After running my New York City dry run yesterday I headed further north to visit a friend in Albany whose company I had gone embarrassingly long without. He works in public health which I admire and have considered him the slightly more version of me that could emerge should I get my shit together. The night I arrived we mostly talked and walked around Albany and I took what I thought would prove to be nice HDR shots of the New York capitol buildings at night. We retired to Denny’s and my host and I requested pitchers of diet cola while shit-talking medical ethicists. The server thought herself clever and gave us instead carafes which would have worked if: 1) she had added ice to them. 2) refilled the carafe instead of the drink glasses as the whole point of requesting pitchers was to reduce the work required of her. Pat ordered mozzarella sticks which had the flavor and texture of cheese-flavored sawdust from hewn particle board and politely asked the server to remove the largely untouched appetizer from the check. He hesitated for a moment at this request until I said “ma’am, see that one that’s not entirely eaten? That one was mine. I’m a fat man and I couldn’t even finish it the thing was so bad.” She nodded approvingly in a matter that said “yes, you both fat AND of sound logic” and the item was dropped.