Tuesday, January 09, 2007

le meme: some names

1. When they were married, my distinctly un-Japanese parents owned a fish and then fish-and-sushi restaurant together in Malibu from 1978 until 1982 named, unironically, I think (you'd have to know my parents): Something's Fishy Here. The restaurant stayed, owned by the original sushi chefs and their family, having grown into a chain of four or five such Something's Fishy's, until last year, when it was demolished along with all of the other restaurants and stores across the Pacific Coast Highway from Topanga Beach, once, after two decades of litigation, the Los Angeles Athletic club finally managed to evict all of the smugglers, beachbums, offgrid hippies, drugdealers, and artists real and imagined from the floodprone bamboo wilds--called, for obvious reasons, the Snake Pit--at the delta of Topanga Creek.

2. My sister's name is Jax. My niece's name is Ocean. My nephew: Asa.

3. My parents almost named me Cosmos. We had two dogs named Bimbo and Bozo who are, sadly, no longer alive. I am.

4. I almost joined the circus once when, in a post-romantic or pre-Raphaelite frenzy, I worked a weekend at a rennaissance fair in Ashtabula, OH selling clay runes, crystal-encrusted wands and other assorted magical flimflam. I was hitchhiking from Belfast, ME to Chenault, OR and had gotten a ride near Buffalo from a crystal salesman who had the same birthday as me. This seemed signifcant but I can't remember why.

5. Cities where my mother spent the majority of her childhood: Baghdad, Tehran, Kampala, Kabul, Beirut. My grandfather worked for U.S. AID. He was in the OSS in WWII. An entomologist by training, he worked for Bird's Eye Foods in Walla Walla, WA for a few years after his military service: the first company to market frozen food. These are all names for the cold war: AKA "The Jolly Green Giant."

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