FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - 2010 ASTA (string teachers' association, not travel agents) convention
Old Mar 19, 10, 12:20 pm
  #11  
violist
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
Programs: UA, US, AS, Marriott, Radisson, Hilton
Posts: 7,200
As for some reason I was awake before 9, I decided to
check out brekkers.

It was sort of nice walking past the other buildings and
into the aroma of cherry blossom and cooking bacon.

The breakfast was one step up in aspiration from the
continentals served elsewhere but not one step up in
performance, with steam table scrambled eggs (like rocks),
hash brown pucks (like rubber), and bacon cooked hard and
fatless. Another waffle machine, which did its job; a gruel
station; and lots of toppings (pickled jalapenos, salsa,
and so on), much appreciated, for the eggs. A fruit salad
with great pineapple and lousy melon, sort of Unitedish.
Bananas, of which I took one for the road. Also cereal and
coffee stations and the usual assortment of starchy things.

Back to bed and then to Stanford to watch the Cab give
another iteration of his famous physics of music lecture
for Thomas Rossing's Music 150. This version focused mostly
on brass instruments, about which I know or care little if
at all. I protested that as a string player I should be
allowed a say on the subject, so I was enlisted to hold a
string during the discussion of simple harmonic motion.

Part of the agreement was that I was supposed to buy beers
for Tom and the Cab, and dinner would miraculously appear,
thanks to the music and acoustics program. But as we opted
for one of the least costly alternatives, the Fresh Choice
cafeteria, beer also miraculously appeared. The food here
is suspiciously green and starchy by turns, but the chicken
pozole tasted good, and the tapioca pudding didn't taste
powdered. Sierra Nevada pale ale is always good.

And now for something completely different, the VTA bus
#22 downtown to catch the #68 down to Morgan Hill. I paid
my $2 and asked for a transfer. Apparently there are no
longer transfers, so the driver counted me as a senior
citizen (I guess gray-haired people who remember about
transfers must be senior citizens) and gave me a day pass.

The ride down El Camino Real, which I hadn't done in years,
was interesting. A lot of Korean establishments now, which I
think must be a relatively new phenomenon. I got dumped off
downtown with 20 to spare, so I walked to Caper's Loft for a
drink so I could collect another MPD dine. I'd have liked to
stay longer - at the bar TV was the fascinating China vs.
USA curling match, and among them were some interesting-
looking people. But my uncle was going to be waiting for me
at the Morgan Hill park and ride, and time was a-wasting.

Impressive thing: the buses run on time. Even with pick-up
and drop-off of a wheelchair rider, the 68 ran ahead of
schedule, having to wait a minute or two at all of the time
check points. We got to the park and ride early.

And so to home, up into the hills overlooking Anderson Lake.

Next day, my FA friend Jo came over for a visit, having just
done an SFO-OGG turn, and we decided on AOI Sushi for lunch.
This is a funny little house just off the main downtown
drag, converted into a restaurant that seats maybe 30. The
food is said to be good. One of the great bargains of all
time is the bento lunch, in this case California roll,
teriyaki chicken, and fried red snapper, with edamame, rice,
and soup, $7. My uncle and Jo both had this and declared
it yummy; I tried the proteinous things - the chicken I
found a bit salty and unsubtle, but the fish was indeed
delicious. I had agedashi dofu followed by tuna sashimi. The
tofu was fresh and nicely fried; its presentation was a bit
peculiar, though, with the soy and broth dipping sauce
served in a soup-size portion, the tofu and its sauce? soup?
in a largish bowl. The fish was trimmed and cut nicely and
was of superior freshness.

Hananomai Katana junmai ginjo is a nice clean fairly dry
sake with pear notes, a very slightly sweet aftertaste,
and a sneaky 16% alcohol content. It went pretty nicely
with tuna.

We had to get food for the next couple days. Well, Nob Hill
(ominous name) seems to be a nice enough grocery store, but
everything costs 25-50% more than it should. Out east, the
Whole Foods Racket and its imitators soak us badly but not
so badly as here. We spent, ahem, too much.
==
A meal cooked by someone else than us: takeout from Vung
Tau, San Jose, which started out as your neighborhood place
but has apparently become famous and expanded and upgraded
itself. I thought the food okay but maybe Americanized?

Canh chua ca bong lau - tamarind soup with catfish,
tomatoes, celery, bean sprouts, and rice paddy herbs -
pretty tasty if a bit sweet, the fish nice and flaky, the
vegetables pleasantly al dente. A bit heavy on the celery.

Banh tam bi - shredded pork and coconut milk served with
big rice noodles and chopped mixed vegetables: big rice
noodles are, unfortunately, little big noodles, about
the thickness of linguine (half the thickness of, say,
the sticks you use for pad thai). Rather dessertlike in
its blandness and sweetness.

Bun bo nuong - grilled onion beef with rice noodles and
chopped mixed vegetables: this was your standard soft rice
vermicelli sided with beef round rolled around onion.

And so to bed, dreaming of getting up at 4 to catch the
early bus.

Continued chronologically speaking here, not that that makes
any difference.
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