San Francisco, 2009

Work took me to SF for a few days, and I stopped off in Louisville on my way there.

Fri Mar 6/09

Took the T to work, actually getting there in about an hour. Had a frustrating day, running madly to stay in place. Ducked out to get a half sandwich and a cup of soup for lunch. American Airlines called to offer me a direct flight home, but I was too stressed to figure out how I could charge the $50 so I turned it down. Tried to package up a binary so the guys at Stanford could test something, it finally finished at 4 and I got word where I could put it, so I was late out the door. Took just over an hour to get to Logan, but early check in plus a light security line meant I was nice and early at my gate. Read lots, and on the flight to Chicago, and in Chicago. Found a nice tea kiosk and had a mango smootea. Thought I spotted someone we'd been stuck in Atlanta with, but was too out of it to be sure. Good weather for once and we were actually early into Louisville. I was wiped out, and crashed after having some toast.

Sat Mar 7/09

Glorious weather. Timly made blueberry pancakes and then we went walking along the Ohio river. Ran into two people walking their cute dog, from the band More Machine than Man, and we chatted for a while. Then drove out to the Highlands and ate at Molly Malone's. Very green pasta with basil pesto. Walked around there, popping into Ear-X-tasy (found a used Wumpscut CD), and something books and music. The sun was bright enough that we both ended up getting minor sunburns. Back out for dinner, at a Bistro near where we'd been that afternoon, then walked down the road for handmade ice cream (skipping the pie).

Sun Mar 8/09

Phone alarms went off at 8am, taking into account the time change. Had enough time to eat and pack and shower and get to the airport w/o rushing. Fast check in but bit of a line at security as they only had two x-ray machines going. Got to the gate and no updates about the obvious delay until it was the actual departure time. Chicago was buried under thunderstorms, we were about an hour late, with the threat of diverting as we held over Champange-Urbana. But we got down onto the ground and I had less of a layover to kill. We boarded on time for SFO, but held on the gate as lighting strikes scared the crew back inside. I had a pair of seats to myself, read across the country but gazed out at the mountains once we hit the Rockies. Had grabbed another mango smootea and an earl grey latte and a flatbread for lunch, and some trail mix and water for a snack as they only offered a limited number of sandwiches on the plane, no movie either. Flight felt interminable, I couldn't sleep. Finally down, half an hour late. Got diverted from my quest to find SuperShuttle to a BayShuttle with a very enthusiastic driver. Only two passengers, but once on the streets of SF it was kinda scary how he drove. Got to the hotel right as Steve was checking in. Up to my room, unpacked, tried to get my computer working, power cable is even more wonky. Down for dinner at 7:30, first to move from the bar to the buffet area (small!) and Dingying and Anthony joined me at a side table, though we didn't even fill the main group one until the third wave of people came down. Stuck to veggie choices, and first to leave, tired. Up to room to get coat, then out to Walgreens to get floss etc for my depleted toiletries 1 quart bag. Back to room, checking out the cardio equipment room on the way upstairs, it may be worth a quick trip tmorrow. Read for a bit, almost done my last (fourth) fiction book, will have to buy another for the trip home. 11pm.

Mon Mar 9/09

My next door neighbours were talking, but I turned the air conditioner on and it mostly drowned them out. Woke up at around 7, ironed my shirts and pants so I was ready for the next two days of meetings. Laptop didn't turn on, so packed it up and went downstairs for breakfast. No bowls for the yoghurt and dried fruit, so made do with a mug. Popped out the laptop battery and put it back in and got it to turn on and stay on, but battery power is going down.

Got out late for lunch, 1:15 or so instead of 12:30 and I was well out of my breakfast calories by that time, scared I was going to pass out. I sat at the long table in Vitners Grill this time, next to Katie, Chris and Anthony. Up to room to read until 2, got sucked into my book and left the room a little late, and had to sneak in a bit. Got the okay to spec out a new laptop. We ended on time, just after 5pm. I'd talked briefly with Kest, she was going to come into town to meet up with us. Checked Slanted Door's web site, no tables, but Ana Mandara was all open, so directed Justin there. Caught up a bit on LJ while waiting for Justin to get into SF proper, then walked down to Beach St and further, along the waterfront. Nice sunset, could see Golden Gate bridge and the ships of the Maritime Museum. Was just seated when Justin came into the restaurant. We both had drinks, the cucumber basil hendrick's cocktail I had was more on the sour side that other instances I've tried, but still tasty. My Monk's Pocket was okay, a veggie dumpling. The roast quail was wonderful, and it was nice to have black rice again, must get some more at home. I tried some of Justin's durian sorbet, it was interesting, but I had a Meyer lemon mousse for dessert. Kest arrived as we were finishing up dessert, we all walked along the water for a while, then Justin drove us in his candy apple red Mini, up to North Beach(?) to find a cafe. Cafe Triest was closed, as well as another one we passed, but we found an Italian one eventually. They pointed out the Stinking Rose to me, but unsuggested going there. Had a hot chocolate and chatted more, forgot my hat there and ran back for it. Justin dropped me off at my hotel, and then he offered Kest a ride home as they live close to each other in Oakland. 11:45 and time for bed.

Tue Mar 10/09

Woke up at 7:15 again, before my alarm at 7:30. Hrmph. Showered and changed and went downstairs for continental breakfast again. Had a round table discussion about the transition.

Lunch was make your own sandwiches, I'm sure Katie wasn't impressed, but I liked my cheese and veggie confection. No dessert for me, too many nuts in it. Reserved a van shuttle to the airport for tomorrow, and finally made my early flight check-in work, I had to go up to the room and get my original receipt with the locator record, as my palm pilot is so out of whack that I can't get to my password database. Fixing that has to go at the top of the list for when I get home. Read for a bit over lunch, then back down and sat and coded for a bit, as we waited for the exec committee to come back. Then the new BIRN CC guy came and talked at us in business speak, and we lost our discussion moderator so our proposed topics really didn't get covered. Plotted out the route to the restaurant tonight, if we end on time I might be able to go via the Blue Bottle cafe to get coffee for Cris.

We ended early! I took a quick shower and then came down to the lobby to meet up with Anthony. We walked along Embarcadero to the Ferry Building, and he peeled off to check out a ferry to Treasure Island while I went inside to investigate Blue Bottle Coffee. I went through the whole hallway, getting some gelato to munch on while meandering, until I noticed a map and that the Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk was right across from where I got the gelato. Went back, but it was closed! I still had some time before meeting Cris's mom, so I browsed in Sur la Table for a bit, tempted by an artisanal cocktail book but resisted. Nothing caught my eye or nose in Cowgirl Creamery, but I was feeling a bit time crunched. Walked down Mission, enjoying people watching, until I peeled off on Mint St to find the Blue Bottle Cafe after a bit of looking. Got the coffee for Cris and then walked toward the Millennium to meet his mom. Sketchy neighbourhood, it changed quickly as I got further from Mission. Made it okay, though, and she'd just arrived. The space is lovely, lots of dark wood and warm fabrics. We had a *very* leisurly meal, the reservation was for 6:30 and I got out of there at 9pm. The food was really good though, I had more black rice in a banana leaf (really need to make that at home), and a delicious curry, as well as a really good cake with a safe for me nut crust. The pinot gris went well with the meal as well. I called Cris for a short chat after hitting the street and saying goodbye to his mom, he was heading to bed. I decided to take the "easy" way back to my hotel, and headed up Jones St. And up, and up some more. Right over Knob Hill. On the way down there were actual stairs cut into the sidewalk to ease the grade. O.o But I made it back, packed up everything I didn't need for the next day and curled up in bed to finish my book. I was sleep by 11:30.

Wed Mar 10

Up with my alarm at 6:30, showered, changed and was downstairs with enough time to check on my flight status before heading to the airport via a shared van. The driver messed up the next hotel, and had to double way back after going over Knob Hill again to pick up a trio. Took about an hour to get the the airport, and I was a bit queasy from motion sickness and hunger. Got through security fairly quickly, and to my gate with time to eat and read before boarding. I was actually one of the last on since I ran out to the book store to get another book, as I was near the end of my last one. Huge plane, 2+4+2 seats I think, but I got a spreader next to me, he kept elbowing me. Read to Chicago with only a short time where I had my eyes closed to rest them. No movie this time either, or free snacks. The flight didn't seem as long, apparently the tail winds were awesome going east. Back to the tea kiosk in Chicago to get a quiche slice for lunch and a green tea smoothie (delicious) and an apricot croissant for desert (also delicious). Sat at my gate and started to eat, and finished there when they announced a gate change. The new gate was right next to security, so it was loud, and we were delayed, so I put my earphones on and went back to my new book. Winced when I saw the really tall guy sitting next to me, but he kept in his seat and we had a nice mutually ignoring each other flight. Read the whole way, and we were half an hour late landing. Cris couldn't come get me due to only getting home at 9pm (two flats on his bike), so I took the Silver line and Red line and *just* missed my bus at Harvard. I went and grabbed a buritto from Chipotle, just making it in before they closed at 10. It was already leaking, so I read some more while waiting for the bus, and ate it once I got home. Read *more* instead of unpacking, World War Z is a really engaging book, and I finished it over breakfast the next day.

Back to my diary page.