What I Learned This Week: #164

Monday, September 28 – Sunday, October 4

The Week in Dining In, Dinner Edition: Eating inside is, today, as safe as we know how to be while in the middle of a global pandemic. (I’m not making predictions for the weeks ahead.) This week I ate inside, with another person, at a full service restaurant. On a Thursday night, they were Covid full, meaning the only empty tables were the designated social distancing empties.

While I felt safe, I did not pore over the wine menu like I would have liked, reading the descriptions and making a slow and considered decision. I just went for a the flight the waiter recommended. We didn’t rush through dinner, but we didn’t linger like we might have. Of course, we couldn’t eavesdrop on other tables which is one of the joys of dining in a busy restaurant.

One way to make dining out, or honestly life itself, more enjoyable in the Covid Era is to appreciate it for what it is. Sadly, I can’t stop thinking about how eating out used to be. And sure, it used to be better, but there’s a great possibility everything is going to good again, probably different, but good. That’s what I”m trying to hang on to. Some days, and some hours, are easier than others. Pandemics are hard!!!

The Week in Stop/Go: In addition to eating dinner out, I grabbed lunch inside the Kroger Food Courtyard, a cavernous place that isn’t very busy since many downtown workers are not back in the office. I sat down with my tray of food and noticed a green piece of paper on the table. I thought it was a sticker and I picked it up. It was red on the other side. Turns out, it was a Covid Era caution – green side up meant the table had been sanitized, red side up meant the table was teaming with filth and Covid (I might be exaggerating). As a good citizen, when you leave the table, your job is to turn the paper to red. For the life of me, I kept thinking about the last time I was in a Brazilian Steakhouse and my green chip meant “more meat please” and my red chip meant “No mas!” I waited patiently for more dumplings to be delivered to my table, but my lunch hour ended and I had to go with not one extra dumpling. Damn. Pandemics are hard!!!

The Week in Covid Can’t Stop Dreams: For months I’ve been watching a young couple as they rehabbed a building down the street. At first I thought they were moving in, but as spring approached and they left the front door open while they were working, I could see the were making some kind of bar. I popped my head in one day to verify, and at that time the owner said they were going to open a coffee and cocktail bar. Standing in the doorway, masked, in the Covid world, I was impressed with her (and her husband’s) chutzpah! I’ve been watching the progress ever since. One night on my post dinner walk I passed the two of them across the street from their building gazing lovingly upon it like it was a child. Adorable.

Anyway, Saeso bar (not so much coffee) opened this week. It’s small but they squeezed two bar areas into the space, and plan to have a patio out back when the permits go through. It’s very pretty inside. The cocktails are higher end; it’s definitely aiming to be on the sophisticated, but friendly side. I love the energy of new businesses, and I since I feel like I’ve been their biggest fan for months, I want to keep rooting for them.

The Week in Puzzles: This week in puzzle news, I started a puzzle that looks challenging, which I both love and hate. I like a little challenge, but I also like to feel that I’m making progress. After all, this is a big part of my Covid Era entertainment plan. Puzzle should not be stressing me out!

My first sign that things were not going to be smooth on the puzzle front, was the issue of having two extra end pieces, even after counting pieces around the frame for equality. The second issue was when I realized I was working the puzzle upside down and it seems like more trouble than it’s worth to flip it. Based on these issues and that the actual picture that mirrors itself so images repeat, I’ve projected a 1.5 year completion time. [That number is based on the idea that if I finish this thing in 8 or 10 weeks, I will have given myself a ego boost!]

The frame is supposed to be the easy part!

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