Monday, February 18, 2002

Fp, The Sound of a Flying Arrow and You Are What You Eat

The first time I had Dim Sum was after my apartment had been Feng Shuied and I was getting back from Taebo class burning off the calories from a meal of Foie Gras. I had just jetted off to Los Angeles with my family to visit my sister. Sis took us to Chinatown and this huge gymnasium like place with hundreds of tables. The people walking the carts around were Chinese and they didn't speak any English. I've never had a more tasty delectable meal of unidentifiable stuff in my life.

Last Sunday I raced through a milestone production of the newsletter so I could meet up with the incredibly dependable witty spindle fixer and a Russian journalist to enjoy Dim Sum in a Little Canada strip mall. It was a most humorous (and somewhat enjoyable if not entirely memorable) experience to eat the somewhat mysterious food in the company of one who didn't speak much English and with another who did her diligent best to describe the food to him. At one point she tried to tell him what I do for a living (still a mystery to even me) and relayed the information that I had experienced in the past year the life changing event through my job of getting the chance to meet the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. The Russian looked at me earnestly and asked if he understood things right and if I was really the Dalai Lama. Oh the chuckles that were had and will I'm sure be had over the years over that one.

In deference to his Holiness and always on the lookout for good metaphors, or at the very least the meaning of life, the meal struck me in an odd way. There we were eating stuff that we weren't exactly sure the content of (example- sticky rice wrapped in some kind of leaf with some mysterious meat) trying to explain the food to someone who didn't speak the same language. If that's not a perfect microcosm of life I surely don't know what is. Life is about unexplainable uncertainty often with a language barrier burden to try and endure.

The composition of the meal may be just a coincidence but I'm not entirely convinced there isn't a cosmic connection involved somehow. See the next day was when all hell broke loose at the Olympics with the couples figure skatin' Canadians apparently out performing the Russkie pair only to have the French judge admit being intimated in determining the score she submitted. The spindle fixer speaks fluent French (of course); the Russian journalist enjoyed his meal (I think); and I've been to Canada a couple of times. You'd think I was at the center of the universe but I think I know better.

I've been around long enough now (giving away fountains as if they were candy) to know that I don't know a whole lot. But that I know that gives me a leg up on some people. The smallest things therefore can amuse me to no end. A couple of weeks ago I was at my desk at work when we got the sad news that Rep. Darlene Luther had died from stomach cancer. I had only a couple of exchanges with Luther but I liked her a lot because unlike many of her colleagues she was a genuinely nice person. I was told I was the one who would do her obituary. We were hours away from the deadline of our publication so I started calling up people to get some reaction and quotes. Many of the legislators were at a conference so I was having a hard time reaching anyone. I left messages with the speaker and the minority leader's offices. I began typing my story when my phone rang. "House Information, this is David," I dutifully said. "David... Steve." I thought for a minute. Steve who? "Steve Sviggum..." I hadn't realized the second most powerful person in the state and I were on first name terms.

The Speaker gave me some really nice comments on Rep. Luther and for a small point in time my faith in humanity got a needed boost.

Spirits raised I went and had my best Valentine's Day ever (or at least since second grade when I made sure to choose the most romantic card out of the bunch I had gotten at the drug store to give to Tracy Siegfried and she smiled when she opened it...). The only thing that slightly spoiled the evening was that I dripped some candle wax on my living room rug and wasn't exactly sure what to do to clean it up. That's when my TV viewing history came in mighty handy. Memory is a funny thing, you never are sure why you remember the things you choose to remember. I got out a wet towel, my iron and I was able to take a Martha Stewart tidbit to get the wax out of the fabric.

So as another week comes to a close, snarfing down some banana bread, I take an occasional glance at the cutest picture of all time (my friend dear and near, holding her three-year old niece with both smiling mischievously behind their shades) I think that maybe for the first time in a while I might just sleep OK tonight.

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