happy / days


Boy, did I just have a sociable weekend. And I didn't even leave town! Hell, one friend who technically doesn't live in town (okay, he lives in Tacoma, whatever) came to me. Three days, four different friends, plus Shobhit taking part on at least one day. Four different major outings, but not one for each friend: two friends came together for one thing; one friend I did things with on two different days.

That last friend would be Laney, with whom I went to see a movie on Friday night at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown (Pick of the Litter, a charming movie about one litter of puppies being trained as guide dogs for the blind), before shifting our usual Happy Hour timing between 5 and 6 pm to nearby Peso's Kitchen & Lounge, which offers Happy Hour pricing for smaller plates at all times. The movie is quite short, at 81 minutes, and the showing was at 6:45, so it got out by about 8:15, still leaving us plenty of time for a small plate for dinner and two "Ultimate Margaritas" afterward.

That's their most expensive cocktail, and they don't offer any Happy Hour pricing on it. $12, and worth every penny. Laney and I both had two, as I typically do when I go there. My quesadilla plate, which you can see on the table in the above photo, cost all of $6. So, combining that with a tip, I spent precisely $40 there -- exactly how much I had already budgeted for. I was kind of weirdly proud of that. That quesadilla was super tasty, by the way. I had the Three Cheese and Pine Nut one. In my experience, getting Happy Hour menu small plates is plenty for a full meal, to be honest. People often complain about how portions at restaurants are way too large and it's how people wind up gaining a bunch of weight if they go out to eat too often. This right here is the solution, and it costs half as much.

Laney had never been to Peso's, and she rather liked it. The only complaint was how loud it was -- and it wasn't even quite as "packed" as the lady told her it would be when Laney tried, in vain, to call in a reservation earlier that day. They don't take reservations unless it's for at least six people, which I think is bullshit, but whatever. When we arrived, the bar was pretty full -- not packed to people standing with no tables, but pretty much all tables taken, except for a few seats at the bar seating by the window. We asked to guys to move down one so we could sit together -- only to find one guy sitting at a tall table by himself about to leave. We waited for him to finish signing his check, barely concealing the degree to which we were hovering, and pounced once he left.

And then we had a perfectly lovely evening of chatting about this and that, I don't even remember what about anymore, before taking the bus home with a slight buzz going on. When I got home I made chai, putting one more shot of tequila into my cup, and when I went to wash the dishes in the sink, I had no idea the shot glass had slipped down into the garbage disposal. Shobhit thought I did this because I was drunk, which I don't think was fair. I was barely buzzed at worst, and I assure you, I could easily have made this mistake sober. Why the fuck would I think to check for a small glass down the garbage disposal, and what are the chances of one slipping down there to begin with? Well, I turned on the disposal, and it made these massive clanging sounds; I turned it off and discovered the busted up glass down the drain.

Shobhit and I pulled out as many pieces as we could, only cutting ourselves the tiniest bit, but still seeing plenty of tiny shards in there. I didn't want to have to take the whole thing apart again -- I just replaced the damned thing last May, for fuck's sake -- and Shobhit and I were both pretty much assuming I would have to purchase a new one, yet again, only four months later.

Shobhit worked a full shift on Saturday, though, and that morning I called the InSinkerator customer service line to inquire about service options. I looked it up and the purchase still being this new, it was under warranty -- except, the lady predictably informed me, not for something like this. She mentioned the small wrench that comes with the machine, which I did still have in my tool box; I looked up a tutorial online and found that there actually was an easy fix: just stick that wrench into a hole in the middle of the bottom of the disposal case, fit it in properly, and manually grind it around until what's sticking in the way and preventing the parts from revolving pushes through. You just run the disposal manually, basically. I unplugged the thing to do this part, and although the tutorial said this might make the reset button pop out so I'd have to push it in again, that never happened. I simply ground through it, then plugged it back in -- and then it worked! Hooray! I feel so butch

When I told Shobhit about it later that night, he mentioned that perhaps this means I could have fixed the old disposal the same way. Uh . . . yeah. Well, except that that disposal was some ten years old; I did not still have the small wrench for it; and it almost certainly benefitted from being replaces for a slew of other reasons anyway, not least of which was the disintegrating caulking around the drain. And now I have that wrench and I know how to use it.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ और पचासी --

Laney returned to the Braeburn Condominiums late Saturday morning for an 11 a.m. start time of our latest double feature, inspired by when we went to see Skyscraper, which had transparently been a cross between The Towering Inferno and Die Hard, but nowhere near as good as either of those movies. So we just watched both those movies. We were only able to watch the first one in the theatre -- where I was actually able to get the DVD working unusually quickly.

So it wasn't because of issues with that Blu-Ray player, as usually is the case, that prevented us from seeing Die Hard down there. It was because Netflex did not get me the DVD on time -- or rather, because after I had to report Orlando visibly damaged (and unplayable) twice, I foolishly marked "yes" instead of "no" when asked if I wanted them to send me a replacement. In the past they would send the replacement and the next title in my queue. Not this time. I even tried reserving it at the library, but that wasn't quick enough either.

The movie is streaming on HBO Go, and much as I tried, I could not figure out how to connect Shobhit's laptop to the projector machine and get it to see the feed from the computer screen. So, we had to move up to the condo to watch the second movie. Which was fine. It would have been much better in the theatre, but it was fine.

Laney quite enjoyed both movies, but especially The Towering Inferno -- which is quite long, and had many extended scenes in which they would show certain actions basically in real time, so it would go on a long time. Laney specifically liked that aspect of it, and said as much; we both commented on how the same movie today would never be as long (it's two hours and 45 minutes) because scenes like that would very much be edited down for time. She couldn't remember how long it had been since she had seen it, then thought maybe she had come to see it with me as part of some other double feature some years ago. It turns, out, she did! May 7, 2006: a double feature of seventies disaster movies, The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno. And, not having remembered that, she already suggested a new double feature, this time The Poseidon Adventure and Titanic. So we'll be doing that sometime this fall.

Looking up that journal entry about the double feature in 2006 was quite the blast from the past. Laney and Mac were still together then. Barbara was still around (and would be for another four years); she came, of course -- and so did Charles and Cavin. We all watched the movies over at Laney and Mac's place. We did that, apparently, because even though the initial plan was for everyone to come over to Shobhit's and my place, we made the plan before Shobhit and I knew we'd be moving to that apartment we were in for a year and a half in Fremont -- and also Shobhit's mom came to visit for the first time. So between the move and Shobhit's mom being there, it was best for everyone that we move the double feature to Laney's place.

I can barely even remember that Fremont apartment building anymore. We were there from spring 2006 until moving to our current condo in October 2007. The Milan Apartments. We just drove past it on Aurora Avenue yesterday, as a matter of fact. I just remember the terrible ant problem we had which management would do little to nothing about. I even posted a bad review online to bitch about it at the time. I don't remember the site; it wasn't Yelp, as it was before Yelp was even on my radar. I just remember management posted a response trying to defend themselves and basically failing at it.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ और पचासी --


-- चार हजार तीन सौ और पचासी --

But I digress! Because now I need to tell you about Gabriel and Mandy coming up to Seattle for dinner in the Braeburn Condos community kitchen -- reserved for that for mostly the reason that Gabriel is terribly allergic to the cats, but also because it effectively separated him and Shobhit.

Shobhit was indeed home all evening, after working his full shift. I don't suppose I can blame him for wanting just to put on his pajamas and watch TV the rest of the night. He also just plain wasn't in the mood for being around Gabriel -- not a constant, I should point out: the last time Gabriel was coming to town Shobhit actually offered to make some dinner for him to eat, and Gabriel opted on going out for drinks instead. So this isn't all just on Shobhit, as is ever the case.

Luckily, Shobhit never came up even once in conversation with Gabriel and Mandy -- and Mandy, incidentally, didn't bring her husband either; I suppose the expectation all along had been for us to hang out together just the three of us. That kitchen is pretty large for just three people, but no one else was planning to use it that evening, evidently -- it was free when I made the reservation just a few days before.

I started the reservation at 7:00 even though Gabriel did not get off work until 7:30. I went down there with the pasta and salad I made, and a couple bottles of wine, at about 7:15. They did not even arrive until about 8:30. I had assumed 8:00, if Mandy would be getting off Light Rail at International District Station. (Gabriel was working in Interbay, so why she did not get off Light Rail at Capitol Hill Station, I still don't understand in the slightest -- it sounded like maybe there was some miscommunication between the two of them about it.) Apparently traffic was insane, and even Light Rail was glutted -- with a huge wave of Mormons! They had some huge event at Safeco Field that evening, and guess what? Stadium Station is only one stop before International District Station.

I waited and waited and waited, and finally texted them at 8:22: ETA? Mandy responded within one minute: At this rate, tomorrow morning?? I totally assumed she was referencing just getting around with Gabriel, but I guess it was the Saturday night traffic combined with the tidal wave of Mormons.

Oh wait, it has to have been closer to 8:45 before they were finally actually there. I got a phone call from Gabriel that was time stamped 8:38, when he asked if he would be able to park in my garage -- which I had already offered, but told him to tell me whether he needed it; I had no interest in moving the car only to have him park on the street and render the effort pointless. But, he never got back to me about it and so I did not move our car. So he said, "Forget it, I'll find parking," and he did indeed arrive within a few minutes -- hence my estimation that it was actually around 8:45.

They left just before 1 a.m., so even though Shobhit later complained that I had been gone "for five hours" (as if that should be regarded by anyone as a big deal -- as I noted to Shobhit, he's spent that much time, and often plenty more, on many occasions with Sachin over in the past, so fuck him with that attitude), I was actually only with them for four. (Also, I was away from Shobhit in the evening for closer to six hours, but whatever.) Shobhit, to his credit, had refrained from texting me to nag about how much longer I'd be -- probably because I complained about his incessant texting on Thursday when I was at the Washington State Fair, and he was trying to tell me to catch a 4:00 bus back home when I was not yet even done with the fair with Gina and Jennifer. This overbearing, controlling bullshit has got to stop. I may just take his advice -- even though he clearly did not mean it and said it in sarcastic anger -- on Thursday and just ignore those texts when they are infringing on my social time with other people. Anyway, he didn't text me all evening on Saturday -- he knew exactly where I was, after all, so in this instance it wasn't as though he could say he was worried about me -- until right after 1 a.m., as I was making my way up the elevator: Are you alive?

I came in, put the leftovers on the counter, and found Shobhit in bed. He wasn't asleep, and I moved in -- twice -- to give him a kiss. Both times he lifted his arm to block me and told me to "get away." He then said, "Are you drunk?" And, first of all, even if I were, so fucking what? Secondly -- no, I wasn't. He asked how much I had had to drink. I'd had two half glasses of red wine. They gave me a slight buzz, but that was it. He complained about my being away five hours and I said, more than once, "So what?" I finally leaned back on the bed and said, "I come in here, actually trying to be affectionate, and you act like a complete asshole. You fucking ruined everything." He was clearly feeling remorse after I had brushed my teeth and was coming back to bed, trying to be more affectionate himself, but that irritated me just as much. He's suck a fucking overgrown child sometimes, it's truly jaw-dropping. I'm no saint, to be sure, but I think it's safe to say I don't get that upset for such truly petty reasons. And although he never said as much, I'm certain he would not have behaved this way if everything else about the circumstances were the same but I had been hanging out with a different friend who wasn't Gabriel. Which is the behavior of a fucking lunatic.

Shobhit flew off the handle for something entirely unrelated but just as stupid last night, so I got to deal with his childish bullshit two nights in a row. I'm beginning to suspect he's just not very happy with his life in general, and so he takes out his frustrations on me. Shobhit, like a great many people, needs to understand that it's not the responsibility of his spouse to make him happy. That's his job, not mine -- the question isn't whether someone else can make you happy, but whether you can be happy sharing a life with someone. I feel like, deep down, Shobhit is confusing those two things.

Anyway, back to Gabriel and Mandy. We ate, we talked, we laughed, we played a couple of games. I'm really glad we were able to make it work out, and being up late with the two of them actually worked out better for all of us in this circumstance -- because I was already home, and thus no longer had to worry about being dead tired while also driving home. Gabriel and Many are both night owls already so driving home late at night was no issue for them. And God knows I've gone down to Tacoma to hang out with him on a late weekend evening enough times. It was nice to get together in Seattle for once, even if it did predictably result in the requisite moaning about Seattle traffic. Even Mandy joined in with that. They're used to Tacoma, which they both love to death, and the traffic there just isn’t the same. It's not like it should be this huge shock when it's worse in Seattle though.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ और पचासी --

And then, yesterday, Shobhit and I joined Karen for a day at Woodland Park Zoo. This was the day I had originally intended to go there with Danielle and the girls, but I foolishly made the reservation with the free pass you can get through the Seattle Public Library before Danielle could confirm she would be available -- and, she was not. So now I had the pass but no Danielle to use it with.

Karen had already expressed interest in joining us, even when I thought I'd be going with Danielle, and she would just buy her own ticket. Well, now I could just cover her with my pass. I thought her husband Dave would be coming, but I guess he had to work. And Shobhit, who is never one to turn down a deal where you're getting something for free, joined us. I was quite surprised when he mentioned as we went in that he had never been there -- wait, what? I've been to Woodland Park Zoo at least fourteen times before this, and Shobhit never joined me? How did that happen?

Well, I figured it out. The first 5 times I have a record of going to that zoo, was before Shobhit and I even met. The last five times I went, Shobhit was living in either New York or Los Angeles. That leaves four times I went, between 2004 and 2009, when Shobhit and I were together -- and he was always doing other things. At least two of those times, he was busy with local play rehearsals. He never had the greatest interest in the local zoo anyway. But, as I said, this was the first time he would go for free. He's also not currently involved in any play productions. So, now he was all over that shit. We even all packed picnic lunches so the only money I spent was about $7 for parking.

And, that made it the 15th time I have a photo record of having been there. Fifteen times since 2008. Only twice have there been four-year breaks: between 2005 and 2009; then between 2012 and 2016. I was there three times in 2012, for pretty varied reasons -- one of them the holiday-themed "WildLights," making it a very different experience of the zoo. I should go again one of these years, though. Anyway, as you can see on that collection page on Flickr, I wrote out who I went with each time. Nearly every time is with a different person; the only repeats are Danielle and Barbara, each of whom I went with twice. Five of them are with nieces or nephews -- the zoo was always a "first year visit" activity, so even though the youngest, Braeden, only ever managed one visit, even he got to go to Woodland Park Zoo.

Yesterday, though, I got a lot of pretty great pictures. I had to discard a lot of them, too. When I imported them for editing in iPhone last night, there were about 75. Once I got rid of all the duds, I had a set of 49 shots. Several of them are excellent shots, good enough to make me wish I had a real, quality digital camera again, as they are frustratingly below-par just by virtue of being iPhone camera shots. I've heard the latest iteration of the iPhone is better. These shots look great when you look at them small on the phone screen, but on a desktop computer, you really see the limitations of the iPhone's zoom capabilities. I should have brought my binoculars so I could get great shots like the many I got using that technique at Yellowstone National Park.

The weather mostly cooperated, although there was a surprising downpour for about twenty minutes maybe an hour into our visit there. The weather forecast kept changing. When I checked in the morning, it showed no rain at all on my weather app, at least not beyond the morning -- from about 1pm on, it was dry and partly sunny each hour through the rest of the day. I didn't bring my umbrella, or even a jacket. Dumb move! I got quite chilly yesterday afternoon, especially when it was wet. And when I checked the forecast again in the car, it then showed a 40% chance of rain at around 1pm, but still dry the rest of the day. By the time I checked again when it actually started raining, it showed chances of rain until 4 pm! Jesus Christ. Karen had a different app showing estimated time it would be raining by the minute. That downpour actually lasted less time than even her app predicted, and once it let up, we found our way to a dining area to have our lunch under a huge umbrella -- and by that time the rain had stopped anyway. It never rained the rest of the day, actually, so not even Karen had to open her umbrella again -- and she needed hers to protect the electronic portions of her electric wheelchair, the control stick and little screen and such. That thing was otherwise pretty sturdy, with three wheels on each side and navigating all the terrain quite well.

In any case, on the whole it was a very fun day. We were there probably roughly five hours. Karen broke off just shortly before Shobhit and I left, and he and I quickly went through one last section of the zoo before heading for home ourselves. We'd had leftover pasta from Saturday night, as well as leftover salad, for our packed lunch. We went home and made pizza for dinner, which I ate while processing the photos.

You can see the full photo set on Flickr here.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ और पचासी --


[posted 12:27 pm]