Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Now I've Done It

Today, I gave notice to my company that I would probably, most likely, be leaving sometime soon, like in the near future, but not right away, like if they need me to stick around and help transition clients and stuff, I can stay for awhile, but really, eventually, my husband and I are planning to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. Sometime. Soon.

That's about how my side of the conversation went anyway.

My boss, who was sitting on the other side of the lunch table from me, asked the waiter for a sharper knife.

And then he told me that if I had not read my employment agreement lately, he would be happy to get me a copy and he remembers distinctly a 3-year notification clause in it (which ties in nicely with the 3 remaining years that he is in charge of our "5-year Growth Plan.")

Well, it's a start anyway. Baby steps. You have no idea how difficult this has been (and will be) for me. Some people are addicted to alcohol or drugs. I am only just beginning to admit that I may in fact be addicted to work. But I also know that I am ready for a change. A big change. And a job at Starbucks sounds real good about now.

Update: Let the record show that it was my intention to give notice on October 16th, in a slightly more formal letter form. It has taken me 42 days to get to this point. 42. The answer to life and everything.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving 1993 Revisited

Okay, not really. But I did reach for a dusty old 1993 November issue of Bon Appetit (yes, it's nearly an antique) and cracked open the gravy stuck pages to find my favorite cranberry relish recipe on Thursday. Alas, I did not have all of the ingredients for the Triple Cranberry Sauce. I did happen to have fresh ginger in the house (a rare event) and stumbled on another cranberry relish that is now our new favorite recipe...

Behold, the fabulous Cranberry Ginger Relish:

Combine 1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries, 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (I also happened to have just enough oranges on hand to accomplish this although those Texas oranges are not nearly as juicy as the California ones and my wrist was worn out by the time I finished squeezing six oranges for this dish...it's always the little unexpected detours that they don't show you on those food network channel that cause a 30-minute dish to take 2 hours and 30 minutes in real life to prepare...but anyway...), 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat until sugar dissolves, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently and smashing a few cranberries in the process. Refrigerate. This relish is absolutely delicious!

I was not really planning to cook much for Thanksgiving, but after the relish was in the refrigerator, I spent the next 7 hours cooking, deciding on each recipe as I went along. Since I wasn't really planning anything in particular and nobody was expecting dinner at a particular time, it was quite relaxing and fun. Our only guest was our 18-year old daughter who decided to bless us with her presence for the holiday. It was a quiet but meaningful Thanksgiving for us.

We gave the turkeys a break this year and instead pulled a rack of lamb ribs out of the freezer (the victim of a brutal massacre last Spring). Combined with the GMA stuffing (which is every bit as good in real life as it looked on television), garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato/carrot puree, green beans sauteed in bacon and onions, and red wine sauce, we ate like kings...or very hungry Pilgrims no longer in need of a king. We finished off with Bourbon Pecan Pie smothered in Reddi-Whip (God's gift to pie). Mmmm.

Groan...who else took a nap on the floor after dinner? There are starving children in Africa, you know. Ahem.

We finished off the evening with a movie. As did everyone else in the Greater Metropolitan Kansas City area. I had been wanting to see No Country for Old Men ever since I read the book, and finally, we found a theatre in town that was showing it. Yikes. It is every bit as brutal on screen as the book, and then some. Bloody visuals aside (and I did have to look aside a few times), this was a wonderfully done movie. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a movie as much as the book. Reading the book first normally ruins the movie for me, and I've learned to set my expectations very low, but still, I do think this one was better than most. The Coen Brothers clearly "got" McCarthy's story and took it to the next level, adding their own layers of emotional wreckage and symbolism. It followed the complicated plot lines of the book very well and in some cases, helped shed more light on the gruesome story (trying to keep track of the many interests in this drug deal gone bad..."bad" may be a huge understatement...was challenging in both the dead tree and big screen versions). The casting was absolutely splendid! The main characters were brilliantly played, utterly believable and completely wacked (except for Tommy Lee Jones who was simply brilliant and believable). I loved the ending, but you could hear some groans in the audience when they realized it was over...like the book, the ending wrapped it all up for me, but on its surface, it leaves the viewer hanging. If you can stomach the blood and guts, go see this movie. References to the Bible and Greek mythology abound. The West Texas imagery is beautifully shot. This is much more than your typical Crime Thriller/Western/or Suspense film.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Northwest By Southwest

This photo was taken by my husband on his recent voyage to the Pacific Northwest. I'm thinking about sending it to Southwest Airlines for use in their advertising. I think it's a fantastic photo, full of contrasts, not the least of which is the obvious fact that Southwest Airlines flies beyond just the Southwest. Then there's the juxtaposition of man-made and natural wonders of the world. And the fluffy texture of all those weightless clouds merging with the hard packed snow and ice on top of Mount Ranier contrasting with the blue sky and red wing tip (red, white and blue!)


Friday, November 16, 2007

Dressing or Stuffing??

In case you missed it, this looks awesome! I watched the prize winner prepare this dish on GMA this morning and I am absolutely going to try it this Thanksgiving. In fact, we may just forego the turkey altogether. Who needs it when you have the best possible ingredients from all of the major food groups represented (cheese, hot italian sausage, roasted pinenuts, garlic, french bread and cornbread, pancetta! more cheese!!)? But anyway, my real question is why do we continue to call this "stuffing" when nobody dares stuff it into the bird anymore?

What are you fixing for Thanksgiving?


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Aye, Aye Captain!

I think we've found our man. The insurance company gave us a short list of training skippers they have already approved, and since we don't really know anyone in Seattle, this seemed like a good starting point. My husband called two of the four men yesterday and received his first call back this morning at 7:00 am (5:00 am in Seattle...that alone earned Bob bonus points). Bob and my husband immediately hit it off on the phone this morning, and here's a blurb about him that I found on the interwebs this evening, using my super-dooper detective skilz (emphasis mine...these key words seal the deal for me):

"As a former airline captain and US Power Squadron instructor, Bob is well versed in systems training and emergency management. He combines his wealth of knowledge and rich experience with a friendly, calm and patient approach - adding a touch of humor - to provide the most effective and enjoyable training experience available anywhere."

My husband confirmed that Bob has a sense of humor. He offered to pick us up in Kansas City on his private jet! I think we'll stick with Southwest Airlines though. I wouldn't know how to act if I weren't squeezed into a tight middle seat with my ration of peanuts.

MBH flies out on Tuesday morning to meet Bob and start sailing. The first trip is through Ballard Locks and into the repair yard on Lake Union, for a few necessary engine repairs. Yes, "few," she says optimistically. The next trip will hopefully be to her new permanent (at least temporarily) home in a marina somewhere and I will join in for that adventure.


Pajama Detail

Here's a detail from my latest Target purchase. Aren't these the greatest?! Headphone wearing, scarf wearing, elf hat wearing pink flamingos, hanging out at the Airstream trailer park. I just had to have them. Bring on the holidays. I'm ready.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I stumbled once again on this site where, for whatever reason, we can compare ourselves to celebrities. I, for one, can think of almost nothing more edifying than this. <*/sarcasm> So I grabbed the photo that I posted here, (the one where Eric suggested that I looked like Drew Barrymore, in case you missed his comment) and voila! It turns out we are related. I'm so flattered. And glad to know that it's the ET version of Drew, as opposed to the mini-skirt wearing, tattooed, broken doll-faced Poison Ivy version. And while I see no resemblance whatsoever to Natalie Portman or Katherine Hepburn, who am I to argue with that?! My other photo turned up James Cagney which gave me a real chuckle. As does Luis Figo, the Portugese futballer. Heh.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Am I Even A Blogger Really?

Well, here's what the test results show. We know this to be true...especially the "upstart" and the "undiscovered" parts. And the picture looks just like me.

What Kind of Blogger Are You?


Help Wanted - Licensed Captain

Hooray! We finally found a company to insure our boat. They only ask that we hand over our first born child (if they only knew) and hire a USCG certified Captain to sail onboard with us whenever we go, like, actually sailing. At least until the Captain thinks that we know enough not to be a danger to ourselves or others. We can sit on our boat in the marina all we want without having a licensed captain on board (but the marina won't rent to us unless the boat is insured...I am sure we can still do plenty of damage if left to our own devices...I wonder what happens when you leave the propane stove burners turned on overnight and then light a match).


Now the race is on to find someone who is properly certified AND (bigger problem) compatible with the two of us. This means that every single time we go out for at least the first 24 hours of sailing (I'm only guessing...it may take as long as a year for us to finally "get it," the insurance agent said that for the really expensive boats, they usually require a year), we must take along Captain "Jack." So much for our solitary escape from the real world. At least for awhile. I do hope we are able to find a good match because I'm sure we will be spending a lot of quality time together, breaking bread, toasting with a glass of wine at sunset, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so forth. This could be interesting.

Anyone out there USCG licensed?? If so, We Want You!