Surprise Evening

Although I am the queen of anticipation (spend more time thinking about vacations than I spend on them, have a tendency to spend an embarrassing length of time mentally decorating prospective houses, etc.), I went out on a date with my guy tonight without a lot of planning. Granted, I did spend an hour a week or two ago pulling out all of the interesting Central Valley things in my area, so we chose from there, but ended up at The State for a pleasing little gem of a movie which put me in a lovely mood (The State, actually, not the movie).

There’s something especially satisfying about viewing movies at The State. I am unsure if it’s the somewhat luxe atmosphere (recently remodeled, serves alcohol, meant to be an experience – not an in-and-out place like most movie theatres) or the patrons (with an exception or two [notably the packed showing of Home Alone where people were extremely obnoxious], they tend to be people who are genuinely mellow & interested in the movie), but whatever it is, it works. I remembered to pick up some fliers for upcoming events & was pleased to see that The Film Society (a project by my former political science teacher who I liked enough to aide for during the duration of my stay at our local junior college) was playing two of my mother’s and my favorite movies this fall – To Kill a Mockingbird (the one book’s cinematic translation of which I can say I fully approve) & Laura (which comes up in conversation with my mother with startling frequency). Additionally, the 75th anniversary of the theatre is coming up (mid-May, I believe) with a gala worth attending & a tribute film which includes a short cameo by my grandparents-in-law (the realtors).

We had decided to try a new restaurant & actually went to THREE closed restaurants (unsure why so many restaurants that were in business were closed around 9pm on a Friday?!) before settling on Ciao Bella on H Street (no twig garnishes unlike its central coast now-closed name-twin). My chicken parmigiana was acceptable, but his veal piccata was delicious in a way that absolutely blew me away. The pasta (oil & garlic) was good enough for me to actually bother eating some (I rarely like pasta) & the calamari was decent. The waitress was delightful & the atmosphere mellow. While I would shy away from breaded food in the future (calamari was his choice & chicken parmigiana a suggestion from the waitress), I will go back for that amazing picatta (probably delicious on salmon or chicken as well – both choices).

Although we happened to miss out on Montell Jordan (of “This Is How We Do It” fame) at a downtown venue ($40 for tickets? Really?), I couldn’t have planned a more satisfying evening – extra fantastic because I didn’t plan it – it took me by surprise.

Note: I pulled up Jordan’s song on my iPhone & we sang it loudly on our way home creating a much cheaper & possibly more satisfying concert (the years likely have not been kind to a 90’s once-was). I am almost ashamed by how many of the words we both remembered.

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