Tuesday, November 20, 2007


One month ago I woke on my very first morning in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam--jet lagged enough to rise before eight am, tired from exhaustive flying, and stunned by the town around me. I didn't do much that day. One year ago today, I woke up in Las Vegas, at the usual time, and met my family after their breakfast buffet in the kitschy Luxor Hotel. Seven hours later I was married. Savants reading this column might notice the entries here are predominantly two hundred ninety-nine words (all but about ten of them), but the entry for November nineteenth last year, here, is one of the rare special exceptions, running an even four-fifty. That entry is a ruse. At the time I was preserving our wedding as a public surprise and pretending we were still in México. But I couldn't resist marking the occasion in some way: word count.* Otherwise, the millipede story related there is absolutely true, it just happened a week before I flew to Vegas. At the risk of inaugurating tradition: I would like to tell a story that happened a couple of weeks ago, to publicly mark my anniversary. We'd been walking all day. Down road from my house, about two-and-a-half hours by foot, is Saigon's Chinatown, historically a bustling diaspora before many ethnic Chinese were expelled toward the end of the seventies. The district is still somewhat of a ghost town today, though things are beginning to build back up again. It had been grueling walk, and we hailed a cab to return. That's back-story. There's more: on our flight from Hong Kong, we made friends with out flight attendant who offered us some restaurant recommendations. One place she mentioned was Restaurant Tib, down a string-lighted back alley off Hai Bà Trưng Street, near our house. We had the cabbie take us there; we were tired and traffic-choked enough to spring for a posh restaurant. I had Huế-style fish soup, and it was magnificent. The restaurant was very nice: hardwood paneling in chocolate colors with red silk lanterns and tapestries. Our chopsticks came in matching wooden boxes, "Tib" carved in the lids. At one point, during an intense conversation, a four-inch black millipede fell from the sky and very nearly landed in my soup. It happened so fast Sunshine didn't even see it, and I had to lift the saucer holding my bowl to show it to her. It had curled around into the shape of my food. When it attacked I was ready with a lemon-scented moist towlette, in which I caught the little monster. Then I left him for our unsuspecting waiter. There, exactly four hundred fifty words. Happy Anniversary. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

* The wedding post was also in code, another reason why I needed a little higher word count than what's normal. It's a simple enough code: every first letter in every sentence makes another sentence--but it did mean that I needed to write twenty-five sentences for that entry, and I did need extra room. There is no code in this post though, that is not a tradition related to the wedding, but one related to lying.

Monday, November 19, 2007 10:43:00 PM  
To which Blogger Ellie added:

In my outlook calendar, I have your wedding anniversary programmed to pop up and remind me so I can do something nice like send a card, or email, or something. Of course, it was monday morning, I was busy and I dismissed the pop up with a little "Ahh, that was so fun, their wedding in Vegas...sigh" and then promptly forgot. Sorry about that. Happy Very Belated Anniversary and thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 1:20:00 AM  

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