Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wiki for R.A.C.

From Wikipedia, the free* encyclopedia

R.A.C. (or Brother) (born
1981, Oakland, California) is/was a child prodigy and is soon-to-be newly graduated (with an MA, making his ma proud) from what is sometimes known as the Country Club School of Performing Arts .

R.A.C.'s family is in the United States, having not needed to flee the Soviet occupation of Hungary. R.A.C. wishes he, too, could visit the National Air and Space Museum during his lunchbreak, though he is glad that, at present, he doesn't have a job requiring him to take a lunch break. He can, he notes, eat lunch whenever he wants, which is often or, even sometimes, all the time. If he were to visit Sarah in DC, he would likely fly into Washington Dulles International Airport, where sometimes they house large aircraft. Also, Dulles has a new annex named the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, named after who may or may not have been R.A.C.'s former home teachee's father.

See also
List of best wedding cake makers
List of possible cross country road trip companions

External links
Forbes.com: Forbes World's Good Lookingest People
Retrieved from "


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Penguin Game

Tonight I was introduced to the Penguin Game.

(All of this blank space is to indicate silence/a reverential lack of words to describe the experience/novelty.)

The Penguin Game
That is a not a working link.

Play it. Love it. Let it change you.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Restaurants with Booths, An Expeditionary List

I'm still working on my Wet Jell-o Theory article, at some readers' requests (interestingly--mostly requests from married persons), but I wanted to say a thing for humanity about restaurants with booths.

I'm for them.

Today, I was going to have dinner with a beloved friend who's daily trying to do a specifically hard thing, and I decided that it would be nicest if we could eat in a restaurant with booths. Booths are, I think, sympathetic but cheerful. I don't think I've ever left a booth feeling sadder than I did when I sat down in it. The same cannot be said about regular restaurant tables or couches, even. (One of my undergrad houses, Eden, had a breakfast nook. That was booth-like in its appeal, form, and comforting properties. "The Interstice of the World," I called it.)

But as I eat out about every day and a half (and fairly often with this particular friend), I was looking for a place I/we do not readily think of. But close. Fast. Reasonably priced. With booths.

And so, for you someday, in your need:

Eateries with Booths Near Stanford, CA
This list is only as comprehensive as I am.

Antonio's Nut House
Shady bar/pool place/burrito restaurants (but with a surprisingly good piped music selection, including, while I was there, Paul Simon and someone else great). Where Kimball B. told me he was for overcommunicating. (Turns out I am, too.)


The coupons! The Unofficial Guide to Stanford has this section of coupons to local restaurants, and I've had a goal to use a coupon in the book at each restaurant that offers one. This was a coupon find, and it's surprisingly satisfying, despite being just a hole in the wall burger place. Furthermore, the booths are short but cute (and possibly sticky). And there are always old people eating there. It's reassuring somehow.

Buca di Beppo

Glad to say that here in CA, I've managed to visit this overpriced restaurant for only part of one birthday party, leaving before I drank anything but soda water. (But, if I recall, there was an oversized birthday party in a booth behind our more oversized birthday party at an yea extended table. The booth is the point.)


First noticeably successful booth experience and site of one of my birthday celebrations this year. Great booths. Good food. Fine coupons. (Steaming fajita fixing on those metal, handled plates is always transfixing. How can one order something else?)

Cheesecake Factory

Oh my heavens. I've only eaten here twice in CA, but in Austin, my roommates and I made many, many excuses to eat salads at Cheesecake Factory (specifically the barbecue chicken salad--such a thing. Such a good, good thing). But there are booths, which can help to counteract its usually feeling loud, clangy, chattery. Heavens, such good salads.


I was convinced to go to lunch at this chain restaurant with three male classmates one Friday a few months ago. I had this greatest peppercorn/pepperjack/peppersomething burger. The booth was little and not particularly welcoming, but the hamburger made up for what the booth may have been lacking. No coupon. Great, great burger.

The Empire Room*

I just read about this for the first time today, looking for a boothed restaurant for dinner. Looked too woowoo for a fast 45-minute dinner, but the booths are reportedly only exceeded by the fine American cuisine. (Okay, it's actually called the Empire Taproom and Grill, or something, but I'm getting braver at eating at places that explicitly sell alcohol. I actually had dinner with some classmates/friends at a full-on sports bar on Valentine's Day. I forgot that divorced men need a place to go on Valentine's Day, too. So, so sad. But mostly by inference.)

Olive Garden

It's standard. And the booths have treated me well. (Especially one particular booth, which I've sat in at least two times thus far.) I went with Reed Criddle (friend/brother-in-law's brother) and some friends for Reed's inaugural visit last Friday. Something about being with someone seeing Olive Garden anew was great. Maturing, almost, like something had come full circle. (Though I did decide, perhaps forever, that OG breadsticks are, sadly, only good when they are hot hot, butterbuttery, and garlic-salty. But that sausage/potato/kale soup. Holy kamoley. I think I'd dream of that if I were stranded on a deserted island. Especially if that island were super rainy and served salad family-style in those mottled clear plastic bowls with whole peppers and parmesan cheese.)

Peninsula Creamery

Booths. Good shakes.

Pizza My Heart

Coupons. (In fact, Pizza My Heart put a coupon in the book for a free slice of pizza. But all of the student guides I got--all eight of them--had this coupon cut out of them, though they arrived to me, by the grace of a friend, in otherwise pristine condition. But I've used the coupon for a free salad with a large pizza.) Note: I went to Pizza My Heart in the afternoon the other day. I don't know why. But with the light coming in that wall of full west windows, it was so, so beautiful. It was almost idyllic, in this dark-wood, wide booth, faded surfing memorabilia on the walls kind of way. Also note: Its pizza is controversially good. Some people hail it as the All-Palo-Altoan pizza. Others find the mention of it nauseating (due to its "sogginess"). I like it fine. Of course.


What's to be said? It's on University. It's why it stays in business, I would guess. (And booths.) (But it did have chili when what I wanted was chili.) (It's been raining a lot here.)

Thai Garden

Is a restaurant connected to a bowling alley on El Camino. Some law students in my dorm encouraged me and some friends to join them there for dinner, hailing it as their bread of life, and it was this funny old restaurant with cheap decorations and cheap Thai food. I laughed almost my whole way through the meal. But there were booths, I'm told, though we sat a table extended for the occasion.

The Treehouse

Turns out there is seating (including deep, college-eating-type booths) in the back past the pick-up window and condiments. This is new to me. There are no windows back there, but there is a TV and the wood is warmish. And it's the Treehouse. It's open at 1 am, which has only saved me once, but then, that drizzly, brief-writing night, it was so, so nice.


Ben P. says (a) this is nice, (b) it's expensive, but not too ($15-$20), (c) there are booths, and (d) it's so, so good.

The diner at the Stanford Shopping Center

Closes at 11 on the weekend. Surprising (except not, because for some reason Stanford/Palo Alto doesn't count as a college town and everything eateryish closes earlyish, even on the weekends. I've ended up trying to buy dinner at Safeway at midnight more often than I would ever, ever like.) But I sat post-adult-stake-conference in one of their chrome and shiny vinyl booths (was it blue? I remember it being something easy to forget, like blue) and drank a fat shake with DB and Eric B.

*I haven't eaten here, so I can't actually confirm the existence of the booths.

What's mildly appalling is that I've eaten at each of these establishments myself (except the asterisked ones), some of them more than once. (Six of them more than once. And some of those more than twice.)

And that's my story.

(Oh, for tonight, we went with Brix, for the good boothness and for the location/ease-in/-out. And yes, there were old people there, but some families and college-aged students, too. It worked (again) for me. And we couponed, which is consistently satisfying.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sidewalk Theorizing

The Stanford Daily was advertising for a graduate student to write an opinion column. I read the sign hanging in my dorm hallway everyday, but I didn't do anything about it until three days after the official deadline. Alas, the spot was filled. I'm okay.

Below: A description of my column idea and a list of column ideas. These are all theories I've created over the past few years, as many of you can attest. I didn't realize I was a theori(zer/st) until one day at a dinner party, a former roommate in Austin said, "Sarah, tell us one of your theories." And I realized, "Wait--I have theories." And la, here there are.

I have theories about things. Not eery, sci-fi, conspiracy theories. But theories about how we live, how we interact, and maybe how we should or could think about the world. I find them helpful, and I try to operationalize them. Each column would probably present a theory that I’ve developed over the past few years (and from, you know, last week), weaving these theories out of my experiences and into potentially helpful, illuminating, controversial, or entertaining expositions.

Sidewalk Theories
At some point, we each become sentient. It’s then that the work begins. (An introductory/explanatory column about the column theme as a whole and the value of sidewalk theorizing. Possibly, a short history of my brain and its tendencies to theorize about daily living. I probably wouldn’t have it be the first column, though.)

The Airport Parking Model of Happiness

There are at least three levels of human emotion: long-term parking, short-term parking, and departures and arrivals.

The Mickey Mouse Head Model of Two-person Relationships

Imagine a simplified, three-circle version of Mickey Mouse’s head: that’s one of your relationships. And it’s not going well.

The Theory of Reciprocal Communication

She could call you. She could text you. She could email you. She could, I suppose, write you a letter. Or she could wait until she casually runs into you at Tres Ex. The question is: how are you going to respond?

The Advisable Double Standard AKA The Tennis Ball Model of Happy Living

There’s a double standard that we should live. Turns out, it’s not in our favor.

The “Just Say That” Theory of Honest Communication

When people come to me, not knowing what to say to so-and-so-and-so, because “it’s complicated,” I usually have one piece of advice: just say that.

The Wet Jell-o Theory of Human Imperfection

Our parents will scar us. We will scar our children. The point is: do as little damage as you can. (This column will mention jell-o.)

The “Third Time’s the Charm” Test of True Friendship

If you won’t say a thing or make a noise three times in a row at a friend’s request, you’re not really friends. You two have issues.

The “Walt Disney and a Big Gun" Theory of Big Dreaming and Career Happiness

To find a career and a meaningful life goal, maybe all you need is Walt Disney and a gun. A theoretical gun.

Decision-making in Pairs: A Theory that Could Revolutionize Your Dinner Plans

Finally, a way to decide where to eat or whether or not to go see that movie. Caution: some math involved.

Sage Advice from Past Loves

“Loves” may be stretching the point. But I’ve dated some smart men. And they’ve said some sage things.

Other people’s theories

I assume that other people have theories, too. This would be a column to explore them.

And to incorporate a Limon style of blogging, I will ask: do you have theories? What are they? Post them below in no less than four lines. Be sure to include a name (for the theory) and a description. Happy theorizing! (Note/caution: I've begun to use exclamation points. I know, I know--I vowed I never would. But (a) I'm trying to avoid saying "I refuse to blank" in my head and (b) it's about societal norms. Exclamation points make people feel good: another theory.)