Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fried Green Potatoes

I took Friday off as a Relax Day.  After a luxurious sleep-in and unrushed yoga session, I settled in at the computer to check my work messages, just in case.

When heard on my voice mail that the assistant manager had called in sick, I almost cried.  The day was toast.  Who would change the backup tape?  Who would take care of that important financial deadline that only she and I know how to handle?  Me, that's who.  Whimpering at the injustice of it all, I called in to inform the troops that I would throw on some clothes and come rushing to their rescue.

My troops, bless them, encouraged me to find a better solution.

The day was saved by my paranoid, compulsive writing of stupidly detailed protocol instructions.  I always write protocols under the assumption that someone who has been on the job for only one week should be able to read and follow them without confusion.  I e-mailed my Changing The Backup Tape Protocol (Go into the server room.  Open the door to the big black rack by turning the handle counter-clockwise.  Halfway down there is a shelf-like thing that says IBM.  Press the blue button on the left side. Etc.) to a responsible secretary and she took care of it for me.  I called her back to confirm that the tape drive made the sound "ZZZZHHH, ZZZZHHH, ZZZZHHH" when she put the new tape in.  It did.  All was well.

Then I e-mailed my Complex Financial Thing instructions to someone else, who only had to call me with one question. This operation involves creating floppy diskettes and she wasn't sure how to access the A: drive.  Understandably; who the hell uses diskettes these days?  It's not my choice to do so.  You'll just have to trust me that at the moment there's no getting around it.  Anyway, after I pointed her in the right direction the Financial Deadline was taken care of, and I was able to carry on with my day off.  Hurray!

Ken and I went downtown for lunch.  The place we really wanted to eat was overfull, so rather than wait for a table we walked a little further south and went into The Brownstone.  It looked promising, but did not deliver.  We waited a long time to receive our simple orders: burger/fries and bacon/eggs.  Ken's bacon was limp and disgusting.  My fries were green at the edges, just under the skin.  I wasn't concerned about that - greenness isn't usually a problem in vegetables.  Until Ken said:

"Don't eat that!  Green potatoes are poisonous!"

No, seriously?  If that were the case, wouldn't I have heard about it by now?  But he was insistent, so I didn't eat the fries.  Later I went online and confirmed the information.  How many of you knew about this?  I had no idea.  Anyway, The Brownstone gets a big FAIL for serving me poisonous food.  I ate half of my mass-produced, from-frozen, under-seasoned-over-salted burger, and then gave up entirely.

After lunch, if you care to call it that, Ken and I parted ways.  He was off to the Sportsman's Show at the convention centre, and I had a couple of hours to kill before my naturopath appointment.  I went up to 8th floor of The Bay department store where there's an old-school yet classy cafeteria.  I bought a slice of sour cherry pie on a thick white plate, and picked a battered stainless-steel fork from the cutlery station.

The dining room is all vanilla white: white floor; white plastic tables and chairs.  The ceiling is around 15 feet high, and the longest wall of the room is floor-to-ceiling plate-glass windows, looking out onto the grand facade of Old City Hall.  You can also look straight down onto Queen St. and spy on pedestrians from above.  It is a very peaceful, spacious-feeling place, which is a rare thing in downtown Toronto.  I'm sure it must get crowded at lunchtime, but at 3pm there's hardly anyone in there and there were plenty of empty tables right next to those enormous windows.  The mall downstairs, including the dirty food court, was swarming with tourists and high school kids cutting classes, but the 8th floor cafeteria was a hushed sanctuary.

Eventually I packed up and went to my naturopath.  Let's call him Dr. N.  He's not a medical doctor, and has no connections to Dr. R and Dr. H.  I usually see him once a month.  We talk for an hour, and then he asks me to open wide and tosses some homeopathic pellets into my mouth.  I don't know how much good the pellets do, but I do like talking with him once a month to take stock of my situation.  It's kind of like psychotherapy, without all the tricks and whistles.  He's never asked me to switch chairs and speak from my mother's point of view, or beat a pillow with a Nerf bat.  He just asks thoughtful questions and provides some gentle feedback.

He analyzes my life as if it were a dream or a poem, and then selects a homeopathic remedy to cure like with like.  For the last few months he was giving me homeopathic canary feather because I'm like a canary in a coal mine*.  This time I said that I was craving more art in my life.  Why, he asked?  Because it makes the difference between living in black and white and life in colour.  So he gave me a homeopathic essence called spectrum.  Homeopathic rainbow!  See why I like this guy?  How could rainbow medicine not cheer me up?

*First to fall over when the atmosphere is less than perfect
Your sensibilities are shaken by the slightest defect
You live your life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line
- Canary in a Coal Mine, by The Police


DarcKnyt said...

I like the sound of that cafeteria. Nice. :)

And rainbow pills? Who'da thunk it? :D

Sparkling Red said...

He's got everything. He even claims to have a homeopathic essence of black hole, although darned if I know how they supposedly make that one.

Jameil said...

Dude! I would be so mad about that restaurant! I have had terrible food experiences in my current city. Enough to make me want to leave. I'm glad you were able to maintain your day off! :)

Sparkling Red said...

It was all the more upsetting because I was really hungry and very much looking forward to a nice hot lunch. It sucks when a treat goes down the tubes. But how can I complain when that very same afternoon I got cherry pie and rainbows?

LL Cool Joe said...

Oh yeah I thought it was well known that green potatoes are poisonous!

Sounds like you had a good time apart from nearly dying due to food poisoning.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Rainbow pills??? Are you sure he just didn't have a giant bag of Skittles in the desk???

Jenski said...

Good call to go enjoy the view and get cherry pie?! Your homeopath sounds like an important part of your healthcare - specializedpills and conversation!

DarcsFalcon said...

Back in my day, "rainbow medicine" involved a chemical substance that wasn't on the ... um ... legal market, shall we say? LOL Your form sounds much more gentle and safe. :D

Glad you got to enjoy your day despite the rough start! Now go have an awesome weekend to match! :)

Pixiebaby said...

All in all it doesn't sound like a bad day off. Glad that you were able to get the things at work taken care of! Sorry to hear about your icky lunch. Bet I can guess where you will not be going again. ;) Rainbow pills? That sounds really cool. For some reason it makes me think of Skittles. Hope you're having a great day!

Sparkling Red said...

LL Cool Joe: Poisonous food basics should be a part of the mandatory school curriculum. Things like don't eat green potoatoes or the leaves of rhubarb. These things are important!

Ron: My naturopath is very natural. I doubt he's been in the same room with a bag of Skittles since... well, maybe ever!

Jenski: I've been seeing him since I was 23, on and off. (That's 15 years.) I feel attached to him.

DarcsFalcon: Thanks! It was a good weekend. More on that soon. I don't think I'll be taking any really trippy rainbow pills. ;-)

Pixie: Skittles are rainbow-licious. However, I don't eat them because the food dyes make me hyper like a squirrel.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

"Hyper like a squirrel"?!? Ack!!!

Lynn said...

I used to go to a naturopath - I think it's great you are doing that.

I did not know that about green potatoes.

Kate said...

I'm in favor of anything that you think helps. I'm even considering getting my chakras cleaned. That's new for me.

Sparkling Red said...

Lynn: I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who didn't know.

Kate: Make sure you get a reference to a reputable energy healer. I've encountered my share of individuals who mess around with Reiki and whatnot and end up doing more harm than good, at least to a sensitive one like myself.