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11th September
written by Steph
Three things I feel compelled to post on a Friday: 1) First, a question to all of you diners out there (by which I mean restaurant patrons, rather than greasy-spoon dining establishments.  The difference is subtle, but important, I think.).  Two nights ago, Tony and I went to a newish Mexican restaurant, since our old standby switched management and we can no longer go there because the food is no longer any good (RIP El Palenque).  So we go to this new place and it's fairly busy for a Wednesday night, but keep in mind it is your run-of -the-mill Mexican place so none of the entrees require much finesse or time (read: most of it is probably pre-cooked anyway).  We wound up waiting for OVER AN HOUR for our food, and it became clear that either our waiter had neglected to turn in our order, OR the kitchen had overlooked it.  People who had been seated after us had eaten and left before we saw anything more than chips and salsa at our table.  After many apologies (and about 75 minutes after sitting down) we finally got our food.  In such a case would you expect your meal to be comped, or at the very least, for a free dessert to be sent out?  Is this not pretty much the universal way that it is understood any sit-down restaurant deals with snafus that are clearly their fault?  I wound up asking if I could speak to the manager, but he never showed... and we wound up paying for everything.  Needless to say, we won't be going back!  Sorry, Nacho's!  Your guac may be good, but your service was muy abysmal.

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2)  On the way home following the aforementioned underwhelming dining experience, we had the following conversation: Steph:  [finishes saying something unremarkable about birdwatching, or as it is really called, "birding"... yes, I really was talking about this!] Tony: Well remember how the first person who e-Harmony set me up with posted her job as "birdwatching" and "food tasting"? [Note: Tony & I did not meet on e-Harmony; we are successful previous member of the club] Steph: Gasp!  Do you think that Emmy Lou (our dog) was actually your soulmate via e-Harmony? Tony: Maybe she really was destined for me!  After all, the e-Harmony profile also suggested this person had a favorite chair (?), and wanted someone who would take care of her both emotionally and financially... Steph: Well, Emmy loves to look out the window, she loves to eat, she only sits on that one corner of the couch (truly, she will look at you like you shot her if you sit in her spot), and she obviously needs your money and your love... so, clearly you were destined to love... our dog.  Sigh. [Note: When I interrogated Emmy about whether she had put a profile up on e-Harmony, she declined to comment but just made her cow-eyed face at me...]
Ok, this isn't our couch, but that is Emmy, and she pretty much looks like this about 70% of the time.

Ok, this isn't our couch, but that is Emmy, and she pretty much looks like this about 70% of the time.

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3)  Are you kidding me?!?! Ellen Degeneres is the new American Idol judge?!?!?  How did this happen?  Does the universe no longer make sense, or has it just become way more awesome?  I don't watch American Idol (except for one season back in undergrad that was ill-advised and is best forgotten), and have never wanted to watch professional karaoke... but since Ellen is a judge and I love her, does this mean that I now have to watch?  If so, then: well-played FOX executives.  Well played, indeed.


  1. 09/11/2009

    (1) Yes, you should’ve gotten some discount or complementary dish or something. That really sucks. 🙁

    (2) LOL! And I loooove that photo of Emmy! So adorable!

    (3) Ellen?? Are they just adding her to the lot or kicking someone out? If so, who? I confess to being an A.I. watcher, but the recent years I couldn’t finish to the end. I just follow until my faves get voted off. The last season I really truly enjoyed was the one where Taylor Hicks was the winner, because I LOOOOOVED Elliott Yamin and Chris Daughtry!!!

  2. 09/11/2009

    1) You should have gotten a free meal, for sure!

    2) This is so cute. Emmy is a great match for your family!

    3) I don’t understand this, either, but I love Ellen. I don’t watch AI (though I’m hip enough to abbreviate it!), but I might have to tune in once or twice next season.

  3. 09/11/2009

    @ Claire: If only you knew how many similar Emmy pictures we have. I think we wound up making short-list of 5, but then decided this was the one to go with.

    Also, Ellen is replacing Paula Abdul this upcoming season, who decided not to renew her contract (apparently she was mad that Simon & Seacrest make more money than she does). I didn’t see the Taylor Hicks season, but I saw the Fantasia season (along with Jennifer Hudson)…
    @ Chavonne: I’m glad that Tony & I are not being unreasonably huffy about this. I went to lunch with two coworkers today and they both sounded shocked and appalled at the treatment we got!

    I won’t lie – I will probably watch AI this season after it’s aired, but fastforward through most everything except for the Ellen & Simon parts. I know some people are super upset about this choice, but I think only one previous Idol (Kelly Clarkson) has actually made a go of it after the show, so it’s not as though anyone actually takes the show seriously!

  4. 09/11/2009

    I’m astounded at the restaurant service. I am also impressed you were *able* to wait 75 minutes. By that time I would have been grabbing food off the plates of neighboring diners! (I have been known, in fact, to get up and retrieve the coffee pot from inside the kitchen bar, or go plead my case to other employees.)

    Emmy’s adorable but I don’t understand where the *rest* of her is!!! (presuming, of course, there is a rest of her!) And as for whether Emmy plays around on e-harmony while you are away, there is a very funny set of books – well, intermittently funny, at least – about Randolph, a crime-solving dog (A Dog About Town and A Dog Among Diplomats by J.F. Englert) and in the second, Randolph decides to explore the computer, using his paws and nose of course. And he finds Amazon, and sees a book offer that includes a tote bag, and, well, I found it very humorous!

  5. 09/12/2009

    @ rhapsody: Sometimes we are not assertive enough when it comes to dealing with other people… I tend to go from 0 to 60 in very little time, which is perhaps not my best trait. I might want to work on proportional responses and ramping up my aggression, but I think I tend to bite my tongue for fear I might instead bite someone’s head off!

    So that picture of Emmy was taken at a cabin the Smokey Mountains over Christmas, and the couch had very deep back cushions, and Emmy got lying on it, and then we wound up piling many of the big cushions to make it look like a pillow fort. So her body is definitely there; she’s more than just a head to us! 😉 She stayed like that for HOURS.

    I’ve never heard of these Englert books, but I like how daffy they sound! Also, “crime-solving dog”? How can you go wrong with that?

  6. 09/15/2009

    Well now I don’t feel so bad about the complementary pot of tea my Mom and I got when the same thing happened to us. I mean at least it was something:)

  7. 09/15/2009

    A pot of tea would have been welcome by us (though I don’t think they do pots of tea at Mexican restaurants…)! Really anything to show any kind of contrition!

  8. 09/15/2009

    I have to say that the last three of four times my husband and I have gone out to eat,the service has been beyond terrible and the food was always late. I don’t know if this is because the economy is so bad that the restaurants are dead and the waitresses are pissed about not making any money, but you’d think that they would want to treat the customers they have left a little more decently, that way they would have some chance at making a few dollars. Maybe we are just lousy at picking restaurants, who knows. I just notice it seems like a trend with a lot of people lately.
    And your Emmy conversation was hilarious(Favorite chair?? Really?) I don’t have much to say about Ellen judging American Idol because I haven’t watched the show in years, and although I do love Ellen, I don’t think I love her enough to watch the show again.

  9. 09/16/2009

    @ zibilee: We went out on Monday night and while the service wasn’t bad, the kitchen totally screwed up my order! And then when I suggested it might be wrong (I realized my meal was supposed to have come with a salad), we were told it didn’t, even though we had just gone and checked the menu! It wound up getting fixed, but I might have to take a moratorium on eating out, because it seems that I’m cursed or something! And I completely agree that now is not the time for restaurants to be sloppy/stingy with their service!
    And Emmy really does have a favorite chair! Well, really it’s that she has to sit in one particular corner of the couch; if you happen to be sitting there she will either stand there and stare at you until you move, or start climbing on top of you. She’s weird.

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