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August 8, 1998

Happy Anniversary

It started with making waffles for breakfast. I had to improvise a bit as we didn't really have that much mix, and one of 'em required eggs, and we had only one egg after the previous day. I can make waffles from scratch, but it takes eggs to do it, and we had a scarcity. So I ended up mixing whole wheat mix with buttermilk mix and added what the various things needed with some oil and it turned out really good.

Butter and syrup and both John and Mark were digging in while I fried up a bit more of the Canadian bacon and then I ate. Fezzik tried to get Mark to give him food for a while and on being completely ignored, moved back to his normal mark, me. That was pretty funny.

After breakfast I did my exercises. They were painful ones. All the muscles that I hadn't used before yesterday all protested my usage today. But I got through everythings, grumbling and gnashing teeth and swearing at the really painful stuff.

Mark settled himself in front of the TV with the Buffy tapes and John went outside to work on the deck. I went up to shower and marveled at everyone headed in their own directions and with their own purpose and thoroughly enjoyed my emotional freedom to just have them all do whatever the hell they wanted without having to involve me in any degree or way.

That was so cool.

Eventually, I ended up on the couch with Mark, just sitting and watching episodes that John and I had already seen. John didn't mind missing 'em at all, and it was fun to watch Mark get caught up. He'd been watching second and third season stuff. I made iced tea, and breakfast was plenty to hold me until dinner.

Around four thirty, John came in from the deck, told me he was showering and that after that we should likely change and get going to our anniversary dinner. So I smooched Mark on his fuzzy head and wandered up to change. Got into the Hawaiian dress, and put on the Victoria's Secret platform sandals and then made my careful way down the stairs. I like how the shoes make me feel and look, and they're infinitely mores stable than high heels, but decisively less stable than my Birkenstocks.

They were fun.

It was really funny going out, as Mark was parked on the couch, watching Buffy. I took a few minutes to tell him where frozen food was in the freezer and that he was free to eat anything, and it felt a lot like when Mom used to tell Kathy and I what we could do for dinner when she and Dad went out. That was really funny. Then, as we left, Mark said, cheerily, "Have fun, kids!" Made both of us giggle.

We left early because we wanted to drop by downtown to see about the Converse high tops again, as John had a purple pair and I'd always wanted a pair after seeing his. Besides, the Bandicoot has a pair of black high tops that are really keen, and I like 'em. So we stopped by Warshal's. It's an old style sport store, half filled with hand-tied flies, rifles, guns and maps of the various north west states. Filled with tents and waders and hip high boots as well as spandex, exercise clothing, and cross-trainers. They're also one of the very few places John has ever seen that sells Converse canvas Hightops. For $19. John was going to buy me a pair for my eleventh wedding anniversary present. Yay!

It was kinda funny to go swaying in there in my dress and shoes, but I did, and I got to try on a pair. The sales guy complimented me on how the black high tops (with white rubber and white laces, not the all-black ones) went with my outfit. I dimpled and thanked him happily. They were so keen. Just about as keen as the topo map of Alaska book I bought John. I think we're going to Alaska sometime, so he can drive there. But, honestly, I didn't think the shoes would actually go too well with the dress. Especially where we were going.

Brie and Bordeaux was lovely, especially in the sunshine filled evening. The decor was much as the review showed it and the food was very good. It wasn't quite as spectacular as I'd been hoping, in some ways, but they got most of the details right. The problem was, for me, was that their wine steward made me feel somewhat gauche, as I couldn't drink the wines that they were, in part, specializing in and she seemed to be far more stuckup than I really can quite swallow when I'm simply out for good food and a good time. I actually felt like I was doing entirely the wrong thing by asking her for an iced tea and she just plunked it by me. Made me feel a bit like I'd insulted her or something when it's simply an allergy to tannins.

The food itself was very good. Lovely offerings and imaginative courses that sounded really excellent and there were so many things on the menu that I wanted to try that we may have to go back sometime and just warn the wine steward off or something. The chef's menu of the day sounded really good, but we had thought that we might skip dessert to eat it later, and I'm not that much into cold fruit soups. So I couldn't quite to the three course chef's menu.

Instead, I picked the Muscovey duck and John got the tenderloin steak. The steak arrived perfectly cooked with mashed potato base, grilled onions crowning it, and a deep, rich, dark gravy, redolent in juices and reduced wine. The duck arrived surrounded by a moat of orange- mango chutney and with two tender, delicate fillo dough pastries. The skin, however, was a bit more burnt than I liked, though the center of the duck was just on the cooked side of pink, which was perfect, tender and juicy and perfectly complimented by the chutney. I missed the crisp skin, though, in some ways.

The appetizer we choose was the house speciality of house cheeses. It was an excellent suggestion and presentation. Crisp cracker and light breadsticks with a very, very mellow cows' cream cheese, a sharper brie with green peppercorns, and a harder tangy cheese. Just enough, for portions, to whet the appetite.

I broke down after dinner and asked for the dessert menu. They have their own in-house pasty chef for the desserts. Mine was a banana pudding with caramel topping and a lovely coconut meringue, crisp and chewy and delicate in lovely juxtaposition to the creamy softness of the pudding. Very, very nice. John had a lovely chocolate mousse sort of thing, with dried fruit, a bittersweet chocolate leaf, and plenty of whipped cream. The dry cappucino was perfectly executed.

That was really good.

Afterwards, we were pretty happy, though I was still somewhat unhappy with the treatment. So I didn't get Rick a gift certificate there, and I'll likely do that later, still from The Third Floor Fish Cafe, as they really treated us right.

So, we wandered about, trying to think of what we should do before our second dessert. That was pretty funny. Decided, eventually, on a movie, but which one? The Mask of Zorro was playing at the 45th Guild, but there was no parking to be found. It wasn't playing at the Cinemas in the University district, so we decided to go back to Redmond.

At the Redmond Towne Center, it was playing, but as we walked up to the ticket booth, we found out it had started just half and hour ago, and that The Negotiators was about to start. To we got tickets for that, instead. Action, adventure, Kevin Spacey, how could we go wrong?

Turns out we very decisively went right. It is a really tight flick, intelligent, active, fast. I loved the fact that the actions of the characters showed, so clearly, how quickly they could think on their feet, the two negotiators were just so good at being sharp and figuring things out on the fly. Respected their character brains immensely.

That was a very, very cool movie. John and I loved it and talked about it very happily, burbling as we went to Cucina! Cucina! and had Italian dessert for our second round. He had the Not Spumoni, and I, for the first time in a very long time, ordered tiramisu without any misgivings, at all.

A few things used to ache, gently, when they reminded me of Mark. Tiramisu, Sarah McLaughlin, it used to be worse, music of any kind would bring that ache. Now there's *nothing* that hurts. That amazes me, delights me in so many ways.

So I had tiramisu, loved it, enjoyed it completely and had nothing to haunt me.

When we got home, Mark was still up watching Buffy. He reported walking Fezzik and feeding him and that the walk had gone just fine. He also made like a parent who had stayed up to see the kids home. So I dropped a kiss on his head and then said good night.

John and I went up and had good fun, a lovely and intense reminder that even the everyday can become special, and then slept curled up about and with each other. Yum.

We talked for a while, and that was neat, and talked about the next morning and if I wanted to have breakfast alone with Mark, and John also said that he wanted to do stuff for the deck, so would really like to do that and maybe skip breakfast. I also said that I might want to snuggle up with Mark in the morning, and that was okay with him. That was cool, especially as he was happy to be snuggling up with me right then.

This polyamory thing is a lot of work. Lots of talking, lots of trusting, lots of love, in a lot of ways. John is my primary, likely always will be as he can stand my completely insane days and ways; but it's good to know that even more is possible. Kinda keen to get confirmation of it on this anniversary of our married life, all the more reason for the marriage to work out even better and longer and stronger.

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