coded weekend update


-- चार हजार एक सौ बीस --

Well, I'm realizing today, my first day back at work after the official switch over to Fruitcake Enterprises, that I think I'm going to have to stick with writing these entries in unformatted, code blocks, in which I have to manually key in the html codes. The kicker, I realized, is indeed the photos I like to include in my entries: at home, it's pretty easy just to upload the photos into separate "blocks" (as Squarespace calls them) -- but that relies on easy access to the photo files themselves, which are on my hard drive at home. To do the same at work, I still have to go to Flickr, then re-save the photos to my work computer's hard drive, and then upload from there. In other words: a pain in the ass. It's easier just to grab the html code Flickr provides itself, which I can't use in pre-formatted text entry keying. So, now I have to add a few more html commands -- paragraph and line breaks -- so I can more easily include the photos the way I like to. It's also much easier to include anchor text too, that allows for links (mostly used in my Social Review posts) that take you to a certain spot on the middle of the text.

In any case, this is all still taking some getting used to. On the upside, I'm much happier with the overall look of the end product -- what viewers actually see on their screen. As one person who posted a comment over the weekend already noted, "it's much cleaner." It will likely continue to evolve over time, naturally, but for now I'm pretty happy with what I've got, all things considered -- not least of which would be how new I am to this platform.

-- चार हजार एक सौ बीस --

I still have plenty to tell about my weekend, even though I already posted an entry on Saturday that was all about Friday -- I was even going to write about the first half of that day in that entry but I ran out of time and had to go.

Ivan had several days working in a row, after nearly a week of no work since he finally officially moved from a regular employee to "on call" -- but then the boss he hated so much, who was the primary reason he put in his notice, quit without notice herself, and he was suddenly called to pick up the slack. He had a very stressful week and messaged me several times near the end of it that he wanted to "go get a nice sandwich." He wasn't even sure until Friday evening whether he would be working Saturday -- and he was, but he still wanted to go get lunch before he left for work anyway.

He had asked if I knew of a good place to get sandwiches, and I said my favorite sandwich on Capitol Hill, by far is the "El Guapo" at the HoneyHole on Pike. He immediately said he loves the Honey Hole and he hadn't been there in a long time, so the plan was set. I was last there with Gabriel and Tess, a year ago almost to the date (off by one: July 16), but at that time it looks like I hadn't been there since having lunch there with Susan in 2011 -- prior to that, with Barbara in 2008. As you can see, I don't get there often. But I do love that sandwich.

Anyway, Shobhit worked two shifts one right after the other on Saturday, so lunch was just Ivan and me. He rather surprised me by how early he wanted to go -- at first he suggested 11:30, although he later popped back out into the living room, still in his bathrobe, and said, "Make that 11:45." And then we walked together down there, where he wound up getting pretty annoyed because our sandwiches took forever to come; even after mine was brought to our table, three other tables were served, although Ivan had ordered directly after I did.

My sandwich was worth the wait, though. I fucking love that sandwich. I was super full when I was done; I'd only managed a few bites of the $2 side of coleslaw that I'd gotten, but couldn't eat another bite after I was done with the sandwich. Ivan commented on how disgusting he finds coleslaw. How can anyone hate coleslaw? Then again, he and just about everyone else loves avocado and I think that shit is disgusting.

We stopped at Molly Moon's on the way back. Ivan wanted some ice cream. I didn't -- I was way too full -- but I still stayed with him long enough to order the ice cream cone and then we walked the rest of the way home together. He then proceeded to get ready for work and was gone for the rest of the day within about an hour.

-- चार हजार एक सौ बीस --


-- चार हजार एक सौ बीस --

I killed a few hours, reading my library book. I was going to take a bus down to hang out with Danielle a bit earlier in the afternoon but she asked me to wait a bit because she had some stuff to get done. So, I caught the #101 express to the downtown Renton Transit Center at 4:05, and it arrived at about 4:45, several minutes early. I walked to the end of the block to where she usually picks me up and she was there within a few minutes, her two dogs sitting in the middle back seats of her van.

She wanted to take the dogs for a walk, and to a local dog park -- which, apparently, I even could have walked a pedestrian path to from downtown Renton. Danielle really loves Renton, and I guess I won't fault her for that. It's not terrible, I guess I'll concede. I would still hate living there -- it would be terrible for me, especially if I wanted to continue a car-free existence (access to Shobhit's car notwithstanding -- on a day to day basis I still don't have or use one, certainly not for work). Danielle lives in a house in the middle of a large neighborhood development and is within walking distance to literally zero things besides a park, a church, or neighbors. Grocery stores? Drug stores? Stores of any kind? Restaurants? Nope, nope, nope and nope. Where I live, I can walk to no less than four full-sized grocery stores; the same number of drugstores; even a hardware store. And restaurants? There are literally so many within walking distance -- and I'm talking blocks, not miles -- that I can't even get to them all. The fact remains that Renton, lovely and pretty as much as it is, still represents suburbia, and to my way of thinking is still a far greater environmental threat, for a multitude of reasons, than smartly planned urban density. I guarantee you my carbon footprint is far smaller than Danielle's. So there! Well, now that I'm not flying every month. I guess I should admit that monthly flights probably made my carbon footprint comparatively massive, and cumulatively, Danielle's may very well be dwarfed by comparison. Whatever! Shut up! God damn it, can't you let me be sanctimonious in peace?

Anyway. It was a pleasant evening -- and in the end, that dog park was the only place we went. There's this new Asian restaurant at South Sound Center that she wants to try, but she drove us back to her house to drop off the dogs and have a drink first. And then Danielle said she wanted a second drink and would pay for us to Uber to the restaurant. I was like, no fucking Uber! Seriously, fuck those fuckers. She rolled her eyes and said, "Fine, I'll downtown the Lyft app," which of course she never did and perhaps never will.

The thing is, we wound up ordering pizza and just staying at her place instead. It was just the two of us; the girls were with Patrick. The pizza Danielle ordered, which she got half meaty for herself and half veggie for me, was shockingly delicious. I ate four slices. We watched a couple of episodes of the Netflix show GLOW, which I recommended once I saw she had a streaming account -- although she's the type who only half-pays attention to something she's watching, which drives me bonkers. She's missing important information! I should let it go. It's not that important.

What was important was just hanging out, spending time with one of my favorite people, my oldest friend -- thirty years we've known each other, as of this August! Danielle said we should "tear it up" to celebrate, whatever that means. I mean, by then she'll also be 41. Both of us at this age, what do we do to "tear it up"? Stay up past 11:00? I do thing we should do something special, though. I love anniversaries -- even friendship ones.

Time, time, time, see what's become of me . . . Danielle mentioned she's lived in that house now for 11 years. She's been there longer than Shobhit and I have been in our condo, which will be 10 years this October. In both our cases, though, it's by some distance either of us has ever lived in a single place. Shobhit never expected our time in the condo to be this long. When he bought it, he thought of it in terms of an investment, something he could make money on later. I never saw it that way and I still don't. I've never stopped loving living there. I felt when we moved in that I could be happy living there the rest of my life and I still do. Don't get me wrong, now -- if we suddenly had the opportunity to upgrade to a better place, especially on a higher floor, I'd be all for it. I just don't see that happening any time soon, and I'm fine with it. It's no great disappointment for that not to happen, especially considering what a pain in the ass it is to move.

Danielle still offered to pay me back the cost of a Lyft, although she kind of went back and forth regarding whether it would be to the Renton Transit Center or a drive all the way home, which I knew would be expensive. She did say at one point, "I'll cover anything up to forty bucks." She had paid for the pizza, which totaled $40. And I wound up getting a Lyft and riding straight home to Seattle -- with tip that came to $48.50. I decided to tell her she could just give me $20 for that, since that way her share for the whole evening would be forty bucks. That left an extra $8.50 for me to cover, a small price for my decision to ride all the way home instead of just to the transit center.

I got home shortly before both Shobhit and Ivan got home from work, again within just a few minutes of each other.

-- चार हजार एक सौ बीस --

Shobhit had double shifts again yesterday, although there was a much bigger break between them, so I saw him for a bit in the afternoon. He world 8-12 in the morning at one place; 4:15 - 8:45 in the evening at the other. But I took myself to a movie, just because I wanted to go to a movie -- and found that this Chinese World War II drama called Our Time Will Come had rather good reviews. And it was a rather good movie, as it turned out -- far better than any of the trailers for other, comparatively very bizarre Chinese movies shown beforehand appeared to be. Just try watching this trailer and then not feeling compelled to wash your eyeballs immediately. I was beginning to wonder if Our Time Will Come would be much weirder than I expected, but was relieved to find a straightforward, well-paced and sufficiently compelling drama.

The showing was at 10:50, and I left around 10:00, because I wanted to go return the library book I had finished on the bus on Saturday first. I have no library book at the moment and it's making me antsy -- a good sign, I think. Feeling the need to be in the middle of a book at all times certainly can't be bad. In the meantime, I'm having to settle for the magazines I rarely read anymore. I read a Rolling Stone cover story on Rachel Maddow yesterday. But I digress: I got home from the movie at close to 2:00, after stopping at the Meridian to get tickets for Shobhit and Laney and me to see War for the Planet of the Apes on Tuesday evening.

Shobhit is not feeling well, and at times his cough is worsening. I'm really afraid of catching whatever he's got. I've been taking extra herbal supplements and drinking Ener-C at work. It feels like it's working, and I don't care if it's just a placebo effect! I do not want to get sick, even though I can far more easily take sick time off of work than Shobhit can. I really thought he might keep me up all night coughing, but somehow I fell asleep fairly quickly last night and slept soundly the whole night. I only woke up, very briefly, around 3:30 when Shobhit got up to get ready for this shift that started an hour later. I woke up this morning at 5:30 and discovered that I had somehow turned off the alarm on my phone only an hour after I'd set it, around 10:30. What the shit? Did I do that I my sleep?

Shobhit napped a little in the afternoon, and then had his second shift at the other place between 4:15 and 8:45, during which time I spent a fair amount of time with Ivan again. He was supposed to have a date yesterday, who kept postponing, until it clearly just didn't happen. I don't know if he just got stood up or what, but it did seem to put him into a relatively sedate mood. We had already established we were going to watch the season premiere of Game of Thrones together at 6:00, an easy thing to plan when he was supposed to have his date at 4:00. But 4:00 came and went and Ivan was still at home, in a tank top and shorts. I began to wonder if watching the show would have to be postponed, but in the end it wasn't. I made us both Moscow Mules, even though he wavered both on having a drink to begin with, and then whether to have a single or a double. Finally he said, "Give me a double. I need it."

The episode was compelling, but not the best, or the most exciting, season premiere they've ever had. I think most of this season will just be set-up for more exciting things to come next year. I did like the cold open with Arya -- which had seemed predictable at first and then genuinely surprised me.

Ivan evidently had nothing else to do when the episode was over, at which point he said, "What are we going to do now?" He suggested watching one of his Netflix movies, so we did: a 2003 Spanish film about gay men called Bulgarian Lovers. It was okay; nothing I would get too excited about. Ivan has a thing for Bulgarians. I mentioned that Shobhit would love this movie, just because it had so much male nudity in it. "That's Shobhit for you," he said. "One track mind!" Indeed. Shobhit got home from work just as the movie was ending. "What a tragic story," Ivan said. "I'm going to go to my room and cry." He actually left to go jogging soon after, and Shobhit and I were home alone long enough to do the New York Times crosswords.

Shobhit really needed to get to bed once he was done having the dinner I'd reheated for him (along with the hot toddy I had ready for him), though, and we were both in bed soon after that. I'm still amazed I slept as well as I did last night. I wasn't even the one who had to swig on cough medicine.

-- चार हजार एक सौ बीस --