< May 14, 1998 >

Dad's Cool

My dad is pretty keen.

John and I raced over to the City side to get to the restaurant that we said that we'd meet him at and traffic was backed way, way up because there was a horrible accident on 520 so we had to go to I-90 to get across Lake Washington at all. So we showed up at the restaurant about ten minutes late. John dropped me off and Dad came out of the restaurant to greet me and peer after John as he went off to find parking for the car.

Dad didn't mind at all, and we sat down and looked happily through the menu at the restaurant while John parked and got back and decided on nearly all the dishes but one so that John could have a say in the last of the food. It was very nice to have Dad along to order and look at things in the menu to find something tasty and new. We found a really excellent mix. One dish was entirely my fault, which was a candied walnut and crisp prawn dish that was mild, faintly sweet and nice. The other was a simple steamed tofu with shrimp lumps and a light sauce. The third was a chicken and black mushrooms (shitaki) baked with onions and other things in a clay pot with a thick salty sweet sauce on it all. The two mild and one strong with plenty of rice and a fish maw and corn soup was just marvelous.

It was good to share food with Dad again, as he's really into it, so it's always fun.

After dinner, I went with Dad for the drive home so that he'd have someone to give him instructions and because it would be easier for him with someone for the carpool lane. It worked out really well, and we had the fun of taking the wrong off ramp so I could work on my instructions some more and he could figure out how to get to the house even if he made a mistake. So that was actually pretty fun.

Odd how it's possible now to turn mistakes into positives. It's cool to learn that we're both growing, still, and it certainly is making life more fun.

Spent the entire evening just talking with Dad, which was great. Spent some time showing him the DragonDictate stuff I'm using, and also talking over what his conference was going over. It's the digital signal processing conference, and it was nearly exactly 50 years ago that the very concept of digital signals came into being, so they were celebrating a kind of fiftieth anniversary of the theory of digital signals. That was kinda keen to realize. Also found out that they're starting to break out the radio bandwidth and with an entire 6db below the present AM bandwidth, it's now possible to broadcast digital packets that can be decoded into CD quality music. Zow.

Talk about being able to multi-task on the present bandwidth.

Talked over machine and things to play with, and showed him Neverhood and had fun playing it for a bit. That was cool. Now I remember where my curiosity with tech toys came from. Quite.

We also spent a lot of time talking about Mom's painting, about the flowers that she and Dad have been growing that have provided good subject material for the paintings and for the entire class as well. Classical Chinese painting objects that aren't readily found in the U.S., which has made some of it extra nice. Also about their garden and the things that they're trying to grow and I remembered seeds that Jon Singer had set aside for them. So gave 'em to him.

It was also fun to share with Dad the fact that Mom really getting back into painting was a really good thing. She really needed it, and is getting really good at it again now that her eyes have recovered from all the glaucoma problems. So that was a mutual relief of sorts.

Drew a hot, hot bath and melted into it afterwards, quite content. And sleep came very soon after.


Today's grey out. Useful inside. Hrm. Markleford did write. Said that the things I say here often make more sense than what I write him. That's likely. So I'll think about it.

Work's been pretty straightforward.

Came up with this odd notion that I got hurt so that Raven would have more company than he otherwise would. If I'd been my normal self, with the entire summer planned out before it was even April, he wouldn't have had nearly as much time as he's had. It was kinda odd realizing that if he left at the end of June/beginning of July that he'd never see me play soccer, when soccer, so much, defined what I was before he came.


Discovered why the cloudy sky is so keen. While I was out at lunch, which is a story in and of itself, the sky suddenly broke open into brilliant blue with big, fluffy white clouds sailing across the bright blue, and the sun was as warm as a benediction up on my body, eyes, and skin. It was just gorgeous for about five minutes.

Then the grey clouds boiled in from the West again. Zow.

Lunch was at the Yankee Diner with James Birdsall. He could have sworn that I'd disappeared off the face of the Earth because when we moved sites for work, the phone numbers didn't forward after only a month. So he had no idea where I was working now or what my work phone number was. He called the house a few times, but I know that I didn't answer as well as I ought to have and I kept leaving his numbers at home instead of taking htem to work with me the way I should have.

But it was great getting to see him again and just sit and talk and catch up with all the things that have been happening in his life. That included an incident with the Bomb Squad that involved the house next to his. It just fascinating to listen to.

The Yankee Diner serves what you'd expect a place named that way would. I had good old-fashioned pot roast with mashed potatoes, steamed brocolli and a lovely cup of Ivar's clam chowder. Yum. Plenty of oyster crackers to go with, crisp and tender. It was a wonderful meal to just sit and enjoy slowly. I was only able to eat half of what I was served, if that. My appetite has really cut down since after the surgery. The bathroom scale's spring busted on John when he was measuring some things for this beer, so I have no idea if I've lost weight or not, but I imagine that even with the muscle loss in my leg that I might have.

Yeesh. Just found out that the parents of a friend of mine live in Jakarta, Indonesia and that their businesses were completely burned out by the rioters. Also that folks trying to get out of the area are examined to see if they're of Chinese descent and if they are, they're basically kicked out of their cars, which are then burnt. Yeah, my friend's of Chinese descent. It's terrifying him that his parents might get killed.

Feels odd to know that I get to go home to see my dad, no problem. I'm rather grateful, even as I know that there isn't anything I really can do for my friend or his parents.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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