all packed! and mostly moved. 6 boxes of books and papers now sit at 815 oak st, san francisco, the room is admittedly crummy and just above a host of garbage cans, but it is large, has hardwood floors, and is cheaper even than my room in palo alto. it's also right in the middle of the lower haight, less than a mile from the hayes valley and civic center and just blocks from toronado and rosamunde, my favourite side-by-side draught beer pub/sausage grille. it reminds me a lot of living on perry street in somerville. when i got back down to palo alto, i rushed to the downtown library to collect my copy of the omnivore's dilemma and then to the bay leaf cafe for their yellow lentil soup -- black-eyed peas, toor dhal, kale, fresh chopped tomatoes, and a mound of fresh cilantro. it's exactly what the doctor ordered. so to speak. i've tried four or five times to reproduce this at home but can never capture the bright, strong, fresh flavour without throwing in more tomato paste and salt than seems prudent.