A Satisfying Day Off Filled with Delicious Food, a Fun Movie, and some Wonderful Theater to Close Out the Night (12/21/19)

And just like that, I’m finally caught up! I mean it’s already 3:19 in the morning, but also I usually don’t end up starting my blog posts until this time normally, so I think we are doing just fine. Now I will say that today was, long for sure, but really satisfying. Normally my days off are filled with me sitting in bed until 4PM, finally getting up, doing one thing, and then the day ends, so to have a fully planned out day… I was excited. Now I will say the day had a slow start, where I woke up around 12, but not hearing Julian moving in his room, I chose to just relax for a while. However I came to find out that he had been up since like 10AM, so when we both ended up poking our heads out, seeing how the other was doing, he was almost ready to go and I… still needed to shower, wash up, and get dressed. Yikes. The original plan was to go to Emma’s Torch and eat at 1:30, and then have plenty of time to make it to the theater for the 3:15 showing of The Rise of Skywalker. However because I was running late, we ended up pushing back the reservation until 1:45, with Julian giving me shit for running behind. See Julian is a much more conscious, worried person, and I am… WAAAY too relaxed, even when I’m running late. I don’t really think ahead and it can affect others; something I am not happy about, but am working to fix. Despite this, we ended up catching the 1:18 4 train to Manhattan, getting off at Borough Hall, walking over to Jay St. Metrotech, transferring to the F, getting off at Carole St., and making it inside Emma’s Torch at 1:46; not bad if I do say so myself. As we made it there and sat down, Julian described me in a way that I truly believe sums up who I am as a person. “On the surface, you are a very well put together person. However, you go down a layer and you are disorganized and are running late all the time. But then there’s a third layer under that where you somehow still make it to things on time, and I can’t understand it.” Truer words have never been spoken, and I am grateful for the fact that I do make it to things, even if it is by the skin of my teeth.

Finally sitting down, I looked around to see… no one I recognized. Two new servers, a manager named, Shaco I think?, who was being trained by Sara as I was finishing my time working there, and of course the new students. As our server quickly chatted with us, I mentioned that I used to work here, and quickly ordered everything for us- Black-Eyed Pea Hummus, two Fried Chicken Sandwiches, and two Mimosas. As the hummus arrived and we dug in, Chef Alex, who was the only one I knew was still working there, came out to say hello. He has such a radiating, kind, and warm personality, and we had a nice hug before I sat back down and we chatted for a few minutes, catching up. I found out that basically everyone I had worked with was now gone- Sara, Emily, Sous Chef Alex Anjei, and of course Talula. I knew Talula was gone, since she was going off to college, but hearing the fact that everyone else left, I had some mixed emotions. I wasn’t surprised by Emily’s leaving, because the two of us chatted about it for a while towards the end of my time there, but I was sad not to see her again. Also not being able to see Anjei, who I feel really bad about because I don’t know how to spell his last name at all- it’s French. However, I was DELIGHTED to hear Sara was gone. She had moved to another venture that I cannot remember, but thank god that snake is gone. Sure she was good with the students, but if you’ve read this blog when I talked about leaving Emma’s Torch, you would know that I had beef with her. I thought she was not a good manager at all, and was incredibly deprecating and rude to me towards the end of my time there. It never felt like she was lifting me up and pushing me to do better, and instead was just making me feel bad about myself, and by the end of it I truly resented her. I do hope that she is doing well, but I’m glad she’s gone and out of there. Emma’s Torch needs a kind person to be a manager there, not what Sara was.

As for the food, especially the chicken sandwiches, I mean it was just as good as I remembered. I mean the chicken sandwiches are basically making me drool as I write this from how good they were, and the hummus is of course quite good. Julian and I ended up getting a second round of mimosas, which we were told by our server were on the house- ow my heart. We had told our server at the beginning that we were working to catch a movie at 3:15, so when the chicken sandwiches arrived, she also brought us our check. After paying the bill, which ended up coming to be under $70 which is amazing, I made sure to leave $20 in cash as a tip. Besides the fact that I just like tipping servers over 20% because I know how good it makes me feel when people do that for me, Emma’s Torch also just has such a special place in my heart. We grabbed our things and I thanked the servers and Alex for everything, and wished them Happy Holidays. Side note- I also checked to see if my picture that Sara took all those months ago that read “Michael ‘Mimosa’ Saunders” was still up on the cork board, but I guess someone had taken it down. Not sure who it was who did that, and I get it because I didn’t work there anymore, but I’m just gonna blame Sara. Bitch.

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Anyways, we headed out, catching the like, 2:45 F to Manhattan, actually doing quite solid on time at this point. We ended up making it to the theater a couple of minutes early, after we had actually passed by a girl I was friends with freshman year of college- Prachi- on the street as we were reaching the theater. I didn’t say hello because we hadn’t talked in years, but wow that was weird. Julian grabbed a drink and, after I had used the bathroom, we grabbed our seats; sitting back prepared for whatever was to come next. Soon enough the trailers began and, after those had finished- the trailers took like 30 minutes by themselves which is ridiculous- the age old words came onto the screen- “A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…” Now I know people have their own opinions about the movie, and the gripes when it comes to women only getting character arcs because of men, and I definitely agree with that. But the acting was very strong, and even though it was quite predictable for the most part, I still had a lot of fun with the movie. There were plenty of parts that made me roll my eyes or I just thought were ridiculous, but I had fun and that’s what I came there to do. It also made me dislike The Last Jedi even more, because I think this movie would have been better if J.J. Abrams had just directed all three. The Last Jedi as a stand-alone movie is fine, but as part of a trilogy, it just wasn’t all that great. With the credits rolling after a good 2.5 hours, the Star Wars saga had finally ended, which I think is a solid way to end 2019. Also Trump got impeached this week so I guess 2019 wasn’t all bad.

With the movie being over and the time only being 6PM, Julian and I ended up heading over to Strand to kill some time; I mean Chernin’s show wasn’t until 8PM and I definitely didn’t have time to head home and leave again. Now being in Strand is definitely a very conflicting experience whenever I go in there, because I love the place, but even though I have great memories there, they are from when I was dating my ex, who now has me blocked on all social media so, well actually I don’t mind. It was difficult at first, but I know it’s healthier for both of us, so in some ways I’m glad. I know it’s going to take me time to get over this past relationship, but I know I can, and I know I’m going to be okay. I’ve been through worse, and I haven’t died yet, have I? After spending a good bit in Strand, we headed out, and we took the 4 down to Fulton, where I got off and transferred to the 3, and then transferred to the 1 to get close to the theater, while Julian headed on home. It was a good 10-15 minute walk, but before long I made it to the New Ohio Theater, with a good 20 minutes to spare. There was this old woman who walked by me as I stood outside the theater, trying to get in. Clearly agitated, the woman told me she was looking for a theater, not this one, that was playing a show about Houdini tonight. “Do you know who Houdini is?” Alright I didn’t think about it too much in the moment, but bitch of course I know who Houdini is. Like, I get it I’m young, but come on now. Anyways, I really needed to run to the bathroom, so I saw this guy who was just waiting outside the theater and kind of dumped this lady on him; sorry guy. I heard her kind of interrogating him, with this poor man going “I’m just an audience member”. After using the bathroom, I headed into the theater, getting my ticket and, after the doors opened, headed inside and found a seat. After taking my seat, I actually saw a couple people from my work come in and grab seats as well. A server named Jess was sitting with one of her friends, and I saw a server named David come in with one of our managers Nicole and a woman who I assumed was her wife. Before too long, the lights dimmed and at last, the show began.

I dunno, it’s been a minute since I’ve seen like a smaller production show, since the latest shows I’ve seen have been Broadway shows, and it was kind of refreshing, you know? The story itself took place in a dystopian future, with a controlling government. One of the main characters was blind, and I gotta say the actresses blind impediment was really solid. As for the rest of the actors, everyone did a really great job. It was great getting to watch Chernin act, and I gotta say the fight choreography was a lot of fun. As for the plot- definitely some very political messages were there, which worked, even if they really weren’t all that subtle. All in all, I’m really glad I went, especially because it’s because I got to support a fellow artist. Now after the bows, I headed out into the waiting area, where I met up with Nikki, her wife, who I was officially introduced to, David, Jess, and her friend. Well Jess and her friend were off to the side, but I did chat with the other three. Now in the middle of the four of us talking, this girl, who turns out to be part of the cast of the other show happening in this theater, came up to David, “mistaking him for one of the actors”. As Nikki pointed out, she saw a cute guy and wanted an excuse to talk to him. I really felt like a fly on the wall as she just chatted with him. He ended up asking for her name after she talked about her view and… fascination I guess? when it comes to dystopian futures in stories, like the Hunger Games. She gave her name, asked for his name, and then just kept talking. I just kept my mouth shut, didn’t say much of anything, and felt relieved when she left. I don’t really like feeling invisible, but I also don’t like butting in, so her leaving definitely was fine by me. Before too long Chernin and the rest of the cast came out, and she came over, letting out a little scream after realizing we had all come to see her. I gave her a hug and told her she did a great job, and after a bit more talking, I made my leave.

Walking back the way I came, I caught the next 1 downtown, transferring to the 3 and ending up taking that all the way to Crown Heights. After I got off the train, I walked home, skipping the bodega for the night and instead just heading straight back to my apartment, getting inside and heating up some food. Julian came out of his room and the two of us chatted for a while, before sitting down and watching the new episode of My Hero Academia. With the time hitting around 1:30, I decided it was at last time to head into my room, so I bid Julian a goodnight and closed my door, opening up League for a game. Now I normally end up getting sucked in and playing two, three, or four games, but tonight I stayed strong; the first game ended, I closed League, and got started catching up on all my blog posts. I started around 2AM, probably earlier than that, and now it’s 4:16; a lot of writing for one night to be sure, but I’m glad to finally be caught back up. It’s back to Eataly tomorrow for a Sunday night full of… who knows honestly, and then I’m off again on Monday. Hopefully I can be productive on my next day off, and not fall back into the habit of lazing about. My plan is to get my hair cut, see a movie, and stop by lush to pick up a bath bomb for myself. I don’t really ever take baths, but I figured, if I’m going to be here for Christmas, I might as well treat myself, right? For now, goodnight everyone~

Until next time,

-Michael

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