nice to see, nice to taste, nice to hear


-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस-एक --

How is it that we could have been having regular free dinners and all this time we've been wasting the opportunity! It may be that Shobhit dropped the ball here, which is strange considering he loves free stuff even more than I do -- particularly free food.

Last night we went to the second local SAG-AFTRA party we've gone to this year, both at the same venue: Naked City Brewery & Taphouse in Greenwood, which has its own separate space off to the side reservable for special events. The first time we went was actually nearly a year ago -- in January, for viewing the SAG Awards.

At that time, I guess Shobhit paid $10 for me as a guest entrance fee. For last night's annual local holiday party (if this is annual, why have we never gone before!), he never mentioned any fee for guests -- I believe at this one I got in as a plus one at no charge. At both events, with both got drink tickets for two drinks, and there was a buffet spread provided. At last night's spread, a lot of vegetarian options were provided (in fact I think the pasta bolognese was the only thing with meat in it), most of it quite delicious -- curiously, it was the pasta with cheese sauce that proved to be the only thing that was bland. They also had deep fried mushrooms that I seriously could not stop eating, they were so delicous. There were also two different desserts and a rather tasy salad. I should have taken a picture of the food. Nex time.

We sat at a table with a middle-aged woman named . . . I'm pretty sure it was Rachael. I could easily be spelling that wrong, the name gets spelled so many ways. Anyway, she and Shobhit met at a recent local SAG-AFTRA meet and greet where only three people showed up at the Capitol Hill bar but they still all sat and chatted for like two hours. Thereafter, Rachael quite generously offered her time to help Shobhit run lines with him for a recent local audition and again for a callback. Until last night, though, I had never met her -- and was moderately struck to discover she was a black woman. This would not at all be relevant except that, until meeting her, I had completely assumed she was white. That's how I pictured whoever this woman was Shobhit was meeting up with. In a way, that sums up the ignorant white experience: you don't assume anything other than whiteness until that otherness is staring you in the face.

Consider this: had I not mentioned Rachael as a black woman in even this very entry, in all likelihood, any reader would also have assumed she was white. This is why, actually, I often do specify when someone I'm talking about isn't white -- because otherwise that becomes the default assumption. And this is one way, among many, to demonstrate the fallacy of the phrase "I don't see color." It's not as noble a sentiment as those who use it think it is. When you ignore color, you render communities invisible. I really strive to be mindful of that.

We had pretty lively conversation with Rachael, and also another woman who said her name was "Z," and when I asked what it was short for, it was "Zelano" or something probably only vaguly similar to that -- I only remember now that it started with a Z, had an L in the middle, and was an Arabic name even though she was a hispanic woman from Mexico City with no Arab heritage (but who has not seen Roma, which I had to ask her because it's set in Mexico City -- and also, of course, she is a working actor). Actually most of her work is in voiceover, apparently.

Oh wait! I just thought to search Shobhit's Facebook friends. It's Rachel. So we'll just spell it that way for her from now on. The Z-woman is not Facebook friends with him though so I cannot confirm her name now.

In any case, it was very fascinating talking to both of them. I did learn Rachel graduated college in 1986, so if we assume she was 22 years old then (I turned 10 that year), today she would be . . . 54. It seems she gets a lot of local acting work, largely in corporate training videos that can't be used publicly in things like a reel. Rachel in particular struck me as very cool, and when another guy came over to ask "Why are you proud to be a SAG member?", Rachel was the only one to answer in depth, and she talked a lot about her pride in professionalism. She was very well put together even for this event, even had a smart hat on, and she impressed me in pretty much every way. She was uniquely warm and friendly -- in a way, honestly, that Seattleites are not exactly known for.

There was a few short speeches but mostly it was mingling -- which Shobhit did more of than I did. But I did get a picture of when he popped up in the slideshow volunteering at a past event. He was wearing that same mustard hoodie (which he bought when we were at Northgate Mall during my Birth Week with Lynn and Zephyr) last night. Incidentally, the lady shown in that photo carrying a dog, was also there with the same dog at last night's event. I should have gotten a picture of her too.

It was really quite a pleasant evening out, and a nice perk to being Shobhit's spouse able to come to an event paid for by union dues. (When asked if I was an actor myself, I said, "I'm his trophy husband," which entertained everyone at the table.) I think we should definitely keep our eye out for more events like this, although Shobhit told me they were unable to book the space for the 2019 SAG Awards ceremony, so whether they're able to have a local viewing event for that or not remains to be seen. I really hope so -- we don't get any of the cable channels on which it actually airs.

-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस-एक --


-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस-एक --

We now have two things regularly bringing us back to the Greenwood neighborhood, actually, which we have a renewed interest in going back to with frequency: after doing their Thanksgiving feast in November, Shobhit and I are set to go back to the Vegetarians of Washington monthly dining event next week -- that's at The Upper Crust Catering Company, which is all of one block from Naked City Brewery. They're right by each other, and for either one we park in the same large free parking lot off the alley behind the buildings where Naked City is located.

We really never had any reason to go to Greenwood before this. Maybe booking costs are cheaper there? Gentrification and rising prices hasn't yet hit that particular neighborhood, I guess. Yet.

Oh, speaking of Naked City -- I discovered the hard way that the restrooms through a hallway in the back are shared with a neighboring bar, which I accidentally walked out into when I finished in the men's room. It was much more crowded and the doorway into the private space to the side appeared to have disappeared, so for a second I kind of thought I was in The Twilight Zone. This clearly happens a lot, because a waitress at that place immediately said, "Are you looking for Naked City?" and then she very kindly directed me how to get back to the right spot.

-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस-एक --

It's rainy today. I still love our view of the Puget Sound from the windows in our office kitchen just as much though.

Lately I've been lunching at the same time as Ellen M, who basically does my job (which I do for Grocery) for the Meat department. She told me today she's been working for PCC since 2007, starting as a cashier. I wonder if I would be the only one working at the office currently who never had any previous retail or Grocery experience of any kind prior to getting hired? Really the only relevant experience I had was three months of data entry as a temp for the American Cancer Society -- but, it's what worked: Stephanie told me ages ago that a deciding factor in their hiring me was my honesty about the tediousness of the work, but that I didn't mind it. My job is still tedious, but it's also much more complex, which makes it a more satisfying challenge, comparatively anyway.

We actually talked some shit, kind of, about at least one previous employee. I won't name the person because, well, that would not be in my best interest now would it? Also, Ellen has previously work as both a POS Backup and a Merc person at different stores, which means that in both capacities we have exchanged emails for work in the past. It was in that context that she mentioned to me, "At the stores, we always knew, when your name was on the email, it was going to get done right." That's the kind of thing that makes a person feel pretty damned good.

She came to the office only a few months ago, after Erica moved to San Diego. Steven came even more recently, to replace Kibby in HBC when she moved over to Category Management. Patrick has been here a couple of years I think, and he works in Deli, but more recently has had more system-related questions. Ellen told me today, "You seem to know the system front to back" -- which made me think of when Stephanie nearly fired me in 2002. I've come a long way, baby! Anyway, I mentioned to Ellen that between her and Steven and Patrick, lately it seems I've by default become "the resident expert." I actually don't feel like I know everything about the system we use, but it would still be fair to say I know more than most at this point.

Because -- well, because I have no ambition! I never aspire to any higher-up position, and am happy just to allow the position to evolve as it has over the years (it also evolves in a particular way because of my refusal to own a car, a fact I do not foresee ever changing). Also I don't want to have to manage any other employees. Yuck. I honestly think that for the most part what I'm doing now does the most to play to my strengths -- and by and large, other positions around here would not.

I still love this job and I do not take it for granted. I have to get back to work now.

-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस-एक --


[posted 12:44 pm]