Monday, May 14, 2007

family reunion, of sorts

i went to pasadena this weekend to attend my cousin Asia's graduation from the Keck Institute, a small but prestigious school that focuses on biomedical/pharmaceutical business and management.

most of the weekend was spent, in my mind, in front of a plate of food. for dinner we went to an italian place that had really good pasta with sausage, i forget what it was called. we loaded up on the bread because i had gotten really hungry on the long drive up. then we went to hang out at a bar in pasadena, and on the way back i guess it was not-quite-drunk munchies but we ended up stopping at an in-n-out, and i accidentally got a double-double, which was double what i wanted.

the next morning, we had breakfast at our hotel, Embassy Suites, which had pretty much the most kick-ass breakfast buffet, ever. they had a made-to-cook omelette line that also served hash browns, toast, pancakes, bacon, and sausage. i ate a ton of eggs and hash browns, then just for fun had a huge glazed donut.

the graduation was very quick because only 36 people were in the 2007 graduating class. they did have time to talk personally about each individual, so the whole show didn't finish in 5 minutes, but it was definitely bearable, and with the great weather it was a perfect setting. while the graduates were busy taking a class picture, my cousin jessica and i hit the finger food table at the front of the line, and had a bit more quiche, strawberries, veggies and dip, and cookies than we should have eaten before lunch.

lunch was at an afghan/american place that served great sandwhiches and soups. their afghan fries were a bit greasy, and the one waitress we had had sort of an attitude, and didn't remeber vita's soda, then blamed it on the other waitress. but we tried out some of asia's home brewed wine, a 2005 syrah, and it was actually really tasty. the wine goes well with my lamb pita sandwich, which i took home because it was impossible to eat any more food. (i was too full before we even sat down.)

i think this weekend, a combination of seeing family again, good weather, great food, and meeting cool people make it really relaxing. especially since everything was covered by various people, and i ended up spending very little money.

of course, there was one small thing i found really interesting. i drove one of asia's friends home back to san diego - vita, who had come up with another friend who had to leave because of an emergency. when we got back they were laughing about how they were trying to see if vita would be able to get a ride from me, but they had been apprehensive - "What if asia's cousin is weird? maybe we should take the train." then they were relieved that i was normal.

i remember when i graduated MIT and the girl next to me - alma - told me afterwards that it was cool we talked during the ceremony. she was afraid that everyone (course 6) would be weird, but was glad that i had been the only normal one there so she could have someone to talk to.

hah...what is normal? i'll take it as a compliment but it's an awfully bland one.

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