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Diary
By Kellnerin (Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:51:14 PM EST) (all tags)
Post-its and other miscellany.


WALKING TO WORK this morning, J asked, "How do you feel about getting coffee on the way?" and I said "I feel great about coffee," so we stopped by the Au Bon Pain housed in this building we sometimes cut through.

On our way out, she remarked, "I always see that poster of the cappuccino with whipped cream and it's tempting, but I never get it because, well, first it's not Italian" -- J had a couple of stints in Italy teaching English -- "and it's also really bad for you, and I wonder if it would be disgusting, but still ..."

"I guess there must be a reason people do it."

"Yeah, and at this cafe where I used to work, which was also a really nice bakery/patisserie type place, we would have whipped cream but it was meant for pastries. So when people asked for whipped cream we would go to the freezer in back and get this tub of thick, heavy whipped cream and put a dollop in, and it would usually sink to the bottom and make the coffee overflow, and we'd hand it to the customer like 'here you go, philistine. It's not Redi-Whip, okay?'"

"Teach them to order whipped cream on their coffee."

"Yeah. That was a great place to work. There was this guy, and his name as it turned out was T" -- J's husband is named T -- "who I had this crush on, and I think that was the beginning of my thinking that T was a great name. Anyway I remember this one time that I said 'Hey T, if I murdered the next person who asked me for an "expresso," would you stand up for me in court?' and he said, without a second thought, 'Shit yeah.' He was so cool."


WE HAD A going-away party for E this afternoon. Her last day is Friday; the new E starts tomorrow.

The conference room was decorated for the occasion: "Good Luck, E!" in big, bubble letters on the whiteboard, and a chair at the head of the table decorated in pink crepe paper -- not exactly festooned with elegant swags, and not exactly mummified with bands of pink, but somewhere in between.

E is moving her stuff back into her parents' house before taking a two-month vacation to Europe. She told M, "I called Diego, to help me move."

Diego is one of two sons of a friend of a friend of M's. They're Brazilian, I think, though I may be making that part up. Last time we got together for one of these parties, she mentioned that they were available to do odd jobs for $15/hour.

"Is he going to do it?" M asked.

"I dunno, I got his voice mail. He said, 'you know what to do' so I left a message."

"He's very attractive. Did I tell you that?"

"Yes, and actually I forgot that you had mentioned his attractiveness, if you can believe that. But I was disappointed, because the email said 'see attached photograph' and?" She held up her index finger and waved it slightly, the way she does when she negates something. "There was no photo."

"Well, you'll just have to take a picture of him and email it around, because now I'm sure we're all curious to see what he looks like," someone suggested.

"Yes, because that's not at all creepy." said R.

"Right, 'hold this box, will you?' Click."

"I'm sure you could come up with a way not to make it creepy. Like, 'It's moving day! We're taking pictures!' or something."

A asked if E was selling all her furniture. The reason she was wondering was because she had a friend who was moving this weekend, and hasn't gotten rid of any of his stuff. "He called me the other night to ask me if I would help him dump his mattress in a field."

We wondered, exactly, which field he might have in mind, and why he didn't just try leaving it out on the curb. If the garbage collectors didn't take it, chances are it'd disappear magically anyway.

"I've put out all sorts of weird stuff, thinking that either someone would take it or they'd pick it up with the garbage. And it always amazes me the stuff that people will take. Like a travel mug with no lid."

"I can just imagine someone thinking, 'Oh, perfect, just what I was looking for,'" said R. "'I mean, I've already got a lid, and now ...'"

"Did it still have the coffee in it? Because that might be worth it."

M broke in, "My house is off of a main street, where my friends now live. And they have all sorts of garbage pickers coming past that way. But just around the corner, where I am, I can leave something out that's perfectly good and no one will take it ..." She seemed a little hurt by the oversight.

"Maybe you should put out a sign, saying 'GOOD TRASH THIS WAY.'"

People reminisced about items they'd rescued from the side of the road, until someone mentioned a rocking chair as a particularly good find.

"I found a rocking chair once," M began, and then her face brightened. "Oh, this can be the disgusting story!"

Every social department gathering must eventually come around to a disgusting story, and this was it. M had found what looked like a rocking chair in good condition and brought it into her apartment. She was showing it off to her sister: it was white, with an upholstered seat and headrest. She was thinking she could repaint it to match her decor. "And I can replace these," M said of the cushions, ripping one of them off. Inside it was filled with roaches, now, in her living room. After they were done screaming, they managed to drag it out onto the porch and heave it over the side.

"Good thing you were on the first floor," E remarked.

"I wasn't," said M.


WE UNVEILED THE farewell card that we had put together for E. Each of us signed a Post-it note -- a copyeditor's best friend, and also a reference to one of E's favorite books -- and we put them together in a collage. L framed the whole thing with a border of small thumbnail covers of books that E had worked on while she was here (including the one about Columbus). As we passed it around, A said, "I would have written something less lame if I knew it was going to be framed."

A's message was: "Here's to the smell of popcorn at 9:30 a.m.!" A's cube and E's are the closest to the kitchen, and therefore to the microwave. "I'll have to keep you updated on how early it happens," A promised E.

"I only want to know if it's before 9:24 a.m. That's the earliest that it's ever been."

This prompted a whole conversation about popcorn, rumors that the packaging of microwave popcorn is supposed to be somehow toxic, not to mention the so-called butter flavor, and the virtues and techniques of stovetop preparation. E was perplexed at the idea of stovetop popcorn that wasn't Jiffy Pop -- her excuse was that they had an air popper when she was growing up.

J brought up the elaborate contraption her parents had in which you'd put the popcorn in a large tray, and the whole thing was covered with this '70s yellow plastic dome, and there was a slot where you'd put the butter so it would melt as the corn popped.

"Sounds like something you would find at a yard sale," someone said.

"Or left out on the sidewalk."

"Or in a field."


AS A FINAL ANECDOTE, E told us how at her sister's recent graduation, she'd ended up sitting behind Donald Trump, and in fact the whole Trump family. "How was his hair?" J asked immediately.

"You know, I'm sitting there behind this incredibly wealthy family, and all I can think of is how amazing their hair is. All of them. I mean, his hair is ridiculous, but the color is just unbelievable. It's like spun gold."

"So, good hair can be bought," mused R.

"Sure," said T. "Just google 'Trump hair.'"


AFTER THE PARTY, I emailed A to tell her I'm taking next Friday off. She wrote back, "I’ll put it on the vacation list, if you can put the Post-it in the log book. The Post-it really seals the deal." I never realized just how much power Post-its can have.


ON THE WAY HOME I stopped for gas near the train station. Usually I go to a gas station around the corner from my house, but it was on the section of street that was closed by the floods last week. Even after the street was re-opened, the station was roped off with a pool of stagnant water in its lot. Finally, yesterday I saw cars filling the place again, but D reckons they were all there for the attached Dunkin' Donuts, because the pumps are still off.

So, I ended up going to this other place on my way home. Does anyone read those messages that scroll by while you're filling the tank? At my usual gas station, they're the usual friendly consumerish content: "Thank you for choosing Mobil" and "Would you like one of our Quik-Pay dongles to facilitate the transfer of cash from you to us? Now you can use them to buy both gas and donuts!" and the like. They alternate to give some variety, with the Mobil pegasus in between as a sort of punctuation.

This station had just the one message repeating again and again, but because I can't resist reading words that someone puts before my eyes, I kept staring at it, the all-caps monotone moving at a slow and steady pace:

PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF ON STATIC ELECTRICITY IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE READ WARNING LABELS THANK YOU

Now that's inspiring stuff.

< If I ain't whining. You all wouldn't care anyway. | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
3M Trademark | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
every once in a while by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:11:02 PM EST
i'll order an 'espresso con panna', which is basically an espresso with whipped cream.

sometimes i find independant cafes which whip their own cream.

it's always a little slice of heaven when i do.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

I was going to make a similar comment by lm (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu May 25, 2006 at 05:20:52 AM EST
Whipped cream in the freezer? Whipping cream should be stored in the cooler and whipped just prior to serving.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Three valid conditions for saying 'expresso' by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 2) #2 Wed May 24, 2006 at 11:53:07 PM EST
1) You're in Iceland (their language, their rules, and yes it bugs me)
2) You're in a hurry (intentional pun)
3) You're fucking with a pedant (Rogerborg option)

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

That rocking chair... by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu May 25, 2006 at 02:20:57 AM EST
and it's little, um, inhabitants exemplifies the reason I never take stuff from the side of the road. Thrift store, ok. Yard sale, maybe.  But even really benign-appearing stuff on the side of the road just totally sends my OCDness into overdrive. That chair proves that I'm not crazy after all. :-)
--
I've got more than one membership to more than one club, and I owe my life to the people that I love. - Ani DiFranco
I'm with you by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu May 25, 2006 at 06:04:19 AM EST
Even if there's nothing quite so horrific lurking within, I'm always a little suspicious of things that people discard or abandon, hoping that someone else will get rid of them. While it's always possible that it's a perfectly good item and the previous owner was just too lazy to sell or dispose of it properly, there is also a good chance that the burden of having that item in your possession will turn out to outweigh the benefit of acquiring it for free.

--
"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."
[ Parent ]
Popcorn. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu May 25, 2006 at 02:43:01 AM EST
I love that: you'd find this in a yard sale, or on the sidewalk, or in a field, or in a basement of a haunted house, or on Mount Kilimanjaro, or on mars.  Those sorts of escalations are common around here.  "The equipment can withstand a hurricaine.  And a direct hit from a 50 caliber weapon.  And having a carrier land on it.  And being used by an 18 year old recruit."

Perfect stovetop popcorn: use a 3qt pot.  Add 3 tablespoons of oil (I use olive oil, but you can use corn or any vegetable oil) and 1/2 cup of Orville Redenbacher popcorn.  Cover, leaving the lid open just a sliver for steam to escape.  Heat at medium until the poppping slows.  Add melted butter and salt or melted butter and sugar.

Takes no time and is very tasty.


---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

but what about shaking? by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu May 25, 2006 at 06:07:19 AM EST
This was a point of debate. M declared that she never shakes the pan on the stove, while H described how she waits, ready to spring into action, for the first kernel to pop, before agitating the pot.

--
"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."
[ Parent ]
No need by blixco (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu May 25, 2006 at 06:09:00 AM EST
You coat the kernels with oil before heating (I forgot to mention that, so pretend that I had) by shaking the pot.  Afterward, leave it the heck alone.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
but what lurks in your parent's basement ? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu May 25, 2006 at 04:55:01 AM EST
I think my folks still have that same popcorn thingy. A platter with a stir-rod (horizontal) and the awful yellow dome. But, boy, good popcorn. Better than any microwave or air pop.

they have a potato ricer by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu May 25, 2006 at 06:10:00 AM EST
But it's rarely used, because it only comes out when we feel like shredding our fingernails peeling chestnuts for Mont Blanc.

--
"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."
[ Parent ]
Getting rid of crap by lm (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu May 25, 2006 at 05:23:38 AM EST
If you just leave stuff out, people will think it's crap and just leave it. If you put stuff out with a ``for sale'' sign, someone will think it's valuable and steal it.

Unless you live in neighborhood like mine, that is, where everything not welded, chained, nailed or glued down walks off on its own overnight.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Free Furniture Day by ana (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu May 25, 2006 at 05:28:01 AM EST
In the student ghettos around Tufts, it seems that all the apartment leases expire the same day: August 15th. So most of the furniture in upper Somerville is on the curbs for that one day, changing hands.

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

the power of post-it by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 08:59:08 PM EST
our lab uses a buttload of em, too. the little bitty ones are used most, to mark stacks of another 3M product: PetriFilm.
Send me to Austria!
3M Trademark | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback