Jan 1 is a special holiday in reinsurance. Ties get loosened, feet are on desks, and offices empty to people leaving for long vacations. January 1 is when about 1/3 of reinsurance contracts are placed so actuaries are in a mad scramble leading up to that date. After, we are clear to merrily actuary at a lighter pace until the juggernaut of 7/1 approaches.

In the wake of 1/1, I took long lunch breaks and today walked to get a dessert torch to caramelize creme brûlée for someone this evening. I zigzagged my way to Fante’s Kitchen Supply in the Italian Market and the murals were lovely.

Mural Project



Fante’s seems to have two varieties of everything and being a true kitchen warehouse had a rack of stand mixers in seven colors. I grabbed my dessert torch with its chrome accents, diamond hatched grip, and plastic stability base and headed back to work. Around 6:00pm the office emptied and I filled the torch with butane. The maniacal laugh I issued upon first light would have been much less awkward had a night owl coworker not passed in the middle of it.

I met up with someone at Suburban Station, removed the torch from my bag, unwrapped the creme brûlée, added a packet of sugar to its top and toasted it to a proper sugar glass top. A lady with a box of candy walked up to me and says “well, I guess you don’t need any of this then”. I smirked, she walked away, then out of the corner of my eye I see her dancing with the box of candy on her head. I asked her if I can take her picture, she gave me the ok and after I took my camera out, a vagrant on the bench behind me said “take my picture!” and he turned on the blinking LEDs around his glasses. I take his picture, he says “that’ll cost you a cup of coffee” and I give him $2.00. He does a literal heel click, gets a cup of coffee, sits down and that wakes up the vagrant next to him who sees the guy next to him with coffee and blinking glasses and the woman dancing and says “wut I miss?”

My companion looked at me and says “this is normal for you, isn’t it?”

Candy Woman

Seems to be.