gnocchi with morels and sage shrimp tatsuta-age sweet and sour beef short ribs almond cake with blood oranges (gluten-free)


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play date

Jeremy has been busting ass more than usual for the past 8 days on work stuff. That and he was simultaneously taking care of me after my last chemo. Poor guy was feeling stressed out, exhausted. So I asked him if he’d like to catch a movie today. Jeremy loves to go to the movies. Just loves it. I could go either way and my tolerance for crappy movies is far far lower than his. He worked from home in the morning and drove me into Boulder to catch Iron Man – because we are both comic book adaptation whores. [I not so secretly covet Dark Phoenix’s telekinetic and psychic powers.] Thoroughly entertaining movie.

After the flick, we stopped at Chez Thuy for a delicious lunch of soft shell crab, pan-fried noodles, and crispy duck.


i had a craving for crunchy

seriously good flavor



The food at Chez Thuy is always great, but the service… Each time I’ve been, the female wait staff is just grumpy as hell. They act as if you are single-handedly making their lives suck. They grunt at you, don’t make eye contact, and have a look on their face as if they are constipated. This baffles me. The male servers on the other hand, are so sweet and pleasant. This also baffles me.

After picking up groceries, I was done – wiped. I should be recovering my energy any day now, but apparently not just yet. Luckily, my driver was kind enough to pull over a couple of times on the way home so I could photograph more blooms. The leaves on the trees are glowing like brilliant yellow-green gemstones right now. I feel so alive to feel the warmth of the sunshine and enjoy the cool air breezes.


lilacs



I love lilacs. I was first made aware of them when I used to hike the San Gabriels out of Pasadena. The wild Ceanothus (California Lilac) littered the trailsides in white, pink, purple every spring. At Cornell, the lilac blossoms and their heavenly scents ushered in warmer weather and the exodus of the undergraduate population from Ithaca. I relished walking home through the Arts Quad, inhaling the delicate perfume, the Chimes ringing out the close of the day with enough light left for a run along Fall Creek.

some nice ones by the justice league center



Further up canyon is my absolute favorite Tree. Yes, this one particular tree is my favorite in Boulder Canyon. I have admired it for nearly three years now, but it is this time of year when it explodes in its true glory.

of course, a cherry



First, it’s huge. Second, it is situated right around the bend (coming from either direction) and the sudden appearance of this tree – loaded with blossoms overhanging Boulder Creek – is a happy-making sight. I’ve made mental notes to myself in past years to stop and shoot it, but always managed to miss the window of blossoms, having a camera on me, and not being in a rush to get someplace. I got a few shots off today, but more than anything, I just enjoyed standing on the narrow shoulder of the road, admiring my beloved tree.



For some reason the spring bloom is ever more precious this time around. Well, I know the reason. Perspective is important.

21 nibbles at “play date”

  1. Antonio Tahhan says:

    I could definitely go for some of that duck right about now.
    ps. your blurb on Cornell was beautiful, but we could definitely use some of those lilacs to usher in warmer weather right about now… I just walked home in 35-degree weather… this shouldn’t be happening in mid-may.

  2. manggy says:

    Wow, *Dark* Phoenix? That’s taking it a step too far don’t you think? :P You know, telekinesis is fun, but just simple telepathy would serve me well. At least the behavior of the female servers won’t baffle you anymore– you’d know the reason why they hate you, har har. Of course, there’s a chance you’ll get nothing but white noise for many people, lol. I could totally weed out everyone in politics. Oh wait, there’d be nobody left. The Morlock healer’s power would make my life soooo much easier. I already look like a Morlock, so that’s half the job done.

    Huh, I’m not surprised at all. When I went to the States, male service-people were generally nicer. I don’t want to think of the reasons why. Anyway, I’m a fan of superhero movies too, but my exile means I haven’t yet watched Iron Man despite glowing reviews from the world. Graeme will probably say I suck, so I will preemptively say that *he* sucks (what a “comeback”).

    I love your tree; the picture you took, brook and all, looks just so tear-inducingly perfect.

  3. peabody says:

    The flowers are just gorgeous. I love the lilacs!

  4. Peter says:

    The dinner looks sumptuous and I wish they could figure a way for lilacs to stay in bloom for the whole summer.

  5. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    Gorgeous lilacs :) Ithaca uni quad sounds so much nicer than my uni’s soulless one! I’ve been in quite a few bars where the females serving would ignore me completely but fall over themselves to help out guys (and vice versa…)

  6. Lan says:

    what amazes me about the blooms is that it’s in CO and it’s still got snow on the ground!!! talk about nature’s oxymoron. i decided i like the color combos purple and green when i saw a lilac field in Ireland. mind you, i wasn’t actually in ireland, i saw it in a really bad movie (PS I Love You) and it’s what i remember most vividly about the movie (other than hot ass gerard butler).
    the female waitstaff’s expression brings to mind what my parents used to say my face was like when i was a teen and hated being around them: translated literally from vietnamese: face like a ripped blanket. now i use that expression on my sisters.

  7. Shell says:

    Lilacs! My favorite flower next to the rose. Goodness they are just about done blooming here in Pa. I so look forward to the short 2 weeks of the blooms here. Was graced with a bush from my DH and youngest for Mothers Day this year. I so love them.
    You food always makes me run to the kitchen to cook. Keep getting better.

  8. Susan at StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Oh, how I miss the lilacs! Your photos are soooo beautiful! When we lived up north, our backyard was filled with lilac and cherry trees. Each year at this time it was a fairyland of pinks, lavenders and purples! Sadly, we don’t have either down here.

    That crispy duck looks pretty fab too. I just tried pan-fried noodles for the first time the other day in a Vietnamese restaurant we like to go to. I really liked them!

  9. Mrs Ergül says:

    Come on, swop the weather with me. Just for a day, that’s already enough for me ;) What I had here is 30°C at night, gosh! I need the fan blowing straight at me the whole night.

    Yup, perspective is important. Different things we went through in different stages of our lives make us see things in a different light.

    Roasted duck rice… Hmmmm… Yummy…. There is a stall that sells delish HK delights near my workplace. Nice!

    Take lots of care Jen!

  10. Tartelette says:

    Fat chance of seeing lilacs here unless on a plantation grounds, so your pics fill my day with smiles!
    I am right beside you with the superhero following part…although Bill never gets it, that and Battlestar Galactica but it’s been ages since I actually had the time to sit down and watch an episode.
    The restaurant looks like a great place for lunch indeed!

  11. Kevin says:

    Nice photos!

  12. Abby says:

    That food looks awesome – glad bad service doesn’t ruin a meal for you. It does for me at times.

    Those blooms are beautiful! I also love lilacs. My great aunt has them lining her driveway, and every year I say I’m going to get some babies out of the ground and plant them at my house. I might have to this year!

  13. Holly says:

    Oh! We had lilacs and yellow roses. I miss both! Those pictures are so, so beautiful!

    My fam went and saw Iron Man without me and really liked it. I should be able to get out soon to see it. Phoenix was always one of my favorites too. She just so completely rocks! Hmmm… who else… Well, Canary is kind of cool, but I really like Huntress. Yeah, my older brother helped with my education. :)

    Hope you continue to keep feeling better soon!!

  14. jenyu says:

    Antonio – ooh, sorry it’s so cold still :( Summer will eventually arrive! :)

    Mark – nah, Dark Phoenix kicks serious butt. Those female servers are that way to everyone! It’s really puzzling because in general I find wait staff don’t differ much by gender – at least not in my experience. I don’t think telepathy would be all that great because as you said, most people aren’t thinking anything interesting ;) ha ha. You don’t look anything like a Morlock! You and Graeme are insane ;)

    Peabody – me too!

    Peter – wouldn’t that be wonderful? They are so pleasant.

    Laura – oh that sucks. I don’t frequent bars, so luckily don’t have to put up with that BS.

    Lan – I should point out that the snow I show is from my house which is at 8500 feet above sea level. The flowers I shot were down in Boulder, at 5300 feet above sea level. That’s a huge difference in climate. Well, as a teenager, I think that expression is probably common. But when it’s your job to be nice to people… different story, no?

    Shell – lucky you! Even if I were given a lilac bush, it would die a miserable death here in our very long and hard winters. Thanks!

    Susan – I’m sure you guys have tons of beautiful blooms in FL! But that image of cherries and lilacs sounds so lovely. :)

    Mrs. Ergul – yeah, when I lived in hot places with no air conditioning, I used to lie with a fan pointed at me all night! Thanks!

    Tartelette – Hey, I’ve seen pictures of your town before and you guys have tons of beautiful flowers growing there! But I’m glad you enjoyed these :) Oh, we’re total BSG whores. We are currently waiting to see the latest episode online since we don’t own a TV! hee hee.

    Kevin – thank you!

    Abby – it can detract from the meal, sure. I guess that’s why we don’t go that often :( Oooh, your great aunt’s place sounds so beautiful. I hope you get one!

    Holly – thank you :) Oh, you will want to see Iron Man. It’s great. Doesn’t take itself too seriously, but is smart enough not to insult the viewer – and just plain FUN to watch.

  15. Maya says:

    I want to watch that movie ….one of these days.
    That crispy duck looks good!

  16. Amy says:

    Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers. Today in Ithaca it is going to be a high of 49: hardly warm balmy late-May weather, but it will pass through. The lilacs on our street are just starting to bloom, so hopefully in another week or so their scent will be wafting through the air.

    The duck looks yummy. :)

  17. Christine says:

    Jen – the lilacs with the forsythia (?) in the background are so beautiful. I absolutely love the photo of the cherry blossom tree with the creek bending around it. There are several trees/places here that I keep missing that narrow window…I never got a chance to hike the San Gabriel mountains. I’ll definitely try to get there next time I’m home.

  18. jenyu says:

    Maya – it’s a good movie :) The duck was delish!

    Amy – ooh, that’s what Tony said, that Ithaca has been under a cold spell of late. I hope it gets warmer (it WILL get warmer!). It’s coming up on my favorite season in Ithaca!

    Chirstine – I don’t actually know what the tree was in the background, but it wasn’t forsythia because it was HUGE (like 15 feet high). I’m really bad at IDing trees though :( There must be some lovely blooms at the Arb, right? When’s the next trip to So Cal for ya? We’re planning a trip out soon – wouldn’t it be cool to meet up there (I mean, at an In-n-Out?) ha ha ha!

  19. White On Rice Couple says:

    OMG, love the lilacs!! I’m really enjoying these pictures here.
    Chez Thuy, sounds very Viet to me. The service is not surprising. Some of my people don’t seem to understand the concept of “customer service”. Maybe you should say a few words in Viet to her , then she’ll think you understand and be a little nicer.

  20. Mollie says:

    I love the lilacs… we had them behind my house growing up and my dad would bring big pitchers of the blooms into the house for my mom. They make me think of home…

  21. jenyu says:

    WoRC – honey, I’d need you there to help me with the Viet words because I know NONE :)

    Mollie – how sweet!

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