Reunited with Andy Lan, an old violinist friend from nearly ten years ago, I met up today with him and a few of his friends to read string quintets (2 violins, 1 viola, 2 celli) at a beautiful, Eichler-esque house in San Mateo. We started by reading an anonymous arrangement of a virtuosic Kreisler sonata (originally for violin and piano), followed by a string quintet reconstruction of Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor, opus 34. I didn't know this beforehand, but the Brahms quintet was completed in 1862 -- originally as a string quintet! Anyway, it was really a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed meeting a few more talented musicians in the Bay Area who masquerade as normal folks in other professions during the day.
After reading music, I went with Livia to Han Kook in Cupertino for Korean-food shopping madness. I've grown up going to 99 Ranch, but had never been in its Korean equivalent. Livia was going nuts because Han Kook was so much larger than Korean markets in San Francisco and Daly City! My refrigerator has been empty for months now, but I loaded up on banchan and frozen, red-bean-filled sweet bun thingies to mitigate the effects of my recent fasting at home.
I love the "do not taste" sign by the banchan spread -- especially because Livia tasted some just before seeing it.