The Power of Aromas

Jun 28, 2006

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the quickest way to a powerful memory is through the nose. Which brings me to today's familiar fragrance.

Here in my hotel near Portland, there is an aroma that strongly recalls my mother-in-law's house in California. It's at once comforting and exciting, the joy of visiting people and a place I love, the delight of good company and fine wine.

And it reminds me that I am fewer than 72 hours away from Handsome's redolent embrace.

Like A Glass About To Break

Jun 27, 2006

Confession: for the past couple of weeks, I have been enduring some serious anxiety/depression. Both my own and Handsome's. I haven't been home since Easter, haven't seen him in over a month. And while I love my work and enjoy the travel, it wears on our psyche. The loneliness can be unbearable. Weekends are torture, Monday a respite from the pain.

We made the decision to take this promotion with our eyes wide open, knowing how much time we'd be spending apart and how infrequently I'd be home. And we certainly would never have considered it if we had children. Nonetheless, we knew then in theory what we know now in practice. It's not easy, but in the end it will be worth it.

To top it off, this is the last week of my fiscal quarter. I'm certain I'll achieve my quota, but that doesn't reduce the pressure from the powers that be. (Oh, and I'm pms-ing, which is just icing on the cake.)

But there is silver lining to these dark clouds. I fly to Texas on Saturday - only four days from now, and it couldn't come soon enough.

For The Ladies

Jun 23, 2006

I had some fun creating a cartoon me. You can, too: Design-her Gals

Dell Laptop Explodes

Jun 21, 2006

Sad or Fascinating?

Jun 20, 2006

I passed up a great movie for a PBS documentary on Archimedes. I just couldn't skip the discovery of pi, levers, cranes, and integral calculus.

How do you spell nerd? J-E-N-N-I-F-E-R

What Air Travel Is Supposed To Be

So, tonight I'm in Seattle. But that's not important right now. What's important is how I got here.

When I'm in the Pacific Northwest, I fly Alaska Air, and today was no exception. What made the, was the appearance of free wine (or beer if you preferred) on the relatively short hour-and-a-half flight. Combine that with the fact that I was the only person on a FULL (well, mostly full) flight who had the row all to herself, and you've got yourself a real treat.

What the airline provided in style, the rental car company made up for in aggravation. Thirty minutes at the rental counter (for an ordinary, run-of-the-mill rental) destroyed all the relaxation created by the wonderful flight.

Ah well. One can't have it all.

My New Favorite

Jun 19, 2006

Ben & Jerry's Vermonty Python
Complete with little chocolate cows. heh


Jun 18, 2006

I love to cook. Party because I like to eat, but mostly because I enjoy feeding people. There is something satisfying about creating and serving a meal for loved ones.

And I love to experiment in the kitchen. When I have dinner out and find something I really like, I'll spend some time trying to determine exactly what's in it, so I can recreate the dish at home. Sometimes this is successful, occasionally not so much.

Tonight, however - success. An interpretation of a brothy pasta dish I had in Sun Valley last week, including fresh-picked mushrooms. While at the farmer's market this weekend, I picked up asparagus, tomatoes, and shitakes. Sauteed those together with a little garlic, butter, olive oil, chicken broth, and salt & pepper, served with bowtie pasta, and topped with parmigiano. Delicious and highly recommended.

Although, to do again, I'd add some onion and perhaps a squeeze of lemon to the broth. Yummy.

What This World Is Coming To

Jun 17, 2006

Radio commercial: "Buy him a lap dance gift card for Father's Day."

You've got to be kidding me. *shakes head in dismay*

Office Olympics

Jun 15, 2006

I once worked in an extremely stressful office. Some of our best distractions from the insanity were our random office adventures. My personal favorite diversion was the chair race.

For the unfamiliar, chair races incorporate one passenger (who remains seated in the rolling office chair) and one driver (who pushes the chair as fast as he/she can.) These races involved an intricate course - down the long aisle, hard right at the last cubicle, counterclockwise around the finance block by the big windows, past the break room with the leaky water dispenser and across the finish line by the restrooms.

My cubicle was part of a four-cube pod that I shared with three colleagues (math degree finally pays off!) Anyway, someone across the room announced a race. In my excitement, I pushed back from my desk WITH FORCE. My rolling chair did not roll, as one might expect.

Nope. Next thing I knew, I was ass over teakettle, laying on the floor with my feet in the air. In a skirt that was suddenly showing more skin than is appropriate at the office. Right in the middle of the pod for all to see. Cue the roaring laughter.

And that's how I won the Office Olympics.

Swimming Pools and Movie Stars

Jun 13, 2006

I'm in Sun Valley, Idaho, this week for an education conference. I've been advised to keep my eyes open for celebrities. I'm not sure why I should care, but if someone famous walks in front of me, I'll let ya'll know.

In other news: I'm sitting next to two (count 'em) Macs which are running Windows XP. It's just wrong.

Happy Anniversaries

Jun 10, 2006

Today is my fourth anniversary with a certain computer company. Not bad.

And, it was thirteen years ago this month that I met the woman who would become my mother-in-law. She came through my register at a store where I was working. And she wouldn't go away. She wanted my phone number for her oldest son. After a half-hour battle of nerves, I caved. Later, I laughed about the incident with my sister.

But to my surprise, a few weeks later, Handsome called, and we met the next day. And fairy-tale though it may seem, I knew he was the one from the first moment I saw him. *sigh*

We tell people ours is an arranged marriage. ;-)


It's written on my forehead. Go ahead and laugh; I know you've always known and just didn't want to hurt my feelings.

The spiders know. Who else would offer a peace treaty to arachnid-kind. They know I don't want to hurt them - hate it when I have to wash them down the sink for infiltrating my bath.

My nieces and nephews know. Aunt Jennifer will always have chocolate. Or gummy bears. Or bubble gum. Probably all three. The munchkins can read the writing on my face. Hugs and kisses and cute antics are irresistible and will be rewarded. I can be bought.

And of course, the squirrels have figured it out, too. When Jimmy Squirrel dares Bobby Squirrel to risk certain death by running across the street. Bobby Squirrel is wise enough to wait until he sees me coming. He knows I can guarantee his squirrel-coolness. I'll stop. I always do.

Under the Weather

Jun 7, 2006

Someday I'd like to know how this idiom came into being. What does the weather have to do with illness?

Must have something to do with the fact that my head is foggy, my nose is, um, drizzling, and my head aches. Can't think of a weather analogy for that one. Oh well - think I'll lie down now.

The Scent of New Electronics

Jun 5, 2006

I am writing this post from a brand, spanking new MacBook. With black case and glossy screen. It is everything I hoped it would be...and more.

I love the new keyboard style - it's quieter (is that a word) than its predecessor. I love the glossy screen - it's much more vibrant than the matte screen. The machine is faster than its PowerPC brethren. And, in black, it's just cool.

But it's the little things that make all the difference. A wider trackpad, MagSafe power connector, built-in iSight camera, and Comic Life. I like it.

Unfortunately, it's only on loan to me for a conference next week. But......I might not give it back!


Personalized Plates: Episode III

Seen today:

TUTH DR (on a Mercedes)
UBHAAVE (on a sports car)
GRNTHMB (on a mini-van)


Jun 3, 2006

Summer is upon us. And for me Summer begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day - I think most people, especially Southerners, share this opinion.

In keeping with a new season, I've changed my template. Hope you all like it.

What Was I Thinking?

Jun 1, 2006

Stopping at Dillards, I asked the ladies at the cosmetics counter for a dinner recommendation. Mind you, I have a theory that IF cosmetic-counter-ladies understand the necessity of expensive make-up and designer shoes, they MUST also appreciate fine dining. I overlooked one glaringly important detail: I'm in Podunk, Idaho. You can guess the rest:

Me: "Where can I get a really good salad."

First well-coifed, made-up, high-heeled cosmetic-counter-lady: "Oh...I don't know. Subway makes great salads. You could also try Wendy's."

Second WCMUHHCCL: "Or there's Me & Lou's Family Restaurant across the street."

Me: Great, gaping, awkward pause accompanied by a look of astonished disbelief. "Well. Um. Ok, thanks."

But instead of eating at "Me & Lou's," I drove an hour each way to dine at a known-reliable, gourmet establishment that understands "salad" means more than iceberg lettuce and cherry tomatoes drowned in ranch dressing.

You know what this means, don't you? I've become a salad snob.