Monday, January 25, 2010


"Please don't set the edge of the ice on fire" doesn't hold a candle to this guy's midnight jabber. "The potluck is the green car filled with spinach at the top of the hill," might rate though, unless you disqualify sideeffects of Ambien.

Now to figure out the appropriate use of Ottertastic.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grumy McGrumpmeister

I've been a grumpy freak (way beyond cranky) all week. Don't know if it's the Blue Monday, the low light, a post holiday letdown, not enough sleep, or a combination of all of them or none of them. But I was NOT a happy camper this week. I survived, but there was collateral damage. Hopefully it's mendable.

Still, good things happened.
  • I baselined my first week of sleep with my Zeo system. It looks like my sleep patterns appear mostly normalish in terms of % of REM and deep sleep. 

  • I learned how to update my blog settings to get the new jump feature

  • The organizing got started saturday and will continue.  (I don't know if I need a helper so much as I need an audience...)

  • The cooking class ladies want to have a dinner party after classes are over. 

  • I found a good anthology to read.  Normally I find anthologies to be very hit or miss with much more miss than hit!  Strange Brew editied by P.N. Elrod has hit on the first 4 stories, so I have my money's worth even if the last four miss, but all indications are good that they won't miss. Paranormal witch, wizard, warlock and weres featuring Charlaine Harris and Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs.  Good enough that I'll look up and check out or buy at least one book from each author (although CH was already on the TBR pile, she'll move up).

  • Got my hair cut and colored and didn't waste the first day of the new do totally.  Didn't have a date date, but did meet up with a friend for dinner and a show.

  • We were able to bypass the 1.5 hr wait for a table by sitting at the bar at Claim Jumper, and I didn't even have to call in favors from my fav bartenders to get in, served, and out quickly.

  • The show was Avenue Q.  I've been wanting to see it and got tickets with a good view for a reasonable price at the venue next door.  The cast was quite competent (not original cast but one quite skilled) and the story elements are right up my alley (cussing muppets! What do I want to do; who do I want to be?!?)

  • I finally joined the modern era and downloaded some ringtones.  Instead of the pukey but least bad Verizon tune, I now have Vampire Weekend's A-Punk. It fits my criteria of starting at a medium volume for a few notes before getting loud, which it does too.  It's so perky, I love that.  I bought a ringback thing too, which I think means that if you call me, you'll hear Lady Gaga singing Paparazzi instead of a ringing sound.  To top it off, I got Ain't No Rest for the Wicked as my calendar appointment reminder tone.  The happiness of these choices overcomes my resentment at having to pay more for them than the song itself on iTunes, and the lack of good provided options.

So while I was wallowing in my funk, resentment, and despair, what were you up to?  Anything good?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sleep Stealer Antithesis

I've received my new Zeo sleep monitor and started using it to baseline my sleep. It comes with a set of questions to log "Sleep Stealers", one of which is "How tense were you before bed last night?" I realized I was still tense from the stupid microsoft switcheroo and that's just unacceptable. As we all know, I believe strongly in figuring out the good things of the day, and just before bed is a fine time to do it. In fact, a friend of mine does this with her son, hoping that he won't grow up to obsess over the stressful things of the day like she does. Hopefully it will lift me out of this fugue and set me on the path to blissful sleep. Here goes.

"Do the Handicapped go to Hell?" a 2001 South Park repeat. The opening musical number of the hellacious luau just played and I laughed out loud. Over the top and genius. And I'd forgotten all about's ex-lover Chris who swears by saying "butternuts". (Also, "Where's Sad.dam gonna go, Detroit?") And Cartman feels the angry hand of God.

Traffic this morning was totally clear despite the funky weather. And after noon, there was a cloud being blown off one of the nearby mountains with the sun filling in where it left.

Did I mention my review went well? I thought I was doing fine, but not great. I'm doing better than I thought. I think part of it is that we tend not to think as much of the work we do which comes easily, and I got mad props for stuff that I think was easy. (And my big deficit that was dragging down my mentality was mostly a business decision to postpone - although I feel like I sh/could have still done it, it wasn't strictly required. Big ol C project for last year. A+ now, but I can do it.) And, the big thing I was asked to work on last year (working better with production), I actually improved a lot on and made people happy. So I have new things to work on this year, but they're all do-able. I was really happy with my review. Fair, complimentary. Whew! If that doesn't make me feel better in this economy, nothing will.

Carpal Obvious

My day started out well. Ok, kind of well, but still.

I got my review and it was excellent. The work for next year is not "how to make me acceptable" but how to get me from "excellent" to "best". Whoo hoo!

Then Microsoft intervened. We "upgraded" to the new products a couple weeks ago and now use the hugely wasteful ribbon instead of the toolbars. I never had a problem with toolbars so I don't know why they changed. At any rate, now everything that used to take one mouse click takes at least two, if not four. And every click doubles my carpal tunnel inflammation.

I was in tears today, for the second time this week, trying to do crap in Excel and Powerpoint that I can normally do in my sleep. Tasks that normally take 5 minutes and no effort take gargantuan effort and an hour as I re-learn where all the commands are located because I'm making the attempt to re-learn how to do everything at the same time I'm trying to work on my work. And it's hard to know at the start of an obstacle if it would be more expedient (keeping short term and long term goals in mind) to come up with a new workaround, or to figure out what the hell they've decided to call "autofit selection". (For the record, what was
[one-click] Format - columns [one-click] Auto-Fit Selection

is now
Home [one-click] Format [one-click] AutoFit Column Width

While being an exception to the extra clicks, it took me a while to figure this out as previously trying to "Auto-Fit Column Width" would select every row in the column and fit to the widest one, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid, so I didn't immediately select this but went to the help section, which does NOT say "this used to be called...".

It turns out that I have a link to an application that allows me to run the command I used to use and it will tell me where the new command with a different name and location is. This should save me some time now that I know what it is (I assumed it was a video tutorial, most of which are 85% worthless and 15% useful, so I was putting it off.) I also found a "Ribbon Hero" application that might be useful, except for the fact that I only used the toolbars when I couldn't do things with a keyboard command, so my score is still very low due to using keyboard shortcuts. But maybe it will help.

Anyhow, jump to this afternoon when I was tearing my hair out in my boss's office. "I'm trying to give it a chance, but I can't figure out if I don't like it because the old way was better or because I was used to the old way". And she said, (drum roll, please) "You don't like it because it hurts you."

Oh. Yeah. That. It's a good reason.

If you add mouse clicks to tasks, it hurts me. And I will hate you, personally. That really isn't too strong a word.

Having to do extra clicks for the same function, plus all the running around to figure out how things work now, practice them, find them again, and go back to the help has flared my carpal tunnel up to the point where I should stop typing and go home and rest my wrist for the evening. Eventually I'll have to get used to it. Eventually, I'll be able edit the dratted thing so my most used commands are on it rather than my least used commands. But today, when I just have to do something that should have taken 5 minutes but took an hour and not-inconsiderable pain, when I think about the new microsoft layout Jesus Christ has about 40 middle names.

Monday, January 18, 2010

People are People

For me, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday usually means the traffic is lighter than normal. Fortunately other people are on the case. Check out Already Pretty and The Rude Pundit for a couple of timely reads.

And a shout out to the trivia reader who got our team a christmas present of a book of quotes by Dr. King. It's scary how topical and relevant his words remain. I guess it's because people are people. Individually we can range from wonderful to horrendous, but as a mob group, we tend to run the same patterns over and over again and most of those patterns get us into trouble. Which is why stifling dissent is bad, always, and we need the occasional leader who motivates us to be better than we had been.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Secret Santa?

I got a lovely beaded choker in the mail! "Jungle Stars" choker was wrapped in handmade paper and came in a cushioned box from Thailand by way of Novica and Nat Geo. "

The gift message says, "Say this and thought of you. hope you get a chance to rock this choker! Happy New Year!"

What it doesn't say is who sent it to me! I love it. Thanks very much. But if you sent this to me, please call or drop an email so I can thank you personally.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Small Town

Cooking class number two was all about the students. Technically it was dry cooking techniques like roasting, but this week we really started chatting. I sat in a different seat this week because I didn't want to fall into the trap of sitting forever in the seat I randomly chose the first day. Of the 3 other women at my table, one is my very near neighbor (about 2 buildings over), and one is the older sister of the woman who brought the bluegrass band to my cookie party. Who knew?

The food this week was delicious. I was skeptical of the pizza dough as many people claim great pizza dough and have mediocre crusts. I do well enough with a tortilla for an individual sized pizza. But this dough would be worth the effort of making it. It was delicious. They had whomever wanted to come up and stretch a small pizza's worth of dough and top it do just that. Being an opinionated extrovert, I did one. They cut the biggest piece of mine for me, but all the pizzas were cut into small slices to offer around meaning we each could have 3-6 pieces plus the one bbq chicken one from the instructor. And we weren't turning them down.

We also did a pesto stuffed roasted tomato, a spinach stuffed chicken, and roasted small potatoes. They were almost superfluous by the time we got to eat them, but we all ate them as they were quite good (although I think I could improve the tomato thing). And to top it off, we had an orange chocolate creme brulee! I let other people play with torching the turbinado sugar topping as I have plenty of experience with the torch from glassblowing.

The pizza dough:
    1T yeast
    2T sugar
    2c warm water (aprox 105F)
    1c semolina flour
    4-5c all purpose flour
    1T salt
    1/4c olive oil

Mix yeast and sugar into the warm water and let stand until foamy.
In bowl or food processor, mix 4c flour, salt, semolina flour. Keep processing or stirring as oil is poured in. (The oil aids in it being stretchy, but if you really want to toss it, you need to age the dough to allow the gluten to crosslink.) Add foaming yeast mixture, stir until kneadable. Add up to 5 c flour so it's not sticking to hands, but is still moist and kneed until smooth. Rise in oiled bowl 60-90min, then divide into desired sizes. Roll into smooth ball, let sit 5 minutes, then stretch into pizza shape.
Top with desired toppings and cook at hottest temperature your preheated oven will reach for 3-6 minutes on pizza stone or dark pan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Trivia started off sketchy tonight. The questions were hard and we lacked confidence. We could have doubled down on a 10 point round but didn't, and several others did, and we had to catch up. My partner pulled out some major mojo on the gambling round and we guessed the famous person on the first round and most others didn't get it until the last, which helped. It was a near thing, but we pulled it out and won again!

In a recent cleanup of my bedroom area I was upset to figure out that I couldn't find a particular necklace. I finally fessed up to the friend who made it and she said not to worry - I hadn't actually bought it from her yet. Phew! But clearly an indication that I wanted that necklace. She offered a matching bracelet at a reasonable price so I got that too. It was a little large, but I found a bead shop nearby and someone there was willing to re-crimp the end of the bracelet with fewer beads, and help me thread up the beads on earring hoops and now I have a beautiful necklace with a fitting bracelet and matching earrings, all for a low nominal cost. Yay!

I took an umbrella with me to work today and left it on my guest chair with my jacket. I didn't move it off when my aggravating vendor came to chat, which limited the time he stayed to talk at me to a tolerable level where we transmitted useful information without me having to sit through interminable explanations of irrelevant trivia. And when we found out that a particular carrier didn't work in the upgraded tool, I was able to meet up with the machinist to design a replacement within a couple of hours and just toss the cost onto an existing PO. Easy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Opportunity Cost

Well. I tried out a couple of recipes with several of the wet cooking methods we learned in class this week. I now feel really, really good about buying pre-cooked chicken. For some reason, the "easy" oven poaching of chicken took more than twice as long as it should have and was rather a pain in the ass. Trader Joes frozen teriyaki dark meat chicken suits me just fine and costs about the same. Or maybe even less when you factor in how much time it takes me to duplicate the effort. OTOH, the herbed butter worked out excellently. I steamed half a head of cauliflower thinking I'd save half after tossing it in the herbed butter. Not so much. Ate all of it. Then put the rest of the butter in the freezer using the trick of sliding a waxed paper tube of it into a paper towel core so it maintains a nice shape. Next time I use it, I can just slice off discs of it.

I spent so much time away from home in the last two days, it felt like vacation. I definitely need to do more outdoors on my weekends since it makes me feel so much better to do it - not because I think I should for nebulous reasons that come from external expectations. I kept freaking out last night (staying up too late reading a novel) that I was going to be screwed at work the next day because it was so hard to believe the weekend wasn't over yet!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thai Fo

A friend of mine is flying halfway around the world and arranged to have an extra long layover in LAX so we could get together and hang out. Yay!

His plane got in earlier than I expected, which meant I wasn't awake in time. Rather than have him fester at the airport, we met up at our now-regular layover joint, the Stick-n-Stein. It's just south of LAX on Sepulveda /seh-PULL-vih-duh/ by the IHOP and I really dig it. I brought along a book describing LA neighborhoods and things to do which we thumbed through while eating brunch. After trying to figure in travel times vs available times, we actually went fairly far afield and went up to Griffith Park.

It was a GORGEOUS day to be at Griffith J. Griffith's park. Low to mid 70s with light clouds but no haze to speak of. We got parking very near the parking lot. We could see Catalina from the heights. We wandered through the exhibits, caught the Tesla coil in action, wandered down one of the hiking trails (and back up!), checked out the new basement exhibits, and bought some swag at the gift shop. All in all a delightful way to spend the afternoon when entertaining someone who will be sitting for 12 hours or so in the not too distant future. (The NorCal quake must have happened after we were there as the seismometer I was standing near at 4:30 pm or so showed no happenings on the "mid distance" monitor that covered California.)

Our 2nd stop was to head to Santa Monica for dinner. Driving through surface streets went better than I expected but because LA is massive, it still took quite a while. By the time we got near the coast we were both tired, sluggish, and not terribly hungry. I misremembered a chinese place by confusing its location with a delightful but horrendously expensive "experience" restaurant, which wasn't what we were looking for. I parked in the first parking structure with free spaces and we went looking for food. Directly across the street we saw a sign saying "Thai Fo" because the last two letters were broken off the sign. And yet... Perfect.

This place (4th and Wilshire) had nice tables and place settings, efficient service, yummy lemonade and thai iced tea with funky half clear straws (fun to watch the thai tea rise up one), and quick, tasty food. In fact, their pork pad see yoo is my favorite so far on this coast. And getting convenient, tasty food fast perked us back up enough to make it back to the aeroporto in good spirits and in good time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Double Dose Happiness

OMG. Daily Show tonight is pure genius.
Point well made: Life when you were a kid was not simpler. It was simpler for *you* because you were six and were shielded from complexity. [unless you were distinctly unlucky-ed.]

Best Interview! George Lucas is on right now. Jon Stewart opened up with a rant asking how Leia stayed shielded from the Sith Lords and how that made no sense. I think EVERY George Lucas interview should open up with the thing about Star Wars that has been bugging the interviewer since the 70's - rapid fire until they run out of breath. Like Festivus, but directed. Then, once that's out of the way, and like Jon, the interviewer leaves their chair and dances around a bit with the excitement of interviewing the mastermind behind Star Wars and he's *right there*, talking to *you*!!! one can get down to having a real interview because you're not just sitting there going through the motions while waiting for an opportunity to air your grievance. And if you don't care enough about Star Wars to have a grievance, you need to pass on that interview. Give it to someone who does.

Hat Trick: Jon got a haircut! He looks less like Grandpa Munster now. (ok, so he looks more like Mr. Burns, but it was less distracting for me than the Munster look.)

Speaking Plainly We're Delighted

Yesterday was my first day back to work in the New Year. Aside from being not particularly productive, it wasn't bad. Today went better but there were happy things both days:

  • Allergy shots were not particularly aggravating
  • I met up with a friend of a friend who is nice and fun (but moving to Boston in a couple of weeks).
  • In the meantime, she took me out to a bar in West Hollywood where they do a sing-a-long showtunes night on mondays, and serve reasonably priced drinks.
I was woefully ignorant of nearly every song they played at the sing-a-long, which surprised me. I thought I'd been a reasonable theater attendee. But then I remembered - I don't usually care for overpriced blockbusters and rarely go. (I want to see Wicked and Avenue Q, but didn't want to pay full price and so missed them.) What I do go to see is Drag Queen Theater.

I happen to have a soundtrack from the GDO's "Cinderella Rocks" and yesterday inspired me to dig it out to play today. The song the peasants sing after being invited to the ball contains some lines which are quirky and fun:
Every one is so exited
Speaking plainly, we're delighted
that we all have been invited
to the ball!

Women: The gentlemen have combed their hair
they're even wearing underwear
you couldn't tell they haven't bathed at all.

Men: The ladies are so pretty,
That one's showing off her titties
in a bra that is decidedly too small.
Women: (It's true, it's true, it's true!)

Women: The ladies are delirious;
the prince is so mysterious, so stately!
standing staring at the wall...
Men: (He must be concentrating.)

...Ryan Landry

Burlesque genius.

Other good things for today are that I got approval to take the next two fridays off to blow glass. I have the option of doing half days and coming back to work, but I'm guessing I won't feel like it! I will have to work out how to finish my first draft of my conference paper by monday, so it's not like I won't be busy - chances are I'll be going in on sunday (which isn't happy unless I finish, but it's not unhappy as it's my personal choice).

I also got a head's up that something I needed work on last year I managed to improve this year to a point where I went from reasonable to excellent on my review. Phew! I've kind of let one or two less important malingering projects color my self-perception of the job I've done but the truth is that those projects are delayed because higher priorities intervened, not because I'm a lousy engineer. I might be a little lazier than I should be, but I'm getting good work done in a reasonable time frame, for the most part.

And our stock went up enough today that the options I sold will pay for 2/3 of my upcoming lasik which will make budgeting that in muuuuch easier.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Baking Resolution

My January Baking goal is complete.

New Bread! Shortbread (Scone like)

I made some shortbread from the Williams Sonomoa Breads cookbook (which is different from the WS Cooking Basics shortcake I love by about 1/4 c butter) and it came out really good. I made 2 half batches - one following the recipe and one substituting half the flour for almond flour and changing the fruit from currants to chopped dried cherries. Both worked well, but with the almond flour, I should have added less liquid by at least a tablespoon. I wound up adding extra flour which diluted the taste a little, but still worked ok. The almond stuff rose less and darkened more, but the cherry almond shortbread/scone clone was still pretty tasty and guest worthy. Props to Williams Sonoma cookbooks - I have yet to make a bad recipe from these two books; my cinnamon roll recipe is from their Breads book as well. The shortbread is definitely on my short list of go-to snacks. Next time I make it, I think a powdered sugar glaze would work great to mimic the cherry almonds mini-scones from Trader Joes.

Repeat Bread Cho-Pow (/SHOW-pow/)

This is Philipino bao, or steamed bun, from someone my mom knows in Minnesota. I remember them being a favorite and taking them in my bag lunch to the circus in 5th grade. As an adult, I've made them perhaps 4 times before, including last new year when my family visited so we could pack them for our Rose Parade breakfast; they were gone before we hit the edge of town. The filling is minced pork with a sturdy leafy "green" that preferably has some red, and some (candied) ginger and sherry and optional boiled egg. I use kale but my mom uses swiss chard. I also started adding minced dried shitake mushroom as it helps keep the filling from watering out while I stuff the sweet buns. I had cooked some pork from my freezer but it smelled funny and I threw it out in favor of some precooked pork from Trader Joes. They sell "mexican" oven-roasted carnitas with about 1/3 more than I needed for only $4, so I'll do that again unless I have leftover pork on hand.

I came up with a better way to form them this year. Instead of stretching them in my hands and keeping things floured so they don't stick then wetting the edges to close them, I kept the dough stickier and just buttered up my work surface. I plopped the dough ball down on the counter and stretched the edges out thin. (I leave it thicker in the middle so the top doesn't get too thin when cooked.) With the sticky bread dough lightly stuck to the counter, I put the filling on, then fold opposite "sides" in to the bottom to seal it (3X), then roll it off the lightly greased surface and put it in the steamer. I got a little aggressive with quantity this year and made more smaller ones because it was so easy to fill and wrap them this way, but went back to larger ones after noticing I had a few that were just too thin.

Cho-Pow/bao freeze excellently and reheat in the microwave to be good as new.

Don't know yet what February's baking will be, but most likely the Valentine's Red Velvet cake will be the repeat.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

And since I'm already typing, here's an initial list of New Year's resolutions:

Get the condo organized and systemetized so I feel more relaxed at home rather than anxious about all the projects I need to do - even when I want to do the projects, they can stress me out. Plus, I would like for people to want to hang out at my place and it's hard to do when I need 6 hours to 3 weeks to pick the place up before company comes over. Organizing is less of a task for me when someone helps, so I've already made inquiries and plan on hiring someone within the next two weeks.

I want to take that organized frame of mind into work too and write monthly summaries of my work so I don't stress out at my next review., and better organize my weekly/daily to-do lists. I felt good this year that I both tried to work with our process engineering technicians more so I could be more productive, and kept a small log of examples of work they'd done for me that I could pass along for their reviews. I need to do that again, both for them, and for me.

I need to be more proactive about my medical spending account reimbursement. Sometimes, I turn that paperwork in during the year, but mostly I wait until the end of the year and turn it it. Since I'm planning to laser my eyeballs this year and it'll eat up most, if not all, of the maximum allowed withholding amount, I need to get that turned around fast.

Since I'm going to be all organized, I'm going to have people over. My plan is to have at least one dinner party per quarter. This will help me get some dependable "fit for guests" recipes practiced and performed. Send me a no-fail recipe if you have one as I am quite a confident baker, but I am not a confident cook.

Instead of just working on my weaknesses, I'm going to work on my strengths too. My plan is to bake something new and something old each month. This is both to push me and practice, well, practicing. I'm not super big on repetition, but there's a reason I like to bake some items. I'm sure my colleagues will enjoy the spoils too.

The other thing is getting back into glassblowing. My favorite studio closed in this economy so I haven't been in for the better part of a year. But the cleaner studio is still going strong and I've got time in January. If I can get in even once a month for half a day, it will be a joy. I still need to sculpt my alligator (the Seattle Museum of Glass's "kid's art" re-ignited my inspiration there).

So yeah, even with the indulgence baking, this year is all about getting organized and staying organized. Hopefully I'll also organize in some visits with friends (Boston in June, at least one sandwich in San Diego, a visit to Disney, Vegas in the spring or fall - anyone else want to put in a destination?), eat right, exercise, post pictures on the blog, find a date, join a choir, and learn my way around LA a little better. And right now that sounds like a lot, but I hope it winds up being a lot of fun.

Aside from "eat right, exercise and be a better person", what is your big resolution? Or what will be your big indulgence for the year?

Blue Moon

I guess when I hit "Refresh" hoping for a new post on my own blog, it's time to add an update!

What is it that makes the moon so compelling? We take it for granted, but I wonder how different our lives would be without the moon and daily tides and monthly hormonal fluctuations, and evening light that can cast its own shadows. When I looked up at the full "blue" moon hanging large and low in the sky on New Year's Eve, I had quite the visceral reaction: wonder, joy, a sense of future, and a feeling that it was shining down on me, specifically saying something like "well good riddance to that decade". I don't know where that comes from, but it's true all the same. Here's hoping that the double digit years don't wind up in that difficult teen phase. However, if centuries are even a little like kids who have a sweet spot in the 8-12 range where they're grown up enough to be interesting, but not so grown up that hormones are making them surly, then I hope we have a couple years of things going better that before. One can hope.

In other blue moon territory, I was looking up movies and I would be willing to see almost every movie in first run theaters right now. It's kind of like how I started watching network TV again this year after 3 years of watching HGTV, comedy central, and Discovery channel almost exclusively. (Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, Accidentally on Purpose, Eastwick, Cougar Town - Dirt was better, Glee) Anyhow, I went to see Sherlock Holmes yesterday because if nothing else it was a couple of hours of looking at RDJr and Jude Law. Couldn't really see a down side to that, so went and enjoyed myself. Tonight, I met up with a friend to go see The Blind Side and enjoyed myself even more. Sandra Bullock was fabulous as a steel magnolia. If even half of it was true, she had Michael at practice or studying nearly 24/7 which is hard, hard work. It was also a good, good movie. It wasn't schmaltzy like I'd worried about. The great thing about the Mrs. Tewhey character was how she spoke to everyone in a way they would understand and respond how she wanted them to, from street thugs to big league football recruiters. It made for an entertaining story and some great quoteable lines. (I'm in a prayer group with the DA... heh.) I can definitely recommend "The Blind Side" and think it would actually make a good family movie - maybe PG-10 or so.

The last of the blue moons for today is that I had a date at lunch that I'll be seeing again. I liked him - so far. He's got the same name as my brother which is still strange since he's still mostly a stranger. But a nice stranger.