Friday, February 26, 2010

New e-mail policy.

I like this concept.  Treat e-mail more like SMS, assume a character limit.  Instead of trying to track characters, just limit sentences- maximum 5 sentence response.

I love the power of e-mail.  When I started in my current position, I quickly realized that my boss responded to e-mail from his blackberry +90% of the time. I started posing my questions to him in multiple choice; A, B, C. I got responses from him faster than any of my peers, even on complex issues.

p.s. Each of the choices I posed to my boss were answers I was happy living with.  He had control and I always won.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sailboats (part 1)

So, there's been an utter lack of real posts here lately.  A recipe, a link, a musing... but nothing with substance that's truly my voice. 

Well, in the process of cleaning out my inbox I ran across this conversation with my dear BFF and thought, surely, other people will laugh/cringe with me.  I can't possibly be the only one with this fear.  So, here you go, another piece of me.  (I'll have you know that when it comes to the ocean I am, afterall, that small.)

BFF: Sail boats are very peaceful by the way. I don’t know why they scare you either. Have you really escalated to that kind of control chica that you can’t let go enough to let a boat buoy you up? Lol! What would Dad say? Or is “The Other Woman” different from a Sailboat?

ME: And yes, I am totally, completely, freaked out by sailboats. For that matter, I'm totally, completely freaked out by 3 meter diving boards. A sail boat, a real one that is, asks you to not only conquer that fear, but to grasp it going 30 miles an hour on the open, and unpredictable, sea. Without a seat belt, roll cage, or helmet. I trust mechanical things more than I trust the ocean. If I want to feel the wind in my hair, I'll ride a rollercoaster.

See... I've hit water the wrong way from three feet and it's painful. Pain you don't easily forget, painful. Add speed, and many other variables, and my brain says "run away". So sailing... thanks, but no thanks. The boats are very pretty, and I've even step foot on a lovely catamaran while docked at the long beach boat show and found myself wondering for real if I could give up everything else and live on it. But no. I would want to idle in the harbor. Stan would want to see how fast it could go (and that means I'd be hanging out in the dinghy until he got back to the harbor).

My Dad's boat sorta freaks me out, except that I know that the walls of it are filled with foam so that even if it completely filled with water, it would still float enough for all the passengers to stand waist-high in water - inside of it. Which, funny story... we changed our course on the way back from Catalina once, to check out a whale we saw in the distance. My Dad wasn't paying attention to the waves... he was steering into them (ish) and I was standing in the open front taking pictures (not looking where we were going, he was driving, or so I thought). And a wave came over the bow. Completely. A 4" wall of water, right over the front edge. I was drenched. Shocked and drenched. None worse for the wear, thankfully.

But you must respect the water. The water is NOT your friend. It has no compassion, nor do the critters contained therein. Bah.

If that makes me a control freak, so be it. I prefer my water chlorinated, with high visibility and minimal unknowns.

Now. I'm going to go heat up my lunch and let my blood pressure reduce. Just talking about it freaks me out a little. I'm able to not think about this stupid fear any other day of the week. Seeing a sailboat doesn't freak me out, but having to dissect the fear, that's a little different. I'll just look at the pretty picture. Thanks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

There's a Hummus Among Us

My favorite hummus recipes... You'll want a food processor for these - borrow one if you have to (or do like I did; piece-meal the individual parts on eBay and pay less than half retail price).

Cilantro-Lime Hummus

Unlike traditional hummus, this is a low-fat alternative, since it does not contain any tahini. Critics of hummus and cilantro have both devoured this recipe. Great with a Mexican menu.  Often found with the label "I'm not Guac." when I share it with friends.

2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (peeled if you have time)
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 bunch fresh cilantro (washed, tearing the bunch off the stems in one big twist, discard stems)
1 small garlic clove, chopped - or 1 heaping spoon jarred garlic
3-5 T fresh lime juice (2 medium-large limes)
3/4 teaspoon salt

Purée chickpeas with sour cream, garlic, lime juice, and salt in a food processor, add cilantro and blend until smooth. (peeling the chickpeas will give a smoother end product; grab them with thumb and 2 fingers, point of pea pointing toward the palm of your hand and squeeze, toss the skin into a bowl nearby and trash).

Serve with pita or tortilla chips and carrots. Red bell peppers are also yummy!

Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Most people seem to enjoy this best cold.

(Modified from Chickpea Cilantro Dip with Grilled Pita and Carrot Sticks)

Low-Fat Lemon Hummus
This is so fresh and light with all the lovely flavors of a traditional hummus.

2 heaping teaspoons jarred garlic (or 2 large garlic cloves, chopped)
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 T plain nonfat yogurt
2 T tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Mince garlic in processor. Add remaining ingredients; blend until coarse puree forms, occasionally scraping down sides of work bowl. Season hummus to taste with salt and pepper (I like white pepper). Transfer to a small bowl and serve with pitas/ pita chips and veggies.

Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

(Recipe from Hummus with Yogurt and Lemon)

Friday, February 5, 2010