Friday, December 23, 2011

Childhood Stories: At The Movies

Earlier this week, Carlos and I were watching a new series on the Turner Classic Movies channel called TCM's Night at the Movies, with the first episode concentrating on Thrillers.

Other episodes - that have been aired, but we haven't seen yet - are entitled:
The Horrors of Stephen King (which I'm looking forward to)
The Gigantic World of Epics

The discussion of thrillers and movies reminded me of a couple of stories from my childhood.

When my sister Christine and I were kids, our parents thought that the movie theater was a great babysitter when they got tired of us and couldn't send us off to the local swimming pool.

Our mom would bring us to Lakeside Theatre, pick out a movie, and come back for us two hours later.

I remember one specific time our mom was trying to pick a movie for us to see, she saw the title The Boys from Brazil. Since she usually picked our movies by the titles - she rarely read about them beforehand - she remarked: "That sounds like a great adventure movie."

The plot to The Boys from Brazil: "In this thriller based on Ira Levin's novel, young Nazi seeker Barry Kohler (Steve Guttenberg) stumbles on the trail of the infamous "Angel of Death," Dr. Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck), who is planning to resurrect Hitler's vision in South America. But when Kohler shares this information with seasoned Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman (Sir Laurence Olivier), Lieberman doesn't take the information seriously until he makes his own grim discovery."

I was 10 years old.

Lucky for us kids, we decided on another movie.


Growing up, our family didn't bother with the concept of movie start times. Whenever we were ready to see a movie, we would all pile into the car, buy tickets for the movie we wanted to see, and walk into the theater. 

More often than not, we were walking into the middle of the movie. No worries. We would stay until the end of the movie, wait during the break, see the movie from the beginning to the part that we had walked into - and then leave.

I didn't realize until I was in high school that movies were much more enjoyable in order.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Recipe: Potato Salad

This is the dish I am bring to Christmas Day dinner - the BEST Potato Salad I have ever eaten. I have made it a few times and gotten rave reviews each time.

The Best Potato Salad

The recipe is originally from All Recipes.


6 eggs
10 red potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup dill pickle relish
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup pepperoncini (optional)
1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)

Place the eggs into a saucepan in a single layer and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Pour out the hot water; cool the eggs under cold running water in the sink. Peel and chop the cooled eggs.

Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until cold. Peel and cube once cold.

Stir together the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, relish, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, and celery seed in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, potatoes, onion, pepperoncini, and olives; stir until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

My Notes: 

I do not peal the potatoes, but leave the skins on.

I don't add the pepperoncini, but do add the black olives. Since I'm in New Orleans, I use Creole Mustard instead of Yellow Mustard.

Four Rooms; Four People

I haven't posted an update on my office goings on in awhile.

This past week, our office turned into a logic puzzle. First the set up...

Our office consists of four rooms.

Room 1: Monica
Room 2: Pat and I
Room 3: Keisa and our large (70 copies per minute) copy machine
Room 4: Storage and our lunch room

When we moved into our current office three years ago, I was in Room 3 by myself. That lasted about a week when I switched with Keisa because I didn't want to be in a room by myself.

Early last week, Pat requested that she and the copy machine be moved closer to each other. She is our Copy Coordinator and uses the copy machine the most. She is also our, uh, most senior employee - in her late 50's - and says that her feet sometimes hurt her. Plus, she has arthritis.

The obvious answer was to switch Keisa and Pat. Keisa didn't want to switch. She likes the solitude. Even though I'm the boss, I didn't feel it my place to force the move.

Our next solution was to move the copy machine closer to Pat's desk. We tried that for less than a day, but - because our building and electrical set up is from the 1930's - we kept blowing circuits.

Switching Pat with Monica was not an option. Monica's office has exactly one plug. See previous paragraph.

As we were having our third brainstorming meeting, I mentioned to everyone the puzzle about the fox, the goose and the bag of beans - and how our situation could be viewed as a logic puzzle.

After a few more moves, we ended up moving the copy machine and Pat into Room 4 - and are hoping the electrical set up supports our plan. I also advised Pat that she should keep her original desk in Room 2. I believe that she'll get "lonely" in Room 4 by herself. She's the type of person that needs to talk to someone all day long.

We'll see how this move evolves. For now, we have an office of four people in four rooms.