Monday, October 24, 2005

The Hounds of Winter

It happened Friday.

That afternoon, the sun, though still shining, seemed to suddenly fall out of the sky. It wasn't so much an ethereal moment; it just snuck up on us and quickly reminded us that winter was happening: if not now, it would be soon.

Between the two of us, we've been getting only a modicum of sleep, in part because of work pressure, but mostly, I think, as a result of the weather. Kaia's been here since the 13th, and during that period of time, the average high/low temps dropped from the high 60's to the high 40's (as of this morning). So it's a given that less sleep and colder weather has affected both of us.

In either case, Friday night was our sushi night with friends; despite the coolness, we headed to Monster Sushi on 23rd. I've been to at least 20 or more sushi restaurants in the city, but none of them have the combination of price/quality as do the Monster restaurants (there's also one in midtown). The main problem, of course, is that neither is very close to my place, so I tend to only go if it's convenient to a group of people or if I'm near and on my way from or to somewhere else.

Essentially, we had a small but relaxed group, which was the whole idea. Ostensibly, we were going to get a bunch of people together before a friend of ours headed to a wedding out of town (to Pennsylvania) before flying back to California this morning. It turned out to be about eight or so people just kicking back and relaxing, and since the restaurant went from packed to relatively quiet about an hour after all of us arrived, it wasn't rushed and we could soak in the sake, the ichiban, the tuna tataki and platter after platter of sumo-sized rolls featuring an assortment of fish, avocado, vegetables and even soft-shelled crab (the spider-roll). If you're a sushi fan, don't even hesitate. It's not the high-brow, in-your-face experience of either Nobu, but it will also cost about a tenth thereof. In either case, we all had a nice, laid-back evening.

We woke up overtired and drained from a long, tiring week. I actually felt crappy, so I wound up falling back asleep while Kaia did some stuff around my apartment and checked on me every so often...we had wanted to head downtown, but since the weather was less-than-stellar, I decided to stay in and send her out for some shopping, but since she wanted to look after me and make sure I was okay (her way of saying she didn't want to go running in the rain :) she ended up staying with me and we just relaxed and talked. It's actually interesting; we spend at least an hour or two on the phone a day, but the majority of that time is spent on the miscellaneous bullshit we each encounter on a daily basis. In person, seeing each other's eyes, being there in bed or on the couch or in similarly close proximity, allows a directness and an honesty that cannot be achieved through any electronic or reproductive medium. It's one thing talking to one's parents or friends -- but being next to her is something that I have tried, unsuccessfully, to duplicate. The original can't be copied -- which is the way it should be.

The weekend wound down slowly, until Sunday. She headed to meet some friends while I got some work done at home, and soon thereafter I met her and her friends and we all went down for a little hang-time. I managed to stop into the Apple Store in Soho and got a glimpse (and some hands-on time) with the new Apple Video iPod. Two words: Holyfuckingshit. The first time you have one of these puppies in your hands, you'll know you're holding a piece of pop-culture royalty. The new iPod plays audio, video, slideshows of photographs and even can handle your schedule, your address book and portable radio broadcasts (called 'Podcasts'). And the fact that it's so damn cool doesn't hurt, either.

I'm counting the days they get more of 'em in stock; in the meantime, I'm trying to convince Kaia to get one (actually, for her to allow me to buy her one) and she keeps resisting. But as soon as Louis Vuitton releases a case for the new iPod, she'll be all over it, so I'm just biding my time ;)

In the meantime, she's leaving tomorrow evening; I'm sure we'll spend as much time together as possible between now and then, and I'm actually scanning my schedule in my head to figure out when our next visit might be. And each time I settle on a 10- or 14-day period, I keep thinking that it's too far away and too short a visit.

One of these days I'll need to do something about that.

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