What I Learned This Week: #35

Sunday, January 21  – Saturday January 27


The Week in the Weird Chili: I ate dinner at Los Potrillos in Clifton this week, ordering one of my  favorite things there, the house chili. I like it because it’s weird. It’s basically enchilada sauce (technically a chili sauce which I guess gives them license to call the dish “chili”) with some ground beef layered over refried beans and covered with a bit of cheese. They serve it with packaged saltines like it’s real chili. It’s more like a chili dip, but I like it…with tortilla chips and hot sauce.

The Week in Age: At one of my TJ Maxx shifts this week, I greeted an older gentleman who was shopping in the back of the store. He seemed old-old (like so old I wondered where his caretaker was) but he was “with it” and agile as he tooled around the home good department. I was tidying up the area when a woman (his daughter) started walking toward him and asked what year he was born. I don’t know why she was asking then and there and didn’t hear that part, but I heard his answer: 1924. He was doing 94 years on earth proud!

The Week in Corporate Speaking: My department at my regular corporate job has a monthly meeting, during which I write down key corporate words that are meant to import great meaning, but are really just over-speak for simple ideas. The word “harmonize”, as in getting everyone on the same page, or making processes work together more smoothly is starting to lose favor, but is still used more than “in concert” or “synergistic.” I particularly enjoyed the discussion of “syndication” or the way information is shared. The guy called it a “syndication stream.” That’s awesome talking, right there!

The Week in Nuts: My Facebook feed was flooded with the suggested event of Steve Casino’s Peanut Art at the Gallery OTR a few blocks from my house. I walked over. It was a small, but impressive display of mostly rock icons rendered in mixed media based on the shell of a peanut. I’m glad I walked over. I love how artistic people make their visions become reality.

nirvana peanut.jpg
The head and body of the band members in the sculpture are actual peanut shells. Cool stuff!

The Week in IKEA: Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA died this week. IKEA is a great international story that sells inexpensive furniture and stuff that can help make life easier. IKEA is not a place I shop at because its a long drive to go to such a large place with so many people if I don’t need to. This week I wanted a particular item and I had my second ever visit to an IKEA store, on a Saturday afternoon, in the winter, on a rainy day. It doesn’t take a social scientist to know that this probably wasn’t the best choice of times to go. But hey, the place is huge, and designed to hold crowds. Going in, I knew it was going to be very busy. I knew I was going to have to park way out, maneuver around baby carriages and throngs of people “Just Looking”, and that I was going to have to stand in line. Even though I’m not a big shopper, I was ready for all of that. What I always forget about mass-consumerism is how unhappy people are. Couple were quietly (but most definitely) arguing about wants and aesthetics. Parents were yelling at kids. People were seriously wrapped up in the decision of what to buy as if they were changing the tide of history. Everyone was shopping or browsing by choice. They had money and time to spend. All very lucky and not much happiness. I got what I needed and got the hell out.

IKEA Lunch.jpg
Okay lunch for the price. Skipped the 4 extra meatballs for $1 option. If you look closely, there’s a face in the mash potatoes. No extra charge for that.



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