Saturday, May 30, 2009

Being Prepared

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0078 . . . OPEN:

There are times when you can just tell that things are going to be going crazy. That happened to me yesterday. I think it was based on how things had gone at work the past few days, but I had the feeling that things were going to be anything but calm at work yesterday.

And I was right.

I went by Lemongrass Cafe on my way to work, and I picked up the shrimp lo mein lunch special. And when I was ready, I reheated the food in the microwave, and tried to have something resembling a peaceful meal.

That, as it turned out, was a little too much to ask. A lunch that should have taken 15 to 20 minutes to eat at most lasted over an hour. I could barely get a bite in my mouth before someone else walked in. Is it really too much to ask for just a few minutes to eat in peace? Trust me, I start to get a little cranky when I get taken away from my food one time too many.

And as I mentioned last time, Lemongrass Cafe remembers the fortune cookies. Here's what yesterday's cookie said:

"Rest not from duty, but find rest in it."

Okay. Now, can someone tell me just how to do that?

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Don't Forget The Fortune

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0077 . . . OPEN:

I have been a little disappointed with my last couple of orders from Oriental House. No fortune cookie, ergo, no material for an entry here.

On my way to work yesterday, I decided to pick up something at Lemongrass Cafe. I went with the lo mein, but this time, I decided to try the beef lo mein for a bit of a change.

The fun part was finding a few moments to actually eat. Emma swears that Tuesday is when they let all the lunatics out of the asylum. After last night, I'm beginning to think that she just might be right. Some of these people had to be synchronizing their arrival times just to screw with my attempts to eat.

The beef lo mein was pretty good. I'm toying with the idea of ordering a "surf and turf" lo mein some time, although that would be a dollar additional.

And most importantly, Lemongrass Cafe didn't forget the fortune cookie! Here's what the fortune read:

"A truly great person never puts away the simplicity of a child."

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0077 . . . CLOSE

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lunch On The Run

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0076 . . . OPEN:

I tried someplace new for lunch this afternoon. It's not too far from where I live. It's China #1. Now, that's not to be confused with China 1. China 1 is in St. Matthews, more or less at the intersection of Breckenridge and Shelbyville Road. China #1, on the other hand, is in Beuchel, right next to the Bashford Manor Kroger.

Now, while these are two completely different places, they are quite similar. Their menus and prices are about the same. Both places are more for people wanting to get takeout than for sitting down to eat (limited seating at both).

I happened to be near China #1 when I realized that I was starting to feel just a little hungry. It was the closest place, and I was in the mood to give it a try.

As is usually the case when I try a Chinese place for the first time, I went with my default order, the shrimp lo mein. They do a respectable job with it. They had plenty of shrimp in my order, and from my point of view, that's the most important thing.

And of course, there was the fortune cookie. Here's my fortune for today (or at least for my lunch):

"No profit grows where there is no pleasure to be had."

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Linda Collection 3

JANUSFILES2 . . .ENTRY #0075 . . . OPEN:

Since I haven't had takeout for the past few days, I thought it might be a good time to present another batch of fortunes from the fortune cookies my friend Linda gave me. (And sooner or later, the cookies are going to go stale, so it might be a good time to eat them before that happens.) In other words, kiddies, it's time for another Linda Collection.

There is no rhyme or reason to these presentations, by the way. I just pulled a handful of cookies out of the Ziploc bag, and I'm arranging the fortunes in alphabetical order.

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
"If you understand what you’re doing, you’re not learning anything."
"There is a prospect of a thrilling time ahead for you."
"There is no greater pleasure than seeing your loved ones prosper."*
"Use your head, but live in your heart."

*This one looks a little familiar. I think I may have encountered this fortune before, but I will have to do a little digging before I know for certain that this is a close encounter of the duplicate kind.

JANUSFILES2 . . .ENTRY #0075 . . . CLOSE

Monday, May 18, 2009

Promises Of More Material

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0074 . . . OPEN:

I found a new source of fortunes, or at least fortune-ish sayings. Yesterday, I unwrapped a Dove Promises chocolate, and as I happened to glance at the inside of the wrapper, I saw a short message that would have not been out of place if I had found it while cracking open a fortune cookie.

Dove is not the first candymaker to do something like this. From what I have read, the Italian chocolatier Perugina has been doing this for years with their Baci chocolates. Wrapped inside each Baci (which, by the way, is Italian for "kiss") is a short lovenote, usually quotes from great love poems or other comments on love. (I have never tried a Baci, so I don't have firsthand knowledge.) And as I mentioned in an entry last year, Nestle includes messages on their Nestle Treasures chocolates as well. Those messages offer advice on the theme of just taking time to enjoy life.

I'm not sure if there is a general theme to the messages found on the Promises wrappers. I think I will have to look a more than just the three I sampled last night before I come to any conclusion. But here are those first three:

"Trust with your heart, not your head."
"A gentle touch speaks volumes."
"Laugh until your heart overflows."

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Taking Things Easy (Or At Least Easier)

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0073 . . . OPEN:

Last night's dinner was takeout from Oriental House. More than anything else, it was the easiest choice to make.

I had a feeling that things were going to be just a little crazy at work yesterday. And guess what -- I was right! I had just about enough time to walk next door, place my order, and pay for my food. They brought my order over about 15 to 20 minutes later.

Surprisingly enough, I had time to eat at something resembling a normal meal. Things were relatively quiet when my order arrived, and I was able to eat several bites in between customers. More importantly, I didn't have any of the jerks who seem to find it funny to keep me from eating more than one bite at a time.

I went with the Hong Kong chicken. No particular reason, other than maybe I like the way the remaining sauce mixes with the rice. And of course, the meal ended with a fortune cookie, with this fortune inside:

"Teach only love for that is what you are."

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Linda Collection 2

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0072 . . . OPEN:

A few months ago, I mentioned that my friend Linda had brought a bunch of fortune cookies to the monthly meeting of my local SF/fantasy club. She mentioned that when she got takeout from one Chinese restaurant, they were giving her several fortune cookies with each order -- more than what she needed. When I mentioned what I was doing on this site, she gave the remaining cookies to me at the end of the meeting. And over the following few months, she gave me more fortune cookies -- enough to fill a couple of big Ziploc bags.

And after that first entry (Entry #0024, by the way), I haven't done anything with them.

Until now.

One very big reason for that, of course, is that I have been gathering more than enough research material on my own. Since I didn't get any takeout myself the past few days, I thought this would be a good opportunity to present more fortunes from, and I have chosen to call them, the Linda Collections.

"Never argue with a fool."
"Say hello to others. You will have a happier day."
"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work."
"Turbulence is a life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change."
"What great things would you attempt if you knew you could not fail."

More collections like this to come, I promise.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0072 . . . CLOSE

Friday, May 8, 2009

Numerical Curiosity

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0071 . . . OPEN:

"Working together works."

This was the first fortune that I encountered a second time. Its brevity was probably why I did a search of my earlier entries when I found it in a cookie for a second time. It was short enough where I realized that this was no mere feeling of deja vu -- I really had seen this fortune before.

It wasn't until earlier this week that I decided to take another look at the actual fortunes. Since I started this particular online journal, I have been keeping the fortunes in an envelope. (Right now, it's just your standard #10 envelope, but sooner or later, I suspect I will need something much larger.) I took the fortunes out of the envelope, and carefully began sifting through them until I found the two with that fortune given above.

After encountering the same fortune twice for a second time, I was now more than a little curious. I remembered that the fortunes had "lucky numbers," but I was now wondering if there were two different sets of numbers, or if by some chance the "lucky numbers" were the same.

As I quickly discovered, there were two sets of "lucky numbers" on the two fortunes. That leads me to conclude that wherever the fortunes are printed, they probably go through two different printings. The first printing is for the actual fortune, and the second pass through the printer (on the reverse side) is for the numbers. (That's my best guess, anyway.)

In any case, here are the "lucky numbers" that appeared on one of the duplicate fortunes:

13 17 55 27 18 50

Its twin had this set of numbers:

48 05 36 27 08 19

I'm still trying to decide if this is a sign that I should play either of these sets of numbers.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0071 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just Wanting A Few Minutes To Eat

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0070 . . . OPEN:

After taking some time away from Cninese takeout, I decided to go by Lemongrass Cafe on my way to work yesterday. I think I was in the mood for some shrimp lo mein more than anything else, so that's what I ordered.

I think Lemongrass Cafe's shrimp lo mein just might be my favorite. Or at least the lunch special is. It comes with the rice of your choice (my choice last night was brown rice), and that made it just a little more filling.

The only problem, as usual, was the actual eating. Because I'm working alone for the most part, I'm eating while behind the counter. There are times when I am barely get one bite of food in my mouth before someone else walks in the door. And there are more than a few jerks who find it funny that they are preventing me from enjoying my dinner. (I haven't slammed anyone's face into my counter -- yet -- but I have been sorely tempted.)

As I said, the food was great, when I could get a chance to savor it. And of course, there was the fortune cookie at the end. Here's what the fortune said:

"A small house can hold as much happiness as a big one."

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0070 . . . CLOSE

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Wisdom Of Yogi

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0069 . . . OPEN:

"You are imaginative in using your skills. Apply this next week."

In a previous entry, I mentioned getting a fortune cookie with the exact same fortune that I got . . . well, it was some time ago. When I got it the second time, I wondered what the odds were on one person getting the same fortune twice.

After yesterday's entry, I am going to have to revise that thought. Now, I have to wonder what the odds are on getting the same fortune twice at the same time.

Okay, I realize that my situation is just a little out of the ordinary. Most people are not going to be buying fortune cookies by the half dozen, the way that I did. And don't know if there is anyone else who writes about the fortunes he or she finds in fortune cookies.

Still, there is a situation that is at least somewhat similar to what I just encountered. Take a group of friends who get together for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. At the end of the dinner, when the waitress brings out the fortune cookies, what are the odds that two of them would get cookies with the same fortune in them?

I suspect that "astronomical" would probably be a fair estimate. Getting a better idea would more than likely require a mathematical genius, like Charlie Eppes of Numb3rs. And sorry, but my mathematical skills don’t come anywhere near that level.

Like most fortune cookies, these fortunes came with sets of "lucky numbers" for playing the lottery. I checked the back of these two fortunes, and found two different sets of numbers. The numbers on one fortune were:

08 15 24 37 41 43

The numbers on the other fortune were:

11 16 20 21 28 41

I didn't think about checking the numbers on my other set of twin fortunes. I may have to go back and do that, just to satisfy my curiosity.

Yogi Berra might have been right. This sounds like a case of deja vu all over again.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0069 . . . CLOSE

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not A Typo

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0068 . . . OPEN:

I have been continuing my brief hiatus from Chinese takeout at work the past few days. This weekend, it was Subway and Papa John's. Definitely a welcome change of pace, but unfortunately, none of those places serve fortune cookies.

(Fortune cookies with your pizza. Now, that might be an interesting gimmick.)

Instead, I have another batch of fortune cookies that I picked up at Max Orient a couple of months ago. Now, it was probably at the beginning of the year when I got these cookies, but I know who picked out the cookies for me. As I mentioned the first time I presented fortunes that I picked up at Max Orient, they sell fortune cookies at three for 50 cents, and I usually get a dollar's worth. There is one lady who works behind the counter who almost always drops in an additional cookie to be certain I’m getting what I'm paying for. (I will assume that she does this for everyone who buys fortune cookies, and not just me.) With this particular batch, I got eight cookies. And here are the fortunes:

"Emulate what you respect in your friends."
"Pull the universe inside you. Make it your own."
"Take that chance you've been considering."
"You are imaginative in using your skills. Apply this next week."
"You are imaginative in using your skills. Apply this next week."*
"You will make many changes before settling satisfactorily."
"You will soon be crossing warm waters for a fun vacation."
"You will soon be receiving sound spoken advice. Listen!"

*No, this is not a typographical error. I really did get the same fortune twice in the same batch of fortune cookies. I'll be writing more about this in another entry.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0068 . . . CLOSE