February 7, 2012
I started the day at the Disney Resort in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was not good on two planes. On one, it did not live up to the standards of the other Disney Resorts. The place was falling apart. There was no grand entrance, no fan fare. It was a run down dive. That was problem 1. Problem 2 is that there is no such resort.
In retrospect, it was helpful that I recognized that fact as time passed. I was there with my older daughter who is currently 8.5 months pregnant. As the day in the park wore on, she became rather ill. Specifically, her eyes turned green and her face red and she went into a convulsion. Granted it was a festive Christmas sort of convulsion. But It slowly dawned on me that this was not a good thing for a preggers kind of person. So I did what I had to do.
I woke up and started on my lesson plan for the day. I know, most people just use an alarm clock or have the front desk give them a wake up call. I have a convulsing daughter. To each their own.
I got my plan ready and was good to go for the day. Turns out it was primary day here in the state I'm in, so the big name politicians were all on the news at breakfast. One was campaigning in Jeans. Our University currently prohibits Jeans in the classroom. Most of my students, I think, are hoping the Jeans guy wins in November.
Class went pretty well. Had a lively debate with one student. Its good when they are engaged. But the classroom temperature is 80 degrees and I had one student completely nod off in the back row. Perhaps she ran into my daughter at Disney because she abruptly came to in a few.
At dinner time, I headed into town. I park 6 blocks from the city center to avoid the parking fee on one hand. On the other hand, the walk is good exercise. I came close to my usual Pub and spotted the Saigon Cafe. Saw that place over the weekend and made a note that it might be worth a trip. I was drawn, almost magnetically to the building.
I grabbed a seat an took off my jacket. Of course all the wait staff was Vietnamese. Very officious and to the point. I checked in on foursquare and saw unanimous support for the quality of the staff and the food. I was there for 5 or 6 minutes before I realized that I was wearing my "Charlie Don't Surf" hoodie.
Not Charlie Sheen, Charlie as the Viet Cong Army. Yeah, so here is where a number of thoughts begin to tumble. First is this. I'm amazed that I have made it to 53 years of age with only three plates in my forehead. Really, this level of politically incorrect behavior is the sort of thing that should result in punji sticks to the ear at a minimimum.
But the rationalizing sets in. These folks here are probably the good guys, the Southern folks who were mostly on are side. Maybe they are not fans of Charlie either. Maybe they think that adding strychnine to my Hot and Spicy Lemon Grass Pork is just not on their Tuesday To Do list. Yes there is that.
Then there is the other part of this. It's not me being racist and provocative. I am all time forgetting the who race thing. I have no clue how many people of different races I have in my class each week. I just have people. And maybe some are named Charlie and others are related to the Charlie on my hoodie. But to me it doesn't matter. And maybe that is what limits the number of plates in my head at the end of the day.
As good as the food is at Saigon Cafe, they have no adult beverages. So I wander over to the Pub that I planned to hit before I visited South East Asia. There I get a beer and chill for a bit. The bar gets crazy with people and I'm amazed that one bartender can keep up. Its clearly a two person operation, but the guy working the bar is a frenzy and even though he is getting slammed he keeps the beverages flowing.
After my beer I order a Scotch. I see 8 on the top shelf, but I can't make out the names so I get the list from the bartender. Turns out they have my favorite hidden from view. An Islay malt. I get a generous pour in a snifter and it is other worldly. I'm transported back to Scotland. And to the realization that the snifter of Scotch that I'm holding in my hand would cost twice as much in Scotland as it does in Colorado.
It turned out to be a brilliant end to the day on one hand. A warm, satisfying moment where the best the world has to offer is in my hand. Where the surroundings are peaceful and the chairs on both sides of my are empty. Where I'm alone in a crowded room, but alone in a good way.
But on the other hand, the idea that it cost less to buy a Scotch half way around the world than it did at is source was crazy. maybe not as crazy as my christmas convulsing daughter. But still, the day was more crazy than it was super.