Monday, June 20, 2022

Weekly Round Up: Home Alone


A weekly round up: eats, workouts, watches, and reads.  The big exciting news of the week is that I have been home alone with no adult supervision.  No husband, no stepkids, and no dog.

Where is everyone you may ask?  Well, hubs and stepson #1 are somewhere off the grid with the Boy Scouts on a hiking trip.  Stepson #2 is with his mom, and stepdog goes where the kids go so that's how I ended up with a week of zero adult responsibilities.  So what does the single life look life you may ask?  For these answers plus two excellent movies and a "bad date" job interview story read on!


On the breakfast front, I had a little fling with avocado toast.  I put a layer of Trader Joe's crunchy chili onion dip in the skillet to cook the egg==>definitely recommend.

I had a lot of leftover "sushi" bowls from last week.  Rice, julienned carrot, edamame, avocado, grated tofu, siracha mayo, and Trader Joe's furikake seasoning.

I'm still crushing on Cheap Lazy Vegan's Caesar dressing and made up another batch.

In the random department, I've been holding onto a stash of Beyond Burgers for a while so I've been eating those up.

I kicked off the weekend with From My Bowl's Crispy Orange Tofu.

Sunday dinner was a lemon ricotta pasta with peas.  It was very easy to make but a bit bland so I'll skip sharing the recipe source.  I'll see what I can do to pep up the leftovers next week.


I've told you so many times that I work out first thing in the morning because I don't want to miss out on family time at night.  Well, when there is no family time all of a sudden it made sense to sleep in and work out at night.  Also it was wicked hot so there was no such thing as getting out early to beat the heat.  All of my running miles were on the treadmill this week.


On the treadmill, I am burning through season 2 of Fauda at a rapid rate. 

On the couch, I should be but an not embarrassed to tell you that I finished The Ultimatum and that I also enjoyed it way more than I should have.

I balanced out my trash TV watching by seeing two excellent movies over the weekend.  Both of these watches were inspired by the Unspooled podcast, and both of these are movies that you have heard of.  One is a movie that I have seen a billion times and one is a movie that I saw for the first time.

First up: when your problems don't amount to a hill of beans and you are shocked, shocked to find that there is gambling going on in here. Aw yiss, round 'em up because we're talking Casablanca.

The Unspooled podcast saved Casablanca for the last movie in their AFI Top 100 series and I think that you can guess my position that this is the "best for last".  There are so many layers to this movie and so many different things that I've focused on over the years. The thing that stood out to me most this time is that this is a movie full of great actors who aren't acting.  Many of the cast members were refuges who lived the real story.

Once the Unspooled crew finished the AFI list they went on to talk about other movies and one of the episodes that I have on my podcast playlist is for The Shining and I wanted to see it before I heard the episode.  I picked it because I've liked other Stanley Kubrick movies, but the only other thing that I knew is "here's Johnny".  That's right, I had no idea what this movie was about or what to expect and I think that that's the right background to bring to it.  I was awestruck.  Sure you can make fun of the suspenseful build up to title cards that tell you that it's Tuesday all that you want but this is an excellent movie.

It's also possible that my entire love for this movie comes from my love of my own Big Wheel trike back in the day...just saying that I have a bias.


All done with  Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.  I liked it, I'd recommend it, but in the end it didn't blow me away.  The author was on the Sarah's Bookshelves podcast recently and I'll be interested to hear that episode.

I've started listening to an audio book for the first time in a long time.  If you like slightly squeamish stories, may I recommend Working Stiff? 


The last time I told you about my job search, I said that I wasn't going to keep posting about a lot of nothing week after week.  Well, this is a lot of nothing but I've got to tell you about a "bad date" interview that I had recently.  May I just say that the grass is looking mighty green where I'm standing these days?

My previous job was with a great company that sold out to Big Corporate and became a monster.  When they were in the great company stage they paid competitive salaries, large bonuses, 100% of employee health insurance premiums, and provided lunch onsite.  As Big Corporate started taking over, the company moved toward crappy salaries and telling new hires that the salaries weren't crappy because of the bonuses, the health insurance, and lunch.  Because of the company's previous excellent reputation a lot of otherwise intelligent people signed up for much less than they should have been making and over time came to realize that it was a bad deal.  There were a lot of jokes around the office about "lunch being part of your pay".  Well, this week I got "lunched".

We'll call the company Big Spender.  The interview was weird from the get go.  The supervisor was very nice but she didn't ask much about me ("I can see your resume") and didn't tell me much about the position.  I wrote this one off and assumed that she felt the same about me.  When she asked about compensation, I was glad to hear that my number was $15,000 higher than hers because it meant that the conversation was over...or so I thought.

Instead of saying "see ya", she said: "oh but our benefits are worth $25,000!  Would you like to hear them?"  I said sure and prepared for the flood gates to open...the first thing that she hit me with was "15 vacation days and 80% of benefits paid!!!!"  I didn't snap back with "dude I have 15 vacation days now and you use the same benefits company that my current employer uses so I can put an exact price tag on the difference between the 85% that they pay and yours".  I made a list as she talked and tried to keep a straight face.  What stood out is that she was so dang proud of their offerings.

Now to be fair these things are nice, but ahem, they're a bit expensive.

I told her that I was sorry but we're a year out from college so I didn't have any room to move on salary.  She seemed stunned that I wasn't wowed by the "extra $25,000".  She said to call her if I changed my mind!!!

That's all for this week!  Have you ever been "lunched" by an employer?


  1. Wow, that supervisor needs to work on her marketing skills - or math skills. She must have used this "convincing" argument on other candidates and is probably wondering why it's not working...
    On the other hand: I'm surprised your current gig doesn't pay you any WFH expenses. Is that something you could discuss with them?

    And thanks for the info and link about Casablanca. I didn't know that!

    1. It's not very common for US companies to pay for WFH expenses so I'm good with it. Especially since my current company never tried to tell me that vacation and insurance were part of my pay;-)

      The back stories on the Casablanca cast are fascinating. We think of movie stars as living charmed lives, but they have to deal with the realities of war just like the rest of us.

  2. Birchy! I came over here to tell you that I tried that Caesar dressing this weekend and OMG DELICIOUS. So thanks for the link! Sounds like you had an enjoyable solo week!

    1. YES YES YES!!! I made a second batch this week. I've been really happy with everything of hers that I've tried and I've barely scratched the surface.

  3. Well, I'm kind of envious- I wouldn't mind a solo week. I'm sure it was fun to mix things up and do your workouts at night. It's funny how much of my schedule is dictated by my kids (or right now, my daughter.)
    I'm about to finish Lessons in Chemistry- meh. I'm enjoying it, but I think it was over-hyped. I expected it to be better than it was. And, Casablanca! I've seen that movie so many times- but years ago. I should listen to that podcast, and then watch it again.

    1. The solo time is a fun change up! I really liked Lessons for the first half, but the longer the story went on, the less it held up for me, so yes over hyped.

  4. What an adventure in your job search. At least you're learning how good (maybe not great) your current gig is!

    1. That's the truth! When I started interviewing back in February I was just like "get me out of here" and now it's more like "yeah get me out of here...someday".

  5. I love hearing your interview stories. At least as a recruiter she did her job and tried to really "sell" the company and the opportunity! LOL. I have been in the situation where a fun start up with awesome benefits and pay turns into a large corporation and that stuff starts disappearing. Not fun!

    1. What kills me is that the fun stuff doesn't cost the company that much. When my old employer announced that we were going from 100% company paid health insurance to "normal" insurance people started leaving in droves. I never got to see the numbers, but I have a hard time believing that the "normal" plan was any cheaper for the company and there was a huge cost in turnover. Companies are so dumb!

  6. I love how you say that the grass is greener where you're currently standing ;-) Anyways, I gotta say your meals look fantastic! YOU always have such a great variety of eats...too bad you're not my next door neighbor (cuz I'd be inviting myself over to join you during your "single life" weeks, LOL)

    1. If we were neighbors we'd have regular potlucks! I remember your huevos rancheros and that pizza!!!

  7. I'm so fascinated by this job search. Clearly, I'm not searching right now. But the way in which that rep for the other company presented the "benefits" information astonishes me! (As does her surprise at your response...)
    I am glad you were able to enjoy your solo time - I didn't realize that stepdog and stepkids came as a package deal! :)