Friday, May 28, 2010

Lethal Dressings

One of the complete impossibilities of life is keeping track of the condiments in the fridge. I mean, do you really know when you purchased that salad dressing, or the ketchup? Apparently, I hadn't a clue, and I discovered that this evening.

When I moved in up here, I immediately suspected that trash collection was going to be an issue that would have to be resolved quickly. The city I came from had a weekly pick-up schedule that included recycling, and every Thursday night, I would dutifully clean the litter boxes, empty out anything in the fridge that needed to be tossed, and lug a receptacle that had the building number spray-painted on its side to the curb. The level of difficulty varied depending upon the weather--lots of snow meant lots of plowing, which would transform into a lot of creatively-placed plastic bags hanging all over the accumulated piles of snow and ice. If I was really intent upon recycling under these circumstances, I had to chop the bin free as it was encased in run-off ice and then, carve a rectangular shape into the snow by the curb to place it.

I asked the landlord about trash pick-up after resigning myself to the nearly absolute possibility that for the first time in my life, I would have to purchase a dump sticker for a nearby facility. Fortunately, he mentioned a local guy who charged a modest fee to do the pick up once a week, and I didn't hesitate to call him. He agreed to add me to his regular route, and he started right away.

When the weekly rotation came up this time, I thought I had a smooth ride--I had cleaned the litter boxes two days earlier, so heavy lifting of poop-filled bags of gravel was unnecessary. I knew I had a small Tupperware container of salad that had to be tossed, so I opened up the fridge to take it out. In the process, a bottle of mayonnaise fell on the floor. I stooped to pick it up, the expiration date clearly visible.

The mayo expired in January. Yikes.

This inspired me to go through all of my condiments--everything from mustard to teriyaki sauce to pickles was inspected. About 80% of it was thrown out, some with expiration dates as distant as last summer. The winner was the ketchup, having expired in May, 2009.

At least it didn't end up like this.

Phone number update: My phone rang this morning at 7 a.m. I lumbered into the living room to pick it up in a semi-awake state. After a half-hearted "hello?," a man explained to me that he had the package I was waiting for, and that he was there to deliver it. I asked who he was looking for. His answer? The infamous George. I made sure to ask him to express my frustration to George, should he ever get a hold of him, and request that he make sure he spreads the word about his NEW phone number, whatever that may be, to service providers, doctors, and friends.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I haven't put up any photos in a long time--mostly because my traveling has been rather limited. However, some kind generosity gave me the opportunity to visit the Caribbean in February, and this is the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park on St. Kitts.

The one thing I missed getting a photo of? "Karl with a K," the cruise director. You CANNOT beat this guy's flourescent pink shirt.

What didn't I attend? The Hairy Chest competition on the pool deck. I don't consider that to be a missed opportunity.