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weekend ketchup - The Literary Exhibitionist
machupicchu
machupicchu
weekend ketchup
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08132016-10


-- चार हजार और साठ-एक --


Once again, I went the whole weekend without updating and now I can barely remember what I did on Friday evening -- but then it came to me! I watched the latest DVD title from Netflix with Shobhit, The Money Pit, the 1986 film starring Tom Hanks and Shelly Long. I don't know what made me add it to my queue; I just remember really enjoying it as a kid in the eighties and I'm not sure I had seen it since. Based on what I remembered, though, I figured Shobhit would enjoy it -- and I was right. He got a good amount of laughs out of it. I don't think either of us would call it Great Cinema or will feel the need to watch it again any time soon, but it gave us something fun to do on a Friday night without having to spend any money.

-- चार हजार और साठ-एक --


Saturday was a bit of a different story, as far as the money goes. First, Shobhit and I took a walk together to the library so he could return a book, and we also went to Starbucks so he could get points on his Starbucks app. He finally downloaded that a few weeks ago and now he's a little obsessed with using it. "It's obviously working on you," I said, referring to the points system on the app getting him to spend money more frequently at Starbucks. He's spent something like $80 using it already.

And then, the late afternoon and evening turned out a bit different than expected, and it was my fault, really. Ivan brought up seeing Beauty and the Beast a couple of weeks ago, and it opened this weekend -- to huge numbers, which I was not well-informed enough to expect. I had chosen the 4:20 showing, and told Ivan we should leave to walk down to the Meridian 16 theatre no later than 3:50. We left at about 3:45. Shobhit came with us, which Ivan clearly wasn't expecting, considering how surprised he was when he got ready to leave when we did. He really should have expected that, but whatever.

But when we got to the ticket counter, the 4:20 show was sold out. So was the next showing, and every show after that clear until after 9:00 was so close to sold out they told us there would only be front row seats. In retrospect, that makes no sense: these are not reserved seats, so if we got tickets to an earlier show we could have just gone to get our seats early. Although we probably wouldn't have managed that either. In any case, seeing Beauty and the Beast this weekend clearly wasn't happening.

We all briefly considered seeing a different movie, but none of the other options at either the Meridian or Pacific Place appealed to all three of us (and any of the ones that might appeal to me, aside from Logan, which I am seeing tonight, I had already seen). Shobhit then suggested we just go walk through the Market for a bit, and then come back and have an early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, at a time when the wait time would likely to be less. "I wouldn't say no to that!" Ivan said, clearly at least moderately excited by the idea of dining at The Cheesecake Factory, which he's talked about before and I have always found odd.

I have also mentioned to Ivan that I have probably eaten at this Cheesecake Factory more times than any other restaurant. When I was singing in the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus between 2000 and 2004, a bunch of us went there after rehearsal most Tuesdays. (Longtime readers of this journal may remember what I used to call the Ho-Fish Round Ups.) I very rarely eat there anymore, though, as so many other restaurants are far better; the Cheesecake Factory can be a challenge just to get a seat and the food is not often worth the challenge. The entrees we had on Saturday certainly did nothing to change that.

I had to look up the last time I had eaten there. As it happens, I had brunch with Susan in mid-October, 2011. Hmm, at the time I called that meal "stupendous," so I guess eating there is a bit of a crapshoot. Maybe brunch is just generally better? I left on Saturday evening thinking I was good for another five and a half years, but maybe I'd try brunch again.

One of the (legitimate, in my view) criticisms of The Cheesecake Factory is how massive their menu is -- they do so many things, they can't possibly do any one of them particularly well. (I guess they did in 2011, though.) That's a shortsighted way of looking at it, though. Ivan ordered a slice of carrot cake cheesecake for dessert and enthusiastically encouraged Shobhit and me to share it with him. And that dessert, in fact, was better than everything else I had put together. It was excellent. Shobhit said it was just "pretty good," but Ivan and I were both very impressed with it.

As for the food, I ordered the "Evelyn's Favorite Pasta," which had ingredients -- including pine nuts and Kalamata olives -- that gave me the expectation of something really flavorful. Shobhit and I shared it. It was almost shockingly bland. Shobhit and I both had cocktails; he ordered a Long Island Iced Tea and I had a Piña Colada. The Piña Colada was all right, relatively strong, not the best I ever had but far from the worst.

Curiously, in spite of how massive that menu is, Ivan ordered exactly the same thing I did, aside from dessert (which I did not order): the Evelyn's Favorite Pasta and the Piña Colada. We have really similar tastes, I guess. He had no complaints about his pasta, but neither was he particularly complimentary. He rarely is about anything anyway. If I had asked he probably would have just called it "perfectly palatable," an oft-used, favorite phrase of his.

Anyway, the wait to be seated was barely ten minutes, clearly because we got back there at about 5:15. I had considered seeing if the wait was too long after the movie ended at around 6:30 and I'm sure the wait would have been far longer by then. When we were walking to Pike Place Market I felt a little bad about it, and I even said, "I guess this is my fault." Ivan nudged me with his elbow and said, "Well I wasn't going to say anything, Matthew." So I said, "Well, I'm sorry." He said it's all right, and we made tentative plans to try Beauty and the Beast again on Wednesday, when he's thinking of taking a day off work since he picked up an extra shift on Sunday.

Ivan was pretty stoic on our time-killing walk over to Pike Place, which included going to Shobhit's favorite spot at Victor Steinbrueck Park. Ivan must have liked the spot too, as he took a couple of selfies there with the waterfront and Seattle Great Wheel behind him. It wasn't even the first picture he'd had taken there either -- on our walk downtown, as we passed Plymouth Pillars Park, he suddenly asked me to take his picture there, standing amongst the pillars. I took nine, all of which I texted to him; and I kept two. They were the first photos I'd gotten of him since Thanksgiving, which made me happy to have a new one to use in the Social Review I'll be posting tomorrow morning.

(I never have any problem using a new photo of Shobhit, or Laney usually. I did realize while working on the draft yesterday that I really need a new photo of Karen. I've been having to use my most recent shot of her since it was taken at one of my Birth Week Indian Feasts two years ago. Gabriel is also a challenge on that front, but with him it's for all sorts of convoluted reasons.)

Anyway! After dinner we all walked back home, and at Ivan's suggestion, we started on something else we've talked about for a while but had not yet done: since we didn't see the other movie, we went home and watched The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. My boxed set is only of the director's cuts, and that one's three and a half hours, but getting it started soon after 7:00, we barely had enough time. I can't really complain about how much of the time he spent on his phone, though, because I was on my phone a fair amount of the time too. We'd all seen this movie several times before, after all. And the third one is by far the best one anyway; I'll probably pay closer attention once we get around to watching that one.

-- चार हजार और साठ-एक --


08132016-12


-- चार हजार और साठ-एक --


Yesterday was much more laid back, generally speaking. A couple of hours before Ivan left for the extra shift he worked, I put on Minority Report, one of my favorite Spielberg movies. I decided to watch it because I've been listening to this podcast called Blank Check, about directors who had such huge successes they have been given a "blank check" to follow up with making a movie however the hell they wanted -- and Spielberg has had more of these opportunities than any other director, prompting this podcast to a miniseries of his films. These included The Lost World: Jurassic Park; A.I., one I often come back to even though it's imperfect (and I added that to my Netflix queue; it's not available streaming anywhere); and Minority Report. There were others but those were the only three episodes I chose to listen to. I quite enjoyed their discussion of Minority Report -- an interesting movie to watch since it's set in 2054 but was made fifteen years ago -- and it happened to be available on HBO Go.

Then, after thinking we would be walking, Shobhit wanted to save time and drive down to my work office so he could print out a few tax documents. He finally got done with the process and submitted our taxes last night. But since we had the car down by the office, we made the spontaneous decision to drive up to Ballard and see if we could use a Chinook Book coupon to get a snack, and get him his point on the Social Review (his obsession over which is beyond pointless at this point, as you'll see tomorrow how insanely high his points are compared to Laney's, who will be predictably -- no spoilers here -- #2).

After a few minutes trying to find a place to park, we passed by a coffee shop called Toast Ballard, which, if you're ever in Ballard, I can't recommend enough. I had seen it in the Chinook Book app, and they had a 2-for-1 drink coupon. I had a chai tea, which turned out to be excellent. And Shobhit and I shared the veggie sandwich that they make on an in-house made cheddar and chive scone, which was delicious. I was very impressed.

We then walked around the business area of Ballard, just a couple of blocks away, and Shobhit even got a shirt and a pair of jeans at the Buffalo Exchange. And then we drove back home, and Shobhit eventually finally got the taxes done. He needed to be undistracted and so I watched an episode of Baskets in the bedroom, and also put the sheets I washed back on the bed. I bided my time on my computer for a bit before he finished his taxes and I could watch this week's episode of Big Little Lies and then we could watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and then we could work on the day's New York Times crosswork puzzle. And then it was time for bed.

-- चार हजार और साठ-एक --


Hmm, this is interesting. LiveJournal is downloading on my work's network again, without me having to switch to Xfinity wifi! This hasn't happened in ages. Maybe LiveJournal ownership-based Russia hacked into our network. Maybe Russia is actually good for something! Okay, they actually are; it's where vodka comes from, after all. I still can't support them with a clear conscience. So, I just continue using LiveJournal with a muddled conscience. And the pages are loading today, hooray!

-- चार हजार और साठ-एक --


08232016-03

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positive energy please