Wednesday, March 28, 2012
This week I am in Houston for the World Petrochemicals Conference and visiting two of my new (to me) raw materials suppliers. As of January I took over responsibility for my company's North American raw material purchasing, a commodity I know nothing about. So I am down here to learn and rejoin the ranks of Road Warriors.
My SP friend GETSTRONGRR has talked about number of times about the Vietnamese dish pho, a noodle soup to which one can add beef, chicken, shrimp, etc. He has made it sound extremely good.
Alas, where I live there are no Vietnamese restaurants so I have despaired of trying this tasty new dish.
So back to Houston. This is a major city, I am somewhere that looks like a downtown with lots of big buildings and sports centers, surely, I thought, there will be every type of imaginable cuisine. Finally I shall try this magical pho.
Apparently no one in this area eats anything but uber expensive steak after approximately 4 pm though because there are NO visible open restaurants within walking distance of the hotel (other than Benihana's, Morton's Steak House, etc.). The places I saw were all closed for dinner. On my wanderings I did come across a place called Bouray's which is a combination Mexican-Vietnamese place (I don't quite understand that particular combination but whatever). It is only open from 11-2 on weekdays.
How that is possible I don't know, but those are the posted hours and they were closed when I went by Monday evening.
So today I skipped the conference lunch and went for a brisk 10 minute walk to order myself a bowl of pho. Not quite realizing just how big of a bowl this would be I also got a shrimp spring roll with some funky looking thick brown sauce. Not a fan of the brown sauce, it was kind of sweet and I like sweet in fruits and desserts, not in real food. The spring roll was kind of bland by itself - note this was not a fried spring roll, it was fresh and wrapped in something clear. I am drawing a blank on just what it was wrapped in, kind of like a seaweed wrap on sushi only it was clear.
Then came the pho, in a bowl larger than my head. I got the chicken kind since they did not offer shrimp as a pho option. Into the bowl went the plate of cilantro and bean sprouts and I was ready for my first taste.
I think I should not have put in so much cilantro. It looked like miso with rice noodles and bean sprouts and had a taste I wasn't expecting. Kind of salty, kind of...something else. Maybe a little sweetish. Not a bad spit it out fast kind of taste, not unpleasant, just...different. And not enough to stop me from finishing the bowl.
Overall it was pretty good, although I'm not in love with whatever that other taste was. I am thinking it was the cilantro, there was quite a lot of it. So I shall give it another shot another time (without so much cilantro) and see if it will grow on me. The first time I tried wasabi on my sushi I didn't much like it (because my lunch companions did not warn me what it was and would do) but now I add extra. And I shall someday try some of the other dishes as well, although I think if I go back tomorrow I will probably try the Mexican side of the menu. A fresh shrimp burrito with hot salsa sounds yummy.
Monday, March 26, 2012
The headline on Time magazine right now is that women are overtaking men as the country's breadwinners. According to the article in 40% of households women are the primary breadwinners, earning more than the men.
I am one of the 40%, even though I am not married currently. I fully support myself and my two children without alimony or child support from the ex. While I was married I gradually caught up to my ex's wages and then surpassed him. It was one source (of myriad) contention; he was not able to handle the fact that I earned more than him, although he was happy to let me pay all the bills so he could use his $ for whatever. For my part (and I am generally pretty good about being objective) I do not believe I ever made an issue of who made more or threw it up in his face; it honestly doesn't matter to me who would be the primary breadwinner. More important is that it would be an equal partnership, where both people contribute what they have and can do, equality being defined by effort and involvement and not by a numbers game.
But I find that a number of men in my acquaintance of various ages are intimidated by a woman who earns as much or more, and even some women who feel that monetary support of the family is the man's "job". I'm not saying that viewpoint is wrong, as long as it works for both people in the relationship. For myself I just cannot conceive of being wholly dependent upon someone else.
For curiosity's sake, how do you feel about this situation? Are you, or would you be, comfortable if your wife made more money than you? Or, women, would you be comfortable earning more than your husband?
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Last Saturday Master N was in town and came to karate. He is a 5th degree black belt in our style and also in tae kwon do, and in jujitsu. I spent some time during class working with him on creative one steps - basically he throws an attack and I have to block and counter attack. On the first one he smacked me in the face. So, yeah, tugging on Superman's cape and all that class left me feeling like a rank beginner again.
Monday I received the internal job offer, which will involve relocating in the next 2 or 3 months. So Tuesday I updated Sensei B and told him we will need to talk about the demonstration requirement since I won't be here to practice with the people who would participate, and that I would be back in July for the test. He said no problem, we'll just test in May before you leave - two months earlier than I had planned.
Today I finished week 3 of the push up challenge - 714 total pushups. 5 sets per day on Sun / Mon / Wed / Fri and 4 sets plus extras in class on Tue / Thu.
Today I also an the Mud Dogs Half Marathon in Mt. Pleasant. It is the 3rd HM in the winter series and my qualifying run for becoming a Half Fanatic. I finished in 2:18, and although not a PR it is 2 minutes faster than the HM in February and 8 minutes faster than the one in January. I'll take it.
This afternoon I had to meet with my ex to have some papers notarized for the kids' upcoming trips. I wore today's race t-shirt and the notary asked about it. My Psycho ex butts in to the conversation, "I don't know why you keep doing these things, it's not like you're ever going to win, it's stupid."
Yes, he said it. Yes, he is still alive (there were witnesses).
I contented myself with a mere "I do it because *I* can" with a very heavy implied subtext of "and *you* can't".
My turn to be Superman!
Say, Jack, hey don't you know
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with [FFK]!
Saturday, March 17, 2012
The pushup challenge is about consistency, not quantity or style. A minimum of 4 sets of pushps each time, no more than 6 times per week. I am slightly obsessive about data, however, so I also keep track of the numbers, but that is for me personally and not part of the challenge. It isn't about who can do the most but building a consistent routine. Just wanted to make that clear up front.
So my results for week 2:
Tuesday-4 sets, plus extras in class
Thursday-4 sets, plus teaching the Geek Squad a lesson
Saturday-no pushups "rest day"
Total for the week = 598 pushups, a new phone, free screen protector & application, and a Best Buy gift card.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Best Buy: 0
My daughter dropped of the phone for repair almost 3 weeks ago. The repair was supposed to take 3-5 days; they said they would call. After nearly 2 weeks I still had not received a phone call. She went in and they couldn't find my account, couldn't find the phone, had no record of the phone. I both called and went in the next day and they still couldn't find my account, couldn't find the phone, etc. I expressed my displeasure and hoped they would be able to find it by Tuesday. They promised to find my phone and call; I promised to return. Once again they never called; I, however, keep my promises.
After allowing them an extra day I went back in.
The Geek Squad did not stand a chance.
I pick up my new phone after work today.
But I suspect they are putting my picture on their wall as a warning to be extra careful in any future dealings with me:
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