Monday, December 28, 2009

Good Endings to Mediocre Days...

There's nothing more frustrating than a computer that doesn't want to cooperate. I've been trying to get this blog posted for a while but for some unknown reason, my browser decided it was no longer accepting cookies and wouldn't let me log in. I find that fascinating. I changed nothing; I downloaded nothing. Yet my computer seems to have a mind of its own. I can't decide if that's fascinating or scary.

Obviously, I managed to conquer my computer's attempt at independence. I merely let it do it's thing then exuded my superiority over the thing. I think, really, that's probably a natural tendency. I am, after all, quite British. We conquer and become victors. Well, we did, at least...a few decades back. Nowadays, our victories tend to be a little less bloody and a little less bombastic. Still, I's in our blood! We reign victorious!
My computer, at least, obeys when I shout at it.

And yes, thank you very much, I am fully aware that my computer is a non-thinking machine comprised of processors, chipsets, motherboards and other techie sounding things. I may have been relegated to the naughty corner of my company, the corner in which I am now, officially, the only member of staff NOT to be promised a new computer, but in my heyday- two years ago, at least- I used to be a respected technical support person. Nowadays, I'm sad to say if I even so much dare to imply that I know what my boss and the programmers are talking about when they discuss backend computer processes, they look at me as though I'm insane. My boss has said to me on several occasions that he's sure the technical stuff bores me and that he changes the subject even though I've tried to explain that I want him to continue because, shockingly, I am quite intelligent enough to follow what they're saying. It's sad that just two years ago, that was what I did for a living and I greatly enjoyed it but, alas, I can't get my current boss to even look at my resume and see that.

Pardon me, I think I'm starting to get a little bitter. I'm working on that. In fact, I intend to begin next year by fully discarding my bitterness. I can't promise it will vanish completely but I will do everything I can to remind myself that it's ok not to love my job and to focus on everything else in life.

Still, I have a couple of days before the New Year. I get to be a wee bit frustrated before I turn over my new leaf. It wasn't so bad today. Ok, so out of 27 or so employees, at best, there were only nine people working all day. Also, it was very quiet. However, someone did make popcorn in the popcorn maker so that was exciting.

Ok, I admit...I have absolutely nothing exciting to share with you about my work day. My evening, however, did include a trip to Jungle Jim's. I decided tonight would be the best night to go and complete my shopping list. I love going on week nights; it's much less busy and I can actually browse without feeling like I'm holding up a line. I went last weekend and, let me tell you, it was a scary zoo. Being a regular shopper there, I know my way around. I think I'm a little spoiled. I have my little route through the shop and I know where and how I want to navigate. I get a little bit frustrated when I'm scanning the wine specials and, without failure, there's someone cackling over the bottle of "Bitch" wine that they find. It's funny, I suppose. Yet, like with everything else, the charm wears off over time. Thus, I tend to dodge those folk and head instead to the next aisle. Sometimes, that works out well. Take tonight, for example. I found an absolutely lovely bottle of Kenwood red table wine on sale. I'm a sucker for red table wines. While I like a good, expensive bottle that's aged and mature, there's something soothing about a good, basic table wine. I think wine deserves respect but I also like it when it's respectful of someone who doesn't necessarily want to do the full production of sniffing, swirling, sipping, savouring and declaring. Table wine is meant to be consumed, it's meant to be enjoyed without pretense. I've had some bad ones- Sutter Home, for example- but, for the most part, many of them are innocent and flavourful.

I didn't intend to do too much shopping tonight but, as is usually the case, I bought more than I planned. My weaknesses are the cheese and produce section. I escaped the cheese tonight, thankfully. Yet the produce section seduced me. I ended up with far more than I needed. I was just so excited to find cardoons. I got Mario Batali's "Molto Italiano" cookbook for Christmas and there's a lovely recipe for "Cardoons- Roman Style" in there. I couldn't resist.

In case you haven't figured out, I'm becoming a bit of a Jungle Jim's junkie. If you've read my blog comments, you'll see that I'm fortunate enough to have someone from Jungle Jim's actually reading my blog when I tout the store's fabulousness. Thus, I shall give a subtle shout out to Phill Adams, Director of Development who occasionally is kind enough to comment on my blog. I'm eternally grateful whenever someone actually reads my blog, never mind commenting on it. So thank you, Phill Adams. You and your store are greatly appreciated.
As a side note, I actually did print out the application for the Assistant Manager of the Cheese Department and I'm seriously considering turning it in. Clearly, I'm dissatisfied about my job and I think it would be rather nice to do something I actually enjoyed. Also, I've recently decided that in addition to novels, I'd rather like to write about food and wine. I'm not sure how you actually get to do that but I think I'd quite enjoy it. I even confess I considered culinary school but there's a huge difference between pretending I'm Iron Chef Monkeypants and actually having to show that I can chop onions correctly. Oh, come on, don't tell me you haven't imagined you're on the Food Network when you're in the kitchen.

And now, as I realize that I may, indeed, be alone in that delusion, I'm slightly embarrassed. Yet not enough that I'm going to stop. I'm also not going to stop longingly caressing the Le Creuset Dutch Ovens whenever I see them nor the Mario Batali one that Jungle Jim's has in stock. One day, I shall own one. However, it may take a while. Those things are expensive. However, the orange ones would go just lovely in my kitchen which now has a rather attractive orange/persimmon accent to the utensils. I love my family for indulging my obsessions at Christmas.

I just realized that I spent eight hours of my day at work and only one hour at Jungle Jim's market. However, the one hour was infinitely more enjoyable than the preceeding eight. I think that's a bad sign. Also, it helped that when I came out of Jungle Jim's, it was snowing heavily. There's nothing better than a good snowfall to make me wax poetic about the simplicity and beauty of life. It doesn't matter whether the simplicity and beauty comes from a good snowfall or a trip to a good grocery store, it's how we feel in the end that counts. The end of my day was far better than my beginning and, for that, I am thankful. Sometimes...that's all I need.

Happy Tuesday!

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