29 May 2001

Summary of yesterday afternoon: So I ended up naked in the bathtub with a fountain pen and a needle-nosed pliers.

Summary of yesterday evening: Mmmmmm.

I see that one of these requires explaining. Yesterday evening, Mark declared another of his birthday days, and he, Timprov, and I took the train into the City. (With many, many pauses along the way. A word to the wise: don't ride BART on Memorial Day. It's much, much more hassle than usual.) We walked up into Chinatown, to have dinner at the House of Nanking.

The owner/waiter came up to take our order, and Mark said what must have been the magic words: "What do you recommend?" The guy smiled, one of those broad, quiet smiles, like my Norwegian uncles, and said, "Do not worry. I will take care of you."

And he did. It was a little hole-in-the-wall place, and they didn't bring us water until I was crying from the spices. That didn't matter. There were marinated fish fillets, little shrimp cakes, ginger-beef lettuce wraps, and spicy sesame chicken. I don't like shrimp, and I don't like too much ginger with meat. That didn't matter, either. And then there was the calamari. Oh. Oh my. I have never in my life had such good calamari. It was so tender. Not at all rubbery. You could almost not tell it was calamari, except that it was. It was, perhaps, the Platonic form of calamari.

Really, really good. Did I mention that? You should go there. Ask the owner what he recommends. All will be well.

I'm going to have a good day, and I hope you all do, too.

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