Dinner & a Show – Misuta Chows, Buffalo NY

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My sister is awesome and for my birthday in January, she gifted me with tickets for us to go see the 20th anniversary touring production of Rent when it came to Buffalo. For a long time, Rent was the only musical that I liked. I actually thought I hated musicals with Rent being the exception (yeah….that’s not true at all). But when I first saw Rent in High School (on video) I just fell in love. It’s such a wonderful story and I was so happy to be able to see it live (I’ve seen a smaller production when my sister’s college did the musical, and it was great there too)!!

Seeing Rent at Shea’s was the second time I’d seen a proper production of a musical. The first being when Hamilton came to town (and was everything I hoped and then some). I used to go to a lot of concerts, but I haven’t in a long time because unfortunately, all the flashing lights and the noise often meant every concert I attended came with a bonus migraine. I miss going out and experiencing live music, but I’ve found that musical theater is a wonderful alternative. I’m able to sit, it’s indoors (I swear I’ve been rained on at nearly every concert I’ve ever attended), there’s generally no massive exodus of traffic afterwards, and so far, there hasn’t been any insane flashing lights to trigger my cranky head.

The show itself was great. Somehow I behaved myself and didn’t sing along to every song, though trust me – I wanted to! The cast really did a great job and if the show is coming to your town, I highly recommend getting tickets. Even after seeing it here and there, and watching different versions of the show, it still gets me in the feels. Even all these years later – it’s still such a relevant and wonderful show.

My only real issue were the seats but that was part my body – I overdid it the day before and my back was in a REAL MOOD – and part the historical (read: uncomfortable) nature of the venue. I was in a lot of pain during the show and of course, I switched bags before leaving and didn’t have anything to take for it. As soon as the show was over though, walking started to help and I felt a lot better.

After the show we walked down to a restaurant we were both really wanting to check out: Misuta Chows. I’ve got to admit, the fact that Buffalo is now a place where there’s stuff to walk to on Main st. is sort of a crazy prospect. I mean, there’s always been something here and there, but the city is changing into something I never imagined.

Misuta Chows is part Japanese restaurant and part arcade/bar. The attention to detail in terms of design is excellent. It’s got the feel like you’re in some alleyway Japanese restaurant and despite feeling small, it doesn’t feel too cramped – more cozy. There’s a faux roof on the kitchen area with a little counter, and paper lanterns hang throughout the space. The noise level in the dining area wasn’t bad which I really appreciated. 80s tunes wafted in (also appreciated) and as we were seated at the counter facing the kitchen, it actually felt quite private. The lighting was also great  – I know, perhaps weird details to comment on, but some places are just too bright and too loud for me to deal with and this just felt right, so they get points for ambiance for sure. Also, the Maneki Neko banners on the roof over the kitchen space was adorable. Can I have that please??

 

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Upstairs is a second bar and an arcade, which you get to via a pink glittery Hello Kitty adorned stairway. Because, why not?? The arcade itself is a fun little space with a bunch of pinball machines and about a dozen older video game machines. The games are $0.50 a play, with the pinball machines costing $1.00 a play so they’re not the cheapest thing in the world, but it’s definitely a nice feature and one I can get down with. I think it’d be neat if they did something where you got a token or two to play when you ate there. That’d be a really nice little detail!

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In terms of the food, we started with two appetizers – the cucumber slices and the pork gyoza’s. Missy also got a drink – the “Hey Samurai” which she felt was really nothing like it’s description, and at their drink prices, that was a little bit disappointing. Being seated by the kitchen meant that our food was placed directly on the counter in front of us for us to grab which was nice in a way.

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For our entree’s we both went with the Shio Ramen. I have wanted to try real ramen for years now, but I just haven’t found myself in a place to do so until now, so I was excited to finally try it. Overall it was pretty good. I LOOOOVED the soft boiled egg!! I would have liked more bamboo shoots/scallions as I felt that was a bit sparse, and I personally wasn’t a fan of the large pieces of pork due to all the fat. I’m not a fan of fat because the texture really bothers me, so that might be more a personal issue – but I was sort of anticipating thinner slices of pork. The broth itself was good, but definitely super salty as Shio ramen is meant to be. I’d really love to try a Tonkatsu ramen sometime!

In the grand scheme of things, Misuta Chows is a great little place and I think it’s a welcome addition to downtown Buffalo. I like that while it’s a place with two bars, it’s still a welcoming environment for people who don’t really drink (hi), although we were there early on a Saturday evening and I’m sure it’s likely a different atmosphere later at night.

If I found myself in the area and wanting a place to eat, I’d definitely keep Misuta Chows in mind. I’d love to see them expand their menu options!

 

It’s Just Another Manic Monday – Building a Ladder

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It’s Monday – the start of a new week. I don’t know why, but I feel so much extra pressure on Mondays. Like how productive I am today, sets the tone for the rest of the week. Today I’ve been semi-productive and considering that I didn’t sleep well last night, and I woke up with such horrible joint pain, I’m going to consider that a win. Today I am trying to #BuildALadder  – a term created by one of my favorite Youtubers, Martina (of Simon & Martina / Eat Your Kimchi). Martina has EDS and understands that the reality of chronic illnesses means that some days are better than others. Sometimes, you need to try harder to accomplish what you need to, or accept that you’re going to have to find victory in the small things, change plans, or adapt to however you might be feeling that day.

I love the idea because it’s a good way for me to remind myself that every day cannot be perfect. I might have twenty things written down on my to-do list for a particular day, and chronic illness might have other plans. To me, it’s about adapting to my reality – which is often fluid and that means I can’t always plan ahead. The idea of building a ladder helps to remind myself that every day is different and we have to find our victories where we can!

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You might see that we haven’t been posting very often lately. It’s primarily because we’re both in Grad School and we’ve had rather challenging semesters so far. For me, the biggest challenge has been my health. Trying to manage school demands in a body that doesn’t always seem to get the memo can be frustrating. There are days where the nerve/joint pain is so bad that typing is just too difficult. Or a migraine keeps me from getting anything done. Chronic fatigue and insomnia often mean that even the little things can be big challenges. When I can’t be as productive as I want (or need) to be, it frustrates me. It amplifies my anxiety as I start to worry if I’ll meet deadlines or ever get it all done. I worry that I’m not doing enough. I worry that I’ll never be able to.

I’m not writing this to try and make anyone feel sorry for me. I do my best to #BuildALadder and get through every day. But I wanted to explain why things might be a lot more quiet on the blog until the semester is over. I’m also writing this because going forward, I want to be more honest here with my reality.

I’ve always been a fan of the internet. I read blogs, I watch YouTube, and I’m on Instagram and Twitter way too much. But something that I find frustrating is the lengths to which people will go to try and make their lives seem completely perfect. I don’t find it relatable. I want real content – I don’t want people that only ever show the good stuff, while glossing over the harder bits. I can understand the appeal, but for me personally, I find that content like that ends up making me feel shitty. It makes me feel like I’ll never compare or stack up – that I’m just not good enough. I roll my eyes when I watch a YouTube video and someone is saying how they worry that their content is “too boring” because they showed real life bits. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows!! That’s okay!! More and more, I find myself drawn to people who have more of a balance between the nice stuff, and the “real” stuff. Those vlogs that you worry are too boring?? They’re probably my favorite!

My point (yes, I think I have one) is that I want to talk about my real life more on this blog. We started this site as a way to write about the different interests that we both have, and we enjoy doing that. But I want to expand our focus a bit more to include other things – real life things that matter to us just as much. In all honesty, it sort of frightens me to be transparent and talk about things like chronic illness – it makes me feel a bit vulnerable. But my life isn’t just books and TV – there’s a whole lot of other stuff in there too.

So long story short – be patient with us. We’re still around, just super busy right now. When this semester is over, we have a bunch of posts planned and we can’t wait to dive back in! For me, writing is a creative outlet that keeps me sane. I miss having the time to do it on my own terms! In the meantime, feel free to follow us on social media –

Tina – TWITTER, INSTAGRAM

Missy – TWITTER, INSTAGRAM

Oh, and if you like anything you’ve read here on our blog, you can always Buy Us a Coffee! 😉

and one more thing…. #SAVEODAAT!!!

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