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We celebrated my birthday, or as it became, my birthday weekend, or as I would prefer to refer to it, my magical birthday week this past week. We had decided that an Ipad was in our future, and it became a question of 1) Birthday gift for me? or 2) Christmas gift for the whole family?
My thinking was as follows: 1) if it's a Christmas present for us from us then we will get absolutely no help from the rest of the family (and it's a spendy proposition). 2) if it's a gift for me, then I can decide who gets to use it and when, short circuiting the whole. . . "But it's the whole FAMILY'S present!" argument that Emma would no doubt employ to yoink it out from under me.
So, I was very excited to go to the Apple store and buy it. It was a bit of an anticlimax though. After dropping almost a thousand dollars on the thing, I didn't find the good people at the Apple store to be particularly helpful or accommodating. They had a "personal setup" guy who was responsible for me and another guy. The other guy was more clueless than I was, so he ended up spending the majority of his time helping him. As a result, when I encountered problems I didn't really get the understanding and helpful ear that I'd expected from a store supposedly known for their customer service. The problems I solved for myself snowballed into other problems and at one point the personal setup guy consulted another guy, and when neither knew the answer he said, "I don't really know what to do here," then turned back to the clueless guy, who was less inconvenient to help.
I eventually solved my own problem, but my personal setup guy took his lunch break. So I packaged up my ipad. . . went behind the counter, got my own Apple store bag, slipped it inside and left.
I was reminded of the South Park episode where it's Christmas, and all the kids in South Park are consumed with opening and playing with their presents and they show a cutaway of Jesus (who on South Park is an actual character (or used to be)) sitting all alone with a party hat on singing "Happy Birthday to Me" mournfully. Stupid Apple store. On top of that, they used my patch cord from my Ipad box (I've since learned this isn't SOP) and when I boxed everything up I forgot the patch cord in the stupid store.
The iPad is cool, and I'm still setting it up, so I need like THE coolest autism apps for it before I introduce it to Lily. Please leave your "THE COOLEST APP" suggestions in comments! Emma and I played Angry Birds on it yesterday as I was organizing apps and setting up email addresses, but she hasn't been pining for it the way I thought she might.
That night my wife and I went out to eat at a gastropub (not to be confused with a gastropod, stupid spell-check). She didn't know what a gastropub was, so I explained it, but I'm not sure I know what a gastropub is so I just winged it. I sorta do, but when I imply I'm an authority on gastropubs it seems pompous, so I'm going to downplay it. I like the place. I went there with my Dad a few weeks ago, and wanted her to get to try it. The plus side is, she really liked the food. I did too. . . sorta. They were out of a few things, but I decided pumpkin pierogies sounded sorta awesome and different. She got steak. . . rare. . . as usual. We got mussels for an appetizer and the sauce was fantastic! I always want to drink what's left as soup, but I didn't, cuz I'm klassy.
They brought out my wife's steak (cooked just the way she likes it, bleeding as if stabbed) and chose that moment to inform me that they were out of the pumpkin pierogies. Now I'm very easy going when I dine out. I'm mostly just excited to have someone cook and clean up and try new things. But if you're out of something the time to inform them is not as you bring the other person her supper. I stared blankly at the waiter (who seemed sort of "new") and said, "And you're telling me this now?"
I eventually settled for skillet-seared scallops with bacon on honey-siracha polenta. They were good, if somewhat sweet, and we were going to cap the evening with coffee. . . but they were out of it, so we settled for their version of a molten chocolate cake. After a few minutes they stopped over to the table to inform us they were out of that as well. So we said
"FUCK YOU!!!" "we'll take our check now".
Although the owner, and both waiters came to the table to apologize for fucking up my dinner so spectacularly, when the final check came, there was no "hey, sorry about your dinner, we took one of your cocktails off the check" sort of gesture, and I admit I was thinking they would do that. Not that I expect it, or even ask for it when it's not given (unless it's a total debacle) but it's still something that a "good" gastropub should do.
I was mostly disappointed because I really wanted my wife to have a good experience there so I could convince her to go back, and it was my special magical birthday week dinner. . . and they botched it. . . so I tucked my birthday tail between my legs and we went home.
So, sort of a weird anticlimactic birthday celebration, but it remained "a night out with my wife". And the food was good and the company was great, so all in all it was a win.