Monday, August 17, 2015

Fun days and nights

Katie M and I had an epic 34 hour friend date last week. We started on Wednesday morning at the theater showing "Hamilton" to try and win Broadway's most competitive ticket lottery but we were not successful so we had lunch at The Delta Grill, a 9th Avenue Cajun restaurant that I've wanted to try for years. Their crawfish etouffee isn't nearly as good as Pappadeaux's in Houston (too bland) but it does the job when I'm craving it. Afterwards we came back to TSMC and watched "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" until it was time to try the second Hamilton lottery for the evening show, at which we again came up empty-handed.

We walked to Riverside Park and sat by the banks of the mighty Hudson River, watching the kayakers and the glorious sunset that reminded me of a J.M.W. Turner painting. We walked up to the 68th Street cafe and might have gone out on the pier except it was being set up to be used for an outdoor movie screening. So we climbed the steps and walked a few blocks south to Lincoln Center and had dinner at P.J. Clarke's, where Liz and her family hosted their Easter brunch before "The King and I" earlier this year ("Big big birthdays" - April 20, 2015).

We snagged one of the best tables in the restaurant, sitting in a wide-open doorway space directly across from Lincoln Center with a perfect mix of indoor and outdoor ambiance. Katie had a steak and mashed potatoes with a glass of red wine; I had some cherrystone clams on the half shell and a burger au poivre with a bottle of Crispin pear cider. We shared a fabulously light and tasty whiskey bread pudding for dessert. It was quite the epic meal, in every way, and we needed the walk back home to digest. We got comfortable on the couch and watched various TV shows before turning in.

Thursday morning I had tentative plans with Puck but they were stuck in Staten Island for the day so I spent most of the day with Katie again. I made her breakfast (that is a first) of bacon and eggs over easy and we watched "Casablanca" before heading out to stand in the line for "The Book of Mormon." She hasn't seen it yet and was determined to see it one way or another that day. We were first in line for standing room tickets but of course we were going to play the lottery as well.

A news crew from NY1 showed up to do a story about cheap theater tickets and Lottery Dude (the guy who runs the lottery at that theater and knows me by name) directed them over to me for an interview. Since I wasn't actually going to see the show unless we won the lottery (I've seen it twice so I didn't want to stand through it) they interviewed Katie on-camera for their piece. We entered the lottery but didn't win, so Katie got her standing room ticket and we went to Kung Fu Noodles for a dinner of soup dumplings, fried duck noodles and chili beef and tripe. We stopped by Katie's office so she could retrieve her umbrella and then back to TSMC to relax before she left for the show.

I spent my evening packing for my trip to Harrisburg and watching "Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt" on Netflix. Katie came back after the show and we had a quick check-in about our connection and our boundaries before she left for home.

This past Tuesday I had my second job interview with Tasty Sorghum Paste (TSP) and met my potential future boss' boss. I remarked upon the six-foot wooden replica of a fountain pen mounted on her wall, so I did get a chance to talk a little about my interest in fine writing instruments.

After the interview I went home to change (just four avenue blocks away!) and met with a college psychology professor named Marisa at Cafe Bene. She wanted to interview me about polyamory for an article she's writing, so I gave her lots of stuff to chew over. She also invited me to speak about poly to her spring semester class so that might happen next year.

Last Sunday I spent most of the day with Liz, Josh, Victoria, Michelle and Lytle helping move Liz from her rented apartment to her new owned apartment in the next door building. The new place is a four-story walk-up, so there were lots of steps to climb. The biggest challenge of the day was moving the sleeper sofa. Thankfully Lytle had a friend named Steve who lived nearby and was able to give us a hand, or else we'd have never made it. He's a 2nd 2nd assistant director for the HBO show "Girls", which Lytle also works on. Moving that couch was incredibly challenging because the stairways were tight and got narrower as they went higher, so getting from the third to the final fourth floor took as much time as the whole rest of the trip combined. Liz was very nervous about someone getting hurt and rightfully so but the only harm came to the plaster on the walls and a small rip on the arm of the sofa. Looking back, I loved how we all worked as a team, communicating constantly, staying positive, solving problems together and with such determination that we would achieve our goal. It was like winning a team challenge on a TV reality show.

After the move, Liz's parents bought us dinner at Maz Mezcal as a thank you for all our work. We sat outside in the early evening breeze and had some wonderful Mexican food. I had a beautiful shrimp ceviche and grilled shrimp tamales. After our meal we went next door to a beverage store called City Swiggers that carried hundreds upon hundreds of beers, ales and ciders, including my beloved and rare Koppaberg Swedish pear cider. They even had the Koppaberg cider with strawberry and lime, so I picked up one of those to try, along with a raspberry cider and a bottle of Victorian lemonade.

Saturday I met up with Puck in Chinatown after their volunteer shift at Bluestockings so we could shop for ingredients for my peanut noodles. I haven't been able to find the noodles I use at any of my usual grocery stores so I wanted to wander into the parts of Chinatown I'm not as familiar with to see if we could find them. We ended up finding two large grocery stores I'd never seen before near the East Broadway subway stop and I found the noodles at one of them.

Puck was a bit worn out so that night I went to Hancock Street alone for a house event and I'm glad I did because Emily showed up right before I was getting ready to leave so I got to see her for a little bit. She was doing a yoga class in Prospect Park the next day that I was going to have to miss because of Liz's move, so I'm happy I didn't miss her entirely on this trip. Rijard, Miriam and Anna were there of course, but nobody else I knew by name (although one lady knew me from a previous meeting and said hello). I did meet an Asian couple, Maria and David, and Maria brought an almond jelly and peach dish that I used to enjoy as a kid, so I'm going to try and make it someday soon.

I'm hoping that this week I'll hear something from TSP. I've been so encouraged by all the support I've been getting on my #jobhunt updates on Facebook - I know it's a small thing, but it feels good to have so many of my friends and acquaintances cheering me on. So I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a positive result.