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12 December 2012

Good Day, Bad Day [More:]
Bad : I had to go into work today for a course which didn't finish until 5.30pm.

Good : Fortunately I remembered the late finish last night and so didn't go into the office for my usual 7am. I had a lie-in and got to work at 9 instead.

Bad: This meant the Tubes were packed because I was travelling in the rush hour both ways.

Good : But the walk to and from the station was wonderful, in freezing cold, but I was all wrapped up toasty warm.

Bad: I also have to go into work tomorrow for a meeting, but still have to try to fit in all my case work, which I can only usually manage if I work 3 days a week from home instead of just two this week.

Extra Good: The guy I sit next to is great fun and we have lots of laughs, most of it not related to work in the slightest. We are currently obsessed with the Ikea Monkey, which is probably a better topic of conversation than our general curiosity as to who will be the next celebrity outed as a nonce in Operation Yewtree.

Super Extra Good: I popped over to see my old manager and team yesterday (who I worked with for 10 years) and they had cakes as a reward for meeting their target, from Didier's Patisserie. I was invited to take one and chose this, which is described on the website as "Sandwiched in a chocolate macaron, a centred layer of raspberry ganache surrounded with fresh raspberries and topped with vanilla mousseline cream." I found a little box in the office and managed to get it home unscathed, as my treat for today. But first is home-made fettucine bolognese.
Why did I say I saw my old manager yesterday? I put it down to tiredness. It was today. I'm going to eat my macaron while I watch a documentary on TV about a hospital for the morbidly obese.
posted by Senyar 12 December | 14:51
Bad: My back is still bothering me. And while it is acting up, I can't work out.

Good: Acupuncture is helping me get better. It still amazes me how effective that is. Also, I am still eating healthily and haven't gotten fatter, though I certainly am less toned.

Bad: I still haven't decorated our gorgeous Xmas tree.

Good: My husband just finished stringing it with beautiful little white lights yesterday, so I'm just a bit behind where I should be on decorating.

Supergood: Almost lunchtime. My enormous salad with beans and flax seeds is calling.
posted by bearwife 12 December | 14:59
Good: Covering the bra cups of the costume I'm making for my Isis wings routine went pretty smoothly last night.

Bad: Trying to get both cups to have matching ruching is being a bitch.

Good: Tomorrow is my Chat and Craft event at the local witchy shop and I'm super excited.

Bad: I have to drive to Homewood in Baltimore tomorrow morning with a coworker so we can go to a meeting and I get out at 1, so I'm hoping it's a short meeting.

Good: I'm going to a women's retreat in the woods of Delaware this weekend.

Bad: I have a ton of packing and cooking to do before said retreat.
posted by sperose 12 December | 15:20
Bad: Lost my job.

Good: Lost my job.
posted by Eideteker 12 December | 15:29
Ooh Senyar that pastry looks amazing

Bad: Feeling cranky thanks to irritating email from my dad and general annoyances at work

Good: 2 hr meetings doesn't seem to be happening today

Bad: it will probably have to happen on Friday

Good: I was able to run to the market and get bunny and cat food and bf staples (coffee and milk)

Bad: but I didn't get me the food I need because I was in a rush and couldn't think of what I needed.

Good: the heat is working and my toes aren't freezing anymore

Bad: one of my nails tore about halfway down and it's catching on things and threatening to rip off painfully. It will take a while to grow out.

Good: I am going to make granola later
posted by rmless2 12 December | 15:48
Good: Church council meeting tonight. My crabbiest member is, for the 3rd month in a row, not attending (4 and I can vacate her seat). Since I switched my work hours to 8-4, I have time to go home before the meeting and eat dinner.

Bad: Very bad church business coming to a head. Long long long story short, we have an outstanding violation with the DOB relating to a long-ago space usage violation in our school due to failure to qualify for a public assembly permit due to not being ADA accessible (the usage changed before ADA accessibility was required, but nobody thought to change the necessary paperwork. Thanks a lot). We have been working with an architect on making plans for ADA updates (ultra expensive!) who had a serious health crisis this July and is now unable to complete the work filing the necessary paperwork. Just found out today the guy who said he would take over his work is like, nah, can't. Family shutting down the business, we have to find a new architect. Did I mention the DOB is all over us? Did I mention we JUST paid a fine on this and the DOB came for re-inspection this morning? This is bad. We lose our renter, we are in big trouble. Thank goodness we have a good lawyer who can find us another architect. Still, this setback is more than annoying.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 December | 15:49
good: I can rearrange my errands and stay home to make an apple tart (to freeze, then bake on Saturday for a party) and chicken liver paté (to freeze as a Christmas present), and I procured all the goods for these dishes yesterday.

bad: I have to rearrange my errands because I pulled something in my shoulder and my knee and hip are swollen and sore, so walking around town is out of the question. Hardcore cooking is also iffy, but these dishes shouldn't be too demanding.

good: I have my Christmas list (for our enormous families and a very few close friends) all written out, and a few things are even checked off! I'm going to wrap some presents tonight, which always feels wonderful!

bad: I started late this year, and one of the big projects is turning out to be a good deal harder than I expected. OOPS.

good: The Fella is working tonight, so I can make the dinner I love and he does not, soba noodles with garlicky orange-ginger-soy sauce and either spinach or green beans. It's one of my favorite meals, and as a bonus it boasts a huuuuuge serving of vegetables.

bad: The Fella is working tonight. Wah!

good: I remembered to reschedule my dental appointment for next month instead of this week. Yay!

bad: I had to reschedule because I've been coughing since late November and I can't possibly handle lying on my back with hands in my mouth*. I am ready for this cough to blow off any day now!

extra bad: physically, I'm a mess. Tweaked shoulder, hip, and knee, nonstop cough, and completely exhausted all the time.

extra good: nonetheless, I am CRUSHING IT on Health Month. It feels really good to check stuff off daily and to see the evidence that I'm meeting or exceeding my goals.

super good: I bought chocolate chips, so I think I'll make chocolate chip cookies tonight. YUM.

*Insert your own joke here.
posted by Elsa 12 December | 16:27
Eideteker, BOO! and YAY!
posted by Elsa 12 December | 16:31
soba noodles with garlicky orange-ginger-soy sauce and either spinach or green beans.

posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 December | 16:53
Congrats/condolences, Eideteker

good: I'm almost done with my self appraisal. Just need to figure out "development opportunities" and a short overall summary.

bad: My coworker worked from home today and my manager was elsewhere so I was rather lonely.

good: I have one more thing to buy (a gift card) and I'm done with my holiday shopping.

bad: I overbrought due to size concerns so I have stuff to take/send back after Christmas.

good: I have a doula -- just need for her to stop by so we can sign the contract.

bad: Finding a daycare sucks. 1 tour down, 2 to go. Please please please let me love one of these other two places.

supersilly: My nutty dad sent me a Spanish Christmas card.

irritating: High school Spanish was a long time ago so I can only read half of it without finding an online translator.
posted by bluesapphires 12 December | 17:49
Good: the long work day is over.
Bad: my kitchen needs cleaning.
Good: Tiny hasn't been here in about 24 hours, which I hope means she went home.
Bad: I have to admit I kind of miss her, even though I'm out of my head with worry about her finding her way home.
Good: I'm going home to visit family for two weeks.
Bad: See above.
posted by Stewriffic 12 December | 17:56
rmless2 how are you feeling these days?

good: client is insanely thrilled with her new kitchen thus far. Countertops went on today & plumbing & appliance connections will be done before the weekend

good: same client is also thrilled that I dropped of a replacement frame for the one I broke last week. :)

bad: I'm hoping this naggy headache is not the onset of a cold or some other affliction.

good: I found some cream of chicken soup in the pantry that I mixed with rice & is being devoured due to severe scumptiouness, and I shall subsequently devour a naval orange afterwards.

extra extra good: tomorrow I have meeting #3 with my new awesome attorney who is reworking my contracts AND has an MBA so he understands the bigger picture of small business & growing pains. Also, he is terribly cool, and will be a nice role model for me in terms of business decorum in general. Between New Awesome Attorney, New Awesome Insurance Guy, New Awesome Bookkeeper and New Awesome CPA, I'm sleeping much better knowing I have my team in place to grow it intelligently.
posted by chewatadistance 12 December | 19:09


This is one of those throw-it-together dishes, but here's the basic outline: for one serving, reduce a cup of orange juice by half, along with a generous slug of soy sauce, some rice wine vinegar, a pressed or minced clove of garlic, and a squirt of something spicy like Sriracha. You can add whatever else sounds good to you. Some likely candidates: a pinch of curry powder, scallions, lemon or lime juice, sesame oil.

When it's cooked down, I add ginger. I have to admit, I'm a ginger cheat: I either add a spoonful of ginger jam or I grab a chunk of ginger out of the freezer, let it thaw, then squeeze it through the garlic press. I almost never have plain ginger around because it always withers up sadly in the fridge.

I tend to make a big jar of this sauce and keep it in the fridge so I can just boil the noodles, sear some spinach in a pan with garlic, and toss everything together.

What's your favorite noodle? I can never remember which is which, soba or somen, so I switch back and forth. Anyhow, cook up your favorite noodle in boiling water. While you're doing that, sear a big pan of fresh spinach in a bit of butter until it shrinks down to nothing, a lovely pile of bright-green nothing. If you like extra garlic, add some garlic to your spinach now and toss it.

Strain the noodles, toss them and plenty of sauce with the spinach and --- this is the out-of-the-blue secret --- a pat of cold butter. I do this right in the spinach saute pan. Then serve it.

I'm eating them RIGHT NOW YAY, but I forgot the ginger jam. I gotta tell you, it makes a big difference.

*Named when The Fella tweeted "It smells so good in here, I think my wife must be cooking unicorn meat." It's too bad he doesn't like 'em like I do; they're full of his favorite things. But that means MORE FOR ME.
posted by Elsa 12 December | 19:37
Good: Got to work today only to be asked if I'd like to take a half personal day (I have a full one left and apparently I am too valuable for them to squeeze in a full day off)....TODAY! Yay, I got to leave at 12:30!

Bad: I forgot to get more wrapping paper and tape.

Good: I found some leftover wrap and a roll of tape in the closet.

Bad: SecondSon want to be a Mixed Martial Arts fighter (he's 15).
Good: The dojo his best friend attends is only two miles up the road.
Bad: the cost is astronomical when you're living on one paycheck.
Good: I think he would benefit from the training no matter what (discipline, control) and I do have room on my credit card!
posted by redvixen 12 December | 20:05
good: redvixen reminded me that I need tape!
posted by Elsa 12 December | 20:12
Good: I just a great 4-song Springsteen set.

Bad: Still stuck writing my g-d paper and 12.12.12 concert making it hard.
posted by Miko 12 December | 20:14
Good: All my Christmas shopping is done.

Bad: Still have to do all my Christmas shipping.

Good: Hoping to get all the shipping done tomorrow.

Bad: Have no motivation or plan for excavating the ornaments from the basement, as the box they are in is the last row in a three-box deep collection of large boxes. Bleh.

Good: The tree is up and lit. I'm a little tempted to leave it ornament-less, truthfully.
posted by occhiblu 12 December | 21:09
Ooh, also good: Roasted shrimp and broccoli for dinner, with enough chili powder and jalapeno to be extra-yummy.
posted by occhiblu 12 December | 21:10
Good: two days in a row I got out of the house and went shopping by myself

Bad: my back and legs and feet are complaining quite loudly

Good: xmas related shopping is done

Bad: damn, xmas related candy/stocking stuffers are expensive

Good: new driver's licence showed up today less than a week after ordering it

Bad: I am now officially "grey", last renewal I was still brown (not really bad, but I had to think of something)

posted by deborah 12 December | 21:36
Bad: I am working very hard at work and it is really frying my brain; I have zero energy at the end of the day. Can't exercise or cook.

Really Good: I will have company for Christmas.
posted by JanetLand 12 December | 21:57
Eideteker: aww ~~ :( ~~ yay ~~ :)
posted by halonine 12 December | 23:41
Back for more!

This is one of those throw-it-together dishes, but here's the basic outline: for one serving, reduce a cup of orange juice by half, along with a generous slug of soy sauce, some rice wine vinegar, a pressed or minced clove of garlic, and a squirt of something spicy like Sriracha.

This is essentially the same concoction as a sauce I learned to make at the wonderful seafood restaurant that was my 2nd favorite restaurant gig ever. There, it was called "OGS" in kitchenspeak, for Orange Ginger Soy. I ordered it on salmon, on scallops, you name it. And I would get extra in a little bullet cup, and I would just freaking drink it, it was so delicious. They also had a secret weapon to make it extra amazingly good: a few drops of pure orange oil. Every now and then I make this sauce, and I agree, it's made of unicorns.

Goods and bads:

Goods: made progress on my paper.

Bad: Still have to do the bulk of the actual writing and even the thinking part of my paper. I have 16 pages of quotations to reduce by half and link together, and then make an argument somehow. All by Monday, and the weekend's fully booked. And I'm very whiny about the whole thing because I just want to enjoy Christmas, and can't while all this work is hanging over my head.

GOod: Tree is up, fragrant, decorated, and beautiful.

Bad; HAve done 0 Christmas shopping and really have not been able to think about it and craft surprise lists. IT's going to be a rush from the 17th, last day of class, til the 23rd, when we join my fam.
posted by Miko 13 December | 00:11
Good: The hydrocodone worked well to make my knee walkable.
Bad: The hydrocodone wore off. This could get bad.
posted by Ardiril 13 December | 00:20
Really Good: I will have company for Christmas.

Really, haven't we talked about the whole good/better/best thing?

Because this is really best. est. Bestest.
posted by Eideteker 13 December | 02:22
There, it was called "OGS" in kitchenspeak, for Orange Ginger Soy. I ordered it on salmon, on scallops, you name it.

Agreed, those all sound great! Also: pour over blanched green beans or asparagus and heat through, toss with broccoli and/or tofu and serve over rice, spoon cold sauce over a sliced avocado half on cucumber slices and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for a great composed salad.

a few drops of pure orange oil.

oooooooh, now I know what I'm going to buy myself for Christmas! I buy orange oil for body products and for putting, drop by drop, onto unscented candles. It never occurred to me that I could buy food-grade orange oil. I predict I'll be just sitting around with a bottle under my nose, huffing it.

Because this is really best. est. Bestest.

Awwwww! That does sound like the very best-best-bestest!
posted by Elsa 13 December | 12:47
Thanks for asking, chewatadistance!
I am doing better, though still run down so I am making another doctors appointment
posted by rmless2 13 December | 17:10
a great composed salad. remind me that one way they served it as a salmon side was tossed with watercress and sesame seeds. Craveable.
posted by Miko 14 December | 00:43
Awwwww! That does sound like the very best-best-bestest!

That's mainly due to the fact that JanetLand is excellent company.
posted by Eideteker 14 December | 04:21
Example of vicious cycle || Volcano: an Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry