Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Taz Update

I guess this is as good as any place to mention this, but Taz has gone to Doggy Heaven. It was bound to happen. I miss him already.

Other news, my date with Jill on Saturday night didn't go well. I picked her up at 6:30 and she seemed to be a different person than Friday night. She was much more critical and negative. By the end of our first drink, I learned that she didn't like my car, my line of work, or, as it turns out, my "sense" of humor.

Somewhere in the middle of my second cocktail, I began to feel woozy. It wasn't due to the whisky. It felt like someone slipped me a pig sedative. I don't know what it was but I was slurring my speech and had problems focusing my eyes. I suggested we leave and she was all for that.

We didn't even make it to dinner.

She drove my car back to her house. I left my car there and walked over to my office, which was 1/4 mile away and slept on a couch in the reception area.

I woke up Sunday with a terrific headache. I felt fine all of Sunday, but have no idea what was in that drink to make me feel that way.

One last thing, it occured to me that it might not be clear to all that Doggy Heaven, referenced earlier, is a spa for pets on Burnet Road. Taz was sprayed by a skunk he encountered at the park and he needs a bath and shampoo. I have to go pick him up at 4:00.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Happy Hour Encounter

I've been EXTREMELY busy this week at work and yesterday around 5:00, a couple of guys from work and I decided to and grab some beers.

We ended up at The Flying Saucer. The place was pretty crowded so we had to sit with another group on the couches by the North wall. I ended up hitting it off with one of the girls in the party we joined. We really, really hit it off. In fact, we are going out tonight for dinner and drinks.

I am in a bit of a dilemma, however. She thinks I have more money than I actually do. After my 401K, Roth IRA, IRS debt, car payment and deferred medical payments (Lasik surgery), I barely have enough money left over from my paycheck for the requisite beer and whiskey.

Houston's would be a nice choice, except I have been banned from that establishment. (People love hearing me tell THAT story.)

I can't afford Ruth's Chris or Flemmings for a few more months. First dates are important, as I have chronicled on this site before. I ended up making a reservation for a window table at the Olive Garden. Hey, all you can eat bread sticks!

I will be reporting back in the next few days on how this evening went!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Resaurant Review

I had the occasion to dine at Luby's for lunch recently (30 minutes ago) and am here to report they have improved immensely since my last visit in October '05.

I arrived at the Austin #4 location at 1:30 as the line to select food had dwindled, but the line to pay was quite long. No matter, by the time I am leaving, that line will be down to nothing. And you know what, it was!!

My first offering was a cole slaw salad with a honey cilantro vinegarette coating. The slaw was mealy and the dressing bland. Much blander than it ever should have been, in fact.

Next up, was a Lemon Basil Tilapia, Green Bean Caserole and Sauteed Vegetables with a dinner roll with a glass of iced tea.

The Tilapia was tender and moist with hints of lemon and basil. The Green Bean Caserole was hearty and the portion was enormous. I barely finished that side. The chef's at Ruby's have outdone themselves on this one. The combination of cooked grean beans, mushroom soup and fried onions must be tasted to believe.

Last up was the Sauteed Vegetables and dinner roll. The dinner roll was fresh and moist and was a perfect complement to the beans and vegetables. The vegetables themselves were ideally sauteed (not to rubbery, not too crisp) and the Spanish Chalooza oil they were marinated in combined for a heavenly taste sensation. I will be ordering these next time I go.

All in all, if you are looking for an unpretentious venue with hearty, reasonably priced food, you could do worse than Luby's!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mr. Boots and The Gravy Boat

In the past week, I have recieved two rejection letters from Step Dad magazine. I am not that surprised, overall, but it was they who approached me, not the other way around.

More bad news. Yesterday, I took my two dogs out for a walk in the neighborhood and encountered the remnants of an estate sale that had lasted all weekend. A Mr. Randolf Boots owned the estate prior to his demise and a caretaker was running the sale which was held in the front yard and driveway of the estate. The caretaker was an attractive woman, roughly my age. She appeared tired, but managed a smile when Luke, Taz and I approached.

I arrived around noon on day two, so pickings were slim. I did spy a gravy boat that I wanted to buy. It was shaped like a cow and had two reservoirs; one reservoir spilled out through the cow's mouth while the second one emptied through the anus. I guess you put milk in the front and gravy in the back. They wanted $12 for it. SOLD!!

I set the boat down on the card table while I retrieved my wallet from my pocket. Meanwhile, the caretaker is playing with Taz and she slaps both of her thighs to get a reaction from Taz. This caused him to jump up and put his front paws on her. In the process, the card table was upended and the gravy boat slid onto the driveway, shattering beyond repair.

She wanted me to pay for it since it was my dog who knocked over the table. I argued it was she who incited the incident and she should be responsible. We agreed on $6. Of course I am without prized gravy boat. That almost ruined my weekend.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Poker Bus from Hell

I just returned from another visit to the Winstar casino. I was hoping to go to Vegas this month to celebrate Sturge's birthday, but I ran into a financial strain, care of our federal government. I had to settle for a bus ride to Oklahoma to satisfy my poker room itch. It costs $12 and I also received $10 in casion action. I was scheduled to meet my friend from high school in the casino entrance at 1:00 PM.

I arrived at the bus stop at 8:30 AM in North Austin. As I arrived, I noticed a couple already queued behind a painted line by some benches so I headed over to join them. No body else joined us and the bus pulled up about 8 minutes later. I was thinking it would be a relatively empty bus as nobody else was at our stop. However, the bus driver told us there were only 5 seats left. The couple had to sit apart and I couldn't decided which of the empty seats to choose from as they were all located next to one kind of reprobate or another. I can't remember having seen such a slatternly lot.

I ended up sitting next to woman wearing sunglasses who appeared to be in her mid 60's. She was on the aisle, so I had to climb past her to get my window seat. As I made my way past her, I detected an odor that hinted strongly of a state fair port-o-potty. Just as I sat down, two more guys ran up to the bus and grabbed the last two seats.

The bus lurched forward and merged with traffic on the frontage road as we made our way North. The bus driver announced over the intercom that they would be heading straight to the casino since all the seats were full. The woman next to me asked what was going on. I tried to tell her what the bus driver said, but she couldn't understand me. She was very hard of hearing so I wrote it out for her on her fast food bag she had in her lap.

Smelly and deaf.

I fell asleep for a couple of hours only to be awoke to the sound of my bus riding neighbor's unflattering toilet event. Her roiling bowels were gurgling up rancid byproducts and I doubt she could hear herself. We were still over two hours from the casino and I was trapped. I pulled my shirt up over my nose and watched the traffic. She finally go up to go to the bathroom in the back of the bus. I glanced down at the seat to check for stains, but there were none. She must have been wearing an adult diaper. She returned after 15 minutes and didn't smell as bad.

We arrived at the casino on time and Robert was there waiting on me. We played 1-2 NL Hold'em for a few hours, but the players were all tight, so we moved to a $2-5 NL table and both made a couple of hundred bucks, which I frittered away on black jack. I had an OK time, but not like I would have in Vegas.

I did get to meet Joe Piscopo. He posed for a picture with Robert. He was a nice guy who hasn't let stardom go to his head.

The bus trip back was uneventful It was also half empty, so I got to sit by myself.