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Like my brownhouse:
   birthday at the steakhouse
Wednesday, January 19 2011
Today was Gretchen's 40th birthday, ten years to the day after I mused about her 30th birthday (just a month before we got back in touch). She, of course, was still in Massachusetts attending to the needs of a friend (as she'd been doing exactly one year ago to the day with another friend down in Florida). The weather wasn't great, but eventually she got on the road and headed homeward.
I put the finishing touches on my painting of Sylvia before Gretchen got home.

Yes, this painting is in the shape of an equilateral triangle.

This evening Gretchen wanted to go to Luna 61, but she (or perhaps I) made an error in her (or my) decisionmaking, running into an important law of nature: when one drives to a non-ethnic restaurant in the winter in the Hudson Valley, if one doesn't phone ahead first to confirm that the restaurant is open, the restaurant will either be closed either temporarily or permanently. We've run up against this law countless times, and yet we keep making the same mistake over and over. I drove us all the way to Tivoli, we saw the place was dark, and then we turned around and headed back across the Hudson towards the Midwest. Unless one is in the mood for Chinese or expensive Italian, there just aren't many good options on the New England side of the Hudson.
We ended up at, of all places, the Skytop Steakhouse. We'd had fond memories from New Year's Eve of their salad and the french fries, and we knew that other veganifiable entrées which had been removed from the special New Years menu should have returned. Oddly, though, those options weren't on the menu at all any more, though all of them were at least doable back amid the blood spatters in the kitchen. Best of all for me, the Ithaca IPA was still on tap. As for Gretchen, she drank her way through not one but two wacky cocktails. Skytop might have a dingy, miserable motel and it might have a meat-obsessed menu, but they manage to be exceptional at enough things to make it a compelling place to go, even for a freshly-40 vegan birthday girl.
We ended up having a great time, drinking and laughing and wondering if we should order more fries. Once we got home, though, Gretchen was already feeling a little ill from the cocktails. Her chemistry these days is not compatible with much alcohol consumption.

Gretchen in the laboratory after getting home today. Sally and the painting of Sylvia are in the doorway.

Glazing from yesterday's storm on the trees of our septic field.

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