Just shoot me. I don't care how, when or where you do it, all I ask is
that you put a couple rounds in me before I waste any more time on the design
of this page. I'm serious, I swear to NRA. Just watch your crossfire, because
I don't want you to hit my pal Greg, who answered his phone at about 7 p.m.
and didn't hang up until after midnight as he did his own fiddling and diddling
and came up with the extremely cool logo above and buttons to the left and
sorted out some annoying tables problems I was having. Me, I spend the better
part of three days on this thing and just keep digging the hole deeper,
but Greg rolls in and has it all wrapped up with a bow in about six hours.
You'd never guess that as recently as six months ago he was calling me for
help with web design. You'd also never guess that back in my college days
I took first place in front page layout at a state-wide journalism competition.
I'm not getting older, I'm getting stupider! Let's all take a moment of
silence now in sympathy for my encroaching senility and in thanks for Greg's
Before all this coding nonsense (which I promise not to bitch about any
more), it was a day. Not great, not lousy, just a day. Started out with
dim sum at ABC Seafood downtown with Beth, Zoe and Beth's sister Karan and
father Jack. Yet another example of how Beth is broadening my horizons --
and my waistline. Before I met her I'd never even heard of dim sum and now
it's the only thing that'll get my lardass out of bed early on a Sunday.
We usually get there around 10:30 and spend the next hour chowing down with
a vengeance, ordering items from nearly every cart that passes except the
one I call the Mung Cart. I feel sorry for the Mung Lady, but not sorry
enough to eat her mung. I think there's a hierarchy among the cart girls
at ABC -- the young, strong, fast ones get the popular carts, like potstickers
and baked bao (I only know how to eat it, not spell it) while the older,
frailer, pokey ones have to push turnip cakes and phlegm-like rice noodles.
And at the bottom of the caste system there's the Mung Lady. She's not really
all that slow and frail, but there's something about her that screams "Victim!"
and apparently puts her on the bottom rung of the ladder at Cartland. Her
cart is loaded high with dozens of plates of some noxious, scary looking
mess that one day hopes to become edible. In the three years I've been going
to ABC I've never seen anyone order anything from her cart, not even the
Asian regulars who will eat damn near anything. And so she pushes her lonely,
loathesome cart around and around the perimeter of the dining room, gazing
imploringly at the diners and longingly at the higher-status carts, around
and around, circuit after fruitless circuit until her shift is over and
she returns her untasted cart to the kitchen and goes home. It's tragic,
really, but there's no way in hell I'm eating off that cart.
Later that day, at home, Zoe went into a rare crying jag. She's usually
a very agreeable baby, always happy, always singing and laughing, but this
afternoon she was the hellchild. Pick her up, she wants to be put down.
Put her down, she wants you to pick her up. Offer her a bottle and she vehemently
shakes her head "no." (She's all over "no," but whenever
she means "yes" she doesn't nod, she goes "Eh, eh, eh!"
It was endearing the first 12,000 times. Now it's just annoying.) The only
thing that finally quieted her down was a dip in the pool, where she seemed
bound and determined to drown herself. That made her happy. 17 months old
and she has a deathwish already.
On the agenda for tomorrow is pleasure and pain. "Narp," an
old co-worker of mine, is coming by in the afternoon to lounge by the pool
and then we're having dinner at El Cholo (finest Mexican food in LA). She
lives in Ohio now (for no good reason, believe me) and I haven't seen her
in a year or so. I'm looking forward to it. Tempering that anticipation
is the dentist appointment I have at 9 a.m. tomorrow, when the kindly old
oral surgeon with the shaking hands is going to peel my gums back and do
nasty things to my roots. I can't wait. Swing by tomorrow and I'll give
you all the gory details.