Nice weekend visiting Eileen and Laura in San Francisco. Bruce’s son had a baseball double-header so he was not able to join us for dinner. Eileen wound up working a lot more for her conference than she thought, so we did not have as much time to visit as expected. So I wandered the city, went to the Bastille Day celebrations, had some good lunches sitting outside at sidewalk cafes and generally relaxed. Worked a little on my book and read Bukowski. We even went to a protest downtown on Friday night to join the voices against the inhumane and ridiculous treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers.
Last night we went to Laura’s for dinner. Laura and I met in 2003 when we were both in the process of quitting Siebel to go off and do our own thing. I was headed for Namibia to teach and she was headed for French Cooking school in New York. The shared experience of flipping off corporate America brought us together as friends. We have remained somewhat in touch in the years since. We both wrote books about our experiences, we both continued to pursue different types of opportunities; she as a sommelier and professional chef and I started MYO and a few other ventures. And, we have both come crawling back to corporate when necessary to subsidize the costs of chasing dreams.
But fuck em’, I will keep popping in and out as necessary to make sure I have time to do some fun stuff along the way.
Laura cooked for us last night in her fab apartment on the 20th floor of a new building overlooking the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. We started with Gougeres, light little traditional French cheese popovers, which we had with Champagne. Also sliced cucumbers and radish with hummus and home-cured olives. Next we had salmon with quinoa and asparagus with a beautiful rosé and finally small chocolate cakes with flavored cream and a lovely Italian desert wine called Ben Rye. After that, Laura even treated us to a very unique port wine that was bottled in 1921 (1875 vintage). It was light and delicate and unlike anything I had ever tasted before. Very cool.
The last time I saw Laura was around 10 years or so ago. She was living in Paris and I was heading to Namibia via Paris. One of MYO’s early supporters lived in Paris and I was headed over for an annual update and to beg for money for the coming year.
I had not seen or talked to Laura in a year or more, but when I boarded the flight for Paris from O’Hare, I sat down in my seat and there she was. Same flight and side-by-side seats. An interesting coincidence.
Most people remember where they were on 9/11. I was living in San Francisco and supposed to fly out that day for East Coast for work. But of course I woke to the news and plans changed. Not knowing what else to do, I went to our offices at Siebel, in San Mateo. But it was very quiet. There were perhaps 50 people in a building that normally had thousands. Soon, a security guard came and made us all leave. I had just moved here from London the week before and was in an extended stay hotel until the apartment I had rented was available. So rather than go back to the hotel I went for a long run along the bay. This is just south of the airport and it was weird to have no planes coming and going over the bay.
A few days later, I flew out on the first day the airports re-opened. It was surreal. We were many, all 4 hours early for our flights as instructed. And there was no bitching about security or rushing around or any of the normal jockeying for advantage of normal air travel.
So anytime I fly through SFO, this is what I remember.
Nice, relaxing weekend.
No other news of note.