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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
  • November 29, 2006


    Cafe Flore II

    I usually go to Cafe Flore at least three times a week, especially when my friends Be and O are working at the bar. They are perfect examples of what casual acquaintances, slowly simmered over time, turn into friendship. They know what I usually get for drink--a large double nonfat latte to start and maybe a cup of English breakfast afterwards. Anyway, I was up at Cafe Flore for my usual rut after work--bringing with me a stack of papers, my laptop, my iPod and a couple of books to read. I put on the headphones in which the vivacious movements of Haydn Symphony 95 (Haydn, my thinking music) came alive as I scribbled a few thoughts on my Moleskine notebook. A guy in his mid to late-forties, with a slightly buzz cut hair, somewhat muscular, built more like an ex-football player, but not too tall, walked up to my table. (I had to confess he was pretty cute.) At first I was not aware of him but when I looked up, I was a little taken aback then he was going to invite himself to sit down:

    "Are you Chris?"


    Upon hearing that his cheeks were sunken.

    "Do you know an Asian guy named Chris?"


    Why and *HOW* would he get the idea that I know this guy Chris whom he's obviously meeting here for the first time. Talk about randomness.

    About 20 minutes later, I went up to the bar and had Be refill a cup of hot water for my tea. The supposed Chris, who was late, finally walked in and surveyed the entire cafe and looked to meet his new friend. I could see how the ex-coach (my fantasy LOL) had mistaken me for his new boyfriend--we're both of the same height, both sported a moustache, both built a somewhat too hunky for the usual scrawny Asian guys.

    I told Be about this interesting encounter. She gave a quick, crisp laugh to signalled her not being surprised. This is Cafe Flore, after all, known for the addictive people-watching, for the furtive glance aplenty. I walked back to my corner table where I was basking in the warm aftternoon sun, took up those headphones again whith Haydn Symphony 22--the Philosopher's Symphony on.

    Cafe Flore, what a cruisy place.


    Blogger matty said...

    LOL! That is so odd --- that he thinks you would know his date.

    I think all places in San Francisco are cruisy --- especially in The Castro.

    I still prefer my Sweet Inspirations. More laid back.

    ...I've been sooooo sick. The doctor is allowing me to return to work for tomorrow. oy.

    11/29/2006 8:12 AM  
    Blogger digital t-square said...

    Don't all of us Asians know each other? I'm the non-scrawny one. Heh.

    11/29/2006 3:16 PM  
    Anonymous Chris said...

    You should just tell him you're hris since he was all over you LOL

    11/30/2006 6:19 AM  
    Anonymous Chris said...

    I like Sweet Inspirations too except that I have to fight my temptation to the cakes.

    11/30/2006 6:20 AM  
    Blogger Joshua said...

    That is very odd - and it makes me wonder what would've happened if you said you were Chris? And honestly that comment seems more fitting for the East Coast - where there aren't as large of concentrations and diversities of Asian-Americans (other than NYC). Great entry.

    12/01/2006 12:12 PM  
    Blogger mingerspice said...

    You should have replied "do you know a white guy named jackass?"

    Not that I'd have the cojones to do it. :)

    12/06/2006 10:59 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Matty: I know you're such the PR for SI, I like it too on some days. :)

    Dig: You don't seem scrawny to me! Glad we're on the same boat buddy.

    Chris and Minger: I'm glad I didn't say that because I've been seeing him around, but without Chris! I saw Chris hanging out with another sugar-daddy the other day at the Harvey's! Poor guy....

    Joshua: It was very odd indeed. But I could understand why he might have thought I was Chris--because Chris and I looked like the "same type". :)

    12/07/2006 6:18 AM  
    Blogger Kalvin said...

    For a first time stopping by your blog, I'm really struck by how much I enjoy your writing style, and how many of the same books we've read! I have to admit when I first read the story my first impulse was like that of digital t-square, but perhaps I'm too quick to judge. Maybe I'll have to spend more time over at the Flore.

    12/11/2006 10:05 AM  

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