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no crying over spilled curry - The Literary Exhibitionist
no crying over spilled curry

-- चार हजार और चालीस-दो --

Oops! I did it again . . . : A full weekend went by and I did not post any entries, aside from my Twitter digests. And even those were rather sparse, which was unusual. I actually tweeted nothing yesterday except for my review of the Oscar-nominated animated shorts. Furthermore, one of the only two things I tweeted on Saturday was my review of the Oscar-nominated live action shorts, and those ones were excellent.

I was going to go to two more movies even than those two showings over the weekend, two films as part of the Film Noir festival put on by SIFF at the Egyptian, but I wound up skipping them both.

Two reasons for that. The first, on Saturday, was because I was going to see the original The Ladykillers in the afternoon, but then I got a call from Gabriel -- no, actually, it was a call from Tess, who told me Gabriel told her to call me. They were on their way to Seattle and wanted to know if I wanted to join them for lunch.

This was not an opportunity I could stand to miss. Not only had I not seen Gabriel since Shobhit and I went to dinner on Bainbridge Island with him, Kornelija, and Kornelija's parents on New Year's Day, but I literally hadn't even had a conversation with Gabriel since then. This was hardly a surprise; Gabriel's life was about to have a serious shake-up, which I had known to expect for a few months.

We exchanged a few texts on January 4 and 5. Several texts on January 8, when the expected shake-up evidently went down -- literally moments before we began the text exchange. I told him to try to stay sane, he said thanks, and then -- radio silence until 1/22. I said, Sooo how are things, and he provided a four-word answer that basically qualified as a non-answer (which was fine). I texted him again on 1/31. Then again just this past Thursday.

I'm only going to say this: I'm rooting for him. That's what I told him. I don't think enough people root for him. Gabriel can be difficult, sure, I know that as well as anybody. That doesn't mean he doesn't deserve anyone in his corner. It doesn't mean he deserves anything that is on the face of it clearly objective bullshit. He's not perfect and neither is anyone, and he needs more people in his corner. I'm going to be one of those people, now and always. I have little patience for people characterizing two clear sides and then taking one of them. Interpret it however you want, I don't think of this as taking a side. I think of it as being a friend. A friend that he needs and deserves. That movie I was going to see on Saturday afternoon was hardly vital; I can get a copy of it mailed to me from Netflix. Deciding almost spontaneously to have lunch with him and Tess was not a hard decision to make. It wasn't even a decision. It had been too long since I had seen or spoken to him and I missed him.

On the face of things, lunch on Saturday was nothing more than that: lunch on Saturday. We didn't get into much detail even then, although I did learn a couple of details when Tess went to the bathroom. Maybe it meant something to Gabriel and maybe it didn't. It meant something to me. There's a huge amount left for me to get caught up on and it will happen in due time. I was just happy to see him again. And also Tess, who is a spectacular little human. She's nine years old now. She'll be ten this year. She'll be a spectacular human of regular size before we know what hit us.

I can't remember how it came up, but at one point Gabriel said to Tess, "Quick, list three things you know I like!" Tess's first said what was also what first came to mind for me: Star Wars. She was also quick to list the other two things, although I've already forgotten the second thing she said. The third thing was the best: "And remembering to do what you ask me to in the morning." Maybe you had to be there but this was fucking hilarious. I bet you anything that was the biggest laugh any of us got that entire day.

The lunch location was a place Tess chose called Japonessa. To me that sounds like a Anglican-feminized version of the word "Japenese," but then again maybe I'm just an ignorant fuck. Gabriel had given Tess the choice of lunch location and she chose sushi. Apparently this place is considered Latin/Japanese "fusion," although Gabriel could see no obviously Latin influence on the menu, and neither could I. Shobhit and I shared a few vegetarian plates that were not bad. Decent. They have Happy Hour from opening until 6:30 so we had dishes with stunningly reasonable prices -- that's what Shobhit liked the most, and he was the one who said he'd definitely go back to order off the Happy Hour menu. When we first arrived and saw the menu posted at the entrance we thought we were going to have to spend a lot more. Also, we got there first and were told there would be a 30-40 minute wait, and then they seated us in less than half that time. Gabriel and Tess arrived shortly thereafter.

Gabriel and Tess had sushi dishes with seafood in them, stuff Shobhit and I would never eat. Gabriel practically fell in love with what they ate. He was very impressed.

My favorite part was how accommodating and attentive the wait staff was. Also, by all appearances they only hire male wait staff who are young, thin, and gorgeous. I'd go back just to ogle the young mean on display among the staff. Is that creepy?

Shobhit and I had already been going downtown to get his phone screen repaired, since it stopped working (for the second time in two years), at a phone repair shop in Belltown. I texted Gabriel to tell him we'd be down there for a short while, and then he texted back with the suggestion of Japonessa, which was about a mile south of there.

We were only at lunch for roughly an hour, but it sure was nice to see Gabriel again after a month and a half. Hopefully it won't be that long before I see him again. When we left the restaurant, we were across the street from Fran's Chocolates, where Shobhit knew they pass out free samples to anyone who walks in. Shobhit worked the most effective angle and leaned down to Tess: "You want some free chocolate?" Gabriel hesitantly agreed to go across the street for this apparent purpose, but was genuinely embarrassed by what we were doing. He was the only one.

In fact, it all happened far more immediately and effectively than Shobhit or I could even have hoped: The four of us had literally taken two or three steps inside the entrance and a lady walked right up to us with a tray of sea salt covered confections. We each took one and then immediately did an about-face and left. Gabriel was like, "Never again!" Whatever. He did it! I like to think Shobhit and I are a bad influence. Also, Fran's Chocolates are rather expensive (we sell 3-pack boxes of confections at PCC that work out to a cost of $2.26 each; selling as individuals would naturally be even more), and most people who go in there buy plenty. They're not hurting for business. Gabriel would never consider that a legitimate justification, but oh well. He still went along this one time and he's going to have to live with himself!

Since Shobhit had his car, he offered to drive me from there to Wallingford, where the Oscar-nominated shorts are playing at the Guild 45th theatre. We got there roughly an hour before I felt I should need to get in line, so he had me luck up coffee shop deals on my Chinook Book app, and I found a spectacular one: 50% off any drink or snack order (not just off one item), for an up to $5 savings. He got a coffee and I got a chai latte that might seriously be the best chai latte in town, with its perfect blend of spices that unlike many other places did not come on too strong, and we also got two chocolate confections to share. We sat at a table and he read news on his phone while I read from my library book for a while. Then I walked over to the Guild 45 and he went home.

It turns out this year I was over-cautious about the timing of getting in line for the Oscar-nominated shorts: in years past, I made the mistake of arriving too late and the showings were sold out. This year I prevented that by buying my tickets online -- sucking it up and dealing with the ridiculous $1 (and therefore 12.5% in this case) online service charge -- and still getting in line roughly an hour early to get a decent seat. I think maybe the sold out shows in years past were on the weekend the shows opened; this time they had been running for a week, and neither the show on Saturday nor the one yesterday was anywhere near sold out. But whatever, I got the seat I wanted.

I took transit home on Saturday night, wrote my review, and had dinner with Shobhit. The final act of the evening was having Ivan out to join us in the living room and watch my all-time favorite movie, Batman Returns. He literally looked at his phone 90% of the time, occasionally glancing over at the screen. I found this annoying. When I said at the movie's close, "You clearly weren't as into this one," he said, "I was rapt with attention. I can multi-task." Whatever! That movie is packed with spectacular visual design, and he missed almost all of it, with his eyes instead focused on his phone screen. But, clearly I had to let it go. This is not most people's favorite movie. That said, I like seeing movies with him much better in theatres, because he can't spend all his time looking at his phone there. Granted, he did check the time on his phone several times when we saw La La Land but whatever. That was far different than spending nearly all of his time with it.

Shobhit, by the way, was a much different story. He was rapt with attention, which does not happen often and usually surprises me when it does (memorable films that kept his undivided attention in the past: Laurence of Arabia; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Shobhit was totally into both Batman, which we all watched the previous weekend -- and Ivan paid slightly more attention to -- and Batman Returns. Maybe I should watch Batman Forever with him and not bother seeing if Ivan wants to. It's nowhere near as good as the previous two, has Val Kilmer as Batman instead of Michael Keaton (who was the best one ever, case closed), and wasn't even directed by Tim Burton -- but, I have still always found it entertaining, and it retains at least remnants of Burton visual influence as that one, at least, he stayed on as Producer. Also, Shobhit might find at least one thing about it semi-interesting: we just finished watching the Netflix original series Santa Clarita Diet, starring Drew Barrymore, who has a small supporting part in Batman Forever as one of Harvey "Two Face" Dent's two henchwomen. She's two decades younger in that (and a decade older than she was in E.T.). She's a year older than I am, actually.

-- चार हजार और चालीस-दो --


-- चार हजार और चालीस-दो --

As is so often the case on Monday mornings, I couldn't remember what I did on Friday evening. Thank God for membership records anyone could hack into and easily figure out my every move on any given day! Just a quick peak at my "viewing activity" on my Netflix account, and now I can recall: I walked home and then Shobhit and I watched two episodes of The People v O.J. Simpson and three episodes of Santa Clarita Diet. I was done with both seasons by the end of the weekend. In any case, that was my Friday evening: streaming television on Netflix.

And yesterday? I already told you I went to see the animated shorts. I took transit both to and from that one, and the showing was at 2:30. So that sucked up my afternoon. Shobhit and I had pancakes for brunch in the morning. Ivan watched a little bit of the TV we watched for a bit while he had his own lunch, but that was all we saw of him; he took an extra shift yesterday. By the time the evening rolled around, I decided to skip the showing of The Taking of Pelham 123 at the Egyptian in the evening -- because, again, I could just get the disc from Netflix and it didn't seem like the type of movie that begs to be seen on the big screen. Also, skipping that movie helped mitigate the last-minute cost of the new plan to have dinner with Ev and Elden after work this evening.

I happened to run into them on the Capitol Hill Light Rail station platform on my way to the afternoon movie. Ev has been telling me over and over that I need to try the new Beyond Burger at Veggie Grill. So I asked when she was available, and she said Monday. So we're having dinner today.

And last night I went home -- after (TMI alert!) a surprisingly brief but eminently satisfying visit at my local bathhouse -- and had veggie burgers for dinner with Shobhit and watched more TV, finishing both the aforementioned TV show seasons.

-- चार हजार और चालीस-दो --

You'll never guess what I've already done today! I spilled curry right inside my bag! Neat!

Granted, it was only about 1/4 cup worth, and I saved the vast majority of today's lunch -- leftover from the pakoras in curry that Shobhit made, fantastically and for the very first time, also on Friday evening. This turned out way better than I expected. I ordered curry at an Indian restaurant not too long ago and was massively disappointed to find it way too soupy/liquidy -- something Shobhit loves. But, he also made rice to combine with it. His pakoras were really just deep fried breaded vegetables (not put into tight balls like you usually find them at restaurants), but whatever -- it worked, and it was delicious. Tasty enough, even, to put into two containers for lunches this week. It wasn't even remotely spicy. I dare say, Shobhit did everything right with this dish. And that's especially impressive since a) he never measures anything when cooking; and b) it was the first time he ever made it.

But then, this morning, probably while running to catch the #24 bus on 3rd at Pine, the lid on the container got dislodged, and I happened to see the spill inside my bag at just the right moment. Early detection, my friends: it's important! I even had a library book I am really enjoying in there (Carrie Fisher's The Princess Diarist), and it emerged unscathed. I mean, there was a couple dots of curry on the cover, but it's covered in plastic by the library and was easily licked off. The pages themselves were untouched.

So, yeah: I did find myself literally licking my things while on the bus. I don't know how many people noticed. What else was I supposed to do? I had to take the container out of the bag and it had drips around the sides of it, and I had no napkins. Lick, lick. I also had to pull out a couple pieces of junk mail, my sunglasses in their case, a bag of Ricola cough drops, and an emergency bottle of Aleve I always carry with me. I had to leave the chapstick, an eraser, and a condom (still packaged, sheesh) in there because they were all too covered in curry. But everything else, miraculously taken out without too much curry-contamination, went into my coat pockets. So I then rode the bus for the last mile of my commute, allowing the curry that spilled to coat the entire bottom of the bag. At least it's made of vinyl. Okay, the inside of the fabric is slightly more absorbent but that's only on the sides; the bottom is still straight plastic.

And I'm sure glad the thing is not made of cloth. It's the purple sparkly shoulder bag I bought myself at Pike Place Market with Christmas money I got from Dad and Sherri in 2014 (inspired by Ivan when he lived with me the first time, as I always loved the bags he was carrying, and he told me about the vendor at Pike Place he bought them from). It's also the bag I forgot on the ferry on New Year's Day, and miraculously got back when I went to Lost and Found the next day. I'm very attached. It's one of a kind and cost eighty bucks. I do not want to have to part with it. When I told Kibby about the spill this morning she commented on how long it will smell like curry, but a) not too much of it spilled; and b) I don't smell anything now.

It was a slight challenge to get it cleaned, but clean it I did. It could have been way worse, so I should consider myself lucky. I had to carry my book and the lunch box in my hands from the bus stop to the office, and then I took the bag into the office kitchen, where I first wiped the curry out with paper towels. I also wiped off the chapstick and the eraser and even the condom, doing that last one carefully inside the bag so neither of the other couple of people in the kitchen at the time would see. I put that in a side pocket so I could then do the most challenging part: turn the whole thing inside out so I could wipe it off, and then wipe it with disinfectant wipes I found in the cupboard under the sink. I was very thorough, which means, silver lining: the bag is now much cleaner than it was before the spill. I turned the bag outside-in again and put all my stuff back in it.

Clearly I need to make sure tomorrow's lunch is much more secure.

-- चार हजार और चालीस-दो --




positive energy please