Funny, how life can turn on you. One minute, you are running an Indian restaurant on Melrose for 17 years, the next thing you know, the city of Los Angeles DOT paints the curbs in front of your restaurant red and pulls up the meters, and after a year business is so bad, on account of no parking, that you are losing 11,000 a month so you close the place and now, at the age you expected to retire, you are driving a cab in Burbank.


This didn’t happen to me, it happened to my cab driver, but still. Usually the cab drivers I get in Burbank are Armenian. Love the Armenians. The last one I had, before the Indian guy, was reading a battered chess strategy hardcover at red lights. The book was in Cyrillic ,but I could tell from the diagrams. So I talked to him about chess and it turns out he was ranked 11 in Armenia, which is pretty good, considering they are mad for chess in Armenia. Of course, in America, you can drive a cab with a skill like that, but you have to figure he was pretty sharp to be so high ranked in Armenia. He even pointed out to me that the former world champion before Bobby Fisher was Armenian, but changed his name to sound more Russian. Only I can’t remember if it was Karpov or Kasparov he was talking about, since both their names sound the same, more or less. Probably Karpov, since Anatoly, his first name, sounds plausibly Armenian to me.


So that was two trips to LA in one week. Which is pretty tiring. And on the second trip, I was in Orange County. Unlike the eponymous tv show, it is a pretty horrible county to be in. The airport is named John Wayne, like the bloated dead actor.


Even though it has been rainy and cold longer than usual, being in the heat of LA, even for one day, which is all I was there for, was enough to give me a headache.


I am aware that I am totally skimming over the seder, which was a raging success, and even resulted in my being declared “really cool” by a college student named Zach who was there, but let’s just say we had four kinds of haroseth, one with apricots, one with pistachios, one with bananas and one with traditional apples and walnuts. Which was some tasty symbolic mortar.