stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I've spent the last two days rolling lumpia - or more precisely, chopping up all the ingredients to go in the lumpia and finally getting to the point where I could roll a batch up. Beef ones, 115 of them so far. I'd meant to do more today but instead went shopping for more ingredients - tomorrow one of my protégées/apprentices will come over and we'll get started again. I must have all six types done by next weekend so there is a lot of chopped oriental ingredients in my fridge right now, waiting to be mixed in with the rice and soy sauce.

Everything is going slower than I want it to - the elms and oaks are pollinating the entire corner of my world and I happen to be allergic to them. Staying inside is helping - going shopping means that I'll be trying to claw my throat out sometime before I can get back home again. May I say that I am grateful to the inventors of the neti pot, Sudafed, and Zyrtec. Oh yes. And Motrin, unfortunately, as my head aches all the time right now.

So I have not been driving for Uber in the last two weeks - headachy and fuzzy-brained as I am, I don't trust myself behind a wheel. Although the loss of my weekly mad money is hitting me. How quickly we adapt to extra income, eh? I'd not realized what a sense of fulfillment it was giving me, to be able to not stress over an extra bill or a higher-cost item that I'd normally have to scrip and save for. Those trees better find a room - I want my driving evenings back.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
My star ratings on Uber have been slipping - I'm now at an average of 4.76... and have no reason why. So far as I can tell, I'm doing nothing that I wasn't doing in the first weeks when my ratings were at 5.0, and since Uber doesn't indicate which trip was 'poor' or why it was, there is a good-sized well of anxiety building up in me. I hate disappointing people. Or making them feel uncomfortable.


Luckily, I just found that I can use the "1 day" statistic tally (I think it is new) to find my total number of trips, pay, and star ratings. That may help me narrow down any causes for changing my behavior or driving techniques. Yeah, I know that riders don't have to rate their drivers until the next time they call for a pickup so my "1 day" tally may be off by showing a star rating from a ride the week previous or even earlier, but still it should help.

I like the job. I like driving around the city at night while the roads are fairly clear and easy to navigate. I've learned to turn off the app when I end up in a part of Hampton Roads that I don't want to drive in (bringing someone in from my own area) - now I don't reactivate until I am back in my own stomping grounds. Yeah, it likely costs me some trips but I'm just fine with that.

I think I picked up a hooker tonight and if I am right, I feel so sorry for her. Got a call to an assisted-income housing unit and oddly enough the 'passenger' phoned me - a rather bossy sounding man with a thick Slavic accent calling to be sure that I knew where to go for the pickup. His English was poor so we had a bit of a problem but I finally got him to understand that I knew where I was going. I got there, waited, waited some more, and finally sent a text message to "Maria", and then the door to the unit opened and a young woman waved to me and indicated that it'd be five minutes longer... I waited. This was at midnight - the young lady came out dressed as though she was headed to a cocktail party with a small boutique bag in her hand as well as an evening purse. It turned out that she was not "Maria" but was a friend of hers - Maria was waiting for her at the lounge. Which means, of course, that the masculine authoritarian dude who called me was using Maria's phone to do so. The child barely spoke English either. When we were a couple of minutes from the place her phone rang and I could hear the fear in her voice as she replied, soothingly, something that seemed to be "we're almost there" (if my basic understanding of a few word fragments added up correctly). Once we got there, two men wearing jackets over obvious bulges on one side were standing outside, one to each side of the door, while "Maria" was waiting at the door. She and her friend embraced, stopped to check with the guy on the right, who made a call and allowed the women inside the lounge.

I don't believe that was a standard "going out for a drink with my friend" scenario. Especially not around midnight on a Monday evening.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
All of a sudden my days seem crammed - prepping for War of the Wings has become an over-riding need. And so much was left undone after Pennsic! Which I did not really notice until this morning. I just finished making 46 little pork chawettes and still have filling available, enough to make probably another two dozen. I think instead I'll use up my left over lumpia wrappers to make a pork version of 'rolled thin pancakes'. Staying in the Great Dark Horde camp means I should serve at least one Mongolian dish, right? And it would be dead easy to add the extra ingredients to the leftover pork. Besides, they can be fried in the same way as the chawettes. And more importantly, I won't have to go to the Hispanic store to buy more supplies.

Tomorrow I shall be roasting beef and a turkey in order to have luncheon meats to serve. Maybe a ham, too. We'll see what is available at the Commissary. I'm serving eight people but only on Friday and Saturday. That is making portion-anticipating a bit of a challenge. Especially since three of them are staying at a hotel. The easy and boring route of 'instant oatmeal or fresh muffins or bagels" is going to be breakfast. I'm not going to chain myself to a stove all morning on the off chance that someone from out-of-camp will wander in hungry for breakfast.

This meal plan has its own special challenges. Oh boy, yes. One person sent me her list of forbidden foods (sensitivities, apparently). For your enjoyment, this is it:
Bell/sweet peppers
Lima beans
Raw onion (cooked okay)
Almond flour
Most soups and stews (Brunswick okay)
Oranges/tangerines/clementines/mandarins etc
Most dairy – milk, soft cheeses, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, whipped cream (hard cheeses okay)
Ground beef is iffy
Most spicy things

In the world of medieval cookery, this is both easy and tough. Cooking without almonds? Tough. Or at least 'weird'. Leaving out New World food products - not a problem. Even the mayo doesn't phase me. I could bring some for mid-day sandwich making but I think I'll just bring two different sort of mustards and people can deal with that. The cheeses are confusing - she just told me that she could have mozzarella... I would have considered that a soft cheese. Still, there are also other folks with food concerns. One is lactose intolerant, one does not eat any veggies except for corn (which I won't serve at an SCA event) and one specified no "guacamole, hummus, or sour cream". The menus were fairly easy to come up with but I was saddened that I must leave out some items I'd been anticipating serving, like "Savoury Toasted Cheese". That would have been lovely once the sun began to set and the chill of the day set in but with two lactose-intolerant folks I will skip that one.

I've been driving for Uber like crazy at night, trying to get as many hours in as I could this week to make up for the days I'll be unable to next week. It finally dawned on me that we have an event the Saturday after we get home from WoW and I've promised two scrolls to our outgoing Baron and Baroness for their final court. They are depending on me for wording. Guess I'd better get on that too, eh?

Okay. Time to get off of the computer and get sewing again. Tomorrow is food prep, then the test feast (we're invited) for the Investiture event. There is a huge pile of laundry to take care of, pavilion curtains and flooring to sew, and packing to do. Before early Wednesday morning. Whew!
stitchwhich: (shake)
Perhaps the first time I decide to try the Uber driving experience should not have been when the main freeway was under construction so random on & off ramps were blocked. It cost my first two (I haven't done more) customers more than normal since we had to detour.

Other than that, it was a positive experience. Although after Uber's deduction-fee, I haven't yet earned enough to take my husband out for breakfast. Maybe tomorrow.

Both of my riders were young men - one a sailor needing to get back to his ship and the other a guy taking a year off from college and needing to get to his job. Given that my service time was between one and two-thirty in the morning, that was sort of sad. But they were nice kids, polite, and not drunks - which was what I was afraid of picking up at that hour. Not that I mind giving a drunk person a ride! I just was hoping it wouldn't be for my maiden trip.
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