Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another Saturday

My goal for this weekend is to clean up the mess in Greg's old room. It has been transformed into a general storage area that keeps getting more and more crowded until finally I can't think straight when I look at how everything is piled up. So I resolved to straighten it up, get rid of some things, and put the rest away. As of Saturday night I am about 1/3 done so I don't think it is going to get finished before the weekend is over.

Nevertheless I still managed to do my usual Costco rounds this morning. I went to the Alhambra store instead of Azusa because the Breeders Cup is taking place at Santa Anita and I didn't want to risk getting stuck in traffic on the 210 through Arcadia.

There's only a couple of items to show you that aren't repeat purchases. First is an exciting box of grape tomatoes.

Second is an entree from the refrigerated section, pasta with sausage and pancetta.

One nice surprise this morning was paying $2.869 per gallon for gas at Costco. I never thought I'd see it under $3.00.

We had a belated birthday lunch for my sister today. Julie and I drove downtown to Paul's Kitchen to pick up some authentic China meshi and then took it to Keiro to join my parents and sister. Driving down there is like entering a third world country and entering the parking lot at Paul's Kitchen is like driving into a military compound. The guy in charge over there sounds exactly like the guy in the famous Seinfeld waiting in a Chinese restaurant episode - the one who yells out "Cartwright!" Just close your eyes and it's him!

We ordered all the old-time favorites, which you can see in the picture below. Truth to tell, the food was pretty awful. I was wondering, is this the Chinese food I used to love when I was little or was it better than this? I ate at the Paul's Kitchen on Jefferson Avenue when I was still in grade school, and at the recently closed Monterey Park location about ten or so years ago. I don't remember the Jefferson location but the Monterey Park one was pretty bad, too.

So why go there at all? I'd never been to the one downtown, which I hear is owned by different family members than the other ones and I thought the folks would like that old style stuff. They said they did. I think they did and weren't just trying to be nice, but Julie and I both thought it was horrible.

Tonight we had dinner with her side of the family at Empress Harbor in Monterey Park. The food was a lot better, thankfully.

My sister found a few more things of mine at our parents house that I apparently overlooked when doing my part of the cleanup, and she gave it to me at lunch today. One item was a very long story I had written 15 years ago which I plan on rereading to see what I think of it now. In the same folder were a couple of poems I wrote back then as well, which, to take up some space, I will retype here:

The autumn breeze makes the leaves
fall from the trees and scatter
some go swirling around and around
some go dancing across a manicured lawn
some fly up into the breeze
and aromas of the autumn leaves
mix with the other scents of the season
the violent colors kaleidoscope
through briskly charged autumn winds
leaves and fragments disappear forever
communion - art and artist
like a madman hunched over his piano at night
notes swirling off into the blackness
never to be heard again
but history
in its grand design
and for our sake
will repeat itself

ooh, deep, eh? I like the imagery of piano notes swirling off into the blackness of the night. And the other one:

The breeze whispers through the open window
the spotlight from the full moon
silvers the still-life portrait of her room

She sleeps peacefully in the night air
caressed in gentle luxury
that conjures such a sweet dream
serendipitous and serene
and leaves a smile in its wake

When the rays filter in the window
when she greets the luster of the new day
details of the past enchantment
will flicker beyond recollection
but the wonderment's spell will abide

Okay, that's enough deep stuff for today. There were also a few other things my sister found, which I'll write about tomorrow. Below is the song that was my inspiration for the 2nd poem (for some reason the poster only recorded the first 1/3 of it); the first one was simply the joy of how a real autumn day feels, something we've yet to experience in Southern California this year, sigh..

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