Monday News


-- चार हजार एक सौ पचास-दो --

You may have noticed no DLU yesterday: it was Labor Day and the office was closed, so I didn't work. This was also largely why I posted about my day with Gina on Sunday, because I didn't want to have to catch up on three days instead of the usual two once I was back to work again. This also means I don't have much to catch up on, actually.

After I was done writing about Sunday, I spent most of the evening watching TV with Shobhit. Several episodes of The Golden Girls, as I recall. We also did the New York Times crossword, which we hadn't done in a while.

We ran a few errands yesterday. First a drive to the Apple Store, where I finally convinced Shobhit to stop trying to convince me not to upgrade my iPad by discovering that we can get up to $100 in store credit for returning old devices for recycling. Shobhit feels no need for a new iPad of his own, so potentially we could get $200 in credit by returning both devises, and get 60% off the price of an upgraded, new one.

One little hiccup: they only do in-store recycling for store credit one device at a time. I can still get the $100 credit on the other one, but it has to be done online. So, I got $100 off the new iPad instead of $200. This still appeased Shobhit, though: 30% off the new iPad, plus later I'll get $100 in store credit which I can put toward music purchases we both know I'll be making soon enough. They'll even mail me the packaging kit for mailing in the old iPad before they send me the gift card. I don't have to pay anything. It's just a matter of time: getting the kit; packing up the old iPad; mailing it in; getting the gift card sent back to me. It'll probably take a few weeks, I'm guessing. I filled out the form online yesterday and it said I would get the packaging kit within five business days.

As for the in-store transaction, that place has mastered the art of efficiency and expediency -- at least when you want to buy something. (To get technical support, you still have to make a Genius Bar appointment. But even that isn't really difficult.) The guy looked up to confirm I was eligible for a $100 credit for Shobhit's old iPad, and had the new iPad in moments. I gave him my card, I signed with my finger (I still hate doing that), and had the receipt emailed to me and we were on our way.

I got an email from Apple this morning asking me to fill out a customer service survey. It named the guy who helped us by his first name: "Aleks." Aleks? Seriously?

I mean, nothing against him personally. He can't help what his clearly insufferable parents named him.

Anyway, back in the day, the major purpose of Shobhit and I both having iPads was to make it easier to FaceTime every evening when he lived in L.A. Shobhit asked how long he had his iPad and we both guessed probably at least since 2012. I just looked up my transactions history and it's actually been longer: I purchased my iPad 2 in March 2011, which was a year to the month after Shobhit moved from Seattle to New York City; and I purchased his iPad 2 -- at the Apple Store at The Grove -- in Los Angeles on Black Friday, November 2011, getting $50 off for it on sale. That was nearly two months after he moved from New York to West Hollywood. So basically as of yesterday, Shobhit had his iPad for six years and I had mine for six and a half.

We never need to FaceTime each other anymore, though. And he uses his laptop for online TV viewing. I figure, in a world of planned obsolescence, a six year run before the devices stop working correctly actually isn't half bad.

We drove back home, parked and took the iPad up to the condo, and then walked downtown. First to the AT&T Store, where I got an iPad cover. Its listed price of $46 was more than the official iPad covers at the Apple store selling for $39, but Shobhit still has his old Microsoft employee discount on his AT&T account -- for half off! So for this I only paid $23 and it has better functionality anyway.

We went to Beecher's at Pike Place Market for cheese curd Shobhit plans to put in the samosas he's making and bringing to the potluck wedding reception for Becca and Tyler on Saturday, where Shobhit fears most of the people will be unfamiliar with Indian food and they won't get eaten. We'll see. We can always take home what doesn't get eaten and I will have no trouble finding mouths for them -- most importantly my own.

-- चार हजार एक सौ पचास-दो --


-- चार हजार एक सौ पचास-दो --

On the way to Beecher's, we stopped for tea samples in the tea store at Pike Place. I got a rather interesting phone call, from my mother.

"I have news," she said. Oh, shit. "Is it good or bad news?"

"It's good news," she replied. Oh, okay. Whew!

I guess her biological sister -- the only one of her three biological siblings she has never met in person, although she's almost certainly spoken to her on the phone more than she ever did her two biological brothers, neither of whom have been heard from since Terry disappeared after Mom said she couldn't loan him money in 1992 -- is planning a trip to Washington this month. She'll be coming to meet Mom and Bill in Wallace in a couple of weekends, but apparently will be in Seattle this coming weekend, to visit a grandchild she has here.

Holy shit, wait a minute. I just realized that means I have a biological cousin in Seattle and never knew it. If he's Cyndi's grandson then this person would actually be my first cousin once removed but whatever. I wonder who that person is? Cyndi's Facebook page provides no clues.

Anyway, Mom's memory can't necessarily be trusted completely so I do need to get details directly from Cyndi. But I should do everything I can to actually meet her. I've seen pictures of her and she looks remarkably similar to Mom, so I expect it to be a somewhat surreal experience -- like meeting an alternate-reality version of Mom. Before Mom found any of her siblings who had also been adopted out (all to different families; there were four of them), I had no idea Mom had a sister. She grew up only with Uncle David -- who, as the only two of them who was a biological offspring of Grandma and Grandpa Minor, is himself the spitting image of his father. Mom, not so much, for obvious reasons.

. . . And I literally got more details from her just now while writing this, as I didn't see her response sent late Sunday night. I forgot I muted Facebook Mesenger with her because she kept sending mass-recipient stuff I was not interested in. I've unmuted her for now. I know now she's planning to be in Federal Way, specifically, from the 8th through the 14th. Hopefully we can meet up sometime. Preferably at a time when Shobhit and I can actually drive and I don't have to take the bus -- I already offered to come to Federal Way to meet, since she's unfamiliar with Seattle and that likely makes it easier for her than braving Seattle traffic.

Okay. So we went from the MarketSpice store to Beecher's, and from there to Japonessa for a light lunch -- their Happy Hour menu starts at noon every day; we had two $5 vegetarian sushi dishes. Shobhit's all about that place after we meet Gabriel and Tess there back in February. We've been back a couple of times now. And this gives Shobhit his beloved point on the next Social Review. Eating lunch counts as socializing but merely running errands does not.

One downside to that place: it's pretty big for having a men's room with only one toilet, which was occupied all three times I went to try and use it. Whatever, Japonessa!

Shobhit and I sat at the bar to get seated immediately, and saw three chefs assembling sushi in front of us. This on the other side of seafood inside a glass case from which they would pull pieces for ingredients, including a plate of severed octopus tentacles. It made me visualize an alien world in which they prepared humans for consumption. Here is a plate of severed limbs, ready and waiting to be diced. And who needs it to be cooked? Raw meat for everyone!

We walked home from there, and basically just hung out until Shobhit left for his work evening shift. So killed time yesterday evening by walking downtown again to see the 40th anniversary re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I kept nodding off during the final few scenes, which is too bad. But whatever, I've seen it several times, once before in the theatre, even -- it was the first film I ever saw at Cinerama after it re-opened right after I moved to Seattle in 1998. The screen there was far better. Also, the movie was merely 21 years old then. Now it's nearly twice that age. Time is a constantly surreal thing to experience for me.

It is a long movie, so between that and the time spent walking there and back, it took up pretty much my entire evening. No time to get bored! I was getting ready for bed by the time I got back home again.

-- चार हजार एक सौ पचास-दो --