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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Friday, November 11

Mike's Bistro

Live and learn. You’d think at my age I’d be all done with learning, but I just keep making mistakes in judgment. Last night I talked Rosalie into dining out, at a place I knew from years ago when we went there for the annual Ace Christmas party, what I thought was Michael’s, a nice Italian restaurant. And I wanted a nice Italian piece of lasagna. Michael’s was newly located in a shopping area near Sprouts. We had to drive around a bit before we located it, Mike’s Bistro, no longer Michael's. A quiet alarm but I wasn't listening. We parked, we went in. But instead of a real restaurant, it looked like a small takeout joint—about ten tables covered in alternating green and red-checked plastic tablecloths, the lights bright above. My idea of anti-ambiance. There was Greek music pouring out of several speakers. That should have been my second clue that something was wrong. We sat at a green-topped table, three other couples sitting nearby. A fat, greasy, gray-haired man wearing a grease-stained apron over a tattered gray T-shirt and wrinkled jeans gave us menus, one sheet of light printer paper triple-folded. Fancy. There was only the fat man and one woman, in jeans and sweater, waiting on the tables. The beverages available were sodas from a nearby soda/ice dispenser or water. We chose water. We both decided we’d have the four-cheese chicken lasagna for $9.95. Fat man informed us there was only one piece left, this at 5:30. So Rosalie ordered the spaghetti and sausage and I the one piece left. We also asked for Caesar salads (extra at $2.99). We got our not so good salads with a basket of garlic bread. A couple came in, looked around briefly, then went right back out. They must have been a lot smarter than we were. Then we were served, the lasagna and the spaghetti, in deep dishes. My lasagna was unlike any I’d ever seen before, a pale square smothered in white/yellow cheese sauce, nary a hint of tomato sauce. I managed to eat about a third of it, never once discovering any chicken, before I said “enough.” Rosalie ate most of her spaghetti, declaring it not nearly as good as what she made at home. A bistro, according to Wikipedia, is a small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting. I think Mike took that definition to the extreme. Modest setting, indeed. Our bill was just over $25, not exactly what I'd call moderate for the meal we got. I only wish we’d had sense enough to make a quick exit like the couple we saw doing the U-turn. Live and learn.

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