< June 21, 1998 >


Odd day today. It started simply enough, as we had enough time before meeting up with Kathy to check out British Pacific and buy a gallon of Tommy's chili while in Burbank. British Pacific is a Land Rover parts distributor in the Burbank area, but it turned out that they were just closed on Sundays. So we got there, John wandered up to the front of the shop to see what he could see and when he couldn't see anything, climbed a nearby fence to see very little else. Ah well. So we drove to Monteray Park and the China Islamic restaurant that I'd looked up and clutched multiple maps for.

We got there ten minutes early, wandered about a bit, then sat down and waited half an hour before figuring out that they probably weren't going to show up. So ordered some food and ate it while watching the doors. They had really excellent lamb chow mein with noodles that were hand cut from noodle dough, and really great da bing, or large baked onion bread, multi-layered and studded with green onions, crisp on the outside and chewy moist on the inside. We were going to call Kathy afterwards as there were no telephones in the restaurant, no public ones that is, and would have to go around looking for one, anyway. But as we were paying for our food the waitress sympathized with us about the no-show of our friends and then mentioned that there were other Islamic Chinese restaurants in the area. Surprised the heck out of us to find that out.

The other major one was near the 99 Market, which Kathy had mentioned, but we hadn't been able to find. Turned out that the other restaurant was in the same review set that the China Islamic restaurant was, and was the one that Kathy had gone to. We found both Kathy and Petrina there, kinda frantic with waiting themselves.

It was good to see them, and good for them to know that we were okay. So that was good, and John and I were so stuffed from eating at the other place that we just watched with Kathy and Petrina ate. Petrina had done a good job of keeping Kathy settled, and it was good that there weren't blame fests there as to who was a fault for what.

That came later, mostly from Dad, sad to say. And is likely why I keep trying to justify how John and I approached the whole deal, when Petrina really had the right of it. It just happened. But I can also see all the years of my upbringing pointing towards guilt and blame and retribution and who was at fault for what and the punishment that ensues. Dad got so blazingly enraged at the simple fact that John and I hadn't even thought about calling Kathy that I just flashed back to all that past shit that I keep trying to shovel into compost bins of the mind. Good material for writing about, bad realities to live.

What happened, instead, was that his rage lit a flare for my own rage and we had a short, hot nasty row and unlike in the past, that was that and it was over for him. I remember and remembered too well, and have still not entirely dealt with it, as can be seen here. Mom was cool about it, though, which was really neat to see, and worked with Kathy and John to just have it be and to enjoy the evening.

The ride back to San Diego was pretty comfortable, all in all, as Kathy and John and I had worked things out to our satisfaction, and we'd visited the 99 Market with Petrina and had a good chance to wander about and see things. We didn't buy anything there, though. John and I were just too stuffed with food to even think about more.

We called the parents using Kathy's celphone while we drove and advised them that we'd be a bit late, and we were a little later than early planned; but not too bad off. We got home around 5:40 p.m. when we'd originally planned for 5 p.m.. Dinner was at 6:30 at a lovely little Greek place near Mom and Dad's house and was Dad's Day dinner. We gave Dad his presents then and cards and stuff. The restaurant is very nice, and I had a baby egg plant stuffed with lamb, feta, sauced with tomato-based sauce, grilled, and then wrapped in a round of soft Greek-style pita. Not a lot of food, which is exactly what I wanted, and it was filling, savory and nice. Kathy had sea-food kebobs, Dad a mousakka, John had a combination plate, and Mom pretty much had what I had but bigger eggplants and less meat and cheese and no pita, other than a basket we got on the side.

Dad was pretty happy with all that, as was everyone else, and then we went to see Mulan, which we all loved and laughed a lot with. There were some weird bits, i.e. they all used Japanese-style tables and nearly Japanese-style clothing in the beginning sequences which was just *weird*; but I really, really liked the protagonist. Angie, on TooMUSH pointed out that the movie really isn't romance-driven, unlike so many of the more awful of Disney's animated features, rather it is, very much, character driven, which is a really, really nice difference. Yes, there's a little romance in it, but not really until the very, very end; but it isn't the centerpoint. The real center of the story is Mulan, and it's cool.

What was really funny was that they used a few Chinese characters in the credits and we had Mom and Dad translate 'em for us, and they were all amusingly appropriate.

Kathy didn't stay too late as she would be seeing us the next day, as she was taking Monday off to be with us. That was very cool.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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