Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Binging And Getting My Geek On

If you're too young to remember when this commercial first aired, I don't want to hear about it.

This is my last week at work and to celebrate I went to lunch with all the office girls this afternoon.  We had a very good lunch at Athena, the restaurant one not the gas station.  I wonder if other states have really good food at gas stations or if it's just Louisiana?  I know I would never ever eat anything from a Texas gas station that wasn't prepackaged and contained enough preservatives to embalm a rat.  But here in South Louisiana you can get some excellent home cooked meals at a gas station whose bathroom is not clean enough to pee in.  I've had Greek food, plate lunches, fried chicken and one place even made the best homemade doughnuts and kolaches I've ever had.

In keeping with my recent efforts to eat a little more healthy, I had a big plate of tabbouleh and vegetarian yebrat.  I even passed on the hummus and pita bread.  Even though it was a celebration, I felt I should still try to observe my new healthier eating habits (I REFUSE to call it a diet) since I had pretty much blown it all weekend.  

Friday night I went to Riverside Inn with some friends for Lisa's birthday.  Have I talked about Lisa here before?  I know I have but I probably just referred to her as "a friend".  She is a very good friend of mine who I used to work with.  I think we get along so well because we are polar opposites.  She's very loving and caring and nurturing and thoughtful and she taught me what it looks like to love unconditionally.  I am very distant and cold and cynical and sarcastic and I taught her what it looks like to disrespect authority.  We're a perfect match!

To celebrate Lisa's increase in age (which is somewhere between 34 and 81 according to the 4th grade class she was subbing for) I had the shrimp and catfish pirogue which was outstanding.  Here's what it says on the menu:

SHRIMP AND CATFISH PIROGUEA plank of fried eggplant loaded with shrimp stuffing, topped with a grilled filet of catfish then topped with a creamy pesto sauce swimming with baby shrimp. Served with green salad and choice of potato.
Une tranche de brème bourrée avec far de chevrette, recouvert avec un filet de barbue grillé et une sauce pesto crémeuse avec des petites chevrettes. Servie avec une salade verte et choix de patate.

Lisa had a coupon for a free order of their crabbies appetizer and they were really good too.  So I pretty much cleaned my plate then we had these delicious little strawberry cakes for dessert that another friend made.  All of that was on top of the red velvet cake balls that I had made earlier that day and gave some to Lisa for her birthday.  They were quite delicious as well and of course I had to continually taste them while making them to ensure quality control.
Saturday I felt guilty about what I ate Friday night but I was over that by Sunday so we went to Fat Pat's (no website, sorry) for lunch after church.  They have pretty darn tasty burgers and hot dogs.  I got the Mile High Burger, which was very good, and some onion rings.  We all had their fried pickles for an appetizer and I have to say they were probably the best fried pickles I've had.  Their sweet potato fries were good too.  If you have kids, one of the best things about Fat Pat's is that they have TVs in every booth.  It took the kids about 3 minutes to find the Cartoon Network and after that I forgot they were even there.  Of course, they're not my kids so that helps too, but still.

On Monday I ate the leftovers from Fat Pat's thinking I was being really healthy because they were leftovers.  Seriously, it wasn't until today that I realized I had confused healthy with cheap.  I knew there was a good reason to eat leftovers but it wasn't the reason I really needed at the time.  Oh well.  That's why I had tabbouleh for lunch today.

And a banana split for dessert.  I have no willpower.  And even when I eat stupid stuff like that I eat it in stupid proportions too.  Look at Lisa's dainty little bowl on the right.  She got a sampling of all the ice creams with whipped cream and a cherry, too.  Now look at my bowl on the left.  That's my idea of a sampling.  And I wonder why when I look at my backside in the mirror I see my mom's butt staring back at me.

After dessert, everyone in the office shared a favorite Shannon moment or memory that they had.  It was nice but very awkward for me since I loathe being the center of attention.  And it was a little bit like hearing my own eulogy so that was weird.  There was a consensus that I'm not nearly as frighteningly freakish now as I was when I first went to work at Trinity 7 years ago.  I might disagree with that.  I think I'm probably the same as I was then, it's just that everyone else has acclimated to me. 

After all the celebrating was over I settled at my desk to evaluate all the loose ends I need to tie up this week.  It was then that I was struck with the horrifying realization that I will leave "my" computer at work on Friday.  Forever.  I've known this was coming and I've already prepared for it by removing all of my personal files and putting them on an external hard drive.  But I think it just now sank in that this is it.  

I will be computerless for the first time in....wow.  Probably for the first time since 1980.  I had a TRS-80 "microcomputer" back then which was fancy because of its 2 BUILT IN 5-1/4" floppy disk drives and a whopping 16KB RAM.  Those of you who are geeky enough will be appropriately appalled.  Then a couple of years later we started using Commodore 64s in school and those had a ginormous 64KB of RAM which caused me to be frustrated with my little TRS-80, despite its state of the art disk drive.

So for my birthday in 1984 my mom bought me a Macintosh.  They weren't called Macs back then, it was an Apple Macintosh.  It had an unheard of 128KB RAM, some kind of brand new 3-1/2" floppy disks that weren't floppy, and I'd heard rumors that you could draw pictures on the screen.  I got one, and it was all true, and I will forever regret selling that machine in a garage sale about 10 years later.    

After that I went through PCs like underwear until finally coming full circle a few years ago when I was given a Mac to use at work.  Now I can't go back but the Green family budget can't support a computer purchase right now cuz we just bought furniture.  And actually it's not the computer I will miss so much as it is the software.  I use Adobe CS4 for work and I love it but it's insanely expensive. 

All I can say is thank God for Santa Claus who brought me a new iPhone for Christmas, otherwise I'd be in sad shape.  I can do pretty much everything I need to do from there...except blog.  Text messages are challenging enough, I simply cannot type out a blog post on my phone.  A lot of people have said they're thankful for my blog so we can stay in touch after we move but I might have to find out just exactly how thankful they are.  I should ask everyone who reads to make a donation to my computer fund so that I can keep writing.  And no, I can't write on a cheap PC so don't even try to suggest it.  It would squelch my creativity.  I must have a Mac.

There are few things that I'm snobbish about but that's one of them.  I'll wear second hand clothes, pull furniture out of dumpsters, drive used cars, and buy generic groceries but there are 2 things I will not compromise on: My computer will be a Mac and my sheets will have a thread count of 400 or higher.