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The Literary Exhibitionist
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07222016-32


-- चार हजार अठारह --


After the massive entry yesterday catching up on the many things I did and people I hung out with over the weekend, there's not much more to add today. Outside of work, Shobhit was the only person I hung out with last night, and it was at home. We watched the first two episodes of the Netflix series Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I thought were all right. I honestly think Jim Carey was better cast as Count Olaf in the 2004 film -- only the fourth that I ever reviewed over at cinema_holic; I gave it a solid B -- than Neil Patrick Harris. And I actually love Neil Patrick Harris in general.

We weren't a quarter into the first episode and Shobhit declared it "slow." He said the same thing about La La Land. Shobhit's attention span is far too short. That said, the first episode of the Series of Unfortunate Events was not particularly fast paced; the second episode picked things up a bit. I do want to keep watching, although honestly I'm more interested in continuing with The OA. (Can you guess what Shobhit said about that one? "It's too slow." Shobhit can't pay attention unless there's non-stop action or naked men.)

I'm up 1.3 lbs this morning compared to yesterday morning. I wouldn't have had any ice cream after dinner last night if not for Shobhit insisting he wanted dessert . . . and so I took some too, because it was a delicious ice cream (lemon gingersnap) and I knew that if I didn't have any then Shobhit would wind up eating it all and I wouldn't get any. Not that it really matters, considering how often I get samples at work. That was actually the last of three sample pints of ice cream I'd had in our freezer for weeks before Shobhit came home from L.A. anyway.

I can't really blame him, though. It's really because of the truffle macaroni & cheese I shared with Karen at lunch yesterday. It was insanely rich (and insanely delicious -- therefore worth the calories), and Karen, being a little person, can always eat a fraction of what I can. I probably had close to three quarters of that dish. Too much. But oh my god, it was good!

-- चार हजार अठारह --


05232016-12


-- चार हजार अठारह --


I keep forgetting to mention a brief portion of conversation I had with Ivan on Sunday, which gave me at least somewhat of a sense of how much longer we are likely to have a roommate. He mentioned he has already picked up an extra shift to work on Sunday this coming weekend, and when I said, "Why?" he just said, "Because I need the money." Standard response. And then he added, "I need to save up for my three-month tour of Eastern Europe."

Now. This should be partially taken with a grain of salt. Ivan has a history of changing his stated plans every single time I talk to him about them. That fact notwithstanding, I asked him when he thinks that trip might happen. "Probably next spring," he said.

So. Even though I did tell him, "I would bet large amounts of money that will change," it's the best we've got to work with. Clearly he has no expectation or intention of moving out any time soon. I'm perfectly okay with that; I love having him around. So I guess if nothing else we can expect to have the income of his rent for a bit over a year, maybe even around 15 months. If that changes -- and I would not be at all surprised if it did -- the change would be much more likely to be a postponement rather than his leaving early, which would mean having him around even longer.

Even then, such a trip begs the question: what of his return after said three-month tour of Eastern Europe? Would be want to continue renting the guest room? Would he leave his stuff stored in there while away? I know his ultimate goal is to move to Vancouver, B.C., but there has never been any indication of an expected timeline on that at all. It's entirely possible he could go on this trip and then come live with us for some indeterminate time again.

Compared to every other Seattle roommate I've had, Ivan's current stint is unique in many ways, not least of which is the fact that, if he weren't there already when Shobhit moved back home, we almost certainly wouldn't be renting out the guest room at all anymore. I'm not particularly interested in finding any other new person to live in there after him, regardless of how nice it is to have the rent payments (which go straight to Shobhit anyway). I had already loved having Ivan as a roommate the first time around for his 8 months in 2014, but since we subsequently established a real friendship that evolved well past any point we got to back then, this time around -- so far at least -- is actually even better, to a fairly significant degree. I just can't see any other roommate filling his shoes in any way.

Furthermore, with no roommate, Shobhit would almost certainly get right on planning to have his mother visit us again. I'm frankly in no hurry for that to happen, although I'll live with it if and when it does. (Now that I think about it, experiencing seven roommates will probably make it easier to deal with Shashi Ji if she ever returns. She's a spectacular cook, if nothing else.) I do wonder if there might be any way to have her stay in the guest room while Ivan goes on his trip, if he ends up leaving any of his stuff here when he does that. But I guess that's a bridge we'll cross when we come to it.

In any event, I've pretty much settled on the expectation of Ivan being around for the whole of 2017, and possibly well into 2018 as well.

I hadn't realized this, because I see Lynn and Zephyr so seldom, but at Lynn's birthday party two Saturdays ago, they had two different people who had been former roommates they had. Evidently they have also spent time as a couple with a roommate living with them -- multiple ones, even, and for what sounded like at least a few years. The roommates apparently remained good friends with them even after moving away. I found it heartening to see that.

-- चार हजार अठारह --


11302016-01

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positive energy please

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positive energy please
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08282016-44


-- चार हजार सत्रह --


Friday evening was spent on shopping. I was going to see a movie with Laney that evening but she was not feeling well due to a new heart medication. She was told at first that it was temporary side effects that her body would quickly get used to, but she learned within a couple of days that the dose was simply too high.

I can't even remember now how long ago it was that she had her heart attack. Two years? Whatever; it's kind of the new normal for her to be having issues with medications, which sometimes get in the way of her plans. And she and I make a lot of plans -- right now perhaps a bit less than before Shobhit moved back home, but still plenty. It's why I can't really get annoyed by it. When you spend that much time with someone, there's just a higher chance that some of those plans might get preempted occasionally, for whatever reason. But Laney has a condition and is reaching an age when the reasons are increasingly likely to be medical. I just accept that.

And it kind of worked out for the best anyway. Shobhit and I were going to do our grocery shopping at PCC on Saturday morning, but now we had the time on Friday evening. I walked home, picked up a couple of things at Target along the way, we had dinner -- Shobhit made a stir fried rice -- and then we drove to PCC. Fremont this time, actually, because we went back to the office to pick up some chips from the sample drawer, for when Danielle was to come over to watch a movie on Saturday.

And since it was easier to get to the Fremont store from there than to Greenlake Village, we went there. And it felt a bit like a time warp, our drive home from the Fremont store -- where I shopped for a great many years before Greenlake Village opened in 2014. For most of those years, the drive there and back was with Shobhit; he used to pick me up at the end of the work day and we would drive straight over to Fremont from there. That was when the office was in the U District. (Old office to the Fremont store: two miles. New office to the Fremont store: four miles, but only a few minutes more drive time. Neither option has any freeway along the way, as does Greenlake Village, at least between that store and home.) Then of course, when Shobhit moved to New York in 2010, between then and 2014, Shauna was driving me to Fremont and then home, usually picking me up at the office -- until she got a new job that necessitated us shopping on the weekends. In any case, either way the drive home from Fremont was via Dexter. But then Greenlake Village opened and I started to shop there, so this drive home last Friday felt a little like I'd gone back in time two and a half years.

But Fremont now? Never again! They had neither the Dr. Zevia flavor of Zevia Soda, nor the Luxor color of ZuZu Luxe liquid eyeliner. What bullshit! I'm going back to Greenlake Village for sure.

. . . Well. Okay. I think now maybe that eyeliner color is discontinued. I went to the ZuZu Luxe liquid eyeliner web page and Luxor is not listed. So I looked it up in our system at the office this morning: no movement. Not anywhere -- including Greenlake Village. Whaaat. I emailed Kibby (who does the same sort of administrative support work for the Health and Body Care department that I do in Grocery) to confirm. "How will I cope??" I asked. "That's the copper shade that looks pink when I wear pink shirts!"

I do see that online ordering at Target still has 10 in stock. Maybe I should clean them out. Hmm. I guess I should go for Amazon instead since the price may be nearly the same (a few cents cheaper) but from them I'd get free shipping. They have 6 left in stock. Shobhit wants me to stop by the downtown Target on my way home from work so I should check there first. They probably won't have 6 of them. Maybe I should clean out Target and Amazon? I can't decide! I'm having an eyeliner supply crisis!

Kibby did email the supplier to ask if it's either discontinued or, hopefully, just out of stock. I'll expect the worst and hope for the best! is what I told her. I figure, though, that if it were just an out of stock issue, it wouldn't have been removed from their own website.

(Incidentally, she forwarded me that email and something stuck me about it: she referred to a coworker who loves that color and she used gender neutral language. And understandable instinct, I think. And actually this provides one example where using gender neutral pronouns makes sense. And at one point she even used the word "they." I have historically been uncomfortable with that because if how I have been conditioned to think what the words "they" or "them" really mean, but its usefulness really presented itself here.)

Anyway. I wrote a lot more about that than I thought I would. We drove home from Fremont. That's where I was, right? And then we walked the two blocks over to Trader Joe's where we could get some stuff cheaper than we can at PCC even when we factor in my employee discount. Not the Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, though -- which I used to get at Trader Joe's for $1.99/32oz aseptic carton. The very same thing is sold at PCC for -- wait for it -- $2.89. So, $2.17 even with my deepest possible employee discount. I see now it'll be on sale for $2.35 in March, though. So that month I can get it for as little as $1.76 at PCC. However! We found that in six-packs at Costco for $10.99. That's $1.83 per 32oz box. Oh, wait. Holy shit! That means in March I actually do need to go back to PCC for my almond milk. Do you see this, Shobhit? Take note! Well, for one shopping trip, anyway; that $1.83 is when I'd get a 25% discount. If I got it at the 15% discount then the price will be $1.99 -- so Costco is still better. But on our 25% trip I should grab an armful of those suckers.

Jesus Christ. I'm getting excited by PCC saving me a whopping 42 cents when buying six quarts of almond milk. That's fucking ridiculous. You see what Shobhit is turning me into? Granted, PCC is usually the more expensive place so it's cause for celebration when something is actually cheaper there (and it's only happening when the item is on sale for 18.6% off and I get a further 25% discount).

I don't remember what else I got at Trader Joe's. You don't care.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --


Apparently Beth had been asking Gina many times whether she had texted me to see if I'd be available for brunch when they had a planned visit in Seattle. Gina didn't actually do that until Friday, when they were already in town. Were we available the following morning? Boy did she luck out! It was the one period of time over the rest of my weekend that I did not have anything planned already.

They were staying at the Camlin, which is right across the street from Convention Place Station on 9th Avenue at Pike. Exactly one mile from us. Shobhit and I suggested Linda's Tavern, which opened at 10:00 and we were to meet at 10:30 -- the exact time Shobhit and I got there, and also the time Gina chose to text me, Walk slow! Ten minutes until we start. Um. So, we walked to the store. I checked to see if QFC still had hot buttered rum mix, and they had plenty, so I bought a tub. Shobhit put it in his jacket pocket, later pulling it out and making Gina say it was the most random thing she'd ever seen someone pull out of their pocket.

It was just by coincidence that Linda's was situated exactly halfway between our home and the Camlin hotel: Shobhit and I had precisely half a mile to walk, and so did Gina and Beth. We walked a few blocks west and met them and then walked back up the hill again. Shobhit got his name on a list before we went to the store, so we were seated almost immediately when we returned.

The food was excellent all around. Highly recommended, except for how fucking loud it was in there. We practically blew out our voices just trying to visit. And at one point Gina looked around and said, "I think it's safe to say we're the oldest people in here." What a comforting observation. Well, hey, at least I was the youngest one at our table! And I was certainly young enough for people to assume I was not the oldest one in there. Oh! That reminds me -- when we were at Trader Joe's on Friday, the cashier asked for my ID because we had decided to get some wine and I was paying for it. The guy looked at my age and was sincerely taken aback. "Wow!" he actually said. "I was not expecting that." Whatever Mister, you made my day! Especially to have that happen when I no longer color my hair and it is almost strikingly gray these days.

Danielle had talked about taking Light Rail up to visit us, and she hadn't contacted me yet about when, so we knew we had some time. When we left Linda's, Beth said she really wanted to see Freeway Park, so we decided to walk them over there. That's how we got that photo of all four of us that I posted. Beth asked a guy nearby to take our picture. He was actually holding his own camera, and he glanced down at it when she asked, so she said, "Not with your camera, of course." He took a very good shot of us. The first post-New Year's wonderful memory of 2017.

They wanted to watch the Seahawks game that was to air at 1:30. They were thinking they would watch in the lobby of their hotel, but when we went into the Sheraton to use the restrooms, we noticed the lounge, with more than one working TV monitor, was pretty empty. So Beth and Shobhit walked to a nearby convenience store and came back with a bunch of junk food, and we all watched the first half together. I even tweeted a few things about it.

But, then Shobhit got bored and wanted to go back home. We said our goodbyes. Shobhit and I walked outside, at first headed toward a bus because he didn't feel like walking back home. (He keeps overeating and actively avoiding exercise, which has resulted in his weight increasing steadily over the past few weeks. To be fair, it's an easy trap to get into when you're unemployed.) We saw on One Bus Away that the next buses were too long in coming, so we decided to go down to the tunnel and catch Light Rail.

This was where we proceeded to get in a huge fight. Well, sort of. In this case, miraculously, I managed to stay calm. I was very conscientious about it. Shobhit was the one who flipped out. Why? Because I wouldn't rush down to the tunnel, and instead walked at my own pace. We literally missed the train by seconds. And sure, we would have caught it had I rushed. But I refuse to agree that there was any reason to rush. Shobhit literally acted like I had committed some heinous sin because now he had to wait a whopping ten minutes for the next train to come.

Ten minutes. Ten fucking minutes. That's the end of the world, right?

I actually gave him fair warning. "If you don't stop bitching about this, I'm just going to leave and walk home."

He was ridiculously angry about this. Seething. The reaction was genuinely preposterous, of no help to him or me or anyone. There was a moment of silence, and I thought maybe we could just get past this. But then he turned to me on the platform and began to lay into me again: saying that because of this, I no longer had the right to get annoyed with him delaying me every time I'm ready to go somewhere at home and he's still looking for his wallet and doesn't have his shoes on yet, which he does every fucking time. For some reason he doesn't understand the difference: when I get annoyed in those circumstances, we have somewhere to be by a certain time. It's why I want to leave by a certain time. In this instance, all we were doing was going home. There was nothing happening at any particular time for us to rush to. But Shobhit, he insists we have to fucking rush everywhere all the time regardless of circumstances. He doesn't seem to understand context. It's not that fucking complicated.

So, I raised my hand at him, and said, "I'm done. I'm walking home." And I turned and left. And you know what? I stand by that decision. I had a perfectly pleasant, solitary walk home without someone haranguing me for no good reason.

I did worry a little about how things would be when I got home, though. Shobhit was just as likely to be fine as he was likely to resume laying into me the moment I walked in the door -- something I really didn't want to have happen with Ivan around. Shobhit had easily beaten me home even with the ten minute wait because I had walked to the library first. He was in the bedroom, on his laptop. Ivan was eating his lunch when I walked in the door. "What's going on?" he asked. "Nothing much," I said. A lie? Arguably not. Shobhit had been the one making much out of nothing, not me. But, I still felt it was best to go straiht to the bedroom and face whatever there was to face.

But, Shobhit said nothing. I lay down for a rather brief nap. Shobhit played with the cats for a bit, putting him in clearly better spirits. I decided to get up again. I gave Shobhit a kiss, and he reciprocated.

I wanted to talk to Ivan for a bit anyway, ask how he was. He'd just pulled a double shift on Friday night after working six swing shifts in a row. He usually gets home around 10:45, and although I was tired, I actually stayed up until then on Friday night just so I could say hi to Ivan when he got home. But, he didn't come home. Occasionally some kind of emergency happens at his nursing job and he's late. So, we went to bed.

I woke up sometime after midnight and Shobhit was awake. "He's not home," he said. He had even gotten up to check: his shoes were still not by the front door and his keys were not on the key rack. We were both genuinely worried about him as a result. It crossed both our minds that he had gotten a Grindr hookup or something, except Ivan actually very rarely does that, and besides, he would never go straight to a hookup from work in his scrubs anyway. I was sure that wasn't it, even though Shobhit at one point said, "Hopefully he's fucking someone and nothing bad has happened."

Between worrying about Ivan and getting some sudden, really terrible heartburn, I got a very poor night's sleep Friday night. But later in the early morning was when I realized the most likely scenario was he was still working. We heard him come in at around 6 a.m. Shobhit did something I actually never would have: he got up, put on his bathrobe, and went out to greet him. "Good morning," I heard him say. "Double shift?" Ivan said yeah. "Are you okay?" Shobhit said, and Ivan said, "Not really," and almost immediately went to bed. Understandable. At least we knew he hadn't gotten into some horrible accident or anything. And I rather liked that Shobhit had worried about him just as much as I did, arguably even more so.

So when I asked Ivan how he was doing after I got up from that brief nap, he said, "Recovering," and told me about his awful evening -- they are severely understaffed due to strains of the flu going around that this year's flu shots did not cover. He had to do the work of a Nurses Assistant all night after his regular swing shift because of no one coming in due to sickness. And that's bottom-of-the-wrung, literal shit work -- like changing bedpans, that kind of stuff. At least he got paid not only at the same rate, but overtime.

I told Ivan Shobhit and I had both been worried about him, and he said Shobhit had mentioned that. He said, "I guess I should have said something." I said, "Well, you have no obligation to tell us where you are," which was true. I wasn't trying to make him feel bad.

He asked what my weekend plans were, and I told him about Danielle coming over to watch Shobhit's SAG-AFTRA screener of La La Land. To my total surprise, he said, "Oh, I think I'll join you for that!" Huh? It was he who I'd gone to see it with in December, and he was restless the entire time and afterward he declared it too long and dull. But now he said it had subsequently grown on him, and multiple times he said his initial reaction was because "my heart was in a bad place at the time." I guess he was waiting for an email that wasn't coming from this guy he's had unrequited love for since the first time he lived with me. Evidently that has a pretty sever effect on his mood. He was in much higher spirits on Saturday -- and also yesterday -- once he'd finally gotten some rest after that terrible double shift.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --


08282016-38


-- चार हजार सत्रह --


Danielle came over later than originally expected. She decided to watch the game herself, before leaving. And then, because she was coming in the evening, she decided to drive instead of taking Light Rail. She had been concerned about finding parking, but wound up just paying for parking in the garage across the street.

I guess you could say that I got both Danielle and Ivan drunk on Saturday night. When I asked Ivan if he wanted a drink, he asked for a Moscow Mule. Danielle asked for the same, except using the ginger ale she brought instead of the ginger beer I already had, which she felt would be too sweet. I made both of their drinks with double shots the first time. Danielle asked for another later, and I asked both her and Ivan if they wanted singles or doubles this time. Danielle asked for a double, so Ivan said, "I guess I'll take a double too. I'll take one for the team." He later fell asleep for a few minutes during the movie, and at one point declared himself "positively shitfaced."

Danielle even asked for a third -- a double again. I didn't make Ivan a third. But Danielle did wind up staying the night, knowing that driving home would not be a good idea.

Both Danielle and Shobhit sort of lost interest in the movie about halfway through, although she did ask to resume it later when I stopped it because Ivan was asleep on the love seat he was sitting on with me, and Danielle had gotten up to help Shobhit prepare the pasta sauce he was making for the ravioli we were to have for dinner. Ivan, waking up again, had to ask more than once for us to finish the movie, and ultimately we did.

But, watching it was filled with distraction, so I was sure glad I had already seen it. Watching a movie for the first time with a group of people at home is never a good idea, in my opinion. The setting is far too casual and people generally don't think it's best to keep quiet so the movie can be followed. Not that La La Land is that difficult to follow if you miss parts of it, mind you. But I'm too into film not to have been annoyed by it all if I hadn't already seen it. But I had, so it was fine.

And we watched parts of the Golden Globes afterward, which was also why Danielle had come over -- she wanted me to save it on TiVo so she could watch the highlights. The cold open that was a spoof of the opening sequence of La La Land makes far more sense to people who have actually seen the movie (I listened to a podcast that made the very good point that the sequence easily worked for most of the people in the room, but probably not for the majority of the broadcast's audience, which for the most part has probably not seen the movie). She also wanted to see Meryl Streep's speech, which I found just as powerful the second time around, and the brief tribute to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. But that was it.

I was actually awake but somehow didn't hear Danielle leave right around 6:50 yesterday morning. She texted me that she was leaving and someone should come lock the door behind her. I had gotten up and noticed she was gone before I saw that text, and also already locked the door. Until I saw the text though, I thought maybe she had left sometime in the middle of the night. Turned out she had just left. She later texted me she left so early because she was worried about letting the dogs out. Shobhit was going to make her blueberry pancakes, dammit! If she had stayed for breakfast she would have gotten another Social Review point for Sunday. So much for that.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --


Shobhit got his own point for Sunday, though, by joining Laney and me for the second of our double feature down in the Braeburn Condos theatre. We watched a perfectly paired couple of movies: The King's Speech, which is about Queen Elizabeth II's father; and The Queen, which is about Elizabeth herself at the time of Princess Diana's death. The movies won the Oscars for Best Actor (Colin Firth, 2011) and Best Actress (Helen Mirren, 2007), respectively. Only The King's Speech won Best Picture in its year, though. (Not that it deserved it, great as it was -- I still say Toy Story 3 was by far the best movie that year, although I know full well it never had a chance in hell of winning; it was a massive achievement just to get nominated, actually.)

Shobhit had books to pick up at the library when it opened at 1:00 yesterday, though, so he did not join us when Laney came at noon. To my surprise, I had to crash a party in the kitchen to get through to the theatre -- someone had the kitchen reserved from 10:45 until 4:00, although they all left around 2:00. Someone else had it reserved at 4:00, but no one had arrived yet when we finished our second movie just past that.

I actually went down half an hour early, at 11:30, to see if I could get that damned projector Blu-Ray player to work. And I think I may have finally figured out the trick to it! The panel on the wall has separate buttons for different modes: HDMI input; CD; live TV; DVD and more. I've been having trouble for months with getting it to switch to the DVD mode, but I did one thing differently this time that seemed to make it work: keep the button pressed for several seconds. And, I was able to play both movies without a hitch. Finally! Hopefully that trick works next time too.

So it was just Laney and me for The King's Speech. She was feeling much better now with a corrected dosage of medications. She brought her own lunch and I made popcorn, which I partly used to lure Shobhit down when we were about to start The Queen. I texted him to ask if he wanted to come watch the second movie with us and get his [Social Review] point. He came down, glass of wine in hand, and sat between Laney and me for the movie.

I had also made plans with Ivan to go to a movie Sunday evening, which I thought might be cutting it close with the movie's showtime at 6:15 but I figured I could still make it work. But Laney and I wasted little time on getting the movies started as well as finished, and we were done in plenty of time. She left very soon after the second movie ended, and Shobhit and I went back upstairs.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --


Ivan had asked when we first made plans if we could go get pho' afterward, which I was rather looking forward to. But, he changed his mind yesterday -- said he wanted to make his dinner at home instead. "I'm a little disappointed, but I'll live," I said. He suggested maybe I could go get pho' with Laney, but I knew that wasn't in the cards. As I said to him later, there will be other days to get pho'. The place isn't going anywhere.

Besides, he didn't completely abandon me last night, at least. Shobhit had no interest in the movie Ivan really wanted to see, and Ivan didn't change that plan. He even willingly walked there and back with me, instead of insisting on taking transit, which somewhat surprised me. We stopped at the Egyptian along the way so I could get my discounted early bird six-pack for the film festival on the last day the pricing was available for SIFF members: $60 instead of $75. I can even wait to choose the films -- I mean, I have to wait; the schedule isn't yet released.

And then we went to the Meridian downtown and saw the movie he was so interested in, which kind of mystified me but I was swayed by the near-universal critical acclaim that later made little sense to me: Paterson, starring Adam Driver as a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey. There's not much more to tell you about it. Except he's a poet. And not a great one. I purposefully avoided reading other reviews before I wrote mine last night, because I wanted my reaction to it to be authentic, rather than feeling like other reviews made me realize what I was missing about it. Ivan, it turned out, didn't think it was great either. Neither of us could see the point to the story, exactly, although I did feel by the end that I could somewhat see one. It didn't make it feel like it was worth all the mundanity that led up to it, though. Shobhit would have hated it -- bored to death within the first ten minutes.

I'll stand by the B- I gave it, though. As I said to Ivan, "It had redeeming qualities." It just wasn't great. It had at least a couple of scenes I thought were really well done, one that I felt was just as poetic as it clearly intended to be. I just wish they all had been.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --


. . . And I just had lunch down at Six-Seven at the Edgewater Hotel with Karen, which I nearly spaced, even though it's right there on my Google calendar! Thankfully she emailed me with a confirmation, which I usually do first. I guess I gleaned over it because our lunches are usually on Thursdays. But last week she postponed to today because she was out of town.

I had a pizza at work on Friday but didn't eat it because we had food provided for a Blue Friday potluck. (I've stopped feeling bad about eating at potlucks I haven't brought anything to -- when everyone brings food to a potluck there winds up being way too much food anyway.) I thought I was going to have the pizza today. I guess now I'll have it tomorrow. The eternally postponed pizza. I guess "eternally" is a slight exaggeration.

I got an email from Auntie Rose, who apparently had been sick for a while too. Even she mentioned the strains of the flu going around that the shots did not cover. I got a free flu shot at work a few months ago. I haven't gotten the flu. Maybe I should knock on wood. I would, if I were superstitious. (Shobhit totally is, sometimes ridiculously so. He texted to make sure I got to work okay on Friday just because it was Friday the 13th.) She mentioned our planned Birth Week lunch in April, and wrote, "Since The Edgewater is now "Old Hat" to you, is there another place you prefer to celebrate?" I hadn't really thought of that, and she's really got a point. For several years our brunch at the Edgewater was more special because it was the only time each year that I ate there. Now I have lunch with Karen there twice a month.

I should think about that.

Today, though, Karen and I split the truffle mac & cheese lunch special, and I made the unusual decision of checking in with a photo, which I almost never do with my biweekly lunches with Karen. But that amazing lunch (so rich! oof) and that amazing view -- spectacular. I mentioned that I do get that view pretty much all day every day at work, except I typically still eat at my desk. So when I go over to the Edgewater for lunch, I appreciate the view more.

Sterling, Shauna's son, is still busing there. I had to text Shauna that we should get together again soon. Now that Shobhit is home with his car and Shauna is no longer taking me grocery shopping, I see her son at the Edgewater more than I do her.

Karen and I had a fun and lively conversation as always. Plenty of politics, given the inauguration this Friday and the women's march on Saturday. But plenty of other stuff to talk about too. And that fantastic food. It's been a good day so far, come to think of it. After what was clearly mostly a rather nice weekend, that stupid fight with Shobhit notwithstanding. We're both still adjusting. We'll both even out soon enough.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --


08282016-31

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positive energy please

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positive energy please

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positive energy please

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06192016-08


-- चार हजार सोलह --


Shobhit and I went to a SIFF advance screening of 20th Century Women last night -- I had really wanted to see that one, and was really afraid I'd lost my chance when I saw the email confirmation link. A lot of times if I don't see the email for too long, when I click the link the registration is already closed. I got that email on Wednesday and was surprised to find I got in fast enough. Shobhit happily came alone, mostly because it was free, but also of course because it would give him a Social Review point.

The screening was at the Uptown Theatre on Lower Queen Anne, which in retrospect is somewhat annoying: it opens today at the Egyptian Theatre, which is all of six blocks from home. But last night, I walked home from work first; ate the dinner Shobhit had waiting; and then we drove back down to the Uptown, which is all of half a mile from where I work (the same distance, in fact, that the Egyptian is from home -- okay, it's 0.1 miles farther).

Shobhit, ever the obsessive with coupons and deals, had a coupon both for a nearby restaurant and for what we thought was a nearby coffee shop, but we decided to save the money on dinner (coupon notwithstanding) and eat at home. And then we found out the coffee shop was actually nearly a mile from the theatre, and so we bagged that idea too. We didn't even get popcorn at the movie, much as Shobhit kept whining about how much he wanted it. My weight was back up by 0.6 lbs to 146.5 this morning regardless, which was very annoying. I suppose it would make a difference if I stopped grazing on snacks at work, but I really thought I hadn't eaten that much yesterday. I guess I was wrong.

Shobhit declared the movie slow and boring, by the way. This rather surprised me, given the number of times he laughed while we were watching it. I liked it a lot -- solid B+. I feel validated in considering Shobhit wrong about this, when the movie's Rotten Tomatoes score is 93% and even its MetaScore, which is much more accurate a ratings system, is 82 -- just above the 80 threshold to be listed as having "universal acclaim." So Shobhit is vastly outnumbered here; he kept trying to declare the script its weakest element (I found it to be its greatest strength, and found myself impressed by the script specifically while the movie was still playing). But he kept using buzzwords like "inciting event" that he clearly learned in writing classes, which I think perhaps has made him a little too stuck on supposed writing rules when the greatest films enter into greatness by breaking such rules. Following a formula is never mandatory, and more often than not actually results in forgettable movies.

They were nice enough to let us stand in line inside the lobby, which was very unusual, but they clearly did it so we wouldn't have to send out in the unseasonably (even for winter) freezing cold. We all appreciated that. After the movie, we just drove back home. I'm still not used to having such frequent access to a car; under normal circumstances it would have been at least 9:45 by the time I got back home, using public transit, and I would not have much time to write my review before bed. In this case, I got home at 9:11, which gave me plenty of time to write.

-- चार हजार सोलह --


06182016-29


-- चार हजार सोलह --


Shobhit had a doctor's appointment yesterday, necessitated by his Truvada prescription. Our previous doctor moved to a different department and so we had to switch; Shobhit went ahead and switched the new one he was assigned to the same new one I had gone to last year. He told me about the stuff he learned about her while we were in the car on our way to the movie last night, and apparently she had asked which patient was his husband.

Shobhit said, "He wears eye makeup." Apparently she was just immediately like, "Oh, okay."

That made me laugh pretty hard. I mean, it's not like it's a surprise that such a detail would immediately make anyone remember me, but I've been wearing makeup daily for 20 years, so I often don't even think about it. I of course immediately notice any time I see any other grown man with eye makeup on because it's so rare, but since I spend most of my time looking out from behind the makeup (the fact that I almost certainly look into mirrors more often then most people notwithstanding), I easily go about my day to day life without thinking much about how noticeable my own eyes are to other people. This is true in spite of the fact that even now I semi-regularly get complimented, not just on my blue eyes, but on how well I wear the makeup.

I just don't think that often about it being the defining physical characteristic -- the thing that makes me most memorable.

And this was the case almost immediately, by the way. I had long been androgynous before I came out in the summer of 1996, which was when I was halfway through college: two years down, two to go. I had been growing my fingernails out for as long as I can remember; I remember having them long as young as preteen age. I had grown my hair long since the age of about 14. It had been blonde all my life, but in 1996, all on the same weekend, I pierced my ears, started painting my fingernails black, dyed my hair black -- and also started wearing eyeliner. I was pretty piss-poor at applying it for a while in the beginning, I realize now in retrospect. (Exhibit 1. It took me a while to learn that, for my face anyway, it was best only to line the top lids, and not beneath the eyes.)

It was sometime during the subsequent school year at WSU in Pullman, the 96-97 year, that Gabriel told me I had a nickname on campus: "the makeup guy." Apparently that's what I quickly became known as.

It's twenty years later and I guess I'm still the Makeup Guy.

-- चार हजार सोलह --


06182016-22

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positive energy please

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positive energy please
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12112016-29


-- चार हजार से पंद्रह --


I think I finally put my finger on something I was kind of missing even after processing through all my Lush cosmetics in yesterday's entry: patchouli, from which the oil in my current shower cream is derived, is apparently a "bushy herb." I was thinking about this in the shower this morning. That's what it feels like this shower cream makes me smell like. A bushy herb. Or at least, a plant. Until looking that up, the closest I could come up with was one of those cedar air fresheners you hang in your closet.

It's an on fragrance to have emanating off your body, I think, but it's still pleasant.

-- चार हजार से पंद्रह --


Shobhit often asks if he'll get a point on the next Social Review for something, but somehow last night after work it never came up: he walked from home, and I walked from work, and we met at Whole Foods, mostly because of his genuine obsession with coupons. He had two Chinook Book coupons for Whole Foods, and decided we should make use of them to get our dinner: the free slice of pizza, and a burrito to make the bulk of the $10 we needed to spend in order to get a free dozen eggs. The burrito was supposed to be $8 but we were charged $7, almost becoming the first instance in which Shobhit got annoyed by being under-charged -- because it could have barely made us fall short of meeting that $10 threshold. But we did, and we got the free eggs.

And then we walked home together from there. So, this is what makes a gray area for my self-imposed rules for gaining a point on the Social Review: I generally grant one for going on walks, but never do for just going shopping or running errands. In this case, we were shopping and running an errand, but by going on a walk. I decided he'd get the point because we also went there for dinner, which is almost like going out for dinner. Although we didn't eat until we got back home, but still. Whatever. Shobhit will be #1 on the next list regardless.

-- चार हजार से पंद्रह --


12112016-24


-- चार हजार से पंद्रह --


So I ate half the slice of pizza and half the burrito (with vegetables and tofu, and it was surprisingly tasty) while I watched episodes 2-6, and thereby finished, season four of Please Like Me, the wonderful Australian series Tommy got me into, on Hulu. I had been so impressed particularly with season 3 (seasons 1 and 2 were good; season 3 pushed it up to great), and season 4 was just as good, if disappointingly shorter by 4 episodes.

I do wonder if there will even be any more seasons after this, given the brutally sad tragedy of the penultimate episode. It even made me cry, which is rare for a TV show. Shobhit saw me wiping my face and said, "Crying?" I said, "A little." And then, that episode ended up serving as a brilliant build-up to a genuinely hilarious season finale -- I had to text Tommy and tell him I can't remember the last time a TV show made me laugh so hard. It had at least two gags that had me literally slapping my knee and/or clapping and doubling over in laugher; in one case I had to rewind so I could miss the subsequent dialogue I could not hear over my own laughter.

Then I went to bed. And once again, Shobhit came with me, to read. This is historically unusual. I think maybe his being unemployed with even more time on his hands than he had in L.A. has moved him toward this plethora of library books he's into right now. But he even turned off the light and went to sleep before I did, which is very unusual. I was reading the latest Entertainment Weekly, by necessity a tribute issue to three hugely famous people who died at the very end of 2016: George Michael; Debbie Reynolds; Carrie Fisher. Their profiles were presented in the reverse of that order. Apparently they issued alternate covers featuring all three; I'm happy the one I received in the mail had Carrie, dressed as Princess Leia, on the cover.

I decided I need to see more Debbie Reynolds movies. Singin' in the Rain is actually the only one of her movies I have ever seen. I put both that and The Unsinkable Molly Brown in my Netflix DVD queue. Apparently that was her own favorite of her roles.

-- चार हजार से पंद्रह --


12102016-05

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positive energy please

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positive energy please
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05232016-13


-- चार हजार चौदह --


I've gotten Christmas gifts twice from Ivan: once in 2014, the first time he lived with me; and again this year, right after he moved in for the second time. In both cases he gifted a box of Lush handmade costmetics products. Even in this context, his behavior makes me think of his Aspbergers -- and specifically, a common characteristic of it that Sara W at work mentioned to me recently because she married a guy with it: mimicking behavior. As in, in many ways, they behave in appropriate social behaviors not because it comes naturally to them, but because they observe it on others and simply do what they see others doing. There may not be any genuine emotion behind it. (Then again, there may be.) In any case, these gifts clearly did not reflect any genuine knowledge of interests on the part of their recipient, but were given more as an acknowledgment of the expectation of a gift exchange at Christmastime.

I have never expected anything from any of my roommates, but my inclusion of roommates in the past three Christmases -- a hung Christmas stocking for Ivan in both 2014 and 2016; one for Tommy in 2015 -- still naturally might bring up the question of reciprocation in their minds. It's almost ironic that between the two, Tommy was the one who never bothered to reciprocate, which I was fine with. In fact, I pretty much headed him off at the pass in December 2015. He seemed genuinely touched that I even hung a stocking for him, and he actually thanked me for it once he saw it hanging there in early December. He told me his parents never hung one for him, and apparently there were years when he went to his dad and stepmother's for Christmas and they had stockings for them and his sister but not for him, which I thought sounded horrible. In any case, I said to him during that conversation that I had no expectation of anything from him. I just wanted him to be included. I've always thought excluding them would have been rude. (None of my previous roommates were around at Christmastime so before Ivan I never had to worry about it.)

No such conversation ever happened with Ivan. He did sit in the living room with me, on his laptop (shirtless, a detail that remains in my memory because it was unusual; he explained his was moisturizing, or something, and so needed not to have a shirt on for a bit), while I set up and decorated the tree. That was my first year with my white, artificial tree. And after Shobhit and I went to Olympia for Christmas as usual, he had a gift under the tree waiting for us when we arrived on Christmas evening: that first box of Lush products.

I always suspected, even then, that such a gift was probably standard on his part. He'd probably give that to anyone he was giving a present to. If I had to hazard a guess, there's a fair chance he didn't even pick out the specific items that went in the package. I guess they have a store at Westlake Center; for some reason I always assumed he ordered online but it's probably even more likely he went down there to the store. Maybe someone there just picked some semi-random things for him to put in the box. Both then and in 2016 the box was clearly gift wrapped at the store.

The thing is, as impersonal as I'm characterizing all of this in the context of Ivan (and I may actually be off base; I'm making assumptions), he pretty much lucked out with this plan as far as its effectiveness as a gift: because I actually love Lush products. Even before I got the box from him in 2014, my cousin Jennifer had already sent me Lush products as gifts before. Twice she's given me eggnog shampoo from them, which I really loved. So anyone who wants to send or gift me Lush products, it's pretty much always a win.

For this past Christmas, the box contained four products: Lord of Misrule Shower Cream; Bubbly Shower Gel; Santa's Belly Shower Jelly; and a bar soap that I can't identify because it's shrink wrapped with no label. I could probably ask him; he might remember.

Shobhit and I used that "Santa's Belly Shower Jelly" first. I liked it a lot, but it's very odd. It's like taking a chunk of Jell-O and lathering up with it. It's sort of the consistency you'd get if you converted a bar soap to one of the gels, but stopped halfway through. It smelled rather nice. I used it every day for the past week or so, but noticed yesterday it was gone. I guess Shobhit had used the last of it. There had still been about a third of it left! Using that much was never necessary but Shobhit has an annoying penchant for being wasteful and it's driving me crazy. He truly doesn't give a shit, not about being wasteful or about doing anything to help the planet. His attitude is that it makes no difference. Well guess what? When millions of people have that attitude, the world gets trashed. Every behavior changed makes an impact. Not that I have much room to talk since I take ten minute showers. Shut up.

At least he recycles, I guess.

So, today I moved on to the Lord of Misrule Shower Cream. I can still smell it on me right now. I find it very odd that part of it is black pepper. Why put black pepper in shower cream? I don't get it. It doesn't smell like pepper, at least. Is it the patchouli oil that I smell? Am I, like, the quintessential hippie now? I suppose that might be especially apropos where I work, for a chain of natural foods grocery stores. I mean, if it were still 1980 perhaps. Whatever; the blend, while not quite as nice as the Santa's Belly, still smells nice.

Ivan is all about the cosmetics. When Sherri had made the crack about being OCD after using his bathroom on New Year's Eve, it was because of how he arranged his cosmetics on the bathroom counter in straight rows, making an overall shape of a perfect triangle in the corner of the counter where the mirror meets the wall. Shobhit kind of is too, although he doesn't really retain the vocabulary of someone obsessed with cosmetics. But he does like using them, moisturizers and occasional facial creams and such. I never do that stuff. I've never been the kind of gay who is all about cosmetics (although I am very particular about what I put in my hair). But, when I get products like this, I do like using them.

I'm not sure why I wrote so much about all that just now. Because I can still smell the Misrule Shower Cream on me, apparently. The thing is, if I re-read this again in ten years, I will still find it engaging. Because I am an unrepentant narcissist. (Although strangely, I always assume I can count the number of people who actually read these entries on one hand. The number almost certainly is objectively small, but still probably more than I realize or assume.)

-- चार हजार चौदह --


09162016-03


-- चार हजार चौदह --


I took myself to see Silence after work yesterday. It's a very long movie -- two hours and forty minutes -- so even though I went to the 4:50 showing (not arriving until 5:00 but I was still early enough to sit through about four trailers), it didn't let out until 7:45.

I could have lived without that movie, to tell you the truth. But I hadn't seen a new movie in the theatre since the week after Christmas. I've seen two others, but both were second viewings (Jackie and Rogue One). It was time to see a movie I could actually review again. I made that decision. I'll be seeing another tomorrow night, and another on Friday, so I'll make up for a bit of lost time this week.

That doesn't mean I think Silence was a waste of time. I actually kind of liked it. I gave it a solid B. I do think I watched it with a relatively unique point of view, which comes through in my review. It might surprise some to hear an atheist like me would actually have interest in a story about pious priests in the 17th century. Granted, the question of religious doubt is very much a central theme in the story, thanks to the incredible trials of the main character, played very well by Andrew Garfield (who I still think is super hot, but I could not ever see him that way in this role, just due to the chasteness of the character -- which is a pretty effective testament to his performance, I should think).

Shobhit would never have lasted at that movie. I think it would have been an unbearable slog for him. Probably even more so for Ivan, who almost couldn't even take the run time of La La Land, and that movie is presented as an overt entertainment. Laney could have taken it, I'm sure, but would not have been able to make it to a showing before 5:00. I didn't want to see a movie that long that started at 7:30.

I had to rush to get to that showing though. I thought I would get there on time by riding a Pronto Cycle Share bike part of the way, but when I got to the station on 3rd and Denny, my key would not unlock any one of the bikes from their slots. What the shit? So, I had to speed-walk. I logged into my account on my phone as I did so. Turned out my membership was expired. Fuck. Why didn't they email me that my membership was about to expire? That's what a company that wanted to retain their customer base would do. But whatever, I renewed. It was more expensive than last year. Like $93. A single ride without a membership can cost close to $10, though, so all I have to do is ride one of those things more than ten times for the annual membership to pay for itself. And that will certainly happen, even with a bike of my own In my possession. The Pronto bikes are just easier when I want a one-way bike trip, or when I want a bike with a headlight at night. Although I do keep thinking maybe I should just get one of those lights you affix to a bike helmet; it would be far less likely to get stolen that way.

Under normal circumstances I might actually be commuting to and from work again already -- I have in January in the past, specifically thanks to Pronto Cycle Share. But it's been fucking cold, and I won't ride when it's fucking freezing. Why freezer-burn my face even worse by speeding through it? I barely missed the #11 when the movie let out so I wound up walking. I had only my fingerless gloves and I could only stand to have my hands outside my pockets for about five minutes. My fingers were going numb. It was already 35°. That's nothing to some, but for Seattle it's insane: normal temperatures this time of year are closer to the mid-forties. I don't know what's with the unusual number of cold spells this year but I'm ready for them to end. Not that I expect "normal" to last long at any time of the year in the 21st century.

Shobhit had veggie dogs for dinner ready to eat when I got home. He even timed it for when I got home from the movie. This works better for him anyway; it's been a source of mild contention that I prefer dinner as soon as I get home from work, around 6 pm, and he prefers it a couple of hours later. He says having dinner early guarantees his being hungry again later and makes him eat more. I prefer not to be digesting my dinner when I go to bed. We're still adjusting to his permanent return. We'll go through an adjustment again when he finally gets a job. The seven-year break on his resume is a predictable challenge. I still feel confident he'll find work soon enough, though.

I went to write my review right after we finished eating, and then put laundry away. Then it was already time for bed. Shobhit came to bed with me because he just likes being with me, and had a book to read. He's been burning through a ton of John Grisham books from the library.

-- चार हजार चौदह --


09172016-16

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positive energy please

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positive energy please
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12112016-11


-- चार हजार तेरह --


When Shobhit and I went to have dinner at his cousin's house in Bothell the day before New Year's Eve, Abhishek said something that really stuck with me. This is another guy who, like Shobhit, grew up in India. We got to talking about Donald Trump, and although he assured us he voted for Hillary, when it comes to Trump, he said, "I'm not worried about him, because the people in India were so much worse."

Now. I'm not bringing this up in any way to diminish what I still think is the genuine horror of a Trump administration -- at least, in the context of what we're supposed to consider American values. These are supposed to be way off from the rampant corruption in other countries of the world, after all. But! It's still good to keep some perspective. I did feel like that comment gave me a little.

I'll still be at the women's march on January 21.

-- चार हजार तेरह --


12112016-13


-- चार हजार तेरह --


I made myself macaroni and cheese at work today. This is really the only occasion where I do anything approximating actual cooking while at work: I always bring tomatoes and bell pepper to chop and then add after boiling the macaroni noodles. The box makes enough for two lunches; I always put the second half in a bowl, covered, in the staff refrigerator for consumption the next day.

I wouldn't normally mention this except today I sliced partway through my thumb nail while chopping one of the roma tomatoes. And it occurred to me that my long fingernails actually serve a purpose other than just adornment. They offer protection! Otherwise, that might have been my thumb.

It still sucks that I cut into my nail, though. At least I didn't cut into it too far so I still don't have to cut the nail off.

-- चार हजार तेरह --


So what of last night, then? I walked home from work. I made myself an English muffin sandwich with veggie sausage and pepperjack cheese and an overeasy egg, yum. Shobhit and I watched Bright Lights, the wonderful documentary about Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher that HBO made available on Saturday evening. They had originally scheduled it to premiere this summer but bumped up the air date after the two of them passed away within one day of each other at the end of last month. The combined story of that mother and daughter was an extraordinary one, to the last.

And then I noticed that the fourth season of Please Like Me was already available on Hulu, so I watched that. A few minutes in, it caught Shobhit's attention, and he predictably got into it. He never wants to believe me until he actually does or sees for himself. Typical!

It was thus a bit apropos that I saw Tommy briefly last night, right after finishing that first episode. He was the one who got me into that show. He had a couple items of mail to come and pick up. I went downstairs with him when he left after only a minute, to check the mail, and naturally we talked about the show. He had also only yet seen the first episode of season four, which surprised me. In any case, it was nice to see him. I hope to schedule a lunch or dinner date again soon.

-- चार हजार तेरह --


12112016-12

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positive energy please

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positive energy please
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12082016-01


-- चार हजार बारह --


I guess I'll start with this: you may have noticed that my final two DLUs last week finally did away with the roman numerals in the formatted lines separating sections of my entries. The reason? The formatting, trying to show numerals with a horizontal line above only one of the characters but not the rest, was becoming way too much of a pain in the ass.

So, instead of roman numerals, and instead of the Arabic numerals we are all used to in the West for numbers in general -- I decided to change them to Arabic writing. Anyone dying to know what was written out in Arabic could simply have copied and pasted them into Google after the word "translate," and seen what they read: four thousand ten. Four thousand eleven. Simple.

It did occur to me that the very existence of Arabic writing might weird some people out. And guess who it did bother? The one person to ask me about it: Shobhit. He texted me just asking why my entries had Arabic in them. I explained. His final text just read, Please don't use Arabic.

I chose not to ask him why. I know exactly why: because his Hindu background gives him an unreasonable amount of prejudice against anything Muslim, and by extension Arabic. I had no interest in engaging him in an argument about it. Pick your battles, that kind of thing. I mean, it's a fucking language. A script. There's nothing inherently malevolent about the simple writing out of numbers in script form. All I was doing was playing with a concept.

I already intended to switch it to Hindi sometime this week anyway. That's what you see in today's entry. At first I thought I might continue with the Arabic for one or two days, but after that text exchange, not doing so would likely have been taken as deliberate antagonization, and devolved into bullshit. It's not that important to me. I don't have to take some stand about this (although, clearly, I still feel compelled to mention it). So, Hindi it is. A separator I can still use to keep counting up, but I think I'm finally done with the Roman numerals. Turns out they're just too much of a pain in the ass past the number four thousand, or
__
IV

-- which, even like that, I can't format so it shows up the same way in the middle of a paragraph and I have to separate it out into its own line. Because I can only type it like that by using two separate lines. As I said: annoying!

Given that Hindi is Shobhit's native language, it actually is a more appropriate choice anyway. I was just using the Arabic as a transition.

Hmm. Maybe going forward, I should only spell out numbers in Hindi sometimes, and insert hidden messages other times. There's an idea. I could write something like, "Shobhit is a silly head." Or "Donald Trump is a lizard."

-- चार हजार बारह --


Shobhit, by the way, continues to obsess with his Social Review numbers -- just as he did before moving away. He knows full well he's already way ahead by default for the Social Review of Winter that I'll post in March. I told him as much and he just replied, "It doesn't matter."

So, he went to The Cuff for a drink around 4:00 on Friday, and asked me to join him and get a drink on my walk home. The Cuff is all of a block and a half from our condo. This qualifies as going out and doing something social, so he gets a point for the day. I ordered a Black Opal. I even showed the guy the recipe on my phone, because as seems to happen every other time I order one anywhere, the bartender did not know how to make it. "So it's basically a Long Island," he said. Close, yes. He then made one that tasted really good with the very first sip, and increasingly syrupy with each successive sip.

The Cuff's bar area is pretty damn old-school, a place that really wants to scream THIS IS A GAY BAR with all of its décor. There are a couple of TV monitors playing slide shows of photos of nude men, some of them with erections. So they play porn, basically. It doesn't show anyone actually fucking, which makes it pretty soft-core, vanilla porn, but porn nonetheless. The thing is, they were only going through like three photos, so looking up at that gets boring pretty quickly. The older gay man at sitting at the bar next to us was instantly more interesting. And that guy was not very interesting.

I finished my drink and Shobhit and I walked home together, where we shared the sample vegan sandwiches I brought home from work for dinner. And we watched some TV, I think. Or maybe read a bit. I can't remember. I do remember I got very tired very early and was in bed by 10:20. I went to bed even earlier on Saturday night, at 10:03. I have no idea why I was so tired.

-- चार हजार बारह --


Anyway! Speaking of those sample sandwiches -- they were by a company called "Snackrilege" that sent our Deli department vegan sandwiches. The bag of samples even came with a pentagram sticker, which I posted a picture of on Friday, alongside one of the sandwiches. I only noticed today that what appear at first glance to be symbols at each of the five points of the pentagram are actually letters, which spell out the word VEGAN.

I guess it's a fun way to add fuel to the fire for conservatives who want to equate vegetarianism and veganism with godlessness; God knows (ha!) I grew up with values that regarded any such symbolism as straight up satanic. Which these guys clearly are not. Quite the opposite, since they are just having fun with cultural ideas but with the mission of preserving animal welfare.

Ivan, as it happens, is a semi-practicing Wiccan, which also uses these types of symbols. I thought he might like the sticker, so I brought it home to him. I honestly wasn't sure if he'd do anything with it or ultimately just throw it away. When he said he was going to stick it to his bedroom door, I didn't even take that very seriously. But then, he actually did it: his bedroom door now has the pentagram seal of Snackrilege on it.

I truly don't care. Still, I felt compelled to tell Ivan that if my mother ever visited and saw that, she would have a conniption. She'd probably be convinced I am living with a Satanist. Which I am not. Ivan did ask me if my mom has ever been there, and I informed him -- nope. Mom has never once visited me in Seattle, actually, and it is unlikely she ever will. Ivan was very surprised. In retrospect, I'm not sure why he should be: it sounds to me like his parents have never visited him either.

I did wonder how it would have come across had that sticker been up when Dad and Sherri were over for New Year's, especially in light of Ivan's apparent (but, I really do believe, likely unintentional) coldness toward them. It probably wouldn't have helped.

-- चार हजार बारह --


12312016-08


-- चार हजार बारह --


Saturday, Shobhit, Ivan and I all went to a movie together. I had asked Ivan about a week before if he had seen Rogue One and if he wanted to join me when I inevitably went to see it a second time. He always prefers evening showtimes and when he messaged me Friday night if I wanted to go Saturday night, I informed him I had plans in the evening, and the only realistic showtime I could do on either day this weekend was 1:30. I asked if that was too early for him and never got a response.

I brought the movie up again when Ivan woke up late Saturday morning, and he asked if I wanted to go that evening, as though I hadn't ever sent that message. (Facebook Messenger indicates when the person has seen the message, and he had.) I said again that I had plans -- a birthday party to go to -- and then said if he preferred the evening, I was willing to wait another week. I was in no hurry. But he looked at the clock and said okay, let's do 1:30.

Shobhit suggested we all walk down there together. Ivan was like, "Why would we want to do that?" I said, "It's good exercise." I mean, it's only a mile. Ivan was seated at the dining table eating his lunch, and like the oddball that he is, several minutes later he suddenly said, "Why don't we all walk down at 1:00?", as if he'd suddenly come up with the idea. That was exactly what Shobhit had already said. But okay, let's do that!

Then when it was time to go, like usual, Shobhit waited until later than the last minute to get his fucking shit together. At one point Ivan literally went out the door, then walked back in to say, "What's going on?" because Shobhit was still looking for his god damned wallet. As I said to Shobhit later, doing that shit to me is one thing, but doing it to others too is patently rude.

It all worked out fine in the end. The trailers were in the middle of their run when we arrived, which I usually hate being late to, but in this case the trailers were almost exclusively for movies that looked like steaming piles of shit so we really didn't miss anything. And we still got very good seats, albeit barely.

When Rogue One ended, neither Shobhit nor Ivan seemed particularly impressed. They didn't seem to hate it, either, but both had a relatively indifferent response. Ivan declared that the end was "weird," which I found to be an odd assessment. "It ends right where Episode IV begins," I said. He was just like, "Oh." And this from the guy who recently watched both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi at home with me, and declared the film series "the greatest story ever told." (George Stevens would likely beg to differ, but there's no real reason for Ivan to know that.)

And honestly? I still stand by the B+ I gave it, but even I would say that it likely will not stand the test of time nearly to the degree that the films that are part of the main series do.

When we filed out of the theatre, Ivan turned and announced, "I'm going to go home on my own. I have some places to go to." And that was fine, as Shobhit and I then went to Target.

-- चार हजार बारह --


By the time we got home, we had just an hour or so before it was time to go again. Just as I had last year, I went to Lynn's birthday party, at AFK Tavern, a gamer hangout in Everett. This year, though, I was able to get a ride in a car. Shobhit drove.

Shobhit was in L.A. last year. I had to look up the journal entry to be reminded that I actually took the bus up there, and had planned to bus back, but when I suddenly realized I had all of ten minutes until the last bus back left and needed to hustle, another guest offered me a ride back. I can't remember the people who drove me back, but I do know they were not at the party this year.

In fact, the party was notably less attended this year, although that makes sense. Last year, as it was for myself and several people I know, was a milestone birthday: forty. Of all the people I know born in 1976, Lynn's birthday comes first. So as of now (today, actually: it's now her actual birthday -- last year's party actually landed on the Saturday of her party, her birthday moved to Monday this year due to last year being a leap year), Lynn is the first one to be forty-one.

Lynn and Zephyr arrived more than half an hour late to their own party. Shobhit and I arrived first. I didn't think there was any need to leave home any later than 5:30, figuring we'd arrive at 6:10 at the earliest and even that would be fairly early compared to most. But Shobhti drives fast and we arrived pretty much at 6:00 on the dot -- and were thus the first to arrive. We asked if the reserved section was for Lynn's birthday party, and it was.

The next person to arrive, several minutes later, was a thirtysomething named Catherine, who goes by Daphyn, because that's how Lynn's oldest son, Jordan, used to mispronounce her name when she was little. She arrived and immediately said, "Hi, Matthew." I didn't recognize her at all. She used to be Lynn's stepdaughter, the eldest of two daughters of Jim, the guy who eventually became the second of Lynn's divorces. (She and Zephyr have been together well more than a decade, and Lynn later explained the only real reason they have not yet married is because his financial aid is better as long as he's legally single.) Daphyn informed me that she and I were email pen-pals for about a year in the late nineties, when she was still a teenager. I don't doubt it, but I have zero recollection of it. Me and my fucking memory. What a pain in the ass. She didn't take it personally.

Shobhit and I ate way too much, splitting a small bowl of tomato basil soup that was delicious; an appetizer of deep fried ravioli that was excellent; a veggie burger with a house made hazelnut patty that I liked a lot and Shobhit declared not great; and a fairly large salad. I also had two cocktails. Oh, and a slice of chocolate cake. By Sunday morning my weight had broken 147 lbs. Fuck.

It was worth it, though! Lynn and I, who have known each other since meeting via an intera-high school Spanish class pen pal program (which means for the first two years we knew each other we conversed exclusively in Spanish), do not see each other nearly often enough. We certainly will again during my Birth Week, but we should try to get together before then, and certainly not wait yet again another nine months until her next birthday. I did get another photo of us together. I asked Daphyn to take that for me, actually. Lynn looks great in it. I'm leaning awkwardly in my chair. I should have taken off the hoodie.

-- चार हजार बारह --


Ivan picked up an extra shift yesterday, it turns out, so that must have been why he didn't go for seeing the movie then instead of on Saturday afternoon. It also left most of the day for Shobhit and me to have to ourselves, although right before Ivan left for his swing shift at work, he suggested we watch an episode of an Australian show on Netflix he had read about and wanted to watch: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. I thought it was all right. I liked the characters. Shobhit found it slow and predictable (it actually was predictable). Ivan said it "wasn't too bad." Real vital information about my Sunday afternoon I'm sharing here.

But Shobhit, ever vigilant about getting his social points, suggested we walk to the library to pick up the books he had on hold. I have historically gone ahead and counted going on walks with Shobhit as social activity. But I especially would count it if we stopped at a coffee shop, which I also suggested. We did that after walking to the library in the rain.

Something rather new happened on our walk to the library. I was under my umbrella, and still felt a drop of the rain -- which was falling unusually heavily. There was a small hole in the umbrella! And I'll tell you why this is significant. I have a long history of losing umbrellas -- on buses, on planes, at stores, at banks, you name it. By some miracle, for possibly the first time ever, I have managed to keep this umbrella in my possession until it actually wore out! I was amazed. And, I guess I need to buy a new umbrella.

Shobhit is also obsessed with coupons. Like, seriously obsessed. When we go anywhere, he wants me to check if there's a coupon for the place from the Chinook Book (printed or in my app), in the Groupon app, or a deal on Yelp. Every single time. And, he had a Chinook Book coupon torn out for a free snack of up to $4 value with the purchase of a drink at Café Ladro. So, after the library, we walked straight up to the Café Ladro on 15th. He got a coffee, I got a chai, and I ate a savory tomato and cheese croissant. That turned out to be my lunch. I also had a rather light dinner. Happily, I was back down to 145.7 lbs this morning. Hopefully I can keep that trend reversed.

We spent the evening watching the Golden Globes. I hate Jimmy Fallon's fawning of celebrities so much that I never watch The Tonight Show, I find it so cloying and annoying. I was prepared to be annoyed by him as host last night. And then he offered what might be the show's best cold open ever. It was awesome -- although only awesome, really, if you have seen La La Land. I have, though, and I truly loved it.

And I loved Mery Streep's speech perhaps even more, with her takedown of Lizard President without ever even mentioning his name. Predictably, President-Elect Whiny Bitch took to Twitter this morning to hurl insults and call her "overrated." It still stuns me that this country elected such an unrepentant douche bag.

-- चार हजार बारह --


12162016-01

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2 transmissions complete or positive energy please

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positive energy please

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positive energy please

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01012017-42


-- أربعة آلاف إحدى عشر --


So the year's first mass shooting happened today, at the Fort Lauderdale airport. And guess what? America doesn't give a shit. I don't see how you can come to any other conclusion, because if America did give a shit, something would have been done about gun violence in this country long before now. Instead, every single fucking time this happens, the cultural fetishizing of guns increases.

It's pretty dispiriting to get desensitized to this shit. Sometimes I wonder how I would even react if I were actually in a location where a shooting happened. It almost feels inevitable, like I'm just going to see it one of these days. Strangely, I still have no expectation -- or even fear -- of getting shot. I know both of those things would change if I saw an actual gun pointed right at me.

I suppose the only way to feel comfort about all this is the notion that, contrary to what media coverage would suggest, on average we still live in the safest time in history to be alive on this planet. It's all about actual data and averages and numbers -- and how quickly news gets disseminated around the world. I had a bit of an argument with Mom and Bill a few visits ago about this, as they were convinced the world is a worse place now than it's ever been, and they didn't seem to get that it only feels that way because of the news they see and read. Those reporters have no incentive to share news of actually good things that are happening because that news does not increase their ratings and/or page views.

On the other hand, I think it's pretty safe to say Donald Fucking Trump being President is making America a worse place. That fuckwit was up at 7 this morning tweeting about, what? Not the important things facing the president-elect, but the ratings of the Celebrity Apprentice -- and then dissing Arnold Schwarzenegger for being a Hillary Clinton supporter. Petty, much? And we all know that's just the tip of the iceberg. I continue to live in amazement that the country elected that disgusting excuse for a human being.

-- أربعة آلاف إحدى عشر --


01012017-36


-- أربعة آلاف إحدى عشر --


Quiet home at evening last night. I have to say, the upside to having an unemployed spouse at home is how often I come home from work with dinner ready to eat. Yesterday he added a bunch of vegetables to pizza sauce to make a pasta sauce for one of the ravioli packs we bought as a 2-pack from Costco. It was delicious. And then we watched the final two episodes of The Crown on Netflix, which I truly loved. Watching that show inspired me to plan a double feature with Laney, to watch The King's Speech, which is about Queen Elizabeth II's father, and The Queen, which is about Queen Elizabeth II herself in the wake of Princess Diana's death (and was written by the same writer and creator of The Crown). I always liked both movies and haven't seen either since the years in which they came out.

I washed the wok Shobhit made the pasta in, as requested, since it was the least I could do. Shobhit proceeded to watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as the entire series is available to watch on Hulu right now. I got the whole series from Netflix and watched them with him several years ago but he doesn't remember. I didn't feel I had time to watch a movie by that point and went and spent about an hour on the computer in the bedroom before going to bed fairly early. Shobhit came to bed before Ivan even got home from work, which is relatively unusual, and he read his library book by John Grisham.

-- أربعة آلاف إحدى عشر --


01052017-01

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positive energy please

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positive energy please