Plus, I acquire this strange sense of irritation with my time being committed in ways over which I exert no control.
For example, I stayed home on Friday night instead of going out with The Hang and a few of her friends. I studied a little bit, and goofed off a lot more than I should have ... but I had complete control over my time; if I'd gone out, I probably would have been anxious the entire evening, and would have felt lame excusing myself. A weird paradox.
Despite the paradox, though, we had planned a Date Night on Saturday. It started at Ciao Vito on Alberta; The Hang's pick, from the great "Best Restaurants" feature in this month's Portland Monthly.
This place is GREAT. The ambiance, decor, and food were fantastic. It bills itself as an Italian trattoria, but offers a lot of nouveau Northwest cuisine, including the skirt steak that I ordered (The Hang had eggplant parmigiana). We thought the prices were a little low (an Americano for $1.50?), maybe indicating that it hasn't achieved a good amount of popularity yet ... which is fine by us, we plan to go back quite a bit. :)
After dinner, she treated me to the opening performance of Portland Opera's production of Tosca, and although I admit I nodded off in the first act, it was more due to somewhat long stretches of onstage inactivity than the vocal talent (which was considerable). I decided not to read the plot synopsis beforehand, so the events in the second and third acts kind of surprised me, especially considering the context of the period in which Puccini wrote it.
We were both still pretty full from dinner (even leaving leftovers), so we opted to forego dessert and just crashed for the night.
Sunday we grabbed breakfast at Stepping Stone, still my favorite breakfast place in Portland (and recently made even more enjoyable with the addition of lemurmaster to the staff), and then I strapped in to study for most of the day.
But it was beautiful outside, so I took a break in the afternoon to go use a gift certificate at Home Despot to get a leaf blower and have some fun with it. Man, what a kick! It's my new favorite toy now. :)
To finish off the day, I went over to adam_s's house to play The Final Poker Game ... he's been hosting the weekly game I've played for almost two years, and he's moving to LA, so we had a final game at his place. Just great times ... all of the usual crew were there, and everyone was on some kind of kick, the trash talk and the dirty jokes were flying all night, several fortunes changed hands over the course of the evening. A lot of fun. I'll definitely miss it ... a couple of the guys suggested they'd host the game, so we'll see if that pans out.
OK, enough of this. Time to work ... although, this week (and the rest of this month), I'll probably cut down on my hours to ramp up the studying. I want to take this exam before the Christmas season really gets in gear.