24 March 2014

another weekend in a life of weekends

This morning, MB said he didn't have any particular plans, so I said I wanted to get breakfast and go to a movie. He said "okay," and mentally placed (1) breakfast and (2) movie on the to-do checklist for the day.

I was craving a giant, ridiculous brunch, so I suggested The Tractor Room. I hadn't been there for a couple years, not since we last lived in California, and so I'd forgotten how The Tractor Room tries to kill your soul for the sheer delight of testing your craving for $10-Bloody Marys garnished with beef jerky. When we arrived at TR, the hostess said it was a 45-minute wait. They have coffee and water, picnic tables and a ping pong table for starving brunchers on the wait-list, so I consented. We sat down at one of the picnic tables with coffee and possibly 35 minutes-worth of conversation, 40 if we were lucky. Although it was same temperature it is every day - 63 to 64 F - the sky was cloudy and there was a chilly breeze in the air. The tank top and light flannel shirt I'd normally be sweating in, in SAME TEMPERATURE WEATHER ONLY SUNNY WITH NO BREEZE, did not provide sufficient warmth.

...The wait turned out to be longer than 45 minutes.

One simply begins to feel silly after a while. Forty five minutes became sixty. I started to read Twitter. MB abandoned the picnic table in favor of pacing on the sidewalk, lamenting that we needed to eat so we could cross it off the list, and then go to the movie, so we could cross that off the list. I fell into an inevitable existential funk; gazing into the black void of oblivion at least helped to pass some of the time. MB tried to entertain himself with his phone, but we'd been waiting so long that his battery was starting to die. I ranted that I wasn't going to look at the menu, and in fact planned to eat as slowly and indulgently as possible, so our wait time wouldn't exceed our actual brunching time. Then I brought up a description of the Cost-Sunk Fallacy on my phone and showed it to MB, while thinking I KNOW I KNOW BUT NOW WE'VE WAITED TOO LONG TO TURN BACK!!! After an hour and a half, I was in the middle of tweeting that I wouldn't be taunted into giving up my place in line and thus easing burden of the Waiting Hungry Masses for the Tractor Room, because fuck you Tractor Room, I DEMAND that you take my money!!! when I received the text telling me that our table was ready.

Well, okay then.

Tractor Room brunch! Tractor Room brunch!

Turned out, our table was outside! Where it was still cloudy and breezy! I ordered a Bloody Mary soon after we sat down, which helped to ease the situation. And then our food arrived very soon after we ordered. "Almost insultingly soon," I said to MB. He mentioned that the couple at the table next to us had made reservations online, and thus only waited ten minutes to get seated. I replied that that was a good thing to know for the future, but not a thing that I wanted to know right then.

(Yes, yes, privilege, asshole-ish expectations for life in check, etcetera etcetera. I KNOW. Really, I was just super annoyed with myself for poor planning. The wait is always terrible at the popular brunching locations in San Diego. Which is why we normally avoid them.)

(Never forget, Amanda! THE WAIT IS ALWAYS TERRIBLE.)

Anyway, I ordered the worst thing for me possible: gigantoid sausage gravy and biscuits. I ate almost a fourth of them and then felt sick from eating too much. MB's enormous pancake was scrumptious, but he didn't come close to finishing it. The leftovers nearly didn't fit in our two take-away boxes.

Dinner for the rest of the week!

The smarter couple at the table next to us turned out to be Navy folk. MB recognized the male as someone belonging to his battle group, in fact. And odd coincidence. They chatted Navy, while I chatted with his wife. After a while, the man apologized to me for talking shop, and I said not to worry about it. "I'm sorry you have to talk Navy on your Sunday!" I was joking, but it sounded awkward; who knows how weird I would have been if this hadn't been post-vodka.

Anyway, with brunch finally checked off of MB's to-do list, we moved on to the Hillcrest Cinema for The Grand Budapest Hotel, the latest Wes Anderson flick celebrating amusing and interesting male characters. Seventeen of them! There are a couple of ladies, for a few minutes during the film, each. One of the comical highlights involves a painting of two women having sex, because there's nothing more hilarious than female sexual desire, amIright?! (Okay, I agree that the scene is funny. But when the movie is full of "men being awesome," that joke means something different than when the movie is full of "men and women being awesome.") The replacement of a Dutch Renaissance painting of a boy holding an apple with a Modernist painting of a spread-eagled vagina is funny, but it's just another depiction of anything womanly as ridiculous. In Grand Budapest, women are lusty octogenarians (ha ha ha) or mannish and clownishly made-up spinsters (ho ho ho). The one lovingly rendered female character, Agatha, the baker's assistant, has a birthmark on her face in the shape of Mexico, because Anderson evidently no longer knows how to create female characters who possess interesting internal characteristics.

I would love for that last sentence to be proven incorrect, with his next endeavor. In general, I adore Anderson's oeuvre. "Sometimes when I anticipate a film for six months or so,' as I told MB after the film, 'I need to view it again later in order to enjoy it for itself, minus expectations." Still, after the first time I saw Rushmore and Fantastic Mr. Fox, I felt amused and elated. I walked out of the theater on a cloud when I saw The Royal Tenenbaums, and again with Moonrise Kingdom. Grand Budapest has received a lot of acclaim, and it is more cohesive than The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited, but it's not a coincidence that his films that didn't distract me with absent and/or ridiculous women created happier post-viewing feelings.

(Speaking of vaginas: When I was walking into the theater, the room was dark and I was surprised that the previews had already started. Then I heard Charlotte Gainsbourg say "I discovered my c**t when I was two," and I realized that I'd walked into the wrong theater. Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac, and not The Grand Budapest Hotel was on the screen. Then Grand Budapest featured a preview for Nymphomaniac, and Nymphomaniac's poster o' orgasming actors, including the contorted, haunting expressions of Shia LaBeouf and Christian Slater, was plastered all over the cinema. Gotta hand it to Von Trier. He commits to a concept.)

(Fine. The poster is funny, too. But I was still disconcerted over the brunch-wait.)

"Does it look like I'm breastfeeding the cat?" "That's what I was thinking."

Above, I am cuddling Cleo after we arrived back at home today. It helped to dissipate residual brunch-wait/Feminist Criticism angst. Cleo is such a joy. She's so happy when we come home, or when we get up in the morning. (Or all the time, actually. Happy kitty.) She'll purr and let me cuddle her for many, many minutes, before struggling to be released from my loving grasp.

Here are a few more photos from the weekend:

Cleo in the window.

The combination of MB's alarm and Cleo purring on my face on Friday morning ensured that I couldn't get any sleep after six am. Eventually I gave up on the hope of more sleep and decided to get my run in for the day. A very tired five miles. (The photo above is Cleo in the window, at the end of my run.) Afterward, I laid the first coat of paint on a new nightstand (thing-doing!), met Heather and M for shopping and lunch at the mall (people-seeing!), crashed out for a couple of hours, and then joined MB for a surprisingly pleasant hail/farewell in the evening (Navy wife-being!).

Sports Arena Swap Meet!Sports Arena Swap Meet!

On Saturday morning, we got coffee and ran errands. Haircut for MB, Target for Amanda. We hit the swap meet that happens every weekend at the Sports Arena, a vast labyrinth of mostly crap-we-don't-need mixed with treasures here and there. Many tools for MB to look at. Thousands of them, in fact. "This would be a great place for you to visit again," I said to MB as we were leaving, "without me, I mean."

Miss M + Cleo = Cutest EVER!

In the afternoon, Heather and M came over so MB could work on their car. Little M and the kitty were the most adorable ever.

Tonight, tonight.Tonight, tonight.

I thought I might publish one of the posts I've been wanting to write, tonight, but I wrote a new post (this post) instead.

At least I can add "finished painting the nightstand" to list of weekend accomplishments, thanks to my efforts this afternoon.


Katie said...

Dude. The Tractor Room must be cursed! We waited foooooorrrrrrrrever the last time we went together, remember? No wonder they make food the size of your head--it's the only way you'll forgive them for waiting so long. (It was delicious though).

my name is Amanda said...

And it was me who suggested the Tractor Room that day, too!!! Be ye warned, future brunch companions of Amanda!

Granted, I did think that when you and I (and the others) went that one day, part of the issue was that they lost our name on the list. But this doesn't make for a good track record!