Friday, January 13, 2017

Social Media Bites and a Crazy Thing

So here's a crazy thing:

You know how my name is actually Elena?

(Did you know that? Do I have to tell the story again? Well, skip these brackets if you already know. So, okay, I was born Elena Christensen ((I accidentally just typed "Elena Christmas")), but very early on my mom started calling me her little Suzy Q. Like the CCR song. My older brother joined her in it, and then my dad and then everyone else. So I've been Suzy as long as I can remember, and no one even told me I was really Elena until I was five, when my kindergarten teacher sent me home in tears because she'd labeled all of my stuff wrong and would not call me Suzy, no matter how much I insisted it was my name. She probably thought I was being a brat. I thought she was torturing me for no good reason. My dentist says the stress marks on my teeth are from a bad bout of pneumonia when I was five, but I think they're actually from that incident on my first day of school. Anyway, that's the long and short of it ((but mostly the long)): I've never not been Suzy. And any time I've moved to a new place and attempted to be Elena, for the sake of less confusion, someone from my past has always been there to say, "But we've always called her Suzy." And that's all it takes.)

Okay, the crazy thing now.

The other night, I was at a thing called Social Media Bites (more on that in a sec), and I met this guy, Aidan, and when I said my name was Suzy, he was like, "Hey, my mom's name is Suzy. Well, actually, it's a nickname. Her real name is Eleanor, but when she was born, the nurse said to my mom, Here's your black-eyed Susan, and she's been called Suzy ever since."

I mean. It's not the craziest thing. But pretty crazy right? My name thing has always been one of the more interesting pieces of me trivia I have to offer and people are always like, "How do you get Suzy from Elena? How did it catch on to that extent? How has it stuck this long?" But look at that: the exact same thing happened to someone else out there.

I feel like I can hear the far-off sound of eyes rolling around in their sockets.

Okay then, can I tell you about this Social Media Bites thing?

I was invited by the Regina Downtown Improvement people (not Tourism Regina, a separate entity) on Tuesday to a local pub. The invitation was a little cryptic; it was like, "Do you want to come eat food at 7 at The Fat Badger? We're buying." And I was like, "Yep." I never even ask questions when people send this kind of message. I just get excited and go. So, if you ever want to kidnap me, totally just send a Twitter message like, "Hey Suzy, meet me in the back alley behind O'Han's. There will be free food." Easy.

So I showed up, and there was a table of people that I mostly knew but had never met before. Isn't that funny, in this day and age? That you can go somewhere and know an entire group of strangers? I quickly realized that the common denominator was social media; we're all all over it, blogging and Tweeting and 'gramming and such. Hence: Social Media Bites. In which a bunch of social media people eat a lot of food and, they were probably hoping, Tweet about it. Which we did. Sellouts! All of us! My blog ain't for sale, but, yeah, you can buy my Twitter feed with good food. I'm only human.

So I sat down and Chef Terry just started bringing the food. He brought whole chicken wings covered in this strange but delightful cream sauce, and then deli-style flatbread pizza, and then spinach dip.

And I was like, "That was a great supper. Thank you." And then he was like, "That was just appetizers." And I was like, "Thaaaaank youuuuuu."

Then he brought us meat that had been braised in chocolate milk. Chocolate beef, I think he called it. Doesn't that sound like it could be either amazing or awful but nowhere in between? It was amazing. It made me want to convert to food blogger. (I won't, though.)

And then he brought us so many more things. It got to the point where every time he brought out a new dish, I just laughed. There were smashed creamer potatoes and Korean BBQ pork steak and shrimp stir fry and fettuccine with smoky slab bacon and jalapeƱo cheddar waffles with Southern spiced chicken... He brought us every entree on the menu. It was a dream I never knew I had, come true. The chef came and sat with us afterward and told us about all the places he's traveled and eaten and studied. I liked that part as much as the eating part - I've become a really big bonus material person, both in DVDs and real life. I like knowing the backstory.

And! It was Tuesday! Which, it just so happens, is live music night at the Badger. The Alley Dogs were playing really old, good country songs. (If any of them are reading this, I have a musical request for next time: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. Thanks, guys.)

The people I knew but had never met were really funny and neat. Three hours flew by and we laughed so much my cheeks hurt by the end. Schmutzie even offered to set me up with a new domain (see above? NICE).

So yeah. Good, good times.

And someone else out there is Suzy for no good reason. Life is cute.