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: And finally, the tale of tiramisu. But not just tiramisu! (Incidentally, "tiramisu" has got to be the most Japanese word in Italian.) On Friday night, after Sumana took the GRE, I met up with her and we went to The Steps of Rome in North Beach. I had some tasty ravioli which I cut up into little pieces so I wouldn't have to chew it, Sumana had some tasty pasta with eggplant, and we splurged by ordering a dessert each, which we shared.

One of the desserts was a custard thing with fruit syrup on it. Innovative, yet not very good. The other was tiramisu. Non-innovative, yet extremely tasty! The tiramisu was the best I've ever had. That's not saying a whole lot, since most tiramisu I've had was pretty bad; there was available to me, many years ago, some tiramisu made by Ellina Poulson which was probably as outstanding as everything else Ellina Poulson makes, but I don't think I actually ate any of it. My point is that I've suffered through bad tiramisu, and as such can recognize good tiramisu, such as the tiramisu served at the Steps of Rome.

But that's not all! Sumana then took my to the City Lights bookstore, where I nosed around and considered buying a copy of a Lovecraft anthology, but did not for three reasons:

  1. There are already too many books on the 'to read' portion of my bookshelf, some of which have been languishing there for over a year.
  2. Lovecraft seems like the sort of thing I can find online.
  3. I did not want to be seen in the hip City Lights bookstore doing something so gauche as paying for goods with money!

Moderate that I am, I felt positively counter-revolutionary in the hard-left atmosphere of City Lights (and Lectures, I always want to add). However, it has a really good sci-fi section which is all the better for being incredibly small; despite devoting only two shelves to sci-fi and related genre ghettoes, they had more Lovecraft than I've ever seen outside of a non-specialty bookstore, and more Lem than I've ever seen outside of the UCLA library (or outside of my room after I checked all the Lem out of the UCLA library). Thus, by my patented Stanislaus Lem Bookstore Quality Index, City Lights is the greatest bookstore ever! Hmm, I may need to recalibrate that index.

Sumana: [pointing to book titled "Against Empire"] Where's "Pro-Empire?"
Leonard: [in stage whisper] They don't stock it here! Keep your voice down!

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