“Big hand’s on one-twenty, little hand’s on E”

Since I last wrote…

  • Band concert season got underway.
  • Party season got underway.
  • A big audit and the dates of our next regulatory inspection at work were announced… watch for me to go crazy in about a month.
  • The class I was going to take for work was cancelled, so watch for me to go less crazy in 2 weeks.
  • I made an 800 mile round trip drive by myself for a long weekend. It was a really fun trip, I had a good time with my friends, ate a lot of good food, but I am mostly proud of myself for getting there and back safely!
  • Went to a joint family b-day dinner; I think my family wins for coolness.
  • Today GG and I are going on a Chocolate Tour, so watch for an update soon (provided I can still walk and type afterward)!

Token Back to Brooklyn

So our inspection at work lasted another four days, during which our out-of-town coworkers had to come back on site, etc. Luckily, at that point most of the questions were not for my group, but we still all had to be there just in case. And now a European governmental agency will be inspecting us later in the summer! So everyone will be back again soon enough…

Meanwhile, I had planned to take two days off for a little overnight anniversary trip with GG, to see a “John Mulaney and friends” comedy show, and spend a day going to some museums. I canceled all but half a day, just in case I was still needed, but actually I think this turned out to be better. If we’d gone with the schedule planned, we would have been rushing around the first night to try to get dinner and get to this show in time, and then we would have spent all day yesterday walking around Manhattan in the rain (or would’ve gotten disappointed and come home early). Instead, we just had a really nice Thursday evening in Brooklyn, NY!

The trip up was fine, except that we were caught in a little traffic crossing Staten Island (and this wasn’t even rush hour, ugh!). GG had found a parking garage online, but missed turning into it on our first pass because he was in the wrong lane and it’s really just a garage door-sized hole in a building, it’s barely marked. So we went around the block and tried again. This time, he pulled in and started looking for a spot, and… it ended. It is literally just a hole filled with cars. The attendant flagged him down and told him that he would park the car.

We walked to the restaurant we’d found to get dinner, Rachel’s Grill. It sounded good and looked like a neat place. It definitely had interesting decor! Their chips and salsa were delicious. I had a trio of vegetarian soft tacos (one mushroom, one corn, and one spinach, which I gave to GG), and GG had a roasted half a chicken. He also had a frozen pina collada and a frozen sangria (the sangria was ok, I had a couple sips, but the other was too strong).

After dinner, we had a bunch of time to kill before we needed to get to the venue, so we walked around a little bit. We had passed the Chip Shop and I’d always wanted to try a deep-fried Mars bar, so even though we were pretty stuffed from dinner, we went in to split one. It was awesome. I probably could have eaten the whole thing myself :o)

We walked a couple blocks over to where the show was that night, but it was still way too early to even go in. Why are we so efficient?! So we walked around that little neighborhood for a while. Mostly it was a lot of industrial stuff, warehouses, shipping, people building furniture. There were a couple stores open, and we went into one, FIND. It was very cool, but I experienced some sticker shock when I went to look at the price on some flower prints… $700! Everything else was equally redonkulous. It was a neat place, though, and kind of fun to imagine shopping there for real, I guess.

We went back to the venue, The Bell House, and someone in the bar waved GG in, indicating that they were open. So we went in and he got some scotch (because it was apparently such a good deal..?) and we talked to this other guy who was there drinking. Then we sat on a couch in this little seating area and a guy sitting across from us was telling us what he’d heard about who some of the opening acts would be. Then people started lining up and we were in line next to this woman from Brooklyn (but she didn’t know the place we’d had dinner because that wasn’t “her neighborhood,” jeez), and we talked to her for a long time about comedians and such. I would say New Yorkers are very friendly!

Finally the doors opened and we went in and got great seats (there were limited chairs, so after a certain point it was standing room only). The show started, and Mulaney came out and did a great set about a number of things, all of which was new material (except for the part about his fiance and “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” which I hadn’t heard before but had read about). He told a hilarious story about performing in Murfreesboro, TN, and also did some stuff about being a kid and doing homework.

There had been a lot of confusion about who else would be performing, and who would be at which show (there was another performance after ours), but I figured of all the names being tossed around, I would be happy to see any of them, and really I was mostly just there for Mulaney anyway. So the next comic up was Hannibal Buress, who I’d maybe seen once on TV, but he did a great set including a good story about planning a bachelor party in New Orleans. Next was Mike Birbiglia, who is more of a storyteller anyway, and told some great stories about living in Brooklyn and such. He was followed by Eugene Mirman, who we saw once before in Philly, and he also did some stories (him and Michael Stipe getting robbed by the police in Mexico?!). Finally, Paul F. Tompkins came on, and he told the story of how he proposed to his wife, and their dinner at the Magic Castle. So it was a very “storytelling” type of evening.

When the show was over, we walked back to the car in the rain. Luckily, it wasn’t raining that hard, and had waited until after we were inside. I was really worried about getting the car back from the hole it was in, but actually it was parked right by the front, and GG saw that the attendant had an electric guitar in his little office and gave him one of his favorite guitar picks to try. We got right back on the highway and this time there was no traffic or construction, so we were back into NJ pretty quickly. But all of GG’s drinks, along with the hypnotizing windshield wipers, were getting to him, and he wanted to take a nap. I wanted to get home (at this point, I didn’t know if the inspection was over or if I’d need to be back in the office the next morning), so we switched seats and I drove the rest of the way home while he slept :o)

We got home around midnight, I checked my work e-mail and saw the inspection was over, and then crashed in bed, knowing I could work from home the next day. Even though it wasn’t what we’d originally planned, we had a great little anniversary trip!