Read a book while eating a meal

For those paying attention, my apologies for missing the (semi-) weekly Restaurant of the Week feature here last week.

It wasn’t for a lack of restaurant meals: I had notes on three different places. But after three busy workdays Monday to Wednesday, one of them 12 hours long, I ran out of time to write up a restaurant post. Hopefully none of you starved. Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour writing that post, so we are good to go for Thursday.

Meanwhile, I finished only one (but long and complicated!) book last month and am nearing the end of a second book started in November that I want to count toward that month. Look for my Reading Log post Monday.

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Gustavo and me (and Frida)

Photo by Hugh “Front Row” McBride

My book talk Sunday afternoon in the homey environment of Cafe con Libros in downtown Pomona drew an audience of 15, one more than my launch event at the Pomona Public Library. (If each event for “On Track” draws one more than the previous event, someday I’ll be at Staples!)

Above, Gustavo Arellano¬†listens attentively as I read from my book, which collects the best of my columns from 2001-2005. The longtime journalist and author, best known for his previous gig writing an advice column called “Ask a Mexican,” and now an op-ed columnist in the LA Times, among other gigs, drove up to Pomona from Santa Ana, a generous gesture. He got lost, mistaking Valley Boulevard for Mission Boulevard, but he made it on time.

I didn’t give him away, although when he raised his hand during the question period, I said, “Is this ‘Ask an Anglo’?” “‘Ask a Gabacho,'” he corrected me.

Gustavo, by the way, contributed the flattering blurb for my book’s back cover: “David Allen is the most underrated columnist in Southern California. Anyone who doesn’t buy this book deserves exile to Orange County.” As he likes to say: “HA!”

I’m kicking myself, though, that I didn’t put him on the spot and ask him to do a dramatic reading of his blurb.

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Missed column, new car

Sorry to have missed Sunday’s column, but I took Friday off to take care of my car situation. I bought a used Fiat! And, whew, returned my rental before the deadline.

Over the weekend, I dealt with all the paperwork, insurance, etc., and sorted through all the stuff pulled from my Mini Cooper (RIP) before taking what was necessary to the Fiat. I didn’t carry much in my car, but it’s still a lot when it’s spread out on your living room floor.

This also meant picking up and sweeping teeny bits of broken auto glass that had festooned my items, especially my umbrella with all its folds. That stuff is pesky; even this morning, after all the cleanup, and post-cleanup, I spotted two more little pieces.

Anyway, I’m now fully carred, albeit in a compact. Let’s roll.

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