Wednesday, June 15, 2011

go ahead, surprise me

What an unusual day.  It was absolutely chock-full of surprises - some good, some not so good.  Why don't we start at the beginning?

My goal for the next phase of my life is to not need a back-up alarm.  I'm sure you can imagine, my first alarm is annoying, but not nearly as annoying (or far away) as my second alarm.  That's the point, of course - terrifying incentive to get up and out of bed before Mister is awakened by the super-irritating noises my cellphone makes to nag me out of bed.

You would think waking up to a breakfast like this would be incentive enough, wouldn't you?  It would be, if it didn't greet a day that found me making my way out to another glorious day at work, knowing that this will probably be the most special part of my day.  And it was special - like I mentioned yesterday, those strawberries are ineffably incredible and need to be eaten in generous quantities and frequently.

Also, every now and then, there aren't many things that are more amazing than a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel dripping with melted Earth Balance.  Except a toasted everything bagel similarly decked out along with a row of perfectly ripe, organic strawberries.

When I got to work, there were two more surprises waiting at my desk.  The first surprise was found on my desk - an adorable star-shaped lollipop in red, white, and blue (it's Flag Day and as part of Employee Appreciation week at work, we get themed surprises and also honored employees who served in a branch of the military).

The second surprise took the form of an unexpected email announcing the promotion of one of my colleagues - this is both awesome and enviable.  He works very hard and deserves recognition for his efforts.

In a final pair of surprises (at least for the work day), we had a new class of new employees start training yesterday.  Today is normally the day that I blow their minds and they usually return the favor.  This group did not let me down.  They did surprise me, though, in two ways.

New Hire #1 shared her experience from her previous position at AARP - she said that the older folks she spoke to who were healthy and disease free in their advanced years all had one thing in common.  Are you ready?  I know this will blow your mind: they all either followed a vegetarian diet or ate plenty of fruits and vegetables (in addition to meat).  Who's surprised?  Raise it high!  No one?  Yeah, me neither.

The next surprise truly did catch me off-guard.  A lovely woman in the class, I'm guessing she's in her mid-50s, shared the secret of her gorgeous, gray-free hair and it was not what I was expecting.  She said she takes a teaspoon of unsulphured blackstrap molasses every morning and it reversed the grays she did have and now her hair is all blond like it was in her youth.  Considering how expensive it gets to keep up my dye-job, I think I'm going to try it.  The worst thing that happens?  I get a teaspoon of important vitamins and minerals in my morning tea and my hair is still gray.  Not a bad worst-case scenario (except for that whole "hair still being gray" thing). looks like my class is teaching me, doesn't it?

Dinner tonight was Vegetable Biryani from La Dolce Vegan.  It started out with a fun little spice medley:

And ended up (after some excitement - keep reading) as a tasty little supper:

I think it could use maybe a little more salt.  The only reason I say maybe is because the scent of the spices starts to take over and flavor the food about halfway through and then you can taste more complexity.  It does have to build up, though, and sometimes, I just want dinner to be tasty immediately.  Patience, Grasshopper.

So, while I was cooking, suddenly there came the wretched, loud, annoying, and terrifying sound of a fire alarm, followed by the sight of the occupants of the building next to us emptying out onto the sidewalk.  Mister went out to investigate while I shoved Angst into the bathroom so I'd be able to find him if we needed to evacuate.  Turns out the people on the top floor set their kitchen on fire, but were able to extinguish the blaze before the fire company showed up.  I really hope it just took a while for someone to call them, because if their response time started from the beginning of the alarm, I am pretty sure our whole building will be engulfed in life-destroying flames before they find their way to our home.  After all the excitement, I finally put dinner on the table and told Mister about my fabulous day.

We haven't see the mouse yet tonight, but Angst had a horrible day, so I hope his little friend pops out to say hi at some point just to make him happy.

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