Sunday, September 21, 2008


Starting a new job has taken a toll on the frequency that we've been able to update this blog! Amazing how working all day 1) reduces the amount of time you have to write and 2) limits the number of blog-able experiences you have on any given day. That is, unless you plan on blogging about your job.

Let me say a few brief things about my job to quench the curiosity I know at least a few of you have expressed:
It's great. The people are supremely friendly. In fact, it's the friendliest new job I've ever had.  People stop by and ask how things are going, and go out of their way to swing by my cubicle just to say "hi"--let me add that I've known most of these folks for a week and a half.

One harmless little anecdote: the ratio of men to women in this workplace is way different than what I was accustomed to at Portland State. I'd say that it's the exact opposite, in fact. I've gone from an office that was predominantly women, to one that's probably 90-95% men. 

The other day one of my coworkers stopped by my desk and asked that I spread the word that they were having birthday cake in another part of the office. So, I walked around the cubicles, letting people know that there was birthday cake to be had. I've found that working with women, it's almost like pulling teeth to get them to come for cake. And when they do, they only want "just a small piece." In my current office, the word spread like wildfire. "CAKE?! WHAT KIND OF CAKE? IS IT CARROT CAKE? WHERE'S THE CAKE!?" Heads sprung up like whack-a-mole's from all the cubicles at the mention of it. When I walked down to get my piece, I found myself in line behind a whole mess of guys all waiting for their cake. AWESOME. This is my kind of workplace. 

Other interesting things--for the first time in 59 days, we had a big rainstorm move through Boise this weekend. It started on Friday night as some thunderstorms broke over the city. Big flashes of lightning and rolling rumbles of thunder. It started pouring during the night, and rained most of the day on Saturday. For those of you who find weather as interesting as I do, imagine this: Friday, there was a record high of 94 degrees; today, Sunday, it didn't even break 70. I think we got up to 67 or so. Throughout the week we'd planned a camping trip up to the McCall area for this weekend, but as Friday night rolled around, and we faced the reality of packing our gear and going grocery shopping, we decided to abandon those plans. When we awoke on Saturday morning to the sound of rain pouring down the steps in the courtyard behind our bedroom, we were so thankful that we'd elected to stay home.

Instead, we just enjoyed the city this weekend. It's amazing how quiet it is here in town on a Sunday. The downtown area is a ghost-town. The stores and boutiques are closed, and the restaurants are dead. We got coffee and walked around looking through the windows of places we'd like to return to eventually. The Co-op in town was also having a "Fall Harvest Festival" with farmer's market-style vendors all offering samples, a wine tasting, and a live band. We wandered through that for a while and tried some awesome pickles, salsa, mustard, and hot sauces.

Finally, this weekend we ate out at a great restaurant downtown. Any Boise-ites reading along, take note: A Taste of Memphis down on Idaho St (next door to Old Chicago, and just below the Rose Room), is a great barbecue joint with the world's friendliest owner and the BEST hush puppies EVER. They seem to be getting hit hard by the slow economy: the owner said she didn't know how much longer she'd be able to stay open. It's really sad--especially when the sub-par chain restaurant Old Chicago was jumping all night next door. Charlie has the Friday Night Special--homemade Gumbo with sausage and chicken--and hush puppies on the side, and I had the barbecued pork ribs with some stellar collard greens and potato salad for sides. I also ordered some sweet tea so sugary it made my teeth hurt. I have to say, though, as amazing as my ribs were, and as tasty as the greens were (with chunks of ham cooked throughout!), the hushpuppies really stole the show. I've never been a huge hushpuppy fan--normally they seem somewhat boring: deep fried cornbread? These were awesome--crispy, hot, bite-sized, and full of flavor and spices. WOW. Anyhow, if you're in the area, I highly recommend the restaurant and especially the hush puppies. The owner and her family are ridiculously nice as well. Unfortunately, though, if you're a vegetarian, the menu might be a little on the spare side--but, with barbecue and southern food, that's no real shocker, I suppose.

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