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Whining, Eavesdropping, Eating 

Family night went well last night. We added a new provision. The child who whines least on the way to dinner gets to pick the restaurant. Both kids whined so much as we walked uptown that I ended up choosing. We went to a steak house and everyone had fun. Unfortunately, it came out in the conversation that Sam was an accident. He was hurt and upset about it. I tried to reframe his arrival as a "happy surprise" but he's not buying it. I guess that's the risk you run when you engage in regular family conversation.

I decided to actively eavesdrop on conversations around me so I can get some good material for my second book. I worked really hard at it in the subway tonight. One couple talked about Bobby Short's death and how seeing Bobby Short perform at the Carlyle made the woman feel like she was living in the 40's. Another couple talked about getting their Mazda fixed. A pretty young girl in a sweatshirt spoke in the strangest sounding voice - like Minnie Mouse with a heavy Texas accent. I couldn't figure out if it was real or if she was just trying to get attention. Then, this blind man who sings for change walked through the car. Maybe you know him - skinny, black, about 45, usually sings Motown. I could swear he could see when he left the car and thought no one was looking. His eyes went from this glazed stare to clear focus on the door as he exited. I've given him money in the past, but I probably won't from now on. I hate when that happens. There was another couple who told this terrible sob story about the husband having AIDS, their children in foster care, etc. The man looked so sick that I gave them a few dollars. I saw the same couple a few days later and this time, they claimed it was the wife who had AIDS. I felt so used.

Today I had lunch with an old colleague from American Express who has since made it big at Citicorp. We ate in their executive dining room which was very cool. There were about six tables in the room with about two waiters for every guest. The service was impeccable. The food was outstanding. And you didn't even get a check at the end. It must be nice to eat in the executive dining room any time you want to. On the other hand, you have to be an executive at a big corporation to have that privilege, so I think I'll pass. I'd rather work at home with my cat in my lap.

Monday, March 21, 2005

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