On Thanksgiving we took the MIL to her brother’s for dinner. I sat next to the better-half’s aunt who said, “I don’t like stuffing”. I gave her the WTF face. I thought she just didn’t serve stuffing for dinner because she considered the potatoes and dinner rolls to be enough carbohydrates. These people are good hosts but their food tends to be bland and unimaginative.
Bland and unimaginative are all fine and dandy, but no stuffing for Thanksgiving is a sacrilege.
Last night I made a batch and can’t wait for leftovers. I used weirdo 9-Grain bread so you don’t have to go with white bread. Next time, I’m going to try it with a mix of white bread and cornbread. I have to tell you that cooking bacon and then adding sage into the mix makes your house smell so good that you’ll want to walk outside just so you can come back in to take a big sniff (true story).
We spent a few chilly days in Washington this weekend. Way back in the summer our friend wanted to do the trip, but we said there was no way we wanted to walk around the city in 90+ degree weather with a bunch of other tourists. So instead we went this weekend, easily the coldest days of the year.
I sort of hoped I’d see a little boy riding a tricycle through the halls of our hotel:
We ate under this crocodile one morning. I snapped the picture and texted it to one of my sisters. We were scared of a wooden one at my grandparents when we were children:
This morning was the first time we felt we could hold still long enough to take pictures…the wind howled yesterday and so standing still was not an option.
View from the hotel room…
I know the picture is for crap (taken with the iPad) and you probably can’t tell the flag in the picture is whipping, but you should know it is really windy on the east coast and we just heard the wind howl. Kind of looking forward to being out in the chill tonight and tomorrow.
Background: My department is wee (4 employees and one manager). We work in IT and we provide training, communication, and help documentation on the system. No one seems to really understand what we do and how many things we touch.
Very Near Future: My department is being moved into another small department (that was recently gutted in a re-org) and all we’re going to do is offer training. One person from my team is staying in IT and the rest of us are moving to the business side of the house. Suits me fine. Suits the person staying behind as well. I think she’s going to blossom on her new team.
Not So Fun Yesterday: Yesterday a teammate and I spent 5 1/2 hours interviewing three internal candidates for two open supervisor positions. Two of the people we work with now. Our recommendation? Hire none of them for management. Stressful week? Yes.
Pretty Good Today: Our wee department went out for our quarterly lunch to celebrate birthdays. We went to Mekong where beer is the answer. I should say beer and fried food are the answer. I feel much better and I’m totally glad this VERY stressful week is over.
If you are looking for a book that is beautifully written, please pick up Arcadia by Lauren Groff. There are passages that will amaze you and there’s a little bit (ha, book humor) that made me tear up at the end.
The work team, all four of us, went out for lunch today. Our boss is out of town, we’ve been handling a boat-load of work for the last month AND we just found out about a reorganization involving us. It.Was.Time.To.Get.The.Hell.Out.Of.The.Office.
We went to Pasture and it took way too long (there were a ton of conference attendees in the area), but none of us seemed to care. We were just happy to actually leave the building in the middle of the day. We have hopes that as we move into a new business unit that we’ll get to do this more often.
On the way back to the car, we passed this and I had to take a picture:
Only one of my co-workers saw what I was doing and I’m putting on my thinking cap about how to use the creepy kids image at work.
Last Sunday we finally took a walk from our neighborhood to Bryan Park. I have to let you in on a secret. I have not been there since I was a young child. And, I’m really not sure how much time I’ve ever spent on foot there. Back in the day, Bryan Park was known for its brilliant azalea display every spring. There are roads throughout the park so that’s why I’m not sure I’ve ever walked around there before. If I did it was a very long time ago, because nothing was familiar.
If you didn’t pay attention to the highway traffic, some of the paths are really quite nice:
When I saw the sign for a meadow, we took that path only to find these:
We think they are in the grape family. But who knows (updated 11/29-I think it might be a variation on smilax). After we walked through the “meadow” which seemed like brambles to me, we found the soccer fields which were filled with men playing league games. I commented on how Nut 2 should watch a game because the goalies were very busy.
We ended up going out the main gate to take a different way home and I thought this was a beautiful scene (check out that sky):
After our walk, we ran some errands and then had dinner. For dessert, we tried this:
It doesn’t look like much and the name makes me snicker, but it was pretty tasty.
I was cruising around on the internet just a bit ago and came across a top scariest sci-fi/fantasy television episode list. I casually scrolled through the site until I saw this:
When I was really young, my mother and I (don’t remember if anyone else saw it) watched the episode of the Outer Limits that included these bugs. It freaked her the eff out. I remember, vividly, teasing about the bugs with faces. She really did not like it. I think she was OK with the teasing, but those bugs creeped her out.
I suppose we could have figured out a way to do this thing when we lived out in the sticks, but I bet you hard currency that it would not have been all that easy. The new thing? Picking up fresh produce from the school down the street. What am I talking about? I’m talking about Relay Foods. We’ve only participated once, but I’m hooked.
When we ordered the produce starter, we only had a vague idea of what would be included. The only groaner is we now have another acorn squash to deal with. I think our compost plant gave us 5 squash and now we have another one. I made a delicious soup with three of them, but the better-half is not a super fan of winter squash. I’ll have to get crafty to figure out what to do with it.
We also received a cooking pumpkin. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie so I’ll have to think of something more creative than that.
I’m excited to try a cheese I’ve never heard of from a state dairy. We also have a container of homemade Greek grape leaves. Oh yeah!
Other good things about city life? Walking to brunch and dinner.
I’ve been in Knoxville this week. I haven’t explored much more than the Market Square area because I have been in class all day for the last three days.
I’m here learning about statistical process control. Today I officially gave up on understanding the math and it was a much better day. I’m not going to have to do the heavy lifting this technique allows and when I get back to my desk, I will make Excel do the calculations. Why have a spreadsheet tool and not make it bend to your will?
I’m in town with a coworker and he describes himself as weird so saying this isn’t news. I’m positive if I weren’t with him he would have never left the hotel. He paid to check a bag of food. He is a bit obsessed with statistical process control and has spent most of his free time studying. We have also eaten dinner at 4:30ish all this week so that he wastes little time between class and study time.
Me? Hung out for a couple of glasses of wine in the hotel bar, walked around and found some tasty tacos, watched The Avengers while drinking an Arrogant Bastard (so good). It’s funny because I don’t normally push myself out there with the alone in public thing, but it has been fun this week. OK, the movie watching was in my room on the iPad, but I had to go get the beer.
I’m really looking forward to the trip home. I will be alone (the coworker processes all the time out loud) and I have a small layover in Charlotte. I’ll have something to eat at the airport for dinner and then people watch.
View of the sunset from my room: