A Late Start of a Day Full of Shopping and Cooking; It May Not Be the Best, But I’m Proud All The Same (1/8/20)

Today was finally the day where I would be making a dinner for Andrew and Julian; well I had hoped, and it ended up happening, that Andrew would assist me in the process, because I have zero idea what I’m doing. Without him, honestly I’m not sure how things would’ve turned out. With that being said, today definitely began much later than I was inting it to. I mean that’s normally expected on my days off, but last night I went to bed PARTICULARLY late; partly from just playing League for a while, but the biggest thing is actually because I was researching some more recipes for things I could make to go along with the spaghetti and meatballs recipe. I ended up going with a baked broccoli recipe, and passed out actually pretty damn close to 6AM. Big yikes. Now despite going to bed so incredibly late, my plan coming into the day was to still wake up at 1PM and start my day fairly early- all things considered that is; If you can’t tell from the title of the blog post… that didn’t exactly happen. I mean I did wake up to my alarm of course, but instead of getting out of bed, showering, doing anything productive, I proceeded to lay there in my bed for a good two hours.

Those two, honestly closer to three hours probably, laying in my bed were spent either trying to fall back asleep, or just aimlessly surfing the web and watching YouTube videos. The main thing that actually made me get up and moving was the fact that I had to deposit all the cash I’ve accumulated over the past couple of weeks into the bank, and it would be a lot easier for me to use a teller instead of an ATM; as far as I’m aware, tellers at 42nd St. close at 5PM, so I needed to get there by then. Finally getting up, I quickly showered, got dressed, and headed on out, checking to make sure we didn’t have any mixing bowls, and putting that on the list of things I needed to pick up today. I put the… god $1k in cash into a plastic bag, put that in my bag, and headed on over to Subway to grab a sandwich before I got on the train heading towards Manhattan. Well I had planned on getting a sandwich and finally eating lunch, but with there being a line and the train leaving in three minutes, I had no choice but to forego eating and just head straight to the train. I managed to catch the 4:11 4 train heading towards Manhattan, and rode that to Barclay’s Center, where I transferred to the Q and took that up to 42nd St. After a good 30-40 minutes travelling I was finally at Port Authority, walking into the PNC at 4:45 and waiting in line before talking to one of the tellers. He actually just so happened to be the teller I talked to when I was moving into my new apartment and had to withdraw the deposit, so it was cool to chat with him again; honestly such a friendly guy. I deposited the 1k into my bank account and made my way downtown to continue with my errands. Also I just wanted to say that I don’t want to seem like I’m not gracious for this money that I’m able to put into my account; like don’t get me wrong, I did work my ass off to actually make good money like this, but at the end of it all, I am incredibly lucky to have the job that I do. The fact that Eataly hired me, despite me only working as a server once beforehand, is amazing and I’m so thankful for them for that. I mean these past 6.5 months I’ve definitely improved 10 fold as a server, and it’s all thanks to everyone I work with, from the managers to the servers and other workers. I couldn’t imagine, back last March or May, making this kind of money; at Emma’s Torch the work was fulfilling of course, but the money wasn’t insane by any stroke of the imagination, and then when I got demoted… things got a lot worse. I mean by the time I started writing blog posts again in May, I was at the lowest point I’d been at in a long time, and truly had no idea how I was going to dig myself up and out of the hole that I had been pushed into. (To be fair, I did dig myself that hole in some ways, but it is what it is) Now to be able to pay rent, and know I have money being saved up so I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to do to get through the month, is an incredible feeling, and I’m so thankful to be where I am now. I know I’ve gone through this before, but I will never stop being thankful like this, and I never want to take for granted these things that I’ve gained and earned and learned over the years.

Forgive the long tangent, but moving forward, I ended up walking down to the Target by Penn Station, picking up a garlic crusher, some salt, bowls, some drywall anchors and screws, garlic, and an onion, before paying and heading over to Penn to catch a train downtown. I took the 2 down to Park Place, getting off and walking the rest of the way over to Eataly, still having not eaten, but nevertheless on a mission. Once I got up to Eataly, I ended up picking up- 1.5 pounds of beef, pork, and veal, half a pound or so of parmigiano reggiano, fresh tagliolini pasta, san marzano pomodoro tomatoes, tomato paste, housemade classic mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, a baguette, bread crumbs, bay leaves, basil, cherry tomatoes, and an orange- a lot of stuff I know- really excited to get tonight started. As I was picking out my cheese, I did get some help from the wonderful Emily, (one of our storytellers), who was definitely really helpful; She’s great, god bless her. Finally bringing my array of items to the cashiers, I ended up spending $74.74 on all of this stuff, and to the train station at long last. Catching the next 4 heading to Brooklyn, I squeezed into the packed car, and at last found myself heading onwards towards home.

By the time I got to Crown Heights, it was already past 6 or 6:30PM, mind you I haven’t eaten all day. This meant that before I did anything, I would at least stop by Subway and grab a meal, because fuck was I hungry. Taking the three bags- one from Target, one from Eataly, and one from Subway- I made my way home, finally arriving inside my apartment probably closer to 7PM. Andrew was home, but before talking with him I had to immediately dig in and devour my food, just so I’d have the strength to move forward. Once that was finished, Andrew and I started chatted, and he ended up helping me out quite a bit when it came to the whole cooking process. First we started with the sauce, which I ended up adding, besides the tomatoes of course, an orange peel, in hopes to remove some of the acidity and metallicness from the tomatoes. I also used the basil and bay leaves I had bought to get things going. We let that simmer for a good long while, and with Julian coming home around 10PM, we started on the meatballs around 9:30. Andrew worked to combine the meats and other ingredients, coated it in breadcrumbs, and then I seared them before placing the meatballs in the sauce to fully cook. Honestly with this being our first attempt, the meatballs didn’t come out too amazing, but you live and you learn, you know? With Julian arriving around 10PM, it still took us a good other hour to get things fully ready to go. By 11PM, we finally had the pasta cooked, I made the broccoli side dish, and everything was plated. Honestly, I think the broccoli tasted pretty solid, and though the spaghetti and meatballs weren’t the most insanely delicious thing in the world, they were pretty good. For a first attempt? Not terrible! My hope is that we can all actually look to do this type of thing at least once a week, and have at least one meal where we’re all just hanging out, drinking wine or liquor, and chatting. It feels so much more like a home then, you know? Also I just REALLY want to get back into cooking; I miss it.

As we finished up our food, Julian had to go to bed since he has work tomorrow, and Andrew and I worked to clean things up. Along the way I ended up deciding to hang up the shelf and the two paintings, now that I finally picked up some drywall anchors from Target. After a bit of finagling we got things pretty level, and at last our walls weren’t looking quite so bare. Andrew and I placed a couple things of ours on the shelves, and added in some of Julian’s legos to really bring it together. I mean Andrew had to Funko Pop figures, Julian had three small lego builds, though we’ll see if he changes them to something else, and I had put my Jinx figurine Maggie and Devon got me for Christmas, the Uraraka figurine, also from Maggie and Devon, and last but not least- Remmie. (Of course whom I got from Maggie and Devon) After hanging up both paintings, Andrew and I talked about having him pick out a small painting off his own, to put to the right of his door, next to another shelf or something. Then it’s like, we all chose one painting, and then we’ll decide together about the large one we get. I really like the idea, and I hope that we’ll be able to get that done before we have our housewarming party. Andrew eventually headed to bed, and I headed to my room to play some League to end the night. As the time hit 3:45AM and I was about to get off, Eddie had actually got on and messaged me, so of course I played a game with him before calling it a night. I haven’t talked or played with him in a good while, so it was nice to chat, you know? Tomorrow it’s back to work, and hopefully I’ll even get some laundry done; who knows!

Until next time,

-Michael

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**If you couldn’t tell, the picture I chose was the t-rex riding a bike because of course I did. I really love how it all turned out ❤

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