Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Who needs "ammo" on Tuesdays?

Well, I've been out of town for five days...hubby and I were in the mountains. We have tv, but no Internet. I felt cut off from the world.

I missed the Michael Jackson "closing" ceremonies -- I heard they were, to quote Robin Roberts, " not what [the media] expected...." and I can't interpret that at all -- cause the media and I have different expectations on just about everything...

I didn't see a single moment of the memorial -- but I do have one question.

Did the LA taxpayer foot the bill for the Staple Center to be used for a celebrity's funeral?

Just wonderin'..

*rolls eyes*

I had a crazy dream this morning and hubby wouldn't listen to it --

but it involved tree art, Jerry Pece ( a high school friend), lounge chairs, and my old neighborhood -- it was so weird I wanted to tell someone..but never mind...

Hubby and I went to Cafe REL in Franklin, NC, to eat last night. The restaurant, which is very good, is actually in the same building as Hot Spot, a type of Race Trak.. in fact, the Hot Spot and Cafe REL customers share a public restroom. If you use the restroom while at Cafe Rel, you go through a door, and you are in the back of the Hot Spot, about fifteen feet from the cracker aisle. It's like passing from one world to another. Not quite like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but.... different.

Anyway, the food is really delicious, and the chef makes his grandmother's three layer chocolate cake -- which is like crack on a plate. Next door to the Hot Spot is the Gun Brokerage. There were some interesting people who needed "ammo" on a Tuesday night. That place was busier than Bill Clinton's Twitter.

Another good eating place in Franklin is Fat Buddy's.

It serves "clotting of the arteries" on a plate. They have potato skins to die for or, techinically, from, I guess. They double bake em and serve them with Ranch dressing with chipote spice. A place like this to eat is why they make pants with elastic waistbands. I would say that Fat Buddy's is no misnomer. Heh.


More randomness...

I read three books and three New Yorkers in my five days.

The best book I read was A Free Life by Ha Jin. I really enjoyed it even though Jin is one of those writers who practically gives a day by day, year by year description of his characters and their lives. Somehow, Jin manages to pull this off without tediousness or repetition.

This novel told the story of Chinese immigrants who came to the US to work on a Masters degree, but after the massacre at Tienanmen Square determined not to return to China. The main characters, Nan and Pingping, embraced the American dream and embraced the values that America was founded on, especially those of hard work and perseverance. I can't believe anyone believes in that darn work ethic anymore.

Once settled here, they sent for their four year old son, who had been kept in Beijing with the grandparents until the parents had a place for him; even though the parents tried to keep him immersed in his Chinese heritage, the son Taotao was Americanized pretty quickly. Most of the story was set in Gwinnett County. Many of the places mentioned in the novel were real places.

An extra bonus to me was that at one point, Jin quoted Faulkner -- as well as W.H. Auden, Robert Frost, and John Steinbeck.

I totally enjoyed it and my five days away from "celebrity memorials."


  1. CNN says the memorial cost LA $1.4 million.

  2. But they're seeking donations.

  3. Donations from whom?

    Dang, Fred.
    1. 4 million?

    I'm floored. Really.

  4. Doesn't Ha Jin teach at Emory? Is the book autobiographical?

  5. I thought he taught at Emory, but the book jacket says he teaches English at Boston University.. copyright 2007 -- he must have gotten a promotion.

    The book is not autobiographical unless it's like a he's a composite of the main character.

  6. That made no sense. It's late.
    I mean that he's just a part of the main character. Actually, I found part of myself in the main character.

  7. I didn't know Georgia had an encyclopedia, but there's a bunch of information about Ha Jin in it:

  8. The Chinese form of his name is 哈金. It literally means "laughing gold"
    哈 = ha = ha (laughing, haha)
    金 = jin = gold

  9. yeah, i found that website sophomore year when trying to identify rocks in schafer's earth studies class. It's useful if you care about Georgia.

  10. Can't you ever just read something normal like Carl Hiaasen? NSB