Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Car Trouble Is For The Birds

Beth and I were supposed to see "The Birds" tonight at U of C, but my car pulled its non-starting crap again. The fabulous Dac had removed a fuse, eliminating the frustrating intermittent battery drain (and leaving me without a rear-widow defroster), but now the car will sometimes just not start, although the battery is fine and everything seems to be trying very hard to turn over. Given the symptoms, I suspect fuel-pump issues. But here's the thing: it always starts the next time. If I get up and try the car tomorrow, I'll bet it will start. It's maddening. I'm missing class on Saturday to bring Lola for her tooth check; I'll have to stop by and have Dac take another look.

Because my job involves much sensory deprivation, and because I'm not really in my social element at work (although Mailroom Maurice keeps me laughing by leaing me post-its on my machine), I look forward to mid-week outings like this the way a prisoner anticipates time in The Yard.

"MY FREAKING CAR!" I said when I called Beth from my cell.

"Hey, it's a bummer, but don't stress out on my account," she said.

Since Beth lives within walking distance of my house, we decided on Plan B, which was to have dinner at Alice and Friends down the street. I walked north on Broadway to meet Beth, who was walking south, and when we met we continued south, passing a cool shop that sells lots of vintage and retro stuff. The proprietor, Lisa, opened it last fall. We gawped through the window at some well-restored 50's vinyl kitchen chairs, then hit the restuarant.

Alice and Friends is a fun, quirky place. It's affiliated with a woman who is some kind of spiritual figure. The restaurant is comprised of two neighboring storefront spaces with a door between them. A meditation center is further attached. In the entry side, a TV plays videos of the spiritual leader's interviews around the world. I think she's Chinese, despite the latest decision to go with Billy Idol blonde.

One of her precepts is that of kindness to all living things, so the restaurant is totally vegan, and the food is very tasty.

"I just love coming here for the purple," Beth said, referring to the walls.

We were in a corner by a floor plant lit with Christmas lights, and American folk-style singing came from nearby speakers. It's as if the decor were done by a Girl Scout troop.

I find the names of the dishes really fun. For dinner, I had the UnChicken Home Run Balls, and Beth had a Love Letters To The Earth salad. I also had a ginger/cinnamon tea that was heavenly.

So all in all, the night wasn't so bad. I had some good company, a good meal, and I came home to relax in the tub and listen to podcasts of "This American Life."

Time for bed.


SP said...

I LOVE The Birds

JC said...

It was made the year I was born! Such a wonderful year...If you don't count the whole JFK-assassination thing. And Flannery O'Connor dying. OK, maybe it was a mixed bag.

SP said...

See, when I was born, movies were in color.

Forrest said...

I love 50's vinyl covered kitchen chairs!

JC said...

Thank you, Forrie, for a voice of sanity.