Saturday, November 21, 2009

That shrimp scampi was so good, I hardly care that I caught the stove on fire.

It should've been straight out of a comedy.

I was making shrimp scampi tonight for dinner. I had made a hot toddy first, to sip on while I cooked; bourbon and lemon and sugar and cloves and hot water stirred with a cinnamon stick, oh my. Anyway, I had two eyes going on the stove; one with the melted butter and sauteed onion and garlic and various spices, and the other with a pot of water on its way to a boil for the angel hair pasta. And I started to smell something not right.

Then I realized there was smoke pouring up from the burner on which I was trying to boil the pot of water, and from the burner next to it that I wasn't even using. This was me:

Uh-oh, what's that?

That much smoke doesn't seem good.

Maybe something little just spilled on the burner before I started cooking. It'll burn itself off, whatever it is. Where's my drink?

Ahhh, this hot toddy is yummy.

Sniff sniff, hmm, wait, is something actually burning? The onions, maybe? Man, this hot toddy is good.

Wow, that's a LOT of smoke. Ummmm ....

Oh, wait, .... are those FLAMES licking up around that pot of boiling water?


Move everything off the stove, quick! Fire coming up out of the burner! Oh shit! Should I pour water on it? No, no, for some reason it seems like I've heard you're not supposed to do that with a stove fire. Fire extinguisher? No, surely not, right? Dish towel! Dish towel! In movies and tv shows when you see someone who's a terrible cook trying to use a stove and end up setting it on fire, don't they always slap at the flame with a dish towel? Where's my fucking dish towel?

And so a dish towel saved my life.

Ok, yeah, that's overly dramatic; I don't think there was any real danger with the stove-top fire tonight. But it really did freak me out; that has never happened to me before, ever, and fuck did it have me jumping around like crazy when it happened. But truly, snapping the dish towel at the flames coming up out of the burner really did do the trick; that put out the flames quickly. Good to know, huh?

Oh, and by the way, right after I got the flames out? This was me:

WHERE THE FUCK IS MY DRINK??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Btw, I had to start the scampi over ... thank goodness I hadn't gotten to the shrimp part yet, so they were still in the refrigerator, uncooked ... but man, it really did turn out well. I love shrimp scampi.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


My boss is retiring next spring. I've known this for a while now. I've known that when she leaves our office, she will be vacating a job position that will be filled; a position comes along with much more supervisory responsibility, much more responsibility in general, but also more salary. A big step up from my position, in other words.

I've known this, but I've tried not to think about it too much. Because I'm not looking forward to her leaving. (I'm beginning to think that maybe I'm not the kind of person who takes well to change ... hmmm ... am I just now realizing this?)

First of all, and this is big: I'm going to miss her. Sure I'll still keep in touch with her, make an effort to get together with her socially from time to time. But I'm going to miss her being in the office every day. She's one of the only work friends that I have - maybe the only one, actually - due to the fact that she's the only other cool person who works in my office. (By other, I mean other than myself, obviously. Because I am so super cool.) What I really mean is, she and I get one another, and often no one else gets either of us, and usually neither of us gets why no one else gets us. It usually makes us laugh and shake our heads in perplexity (is perplexity a word? yeah, I've been drinking) and wonder why other people don't find such dark humor in everyday life as we do, why other people create drama and tension and anxiety where none should exist, why other people don't seem to be able to think logically at times, and why other people don't just drink more in general.(Seriously, drinking makes life better.)

So there's that, firstly.

Secondly, it's the big conundrum: do I apply for her job once she officially leaves? Do I want that job? And even if I do, will I get that job? What will it be like if I apply for it and don't get it, and then have to work for someone who I perhaps don't think is qualified enough for it, perhaps someone I don't even like in general, knowing that I've been specifically shot down for the bump up in position? What will it be like if I do get it, knowing the particular aspects of her job that I'm always glad I don't have to deal with, and knowing that I'll then have to deal with them myself, basically welcoming a ton of extra stress into my daily life? Will applying for that particular position in my office cut off any chances to make other life changes in the next year or so, or mean that I'm basically acknowledging that I'm not about to make any big life changes any time soon, as in a total change of job (to something else entirely) and/or change of city, changes I've been dreaming of taking for years, and will that be depressing? And finally, how can I not apply, frankly; how could I just continue in my present job and not even make an attempt for her position when it opens up, when for the past five years I've been reporting directly to her and am more familiar with most aspects of her job than anyone else in our office; won't it be expected, not just by others but also by myself if I have to admit it, for me to at least try for it, ask for it?

So those are the thoughts and questions that have been swirling around in the back of my mind for a while now. And for the past week or so, my boss has been trying to find a day that's convenient for the two of us to go out to lunch together, to discuss our case load and project how our trial calendars are going to look next year (already starting to fill up) and figure out how best to handle the transition that will occur when she leaves next spring, no matter who it is who replaces her. She doesn't get to make the decision as to who replaces her, of course; that's up to the big boss man. But she's planning to have a big sit down with the big boss man sometime soon, to go over these very issues with him, only she wants to talk to me about them first.

And I know, I just know, that when we have this conversation, which she wants to have outside of the office, the question is going to be posed by her to me: am I going to apply for her job? And the issue will be discussed: what recommendation, if any, will she make to the big boss man? And what insights, if any, does she have into my chances of getting that job if I were to apply, and what guesses does she have, if any, as to who would be likely to get the job if the big boss man doesn't give it to me?

And I'm just not ready to have that conversation yet. Or, you know, ever. So I've been putting off the lunch, and putting off the lunch, and putting off the lunch. Always with a perfectly valid, work-related excuse; after all, I have had many briefs due recently, have filed an appellate brief and a couple memoranda of law and responded to discovery requests all in several different cases and all right up on the filing deadline, and all within the past two weeks. So yeah, sure, I've been busy, too busy for lunch.

But I've also been too far up denial's asshole for too long about this job issue. And next Tuesday I'm going to have to start to really face it, because next Tuesday I'm having The Lunch, and of course with that, The Talk. And while The Lunch and The Talk aren't bad things - after all, this is my awesomely cool boss I'll be discussing all this stuff that I need to discuss anyway with - it still means that, basically, it's The Time to face The Shit. For Reals.

And the final question that still lingers in the back of my mind, longer than all the other lingering questions, and for which I have no answer: why is it, really, that I don't want to deal with any of this shit?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"you don't look that old" - compliment or dig?

I'm not unused to being carded when buying alcohol. It doesn't happen all the time, but it happens often enough that I generally feel pretty happy that I don't yet look like someone who doesn't even need to be carded anymore. (Btw, use of double-or-more-negatives in one sentence is directly proportional to amount of alcohol consumed at time of writing. So I've realized.)

Tonight, after doing a little after-work shopping at the mall, I stopped at a convenience store to gas up the car, and bought a six pack while I was there. The cashier didn't ask for my id, but she did ask my birthdate, to enter into her register for the alcohol purchase. When I told her the year, she said to me, "you don't look that old."

At first that made me smile, and I thanked her. But as I was walkng out of the store to my car, I thought to myself, "wait, does that mean that I SHOULD look old now?" And then, "wait, AM I old now?"

Fuck. Yeah, I guess I am old now. I didn't mind reaching my thirties, I really didn't. I think being in your thirties is probably one of the best times in life, as far as your age and where you are in life and shit. But I don't think that, in considering that, I ever really projected myself getting beyond the age of 35. Your thirties are cool, I thought ... as long as you're 35 or younger.

My year of birth is 1974. I am 35. And on my next birthday, holy fuck, I'll be 36.

I'm probably being arbitrary and illogical in prescribing some kind of difference here, between one year and the next, but I can't help it; I feel a bit like Charlotte from Sex and the City, when she suddenly has a problem with her birthday once she hits 36. She doesn't want to go beyond 35. Especially since she was single and not really where she saw herself being at 35 ... she didn' want to acknowledge that next year when it came.

I think the cashier tonight was being nice, giving a compliment I think, when she said "you don't look that old." But I've also thought that before, when I've been carded or whatever, and have heard similar comments; I've thought, "thanks :)" (yes, with the smiley face). Because I thought "oh, they think I look young." But tonight, after having that initial thought, I followed it up with "oh, wait ... does that mean they're surprised I don't look .... old?" Which is a sucky thought, because that means I actually am old.

Or at least I must be thinking of myself as old ... since my current reaction to that statement is apparently to pout.

P.S. It's now more than an hour after the writing of the above post, and I feel like adding: It's fun to go shopping. Actually, maybe more than the shopping part, it's fun to come home after shopping and go through all the new stuff you bought. Especially when all the new stuff is girly stuff, like makeup and shoes and shit. I'm drinking and playing with my new makeup and figuring out what outfit I'm going to wear to work tomorrow that will show off my new shoes, and I make no apologies whatsoever for being so girly and liking it.