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04.29.04, thursday night

On my first day in San Diego, I spied a crow, in a palm tree above a strip mall, cawing.

. . .

There are a lot of restaurants offering ethnic buffets here, sandwiched between places with names like Caskets for Less and My Donuts & Yogurt Place. Now I will always hear that Muzak piano rendition of "Stand by Me" while unwrapping banana leaf-wrapped sticky rice.

. . .

In the garden where my dear parents had set up an orchid gazebo guarded by a Simi-cam to dissuade botanical thieves, I listened to the white cockatiel next door squeal, as if to communicate to my mother's three parakeets in their turquoise minaret-shaped cage. Pointing to her blue lady, Mom clucked She sleeps all the time!

. . .

It's nice and quiet, she said as we walked along the bay after our dinner of fish tacos.

I did not bother to see if the stars could be seen from where we briskly trotted. I saw some lights - the city skyline, more crowded than I remembered only a few years ago, and the lights on the wing of a fighter jet slicing the night sky. Above the naval base across a bay diligently patrolled by police boat, a helicopter chop-chopped unseen.


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