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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • July 24, 2006


    Dim Sum Ritual & A Surprised Treat

    John and I had dim sum (Chinese small plates and tea) yesterday at Mayflower on Geary at 27th. We weren't sure if we would be able to grab a table since it was around 1 p.m., as Chinese families pack almost every dim sum place during the lunch rush. Traditionally dim sum is a morning ritual that brings together people from around villages--housewives catch up with the latest gossips, older men flaunt their birds. Now the Chinese families, who have yet completely ridden of their gregarious nature, would usually gather around the round table on Sunday for a feast of chicken feet, beef tripe, and pigs blood.

    John and I didn't have any of the innards thank God, nor did we have any gossip to catch up with. No sooner had we sat down did the ladies who were carrying tray full of deep fried squids, deep fried shrimp puffs, and a variety of sweet-stuffs flocked to our table, but John passed all those plates that were usually catered to a gweilo (Chinese slang that refers to a foreigner). The servers at Mayflower were somewhat taken aback at John's reckless rebuttal to all the hot-sell plates made for the Americans. Anyway we opted for plates that were not only the staples of dim sum but were also reminiscent of my childhood: cha siu bao (pork bun), har gow (steamed shrimp dumpling), har cheong (steamed thick rice noodle with shrimp), steamed tunip cake, siu loong bao (Shanghai dumpling), and the disappointing wu gok (crispy taro puff). I am very impressed with John's adroit chopsticks skills!

    For tea the expert in John called for gook bow, a mix of chrysanthemum and the Chinese black tea pu er, and the strength of which lasted through the meal. Hidden in his plastic bag were secretive dessert treats he would save for the last. So we hopped back into the car and headed for the water but instantly regretted it because there were absolutely no parking at Ocean Beach nor its vicinity. So we went up to Twin Peak instead, sat on the heated stoned rail and had these cream puffs from Beard Pa Pa, a Japanese phenomenon that had swept all over Asia more than 5 years ago. Enjoying the panoramic view of the city, we munched away those cream puffs in no time as the tourists who scuttled about striking their best posts for pictures watched us with envious eyes.


    Blogger HAIRYBEARS said...





    7/24/2006 1:08 PM  
    Blogger Anomie-Atlanta said...

    Yum! The only things I like about San Francisco are the abundance of cute men and the dim sum place across from ABC in Chinatown.

    7/25/2006 10:21 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Oh that's Great Eastern on Jackson.

    It's a yummy Cantonese cuisine place. :)

    7/25/2006 12:15 PM  
    Blogger A. Estella Sassypants said...

    I have yet to try dim sum, but I'm putting in a rush order with a friend. We must try it. Sounds wonderful!

    7/25/2006 2:27 PM  
    Blogger mingerspice said...

    Aww, no innards? I'm a big innards fan! :)

    I like Mayflower because the food is pretty decent, and the lines aren't unreasonable, even at 1PM on the weekends. You still get the occasionaly disappointing dish, though (I agree about the wu gok).

    Koi Palace's food is better across the board, but I've had to wait over an hour to get a table.

    Actually, I do think that Mayflower's Loh Mai Gai is better than Koi Palace's, but that's about it.

    7/25/2006 5:58 PM  
    Blogger digital t-square said...

    When my dad was alive, we'd go "yum cha" every Sunday. Now we only go once or twice a month. My favorites are gin doi, charsui cheong, pai kwet, and foon jow (gae geck). Okay, that's the extent of my Cantonese. And what's worse, it's in that Toisan village dialect. I guess that's what I get for not learning to speak Chinese when I was a kid. I favored Spanish, which is my mom's native tongue.

    7/25/2006 6:18 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...


    John likes Koi Palace better too. We decided to go to Mayflower because it was getting late on Sunday and didn't want to venture out there to Koi. The wu gok was soaked in grease at the bottown and there was not enough crispy crumb. Oh...I like loh mai gai too. :)

    digital t-square,
    I used to go every weekend when my mom was around. I love those gin doi - the deep fried sesame ball - but I like the kind without any filling, and you can only get it in Chinatown. I like all the cheong fun...sometimes I'll go for the plain with soy sauce only. :)

    So do you speak Spanish? My friend grew up in Costa Rica and he speaks better Spanish than Chinese!

    7/26/2006 6:47 AM  
    Blogger digital t-square said...

    Hey Matt- yah I speak Spanish. My pau-pau was Mexican (married to my Chinese gung-gung). My mom grew up in Mexico City's Chinatown. But I'm 100% Toisan on my dad's side.

    7/26/2006 1:59 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Digital T-Square,

    That explains why you look a tiny bit of Hispanic from your profile picture.

    I never knew there's Chinatown in Mexico City, it must be fun. Do they have dim sum there?

    I was born and raised in Hong Kong, a transplant in America. Have you ever been to China?

    I'll add you onto my blogroll. k?

    7/27/2006 6:16 AM  

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