One of the best parts of my job, hands down, is meeting some pretty phenomenal people. Bryant Terry—eco-chef, activist, television and radio commentator, author, and entrepreneur—is one of them.
I graduated from the Citizen’s Police Academy a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, due to loss of brain function on my part, I had scheduled something else on the same night as graduation and therefore didn’t go through the official closing out ceremonies that is such a big part of the Police Academy culture. I think I was stuck in a boring Board meeting that night. Would much rather have been at graduation getting pinned by the Chief of Police and the Mayor, and yucking it up with my fellow Academy cohorts exclaiming, “We survived!”.
Big bummer for me.
This weekend I received a package in the mail from the Police Department and in it was my official graduation diploma, a letter from the Chief and a DVD filled with video and photographs of our Academy experience. It caused me to genuflect … shocking, I know.
Mornings are always humorous around here. Each staffer’s arrival is noted and punctuated by exclamations of outrage coming from the bowels of the kitchen.
“God! Dammit! Who brought in the cookies!”
I apologize for the swearing, but that’s exactly what you’ll hear. Almost everyone says it. I think the only person who doesn’t cap a profanity is Debbie and that’s because she’s a saint. Although I have to tell you the handful of times that I have heard her swear I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself.
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In the life of every publisher there’s an assistant who actually makes everything happen. We are not an island and all that.
For me, that person is Debbie. Without her I’m a bit lost. She keeps track of all the details in my life: my calendar, commitments, communications and weekly (sometimes daily) task lists. She’s been known to call me after-hours just to remind me of an important meeting the next day. When I have to leave for a meeting, she pesters me until I actually get my ass out the door. This is no easy feat as I can become quite absorbed in whatever I’m working on. One minute has been known to turn into one hour in the blink of an eye.
Sometimes she brings in flowers from her garden and gifts our desks with beautiful blossoms just to make our day a little cheerier. Sometimes she brings in food. Sometimes she just has a kind word to share.
I’m a lucky (and far more productive) gal when Debbie’s around.
Update: This morning Debbie took one look at my face and said, “You look tired.” Yeah. And even worse, before I had a chance to take the first sip I dropped my coffee in the parking lot outside the office. I was sooooo bummed. If there was ever a morning that I needed intravenous caffeine, today’s it. Well, Debbie being Debbie, went out and got me some coffee. A really, really big cup of coffee. She’s so wonderful I want to cry.
This is our managing editor, Jeannie, and her son Avi, who is now four months old. (I first met him when he was two hours old. My, time has flown by!) Avi comes to work with Jeannie and it’s a blessed thing—more for the rest of us than for him or Jeannie, I think. We all babysit him while Jeannie has meetings. We all change his diapers and warm his bottles. We all take turns bouncing his bouncy-thingy with our foot to keep him happy. We all hold him in our laps as we type away during the daily grind. He gets passed around during editorial meetings like a department talisman. Even the office dogs look after him.
He’s a welcome break during our hectic days.
Cuddling this little munchkin is the best 3-second stress decompressor around.
This past weekend Simone arranged for a day of sailing the San Francisco bay with her pal Fran on his boat, the Tequila. The weather forecast claimed overcast skies and chilly weather. Instead we got clear skies and sunshine. It could not have been a more beautiful day.
It’s days like this that I count my lucky stars.
(I just need to point out the flaws in my photography: do you see what’s in focus in Simone’s photo? Her shoulder. Why her shoulder? I’m not sure, but I have a ton of photos where my focus point is off just slightly from what I know my original target was. Next time I think I need to ditch the sunglasses. Or get my eyes checked. Very annoying. I love this photo of Simone though. It’s how I always picture her … but appropriately in focus.)
Ceviche is a perfect Sunday dish. It’s lightening-fast and easy to make, you can develop the recipe based upon whatever’s seasonal, and it feels just a little decadent and special, which I think is ideal for Sundays.
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While in Albuquerque, New Mexico I took a bazillion photos of the clouds. And I’m specific when I say “clouds” and not “sky”. The clouds of New Mexico are dramatic. Gazing at the clouds there should be a full-time job. I spent more time looking up than straight ahead.
These photos were shot over several days, wildly differing weather conditions (including thunderstorms) and light patterns. I think you’ll see what I mean when I say dramatic. >>>
Hey, man. These things take time, persistence and focus like you’ve never seen before. We’re talking serious dedication here!
In this office it wouldn’t be unheard of to hear two people discussing the texture of carnitas meat for a solid fifteen minutes. We’re wacky that way.
Next up on the chopping block: La Charrita Mexican Market.
We like La Charrita for many things: awesome salsas, guacamole (despite the fact that it’s pureed versus chunked) and their pico de gallo. They also dish up some darn good fresh ceviche daily. And the bakery is going around the clock so that the aromas of fresh-out-of-the-oven breads envelope you as soon as you walk into the market no matter the time of day.
About a week ago, Jess, our accountant, came to work with massive goodies from La Charrita. Yay, Jess! Knowing that we’re taste-testing carnitas burritos she brought one with her and offered me a bite. I could barely give it back to her it was so good. She ended up giving me half—a major concession since I nearly wolfed the entire thing down.
It was one of the best carnitas burritos I’d tasted. I was in heaven.
But in our true taste-testing fashion, we needed to try it again (and again and again), with many more people and many more options. So, here’s the latest scoop >>>
What in the world is this man dangling?