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♪ this is a story about control... - The Literary Exhibitionist
machupicchu
machupicchu
♪ this is a story about control...
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04262017-03


-- चार हजार और अस्सी-सात --


Back to the regular routine of not bothering to post a regular update over the weekend, although I did go out with two friends, one on Friday and one on Saturday . . .

Laney had still not seen Get Out, and I told her I would be more than willing to see it a second time. So, on Friday evening, we met at the Capitol Hill Light Rail station and went downtown to see it at the Meridian.

Laney was duly impressed. I, on the other hand, was even more impressed than I was the first time around. I still stand by the A- that I initially gave it, but there is a greater depth of appreciation that comes from repeat viewings, now armed with information not fully revealed until the end of the first viewing. It makes the performances in particular border on amazing, especially with three supporting actors who, it turns out, are black actors playing white people making awkward attempts at being black people. That will only make sense if you see the movie, really, but the second viewing had a lot of "Ohhh!" revelatory thought processes from me. I went to far as to say to Laney, as the credits rolled, that I think it stands alongside the classic horror movies of the 1970s.

Get Out is far from horror just for horror's sake -- it has many layers, some of which are only fully uncovered with repeat viewings. Its story structure is damn near perfect. And as much as I hate jump-scares, I was impressed the movie managed to get me even on that level the second time around. (It probably wouldn't on a third.) It also offers a perfect amount of levity, with a sprinkling of really great humor here and there.

-- चार हजार और अस्सी-सात --


Ivan is apparently in the middle of a book called First They Killed My Father, a book about one woman's childhood experience with Cambodia's Khmer Rouge -- a truly horrific bit of shockingly recent (from the 1970s) history that I knew nothing about. But I bring it up here only because it was the impetus for Ivan messaging me on Monday last week, with characteristic suddenness about something he tells me he wants to do that comes, to me, right out of left field: Well I want to have dinner at a Cambodian restaurant.

I was just like, Hmm okay. And then, after telling me he had always wanted to and is now reading that book "so now I have to," he asked me when and where -- as though he can't look that up himself? Well, whatever; any excuse to get his numbers up on the next Social Review I'm pretty much going to go for (he had a record high position of #3 and a record number of 7 points / 7 days of socializing for the winter quarter; with this dinner he's already at 5 points for the spring quarter), so I found the one Southeast Asian place on Yelp that was specifically listed as Cambodian. It's a place in the International District called Phnom Penh Noodle House -- Phnom Peng being also the name of the Cambodian capitol, where the author of the aforementioned book spent part of her childhood.

At first it seemed Shobhit might join us, but he refused to believe the place could be reliably vegetarian, in spite of their having a specifically vegetarian page on their menu -- but, they do have what turned out to be a typo, including shrimp as one of the ingredients in the first item on the vegetarian page of their wesbite. Because Asian and Mexican places often use fish sauces or meat broths as bases for their otherwise vegetarian dishes, this convinced Shobhit it wasn't worth the risk, so he opted out, and Ivan and I walked the 1.6 miles down there by ourselves.

Again, whatever: I like to get Ivan to myself every once in a while anyway. Still, I did ask the waitress once we got there, and she assured me that the vegetarian meals were made without any kind of meat or seafood broth or base. And on the physical menu at the restaurant, that shrimp ingredient is not listed on that same menu item. It's clearly a mistake someone made on the website.

That said, both Ivan and I pretty much agreed that the dinner was fairly unremarkable. When Shobhit later asked if it was worth it, Ivan still said, "Well of course it was! I had to try Cambodian food." And I'd basically say the same thing; it was worth going that one time -- I have no particular desire to go back, however. Ivan's dish was a noodle soup very much like pho'; just much yellower. He allowed me to taste it, and it did taste quite a bit different but was otherwise identical in style. I had what amounted to a fried rice dish with vegetables and scrambled eggs in it, which could have used way more vegetables (my childhood self would recoil in shock that I might ever say such a thing) and certainly more pepper and salt. I added pepper, and to my astonishment, no table had any actual salt. They did have soy sauce, which I generally avoid because it's too salty, but I poured a tiny bit of that on as well. Then my dish was vastly improved. Given that I almost never add salt to any food at all (except French fries), that should really tell you how bland my dish was.

-- चार हजार और अस्सी-सात --


04262017-04


-- चार हजार और अस्सी-सात --


Ivan did not want to walk back the way we had come, which I had chosen for its directness and being the fastest way. He declared the International District "ugly as sin," though, and suggested we walk back through downtown, which I was fine with. He wanted to stop at the café at Barnes and Noble, where he said he likes to get chocolate mousse.

They didn't have it, and so he ordered a Cheesecake Factory slice of Rese's Peanut Butter Cup cheesecake instead. I thought that looked mighty tasty myself. At first Ivan ordered his to go, but when I asked him about it, he said, "Oh, did you want to eat it here?" and so he ordered it for here. I really did not need that dessert, but I don't often get the chance to have a peanut butter dessert without having to deal with Shobhit yammering about how much he hates peanut butter, and that was the primary reason I wanted to eat it there.

Ivan and I had some conversation of unusual depth over our cheesecake, actually. Although he certainly has his shit together more than most people, I think he's still a generally discontented person, which I find to be a bit sad. As I said to him, even with as much as Shobhit can annoy the living shit out of me, even that doesn't change the fact that I am a generally happy person. We talked about things that make us feel real fear, which I thought about when relaying the memory of the 2001 Nisqually earthquake -- his fears seem to be much more wrapped up in the uncertainty of his future. I have no real insight that can help him there, really, other than that I find life to be most satisfying by not worrying too much about the inevitability that life, in the end, will change whatever plans you might have anyway. He likely didn't find much solace in that; I think I just have a generally different outlook than most. After all, I think more of my friends than not are discontented in one way or another. Even Shobhit is. An optimist, he is not. I kind of made the choice, long ago, to be an optimist -- and defiantly so. As I often say, I know I'm able to be largely thanks to a lot of luck. But you'll never convince me the choice of attitude is not a huge part of it as well.

-- चार हजार और अस्सी-सात --


I really didn't hang out with anyone yesterday, aside from at home with Shobhit for much of the day and also with Ivan for part of it. When I left the bedroom in the late morning soon after Ivan got out of bed, he was having his morning coffee, standing in the kitchen, shirtless -- and with a face mask on that made him look way too much like Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I about had a heart attack when he turned his face to look at me, and when I said, "Jesus Christ! That’s one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen in my life!" -- he giggled with delight. Giggles coming through that fucking awful looking face mask didn't exactly help matters.

Not long after that, I took myself to see A Quiet Passion, which stupidly became a point of contention between Shobhit and me. I have no idea where it came from that he thought I should stay home and sleep all day as though I were really sick, even though the cold I had that began suddenly on Thursday evening had much improved -- not only that, but I went to see a movie with Laney on Friday evening without Shobhit giving a shit; and he happily had me go out with him to five different grocery and pet stores on Saturday, before I walked with Ivan to dinner, again with no resistance from Shobhit.

But, because he woke up five times Saturday night while sleeping, during which I did a fair amount of coughing, and he's convinced he caught the cold from me, he was convinced that my walking the one mile downtown to see a movie yesterday would make things so much worse for me that I would likely have to stay home from work today. All of this was patently preposterous, but Shobhit could not see that; instead he saw fit to treat me like shit for most of the day. Marriage, yay! Fun!

It's not like I've never had a fucking cold before. I know how the cycle works. It's typical, for me at least, for things like a lingering cough to get worse overnight while trying to sleep, and then systematically get better over the course of the next day. This will likely be the case for at least a few more days yet. It sure as shit does not necessitate staying home from work, as I otherwise feel fine. Granted, this morning I have filled more tissues with mucus than I care to enumerate (I wouldn't be able to anyway), but both the runny nose and the cough has already gotten better as I write this, and no matter what Shobhit tells himself, this would be happening today whether I went to see the movie yesterday or not. (Besides, the runny nose and cough is simply part of the natural progression of the common cold.) Going out -- in perfectly warm weather, mind you -- absolutely did not make my cold worse. Not that Shobhit wants to consider any of these things within the framework of facts or common sense.

But, today, Shobhit gets to behave as though everything is normal and he wasn't a complete dick to me yesterday. He even knocked my cocktail glass off the coffee table with a clumsy move of his arm as he lay on the couch, spilling the little left in the glass on the carpet, and do you think he even offered to clean it up himself? I'm at a point where I take the initiative in situations like that because I just don't want to deal with his shit. I'm not sure that's healthy. We were in the middle of a movie and I wanted to continue watching it in peace without having to take a break for yet another fucking stupid argument.

I spent much of yesterday feeling like the only reason Shobhit got so mad was because I was refusing to let him exert control over me. I don't think it really had to do with concern for my welfare at all. He said, "This is what I think you should do"; I said, "Nope"; and he blew a gasket. He was much calmer in the evening, at least. We watched two Netflix movies -- Ivan sat out in the living room with us for Clue, which was moderately entertaining as a sort of cornball camp romp, although he still spent most of his time looking at his phone, as usual. But he lost interest almost immediately when I put on Bulworth, a 1998 political satire directed by, written by and starring Warren Beatty that I can't believe took two decades for me finally to watch. Shobhit and I were both very impressed with how well produced it was, and we both liked it way better than Clue.

-- चार हजार और अस्सी-सात --


04262017-08

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positive energy please