Monday, January 28, 2008

Unusual Restaurant

Saturday night we set out to find some grub. The first few places we tried on Haight Street were crowded with long waits. Then we spotted a sign for Thai food. We figured that couldn't be too crowded, right? Well, it was packed but the ladies sat people very quickly.

This place was really something else. First, it is a converted second floor apartment. We sat in what would have been the dining room with a look into the living room and its fireplace (see below) and on the other side of the room we could see the kitchen. I was very amused by this set up.

Second, the staff was all about efficiency, tho often at the expense of accuracy. Brian's request for coffee was met with "that will take some time, you still want it?" We took it to mean, they'll brew to order and it'll be fresh and ready near the end of our meal. Apparently it meant "is tomorrow ok?"

It seems this is actually a neighborhood favorite. CitySearch reveals that people even find it romantic? That is one word I would not have used.

The food was at least decent, but I think it was all about the experience of an odd restaurant that mostly just pops up in big cities. A good way to start a Saturday night.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Half Moon Bay

Matt, Brian and I took advantage of the respite from the rain Saturday and drove down the coast to Half Moon Bay. After lunch at the brewery on the water, we continued South to the Ritz Carlton (apparantly the setting for American Wedding which is set in Michigan) and enjoyed a beer while overlooking the ocean and took a walk along the cliffs.


One fringe benefit of marrying a high school teacher is the low-cost entertainment. Over the course of the school year I try to join him at some of the after school activities. Friday night we enjoyed a very close Varsity basketball game between SHHS and their favorite rivals just a few blocks away. I have fun seeing the kids that Matt teaches and sitting among other faculty and a boatload of parents. The parents love seeing the teachers supporting the students and even recognize me and thank me for coming. It's a great feel-good way to start the weekend and of course, it was even better when SHHS won the game.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Aileen

Posting a few more pictures of Aileen from our trip East. These are from the real camera so they're a bit clearer & higher quality than all the iPhone pics.

How could anyone ever say no to this face?

Matt played a game with her, aptly named "Aileen in a Box". The rules are simple. Aileen gets in a box and sits. Matt pulls the box. Aileen squeals with joy, Matt gets out of breath. Aileen looks up with those eyes and says, "Again!"

The game has advanced a bit since I was that age. I think the game "Susan in the Laundry Basket" had fewer rules: Susan gets in the laundry basket. End game. I'm sure my parents or sister could remind me if there was more involved. My memory of that era is a little sparse.

(1/23) Update: According to my mom, I would sit in the laundry basket and read books.

Finally, I expect Aileen to excel at 52 Card Pickup, namely as the dealer. During both our visits to the house, this barrel of toys had been emptied 8-10 times. I suspect it's not Simone's favorite.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Matt's Birthday Party

We hosted our first party in the new home yesterday in honor of Matt's birthday. Many thanks to Brian for basically catering the affair. The food was a hit - including homemade meatball sandwiches served personally by Brian.

In addition to your basic mingling, most people participated in at least one game on the Wii. It's a normal experience to see Matt & Brian playing tennis (often with a beer in the other hand), but it was great to see 4 people lined up, Wiimotes flying.

Here we have Greg (left) and Kevin (right) watching as Mark, Matt, Brian and downstairs neighbor Chris battle it out in tennis.

Now Katie and Greg battle Hans and neighbor Heather.

Back to the usual suspects.

Spouses Heather & Kevin box.

Heather goes for a knock out punch.

It was unsuccessful and instead finds herself urging her Mii to get up, get up!

I step in to play the winner and get the most exercise I'd had all week. I think I apply the Tae Bo method and it really is not all that effective in the ring.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Woodard Family Weekend

Matt and I flew East Thursday to spend the weekend with his family and celebrate his grandmother's 90th birthday. We had a great time and enjoyed seeing everyone.

Niece Aileen turned on the charm and showed us how much she has grown. She is talkative and adorable as ever. My favorite talent of hers, which I tried in vain to catch on video, is when she demonstrates how frogs catch flies. I wonder if she knows that in 10-14 years she'd really be embarrassed by a home video on the Internets?

One of the first thing Matt does upon arrival at Simone & John's Thursday is start fiddling with electronics.
Toby & Steve made a fabulous meal Friday night for the family including Rudy, Gene & Steven.

Aileen proudly shows off one of her toys at Mana & Papa's.

Aileen gets hugs from her Mana and love from her Great Aunt Gene.Ice cream!!
Who needs toys when there are remote controls and other fun gadgets?

We are very excited for the Monahans when they welcome Aileen's baby brother or sister February 5th!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Munchkin in the House

Mara, Maureen and Mia came out to the Sunset for some good ol' Chinese takeout. Do I know how to wine and dine out of towners or what?

Mia has certainly changed since I saw her in September. Her age has doubled, she has seriously grown, she has more red hair and her eyes have started changing.

Franklin came out to sniff the car seat and Mia's hand, but he was uninterested overall. As usual, Matt captured Mia's attention and had her smiling and laughing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mara, Mia & Maureen

I took a quick detour on my way home yesterday to greet three generations of strawberry blondes. Mara is in town from Virginia for work and brought her mom to watch Mia. They're all a bit jet lagged; hopefully they'll be refreshed for dinner tonight.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Public Transit Crazies

The downside to living on such a convenient Muni line is we (ok, I) feel compelled to use it. For our weekend jaunt to NJ/CT our flights worked out better if we flew out of SFO and in to OAK. Unfortunately, that really required us to leave the car squeezed in the garage.

Our route home today included 30 minutes on BART with a schizophrenic Hispanic (or Italian?) man who alternated between near-sleep and shouting, and I mean top of his lungs screaming, in Spanish (Italian?) for a few minutes at a time. He reminded me a little of Jerry Stiller as George's dad in Seinfeld, only louder.

To make the BART trip more interesting, a pair of men boarded and continued their enthusiastic entrepreneurial discussion full of profanity. Most intriguing.

And finally, making the trip super memorable, the Muni train broke less than half way home. We were kicked off, walked to the next stop and had to wait for our train to get out of the road and for the next to arrive.

Lessons learned? a) book flights in/out of the same airport or b) make SuperShuttle our new best friend.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

We spent New Year's Eve this year at a comedy club with friends Mike and Anne. We had a great dinner at an Italian place in North Beach (that's basically the only option there) then got in line for the show.

This is said line. We managed to get in line right behind a cigar smoking little man. Joy!Making the best of the time and "fresh" air.
After we rounded the first corner: This band was just playing on the street in their truck (I'm guessing used U-haul). It made the wait a little more interesting and as a bonus, provided the comics with some fodder for their acts.
Matt is ready to ring in the new year.
Sporting my tiara. The Club had hats & tiaras on all the tables and even came gave each table a bottle of champagne (surprisingly not part of the two drink minimum).
Had to capture Mike with his tiara. Matt was hoping I'd catch him mid-jump; I think Mike is holding him down.