?

Log in

most recent entries friends, acquaintances & a few strangers organized reminiscence all about Machu Picchu Fruitcake is dead Previous Previous
The Literary Exhibitionist

Tags:

positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please
.
.
06182016-14


-- MMMCMXCII --


Third movie in a row last night! Back to the Meridian 16 downtown, once again with Laney and Jessica, this time to see Manchester by the Sea, which got an A- from me and will likely be on my year-end top 10. It has astonishingly high ratings on both Rotten Tomatoes (97%) and MetaCritic (95) -- it's almost unheard of for the MetaCritic score to be so close to the same as that of Rotten Tomatoes because of the much more realistic way MetaCritic does its averages. This means that not only almost all critics liked the movie to some degree (the only measure on Rotten Tomatoes), but almost all critics actually loved it. I'd say my review is a little more tempered than most, but the movie is still excellent.

Laney said the depiction of Boston-area accents was very realistic. She's from the Cape Cod area. So is Karen, actually. I have several friends with ties to Boston. Even Gabriel sort of counts; he lived there for a year working for the Boston Zoo right after graduating from college. He always loved it there.

Most people I know have a history of living places all over, in many places from coast to coast. I'm forty years old and have still only ever lived in Washington State, and in only four places even within that context: Olympia (9 years); Spokane (9 years); Pullman (4 years for college); and Seattle (18.5 years and counting). Hell, I've lived a combined total of 17 years just in either downtown (6 years) or on Capitol Hill (11 years). I'm lumping the two years on First Hill with Capitol Hill there. Close enough. We were just a couple of blocks from Pike Street, after all.

I think I may have gone off on a tangent here.

-- MMMCMXCII --


06182016-27


-- MMMCMXCII --


I think I might have an ear infection. I finally went to Bartell Drugs after the movie last night and, at Laney's suggestion, got an ear drop kit. It does relief the small but persistent pain in my right ear a bit. The whole thing makes me nervous after that labyrinthitis bullshit in 2012. I do not want to have to get on medication that causes me to lose control of my bowels again. Knock on wood, so far I haven't felt dizzy. And right now my ear sort of feels like it's trying to pop and drain of whatever is clogging deep inside it. Chewing food does hurt in a kind of weird way, though -- like the back hinge of my jaw on the right side has been sprained or something. The pain is far from unbearable but it's there.

Anyway. I've gotten two nights in a row now of being unable to get to bed as early as I usually like, last night due in large part to the detour to the store after taking Light Rail back to Capitol Hill with Laney and Jessica. I think I got home at about a quarter till 11:00, and as a result for the first time Ivan was home from work before I had gone to bed. In fact, he had made the unusual move of not turning on the track lighting in the living room (which I rarely turn on but he likes it) and instead was sitting on the love seat, still in his scrubs, by the Christmas Tree and using the tree lights and holiday lights I have around the windows as his light source. He told me he would turn the lights off when he went to bed.

He also asked if he's ever too noisy when getting home after work and cooking while I'm sleeping. I could already tell he's been making an effort to be quiet, which is very sweet of him. He probably makes more of an effort than necessary.

Anyway, it was maybe a quarter after 11 when I finally got into bed. I should get a more solid night's sleep tonight -- I'll be out with Laney again, but this time for Happy Hour starting at 5:30 and I'll probably be home by around 8:00 at the latest I'm guessing. Give or take.

I did get Shobhit on FaceTime briefly while I was making dinner before meeting Laney and Jessica at Light Rail to go downtown for the movie, and he mentioned that Laney will probably beat him on the next Social Review again -- oh yes, by several points. She already has. He'll get caught up on the winter one after he moves back home though, so he can rest easy on that.

He was in his car on the freeway during that brief conversation, driving back from a work gig in Orange County. He was giving a ride home to someone I couldn't see but who could probably see me. Whoever it was said hi to me. I got him on FaceTime briefly again after getting back home and before going to bed. So we're still seeing each other, however briefly, most every day.

-- MMMCMXCII --


06182016-17

.
.
2 transmissions complete or positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please
.
.
05212016-05


-- MMMCMXCI --


I went out to dinner and to a movie with Ivan last night, a semi-last-minute plan made the day before, then nearly canceled, then confirmed again yesterday morning. He took the day off of work yesterday, you see. He clearly knew on Tuesday that he was going to, as he messaged me to ask if I wanted to join him to see the movie The Love Witch the following evening.

I was like, sure, why not? I knew he would be interested in that movie as he loves all things witches, and I've seen the trailer several times at SIFF movies and it always made me think of him. I never had a huge interest in it myself, but I was still happy to join Ivan to go. And then I was pleasantly surprised to see the huge ratings it has on both Rotten Tomatoes (95%) and MetaCritic (81), which made me think it might be better than I thought it looked -- which, ultimately, it wasn't. Ivan sure loved it, though. He loved it so much it was like he had it as his own baby. But, he freely admitted to his bias due to how much he loves witches.

For my part, I'm somewhat mystified by the critical acclaim; I found it tedious. I told Ivan that and he said, "Are you fucking kidding me?" Nope. It mean, parts of it were amusing. But also at one point Ivan elbowed me awake as I was nodding off. Granted, I have this as a problem at many movies no matter how good they are, so it's somewhat unfair for me to mention that. The movie did kind of bore me at times. It was half an hour longer than it needed to be, that's for sure.

Ivan and I walked over to the bus stop by the Safeway at 15th and John and took the #8 down to Seattle Center to the SIFF Film Center theatre, which he had never been to before. When he first messaged me about this on Tuesday he asked if I had a SIFF membership and whether my discount applied only to myself or if I could use it for other people. When I said I could only use it for myself, he almost immediately changed his tune and suggested I just buy my own ticket but he was "on the fence" about what he would be doing yesterday. I was kind of like, really? I was only going to go at his invitation, and wasn't about to run the risk of getting a ticket for myself if he was just going to bail.

But, then he messaged me yesterday morning that he had purchased his ticket. He was very excited about it. So, after work yesterday, I walked over to Seattle Center -- it's not far from the new office location -- so I could get my ticket at the box office and not have to pay the stupid-ass online processing fee. (It's only an additional $1.50 and I get $5 all SIFF movie tickets, but it's the principle of the matter!) I then walked part of the way and caught a #8 home, and Ivan and I left again a little less than an hour later. I got on FaceTime with Shobhit for a bit in the intervening time. He was chopping stuff and making his dinner in his kitchen, asking if I thought I would spend as much time with friends after he moves back. (Probably: I'll get to that in a minute.)

Ivan and I ultimately decided to go to Pho' Cyclo Café on Broadway for dinner before heading down to Seattle Center. He got pho' and I kind of wished I had after deciding to get something new: the sweet and sour tofu dish. It was okay but not nearly as good as I knew the pho' would have been. Next time! Still, even that full dish only cost me like eight bucks even with the tip, which stunned me. I'm not used to having dinner be that cheap when I go out. I didn't buy a drink though.

The movie showing was not until 8:30 so it was rather late when we got back: like 11:15 or so, way past my bedtime. I didn't even get into bed until about 11:45, so I'm running on less sleep than usual today. But I'm still pretty much fine.

-- MMMCMXCI --


04252016-32


-- MMMCMXCI --


So the other news, that I should have thought to mention in yesterday's entry but for some reason I spaced it: Shobhit texted me that he gave Troy (his roommate) his notice. "Might extend to January if anything changes."

So there are two ways to think about this. On the one hand, giving official notice is a bigger step than Shobhit has taken to date, since he first started talking about moving back home all the way back in July. So that significantly increases the likelihood that he will indeed finally pull the trigger and actually do this. Also, he is unlikely to get a sudden big break with acting in the middle of December, and so far doesn't seem to have a huge amount of cater waiting or bartending jobs lined up for the month, and that will do little to dissuade him from actually moving.

On the other hand, he may postpone on account of being intimidated by driving in late-December weather. And also, given the talk every single month about moving and still getting postponed every month, even with his actually having given notice, I'll believe it when I see it. I feel now that it's probable that he'll move home this month, but the thing is, I was far more confident about it several months ago and it still didn't happen, so, you know -- who the fuck knows?

This does mean we'd be cutting the losses of the airplane tickets I already purchased for his visit over the holidays -- but they were purchased with miles so it's not as big a waste. I've been thinking of suggesting he time it so he just gets to Olympia for Christmas on his way up, but he may want to drive all the way up a few days earlier anyway. Again, who knows? As always, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. And if nothing else, it's going to have to happen sooner than later anyway, which means it will happen at some point. Perhaps, perhaps probably, this month.

-- MMMCMXCI --


06202016-06

.
.
positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please
.
.
05242016-02


-- MMMCMXC --


So these roman numerals I used as separators in my DLUs, which I have been using literally for many years now -- I still often have to Google what the hell the current one is so I can figure out which one is next in sequence. It's usually when a numeral ending in 9 goes up to a 0, or when something ending in 9 goes up to a major number like, say, 4000 (which I am getting close to).

I am getting better at figuring out what they are on my own, but I still almost always Google it to make sure I'm right. Yesterday's numeral was MMMCMLXXXIX, which is 3989. It always feels so odd to have a number go up by only one, only to have the number of roman numeral characters go down by four. Anything ending in 90 (XC) always shortens the sequence, because the number before it, 89, is LXXXIX. (L, which is 50, plus XXX, which is 30, makes 80; attached to IX, which is of course 9. It's no fucking wonder we stopped using these. Except for me!)

-- MMMCMXC --


11262016-01


-- MMMCMXC --


Last night I walked home from work, fed the cats, and very soon afterward walked right back downtown. No wait, I take that back -- once I got to 12th and Pine a #11 was coming and so I hopped on that. I got off at 9th (it's way more than just two blocks from 11th, don't be fooled) and then met with Laney and Jessica at the Meridian 16 theatre.

We all saw Moana (pronounced "Mo-ana"), which we all very much enjoyed. Read my review for further details!

And then, after the movie, Laney invited me to join them for a drink at Rooster's on Broadway. At first I said yes, but then I changed my mind. I'm finally putting into practice the notion that I don't have to drink every time the people I'm with want to. I'm learning!

I did ride Light Rail with them up to Capitol Hill, even though the station is far closer to Laney's place (four blocks) than it is to mine (half a mile -- okay, six blocks; I guess it's not that massive a difference). And now? I did accept Ivan's invite to join him for a movie tonight (that will be a first, us going to a movie together) and getting dinner beforehand. I'll spend more tonight than I would have last night probably, although I'll probably skip the alcohol tonight since I already have plans to meet Laney for Happy Hour on Friday. But whatever, I still saved the money I would have spent on drinks last night anyway.

-- MMMCMXC --


05212016-02

.
.
4 transmissions complete or positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please
.
.
08192016-07


-- MMMCMLXXXIX --


I did almost nothing of note last night. But that won't stop me from telling you about it!

I did finally receive the dish rack I ordered from Amazon. It was in a huge box. I rearranged a few of the things on the kitchen counter so it cound be somewhat awkwardly set to the right of the sink, the other end of it only maybe six inches from the west wall. But, whatever, it certainly served its purpose immediately: I woke up this morning to see several of Ivan's cleaned dishes resting in it. Even I used it last night. Who wants to waste time drying dishes with towels! (Certainly not Ivan, who never did, which is why I bought the thing -- I prefer the dishes drip dry in a rack than directly on the counter.)

He didn't even wake me up when he got home from work last night. I think maybe he's actually making an effort to be quiet when I'm sleeping, though, which is rather sweet of him. Regardless, I'm surprised I didn't wake up at all last night. Maybe Tommy's insomnia was contagious! I know that makes no sense, get off my back. But I'm beginning to wonder if somehow the switch in roommates has even affected the cats: they're totally chill now all of a sudden. Seriously the past two days in a row neither of them bothered me to wake up at all, until I just woke up naturally on my own right around the time my alarm would otherwise go off. It's like a minor miracle. So anyway, the past two nights I got solid, uninterrupted sleep. So I guess that's my big news today.

-- MMMCMLXXXIX --


03022016-01


-- MMMCMLXXXIX --


That and, I guess, that I watched the 2015 remake of Poltergeist on HBO Go. And boy am I glad I took heed of the reviews and did not go see that in the theatre -- the great Sam Rockwell as the dad notwithstanding, that movie was laaaame. I had thought about seeing if Ivan wanted to check it out with me, and it was clearly best for me just to watch it on my own. I'd hate to go out of my way to completely waste his time.

I didn't watch any other TV or anything. I went to proof my 2017 calendars and place the orders on most of the rest that needed to be ordered. I just have three left, but those are ones I need to have mailed direct to their recipients so I'm going to wait for a bit on that. The rest I presume I'll have at home in a week or two, and then I can commence with gift wrapping them. Now all I need to worry about is what the hell I'm going to fill the Christmas stockings with.

-- MMMCMLXXXIX --


I just want to take a moment now to clarify something. I don't know that it made any difference, but just in case: I feel like I may have made a false impression in an earlier entry about Shobhit's attitude regarding the election, and how difficult he might be about it over the holidays. After Thanksgiving it seems he'll be fine, actually. He had perfectly reasoned and pragmatic conversations about it with Sachin, where instead of being fueled by bitterness, he's just talking about how he thinks the economy will be affected by Donald Trump's decisions -- which, mind you, we all still fully expect to be boneheaded. I just don't want anyone to think I'm expecting Shobhit to be unpleasant at any family gatherings. I should have reigned in my paranoia a bit there, I think. It had the potential to create false expectations of his behavior and it certainly wasn't fair to Shobhit.

-- MMMCMLXXXIX --


07022016-19

.
.
positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please
.
.
06132016-092


-- MMMCMLXXXVIII --


Well, here I go again, Monday after a weekend of never posting any regular updates to my journal. So what the fuck did I do on Friday night? I can't remember! I guess I could look at my Google Calendar -- oh! I met with Laney at the Egyptian to see Nocturnal Animals, which I loved. I even had to text Tommy about it, since he and I both had been slightly disappointed with the Amy Adams movie from the week prior, Arrival (I mean, it's still good -- I just wanted it to be great and it wasn't). I said, "AMY ADAMS ALERT: Apples and oranges notwithstanding, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS is way better than ARRIVAL." He never responded. That clearly doesn't necessitate a response, though. I need to text him soon about getting lunch or dinner sometime, though. I have a present for him.

The popcorn I had at that movie was my dinner that day, since I had eaten so much for Thanksgiving the day before and had plenty for lunch that day as well. Under normal circumstances Laney and I might have gone out for a drink to discuss the movie afterward, but she had to get up early Saturday morning and went home. So I went home as well, and wrote the review immediately.

-- MMMCMLXXXVIII --


I really had no socializing the rest of the weekend, unless watching a movie and some shows with Ivan on Saturday night counts -- which it only does sort of. Ivan officially lives with me now -- he stayed all night for the first time Saturday night, after bringing stuff here and there over all of the previous week; he brought bed linens on Saturday -- which means that just hanging out at home no longer counts toward the next Social Review. I have always applied that rule to Shobhit as well as anyone else who has lived with me: when we're together by default, it's an unfair advantage to add points to the Social Review for doing something together at home. The one exception I have ever made was when Shobhit and a roommate (specifically, Ivan, here referencing his time living with me in 2014 -- this never happened with Tommy) all did something together at home, like have dinner or have drinks. This scenario is pretty rare. The same goes, of course, if a roommate eats or drinks with us when I have another friend like Danielle or Laney or Ev over. (Gil, who lived with me in 2012, once joined Danielle and me for a drink in the living room. That got him a spot on the Social Review.)

The difference this time around with Ivan is we are apt to actually go out still, even while living together. I already mentioned when I told him I hope we still have our monthly dinners out, and he responded that we'll probably do it even more often. I feel like maybe I can get him to join me for a movie here and there as well. None of this happened when he was with me in 2014, but our friendship has evolved significantly since then. Having him back already feels very, very different -- both from other roommates and from his first time around -- because I already know him.

I worried about Tommy constantly, for instance. Let's just say he doesn't have the best luck in his life. Since he moved out, the level of worry I had for him nearly disappeared almost immediately. I still very much want to stay and touch and remain friends. Ivan, by contrast, is almost never satisfied with his life, but that's different. He is easily the most stable, both financially and emotionally, roommate I've ever had. It did occur to me just this past week that there is perhaps greater chance of finding things about him that annoy me this time, since I was a bit over-fond of him the first time around and now I've known him long enough not to be looking through rose colored glasses. But it'll be fine. I prefer knowing people for who they really are anyway, and a huge point in Ivan's favor is how meticulously clean he is. I mean, the previous roommates weren't slobs either (with the notable exception of the shit munch who lived with me for four months in late 2013), but Ivan is almost excessive in his cleanliness. I caught sight of the beauty products on his bathroom counter and they are arranged like a phalanx, in straight lines that combine to make a large triangular shape.

He did leave a pot and the colander in the sink last night though, still there this morning. Hopefully that doesn't become a habit, because it if is I'll have to talk about it. But I already remembered how he used to leave hand washed dishes to dry directly on the kitchen counter, which I never liked, so I bought a dish rack from Amazon that is supposed to arrive today. That should encourage him to keep dishes out of the sink and left on the dish rack.

Anyway! I spent the day Saturday just hanging out at home, but for a couple of errands: I mailed Uncle David and Mary Ann's calendar to them in Australia -- the postage for which cost nearly as much as the calendar itself! And then I deposited some money into Shobhit's account for his budget shortfall -- another reason he needs to move home soon; it's the second month in a row I've had to do that. He's already calculated that if you add up all of the money I've had to give him for budget shortfalls here and there over the past several years, my savings account -- which is quite healthy as it is -- would have double the amount in it! As it is, I've been considering it a victory just preventing it from dwindling too much.

And Ivan arrived midday, and actually asked if I had any plans in the evening, "Going to any parties or anything?" I found that amusing -- how often do I go to fucking parties? Well, guess what? Danielle got invited to two different parties this coming Saturday and asked me to come with. So if Ivan asks again this weekend I'll have to tell him I'm busy. I should be free Sunday evening, though! Assuming Ivan doesn't pick up an extra shift that day like he did yesterday, which was why I only saw him briefly before I left for another movie yesterday.

But on Saturday, he arrived while I was in the middle of putting up the Christmas Tree and Christmas decorations. I kind of hoped he would hang out with me while I did that, as he had done when I put up decorations in 2014, but he spent most of his time in his room while I was out there setting stuff up and listening to Christmas music. He did chat with me for a little bit, though, and that was when he asked about my evening plans. He suggested we watch a movie.

I already had a movie in mind: Poltergeist, which he told me the previous time he was over and watched stuff with me that he had never seen. I consider that essential viewing, but when we finished it and he declared it "over the top," I realized he was right. I still love that movie, but a lot of shit happens in it and there's a lot of hysterical screaming. It's interesting to me how that movie continued to hold up really well for many years, but within the past decade or so, how well it holds up has greatly diminished. They have the 2015 remake on HBO (clearly the reason they also have the original available) and I never bothered to go see it in the theatre because the reviews were mixed at best, barely above bad. But now that it's on HBO I think I'll watch it tonight just out of curiosity.

Then Ivan wanted to watch something light hearted or funny -- his usual suggestion actually -- and we watched an episode of Broad City and then two and a half episodes of Girls. It was getting late and I was getting tired and feeling somewhat conflicted about wanting to spend more time with him and also wanting to go to bed, and he saved me the trouble: out of nowhere, in the middle of the third Girls episode, he just up and said, "Well I'm going to go. I'm going to Central Co-op for some avocados to make a nice salad." I had actually wondered when he ate his dinner; turns out he likes to eat pretty late, probably because he often comes home to eat a late dinner after his swing shift (clearly as indicated by the pot and colander found in the sink this morning).

-- MMMCMLXXXVIII --


05172016-02


-- MMMCMLXXXVIII --


So anyway, this is the new routine: roommate around on weekends but not on weekdays because of his swing shift, although I typically hear him getting home shortly before 11 p.m. And even if I see him less than I do most roommates on average, there's still a certain comfort in the mere presence of someone else, just evidenced by his things being around, and signs of his being around either while I was gone or asleep. Like that pot and colander, I suppose.

Sunday was much more solitary for me; I took myself to see Loving at the 12:15 showing downtown, bringing a sandwich with me to eat for lunch during it. I gave that one a slightly lower grade (B+) than what I gave Nocturnal Animals (A-), even though I would consider it much more essential viewing. But that's a political thing rather than a reflection of great filmmaking, which is a key point.

I walked home from the movie and, again, immediately wrote the review. I'm keeping my evening free tonight but plan to see another movie tomorrow night and another on Thursday, so at least one movie every other night for nearly a week; Laney wants to go see Arrival again though, which, if we make happen, means I'll actually go to a movie three nights in a row starting tomorrow. But at least I'll only have to write reviews for two of them. This is the result of both last week's holiday combined with Shobhit's visit preventing me from seeing as many movies as usual, and also the higher number of movies there always are to see during the holiday season.

And then I have Happy Hour with Laney on Friday night. Lots of plans this whole upcoming weekend. Same goes for every weekend the rest of the year, really -- trip to see Mom and Bill in Idaho the following weekend; lots more socializing already scheduled for the weekend after that, mostly with Laney but I've already got a ticket to see the new Star Wars movie with Gabriel, Kornelija and Tess in Tacoma on Thursday the 15th. I'm renting a Zipcar again for that, as the movie doesn't even start until 8:00, which I didn't realize until Gabriel bought the ticket. I had also been thinking I would rent a Zipcar to join family for ZooLights at Point Defiance on Wednesday December 7, and maybe now I'll just bow out of that instead -- I'll see a lot of family over the holidays anyway.

I've noticed a curious effect regarding the Christmas and New Year's holidays being on weekends this year -- it's actually turning out to be rather inconvenient. Normally I would schedule a lot of socializing on weekends nearest those holidays, which I cannot now do because the weekends are claimed by the holidays themselves. This is going to make it difficult to get together with Abhishek, Shobhit's cousin, and his wife Vinaya, like we usually do during the holidays. We may still figure something out, though.

-- MMMCMLXXXVIII --


06122016-04

.
.
positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please
.
.
11242016-10


Guess what, everybody! I finally found a workaround for when Flickr refuses to load on my work computer! And honestly I don't know why it took me this long to think of it, considering how many times I've used it on my iPhone to bypass websites that are blocked at work.

Xfinity Wifi. Duh.

I mean, it's a little bit of a pain in the ass, but it worked, and I know I can do it again. I couldn't figure out how to disconnect from the Ethernet without disconnecting the laptop from its dock, and the Ethernet cable refuses to pull out of the dock itself, so I do have to crawl under my desk and unplug it from there. Then, I can connect to wifi, and choose the free local Xfinity Wifi network, since I am an Xfinity customer. I also sort of lucked out geographically with this, because Xfinity Wifi is hopelessly useless almost everywhere, refusing to connect or stay connected -- except here. I get a strong signal that usually stays connected here by Myrtle Edwards Park.

So, when I came in today, the fucking Flickr page kept loading the status bar over and over but not loading the page, like it does pretty much every other day. That would prevent me from using photos from Thanksgiving in today's entry. Not going to work! But, I connected to Xfinity Wifi and the page loaded just fine. And I got the photos I wanted! And, as you likely expected, each of the three photos in this entry serve as links to the full Thanksgiving photo set on Flickr. I took 21 shots yesterday, to add to the 13 shots taken at last Friday's holiday feast at work (plus one shot at home on Wednesday evening) to make a total of 35 shots, making it my smallest Thanksgiving photo set since 2011, and the fourth-smallest since I started using a digital camera in 2003 (or the iPhone since 2008). I mean, those numbers are pretty meaningless, I realize. 35 photos is plenty, really.

The most we had at home at one time was 6, counting Shobhit and myself, as evidenced by the bottom photo in this entry. When I took that shot, right before Ev and her boyfriend Delvin left, Ivan was long gone. He came earlier in the day, and only for about forty minutes: his shift started at 2:00, and he arrived at about 1:10. But, we still had nearly all the food ready for him to eat, and he ate it happily. He might be the skinniest person I have ever known who can seriously put away large portions of food. I think he only eats maybe twice a day though so that probably makes a difference.

Anyway, that's him in the above photo. There's a lot about him that seems to be a lot different these days than in the first year or so that I knew him, one of which is how much more relaxed he seems about having his picture taken. Or maybe I just lucked out that he liked this one, which he complimented as soon as I showed it to him. He even asked, "Are you going to share that on Facebook?" in a tone that suggested he both expected and wated it. (And when I did post it as part of a four-photo collage last night, he was one of two people who clicked "love" instead of just "like" on it. The other one? Barbara -- who used to join us for Thanksgiving every year before both she and Shobhit moved away in 2010. Incidentally, I never thought about this until now, but I have no idea how Ivan would feel about Barbara, yet I am certain Barbara would love Ivan. Barbara loves pretty much all of my friends, though.)

Shobhit and I had spent much of the morning finishing up with food preparation, and I also vacuumed. Shobhit was able to offer Ivan all of the courses he had prepared to share, all of which are seen in the photo below except one: the "dahi bhalla papri" chaat he at first regarded as an appetizer but later realized was heavy enough it could just be considered the first course. So Shobhit assembled some of that for him first. The best way to describe it is that it's basically like an Indian version of nachos. Instead of tortilla chips, the thing all else is piled on top of is small crispy flat breads called papri, which Shobhit made from scratch and deep fried. They're round-ish and maybe twice the size of a silver dollar.

Then he piled on the nine other ingredients: bhalla (deep fried balls of lentil soaked in water, which he squeezes into crumbs and drops on the papri); boiled potatoes; boiled garbanzo beans; chopped onions; chopped tomato; sweet tamarind chutney; spicy cilantro and basil chutney; yogurt; and a spice mix sprinkled on top of that. It was really quite tasty, and actually Shobhit made me a plate of it around noon before Ivan even came by. But I wanted to save room for the rest of the dishes until everyone else arrived around 3:00.

So when Ivan was here, he was really the only one eating. Not that he seemed to mind. The other dishes he was served can also be seen in the spread in the photo below: bell peppers stuffed with chanterelle mushrooms, peas, onions and Beecher's cheese curd; shahi paneer (my favorite!) with rice (made with peas and coconut flakes as awlays) and layered parathas made from scratch. I helped Shobhit make ten of those between 2:00 and around 2:30, but Shobhit did make just one for Ivan while he was here. So, while he ate, Shobhit and I sat at the table on either side of him, which was how I got the above shot with Guru in Shobhit's lap. Guru kept getting on the table, which Ivan didn't mind until Guru started sniffing right at the food on Ivan's plate.

And for dessert, Ivan got one of the balls of gulab jamun -- the one thing Shobhit did not make from scratch; he used a boxed mix from India. But, he did gourmet it up a bit and add several of his own ingredients, including cardamom (an ingredient Ivan immediately identified by taste) and cashew nuts.

Ivan just ate his gulab jamun over the kitchen sink as he was headed out, although he did mention again how excited he is to be back -- he should be officially moved in tomorrow. He's been systematically bringing stuff over all week, though, and yesterday he put all his toiletries (or "beauty products" as he likes to call them) in his bathroom. And he fully expects that sooner than later it'll be the three of us living together instead of just him and me. He actually said, "Three gay men in a two-bedroom condo. What could go wrong?" We all acted amused by that when he jokingly said it but the more I think about it the more it sounds somewhat ominous to me. But maybe I'm reading too much into it.

11242016-13


Ev and her new boyfriend Delvin were the next to arrive. This was the first I had met him, and Ev had actually sort of warned me that sometimes he doesn't talk much and not to read much into it, it doesn't mean he's not having a good time. (I can relate, although I talk way more now than I used to in large social situations.) But, he was wearing a very cool hoodie with the Tim Burton-era Batman logo on it, and he asked me what my favorite movie is so that was a pretty damn effective conversation starter with me. I told him what my top ten favorites are! (At the top of which is, of course, my beloved Batman Returns -- a somewhat ironic all-time favorite these days since I am so sick of superhero movies and never want to go to them anymore. But Batman Returns was made when superhero movies were actually good.)

Sachin arrived not long after, and Shobhit went about making the chaat for everyone. I made drinks: Ev, true to form, was all about getting a margarita, and in the end I made roughly two margaritas for each of us. I plowed through the last of one tequila bottle and into maybe a third of the other, and am now nearly out of Triple Sec. Shobhit and I split a small, tall thin bottle of berry wine from Whidbey Island before everyone arrived (before Ivan arrived, even); and Sachin brought a bottle of chocolate wine that was so spectacular I probably consumed between a quarter and a third of that bottle. In other words, I had a lot of booze yesterday. It was pretty effectively spread out throughout the day though, so between that and taking two Aleve with a full glass of water before bed, I'm actually fine today.

Just like at work, I had no qualms with being first at the food line, so it wasn't long before I made myself the rest of the food. The only downside is how easy it is for stuff to get cold when you bake or cook it long beforehand, but everything was still delicious. Especially my favorite dish, the shahi paneer -- in fact that's the only dish that Shobhit makes pretty much every year that he still did this year. No garbanzo bean dish (aside from being part of the chaat) and no eggplant, which is his other signature dish. He wanted a different spread this year. But, I'm sure glad he still made the shahi paneer. I fucking love that shit. And there's a ton of leftovers so it's what I got for lunch today at work too.

Scott was going to offer me half of his "meals for two" Amy's frozen meal sample, but then he saw me pull my plate out of the microwave and said, "Well look at you, fancy pants!" That's right!

I very much scaled back my at-work snacking today, by the way. This morning I was up to 144 lbs. That's going in the wrong direction. Of course it's always expected during Thanksgiving weekend. Still, Shobhit was down almost a pound this morning! What the shit?

Oh but I need to finish telling you about last night. Danielle arrived a little after 6:00, having left the girls with their dad. She even brought containers for taking leftovers, which Shobhit had me text to her as a suggestion and she said she was already planning on it. So, between 6ish and 9ish was when there were six of us there: Ev and Delvin; Sachin; and Danielle, in addition to Shobhit and myself. It was a perfectly comfortable number of people to have in the condo, actually.

Ev started to get tired so she and Delvin were the first to leave. Danielle began talking about leaving but then decided on another plate of food. When she did leave, though, I had to walk her down to the garage to let her out, as we had the empty parking spot for her to park in. Sachin predictably stayed quite a while after everyone else left, allowing for them to further their political and economic discussions that bore everyone else. I spent some time in the bedroom while they talked, doing my editing and uploading and tagging of photos from the day. I still haven't captioned any of them, but I likely will soon.

It was a lovely Thanksgiving, as they all tend to be, really. It didn't make a huge difference that Shobhit came here instead of me flying to L.A., except for one key thing: I worked two of the three full days he was here, whereas Shobhit usually does not have two full shifts when I visit him there. But, it does happen sometimes. I suppose on average we still saw each other about as much as usual. Except for Thanksgiving visits, actually -- in the past we drove out of L.A. to Palm Springs (or, as in 2014, to Phoenix) and thus Shobhit couldn't do any work shifts if he wanted to. So actually I saw him about as much as any average month this visit, but way less of him than an average Thanksgiving visit. In all likelihood he'll be living at home again at this time next year. He's still considering driving all his stuff back next month, but as I keep telling everyone, he's been considering a move "next month" literally every month since July, so fuck knows if it'll actually happen. I suspect he may move home in January. If it's even later than that, I'll have to buy a plane ticket to visit him in L.A. again. And I am so done with L.A., I'd much rather he just drove him in January when I would otherwise have flown down to visit. But, we'll see.

He's on his flight back to L.A. as I type this. I'm seeing a movie with Laney tonight but as of yet have no major plans the rest of the weekend. I intend to put up all the Christmas decorations tomorrow. I need to find a Christmas stocking for Ivan; I can't imagine he kept the one I put up for him in 2014, considering when he moved out the first time neither of us had any inkling he'd wind up moving in again two years later. Last year I struggled to find the right kind for Tommy so it would match Shobhit's and mine -- this is very important! I wish I could remember where I finally found one. Maybe it was Rite-Aid, I should check there. Anyway! I do have plenty planned already the weekend of December 3; and then December 10 is when I go to Idaho to visit Mom and Bill -- so I do still have one more plane trip to take before the end of the year. Yippee.

Even more socializing already planned the weekend of December 17, and then Shobhit arrives for his Christmas and New Year's visit the 21st, a Wednesday. Christmas weekend in Olympia, and then New Year's Eve Dad and Sherri are actually coming up here. We'll all watch the Space Needle fireworks from the dry warmth of my new office, which I am very much looking forward to.

11242016-18

.
.

Tags:

positive energy please

Tags: ,

positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please
.
.
11182016-13


-- MMMCMLXXXVII --


I was thinking of taking myself to see a theatrical showing of Blade Runner last night, but then I decided I should maximize my time with Shobhit this week instead. I'm pretty sure I've seen Blade Runner in the theatre at least once before anyway, and also I can watch that whenever I want, even in the Braeburn Condos theatre if I want. Clearly it was not a pressing need.

Instead, I had a pretty busy evening, all with Shobhit. We did a pretty significant overhaul of the way things are organized in the kitchen -- changing things that literally had not been changed since we moved into the condo nine years ago. Shobhit suggested making the bottom shelf of the upper cupboards on the west wall of the kitchen basically the liquor cabinet, and although I usually resist his initiatives to make changes like this (he even though I might be mad), I actually liked this idea. I noted that when we moved in, we never had liquor in the house, so there was no need to do this at the time. And thinking about it now, this is way better than keeping liquor bottles on top of the refrigerator, which I stopped after dropping one onto the glass stove top and massively cracking it in the spring and having to pay several hundred dollars to get it replaced. After that, I kept liquor bottles in two different cupboards and on the west-wall counter. Now, instead of liquor mixers in one of the small cupboards directly above the stove, that space is filled with oils and vinegars, which makes a lot more logical sense anyway.

We had to move the height of the shelves in the west-wall cupboard to make this happen, though. And for that to happen, I had to grab a Philips screw driver and temporarily remove the cupboard doors, which we replaced after rearranging the cupboard contents. We're so butch!

Anyway, the lowest shelf divider was raised two notches to accommodate the height of all the liquor bottles, which are now on the bottom shelf instead of all along the counter. The shelf above that still has mugs, but the height of the shelf above that is now tighter; above that we have spices and a few other cups too tall for the shelf below it; and above that I moved all the margarita glasses that used to be on the upper open-air shelf to the left of that cupboard.

This is a riveting story, isn't it? Whatever, it's what we did last night! And it felt pretty productive and accomplished, actually. Mostly because of things like finally getting rid of newspaper liners that had literally been there for nine years, and replacing it with fresh paper towels. Also Shobhit found a lot of duplicated spices and peppers that could thus be consolidated into single containers, and we actually threw out a bunch of spice bottles thus rendered empty and useless. We created a lot of space, actually, and got a lot of clutter off the kitchen counter. It was a nice thing to finish.

We did that also somewhat to kill time because I had met Shobhit at Bartell Drugs on my walk home from work, and he'd just finished a dentist appointment where they put fluoride on his teeth and he couldn't eat for a couple of hours afterward. And then we decided we didn't want to cook dinner -- there will be plenty of that this week -- and went out for dinner instead. He had plundered the new Chinook Book earlier in the day and knew there was a coupon for Hopvine Pub, so we went there. I used my $5 off $25 coupon using the mobile app.

Hopvine always brings back memories of the snowstorms of 2008, when we found that place as one of few options on 15th to get something to eat as an antidote to the cabin fever I was feeling during the third snowfall within a week (for Seattle that's unheard of, and incidentally we've not seen anything even remotely like it since). We went there again just last April during my Birth Week. That memory from 2008 is one I am fond of so it makes me look at Hopvine with fondness, although they've really never been much more than adequate. Although, okay, the quesadilla we had last night was excellent. We also split a pita and artichoke dip dish though, and that was merely adequate. And also made for far too many calories, clearly: my weight was up slightly this morning. I should just expect and accept that this week though.

We went to three different stores for Thanksgiving Dinner shopping afterward, and it took way too fucking long: Safeway, then Trader Joe's, then Central Co-op. We padded our basket with stuff not immediately needed (but ultimately still useful) just so we could use the $5 off $25 Chinook Book coupon at Central Co-op. It's why I have my first quart of eggnog in the refrigerator for the year. Opening that and taking a bit of a chug felt like what I imagine alcoholics who fall off the wagon feel like when they have their first drink in years. Although for me it's only been a year, if you don't count the craptastic sample I had at work a month or so ago.

We're expecting five guests tomorrow, although it's unlikely there will be any more than three there at the same time: Shobhit's friend Sachin; Ev and her new boyfriend I'll be meeting for the first time; Ivan; and Danielle. Ivan works though and will likely come by around noon before heading to his swing shift; Danielle, if she comes (she better! I forgot my umbrella at her place on Sunday), will leave the kids at her mom's and then come in the evening.

Shobhit's making shahi paneer (my favorite!), stuffed bell peppers, some rather involved appetizer dish that I can't remember the name of, parathas, rice, and gulab jamoon, the only Indian dessert I really like. Many will be disappointed he's not making samosas but they'll live.

-- MMMCMLXXXVII --


11172016-02


-- MMMCMLXXXVII --


And now, I just had lunch with Karen -- and Shobhit! But at the requisite place, Six-Seven at the Edgewater Hotel.

Shobhit got there first, texting me at about 11:55 right when I was leaving the office. When I got there, he was sitting on one of the plush leather chairs right by the picture windows in the lounge area off the front lobby. I really thought he'd notice me, but I walked up behind him and stuck my face right next to his over his shoulder. Right then he started to look the other way though, so I blew on his cheek. And he jumped about a foot out of his chair. I felt bad, but also it was hilarious.

Karen texted me that she was parked, so we went outside to look for her. Then she texted that she was at a table. When we got into the restaurant she confessed that she had actually come in and used the bathroom before texting me that she had parked.

The restaurant was much busier than I expected, especially considering how unusually empty the hotel parking lot was outside.

And we proceeded to have a very pleasant lunch. Sterling, Shauna's youngest who now works there as a bus boy, said hi to me. He said hi to Shobhit too; I'm not sure he's seen Shobhit in person since he was a little kid, actually. Today after Sterling said hi, I started to think about how I'm still not used to my friends having grown children. Or at least, the ones whose children were super young when I first met them. To be fair, Shauna is one of the several friends I have who are much older than I am; she's . . . shit. 59? She's in her late fifties, in any case. As is Karen, as a matter of fact. Maybe she's mid-fifties. None of these people list their birth year on their Facebook profiles, which is very annoying. I can never remember all their ages. But Shauna, Karen, Laney and Sara W are all in their fifties. (Laney is definitely 59; I can always figure out her age because I have pictures from her 50th birthday party in 2007.)

Anyway! The guy who served us said, "You know Sterling?" and I said, "Yeah, her mom and I are longtime friends." I think that guy may be the manager there or something. He had a vague air of "boss" about him.

Shobhit and I split a lovely gyro, which they actually brought out on separate plates for us, which we really appreciated. We almost certainly got more of the potato chips as a result. It brought back memories of lunch with Karen at Portage Page Café because they used to do that for us all the time.

Then it was time to go; I walked back to the office, Karen rolled off to her car (she has always referred to it as "walking" even though she's in a wheelchair -- I wonder if that's common among all wheelchair users? I should ask her), and Shobhit left to go back home and get back to his characteristically involved preparations for dinner tomorrow. I'll probably be helping him deep fry some stuff when I get home tonight.

Somewhat to my surprise, Lori the Office Manager let me know the office is closing at 4:00 today. She said, "You can still work longer, the doors will just be locked." Work longer? HA HA HA HA! Fuck that.

-- MMMCMLXXXVII --


11182016-12

.
.
2 transmissions complete or positive energy please

Tags:

positive energy please
.
.
07232016-08


-- MMMCMLXXXVI --


Oh yeah did I mention Thanksgiving is this week? Not sure you realized.

The office is eerily empty. Or at least my end of it is. Every year, office staff is asked to work shifts in the stores the days leading up to Thanksgiving, because they get very busy. And every year, I get out of it. Even when, in the past, emails have been sent out saying that "all staff is expected to take a shift." I mean, I have keying deadlines that would get missed if I had to work in the stores! Do you want the December TPR prices to batch down or what?

That's a legitimate excuse that I could also work around if I really tried, and planned far enough ahead. In recent years I sort of resigned myself to the inevitability that one day I'll have to do this, much as I loathe the idea. Actually it probably wouldn't be as horrible as I have been imagining for years. I don't even imagine it to be that horrible anymore. I mean, shit. Bagging groceries isn't going to kill me. But! Stores also do need support from the office, at the very least one of us here -- and Kibby has been mysteriously out for several days and apparently to be out all this week. I don't know what Erica is doing but I haven't seen her around. I actually kind of am needed here. This seems to be what happens, every year: I luck out. I keep wondering when my luck is going to run out. I could ask that of my life broadly, actually. I've led a pretty damn charmed life for many years. How much is the Trump presidency going to threaten that, exactly? Only time will tell.

Okay I really went on a major tangent with that last bit. Reign it in, Matthew! I think it was sometime last week when, after I suddenly realized I was the only one in my department and I had no clue where the fuck everyone was, minutes later a bunch of them came back in a big wave -- they had clearly been having a meeting. I am almost never in full department meetings, because I don't need to be. I'm not one of the Big Decision Makers and I'm happy with that. Also: meetings are usually exercises in frustration and futility. Even in progressive spaces like this one. I mean, not always. But usually.

And when Helen, our Mercantile and Floral merchandiser, walked by, she said over the dividing wall between our cubicles, "Once again you escape the stores for the holidays!" I kind of want to ask someone to be more specific about how that conversation went, but I hesitate to bring it up and possibly change someone's mind about my obligations in this instance. This is my fifteenth Thanksgiving since being hired at PCC, and the fifteenth time I've gotten out of this thing that most store staff get kind of forced to do. Kevin told me just yesterday how he had taken his laptop to one of the stores last year to work on "my regular job" remotely, and that was apparently very much frowned upon "because I wasn't supporting the stores" by doing that. He even referenced not wanting to have to deal with the head of our department if he makes a similar misstep. And I'm left wondering: why am I the only one who apparently never gets shit for not working in the stores during Thanksgiving week?

Maybe it's just a mix of the fact that I don't own a car and thus traveling between stores actually is more burdensome for me, and I really do have obligations that tie me to the office most years. And whether I'm meeting deadlines or not, stores still need someone here to help them out if they have pricing issues at the store level that need to be addressed at the central office. Whatever the case, I guess if I have anything to be thankful for, it's that I've managed a decade and a half of getting out of store shifts.

The only people in my end of the building this morning have been Chris, the Merchandising Pricing Manager, and myself.

-- MMMCMLXXXVI --


11202016-03


-- MMMCMLXXXVI --


Shobhit's here! I actually just had lunch with him here at the office. I brought two containers of leftover pasta from the batch I made on Sunday evening to work yesterday, so he wouldn't eat it if I had it at home last night. I also doused his with cayenne powder so he'd know I would never eat it and it would get wasted if he didn't come and have lunch with me at work today.

He walked here from home, and I first gave him the tour of the office. We went to the north end and worked our way back. Most office people are out at the stores this week but Mimi was here and she got up and gave him a hug. Marianne said hi to him. And in the kitchen, Shobhit thought he'd never met Claudia before but Claudia said she'd met him before. I really can't remember when that happened. "He had long hair," she said, which means it was within the past couple of years.

He made himself an espresso using our espresso machine. He was pretty excited to get a free cup. We sat at one of the tables in the dining area to eat our pasta, something I rarely do but have now done three times in the past week (once with Mimi and once for the Thanksgiving feast on Friday).

Shobhit got to town last night, though, and I took Light Rail down to meet him right after meeting with Laney for our monthly Happy Hour. I wound up timing it perfectly so that he was walking toward the escalators at SeaTac Station just as I was getting off them.

But before that, Laney and I met at 5:30 at Bait Shop, which used to have these delicious corn on the cob appetizers with cheese on them. But they don't serve that anymore, even though it's still on the menu. Same for one of the drinks I tried to order on tap, which was now replaced with a blackberry daiquiri, which I had two of and was just okay. I don't need to go back to Bait Shop again, to be honest. I used to think I would for that corn on the cob but now the bastards don't have it.

But! Laney and I still shared a basket of fries and some chips and salsa as we chatted and drank. I talked to her right after we left and before she turned to head back to her place how we spend so much time together and really never run out of things to talk about. That doesn't happen with everyone. I really like that about spending time with her.

Our server was pretty awesome in being a good sport about my odd request to take our photo through the window from outside for our monthly Happy Hour photo that I was to use to check in on social media. She did have to wait to do it until we got our check as she was too busy until then, but she did do it. She took three shots and the third one was the best, as it was the only one showing both of our eyes and both of our smiling mouths through the blinds. The photo shows a lot of reflection of lights and cars and stuff on the street but it makes for kind of a cool effect, as you can see below.

-- MMMCMLXXXVI --


11212016-01

.
.
positive energy please