Wednesday, January 14, 2004

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to sit down and write something. Well, that’s not completely accurate: I did draft a couple of rather pathetic musings but I never posted them. They’re up now, but don’t waste your time. Inspiration has been an enemy of late.

I went to see Doolies this past weekend. We had a good if short weekend. I took the buck ninety-eight Continental special, which left Saturday morning and returned Monday morning. The timing worked out well since Doolies had to (like usual) work all day Friday and part of Saturday.

She reminded me (more than once) that I had not taken her to a fancy restaurant in a while. For some reason, she did not think our last trip to the Outback steakhouse counted. As you all should know, the Outback (as us regulars call it) is impressive. It represents the epitome of 90’s theme restaurants. Its decorum (if not food) is based on an American’s view of Australia. You’re greeted by kangaroos, cheap Australian beer advertisements (the beer is cheap, the advertisements are just tacky), maps of Australia (since restaurants in Australia, like the US, always have large maps just in case residents forget what their country looks like), boomerangs, and various other stereotypical Australian accoutrements. It’s a family-style restaurant with a fully stocked bar and is only open for dinner, clearly making enough money in the evening hours to remain closed during breakfast and lunch. It’s always crowded and there’s usually a wait, unless you arrive (as is Doolies and my custom) after nine. And it does have food, steak to be exact, as its name indicates. It’s not exactly of the greatest quality, but it pretends to make up in quantity what it lacks in quality. It serves blooming-onions (an excuse to eat fried drippings and salt) and complimentary steakhouse salads (tasty greens with large and crunchy crotons and cheese; making me rethink Bart’s “you don’t make friends with salad” paradigm) and brown bread. Overall, a rather fancy place, at least in my mind. But does Doolies consider it so? No. She’s under the impression that a cloth napkin a fancy restaurant does not make.

So, while in the OC, I took Doolies out to Roy’s, which is a Hawaiian fusion restaurant (meaning fish cooked with Asian spices and a Hawaiian flair) we had originally visited during our Oahu vacation. When we went to Roy’s in Hawaii, we thought we were rather special. It is a bit off the beaten tourist path and the food was good (not the best Hawaiian fusion we had, but definitely top two). Then there appeared a Roy’s in the OC (the Roy’s had been there since Doolies moved: when I say appeared I really mean we noticed it but I was too lazy to change the wording and instead decided to add this completely useless aside). I started asking questions when I saw one in Dallas. When I looked at the matchbook this weekend, I realized it had expanded way beyond Dallas into most of the major restaurant markets. It had become, like Morton's Steakhouse before it, a chain restaurant.

When I called to make a reservation on Friday (since Doolies was too busy, or so she claimed, with “call” and “working,” whatever that means), the best time I could get was nine o’clock. As I said, we’re used to eating late, mostly because we make our reservations rather last minute. We arrived there and had to wait thirty minutes before we were seated. The food was sub-par, even the melted chocolate soufflé was unimpressive. No more Roy’s for us. We deserve better.

I’ve also somehow gotten sick again. On Friday before I went to see Doolies, I felt another cold coming on (this is after my original cold that I acquired at the tail-end of my birthday trip when we were in Dallas—damn Dallas and all its evil, evil germs). I’ve been living off cough medicine and Nyquil for the last three days. I’ve also been sleeping a lot. For the past few months, as I’ve been working on this website (damn you Chuck!), I’ve gotten less and less sleep. I think that lack of sleep is finally catching up with me. The sickness (and meetings) has also slowed my gym goings. I hope to get back into it this weekend, health permitting. My first PTG (that’s post-trainer gym session for the uninformed) went well. We’ll see if I can keep it up.

At work, there has been an off-site meeting with my boss and his reports over the last two days (and tomorrow). It’s gone rather well, enabling me to escape the office and meet with colleagues that I rarely get to see. There has also been free food. For reasons that I don’t like to explore too closely, I love free food. I don’t care how low quality it is: free food just tastes better than food I have to pay for (I know this goes against my buffet theory—I have not found a unifying theory that reconciles the two).

The meeting today was rather informative, even if there was a facilitator present. For those uninformed in the practices of large corporations, facilitators are outside consultants who are brought in to guide a meeting. A few of the slides that taught corporate-speak and touch-feely management struck a chord with me. While it contained the usual sections on managing, handling change, and too many corporate buzzwords to count, I came to some striking realizations about myself.

I have a few notes of pages I wanted to get down today. I don’t think I’m going to get through it today. My headache, which I had attacked with three Tylenol before I came here, has reasserted it’s ugly head. I will continue this next time and go through some possible personal changes. I’m sure you’ll be waiting with bated breath for me to continue. Sorry for the tease.