Wednesday, February 24, 2016

mustache rides

I have been remiss about posting lately. This isn't a passionate and riveting expose, just wanted to share with you the minutae of what's been keeping us apart.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought we might actually get to school and work on time, and then I walked out into our driveway and saw this. Good times. Good times.

Honestly the biggest problem wasn't that a large tree fell down, blocking our driveway and knocking over fifty feet of fence. The biggest issue was that we live on a shared driveway, and this situation would require communications with our grumpy neighbor, or "The Mean Old Man," as the kids call him. In the four months we've lived at the house we have had exactly zero positive communications with this crotchety dude.

A little background - before we'd even closed on the house, I had a charming conversation with this fellow wherein he (1) accused us of bringing down property values based on the price we'd paid for the house, (2) said he hoped my kids weren't "maladroits" like the kids that lived here before, (3) said we better not be planning to play baseball or put up a basketball hoop out front (this was, in fact, exactly what we planned to do), and (4) warned me that we better bring some integrity and maturity to the neighborhood (cuz, you know, that's a reasonable expectation with a 3.5 and a 5 year-old). The following week he stormed into my front door, through my house, and into my backyard to berate me for allowing someone to park their car three feet onto his portion of the shared driveway. Since then he has repeatedly yelled at workers and service people, and shouted at my kids to "play in front of their own house." He also told my in-laws not to disturb the piles of dead pine-needles that lined his portion of the fence (wtf?) Finally, we later discovered that he once went off on another neighbor while wielding a freaking axe (for parking in front of his house, naturally). So yeah. The guy's a peach, basically. He also has a Benghazi bumper sticker. Even though I'm more of a Bernie fan, I'm seriously considering a Hillary lawn sign. Maybe both. Just for shits and giggles.

Source: Dave Ross
Much to my surprise, my conversation with The Mean Old Man about our shared predicament was actually the most pleasant conversation I'd ever had with the guy. At least it was, until he said "Well, it could be worse. We could be in the Middle East getting carpet-bombed by those diaper-heads." Mmmmmkay. I said, "Well, my husband's parents are from the Middle East so I can't really say I'm on board with that sentiment." Then he started to tell me about this "one guy he knew" from "I-Ran," and how he worked from the Army and loved 'Murica and was a real stand-up guy. Charming.

So then I had to take the kids to school in a cab because Uber is apparently unavailable in North County San Diego at 8am. Sixty dollars! And this is why people don't like cabs. Well, one of many reasons. Remind me to tell you about the NYC cab driver that COULD NOT drive in a straight line. Seriously, it had to be intentional it was so bad. Like, if you were trying your absolute hardest to make someone carsick, you could not be as bad a driver as this guy. Never a dull moment.

Anyway. The next day I went to San Francisco on a work trip. I stayed away from booze, benzos and over-sharing so it was an improvement upon my first business travel experience. Before we left my boss said he was going to make dinner reservations and asked if there was anything I didn't eat. I said "Meat." He said, "So sushi? Japanese?" I said, "Yeah, sounds great. I can always find something on the menu."

That night he said he hadn't been able to get a table at the place he was thinking (because this was leading up to the Super Bowl and SF was crazy town!) But he'd made reservations at the Japanese place at the St. Regis called "Ame." (Aim? Ah-may? We may never know.) Him: "It has a Michelin star." Me: "Right on." (Translation: I have no idea what that means.)

Fast forward to dinner. I found out what "Michelin Star" means. It means "This is a Japanese food restaurant that doesn't serve RICE." WTF. Him: I always order family-style. Is it alright if we both just get a bunch of stuff and share? Me: Uh, well... I can't eat much of this so that might not work out that well. Him: What do you mean? Me: I don't eat fish. Him: You don't eat FISH? I thought you said you didn't eat MEAT. Me: It was my understanding that "meat" is animal flesh eaten for food. I have always included fish in this definition. Him: Maybe you should have said something when I asked if sushi/Japanese was alright? Me: Japanese is generally a safe bet! It's not my fault you picked the one Japanese restaurant in San Francisco, nay, THE WORLD, that doesn't serve rice! How hard is it to make a cucumber roll?!

Anyway, I ended up ordering the one vegetarian option (that wasn't even on the menu). Some vegetable risotto dish. (Risotto is NOT rice, by the way.) The dish comes out COVERED in tiny skinny slimy penis-looking mushrooms. I died a thousand silent deaths. I HATE mushrooms. They make me want to murder myself. And this dish was just infested. There was no eating around them. It was like a 1:1 risotto to fungus ratio. There was no way I was going to say anything, as my boss was already convinced I was a total high maintenance nightmare diva queen. So I ate in queasy quietude, grinning and gritting my way through each chewy, gummy, slimy, micro-mushroom-penis bite, shedding silent tears in my mind, trying not to audibly gag, or worse, projectile vomit all over the senior partner seated across from me.

Meanwhile, he peppered me with the usual hilarious carnivorous jokes "So, I'm assuming you don't eat slabs of raw eel then? How about scallops? They're hardly an animal. Caviar harvested from an endangered beluga whale in the Caspian Sea? No?" (I do eat eggs, sometimes, as long as I haven't recently thought of them as embryos, so, technically, I suppose I could eat caviar. But why anyone would choose to do so is beyond me.)

I basically ran back to my hotel room (across the street from the St. Regis because I am not a fancy partner) and started desperately searching for the room service menu, but I quickly realized there was none to be found. A hotel without room service? How is that even a thing?! Even Motel 6 has a damn vending machine! I called the front desk in disbelief, and they only confirmed my deepest, darkest fears.

But lo! Little brother to the rescue! In short order, he showed up with 2 cupcakes, 6 macarons, 2 scoops of ice cream, and a bottle of dessert wine. I now have diabetes, but it was worth every bite.

The actual work part of my trip went great. I then walked approximately 97 miles around the city, spent $6 on a bottled coffee drink that was, apparently, made from cold-pressed unicorn tears, got caught up in the Super Bowl 50 melee, and did the friendship equivalent of speed-dating. As I was waiting for my ride to the airport, my brother and my friend KC and I were discussing our weirdest Lyft/Uber driver experience. We were talking about that woman who was kidnapped and raped by an Uber driver. KC said she recently had a driver who told her he'd murdered someone in Spain and gotten away with it. Not sure how they missed that on the employment application. And my brother shared his favorite story about a driver named Kevin who truly believed he was a dragon trapped in a human body. As my Lyft driver pulled up we assessed. Older Asian man. Looks harmless. Almost definitely not a serial killer. Clean new car. Okay. You're good to go! Definitely not going to get locked in a rape dungeon or told dragon tales. Once I got settled in the car, I looked up, and was surprised to see ... my driver only had ONE ARM!

While initially unexpected and hilarious, I actually think this is pretty cool. I've had a couple of deaf Lyft drivers as well, which is probably an ideal disability to have if your job description includes driving around drunk people. More power to ya, Lyft!

To top off my domestic adventures, DM and I went to New York City - BY OUR SELVES, for 48 hours. I was supposed to go for work and he was going to tag along. But then at the last minute the work obligation was canceled, and we had already gotten tickets to a show and a hotel for an extra night and we thought, fuck it! We're doing this thing! And we did. I think we went to more bars in those 48 hours than we've been in the preceding 48 months. And I ate ALL THE FOODS. We missed and stressed about our littles, but they were in good hands. We certainly paid the price upon our return, but it was so worth it. It's crazy how easy it is to forget you used to be an actual person apart from your identity as a parent.

One of my favorite moments was in the wee hours of the morning at this random bar in Greenwich Village. It appears that the average NYC bar-goer has been acculturated to bartenders with suspenders and waxed mustaches serving complicated cocktails consisting of locally sourced organic mint fertilized with human shit that doesn't stink, painstakingly-peeled Valencia oranges grown by the light of the Harvest Moon, Reiki-infused ginger root, and gluten-free alcohol served in vintage apothecary jars. So this guy orders something befitting the man-bun atop his head, and the bartender replies, "Bro. I would just like to point out to you that it is 1:30 in the morning, and your choice of adult beverage should reflect that fact." Keepin' it real. Oh, and they were playing Frozen on the widescreen. I <3 NY.

Let it GOOOOO! Just order a fucking beer bro.
Gratuitous NY snaps:
Not normally a food pic person but c'mon.
The world is strange and delicious. :) Donald Trump notwithstanding.

The End.

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