My weekend was pretty catastic, if we’re being super honest. The only thing separating me from a full-blown Cat Lady lifestyle is the fact that I don’t live alone and can’t knit.
Friday after work, I think Henry seriously considered leaving me, and at one point, he did run away to his ever-ready refuge, The Store. (Kuhn’s, Giant Eagle, Aldi, one of the Asian markets – the man loves his grocery store quiet time.)
[RELATED SIDE NOTE TO HENRY’S DOMESTICITY: My work friend Margie was just helping me MacGyver one of my bracelets with a paper clip because the elastic band has become too slack over the years. “Do you know how to sew?” she asked, and then quickly recovered by saying, “What I mean is, does Henry know how to sew?” Good save, Margie!]
I don’t know what started it but I invented this entire hyper-scenario, not in my head, but out loud for Henry to also enjoy, where my cats, Drew and Penelope, are entering the convent to be nuns. First, Henry scowled at me from his post at Card-Making Central, and then eventually just entirely left the house in exasperation after I yelled at Drew for calling one of her toy mice a “motherfucker” because there’s no swearing in the convent, God will strike you down, Drew. Yes, Drew, he’s the one who watches you from the cloud. No, Drew, that’s Ho-Ho*. I’m talking about GOD.
*(That’s what my cats call Santa.)
Then I changed their names to Sister Agnes Drew and Sister Mary Peen and later that night, while Henry was trying to sleep, I gently laid a white dishtowel on Penelope’s head so it looked like she was wearing whatever nun’s wear and then I was shaking the bed from all the laughing and Henry whispered, “Plz get help.”
I don’t know if he really whispered that. But probably. I worked from home on Thursday and Friday so that gave me A LOT of special time with the cats and excuse me if they’re my best friends and the only ones I CAN REALLY TALK TO, HENRY.
We walked to the post office with our bundle of Valentines and then I went to the library to pick up the two books that were waiting for me because playing Library is my new favorite game ever. Henry was like, “What are books” and then we went to the bakery to get cookies to eat on the walk home because that’s how exciting we are.
Later, I met Jiyong at Panera for Korean Time. I don’t mind Panera generally but the last several times, it’s been a real Yinzer circus which, I know may seem shocking, but is not conducive to the learning process. At least for me, anyway. It was the equivalent of trying to catch babies while reciting back sentences in Korean by memory.
OK bad analogy because we all know I would never go out of my way to catch a baby.
As mentioned above, Jiyong does this new thing where she takes my book from me and makes me recite, from memory, the little story I just translated for that session. Now, this would be difficult for me to do in my mother tongue (not sure what that is, actually, and sometimes it does not seem to be english!) because my memory is not what it used to be, and now she wants me to do this in a language that I barely know. Cool, let’s do it. I love suffering in a Panera.
Halfway through our study session, a Russian boxer arrived and took a seat at the table behind Jiyong. I know what you’re thinking, ‘wow, stereotype much, OHE?’. But look:
- he had what sounded like a russian accent;
- his face appeared squashed, like it’s been punched a lot over the years;
- he was wearing a gray sweatshirt over a gray hoodie and gray sweatpants;
- he was loud.
Russian boxer. Case closed.
How was he loud, you ask? Because he saw someone he knew over yonder hills of sweeteners and coffee stirrers and he called out to this person in what sounded like a drunken bark, death bed cough, MAGA bray, and then that person came over to engage in a bro-hug next to our table and they spoke to each other in staccato grunts and Jiyong was coaxing me to start the next sentence and I’m like, “How is this not distracting you?!” and then Vladimir Knockoutkov sat back down behind Jiyong and proceeded to eat his Panera meal with the smackiest lips this side of the Kremlin.
I could hear every single bite, every millisecond of mastication, every tongue-swipe of the lips. Oh Sister Mary Peen, I can fucking hear it right now in my head as I relive this tragic weekend moment. I am haunted.
He, along with the family of 4 behind him who consistently dropped silverware on the floor and paced to and fro from the garbage can behind me back to their table, eventually left, but then there was this group of men having a meeting in the special, closed-door conference room thing next to us which was FINE, dandy even, until they began to emerge in pairs and sitting at a table next to us at which point interviews were conducted.
I felt like I was on Silent Library. It was the worst and I kept whining to Jiyong about how I would be doing so much better if all these stoops weren’t distracting me and she gave me a polite, “Yeah sure” nod.
Came home. Ate dinner. Went to Kohl’s. Wow, life is exciting in the winter.
Oh! But Saturday night was super…crunk? Lit? I dunno what word we’re using these days. I would say “daebak” if I actually had the confidence to speak the Korean I know, haha. Ugh. Anyway, I wanted to read one of the new books I scored from the library so I put on something for background noise that wouldn’t distract me. I chose this YouTube channel called Cream Heroes, which is so cute – it’s this lady in Korea who has 7 cats and is always, you know, doing cat things with them. After a while, I happened to glance over to my left and I noticed that Sister Agnes Drew was sitting on the wheelchair, intently watching these videos. Now, I have played these a lot in the past but she, as to my knowledge, has never given a single shit about it. But on this evening, she was enrapt.
Bad quality, but I had to zoom in on her because that oaf otherwise known as Henry was sitting between us and totally in the way. I mean, she was into it for a good long while, I couldn’t believe it! I’ve put on cat-specific videos (fish, birds, etc) for both of them before and they haven’t cared. Maybe it’s the lady’s voice she likes too? She will probably learn Korean faster than me at this point. Sigh.
THEN IT WAS SUNDAY.
I let Henry choose which cafe to go to for Sunday Coffee, or whatever it is I’ve been calling it. Henry really seems to have taken a liking to cold brew so maybe cafe-hangs will actually be a consistent part of our routine!? Anyway, I had him review Steel Valley Roasters and you can read that here but true to form, it doesn’t say much.
We went to Many More Asian Market afterward and I was happy there.
I love that place.
I started a new book on Sunday – this one was about a possession which got me reminiscing about the time in high school when I desperately wanted to become possessed and I was actually very close to straight up devil worship for a brief period (oh, Erin and her phases) and I casually asked Henry if he ever wanted to be possessed too and the way he said NO, it was like it’s weird for someone to want to be possessed?!
Meanwhile, Sister Mary Peen suddenly became interested in Cream Heroes too!
She eventually jumped up there and started swatting at the screen, so I guess she hates them.
In the afternoon, Janna came over and we walked down the street to the Hollywood Theater, where we finally saw Jojo Rabbit! I feel bad because Janna texted me way back in August or September and was like WILL YOU GO SEE THIS WITH ME WHEN IT COMES OUT and I was like YES and then it came out in October and we never went because you really have to twist my arm to get me to go to the theater, I’m such a weirdo about it.
But I sincerely did want to see this! Then last week, Henry off-handedly said, “Jojo Rabbit is at the Hollywood now” because he knows that I will mostly only see a movie if it’s playing there because:
- it’s convenient (a 5-minute walk from my house!)
- it’s an old-school, historic one-screen theater with a balcony
- I always sit in the balcony
So I asked Janna if she wanted to go and of course she said yes and it turns out Henry was telling me it was playing because he wanted to go see it with me but then I invited someone else and instead of just going with us anyway, he stayed home and pouted.
It’s fine. He had a lot of Valentines to make.
Anyway, I knew only the bare minimum about this movie, but Janna and I both loved What We Do In the Shadows and it’s the same guy etc etc Hitler, blah blah blah. So I expected it to be funny, and I expected to be slightly uncomfortable while laughing at the funny parts, but I didn’t realize it was going to slug me across the face like an emotional sledgehammer, holy fucking shit, I felt many feelings during this movie and I ugly-cried numerous times to the point where my body was shaking and I had to sit in the dark while the credits ran to make sure I was completely done crying before we could leave.
Fantastic movie and for as much as I fucking LOVED Parasite, I think that maybe, possibly Jojo Rabbit was the better film THERE I SAID IT I’M SORRY KOREA I STILL LOVE YOU MOST.
Chooch was supposed to go see it with us and it’s extremely relevant to his interests (he is very into learning about Hitler not because he’s a neo-Nazi thank you but because he’s a budding history buff and was excited because he recently got to give a presentation at school about Hitler where he was able to say ‘syphilis’ and ‘prostitute’) but then he ditched us to go over some kid’s house TO PLAY FOOTBALL AND WATCH THE SUPERBOWL WHO IS THIS KID? I am so disappointed in him. I told Todd the next day at work that Chooch likes football now and Todd was like, “YESSSS! IT HAPPENED! THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!”
After the movie, I came home to the greeting card sweatshop and provided marginal assistance while paying more attention to the cats than a well-functioned human being probably should, but that’s OK BECAUSE THEY ARE MY BEST FRIENDS.
And that’s what happened over the weekend.