Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sorry, This Seat is Reserved

Place: Iceberg Drive-Inn
Lunch: Iceburger (no tomato), onion rings, red raspberry milk shake

The Iceburger is the very definition of decadant. I'm just saying.

I got to experience "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" in IMAX. WOW. I couldn't believe how steady and clear the picture was on that huge screen. Pretty amazing.

The theatre in question is trying out "reserved seating". I find this to be kind of silly for a movie theatre. When you go to the box office, you pick your seats from a computer map. (If you buy online or from an automated ticket kiosk, it picks your seats for you. You don't get a choice.) I had no problem doing this because I've been in this auditorium before when it was "large format", so I knew where my favorite seat would be. But it was clear when the show started that I was in the minority. I tend to like an "in your face" presentation, so I choose seats closer to the screen than most.
This show was far from a sellout, and people near me were getting up once the movie started and moving to other seats.

A man and his two teenagers were sitting next to us. His daughter says "Dad, why did you pick these seats?"

"So we could see the show."

"Well my friends and I sat up there (upper tier) last time and it was PERFECT!"

"Fine. We can move."

"No we can't. Those seats cost more."

"No they don't."

"Yes they do, Dad."

"I don't think so."

"Well you're wrong."

So they stayed.

She was wrong, by the way.

Plus, ushers have to walk most people to their seats because people are apparently too stupid to read the aisle and seat numbers for themselves. Most of them saw the map when they bought the tickets, so they should know where to go. Late comers who show up after the movie has started are the worst because the ushers have to use a flashlight and they have to climb over those of us who showed up on time instead of just picking some available aisle seats.

I guess the benefit here is that large families can be assured they all sit together. The weekend shows tend to sell out, so that makes some sense. But weekday matinees with less than a third of the house sold...Why bother?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Topeka Workrate Report

Place: Fatburger (in Aurora CO, not Topeka)
Lunch: Fatburger with egg (no tomato, no relish), chili dog, chocolate shake

If my experience this morning says anything, Topeka is nothing but a bunch of lazy people who just don't care.

First, breakfast at Steak n Shake. I order chili. "We don't have any because we opened at six (because of Thanksgiving) and it's not ready yet." Then she just stares at me like it's my fault for ordering it.

Second, Conoco. I pull in to fill up, and nine of the twelve pumps have baggies over them. So I go to one of the three that do (supposedly) work, go through the process to get the pump going, and it won't go. So I go inside and ask the cashier what's going on. He goes out and fiddles with it, and he can't get it going either. "You can try three or five, those are the only other ones that work." I try one of the two. Same deal. I leave.

So I go up the road looking for another gas station. A few blocks away, a second Conoco. It ALSO has bags over at some of the pumps. I don't even bother.

Up the road some more. No more gas stations. Turn around and hit the other main drag. Eventually find a BP. Pull in. "This gas pump does not generate receipts." Uh, yeah. I start pumping gas. The pump works for about three seconds, then the automatic shutoff happens as if the tank is full. I push it again. It does it again. Eventually, I get ten bucks of gas in and give up. I'm REALLY frustrated and want out of this town as quickly as possible. The cashier gives me a receipt. Out I went.

The rest of the day went well. Picked up a winter supply of pecan log rolls at Stuckey's, made it to Denver fairly quickly, and successfully navigated a shopping development and got into Fatburger on Black Friday. Fatburger aint cheap, but it sure is good.

And it's a beautiful day.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Place: Waffle House
Lunch: Bert’s chili, bacon, two eggs, toast, no grits

Technically, it's breakfast. But I won't eat again until Thanksgiving dinner, so I'm counting it.

Poor Misha isn't here to enjoy it. Misha (blog link to the right) says she loves Waffle House, but claims nobody ever wants to go with her when she's near one. She says we need to go sometime, and I've offered to take her, but she never seems to want to. It kind of reminds me of a girl I once knew who was always bugging me to ask her out so she could say no.

Meanwhile at the Waffle House, a server who reminds me of Flo from "Alice" is wondering aloud why water is flowing from the coffee machine to the floor. "Somebody tried to make coffee without a filter," she says. My server Suzy takes credit for the problem. Everybody thinks this is funny. Basically because it is. Even Suzy does. She is, by her own admission, very sleepy. Waffle House pays poorly, but the staff sure has fun.

I have a lovely drive ahead of me through the backwoods of Missouri to a Thanksgiving family reunion. This group doesn't get together often. It's been fifteen years since the last time.

Should be a hoot.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sometimes I Wonder

Place: Jason's Deli
Lunch: Beefeater po-boy, Texas chili

It's too early to feel this worn out. I spent the morning fixing the fan switch in my car. This required removing part of the dash. Lots of screws. And I ended up with two spare screws. I have no idea where they would have gone, and nothing's rattling...

A young skinny couple is in line in front of me. She's a blonde who looks fairly athletic and light in the head. He's tall and scruffy. They hug at least three times. When not hugging, he is scratching a small section of her back. They're wearing sweats. And she says...

"That was actually kind of fun! It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. And I didn't get THAT muddy."

Yeah. Paint your own picture.

Say! They're building a Qdoba across the street! 'Bout time we got one.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Day After

Place: Home
Lunch: Campbell’s Select Chicken Tortilla soup, cold pizza

Our first snowfall of the season arrived Tuesday, 15-Nov-2005. An inch or two landed and froze atop a sheet of ice from the rain that preceded it. Clear skies, heavy winds, and a temperature of 21 make today bitterly cold. But the shiny crunchy snow is beautiful, creating a peaceful white landscape that reminds me of my North Dakota days. I’d recommend polarized sunglasses if you plan to do any amount of driving.

Good soup day. Yet the cold pizza beckoned too.

Cold pizza is like that.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Fate and Fortunes

Place: PF Chang's
Lunch: Double pan-fried noodles with beef, Dan Dan noodles, chicken lettuce wraps

PF Chang's chicken lettuce wraps are wonderful. If you've never been...go.

The fortune in my cookie said "You will soon find someone sympathetic to your cause". HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! HA HA HA (cough) HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Still, I'm taking it to work and posting it on my monitor, or somewhere prominent.

The lucky numbers included with the fortune were 4, 14, 17, 38, 44, and the powerball 16. Feel free to play them.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Suitcases and Burritos

PLACE: Pancheros
LUNCH: Pork burrito with black beans and hot sauce

It's a lovely day. Sunny and at least 70 degrees. Far too hot for November. It's supposed to be cold. I'm driving around with the sunroof open.

As I watch people wander into the restaurant at a rate of about one man for every six women, a large woman wearing an oversized yellow sweater and white pants enters. She is carrying a suitcase. A suitcase that is in a clear plastic bag.

She enters, moves to the left of the door, and stares at the menu board from afar.

It's not that big a menu board, really.

She eventually puts the suitcase down, and continues to read the not so big menu board.

The help doesn't seem to notice.

About the time I'm done with my burrito, a woman walks in and sees her. "Hiiiiiii!" they gleefully say in unison. Then the first woman presents the suitcase to the other woman, who cracks up laughing. "I didn't have time to wrap it," she says.

The suitcase takes up residence in a booth and the girls order lunch.

I move on to the shiny new Cold Stone Creamery next door for a cake batter ice cream with cookie dough mix-in.