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eyeliner crisis and sister wives and movies movies movies . . . and brunch and lunch . . . and more! - The Literary Exhibitionist
eyeliner crisis and sister wives and movies movies movies . . . and brunch and lunch . . . and more!

-- चार हजार सत्रह --

Friday evening was spent on shopping. I was going to see a movie with Laney that evening but she was not feeling well due to a new heart medication. She was told at first that it was temporary side effects that her body would quickly get used to, but she learned within a couple of days that the dose was simply too high.

I can't even remember now how long ago it was that she had her heart attack. Two years? Whatever; it's kind of the new normal for her to be having issues with medications, which sometimes get in the way of her plans. And she and I make a lot of plans -- right now perhaps a bit less than before Shobhit moved back home, but still plenty. It's why I can't really get annoyed by it. When you spend that much time with someone, there's just a higher chance that some of those plans might get preempted occasionally, for whatever reason. But Laney has a condition and is reaching an age when the reasons are increasingly likely to be medical. I just accept that.

And it kind of worked out for the best anyway. Shobhit and I were going to do our grocery shopping at PCC on Saturday morning, but now we had the time on Friday evening. I walked home, picked up a couple of things at Target along the way, we had dinner -- Shobhit made a stir fried rice -- and then we drove to PCC. Fremont this time, actually, because we went back to the office to pick up some chips from the sample drawer, for when Danielle was to come over to watch a movie on Saturday.

And since it was easier to get to the Fremont store from there than to Greenlake Village, we went there. And it felt a bit like a time warp, our drive home from the Fremont store -- where I shopped for a great many years before Greenlake Village opened in 2014. For most of those years, the drive there and back was with Shobhit; he used to pick me up at the end of the work day and we would drive straight over to Fremont from there. That was when the office was in the U District. (Old office to the Fremont store: two miles. New office to the Fremont store: four miles, but only a few minutes more drive time. Neither option has any freeway along the way, as does Greenlake Village, at least between that store and home.) Then of course, when Shobhit moved to New York in 2010, between then and 2014, Shauna was driving me to Fremont and then home, usually picking me up at the office -- until she got a new job that necessitated us shopping on the weekends. In any case, either way the drive home from Fremont was via Dexter. But then Greenlake Village opened and I started to shop there, so this drive home last Friday felt a little like I'd gone back in time two and a half years.

But Fremont now? Never again! They had neither the Dr. Zevia flavor of Zevia Soda, nor the Luxor color of ZuZu Luxe liquid eyeliner. What bullshit! I'm going back to Greenlake Village for sure.

. . . Well. Okay. I think now maybe that eyeliner color is discontinued. I went to the ZuZu Luxe liquid eyeliner web page and Luxor is not listed. So I looked it up in our system at the office this morning: no movement. Not anywhere -- including Greenlake Village. Whaaat. I emailed Kibby (who does the same sort of administrative support work for the Health and Body Care department that I do in Grocery) to confirm. "How will I cope??" I asked. "That's the copper shade that looks pink when I wear pink shirts!"

I do see that online ordering at Target still has 10 in stock. Maybe I should clean them out. Hmm. I guess I should go for Amazon instead since the price may be nearly the same (a few cents cheaper) but from them I'd get free shipping. They have 6 left in stock. Shobhit wants me to stop by the downtown Target on my way home from work so I should check there first. They probably won't have 6 of them. Maybe I should clean out Target and Amazon? I can't decide! I'm having an eyeliner supply crisis!

Kibby did email the supplier to ask if it's either discontinued or, hopefully, just out of stock. I'll expect the worst and hope for the best! is what I told her. I figure, though, that if it were just an out of stock issue, it wouldn't have been removed from their own website.

(Incidentally, she forwarded me that email and something stuck me about it: she referred to a coworker who loves that color and she used gender neutral language. And understandable instinct, I think. And actually this provides one example where using gender neutral pronouns makes sense. And at one point she even used the word "they." I have historically been uncomfortable with that because if how I have been conditioned to think what the words "they" or "them" really mean, but its usefulness really presented itself here.)

Anyway. I wrote a lot more about that than I thought I would. We drove home from Fremont. That's where I was, right? And then we walked the two blocks over to Trader Joe's where we could get some stuff cheaper than we can at PCC even when we factor in my employee discount. Not the Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, though -- which I used to get at Trader Joe's for $1.99/32oz aseptic carton. The very same thing is sold at PCC for -- wait for it -- $2.89. So, $2.17 even with my deepest possible employee discount. I see now it'll be on sale for $2.35 in March, though. So that month I can get it for as little as $1.76 at PCC. However! We found that in six-packs at Costco for $10.99. That's $1.83 per 32oz box. Oh, wait. Holy shit! That means in March I actually do need to go back to PCC for my almond milk. Do you see this, Shobhit? Take note! Well, for one shopping trip, anyway; that $1.83 is when I'd get a 25% discount. If I got it at the 15% discount then the price will be $1.99 -- so Costco is still better. But on our 25% trip I should grab an armful of those suckers.

Jesus Christ. I'm getting excited by PCC saving me a whopping 42 cents when buying six quarts of almond milk. That's fucking ridiculous. You see what Shobhit is turning me into? Granted, PCC is usually the more expensive place so it's cause for celebration when something is actually cheaper there (and it's only happening when the item is on sale for 18.6% off and I get a further 25% discount).

I don't remember what else I got at Trader Joe's. You don't care.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --

Apparently Beth had been asking Gina many times whether she had texted me to see if I'd be available for brunch when they had a planned visit in Seattle. Gina didn't actually do that until Friday, when they were already in town. Were we available the following morning? Boy did she luck out! It was the one period of time over the rest of my weekend that I did not have anything planned already.

They were staying at the Camlin, which is right across the street from Convention Place Station on 9th Avenue at Pike. Exactly one mile from us. Shobhit and I suggested Linda's Tavern, which opened at 10:00 and we were to meet at 10:30 -- the exact time Shobhit and I got there, and also the time Gina chose to text me, Walk slow! Ten minutes until we start. Um. So, we walked to the store. I checked to see if QFC still had hot buttered rum mix, and they had plenty, so I bought a tub. Shobhit put it in his jacket pocket, later pulling it out and making Gina say it was the most random thing she'd ever seen someone pull out of their pocket.

It was just by coincidence that Linda's was situated exactly halfway between our home and the Camlin hotel: Shobhit and I had precisely half a mile to walk, and so did Gina and Beth. We walked a few blocks west and met them and then walked back up the hill again. Shobhit got his name on a list before we went to the store, so we were seated almost immediately when we returned.

The food was excellent all around. Highly recommended, except for how fucking loud it was in there. We practically blew out our voices just trying to visit. And at one point Gina looked around and said, "I think it's safe to say we're the oldest people in here." What a comforting observation. Well, hey, at least I was the youngest one at our table! And I was certainly young enough for people to assume I was not the oldest one in there. Oh! That reminds me -- when we were at Trader Joe's on Friday, the cashier asked for my ID because we had decided to get some wine and I was paying for it. The guy looked at my age and was sincerely taken aback. "Wow!" he actually said. "I was not expecting that." Whatever Mister, you made my day! Especially to have that happen when I no longer color my hair and it is almost strikingly gray these days.

Danielle had talked about taking Light Rail up to visit us, and she hadn't contacted me yet about when, so we knew we had some time. When we left Linda's, Beth said she really wanted to see Freeway Park, so we decided to walk them over there. That's how we got that photo of all four of us that I posted. Beth asked a guy nearby to take our picture. He was actually holding his own camera, and he glanced down at it when she asked, so she said, "Not with your camera, of course." He took a very good shot of us. The first post-New Year's wonderful memory of 2017.

They wanted to watch the Seahawks game that was to air at 1:30. They were thinking they would watch in the lobby of their hotel, but when we went into the Sheraton to use the restrooms, we noticed the lounge, with more than one working TV monitor, was pretty empty. So Beth and Shobhit walked to a nearby convenience store and came back with a bunch of junk food, and we all watched the first half together. I even tweeted a few things about it.

But, then Shobhit got bored and wanted to go back home. We said our goodbyes. Shobhit and I walked outside, at first headed toward a bus because he didn't feel like walking back home. (He keeps overeating and actively avoiding exercise, which has resulted in his weight increasing steadily over the past few weeks. To be fair, it's an easy trap to get into when you're unemployed.) We saw on One Bus Away that the next buses were too long in coming, so we decided to go down to the tunnel and catch Light Rail.

This was where we proceeded to get in a huge fight. Well, sort of. In this case, miraculously, I managed to stay calm. I was very conscientious about it. Shobhit was the one who flipped out. Why? Because I wouldn't rush down to the tunnel, and instead walked at my own pace. We literally missed the train by seconds. And sure, we would have caught it had I rushed. But I refuse to agree that there was any reason to rush. Shobhit literally acted like I had committed some heinous sin because now he had to wait a whopping ten minutes for the next train to come.

Ten minutes. Ten fucking minutes. That's the end of the world, right?

I actually gave him fair warning. "If you don't stop bitching about this, I'm just going to leave and walk home."

He was ridiculously angry about this. Seething. The reaction was genuinely preposterous, of no help to him or me or anyone. There was a moment of silence, and I thought maybe we could just get past this. But then he turned to me on the platform and began to lay into me again: saying that because of this, I no longer had the right to get annoyed with him delaying me every time I'm ready to go somewhere at home and he's still looking for his wallet and doesn't have his shoes on yet, which he does every fucking time. For some reason he doesn't understand the difference: when I get annoyed in those circumstances, we have somewhere to be by a certain time. It's why I want to leave by a certain time. In this instance, all we were doing was going home. There was nothing happening at any particular time for us to rush to. But Shobhit, he insists we have to fucking rush everywhere all the time regardless of circumstances. He doesn't seem to understand context. It's not that fucking complicated.

So, I raised my hand at him, and said, "I'm done. I'm walking home." And I turned and left. And you know what? I stand by that decision. I had a perfectly pleasant, solitary walk home without someone haranguing me for no good reason.

I did worry a little about how things would be when I got home, though. Shobhit was just as likely to be fine as he was likely to resume laying into me the moment I walked in the door -- something I really didn't want to have happen with Ivan around. Shobhit had easily beaten me home even with the ten minute wait because I had walked to the library first. He was in the bedroom, on his laptop. Ivan was eating his lunch when I walked in the door. "What's going on?" he asked. "Nothing much," I said. A lie? Arguably not. Shobhit had been the one making much out of nothing, not me. But, I still felt it was best to go straiht to the bedroom and face whatever there was to face.

But, Shobhit said nothing. I lay down for a rather brief nap. Shobhit played with the cats for a bit, putting him in clearly better spirits. I decided to get up again. I gave Shobhit a kiss, and he reciprocated.

I wanted to talk to Ivan for a bit anyway, ask how he was. He'd just pulled a double shift on Friday night after working six swing shifts in a row. He usually gets home around 10:45, and although I was tired, I actually stayed up until then on Friday night just so I could say hi to Ivan when he got home. But, he didn't come home. Occasionally some kind of emergency happens at his nursing job and he's late. So, we went to bed.

I woke up sometime after midnight and Shobhit was awake. "He's not home," he said. He had even gotten up to check: his shoes were still not by the front door and his keys were not on the key rack. We were both genuinely worried about him as a result. It crossed both our minds that he had gotten a Grindr hookup or something, except Ivan actually very rarely does that, and besides, he would never go straight to a hookup from work in his scrubs anyway. I was sure that wasn't it, even though Shobhit at one point said, "Hopefully he's fucking someone and nothing bad has happened."

Between worrying about Ivan and getting some sudden, really terrible heartburn, I got a very poor night's sleep Friday night. But later in the early morning was when I realized the most likely scenario was he was still working. We heard him come in at around 6 a.m. Shobhit did something I actually never would have: he got up, put on his bathrobe, and went out to greet him. "Good morning," I heard him say. "Double shift?" Ivan said yeah. "Are you okay?" Shobhit said, and Ivan said, "Not really," and almost immediately went to bed. Understandable. At least we knew he hadn't gotten into some horrible accident or anything. And I rather liked that Shobhit had worried about him just as much as I did, arguably even more so.

So when I asked Ivan how he was doing after I got up from that brief nap, he said, "Recovering," and told me about his awful evening -- they are severely understaffed due to strains of the flu going around that this year's flu shots did not cover. He had to do the work of a Nurses Assistant all night after his regular swing shift because of no one coming in due to sickness. And that's bottom-of-the-wrung, literal shit work -- like changing bedpans, that kind of stuff. At least he got paid not only at the same rate, but overtime.

I told Ivan Shobhit and I had both been worried about him, and he said Shobhit had mentioned that. He said, "I guess I should have said something." I said, "Well, you have no obligation to tell us where you are," which was true. I wasn't trying to make him feel bad.

He asked what my weekend plans were, and I told him about Danielle coming over to watch Shobhit's SAG-AFTRA screener of La La Land. To my total surprise, he said, "Oh, I think I'll join you for that!" Huh? It was he who I'd gone to see it with in December, and he was restless the entire time and afterward he declared it too long and dull. But now he said it had subsequently grown on him, and multiple times he said his initial reaction was because "my heart was in a bad place at the time." I guess he was waiting for an email that wasn't coming from this guy he's had unrequited love for since the first time he lived with me. Evidently that has a pretty sever effect on his mood. He was in much higher spirits on Saturday -- and also yesterday -- once he'd finally gotten some rest after that terrible double shift.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --


-- चार हजार सत्रह --

Danielle came over later than originally expected. She decided to watch the game herself, before leaving. And then, because she was coming in the evening, she decided to drive instead of taking Light Rail. She had been concerned about finding parking, but wound up just paying for parking in the garage across the street.

I guess you could say that I got both Danielle and Ivan drunk on Saturday night. When I asked Ivan if he wanted a drink, he asked for a Moscow Mule. Danielle asked for the same, except using the ginger ale she brought instead of the ginger beer I already had, which she felt would be too sweet. I made both of their drinks with double shots the first time. Danielle asked for another later, and I asked both her and Ivan if they wanted singles or doubles this time. Danielle asked for a double, so Ivan said, "I guess I'll take a double too. I'll take one for the team." He later fell asleep for a few minutes during the movie, and at one point declared himself "positively shitfaced."

Danielle even asked for a third -- a double again. I didn't make Ivan a third. But Danielle did wind up staying the night, knowing that driving home would not be a good idea.

Both Danielle and Shobhit sort of lost interest in the movie about halfway through, although she did ask to resume it later when I stopped it because Ivan was asleep on the love seat he was sitting on with me, and Danielle had gotten up to help Shobhit prepare the pasta sauce he was making for the ravioli we were to have for dinner. Ivan, waking up again, had to ask more than once for us to finish the movie, and ultimately we did.

But, watching it was filled with distraction, so I was sure glad I had already seen it. Watching a movie for the first time with a group of people at home is never a good idea, in my opinion. The setting is far too casual and people generally don't think it's best to keep quiet so the movie can be followed. Not that La La Land is that difficult to follow if you miss parts of it, mind you. But I'm too into film not to have been annoyed by it all if I hadn't already seen it. But I had, so it was fine.

And we watched parts of the Golden Globes afterward, which was also why Danielle had come over -- she wanted me to save it on TiVo so she could watch the highlights. The cold open that was a spoof of the opening sequence of La La Land makes far more sense to people who have actually seen the movie (I listened to a podcast that made the very good point that the sequence easily worked for most of the people in the room, but probably not for the majority of the broadcast's audience, which for the most part has probably not seen the movie). She also wanted to see Meryl Streep's speech, which I found just as powerful the second time around, and the brief tribute to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. But that was it.

I was actually awake but somehow didn't hear Danielle leave right around 6:50 yesterday morning. She texted me that she was leaving and someone should come lock the door behind her. I had gotten up and noticed she was gone before I saw that text, and also already locked the door. Until I saw the text though, I thought maybe she had left sometime in the middle of the night. Turned out she had just left. She later texted me she left so early because she was worried about letting the dogs out. Shobhit was going to make her blueberry pancakes, dammit! If she had stayed for breakfast she would have gotten another Social Review point for Sunday. So much for that.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --

Shobhit got his own point for Sunday, though, by joining Laney and me for the second of our double feature down in the Braeburn Condos theatre. We watched a perfectly paired couple of movies: The King's Speech, which is about Queen Elizabeth II's father; and The Queen, which is about Elizabeth herself at the time of Princess Diana's death. The movies won the Oscars for Best Actor (Colin Firth, 2011) and Best Actress (Helen Mirren, 2007), respectively. Only The King's Speech won Best Picture in its year, though. (Not that it deserved it, great as it was -- I still say Toy Story 3 was by far the best movie that year, although I know full well it never had a chance in hell of winning; it was a massive achievement just to get nominated, actually.)

Shobhit had books to pick up at the library when it opened at 1:00 yesterday, though, so he did not join us when Laney came at noon. To my surprise, I had to crash a party in the kitchen to get through to the theatre -- someone had the kitchen reserved from 10:45 until 4:00, although they all left around 2:00. Someone else had it reserved at 4:00, but no one had arrived yet when we finished our second movie just past that.

I actually went down half an hour early, at 11:30, to see if I could get that damned projector Blu-Ray player to work. And I think I may have finally figured out the trick to it! The panel on the wall has separate buttons for different modes: HDMI input; CD; live TV; DVD and more. I've been having trouble for months with getting it to switch to the DVD mode, but I did one thing differently this time that seemed to make it work: keep the button pressed for several seconds. And, I was able to play both movies without a hitch. Finally! Hopefully that trick works next time too.

So it was just Laney and me for The King's Speech. She was feeling much better now with a corrected dosage of medications. She brought her own lunch and I made popcorn, which I partly used to lure Shobhit down when we were about to start The Queen. I texted him to ask if he wanted to come watch the second movie with us and get his [Social Review] point. He came down, glass of wine in hand, and sat between Laney and me for the movie.

I had also made plans with Ivan to go to a movie Sunday evening, which I thought might be cutting it close with the movie's showtime at 6:15 but I figured I could still make it work. But Laney and I wasted little time on getting the movies started as well as finished, and we were done in plenty of time. She left very soon after the second movie ended, and Shobhit and I went back upstairs.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --

Ivan had asked when we first made plans if we could go get pho' afterward, which I was rather looking forward to. But, he changed his mind yesterday -- said he wanted to make his dinner at home instead. "I'm a little disappointed, but I'll live," I said. He suggested maybe I could go get pho' with Laney, but I knew that wasn't in the cards. As I said to him later, there will be other days to get pho'. The place isn't going anywhere.

Besides, he didn't completely abandon me last night, at least. Shobhit had no interest in the movie Ivan really wanted to see, and Ivan didn't change that plan. He even willingly walked there and back with me, instead of insisting on taking transit, which somewhat surprised me. We stopped at the Egyptian along the way so I could get my discounted early bird six-pack for the film festival on the last day the pricing was available for SIFF members: $60 instead of $75. I can even wait to choose the films -- I mean, I have to wait; the schedule isn't yet released.

And then we went to the Meridian downtown and saw the movie he was so interested in, which kind of mystified me but I was swayed by the near-universal critical acclaim that later made little sense to me: Paterson, starring Adam Driver as a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey. There's not much more to tell you about it. Except he's a poet. And not a great one. I purposefully avoided reading other reviews before I wrote mine last night, because I wanted my reaction to it to be authentic, rather than feeling like other reviews made me realize what I was missing about it. Ivan, it turned out, didn't think it was great either. Neither of us could see the point to the story, exactly, although I did feel by the end that I could somewhat see one. It didn't make it feel like it was worth all the mundanity that led up to it, though. Shobhit would have hated it -- bored to death within the first ten minutes.

I'll stand by the B- I gave it, though. As I said to Ivan, "It had redeeming qualities." It just wasn't great. It had at least a couple of scenes I thought were really well done, one that I felt was just as poetic as it clearly intended to be. I just wish they all had been.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --

. . . And I just had lunch down at Six-Seven at the Edgewater Hotel with Karen, which I nearly spaced, even though it's right there on my Google calendar! Thankfully she emailed me with a confirmation, which I usually do first. I guess I gleaned over it because our lunches are usually on Thursdays. But last week she postponed to today because she was out of town.

I had a pizza at work on Friday but didn't eat it because we had food provided for a Blue Friday potluck. (I've stopped feeling bad about eating at potlucks I haven't brought anything to -- when everyone brings food to a potluck there winds up being way too much food anyway.) I thought I was going to have the pizza today. I guess now I'll have it tomorrow. The eternally postponed pizza. I guess "eternally" is a slight exaggeration.

I got an email from Auntie Rose, who apparently had been sick for a while too. Even she mentioned the strains of the flu going around that the shots did not cover. I got a free flu shot at work a few months ago. I haven't gotten the flu. Maybe I should knock on wood. I would, if I were superstitious. (Shobhit totally is, sometimes ridiculously so. He texted to make sure I got to work okay on Friday just because it was Friday the 13th.) She mentioned our planned Birth Week lunch in April, and wrote, "Since The Edgewater is now "Old Hat" to you, is there another place you prefer to celebrate?" I hadn't really thought of that, and she's really got a point. For several years our brunch at the Edgewater was more special because it was the only time each year that I ate there. Now I have lunch with Karen there twice a month.

I should think about that.

Today, though, Karen and I split the truffle mac & cheese lunch special, and I made the unusual decision of checking in with a photo, which I almost never do with my biweekly lunches with Karen. But that amazing lunch (so rich! oof) and that amazing view -- spectacular. I mentioned that I do get that view pretty much all day every day at work, except I typically still eat at my desk. So when I go over to the Edgewater for lunch, I appreciate the view more.

Sterling, Shauna's son, is still busing there. I had to text Shauna that we should get together again soon. Now that Shobhit is home with his car and Shauna is no longer taking me grocery shopping, I see her son at the Edgewater more than I do her.

Karen and I had a fun and lively conversation as always. Plenty of politics, given the inauguration this Friday and the women's march on Saturday. But plenty of other stuff to talk about too. And that fantastic food. It's been a good day so far, come to think of it. After what was clearly mostly a rather nice weekend, that stupid fight with Shobhit notwithstanding. We're both still adjusting. We'll both even out soon enough.

-- चार हजार सत्रह --


positive energy please