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Dinner With the Cools

posted at 12:35 am
on Feb. 2, 2005

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Been Runnin’ Round

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Stuck in Russellville

At this very moment, I’m supposed to be writing.

Which I’m doing, right?  Yeahbut, I should be writing something more, shall we say, profitable and due. You know, for someone else, about something else, that I committed to previously, not this, to you, for no real reason.

But I just finished reading a Dave Barry column, one of his old ones from the mid ‘80s.  That guy could WRITE!  I mean, before he started quoting from odd AP articles and writing fiction books, he used to just write columns, and they were better than you even remember them.  They were full of kick like Coca Cola before they removed the cocaine, sweet like the second kiss after the first kiss goes well, and as funny as the laughing you do in a full tent when you’re camping.

In a nutshell, I’m inspired, so let me tell you about my dinner.

I had a great dinner tonight with two couples: Justin and Sue, and Ginger and Doug.  We went to Oysi Oysi, which is Japanese for “Tasty tasty” and would also make a good name for a rock band.

Both couples outcool us by about the same ratio as a PowerPC G5—do I even have to finish this metaphor? I mean, here I am comparing cool people to a computer chip, that should explain the situation.

They all had great nuggets they effortlessly pulled out of the rich stream of shared conversation.  Justin got to say things like, “Yes, Friday, when I was in Helsinki,” and “You’d never get away with asking for extra wasabi in a Parisian restaurant.”  Sue’s pregnant, so can drop little tidbits like “There’s a tiny human being growing inside me, for I have the power to GIVE LIFE!”—not that she has, but she could, I could just feel it.

Their movers from France finally delivered all their belongings last week, and they’re already all unpacked.  I, on the other hand, still haven’t put away the wrapping paper from Christmas. So, that’s what we were dealing with on one side of the table.

On the other side, Doug and Ginger I met for the first time tonight.  Ginger is Susie’s cousin, last having seen Susie over 20 years ago.  That made for interesting conversation between the six of us.

Susie: So, what’s new with you since we last talked?
Justin: I got a hair cut.
Ginger: Puberty.

Ginger lives in Vancouver now, which means I may be able to find out from her good embarrassing things about Susie as a teenager.  Note to self: Ask what posters she had on her bedroom walls. Were any of them George Michael? Were any over the bed?

Ginger used to work in Las Vegas casino, which, if TV’s “Las Vegas” show is any guide, is a non-stop thrill ride with money and quirkiness and beauty where no one ever has to go to the bathroom or pay for drinks.  Awesomeness incarnate, in other words.

Doug, a Vancouveriterian, also has good stories.  Apparently, everyone in Vancouver has had their car window smashed and their ashtray rifled.  It happened to Doug twice recently.  Nothing major was stolen.  Our server agreed; his car window was also broken and they took the entire ashtray, leaving everything else of value.  This is a very normal situation in Vancouver.  Some people leave their car doors unlocked, apparently under the social contract that thieves will never steal the car, but instead will only look in the ashtray and sometimes steal bad CDs.

Susie and I just have a boring garage where nothing ever gets broken into.  Sometimes we get excited because we see the gate open on the “parking garage channel” on our TV, but it’s always been just a car and never a bomb squad robot or anything cool.  We only watch the garage channel because it’s better than sitting through those awful commercials for politicians “flying at half mast” and sports figures “benched for bad sportsmanship,” nudge nudge—we actually mean they CAN’T DO IT, wink wink—can’t the FCC ban those commercials?

Doug, you might know, because he played for a professional hockey team briefly, but shattered his wrist somehow—I didn’t get all the details in the 110 minutes I got to know him—and moved back to Vancouver because, well, it’s the safest place in the world to get your car broken into, I think.

Susie contributed to the conversation the words “blog” and “expert” and “high speed cable modem,” which I thought was super cool but the conversation seemed to skip right over that.

And when I brought up the details of our latest letter exchange with Customs and Immigration about proving Susie does not actually have a criminal record from any country in the world, so please stop asking us for additional documentation of this ultimately undocumentable fact—think of it, if you were asked to produce a certificate that showed you weren’t married, could you?—the conversation also veered past us, towards Super Bowl parties and such.

So, in preparation for the next night out with new and interesting people, I’m putting together a folder interesting tidbits.  So far, I have:

  • A picture of a girl holding her own heart after a successful transplant operation. That’s amazing!

  • Receipts proving that the external backup hard drive I bought from Maxtor failed exactly two days after the one-year warranty expired. Oh My Gosh!

  • A penny squashed with a whale imprinted on it. Will Wonders Never Cease!

  • this column, once it’s finished

    That last item is my “Cool Judo” emergency trick. I figure, when the other items fail to impress, I can just tell my friends about my other friends! Tahdah!



    Previous entry:
    Been Runnin’ Round

    Next entry:
    Stuck in Russellville

  • Overheard

    “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

    ...who said it?

    “Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

    ...who said it?

    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ...who said it?

    “I play with variables constantly.”

    ...who said it?

    “Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

    ...who said it?




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