What I now know: The Oakland City Planning Commission eats at Le Cheval* before a meeting.
I know because that's what is says on their agenda for March 19th, 2003. Surprisingly, I also see that this "Meal Gathering" is "open to the public at no charge." Wow. Dining with a commissioner! Just imagine all the sparkling and witty verbal parry about ... zoning confirmation and redistricting.
Me-OW, kitty. That's hot.
But I went, you see, because The Oakland Metro might actually be the first place in downtown Oakland that's both a.) well-suited for larger touring indie music acts to play and b.) intent on getting them there.**
So...off I went to help improve my neighborhood, albeit in a generally self-serving way.
I know what some of you are thinking. In a time of war, in an area rife with civil dissent - I went to City Hall to show support for allowing a club to serve drinks. Certainly you could color me shallow. But as the Lady With The Cake once said "I had to do something to force myself away from the TV."
I'm sure that's what Richard Strauss would've done.
I'd say there were just under twenty supporters present. And, to my surprise, the motion to allow the Metro to re-apply for its liquor license passed. Mainly because the Simpsons parody of city government (in which Homer makes a motion, the commissioners shrug then assent) is dead-on. A commissioner commented that "it looks like there's a bunch of support for this" and then everyone just voted "Yes."
Of course, La Inspiration has now invited herself in...look friends and neighbors, we could take over this place. Hipsters, hip-hoppers, avant-poppers, and others - please - lay down your ploughshares. To my voice: Rise! For it is the noblest human endeavor which can ably result in a motion to get MTV2 included in our local cable package.
And, no shit, after the vote while riding on BART back to my apartment, I stood next to Danny Glover. Danny "Henry Sherman" Glover! It's a sure sign: The meek shall inherit the open spot on the City Council.
I'm such a patriot. God.
Now I rest easier. I presume this will make us safer. Maybe it will. Who's to say?
Which is to say - it's all worth it. Or it's not. All of this. I suppose there's no more restful peace than that following war. Especially if you're dead.
We concede each morning. Excepting (of course) those of who don't. It's beautiful in a way - occasionally we paint the world in beautiful grotesqueries.
To then delight, sublimely, in the miracle of the ordinary.
I suppose. Or not.
Well...whither or no, I'll learn to cook so we can at least make some cakes.***
*Le Cheval is a great Vietnamese restuarant in downtown Oakland.
**I can't go to the Pinback show, however. I have my own nascent pop band (The Small Hours) playing at The Bottom of The Hill on the same night.
***Dude, he said whither.