I visited Auau for her 25th birthday. She picked me up at SFO and we ate dinner at Sky Cafe before heading to Oakland to listen to Eckhart Tolle speak. What a day it’s been. I didn’t take many pictures since the sun was setting, but here are some snaps with my SX-70.
VACATIONS + FOOD. Company and conversation may be great, but eating out socially SOS-free (SOS = sugar, oil, salt) is not particularly fun -- for my mouth, that is. During my last visit, back in September 2021, I ordered Sky Cafe’s Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich and it was deeeeelicious. Eating it was enjoyable. It was FUN, like a party in my mouth. The sandwich was loaded with teriyaki tofu, and it lovingly sat on a bed of pickled daikon and carrots, and it was smothered with some kind of vegan aioli sauce. The bread was a lightly toasted French roll. Yummy. It even came with a mound of French fries on the side. It was really good. I ordered the same thing this time, BUT, I asked for an oil-free salad instead of fries, and I asked them to hold the aioli sauce. Well, without any oils, the meal failed to satisfy. Not fun. The food was unmemorable. No, strike that. It was memorable -- for being bland. I’m not faulting Sky Cafe since it was I who scratched their key ingredient that made it palatable, but I gotta say that there are so many ways to make a dish tasty, even without processed sugars, sodium chloride, or oils of any kind. I think it will be a long time until I come across a restaurant that I can visit where the food will be a delight and more importantly, I won’t have to check any of the ingredients to be sure that they won’t harm my body in any way.

THE CONCERT. The traffic on the Bay Bridge was cray. We didn’t get back to Auau’s place until 7:15. When we got to her house, I dropped off my things and then we caught an Uber back to Oakland (on a side note, as an Uber virgin, riding an Uber felt like I had just graduated into modern society. It felt rather exciting). By the time we got to Paramount Theater, it had already gotten pretty dark, which was great because its red, blue, and green signage sparkled and dazzled in contrast. And the crowd -- the excitement and energy was palpable! Au scored us great seats, so we sat pretty close to the front. There we were, two sisters, celebrating a birthday, sitting near-front row seats at the Paramount Theater, about to listen to our favorite gnome speak... what a night! But as wonderful as Eckhart Tolle was, his soft voice just lulled me to sleep. Maybe it was the flight and the late dinner, and maybe because it was almost my bedtime, but for the life of me, I couldn’t stay awake. As I sat in my comfy theater chair, I was thinking how I should have brought it with me... what I would give at that moment to discretely spritz my face with some of Mother Dirt’s Probiotic Mist. Just a spritz, I thought, that’s all I needed... god help me.

A few minutes later, Auau and I decided to go to the restroom to splash our faces with water in hopes that it would help us stay awake (she dozed off, too, LOL). We went to the restroom, but we didn’t go back. We thought: heck, the talk was nearly over and so we opted to miss the crowds and catch an Uber home instead. This worked well out because just as we were leavng the women’s restroom, the talk ended and the Tolle fanatics overwhelmed the exits. So long, Eckhart... I’ll see you at a later now, armed with spray bottle for misting.
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