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Weekend Review Revue Deux - The Literary Exhibitionist
machupicchu
machupicchu
Weekend Review Revue Deux
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01022017-02


-- चार हजार और साठ-छह --


Shobhit and I took Friday evening to catch up on television -- only to discover several shows didn't even have episodes to catch up on last week. So there wasn't actually that much to catch up on. But, as I recall, that's basically what we did. And I think we worked a bit on a New York Times crossword.

-- चार हजार और साठ-छह --


Saturday was a much busier day. I had considered taking myself to a movie that day, but that got pre-empted by a semi-spontaneous decision to go down to Danielle's for dinner. And even before that, right after Ivan got out of bed -- typically at around 11 a.m. -- we spent most of the afternoon watching The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

We had all watched The Fellowship of the Ring the previous weekend. Oh! I almost forgot to mention, earlier in the morning on Saturday, Shobhit and I went grocery shopping. Not nearly as many stops this time as the previous grocery shop Saturday, now only to PCC Greenlake Village and then to the Asian grocery store in the International District. We got back and were about finished putting the groceries away when Ivan was headed to his bathroom and I told him: "We can either watch The Two Towers tomorrow or we can watch it today, but if it's today we'll have to start, like, within the next few minutes." After asking why and I said we were going to Danielle's for dinner, he said, "Well, I guess we can watch it now."

I had seen him briefly on Friday night, actually, because I was up slightly later than usual and thus saw him for a few minutes after he got home from work. I was trying to grab the cats to take them to bed but Ivan was rather chatty, asking me how my day was. And then he even seemed to have his entire weekend plan largely predicated on what he'd be doing with me: "So what's the agenda this weekend?" And he mentioned both Lord of the Rings and the movie we had planned to go see on Sunday, as well as pho' for dinner after that.

Somehow the conversation shifted to politics, and whenever that happens within a fifty mile radius of Shobhit, I think his head perks up like a prairie dog on a hill, looking around to see where it might be coming from -- and then he makes a beeline for it. So, he came out and basically hijacked the conversation, in almost no time turning it into the same civics lesson he's given us all multiple times already. I soon went to bed after that, as I quickly tire of those conversations, especially when they wind up featuring the same talking points I've already heard over and over again.

So anyway, back to Saturday. By about 11:15, I had started The Two Towers. It may be a while before we all have time to sit down and watch The Return of the King -- probably Sunday the 9th at the soonest -- as Ivan is taking a personal min-vacation next weekend and will be on the Oregon Coast. I even said to him last night before going to bed, "I probably won't see you before you leave so have a nice trip!" And he said, "Oh no!", which was sort of touching.

I feel like I often forget, for some reason, how much I really like The Two Towers. I always regard it as my least favorite of the trilogy, but I went back to what I wrote about it in this very journal after seeing it three times in its original run in late 2002 and early 2003 -- I found it slightly uneven the very first time I watched it, but increasingly loved it with each subsequent viewing. And this time, honestly, I quite enjoyed it more than I did The Fellowship of the Ring. I'm not sure why. I'm sure I'll still regard Return of the King as by far the best -- I always have -- but we won't get to that for another couple of weeks.

-- चार हजार और साठ-छह --


We had maybe an hour to get ready to go, after the movie ended. Danielle had texted me in the morning to see if I was busy that day. Patrick had the girls for the weekend, and she had fixings for making pizza at home, which she had originally intended to do with the girls but never got around to it. I had a show to go to at 8:00, but as long as we got back to Seattle by then, then we decided, sure! It was a good way to hang out without having to spend any money. Or not much, anyway: Danielle did ask us to bring a zucchini so we bought one while shopping. We also chopped up several other vegetables and packed them in ziplock bags, including gross ones Shobhit chose to put on his pizza: bitter gourd and okra.

So that's how I got some social time in with Danielle over the weekend, relatively unexpectedly -- also getting Shobhit and unplanned point for the next Social Review. I love Danielle's kids but it was kind of nice, actually, to hang out down there at her house, just the three of us. We got there at around 4:00 and were there roughly three hours. To my surprise, Shobhit actually managed to convince her to create an account on OKCupid. She got some creeper messages almost immediately so we'll see how well that turns out. She was continuing to text me about it while Shobhit and I were driving back to Seattle.

The pizzas were quite good, by the way. She has a stone thing that she stuck into her oven, to cook the pizzas on -- first mine and hers; then Shobhit's, for which he rolled the dough so thin that he wound up having to fold it over to make a sort of calzone out of it. He really piled his high with vegetables, which always makes him pretty proud of himself. Danielle had gotten dough from Trader Joe's, which was actually pretty good. We may consider buying some ourselves now. We didn't even know they sold it.

-- चार हजार और साठ-छह --


02112017-01


-- चार हजार और साठ-छह --


Shobhit dropped me off at The Moore Theatre when we got back into Seattle on Saturday night, as I had my one ticket to see Marc Maron's standup show. It's definitely for the best that Shobhit did not come with me to that; he would absolutely not have found it worth the money. Evan might have joined me, except she can never plan far enough in advance to know if she'll be available, when I need to buy the ticket. So, I just went by myself.

And I would say it was worth the money -- barely. The opening act was not great at all. You'd think that his having grown up second-generation Indian in Bellevue might make him more interesting to me, but, nope. He just wasn't that funny. And there was an unfortunate incident in which an audience member shouted "Go back to Bellevue!" and the context was actually racist -- because it was in the middle of a bit that had to do with how many Indian people live on the Eastside. (His dad worked for Microsoft, and, apparently, was actually on the team that helped create Excel -- that was by far the most interesting thing he told us.)

In somewhat the same vein, later in Marc's act there was a woman who kept shouting things out at him, and he snapped and actually shouted at her, "Why don't you shut the fuck up?" He came across as genuinely angry, for about a minute. He salvaged the moment with real skill as a comedian, and the audience totally ate it up, clearly being very familiar with the anger issues he regularly discusses on his podcast. It was actually a pretty interesting thing, and relatively impressive, to witness. Maron is clearly a seasoned comedian who knows what he's doing, and also how effectively to get his prepared material back on track after several distractions from the audience. I was a little embarrassed by the few people arguably making the rest of Seattle look bad, but then, he also has a clear understanding that these few people don't represent the rest of us.

Anyway, the biggest reason I bought the ticket to Marc Maron was because he's been saying for a while that he's going to take a break from touring after this, so I felt like this might be the last chance to see him live for the foreseeable future. I honestly suspect the Patton Oswalt show at the Paramount the night before was better, but this one was still good. And besides, I believe both these tours have at least one date set for a taping to become a standup special sometime soon.

-- चार हजार और साठ-छह --


I made blueberry pancakes for brunch for Shobhit and me yesterday. I was happy to be awake early enough both to get ready and make the pancakes before Shobhit even got out of bed. He never actually reads directions on baking mix boxes, which is crazy making. I do, though, so these pancakes turned out much more to my liking. And Shobhit seemed to rather like getting his brunch made for him. I don't do that for him nearly as often as he does it for me.

We spent quite a long time on Sunday working on crossword puzzles. Later in the evening Ivan even asked us, "Why are you guys always doing crossword puzzles?" I just said, "It gives us something to do together." Also, I paid to subscribe to it online, so we might as well get our money's worth. We often find ourselves asking Ivan if he knows answers to certain things.

We wound up watching another movie with Ivan on Sunday, actually: this one Soylent Green. I can't remember how it came up a couple of weeks ago, but Ivan had never seen it, and after I told him about the plot twist (spoiler alert! Soylent Green is people!), he almost immediately added it to his Netflix queue. It made sense to be right up his alley, because he regularly talks about how overpopulation is the ultimate source of all the world's greatest problems. And he seemed intrigued by the whole cannibalistic twist to the movie (which was not part of the novel on which it's based). He started pulling the blinds in the living room yesterday afternoon, and when I asked him why, he said he was about to watch that movie -- presumably on his laptop. But Shobhit and I were both interested in watching it too, so we all watched it on our TV.

We had to watch it in two segments, though, because Ivan was sitting down to watch with only a little over an hour before we needed to leave for the movie we went to see. We took the bus down to Seattle Center to see the Polish film The Lure at the SIFF Film Center. Ivan had said after seeing the trailer at another movie we saw together weeks ago that he wanted to see that, which did not surprise me at all.

When we walked into the theatre, and even in the very row that Ivan chose to sit in . . . holy shit, there were Evan and Elden! So, we sat right next to them. We even wound up riding the bus with them back up to Capitol Hill afterward. Bonus Social Review points for Evan and Elden! It even resulted in us making two other plans for movie watching in the future. I guess I don't have to worry anymore about when I stuck my foot in my mouth about her birth name when we were at Veggie Grill last month -- in a bad enough way that I messaged her an apology later. I kept worrying that she would not want to hang out with me much after that, but I guess I was worrying needlessly (which is pretty much always the case with worry).

Anyway, I had thought The Lure might be good . . . but it really wasn't. Ivan liked it okay. He basically understood my complaints about it (it started off promising by the quality waned quickly -- both the music and the plot), but didn’t hate it. Evan quite enjoyed it. But that was hardly surprising; she almost never hates any movie she sees. I thought I was going to give it a solid C but wound up giving it a C+. It did have relatively impressive special effects. Redeeming qualities, people! I like to acknowledge them. Still, note to people who think I give good grades too often: that's two C-pluses in under one month! So there.

When Evan and Elden parted ways with us after getting off the bus on Broadway, Ivan and I went to have pho' for dinner. That place on Broadway is maybe so cheap because their service is reliably terrible. We wait too long to get our order taken, then too long to get our check. But the pho' is very good, especially when I can get a bowl of it for $5.95 (before tax and tip, which took it to $7.24). Ivan always gets the large bowl, and that's only a couple dollars more, and I could have eaten that size, but never feel like I need to. Also I just love being able to get a meal so cheap at any restaurant.

I had hoped to be finished before 9:00, but we barely missed it -- only because of that terrible service, really. Okay, a little bit that Ivan took longer to finish, but I'm not blaming him for that; he had at least 50% more volume to consume than I did.

In any case, I had hoped to get back to Everyday Music before they closed at 9, because earlier in the day I had taken five tote bags full of CDs to sell to them -- I took the vast majority of them, aside from Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, and several late-career Prince albums that aren't available on iTunes so I want to keep them as backups. A couple Pet Shop Boys for the same reason. Fuck! Except I wanted to keep Alternative, their first B-sides collection, which I just now realized I forgot to take out to save. Oops. Oh well, I still have the tracks ripped to my computer so whatever.

Shobhit bought me my first iPod for Christmas 2006, which means he has been trying to get me to get rid of my CDs for literally more than a decade. When I went to start collecting them into bags, so I'll have room in that cabinet to transfer some books from the very over-stuffed book shelf, I said, "You're going to love me for this." He was very excited. I was always leery of getting rid of those CDs, but lately I realized: I literally haven't touched 99% of them in years. I am now considering getting a second external hard drive to put an extra backup of the ripped mp3 files onto, though. I have slight concerns about no longer having backups of all my pre-2006 purchased CDs (anything I purchased through iTunes since, if something happens to the files, I can get re-downloaded because Apple has a record of my having purchased them), but I don't lose sleep over it.

Given how few people still buy CDs, I was not expecting much from Everyday Music for them -- even though their collective original value was well into the thousands of dollars, I'm sure. I told Shobhit I felt like I would be lucky to get twenty bucks for them all.

And I wasn't particularly encouraged when, after bringing the five tote bags into the store, a guy looked at me and said, "We're experiencing a large volume of buys right now, so we'll take these but will have to call you back" with what they're willing to pay for them. He seemed really to want to lower my expectations. But then, to my surprise, I checked a voice mail left for me while I was out with Ivan, and was truly shocked to hear that they had $110 waiting for me. Okay, well, that may be a small fraction of what I originally paid for them (a point clearly mitigated by the fact that I now have every one of their tracks on my computer), but it was still five and a half times the amount I thought was my best hope! I was fucking thrilled.

I hadn't answered the phone when the call first came because it said it was from Oakland. Then the voice mail said their phones were down so I couldn't call back. I won't be able to go and collect my cash until later this evening, after Shobhit and I see an early showing of a movie at Sundance Cinemas. And then I'll get my cash and also all my tote bags back.

So, instead of being able to stop at Everyday Music last night, Ivan and I walked home together -- or sort of together, as he always bounds ahead. It's like his calling card, skipping ahead. He already walks faster than I do by virtue of being taller and thus having longer legs, and then he also likes to run and sometimes skip ahead several steps before slowing down and then walking several paces ahead. And sometimes stopping to turn around and look back briefly, then about-face and keep walking again.

We then finished Soylent Green, before I went to write my movie review for The Lure. We were all kind of amused by that 1973 vision of the future so devoid of actual technological advances. Shobhit even commented on it. People in 1973 clearly had no clue what the future would actually look like. Except the stuff about the greenhouse effect and pollution and food rationing and overpopulation -- all those references, Ivan said more than once, "That's where we're headed."

-- चार हजार और साठ-छह --


01012017-41

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positive energy please