What I Learned This Week(s): #236

Monday, April 4 – Sunday, April 24, 2022

Time Marches On

The Week in Time: I did not mean to miss two weeks of “weekly” blog posts. A friend’s cancer diagnosis and a new side hustle have consumed not just my actual time, but my perception of time. So, I’m hopefully back on track. Here are some of the highlights of the highlights…

Music: I saw locally-based Heartless Bastards open for Flaming Lips, the Symphony (Beethoven, Debussy, and a world premiere of Paper Leaves on Fields of Clay by Julia Adolphes), and a recital by Itzhak Perlman.

Every bit of the music was wonderful. Heartless Bastards are solid and the Flaming Lips are trippy. The world premiere was pretty good. I wish I could go home and have a second listen, but it’s not recorded yet. And Perlman! Wow! He is thrilling to listen to.

Food Highlights: Oysters at Pearlstar! Fresh pork rinds and pimento at Lucius Q. Chicken neckbones and gravy at Sacred Beast. Irish Coffee at 1215. Breakfast burrito and chicken salad sandwich (two visits) at Coffee Emporium. I might have a Coffee Emporium addiction, actually. Their quick grab-n-go food really works for me.

Finally, on the food front, I work close enough to my place to walk home for lunch everyday. This week, even though I had plenty of cooked foods to warm up, I wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Of course, this is a meal from me child hood. At that time, Wonder Bread with a schmear of Jif and Smucker’s Grape was all I knew…and I loved it….and I still do. But, times have changed. I don’t keep any of those things in my house. My peanut butter is fresh ground at the market. I eat it on artisan sourdough, with a small batch, artisanal jam. For Christ’s sake! What have I done to myself? LOL!!!

Little Things: On my evening walk on Main Street I came up to a notorious street person as she was trying to push her grocery cart down the street. First up, Kroger has fixed all their carts so the wheels lock just outside the lobby. Seeing someone with a grocery cart is unusual. But her trouble rolling forward wasn’t the security device, it was a bedsheet (one of her possessions) wrapped in the wheel. I could see that was the problem from 10 feet away and I held up my hand to her to tell her to stop and I bent down to try to untangle the wheel. One of the two guys drinking beer on the patio of the bar asked if I needed help. I did. He came around and muscled the sheet out of wheel. I don’t know if he would have come around if I wasn’t there (I’d like to think he would’ve), but whatever. Between him and me, we did a simple thing, that made a difference.

Non-Traditional Seder/Easter: A co-worker invited my to her family’s Passover Seder. Though I don’t follow any religion, I like the food of all religions, and was very excited to have Seder and a Jewish Brisket dinner, a feeling that last 1/10th of second…My co-worker is a vegetarian so brisket was not to be. Oh well, I went. I ate the quiche, and giggled, when, instead of the traditional lamb shank, they held up a parsnip. Great improv!

On Easter Sunday, a couple of my downtown neighbors had no traditional celebratory obligations, so we gathered and made tacos. I’m sure Jesus would approve!

Reds!: In the months leading up to the Pandemic (before I knew I was living in the months leading up to the Pandemic) I had planned to spend the summer of 2020 goofing off and working a bunch of side-hustle hospitality jobs. Well, I quit my job, started working on getting hospitality jobs, and then the world stopped, as did my plan. No biggie. I found a single good job, and moved on.

This summer, though, I thought it would be fun to work concessions at the Reds stadium, a concession, if you will, to my previous plans. Opening Day was a week or so ago and for the first time ever, I was in the stadium as a worker on Opening Day. Now I understand why Opening Day as a fan is so chaotic. The concession training is mostly learn as you go. It’s easy enough, but it takes a minute. The stadium is full. The concessions people are mostly on day one. And, well, none of that matters. Everything works out just fine every year!

Though I thought I’d be pouring beer or working a food booth, they put me down in one of the fancier sections helping out at a self-checkout. The Reds are probably not going to move me all season. No worries. I think its a good spot.

The stadium is cashless, and occasionally, a kid will show up alone with their parent’s charge card. I’m particular about letting them hit the buttons so they get a learning experience. (I’m old school and not in a hurry. I think it’s my job as a human to assist and teach others.) Anyhoo, when we get to the tip screen, I reach in in hit 0% and tell them to talk to their parents about tipping. I did that move a half a dozen times this week. I led one kid through it and at the end he took the card out and looked up at me and shyly said, “I wish I could’ve given you a tip.” Awww. Highlight of the week, for sure!

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