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

Well, I made it to 20 shots for today's Flickr photo set for yesterday's Day 8 of my Birth Week, but I suppose I'll admit that maybe a third of it qualifies as filler, and four shots are of food being prepared for today. But whatever! It all still represents the day.

There wasn't anything particularly major, as with a lot of days -- just meals out with friends: as I said to Ivan in the morning when he asked, "What's on the agenda for your day of self-celebration?" And I just responded: "Lunch with Karen and dinner with Lynn."

Shobhit opted not to join for lunch, and stayed home doing some more of the prep work for today's dinner. Karen and I went to the Portage Bay Cafe location on South Lake Union, which is much easier for her to get to from her office on Westlake on the west side of Lake Union than either the Portage Bay location we used to eat at in the U District or the Edgewater Hotel where we have our usual lunches now. But when we manage to get together during my Birth Week (most years, but not all), I often offer to go to a place that's more convenient for her for once. And we miss Portage Bay and this location has the same menu.

We split two dishes we both used to be very fond of -- after I had suggested we just split the Migas, which is a delicious scrambled egg with cheese and salsa folded inside a flour tortilla, but she suggested we get two dishes because she was insisting on buying my lunch. She even said, "Hopefully you've gotten a lot of free lunches this week!" Indeed I have -- only the Indian buffet lunch on Wednesday did I have to pay for (and Shobhit covered us at Buca di Beppo on Sunday); Sara on Monday, Auntie Rose on Tuesday, Stephanie on Thursday, and now Karen on Friday -- all four insisted on buying my lunch, much as I told nearly all of them that this is not why I do this every year, just to get free meals out of people. "I know," said Karen. (As for dinners? Shobhit and I paid for ourselves on Monday; Shobhit paid for the slices of pizza we had at Costco on Tuesday; I paid a rather small portion of my dinner with Jennifer on Wednesday, just so I could cover the tip, but the cash Eric handed her covered probably 85% of it; Claudia covered our drinks and her bartender friend covered all of our food on Thursday; and we paid for ourselves for the one dish we had last night. So, overall, I guess other people covered far more of my food this week than I did. But, hey! Shobhit has been working hard for the better part of four days, and I've helped a little, on the massive amount of homemade Indian food being offered to between 12 and 14 people today, a few of them people I had other meals with this week who paid.)

Anyway! Karen also wanted the French toast, so I had one of her three slices of that, basically as a dessert, and she had about a third of my Migas dish. The place was busy but not overflowing, so we were seated immediately. Karen got to show off her new electric wheelchair that she is finally starting to get comfortable in. And, as seems to be the case with most outings during my Birth Week, conversation was dominated by what all I've been doing the rest of the week.

We said our goodbyes (actually "see you tomorrow," as she and Dave are coming to tonight's dinner), and I walked back home. Shobhit was just leaving for his job fair when I got back at right around 2:00, and he was expecting it to last from 3 to 7 -- but he was done with it by 4:30 and asked me to come and pick him up. He had paid a $13 registration fee, but that wasn't too much, and he said he did think it was helpful, and he even grabbed a couple of cookies for us. He also got two pairs of sunglasses and a tote bag. As if we need any more tote bags but whatever. It's still better than shopping with plastic sacks, I guess.


Due to heavy rush hour traffic, we decided just to drive straight from there up to Lynnwood for dinner with Lynn at the Old Spaghetti Factory -- a different Italian restaurant than where we all ate last year, which was the Lynnwood location of Buca di Beppo, but we had just eaten at the Seattle location of Buca di Beppo with Dad and Sherri on Sunday, and the Seattle location of The Old Spaghetti Factory, which I had not eaten at in some time but had Birth Week meals there in 2007, 2008 and 2009, just closed last December. All of this confused Shobhit, who had trouble keeping his memory of the different chains and their locations and when and where we ate at them straight. (I only can because of my written and photo records.) In any case, last night we arrived 15 minutes early, and by the time Lynn arrived with Nick, her 16-year-old, we were seated immediately.

I guess Jordan, who I still remember as a little boy at Lynn and Jim's wedding in Spokane in 1999, lives part time now in the U.S. and part time in Paris with his French wife he married little more than a month after meeting her on the Internet (echoes of Mom and Bill there -- and guess what? Their 20th anniversary is next month), with their baby that was just born in February. Holy shit. And Zephyr didn't make it because he had plans with some other friends. But Lynn was available, and I guess The Old Spaghetti Factory is one of Nick's favorites, and it's not one of Zephyr's favorites, so it all worked out pretty well for all of us.

After weighing in yesterday morning at a panic-inducing 148.5 lbs, I ate far less and for once had no cocktails at all yesterday. That will change again today, but at least for this morning my weight was finally down again -- still too high at 146.6 lbs, but if it's trending downward I'll take it. I just pigged out way too much on both Wednesday and Thursday. I just need to get my shit together after this week is over. I still haven't lost the 10 lbs I gained from stress eating after the election in November, which was followed up only a couple of weeks later by Thanksgiving. And then the holidays. You know how it goes. But, hey -- I still look good.

Shobhit and I drove back home, and then I baked a cake. In addition to the cookie mixes I baked for Cavin's birthday party and for Easter, the bag of samples I had gotten from a broker at work also included Miss Jones Cake Mix, which Shobhit and I ultimately decided would be perfect for my Birth Week Indian Feed as the dessert. We kept two of the frostings that did not get completely used up for the cookies, and at Shobhit's suggestion, used up most of the salted caramel frosting as a middle layer. This along with the fresh sliced strawberries (and raspberry jam spread onto the bottom of the top half) helped increase the height of the fairly shallow cake that resulted from using this one box of mix in a 13" cake pan. We then put the two layers back on top of each other, covered the outside of the cake with the leftover cream cheese frosting, and put salted caramel frosting covered strawberries on the top.

Much like the cookies had been, the cake mix was super easy. All I had to add was a melted stick of butter, three eggs and half a cup of milk. Oh, fuck! You know what? I think I forgot the milk! Shit shit shit. And the cake looked so good. The batter tasted good too. Maybe it'll still be okay? I hope so. I'm just going to have to live with knowing that however it tastes, it probably could have been better. As I just told Shobhit, between the three eggs and the butter, the batter was plenty thin already so it was easy to space the milk almost immediately. I guess we'll see. This cake is heavy on frosting and jam, so maybe it won't make much difference. I guess we'll find out later this evening.


As always, click any image to be taken to the full photo set.


positive energy please