Saturday, April 09, 2005

Remembrances by Food

Prime Rib Steak. On the first of April, I had a prime rib steak for lunch at the Hungry Hunter. Three quarters of a pound of bloody meat. That's right, medium rare. The meat was tender, juicy and bloody as heck. The food was appropriate considering the circumstances. The day before, I had accidentally observed in the screen at work the company's plan on promotions. Pedro the longstanding technician in Store # 17 is on the way out. He was assessed as "underperform." I was having lunch with Pedro. I did not know if I should tell him what I knew. By the end of the lunch, however, I did not have to say anything.

All-American Hamburger with Fries. One and a half hours early at Oakland airport. We dropped off the car at the long term parking. My life has been much easier now that I have a car. I don't have to take the shuttle bus or take BART. I support public transportation, but if you have heavy luggage, comfort is king. Besides, at $20 per person, the shuttle would cost the same as parking at long term slots.

We check into Southwest Airlines using one of those self-service aisles. Quick and easy. The only glitch was that the Transportation Agency does not like monopods. At the hotel, we see a note in the luggage stating that the bag was opened. I suppose large pieces of metal pique their interest. Perhaps it is too similar to a gun or a bomb. I wonder how other travelers fair when they bring around in their luggage equipment for self-enjoyment. I can just imagine the laughter and the pure joy of seeing some of these toys.

The SO was really hungry for some reason. I was okay. She ended up ordering a baked potato, while I ordered a hamburger. The restaurants at the Oakland airport have seen a vast improvement over the last few years. Now, the food is enjoyable though a bit spartan. The servers are Pin@ys. I guess you will always find Pin@ys everywhere. Take them off the security, and they will switch to the food service industry. I do note that some of them made it to the TSA. I only wish that more of the Pin@ys were able to.

New York Steak and Low Carbohydrate Buffalo Wings. The flight was delayed for about an hour. We wait while softball players from St. Mary's College create a background of chatter. I can just imagine how college athletics can become so expensive. The team will travel to San Diego for a tournament or a game. How much do those plane tickets cost? How much food vouchers? The cost must be staggering. I notice that the SO and I are taller than most of these players. I remind myself that they are probably Division II or Division III. The athletes are not as powerful nor as good as the Division I. Still, they get the opportunity to compete in college.

We arrive in San Diego at ten o'clock. The air is warm compared to the Bay Area. The SO says that the hotel is in downtown near the marina. I am thankful and excited. I had been in San Diego ten years ago and I wanted to see how it had changed. We trek off to catch some taxis. We hop in and off we go to the Sheraton Hotel Mission Bay. As the miles tick by, I realize that perhaps the hotel is not so close to downtown. The hotel is in fact about $20 dollars away from the airport.

As the taxi pulls in to the hotel, I realize and so does the SO that there are no sidewalks here in this area. Since we did not rent a car, mobility will be limited. I see some restaurants: Hooters, Denny's, and the like. We check into the hotel. By this time, we are starving. We ask how late room service is open. Eleven o'clock. We have fifteen minutes to decide. We enter the room and thank heavens, it is of good quality. I'm sorry, but I am very picky about living spaces. My apartment might be a pigsty, but it is my pigsty and my mess. The last thing I want is to wallow in some other person's mess

I mention to the SO that if I were younger and poorer, there would be no question that we would be walking towards Denny's. But since I am older and just plain lazier, I tell the SO that we should just order room service. Ten minutes to go. We finally call and order a New York Steak and Buffalo Wings.

The thing about the low carb buffalo wings was that it was spicy as hell. I mean, the food has to be edible. But this one set off the capsaicin receptors in my lips so much that it was not enjoyable. The SO pointed to the Ranch sauce, but it was no good. Maybe some yogurt would have helped out a lot. Hmm, Indian milk yogurt and Buffalo wings anyone? Since I am hungry and desperate, I decide to just wash off the sauce from the chicken. SUCCESS!!! At the very least, it was edible.

Steak. I brought my cameras to the wedding to snap off some photos. For some reason, I have been itching to get some photos. The church is beautiful, but located in a poor neighborhood. The bridal party stayed at the school across the street from the church. I take some photos of the bridal party as they are crossing the street. The bride J is really excited. She does not seem to be nervous at all. In fact, she's very composed and is dancing and shouting.

The priest is an old style Irish Catholic. Very strict. The mass even uses the bells when getting to the point where the host is transformed into the body of Christ. The priest is very good at explaining the meaning of the Eucharist. He points out that the host is being physically transformed into the body of Christ.

In my younger days, I did not understand how this could happen. But now that I realize that what the body thinks becomes reality, I believe I can understand more. Thought becomes reality. If you really believe that the host is Christ's body, it will become his body. It will embody truth, compassion, forgiveness.

Carne Asada Fries At the end of the photos of the relatives, the SO, her brother and I decide that we need to eat. We meet one of the San Diego cousins who is a third year in college. It has been my honor to meet the SO's cousins and try to give them advice in life. I do not have as large a family as the SO and it is a joy to help people with what little I know. We ask J the cousin what type of food defines San Diego. Without missing a beat, he says "CARNE ASADA FRIES." One of the younger cousins joins us.

We troop into one car. Drive around San Diego for a while. We use the drive-in. We end up ordering three carne asada fries, one tamale meal order and one soft taco meal. We return to the hotel. As we walk in the lobby, we see the other guests to the wedding. We don't understand why they are already there about two hours early. Their plan was to go to one of the uncle's houses. The group whispers "Don't look at them. Don't make eye contact. Go straight to the elevator."

In the room, we begin chowing down. The thing about breaks in weddings is that guests get hungry. I am planning on giving our guests maps of Alameda so that they can eat during the break. Go eat, chow down, go home or something. Don't wait at the hotel for three hours. Good Lord! You will get hungry. Do what we did. We ate.

Steak The party at the hotel was excellent. Everyone was having a great time. My food was particularly excellent. The steak was nice and juicy. Not as bloody as I like, but the hotel chef probably had orders to make sure things were not bloody. It's one of those things. Pin@ys will eat dinuguan but will not eat uncooked meat.

The wedding day was gone as quickly as the snap of the fingers. Sometimes, it makes me wonder whether or not all that preparation is worth it. However, the SO explained it to me this way. All the preparations, all the planning and all the guests are not really for us. All of the preparation is really a thanksgiving to all those people who made us who we are. All of the planning and guest list is a thanksgiving to all of our friends and our parent's friends who have caught us when we were about to fall into the abyss. All of the trouble is really a thanksgiving for all the people we have encountered.

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