Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Posts Update IV

No Checks In The Mail
For some reason my mail now doesn't show up until around 5:00 pm. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with my decision to pay all of my bills online (which is still going splendidly), but it is not cool.

Rabbit Stew
Toby has been saved! It looks like the folks at bored.com have stepped in and taken over savetoby.com, sparing the rabbit's life and compensating his owners for their trouble. Oh, well. No Lapin Braisé.

The Replacements
As I was driving home from work at 2:00 am in the pouring rain, the alternator in the Corsica decided to give out. The radio played only static, the lights dimmed, and the windshield wipers went into slow motion. I turned off all unnecessary systems and made it home. With a brand-spanking factory rebuilt alternator in it now, the Corsica is like new. Well, you know what I mean.

Lawn Care
Since the last update, I have found a Q-tip and a cable wrap that signifies "Verizon FIOS" fiber optic line in my yard. So that's what those five trucks have been up to for the past few weeks. Of course, FIOS is not yet available in my neighborhood. Soon, though, I'm sure that all of the old people that live near me will be willing to plunk down $50 a month for lightning fast access to the internet.

Purple Tape
The trial of Beverly Coon has been moved to September 13th because of a scheduling conflict. Apparently a key witness has a vacation coming up that has already been booked. Justice postponed for a trip to the beach! Whatever. No word yet on whether Mr. Grimm can be in the same room as a ladylock.

Stop Turning Left
Ben Roethlisberger is back in the public eye after his accident, looking pretty much like the old Big Ben. He was fined $388 for riding without a valid license and riding without a helmet. Steelers Training Camp starts at the end of this week - then we'll know if he is really back. I've heard that the Cincinnati Bengals are looking into signing a Chrysler New Yorker to play inside linebacker.

Again With The Chocolate Lasagna?
The response to my Chocolate Lasagna post has been overwhelming. People that I don't even know from all over the country have been coming forward with their own stories and showing their support. So I took my frustration to the next level and shared my comments with the Olive Garden through their website. I just got a response; Erich says that they "understand my disappointment" and "have documented [my] preference for Chocolate Lasagna for future consideration." And they're sending me a gift card so that I can try to find a new favorite.

I plan on using the gift card as soon as Chocolate Lasagna returns to the menu.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Crazy Running Lady

Every now and then on my way to or from work, I see a very interesting individual. On a gigantic hill that is about 2 1/2 miles from my house, there is a woman who runs along the side of the road.

I know that this is not unusual. People are running all over the place, getting in shape for no good reason. The unusual part is the runner herself.

She is always dressed in corporate attire while she is running. Corporate attire from the late 1970's to be exact. I have seen her running in blouses, skirts, slacks, and even pantyhose. Sometimes she has a raincoat on. Sometimes she is carrying a shoulder bag or an umbrella. And she is always wearing dress shoes.

I'm pretty sure that she isn't running away from anything. And she probably isn't constantly late for the bus, since I have seen her going in different directions and on opposite sides of the street. So I guess that she must be running for exercise.

And make no mistake, she is running. Full speed. And she zigs and zags onto and off of the road itself. I don't know if she is working on her dexterity or what, but she crosses the white line on the side of the street like she is doing a pavement slalom.

She startled me the first few times that I saw her. That particular road isn't the safest place to burn some calories, and the grade of the hill would challenge many a professional athlete. I was just trying not to hit her with my car. But it became interesting after a while, seeing this skinny woman with Coke bottle glasses darting in and out of the three feet of berm that exists on the side of the road. All while being dressed up for a meeting with the client.

At some point I started shouting "crazy running lady! woooo!" when I would see her. It was like tapping the windshield when you go through a yellow light - I did it for luck every time she appeared.

Why "crazy running lady"? Well, she's crazy. I wouldn't go anywhere near that road as a pedestrian, let alone wearing a button-down shirt and wingtips. And she runs. And she's a lady.

Not the most inventive title, I know, but it pretty much sums up the character.

At one point on the way home, I saw a couple of police cars and an ambulance parked halfway up the hill. I thought that it might be crazy running lady. Maybe she zigged when she should have zagged. But it wasn't her. It was some kid that looked like he fell off his skateboard. (For the record, he was not wearing dress clothes).

A few weeks ago, I was driving through my neighborhood and I spotted someone running along the side of the road. I really didn't think anything of it, until this person made an abrupt step onto the street in front of my car. It was crazy running lady! She had run for miles and made a right turn to get there. And she was wearing a matching track suit and running shoes. What the heck was going on?

I didn't even have time to yell her name for luck. I wasn't ready for her to be there, so far away from her normal stomping grounds.

Had she heard me exclaim "crazy running lady" at some point even though my windows were up? And did she follow me home one day to argue about her sanity and/or riddle the Corsica with dents from her umbrella? I never thought to look in the rear view mirror after I would pass her on the hill - maybe she can run really, really fast.

As it turns out, nothing happened. She just kept on running.

I never found out what she was doing in my neighborhood that day. In fact, I haven't seen her at all since then. Maybe she found nirvana in her outfit that was made especially for running and she just kept on going.

If so, she's probably in South Carolina by now.

Go, crazy running lady, go.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Again With The Chocolate Lasagna?

All right, Olive Garden. What is the deal with taking Chocolate Lasagna off of the menu again?

I thought we already figured this whole thing out about a year ago, when you first decided to remove the best dessert ever made (by an Italian-themed chain restaurant) from your list of offerings. I contacted you through the website. I called the 800 number. I wrote petition chain letter emails.

Chocolate Lasagna came back.

For a limited time, I guess.

During my latest visit to your restaurant, I asked if you still had the Chocolate Lasagna as soon as we sat down. Ever since the first time it disappeared, I feel that I must ask about its status upon arrival, as I am suspicious of your continuous "updates" to the dessert menu. And rightfully so. When the server told me that it wasn't available, I thought it was some kind of cruel joke. Again with the Chocolate Lasagna? You can't be serious.

She was not kidding. And to tell you the truth, I don't think she could believe it either.

I almost got right up and walked out when I heard the news. I don't have to subject myself to that kind of ridiculousness. And I would have, too. But I was with my wife. And I was hungry. And we had a gift card.

Next time, Olive Garden, you won't be so lucky.

Chocolate Lasagna is the whole reason that I visit your establishment. Do you think I come in just so I can pay $9.50 for some spaghetti? Why would any restaurant decide to take the best thing on their menu off of it?

I'm not impressed with its replacement, either. Chocolate gelato? It's just ice cream, people. Topped with some chocolate chunks that should instead be on a piece of Chocolate Lasagna. Nice try.

They've pushed me to my limit again. I'm boycotting the Olive Garden until Chocolate Lasagna is reinstated. Please join me.

Or at least sign my petition chain letter email. And send it to 10 of your friends.