Sumeet Jain
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14 Dec 2009

Some Holiday Randomness

Today, I present three pieces of randomness. Enjoy.

1. Java House

I go to the same place almost every day for lunch. It’s called Java House. It’s basically a really big shack on the marina. I like to look at the sailboats. I love it. The food is okay, but mostly I go because I love the environment and people.

The owner, Philip, hates that I do web design. Every time I come in, he’s like “What’s your business?” and I’m like “Philip! It’s Internet!” and he’s like “Ahhh, I don’t understand that stuff. It’s God’s curse to us. Just you wait, we’ll all be robots in 10 years!” and then I tell him off and he waves me off.

He’s Greek and very, very old. He was a civil engineer back in the day and helped build San Francisco’s traffic management system.

Last week one day he sat down with me, and we were chatting. And in the middle of the conversation, he just picked up the syrup bottle and poured more syrup on my pancakes. “There, now they’re Java House pancakes.” And they tasted better!

Philip is set on me marrying an Indian girl - soon. Today he told me to go to temples because girls with faith are better than girls without faith.

2. Sachin’s Graduated

Well, he walked anyway. He graduated months ago and has been in Washington, D.C. Interning for Senator Feinstein and attending George Washington University for his Master’s Degree. He came back this weekend to be in his graduation ceremony at UC Berkeley, and it was wonderful watching him get his degree. He looked so studious in his cap and gown!

More important than his graduation is his return. In an impressive but not surprising display of maturity, Sachin decided to finish his Master’s Degree online from California. He’ll also be preparing for law school and perhaps doing a social project on his own. The maturity of his decision lay in his motivation - part of which was to be nearer to his family. We’re all happy he’s back. Color this brother proud.

3. Christmas Time

I’m on record as having stated that I’d give up Thanksgiving and Christmas for another Halloween. I hereby retract that statement. Winter - and the holiday season in particular - have a unique magic which I hope to preserve forever. Even in warm(ish) California, we appreciate the occasion to settle into our blankets around the fireplace and sip hot cocoa as we chat about this or that. Or - as we’re more likely to do in our family - settle into our blankets around the fireplace and sip hot Chai as we listen to Naniji play the harmonium.

Gift-giving is also one of my favorite activities - a practice which was sadly left out of the design spec for Halloween. I love thinking of the right gift for a person. I’m certain I fall short often, but the thinking process itself can’t be done without revisiting fond memories.

Please don’t throw rocks at me for this, but I love Christmas music. Walk by the street corner at 17th and Noe in San Francisco around 9:00pm and you’re likely to hear holiday standards coming through the window from my apartment. Nothing beats coding sessions set to “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”.