... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

Now I' m sharing magnets from my mother's fridge.

My mother's stepson, and his son (who is all grown up and a Dad now)

* Discussion *

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.


I'm a Stranger Here Myself

Bill Bryson


Battersea Park
Road to Enlightenment



Pictures from the Pride March in SF on Sunday are now up at Club Photo
So are the pix from the Japanese restaurant.

That's it for today!



1 July 2001

Something's Fishy in downtown Santa Barbara.

That would be the restaurant of the same name, "Something's Fishy." It's a Japanese grill--one of those places where they chop and cook right at your table and do fancy stuff with shakers and knives and forks. They also turn off the lights and set the whole thing on fire before they serve it to you.

We spent a relaxing day. In the morning first I and then my mother went for a walk out on the bluffs right outside my sister-in-law's back door. You walk a bit and come to a golf course and then walk a bit more and come to a road that takes you to the beach. Very lovely location.

Walt's brother and sister-in-law were flying into the airport so the Sykes clan went to pick them up, while my mother and I went to the store to order a birthday cake for Tom and get a housewarming gift for Walt's sister. We spent a quiet afternoon relaxing while the others took their own turn on the bluffs.

And then it was time to meet Tom and the crew for dinner.

We had eaten in this restaurant last year and it was such fun that we decided to make it our yearly tradition. There were about 15 of us, I guess, all seated at a table around two large hot grills, on which our food would be prepared.

It's odd that when you come to So. California, your Japanese chef ismore likely to be named "Gonzales" or "Ramirez" and the orders shouted to each other are more likely to be in Spanish than Japanese, but they do know their stuff and the food is delicious.

Our particular chefs didn't appear to speak English, so the spiel that sometimes comes with the "show" didn't materalize. Still it's fun to watch them cut up a row of shrimp, saute a mountain of bean sprouts, and, of course, set the whole thing on fire.

Since this was to celebrate Tom's pre-birthday, at the conclusion of the meal he was served fried green tea ice cream. He generously passed it around the table so we could all have a bite, and I think the verdict was pretty unanimous that it was awful. Even with 15 people sharing, we still left half of it!

There was a lot of noise in the restaurant. It seemed most of the table were doing "saki poppers" (I think that was what they called them). You fill a glass with beer, drop a cup of saki, open end up, in the glass and into the beer and then quickly drink the whole thing.

Sounds absolutely ghastly to me, but this is a college town and it was obviously the activity of the evening at Something's Fishy. A table near us had a contest going with a table in the adjacent dining area. We watched a group of guys down about six of those poppers (while two girls, who each had two, became quite ill).

When we left the restaurant, the guys at the other table staggered out behind us, the girls hanging on each other looking like they were going to vomit at any moment. We hoped none of them was going to get behind the wheel of a car.

As we walked back to the car, we passed lots of clubs with lines of people waiting to get in, patrons standing in open windows drinking, others staggering from one bar to the other. Saturday night in a college town.

There was a day, long, long ago, when I would have been one of those partiers, and another day, more recently, but still long ago, when I would have smiled benignly and thought that it's nice to see young people enjoying themselves.

But as I sat at the table tonight and watched those guys laughing and drinking copious quantities of alcohol, I wondered if this was what David's last night was. Did he whoop it up and laugh a lot with his buddies. Did he then stagger out into the night before his friends insisted on taking him home. And what thoughts were running through his head when he hopped behind the wheel of the car, blood alcohol level soaring through the roof, and totaled his car--and his life--against a telephone pole?

I wanted to say something to those guys tonight, but they wouldn't have listened. I just hope they walked home. And I hope none of their mothers gets That Call that we all dread...and with which I am all too familiar.


One Year Ago:

On the Road Again

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 6/28/01 by Bev Sykes