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December 8, 1999
a year ago

Pain and Salad

I'm sure pain is the thing that makes it very obvious that we're still alive. Had a really painful morning, in part because of traffic. Last night there were so many predictions for snow that everyone, this morning, drove as if there was a foot of white on the ground when, actually, there was barely a sprinkle. Folks, however, were driving as if they were on black ice the entire trip and for no apparent reason were slowed down to a crawl for the last three miles into work. That just sucked.

Then, of course, my entire digestive system gave notice that it had had Enough. Of something. I'm not at all sure what, but it just went ballistic, luckily after we'd gotten to work. Though there was a moment out in the traffic where it served notice that it was unhappy with me.

Yeah. I'm alive. I choose to be so and growl at anything that makes it harder than it has to be.

John got the Christmas letter all typed into the machine this morning, while waiting for me to get up and get ready to get to work. The really good thing about that was that he was able to make it from both of us by adding a few touches of his own. He printed it out at work and at lunch time we braved the snow and ice and got it to Kinko's. Next door to the copy center was a place named Beatnik Bagels, with good jazz playing through the sound system and bagel sandwiches named Crazy Chicken Salad, the Jazzman and the Buddha. So we ordered sandwiches, and I mildly wondered if, somewhere in China, there's some rice bowl stand with a bowl named Jesus Christ. It would be amusing.

I was really in the mood for the chicken salad, but they had run out, so I had to settle for the chicken breast sandwich. John let me have a bite of his smoked white fish in recompense and it was rich and smoky and delicious. The food was good, hot, plentiful, and when we were done our Christmas green letters were all neatly piled into a bag and we paid for them and went to work.

On the way home we stopped at Safeway and bought all manner of ingredients. There's a chili cookoff on Friday and tomorrow we're invited for dinner with a co-worker and we were asked to bring a salad. The only salad I know that will sit through a day at work is a red cabbage salad that only gets better with time and marination. It's red and green cabbage with oil and vinegar and dried cranberries and the vinegar carries the coloring from the red to the green so the whole thing ends up this gorgeous purple-pink that looks like it has to be food coloring but isn't. With all the prep we had to do, I decided I wanted Safeway to make dinner, so we got their frozen chicken enchiladas and I nuked 'em until they were soft and then stuck them in the oven while I used the food processor to whirl through two heads of cabbage.

I got half of it done when dinner was done. So we sat and ate and it was surprisingly good. The ingredient list on the package wasn't too bad, either. Yay!

The other half went through, along with a red onion, some celery seed and a little too much kosher salt, but not too bad. It tasted awful, but then it always does until a day or two in the fridge and enough cranberries. The whole mess went into the fridge to sit and marinate through the night. While I did all that John was stuffing all the cards with letters.

When I was done, I sat down and added all the changed addresses I'd gotten to our address book and wrote the extra cards for those folks and added letters and stamps. Those then all went out in the overstuffed post box. Plenty of revenue for the Post Office.

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