idle hands


-- चार हजार दो सौ और चालीस-सात --

To say my work load is light this week is kind of an understatement, and I've been struggling a bit to look busy the past couple of days. The idea of asking for more work to do is always a double-edged sword; I don't necessarily want to take on a whole lot of new permanent responsibilities, which would just leave me feeling overwhelmed on the weeks when my work load is not light. That said -- this does happen with increasing frequency. And the culprit is clear: automation.

Say! Speaking of automation -- that actually would qualify as something that I feel more threatened by than the prospect of losing tap water. If I think about this objectively, I probably have that backwards.

-- चार हजार दो सौ और चालीस-सात --

Shobhit and I had a new Indian dish for dinner last night -- new to me, anyway; we've never had it together but he's certainly had it before. It's actually meant as a snack but we made it dinner. It's called Gol Gappa in North India or Pani Puri in Mumbai, and it's actually a cold snack -- crispy spherical puris about the size of golf balls, which you crack tiny holes in and then fill with seasoned potato, cold garbanzo beans, and then a chutney spiced water. You're supposed to stick the whole thing in your mouth and let it explode when you crunch down on it.

This was not at all an easy thing to eat in any conventional way, at least not to an American. We sort of did an assembly line at the kitchen counter. He had a tray of about 70 or 80 of the spherical crunchy puris, which he bought at Mayuri in Bellevue on Sunday. So, in turn, we would each grab one of those, crack a hole in it, spoon a bit of the potato in, two or three garbanzo beans, then dip it into the mixing bowl of green chutney water. Then over to the sink, over which we would stick the ball into our mouths. We spent several minutes walking past each other to get from one end to the other of this mini-assembly line, until we each had probably 16 or 17 of them. It was hard to know when to stop eating them. I counted roughly 30 left of the spherical puris and declared we should wait to have the other half for dinner tonight.

It was kind of messy and took up a lot of space, but I quite liked it. I am curious now to get some at a restaurant sometime, just to compare to how it was made at home. Shobhit says typically an order comes with about six or seven of these, for about the same number of dollars. I wonder if any place in Seattle even has them? Surely some place on the Eastside does; the South Asian population is much denser over there.

-- चार हजार दो सौ और चालीस-सात --


-- चार हजार दो सौ और चालीस-सात --

Shobhit basically just made the decision on his own that we would do the day's crossword puzzle right after we were done eating. It didn't take a huge amount of time to get it solved anyway. And then we watched my Netflix copy of State and Main, which was all right. I must have added several David Mamet movies to my queue some time ago, and I can no longer remember why. Clearly this was a guy once venerated, but based on this and Glengarry Glen Ross, it hasn’t taken that long for his work to become rather dated. I do like how provocative Oleanna is, but it's been so long since I even watched that one I feel like it's possible I wouldn't be as intrigued by that anymore either. I think I'm done exploring Mamet's back catalog.

I have Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. II coming next in my queue, anyway -- followed by Spider-Man: Homecoming. I decided my mostly swearing off superhero movies in theatres (notable exceptions include Wonder Woman and, soon, Black Panther) doesn't mean I can't check some of them out on DVD. That doesn't cost me anything extra, and I don't wind up throwing away up to fourteen bucks at a movie theatre on movies that are ultimately just like dozens of others. I've read lots of good things about these two, but then, I said the same about Deadpool, and I maintain that movie was wildly overrated. Logan, at least, lived up to the hype. That one was worth going to see.

I was weirdly very tired all day yesterday -- struggling to stay awake both in the afternoon at work and even at home around 8:30 p.m. I have no explanation for that; I didn't sleep like a baby the night before, but nor did I feel particularly sleep deprived. I tried reading while in bed at 9:00 last night but couldn't even concentrate on pages. I zonked out and last night I did sleep like a baby, until Shobhit woke me up petting an agitated Guru at around 4:30 a.m. I fell back asleep until my alarm went off at about 5:10.

-- चार हजार दो सौ और चालीस-सात --

Today marks officially one week until Ivan moves out. To say I have mixed feelings about it is maybe an understatement. His departure is going to leave me with a weird mix of sadness and relief. I always knew his stint as a roommate -- as with any of them -- would be temporary, but I will miss him a lot. But, there will be many things I don't miss, like how much space he takes with his dishes and food in our kitchen and refrigerator (and especially our freezer). Honestly getting the entirety of the refrigerator and freezer back is going to be kind of a dream -- I will no longer have to keep frozen samples at work because I have no space for them at home! Also, two different times within the past few weeks he's taken it upon himself to turn the heat off when Shobhit and I decided to have it on -- he rationalized that there was no need in the mornings when no one was home, but I explained that I already have it programmed to dip down during those hours.

Things like this are pretty meaningless when taken on their own, but in the aggregate, it will just be nice not having to deal with them anymore. I mean, it's still tempting to say I'd love to have him as a roommate indefinitely, except it's really best for us all to get on with our lives. I really feel like Shobhit and I need the space to ourselves permanently again, regardless of how much he talks about renting to another subletter for the money. I'd rather take the hit as a means both of getting more comfortable having the place to ourselves again, and as a way to motivate Shobhit to work harder at finding a job.

Besides, unlike with Tommy, who I really wanted to stay in touch with and he even told me specifically we would hang out and then we never did, I feel confident Ivan will stay in touch. And Ivan is the one actually moving out of the city! Tommy might as well have moved out of the country, for all the effort he made to stay in touch. I really thought I had made two new good and lasting friendships out of my many roommates, but I guess I only made the one. There's a lot of reasons for that as far as Tommy goes, much of which I actually have some understanding for, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing. Ivan already moved out once before and I know from established history that my friendship with him will be lasting -- it developed much more after he lived with me the first time, after all.

I would like to make more friends who are notably younger than I am than just Ivan, though, for what some might see as a silly reason: insurance. My age. There is comfort in the idea that I will have good friends still around after the other friends, many of whom are a lot older than I am, will die off long before I do. I even said to Laney a couple of weeks ago: "This is going to sound way worse than it really is: I recently realized my least favorite thing about you." She immediately knew where I was headed with that: "That I'm going to die before you?" And I said, "One way or another, you're going to disappear long before I want you to." That could be death, yes -- or just her current plan to spend the first years of retirement camping across the country.

Granted, I am still young, relatively speaking -- although I'm also at the prime age for a midlife crisis (something I honestly don't expect will ever happen). I have far more close and meaningful friendships than most people can ask for. I just worry about when age alone will start making that number go down. At least the two people who are by far my closest friends (although Laney isn't far behind anymore), Danielle and Gabriel, are basically my age -- Danielle was born the same year I was and Gabriel the next year. I expect I'll have them both in my life for as long as I live, so long as none of us gets hit by a bus or anything. That does comfort me too.

-- चार हजार दो सौ और चालीस-सात --


[posted 12:18 pm]