Sunday, March 6, 2011

On the fast track to a unisex bathroom

Chuck and I have removed ourselves from society for a little R&R. He's been off work for a week and has rearranged his life so that now we wake up and go to sleep at the same time. That's not exactly true. We wake up around the same time, but he falls asleep on the couch every night around 11:01 p.m.

This can't be comfortable. It's like sleeping in the backseat of a car. Last night he was so zonked that I was able to watch 3 hours of squealing hair dus and teenaged misadventures and he was none the wiser. At times his small snores matched my gasps of wicked pleasure.

This has also meant some negotiations over which combination of our four pillows is an equal mix of subpar and par for both parties.

This is the first time in four years of vacation that one of us is totally straight-edge and the other of us is an occasional drinker. Where we once would have spent at least two nights by now with our lips wrapped around a 32 ounce mug of trouble, and three days fixing it with pain relief, Gatorade and Gas Station Burritos, we've now settled into clean living. Lots of listening to music. Lots of TV. Lots of movies, including a day movie, comic books and lots of restaurants.

On Saturday we had fish tacos at a little burrito shack near our old apartment. A few minutes after we got our food, the server came up to us, made this face:

 when she asked "Is the food okay?"

That's what her mouth was saying. But her face was saying: "I can't believe you're eating that, and as soon as I walk away, I'm going to barf in the unisex bathroom." 

Speaking of unisex bathrooms, this is the best text message that I received last week. It came from my friend Cork1.

* He is referencing this post.
** He is also referencing a recipe he sent me that includes stewing vegetables and white beans in tons of beer.
*** Perhaps you had to be there, but I cackled mightily.
**** This actually has nothing to do with unisex bathrooms.

In other news, here is how the past week was spent food, movie and book-wise. 

FOODS

Baked Ziti: Probably the best thing to come from Chuck's recent "Sopranos" marathon would be the way Carmella Sopranos non-stop chatter about baked ziti seeped its way into his subconscious and landed on our plates.

This was honestly the best food I've eaten in months. Years maybe. Spicy sausages from Italian Village, one of the Top Five reasons to live in West Duluth. Cheesy cheesiness.
Blueberry Yogurt Cake: Oddly enough, we had almost all of the ingredients required to make this dessert, including some weird ones that we wouldn't ordinarily have on hand: Greek yogurt. Grape Seed Oil. We didn't have blueberries, though, so I made it with raspberries.

This was okay. Probably the most interesting part was the science experiment where I turned a boulder of brown sugar into grains by attacking it for a half hour with an electric beater. It was an exercise in erosion. And a lesson in proper storage of brown sugar.

MOVIES
Somewhere This one is like "Lost in Translation" without the karaoke. There are a lot of little things I liked about this movie about a shallow movie star living the fast life at the Chateau Marmont who realizes how empty his life is once his daughter comes to stay with him for awhile. Instead of a thumbs up or down, this one goes horizontal.

BOOKS
Gryphon: New and Selected Stories by Charles Baxter: I believe that Charles Baxter is one of the best writers on Earth. If I had to pick which one should sit at the head of the table during a gathering of my top ten, I’d probably just say “Screw it” and make him arm wrestle Haruki Murakami for honors. Let the loser carve the bird.

Full review is here. 

The Two Mrs. Grenvilles: A Novel by Dominick Dunne: The first Mrs. Grenville is a triplet from the kind of family that the painter John Singer Sargent captured in portrait. The newly-minted Mrs. Grenville is a former showgirl from a small town in Kansas, lying about her age, sexual and marital history. Dominick Dunne's novel The Two Mrs. Grenvilles chronicles a fictional tug-of-war between these characters, based on a factual tug-of-war between the characters on which they are based.

Full review will be here.


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