End of year activities

It occurs to me I haven’t updated my journal in a while. So, here’s what has been occupying me.

Erik’s last ever undergraduate final was the day of my last post, Tuesday 20 May. So the next day, Wednesday 21, we ran errands and then spent a carefree afternoon shopping in San Francisco. I’m developing the interesting/useful/completely foreign ability to spend a day “shopping” without actually buying anything. I used to not be able to do this. But now that I’m low on money, I have to. Good. I’m glad I’m learning how. Anyway. We went to Old Navy and got Erik a bunch of new clothes, both for work and for fun, and wandered around Macy’s for a little while until we were too thirsty to not get something to drink. We went upstairs to Cheesecake Factory because we wanted to sit outside–in Union Square, it’s on the top floor of Macy’s, where there’s a nice view and a great lot of sun. Normally the wait there is ridiculous; Asal told me once she had to wait two hours on a weekday and even then she only got a table because she bullied and yelled at the hostess. But we got a table right away, and on the patio. Then we realized it was almost dinner time anyway, so we decided to not waste our table and just order dinner. Slowly. We had drinks first (fruity and non alcoholic), then talked, then ordered an appetizer, talked some more, and then had dinner. And we skipped out on dessert. I have not had any desire for cheesecake ever since I baked one myself last December. That cheesecake was so good (to my taste) I have never since wanted one baked by anyone else, and moreover, since I enjoyed it so much I ate I think half of it by myself–until Erik made me give the rest away–so I think I’ve had enough cheesecake to last me at least until this December. It was great to sit outside and soak up the sun and have fruity drinks and just talk about our year and our goals for the summer. We sat for several hours, until it got really cold and we wanted to go home. In the time we were there, the table next to us had three separate parties come and go (and interestingly enough, none of them spoke English. The first group looked like rich Puerto Ricans or Cubans or something, the next group was “some flavor of” Asian, as Erik says, and the last spoke French but I think they were from Quebec–their French sounded so weird). We were happy to see the first group go, since they talked and laughed loudly and constantly, and two of them were smoking. After we left Cheesecake Factory we made a quick stop into the juniors department of Macy’s where I shelled out a grand total of $9.68 for an embroidered hooded cardigan to keep me warm until we got back.

The next day, Thursday 22, Erik’s dad came up and we moved a whole bunch of stuff out of his apartment, back to his house. I had lunch at Erik’s house, with him and his parents (great food!), and tried loquats for the first time, from their loquat trees in the backyard. They’re good, at least when they’re sweet, juicy and puckery at the same time. (Although, as Erik’s mommy pointed out, they have more flavor when they’re sour.) The four of us talked for a little while after lunch, then I went back home and did laundry until Daddo came home from work. Then we had dinner at Fresh Choice. I hadn’t been there for a long time, and was not impressed by anything other than the amazing crowd of kids and moms there. Where all the dads were, I have no idea. The mom seated at the table next to us had an across-the-tables conversation with the mom at the table behind us. And it looked like all the moms were hosting kids besides their own, unless all of them had adopted kids who didn’t look like them! I don’t know what was going on. Really weird.

Friday 23 I hung out at home until Daddo came back with Shra, who also came home this weekend. After seeing Shra, Erik and I headed back up to Berkeley for the night.

The early morning of Saturday 24, Erik’s parents came and picked me up, and we started off by car to Erik’s graduation in the Greek Theatre. We should have walked. Erik’s mom said, “It took one hour to drive from San Jose to Berkeley, and half an hour to drive from [my] apartment to find parking!” Traffic was horrendous all day. And on top of that it was freezing. At least I didn’t have to worry about getting sunburnt, I guess (yes, I know clouds do not mean no sun damage–I hope you all wear sunscreen every day, even when it’s overcast! SPF 15.). Erik’s dad was nice enough to go back to the car after about an hour to get me a cute pink three-quarter-length coat of Erik’s mom’s, and she lent me a printed scarf. I felt like a forties socialite or something in the brightly coat and scarf. Erik said the pink made us easier to spot. Graduation was nice but looooong. I had no idea there were so many masters’ and PhD students graduating in engineering! The speeches were great, in part because they were short, but Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, gave the best and most inspiring graduation speech I’ve heard (aside from Baz Luhrmann’s “Sunscreen” speech). He urged the graduates to always remember to give back to the world, using their engineering abilities to work toward a better world.

After graduation we had lunch at Isobune, first restaurant to patent the sushi boat idea. Erik got loud congratulations as soon as he walked in, since he was still wearing his grad robe (it was still cold, after all, and he didn’t have a coat). We all ordered the lunch combination, and let me tell you, that hot food tasted sooooo good after standing outside in the cold all morning. After we left, Erik’s parents drove off to attend a wedding, and we took BART back to Fremont, where Daddo and Shra met us and took us to an okay dinner at a Japanese-Chinese buffet (we wanted to humor Daddo, though the oysters or sashimi there upset his stomach later that night).

Yesterday, Shra and Erik and I went shopping at Valley Fair, where I once again spent no money except on lunch. Erik had a short stint as the doting boyfriend/husband/sugar daddy when we were in Museum Company, because I showed interest in some Roman glass necklaces and therefore prompted an eager salesperson to take out practically their entire collection and have me try it on. The one I’ve linked looked great, but I wasn’t about to ask Erik to spend $155 on me! The saleswoman was disappointed. So was I, to tell the truth, not because I wanted Erik to get it for me, but just because it’s been a long time since I had a really great necklace and I’ve been wanting one for years. But anyway.

After shopping, we saw Bruce Almighty (after getting totally lost on the way to the theater). It was funny, of course, though for allegory I think Pleasantville did a much better and more subtle job (though you can’t really call any Hollywood production subtle…).

That brings us up to today. I have done practically nothing today, except bake a cake and dip strawberries in chocolate in preparation for Mommy’s and Al’s return from their week in Tennessee. 🙂 Now they’re back and I’m going to go talk to them!

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]