Best lunch ever for a warm sunny Sunday: salad of sliced organic beefsteak tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, organic red onion, basil from a friend’s garden, nice fruity olive oil and freshly ground black pepper; fresh blueberry pie from the farmer’s market for dessert. SO unbelievably simple and good. The pie was a wonderful surprise because this particular vendor, Beckmann’s of Santa Cruz, has not sold pies before. Their crust is a butter crust, not shortening like Walker’s, which means not as flaky but richer tasting. And everyone in my family liked the salad, even Mommy who claims to dislike fresh mozzarella (“I don’t like the texture and it has no taste”), and Daddo.

It has been a good weekend, generally speaking. Friday night Erik and I went to hear Ravi Shankar, who is now eighty-three but still amazing. He plays wonderfully, as did the two tabla players accompanying him, and has a very gracious and generous manner. His daughter Anoushka was supposed to be playing with him, but she was injured so she couldn’t play. We still got to see her, though, because she still sat next to her dad on the stage. In case you’ve never heard of Ravi Shankar any other way, you might also be interested to know that he’s Norah Jones’s dad.

Saturday morning we had to get up early (no earlier than when I have yoga on TuTh though) to get me to San Jose in time for the GRE. It’s really not at all like the SAT in the testing format. All the testers are taking different tests (like the TOEFL and GMAT as well as the GRE), and they sort of just let you in as you arrive, so they don’t all start you at the same time. I actually enjoyed the writing section, because timed writings are the very foundation of humanities midterms and final exams, and it was so nice and novel to not only not have to memorize dates and terms prior to the essay, but to get to type it instead of handwrite. I won’t know my writing score until later, but I got my math and verbal scores right away. I did okay. This reminds me that I should look up what are “good” scores for the GRE… Anyway, I don’t think my score is so bad that I want to go through the trouble to retake it.

After the GRE Jennifer and I went across the street to Yaohan (I know it’s called Mitsuwa now, but who wants to call it that?!) and had delicious lunches. Jennifer bought some cute dishes, and then we went home and I got to see what our newly remodeled upstairs looks like. (The downstairs isn’t done yet, though the changes there are more shocking.) It doesn’t feel like our house anymore, but I think I’m starting to like that. It’s interesting, and clean-looking and comfortable. I do miss the full-length mirror that used to be on the back of my door though. (We got new doors, and since I didn’t know about that until after it happened, I wasn’t around to save the mirror.)

Sophie had an hour that exactly coincided with the free hour I had, so we got together and reminisced and purred at each other. Funny thing: while we were looking at an old notebook, a note fell out that she’d written to me during our freshman year of high school. At this time I’d only just met Erik but I had a bit of a crush on him. So I had this code name that I used to refer to him. I won’t say what it is so let’s just say it was Bug. Sphi’s note had this: “Go with Bug. He’s nice. He puts so much time and effort into stuff he does for you… I like him (in the sense that I approve of him for you).” 🙂 Three years later, I decided to take her advice, and four years after that, here we still are. “That’s why we’re still friends,” Sphi says, and it’s probably true. She knows me well. 🙂 I might add that Jackie said similar things around that same time. 🙂

Bug and my family and uncle and aunt and grandpa had dinner out in Milpitas for Gong-Gong’s birthday, then Mommy and Erik and I went to a piano recital (Ruei-bin Chen) at San Jose State. The recital was a benefit to raise money for the Friends of Children with Special Needs, so a good cause and some good music. The first half of the program was extremely unchallenging – some tiny Tchaikovsky pieces and some Chopin, but since I don’t normally like Chopin it was fun to hear Mr Chen’s interpretation. His rubato is the rubato-est I’ve ever heard! At first I thought it was weird but it grew on me. I loved the second half of the program, though. I wish Shra could have been there because he played one of her favorites, “Montagues and Capulets” from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Then he played one of Erik’s and my favorites, selections from Stravinsky’s Petrushka. He swept through the Petrushka at a breakneck speed and skipped all pauses between movements. Very exciting. He stopped a couple of times unexpectedly, though, to wipe the sweat off his face and to get something off that was stuck to his right hand (a band-aid maybe?). Mr Chen isn’t perhaps the best pianist I’ve ever heard, but Petrushka was so much fun, and he seems like a very nice person: after the recital, he said that since all the kids in the audience were so well-behaved, they could line up outside and he would autograph their programs. I don’t know how he still had fingers after the Stravinsky, so that was especially sweet of him to make that offer. By the time we pushed through the crowd and got outside there was already a huge line of kids. Nice guy.

Music, family, friends, food. Good weekend, never mind the GRE.

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