the last star hand redemption


-- चार हजार चार सौ पांच --

Friday evening I met with Laney at Mexico Cantina at Pacific Place for our monthly happy hour -- I rode my bike home, and saved myself some money by having a pre-margarita at home before leaving. Shobhit had his own plans that night so he did not join us; I met with Laney at Light Rail, we went down to Pacific Place, and we had the greatest, most accommodating waiter who earned himself a 25% tip from me and a 30% tip from Laney. He offered to put the mushrooms I love so much right into the queso we ordered with our pre-dinner tortilla chips. And then we both had the delicious Happy Hour veggie quesadilla, which cost, like, four bucks. Not huge, as you can imagine, but perfectly sufficient -- especially when combined with the chips and mushroom queso.

And we also both had two House Margaritas. And a big reason I had suggested coming back to this place for Happy Hour was because Laney had initially asked if I wanted to swap Happy Hour for joining her to see A Star Is Born, which I really wanted to see again, and this was my solution to being able to do both. We went to see it at the AMC Theatre at 6:40.

I have to admit, upon second viewing, it was a lot easier to see the cracks in the production of A Star Is Born -- easy targets for legitimate criticism. That said, I still stand by my A- review, because what remains great about the movie still makes up for a lot and is very meaningful to me.

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Saturday evening, I took Shobhit's car to Tacoma and had dinner and then saw a movie with Gabriel. I was unsure if I would stay the night, and even packed just in case. In the end I chose not to stay the night. I might have under other circumstances, but Shobhit and I got in such a huge fight earlier that evening, I thought it was best that I go home. Getting into details about the fight will exhaust me and I don't want to do it, except to say that something happened that could be a game-changer, if I wanted it to be. I don't think I want it to be, although I would be justified in making it so. I still have to take responsibility for my own behaviors, which were less than stellar. I do often wish Shobhit would take more responsibility for his behavior, especially in this instance, but whatever. Either way, it was still probably better for everyone that I come back home -- and, once the movie was done, I actually found myself alert enough that I felt I could drive home without it being too big a challenge. Shobhit was already asleep, as it was nearly 12:30 a.m., but I still think it made a difference that I was there in the morning.

In any case, Gabriel pushed back a little on the timing of seeing First Man, which I was surprised to learn he knew nothing about when I first texted him to suggest we see it together -- he's always loved Apollo 13 so much, I knew this would interest him. And it absolutely did; I guess life has just gotten so much in the way for him that he hasn't even had a chance to pay attention. (On the other hand, weirdly, the podcasts he listens to have made plenty mention of A Star Is Born, so he asked me a lot about that one, which I am certain he would not like nearly as much -- even if he does love Lady Gaga.) He's super into the playoffs the Red Sox are playing currently, because he's a die-hard fan of that team, and he wanted to see the movie as late as possible so he could see the whole game. I told him I was pretty much guaranteed to fall asleep at the movie if we went to a showtime after 9:00, so instead of going to the Lakewood Mall AMC at 7:15 -- where I could have gotten a ticket with my membership at no extra cost -- we went to the Century Point Ruston, where the full price of the ticket was $12 (that being at least two dollars cheaper than the cheapest full-price tickets in Seattle) at 7:45. He warned me he would be looking at his phone to keep track of the score during the movie, and that he did.

But first, we met at the coffee chop where he ordered an expresso -- or whatever specialized drink it is he always gets there. From there we walked over to Stack 571, where I could get a "cordon bleu" veggie burger and, allowing the waitress to convince me to get something I absolutely did not need and put me another five bucks over budget, parmesan fries. Gabriel had only a couple of whiskeys, not eating anything because he toted Tess around to two different parties that day and had eaten too much food for the day already, apparently. Hoping for saving on the movie ticket with an AMC theatre, I budgeted $25 for that evening; in the end I spent $35. I guess that's not the end of the world.

So then we went to the movie, and Gabriel had lots to say about it, so when I told him I was leaning toward driving home, he said we had to find a place to talk about the movie for a bit first. We did that for maybe half an hour, and he did indeed have lots to say about First Man. He found the "family man" stuff to be superfluous. I quite liked the movie overall, and gave it a B+. I very nearly gave it an A- when I sat down to write the review yesterday morning, but settled on the slightly lower grade when I realized the movie didn't exactly blow me away. And that's kind of ironic, because Gabriel was blown away by the procedural scenes inside space crafts, but I still clearly liked the movie on the whole better than he did. I mean, either way, at least, we were both happy we went to see it.

Gabriel had a beer at that last place, but I ordered nothing. "I'm trying to save money today!" I said. There was a moment at the earlier restaurant when he thought I might have paid the entire bill. "Not today," I said.

I listened to Troye Sivan's Bloom album on the drive home that took nearly an hour, and that, honestly, was lovely.

-- चार हजार चार सौ पांच --


-- चार हजार चार सौ पांच --

Yesterday was sucked up mostly by the double feature I had in the Braeburn Condos theatre with Laney. I really thought Shobhit would have liked these movies, but he opted not to join us. He lost out on any Social Review points, I just now realized, actually, with every decision he made this entire weekend. I never expected him to join me with Gabriel, but he could have gotten points quite easily on both Friday and on Sunday. Instead, for this stretch of days, he got none.

Anyway, the two movies Laney and I watched proved to be truly inspired choices for a double feature, two great prison movies (and I'm not exactly big on prison movies, as you might imagine, but these are just plain great movies): Cool Hand Luke, which I had never seen before, and The Shawshank Redemption, which I had not watched in ages, although I know I saw it a few times back in the day. They're actually pretty different movies (just by virtue of geography alone: one is set in early-20th-century south; the other in mid-20th-century Maine), but both are excellent. I was riveted by both of them.

There was a birthday party happening for the first few hours, in the community kitchen you have to go through in order to get to the theatre room, which makes it slightly awkward. There were no problems, though. I did find it strange for a birthday party to be scheduled on a Sunday morning between 9 am and 1 pm, but whatever. They had a lot of pies. We even heard them singing "Happy Birthday" in the middle of The Shawshank Redemption, and they had cleared out soon after that, the kitchen not being reserved for the rest of the day. So we only had to cut through their party a couple of times, at the beginning and for our bathroom break between the two movies. When Laney first arrived, she joked, "Oh you guys, is this for me?" -- and they all kind of ignored her as we walked through. She giggled and said, "They didn't think that was funny." I think it just didn't quite register to them that she was talking to them, actually.

I told Shobhit I thought he would like Cool Hand Luke, and since he has no work shift today, he actually asked me not to put the Netflix disc back in the mail just yet, and he may watch it today. I think there's a better chance he will join us for next month's double feature, also an inspired pair of choices, if I do say so myself: The Poseidon Adventure and Titanic. Disaster movies on ships!

-- चार हजार चार सौ पांच --

And what exciting thing did Shobhit and I do after Laney and I parted ways and I went back upstairs to the condo? Taxes! 2017 taxes. Now that it's, you know, October.

This is basically Shobhit's M.O. with taxes every year anymore. He never gets them done by April; he files for an extension; he barely gets them done before they're for-real due six months later. It's entirely his finances that makes our joint filing massively complicated, what with income sources that vary from Washington State to California to India. I leave it all up to him to figure out, but then he insists I go over it all with him before submitting online. It's incredibly tedious, but I realty must give him credit when it comes to this -- I have to concede, pretty obviously, that it's for the best that I see in all its detail how he's reporting our combined income to the IRS. It just takes

We were finally done a little past 7 p.m., and then I helped him fry up some parathas to have with dinner. I had made myself a three-egg omelet for brunch, which I even finished as the first movie was playing, and then just had this dinner -- really no snacks otherwise; just a couple of cups of tea; I did have a White Russian with dinner. Still, I really felt my weight should have been down this morning, and it was fucking up. Kind of barely, but still -- wrong direction, a definitive disappointment.

Anyway then we watched another nearly-two-hour episode of The Vietnam War, this one covering the presidential transition from Johnson to Nixon, and revealing how Nixon treasonously colluded with Vietnamese leaders to postpone the ending of the war that had been a campaign promise, and also just to get himself elected -- sacrificing untold American lives to do so. This detail was illuminating to Shobhit. "I always thought Trump was worse," he said, indicating that he was realizing, essentially, Nixon actually was just as horrifyingly corrupt.

To tell the truth -- and I was afraid of this -- this documentary series is rather dispiriting at times, a clear indication of how this country has really not fundamentally changed in the past forty years. The way our government overtly manipulated and misled the public when it came to the atrocities of that war, it calls a whole lot into question. It did then, and continues to now. I guess that means it's a good thing this incredibly well researched series exists, except to consider how few people have actually watched it. People prefer to live in ignorant bliss, and that was kind of my instinct as well: I put off watching this for basically the same reason.

But eventually the dire consequences wash up to your shores -- just as climate change is right now. I just had a conversation with Brenna at work this morning about how, beneath the surface pleasantness of the stunningly beautiful days Seattle has had the past couple of weeks, is something very sinister and creepy. We should be having a lot of rain right now, actually. It fucking feels like spring out there. Shobhit and I got really hot inside our apartment, with the high reaching about 67°. On October 14! Normal high for yesterday's date, according to KOMO News, is 60°.

Anyway, enough of that! I just made macaroni and cheese for lunch today, the box that always yields two bowls so I have lunch tomorrow all ready to be reheated. It's been quite a while since I had this at work; I used to do it an average of once every pay period and now I can go several months before having it again. And maybe it's the white trash in me, but I love macaroni and cheese! And writing about it kind of pointlessly too, I guess. I should get back to work.

-- चार हजार चार सौ पांच --


[posted 12:14 pm]