Howard finishing a delicious taco salad at
Rubios in El Cerrito Plaza. Mmm that was a good meal.
The other patrons have been blurred out for their privacy.
What do you order when you go to Rubios in El Cerrito Plaza? Fish tacos of course.
Lunch at Rubios is a good thing to do after a visit to the DMV. It was Howard's second choice of a bite of the big apple. His first choice was greasy cheeseburger, but I vetoed that one, saying I had too much of that already this week.
Fish tacos are so popular here that they have big and little signs for fish tacos posted all over the cheerful canary-colored walls. One fish taco only costs $2.90, but of course I could not resist asking for two, since my second husband was buying. It reminded me of a meal in a very nice French restaurant in New York city with my family in 1963. It was my summer after college and my dad was wondering why I was flunking out of the very expensive small liberal arts college they had sent me to, after making a really good score on standardized tests, although my grades were nothing out of the ordinary.
I had become the family's financial enemy number one, even though they had chosen the college for me. A sting hurts everyone. I guess the people in Charlotte had paid my dad back for serving them stingers at his cocktail parties when the government ordered him to clean house. We don't follow orders like that.
And they also told me how to get an eating disorder which ruined my life. They didn't care that I was just a kid and it was my parents' political agenda, not mine. That's why there is a law against using kids to grind your own political axe. I know my dad believed he had made a mistake by accepting a job in the South even though he thought it was a promotion. They broke up our family and I still feel sad about that even though I have lived in California for the last 40 years, and have made a few friends here, the ones who aren't still intent on punishing me for being in the civil rights movement when I was a kid. The civil rights movement was the work of the Justice Department. You remember, Bobby Kennedy was head of the Justice Department. You kids ought to remember that some people died for their beliefs and ideals of equal rights and justice for all. I am sure they did not want to die or become martyrs nor did they expect it to happen to them. People feel very strongly about their jobs. When things to wrong they look around for someone else to blame. They cannot accept that they brought it on themselves.
Some people use the fist to chin signal to indicate that they hit themselves. They mean they bought their own drinks. They got themselves drunk. Or they took a toke on the pipe or joint when it was passed around. I think a person would have to rehearse refusing a joint in order to have the presence of mind not to do that when everyone else is doing it. I think some schools actually practice that--how to say no, safely. It doesn't always mean verbalizing it. Sometimes it's just getting up and walking away, going to the bathroom, going out for pizza, whatever. Any excuse to get out of there. Do you really think you hit yourself if your husband or wife hands you a joint or a drink and you drank it or smoked it? If he tells you not to call 911 when you see a drunk sprawled in the doorway, do you obey him? How much obedience do you really owe to your husband or wife? Did you grow up with your husband or wife or did you just meet him a couple of months ago and you already got married. You did not know him very well when you got married, did you? Well, marriage is a time of discovering what the other person is all about. I guess that's why they include the worse in those marriage vows. Sometimes it's so bad it's unendurable. Then it's time to call it quits. When I first met my husband he and his roommate started talking about prostitutes. That right there should have been my signal to get out of there, but I believed what I wanted to believe. I filtered out all the bad and just let into my mind what I wanted to hear. Although I had allowed him to seduce me, I still could not believe that he was talking about me, since I had not asked him for any money. I had already lost my job with the airlines, because I woke up in bed with him and did not get to work on time, but I didn't care anymore because I had flunked out of Swarthmore. And I had been unable to get back to my college sweetheart who had gone on to medical school in Philadelphia, saying that his career was more important to him than me, who he thought was going to get him kicked out of college for giving in to his advances and not saying no like a good girl ought to do. I was head over heels in love with that man and he walked away from me and never looked back. How cold is that?
Girls, the boys are compelled to try to seduce a girl. The boy WANTS you to say no. My dad told me, "Say no as if your life depends on it." So I was able to say no until I was a sophomore in college and thousands of miles away from home and was being urged to lose my virginity by a gang of college kids. Parents be advised. I doubt that it is any different today.
My dad used to say, "They want me to make fireproof fabric for babies' cribs." That's how he felt about job security for some of the cops who were working for him I guess--he never said they were working for him, but I just guessed it. My dad had been to Germany and opened the concentration camps and let the people out. He said the US Army had hypnotized him to fall in love with very thin people so he would not be frightened when they finally found the people they had seen pictures of. That love of thin people became a problem for him and all of us, because I could never be as thin as he wanted us to be. In fact, my mother had trained us kids to continue eating under any circumstances just in case we wound up in a concentration camp. Why didn't the army put my dad back to normal after they got him messed up so he could be a soldier? That's a question a lot of people would like an answer to.
Help yourself to a variety of fresh salsa.
As former State Senator John Nejedly said to me many years ago, "Don't sell out for one drink, Jeannie, ask them for two." Of course he was referring to the research subject's father''s practice of buying a drink for the subject and waiting for her to ask for more, as he did with his whole family in New York City in the summer of 1963, even though it was illegal to buy a drink for his youngest daughter because she was still too young to drink even in New York City that year. Maybe he was making a statement that he wasn't doing a sting: that he just liked to drink. He would probably have done well in the Napa-Sonoma area because they like to drink too. They don't like to lure people up to the wine country and then bust them for drunk driving on the way home. They think that is unethical. So they publish the drunk driving checkpoints in the daily newspaper. Smart people read the daily newspaper in whatever town they are in and also use a designated driver.
Dad bought us all a glass of wine, which we would never think of refusing to drink when served by our parents. I guess that was the family tradition my Jewish blockbuster parents had learned when they moved on to an all-Catholic block in that small Jersey suburb. When I asked for another glass of wine, my mother said, "No, Bill!" But he said, "Give her what she wants." Of course it wasn't what I wanted: it was what he wanted me to have, since he had bought me the first one. So when they say give her what she wants, it makes me think they are trying to get me to do something that is going to get me in trouble.
We were told that we were Jewish, but sometimes I think that my parents were really Catholic, pretending to be Jewish so that real Jewish people would not get hurt if that block decided to retaliate against us. As it turned out, I was the one who got hurt riding my bicycle no hands, which was encouraged by the little gang of kids on that street. I got hit by a car.
I love this lamp because it reminds me of
decorative metalwork lamps. This is a culture
which appreciates and encourages artists. Howard
was smart to take me to a Mexican restaurant
at the beginning of May. Even though Cinquo de Mayo
is not an official US holiday, it's pretty close
to becoming one in California.
About ten years later the discussion with then-State Sentor Nejedly was whether it was all right to take advantage of my sweet nature if I bought my own drinks and they didn't have to buy them for me to get me to do something immoral. I guess Senator Nejedly thought asking for a drink might have a bearing on the subject as well.
Nejedly had been the District Attorney, then he ran for Congressman Miller's father's seat in the California Senate when Miller's dad died. The Democrats said Nejedly was so popular that he was unbeatable. But they had to run someone against him anyway. I do not remember who they ran against him that year. His son is on the Contra Costa College governing board. I see his photo on the wall almost every time I go to math class. That's for the Republicans in the group, just in case you thought they were more morally righteous than the Democrats.
Talk about corruption and encouraging people to commit crimes in the name of law enforcement. Well, I guess two drinks is not a crime in and of itself; only when combined with the intent to get a person to commit a crime, or fall off the wagon or whatever. So see what happens after the person has asked for two drinks and then figure out if it's a sting that is a crime, and can they refuse when ordered to drink by a cop? I am not a lawyer but it is always interesting to hear about the street law--what people on the street think is the law.
This restaurant and El Cerrito Plaza in general are friendly to
people with disabilities. I have noticed that because I go
to El Cerrito Plaza a lot, to JoAnne's, Verizon, the pet store, Lucky,
but mostly Barnes and Noble. El Cerrito somehow brought
the El Cerrito plaza back to life after it seemed to
me that it was a lost cause. No doubt their redevelopment agency
was on its hands and knees doing CPR on that shopping center until I guess
they got Lucky Store to agree to be an anchor.
There is a picture of a beer bottle on one of the wall posters in Rubios, so I guess you could ask for a beer here. It did not occur to me to suggest to my second husband that he have a drink because I did not really want him to have a drink. He quit drinking 21 years ago, a whole year before I quit.
I like my second husband when he is not drinking. I never knew him when he was drinking, though I heard him talking about it sometimes. That was before I met him. And he did not ask for a beer. I don't drink beer. I have had one or two beers in my life but it was never my thing to do. Just because there is a poster on the wall for a beer doesn't make me want one. It did not even occur to me to ask for a beer, even though I did not have to drive home. There is no pressure to drink. It's not a drinking place. It's a restaurant.
Leaving Rubios, notice the thatched umbrella
reminder of Baja but the quilted shirt
on the walker is a giveaway that it's not
very hot here, especially when the fog
rolls in. If you go over to east
county it's about ten degrees hotter
over there but they don't have a nice
view of the San Francisco Bay.
The people behind the counter are incredibly cheerful and didn't even mind that I grumbled that $17.00 was a lot for a couple of fish tacos and Howard's lunch too. He had a delicious-looking taco salad which he said was pretty good. She smiled and waved her hand at me as if to say, she would waive that grievance as long as I did not make a habit of it. Or maybe that was a way of saying goodbye, go eat somewhere else. I caught myself and walked away from the counter almost as soon as I said it.
Howard said, "The prices are comparable to fast food places but Rubios is a lot better food." AND the decor is better too. A colorful poster of an imaginary postcard from Baja, California, advertises "Baja" in your own back yard.
It's a great way to segue from a visit to the nearby DMV where we did not have to wait to have our question answered and were actually looking around for the line which did not exist. Also, at Rubios, there was a wheelchair bound person and four of his friends enjoying a sunny lunch on the outside deck. I know it is typical of Rubios to be friendly to individuals with disabilities because I have seen them there before.
I was treated to reminiscences of car races, especially the Baja 500, over lunch. He said he liked the restaurant theme because he has been to Baja. The counter had four kinds of salsa and other things to add to your taco, or whatever you ordered. I was glad I opted for fresh Mex instead of greasy cheeseburger, because I had one of those up in Martinez and it was so big, I could not finish it. I brought it home in a doggie bag, but I could not feed it to my dog because he has such a sensitive stomach that he throws up everything except the allergenic food from the vet. And you thought you had problems. Poor Westie.
Here's the other entrance, which is right next to
Panda, beloved by teenagers. I have blurred this walker's
face for his privacy.
One fish taco would have been enough but I wanted two. If one is good, then two is better, right? That's how fatties think. However, two delicious fish tacos will not make a very big dent in your weight charts. They are not too big and they are not greasy at all.
By the way, Senator Chuck Schumer (D New York), who has been worried about Apple apps on television during some of those fascinating legislative hearings, will be glad to know that Howard thinks that if a person is sober enough to be able to avoid a drunk driving checkpoint by finding one on his mobile phone, then he is probably sober enough to drive. It has been so long since we talked about this that he did not tell me chapter and verse about how many drinks were legal. I remember when he told me that two drinks were now illegal for driving purposes. That was around the time we were breaking up. It did not matter, because I didn't need to drive: I could walk to the local bars for a drink, if I wanted one, which I did not.
I thought you would enjoy Westie getting
a sniff of the Mother's Day bouquet my
son sent me. I sent one to my own mom too.
That was nice of Chevron
to include a reminder of Mother's day
in their monthly astronomical gasoline bill,
so we could use their credit card
to buy flowers for Mom, even though
we can't use it to get a meal or buy a
pair of shoes or a Walkman. Pretty soon we
will have to bring wheelbarrows of
dollar bills as inflation pushes down
the value of money.
Back then the problems began when I tried to get a ride home after a few drinks since I did not like walking all the way up the hill when I was drunk. And the hangovers were terrible. It was time for me to stop drinking.
They publish those checkpoints in the daily newspaper. It's not a secret. I think they make the drunk driving checkpoints public that so that the taxpayers will know that their tax dollars are hard at work, and not being wasted on delicious fresh Mex fish taco restaurant meals in local shopping centers.#