Monday, February 21, 2011

Well, there went another week. I have changed my schedule for the duration of my six-week photography class, and now I am working Mondays at 8 am rather than Wednesdays at one pm. You can see how this might throw a person off.
I took today off because I will not be needed. I will not be needed because we have extra staff. We have extra staff because there has been an offer made on the cheese buyer's job, and the person to whom the job was offered is pussyfooting around about it now. Honestly, it is quite infuriating. I won't go into details, but suffice to say that this person applied for both the wine and the cheese buyer positions, and now has been offered a job and has decided that they want the other. Why apply for a job you don't want? I suppose to insure that you get one of them. But to demand to be given a job in which you have very little background after having been offered an equal position doing something you're actually qualified for is ridiculous. This is a person who did not know that Marlborough was a region, rather than a wine. Common knowledge? No, but if you expect to be handed a position that places you in charge of half a million dollars annual sales, and to grow those sales, you ought to at least have passing familiarity with the product.

Enter Oddfellows Local 151.

This person, the person who is the only other person who can possibly get what is very obviously supposed to be My Job, has worked in the LG for five years. As such, this person has seniority. Seniority is big with the OFL151. But according to the contract, the more senior person is only to be given a position unless the less senior person is more qualified. Ahem. So the person is taking it to the Union. I shall bore you no further, but suffice to say I am through with this person and have no desire to spend six hours standing next to them today doing my old job rather than the job I should rightly have been awarded by now. I have no idea when this will end, but I am taking three days off in hopes that when I return it will all be over. The one thing that would be nice about this person taking what is so obviously supposed to be My Job (are you getting a vibe here?) is that this person would no longer be working with the rest of us in the department, most of whom would rather stick forks in our eyes than be subjected to one more moment of this person's passive aggression or banal observations on the everyday activities of the LG.
But, since I am not talking about it, let's move on, shall we?
I have been reading A Damsel in Distress by Wodehouse, and last night I started Eastward to Tartary by Robert Kaplan. I have been going to sleep to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on audiobook, narrated by Derek Jacobi. After that I think I will resort to listening to the new Mark Twain autobiography, since the book is very large and very heavy and therefore going very slowly. I read The Arsonist's Guide to Writer's Homes in New England and was puzzled as to why it got such terrific press. I really disliked the narrator, and only kept reading it because I kept hoping it would get better. It didn't. I finished another Maisie Dobbs novel, and solicited ideas via faceb00k for my next audio adventure. I believe I have settled on Paul Theroux on the recommendation of my good friend A, but as I said, Mark Twain is likely next in line.
I have spend an inordinate amount of time reading about the current revolutions spreading through the Middle East. I can't help but feel that this is world changing stuff and that at some point, many years from now, I am going to look back at this time with total disbelief at how quickly it happened and how disconnected the people around me seemed to be while it was happening. Sometimes I hate the bubble here, though it is conveniently safe.
In other news, I was at the LG on Saturday and there were repeated announcements on the P.A. system asking that "the customer with the Ford somethingorother, license plate blah blah blah, please move your car. You are blocking the handicapped spaces and you will be towed." I remarked to Sven that the person was possibly deaf, because there were so many announcements and no response. It turns out that the police were called, and when they ran the plate they found out that the person who belonged to the vehicle was in fact deaf, and also 81 years old and nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, our crap local paper is now a pay site, so I haven't followed up on the story. I do hope she is okay.
My plan is to spend a couple hours cleaning house and then get outside somewhere with the dogs today. It will not be above fifteen degrees, so that rather limits our options, but there will be hiking. Since I have three days off in a row, the b.h. and I have decided to make a day trip this week, probably to New Hampshire, just to get out of town for a minute. I am still hoping for a phone call and a job offer in the meantime, but I am not holding my breath.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I guess I'm officially one of those once a week bloggers. Crap.
Hopefully That will be over soon. The Local Grocery has been very busy lately, and I have had various ailments causing me to be extraordinarily lazy.
I have also, however, been spending the bulk of my free time taking pictures and doing photographer-type things. So please bear with me.

Monday, February 07, 2011

We went to the most lovely dinner party on Saturday night.
My friends J1 and J2 are roommates, and they both have culinary training. He is still at the Culinary Institute, while she graduated in 1996 and then came back to finish a BA last fall, which is how we met. His wife and family are in Sweden, while she is a single lady who is very likely too intimidating for most of the men around here.
He cooked most of the meal, assisted by another friend, A, who I did not know well before that night and now absolutely cannot wait to spend more time with. SHe is hilarious.
Dinner consisted of a venison stew (with venison provided by the last guest, a boy named S on whom J2 has wasted far too much time), kale with mushrooms that J1 smuggled back from Sweden (I made him promise not to tell me where he'd stashed them at customs), a beet and goat cheese salad, a radish salad with sumac, roasted sweet potatoes and celeriac, and mashed potatoes. He also made, special for me (the only vegetarian) a quinoa dish with two kinds of mushrooms.
We started with a Monastrell, followed it with a Chilean Syrah (which was perfect for both mushrooms and venison), and moved on to a Reserva Tempranillo. This doesn't sound as bad when I don't mention the pre-dinner cocktails (the BH and I had beer, but martinis were available) or the fact that we wound up having a very pricey bottle of J2's Cabernet Sauvignon with dessert.
Dessert consisted of a Stilton, Lazy Lady's Lady in Blue cheese, and Green Mountain's Boucher Blue, as well as a soft goat cheese and a soft cow's milk cheese.
J1 also brought out a kumquat marmalade that he had made and a large bowl of nuts.

The weather was atrocious, and honestly, after working all day and a brief shopping stint with my transvestite friend, the last thing I wanted was to leave the house. Bad enough that I had to park the car at the bottom of our hill, but walking to J & J's and then walking home after was not something I was looking forward to. Luckily I am not one to cancel plans, because it would have been our loss had we not braved the journey. (Actually, come to think of it, I need to go find somebody's grandchild so I can tell them without exaggeration how I walked uphill, both ways, in the snow.) The dining room at their place has several windows, which provided a great view of the surprise thunderstorm that happened just after we'd finished eating (I use the term "finished" loosely, of course). It was beautiful and amazing, and I was sorry not to have brought my camera. The next day my friend C told me that he had been working at the Local Restaurant when it happened, and that everyone- customers and staff alike, had gone outside to look at it. We eventually went outside ourselves, standing on the covered porch in our jackets and staring in disbelief.

So I mentioned this S fellow. J2 did not mention to me that he would be attending. Not that it would have kept me home, mind you, but I was surprised because she and I had had many, many conversations about what a complete douche he was after he had repeatedly blown her off when they were dating last year. She met the BH and I at the front door of their building, and just as I was about to go into the apartment she hissed over her shoulder that he was inside, and told me to "be nice." Heh.
So I went inside, and while I was taking off my boots I heard J1 ask S

"What do you do?"

"Federal Law Enforcement," he replied, sticking out his hand (which was attached to the kind of over-developed arm you expect to find on an insecure man who spends most of his time at a gym). I smirked to myself.

Later, J2 asked me to guess what she had done that morning.

"I don't know... went running in the snow? Went to the gym?"

"No, I flew a helicopter over Boston." S looked stricken. This is obviously a man who cannot bear to be outdone by a woman, and he clearly was.

It turns out J2 is going to go back into the army to become a pilot.

"Cool!" was my response.

She loved being in the military, and despite the obvious danger, I would like to see her do something she loves. She went on to tell us about the lesson she had taken, and that she would be taking a test this week in upstate New York to see if the military would take her. S remained quiet the whole time, and I thought of a quote that somebody once told me, which I believe was originally said about Marlene Deitrich: "She's more woman than you'll ever have, and more man than you'll ever be." I know the latter half of that statement to be true, now I only hope that J2 also keeps the former true as well.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I would like to recommend to everyone. It is a site dedicated to micro volunteering. It's very easy to use, and you can use your particular skill set to help people in just a few minutes whenever you have a chance. So far I have already done like, four or five things, and I am SO lazy. Most of them have only taken fifteen minutes or less.
Customer of the day- and I swear to you that I am not kidding, nor am I in any way exaggerating- was a woman walking through the store wearing a sign around her neck that read
I Love You But
I Don't Want A Hug. Please Don't Touch Me."

In other news, a man came to pick up a special order from the meat department. It was around a hundred dollars' worth of quail, and when N brought it out, the man said, with no irony whatsoever
"Oooh, my cat's going to be so excited."

In related news, I heard on the radio today that they are adding 13 more beds to the nearby Nervous Hospital, along with more staff. I'm thinking they may need a few more than that.