Three Things

September 2019 — Issue No. 69 (nice)

I had a lot of time to relax, recharge, and reflect this month as I took some time off in-between jobs. It was pretty frickin neat. Spent some time on the beach. Spent some time eating. Spent some time cooking. It was nice to have some time in between. I'm fully back into work mode at OpenTable and learning a lot and excited to start contributing there!


Nathan J.

Doing some landscaping at the new house.


Kyle C.

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—–Things I Ate

Michael and I landed in Austin, Texas at around 4:30 am. We did what any respectable human would do. Drove to the nearest 24hr Walmart, bought some chairs, bought some beer, and went to go sit in line at Franklin BBQ. We’ve had Franklin one other time in San Francisco but this was… this was spiritual. The tenderness and the smokiness, it’s all surreal. It could have been that we didn’t sleep on the red-eye over or that we waited in line for 5 hours but this was definitely a come to meat-jesus moment. 


—–Things I Ate

After we ate our way through Texas, I thought, “how about some tacos.” I spent a few days in Mexico eating all the beer-battered fish, al pastor, carnitas, carne asada tacos. There’s something special about a homemade tortilla, rotisserie meats, and cilantro that just is so right.

Roasted Buttermilk Chicken with Persian-ish Rice

—–Things I Ate

After I got back from my Texas-Mexico trip I had a lot of time on my hands. I used that time to continue my goal to cook through Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (you can track my progress here). I re-made the classic finger lickin’ pan-fried chicken sandwiches, made some homemade mayonnaise for some salad dressings, made Vietnamese and caesar salads, parmesan broccolini, and made a buttermilk chicken and Persian rice. Sophia was very happy that I had all this time off. The chicken was delicious! It sat in a buttermilk brine for 24 hours before being oven-roasted. The Persian rice was tricky. You par-boil the rice then let it crisp up in a cast-iron skillet before magically flipping it over to expose a golden crust. My crust was a little on the burnt side BUT the flavor was quite good. Looking for an opportunity to try it again.

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Barton Springs

—–Things I Saw

Aside from eating every form of meat in Texas we also went to an outdoor swimming pool that’s fed by a natural spring. The pool was massive and it was cool to see everyone just hanging out. This was their beach, I guess. It was the perfect way to escape the heat and humidity of the Lone Star state. 


—–Things I Saw

Maia and I have been going to Oktoberfest by the Bay for about six consecutive years (well there’s that one year I missed, but whatever) and we got a group to go with us this year. It was your typical drink large quantities of beer and eat bratwursts kind of event. Following the event, we hailed a pedicab to take us to a nearby bar while we sang the song of our people, the 1980’s, “Morning Train” as performed by Sheena Easton.  

Eric Church

—–Things I Saw

Mike planned a BBQ dinner for the house with ribs, beans, and potato salad… you know, the works. While we sit down for dinner Christian looks at his phone and says, “Eric Church is playing in an hour… do you guys want to go?” He somehow got tickets for $16 and we were on our way! Soon we were in the brand new Chase Center stadium bobbing our heads with fellow country music lovers. Our tickets were way up in the rafters but we finessed our way down to the lower level seats for the majority of the show. 

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Austin, Texas

—–Places I Went

In May 2012, following our graduation from the University of San Francisco, Michael Kuykendall and I devised a plan to drive across the country. Rather that drive straight across and risk ending up in places like Nebraska or any of the Dakotas, we planned a meticulous 32-stop journey to all the food meccas of North America, one of the major stops was Texas. Sadly, we weren’t able to make that trip. Seven years later, we dusted off the old map and planned a long weekend in Austin, Texas. It was amazing. Incredibly humid. Lots of great food places. Super accessible, transportation-wise. Like death hot/humid. Such a cool city. 

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

—–Places I Went

My last week at UserTesting was on September 6th and I planned a little getaway to relax and recharge for my next role. The world was my oyster. I had the time and I could go anywhere. My only criteria were it had to be warm, be near a beach, and be relaxing. My first thought was Italy and the beautiful Amalfi coast—Sophia quickly vetoed that one, on an account that she wants to go there. I turned my sights East and looked into Indonesia or Bali—both a little too far for such a quick trip. Turks and Caicos in the Bahamas sounded enticing—Hurricane Dorian came through and devastated those islands. In the end, the answer was there all along. I booked a 5-day all-inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas. I went into the ocean everyday, laid by the pool, read two books, got a massage, got a facial, relaxed in the spa, went on a glass-bottom boat, and ate all the tacos. It was just the type of trip I was looking for. 

Oahu, Hawai'i

—–Places I Went

Sophia and I spent Labor Day in Hawaii for Max’s wedding. It was a really quick trip but we got to spend some quality time before getting back on the plane. Also it was deathly hot in Hawaii and the dress code was suit and tie… more like suit and die amirite? Anyway, we survived and it was a beautiful wedding. 

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🙌 You made it to the bottom! Thanks for taking the time to read this email :) See you again next month! Three Things is a way to connect with my family and friends through photos and stories.

✍️ Hand-typed in San Francisco by Darren Wong.

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