Working out, a visit from the old man, a trip to town, a walk, dinner, and a return home for tea and Top Chef.
Calisthentics came in the morning, but my daily workout videos will wait until Ms. S. goes to work this evening. My back always feels better after a little stretching, and the way that other stretches or exercises cause pinches and for it to hurt lets me know that the back pain is caused by a strained or weak muscle -- or something similar -- rather than something else (like a kidney stone).
In the afternoon Ms. S.'s father stopped by for a moment to drop off the book that was supposed to be in the bag yesterday. He also brought me an old small/local-press 'German' cookbook -- more 'German-American' -- from Illinois. We showed him the Time/Life German food/recipe book we found at the thrift store a couple months ago. I'll probably prepare a few recipes from the newer volume, and I thanked him for it. We discussed such delights as red cabbage and saur kraut, marrow balls, etc. Ms. S. grimaced.
In terms of books: yesterday I got around to finishing Scott Smith's "The Ruins," my first completed book of 2013. Last night I introduced Ms. S. to the marvel that is The Asylum and their insane filmography. Mainly this was so I could show her "Clash of the Empires," aka "Lord of the Elves" ... just so we could ask, "Oh, Christopher Judge, really? Really?"
Ms. S. had a treat for me that she wouldn't tell me much about ahead of time, only that I shouldn't dress that formally and that I should be comfortable. I was going to wear jeans, but we were in the mid-70s this afternoon after a morning rain storm, and shorts it was. Downtown we drove and Ms. S. parked where she often does on Greensboro. Then we walked, and walked, toward campus. We detoured in to side neighborhoods along the way, we turned back, looked around ... at points were just using up time as, evidently, we were early.
And then she led me up the steps to Ruan Thai (see also: www.rollthai.com/
), one of two Thai restaurants downtown, and the more homey of the two. The other is part of a small chain of sorts in the Southeast. It doesn't open for dinner until 5pm, thus the extra walking to burn minutes off the clock.
We went 'simple,' with one curry and one noodle dish, which we would then split. I had to order a Thai Iced Coffee ... it's either that or the tea everytime for me. I'd not been to Ruan before, due mainly to their weird hours, etc., and I'd been meaning to go for some time. Ms. S. and I tried once back in the spring of 2011, which is when I first encountered the scheduling problem. In any case, the service is pleasant, accurate, and unobtrusive. The food is flavorful and well-made, and mainly what you'd expect. The tofu was actually really good, with just the right level of crispness on the outside. The coffee could have been a little less sweet and a little mor spiced, I thought, but it was still refreshing.
Afterward we had a nice post-dinner walk, eventually found our way back to the car after walking past quite a few downtown establishments, and we marked a few other places as potential locales to visit. There's the newish Asian-fusion taco/burrito joint, Tacogi (see also: www.theplanetweekly.com/
), as well as Big Dady's Mediterranean Grill, aka 'Grill and Hooka Café' (see also: www.bigdaddystuscaloosa.
), which seems like my sort of place in terms of comfort food.
So, Ruan Thai ... our first new restaurant of 2013.
We'll postpone 'The X-Files' and the unaired pilot of 'Dollhouse' until tomorrow, I suspect. Tonight we'll just take in the most recent episode of 'Top Chef.' Afterward I'll watch 'Last Chance Kitchen' online and then read the A.V. Club review.
It's not quite a ritual, but close enough.
Later, once Ms. S. goes to work, I'll work my way through a video or two, and then I'll probably continue with the latest Dresden Files novel; I'm a bit more than halfway through. Afterward I can start my first 'new' book of 2013 ... whatever that is.