The Fun-Nest Sunday Ever!

Dear Niece G was very kind to spend Sunday with her dotty aunt.  We met at the Menlo Park Farmers Market, strolled along Santa Cruz Avenue.  Self showed niece her favorite stationers store — Village Stationers, of course!  We also browsed through Penzey’s Spices and looked at aprons in Harvest.

The original plan was to see “Take Shelter,” showing at the Menlo Guild, but we ended up driving back to Redwood City and eating at Crouching Tiger, teensy restaurant on Broadway featuring spicy Sichuan food.  We each ordered a lunch special (which included soup and rice).  Mongolian Beef, Scallion Lamb and two appetizers came out to a grand total of about $25.  What a deal!

Then we went to the Century 20, and self said she was willing and able to watch any movie (except “Moneyball” or “Drive”).  She suggested “Footloose,” but niece hadn’t even seen the original, and really, how can anything compare to the young Kevin Bacon?  So then, self suggested the re-make of “The Thing,” but niece was not too into horror.  So we ended up watching “Real Steel.”  And it was hugely enjoyable (at least self thought it was).  It was like “Rocky,” only with robots.  And it was set in the near future (sometime after 2014).  And Evangeline Lilly is, like, really really ripped (and adorable).  And Hugh Jackman looks really good, and —  self!  Can’t you ever deliver a serious review?

Well, once niece leaned over and commented:  “Wow, this movie is really doing the product placement!”  And after that, self began to notice all the banners for Bing and ESPN and Sprint.  But until niece made the comment, self was completely oblivious.

Twice, niece bent over and whispered, “This is so corny!”

“Yeah,” self said, “but it’s really well done!  And Hugh Jackman looks really good!”

After the movie, we walked to Pampelmousse.  And niece was at first going to go for the cheesecake, but decided on a chocolate giandia something or other, and self had the tiramisu.  And in just one of several lucky breaks today, we made it just before the place closed for the day!

And then self drove niece home.  But first we walked around Valencia Street in the Mission.  Boy, has this street undergone an upgrade or what!  There are so many cute, trendy restaurants (whereas before, self remembers a faintly “grunge,” seedy air), and there are still bookstores like Dog-Eared Books and Borderlands Books, where the man behind the counter was named Jeremy and —  Jeremy!  Liza Erpelo’s Jeremy ???  Why, yes!  Self only recognized him after he asked her if she knew a writer named Zack Linmark.  “How,” self nearly shouted at him, “is Aubrey?” Oh my goodness, ooh la la, that was really serendipity.  And we ended up talking about —  of all things — that most surprising of Filipino speculative fiction personalities, Charles Tan!  And self mentioned that she happened to see Charles at the recent Manila International Book Festival!

Jeremy and Niece G, Borderlands Books, Valencia St., San Francisco

Self bought two copies of Paolo Bacigalupi’s young adult novel Ship Breaker, one for herself and one for niece (From the back cover:  “A gritty, high-stakes adventure set in a futuristic world where oil is scarce, but loyalty is scarcer.”  Sold!)  Then, self very regretfully had to drive home, even though niece invited her to sleep over (Sleep over with niece, whose apartment is right across the street from Philz Coffee and a place that sells the best lengua tacos, not to mention the pot shop that advertises the freshest Purple Kush — !  Though niece primly tells self, “for medicinal purposes only.” Good one, niece G!).  But self ruefully had to decline, for just in the nick of time she remembered that Bella, the ol’crit, was waiting for her at home.

At home, dear ol’ beagle Bella was waiting, famished.  It’s a good thing self had the foresight to make a large pot of chicken apritada yesterday!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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