October 10th, 2008

Glad we had that gift certificate - now for the dancing lessons

My landlord at the apartment I'm giving up a week from Wednesday also owns a Greek Taverna in town, along with his brother.  When he raised my rent six months back, he gave me a gift certificate for a hundred bucks at his restaurant. 

So, last night, my son, my self, and one of my son's school buddies went there.  Hospitality was excellent, the meat dishes were great; as I knew in advance would be the case, the cook boiled the string beans half to death, but in the Old Country the veggies were what the poor peasants ate.  And the bill, after the gift certificate, was right in the range of what I'd *expect* to pay for dinner for three. 

One of the attractions is that the owner comes out during a musical break and dances for the clientele.  His brother my landlord also joined them; this provided a sort of sexual Equal Opportunity with the belly-dancer who worked the room between the Greek Folk-Dancing exhibition. 

I've been living here about two years; last time I'd had dinner at the Taverna I hadn't taken occupancy of the apartment, so I've known about this dancing act all that time.  And I've been intending to come down and learn to dance with them all this time, and have taken no action. 

In the spirit of the New Year, tomorrow I'm going to call 'em up, and ask if I can come over tomorrow night for my first dance lesson.  I've got a week and a half before I move; let's see if I can learn a dance in that time.  L'shana tova!

Foiling Fraud, and getting back on track

So I just came back from the local Western Union office. A week and a half ago, I'd listed a lot of my furniture for sale on Craig's List, and a guy had called up about the hide-a-bed sofa, and wanted to buy it sight unseen (though *having* seen a picture) for my asking price of $150. He then sent a check for $1500, claiming his secretary had made a mistake in making out the check. I didn't believe that; I've *had* a secretary, and in the event she'd made a mistake like that I'd have handed it back to her and made her do it again.

But I was willing to deposit the check and see if it cleared. My bank said there was no hold placed on the check. The guy wanted his $1,350 balance back; what roused my suspicions this time was that he wouldn't accept my own check back to him, but wanted me to send a Western Union moneygram to someone in Kentucky. So I stalled. Today I went to the Western Union office and asked about sending the balance; they refused to accept my business, saying it was for certain a scam.

So what I *should* be doing is reposting my ads on Craig's List, Recycler.com, and on the Los Angeles group here. But I'm too pissed off to concentrate on it -- I need to refocus. More coffee would be a *bad* idea, but it's Farmer's Market day, and the Market is right outside the coffeehouse. Maybe a piece of fresh fruit...