Saturday, April 30, 2005


Is there anything more exhausting and mind numbing than a week long sales meeting? Ok, maybe climbing a 14,000 ft+ mountain or running the Boston Marathon is more exhausting physically but at least there is that mental exhilaration that goes with those types of feats. After a week of sitting in a semi-comfortable chair in a dim, stuffy conference room watching one PowerPoint presentation after another by our field based sales organization; each one extolling the efforts of the "team", I am completely, totally, unequivocally wasted. Add after-meeting smoozing and boozing, unlimited access to a smorgasbord of unbelievable food/desserts (seriously, the best conference food I have ever had) to the eight hour days of team building love-fest activities and I am one hurting unit. Even spending time with my good friends that I worked with when I was "field based" grew tiring by Thursday. Yesterday, after morning break-out planning sessions for the upcoming fiscal year, everyone departed and I scurried home; happy that I could put the week behind me and even happier that I could take a much needed nap.

Poor MBH, left to his own devices (and cooking) is in serious need of some TLC and frankly, I can barely keep my eyes open this morning at Dammits let alone participate in the pithy conversation he craves. Thank God for the new Mac operating system release, Tiger OS10.4. He was the first kid on the block to get his disks and has been blissfully upgrading his Mac and taking it for a test-drive as only he can; complete with typical MBH upgrade snafus that included discovering the Debian upgrade he performed earlier yesterday repointed all his partitions, including the one on which he had his Mac backup stored. I felt so guilty about the past week, especially Wednesday when I left before he was awake and got home after he had gone to bed, that last night I decided he deserved a very special treat and stopped by the library to procure three classic Sherlock Holmes DVDs starring Jeremy Brett. Then I took him to Staples and treated him to a spindle of DVD+Rs he needed to back up not only his MacG4 but his beloved Debian OS on yet another machine, took him to the local "Packie" (that is a liquor store for you non-Boston natives) to pick up his weekend supply of beer, and then treated him to the delivery of his favourite pizza with which to enjoy with aforementioned libations and entertainment. Once home, we clambered into bed with pizza box and beer, tempted the cat with a piece of pepperoni and settled in to enjoy our evening. Fifteen minutes into the "Hounds of Baskerville", I zoned out which caused MBH to ask me repeatedly if I was paying any attention to the movie. How do I tell him that my brain can't even concentrate on not dropping large amounts of sausage and pepperoni on my nightshirt and the sheets let alone keep pace with Watson as he relays pertinent information to Holmes? I did what any self-respecting significant other would do and lied, "Yes honey. I love this one and am just engrossed". Thankfully I had enough presence of mind to be able to read a bit of Peter Mayle's excellent "A Year in Provence" out loud to him before passing out. Now how do I tell him that I have to leave on Wednesday for a business trip to California? I wonder if lobster will placate him?

Banana's Foster (ala Forefront Conference Center)
Serves 2

2 large ripe but firm bananas, chopped into chunks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 cup Parrot's Bay coconut rum (or dark rum)
1/8 cup banana liqueur
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Place one scoop of vanilla ice cream in a sorbet glass and put in the freezer until needed. In a flambé pan (you can use a paella pan or really large skillet for this too), place butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and heat over low heat, stirring until the butter and sugar are melted. Add the banana liqueur and then place the bananas in the pan. When the bananas begin to brown and get slightly soft, add the rum carefully paying attention not to spill on the burner (if you cook with gas). When the rum sauce is hot, turn off the stove and use a long match to ignite (or one of those great camp stove/grill igniters) the rum sauce. When the flame subsides, spoon half the bananas and rum sauce over one scoop of ice cream. Enjoy