Cheap Eats

Love story

King Sing on Balboa
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I have never needed a hammock more. Heat wave, it had been a long time since I'd haunted my woodsy shack ... accidentally work 40-hour work weeks all of a sudden (not counting this), and have no idea how y'all have been doing it. As it happens, I love my work. Some don't, I am led to believe. And I just want to buy these 'uns a bagel and pat them on the back. I can't imagine. But I kinda can.

So, for the first time in my life, I get weekends. I understand the need for them, crave them, and don't exactly have them. Read more »

Fear itself

Phat Philly
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS It was the stuff that nightmares are made of, two little kids, shrill and shrieking with maniacal laughter, chasing me around a cluttered house with huge, dripping spoonfuls of mayonnaise.

My bad. I'd made the mistake of showing them my Achilles heel. Still it's remarkable how innately merciless kids, sharks, and hyenas can be. I begged. I pleaded. Read more »

Sour grapes

Mission Pie
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Wish I could take the two parties I went to on Saturday and superimpose them onto each other, so that the Rockridge moms and dads could mix with the young trans men, drag kings, and queer burlesque performers.

When I mentioned this seemingly surreal idea to Alice Shaw after our soccer game Sunday, she said, simply, "Do it. Read more »

Not in attendance

George's BBQ
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Greg handed me an open can of beer and it slid right through my fingers; that's how greasy they were from eating meat, and that's why this week's love-letter-slash-restaurant-review begins in a puddle of foam on a beach blanket, and with the general sense that I very literally can't hold my liquor.

Earl Butter had some napkins. Also: two homemade balsa wood airplanes, which he had left, intentionally, in a brown bag in my car. Read more »

The body count

Quinn's Lighthouse in Oakland
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

I pushed a peanut shell through a hole in the tabletop. We were outside, upstairs, on a wraparound deck and the left side of me was getting burnt. The right side of him. Hot day ...

There were boats. Water. There was a view of the Oakland skyline.

"I had my first lesbian lover," I said, to get his attention. I was tired of talking about snowboarding and soccer, sports, his and hers. Read more »

Angels

Fung Lum Restaurant
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Not even duck soup can save me now. The children I put to sleep ... they want stories.

"I had a black eye," I began, "a swollen, purple nose, and tears streaming down my face." I was lying on my back on the floor in the dark, next to their bunk beds.

"No no no," the voice on top said. "Make one up this time."

"When I was a little girl," I began, as I always do when I'm making one up.

The voice of the bottom bunk interrupted. "In this one make the fox eat the chicken."

"No no no," said the voice on top. Read more »

Tending the brood

Hukilau
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS The young couple next door to me in Rockridge is building a chicken coop, and I love them for this. They aren't married and don't have kids, which makes me just want to squeeze them and look at them, and invite them over for every single thing I eat, even oatmeal.

But that would be creepy, so instead I offer to bring them some straw. Do they need a feeder? A waterer? I still have my place in the woods. Read more »

Morality

Pizzeria on Valencia
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

Morality

CHEAP EATS Intoxicated by how pretty flowers are in the dark and wowed by the sheer size of the lit TVs in all my neighbors' windows, I accidentally hit my head on a tree. Hard. The rest of my life is going to be a dream.

Here's the part where Earl Butter sends a messenger pigeon saying he's sick, but not sick, and will be sitting home and crying unless anyone comes over and drinks and eats vegetables with him.

Well, I have no particular plans for the evening. Read more »

Yelped

Eats on Clement Street
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Hardly anyone names their cat Dave. In fact, no one. That I know of. And yet, every 11 years, like clockwork or a comet, I find myself in the position of having to explain Lou Reed to someone. Why this task falls to me, I will never know. I am not in particular a fan, although I do like and sometimes love and generally "get" and occasionally even listen to Lou Reed.

On the other hand I have never enjoyed hearing Bob Dylan sing a Bob Dylan song. Read more »

Desperado

The Burrito Shop in Oakland
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I did the math. This is Part Five of a Three-Part Series, and therefore the last part. Henceforth, I will leave my neighborhood alone and just live in it.

Speaking of five, I had five first dates in five days. I should say, I made five dates but only had four of them. The first was in an accident on his way to see me and wound up in the hospital.

He sent a picture of the car. One of those ones where you wonder how the driver survived. Well, he's a fireman. My best guess is that firemen know how (to survive). Read more »