my day started out not very interestingly, but it got better and better as the day went on. all things considered, i really did have a lovely birthday. the best part of days like birthdays is feeling loved and feeling happy with life, and though i feel both of those things on a daily basis, today was quite nice. i spent my post-three-pm afternoon eating and friending so that was wonderful. i met some friends at la farine at three for tea (earl grey) and some cookies (butter and ginger), then moved on to cake (vanilla almond) and more tea (republic of tea’s ‘tea of inquiry,’ a name i thought quite suited for wonderland) at katrina rozelle. then erik and i went to a cute little restaurant we’ve been wanting to try for a year, grasshopper, on college (a few doors down from la farine). grasshopper was amazing. the food, which has been described as ‘asian tapas,’ is splendidly creative and very flavorful, and there was quite a nice and thoroughly described selection of teas and sakes. i’m definitely going to return to grasshopper, i think with other friends or family in tow. 🙂 for dinner we had five little dishes: a fascinating soba and oyster mushroom salad, topped with deep-fried pieces of oyster mushroom (looked like bacon and did not taste like mushrooms); an ahi-tuna sashimi, julienned green papaya and taro chip salad (my first time ever eating sashimi, can you believe it? i couldn’t, and i didn’t like the texture); shiitake mushrooms stuffed with pork and more mushrooms (i didn’t especially like this and only tried a little–i really don’t think i even prefer to eat meat anymore); grilled bok choy, fennel, and spring onions (i wanted this, but i guess i’m just not a fan of bok choy); a beautiful presentation of molded sweet rice and cod wrapped in napa cabbage with a black bean sauce. dessert and drinks were excellent: a trio of three fresh sorbets (well-made fresh sorbets are the most exquisite things), guava (the sweetest and most fragrant), persimmon, and avocado (both erik’s and my favorite, surprisingly delicious); the tea came in a tetsubin tea pot — i want one now! — along with beautiful tea cups, and it was a light and yummy blend called formosa oolong.

erik gave me some wonderful fuzzy slippers, which i badly needed, and i got some other very nice things as well. i’ve already read the first part of the book ying gave me, the girls’ guide to hunting and fishing (it’s a work of fiction, not the guidebook the title makes it out to be), and i really love it.

i’m not sleepy at all now thanks to all that tea i drank. i think that’s wonderful… now i’ll have some nice quiet time to clean up my apartment before going to sleep. 🙂 good night!

[note, 4/10/14: Imported from my old blog at]