Nothing for Dinner

In an unusual turn of events, we had nothing specific planned for dinner tonight. There were a few things in the fridge, but nothing in particular, and nothing that seemed like it could have a meal built around it.

And then I thought: tapas!

In about 45 minutes I banged out the following small plates:

  • Steamed and sauteed brocolli with garlic and chiles.
  • Chorizo and sweet red peppers sauteed in olive oil.
  • Patatas bravas (roasted potato chunks with a Spanish style chili sauce).
  • Big chunks of smoked salmon (not gravlax; actual smoked salmon).
  • Olives and pickled onions.
  • Two cheeses.
  • Sliced chiabatta.
  • A nice bottle of Argentinian Malbec (OK, that wasn’t a plate).

Here’s to improvising!

My American (Express) Journey (Nightmare)

My American (Express) journey (nightmare) continues. Remember the famous one-cent credit that existed on my AMEX Gold card after I canceled the account? How AMEX kept sending me statements every month, listing the credit, until I finally phoned them and said they could keep the goddam cent?

That was quite the silly story. It ended (or so I thought) with them sending me a cheque for one cent.

Well, ever the customer service experts, AMEX has sent me my (hopefully final) Year-End Summary. That’s pretty weird given that I canceled the card in 2008. But the one cent credit kept the account “active” into 2009, so it must have triggered the automatic Year-End Summary robot.

And here, dear readers, is the relevant page (one of four, plus a four page front-and-back cover) showing a summary of my AMEX activity for 2009:

thanks for the summary!

Thank you and good bye. No, really. Good-bye!