Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics


Posted by shannonclark on July 14, 2002

A quiet weekend

Last night I was writing.

This is a good thing. It has been a while since I brushed aside the myriad of ways I have of procrastinating and just sat down, with my computer, and wrote. Admittedly I did not work on my novel, as I had intended, but instead on a short story and some journal entries (too private even for this rather too revealing journal).

The story was an attempt to tell something that sorta kinda happened to me, but in the form of fiction, not as personal history. I think, in the current state, it would be too close to being just personal history, so it will need a few twists and tweaks before I show it to anyone, but it is a story taken out of the fabric of my life – so I will try to revisit it.

Unlike most else that I have written lately, it is not “genre” rather it is set in the here and now, in modern America with normal (well as normal as anyone can be) people as the main characters. Something rather different from my other recent writings – which have involved atheists winning the white house, vampires, or time travel.

As I sat, in Starbucks (I confess – it is close, open until 3:00am on Thursday – Saturday night, and they let you sit as long as you want), I had the unusual experience (for me) of talking to two woman.

First, what was unusual. I noticed them as the entered – and thought to myself “I wonder who they are” – and figured, like most people I wonder that about, that I would never know the answer. Indeed after they waited for their drinks they wandered about the Starbucks looking for where to sit.

A bit of explanation – this is a very, and I do mean very, large Starbucks – I’ve heard that is is over 5000 sq. ft – and I mostly believe that – easily sits 150 people – split into two sides by an aisle and shelves with stuff for sale.

They first looked to be heading towards the area I was not sitting in, but minutes later changed their minds and sat not far from where I was seated. Initially they sat on a small stage that is in one corner of the store. After they had just settled down, having gotten up to grab various supplies for their drinks (napkins, sugar etc), the couple seated just next to me in a pair of comfy chairs go up, and so they moved for a third time – to the chairs just next to me.

I was seated in the window typing at my computer.

Interesting I thoughts, but then returned to my writing.

I did overhear the one woman mentioning to the other “I have a computer like that. Good idea to come here and plug in”

After a while something in their conversation caught my attention, and the woman closest to me noticed (I think it was a repeat of her comment about my computer).

Our conversation started with her asking “Sorry, didn’t mean to disturb you, did you hear me telling my friend I didn’t shave my legs today?”

I had not, and I said “no, missed that, but that reminds me of something I have started collecting – phrases that you overhear and know that there is a story there. Just the other week I was walking past two woman and a man on the sidewalk and overheard one of the woman say ‘That was the man I met in the strip club’ – your phrase is much like that story”

We then talked a bit about that, I explained my story further, she repeated it for the benefit of her friend, who was seated just far enough away for the noices in the store to make it hard for her to hear me clearly, as well the one woman who had started the conversation with me seemed to have a habit of repeating conversations.

She then asked me “Are you Jewish?” – I guessed the reason, and it was right – she had a friend she is trying to set up. A Jewish woman, who lives in the neighborhood, who is looking for a Jewish man. I laughed.

I am Jewish, but not very religious – she then asked how old I was.

“28” I said.

“Oh, too young for my friend.” Who, it turns out is 38 and looking for someone to settle down with (biological clock ticking away).

But an amusing conversation, which continued further. The first woman, it turns out is a Chemical engineer, the second studied Psychology in Serbia and it seems, is looking to get a degree from a US college here. They are both Serbian, the one born here, the other in Serbia. (I studied Ottoman History in school, so I know something of the history of Serbia, though that area was not my primary focus)

It is a small world.

This was a highly unusual event for me – probably more unusual for me than it should be – I don’t talk to strange woman all that often, indeed my journal entry (too private for here) was my own personal musings about my too simple set of life experiences – at least around relationships. However, I need to get much better at talking with strange woman, so it was good to practice. Also satisfying that I was not unapproachable or uninteresting.

But other than that last night, this weekend has been a quiet one – too quiet probably. I cooked dinner last night, an unusual dish that turned out rather well, if I say so myself.

I cooked some linguini (which may have been slighly underdone – need to watch that next time). I served it with quick fried fake lobster which I cooked with hot peppers, olive oil, and various spices and sauces until the edges were well cooked and liquids boiled away. To this very hot pan I then added some canned sauce – which I let heat up and then poured over the pasta.

It was tasty, far far better than the plain sauce would have been – the extra heat from the hot peppers and other spices I cooked the fake lobster with made for a good contrast to the relative sweetness of the tomatoe sauce. A very satisfying dish, easy to make and very tasty.

Today’s culinary creation was much less innovative – hot dogs and baked beans – seemed appropriate as I watched the end of the Cubs game on the television.


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