Mar 312008

Using a laptop without a mouse (having forgotten to put it back in my pack this morning), sucks beyond belief. I LOATHE using a trackpad or keyboard joystick; so frackin slow…

Had a fun visit from

  this weekend. He arrived by train on Thursday afternoon, and I dropped him back off there yesterday around 6pm. We went out to eat a few times, including sushi at Little Tree in Royal Oak, and dim sum yesterday morning at…um…that Chinese place on Long Lake at Rochester Rd. Probably the best dim sum selection we’ve had anywhere so far, even though I can’t remember the name of it at the moment.

Saturday he and Aaron whipped up a great tapas spread, including prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, mini crepes stuffed with goat cheese and covered with a berry sauce, seasoned shrimp cocktail, and a couple other tasty things I can’t remember (seems to be a theme this morning).


 , and

  (with husband Eric) showed up to help us devour all this, with

  arriving later for drinks and Super Smash Bros. on the Wii. Earlier we’d played American Idol Karaoke, but even five martinis weren’t enough to get me on the mic. Speaking of martinis, Hpnotiq and ruby red grapefruit juice makes a fantastic mix.

Other than lots of eating, the weekend was low-key and involved renting Ratatouille through video-on-demand, and lots of sleeping-in. The trip back across the border was an exercise in frustration as Bryan didn’t bring his student visa, having never been told that it was required to cross the border in addition to his passport. He’d always brought it before, just in case, but not this time, and the guard gave him a ration of shit and ordered us over to the Immigration office so they could interrogate and lecture him for a few more minutes before letting us go. I got him to the station about five minutes before the train left. The only things that helped alleviate my steadily mounting rage were the HOT immigration officers; two tall post-twinks, one blond, one dark, who came over to the car, and another hot blond with a goatee inside the office.

Luckily (for him), I didn’t have to endure officer Chang at the US checkpoint on the way back. I don’t know what work program for the retarded they hired him from, but he needs to be returned to it. I’ve had the misfortune of being at his booth three times when bringing Alex for a visit, and each time has been an exercise in the surreal. He asks the most off-the-wall, irrelevant questions, and follows each one with a lengthy session of very slow keyboard presses and peering intently at his monitor from about two inches away.

“Citizenship?”  “US.” “Canadian.”

“How long are you staying?”  “Just the weekend.”

hunt, peck, peer

“Have you ever been arrested?”  “Um, no.”

hunt, peck, hunt, peck, peer

To Alex: “Do you have a sister?”  “Um, no, I have a brother.”

hunt, peck, peck, peer, hunt, peer, peck peck peck

“Has your brother ever been in jail?”  “What…? NO.

LOTS of hunting, pecking, and peering with this one

And so on. FINALLY he gets whatever it is he’s looking for and sends us on our way, but I swear I don’t understand how hiring standards at the DHS can possibly be as low as they are, even for a government agency consisting largely of hired thugs.

Aug 272007

As this was brokenbryan‘s last weekend before shipping off to Canuckistan for school, the three of us spent all weekend hanging out and going places. Friday night after the wall of storms swept through the area, we got our sushi on at Little Tree in Royal Oak. Aaron and I, with much self-restraint, limited ourselves to one Mad Chef roll each. A Mad Chef roll is basically a California roll that has been tempura-battered and fried. We’ve never found it at any other sushi place, and we’ve tried. Usually when you get a tempura roll the shrimp, or whatever, inside the roll is battered, but not the outside. We dropped by the Starbuck’s at 15 Mile & Coolidge to get a food coma antidote and to let Bryan say goodbye to the staff there, since he occasionally took shifts at that store. We were too full and lame to go anywhere else, so we vegged at home and watched The Fellowship of the Ring on TNT, which was showing the trilogy over three nights in HD. It was nice, but way too many commercials, and from the way they were hawking them every two minutes, you’d think they only had two shows: The Closer and Saving Grace. Enough already!

Saturday after his last workday at Starbuck’s, we went to the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mt. Clemens, which is a giant indoor weekend flea market. There’s also a location in Taylor. Every form of kitsch, schlock, tchotchke, and NASCAR merchandise can be found there, in addition to the largest public display of chromosome damage in Michigan. I had spent plenty of time in the Taylor location when I was friends with/dating Matt, as he had a booth there to sell his candles, so I was no stranger to its “unique atmosphere”. The grub from the food court was surprisingly good, though. Bryan made an impulse purchase of roller shoes, but he never did find a 5 year old to teach him how to skate on them. Maybe he’ll find a tutor in Canada.

Afterward we drove aimlessly around the Mt. Clemens area, down to Metro Beach, then down Gratiot Ave. to Jefferson Ave. in search of a waterside restaurant. We had to go all the way down to Detroit to find one, but we were seriously under-dressed for it, so we landed in Greektown instead. We tried Fishbone’s, but they had seriously raised their prices since the last time we were there, so we asked the waiter for a couple minutes before we decided on drinks, and slithered out the door when he left. New Hellas Cafe was much more reasonable, and tasty as always, followed by a stop at Astoria Pastry Shop for baklava and biscotti. The evening was concluded with The Two Towers.

Yesterday we decided to trek out to IKEA in Canton and left around 10:30am to try and beat some of the crowd. We just made it, and the crowd started streaming in about five minutes after we made it upstairs. Luckily it never got too crazy, but we didn’t manage to escape before spending $150. We got some glass globe accent lights to put under the side tables on both ends of the sectional, but I’m not sure if I like them yet. We also replaced the red rug under the coffee table with a new, heavier, red rug. The old one from Target was so light and stiff that it wouldn’t stay put and constantly buckled up. Finally got sick of straightening it several times a day. I got myself a small Money Tree plant for my desk at work, but forgot to grab it on my way to the doc’s this morning.

After IKEA, we spent about an hour walking around the Art on the Lake festival. As usual it was a mix of interesting yet expensive art that we weren’t going to drop hundreds of bucks on, and craft-type things that we wouldn’t be caught dead displaying in our home. We walked back, then Aaron wrote some work articles while Bry napped and I talked to Mom until her phone battery died. Dinner was carry-out from Red Robin and The Return of the King. Called it a night around 1:30am after Bry was done packing and we’d taken out all the trash.

I said my goodbyes this morning before leaving for the doc at 8:30, and Bry left at 10am to meet his parents in Windsor. He’s got to get his student visa before heading to Toronto and his new apartment. It’s good that his parents can drive with him, since there’s no other way he’d get the futon that my mom/we gave him there. So now the house is going to be much emptier and quieter (and cleaner! ;o)), but it’s going to be lonelier for awhile. He needed to leave to move forward with his life, and we were all getting on each others’ nerves more and more often as the summer progressed, but I’m still gonna miss him terribly. It hasn’t really hit me yet, since I left before he did, but I’m sure it will when I get home this evening.

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