< June 22, 1998 >

Impulse Wandering

It was a simple day. Just woke up when the telephone started ringing, as I was pretty sure that was Kathy calling us to say that she was coming over. Mom was already up and out of the house, doing a cooking class. So I mostly got a little breakfast together and John woke up and the two of us ate and Kathy showed up and then started showing us Monty Python collection stuff to wake John up.

He woke up happily.

After it was done with we then all made our way to Samson's. They're actually not fast food, they're a great deli with some Jewish traditions, but not entirely kosher. In fact, they have quite a lot of non-kosher stuff, some of which makes 'em a truely great deli. Like a liverwurst, bacon and Swiss sandwich to die for.

On the way there, Kathy and I compared sunglasses, and there really was no comparison. The ones that I'd bought just sucked, they gave me a headache and were too heavy and the curature was just wrong for my eyes. I have a feeling that my slight astigmatism makes me really, really unable to wear sunglasses with even the slightest distortion, even from the shape of the lenses to make 'em 'pretty'. So they just sucked compared to Kathy's Oakleys. No duh. While we sat down outside and I had to deal with the sunshine, I decided that it would likely be a good idea to just return the sunglasses.

Samson's also has these cheese blintzes which are unlike anything I've ever had anywhere else. Crisp and buttery on the outside, filled with sweet creamy curds, and topped with strawberries so fresh they melt in your mouth. Ah. So I had one of those and the corned beef hash and eggs, which were marvelously made. Yum.

And oof, too. As it was very filling.

So to insure that we would not fall asleep, we went to see the X-Files movie. Oh well. It was a lot like a two hour episode of the T.V. show. Though some things were answered and others left dangling again. It was good for the big screen though, as some of the scenery was magnificent; but the plot dangled a bit too loose for my likings for a movie. But it was a fun watch, in some other ways, just to see the familiar faces on a movie.

Afterwards we wandered off to Scripp's Beach. It's one of Kathy's favorite beaches, and mine as well. In part because fewer people are ever there, as it borders, on one side, Black's Beach, on the other, La Jolla Shores. It's a beautiful beach, not very crowded, lots of white sand and the stone cliffs, and plenty of nice surf. One the La Jolla side, the surf gets a lot bigger and on that day, there was also a nasty rip current that was dragging people further out. The lifeguards actually went into action while we were walking along there. On the other side of the Scripp's pier, everything calmed down a lot more, and we just meandered our slow way north for a while, until we hit a bunch of big rocks blocking a point. Instead of risking my knee on the rocks, we just turned back.

Sun and sea and sky. It's all timeless. So it was good to immerse myself in that again and just enjoy for a while.

We went back to Kathy's apartment to let her change before going back to the house. I stole a Balducci's catalog from her, okay, with her consent. But I love the catalogs and the ideas for Italian dishes. Things like a mushroom lasagna with bechamel and moz. Happy sigh. Lots of cool ideas.

Dinner was at New Shanghai, which was a Mandarine style restaurant that was very, very enjoyable. My personal take has always been that Mandarine style foods are more straightforward, less messy sauces and a better highlight of one or two main ingrediants. Cantonese food is usually more complex, heavier sauces, more interesting combinations that can sometimes get heavy. Depends on the cook and the restaurant. This one was a lovely rendition of good, light, Mandarine cooking. It was most excellent.

Then, because Mom had been talking about the additions to the Fashion Valley Mall, we went there. One of the things that Kathy had been talking with me about had been the Colorado Pen Company store that was in the mall. So we went in and I immediately gravitated towards, of all things, the Namiki pens. The one that I really wanted, though, was the Vanishing Point, which isn't nearly as elaborate as the multi-layered laquered pens that are Namiki's speciality. I tried one and got completely hooked. Oops.

It was well worth it, though. The pen is just gorgeous, lovable and amazingly smooth, fine and flowing. The special bit of the Vanishing Point pens, though is that the nib goes in and out of an ink tight chamber with the click of a button, so it kinda retracts and acts like a clickable ball point pen but writes like a fountain pen. Which always gets me to purrr.

I've always loved fountain pens. There's something about how they write that just makes it so much more enjoyable.

After the pen place we wandered to the KPBS store, the local public broadcasting station store, and there I found an entire set of video tapes outlining cooking techniques by Jacques Pepin. Wow. I just was flabbergasted, as I've been looking for those tapes for months. I've never really caught the entire show at any particular time, but the bits and pieces that I did get were just marvelous, so I'd wanted the whole thing since about Christmas and there it was. I pounced.

There was also a Feynman book neither John nor I had seen before, so we bought that as well. Impulse wandering.

By the time we got home it was 10 p.m.. Kathy showed us the Jose Chung episode of Millenium and Mom and Dad went to sleep before it got too nasty. I hugged Dad a lot before he went to sleep as he'd likely get up way before we did in the morning. Kathy also got hugs and goodbyes as she left for home.

John went to bed, then and I stayed up for a while, to play with my new pen, to think, to write, and to watch the lights of San Diego from the livingroom.

I snapped open the box, took out the pen and then the cartridge that came in the box. I peered at the instructions on how to put it in and blinked a bit. The cartridge in my hand looked nothing like the cartridge in the drawings. I poked it into the barrel anyway, and it never connected. I couldn't even put the pen back together. So I tried it the other way, thinking that it might fit oddly or differently, but nope, no way. Basically they'd given me the wrong cartridge entirely.

I finally just gave up and wrote with my Cross pen, instead. That was pretty funny.

When I got to bed, John woke up and I talked with him about the pen and about the sunglasses that had been bugging me all weekend, and about how I was worrying about it and also about how I was thinking of actually returning the sunglasses, something I would probably never have even thought of a decade ago. I would likely have just eaten the $40 cost and just been miserable about it but not caused any conflict or any confrontation.

After talking it all through, I felt a lot better about it and tried to go to sleep. Sadly, John couldn't get back to sleep and stated tossing and turning now and again, and so I stayed awake eventhough I didn't really have anything to worry about. Part of the problem was that with the small double bed it was hard to sleep when he wasn't able to. So it was a while before we got to sleep.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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