Thursday, April 19, 2007

Friday is a telecommute day for me. Friday is also the only day during the week when the Salvadoran and I can have breakfast together. I consider this a nice treat since not every couple in the city has time to sit down for breakfast on a work day unless both are artists, on a holiday, own their business or both have flexible hours at work. We both start work very early the rest of the week so breakfast is usually a bowl of breakfast cereal, a bagel, or a banana with a cup of yogurt. If we don't feel like cooking at home on a Friday morning, we go to our favorites - Boogaloo's on 22nd and Valencia Sts, Liberty Cafe on Cortland and Bermington Sts or our neighborhood crepe place called Higher Grounds Coffee House on Diamond and Chenery Streets to name a few. All within a couple of miles from our house.

Today we went to Boogaloo's. Whenever we come here, it's almost predictable of me to order Polenta-n-Eggs, which consists of grilled polenta cake, eggs over easy, fresh tomato salsa, black beans and cabbage salad with a side of andouille sausages, a coffee cake and a small orange juice. I have my favorites in each breakfast place which I order almost automatically. I'd like to think I am adventurous with food but I tend to be predictable when I am already familiar with the restaurant.

I ordered Chorizo-n-Eggs on impulse. I am not sure what lead me to suddenly change my mind while our waiter was taking our order. Subconsciously, it must have been my second choice to Polenta-n-Eggs. The Salvadoran was quite surprised to hear of my choice. No side order of andouille sausages and no order of coffee cake but I stick to my splenda and turkish-roast coffee.

We always find something to talk about. Work, politics, food, news, our friends and family, the church, the house, home movies, the weather, anything. Today we talked about recursion in programming where he beams when he told me about his plan to rewrite one of his routines in .NET and to make them recursive. It can be done in C, Assembler and Rexx. I wonder how the Cobol compiler will react when it encounters a recursive function?

We must have been hungry because we finished our food right away. I noticed a group of folks to my right. Discussing, laughing, talking. How I miss getting together with my friends! We used to do this a lot until, one by one, they started moving out of the city to become bridge and tunnel people. Some even moved out of the area.

I mentioned about my friends who got laidoff at work. More layoffs according to rumors, in the hundreds. I suddenly thought of my Plans A and B in case I am one of those lucky pawns waiting to be sacrificed for cost cutting's sake. I've survived six major layoffs in my six years in the company.

After another round of free coffee refills, the Salvadoran asked for the check.

I am glad it is Friday again.


(The photo above is the 'eye' of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on 3rd Street between Mission and Howard Streets. One of it's current exhibitions include 'Picasso and American Art' on display through May 28.)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pizzeria in the City

The Salvadoran asked me if I'd like to order wine even if we had already said no when the waiter asked for our drinks and starters earlier. I didn't want to have wine alone. He didn't want to have alcohol that night because he had to resume working after dinner. Wine makes him mellow, relaxed, and diminishes his focus. I suddenly thought about the bottle of Edna Valley chardonnay we uncorked last night and how great it tasted paired with my nouveau chicken adobo.

This is the third time we've been to Gialina since it opened last winter and it is starting to be our favorite. Being less than a quarter of a mile from where we live also helps. We try to support anything local especially those neighborhood and mom-and-pop restaurants and cafes. Besides, we are not really a big fan of branded and chain restaurants.

While waiting for our salt cod cake and portobello mushroom pizza, I looked around the crowded place and I noticed that there must be around fifteen tables inside. Everyone had ordered wine, well, except us. Perhaps the Salvadoran didn't want to be the exception and is probably the reason why he asked me more than once about ordering wine. The queue of people waiting outside seemed longer than the last time I checked. I'd like to think they're from another neighborhood. The pizzeria was crowded considering it was a Tuesday evening.

Before we finished our last slice, I thought about something. Glen Park is not a popular city neighborhood when it comes to shopping, dining and touristy stuff. It is more sleepy than hip, more village than city. This is one of the city neighborhoods to go to if you want to observe San Francisco locals in action. I think people outside the city have only heard of the name Glen Park because it is another stop on BART and MUNI, between the 24th St Mission and Balboa Park stations to be exact. A neighborhood cheese store, a taqueria, a crepe place, and a good restaurant called Chenery Park are probably the only reason why people come here but I think that is changing.

Judging from the wait time in this restaurant, Gialina is probably going to put my sleepy neighborhood in the city map once and for all.


(The picture was taken during an early morning flight out of San Francisco International (SFO). The day started out rather gloomy but the blanket of morning fog was slowly burning off as seen in this picture.)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Umulan nang bandang umaga hanggang tanghalian nung Sabado. Ganito talaga kapag tag-sibol, di mo maintindihan ang panahon. Minsan maaraw, minsan malamig at maulan. Nagmamadali kami ng SalvadoreƱong lumabas ng bahay kanina kaya di na namin naisip na magdala pa ng payong. Ayaw kasi naming mahuli sa musical na Altar Boyz na ang simula ay ika-dalawa ng hapon.

Tatlo na lang ang natitirang pagtatanghal ng
Altar Boyz. Lilipat na sila ng ibang lungsod pagkatapos ng ilang buwan nilang pamamalagi sa San Francisco. Maraming nakasulat tungkol sa musical, maraming naibigan ang kantahan at marami din namang hindi. Maraming nagsasabi na kakaiba sila - di ko lang mawari kung maganda ba ito o hindi. Napanood din namin ang Jersey Boys at Legally Blonde kamakailan lang at pareho naming naibigan at mga ito.

Di pa kami nakalalabas ng Civic Center station nang tumunog ang
cell phone ko. Nag-text sila Team Russia na mahuhuli daw sila ng sampung sandali. Nagusap kami nung isang araw na magkikita kami sa tapat ng Orpheum Theater sa baryo ng Tenderloin ng ala-una y media. Nagusap din kami kung ano ang susuotin namin kaya napansin kaagad ni D, pagkadating na pagkadating nila, na hindi itim ang raincoat ko gaya ng una kong sinabi sa kanya.

Maaga-aga pa kaya di agad kami pumasok sa gusali. Habang nagkukumustahan kami, napansin ko na parang ang konti ng tao sa labas ng gusaling pagdadausan ng
musical. Marahil nasa loob na ang ilan. O di kaya't dahil sa maulan ang panahon? Agad kong naalala na baka maraming lumisan ng syudad dahil sa Mahal na Araw. Bigla tuloy akong napabuntong hininga at naisip ang Mahal na Araw sa Pilipinas.

Halos limang minuto bago mag-ika-dalawa ng hapon nang nagsimla kaming pumasok sa
teatro ng Orpheum.


(Ang larawan sa itaas ay kuha sa distrito sa San Francisco na ang tawag ay Glen Park. Ito ang tanawin sa kalye ng Diamond at Bosworth.)