What I Learned This Week: #203

Monday, July 5 all the way to Sunday, July 18, 2021 (Two week’s worth of minutiae!)

The Week in the Week That Got Away: I usually write these once a week musings on Sunday night, occasionally on Monday if the weekend gets away from me. Sunday is both my day of reflecting on the past week, and prepping for the next. I make sure my apartment is in order and food prep several meals. Except for taking my Mom to the grocery, it’s my day. I love it. So, it’s with moderate chagrin* that I’m “allowing” my friends to lure me out of the house on Sundays for a more sociable Sunday-Funday. Still a great day, but it really throws me off. Hence, two-two-two weeks in one.

*Chagrin, a totally out-dated word meaning distress or humiliation. I mean it as distress, very mild distress, a chagrin-y distress!

The Week in First Days: The newest employee at my office is straight out of college and this is her first non-college related employment. When she got to the office Friday morning she proudly exclaimed, “This is my first Friday!” It was the most wholesome moment of the week.

I am assigned to be her work-buddy, something every new employee gets no matter what position they are hired into. The Work Buddy is there to help a new person navigate the office. I always say it takes 6 months to feel moderately comfortable at a new place. By then you are good at getting to and from work, you’ve got your meals and snacking into a routine, and you probably have a favorite bathroom/stall. A buddy is a new employee’s guide for office culture and how-to-do stuff.

Each new employee is different, and even though I got the freshest and newest of employees, I was hesitant to give unsolicited life/work advice to my person. I did it anyway. My two tips were, 1) This isn’t your forever job, so make the most of it and always keep your resume updated, and 2) invest in the pretax investment plan, even if it’s just 3%, and I explained how it worked. She listened very intently to that second one and then said her parents had jobs that didn’t have investment opportunities and she didn’t know anything about them. Now she does. I hope she invests, but even if she doesn’t, I’m glad she has the info to make a good choice.

The Week in Life Choices: On the same day I was leading a young woman to a potentially brighter future, I came across a man at the very busy bus stop in front of the court house who I chose not to assist. As a neared to him he was literally reeling and beginning to double over. He was headed toward a low wall, perhaps seeing it as a spot to anchor. I looked at him and looked around and two men were watching both the distressed man and me. I asked if “that guy” was all right. They both waved me off as if to say he would be fine. Then one of them launched into a story about a time he drank some moonshine in Kentucky and could barely climb up a curb. In others words, they figured the dude and just taken something and would be okay soon. The bus stop is more their space than mine. I trusted them and walked on. I’d like to think, in this instance, that was the right thing. Maybe a brush with authorities would have been more detrimental to this guy then the episode I was witnessing. I’ll never know.

The Week in Company, Friends Version: On the Sunday where I missed posting, I was out watching Euro soccer and having some beer with friends. After the match, I got a ride home and invited my friends up for a night cap. I did so knowing the place wasn’t a total wreck, but not up to my “company” standards. Friends can see that version of my life, after all, they know they “ruined” my cleaning day!. My book club who came over on Friday though, well, they got a scrubbed down apartment.

The Week Company, Book Club Version: Book Club was my first sustained COVID era guests. I made sure the place was CLEAN! I actually changed the liner in my bathroom trash can instead of artfully laying a Kleenex on top of the bagful of bathroom detritus, camouflaging it instead of cleaning it.

I was also happy to get right back into the swing of entertaining. I made some of mine and their favorite appetizers (pimento cheese and deviled eggs). Delicious. Dessert though, was another story. In good news for the next people to come over, I made (not on purpose) one of the worse desserts I’ve made in years. It should be all uphill from here. The dessert was from a Paula Deen website and I only used hers because I could not find the one I usually use. But hey, Paula Deen and Peach Cobbler should have been a slam dunk. I slam dunked it right into the trash can! After book club I went back to the website and read comments for the recipe. Some of those posts noted that the recipe, as written, omitted ingredients and instructions used on the TV show. Are. You. Kidding. Me? Ms. Deen is not on my most favorite personality list right now!

The Week in Finding My Way Around a Bookstoor: My Book Club’s next selection is in the True Crime genre, not typical for the group or for me. I circled Joseph Beth Bookstore twice before I remembered they have a tiny upstairs area. Maybe, even though true crime is having a renaissance everywhere else in the country, it was still a niche genre in the upscale neighborhood where the book store is located. Welp, true crime was a teeny section, but my book was there. I counted that as one of days tiny victories.

The Week in Wine at Lunch: Pre-Pandemic, every Sunday my Mom and I would go to lunch and then go to the grocery. For the most part, Sundays are the only time she leaves her house and I’ve tried to “mix it up” getting her to go to new places and try new things. To her credit, she’s always been game. She tries everything, her only preference being that she can have a glass of Chardonnay with her meal.

The pandemic put that on hold, but a problem with her vision delayed her official comeback as she can’t see the menus and is generally uncomfortable with that. A couple weeks ago we ate at Skyline, where she knows what she wants without seeing a menu. Of course, Skyline has no wine. This week we finally got to a restaurant, you know, a “real” one with wine. We ate at Pepp & Delores and she ordered the Italian sandwich that I had and posted about previously. One of the best parts about eating with my Mom is how excited she is when the food comes. She has a very small appetite, so always, as the food is coming across the table from the waiter, my Mom is excited to try it but already knows she won’t be able to finish it. She always says, “Wow…box” which is shorthand that she can’t finish it, even though the waiter doesn’t know what the hell it means. She loved the sandwich and the wine and yes…she got a box to take the other half home. We’re back!

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