I hadn’t been to a WeWork Berkeley Happy Hour in awhile. I sat by myself and texted a friend. I looked up and saw an attractive guy.
Me: Long haired muscular Asian boy alert! I love WeWork.
Friend: Haha, go say hello.
So I did. We had a good conversation so I asked him out. He said yes. We texted back and forth for a couple of days planning the date. He was kind enough to ask me if I had any dietary restrictions. I googled him and there it was on his LinkedIn profile. He graduated from Cal in 2015. I thought he was probably around 30. Nope. He probably had no idea that I’m considerably older than him. I wondered if I should alert him. I decided that a date was not a marriage proposal and to stop overthinking.
The day of our date. He canceled. It’s not me it’s him, he said. It bummed me out. It bummed me out just because I liked talking to him and had put myself out there.
Being young is hard for him. I’m not being sarcastic. I get it.
Poke is trendy. Spelling it, “poké” is trendy. Berkeleyside’s Nosh writer Kate Williams said that poke is, “the new burrito-smoothie-bubble tea-13 dollar salad.”WeWorkers, Cal students and everyone everywhere flock to Simply Bowl in downtown Berkeley. Is the poke they serve there “real?”
My boss thinks that the Simply Bowl(s) do not contain “real” Hawaiian poke. His reasons are: it’s not marinated and the bowls contain squid and wet stuff (seaweed?), which are not authentic ingredients. Regarding his marination accusation, Kate’s response is, “most poke isn’t marinated, just tossed in sauce.” She says the fact can be verified in, “ALL OF THE STORIES about poke in Serious Eats.” I thought marinated fish was ceviche.
Poke comes from the Hawaiian verb “to section, slice, or cut,” so it’s open to a chef’s interpretation. I’m not a chef, but I say that avocado cubes do not a poke make. I’m pretty sure you need raw fish to make poke.
People in these parts flock to Simply Bowl. I had a spicy poke salad today and now my gut hurts. Kate also pointed out that Simply Bowl doesn’t allow you to build your own poke bowl. You have to go to San Francisco for that. Or you can build your own cinnamon roll down the street at at Cinnaholic.
Photographer Jacqueline Neuwirth created an unforgettable afternoon for my friends and I. We brought our gorgeous selves along with some outfits and makeup to WeWork Berkeley. Jacqueline brought all the talent, equipment, and bottles of wine (a six pack) necessary for a fun fabulous party with stunning results.
“After several bottles of wine I realized both sides are my good side,” joked my friend L. I hate getting my photo taken but Jacqueline made me feel comfortable and beautiful. K agreed, “taking photos with a group was really fun and took away the awkwardness that can go along with having your picture taken. My shots were more relaxed and natural looking because my friends were around to make me laugh.” I’m excited to use her photographs on my social media sites. I think a photo party is a great idea for a birthday but Jacqueline would also be a great addition to any singles event and an important resource for online daters .
In fact, she’s the owner of Love Your Photos. While using dating apps like Tinder, I grew weary of seeing those shirtless bathroom selfies guys post on their profiles. I also don’t understand the photos with sedated tigers or the Iron Throne. If every shot of you is skiing, surfing, climbing, scuba diving, or jumping out of an airplane and I can’t see your face, I don’t want to date you. Also, please don’t include a shot of you lying in bed. I could go on (I realize us ladies are just as guilty with our Machu Picchu pics and Where’s Waldo group shots with our hotter friends). Call Jacqueline, take a photo, and get a date.
My friend D enthused, “what better way to channel my inner Emily Ratajkowski than with Jacqueline and friends? I had tons of fun changing outfits and practicing poses while laughing and drinking the afternoon away.” It didn’t hurt that we had sexy and talented Ensemble Mik Nawooj members there to cheer us on.
I am the program manager for Tech Futures Group. Today is our quarterly team meeting. Our advisors come to WeWork Berkeley from as far away as Santa Cruz. I baked cupcakes last night for the meeting as well as for my blog party tonight.
My coworker E asked for snicker doodle cupcakes. I baked snicker doodle cupcakes. My go to cake recipe is a box of cake mix (in this case Duncan Hines white), 4 eggs, a box of pudding mix (in this case vanilla), 1/3 cup oil, and a splash of vanilla (I don’t think it’s possible to use too much). This time I used a cup of heavy whipping cream in place of water.
When filling the super cute orange with white dots cupcake papers, I alternated a layer of batter with a layer of cinnamon sugar (2 tablespoons of cinnamon mixed with a half a cup of sugar). While the cupcakes were in the oven for about 20 minutes, I made the buttercream frosting (the big bag of powdered sugar, one stick of butter, one stick of butter flavored Crisco, 1/3 of a cup of heavy whipping cream, and the other half of a small bottle of vanilla extract).
I used a pastry bag and my handy frosting tip from Williams-Sonoma to give the cupcakes a professional look. After sprinkling on some more cinnamon sugar, I topped them off with little chocolates (not too sweet) that my boss brought back from his European vacation.
The cupcakes came out delicious, not too cinnamony, they taste exactly like snicker doodle cookies. Lucky Tech Futures Group team. My friend P says, “They’re f-ing great!”
I haven’t been dancing IN YEARS. My friend L told me at WeWork’s new member brunch yesterday (hey croissant breakfast sandwiches) that she wanted to go. I was intrigued. Nobody seemed to know where to go dancing outside of San Francisco. I remembered that my friend N likes to go dancing and gave her a call. She was in.
She chose Era Art Bar and Lounge in Oakland’s Uptown. I decided that dancing was an occasion for kohl eye makeup (fail) and my highest heels. I love being 5’11”(success, then later fail). N responsibly drove us there in the rain. We picked up her fucking amazing sister T and got a spot right in front of the club! I believe that good parking comes from returning your shopping cart at the grocery store to the corral in front of the store (not the lot corral and definitely not wedged between spots or worse).
We first went for drinks at a new place called Small Wonder, formerly the Loring Cafe. T said it looked like different people had decorated different parts of the bar. We were in a quiet corner on vintage couches kind of crammed in next to a big round vintage wood table with mismatched everything (chairs, plates, napkin rings etc.). The bartender was very talented. N and T had sidecars (he gave us the extra in a couple of small glasses) and L and I had the signature cocktail. My friend S (the hottest person in the Coast Guard), L’s new dude person, and his random (at first I thought he had just come over to hit on S) friend joined us.
Era was super cozy and the DJ was great. I woohooed when he played Rihanna’s Work. I danced. I thought I couldn’t dance. There wasn’t much room to move so I swayed about sexily. It was very ambitious of me to try this in very high heels. At one point I fell on my ass. My friends know that despite growing up a jock, I’m terribly uncoordinated. T took me upstairs and convinced me that everyone could care less that I fell. Then we got back to it and danced until the lights came on.
I had a lot of fun. Nobody touched me inappropriately. Nobody kept trying to hit on me after I ignored him the first time. I met a lot of N and T’s amazing friends. I saw my friend K and her boyfriend briefly on the dance floor. Someone bought me a glass of champagne. My friend’s shared their water with me. I used to be too something for dancing. Judgmental? Grumpy? Fucking afraid? In fact, if I guy mentions dancing on their Bumble profile I usually swipe left. Other than my sore tailbone today, it was great! It feels so good to be a positive fearless yes sayer. Always swipe right on dancing.
I can’t resist free food. TGIM! Community Cereal Bar? Thank you WeWork, I will consume a bowl of the delicious Oatmeal Squares. New Member Brunch? Munch munch. Lunch and Learn? Nom nom learning. There’s a lot of deliciousness around my office building, which is probably very appealing to the undernourished 20-something boys around but I should resist. Free food also results in people gathering and sometimes socializing.
It’s different than other places I’ve worked. Teaching meant that in the staff room there was always something sugary or cheesy or sugary and cheesy available to snarf on recess breaks. We weren’t particularly social about this bingeing unless it was someone’s birthday. Nothing good comes from the staff room at a school. It’s all snark and snarf.
When I worked at a synagogue, if I wanted free food I would have to stay for Shabbat services. My boss bought me Diet Coke when I was a consultant until she realized if it were free, I’d slurp up at least 3 a day. It’s not Google with its unlimited supplies of artisanal chicken salad sandwiches and coconut water but WeWork is my own free food utopia.
Actually, I don’t blame WeWork for making me fatter. I just blame working. It’s sedentary (at least I can walk to work), stressful, and not about me. Watching what I ate was actually easier for me when I was unemployed because I had the time and desire to stick to a routine of healthy eating and working out. My mother who recently retired has had the opposite experience. Work kept her busy and therefore not eating as much during the weekdays.
I’ve been here a year and have only been offered 2 free donuts, so there’s that at least. Donuts are the death nail.
I have a first date at lunch tomorrow. Day dating is something pretty new to me. My first dates are usually at a bar after work. He’s a professor at Berkeley and we are going to have poke bowls next to WeWork. We’ll have only one hour for the date. It seems like there are pros and cons to day dating.
My friend L had a breakfast date at 9 am on a Saturday. I forgot to ask her what she wore, but I assume the dress code was casual. It seems like a breakfast date would be time limited similar to my lunch date. It probably takes 30 minutes or less to eat a bagel (a lot less if you’re me). At 9 am I can’t imagine the line outside Beauty’s in Oakland is too long but I’ll factor another 30 minutes in for that. L went above and beyond making first date conversation for at least an hour after they were finished with breakfast but decided to cap it at 2 hours.
Her date wasn’t ready to go. He’d driven from San Francisco and seemed disappointed that she didn’t suggest a follow up activity. I don’t spend that much time talking to people I know over breakfast but he wanted more. At this point I would have felt very uncomfortable but L agreed to walk around a bit. No alcohol involved, it’s broad daylight, we’d been out late the night before, it just seems awkward.
Possible pros to day dating include limited time (except that didn’t work out so well for L); dress code is work wear in my case (I won’t have to put together an evening appropriate get up), and there will be no expectation to hook up. I don’t know but it just seems like it’s going to be weird. Mostly that’s because there will be no liquid courage and I’m shy. Now I sound like an alcoholic.
I wouldn’t go on a hike with a stranger but playing tennis might be OK for a day date as long as there was an opportunity to talk (talking on a first date is an essential for me). I have friends that rock climb and that seems like a good day date. Maybe taking a class of some kind would be fun? There’s always day drinking.
Addendum: I just had my own breakfast date before work. We were both up before 6 am so it seemed like a good plan. That’s right, I will have had both a breakfast and lunch date today. There was bacon! It was not awkward.