Snack Trek: Chicken Soup for the Blogger’s Soul (Brent’s Deli)

The sunset on our way to Northridge…

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here, but I’m a big fan of the reality show Long Island Medium. I don’t know if I believe in a religious view of the afterlife, but when you watch Teresa read people (if it’s real! please be real!) it’s definitely like — holy crap, very uncanny, I’m pretty sure she’s talking to this guy’s dead brother. And the dead people are always sending messages by, like, making broken iPods work again.

The show just started a new season, so I have it on my mind.

So after I wrote my sort of melancholy Jewish New Year post, my stomach really started to churn. I was also reading through my 10Q answers from last year, and noticed that I’d resolved to drink more green tea. (Which I do… specifically, Trader Joe’s Jasmine Green Tea.) So, with double motivation, I went to get myself some tea. (It’s not too hot for tea because our office is freezing.)

Then I came back to my computer, holding my tea as I browsed a Hairpin article about bra sizes. And just as I was about to take my first sip — I just full-on dropped my cup. For no reason. Maybe I had a hand spaz? The spill wasn’t terrible, but it managed to splash my laptop, phone, clothes, Post-Its, hair (seriously, my HAIR)… you name it.

At first, everything was fine. Even my just-washed ivory-colored cardigan dried without a stain. (Thanks, green tea.)

But then I went to tweet about what happened. “Just spilled gree tea…” Wait, where’s the “n”? I typed out the whole alphabet, just to check — and “n” was dead. Which is bad news for anybody, but super-bad news for a writer. So I pulled off the key, cleaned underneath (gross), tried again. Which is when things started to get weird.

I opened up Microsoft Word to type the alphabet again. And the keyboard just started typing on its own. First an endless string of “fffff,” then “rrrrr.” I started to feel like I was on Ghostwriter.

So I shut down my computer, and per Sam’s advice turned it upside down to drain. A sorry sight to behold…


And when I turned it back on to check on the healing… the keyboard was completely dead. Not even a caps lock light to be had. I think it shorted out.

I couldn’t help but suspect that this was some bad Rosh Hashanah karma. If I’d been at services, I wouldn’t have been drinking tea over my computer to begin with. This was my punishment for being so cavalier. Or something.

Sam, being a solution-oriented guy rather than a “worry if this is karmic punishment” guy (he leaves that to me), made an appointment at the only Apple Store available… the one in Northridge. Which is far away from me. But… what can you do?

So we drove into the sunset (see above), and I hoped I wouldn’t be dropping hundreds of dollars on repair… or thousands on a new laptop. Sam worried that they wouldn’t have any parts in stock for my 4-year-old laptop.

And then things got really weird. (And not just because the guy sitting next to me at the Genius Bar was staring at my computer’s desktop in an unnerving way.) It turns out that my 4-year-old laptop was from a batch that had a design flaw, allowing certain areas of the casing to crack. (I figured it was just regular wear ‘n tear.) So my keyboard and all the cracked parts would be replaced… for FREE. Not even a labor charge. (Which — with Apple, free is a pretty rare thing. Everything is price a la carte.)

I never would have known to ask for that repair if I hadn’t shorted out my keyboard.

I left my laptop at the Mac-spital, and we decided to grab a bite in the neighborhood… since we were all the way out there. Scanning Yelp, I noticed a restaurant that I’ve been wanting to try for years… Brent’s Deli. A Jewish deli.

This is the thing, you guys — I was not planning on doing anything Jewish that day. I should have been at Bodypump class. But instead I found myself being offered a Rosh Hashanah special (which I declined… it involved a chopped liver appetizer).

It was like the universe decided that I was going to Rosh Hashanah it up, after all. And suddenly I realized that what seemed like bad karma was actually kind of an amazing series of events. Of good karma.

And here’s what I ate (my usual cup-of-soup and half-a-turkey-sandwich… but if I could eat red meat, I would have been all about the corned beef or brisket) —

Big cup of soup. Needed.

The rye was double-baked, and the turkey shaved thinner than I think is typical for a deli sandwich. I liked it.

Coleslaw is a must.

And driving back to the freeway through the streets of Northridge, I couldn’t help thinking that it reminded me of the suburbs where I grew up.

Of home.

xoxo… (from my new keyboard)

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