Breakfast at Tad's

The day started when I woke from a depressing dream that I was at work, working, and most of my laid-off ex-co-workers were working there still or again. It was hectic and hellish, much like a day at work.

This is a dream? Hello? Where are the dancing girls, the beach, the silly cocktails with umbrellas over them? Who wants to dream about a day at work? Besides, I’m on vacation here.

♦ ♦ ♦

I love a good breakfast at a good diner, but after a disappointing experience at Mrs Edwards’ Coffee Shop a few days ago, it's occurred to me that I don't yet have a breakfast place in San Francisco. In Seattle, I had a breakfast place (Beth's Cafe). I lived in Bakersfield for only a few months, but had a breakfast place there, too (Pappy's Coffee House). I've been in San Francisco for three years or so, and haven't yet found an affordable, reliably good breakfast.

The quest is on, then, and stupidly it began just around the corner from my rez hotel, at Tad’s Steaks. Look, I like Tad's. They make quite a good lunch or dinner at a reasonable price, but their breakfast is regret on a plate, and I never learn my lesson.

I ordered a cheese omelet, and it was fine, as was the coffee and service. The tab was $7.50, including tip, which is reasonable if the breakfast is good, but...

At Tad's, the hash browns always look and taste like what I’m certain they are — pulverized french fries left over from yesterday’s dinner service, or maybe the day before. 

And as always, the toast was served naked and barely warm, with wrapped blocks of cold, solid butter on the side. At a well-run diner, toast may be served either pre-buttered, or with something spreadable if I’m supposed to butter it myself. Lukewarm, unbuttered toast with unspreadable butter shouldn't even be called toast. Call it whole wheat frustration.

I eat breakfast at Tad’s every few months, because that’s how long it takes me to forgive or forget the hash browns and toast. I'm hoping that writing about it will make me remember not to breakfast there again.

♦ ♦ ♦

I love an old-fashioned musical, all singing, all dancing, preferably with light comedy sprinkled between the songs, and the question is always: Who's better, Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire?

For me, there's no debate. Kelly was a fine dancer and light actor, certainly more handsome that the horsefaced Astaire, but Astaire somehow had the perfect touch, the ability to make master-class dancing appear effortless, and he was better as an actor, too.

Astaire was at his very best, of course, opposite the equally-talented Ginger Rogers, and tonight at the Elmwood, the Fred & Ginger double feature was Swing Time (1936) and Top Hat (1935). They made ten movies together, and these are two of their best. Swing Time, while excellent, needs Fred to dump his fiancée before he can fall for Ginger, and that's a sad element ain't it? 

Top Hat, though, has no ingredients that are less than delightful. It’s a synchronized comedy of mistaken identities, with a funny gay subplot wherein a man and his butler (“Hardwick” and “Mr Bates”) quarrel over who has the better fashion sense.

There are so many great tunes by Irving Berlin, I might have been singing during the show, and definitely after. “Isn't This a Lovely Day To Be Caught in the Rain,” I danced in the downpour, waiting for the bus back to BART.

From Pathetic Life #7
Saturday, December 3, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life   

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  1. Did you really dance? I've seen you dance and its not your best talent.

    1. I did not dance well, and I did not dance much, but I took a few steps one way and then the other, and that's dancing.


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