b 4.0
Friday, December 21, 2007
Our first corporate Holiday party was last evening at Macungie hotspot Savory Grille. On top of being a chance to see colleagues outside of work and catch up with some 3PL folks who I've worked with this fall, it was a heck of a nice meal. Jenelle had filet and crab legs, I had Cornish hen. Both were tremendous and both were followed by an exceptionally creme-y creme brulee.

Meeting spouses was also nice - so much so that we joined some of them down the hill at the Inn at Bear Creek. It was slammed, half with Knoll people from random departments and half with red-cheeked skiers and boarders coming in from the slopes. A band was on and we talked about this and that with lots of people. It was really quite fun.

Now we're down to the last few hours in PA before heading back to Michigan for the holidays. Working in a company with strong ties to West Michigan means that lots of people know exactly where we're headed and a few are headed in that direction themselves. Most are cynical about the snow but I'm looking forward to it... 3 inches of hardpack crusted with 1/2" of ice just isn't as holiday-spirited as a foot of fresh. We're supposed to get more while we're there, which would make me happy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
A holiday party gave us reason to visit the District and see some b-school friends this weekend, and we had fun like whoa. We got into town around noon on Saturday, met Rachael, and had lunch at Tortilla Coast, where Anthony, Matt and I had eaten many, many moons ago. Then we crossed the mall and visited the Hopper exhibit at the NGA. This was my first trip into the NGA East; I was enchanted by an enormous Calder mobile and several smaller mobiles in a gallery that displayed them at eye level or lower, hanging into the space below. I'm not sure why this art form is so captivating to me. Equally captivating were Hopper's works, many of which Jenelle and I had seen in London (see July 2004) but I was happy to revisit. Our post-NGA wanderings took us along the new Museum of the Native American, which has the most interesting exterior of any Smithsonian, and into the Botanical Garden, which had the best outdoor model train display of any Smithsonian.

We went back to RP's and regrouped, ultimately setting out for Jen & Mike's in Adams-Morgan. We were unfashionably early for their party, which meant fondue and crantinis with the host and hostess before other guests arrived; they opened belated wedding gifts and we ate cheese. Other friends came and soon their apartment was hopping. It kept hopping until quite late, when a bizarre (and lost) cabbie took us back across town.

On Sunday we visited Eastern Market. It was fabulous, leaving the uninitiated to wonder what it was like before the fire. We'll definitely be back there. We will also head back to cool/funky/fun 8th street, along the Marine Barracks, to window shop and try more ethnic restaurants than any street should rightfully have. We had mini-burgers and then it was time to bounce; a quick stop to pick up things forgotten at Lanier Mews and we were on our way.

Monday night was William Allen's Christmas music-tacular. It was, in fact, music-tacular, with Chorale, Orchestra, Choir, Choir Alumni Choir, and Orchestra and Choir. The Chorale, especially, was quite outstanding; the senior soloist simply wailed on 'O Holy Night' and they did a pair of Mary Poppins numbers that will stick with us for days to come.

Tonight was chiller. We made potato skins to get rid of leftovers, watched Nova, and were wowed by feline affections while we did. At long last: two cats who don't want to murtilate the other.

Thursday, December 13, 2007
WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?!?! It "snowed" an inch today. Jenelle had a snow day, the weather was all anybody could talk about, and both AAA and the lighting fixture store we meant to visit during their extended Thursday hours were closed early due to the supposedly-inclement weather. Bbbaaaaaarrgggggggghhhhhh. This is a civilization! We're not nomadic tribes who hide in caves when the weather gets gray.

While everybody was freaking out at work today, I had a pretty quiet few hours. My next rotation should be getting finalized in the days ahead, which is exciting. It looks like something in global sourcing; hopefully something strategic so that Rich and I can be called "Drs Strategy" whenever we're both in the room.

Our friend Shannon made us a Christmas mix CD and it is fantastic: Barenaked Ladies' "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and Vanessa Carlton's "Greensleeves" to name a few tracks and whet your curiosity. We're listening in the loft and reading our inaugural National Geo.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Life has slowed down at work, which means that I actually saw the sun when I walked out of the fab building this afternoon. At home I finished assembling a birthday gift, we cleaned, and then I cooked up some stir fry. We ate; it was good. In the loft after dinner we finished Christmas shopping and watched some sports. The cats wrassled and tried to destroy the tree and the papasan chair. And now it's now.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I think I was meant to be born into California: I love burritos, Weezer, and surf rock. Allentown's Cali Burrito feeds my cravings for the first item on the list these days and we had an awesome lunch there Saturday before venturing out and about to do a little Christmas shopping and electronics upgrading to make it legal for us to talk in the car.

Not much else to report from the weekend. We made a dinner for Shannon and Ryan, who had a baby about a month ago and who we've not seen, because, again, they had a baby. We also did some work work and watched a little football, which was perfect for our last lazy weekend at home until January.

Thursday, December 06, 2007
Another whirlwind, consulting-style trip to Cleveland yesterday. We keep getting deeper and deeper into the software model we're building, which is both good and bad - good that we've gotten so far and bad that apparently we're not 'there' yet. There was progress made, snow on the ground, and a long day of travel.

Yesterday's test drive: Chevrolet HHR. I think the reason this vehicle is so affordable is that Chevy saved a fortune by only putting three legal-size pages worth of glass in the vehicle. The windshield is so small that that was all I could think about. Heritage High Roof my eye! I wouldn't be able to get my shoulders into the Heritage Regular Roof, apparently. That being said it was quite a solid vehicle and garnered more comments about sportiness than I'd expected.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I have a certain angst each Monday, around lunch time, when it comes time to bite into the week's apple crop. Anybody else have the same experience? This week, a sigh of relief with a crispy, tart, and juicy Braeburn from Washington.

We finished two things this evening. First, the ceiling paint in the loft. Why second coats go so much faster than firsts I'm not quite sure; less absorption barely explains a 50% reduction in the time it takes to do the job. We also finished the apple pie. I was sad about that, as I served it, but then my sadness passed when I bit into that first warm, ice creamy forkful.

Top Gear on BBCAmerica is the funniest show on TV. If you have BBCA (and Mondays from 2000-2100 EST), you simply must watch. The show is nominally about cars, but if you enjoy things that are a) British, b) funny, or c) about cars, then you'll be fine. I like all three and ginger beer came out my nose when a homemade amphibious people hauler (minivan? what?) started taking on water... "ooooooohhh! Mine hasn't worked!" Anyway, tune in or miss out.

Tonight we discovered that we can see a ski resort from our dormer! Looking southwest from our house we can see four or five well-lit runs for night-skiing at Bear Creek. I'm not sure how much we'll ski there, but from time to time when we wonder if maybe we should have chosen another life option it will be very comforting to be within eyesight of a ski hill.

Final thought: anything is better if two cats curl up on your lap with you.

Sunday, December 02, 2007
We went to a place called Peddler's Village in Buck's County yesterday with friends from down the hill. It was a fun day to be in an pedestrian, artisan village with a mini-Christmas parade and hot cider and breath hanging in a cloud over our heads whenever we stepped outside. Back at home, with an evening and no big plans, we listened to Prairie Home and put up the tree. Then we read and put on Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris and enjoyed a seasonal beverage. That's what the loft is for!

It snowed overnight, but that didn't prevent us from doing some errands today. We also made a massive amount of soup stock from the T-givings carcass, had quesadillas for dinner, and both did some work. And, while we were eating dinner, Michigan got a New Year's Day bowl bid... thanks, Mizzou and WVU! It's just what we've always wanted.

© 2007 Corey Bruno