Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Note to self: Limit liquids after 8:00 PM

Let's see, a 16 oz Diet Coke at 6:00 PM, an 8 oz cup of coffee at 7:00 PM, a 14 oz de-caff at 9:30 PM and a 12 oz can of root beer on ice at 11:00 PM. No wonder I got up three times to pee last night!

Speaking of last night, we managed to get a break in the foul weather, so the family got together, and we took my sister to the Olive Garden, for a belated Italian birthday dinner. The Olive Garden is a chain restaurant, but the food is tasty and plentiful, so it's a good place to go occasionally to pig out, and pig out we did. Oink!

My mother and sister and I, were joined by my sister's daughter and a friend of hers, and by my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law was already there waiting when I arrived, so I joined him and in few minutes my sister and my mother showed up. I gave my sister a humorous birthday card, with a picture of chimp in a smoking jacket, holding a wine glass up in a toast. Inside it said, "Happy Birthday to someone, who is highly evolved!", and it contained a gift certificate from Barnes & Noble bookstore. Shortly thereafter, my niece and her friend arrived, and we retired to a large round table in the rear dining room.

I remembered eating in that room once last spring, and the air conditioning was turned down so low, that I had to go back out to the car and get my jacket. Even with the jacket on, I was still cold. It was all I could think of when the waitress led us to our table, and sure enough, it felt like a meat locker in there again! So much so, that I left my hat and coat on. My sister asked the waitress if she could turn the heat up, and she said she would see what she could do about it.

The Olive Garden always starts you off with as much salad and bread sticks as you want, so our waitress brought two big bowls of salad to the table. Something else they always do is ask you if you want shredded Parmesan on everything, including the salad. My sister didn't want cheese on her salad, so she asked her to give us one bowl with, and one bowl without cheese. My macho brother-in-law, acting like the typical selfish male prick that he is, immediately grabbed the bowl with the shredded Parmesan on top, and tonged up the entire cheese covered top layer of salad for himself. It never even crossed his thoughtless mind, that others might want some cheese on their salad too. I felt like smacking him. He does crap like that all of the time. When he was done, he passed the bowl to me, and I dished out some of the remaining cheese-less salad for myself, then passed it to my mother, saying loud enough for him to hear, "Sorry mom, but all the cheese was taken." What a self centered clod he can be! It's precisely that kind of selfish, uncaring behavior, that made me stop associating with males years ago, and made my days working predominantly with men, such a miserable experience. Why is it that so many men only think about themselves, except when they want something from you? That really irritated me, but I didn't want it to ruin my time, so I stuffed it into a compartment in the back of my brain to stew over later. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent.

Anyway, the waitress asked if we wanted appetizers, so my mother ordered calamari, I ordered stuffed mushrooms, and my niece ordered a hot artichoke and spinach dip with Tuscan bread. We shared the appetizers, and along with the salad and bread sticks, we really had enough to eat right there, but we each ordered a main course as well. My sister and I both ordered a four cheese panssotti (stuffed pasta), with grilled Italian sausage and melted mozzarella, in a tomato Alfredo sauce. Mom got shrimp scampi. I'm not sure what my niece and her friend got, but macho man got that great Italian classic, a grilled NY strip steak and roasted potatoes!

About halfway through the appetizers, the room finally came up to a cozy temperature for a cold winter's night, and I was able to take my hat and coat off. Mom is a diminutive woman, barely 5' tall, if even that(How did I ever grow to be 5' 14"?). She isn't a big eater, and at home she always eats the main course first, and then gets full, so her salad becomes a late night snack. After a plateful of salad and half a plate of calamari, I knew she wouldn't have room left for her shrimp scampi and sure enough, her entire main course sat there chilling, as we all ate ours. It wasn't wasted though, it eventually went home with her in a Styrofoam container. My pansotti and Italian sausage was tasty, and quite filling after the salad and appetizers, so when deserts were ordered, I passed and just ordered coffee. With the exception of the Philistine siting to my right, it was an enjoyable evening of good company and gastronomy , but I will have to do some extra pedaling this week to make up for all the extra calories consumed.

So far the predicted second big snow storm of the week, has turned out to be a non event here. I ran out this morning, and refilled the kerosene can just in case, but so far we have only had about an inch and half of wet snow and sleet. The bulk of the storm seems to be going north of here, where another 10-20" are predicted on top of the 30" they already got this past weekend, but we're not out of the woods yet, because strong gusting winds are predicted for tomorrow, so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.

Update on the weather - 8:31 AM

Well, apparently I spoke too soon. When I got up this morning I looked out the window, and it looked like a blizzard outside! Another four inches fell overnight, and according to the weather report on TV this morning, it's supposed to continue for another couple of hours. I don't know where it came from, because when I looked at the radar last night before going to bed, it looked like the storm was leaving our area. It must have wrapped back around.

Melissa XX


Stace said...

I'm not entirely surprised at your nocturnal pursuits last night I have to say :)

Congrats on finally managing to get together with everybody for the birthday celebration, sorry to hear about your brother in law - hope it didn't ruin the evening.


PS 5' 14". Would that not make you 6'2"? :)

Melissa said...

@ Stace

Re: PS 5' 14". Would that not make you 6'2"? :)

Bite your tongue girl! ;-)

Melissa XX

alan said...

So glad to find words from you here, meaning you have power, or at least did a few hours ago! I haven't heard from my son yet today...was here hoping for an e-mail.

I know there are those who look down on Olive Garden, but no more often than we eat out, I love it!

May all of you who are in the grip of this latest storm stay warm and dry!


caroline said...

Stace! you don't have to rub it in, some of us are tall.

Glad you have been spared some of the snow, you can have too much of a good thing, an inch or two counts as a good thing for a couple of days.

What do they say? A moment on the lips a month on the hips! Pedal away.

Caroline xxx

Stace said...

Opps... Completly missed the irony there :) Do I feel stupid at the moment... That's shameful for someone from England!

But... Is 6'2" Really that tall? Or have I been in Holland too long? (@5'10" I am about the same height or slightly shorter than most of the girls I know, and a *lot* shorter than an amount of them - the tallest I know is about 6'4" - and she still wears heels without a trace of self conciousness)



Anonymous said...

5'14" LOL
Thats a great way to put it !
you could just define it in cm then nobody would have a clue.
You would be 188cm.

caroline said...

Metric is hopeless for parents isn't it? We can sat my little xzy is 3 ft, 4ft, 5ft, even 6ft tall now, try that in metric, my little xzy is nearly 1m tall, over 1m tall, will never reach 2m tall...

Lisa is right use cm or we tall ones could just move to Holland to keep Stace company.

Caroline xxx

Calie said...

I LOVE Olive Garden!

And, I so relate to your comments about "men"!

Calie xxx (5' 13")

Ms.LizzyBeth said...

Sweet, I love finding that my schizo measuring standards are finally starting to creep out into the world. But what confused me was when did men start eating salads!?! Seriously, that is something that I rarely ever see.