Cheap Eats

A walk with L.A.

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CHEAP EATS For a while there I was running the airport shuttle and it was like the old days when I drove a van. One day I picked up my North Carolina sister L.A. and her husband, and the next, for example, I was dropping off Crawdad's whole family. This was at an ungodly hour, like 6 a.m.

Knowing that L.A., an early bird to begin with, would be lagging some serious jet, I called her cell phone. They were sleeping at my nephew's flat, their son's flat, South of Market. It was 6:15, Saturday.Read more »

Comfort and joy

Ruen Pair

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CHEAP EATS The guy who runs the ukulele shop suggests I pray before going to Ikea. It works every time for him. He got those big shelves that way, the ones with all the chord-books on them. And the nice wood table. He says he prayed for those things. Then he went to Ikea. And not only did he find them, he found them in the discount aisle!

Merry Christmas.Read more »

Passage

Weirdo the Cat's demise, Top Dog inside Long's Drugs
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Weirdo the Cat, in an act of life-defying cantankerousness, has died. She got wind of my own impending crossing and timed her tumor accordingly, missing by only one day. No, not missing. Read more »

The unbearable lightness of being

Therapy, donuts ... and excellent Mexican food at Juan's Place
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS It's weird for me, of all people, to be having an existential crisis. Yet ...

You know, there have been times in the past few weeks when I almost completely didn't know if I existed or not. It ain't fun. Not no picnic, no ... nonexistence. I'm here to tell you.

And it's weird because in the past I have taken particular pride in my capacity for existing. That's why my calypso name was always Lord Exister or Sister Exister or just Exister. Read more »

Of the earth

Toddler sushi at Kobe-Ya
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Boink likes sushi. Specifically he goes for the California roll. Only without avocado. Or seaweed. Or, come to think of it, rice. Boink likes crab.
There's a sushi joint between their house and the preschool he goes to, and we walk past it and Boink wants sushi. I remember the first time I was surprised, because though we cook everything in the world together, I have rarely seen him eat anything that wasn't peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crust cut off.
"Sushi, Boink?" I said. "You like sushi?"
"Me too," said his little sister, Popeye the Sailor Baby. Read more »

Recklessly defensive

Martin Mack's
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS I like to live like I like to love: with my back to the wall, my skirt hiked up, and my hair a mess. Come to think of it, I like to play ping-pong and soccer that way too, but rarely wear skirts to games.

In case they never see me again, my soccerish pals Alice Shaw the Person and Elbie wanted to buy me brunch after our 3-3 tie last Sunday. Read more »

Granted

Burger mania -- and cocktail-napkin sketches -- at Broken Record
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Some things in life just smell way better than they taste, Kentucky Fried Chicken being an obvious example. There are two kids named Boink and Popeye the Sailor Baby who will one day wonder why their nanny used to take them to Jackson Park all the time. Alameda has a lot of nice playgrounds featuring state-of-the-art sliding boards and other nice touches, such as other children. What Jackson Park has, besides abandoned shopping carts, riff-raff, and a bus stop, is Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I've never been inside, but I'm glad it's there. Read more »

The problem of happiness

Deep kisses, big huevos, and Sconehenge Bakery and Cafe
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Sometimes it just takes one word, and this week's one is shoehorn. There. I'm done. And you barely even got your pants down, or your skirt up. Skype is an amazing thing, as is technology in general. Read more »

You and yers

No outrage -- and a satisfying french fries fix -- at Lawrence Bakery Cafe
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Dear Earl Butter,

North Carolina was different. Since we would be there only one day, and that day was a Sunday, and all the barbecue places near my sister's house are closed on Sunday, she had the presence of mind on Saturday to pick us up a pile of barbecue.

Mind you, she's a vegetarian now, like the rest of my sisters and most of my brothers. But the more vegetarian the rest of my family becomes, the more meat I feel I have to eat. Read more »

What if ...

One day in Berkeley at India Chaat & Sweets
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Surreally, I find myself a student at Kennesaw State University north of Atlanta. It's weird. Not the least because I am not really of course a student. I'm a guest of the university. Technically I'm a guest of a guest of the university.

Romea is the rock star. I'm a tag-alonger, which suits me. Turns out I am good at tagging along. Sometimes I even say things. Read more »