Sunday, March 25, 2012

This Week

It seemed unlikely at times, but I survived the week. What started as a battle through the Saint Patrick’s Day crowd on an unbelievably beautiful March afternoon to get meat sauced at Fogo de Chao for Alex’s birthday quickly became “Eat Week” in my mind. Alex’s birthday will do that, with three more dining events to follow culminating in brunch at Frontera yesterday morning. I love how consistently delicious food at Frontera is, and have missed it since it became impossible to walk in without reservations. One evening Alex and I had the misfortune of deciding to eat there sans res—we waited four hours for a table at the bar with one chair.
Eat Week had one disappointment: Tuesday’s much-anticipated blog meeting ladies’ dinner gossip fest at Perennial was moved to the Pump Room. Luckily, the key to a good time ladies’ event is chatter and booze, which the Pump Room provided well. Wine, lavender cocktails, and Allagash White were the drinks on the table. The food was good—Brussels sprouts paired with avocado was a first for me, and I always enjoy a lemon-cream sauce on pasta—but otherwise unremarkable. Perhaps, I’m taking out my frustration on everything, when truly it was the “pretzel-crusted” calamari that irked most. I could not in any way distinguish a pretzel flavor in the crust, and I’m super into pretzels these days, so my inner snacker felt the brunt of that dissatisfaction.
Pump Room did turn out dessert: the salted caramel ice cream sundae with popcorn delighted. As did the unprecedented gossip round the table—my lips are sealed! As I’d no doubt be betrayed by my loud-mouthed friend the Interweb.
I guess Tuesday’s re-telling was my first unofficial event in Columbia College’s Story Week. We attended a second on Friday night, listening to Chicago authors read Chicago authors at the MCA. I really enjoyed it, finding it inspiring, though quite gloomy at the same time.

See, I started a novel once. I’m an English major and would be remiss if I weren’t also an aspiring writer.  Of course, it was right before the Great Hard Drive Malfunction (which resulted in the very strict Back-Up Reform Act).

The patient apple genius turned to me as a concerned comrade, said he could save the machine, but—he faltered in his diagnosis with an impeccably understanding bedside manner—the information would be lost. His sad eyes locked with mine, was there anything I would lose? I answered honestly, with regret: Yes, 14 pages of my novel and a short story about a dream I had. He cheered visibly.

In any case, there’s nothing the same note of depressing as being in a room filled with yearning authors, their unpublished novels hovering above their heads, lowering the ceiling as the air becomes thick with admiration, jealousy, and false hope.
It’s back to normal here, now. Nichols produce in the crisper. Cool, foggy, appropriate March weather. Guacamole on deck for lunch. Downton Abbey on the Netflix. Thoughts of Monday pushed to the back of my mind, as I enjoy a fresh cuppa from Alex’s new French press. Despite what we ate and what we heard, it was Birthday Week we enjoyed all along.


  1. I cheered visibly after reading this.

    1. You would have liked the Story Week event, too, I'm sure: much talk of Studs Terkel.