2006.06.17

The haberdasher’s wife

Vox (the new project from the folks behind TypePad, Moveable Type and LiveJournal) looks really neat, to the point that I think I would move over there on a trial basis if I ever got the ability to post. Not that I’ve done a very good job here! But I’m a sucker for new toys.


Finished Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World — read the last page over a plate of homemade loco moco, yum — and as the unnamed stranger who bought me the book noted, it is a hell of a novel. Thank you!


Off to China for three weeks very, very soon. I hear the weather is awful this time of year! Fretting over packing.


2006.04.09

Tiptoeing on glass

In Boston, and sick, dog sick, a miserable, all-too-familiar stomach sick. Usually I’m spared a day, a few hours, of peaceful vacationing before it pounces on me like an attention-starved cat — but not this time. I blame airplanes: the filthy, filthy beasts. It’s being stuck in a tin can for five hours breathing stale air infested with who knows how many strains of thisitis or thatococcus — a ripe agar, these modern comforts.

So I am up & unhappily awake. Elaine Pagels is on television, talking about the Gospel of Judas, which at least is good and fascinating. Half of this National Geographic special is a refresher class after reading The Gnostic Gospels, but I eat this stuff up (and am not presently in any condition to consume much else). Beyond Belief is in my travel case, though I cannot justify starting a book at this hour. Hopefully my body will settle down and I can get some rest, and just in time to travel again, too.

I like traveling. It’s the getting there I hate — which is, more or less, the story of my life.


2005.09.02

Umm, dude.

Forget cheesesteaks! There’s a Chick-fil-A here!


2005.09.01

The city of

Yes, secret message lovers, I will be in Philly (for the first time ever!) tomorrow, but sadly, it’s only for forty minutes and will probably be spent running in between gates, so it won’t be the most exciting nor culturally fulfilling visit ever — but hmm, can a hungry traveler grab a cheesesteak to go in the terminal?


I don’t know who’s been spreading rumors, but no, I’m definitely not getting married this weekend*. This probably has to do with people getting me confused with Miranda (which seems to happen a lot, oddly enough), but this happy news belongs to her, and lovely, joyous occassion indeed — mazel tov & much love, you two!

* I am, however, very amused.

2005.06.06

Not-here

[Stuck]

A wall of rain and fire to the west means I’m still stuck in New York for now — well, not stuck in New York, exactly, which would be just fine, but in the limbo that is the airport. Airports are places you’re either going-to or coming-from. There’s no such thing as being at an airport. The air is muggy and oppressive.

Sitting in a wet-hot plane for three hours on the runway, or in the wet-hot terminal, neither much of a choice — nor is spending the night at La Guardia or O’Hare. At this point I just want to feel Seattle’s cool embrace and the warmth of home. Leftovers and reruns and chores and sleep. I’d even like to be at work again.

I. Want. Destination.

In the meantime I’ve plenty of reading to chew through. Just finished A. S. Byatt’s Little Black Book of Stories, some of which left me cold but “A Stone Woman” and “The Pink Ribbon” were both affecting. The weaker stories suffer from truncation, or too much cleverness; all beautifully-written, of course. I’d forgotten how she dances in description, her joy in lists and catalogues. Also, have started A Wild Sheep Chase, which will hopefully last me until I’ve no more need of words.

I might have read three books in the whole of 2004, and twice that just in the past month. It’s like slipping into a favorite pair of shoes, familiar and well-worn.

Update, Tuesday a.m. — in Chicago. They say we can leave within the hour. Fingers crossed.

So tired.

Update, Tuesday p.m. — home!!


2005.06.04

Central Park West

[Found mirror project 1]

Whirlwind day in Manhattan, browsing the sample sale at Triple Five Soul, shopping at Lush, H&M, and tons of cute little kitsch shops, ooh-ing at Origins’ fab new Modern Friction dermabrasion rub but backing away a little at the price. Also: nibbles at Jaya Malaysian, Woorijip and Le Pain Quotidien with Miranda and Lia (rockstar!), and finally meeting Jarvis and Samson, adorable fuzzballs — all while fighting off jet-lag.

Lots of fun, but tired tired tired.

Okay, breathe, Yuki, get some sleep. You’ve a train to catch in the morning.


2002.09.09

Royale with cheese

Contrary to popular expectations, there is a Quarter Pounder with cheese sandwich served in McDonald’s restaurants in Egypt. The odd thing is that right next to it on the menu is a completely different sandwich called a McRoyale (to all intents and purposes, equivalent to the not-so-accurately monikered “Big ‘n’ Tasty”). For a second, I almost considered ordering it, but the resemblance was too great.

Now, one could ask (and quite rightly) why an American traveling abroad would choose to sup at that most American of establishments, especially in the middle of a huge cultural and commercial area like Midan Tahrir. First: yes, it’s truly and excessively sad, but I do enjoy springboarding a conversation with ridiculous situations like that. More importantly, I actually find foreign versions of familiar things to be really fascinating and possibly more exotic than the authentic cuisine of a region.

For instance, say you’re in London and you’re confronted with the choice between a dead-to-rights vindaloo (available at who-knows-how-many fine Indian restaurants in any decent-sized U.S. metropolis) and a Lamb McCurry burger from the golden arches.

“A-ha!” you exclaim. “Presented that way, obviously the latter!”

No? Ah, fine.

Though it’s certainly how I chose, I’ll admit that that may not have been the most appetizing example. At any rate, you’re never going to find a McChicken Korma on this side of the Pond, or a kimchi & bulgogi pie in an States-side Pizza Hut. Given the chance, I’ve tried them all — even the Burger King bean burger (a lot tastier than it looked!).

On this night, however, it was not to be. As exotic experiences go, this Cairene McDonald’s was a giant letdown; aside from the aforementioned McRoyale, there was nothing even remotely strange on the menu. Alas, B. was tired and didn’t have the energy to find another restaurant, so there, in the shadow of the pyramids, I dined on a Big Mac and fries.

I blame Quentin Tarantino.



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