Monday, November 29 – Sunday, December 5
The Week in Crypto: Bitcoin! I don’t get it. I do know it’s the new economic frontier, that it’s very complex, and that people are making a fortune on it.
As a long time traditional investor, “investing” in a product that is practically advertised as a beatable slot machine, seems counter intuitive. This week, though, I decided to put a toe in. Literally, I bought .00008976 “shares” of a bitcoin. That previous three sentences are the epitome of an older person talking about buying crypto! LOL! Anyway, I put some money in because I just wanted to watch how the money moved.
I was immediately captivated. Crypto never sleeps, baby! The money moves all the time. I was immediately enthralled. Even when Bitcoin dropped about 20% (of course it did) in the middle of the night, I was fascinated. Years of stock market investment as taught me about not panicking and having patience. I don’t think I’m going to be a millionaire from Crypto but I’m glad to have it as part of my portfolio. I hope it does better than my hemp stock from a few years ago where I turned my $200 investment into a total value of approximately $13.02. Yea, my future as an investment banker is a non-starter.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Giving Tuesday and Shop Small December: The holiday shopping season kicked off on Black Friday, which is, no lie, my very favorite day of the year to work at retail. People who come out shopping on Black Friday are there because they want to be there. They are a jovial, if a bit punchy, bunch of shoppers. At TJ Maxx, they don’t and never do Black Friday, door-busting specials, but when the doors opened at 7 am, a couple of customers, happy as clams by the way, were just there to get the shopping day kicked off. They were a delight. My store, despite the headlines declaring Christmas is ruined because our stuff is on container ships, is packed to the gills with goods.
Black Friday’s brick and mortar gave way to cyber Monday, which is akin to cyber-bullying as my email filled up with very dramatic offers of how to spend my money. It’s a lot. I picked one, though. The place where I get my favorite shoes, a place that never has sales, had a sale. I brought shoes.
On Giving Tuesday, I was hit again with pleas on where to donate my money. At this stage in my life, I’m pretty set on who is getting my money, but I do use giving Tuesday as my “trigger” day to remember to give to my causes. I gave!
And, in case you think I missed it, I am well aware of Small Business Saturday, but I’m working on Small Business December. If I can buy it small, all month long (and beyond), that’s what I’m going to do. There are so many craft fairs lined up in the next 3 1/2 weeks I might turn into a natural fiber wearing, soy candle burning, natural soap using hippie. Kind of looking forward to that.
The Week in Hanukah: Oy! The Jews get no respect in holiday celebrating. Hanukah is just not flashy enough, or celebrated by enough folks, to get the full on holiday treatment. This week, to juice up the holiday, I decided to make some traditional Jewish food for my co-workers: Kugel. Kugel roughly translates to casserole, and the two I make are very eggy, and have almost a custard-like consistency. I like making kugels because they are super easy to throw together, they are dense and they bake for a long time which make the house smell great!
The potato kugel is just potatoes, eggs, onions, butter and a pinch of baking soda and some flour. The noodle kugel (I used the Serious Eats recipe) is noodles, eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Basically, we had a Festival of Carbs to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
The Week in Cocktails: One of the best outcomes of the Pandemic has been the revision of liquor laws, including that to-go cocktails are now legal. When that law changed, at some point during the darker, lock-down days of the pandemic, I started bringing my Mom, Cookie, Manhattans from Japps. Up to that point, she’d never had a craft cocktail. Her most complex bar drink was a Long Island Ice Tea. Though near by an actual geography, Manhattans and Long Islands are worlds away. Welp, the Manhattans were a hit (as were the occasional margarita from the Mexican restaurant) and I continue to bring her a cocktail almost every week.
This week I went to Japps for a cocktail for my own self (I deserved it!), with the idea that I would get the to-go cup on my way out. Chatting with a couple regulars at the bar, and after a shot of Fernet*, I was about to ask for Mom’s Manhattan, but decided that this would be a good week for a new drink for her. I asked the bartender and bar patrons for input, and John came up with the Boulvardier and that became Cookie’s Cocktail of the week. Plus, John, who has never met my Mom, wrote her a lovely note on the to-go bag. Cookie liked the note as much as the drink. Lovely stuff.
*The Week in Fernet: Fernet is an Italian Liquor that has been growing on me for the past few years. The first time I had it, it was WAY late in the evening. I was drunk-ish and had spent the evening drinking things that tasted good to me, as one does. I didn’t think anything of the Fernet shot being offered until it hit my taste buds. Wow! It tasted like I drank a spice rack. I didn’t think I’d ever drink it again, but every now and then a Fernet shot would appear, and gradually, I’ve grown to appreciate it. The flavor profile is bitter mix of herbs, often served as a shot or after a meal as a digestif. It’s so weird, but bartenders tend to love it and I hang with people who are willing to buy me shots. I like having a weird drink in my repertoire.