I Like What I Like

In 2019 YA and her boyfriend discovered Roti, a Mediterranean fast food place that opened in late 2018 in Edina. It’s a lot like Chipotle, where you choose your base, then your protein, then your add-ons as you go down the line.  Since I rarely go out to eat for lunch (and when I do, I never go far), I didn’t even know it existed until YA suggested that I should include Roti on the list of possible giftcards that Santa could put in her stocking.

It turns out to be fairly close to my office so I went to help Santa with his list a bit before the holidays. In getting a giftcard for YA and one for BF, I qualified for a $5 off card for myself.  Since I had to run an errand yesterday that took me close to Southdale, I decided it would be a good time to try Roti and get a good deal in the bargain.  Since I hate to stand around trying to figure out how the menu works in a new place (with impatient folks behind me), I decided to look on line before heating over.  The menu described how the process works and all the options, including a yummy looking flat bread pizza with hummus, veggies and feta cheese.  Right up my alley.

Imagine my surprise when I got to Roti and the veggie flatbread pizza wasn’t listed on the menu board. When I asked about it, a couple of employees looked at me like I had frogs crawling out of my ears.  The manager piped up and said that it had been discontinued.  Obviously not in the hour since I had seen it online, but I had a feeling that sentiment wasn’t going to get me anywhere.  Instead I did what works best in these situations; I stood there looking up silently and forlornly at the menu board.  Eventually the manager said “but we can go ahead and make one for you anyway” and proceeded to confirm what I wanted on the flatbread.  (All of the ingredients were right there, but I figured that commenting on why they would discontinue something that they clearly could easily make would not help.)

While I was waiting, it occurred to me that I have a couple of favorites at other places that have been discontinued and I still ask for them.  Jamba Juice will still make me an Orange Appeal and Davanni’s will still do their Four Cheese Hot Hoagie for me if I ask.  I assume most people just let these things go and order off the menu, but I don’t always want to try something new.  I just want what I want.

Faced with new options are you adventuresome or do you like what you like?

Politeness – Great Expectations?

Today’s post comes to us from our Ben.

I’ve been pondering this post about how our daughter sort of demands politeness. If she says “Thanks”, you better say “You’re welcome” or she’ll hound you until you do. And it makes me wonder what exactly the rules for politeness are.

“Here’s your breakfast”
“You’re welcome”

Is different from

“Have a good day”

Except in our case it would be like this:

Me: “Have a good day”
Her: “Thanks”
Her: “I said Thanks!”
Me: “You’re Welcome!”

Just one of her little quirks.

Her: “I like this movie.”
Me: “Ah”.
Her: “…I said I like this movie.”
Me: “I know. I heard you.”

Her: Mumble mumble mumble then very softly “I said I like this movie. I don’t know why he won’t answer” mumble mumble mumble.”

Me: “Stop picking at that.”
[keeps picking]
Me: “I said stop picking at that.”
Her: “OK” [keeps picking]
Me: “Hey! Stop picking”
Her: “But it’s bothering me.” [still picking]
Me: “I know, but you have to stop picking or it’s going to get worse.”
Her: Still picking “But it’s bothering me!”
Me: “I know. But you have t—”
Her: “OK FINE!!” [storms off to room.]
OK, that’s just teenager attitude, I get that.

She’ll apologize a lot for things that don’t necessarily need an apology. That’s OK, but she’s fussy about the response to that too. Just this morning I said she shouldn’t stack glasses together in the sink. She just didn’t know that, so I told her. She said “Sorry”. I said “Yep”. She says, “I said I’m sorry”. “I know, I heard you; you didn’t know so I’m telling you. You don’t have to say ‘sorry’.”

I think she expects us to say, “You’re forgiven” to every “Sorry”.

Do I have to? Is that expected?

The rules of grammar etiquette are hard. And sometimes I just don’t want too. And sometimes I don’t know she wants from me.

Worst Business Grammar you’ve heard?

Two Days

Before my trip to Peru, I was well aware that this would be a trip of a lifetime. Even if I hadn’t already thought this, everyone I knew was sure to tell me.  As you all know, one of my life goals is to not have expectations set too high.  So this felt dangerous to me, to hear so many folks talk about bucket lists and dreams come true.

As a way to try to tamp down my expectations, I did not do ANY research on Peru or Machu Picchu prior to the trip. From our hotel in Cusco, we took a minibus to Ollanta Station (1.5 hours) and then took the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu City (another 1.5 hours).  Then there was the tourist coach up the side of the mountain (hint: if you are afraid of heights, always try to avoid the window seats on a trip like this).  On this last leg of the trip to the site, I reflected that I really didn’t know anything at all about Machu Picchu, with the exception of the altitude – 8,000 feet.

Turns out that there isn’t a massive amount to know. The pre-Andeans had abandoned the site centuries before it was re-discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and they left no written record.  In fact “Machu Picchu” is just the name given to the site in the local dialect and means “old mountain”.  Archaeologists and scientist are pretty sure what many of the buildings were for: homes, palace for the Inca when he visited, security look-out and even a temple (although they only believe this because on the winter solstice the sun shines directly through the main window of the building) but other than that, they don’t know much about how life was lived here.

As I stood gazing out over the stone buildings I was struck with a strong desire to go back in time for just a couple of days to see what life was like when Machu Picchu was populated. How did they live, what did they eat, what were their favorite past times?  Of course it would be nice to know why they abandoned the settlement, but if I only have two days, I don’t think I want it to be the last two days!

 Two days to visit a time in the past. Just two.  When and where do you choose?  (And an absolute guarantee you can get back home after the two days!)

Going Forward in Life

I know from discussions on previous New Year’s Days that we are not a big resolution group. Around our house, New Year’s Day is traditionally the day we take down the tree, put away the ornaments and other decorations and generally straighten and clean up.  It feels like a fresh start after the big holiday season so it’s easy to understand how folks can spend time taking stock and deciding how they’d like to go forward in life.

No particular ways I’d like to go forward, although I will note that 2019 was an abysmal year for keeping up communications with the people in my life. Not sure why, it wasn’t more busy than usual, but in looking back I realize that I did more responding and less reaching out.  So maybe I’d like to change that.  If this is a resolution, then so be it.

If there are resolutions in my past that I managed to keep, I can’t remember. I assume that most of my former resolutions remained as resolutions and not life changes. This means I don’t have a game plan based on past experience for making a change.  I guess I’ll just have to wing it.

Have you had any spectacular resolution failures? Or success?

Sent Forth

Yesterday was a day of sitting and people watching in airports.  In Minneapolis, we waited  for our flight to Sioux Falls at a gate where people were boarding a  plane to La Crosse , WI.  For some reason, several  of them were preoccupied with their phones and nearly missed the flight.  Husband is a U of W grad, and I took delight teasing him about the strangely disoriented Badger passengers getting on the flight to Wisconsin. I suggested they were too drowsy from eating all that cheese.  Husband joked that the Badger motto was “Don’t bother me, I’m watching the game”.  I told him that my college motto rather loftily described me as an “informed person sent forth  to influence the affairs of the world at the same time being dedicated to the Christian  life.” Sometimes I think I would rather watch the game and eat cheese.

What motto from college or high school or family are you supposed to live up to? How are you doing with that?


Planning Ahead

Now that Christmas Day is over, husband and Daughter and I started talking about a trip next December to Austria.  Daughter has lots of exciting ideas and brings up infinite possibilities. Husband is dour, and says he just wants to be away from the US and all the holiday hysteria the week of the 25th, while Daughter wants to be gone in early December.  Prague is a must, as is Hallestadt, Austria.  I just don’t want to be rushed and stressed. We will spend the next couple of months debating and discussing, and then we will consult with a travel agent. Planning ahead sometimes isn’t easy with a bunch of opinionated people.

How do you and your family plan ahead? How do your plans work out?

Thunder & Lightning

Photo credit:  Javsama

As part of my site inspection in Peru, we spent two nights in Cusco, which is also known as the “Gateway to Machu Picchu”. Cusco is in the mountainous part of Peru and is 11,152 feet in elevation (this is actually HIGHER than Machu Picchu).  While there are certainly spots on the globe higher than this (Kilimanjaro, Mount Everest), Cusco routinely makes the list as one of the highest altitude cities on the planet.  Many of the hotels in Cusco pump extra oxygen into the rooms and almost every establishment of any kind (shops, restaurants, hotels) have access to oxygen tanks, just in case.  If you search the internet, you’ll find a massive amount of information about altitude sickness, what causes it, what you can do about it.

But nowhere are you warned about the thunderstorms. In the mountains and tropical areas of Peru, it’s rainy season right now.  That means a lot of gray days and in Cusco, thunderstorms – three to four a week for a few months.  We experienced a thunderstorm the first afternoon we were there and let me tell you, when you are 11,000 feet up, the thunder and the lightning is MUCH closer to you than down in  the lower climes.  It’s hard to describe the visceral feeling that goes through you when the lightning seems just on the other side of the street from you and the thunder crackles and booms loud enough that you cover your ears.  We were touring a couple of convents during the storm, both with large courtyards and covered walkways; we weren’t actually standing out in the rain (which was intense as well) but close enough that the storm felt startlingly  close by.

The next day, I got to spend a couple of hours with the tour guide all to myself (a serious perk in my estimation) and he told me that in the Andes, the god of thunder is the most popular weather god as he is associated with the health of agriculture and crops. He is not known as Thor there, but as Illapa (pronounced E-yapa) and he even has his own holiday – July 25.  Apparently he is the keeper of the Milky Way which he keeps in a jug and pours out to make the rain.  Did I mention that on a clear night in Cusco, the Milky Way is very bright and visible?

So I came home from my trip with a robust appreciation of the god of thunder and lightning. When thunderstorms season rolls around next year, I’ll have to try to enjoy it more.

Any gods or goddesses that “speak” to you?

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