Monday, May 14, 2018

Hamburger Tacos

Grill some hamburgers, chop them up and make tacos!  Serve with taco stuff and you will be a hero.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hurricane Again

This time it's Harvey.

A pesky storm that started in the Gulf, moved north and decided to become a big boy.  The goober went from a tropical depression to a full-blown Category 4 storm before hitting the Texas coast, causing a lot of damage.

Well, we needed the rain might be the most positive thing to say.

Anyway, we'll be glad to see the end of Harvey in the coming days, although it's brought family and friends together on social media and we are all singing Kum-Bah-Ya at night.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Twelve Two Two Fondue XIII

It's December 22 and you know what that means -

Twelve Two Two Fondue - Again!

Welcome to the Thirteenth event.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016


"And what, exactly, is out of bounds," Zöe asked?

"You'll see," Ryan said.

The car steered around the hotel grounds stopping by a discreet door in the shadows.

"And we're here," Ryan said.

They got out of the car, and walked through the discreet door in the shadows.

The door opened into a small room.  There was an open fire in the corner, a wall of wine bottles, a magnificent view of the lighted slopes and a small table in the center of the room with two chairs.

"This is 'Out of Bounds' ," Ryan said, "a private room operated by the Flame restaurant.  Invitation only and I happen to have a standing invitation."

Zöe was delighted but she said to Ryan, "Well, Mister Ryan, if you think this is going to impress me you're going to have to try a bit harder."

Ryan smiled, nodded to the concierge  who excused himself through a panel that apparently was a door.  They were alone.  Ryan walked to the sideboard and picked up
 two filled champagne glasses, handing one to Zöe.

"What should we drink to," Zöe asked.

Ryan paused, looked at Zöe,  then said, "The path."

"And what is the path," Zöe asked?

"The path is the way forward.  For you and me.  I have to tell you, Zöe, that I love you.  I love you for who you are not what you are.  I love your mind, your laugh, your insight and everything that is Zöe."

Ryan continued.  "We have never dated.  We have never been intimate.  We've never even held hands. But I love you.  I love the way you think and talk and laugh and look at me.  I fell in love with you.  The thing that is you, whatever that is.  I think about you all the time, every waking moment and sometimes when I sleep.  I don't know life without you."

"So, there," Ryan swirled his champagne, "that's it in a nutty shell."

Zöe checked her impuse to launch herself at Ryan and kiss him to the floor.  Instead she asked, "Why me?  Of all the women who could and would throw themselves at a billionaire, me excluded, why me?"

Ryan put down his champagne glass and said, "Zöe, take my hands, please."  Zöe put down her glass and reached out.  Ryan's hands were warm and maybe trembling just a little.  She grasped more tightly.

Ryan looked at Zöe, deeply.  Zöe looked into his eyes and began to fall.  It was a tipping point.  She looked into Ryan's eyes and saw a depth, and she wanted to see what that depth held.  Zöe leaned forward, tipping over and fell ... fell ... fell ... fell into insanity.

Through the fog Zöe heard Ryan's voice. "It was something you wrote, some time ago.  We were talking about our lives and our futures and you said, and I remember this exactly,

"It's obvious
we love
each other."

"Six words.  But, you didn't say 'I love you' or 'You love me."  No, you said it's obvious meaning clear that we, meaning you and me, love each other.  Meaning you love me and I love you and it's obvious."

"I held on to those six words.  They were important to me.  Words of affirmation.

To be continued ..,

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Out of Bounds

Zöe usually avoided the Four Seasons hotel.  Too pretentious for her and they charged extra for WiFi.   That annoyed Zöe.  Sure, the company was picking up the tab but, even so, it just seemed wrong.

"I get free WiFi at Starbucks," she thought.  "Why not at a fancy dancy hotel?"

Zöe checked her hair in the mirror by the door as she left the room.  After the door clicked behind her she thought, "Room key!"  But, it was in her clutch.  "I'm losing it.  My mind, not the room key."

Pausing outside of the Bighorn Room Zöe mused if she should walk in sheepishly.  She allowed herself only a smirk rather than the full-on guffaw that bon mot deserved, put on her Corporate Gladiator Look and strode in making a beeline to the bar.

"Chardonnay, please," she said out loud to the server.  And, to herself, "Make that a bottle and do you have a twin brother?"

Ugh, she couldn't wait for this week to be over.  The expo schedule was packed.  She shuttled between presentations, keynotes and announcements; drinking too much coffee, eating too little food.  She was exhausted.   Zöe imagined all the people who came to Vail for a vacation, a holiday, for fun and here she was working herself to the bone.  Oh, just to slow down for a while.

Suddenly Zöe had a flash of insight.  Why hadn't she thought of this before?  She could change her flight, find a cheaper place to stay and take a couple or three days of vacation right here in Vail.  "You're a genius," she thought!

Zöe was so preoccupied with her travel changes that she over-tasked her multi-tasking abilities.  While pulling out her smartphone from her clutch and holding her wine in the other hand she turned, looked down and took a step forward.

A surprising chain of events happened next.

First, Zöe bumped into something or someone.  It turns out it was a someone who had half a glass of chardonnay dumped on him.  Startled, Zöe took a step backwards, stumbled, nearly caught herself on the edge of the bar, but not quite nearly enough, and ended up in an ungraceful heap on the floor, the remainder of the chardonnay pouring down her front.  Through all of this, though, Zöe's main thought was "Don't break your phone!"

"Here, let me help you up."  A hand was extended.  Zöe grabbed it and lurched to her feet still holding the empty wine glass, her clutch and her phone.

"Are you OK," Coffee Guy asked in a tone that struck Zöe as indifferent.

"Yeah, Aaron, I'm fine.  Just a little damp."  Zöe detected a slight smirk play across Coffee Guy's face as she said "damp" but out of habit, experience or just boredom waved it away.  Just another catcall, nothing to see here folks.

"We should probably get some soda water on that before it leaves a stain."  Coffee Guy was looking around, not so much for soda water but for the nearest exit and a way back to his room.  Zöe imagined the gears spinning furiously in his mind.

"No, that's OK," she said, "it's an old blouse, and white wine and it will come out in the wash."

Coffee Guy was undeterred, "Please, I insist. It's the least I could do for getting in your way like that. I should have been more careful."

"Ah, the old Guilt Trip Ploy.  All my fault, eh?  Where have I heard that before," Zöe thought.  The rest of the movie played out in her head.  Oh, let's get you out of those wet things.  Here's a robe.  Perhaps we should order room service while that dries. Champagne?

But, before Coffee Guy could set the stage a voice cut in.

"Zöe, I'm glad I found you.  Did you get my text? If we don't leave now we'll be late and it would be bad form to keep Gordon waiting."

Zöe turned to see Ryan who was trying to look impatient but it came out more earnest.

"Oh, yes, I did.  Sorry I didn't reply.  I got distracted.  You know me - look, a squirrel!"  Zöe realized she was babbling nervously.

Pulling herself together she said, "Good grief, where are my manners.  Aaron, this is Ryan.  Ryan, Aaron."

Aaron and Ryan regarded each other but nothing more was had of it.

Stuffing her phone into her clutch and setting her glass on the bar Zöe said, "Aaron, my apologies but I have to run, even soaked in chardonnay.  Ryan's team asked me to, uh, debrief them, yeah, that's the ticket,  a debriefing of our, uh, offerings and, uh, stuff.  Anyway, I'm late.  Thanks for the lift."

Coffee Guy looked blank.

"The lift," Zöe continued, "You know, the lift.  Vail?  Lifts? The floor thing."

"Oh, yeah," Coffee guy mumbled unconvincingly, "yeah, any time.  Have fun."  During this exchange Coffee Guy wasn't looking at Zöe, rather at a young consultant or possibly an intern, across the room.

"Later."  Coffee Guy moved off to the hunt.

Zöe grabbed Ryan by the arm and pulled him towards the door.  "Where have you been?" she hissed. "All week, where have you been?  I kept looking and looking but no Ryan."

"Well," Ryan said, "I told you I'd be here when services were needed and it appears I arrived just in time."

Zöe softened and laughed, "You sound like James Bond. Seriously, though, where have you been?"

"I'll tell you all about it later, but the short story is that we were bidding on a contract and I was locked away, literally, for most of this week.  Very controlled communication.  That's over, and now we have to go exploring."

Zöe remembered the Calvin and Hobbes reference.  "Where are we going?" she asked.

"Out of bounds," Ryan said.  And with that they stepped into the cold, winter mountain air where a very large car was waiting by the curb.  The chauffeur held the door open as they got in.

"And what is, exactly, 'out of bounds'?" Zöe asked.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ryan 7

Dear Zöe,

I would say that the cat's out of the bag but I'm afraid there are many bags, many cats and they're all out!

Some of my favorite books, plays and movies are about people who miss each other by just this much, driving the reader or audience crazy until they meet in the end.

Zöe, I don't want this to be the end for us, but a beginning.  Not like starting over, "Hi, I'm Ryan.  Hi, I'm Zöe." because you can't go back in time and even if you did, you'd just end up in the same place.  You have to do something new, deliberately, consciously.

By a new beginning I think about the last Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where it just snowed and they're at the top of this hill on the toboggan.  Calvin says something like, "Look at all that snow.  Like the old world is totally new.  A giant blank sheet of paper to draw on.  Come on, Hobbes, let's go exploring."  And they disappear down the hill.

That's what I mean by a beginning.  Put what we've done, said and written into a box, and set off down that hill.

Speaking of which, I assume you'll be attending Vail Expo.  I think I'll wander up that way, myself, if only to offer my services running interference with Coffee Guy.

Hope to see you there.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Zöe 6


I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner but I've been busy with stuff and you know.

That's not true.  That's the sort of thing I would just send out to blow somebody off.  No, I've been thinking of what to do.  What to do about you, and me, and life, and the universe.

So, I think the first thing I need to do, and this is a big deal for me, really out of my comfort zone, is to send you the emails I wrote and deleted.

You are so brave, Ryan, and over the past couple of days that's something that I really love about you.  You step in at the right time with the right words and the right everything.  I'm not sure I'm actually that person you think I am.

My life hasn't exactly been rough.  I've had my ups and downs.  I was a cheerleader in high school and college, entertaining the crowds and enjoying my status as a "cheerleader," but it didn't lead me to anything worthwhile in the long run.  I fell into computing my Junior year and never looked back.  There weren't many female programmers back in the day and moving between companies was easy for me.  I finally decided that programming would eventually end as something I could do, competing against a younger and more talented bunch of people coming up behind me, so I jumped to account management, and here I am.  It's not a great career but it pays the bills.

That's me in a nutty shell.  Anyway, needless to say, but I will, I haven't been too successful in the relationship department.  Work always comes first and "the guy" second.  Every "the guy" I've met hasn't taken too well to that, except for Foxie who only judges me by pets, food and walkies.

Ryan, I found you to be sort of a rock, an anchor in my life of swirling stuff.  You are the one thing I could count on for having my back, giving me support, making me laugh in the face of disaster and just being there.

I want that to continue, but we have to talk.  In light of your recent "revelations" we really need to talk!