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see the world in just one grain of sand


I'm listening to the soundtrack from Two Towers as I write this. Ferris and Riley are on the floor behind me, back to back, slowly creeping across my floor in an effort to stay in the rectangle of sun that's warming about 16 square feet of my living room. The smell of coffee and freshly-baked potato bread hangs heavy in the air.

None of this has anything to do with what I sat down to write, but it's a wonderful winter morning here in casa Wheaton, and I wanted to commit it to 1's and 0's, so it's never forgotten.

Back in November, Nolan and I tried to go to the Los Angeles Auto Show. Of course, when we got to the Convention Center, we found out that the Los Angeles Auto show was, in fact, in Orange County that weekend. All was not lost, however, because we went on to have an incredibly wonderful day together anyway.

This last weekend, the Los Angeles Auto Show was actually in Los Angeles, and Nolan and I spent all last week counting down the days until Sunday (Sunday! Sunday!) when we planned to attend.

Sunday was unseasonably warm and clear. We wore T-shirts and took the train down to the convention center. We sat in the very front, and watched the tracks, gleaming in the January sun, as they guided us toward Union Station.

"Are you excited, Wil?" Nolan asked me.

"You bet I am," I said.

"I can't wait to see the cars from PGR2," he said.

I nodded.

"You know what PGR2 is, right?" He said.

"Project Gotham Racing 2," I said, "Jeeze. I'm not that out of touch . . . am I?"

"Well, I guess not," he said with a grin, ". . . right now."

"I hope we have as much fun as we did last year," I said.

"Me too," he said.

We arrived at Union Station, ran down the tunnel to the Red Line, and jumped into the train just before the doors closed. Three stops later, we were on the Blue Line for one stop. We got off the train at Pico, and emerged in a crowd of auto-enthusiasts.

We walked to the Convention Center entrance down a street lined with vendors who hawked cheap toys, flowers, social security cards, and various types of food. We stopped at a red light next to a woman pushing a shopping cart topped with a propane grill. The smoky air was fragrant with cooking onions and sausages.

"Oh! That smells good! Can we get one?" Nolan asked.

"Are you sure you want to eat a sausage that's prepared on top of a shopping cart?" I asked.

He thought for a moment. "Uhm, no. That's gross." He said.

"Maybe we can grab something inside," I said.

"Maybe," he said, "but I don't think we should spend seven dollars on a pretzel."

I laughed as the light changed. The crowd of people pushed us into the street, and Nolan held my hand as we crossed.

"Hey, you get in for free because you're twelve!" I said, while we waited in line to buy our tickets.

"And you can --"

"If you say I can get in as a senior, I'm gonna --"

"Hit me with your cane?" he said.

"No, but I'll tie you behind my Rascal Scooter and drag you through the mud," I laughed.

We bought my non-senior-priced ticket, and walked into the West Hall.

To Be Continued . . .

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