering the Fourth Decade

Today marks my 30th birthday, and so I enter into my fourth decade of life. I have to say, my first 30 years have been pretty amazing. When I reflect back on the things I have accomplished and the places I have been, I am truly grateful for all of the opportunities that have been made available to me. It hasn’t been a cake walk, but I have been a very fortunate individual. I have been blessed with an amazing family, good friends, good food, WINE, a fantastic education, and a magnificent world to explore.

Looking back on my life, I realize that there are still a lot of things that I want to accomplish. While I’ve never been one to pay much attention to my age – each individual day is much like the one before it – in the past few days I’ve been thinking a lot about things that I would like to do in the next 10 years of life. Here are some of the goals that I’ve set for my 30s.

Read more »

Categories: A Day in the Life, Faith | 4 Comments

Memories Fill Up My Mind

As I was going through some of my piano music yesterday, I ran across a copy of the hand-written sheet music for a song called “In Memory” by Erin Farley. This song is more commonly known as the “Theatre School Song,” and was the Alma Mater, of sorts, for the Theatre School for Youth (TSFY) program of which I was a part for about 13 years. TSFY was an after school and summer drama program for pre-teens and teens at the University of Utah.

I started in the after school program. My memory isn’t perfect, but I have a vague recollection that the after school program took place on Wednesdays Once a week during the school year, my mom would drive me from my elementary school in the city of Bountiful to the West Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. After a year (or so) of the after school program, I also started in the summer program, which was a four-week intensive program. Classes were held M-F for each of the four weeks, and the summer culminated with the performance of short scenes (all ages) and musical numbers (teen program only) by the various Scene and Musical Theatre groups.

I don’t remember everything about my time in the TSFY program, but there are definitely many things about the program that I do remember. Each year there was a new T-Shirt that all of the students received and had to wear. I remember each summer one of the first things my mom would do after I got my shirts would be to take me to a fabric / clothing store at Five Points Mall (a mall which no longer exists) where we would pick out iron-on letters in order to apply my name to the back of the shirts. I’m pretty sure that all of those shirts are still somewhere at my mom’s house.

I also remember that every morning during the summer program when we arrived at the school, we had to sign up for where we were going to eat lunch. There were many options, including Subway, B&D Burgers, 7-11, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Chop Suey Louie’s, the lawn (sack lunches), The Pie (until a student tried to light a table on fire), and the distance Student Union. By far my most frequented lunch spot has to have been Chop Suey Louie’s. They had excellent lunch deals, and I would almost always get the Sweet & Sour Pork or General Tso’s Chicken when they were available as the Special of the Day.
The classes, themselves, varied greatly. I took classes in acting, singing, dancing, accents, theatrical makeup, magic, comedy, improv, writing, directing, tech, and more. I attribute my current skills with performance and public speaking, in large part, to the TSFY program. After 13 years, getting up in front of an audience was no big deal for me.

My biggest regret, though, is that my memory of the program is tied so closely with what happened there, and not as closely to the people. Reflecting back, I have forgotten the vast majority of people that I knew in the program. Some I remember mainly because they ended up in high school with me, while others are but shadows in my mind, or lost to my memory forever. As I was playing the song on my piano this morning, I realized just how true the song was. OK, the lyrics are kind of cheesy, but the song is authentic, and I still love it. The TSFY program still exists, and I wonder if they still use this song, or if it, like the people running the program, has changed.

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2010, What?

Dear Loyal Readers,
OK… Who am I kidding? I don’t have loyal readers anymore. While it may be true that two people used to read this blog with (some) regularity, it seems evident that nobody is reading this anymore. Why? Well, one big reason: I haven’t given people anything TO read. The observant among you may notice that I posted nothing to this blog during the entire calendar year of 2010. It’s almost as if 2010 never existed in my world. And, in a way, it didn’t.

You see, in the last quarter of 2009, I was put into a deep freeze. Kind of like Woody Allen in the movie Sleeper, except that I wasn’t forgotten for 200 years. I was re-awakened just a few days ago, and I’m trying to get myself settled back into this strange world.

A lot has happened since September 23, 2009:

  • My employment at UC Berkeley was terminated (10/1/09)
  • I “lived” in Australia for two months (10/10 – 12/10/2009)
  • My friends Trish and Jamie were married in San Francisco, CA (12/12/09)
  • I started a regular food and wine paring dinner group (six dinners in 2010)
  • We bade my friend Heather adieu on her way to Korea (1/28/10)
  • I took a safari to Kenya with my sister (February, 2010)
  • My friend Johnny visited from Korea (April, 2010)
  • I was invited to (and attended) a “Mindful Dinner,” with a guest list intended to include only fascinating people (4/24/10)
  • I helped my sister buy a house in North Carolina
  • My friends Lauren and Chris were married in Atlanta, GA (5/14/10)
  • My sister got her M.D. from the University of Utah (5/22/10)
  • Flight of the Conchords in Concert in Berkeley, CA (5/28/10)
  • My fish, Sophocles, died, saddening many (6/5/10)
  • Mike and Suz visited San Francisco on a vacation from their year-long vacation in South America (July, 2010)
  • I hosted a “sweet” Dessert Party (8/14/10)
  • I participated in habitat restoration in the Presidio (9/4/10)
  • I was introduced to the Old Fashioned Cocktail – life will never be the same
  • My friends Ryan and Caitlin were married in Notre Dame, IN (10/2/10)
  • My cousin Jessica visited me in San Francisco (October, 2010)
  • I attended one of the best Baptisms ever (11/20/10)
  • I visited Texas for the first time (December, 2010)
  • Babies were born to: Amy & Frank (Toby, 9/29/10); Elia & Emilio (Emily, 12/16/10); Leilani & Shane (Gabriel, 12/24/10); and Melissa & Scott (Michael, 12/24/10)
  • My friend Joe Scaroni passed away unexpectedly (12/26/10)
  • I flew 35,332 miles with the Star Alliance (2010 calendar year)
  • I flew 11,662 miles with Sky Team (2010 calendar year)
  • I spent my first New Year’s Eve in San Francisco (12/31/10)
  • So much more…

As you can see, life was busy. As such, I hope that you won’t hold it against me for too long that I’ve kept you all waiting with bated breath. I can’t promise much more for 2011, but we’ll see. Until next time!

Categories: A Day in the Life, General | Comments Off