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My Archives: March 2003

Friday, March 28, 2003

Eating lunch at your desk is a fool's game. Particularly when your desk is right by the door to the office and therefore a centralized hub of all workplace traffic. I am never able to get through an hour-long lunch break without someone coming over and interrupting my lunch with something.

I'm not complaining. It's not that I need a full hour of time to enjoy by bagged lunch. It's the principle. Everyone at work (me excluded) gets to take lunch at 12:00. I wait until 1:00, the sole answer of phones, getter of forms and all around copy man. When everyone returns I sit at my desk or another vacant desk and check my email, look at websites or read a book.

People will always come over to me while I'm at lunch and ask me to do some 5-10 minute task. The sandwich hanging out of my mouth, the brown paper bag draped deliberately over the front of desk like a "do not disturb" sign, the crumbs that I scatter about , the giant bottled water: these things mean nothing.

"Nate... how do you delete a file?"

"Nate... can you make me 15 copies of this booklet?"

"Nate... we need someone to go into the boiler room and swim through a cubic acre's worth of unneeded forms to find a Post-It Note that was accidentally put there last year."

My newest tactic of covering my face with a giant open book to display to my worker--nay, the world--that I am not "on company time" has gone 0 for 5 this week. Invariably someone has come up to me to conduct business or ask me a question about something.

I just tried a new technique. I just nodded and uh-huhed my way through a two or three minute conversation with a coworker with my brain completely shut off. Didn't hear a word of it. It was amazing. I just waited for pauses in the wall of sound she was throwing at me and threw in a "yeah, you said it".

I don't need an hour for lunch but if every other worker is going to use that time I should be able to too! Can't a kid just eat his Fig Newtons in peace?

Posted by chefelf @ 01:36 PM EST [Link] [28 People Love Me!]

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

My morning began rather terribly with brown sludge pouring out of my shower head and a rusty pool of soupy liquid collecting in my ancient bath tub. I waited for four or five minutes but it only got thicker and more brown. In the back of my head I heard Jen's words from last week about me "living in squalor". It's not her fault but that just poured salt in my wounds.

My roommate is supposed to pick up the new Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker game for me today. That should make for a fun and exciting evening before having dinner with my friend. She may have to eat delivery Chinese food while watching me steer Link through his latest adventure! I hope it doesn't suck. The graphics style for the game looks very promising as they return to the cartoony style the original Legend of Zelda had. Each game since then has seemed to bounce between cartoony and realistic. This started with The Legend of Zelda II, one of the most disappointing, sub par and unoriginal video games ever released by Nintendo. The return to the classic style in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was more than refreshing, it was necessary!

I still do not recognize Legend of Zelda II as an official Legend of Zelda game. If it weren't for the Zelda name that game would simply be in the towering pile of long forgotten NES games along with Princess Tomato In The Salad Kingdom and M.U.S.C.L.E. Wrestling.

I am at an impasse here at work. As happens every single day at 12:00 I have hit a huge problem with getting any work done. Something comes up that I am in no position to make a managerial decision about. This has driven me straight into a wall which I cannot get around. It would be fine if it happened at say 11:00 or even 11:30 because someone that could answer my question would be here and not out to lunch.

So instead I must sit here alone in the building, checking Google News and updating my blog as I wait for someone to return from lunch and answer my question so I can proceed. By then it will be time for my lunch. It is a familiar routine.

A tumbleweed just rolled by my desk and I think I hear a lone coyote howling in the distance.

Posted by chefelf @ 12:33 PM EST [Link] [13 People Love Me!]

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Jen has recently left to go back to New York. We had a pretty wonderful week. It was nice getting transported to and from work every day, I must admit. She was a good sport about it and was even sweet enough to pretend that she didn't mind spending Spring Break 2003 in beachless and brisk Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

So between the visiting with Jen and the constant fatigue from last week's bout with the flu I haven't had much time to update this page (much to the dismay of my parents who check this for details about my life).

On Friday night we went to the Cheeky Monkey Cafe in Newport. My good friend Jeff, who is the chef and manager there, treated us to an Iron Chef style freeform sampling of his culinary expertise. We got a total of nine courses of some of the most wonderful foods I'd ever had. Jen and I were so thrilled with this meal that we made sure to write all of the food down as best we could so that when we got home we'd be able to remember it.

Here's what we had:

First Course
Point Judith Oysters
with horseradish mignonette

Second Course
Mussel & Spinach Bisque
served in a demitasse cup

Third Course
Panko Encrusted Tuna Nori Rolls
with wasabi, pickled ginger and tamari dipping sauce

Fourth Course
Seared Sea Scallop and Beef Tenderloin Napoleon
Served with lobster tail and truffle bordelaise on a potato pancake

Fifth Course
Seared Halibut
on a bed of spinach cous cous and tomato relish

Sixth Course
Watercress & Frisee Salad
with a warm bacon vinaigrette, Maytag Blue Cheese and crispy pecans

Seventh Course
Blackened Tuna
with sweet and sour peppers, mashed potatoes and mache greens salad

Eighth Course
Smoked Duck Breast Salad
with sheep's milk cheese, quince preserves on watercress with tangy citrus dressing

Ninth Course
Bananas Foster Tart
flambeed with Bacardi 151 and served with vanilla ice cream

All in all it was not a bad deal. Tomorrow I have to go to work defending democracy. That should be fun. On top of that I have to go about doing all of the various chores and tasks that I have very much neglected over the past week. The best part of having Jen visit is that I feel like I am justified in not getting anything done. Now it's back to real life.


Posted by chefelf @ 10:05 PM EST [Link] [20 People Love Me!]

Sunday, March 16, 2003

My stomach and my cold have been spending the last two weeks having a contest to see which one could make me feel more horrible. The cold won which is good because I was kinda rooting for it all along. In the past day or so my back has joined in the contest and is now starting to pull into the lead. It's amazing how lying down for 22 hours a day can really put a strain on your back. You would think it would be therapeutic.

I think I've had just about enough of this whole sickness thing. It's just so counterproductive. I haven't been able to update this site at all. I could have been like one of those bloggers who begins every update with "It's been so long since I last updated ..." but what kind of person would that make me?

I haven't been able to hang out with anyone I know in a while. I did makes some pretty good progress in Halo though so I guess it hasn't been a total waste of time. I kinda wish the new Legend of Zelda game had been released a few weeks early. That would have been marvelous timing.

So I am finally up to about 60-70% or my normal operating level (which is about 35-40% of a normal person's) so that is encouraging. Jen is coming to visit me for the week tomorrow afternoon so I greatly look forward to that. I intend to spend most of my morning preparing for her arrival by spraying down everything in my apartment that I've used with Lysol to disinfect it so that she doesn't get sick. So I have to spray my couch, my cushions and one Xbox controller. That shouldn't take so long.

My main goal for this week is to not give Jen the plague. Let's hope I am successful.

Posted by chefelf @ 08:37 AM EST [Link] [9 People Love Me!]

Monday, March 3, 2003

Well I spent a pretty good weekend in New York. I was kinda sick all weekend and now I have a sore throat but other than that I had a good time. It was nice to get taken care of by my healthy and youthful girlfriend.

We watched the greatest episode of Iron Chef that there has ever been. It was a two hour special at a French Chateau in Brittany. Two French chefs took on two Iron Chefs in unprecedented battles! Chairman Kaga was decked out in 18th Century French aristocrat attire. It was incredible. He was wearing a cape and ruffles and everything! I wish I had that episode recorded because it was a battle for the ages.

Jen and I played the game of Life yesterday before I left and I ran away with it. She reached the end childless and poor while I retired in Millionaire Estates with two sets of twins and $1.3 million. It was wonderful.

Paul and I had a pretty good bus ride home where we discussed life, love and the future of It took my mind off of the swelling that was taking place in my esophagus. Now I must drink a lot of tea today at work.

My life is so hard.

Posted by chefelf @ 12:40 PM EST [Link] [15 People Love Me!]

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