Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stretch of the Imagination

A few years ago, when my sister was dating a guy who was 6'6", we decided to have a tall joke contest. These were my submissions.

He is so tall that . . .

17. When you talk to him, there's a two-second delay.
16. If you want to hug him, you have to hire a sherpa.
15. His first toy was the world's largest ball of twine.
14. He had to upgrade to Verizon's stratosphere plan.
13. For show and tell he brought Babe the Blue Ox.
12. When he failed his driver's test, he blamed cloud interference.
11. He instructs his barber to "just trim it to 40,000 feet."
10. When he pees in Grand Forks, they start filling sandbags.
9. He's the only person to join the Mile High Club without a plane.
8. When he wants to change the channel, he just taps the satellite.
7. His parents had to record his growth chart on the Washington Monument.
6. He was the only kid in Little League to catch a comet in right field.
5. When he says he sees dead people, you know they're in heaven.
4. When he moons someone, the tides change.
3. Birds worry about him pooping on them.
2. He had to take the Statue of Liberty to the prom.
1. Other kids had lice . . . he had aliens.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Quack Me Up

The other night I was texting back and forth with a friend, trying to decide where we were going to eat before seeing a movie. There were several minutes' lag time between messages, since she was also trying to coordinate with her husband. By the time she finally proposed a restaurant, I checked the clock and told her we might be cutting it too close to make the show. Her reply:

Okay that's good. Sorry ... can't get our dicks in a row fast enough.

I think I read it twice before busting out laughing, which I was then doing so hard that I couldn't get a text back to her before she realized what she'd written. The next message:

And wow, I meant ducks!!

Auto-complete epic fail.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Going Wilde

Dining Date:  March 2011

On My Plate:  The Trinity College Tuna Melt and an Orange Crush. Hands down the best tuna melt I've ever had, unless you count my mom's, which is in a class by itself.

Servers Rate:  Not entirely applicable in this case, since you order and pay in advance at the front counter.

Fun Fact:  The last time I was here, it was to meet up with a childhood friend I hadn't seen in 20 years over a cup of coffee.

The Damage:  The food is little pricey but totally worth it. Sandwiches start at about $10.

The Verdict:  Not sure you can go wrong at Wilde Roast. It's a fantastic place to meet a friend and lounge about for a nice long chat. Looking forward to seeing their new location in Riverplace this June.

Fire It Up

Dining Date:  January 2011

On My Plate:  A juicy rotisserie chicken quesadilla that rocked my world. My dining companion had the aloha burger.

Servers Rate:  Splendid, mainly because our waiter was named Willy.

Fun Fact:  The bathrooms are super cool, as evidenced by the picture above. Also, you can view a photo of every single dish on their website.

The Damage:  Very reasonable prices. I took a friend out for a birthday dinner and spent less than $40 total. They also seem to have a pretty decent rewards program if you're a regular, and they have a late-night happy hour from 9pm to close, which would be perfect after catching a movie at the Rosedale AMC.

The Verdict:  Because of the fire theme, this was a great place to eat on a blustery winter night. The staff was really friendly. Plus the high-walled booths offer plenty of privacy and lend themselves well to good conversation. Definitely going back.

Down Home in NE


Dining Date:  December 2010 (we're going back just a tad for this one, a fond reminiscence as the weather heats up)

On My Plate:  The turkey commercial, perfect comfort food for a bone-chilling evening. Finished up with possibly one of the best desserts I've ever had -- the brownie barge. Picture a brownie with an oatmeal bar base perched on vanilla ice cream and doused in caramel sauce. Now picture how happy it made me.

Servers Rate:  Pleasant.

Overall Vibe:  Similar to Pop!, the previous inhabitant of the space on Johnson and 29th. The food is a little pricey, good but not spectacular. However, Hazel's menu makes more sense, and it works with the restaurant's revamped decor. It feels like home, but with a bit more style.

Fun Fact:  Although they tried their best to prevent the cold from seeping in by hanging a heavy curtain across the front door, it was still quite uncomfortable sitting near the entrance. I wore my coat through the meal. Finally, just as we were about to leave, they turned a small heater our direction.

The Damage:  Under $20, including tip.

The Verdict:  Keeping in mind that we visited only a week after they opened, I'd be willing to give this place another try, maybe for breakfast, which I hear is really something. It's also a great addition to the neighborhood, which is filled with homey little shops and eateries, like Sarah Jane's bakery and The Coffee Shop NE.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lack of Love in an Elevator

I was recently on the elevator heading to work along with three other people. A bubbly young woman was chatting with a man who was obviously a coworker, and another woman was standing behind me. Bubbles, as we'll call her, since she was FAR too energetic for a Monday morning, started talking about her daughter.

Bubbles:  "Oh, my baby's never going to leave me. She's going to live with us forever."
Me: How old is this kid?
Bubbles:  "Have I shown you the double pacifier picture?"
Me: Oh, crap. It's an actual baby.

At this point, Bubbles whips out her cellphone, and I make a concerted effort to avoid looking in her direction. She shows the picture to her coworker, who offers an appropriate adoring response, and then shows it to the woman behind me.

Meanwhile, I'm watching the floors tick by and hoping against hope that I stay off her radar. No such luck.

"Here," she says, literally shoving the phone in my face.  "I think you're missing out."

Parents, we know you think your kids are precious. And, most of the time, we're willing to give you the obligatory oohs and ahhs that are somehow your reward for procreating. Hell, we even lie and say your offspring are the most adorable things we've ever seen, even if they look like scrunchy little aliens.

But here's a general guideline: No matter how proud you are, do not force ridiculous pictures of your child on complete strangers and demand validation. Especially if they've shown absolutely no interest, and especially if they appear tired and/or generally surly.

What bothered me more than Bubbles' audacity (besides the invasion of my personal space) was that she gave no thought to why I might not be ogling her kid. Maybe I'd just lost a baby. Maybe I was having trouble getting pregnant. Whatever the reason, I wasn't interested. But she insisted.

So, when she said, "I think you're missing out," I wanted to reply, "Nope, I don't think I am." 

What I actually said was, "Cute." But I said it through gritted teeth and without smiling, and my lack of enthusiasm seemed to deflate her a bit, which was highly satisfying.

In any case, I managed to get my point across without explicitly telling her where she could shove her phone next. Because hey, I'm a bit of a grouch before 9 a.m., but I'm not a monster.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tiny and Tipsy

My sister, mom, and I once found ourselves discussing the best possible title for a television show about a drunk and a midget who fight crime.

Hey, it could work.

After a couple minutes, I suggested "Shorty and the Barfly."  I thought this was a pretty good off-the-cuff idea ... until my mom topped me in the very next second.

Without even thinking, she said, "How about Shrimp Cocktail?"

Hollywood, here we come!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chewing the Fat ... and Loving It

 Dining Date:  March 2011

On My Plate:  The portions here are sizable and perfect for a family-style meal. My dining companion and I split a marinated pork shoulder bruschetta and a red onion with goat cheese bruschetta. We then each had the gnocchi with cauliflower and orange. The small version was enough to fill us to bursting! Delicious.

Servers Rate:  Excellent. I was treated very well from the moment I got there, and our waiter was good about explaining the menu and making recommendations.

Fun Fact: While I waited for my friend to arrive, the front door to the restaurant literally broke, causing mass confusion among the valets. Also, the small complimentary cinnamon cookies we received after dinner are perfect for wiping out post-dinner breath ... and tastebuds. They're a bit hot.

The Damage:  Surprisingly minimal, although we didn't order drinks, so that helped. Under $30, including tip.

The Verdict:  A great first experience. Fantastic food, really cool location on Washington Ave, and kind of a hot spot at the moment (make reservations). The only thing that might keep me from returning is the noise level. We felt lucky we were seated toward the back, so we could at least have a conversation.