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September 21, 1999
a year ago

Snow and Pho

There was snow on the mountains this morning. As I headed out from the air park, I could see all the white! After months and months of even the Back Range being brown and seared, it was suddenly white. The morning was really chilly after the really cold night. It was really, really clear out and I could see how Boulder gets more sunny days, on average, than San Diego or San Jose. Beautiful day.

Spent it hammering away, again, and the publish the night before did well this morning. We had two things to fix, and got them both done early. Nice to be done.

Took a nice lunch and followed a hunch. Since, the day before, I'd tried some prepped food at the one Asian market which was very good, I decided to try the menu at the other Asian market. The first was very East Indian in influence, I think. The second turned out to be extremely Vietnamese!! That was very cool, and I got a bowl full of Pho! It wasn't quite as marvelous as the Little Saigon in Bellevue, but it was hot and rich with herbs and a very nice beef broth and the super thinly sliced beef and the noodles were a little over cooked, but yummy nonetheless. In the cool weather the noodle soup really, really satisfied something in me.

Spent the afternoon making sure things worked and waiting on someone to get their changes in. So I went home when he went home without finishing things, which was kinda nice. To get home while it was still light out and Fezzik was lazier this time, but I made much of him when we got inside and he immediately wanted to go back outside. That made me giggle a lot.

So I mostly watched a lot of Food Network. The one thing that stuck was a chocolate tart by a Frenchman. Just bittersweet chocolate, milk and cream to boiling, poured on chopped chocolate, then an egg beaten in with a whisk. All poured into a tart shell, baked until firm. Simple. Quick, easy and utterly delicious warm. My. Problem is that the web version of the recipe bears no resemblance to what he did. So I might have to experiment a little. I'm glad I have all that Callebaut chocolate, now.

Come to think of it, what he did on TV was nearly the exact same 'recipe' I came up with as actually 'working' for the 'flourless chocolate cake' thing I tried a few days back. Hm. This could work out really well.

Just watched TV zombie like even as most of the primetime shows repeated themselves. The Denver chapter of the Red Cross called and the telephone solicitor was tremendously rude to me when I wouldn't commit to an amount over the phone. She told me how disappointed she was in me and then hung up on me, which just made me livid. I've been, up to now, only mildly displeased with the American Red Cross's attitude that since I gave a good chunk of money to them at the beginning of the year that it's okay to beg and whine and pressure market me into giving more money this year. Now I'm just angry. It's almost as if since I was sucker enough to give them money once, that I must be high pressured into giving them more money. I gave them the original sum completely unsolicited, because there were people in need; and I really, truly hate their attitude that they have to hard sell what they do and make the folks that gave already give more. What's worse it the stupid guilt trip she tried to impose when I wouldn't. That really made me upset and angry.

The volunteer on the phone seemed to have the attitude that I was scum if I didn't fork over again. Which just left a really awful taste in my mouth. In addition to that, while she did mention that they were helping Floyd storm victims, as if to educate me in what they did, she made absolutely no mention of the fact that the Red Cross and Red Crescent were involved in humanitarian relief work in Turkey, Taiwan and E. Timor, which just pissed me off. It's like the ultimate U.S.-centric view of the world. So I spent way too much time composing a letter to the Denver chapter of the American Red Cross to tell them how little I thought of them and that I just wasn't going to ever contribute to them so long as they called me or pressured me anymore.

I still have a need to help those in need, though. That's gut deep.

Wandered about the Web some and found the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It's the international organization that coordinates and organizes all the national chapters, and 60% of their 'take' goes to immediate disaster relief around the whole world. Some of the rest goes into education and all the complex coordination of efforts that's necessary for something like Taiwan's quake, which involved the Chinese chapters as well as the Taiwanese local chapter. Some of what they do is keep impoverished chapters afloat with money, which I think would be far better than fattening the American coffers even more. I am really bitter about this, aren't I?

I've a feeling that I'll likely write a much more polite letter, eventually, to both the American Red Cross and the Denver Chapter to tell them what kinds of mistakes they made so that they might be able to do something more useful in the future. I really hate having someone guilt trip me, and it just seems appropriate to use their tactics on them, and tell them that I'm contributing to the IFRC, along with the matching funds from my company, instead, because of the stupid phone call.

I eventually picked myself up and put myself to bed. John called after I was all tucked in and half-asleep, but it was good to hear his voice. I vented sleepily and thoroughly, which allowed me to get to sleep, finally. That was nice. I really miss him, and the fact that when we go to bed we usually spend some time talking over the day and getting it all out before trying to sleep. It's a very good thing to do.

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