Restaurant Weak

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Remember when I used to post about each night of Restaurant Week on each night of Restaurant Week? Remember when we used to actually go to real restaurants each night and not take the slacker way out with carryout from pizza places and sandwich shops?

Yeah, me too.

Anyway.

Sunday: Pizza, carryout.

Monday: Sandwiches. Oh boy, a chicken salad sandwich from the place I eat a chicken salad sandwich 51 other weeks of the year? YAY.

Tuesday: Italian food at a restaurant two exits up the highway. I started with meatballs, Gene started with risotto balls. Ha ha, balls. Entrees: Gene had some kind of eggplant pasta thing (eew, eggplant?) and I had super yummy chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans, some kind of fabulous sauce and mushrooms. Dessert: I had a cannoli, Gene had tiramisu. Verdict: I win. We didn’t actually discuss an actual verdict but fuck it, this is my blog and I say that I won. Nyah-nyah.

Wednesday: Gene had to work, I got carryout and ate with a coworker at her house. Big fun but I’m preeeetty sure I overstayed my welcome. I won because my coworker gave me a nice glass of musca-something wine. Yum.

Thursday (today): dinner from a little burger joint known as McDonalds. No one wins, but I’m going to go nuke some  s’mores in a few minutes.

Tomorrow: either dinner at a steakhouse nearish my old office or Burger King or maybe carryout Thai.

Saturday: some restaurant down in the city

Sunday: ditto


Restaurant Week: Saturday

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So, Saturday we went to a restaurant down in the city. Very far in the city. Our house is 6-7 miles from the northernmost spot in the county; the restaurant was a few miles from the southernmost point in the county. The drive was 45 minutes each direction.

Starters: Gene had fried green tomatoes (hmm, if they are called green, why were the actual tomatoes red?) and I had fried potato salad. It wasn’t what you were thinking, but it was topped with a soft boiled egg. Poached egg? Shrug.

Entrees: Gene had bacon wrapped trout and I had meat loaf. Bacon wrapped anything is good but I thought my entree was better. Gene felt just the opposite.

Dessert: I had what I thought was chocolate cake but it was actually chocolate torte. Torte is delicious but I was really banking on something with some frosting. Gene had some sort of bread pudding. The third dessert option had no chocolate and was made of poundcake. It was notable because one of us thinks the other agreed to order it instead of chocolate cake, which is ridiculous because I agreed to that for starters not desserts. One of us is having an issue being rational and we are both having trouble making conversation.

Bottom Line: No one wins Saturday – the food was OK, the drive was stupid and the company was not in the mood to party. And Sunday we ordered pizza and ate at home. And today I picked up carry out dinner from a sandwich shop near the house. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we’re supposed to have reservations at an Italian place two exits up on the interstate. I don’t know what we’ll do.


The Longest Week

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So! Cheesecake City Restaurant Week has begun. We have tentatively scheduled a culinary adventure for every night between yesterday and next Sunday night. I say “tentatively” because we’ve given ourselves an out if work is too busy, too stressful, goes too late etc or if we’d rather just stay at home and eat pizza. Considering that we skipped Restaurant Week altogether in the winter this is definitely progress.

Last night we started the week at the Melting Pot. We’d recently gone there so it was interesting to compare the food and service during Restaurant Week against during the week. Bottom line, the food is always delicious (there’s a course entirely dedicated to cheese, what is not to love??) but during Restaurant Week we definitely felt rushed. Also our waiter was not as accommodating as the guy we had last time. I suspect that the staff is used to people getting the food off the Restaurant Week menu (I know a couple that splits a meal off the Restaurant Week menu. WTF?? Am I wrong to think that is really cheap?) so they don’t do a lot of extras that are always nice and add to the experience.

Anyway, we started with a mixed cheese with the usual bread, fruit and vegetables. Yummy. The the salad course. Then, blah blah blah entree of chicken, shrimp, beef. I described the vegetable portion of the entree as being the socks and underwear part of the meal because you eat it out of duty. Finally chocolate! We had the s’mores chocolate, with graham crackers and marshmallow fluff.

Typically we decide whose food was better at each restaurant but we ordered one of both entree options and tried everything so it is a tie.


This week

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Hi all.

So, here’s what is up with me in no particular order:

1) Saw my dermatologist last week, she’s advocating coal tar as this visit’s miracle cure for my psoriasis. Guess what smells terrible? Coal tar. On the bright side, it is working I think. I’ve got coal tar lotion, some kind of mystery goop and pine tar soap. I am totally kicking it 1830s style here. I smell like the service department at a car dealership.

2) Speaking of skin, the doctor also advocates me getting some sunshine as it will also help. You know you are one fucked up person when your dermatologist is recommending you get sun. (Or maybe she’s just banking that I’ll end up with melanoma so she can make her boat payment in a couple years). She told me to get out in the sun at exactly noon every day. What?? First of all, what are the odds of me escaping the office for lunch at noon ever?  And where am I supposed to sunbathe at the office? (Never mind, I just figured that one out). So far I have made it out at noon once this week and the closest I could get to sunbathing is propping my feet up on the car dashboard while eating McDonalds.

3) Work is, well, worky. I have probably explained that every email we receive at work is turned into a “case” and since most of my coworkers are nitwits inexperienced, most of the cases end up with me. Hence, I have approximately 120 “cases” assigned to me, which is officially more than the rest of my (former) team combined. Unnnngh. Working tomorrow, BTW.

4) On the bright side, I think I love my new role at work. I have an awesome boss. Now if I could just get smart enough to do my job. More about this later.

5) And now to move backwards…my visit with Mom and Dad (when then visited Cheesecake City) was wonderful. We had some yummy meals out, did some shopping, and circled the Kabletown Arena about a zillion times waiting for Dad to come out of the Eric Clapton concert. It is very rare that I get my parents to myself (which is understandable since I moved 800ish miles away) but it was just so great to have them in town.

6) Breaking news: Sitting on the porch swing (sunning my ankles) and I think Sadie just ate a bee. Holy crap. She is one hardcore mutt.


And here’s my day

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(First Day in New Job! New Desk! Same Everything Else!)

1) Got to work early to catch up with stuff, prepare for back to back training sessions

2) Ran web meeting with client (which I’d totally forgotten about until I saw it in Outlook – “CALL CLIENT NOW!”)

3) Trained 1st client on new time and labor management system. Started late due to client lollygagging getting on the phone (15 minutes late! Urgh!)

4) Trained 2nd client on same new system. Made it to the section on tracking time off, prompting client to say “Yeahhh, this isn’t going to work for us.” They terminated service in the middle of the training class. What?!!!?!

5) Hmm. Gotta say, the client terminating service kinda ruined my day. Oh wells.


They say it’s my birthday…

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Well, most people did anyway. Turned 36 yesterday. What the hell? (Here’s what I know: I’d better be in a place in my life where I can go someplace amazing to turn 40 at, to soften the blow. I’m not very good at getting older, the entire concept genuinely puzzles me. More about that later.)

But here’s what I did:

Baked my own birthday cake using the recipe called “Depression Cake“, which sounds like a downer except that the name is because you mix all the dry ingredients then form 3 depressions in the dry ingredients for oil, vanilla and (strangely) vinegar (just a little!) and then mix and bake.

Cleaned out more home office stuff and took a carload to Goodwill and ran to the grocery store to buy frosting. Also gave Denise the opportunity to earn a million Friend points (even via texting she’s a champion listener) because something had made me a little sad.

Gene and I had BBQ for dinner, I talked to my parents and my grandfather and eventually I iced the cake and served it. I’m not 100% sure if I like it enough to make again and Gene’s opinion was that it was meh.

Today I got my hair cut (next time: color!). It is so exciting being a grownup.


Indiaaaaana, you old banana….

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So! I just got back from my visit to Indianapolis. I cannot even put into words how wonderful it was. I hadn’t been home in so, so long. A ridiculously long time. How did I go nearly 2 years without seeing my family in Indiana? And it wasn’t enough time, even though I could have crammed more activities into the days.

Friday, I worked all morning and then Gene took me to lunch at PF Changs and then to the airport. My original flight was delayed (due to weather?) and if I’d taken the flight from Cheesecake to NYC I would have been stuck for the night in NYC (which wouldn’t have been bad except for the whole no hotel reservation thing there) so Delta rerouted me through Minneapolis. (Wrong. Damn. -Apolis Delta!!). If the original flight was delayed due to weather I don’t know what they expected to find in Minnesota but it was snowing hard and blowing sideways.

Eventually, I made it to Indianapolis and figured out that my GPS from home was slightly outclassed by whatever-the-heck was done to the freeway. (Well, it was either my GPS or my natural ability to get lost driving places and I didn’t have any trouble getting to the airport this morning using the GPS…sooooo!!). And then I made it to my parents’ house. And my mom was all “YAY” and I was all “WOOHOO!” and I was home.


Insane Thing I Said on Thursday

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So, I believe I have said before that I say at least one crazy ass thing per day at work.

Thursday, the Vatican elected the new Pope. My manager said the new Pope’s from Argentina. I stood up, waved my arms over my head and said “I’M THE NEW POPE-A!”

I may or may not have suggested my colleagues kiss my ring.

Yes, I was sober.

I mean, I COULD have been elected Pope. My alma mater are the Ball State Cardinals…I was a Cardinal!


Do Payroll

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(This is one of the reasons why I don’t write here as often anymore…almost my only topic of conversation is work. Good days at work, bad days at work, promotions, hating my job, loving my job, the devil known as year-end, etc. Boooooring).

Anyway, today was a crappy day. Really, the last week has been fairly tough due to a client with technical difficulties. At work, we deal with various types of clients. We do payroll (ugh, Do Payroll) for companies and we provide technical solutions for companies who (ugh) Do Payroll for companies and we provide software for companies who (ugh) Do Payroll for companies who (double ugh) Do Payroll. The problematic client is both of the last two categories.

First up, clients who do payroll for companies are supposed to have Certain Technical Abilities. We don’t expect greatness but we do expect them to install software for themselves. At the very least I shouldn’t have to spend an entire afternoon downloading Windows Updates so we can move forward.

Second, clients who do payroll for companies who do payroll for companies should be Payroll Technical Demigods. Their IT guy should not be a frat buddy of the company’s owner who refuses to get involved (and also has an hourly rate). Their IT guy should know what the fuck a server is. They should not point the client at a drive and say “Yeah, your database is in there somewhere, I think…”

(A Small Aside… why am I always dealing with servers? Waitresses…computers…servers! Pfffhhht).

Third, I shouldn’t have to spend days of my time trying to get software to load and then install. In the real world, these people are at least payroll geniuses and don’t need to involve us at all when they need an installation. These people are (twirls finger in tight circle at ear level – this doesn’t count as defamation does it?) and I spent most of the day trying to fix them up.

All the while, I’m just dying inside. I could be helping my team. I could be trying to fix the time clock client’s time clock (client is now threatening to pull their business). A major direct client’s payroll was FUBAR and I didn’t have time to research it. I could have been working on my 80+ cases. I have a million and a half things to do but instead of sitting on a fucking web conference being this company’s IT bitch. And questioning my technical abilities. And my time and problem management abilities.