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Birth Week 2017, Day Six - The Literary Exhibitionist
Birth Week 2017, Day Six

Click image to be taken to the full photo set on Flickr.

There and Back Again: a Matthew's Journey -- I took the ferry at 3:00 yesterday afternoon and then drove from Bremerton to Shelton to stay the night at Jennifer and Eric's, now the fourth year in a row we had a Birth Week day together. (In 2014 she came to Seattle to stay the night, much easier to do since I was between roommates at the time -- Ivan moved in with me the first time the very next month -- but the next three years I went down there to stay the night.)

Before that, though, after getting up and writing that unusually long Birth Week journal entry and then getting ready for the day, Shobhit and I went over to Redmond to get some Indian food supplies at Mayuri Foods -- which, by the way, they have completely remodeled and expanded, and I was very impressed; it now looks comparatively upscale. Then we went 0.4 miles from there to Udupi Cafe, a South Indian buffet joint that, though that close, is technically in Bellevue, due to the screwy city limit border lines between Bellevue and Redmond. Just like we did with Danielle last Friday at the place in Renton, I had another dish very much like Shahi Paneer, so, as Shobhit pointed out, having had it twice already this week means it makes up for his decision not to make it for my Birth Week Indian Feed on Saturday. He's making other dishes instead, to shake things up a bit, although he does still plan to make about a metric ton of samosas, as requested. Anyway, this dish wasn't exactly shahi paneer but it was close enough, and was by far my favorite thing from the buffet. It was amazing with the potato-stuffed dosas. I really wanted to try limiting my food intake for lunch, but fuck, that food was so good! Also I only had to pay $8 for it because Shobhit had already spent $16 on a Groupon, which was why he suggested going there for lunch.

And thus, I had my Birth Week Lunch with Shobhit on the Eastside just like old times, this year in addition to our excursion to Rocky Brook Falls on Tuesday -- although I'm still regarding only the falls as my "official" Birth Week activity with him this year.

We got back to Seattle with just enough time for me to gather my stuff and drive Shobhit's car down to the ferry terminal -- I deliberately got there by 2:20 as I did not want to risk not getting on the ferry behind too many other early commuters starting the rush hour crowd of cars at that time. And I actually made it relatively close to the front of the line of cars.

It was when I got to the other side that the trouble started -- because, I learned later, of a shooting scare at a school in Belfare. So, a drive that could have taken as little as 45 minutes instead took me 80, and I did not get to Jennifer's house until about 5:20. The road work happening around Belfare also did not exactly help. I had my GPS going, the phone in the dash mount I got Shobhit for Christmas a couple of years ago (one of the most useful things I ever got for him, I think), and I kept hoping for the listed ETA to go down, but it never really did. Oh well; at least I had all evening.

And I'm really glad I decided to do this again this year after all. Until Easter, I was really thinking it wasn't going to happen, after last year's election significantly shifted how I looked at Jennifer, and now Shobhit was back home. We'll see how this pans out next year, as Shobhit will likely have a job by then and thus need the car; I may just get a Zipcar again, or Eric could just come pick me up in Bremerton as a walk-on passenger, which he has done before. You know, if I'm going to bring up politics here, I suppose I should note that Eric is far to the right of Jennifer (who is still pretty liberal on social issues; I even told Hope last night about what a massive influence Jennifer had been in my coming out -- Hope has identified as a lesbian for something like four years now, incidentally), and it occurs to me now that this likely makes Eric the one ultra-conservative person I am still quite fond of. He's a very generous guy, especially as host. Every time I stay over there he brings me back a London Fog chai tea latte from his gas station in the morning, and he did again today.

Anyway, I do have to be careful not to talk too much about politics even with Jennifer, although we briefly spoke sort of politics-adjacent over dinner, when we commiserated about how our husbands both watch political talking heads on TV who clearly don't know anything way too much. In fact, they both watch lots of FOX News, although Shobhit likes to say "It's good to know what the enemy is saying" (I didn't mention this last night), and I am certain that's now how Eric feels about FOX News.

Eric is apparently making a second bid for Shelton City Council, by the way. He called Jennifer from work this morning to tell her they had written an article about it in The Shelton-Mason County Journal, even though he had not made any announcement, and it apparently quoted him even though he never spoke to any reporters. Jennifer was entirely unconcerned: "Well, someone obviously overheard you. It's a small town." I'm not sure that's the way journalism is supposed to work, but whatever.

Where was I? Oh: I got drunker than I've ever managed with Jennifer last night! I'd say I pretty much hit the sweet spot -- a good, loopy buzz without getting truly wasted. I had two more drinks than Jennifer, I think. We both had two margaritas at El Sarape, the Mexican restaurant in Shelton that she likes. One was a blackberry margarita that she really likes and wanted me to try, and it was super sweet and delicious. Then we decided we wanted to try their "Blue Margarita," although it sure as shit looked green to me. She always drinks more slowly than I do, and also when she asked if I had cash for the tip and I did not, I suggested I just get myself a third drink that I would pay for myself and just put a tip big enough to cover our drinks and dinners. I decided just to get a shot of tequila, which I drank after licking the salt rim and biting into a lime.

I don't think I'll ever do that again.

This was the first time we did the bulk of our drinking outside their house, and when Eric came to pick us up, the three kids in tow, we met them at the Dairy Queen, where Eric got us all Blizzards. It's probably good that I was unable to weight myself this morning.

We went back to their house, and Eric took out this high-end vodka he said I should try, and so I used that to make myself one final drink: a White Russian with Bailey's instead of Kahlua. It was indeed quite tasty. And I can't remember if Jennifer had another drink at home or not. I think maybe not. By this point my memory gets spotty, although I know that at one point Jennifer passed out on the living room couch. There's a picture I took of their cat, Luna I was myself laying on the floor on my back, and I can just barely remember snapping that shot.

They had me sleep in Chase's bed this time, since I came mid-week and Hope actually had to be up earlier than me to go to school. So I got ready this morning in the upstairs bathroom instead of Hope's bathroom like I usually do, and I had maybe an hour after that to hang out with Jennifer before it was time to leave.

I had initially been thinking I would aim for the 11:10 ferry, but since Jennifer had a 10:00 appointment in Olympia (this was how I learned Jennifer has apparently been getting Brazilians for years -- good to know!), I wound up gunning for the 9:45 ferry instead. Annoyingly, when I first mapped it on my phone, it said the drive would take 39 minutes. I didn't leave until ten minutes or so after that, at which time the travel time went up to 52 minutes. What the hell?

But, I said my goodbyes to Jennifer and headed up Highway 3, the phone mounted with the GPS going. And when it's like that, it doesn's show the clock. And the digital clock in Shobhit's car just says "AUX" when I have the iPod cord plugged into the stereo. I don't wear a standard watch, so now all I had to go on was the ETA time listed on the GPS while I drove -- and it always wavered between 9:41 and 9:38, right up to the time I pulled up to the ferry terminal in Bremerton. But then I turned off the GPS and guess what time it was? 9:30! All this time I was cutting it super close, and I arrived with 15 minutes to spare.

But that brings us to today, and you'll hear about today in my next journal entry to be posted tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!


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