Got up this morning, ate the last of the Eggos from when we moved in. If Heloise were still alive, she'd definitely want you to know that Eggos are best consumed within a month or two. Not four. They were really, really scary. Thank Jemima they're gone now.
Spent the morning putting together software care packages - time for all of our old MS software to go to Kosovo. No, seriously. Somehow I doubt Streets and Trips 2003 will be of any use to them, but old copies of Office and such can't hurt. Also finally got off my butt and sent my Mom the copy of Publisher she'd asked me for last month. [Oh, and darke: I tried to reply to your last E-mail but your E-mail server didn't like mail sent from msn.com. What gives?]
Headed downtown, to the Safeco Field neighborhood. Stopped by Esquin impusively. Still full of expensive trinkets that are nice to show other middle class winos. Still totally not my bag, maaaan. I did however do an impulse buy: a bottle of the 1999 Penfolds Bin 707. It was marked at about $30 below the usual retail price, so I felt I had to buy it. I really need to get over that feeling.
Walked down the block to the post office and put together the packages, complete with lots of stamps from vending machines. The other two customers in there both had Bad Postal Experiences: one bought the pretty 'breast cancer' stamps and then flipped out when she realized she'd paid $4.50 for $3.70 worth of stamps. Even more amusing was the poor guy that bought ten postcards [thinking they were just postcard stamps] - he was trying to figure out how to peel the "stamps" off of the postcards. Didn't work; they're integral to the postcards themselves. V. amusing. Sadly, when I went to mail everything, there was a big TERRORISM warning on the mailbox: all packages weighing over 1 pound will be destroyed! Ooops. Back in the car.
I finally raised the folks at Garagiste on my mobile - they seemed kinda confused. One thing led to another and then I finally understood what was going on: they were in the process of moving the entire shop one block to the north. All of their inventory was on palettes, shrink-wrapped; they absolutely could not find the case of Clonakilla that I had ordered and paid for. V. annoying. I gave up after twenty minutes and left. Amusing name-dropping moment: the winery name rhymes with "Bono filler", but they kept pronouncing it as "Clone-a-kee-yah". Kind of a Spanish flavor. When I finally corrected them, they acted offended and said "No, Clone-a-kee-yah". Being the snobbish name-dropper that I am, I said, well, actually, Clonakilla. I know the winemaker. [Ooooh! Snotty!] They then upped the snootiness by saying "Oh, well, I do too!". I then forced them to fold by replying "You know Tim?" Moded! Corroded! Their butt exploded! Defeated, they went back to stacking their Araujos and Vega Sicilias and bade me farewell.
Meanwhile, back on the Eastside, the Bellevue post office didn't let me down. Both packages are now on their merry way. Whew!
Next stop, Circuit City. Had to get rid of a $25 gift card for winning a bug bash. [Bug bashes, for those of you not in The Industry, are moderately useful events in which folks from product team A ask folks from all the other product teams to use their software for a day and see if they can find problems.] Yay me, I found lots and lots of bugs. It was a Help bug bash, which are always fun 'cuz there are so many different ways to find fault in others' ways. Typos, grammatical errors, missing info, technical inaccuracies... Oh, such sweet bliss.
Anyhow, I had no idea what to do with my $25. I really don't like Circuit City. I mean, bleah. It was kind of amusing to see they now have aisles of CDs and DVDs as well as all kinds of computer stuff - that made it hard to decide. I wound up with Sex and the City volume 4 [it was either that or The Office, which I figured I could rent from Netflix (sadly, it's a VERY LONG WAIT item)] and a copy of XTC's Nonsuch in the fancy schmancy limited edition LP-like packaging. Yay. Stuff I didn't need and I wound up shelling out another $30 just to get out the door. I hate it when that happens.
Ran by some Baja Fresh-clone restaurant [Acapulco Fresh, get it?] on the way home from work. This being Redmond, meat choices were limited to pork, beef, chicken. I was sad. I wanted my chile verde. No go. However, the carnitas burritos were OK and the salsa was tasty. Dan seemed to have been pleased, at any rate.
Chatted with Mom for a bit about how to make a CD on her laptop that would play in a DVD player and allow others to see pictures - it seems there are a few different programs out there, two of which she already has: the MS Plus! DME pack and some H-P thing called Memory Disc or something that came with her 'puter. I'm looking forward to seeing something at some point in the future, but all that stuff seems to be slow going. True to form, local computer salespeople seemed to suggest that she would have to buy a DVD-RW driver or an iMac to do anything at all. :(
Dan woke from his nap and then we went to the movies. That's right folks: Kill Bill vol. 1.
This is the best movie I have seen in 2003. I was repeatedly overcome by waves of pure moviegoing pleasure. Uma Thurman is absolutely amazing. The only downside was the repeated gales of laughter from the audience. I don't know about you, but I tend to take these things seriously: given the lack of clear indication that something is "funny", I treat it as "serious". I guess I'm just amazed that so very many people tend to find things funny when in fact they seem to be either dead serious or, well, disturbing. Guess it's a different kind of laughter.
So we exited the movie theater, totally elated. I had to run by REI to use my $23 dividend from last year. I was thinking of buying a pair of shoes. Lo and behold, for some insane reason, they had the New Balance walking shoes that I've been buying for years now in stock and on sale for a whopping $24 a pair. These normally cost $90 a pair. I bought two pair. I figure I'm now in shoes until about 2006. Sure, it's crazy, but dammit, I love these shoes and I know I'm not going to find them that cheaply ever again. It's nice to be in a position to do pre-emptive shoe purchasing, though.
And now it's time to chill in front of the TV for a couple of hours. Might watch Chopper; might watch Sex at 24fps, which is apparently a bad Verhoeven documentary on sex in the movie. Ah, trash!
Tasting notes from this week:
2002 Bonny Doon Big House White: This is another fruit salad wine which costs about $7. It's mainly riesling, sauv blanc, colombard, and a bunch of other stuff. No one grape predominates; as a result it's pretty irritatingly bland. Previous versions were basically 50/50 riesling/sauv blanc; this one is kind of a bummer. Still, it's not bad. It went well with the chili coconut chicken noodles we had for dinner, though.
2002 Bonny Doon Big House Red: Muuuuuuch better than the white. God knows what's actually in here, but this was a faintly sweet red wine with a definite smell of pumpkin pie spice in there. This was perfect for sitting on the couch with your honey, wrapped up in blankets against the autumn chill. Recommended, especially at $7.
2001 El Felino Malbec, $10. A marmot choice. Argentine malbec, nothing special. Vaguely floral nose, not much body, acid slightly out of whack. This was one of those schizo bottles that kept teasing you with flashes of a really good wine before settling back into the merely ordinary. Coulda been better, coulda been worse. You could do better for $10 at any rate. If you like malbec, stick to Altos Las Hormigas, about $7.
2002 Honig sauvignon blanc, $10. Over 10% semillon and it shows. After a bottle of this, I decided that this was absolutely correctly priced. Scads more interesting than your $6 bottle of sauv blanc, but a far cry from the real deal, i.e. Sancerre. The semillon seems to add a really strange lemon-y note which a lot of folks love, but I never could get used to it. No noticeable oak. Beautiful packaging. This could be a real winner - you can do better but not without paying double. Still, though, for this amount of money you'd probably be better off with a good Kiwi wine, say the Montana Reserve [Brancott Reserve in the USA].
And that's all I remember. Had a fantastic $22 Champagne from Bouzy for the marmot's birthday last week, but it wound up at the bottom of the recycle bin before I could write down the producer's name. :(
Hope you're enjoying your weekend!
Thanks for reading,