Nothing says you’re a grownup more than shelling out $250 for a set of really good kitchen knives.
Either a grownup or a serial killer, I suppose.
Recent Dexter: New Blood binge aside, we bought the knives last weekend for slicing, dicing, and chopping up vegetables–not body parts (though honestly, these bad boys are so sharp, I’m sure they’d be up to that task). I can’t deny they were pricey, but they’re J.A. Henckels knives, which are basically the Mercedes of kitchen cutlery. Precision German engineering ain’t cheap.
I’ve had many knife blocks over the years. You know, those wooden or plastic storage devices with slots full of various knives. And they’ve pretty much all sucked. A year ago, we picked up a Henckels knife from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Just one–a 7″ utility knife–because it cost something like $50. But holy crap, did it impress! When we got home, I grabbed one of our old, dull knives, waved it through the air, and busted out my best Crocodile Dundee impression.
“That’s not a knife,” I said. Laid it down, picked up the new Henckel, and added, “THAT’S a knife!”
Tara rolled her eyes, but she was sold. So, flush with a little extra cash this holiday season, we decided to go all in and buy a bunch more.
They’re great and make food prep a breeze. The only drawback? Now that we dropped $250 on a set of fancy knives, I’m more inclined to actually use them. Which means fewer meals out and more home-cooked suppers. And I love going out to eat! Then again, with COVID still rampant, even that has lost some of its allure.
Hey, speaking of…
After dodging approximately a thousand bullets over the past two years, that little bitch finally invaded our home. Tara felt a cold coming on starting Monday, so she called in sick the next day. And the next. This morning she still wasn’t better and figured she should get tested just in case. She didn’t really think she had COVID; the “classic” symptoms weren’t there, and a cold virus had been making its way around her office last week.
And yet, her PCR test at urgent care this morning immediately came back positive.
Yes, we’re both double vaxxed and boosted. No, as you’ve probably heard, that doesn’t mean a thing with omicron. At least her symptoms are mild. She can still smell and taste. It’s really more like a moderate cold than anything else. Even her cough has already subsided.
As for me, I feel perfectly fine, at least right now. She’s actually been sleeping in the guest room all week because she didn’t want to get me sick. We
have had plans for a weekend getaway to Custer for the annual Beetle Burn festival, after all. Booked a hotel room and everything.
And when I notified my HR department of my exposure, they said, Hit the road, Jack. Which was weird because my name is Mark. Whatevs. CenturyCo let me off the hook after my daughter’s visit in November even though she tested positive the next day, but said because this is a member of my immediate household, circumstances were different and warranted caution.
I get it. I may not like it–I’m one of those weirdos who actually prefers going into the office to work–but I don’t blame ’em. I’d hate to unwittingly spread it around the place. They are making me quarantine until next Wednesday, with instructions to get tested myself at the first sign of a sniffle.
Because I have a tight working relationship with our HR director, she told me to reach out to IT and let them know she was breaking protocol and allowing me the (temporary) use of a monitor at home. I have three screens at work and use them all. Going down to a single laptop screen is challenging, to say the least, so I appreciate her doing something special for me. A word of advice to career-seekers: make friends with people in high places within your organization. It pays off. Can’t get much higher than HR!
So, this is what my office for the next several days looks like.
I didn’t plan to set up in the basement, as we have a home office in one of the spare bedrooms, but that monitor is so big–not to mention the full-sized keyboard and mouse, plus various necessary documents–I needed room to spread out. The basement it is, then! What it lacks in natural light it makes up for in grooviness.
And, I quickly decided, this setup isn’t so bad after all. I’ve got privacy and ambience, my music playing through a spare Echo, and…best of all…I don’t have to venture out into the 75-mph winds and light snow predicted for tomorrow.
If I don’t get sick, knock on wood, I might even be able to convince myself this is like a vacation of sorts.