Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Keeping my eyes peeled

Soooooooo, it’s apple season and I’m cruising the recipe sites for ways to combine carbs and fats and sugars with apple chunks healthy nutritious snacks for the family, and I run across Chewy Caramel Apple Cookies and I’m reading through the recipe and I see in the ingredients the following:

  • 20 caramels, unwrapped

And I went, “…wait…”

And I read it again. Yeah. It actually specifies, unwrapped.

For a blissful moment, I snickered as I imagined someone taking twenty plastic-wrapped caramel candies, dropping them into a saucepan and stirring madly to melt them into a glaze.

“Nice cookies, but the glaze has a weird, I dunno, burnt-plastic-y finish…”

Then I suddenly realized: I would totally be that person. I mean, I would love to poke fun at my imaginary noob pastry chef and pretend that I was just far too clever a cook myself to ever do such a thing, but…


Not terribly long ago, I made this shrimp-rice thing for dinner. You know, one of those “fancy” recipes with the (relatively) expensive sweet sticky rice and Jasmine-hinted blah blah blah almost-a-risotto deals. I was all like, “Yeahhhhhh, that’s right, I could totally win one of those cooking-as-a-full-body-contact-sport deals, ka-POW!” and totally impressed with my own prowess and all…


…I realized I had made a teeny-tiny oversight in the preparation, which was because I thought the shrimp I bought were already peeled.

They were not.

For bonus points, I did not notice this until I was trying to plate up dinner. So there I was, trying to pick the shrimps out of the very hot and sticky I might add rice so I could attempt to peel them after cooking them.

Have you ever tried to do this? I thought not. It takes a special level of inattention to detail to end up in this kind of situation. And also a high pain tolerance, because hot-hot-hot-OW-dammit-hot-hot-HOT!

I have to wonder: If the recipe I was(n’t really) following had said, “1/2 pound whole shrimp, peeled” – would it have helped? Would it have triggered me to, you know, check, before tossing them into the pan?

I’m honestly not sure.

I just…really believed that the package I bought had said “peeled” on it, somewhere. With the kind of absolute faith usually reserved for the kind of people who would stand there with an actual-literal alien sludge-beast gnawing on their face going, “There is no such thing as alien sludge-beasts! Because they aren’t in the Bible! Ha! CHECKMATE!”

I checked. It totally did not say that. Not even under the big red “50% OFF” sticker.

And yes, I was that desperate for vindication around my unshakeable conviction that those were “supposed” to be pre-peeled shrimp.

I honestly have no idea what exactly goes on inside my own mind sometimes. “Gosh, maybe I had x-ray vision at the time and the ‘pre-peeled’ label was under this one!”? Really, Me?

The tiny sliver of consolation I have is that it did say “E-Z Peel” on the package, which is practically the same as pre-peeled except for the shrimp being TOTALLY NOT peeled at all, and I’m sure it would have been quite an E-Z job if they hadn’t been like red-hot little bundles of super-heated steel nestled in vast quantities of boiling-oil hot sticky sweet rice and finely diced vegetables at the time.

Sigh…well, at least they were deveined.

So, I had that going for me.

In related news, this morning I caught a bug in a system I have absolutely zero direct connection with because I happened to see an error go by in the log files I was checking for another reason altogether.

Over 200,000 records I was scanning with my eyeballs looking for one specific set of keywords => that error jumped out at me and I was all “whoa-whoa-whoa, what?” {scroll-scroll-scroll back up through the text file} “…huh…that’s…a weird one…” {typity-typity-typity} “…ooooooooh, uh-huh, I see what happened there…” {opens new email} “hey guys, you’ve got the framework set up to think Field57 is an INT, it’s actually a GUID, you should probably update that because yeahhhhh, you kinda got blown out of the water last night and got zero updates in your delta, only the inserts and deletes that don’t use that field in their comparison script, you’re welcome.”

This has got to be some kind of super-power. The “ability to simultaneously be a person who will see ‘operand clash’ go by in a blur of fast-scrolling through a log file while looking for ‘XML’ and/or ‘illegal’, and yet, turn right around and be a person who spends a good twenty-thirty minutes enthusiastically stirring a pot of shrimp and rice without noticing the shrimp still have shells and legs on them” power.

Probably one with a big fancy Latin-sounding name I won’t be able to spell.


1 comment:

PipneyJane said...

It's pattern recognition, not a super power. You're scanning for something that doesn't look quite right, so the code clash sticks out. You aren't reading/comprehending everything you are scanning through first. (I do this with numbers. I am by no means a natural mathematician but I can spot an anomaly on a spreadsheet.)