Thursday, October 25, 2007

This Week

This week has been crazy and hectic in precisely the way that I don't like.

My parents were supposed to leave Sunday night in their gigantic RV, dogs, multiple scented candles which were purchased in bulk and on sale, and the entire contents of three Chico's stores, included. But then they kept stalling. My mother felt like she was rushing and forgetting things that they might never have in California. My father assured her that Los Angeles was not a third world country and that they did in fact have scented candles and (gasp!) even a Chico's, but not just a Chico's - a Target. There is a Target in Los Angeles. Who would have guessed?

My mother said she would like to leave Monday morning. My father said fine. She wanted to have one last dinner with the family so we went for Italian. Husband and I spent the night since we are going to live here while my parents are away.

Monday morning I got up and went to school having said an emotional goodbye. I expected to return to an empty Casa dei Sogni, but no. The RV was still there and my parents didn't look any closer to leaving. They were going to leave at 9 at night. My mother was cleaning out the garage and moving the garage into the RV because in an apartment in Los Angeles you just never know when you'll need a chafing dish, a three foot Santa Claus that waves, a box of old books, a half used can of wood stain and some fire ant killer.

8 'o' clock rolled around and no progress had been made. My mother decided that it was too late and she was hungry and could not leave Florida without another last dinner. The second last dinner needed to be at the Japanese Steakhouse place where they cook at your table and get on your last nerve with corny Bob Saget-like jokes, because they obviously do not have places like that in California.

So we went to the Japanese Steakhouse Place of which I am not an enthusiastic fan for several reasons. I like the food ok because I am goat-like in my appreciation of culinary delights and will eat just about anything that is clean and not involving weird animal parts. I don't like the Japanese Steakhouse place because I don't like sharing a table with strangers and I hate the corny Bob Saget-like jokes and not very authentic Japanese-ness. It's all about that damned Orientalism again. Edward Said would not be OK with the Japanese Steakhouse place. Mostly I just don't like the strangers and the bad jokes. I can't abide by a bad joke.

I need to say a word about sitting with strangers. In many restaurants in LA I noticed an interesting trend called the community table. Instead of having your own table you can choose to sit at a big gigantic table with a bunch of strangers. It's a good way to meet people and there is a generally friendly, festive atmosphere. You choose to sit there and on a couple occasions I have indeed chosen to sit there and have met really nice people. At the Japanese Steakhouse Place one has no choice.

Additionally, Husband pointed out to me that the Japanese Steakhouse Place is "Super Red Lobster." It's Red Lobster Deluxe. The people, like my extended family, who live to go to Red Lobster on very special occasions like birthdays and liftings of restraining orders, would throw a small child (their own, pending DNA tests) under the wheels of an approaching UPS truck for the chance to eat at the Japanese Steakhouse Place. They go there for events like 21st birthdays, favorable results of paternity tests (the guy who has the job turns out to be the dad), and the first disability check. If anyone actually got married they would probably also go to celebrate their six month anniversary, if the marriage actually managed to last that long. I think next year I may hold the awards ceremony of the Ghetto Superstar Awards at the Japanese Steakhouse Place.

Naturally we were placed at a table with a peculiar couple. In their defense they may be blogging somewhere that they were placed at a table with an entire peculiar family and that would be true.

The couple were a bit white and trashy. The male half of the couple significantly less so than the female. He seemed like a nice guy; the buzz cut and military tatoo type. The girl on the other hand was total trailer park and had the biggest boobs I have seen in a long time, and they were real. She was not a petite young woman. Her boobs were like a shelf. She could have set her sake bottle, sauce ramekins and a sushi boat on top of them and been totally comfortable. Boobs are great and hers were natural so we can't fault her for her breastulence, but I did fault her for exposing 3/4s of them. I'm serious. There were several areola sightings. I feared a hot shrimp tail might flip off the griddle and burn her nipple. My mother, who is a very modest and classy dresser and who also has really big boobs, did not approve. Incidentally I need to mention that my mother has really exquisite taste in clothing and always looks glamorous. I love that my mother is really not conservative in any way whatsoever, but that she dresses very modestly because she believes that woman can be sexy without being sex objects. I'm glad she taught me this philosophy.

The girl at our table's mom didn't teach her the same thing. We noted that the couple was on a first date. They were making first date small talk. It may even have been a kind of thing. Between the fried rice and shrimp appetizer the girl asked the guy if he had condoms. This is how the conversation went.

Girl: Do you have any rubbers?

Guy: Huh? Rubbers? Condoms? Umm. No.

Girl: No big deal. I have some in my purse. Oh yeah, I love lobster tail. Where's the waitress, I want some more sake.

Guy: You carry condoms in your purse?

Girl: Well, yeah. Doesn't everyone?

Guy: I don't.

Girl: You don't have a purse.

Guy: In my pockets.

Girl: You never know who you might fuck. (my comment - don't say this on a first date)

Guy: What?

Girl: I want to fuck you in the car in the parking lot.

At this point the guy looked like he was about to feign food poisoning and escape, but the girl grabbed him and kissed him, involving more areola sightings for us.

Guy: Stop, that's embarassing.

Girl: I'm not embarassed.

I almost, almost said "You should be" but I held my tongue and ate my shrimp appetizer.

I almost forgot the other interesting thing about this meal. Our chef was not Japanese and he was extremely dour, which kind of relieved me. He never looked up, did not do tricks, did not make a volcano out of an onion and mildly attemtped to flip shrimp into his hat and then missed. He did not make bad jokes (thankfully) and he was Indian looking. He looked as if he hated his job more than he hated life itself, which got me to wondering. How does an Indian man end up a Japanese Steakhouse chef and why is he so deeply unhappy about it? I want to write a story about this very subject some time.

Last week I saw that they had razed the Chocolate Gas Station. It's gone forever and then I thought, hmmm. What if the owner of the Chocolate Gas Station sold his gas station and became a Japanese Steakhouse Chef instead? I could write a really interesting story about that. But anyway, I'm way off topic again.

After dinner we went home and my mother said she would leave Tuesday. I started to think they would never leave. I think my mom was stalling because she was going to miss us and that made me very sad, but this is what she said before she finally left and this is her advice to the world that she told me to write for you all.

"Don't get stuck. You have to keep moving so that you meet new people and see new things. don't make excuses for being stuck and don't feel like you have weights and ties holding you down to certain people and certain places. Don't think you have to stay somewhere just because you have children. They need to see things too. Take your children all over the place. Experience everything in life."

I like her advice, though, as her child I must add that I would have preferred moving less, although I was fairly flexible and adaptable and still am as a result. The good thing about this was that when we were growing up, my parents really did take my sister and I everywhere. They weren't like the parents I see now who always leave their kids home when they go places. They really did take us everywhere with them and as a result we experienced things a lot of kids don't get to. I'll tell you about the part of my childhood spent hanging around with a bunch of Chelsea artists in New York City sometime.

So they finally did get out of here Tuesday and they did leave Bomboclaat here for me after all because he is old and hates the puppy. The puppy drives him crazy and we all decided that a move would be too stressful for him now and he'd be better off staying here with his best friend Canela. This means that I have inherited a small headed, deaf dog who smells like hot garbage and has mental problems. Canela is inexplicably overjoyed.

My parents have made it to Texas now without incident. They are staying there for a few days because my mom likes Texas. I'll keep you updated. They sure picked a hell of a time to move to California didn't they? They're driving into the fire, which is an apt metaphor for their entire life together. It could be the title to a book about them - Driving Into the Fire - 30 Years of Chaos and True Love and Doing Whatever the Hell You Want Whenever You Want.

I'm settling in to my new home fairly well. I'm getting to know a lot of the neighbors and let me tell you, there is some material to write about in this neighborhood. I'll be telling you all about Basura del Este in the coming weeks and you will definitely enjoy some of the tales out of this place.

I also have a new healthy routine that I'm excited about. Being that there are no window treatments and most of the house faces East, each morning very early I am nearly blinded and simultaneously baked out of bed by the sun. I can't fight it. I have to get up. If the sun weren't enough to make me uncomfortable the entire neighborhood is under massive and very loud construction that involves jackhammers, tile cutters, the Roach Coach and a lot of things backing up and beeping. You can't sleep past about 6:30, so I'm getting up and taking a long walk with Bomboclaat first thing.

This morning it was cool and misty so Bomboclaat and I took a very long walk. A few blocks down the road I thought I had a vision.

In front of me, also walking down the road, was the Dalai Lama. I was definitely having a vision. I was about to have a moment of intense spiritual enlightenment, I thought. Or else I was just really tired and maybe having a dream.

But no. It was real. The Dalai Lama was walking towards the beach so I decided to follow him. I had to see what he was doing. As I got closer I saw that it was not in fact the Dalai Lama because he was not wearing glasses, but it was a real Tibetan Buddhist monk, complete with shaved head, and flowing garnet and saffron robes which fluttered in the sea breeze. He also had an ipod. I followed him all the way to the beach and watched him stand and look peacefully out at the silver ocean while fiddling with his ipod, and it was just a beautiful picture. I wish I had my camera.

I came home and called Husband who was very excited because he is a fan of Tibetan Buddhist monks and said I should have talked to him.

The monk appears to live in or at least be visiting the neighborhood, but I can't imagine why a Tibetan Buddhist monk would live in Basura del Este. I'm going to see if I can find him again tomorrow and take his picture for you. I want to be his friend.


redb said...

I know all about the emotional leaving being ruined. My husband was in the navy and he would be leaving for three months or whatever and we'd be all wahhh I'll miss you blah blah and then he would come home and say they weren't leaving until tomorrow or the next day. After that it's like ok bye see ya in three months.

Your mom has some good (but scary!) advice.

Miss Kitty said...

What an awesome post. It's funny and sad all at the same time. I take it Mom & Dad finally got to California all right?

Hugs to that really his name?

NicoleinAZ said...

Perhaps he was looking for Bomboclaat? More likely he is a friend of your parents and that is why they took so long to leave because they were all visiting together over the last week. I'm certain your father met him while walking the beach one night. Yes, thats it.

Best wishes to your parents, my brother lost his home in the fires yesterday so we are rallying around him.

Loved this story!

cj said...

Oh, you nailed the "Japanese" Steakhouse... We have one in my area and it's always an odd mix of Trash and Quasi-Entitleds. By Quasi-Entitleds I mean the type who want to emulate the blustering snottery of the real Entitleds, but don't quite get it... They're always more plaintive than demanding. Maybe because they haven't received their Visa Gold/Platinum/Radium cards yet.

(I confess I know this because I attended once or twice before I discovered real sushi)

Whiskeymarie said...

I think that your Mom's advice is some of the best I've ever heard.

And I've only been to one, but I hated the whole "Japanese steakhouse" concept. The community seating thing bugged me severely.
Except, I did like my cocktail in a dancing Buddha glass.
That made me happy.

Anonymous said...

If you already know this, just ignore me. I don't want to be the annoying person giving advice you don't need. But just in case you don't know, some sects of buddhist monks aren't allowed to touch women. Like rabbis. Except that they have to go through this really horrible purification ritual if they do. So definitely talk to him, but make sure you don't accidentally brush against him, because that would be mean.
PS. I really like your blog, it makes my job suck WAY less than it used to. :)

Subservient No More said...

I know all about the not touching women thing which is fine with me because I dont like touching people anyway.

Anonymous said...

["I am goat-like in my appreciation of culinary delights"]

You really have a way of turning a phrase my friend! I laughed 'til I choked!

Lovin' your site more and more all the time.


Leonesse said...

Great advice from Mom! We have just made that determination ourselves. Hometowne Pride has just about turned into hometown disgust at this point. We may be moving on after school let's out.

Of course, then I don't know what to blog about!

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