Wednesday, January 27, 2016

canceling the apocalypse

S: "In the midwest, we had basements in case of tornados."

Me: "Here we worry about earthquakes.  At least with a tornado, you get some warning."

S: "There's supposed to be a way to detect an earthquake.  There's a type of fish that will swim toward the shore, a few seconds before the earthquake."

C: "If you hold back the fish, does it prevent the earthquake?  [mimes holding down a fish with outstretched arm]  'Not today.' "

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Car #2!

I've only purchased one car in my life, 16 years ago.  I've been driving it ever since.  

Nowadays people like to make comments about it.  Last month:

J: "Niniane, I like that you drive this car.  What this car says is, I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks about me."

Me: "Wait, that's not true!  What are you implying that people are thinking about me?"


Yesterday I finally purchased a car!  

It's so foxy, with the headlight eyes, and the reflective exterior.  

This is the last time it'll look this clean, however.

Aff: "I pity the first person who puts a dent on it.  New car owners get so angry about that, like 'How could you be such a fool?'  Unless they did it themselves, in which case it's all 'It couldn't be helped.'"


Azer says he names his cars.  "I named my sports car after a French model.  It was a French version of 'Lisa'.  But then it developed a flat tire the next day after I bought it.  So I decided it needed a more high-maintenance name.  Now it's named Gisele."


It took me months to buy this, because the San Francisco Mazda dealership uses all the high-pressure tactics that are stereotyped for car salesmen.  The "wait here while I check with my manager" and "people generally pay MSRP for this car", etc.

But I discovered the Fremont Mazda dealership, who gave me a very good quote over email, and then honored it when I arrived, with no hassle!  They pointed at a printout on their wall, which listed in tiny font the sales volume of each dealership in California, and themselves in the top #1 position with a yellow highlight.  They were very proud of this.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

the pain of shopping

I hate shopping using my corporeal body.  I'm very happy to shop online, and get a little thrill of anticipation once I've placed the order.  But I really detest real-life shopping.

I realized today that this is because in real life, often your interests are misaligned with the salesperson.  They want to persuade you to make the purchase.  It is harder to stay impartial and make a rational decision, when they're using sales tactics to convince you.

This is the primary reason I've only bought one car in the past 16 years.  Car salespeople are the worst in this regard!

I dislike being in situations where I have to exert willpower to fight against the other person's goal of influencing me to purchase.  

I don't know how other people can tolerate shopping in-person.

Thursday, January 07, 2016


A few months ago, I went to eat at NOMA with a few friends / former-colleagues from Minted.  NOMA was previously ranked the #1 restaurant in the world.  Now it's ranked #3.

We all watched a television show about NOMA's innovative food, and how they forage in the forest for ingredients.

This was the best dish.  It was an onion.  I know it doesn't look that great.  But it WAS that great.  It was by far the best onion I've ever eaten, and will ever eat.  This was the onion to end all onions.

We toured the kitchen afterwards.  They were probably extra nice to us because we couldn't remember whether it's customary to tip in Copenhagen, and Eric insisted to be on the safe side, we must all tip 20%.

When we got back to our lodgings, we discovered you don't need to tip in Copenhagen.

Eric got a ton of compliments from the kitchen staff on his Metallica T-shirt.

Making chocolate moss!

Interns coring apples in the kitchen.

They were growing herbs in their own little greenroom.  They also had a pickling room.

We saw them plucking the ducks behind the restaurant, as we were walking in.  They'd just hunted the ducks that morning.  The ducks had a green head and brown chest.  It's what you'd expect if you googled for an image of a duck.  Anyway, the duck tasted like a standard smoked duck, but "more so".

This was some kind of egg drink.  It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.

Leaves foraged by their interns that morning!

After I got back to the US:

Brother: "So how was NOMA?"

Me: "So great.  They deserve to be the top restaurant in the world."

Brother: "How would you compare it to French Laundry?  You've been there, right?"

Me: "Once, many years ago.  NOMA is more impressive because they made leaves and an onion taste incredible.  I mean, anyone can make foie gras taste good, but it takes true genius to make an onion taste good."

Brother: "Oh, so French Laundry is just anyone now?"

The big white chunks are salt.  The items in the middle are leaves.  We used the sharpened stick as an eating utensil.

Copenhagen!  We walked around and took boat rides.  We were there for four days.  I had a cold / flu the whole time.

It was lovely to go on an eating adventure with foodie friends.  I'd totally go to another city to eat at a restaurant!