b Papa Dog's Blog: What Do You Know? A Second Post in the Same Day. I Forgot to Tell How We Went on a Date.

Papa Dog's Blog

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Thursday, September 30, 2004

What Do You Know? A Second Post in the Same Day. I Forgot to Tell How We Went on a Date.

I almost forgot to mention. Last night I took Mama Dog out for a birthday dinner – actually, her mom took us both out, insisting we make use of her credit card while she stayed home and watched the bairn. I was alarmed when I saw Mama Dog dolling herself up…the arrangements had been very casual and it hadn’t entered my head that it was a dress up occasion because, well, sometimes I’m kind of stupid about that sort of thing. So what to do? I still own suits, don’t I? Haven’t seen them in a while…and, oh, wait, have I shaved yet this week? Did I ever clean that horse shit off the Seibels? Mama Dog assured me that (because we live in California) I could just put a suit jacket over my t-shirt and Bob would be (as he was) my uncle.

We went to Oliveto, near the Rockridge BART station. Do I talk too much about local businesses and geography? There are probably lots of you who’ve never been to Oakland and don’t know what the Rockridge BART station is because you live in far-off lands like Australia or San Francisco. I guess it doesn’t matter much. It was only our third time going anywhere without Baby Dog, and the first time that we were ditching our child for something as frivolous as a night out. It was our first time with just the two of us at a restaurant since…let me see now, June 13, was it? I think it was. Mama Dog was sleek and radiant in black Bally of Switzerland jersey dress and pearls. I was a hobo in a really nice teal jacket, presumably stolen from a dead man on a train. We gazed across the table at each other like teenagers who can’t get over the fact that they’re out alone at a grown-up restaurant. We felt like the carefree unencumbered DINKs we used to be three months ago. The meal was grand, though for some reason I had difficulty finding a dish that contained no former sea dwellers. In the end, I had autumn fruits and spit-roasted hen. Mama dog had a romaine salad and eggplant ravioli. We split a pot of Earl Grey with dessert. A tiny little chocolate cake for me. Mint ice cream with chocolate sauce for her. All the portions are California cuisine tiny, but we ended up feeling like we’d eaten exactly the right amount after dessert.

After dinner, we wandered over to Pendragon Books to browse unhurriedly, just because we could – like we always useta could. They had a great display of Black Lizard paperbacks, late-1980s reprints of early-1950s hardboiled novels, with what appeared to be the original 50s cover art. I looked through that while Mama Dog looked through the children’s books. I joined her eventually, and found a full-sized copy of The Rainbow Fish, which confirmed what I had suspected, that our tiny little thick-paged version is abridged all to hell. What, are they afraid my three-month-old can’t follow the whole story? I didn’t bother buying it, ‘cause it’s not one of her favourites anyway. Mama Dog got a couple of books for Baby Dog, though, and I selfishly picked up a couple of things for myself. I got something by
Graham Greene and something else by G.K. Chesterton, but I don’t now remember what the titles were. How odd.

We ran into someone we know in the BART station on the way in and someone else at the register at Pendragon as we were leaving. I kept expecting a third, but there wasn’t one. We ambled back to the car and were home again in ten minutes. Baby Dog had eaten a bit and napped a bit and was swinging in her swing with Gran looming devotedly over her. I read a great article by Jim Shepard in the new The Believer then took the dog for a walk. All was well in our little world.


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