What I Learned This Week: #168

Monday, October 26 – Sunday, November 1

The Week in Halloween at the Office: Halloween is an easy, and practically controversial-free, holiday to celebrate at work. My office took note and we had ourselves a decorating contest. It was supposed to be a door decorating contest, but some of us don’t have doors. Like me. But I do have this sweet drawer at the top of my legal file cabinet. A trip to the dollar store and a quick grab of some weird stuff around my apartment and I’ve got a winning entry. Really though, I just hope the break room is full of reject candy on Monday morning. Eating the odds and ends from trick or treat bags is my kind of Halloween work celebration.

Secret Drawer

The Week In Quirks: My favorite bagels are Marx Bagels, a Cincinnati tradition for years, and one of the few kosher restaurants in the city. Their bagels are traditional with a significant crust and a soft inside. These are dramatically different than what chain restaurants sell as “bagels.” I (sort of) hate to be a snob, but Panera “bagels” are just big buns. Big buns are fine, but they aren’t bagels. Anyway, Marx bagels are delicious and chewy and satisfying. And, since I bought some this week, this brings me to one of my quirks, something that I rarely do in public, but will almost always do if I am eating a bagel at home…I cut them horizontally in thirds instead of in half. This is a neat trick to prolong the bagel eating experience and maximize the amount of cream cheese I can politely shove down my gullet, and it’s all mine.

The Week in Just a Day: Part of the psychology of living through these trying times, for me, had been moving from thinking about how things used to be to consciously focusing on how things are. This isn’t easy. Every time I do or don’t do something, my brain compares it to pre-covid, or pre-rise of the MAGA anger. I am getting better and on Halloween, I had, well, just a day. I worked at my part-time job, I got a hair cut (with a mask in a nearly empty salon), and I got curbside lo mien for me, and one to drop of for my Mom for her dinner (as a vie for daughter of the year). Speaking of vying for daughter of the year, nearly every Saturday I go to Japp’s and get a take out Manhattan to take to my Mom on Sunday. I usually don’t have a drink myself, because I’m trying not to linger in public spaces. But this week, Japp’s was very empty, so I set myself down and had a drink. I was home by 6:30, ate lo mien, read for a while, and went to bed. It was a just a day, but a pleasant one. I’m at peace with that.

What we have here is a book, and a cocktail, and some celebratory candy corn. In the bag is a to-go Manhattan. Gettin’ done, Covid style.

The Week in Art: On the last Friday of every month the Pendleton Art Center opens most of the artist studios to the public and, pre-Covid, it was a very busy evening with artists providing wine and snacks as guests perused and purchased. The Center is housed in a great old, eight story building with an elevator that is run by an operator who opens and closes the gate and tries to “land” the elevator car perfectly in line with the floor. The art is mostly paintings and photography with some other mediums mixed in.

In Covid, Final Friday wasn’t busy and I walked through the entire building looking to find a big piece to hang above my bed. The four I picked are very, very different from each other, which suggests to me both that I am very open to artistic styles, and that I am really going to have to be patient in choosing the right art for me. Or, I ‘m going to go broke buying art!

The Week in Spices: When this happens…

It can only mean one thing…

It means I have to lay out all my spices in roughly alphabetical order or by type so I can place a proper order with Penzey’s spices. I do this because I once had a tragic overload of oregano, parsley, and basil. I just kept ordering them thinking I needed them when I really didn’t. Looking at everything helps, though I still have a tragic addiction to Italian seasoning. What led me to tonight’s order was that I’m almost out of cumin and chili powder and it is chili season. The order is placed and I’m ready for winter cooking.

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