Let's take a look at some half-assed photos I've taken with my phone lately!

I was at Fancy Ralph's on Carrillo a couple of weeks ago and I glanced up and, it being sort of early in the morning, thought that sign said REVENGE WATER. Then I went on this whole mental trip about what age bracket the manufacturers would target for their expanding line of "Satisfy Your Craving for REVENGE!" functional foods, but the whole thing got pretty ugly so I just bought three pints of organic half-and-half and went back to the office.

This one is because buh! Chocolate oysters with opalescent maple pearls! Chocolate Maya is one of those precious local Marie Antoinette-level shops that by all rights should fold during the recession, but is so pretty you hope it will hang in there, because there will come a day when the one thing you need is a $3.50 chocolate clownfish filled with lemon ganache and then what will you do? Cry salty tears all over your Butterfinger, that's what.

Anyway, Friday night Jackson's left nostril was really sore. He'd been complaining about having a lump inside there that he just couldn't dislodge using the (ahem) traditional method, and eventually I guess the whole thing got so infected that you could practically see it throbbing on the outside of his face. Having been through what I quickly diagnosed as the exact same ugliness, I -- well, I got a little panicked. And then he started crying. And then Jack walked in and saw us both weeping in despair at the fragility of life and he said WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN HERE?

So the next morning, I took Jackson to the urgent care clinic. It's right by a bunch of high-end car lots where the ratio of salespeople to customers is right around 11:1, but Jackson's going through some sort of car nut phase so I promised him we'd stop and look at some Porsches or whatever before going home.

We ended up in the BMW showroom where a nice salesman who clearly didn't have much else to do gave Jackson the full tour of the new BMW M3 convertible hardtop. Jackson was overjoyed when the top came down and clicked over his head.

I thanked the salesman for his patience and he said, "Oh, we all started out that way," indicating the other salesmen standing around. I guess he's just one of those guys who takes the long view. Get the kid attached to your brand (and be nice to his mom) and you'll have a customer for life.

Jackson: I so want this car.

Me: (If I instill a love of luxury cars in him, will it inspire him to work hard and save his money, or will it turn him into a materialistic creep?)

Jackson: Mom, why don't you buy this car. Your car is old and rusty and crappy.

Me: Nice try.

Salesman: (chuckles)

Me: But I tell you what. If you can save up $2,000 for a car by the time you're eighteen, I'll match it. I'll give you $2,000, and then you can get a $4,000 car.

Jackson: How much is this car?

Salesman: It's about $65,000, fully loaded.

Jackson: So if I save $31,000 . . .