Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Yesterday Was Your Birthday" Doesn't Have The Same Ring

Yesterday was my 46th birthday. I call for a do over. I don't mind getting older. I am truly looking forward to my "Crone" years. Aside from having to have strange conversations with my doctor about what happens during perimenopause, I'm cool with the aging thing.

What made yesterday so bad was a huge technologically malfunction. The problem started about 10 pm July 21st.  I as doing a routine clean up of my hard drive. You know the thing under "properties" that gathers up all the useless files and lets you get rid of them? So I did that and then a "defrag" then a "dialog box" told me I should run an error check. The machine had to reboot. I let it do it's thing. Unfortunately something went wrong and the error check didn't start and neither did Windows.

I ended up having to re-install Windows. It wouldn't let me do that unless I reformatted the disc. No problem I thought. The only things I keep on my C drive are program files that I either have discs for or can download from the internet. I knew I'd have to download new drivers for everything but a while back I got a driver scanner program that found the proper drivers and installed them. I figured it wasn't such a big deal.

Things were not finished going wrong. Windows didn't install properly. So I had to do it again. Worse that that my D drive, where I do keep all my important stuff, was totally screwed up. It read as unformatted and 100% full when I know it's only 40% full. I was able to tell that my files (all my writing and pictures not one the internet) were still there I just couldn't access them.

To top that all off the driver scanner program would not work. I managed to hunt a round and find a video driver. I couldn't find an audio driver and finally gave up around 4 am and went to bed. At 7:30 am the restoration work going on around my building started up with a jackhammer. SIGH.

I spent a few more hours trying to fix my computer and around 1:30 pm I decided to give up and go out and do something fun. I had a coupon for a chocolate shop called CocoaNymph so I hopped on a bus. Turns out the place is not your average chocolate shop like Purdy's or Rocky Mountain Chocolate (does anyone else find the picture on the front page just a little bit disturbing?) CocoaNymph serves coffee, lattes etc. They also have live music every now and then. The place is very small. It's been around since 2008 so I guess that's a good sign.

It certainly has unique way of displaying it's wares. On the top of the piano is a sample of each of the Baker's Dozen (13) chocolates. Not a lot of choice but since I'm usually complaining about too many choices I shouldn't complain about this. They also sell chocolate bars and handmade marshmallows.

Before I continue, I'm going to admit that I'm not much of a chocolate person. Often I can't tell the difference between really good chocolate and the kind you get in your Nestle chocolate bars. I prefer milk chocolate to dark. Don't be hating!  After tasting CoacoNymph's wares I've found I'm very picky about my chocolate. I realize that they are trying to be different. Standing out in a chocolate crowd is hard. I'm sure real chocolate fanatics will love the place.

I ended up buying (with my coupon) a box of 8 and a decaf latte. I had a bit of trouble picking 8. I would read the list and like a chocolate only to find one ingredient I can't stand. I know it's anti-Canadian but I hate maple. I don't want anything maple flavored. This shop seems to love putting maple in or on things. Yuck! There was one that I liked called Barnabas the Tortoise which sounded really good ( soft caramel and milk chocolate center, lightly flavored with brandy) until it was topped off with a maple glazed pecan. If that pecan had been honey glazed I would have bought 8 of those.

I was looking forward to tasting one kind of chocolate that I had heard about called the Elphaba. When I first heard of CocoaNymph I was reading Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Elphaba is the WW of th W's first name. The chocolate is white chocolate and pistachio ganache. I love pistachios and I'd never even considered putting them together with chocolate. Too bad the dark chocolate coating is mixed with cardamom. It tasted weird. Sort of like mint (which I hate) but not quite.

Then there was the Illa (dark chocolate ganache and caramel) which was great until I hit the crystals of salt on the top. I hate salt. I don't mind a little bit in things but I can't stand getting a raw hit of it covering something. Blech! There was one I really liked called the Melissa (Honey Crunch) which was hazelnut milk chocolate mixed with crispy biscuit flakes and honey. It was good. I should have gotten 8 of those.

When I got home I ate 3 pieces before thinking I should have taken a photo. The 5 survivors at the right look pretty good. I call your attention to the two in the bottom row. The one on the right is the Illa with the offending salt crystals. The other one is "The Liz" which is described as "a rich, white chocolate and vanilla centre, enrobed  in dark chocolate and garnished with gold" - ignoring the grammatical errors in that sentence - I call your attention to the picture. See that little light spot in the middle? That's the gold. One tiny little fleck. Hardly worth mentioning to my way of thinking.

I'm not going to say much about the burnt flavor of the latte. I dumped it in the trash on the corner. I will admit I was in a bad mood. And I'm not a big fan of chocolate. I just get a craving for it every once in a while and I was really looking forward to trying out this new (to me anyway) place. I did like the shiny silver box the chocolates came in. If you're more into chocolate than I am I urge you to try CocoaNymph out for yourself. What's that? You don't live in Vancouver? No worries. They will ship. Anyone can buy. Yes, even people in Ireland Miss C. :-)

After picking up my chocolate I did some shopping in a dollar store and got a bunch of stuff I needed and a container of purple glitter and a glue stick. Don't know what I'm going to do with them yet but I'm sure I'll think of something.

When I got home I went right back to work on the computer. Some how, in the few hours I was gone my video driver disappeared. I was finally able to down load an audio driver which I am thankful for because it allowed me to talk to a friend on Google Talk until almost 4 am. I am most grateful for that pleasant conversation and I'm glad he had the patience to "talk me down" from my computer agro.

Being a masochist, I went back to work on fixing my computer until 5:30 am. When I couldn't keep my eyes open I called it a day. I'm hoping to catch up on missed sleep sometime this weekend but I'm not holding my breath. It's already 1 am and I'm not tired. I have to be up at 8 am. SIGH.

Next year I'm skipping July 22nd altogether.

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