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Birth Week 2017, Day Seven - The Literary Exhibitionist
machupicchu
machupicchu
Birth Week 2017, Day Seven
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04272017-09



I tend to average 7 to 8 days for my Birth Week, but here I am writing about this year's seventh day, and I still have three to go! People often joke that I shouldn't stop at celebrating a Birth Week, why not the whole month? I'm always basically like, well -- even I have to draw the line somewhere. I am beginning to wonder, though, if ten days is pushing it. ...HAHAHA! Of course it isn't. After all, when I take the five work days off of work, and then you add the two weekend days on either end, that alone makes nine days -- which I did indeed stretch my Birth Week out to in 2007. In other years, I'd say I just didn't have enough people to fill out ten days with. This year, I guess I do (and that's even without two people I really wanted to include). This probably would still be only 9 days this year if not for both that we did dinner with Danielle on Friday last week after I got off work, and the fact that Sunday, the final day in this stretch, is my actual birthday.

So back to yesterday. After taking the ferry back from Bremerton, the final leg of my return home from staying the night with Jennifer, and editing and uploading photos, the first order of business was lunch with Stephanie. This made my 12th consecutive year of Birth Week activities with her (plus the first one in 2004; for some reason she skipped 2005, which was the year I went with Gabriel and a few other friends to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), in my mind made all the more impressive given that it survived her and Gabriel's separation in 2010.

It's become a bit of a Birth Week tradition with Stephanie to have lunch at Fare Start, a restaurant she loves, with a mission she really believes in (the train homeless people to get job skills and re-enter the work force), which is just a couple blocks walk from where she works downtown. We've now had our Birth Week lunch there in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017. She just had too much already scheduled during the week in 2015 and 2016 and so we got together during one of the weekends. But! She happily scheduled our lunch for next year while we were still at the table, which delighted me -- and made her next year's earliest scheduler for my Birth Week (beating Dad, and even Auntie Rose, both of whom often schedule with me many months in advance).

And, when we talked about how much we both love to schedule things far in advance, and I said I liked the idea of seeing her more than once a year (although I did see her at least twice last year; she reminded me I saw her at Trans Pride, which was in June), we even scheduled a dinner at Bamboo Garden . . . on July 20.

Otherwise, we talked a lot about ways she could help Shobhit find a job, though networking and her very astute idea of finding places for him to volunteer at to put something both impressive and relevant as something recent on his resume, to help with the seven-year gap of the type of work he's looking for, which has so far been a deterrent for prospective employers. Once this came up, it was like an engine in her brain started revving. She was almost wired. Her type A personality aspects kicked into high gear -- and, I felt, were helpful. It seemed like Shobhit appreciated it too. In any case, she's going to introduce him to people she knows both at the gender conference she and Gabriel take Tess to every year, and also a lesbian friend of hers undergoing a campaign running for City Council. Shobhit was all about that one because he's interested in getting into politics, something I have mixed feelings about at best (in my opinion, Shobhit has some radical views that would be so wildly unpopular they arguably make him unfit for office), but whatever. He certainly needs something to do, if nothing else.

04272017-16


Shobhit and I walked back home, and I had just a few hours to kill before leaving again, to meet with Claudia from work for drinks. When I was under the impression that Claudia's boyfriend Dylan would be joining us, I basically convinced Shobhit to come. Then Claudia messaged me that it was going to be just her, so Shobhit bowed out to save money. And it was just Claudia and me for maybe 2/3 of the nearly three hours I was there, but Dylan ended up coming later.

Claudia has a friend whose name I forget who works as a bartender at Aqua on the waterfront, so we sat at the bar and canceled the table for two that I had reserved. This proved the better choice for two reasons: the bartender friend told great stories, including one about when Usher came into the restaurant three years ago, and he also kept bringing sampler stuff for us that he did not put on our bill: a plate each of three small sampler appetizers that were excellent, especially the spectacular cracker with Beecher's cheese curd and raspberry jam on it; a couple tastes of a particular type of gin for Claudia; a tiny glass each of a very dark wine that tasted, just as he said it would, like liquid fig newtons; and even a full order of the best pudding I have ever had, so good I almost fell off my bar stool, on a plate with Happy Birthday written on it in chocolate. The guy playing piano in the bar even slipped into the "Happy Birthday" tune when the plate was presented to me with a lit candle stuck into the ice cream on top, and the pianist gave me a little wave when I laughed and looked back at him.

I guess this friend lived in New Orleans at the same time Claudia did, although they did not know each other but apparently did work at the same place at the same time. Something about her probably at some point telling him here to hang flyers. I have no idea what brought that guy out to Seattle, but Claudia had to leave because she was displaced by Hurricane Katrina when she was pregnant with her son.

I really didn't expect to spend nearly three hours at this place, but that we did. Part of the extended time was probably Dylan arriving in the final hour and going ahead and having a couple drinks of his own. We met at 5:45, so Claudia could just walk over from the PCC office -- which, by the way, you could see right across the water (since Aqua is halfway out on Pier 70, the northernmost pier in downtown Seattle, thus overlooking a bit of water, then Myrtle Edwards Park, then the buildings that 3131 Elliott is part of). I think it was about 8:30 when we finally left. Claudia was delighted to learn a lot from me during our extensive discussion, including my years of experiences at bathhouses and, as she wanted to know, how they work.

I really thought I would eat less than I did yesterday, but then Claudia ordered the side of fries and we had those drinks -- oh, the bartender made me a Mai Tai, which he had apparently made for Usher, and he told me after I said to him that it maybe the best Mai Tai I've ever had, that Usher told him it was the best Mai Tai he'd ever had (he just mentioned this in passing in the middle of his long story about when Usher was there). I'd love to go back to this place; I had never been there before. It was pretty upscale (and there I was, in a T-short that read MIXED NUTS) so any time back will probably be a relatively hefty bill. Since the bartender friend charged us only for the drinks, Claudia picked up the tab, which stunned me at first but then she said we were only charged for the drinks and so I felt better. I still really appreciated it though.

I caught a bus home; by that point it was pretty cold, after a surprisingly warm and sunny(ish) day. I tried to work on the crossword with Shobhit but, after being up late the previous two nights and still waking up rather early, I zonked out by 10:30. So this time, although I still woke up around 6:30, at least I got a solid eight hours of sleep, which is very rare.

04272017-23


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