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small red square An earthquake happened this morning here, but I didn't notice. I heard slight sounds of hanging things knocking against the walls, but since I felt nothing I didn't realize it was an earthquake until the guy at the "Brothers Diner" told us one had just occurred.

small white square Had my third root canal later this morning - the first performed by an actual endontist. Those who find the thought of this procedure alarming, relax. It's less painful than having a filling, although it takes longer. I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep, multiple times. Faint soft rock was playing on a radio, Kenny G and a Rod Stewart ballad, which made me think of the group Bread and how I found myself at one of their concerts at the peak of their career in the early 1970s. (It was not my idea, I was talked into going, but no, I didn't have a date.)

small orange square Dinner last night (at "Fresco") and breakfast this morning with my Uncle, the "crazy" one. He says his big backpack contains just about all he owns now. Being a host was tolerable, and my hospitality was much appreciated. (Why did I dread it so? Perhaps because it's been some time since I entertained a guest.) He believes that fasting is the way to true health, and we discussed the details - he drinks lots of tea, and takes the occasional vitamin pill during his days-long fasts. His state of health is remarkable. As for his teeth, he has one cap, which fell off a dozen years ago - he reattached it himself with super glue. We also discussed the death of his older brother, and I got all kinds of details I'd never heard before - he doesn't believe it was suicide, but instead the result of a drunk man arguing with his armed wife, who'd just moved out. I dropped him at the CalTrain station, his plan being to grab a Greyhound bus in San Jose for the long cross-country journey back to Baltimore, where he maintains an address of sorts.

small green square Long phone call with Z this afternoon. She's fine but getting over the let-down after her visit out here. Her relationship with the on-line paramour has changed, now that the fantasy of the unknown has been replaced with the reality of the known - I'm not surprised. She had other friends out here with whom she could have connected, but also didn't during her ten-day stay - wanted to give the on-line guy every opportunity.

small yellow square Drove down to Santa Clara to try a new restaurant I've seen passing by on el Camino, "Midori", which has a wonderfully Japanese interior, all shoji and blond wood. Nothing like the smell of brand-new tatami mats which are even on the booth benches as well as the usual full-on rooms (where diners sit at low tables). A delicious meal, countered with sudden gloom when I returned home to find messages on my machine from L and another high school classmate advising me that Gary dropped dead of a massive heart attack yesterday. I've known - er, I knew him since the seventh grade, when we were thrown together in wood shop. A very effeminate guy with blond hair, we connected on many levels but had very infrequent contact after high school. He told me he was HIV positive in 1991, but his numbers were healthy, and at our reunion last September he was actually buff, pumped up biceps with short "butch" hair, very unlike the delicate physique I'd always known before. I'll miss him! Now he's with David, and Keith, and Peter, and thousands more I never knew.

shoji - sliding door or (fusuma) screen, paper in wooden frame
tatami - thick woven rush mats
HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus
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