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2003-10-15

Hi again! I am traveling around the US and writing about it, and there seems to be no end in sight.

I am looking for nice, fun people who can put me up for a few nights and feed me and pay my way (since I am broke) and show me a good time (since I like good times). If you think it might be fun to host me for a day or two or three, email me at justingrace AT mac DOT com. Please make sure to include your address and phone number. I am especially looking for places to stay in the southeast USA and the East Coast.

I will be traveling all over the USA, though, so email me no matter what! Here are the places I will be in the next few weeks that I am still looking for a place to stay at:

• Texas: Between Austin, TX and Louisiana
• Louisiana
• Mississippi
• Alabama
• Florida
• Tennessee
• North/South Carolina
• Georgia


I am in Austin. It is both rad and cool. Please contact me ASAP if you are in or around Austin and want to hang out!

Thanks in advance for your help! And now, on with the show...



US Tour Day 29: Jade Garden

I went to dinner at Jade Garden, the Chinese restaurant near my mom's house in San Jose. It's the place where the owner laughed lovingly when I told him about getting fired, dumped, and losing my home all in one day.

I love it there. I don't order from the menu. Chang makes me special dishes each time I visit. He seems to know just what I like. It's probably because I've been there hundreds of times. My business alone probably paid his rent for many years before I moved to San Francisco.

I always wanted to have a restaurant where the owner knew my name and knew what I was going to order and asked me about my family and friends. And, I'm blessed enough to have this place and this person—reciprocal familiarity permeates the air alongside the smells of garlic and onions and Szechuan sauces. It all happens to be in San Jose, California, though, which isn't so convenient if I'm living in San Francisco or Austin or Malmφ or wherever. But, I'm thankful that I've experienced it at all. I imagine many people have lived there whole lives without such a place in space.

I'm thankful for the many times I've returned and found it waiting there for me.


I got a fortune cookie today that read "Everything will now come your way." I laughed as I read it, because I knew it was true. But, it wasn't a purely happy laughter. It was the sort of laughter that is infused with the essence of sadness and resignation and humble submission to the great irony of life. Of course everything was about to come my way—the agony of moving out of my house, the desperate sadness of evenings with Andie, truckloads of boxes of stuff being shoved into my storage space, airplanes, cars, moments, songs, possibilities, places, people, and unforeseen growth painfully exposing unexplored caverns in my soul.

I can't get over how funny life is. It's funny how laughter isn't always gleeful. It's funny how there can be truth in something as unlikely as a scrap of paper in a cookie—that is, if your heart's eyes are open wide enough to see it. And, it's funny how the only thing we can count on is irony.


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