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January 6, 2001
a year ago
two years ago

Having Too Much Fun

We had to get up to meet Bob for breakfast at 9. We weren't too sure if anyone else in his family could make it, so when we got there early, we just sat on the couches at the front of Lucille's and waited. The hostess was trying, very hard, not to stare at me; but curiosity overwhelmed her and she asked how long I had to go. I told her five weeks, which will be true tomorrow, and she was astonished that I was so small for that little time to go. She said that I was carrying it very well. I thanked her, though some part of my brain was blinking a bit and had nothing to compare it all to. Obviously she'd had kids and it was interesting to see that simply seeing me was stirring up memories.

She was really cool and took care of getting John some coffee and when the Hamiltons arrived, she seated us very, very quickly. We ordered the beignets and coffee drinks while Mei and Bob and Andrew read the menu. Lots to absorb there, as all the breakfast dishes are almost like regular breakfasts, but all very definitely Creole. I knew I wanted the Carlin County, the biscuit and gravy dish I'd had last time. Simple, not as big as the other breakfasts and no raw egg possibilities either in the Hollandaise or the poached eggs. There were a lot of really fascinating variations on Eggs Benedict, but I couldn't touch any of them. I think that once the baby is born I'm going on a partially-cooked egg binge after my sushi binge.

Everyone loved breakfast. Yumminess all around. Andrew indulged in one of the Benedict variations. John got the LA sausage, so hot it was making him sweat. Bob got the Pain Purdu or French Toast, and Mei had a regular breakfast, with grits, andouille, eggs and a biscuit. Everyone enjoyed their food, which was keen, and Mei really, really liked her beignet. We had fun talking over lots of things, including David getting his kids back and things at work and things in general. Life is pretty good, all in all.

Once safely full, John told them that he was taking me to the Cheese Importer's shop. They decided to come with to see the place, and I happily got a basket and started picking up stuff. One thing they had out for tasting was a grapefruit yoghurt from Sweden! Swiss milk. Yum. I got a ten cup flat of the stuff as it fed my grapefruit addiction. I also got a small cheesecake. The other night when we were at Safeway, the checkout lady had complimented me on my pregnancy and asked if I had any cravings and I'd said, sadly, that I mostly craved grapefruit and spinach. She'd laughed and said, "Oh! That's why you bought 10 pounds of grapefruit..." It was on sale! Buy one get one free. Anyway, she'd said that she'd craved cheesecake and McDonald's. Why can't I have really unhealthy cravings like that? So I decided I'd get a cheesecake eventhough I wasn't really craving it, it'd be fun to eat while I could still eat it and not be guilty. They carried a local baker's cheesecakes, so I got a little one.

I needed more Silton, but was distracted by the Gorgonzola, so I got a little bit of the Gorgonzola and a good block of the Silton as I knew we liked it a lot. I got a good, creamy looking block of real Parmesan Reggiano and a small block of a Wisconsin cheddar, as I wanted to see what it tasted like. Mei was amazed that I knew enough to buy something, and I said that some of this was just an experiment. You can't know until you taste. There was also a little goat cheese topped with sun-dried tomato pesto, which looked like it'd be great on crackers or good bread.

The cashier approved of that choice heartily. She said it was really, really good. I also found a bottle of balsamic, as the bottle that Carl bought me a few years ago was running out. This stuff looked nicely aged and had the right ingredients, so we'll see how good it actually is.

When we'd checked out, we told them that we were going to the Tea Train, a new tea shop in Longmont that promised to, possibly, have better teas than anything in Boulder. Mei was sad when she said that she had to go back home to get ready for the coming week, work-wise, and that we were having too much fun. John also mentioned that we might stop by the National Stock Show in Denver as well, just to wander about and see the Fair-like atmosphere and see all the animals and stuff. Mei scolded us a bit for tempting her and, again, for just having too much fun, like two little kids. That got me giggling a bit.

The Tea Train turned out to be not bad. Not great the way Upton or the Imperial Tea Court is, but not nearly as bad as the tea pavilion in Boulder where they only serve Republic of Teas's flavored blacks and one type of black or green. This shop had several dozen flavored black teas, but it also had a half a sheet of greens, a handful of oolongs, and even a few white teas! None of the various grades I'm used to being able to choose from, but they did have a few dozen estate Darjeelings, so they had some idea what they were doing. They had one Jade Puchong, which they had priced stratospherically, but when I asked if I could have the leaves for a to-go cup, she said that she could only give me a six cup sample, for about a third the price of a to-go cup. My.

So I got a packet of the lightly fermented oolong to go with me, and a similar sample of sencha, as I like it plain. Yay!

John wanted to wander through Hobby Town USA, a model shop, and next door was a Hobby Lobby. Since I'd seen the Canadian Cranberry Lane web site and seen all the molds for making bath bombs, I'd been wanting molds for bath bombs that weren't just the half-egg shell I'd been using. So I wandered into the Hobby Lobby and they had plastic molds for decorative soap! I got cute turtle and frog and a few delicate seashell molds that looked about the same volume as the half shell. Yay! John had fun just looking at all the models and was happy to go when I found him there.

Target was next. Dad had gotten John some cool Playstation games, but John wanted to just see what else was available, as he hadn't really looked before Christmas to ask. So we went and looked. John found the next Crash Bandicoot game, so had to get that. I got batteries for my Visor, the rechargeable alkalines, so that the PDA wouldn't get confused by voltage differences. I also needed something to drink, badly, and got a pint of chocolate milk. I don't think it'll ever stop amazing me what this pregnancy does to my tastes and to what I now choose to eat and drink.

By the time we got home, I was exhausted. I needed a nap, and didn't know what was going to happen this afternoon. John had been making noises about going to the Stock Show, but if I was going to walk around a lot, I needed the rest. So I took an hour and a half nap. With dreams.

When I got up, I was still feeling full from breakfast, but if we were going out, I needed some sustenance, from past experience. So I ate some of the yogurt, the last of my Maverick pears, as juicy and sweet and smooth as the first, and had some cheese and crackers as well. John filled two water bottles. The plan was to drop by Suavecito just to see what it was like and then see to the stock show.

My infatuation with Suavecito Zoot Suit has been around for a few years. It got mildly assuaged when I bought the J. Peterman's banker's suit, but I've lusted, mildly, for one for years. There is just something about the style and statement of these suits that just really talked to me. I was most astonished when I found that they were actually local to Denver! John bet me a suit if I got a book done, but just the other day, he agreed that a baby was probably on the order of a book. I just found out that they were having a 50% off sale 'til the end of the month, as they're making room for their 2001 models and colors; and some part of me was, very foolishly, thinking that it might be possible to get a suit while it was on sale even if there was no way on earth we could actually *fit* me.

But I wanted to, at least, see what there really was. There's a difference between seeing a stylish suit on a site and feeling the cloth under ones fingertips and against ones skin. When John heard about the 50% off sale he blinked a little and said, "Oht oh, I might actually buy one." Hee.

We got into the very Hispanic part of town and found the place, no problem. It was behind a bank, so a bit off from the street, so you really had to be looking for the place to find it. It was neat, extremely clean and when we first rolled up, we saw two suits in the window. One was a classical black pinstripe zoot with full regalia from feather to shoes, posed just like on the site. The other was this gorgeous metallic gold, looking nearly khaki in the slant of light, with burgundy patterned tie, perfectly posed and utterly beautiful.

It really did make as much difference as I'd thought it might, to actually see and feel these suits. The heaviness of the materials. The black and silver pinstripe was silky in feel, the burgundy hefty and nice, and the gold and silver were rich and heavy, flowing wonderfully with any motion. The accessories, in all their profusion, were wonderful to see up close. They really made a difference, too, in how the whole suit presented itself. And it was really, truly hopeless for me to try anything on and not look completely ridiculous. Which was sad. So I got John to try things on so I could see.

Trying things on really also made a big difference for figuring out what things really went well with what. Something as simple as switching out the shirt, made a huge difference in how things looked on John. I had fun trying different colors on him as well, as there were so many colors. The two basic styles were as I'd envisioned, and the fancier Tin Tan suit really was just that much better. Given the tailoring that I really enjoyed on my banker's suit, which made it more comfortable and better looking on me, the Tin Tan naturally made John look really nice. The burgundy one went really well with his browns. We tried on a lot of the more traditional colors, like black and greys and the dark blue, but all of them looked much more like normal, everyday suits. It was fun to see him in the burgundy, gold, and we tried the lime green just to see what it was like. I wish they'd had a purple one, too, his size or even the red pinstripe.

The really baggy pants and the loose-fitting jacket combined to make for really, really comfortable formal wear. Surprisingly comfortable. The no-waistband fit of the Tin Tan made it very easy to wear, too. John noted that for a guy, suspenders with the really baggy pants was a must. I giggled and said that if they actually fit my belly, I'd have to have suspenders, too. I guess I'll have to go back after I get back into at least decent shape after the baby is born.

The young man helping us out was really cool. He obviously loved the suits and had a connection with how well they looked on people. He was really enjoying getting John to look really, really sharp, everything from matching up stuff to letting John try everything and anything that caught his eye. It was a lot of work, what with shoes, shirt, tie, pocket square, pocket chain, hat, and feather. Turned out he was one of the co-owners of the business, and for all that he just wore a Nike t-shirt and baggy pants, he actually owned 20 of the suits himself, and found that whenever he wore it out, he'd sell another suit to someone who had never seen them on someone before. He was mildly surprised to find that I'd looked for Zoot Suits specifically when I found this place. Maybe it is odd to think of Chinese woman really into these things, when they're so steeped in Italian and now Hispanic cultures and the past.

But they look so cool. And it was so much fun to really get into it all, details and beauty and all. Nice, too, to support a local business and a very nice niche that doesn't get that much support on a regular basis. Too much fun playing dress up, too. They said that if anyone goes there and buys something and mentions my name or John's name we'll get a discount on any purchases there! Hee. That was pretty cool.

By the time we were done, it was actually past 5 pm! Eek. So much for the stock show. Instead, John drove me into downtown and we had dinner after much wandering about. We actually went back to the portion of LoDo that Kallum showed us when Genevieve was here, and found a place called the Crab House, as I was hungry for seafood. They had a very opinionated waiter, but given that I really enjoyed the results, I couldn't blame him. The roasted corn and crab bisque was delicious. The crab cakes were a bit too bready for me. But the floured and sauteed soft shell crabs were perfect. Plenty of calcium for baby bones, and the mashed potatoes and marinated fresh Roma tomatoes were really nice sides. Very happy tummy.

Since we had plenty of dessert at home, we refused the dessert menu and were very glad of the nice, cool, longish walk back to the car.

When home, we were pretty full and it was still fairly early in the evening as we'd eaten before six. So we broke out my birthday present for John and pulled out the Tampopo DVD I'd bought him. It turned out to be in a really old format, so he had to do a little wiring to get the sound system to actually play the sound from the DVD. Tampopo is a movie that should only be watched when one has a completely full stomach. The sequences on noodles always make me want to go out and find a ramen shop somewhere that does ramen for real. We haven't found one in the area, yet, but with full stomaches, it was possible to watch it and not want to go out immediately.

The movie was a bizarre and wonderful as we remembered, and it was actually fun to watch it with John because he didn't mind me remembering. There was one scene where a man was running hard along a railroad track and John said, "Is this?" and I said, "Yeah. It is." and we giggled when we realized the exact words we were using. It was the scene where the man is running home to a dying wife, and he commands her to make dinner for them. Eventhough she is dying, she gets up, staggering, and makes dinner for her family and gets complimented on it. She gives this beautiful smile at the compliments and then gently dies right there. Quite the memorable scene and one of many dealing with food cut into the main plotline of the movie itself. It was really cool to watch.

The cheesecake turned out to be delicious. I contemplated it and decided that Mei might well have been right. We really did have way too much fun and hopefully, we can have more.

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