Weekdays are still the same–work and overtime. Paul started his new job Tuesday, and judging by how he won’t shut up about it, he seems to like it. He’s already put in tons of overtime in his first week because they’re really busy right now, and it’ll probably make for a fun adjustment for me because I’m not used to him working and not texting me at random in the middle of the day. Best of all, though, this job has zero night shift, so we won’t have to revisit that mess anytime soon. The goal now is for him to move out, though the timeline on that is unclear, but I’ll be a little too happy when that happens. He shot down my suggestion of moving in together because he’s never lived completely alone and really wants to take some time to do so, and I think that’s a very fair and wise request. There’s a lot to be said for living completely on your own, especially before getting married or living with a partner.

Last Saturday was a momentous occasion–it was the first time I left the casino with nothing. Normally, I’m at least able to win enough to keep playing and leave with a lit bit of the money left I took to gamble with, if not come out ahead. This time, I lost it all, but the good news is the casino finally started sending me coupons like Brandon and my mom get. I think Kelly was the only one who came out ahead. Meanwhile, my brain works the opposite way that it probably should, which is bother a blessing and a curse–I’m super willing to quit while I’m ahead, but when I’m down I just want to keep playing so I can win. Good thing I’m at the mercy of a car full of discouraged losers.

After that, Brandon and Kelly went home while I went with my parents to Pittsburgh’s home and garden show and we all bought various treasures. My mom found a nice yard sign she’s been wanting for awhile, and my dad talked her into a small, personal sauna that you can just sit in. He always talks about how he wants a sauna, so she gave in and we decided it would be funny not to tell Brandon. Instead, the day it was delivered, my dad said, “Well, I’m going down to use the sauna,” and that’s how he found out. I tried the sample one they had on the floor and it was nice, so I’m anxious to use my parents’ whenever I go home.

We also got other little stuff–I got a nice candle, my dad and I both bought shea-butter soaps and my mom made fun of him for being the only man at the booth, and we all bought bamboo memory-foam pillows, which are really nice.

That all wore me out, but I promised my presence at Paul’s house, and it was kind of a nice, chill night of me, him, Julie, and Jonathan. Julie made us dinner and Jonathan took advantage of the opportunity to “play games I normally wouldn’t be allowed to play when Mom and Dad are home,” so he and I played a round of Goldeneye together, which probably makes it the most he’s ever liked me, aside from the time Paul and I took him to the movies. This is also why Julie’s boyfriend is without a doubt Jonathan’s favorite–finally, a guy is coming over instead of a girl, and he’ll play video games and won’t call him cute. Then Paul, who has been on a baking spree, insisted on making a batch of cookies. I almost made it out of the house before his parents came home, but fortunately his mother behaved and I was just noticeably unresponsive, at least in my opinion, when she said it was nice to see me.

I’d mentioned to my mom that I really miss Grandma’s cottage cheese and dumplings, and since she was the only one who ever made them for me, I haven’t had them since she was alive and I think we’re coming up on six years this year already that she’s been dead. So my mom decided she’d attempt them–but by the time she got everything and was cooking it Sunday, we were getting dangerously close to the time Paul was scheduled to pick me up to go with him, Julie, and her boyfriend, Michael, to Geibel’s 42nd Street. We were going to dinner after, so I knew if Paul caught me eating before, he’d give me a bit of a hard time about it. We got them done just in time and I acted like I was just finished up my lunch before we left and he goes, “But we’re going to dinner after!” just like I predicted. But a small bowl of dumplings and cottage cheese is not enough to ruin a trip to Meloni’s a few hours later.

The musical was good. Not the greatest crop of talent they’ve had, but they did a good job and I forgot what a fun show 42nd Street is. I caught Michael on his phone a couple times, which I don’t approve of, but at least he was honest at the end about not being a fan of musicals–or even live music at all–instead of acting like he loved it. Josh, just like last year, was surprisingly good and comfortable onstage. I hope he continues with theater somehow.

And of course Meloni’s was fantastic. And I even got to take leftover dumplings home, too.

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