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We turned on the heater this morning, because our household woke to freezing cold (okay, not *literally* freezing). The sky has been completely gray all day, and I just want to curl up under a blanket and read Jane Austen with a cat on my lap. Welcome to summer in the Bay Area.

Katherine, Mimi, and I went out for dim sum this morning, venturing far afield of our usual dim sum territory (The Old Place in Oakland, right by Lake Merritt) to go to a place Katherine had heard about up in Richmond, named Asian Pearl. The coolest thing about this place was the fact that it was situated in a sort of Asian mall, full of herbalist shops, Hello Kitty tchotchke machines, and about a zillion signs (handwritten, printed, and neon) in Chinese (though there was also a Japanese restaurant there). It was like going to Japantown without having to cross the bay! Also, there was an AMAZING bakery, even better than the one at the mall in Japantown in SF, with lots of American-type cakes and tarts and suchlike, as well as some less familiar stuff. Lots of stuff made with fresh fruit, which looked delicious, and everything covered with elaborate decoration. It's a good thing we didn't stop in there first, because I probably would have bought something. As it was, we swung by there on our way out, when I was chock full o' dim sum, and I wasn't even remotely tempted to add to the bag of leftovers I was carrying.

In fact, Katherine and I overdid it by quite a bit today. I don't think we necessarily *ate* too much, but we definitely *ordered* too much. This dim sum restaurant took orders, instead of wheeling carts around (which I must admit takes some of the adventure and spontaneity out of the experience, but guarantees you won't miss out on your favorites), so we couldn't just stop ordering when we were full. We ordered all at once, and then the food kept coming ... and coming ... and coming ... and coming. I think we had 5 or 6 different kids of steamed dumplings, plus an order of (absolutely excellent) pan-fried shrimp dumplings, plus soup, plus taro cake, plus baked bbq pork buns, plus sesame balls, plus Chinese broccoli (somehow more delicious than the cb I've had other places -- how can you make simple veggies that much better? I am mystified, but my taste buds are happy), plus some kind of "coconut red bean cake" (which I ordered because I thought it sounded good, but it ended up being a sort of gelatinous white Jell-o with red beans suspended in it -- not a successful experiment, in my book). The restaurant was more expensive than our usual, but the service was great (they even kept my water glass full, which is an extreme rarity at Chinese places!) and the food was very tasty, plus I liked the setting of the Asian mall. So it was a fun little adventure. And Mimi got a pink Hello Kitty tchotchke out of it, too. Mimi likes pink.

Then this afternoon Shannon and I took Cobweb to the vet to be weighed, where we found out that she now weighs 10.12 lbs. The last time we weighed her, May 6, she weighed 10.8 lbs (up from 9.135 lbs on Feb 16, up from 8.2 lbs on 9/26/09), so she has definitely lost some more weight in the last month or two. Shannon has suggested that we go back to giving her wet food twice a day, so we're going to try that. We'll weigh her again in a month and see what's what. Poor kitty.

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