atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6033: O, Christmas Tree

Got our tree last night, and spent time cleaning the living room so we could put it up. For the first time in six months the living room is not full of crap but is a livable and usable room. Tree is in the front window, but not yet decorated, because Mrs. Fungus has wanted me to build a fire since at least September.

Built a nice crackly fire, and then we were inadvertently up until 3 AM enjoying it. It took me a bit to get it to draw well; the smell of smoke was thick in the room. But once I got it going, that cleared out, and I no longer had to fuss with it.

I don't know why it is, exactly, but the gas log is pointing towards the back of the fireplace at about a 50° angle off vertical. That could be how it's supposed to be installed, and that could have been Dad's request. I don't know, but I do know that it makes lighting a fire harder, because the gas jets will only hit wood on the back of the grate. I suppose I could go in there with a pipe wrench and tweak it a bit, but I don't know how the thing is installed and I'm loath to touch it without consulting the manual first. The manual is around here somewhere--I found it while cleaning the place out last summer--but it is temporarily misplaced and likely won't come to light until next summer.

Still, I managed a nice fire, and expect to manage a couple more this year.

Meanwhile, having been in a job for two weeks now, I finally found the leatherette folder that I like to carry my resume and such in when I go to job interviews. I had a suspicion that I'd find it after I no longer needed it. Argh etecetera.

* * *

Dinner last night was Chinese. Mrs. Fungus wanted wonton soup and doesn't like what we get from the nearest place, so we ended up going to another one. I decided on szechuan chicken and she had mongolian beef, one of her usual selections.

So she asked me, during dinner: "How is yours?"

"Well," I replied, "I can say that it tastes good."

"Why do you put it like that?"

"Because it's not szechuan chicken. It tastes good, but it's not what I ordered."

"This is the worst mongolian beef I've ever had."

I tasted it; it was. She threw it away.

The soup was bland. The crab rangoons tasted pretty good. The shrimp fried rice was all right.

I don't understand what it is about the Fungal Vale that makes it so difficult to find good Chinese takeout here. For years you couldn't get a decent crab rangoon around here, and I learned how to make hot and sour soup specifically because I couldn't get one that met my specifications. I had good Chinese food on various visits to Cedar Rapids, but couldn't get any here.

I remember one time I went to a local chain of Chinese restaurants: I wanted crab rangoons and hot and sour soup, so I ordered same. What I got: bland and tasteless soup, and wonton wrappers which had little scoops of faux crab in them, deep-fried such that they were full of air and the tiny blots of crab meat. No cream cheese or onion or anything, just the sad little lumps of crab; zero flavor and completely unappetizing.

The Chinese place nearest to the bunker opened in 1997, a couple months after I moved to Iowa, and they had good crab rangoons etc. They still do (their General Tao's chicken has suffered--I think the guy who knew how to make it retired or something--but other dishes are still good).

But lousy wonton soup. Yeah. So I guess we'll keep trying. There's a Chinese place which delivers, but their food is mediocre at best and what they consider to be gyoza are more like big shumai. Oh well.

* * *

You know, come to think of it, I don't know what time to go in to work on Monday. Guess I'll fire off an e-mail and see if anyone knows what I should do.

...and of course I am able to access my work e-mail from home, like a proper professional can.


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