October 16, 2008: Dinner at Chef Yu

36 Days to Baby Day! (34 Weeks and Six Days Pregnant)

11 Work Days Left for Dominica; House closing scheduled in 5 days.

“If you want to really hurt your parents…the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Today is a warm and muggy day in the New York Metro area.  Thick haze and no breeze.  It is only supposed to last for today and tomorrow it should be nice again.  I am quite glad that I am not walking into the office today as it would be all sticky and uncomfortable.  (Actually, I am going into the city today but not until this evening when, hopefully, it will have cooled down considerably.)

Today, whilst doing some houseplant maintenance tasks, I discovered the source of the mysterious mushrooms that have been appearing here and there in the soil of the plants around the house.  It turns out that they are coming from the potting soil that we have.  When putting some new soil in the ivy plant I noticed mushrooms growing in the sealed back of potting soil.  That explains a lot.

For lunch today I walked over to Blimpie and got myself a cheese sub.  I ate at home alone while watching an episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show from 1970.  Dominica was going crazy for a meal from IHOP and was unable to find anyone who would go with her today so she decided to just go on her own.

I did a little bit of cleaning today in the kitchen.  Really needed to do a lot more but there really was not any extra time today.  It was really warm too.  The humidity is so high and it hit almost eighty today.  It was so warm that even with all of the windows open and it being overcast I was literally sweating sitting at the computers in the living room.

The weather changed pretty dramatically around four in the afternoon.  The wind picked up and the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped about ten degrees all of a sudden.  It was a nice change, for sure.

We found out today that, because of a billing accident at work, I was not paid for an entire week in my last paycheck.  Normally this would be a mostly trivial issue as our bills are all on a monthly schedule so getting paid anytime during the month is all the same, but this was the final paycheck which we were counting on to provide much needed capital for the house closing next week.  This puts just that much more strain on the whole process.  We think that we are going to be alright but this did not exactly do anything to alleviate the stress of the situation.  We also still do not know how much the final total is going to be so we are extra worried about that.  Hopefully we will find out tomorrow.

The good news for the day is that I spoke to the bank and they have received all of the necessary paperwork for the house, including the certificate of occupancy, so we are now free and clear to proceed with the house closing.  Pheww.  There is one last paper which I need to sign and send back to the bank which I am supposed to do tomorrow when I have access to a fax machine at the office.  I am hoping that there is a fax machine at the office!

I left the house just after six after having fed and walked Oreo.  I took NJ Transit into Manhattan’s Penn Station and walked north up to Chef Yu to meet some friends for dinner.  The trains were running pretty late tonight and I ended up taking much longer than I had anticipated.  It took me forty minutes to catch a train going to Manhattan!

We made it early enough to Chef Yu to make happy hour so we all had a few drinks and lots of delicious appetizers.  Dinner was okay but nothing special.  The appetizers were far better than Dominica and I normally get from Golden City in Newark but the food itself was not as good.  The vegetarian spicy dumplings were amazing.

We all headed home around nine thirty.  On my walk and ride home I managed to finished reading “Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager” by Michael “Rands” Lopp of Rands In Repose fame which I have been reading slowly for a while.

I also finished J. Maarten Troost’s latest book “Lost on Planet China” which was really good.  Troost is an amazing “travel writer” although he didn’t like to call himself such although with his latest book actually chronicalling his travails through the People’s Republic rather than being a story of a place in which he was living there is little that he can say to dispute the label.

By the time that I reached home Dominica and Oreo had long previously retired to bed.  So I simply set about wrapping up SGL for the day, kicking off some Handbrake jobs and getting ready for bed.

Last night I discovered that Dominica was unfamiliar with the verb “to redd”, which was an extremely common word used in the household of my childhood and one that occurs with great frequency in my inner monologue so I was rather surprised that she was unaware of its usage.  For those of my readers who are not familiar with “to redd” I will cover its usage briefly.

The most common style of usage is in the phrase “I must redd up the house.”  It means, quite literally, to make ready – as ready is a derivative of the older redd.  It generally means, in colloquial usage, to clean, to tidy, to prepare.  Redding up the house would imply that it was made ready, as in “for company”.  The usage in which I most often heard it used was not to necessarily imply cleaning but tidying and organizing – making presentable.

The word is used in both the United States and England and is an Old English word having been used for hundreds of years.  It shares a common root with words in Germanic dialects outside of English and has its largest impact for English speakers of Pennsylvania Dutch (Swiss and pre-unification Germans) decent primarily in the American midwest – which explains why it is so commonly used in my family.

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