son’s day off
Posted July 15, 2007on:
Saturday began at noon… Woke up, played some more Super Mario Kart on Jackie’s DS, then tried to doze off but without any success — it was too hot. We got up and went to Happy Valley’s again. The food there is just too ridiculously cheap to ignore, great quality too. Their dimsum prices are insane: smalls start at $1.80, kitchen specials = $3.80, that goes for a plate full of fried salt & pepper chicken wings too. Daimo charges us close to 7 bucks for that same item. Son and I always leave them 25-30% tips, just to make sure their business can float.
We ordered xiu mai, chinese broccoli, fried chicken wings, braised tofu with pork, tofu-fa, nor mei gai, shrimp rice rolls. We actually managed to eat all of that. Then I ordered a salted fish & chicken fried rice togo. Half way through the meal, I remembered Donna (who originally introduced me to this restaurant, we have since promised to call each other if one of us happens to be at the restaurant, just incase the other one wants to order some fried rice to go). I gave her a call and she asked for a salted fish & chicken fried rice too. We walked out with 2 fried rice’s, and the bill including tax < $40. I'm still full from that meal, some good 6 hours later.
Stopped by Monterey Market after that. I like this place a lot, but because it’s not convenient to walk to, that’s why I shop at Berkeley Bowl’s more often. Monterey market is so lovely. Local pesticide-free apricots were going for $0.79/lb. Organic heirloom tomatoes were $1.98 for some varieties, $2.98 for others. Local organic raspberries were so good. Then there were other tomatoes, more peaches, basils, mushrooms, free-range happy chicken eggs, dried figs, organic local melons… I can’t take a picture of farmer’s market run today because we slept through it, but you can have a picture of Monterey’s market run. Monterey market is deeply committed to their growers, you can see it with your own eyes, you don’t need market campaigns or some newspapers to write about it. A few weeks back, I saw a cute cardboard sign – Monterey market labels all of their produce using cardboards cut out from their own produce boxes – the sign says something like “This local XYZ farm is in the so-and-so valley, they are a 2 year old farm working hard at getting their organic certifications by next year. These peaches were picked very ripe from the tree, please be gentle.” I guess you can say it’s reminiscent of Whole Food’s Grocery-store-pastorals, as Michael Polan discusses in his Omnivore’s Dilemma. However, I think there’s a difference between that cardboard and colorful posters saying “Beautiful sun-kissed Organic Peaches lovingly picked from so-and-so farm to yours.” I think the first type of signage passes on more information to you than the second. And less bullshitting. Anyways. That’s why I love Monterey market. You see obscure, small farms gaining identity at this place. A lot of times you see the owner taking a risk in buying certain produce just to help his farmers out. Like the funky ripe-picked peaches. That’s just pure insanity when you try to transport them, hoping that they get sold out within 3,4 days before the whole bin rots… Anyway. A different type of Zen exists at Monterey Market. It’s always crazy busy and crowded, but people are nice and friendly. Miu
I spend the last 3,4 hours reading The Chocolate War that Son got from the library on Thursday. Gripping book, a very good read, but it made me dizzy in its darkness. Sort of like Lord of the Flies in terms of theme, but worse. When I was a child, I used to get dizzy spells every now and then, mostly when I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep. I would feel that the tile floor which was cool against my cheeks had suddenly morphed into a black hole, and I was falling, falling, falling… like Alice… And true to Alice, I didn’t do anything to stop the fall. I could have opened my eyes to end it, but I concentrated on the fall instead. It was a sickening feeling in my stomach, but my curiousity for the sensation got the better of me. That’s what it’s like reading this book, falling into a black hole. You might wanna try to read it sometimes. Some schools make this a reading assignment, that’s how I’ve heard of it. Yay for Son’s good taste. He said he read it in translation years ago. He may have read widely ranging from Proust to Kant or whatever, but I have his ass on the wall if I ever list of the variety of romances/trashy novels I have consumed and at what rate. That is before going into communist and Catholic literatures .
Now I’m out of things to read. Oh well, Mario Kart will do.
update: I lied, I ended up spamming Jukki’s site instead.