Well, it’s not all bad

Having pretty much spent an entire week goofing off and relaxing a little, and having basically slept through the entire first day of the new year, there was pretty much no turning back for me.. I had to get back to the books! Which I did first thing Friday morning.. Errrm.. Noon.. Errrmm.. Afternoon.. Something along those lines.. Anyways, yea, back to the books it was.. And they weren’t much of a welcome sight, but what’s a boy to do? And who’s to say that a weekend spent with books have to be all bad? At least the nights have been cozy..

Well, I – once again – have not been able to go out, get pissed and do crazy stuff, but then after the last week or so, it’s not like I’ve really missed it too much – and neither has Tina, apparently, as she, too has been in a more of a homely kinda mood which fitted mine just well.. So, it’s actually been a pretty decent mix of spending the days bend over the books and spending the evenings at Tina’s trying to cook up some good food, drink some good wine and have a good time.. A combination that we’ve pretty much managed to perfect over the last couple of years.

Friday, after doing another one of our little spontaneous road trips which ever so often pop up out of nowhere, we then headed down to Tina’s to kick back for the evening. Tina had sweet talked me into cooking up some Pho for her, a Vietnamese beefy soup that I fancy for various reasons, firstly because it’s dead easy to prepare once you’ve actually gone through the hardships of preparing a good beef stock and secondly because it’s just plain fun to serve.. You heat the stock with some spices and a bit of fish sauce, add thin slices of marinated beef at the last moment, soak some rice noodles (and next time you will also remember to rinse them under cold water, Johan), chop up some spring onions, chilies, add a few lime wedges and some sugar.. And then you just put everything on the table and let people build their own dish by adding noodles and broth to a bowl and adding whatever sweet, sour and spicy elements they so desire.

It only adds to the fun when you’re dining with chili freaks such as Tina who often underestimate the, at times, over-powering qualities of the capsaicin in the chilies and as a result spent a half hour after dinner panting and blinking away tears while blowing their noses regularly.. And taking healthy sips of the crisp Burgundy Chardonnay that somehow ended up in the mix.. I ended up nearly feeling bad for her, but then again, she did bring it on herself this time.. For once, I wasn’t the one to nearly kill her with spices.

After dinner, we enjoyed ourselves watching a show of Eddie Izzard’s while sipping the rest of the Chardonnay and laughing our asses off. I’m not one to generally rant and rave about stand-up comedians, but this executive transvestite has GOT to be the funniest of said breed on the face of his planet! That and he’s even more incoherent and bitter than myself which makes me feel better somehow. Having spent a good deal of the evening laughing, bickering, insulting each other, nearly dying from capsaicin overdoses and generally just having a good time, we decided to call it a night before it got too late, and so I enjoyed myself walking home in -5C weather which went surprisingly fast owing probably to a combination of fast-paced metal in my ears and a severe case of freezing my ass off. Actually, the only thing that slowed me down was stopping for a bit of junk food on the way, something I, subsequently, promised myself to never do again while in a sober state of mind.. Especially since Tina’s only comment was “you could’ve just told me you were hungry, I’d have made you something” – well, thanks, babe, I’ll be sure not to make that mistake again.

I wasn’t really planning on doing anything Saturday, other than the obligatory reading, of course.. Tina would be working, the rest of the crew would be partying, I’d be stuck at home, and.. wait a moment! Apparently Tina wouldn’t be working after all as her shift got canceled, and apparently she wouldn’t be doing anything than sitting at home and bitching about the Chinese broccoli beef stir fry I’d be having for dinner sounded better than anything she had planned out.. Well, we’d see about that! Not knowing if she actually had anything planned, I more than hinted to her that she could just join me for dinner rather than complain about her own state of things.. Which led to a cute, thoughtful and utterly pointless rant on her part about not wanting to take advantage of my hospitality and alleged cooking skills two days in a row.. To which I listened, smiled, nodded and then completely ignored it, telling her we’d work something out about payment, return of favors or what the fuck ever, but for her to just suit herself if she’d rather just eat alone.. I then started to wait.. And to Tina’s credit, she did stand her ground for a full two hours before sending me a text reading something along the lines of “if I were to cave in and surrender, how would we do this?” .. Hah, I win again! 😀

The end result was that I prepped things, went down to Tina’s, supplied the ingredients, skills, a few compliments and a slur of profanities while she supplied good spirit, a movie and a bottle of wine.. And all was well! Well, except for the fact that cooking a stir fry in a normal pan is a bit of a hassle and called for some interesting shuffling, cursing, batch cooking and jumping about.. And a bit of patience, careful mixing and a gentle hand.. Which were never top qualities of mine.. But the end result did come out pretty good and made Tina loathe and bitch about standard, greasy Chinese take-out.. Which, don’t tell anybody, actually was part of my evil plan.. Veering friends off junk-food one dish at a time. Friends don’t let friends eat crap food (or listen to rap metal for that matter).

So, yea, that was that. Having eaten, and spent about an hour clearing the table (50 minutes of which were spent arguing about whether or not I was allowed to help, and another five of which were spent cleaning up a minor scale chocolate santa related incident) we kicked back with an episode of Top Gear, some more wine and eventually a Steve Carell kick in the shape of the movie “The 40 year-old virgin” .. which I’d have to admit was actually pretty funny.. And long! Because apparently by the time it’d finished and Tina had stopped being confused about me recognizing the end title song as Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In from Hair (apparently I’m not allowed to know 60’s musical scores), the clock had passed 1 AM, and it was once again time for me to make my way home.. This time in a much more relaxed manner as it was nowhere near as cold as the night before, so I relaxed considerably and even had time to stop, reflect and bitch for a while as one of the bass lines pouring out from a downtown club entirely overpowered the awesome song by In Flames I was listening to at the time.. Bah humbug!

But a good weekend none the less.. Well, all the studying aside anyways. I can’t wait for Wednesday to roll by so I’ll have one more exam out of the way.. My second to last this semester, actually.. Good times!

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