It's an Exciting World

The life and times of David Geisert



Porridge and Tea

George hosted a great brunch of congee / porridge. Yutong made two of the three types and they were all delicious.  I tried them all, and all the varied toppings.  I especially liked the ma po tofu, but that was no surprise.  We grabbed some of the voluminous leftovers and had tasty congee for several days afterwards.

We then headed to Rong’s and met her and Riley for tea and scones.  The conversation was great and we had a nice walk by the bay.  Steph made some delicious tea sandwiches as well.

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Hand Pies

George was kind enough to host a large cooking experiment, of many different types of hand pies.  We had two types of dough and about 15 types of filling.  The savory fillings were mushroom, curry chicken, veggie sausage, berbere beef, cheddar jalapeno beef, bacon cheddar potato, rosemary chicken, pear, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, and ham and cheese.  We also tried a dough with sourcream instead of water, but I couldn’t tell the difference.  The pies mostly came out really well, and the orange sauce picked up the slack for any pies that were either too dry or too bland.  The mushroom and curry chicken were the favorites.  Steph had gotten back early that morning, so she wasn’t able to join for much of the cooking, but she showed up as the last pies were coming out of the oven.

Yutong and Paul helped out a lot and brought some really tasty food.  Adisa showed up and helped out as well.  Steph, Tina, George, and I played a round of Terraforming Mars with the game going much more slowly than it usually does.  Both Tina and Steph were not thinking quickly as their jet lags from being in the south west Pacific was still pretty strong.  George ended up winning by a lot, hitting a solid score of 100.

LA Weekend

Steph took the day off on Thursday and we hung around the house as well as getting a few new plants for the garden.  That evening we joined the others (Lindsay, Debby, Andrew, Kevin) for our flight to LA for the weekend.

We got in a little later than scheduled and checked into a pretty nice Airbnb while Andrew and Debby went to Jen’s place.

The next morning we all met up at Grand Central Market.  Steph and I got some delicious avocado toast, that also had a nice cheese and some cherry tomatoes.  Steph got a grilled cheese sandwich that was pretty tasty as well.  We grabbed our coffees and headed over to The Broad museum.  We were pretty far back in line, but among the first to get callback times for the special exhibit, an infinity room with lights.  It was pretty spectacular.

After The Broad we went to Pizzeria Mozza.  This was a place we had seen on Youtube and Netflix shows and really wanted to try.  It was pretty good, and I think Debby’s breakfast pizza was the best.  After a short rest at the Airbnb we went to Korea Town.  On the way everyone else got mani pedis, while I talked to my parents.  We also stopped by a mall and did a little karaoke while we waited.  We had reservations at a Korean BBQ place, and all ate way too much.  Our clothes also smelled strongly of the meat smoke and had to be quarantined.

The next day we had breakfast again at Grand Central Market, then headed to the next Airbnb in Santa Monica.  We got in a little early so we got some Impossible Burgers at Umami burger.  We ate them in the Airbnb while Debby and Andrew came over.  The burgers weren’t bad, but also not good.  I was pretty tired so I took a one hour nap while the others headed to the beach.

They didn’t spend long there, and we met up on 3rd to do some light shopping before heading to dinner.  We went to an okonomiyaki place and it was delicious.

After dinner we wandered around and got some tasty bread pudding.

Sunday we split up after brunch, some going to the beach again, some going to a VR Star Wars experience.

Steph had to head to the airport for her flight to china, so she didn’t get to participate.  Also we met up with Grant there.  Grant got recognized by one of the people who worked there, and was thanked for his work on Star Wars.

Jen showed me her bunnies, as we stopped by her place to grab Debby and Andrew’s things.

Skyline to the Sea

Stephanie, Adam, Tina, and I did part of the Skyline to the Sea trail.  We didn’t do the part we meant to but we did about the same length we had planned.  When we reached the trail from Big Basin, and then made a mistake.  We saw a sign that said ‘Skyline to the Sea’ and just went off in that direction.  We didn’t notice the sign went both ways along the trail.  This meant instead of heading to the ocean, we were heading up the mountain.  We made it up to the intersection of 9 and 236, but were unable to get an Uber or Lyft to come get us.  We managed to get a ride into Saratoga, and hung out for a bit at Cinnabar, a wine bar.

Later that day we got dinner with George and Adam.  The place was Adega and the food was pretty good.  My favorite dish was the duck fried rice, and I think the sangria sampler was even better than that.  It was a good day.

Adam’s Welcome back Latkes

Adam put on a latke party at his place, and it was quite nice.  The only not so great part was getting in, as his phone didn’t really work with the intercom call system.  We managed to get everyone into the place and I had a few really good conversations.  We got in the hot tub for part of it and Yutong brought a cute Polaroid imitation camera.  There was plenty of good food and drink, not to mention tons of tasty latkes.

Time with Steph

I’ve enjoyed having Steph back and we’ve gotten to do some nice things together.  We went to the Mayfield holiday party, she made me some tasty tasty ramen, and we tried a restaurant from some of the recommendations she tracks, Pausa.

Thanksgiving with the Lee’s and friends

Thanksgiving morning I got up and got the turkey in the oven.  I decided to go with Chef John’s recipe from Food Wishes; he’s never steered us wrong before.  I had defrosted the turkey over the past 4 days, and made the herb butter.  I got to use lots of the herbs in our yard for this including: thyme, rosemary, and sage.  I also started up some of the potato and leek soup, another Food Wishes recipe.  The turkey got 2 hours in the oven before we left for the Lee’s house.

I helped Mr. Lee with the TV, cleaning up the wires in the back and making sure everything was working properly.  We got everything set up before heading to dinner.  Jeff and Patty brought their baby, who was surprisingly well behaved.  We had a nice dinner, and as it happens, the conversation tended to center on the baby.  Stephanie’s cornbread went over really well.  We managed to make it out of the house without piles of leftovers, which was nice, as we had a ton of food for the next get together already.

We got back and put the turkey back in the oven for another two hours.  The drippings were more voluminous than I had expected and the bottom of the oven got a decent coating of turkey fat.  We got everything cleaned up and set up, and got a little bit to relax before people showed up.  We were joined by Lindsay, Kevin, Debby, Andrew, and Adam.  Adam brought over some really tasty drink mixes.  I want to make more of the ginger pepper mix in the future.  It might be worth while to drop some ginger and pepper in a cider and see what happens.

The timing couldn’t have been better, as Andrew and Debby showed up as the turkey was ready to come out of the oven.  It turned out much better than expected, and I would say it was one of the best turkeys I’ve had.  I got the 16 lb turkey, and we ate about 2/3 of it.  After dinner Lindsay had a great exercise in showing appreciation for each other, which didn’t go exactly as she expected, I think.  It was still great to hear the appreciation that was shared.  We played a special round of Scatagories that Lindsay planned as well, and it was a lot harder than I would have thought.

The guys and gals split after that; guys drafting mtg, and gals doing a kitty puzzle.  We ended at about the same time and had another round of drinks and some pie.  The pie was from Alexanders, and Debby was nice enough to bring them for us.  We started playing some jackbox games after pie.   We went through 5 different games, and it was a lot of fun.  I didn’t win any of the games, but it was still great fun.  We played another round of mtg with the cards we had drafted and it turned out almost exactly like the previous round.  I was dealing a ton of damage, but I got focused down by everyone else.

It was a great evening, and I appreciated the great people I got to spend the day with.

Pokemon Pot Luck

Debby organized a Pokemon themed pot luck at George’s place.  It was a lot of fun and after eating we played some Jackbox Games.

Debby made a Pikachu cake

Andrew made a Psyduck fried rice

Lindsay made Dugtrio hot dogs (with guidance from Kevin)

I made a beet Koffing

and a veggie Scyther

and white chocolate Poke Balls

Steph made Exeggcutes deviled eggs


I did an 80 hour fast this week from 11pm on Monday to 9am on Friday.  It wasn’t as hard as I was expecting, but it was uncomfortable in ways I didn’t.  I should have expected not being able to think as clearly, but it was more pronounced than I would have thought.  I also started getting light headed at times.  I started feeling sick in other ways and decided to stop.

During the fast I had black coffee, mint tea, diet coke, and lots of water.  I also took multivitamins and ate random pinches of salt.  I chose a time that wouldn’t mess with social engagements too much, although the time period did include a wedding celebration.  That wedding celebration was low key enough that I could avoid food with only one person wondering why.  In total I only had to mention it to 2 people, the one at the wedding and one that invited me to dinner.  I also told Steph.  I’d do it again, but maybe with more prep.

I broke my fast with my standard two scoops of chocolate protein powder mixed with half a scoop of instant coffee breakfast.  My stomach was ok with that, so I’ll try a bit more at lunch and maybe have pho for dinner.

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