Judging by the Crowds, “Factory” is an Apt Moniker

I suppose that gift cards have their place.  I personally don’t like them: they’re impersonal, have limited use, and (before the CARD Act) had ridiculous terms of use.  90% of the time I’ve gotten a gift card, it’s to a retailer I don’t use.

Case in point: the Cheesecake Factory.  My mother won a $25 Cheesecake Factory gift card as a door prize 2 Christmases ago, didn’t want it, and subsequently passed it on to me. Where it has sat.  Unused.  For nearly two years.

I have never in my life been to a Cheesecake Factory.  The only reason why I tried to go last Saturday was because both The Boy and I had been bestowed gift cards.  What the hell, we thought, a free meal is a free meal.

What a disaster!  There are only two CFs in Cleveland, both of which are in similar outdoor-style, lifestyle malls.  It doesn’t matter what day of the week or what time of day you go to these malls, they are always a crowded nightmare.  We ended up parking a quarter-mile away.  I don’t know why he and I thought that somehow, because it was 9 pm on a Saturday when we finally got there, that the wait would be 30 minutes, maximum.

I was wrong.

My hand to my Gram’s china, there were no less than 35 groups of people waiting for a table.  It was like throngs of wounded soldiers waiting for a medic. People waited in small congregations outside the restaurant, in between the two sets of doors of the restaurant, in the foyer of the restaurant, pressing there wet noses against the cheesecake refrigerator glass in the restaurant….

The Boy is much more charitable than I: he saw the initial waiting patrons, and said, “We don’t know how bad it will be, let’s try.”  But it just kept getting worse. We stood inside the foyer, in the hostess desk like (behind 16 people) for all of ten seconds before he looked at me and said, “Texas Roadhouse?”

And Texas Roudhouse it was.  And so worth it, even after a 15-minute drive to get from Lyndhurst to Lake County.

We probably wouldn’t have gotten out of CF for less than $50 as it was, and I’m not inclined to enjoy a meal when I feel like I’m eating on top of three other tables.

I’m not even mean enough to give these gift cards away for free to our family.  I’ve already sold mine on Plastic Jungle.  Judging by the crowd, I’m sure someone will be foaming at the mouth to get my gift card at a discount.

Friday Five for September 17, 2010 – Nagging

Happy Half-Birthday to me. So, at the halfway-mark, how do I think my magical birth year is going? Pretty well.  I’ve come a lot father in year 26 on this planet than I have in years past, but not as far as I want to be.  Luckily, I have 6 months to get the rest of the way there.

I didn’t do Friday5 last week: I was feeling uninspired.  This week seemed interesting.  Here you go.

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5! Please copy these questions to your webspace. Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses. Please don’t forget to link us from your website!

  1. What kinds of nagging injuries do you have?
    My right hip and knee will hurt when running without stretching, when I’ve been sitting too long in chairs without cushion, or when the weather changes.  I’m not sure what I did to cause the injury, but the pain is nagging.
  2. What long-procrastinated task is nagging at you lately?
    Working on furthering my career.  I’ve been sitting in limbo on that for a while.
  3. In what way have you been a nag to someone else?
    I feel like I’m constantly nagging at The Boy to get “couple” things taken care of: getting a joint checking account, getting him to save independently of his pension for retirement, getting him to save $$ for our vacations..
  4. Who in your life is a world-class nag?
    No comment.
  5. Nag is such an ugly word. What would be a nicer way to describe someone who exhibits nagging tendencies?
    Personal Assistant.

Source: Friday5.org

Friday Five for September 3, 2010 – Ink

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5! Please copy these questions to your webspace. Answer them there, then leave a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses. Please don’t forget to link us from your website!

  1. What are the coolest and ugliest tattoos you’ve ever seen?
    The coolest? I really like Kat Von D’s style, she is fabulous at using the tattoo needle like a pencil (I love pencil drawings), as opposed to using it like a marker outliner.
    The worst? Lemme put it this way, if you are paying only double-digits for substantial ink, there’s a reason why.  Good art is expensive.
  2. Have you ever had a meal in which squid ink was an ingredient? How was it?
    I have not, but I would love to try squid ink linguine.
  3. Are you one of those people who has a favorite pen, or one of those people who just uses whatever’s at hand? What’re your favorite pens like?
    Go figure, I’m a picky pen user.  But I love pens.  Love, love, love them!
    For drawing, there is nothing the old standard, Bic.
    Currently, for writing, I like a liquid or a gel ink pen.  I don’t find that ballpoint pen ink leaves a bold enough line.  Here are my current favorites: the Uniball Vision, Pilot V Razor, and the Uniball Signo 207.
  4. There’s a box of colored markers on the table, and someone tells everyone assembled to grab one. If you have first pick, what do you take?
    Dark pink.
  5. Have you ever written on a wall in a public place?
    I have not, but I think I might make it a goal on my next 101 in 1001 challenge.

Thanks for participating, and have a permanent weekend!

Source: Friday5.org