Posts Tagged "restaurant"

National Armed Forces Day and the Future

Dear Kid,

Today is National Armed Forces Day. (It’s also National Waiters and Waitresses Day which I suppose in some instances is like being in battle, but since the worst that will happen in a restaurant is a chocolate stain, I’m going to focus on Armed Forces Day.)

Sometime in the past (after History was born but before the current millennium), there were Days in the US set aside to recognize the different branches of the military. President Harry S. Truman (who really had no middle name—just an initial) established a single holiday “for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.”The land of the free and the home of the brave.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day.

Today is a day of graduation parties, of finishing high school and looking ahead to the next chapter.

For those going to college, congratulations, study hard, and read DearKidLoveMom. For those going into the work force, congratulations, work hard, and read DearKidLoveMom. For those going into the military or an ROTC program, congratulations, serve proudly, and thank you for your service. And read DearKidLoveMom.

To all those who have served or who are currently serving, we thank you.

Love, Mom

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SuperPower Allows Me to Kill Technology Better Than Ever

Dear Kid,

Turns out technology and food are inexorably linked.

Have I told you about my superpower? Actually, I have several, but the one I’m talking about right now is the Ability to Kill Electronics (superhero theme music plays in background).

My business plan is that when I retire, I will rent myself out to people who want to take a break in their day. I will sit in the lobby of their business and, by my mere superhero presence, shut down all computers on the premises. The people who hired me (and their coworkers) get a break while IT frantically fixes everything. Brilliant.

Apparently, Grandpa has a similar (and more powerful) superpower. Combined, we are a human supermagnet.

...This meant they were reduced to using smoke signals to communicate their orders to the chef, and taking payment in the form of live

“Would you like to sit outside?” [Economy seating is available.] “No.” [It’s a tad chilly for that. But thanks for asking.]

Remember the long wait for a table at the restaurant the other night? (Read about it here.) Part of the Problem of the Delay was that the restaurant’s computer system crashed mere moments after we arrived. The crashed system meant they couldn’t put in orders for food, process credit cards, or – apparently – seat people.

In this particular case, the lack of technology also threw the waitstaff (two people) into A Complete Tizzy.

They cleverly switched to their backup system.

Did I mention that both Grandpa and I were present?

The backup crashed.

This meant they were reduced to using smoke signals to communicate their orders to the chef, and taking payment in the form of live chickens.

The Tizzy elevated to a full-fledged Frenzy.

The patrons meanwhile began discussing the best methods for raising poultry and the current flatbread/chicken exchange rate.

The moral of the story, Oh Dear One, is to learn basic math facts and skills—or be sure to carry an abacus around with you.

Love, Mom

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Learning to Speak Standard Restaurant Arrival Banter

Dear Kid,

Sometimes I worry that you don’t speak another language. Today, I am going to teach you how to speak and interpret Standard Restaurant Arrival Banter. Or possibly Sub-Standard Restaurant Arrival Banter.

The other night (let’s call it Sunday), Grandma and Grandpa and I went out for dinner. Let’s call the restaurant DD Flats.

Learning How To Speak Standard Restaurant Arrival Banter.

It was an adorable little place with about a dozen tables half of which were full when we got there.

Because you are a smart college student, I probably do not have to point out that this means that half were empty. As in not occupied.

Shortly after we arrived, we entered into the Standard Restaurant Arrival Banter.

“How many?” [Hello]

“Three.” [We’d like to eat here.]

“Do you have a reservation?” [Let me see if you’re on our List.]

“Um, no.” [Um, half your tables are empty.]

“One minute.” [I don’t care if the tables are empty; you have to wait because you don’t have a reservation.]

“OK. Thank you.” [Fine, but who are we really kidding?]


“Would you like to sit outside?” [Economy seating is available.]

“No.” [It’s a tad chilly for that. But thanks for asking.]

“It will be a 20 minute wait.” [Told you you’d have to wait if you don’t have a reservation.]

“Thank you.” [Seriously? Half of these tables are empty!]


“I checked with the Head Waiter and it will be a 20 minute wait.” [I’m just saying what I’ve been told to say.]

“OK. Thank you.” [Yeah. We heard you the first time. And the tables are still empty.]

EEEE-ventually (and I do mean eventually, but that’s a different story), we were seated and had a very nice dinner.

Dinner at DD Flats. Learning to speak Standard Restaurant Arrival Banter.

Dinner at DD Flats. Learning to speak Standard Restaurant Arrival Banter.


The two middle tables (which were apparently reserved for a party of 8) remained empty. All night.

Love, Mom

Food photos taken by Grandma. Because she’s better at it than I am.

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Disappointing Dinner and Social Media Consequences

Dear Kid,

We had a very disappointing dinner this weekend.

I decided we should go out. Pi kindly provided a list of 57 possible restaurants. I consulted Yelp! and began a thorough analysis of not ridiculously expensive Italian places.

Based on 614 independent factors and a little bit of eeny-meeny, I chose Cucinova. Cucinova got great ratings on Yelp! They serve pizza, pasta, and salads and you get to pick your own ingredients (think Italian Chipotle).

I had penne, Dad and Pi had salads (the key ingredient in the proteins and the roasted veggies is pepper which explains why Dad made the salad choice). The meals were served in heavy paper bowls that clearly said compostable (both in feel and in the pressed message on the bottom of the bowls).

My whole life has been spent waiting for an epiphany, a manifestation of God’s presence, the kind of transcendent, magical experience that let’s you see your place in the big picture. And that is what I had with my first compost heap. Bette Midler

There was no compost bin in the restaurant. None.

This did not sit well with your sister.

Not at all.

Especially since Cucinova is right next to Fusion where they have a whole compostable/recycling message.

The average US. Household generates 650 lbs. of compostable materials each year.

So not only did Pi ask the mostly indifferent staff (except the dude who made our meals—he was awesome) where their compost bin was (they didn’t have one and didn’t seem to care much) she started tweeting.

Kinda strange that @Cucinova has compostable bowls but no compost bin. #SaveThePlanet

As of this writing that one tweet has gotten 4 RTs, almost 40 favorites (we’re trying to hit a record—please feel free to retweet or fave), and no response from @Cucinova. Which goes to show why monitoring your social media accounts is not a 5 day 40 hour responsibility.

#SavethePlanet“Why,” says Pi, “would you go to the trouble and expense of buying compostable bowls and then NOT have a compost bin??”

I’m queen of my own compost heap and I’m getting used to the smell. Ani DiFranco

I raised good kids.

Love, Mom

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Perspectives on Travel

Dear Kid,

Have you ever noticed that traveling looks wonderful and invigorating in television commercials and magazine ads?

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine DearKidLoveMom.comI can only assume that this is because the actors have a) all traveled first class to get to their destination and b) have had several days to rest from said travels.

Or because the ad was filmed on a sound stage which required a commute time of 27 minutes.

Or because there is something magical about the hats the actors wear (you know, the huge brimmed hats that make the women look like movie stars). Of course, the magic called “retouching” and “photoshop” help too.

Real life travel is not advertisement-quality travel. Unless by advertisement-quality you mean it’s flat and tasteless.

Real life travel is tiring. It may mean delayed (or canceled) flights. It may mean driving through rain and hail in places like East Nowhere, PA. It generally involves meals that sit awkwardly in your stomach like a misplaced bowling ball (looking at you, Cracker Barrel). It inevitably means (for me) too much caffeine and too little sleep.

Also it does bad things to my hair. You don’t have this problem, I know. But I do. I don’t know how some women manage to travel with their own cadre of hairdressers, but they look fabulous while I look like mice found lodging near my scalp.

The good news is there is often good stuff at the other end of travel. Like family. And borrowed puppies. And sometimes warm weather.

And travel, no matter how wonderful, always makes us appreciate home just a little bit more.

Love, Mom


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