Friday, August 14, 2009

XN and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Evening

Location: The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis, MN 55419, USA
Is the Museum of Russian Art cursed? Does anyone know the answer to that? Because everything has gone to shit as of visiting it, for me.

It's taken forever to finally make it out there. Interesting exhibits have come and interesting exhibits have gone, and I've missed them all. But when Rebecca pointed out they featured a historically arranged philately exhibit, we focused our energy upon definitely going and finally made it out yesterday.

We showed up at 6:30 PM and enjoyed a tour of the paintings, explaining the aesthetic and political motivation behind most of the work. We realized we know very little about Russian history and I thought much of what was revealed in the portraiture was amazing. When the tour concluded we went into the lower level for the stamp exhibit. This was no less captivating and I studied everything they had on display. Following the development of stamp art through political eras was compelling, and the art itself held a unique charm I've rarely experienced.

We left the building and as I admired the sunset, Rebecca got a call that her family's plans had fallen through and one of us had to come over and watch her father tonight. I stayed over Monday and she stayed over Tuesday, and we were told the rest of the week was covered so we thought we'd go out on a kind of date, you know, hit the museum and see a movie. Rebecca swore we would not miss the movie this night, but that meant one of us would be showing up after 11:30 PM to stay over and assume caretaking duties.

We went home in a dark mood and almost immediately started bickering. I wanted to touch up my résumé but we had no time for that: only time for Rebecca to pack clothes and head out. We had no time for dinner, though both of us were starving, which made us even more irritable. And I forgot the part of the conversation where we had to drive both cars out to her sister's house, to drop one off for a friend of the family. He was going to watch her father tonight but suddenly wasn't available, and that's why the duty fell to us.

We drove out, dropped off the car and lingered at her sister's house so long there was no time to get dinner. On the other hand, the plan had shifted yet again and the friend who wasn't available suddenly became available. Slightly relieved, we drove out to the movie theater, a cheap theater showing Terminator: Rise of the Machines.

Except it wasn't. After parking a block away we walked up to find the theater neglected to remove that theatrical selection from their Web site. Instead, they were showing a Dr. Horrible/Serenity double-feature that started two hours prior to our arrival. A big "SOLD OUT" sign was taped to the front door.

Other people might have started laughing at this point. It was all I could do to refrain from assaulting the people standing outside having a smoke break and smashing all the windows of the theater.

On the plus side, this freed us up to find some dinner... except we couldn't find a place that would sell any to us. Okay, yes, it's our fault that we didn't want to shell out for expensive places like AZIA, Moto-i, Zen, or whatever frou-frou boutique. Yes, it is a fucking awful crime against humanity that we didn't want to double or triple our dining bill. I understand that it is completely unreasonable to not want to spend more than you have to for food, especially in the evening. Mea gravissima culpa.

We drove down Lake St. and were frustrated by a series of red lights, slow drivers, and people abruptly halting to make left turns. To escape this ongoing sequence of obstacles Rebecca swung hard to the left and we found ourselves in front of a neighborhood Mexican restaurant. We looked at each other like the universe was finally giving us a break.

Mentsch tracht, Gott lacht. We walked inside and were stared at without delight by patrons and staff. The girl at the counter, on the contrary, refused to look at us and interacted with a customer steadily for five minutes. Rebecca asked me if it looked like the cooks were breaking down the cooking line, and they were indeed putting everything away: it was ten minutes to close. We walked out and got back in the car.

Driving through neighborhoods south of Lake St. and heading generally west, Rebecca found a small deli that reputedly serves the best Philly cheese steak sandwiches. It was now five minutes before 10:00 PM, and the guy behind the counter explained they stopped serving food at 9:30 PM.

Now I was ready to tear someone's head off, and Rebecca announced that it was too late for her to have a full meal. After a small argument we drove home and foraged in our own kitchen. I started to make a sandwich but discovered the lettuce was slimy and turning liquid: the organic lettuce we buy at Trader Joe's absolutely must be consumed within four days at the latest, and we bought it five days ago. So I had a turkey/cheese/pickle sandwich on Ezekiel bread. Rebecca permitted herself a bowl of cereal so as not to go to bed completely famished.

Things got much worse after that, but I will not elaborate.

This morning I walked from work to Potbelly Sandwiches in the IDS Tower. They make an excellent slow-cooked oatmeal and it's a little treat to myself to get it for breakfast. I walked up to the counter--if you want the oatmeal, you don't have to wait in line--and asked for a bowl.

The clerk smiled and informed me she had just dumped it all in the trash.

I was going to tell everyone to check out the art in the Museum of Russian Art, especially the cool stamp exhibit, but I don't want all my friends to go hungry.

However, I would like restaurants that refuse to serve food to go out of business.


Lorraine said...

Be glad she told you the oatmeal was *already* in the garbage...

Oh, and this: "Things got much worse after that, but I will not elaborate."

Very John Irving. Love it.

Christian said...

The comical irony here is that as soon as I posted this entry, the receptionist announced that several large pizzas from a local restaurant were in the breakroom, for our lunchtime relief.

Cinamingrl said...

Mmmm pizza, my favorite.

That date sounds like the kind of "dates" I used to go on with my husband when I was married.