Money Monday: MEGA Millions

Have you bought your lottery ticket? I actually went to the California Lottery website because I wanted to see which retailers sell winning tickets. I have this theory that people who win the lottery never come from the city of San Francisco or NYC. In fact, no retailer in the whole county of San Francisco has ever sold a winning ticket. Winners come from podunk towns like San Lorenzo. I told my parents to buy me some lottery tickets over there in the East Bay because I know that buying a ticket from a lottery retailer in say, the Financial District is wasted cash!

$540 million. You know what I would do with $250 million (after taxes)?

1. Pay off all my debt.

2. Pay off my immediate family’s debt.

3. Quit my job.

4. Set aside a trust fund to pay for any family member to get educated (private school, college, acting classes, culinary school, voice lessons). I would only pay for the education. I would not pay for dorm rooms, student housing, apartments, living expenses while in grad school. I see this as an incentive so people wouldn’t constantly be in school. At some point, they’d have to become employable!

5. Make charitable donations.

6. Travel around the world, spend as much as possible, and anything left over would go to charity.

7. I do not believe in passing wealth down generations. It makes latter generations complacent and lazy!

Money Monday: Charity

My amazing talented friend Erin was diagnosed with lymphona last year while she was pregnant with her second daughter. With the support of her family and friends, and her fighting spirit, she has been in remission for over a year. I’m linking here to Erin’s inspirational story as told by her charismatic sister Tara.

If you read my blog regularly, you should know that I’m religious about the book The Secret. Its philosophy is that if you believe, then it’s true. Another big lesson is that you receive when you give. So take a look at the link above and consider donating to Erin’s cause.

If not for that cause, then others that you care about and believe in. My company has an annual community support campaign at which time I renew my donations for each of my alma maters–all three of them.

The more you give, the more you receive. Happy giving!

Restaurant Review: Commonwealth

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a firm believer that Commonwealth is one of the best restaurants in the city. If not the best, I guarantee it’s the best value.┬áSo for all y’all who live in San Francisco and all y’all who plan on visiting our annoyingly cold city, make sure to get a reservation at Commonwealth.

Let’s talk about even before you step foot in the restaurant. There is parking. I’m talking smack dab in the Mission. Not valet, not paid. Drive your beat-up Honda or Toyota right into their parking lot, lock the doors, and head inside. What really impresses me–probably on par with the food–are the people who work there. I don’t know how they managed to hire the best wait staff, but wowee, they’re so down-to-earth! You know how you go to Prospect or Coi or any of those 4-dollar sign restaurants that I never really go to, and the servers are so robotically sweet you have a sense that they’re either being watched or have a metal rod up their ass? At Commonwealth, you feel like you’re shooting the shit with long lost friends.

Don’t worry about not having a reservation. We were there on a Thursday night at 7:30pm and there was plenty of open seating at the bar. And the atmosphere throughout the restaurant is cozy.

Since I’m manic and have had the blues, I thought we’d go for the chef’s tasting menu. I love tasting menus. You are regaled with all these appetizer-sized plates that you’d get all the time if it weren’t so damn expensive. Normal tasting menus in the city go for $120-125. Commonwealth? $65. That’s right, people. Half the price of most other restaurants. We added the wine pairing for an additional $30. Does not get any better than that. Oh wait, it does. $10 from the sale of each tasting menu is given to a local charity.

Here’s what we had:

ocean trout tartare, beets, frozen horseradish // Nobles Ranch Sonoma Coast pinot noir rose

radishes in various forms, goat’s milk butter, sunflower seeds / / Xavier Frissant Loire Valley sauvignon rose

asparagus custard, abalone, mushroom, chorizo, jalapeno // Charles Bove Vouvray chenin blanc

lamb sweetbreads, fava beans, daikon, mustard caviar // Luciano Landi Marche lacrima di morro d’alba

apricot┬ásorbet, honey – lime soda

peanut butter semifreddo, chocolate ganache, frozen popcorn // Quinta de la Rosa Douro, Portugal tawny port