We set plans for Monday to venture to The Butterjoint for burgers with good friends who also have a young daughter. When we arrived there, though, the few tables were completely full and standing around a bar isn’t a workable idea with two small children. We opted for dinner next door at Legume, which was a very lovely and delicious time.
The only downside, is that although you can order from the Legume menu in the Butterjoint, the opposite was not true. And the very delicious chicken dish did not satisfy my craving for a juicy, buttery burger. I had been obsessing over a Butterjoint burger ever since reading Quelcy’s write up over at With the Grains. Mr. Beez indulged me in my crazytown food demands and we returned to the Butterjoint the very next day. We did, after all, have a grown-up outing planned, and a meal out was much more appetizing than the leftover cauliflower soup in the fridge.
My pictures are no match for Quelcy’s but the burger was divine. They keep it simple– a very high-quality, locally sourced burger, on a soft, buttery brioche bun, and you can either order it “fancy” (their selection of toppings for the day) or pick your own out of a few basic toppings.
I like diverse and novel toppings, but the mark of a truly excellent burger is the flavor. When you bite into the burger and everything else falls away except the amazing tastes in your mouth, then yes, the burger is perfect. This burger is perfect. I haven’t gone on a comparative burger tour of Pittsburgh, so I do not know if this is the “best” in the ‘burgh, but I can tell you I want another one right now, and could probably eat these every day and never complain.
The next event was the true purpose of our oddly timed date night– the Nine Inch Nails show at the Petersen Events Center. We saw NIN when they toured last, with Jane’s Addiction, I think in 2009 or so. That show was a double-whammy of amazing. Likewise, at last night’s show, the performance did not disappoint.
I’ve listened to the new album, Hesitation Marks, a few times and it’s a departure from Trent Reznor’s usual style. Lets put it like this, at the show, the performances of the new songs involved back up singers and Reznor shaking a tambourine. Yes. Tambourine. But Reznor was smart to kick off the show and also wind it down with the older, grittier fan favorites. And in an ultimate nod to giving the people what they want, the final song of the encore was Hurt.
NIN holds a place as a memento of my uncertainty and my growth, or better said, confusion and failure to grow. Jr High and High School were the years of leather-bottomed Jansport backpacks with band patches from Hot Topic. I had friends, but I also fixated on this idea that there were other certain kids that I longed to be friends with. I wanted them to like me and to invite me in their circle. I didn’t have any real sense of identity. I was driven by a longing toward something, but I didn’t know what, or why, or how I would know if I found it, or what I hoped to attain by getting to it.
I regret now how miserable I allowed myself to be. So desperately listening to NIN and suffering in hopes that these kids would notice our commonalities in music. But we went to school together for years, why didn’t I just go up and talk to them. And why didn’t I better appreciate the genuine friends I did have. Why did I have this drive to align myself with virtual strangers, and mourn when I started each school day still not in their social circle?
Years later, I still find myself falling into that trap. There were points in law school where I so badly wanted to be in some particular social circle, but couldn’t explain why or what I hoped to gain from it, and also didn’t well enough appreciate the friends I did have. And sometimes now, when I go to social-media focused events, and I see all these people in real life who are so charismatic and popular online, and I just long to be friends with them. But with a lump in my throat, I let the high school clique mentality set in, and forget that people are people, and I can talk to them. I can befriend them. I don’t need anyone to “pick” me.
I’ve been working through the Lurk No More initiative in my head since Saturday. The initiative will be good for adding depth and connection to this blog. But even more so, through this initiative, I’ll work through these ridiculous notions of cliques and crowds. If I want to get to know someone, I can introduce myself and get to know them. I do not need to cover myself in band patches, hope to be noticed, and pine over the friendships that never were.
I can blast NIN because i want to listen to NIN. And I can let go of needing someone to see what I’ve got spinning in my discman.