This trip contained several firsts for me: getting to meet [ profile] yeloson and [ profile] badgerbag, doing karaoke, and accurately translating an unsubtitled Chinese drama. The last will be covered in a later post.

Oyce has an even more detailed report up on Armageddon and karaoke.

Oyce persuaded me to do karaoke with [ profile] yhlee, [ profile] yuneicorn, and [ profile] rilina. I drank several shots of plum wine to get up the nerve into the mood. Shortly afterward I was rapping Eminem’s “Without Me,” apparently memorably enough that when the same song played days later in the car, both Oyce and Yoon exclaimed, “It’s your song!”

It was great fun and I’d do it again, as long as it’s also in a private room and not a public bar. I now know that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Queen are good for karaoke, and that “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Desperado” are much harder to sing than one might think. So is the tongue-twisting song from Utena. In fact that one is nearly impossible unless you’re Yoon.

On Sunday I met [ profile] yeloson and [ profile] badgerbag! (Separately.)

[ profile] yeloson showed me some of his martial art, Penjak Silat. It’s very beautiful and intriguing. I was especially interested in the knife fighting techniques, which are different from anything I’ve ever seen before.

We then went to a Hong Kong style café, which had things on the menu I’d never seen before, like “sea coconut” (not sure what that it – possibly related to the “vegetable of the ocean” I failed to identify in Japan,) toast with condensed milk and peanut butter (very Hong Kong, said Oyce), and a mysterious dessert item whose name I didn’t note down. I asked the waiter, and he said it was frog eggs! “Good for the complexion,” he added. (Hopefully not prompted by observation of my complexion.)

“I guess it’s hypocritical of me to be grossed out by the frog eggs, considering that I eat fish eggs,” I said.

“They’re just like tapioca,” suggested Oyce.

“I’ve never liked tapioca,” I said. “It reminds me too much of frog eggs.”

We had rice with preserved meats and bok choy, unagi with melted cheese (!) over rice, a chicken and cheese dish, and a beef and egg dish. And for dessert, egg cakes (not as good as in Taiwan), mango pudding, and black rice with mango and coconut cream. If I lived in the neighborhood, I would be at that café all the time.

We then met [ profile] badgerbag and her family. I was thrilled to discover that she has read many of the very obscure books that I thought no one else ever has, like Sydney van Scyoc, many old girls-at-boarding-school books, and the lovely just-barely-fantasy House of Thirty Cats, by Mary Stolz. ETA: Mary Calhoun, not Mary Stolz.

We attempted to explain the plot of Vonda McIntyre’s Superluminal to Oyce, which badgerbag possesses in a very colorful 70s hardcover edition. “People with regular hearts can’t be spaceship pilots because it kills them, so they have to have their hearts removed and replaced with artificial ones. The heroine falls in love with this guy who wasn’t qualified to be a pilot, but it turns out that his regular heart is incompatible with her artificial one, so his heart nearly stops every time they have sex. Not in a metaphoric, good way. So it’s very tragic. Oh, and there’s killer whales.” Then, as if there wasn't enough crack already, we sicced Gundam Wing on her.

There we saw a mother raccoon and several adorable baby raccoons, which live under their deck. It was dusk, a magical moment. In hushed voices, we tried to figure out how many babies there were.

“There were three,” said [ profile] badgerbag. “But sometimes they die.”

“Way to break the mood!” someone said.

“It’s true,” said [ profile] badgerbag, and proceeded to break it further. “Last year one of them died and stunk so much we couldn’t live in the house for three weeks. I was like, ‘Rot faster!’”
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Jul. 3rd, 2009 11:11 am)
See [ profile] oyceter's hilarious report on alien mpreg and microwaves for more details.

Yoon and I drove up, relieved that there was surprisingly little traffic. For over 100 miles worth of flat yellow land and the occasional cow (I-5) the only sign of human habitation were these bright yellow signs reading: CONGRESS CAUSE DUST BOWL." No url, no explanation, no call to action. Hundreds of them, scattered over a huge area. They seemed to have replaced the former nutty sign UN = SATUN.

Upon arriving, I was thrilled to introduce Oyce to the egg cream, which contains neither eggs nor cream but is a sort of chocolate soda. We also had burgers with an excellent mustard-heavy potato salad, and a hot fudge sundae. The diner offered Green River soda, a florescent lime green substance I had previously only encountered in books, but did not try.

We then began an Andy Lau movie I had Netflixed because it contains Andy Lau, Armageddon. There was soon a scene with instant noodles. Oyce began to crave instant noodles. Then there was a scene at a noodle shop. Loving close-ups of Hong Kong noodles. Oyce and I got so hungry that we raided the pantry, and due to lack of noodles, devoured beef jerky, salami, and apples.


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