I started a contracting gig on Monday at Revenue Science, which has an advertising platform that focuses on targeting behaviors rather than demographics or keywords alone. I ended up choosing the project which would be a little more challenging for a bit less money, favoring a shorter commute and a less familiar environment. I’m mostly responsible for driving international quality for an upcoming release that needs to support the needs of a Japanese internet advertising consortium… That’s about all I can reveal for now, but I got off to a half-decent start.

While getting settled, I also needed to hurriedly fill a bunch of wholesale, corporate gift, and internet orders, most of which are for Christmas… This often kept me up quite late at night. This week it also meant I had a few late starts because I couldn’t always finish everything at night and had to cram some things in first thing in the morning.

On Wednesday morning, Hiromi arrived from Japan, and I picked her up from the airport and tried to squeeze a quick lunch with her in before going to Bellevue for a meeting, and I took care of more orders before subjecting her to more errands I needed to undertake. We didn’t get home until around 8pm, so on our way back, we stopped at Hiroki to obtain some semblence of birthday cake.

I tried to prepare a simple dinner both to enjoy our first night together and to celebrate my birthday. So I made a few quiet dishes.

Wilted Spinach Salad

Wilted spinach and almond salad

Toasted almond slivers, some sauteed onions and some artisanal American Farmstead cheese accompany this olive-oil wilted spinach salad, drizzled with some 12 year-old Balsamic vinegar.

Gruyered Roasted Potatoes

Gruyered roasted potatoes

I rarely tire of variations of roasted potatoes, and this cave-aged gruyere added a nice raclette-like quality to my baked slices of potatoes.

Masoor Daal

Daal

A simple version of masoor daal, simply boiled until soft and then seasoned with a ghee chaunk with cumin, garam masala, and chilies (maybe a few other things; it’s been a few days).

Canoe Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Canoe ridge cabernet

We had a little wine from Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Birthday Cake, Sans Candle

Birthday cake

After dinner, Hiromi and I devoured the Espresso Hazelnut Torte and a cassis mousse with chocolate supplied by Hiroki.

We didn’t spend much time preparing dinner, but the food was simple and pleasant. On Friday night, we joined some other friends at Brasa for nibbles, cocktails and wine, which gave us a more sociable outlet for my birthday celebration, if a couple of days past… actually, it was the only really relaxed moment this week, because I managed to forcibly avoid thinking about work or business… though, of course, I darted out of the restaurant when a customer inquiry phone call came…

Alas, both Hiromi and I have been dining out this week more than would normally be reasonable. I had a few lunches with my new coworkers, and sometimes I’ve grabbed something quick just to avoid late night cooking. I usually don’t mind cooking late at night, but when I’m harried and it’s already approaching 9pm and not quite ready to go home, it’s hard to imagine squeezing in some shopping

We didn’t even notice we were out of breakfast fixings this morning until it was too late, and some of my almost last-minute FedEx 2–Day Christmas orders were constrained by our need to obtain food, which was, today anyway, supplied by Fresh Flours, rather than me.