Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Teh Evol Migraine of Doom seems to have receeded for the nonce. I went to work Wednesday and Thursday, though I had to leave early Thursday because it exploded again with a vengeance, but Friday was much better and I stayed at work all day again. Today, just a wee bit of regular headache and still a bit sensitive to bright light.

MUUUUUCH better.

Last night, one of my best friends in the world graduated from electronics school. Yes, he was actually done with his classes months ago, but the graduation for everyone was last night. We, his friends, made a united front in support of a man who finally decided that he wanted to try the head of the class.

And he succeeded. Dave graduated with honors, bless his heart. Good man.

Then, our group all went to Olive Garden to celebrate. BIG MISTAKE. See, there were six of us, and three of us smoked, so we asked for the smoking section. Used to be, you'd be seated in an instant if you asked for the smoking section.

Not so anymore. Over an hour later, the servers hadn't even asked us if we wanted a drink, for God's sake. Last time I EVER go to Olive Garden.

Why did we stay? The never-ending pasta bowl. Yes, we're all on a budget, and I personally like a little variety in my meal. So, we stayed in the frequently empty lobby, waiting for a table in the smoking section so we could order six never-ending pasta bowls and gab about how proud we were of Dave's accomplishment.

When we were FINALLY pasta bowl. It ran out last week. Figures.

So, we did what any self-respecting and long-neglected patrons would do: LEFT. Even though we were starving, we stood and walked out. Pitiful service and no food at a reasonable price? Yeah, we left.

We ended up at Johnny Carino's, another (better) Italian joint, where we were seated almost instantly (seriously, within five minutes), offered bread and beverages, and treated like customers instead of red-headed step-children.

Lemme break it down for you in concrete numbers:

Fettucini Alfredo at Olive Garden: $10.50 ($12.50 with chicken)
Fettucini Alfredo at Carino's: $7.99 ($8.99 with chicken)

Yeah. And the alfredo sauce at Carino's doesn't curdle when you nuke it the next day. It stays nice and creamy. Although I had the cheese tortellini with creamy meat sauce. *drools*

Anyway, a good time was eventually had by all, and it was good to sit with friends and laugh our asses off in a public place with food and Coke and little loaves of bread. Lots of fun. And Dave? We couldn't be more proud.

Oh, and here are my picks for the week:

Indianapolis over Buffalo
San Fran over Detroit [who cares?]
San Diego over Cincinnati [but go bengals!]
Baltimore over Tennessee [God only knows with these two]
Atlanta over Cleveland
Philly over Washington [is this a week full of "God only knows" games, or what?]
Green Bay over Minnesota [yeah, I know]
New England over Jets
Kansas City over Miami [go chiefs!]
Jacksonville over Houston
Denver over Oakland [I feel a disturbance in The Force]
Seattle over St. Louis
Dallas over Arizona [who cares?]
New Orleans over Pittsburgh [go NO!]
Chicago over Giants [might be an awesome game, though]
Carolina over Tampa Bay [who cares?]


At 10:33 PM, Blogger Marcom said...

So what's the matter with red-haired step-children?

Just kidding... I actually liked your post about NOT eating at the Olive Garden. Your words were very 'readable' and it moved fluidly, and I could picture the entire scene...

Not that my opinion means much... I'm just browsing the 'blogs' but wanted to stop in and say 'hello' to a fellow writer...


At 11:53 PM, Blogger GutterBall said...

Hello back, JPD. I'm serious - LAST TIME I ever eat at Olive Garden. They could have at least offered us a glass of water while we waited for a small eternity with our stomachs growling.

And every opinion matters to a writer, or we wouldn't get so cranky about the bad ones, ne?

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such restaurant owners disgust me! As the likely but unwilling heir to restaurants, I know all about service. I doubt that anyone can be that bad without making a spectacular effort.

Good on you for leaving, Geebers. I would have done the same, and had a tarty word with the owners too! That sort of bad service is totally unacceptable and brings shame upon those of us who *break* ourselves trying our best.

I'm glad the migraine has left you alone, Neechan! Big hugs and lots of snacks for the games!

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Buffy said...

I always have to comment on migraines...because I feel the pain.

Felt it even more when I realised my two favourites were triggering it...chocolate and cheese.

Word of, perhaps, helpful advice...which you may or may not already know... monosodium glutamate...a flavour enhancement added to just about everything...will flare migraines up like a mad dog.

Back to the your blog.

At 7:36 AM, Blogger GutterBall said...

Oi. While I don't eat much chocolate, Buffy, I eat a lot of cheese. Love the stuff. I hope hope hope that's not what's causing my migraines!

Thanks for the pointers, though. I avoid MSG like the plague (unless I'm eating Chinese buffet, of course, heh), but I do eat me some cheese. I put it in almost everything. Yikes!


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