Monday, February 6, 2012

Tempus Fugit

So, apparently, there was this Super Bowl thing yesterday. I gave up cable a while back, so I couldn't have watched even if I'd wanted to, but I did get a text message from a guy with whom I'd been on a brunch date that morning/afternoon:

At that point, I just assumed that the Giants would score very late in the fourth quarter and win the game, and I didn't think about it again until this morning. I'd claim to be psychic, but, really, who didn't see that coming?

I tend to think that American football is one of the dumbest sports imaginable, which -- to me, at least -- explains its popularity. At the best of times, I am somewhat disdainful of the collective intelligence of my compatriots, and I can only imagine the level of ignorance and mendacity that we're in for between now and the November elections. That's another good reason not to subscribe to cable: if I had to watch political ads this year, I'd spontaneously combust. Citizens United: feh.

Anyway, while others were watching football, I was spending a relaxing evening with the girls. Today is my fifty-first birthday, but EFU doesn't get home before 10 pm on Mondays, so they wanted to celebrate yesterday. EFU got me a Sodastream, and YFU got me a couple of canisters of syrup to go with it. They (correctly) assumed that I wouldn't care about having the presents wrapped, so they made me close my eyes while they brought them into the living room. Then when I opened them, they accused me of having present face:

But, in fact, the Sodastream is a really cool gift. (The girls complain bitterly about how hard it is to come up with decent presents for me, but they always manage just fine.) I'd been thinking about buying myself one for some time now, but I was worried about finding space for it in the kitchen. The girls told me I should take it to the office, at least for tax season, so that's what I'm doing. Fizzy water on demand: who could ask for anything more?

After the presents, the girls went to my favorite local chicken place, El Pollo Rico, and bought dinner for us. It was the perfect low-key birthday celebration, and I am all about the low-key celebrations. I eschew pomp. Fifty was kind of a big deal, but fifty-one is barely a blip on the pomp radar screen.

As it happens, I was pretty beat yesterday afternoon/evening anyway because there'd been a fundraiser at church Saturday evening, and I'd volunteered to cater it. What that means is that I spend a lot of evenings over the week before the event cooking things that can go in the freezer, and then I spend about six hours Friday evening and all day Saturday doing food prep. At about four I get to the church, and some other volunteers join me to help get everything assembled and plated while I do some additional prep (For example, I make and freeze the puff pastry a week in advance, but I don't roll it, cut it, and bake it until I get to the church. Then I hand it off to someone else to split and fill with lime curd. Mmmmm.) and try not to panic. I was better organized this year than in the past, and we had everything except the sorbets plated before the first act started, so I was able to get downstairs and into my tux in time to see everything except the very first number. Then, with about two songs to go in the first half, I slipped out to scoop out the sorbets (one was strawberry with red wine; the other was sangria) so that they could go out with the rest of the desserts during the intermission.

I opened the second half of the entertainment with "Some Enchanted Evening." I have since listened to the recording, and I sound pretty good on it, but as someone once told me at one of these things, "You're a very good singer, but no matter how good you are, you're always going to be upstaged by your food." I guess that's better than being upstaged by someone else's food.

That much kitchen work (there was also the cleaning, and then the lugging of all my equipment and the extra food -- everything that went out got eaten, but there was extra of many of the ingredients) left me pretty fatigued, and I may also have been a bit dehydrated/hungover (wine is very good for the voice, you know), so it was something of a struggle to get up, showered, and dressed in time to make my 11:30 brunch date, but I managed.

In the past, I have approached dating with something between trepidation and outright loathing, but I have adjusted my attitude this time around, and, hey, suddenly it's fun. Appropriate date selection (as in the right guy and the right restaurant) is, of course, key, but deciding in advance that I'm going to have a good time is surprisingly effective.

And, you know, maybe I should have figured this out ten years ago, but a date where a prolonged horizontal encounter isn't even a possibility turns out to be a good thing. This particular guy lives in Siberia Baltimore, so both our dates have involved meeting somewhere in between, which leaves plenty of opportunity for flirting and touching and, well, prolonged making out in one or the other of our cars, but nobody's clothes are coming off. To say that this is not my usual modus operandi would be something of an understatement, but it's a good time.

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