Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Quest to the Gorge

The first time I saw Dave Matthews Band was at Austin City Limits Festival two years ago. They played Saturday night, which as you may recall, was the day the rain made Dillo Dirt.

Chris has seen DMB some half dozen times prior, so as soon as we got to the Zilker on Saturday, Chris chose to camp out at AT&T stage and reserve a spot as close up as he could. Thus leaving me alone, in the company of my umbrella and my poncho.

I’m sure I saw 4-5 other bands on my own throughout the day, but the only one I really remember was the Decemberists, who played right before DMB, on the stage immediately across from theirs. After they finished, I trudged through the dillo dirt, in the dark, between the masses to try and get as close to the stage as I could. With that many people around, as soon as I could see them clearly on the jumbotrons, I was satisfied.

And that began my first DMB concert experience. But wait! After the first few songs, when I was just beginning to appreciate what a fun show they had, I turn to my left and who is standing RIGHT BESIDE ME?!?! Jackie! Out of 20,000 others, what are the chances I’d stop walking right besides her? Unbelievable! And of course, the show was amazing. I was hooked. And I completely understood why Chris wasted his whole day waiting at the stage to be that close.

So, now that I’d joined the fan wagon, I would gladly see them play more! Last summer we journeyed to Houston for a Friday night show, and then drove all night to Dallas for the Saturday night show. Both were amazing, and it was an excellent weekend.

Which brings us to this year. Dave had announced he was not doing a traditional summer tour, but rather they would celebrate their 20 years on the road with a four stop, three day festival, in which they would headline ALL THREE NIGHTS. Thus far they’ve announced the first show in Atlantic City, NJ and the second in Chicago, IL. Naturally, rumors are quickly spreading that they will close the caravan tour over Labor Day weekend at their favorite venue, The Gorge.

The Gorge is an outdoor amphitheatre right on the Colombia River Valley in Washington State. It’s just outside of Seattle, and is their favorite place to play.

After the Atlantic City lineup was announced, I knew we had to go. If a 3 night DMB show is not enough to justify the trip, the following artists surely are:

In my opinion, it keeps getting better. So I can’t help but speculate who will join them at Gorge.
Dispatch – also touring this summer… a similar fan base. However I don’t know if the dudes are friends or not. But seriously, that would be aaaamazing.
The Decemberists?!?!?! - I doubt Colin Meloy has very many friends, so this might be a long shot, but their Stubbs show is already sold out, so I’d also love to see them
Citizen Cope? – Their style fits right in with what they’ve got. Oh please, oh please, oh please!
Mumford & Sons!!!!! – Again, they would fit in!! But they might be overseas at this point. Drat.

Ah, the anticipation is killing me. Based on how confident the rumors are, Chris and I very close to just booking our airfare to Seattle for Labor Day Weekend. Plane tickets are already ridiculously expensive but they are only going to go up. And I really really want to go!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's

Google is notorious for coming up with brilliant April Fool’s Jokes. Thus far, today I’ve found the job application for an “Autocompleter” and the new, Gmail Motion. Whole Foods is doing pretty well also. Hilarious people, hilarious.

So at around 8.30am I was chatting with my co-worker about the pranks around the internetz and decided I could totally prank the office. 95% of the mass emails I send out are about food, so naturally, that’s what I should email about today.

So before the chaos, first a little background. We have lunch catered every Monday around noon. For as long as I have worked here, and for many months prior to that, it’s just part of the office routine. It’s my job to pick what we have (examples: Chuy’s, Rudy’s, Jersey Mikes, etc), order the food, set it up, and inform the employees upon its arrival.

Right, so around 10am this morning, I sent the following email:

Hello all,
I am excited to announce a few changes to our weekly Monday lunch event. Rather than bring in outside food every Monday we have decided it will build a more cohesive team environment by rotating employee “chefs.” Each week, a different LIM employee will be assigned to provide a home cooked meal for everybody. You will have a budget of $400/week to use as you please. The only request is you provide enough food for 57 people, and that you have a vegetarian option available.
We understand it takes some time to prepare a meal like this, however you will not have to do the dishes. Dish duty will be done on a random lottery system.
If you are having trouble coming up with a menu, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/439013 has a lot of easy ideas for cooking for a lot of people.
We will start the rotation in the freshest way possible. Since [anonymous employee who hunts a lot] recently returned from a successful hunting trip, he has volunteered to prepare the first meal.
Stay tuned!
Jane & Maggie

Little did I know, a harmless prank would instigate a gigantic serge of MASS EMAIL responses. Really people? Do we have to go over the etiquette of the “reply all” again?!?!
But the responses were so hilarious that I will copy and paste them for your reading pleasure.
That's so awesome Jane, brilliant idea. Congrats on a terrific twist on lunch.
I like outside food.

It makes me look forward to the week at LIM. Every Friday I leave work wondering what’s going to be for Lunch on Monday.

That is actually the whole reason some CRMs show up to work, is on Mondays.

Mondays is good at LIM and hopefully we can start bringing in Chefs from Acclaimed restaurants like Gordon Ramsey or even Rachel Ray.

Just a minor opinion.
I concur...
But on our day can we just spend the $400 on a delivery of outside food? For some of us cooking is not our strongest asset.
I concur. My vote is for this guy:

Or this guy…

(same guy who wrote the first response)

I thought the idea was brilliant and was so looking forward to some real food. Can we alternate?
(same guy who posted the Muppet picture, which is confusing, because I thought he was also kidding...)

To be honest, 57 is A LOT of people. When my wife and I cook for family/friends, it takes us at least 3 hours to prepare a main dish and a couple sides for 12 people, and she’s quite skilled from working in the kitchen at her dad’s restaurant. There aren’t many dishes that you can easily prepare in mass quantities (soups, etc.), so to depend on one or two employees to buy and cook food would likely have to take up their entire Sunday.

If someone is willing to do that, by all means, they can do so. But I foresee this as not being so successful as a weekly thing.

I don’t want to shoot the idea down entirely, so perhaps some tweaking would work, like Luis’ idea of alternating. Or maybe instead of having one amateur chef each week, we could designate one person from each group to collaborate the meal together.

I highly appreciate the time and effort that is put in to ordering and setting up the food each week, and I know some people are looking for healthier options, but this seems like it’s setting the bar too high.
I went to the link and the first article was entitled “Cooking for the Homeless Shelter” !!!

Perhaps there is a link between this announcement and today’s date??? :-)

(ok they are finally catching on!!!)
The idea is good but cooking in such quantities will take most of the Sunday.

May be we can break down the 400$ into smaller amounts of grocery gift cards and distribute to everyone so all of us can cook for Monday lunch and make it a potluck. Not sure if this can be made possible but it will be more manageable.

(oh wait, not all of them...)

The co-worker who sent that last email actually IMed me later:

"Jane, I have a feeling that u r using April 1st in this cooking thing. Just realized after sending my opinion on this. u r smart LOL is that true?"

ohhh my goodness. What a day!!!!