Saturday, October 28, 2006

Signs that you're at a bad restaurant. Seriously. Even with a coupon for one free meal, sometimes it's just not worth it.

Yesterday's dining experience:

  1. There's no sign on the restaurant. Well, there's a sign, but it's not the name on the coupon.
  2. There's no number, so you have to narrow down the location by driving up and down the street.
  3. You finally stop at the one building that appears to be a restaurant, although it has a different name, and ask one of the exiting patrons. He's plastered. Doesn't know the restaurant. Thinks for a minute. Slaps his forehead (really -- I thought that only happened in movies or cartoons). Remembers that the restaurant is attached to the bar he's leaving.
  4. When entering the door of the establishment, you're hit with a wave of cigarette smoke that could knock out an elephant.
  5. The sign at the front of the restaurant, which happens to be hidden underneath some garland at the cash register (I have eagle eyes), says the coupons from the publication where our coupon came from are not being honored. We ask the hostess. It's next year's coupons that are being nixed. We can use ours. (We will come to regret this.)
  6. The waitress has bad dental work and a bad bleach job.
  7. Items that are on 'special' are not eligible for the coupon. Half the menu items are on 'special', although this does not mean that they are all reduced in price.
  8. The coffee poured by the waitress, at the table, is barely lukewarm.
  9. When asked for spoons, the waitress points to the little basket containing the sugar and creamer and says there's a spoon there. There is. One spoon. Apparently everyone at the table must share the spoon. Who knows -- maybe they've been playing spoons and things have just gotten out of hand.
  10. The request for new coffee results in the waitress having to make a fresh pot. This takes ten minutes.
  11. Did you know that a 'special skinless baked potato' is really a boiled potato? Come on!
  12. Dinner is served. We have no utensils. The waitress exhibited Olympics-like speed when exiting the table, so we had to find our own. We opted not to attempt to eat our dinner with the single allotted spoon.
  13. The food is actually okay, skinless baked potato aside. Except that the grilled shrimp I ordered is COVERED with pepper. I'm not a big pepper fan, so I only eat half. I got tired of trying to scrape seasonings off.
  14. Waitress returns to table to ask for our coupon so she can adjust the bill. She returns 15 minutes later. Since we didn't see her for the entire time, we can only presume one of two things -- she was having a cigarette (the smoke must have been thinning) or there were numbers to be carried in the math that had to be performed to account for the coupon.
  15. Discover Card is placed in the pocket in the bill portfolio. This is the portfolio with 'Discover' proudly emblazoned on the front.
  16. Waitress returns ten minutes later. Despite the portfolio, the restaurant doesn't accept Discover Cards.
  17. Waitress, when requested, brings us one last cup of coffee. We share the spoon one more time.

In reviewing that list, it's apparent that we should have been alerted enough to just get in the vehicle and drive away back up there in #4 or #5. But noooooooooooo. We had a coupon! And we were starving. Perhaps next time we should eat before we leave home so we're not at the mercy of such an establishment.

Today was nicer. We went to the Outback. No surprises. Good food. Had fun with our friends. No coupon though. Had to pay full price for that one. Sometimes it's worth it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I have a headache!!!! Isn't that a fine way to start a blog entry? I haven't had one of these awful horrible terrible headaches in awhile, almost a year now, and I'd forgotten just how bad they can be. Prescription drugs are helping a bit, but it's still hanging out there on the fringes. I spent about an hour today with an ice pack on top of my head. That helped while it was there, but once it was removed the headache was back. It's tough to do anything with an ice pack on your head, ya know?

I realized today that it's been more than a week since my last post! And I've made all sorts of new things since then. I've been having a BLAST knitting hats and scarflets. I have some listed on Etsy right now, for really reasonable prices.

Aren't those fun?!?!?! They're a lot of fun to make, too, since they're so varied. I had forgotten all about having circular knitting needles in my craft stash, but I came across them a couple of weeks ago and have been making hats ever since.

I've also been playing around with some scrapbooking paper and some tags. I love little tiny things, so I made these little envelopes:

Here's a set of square ones, just right for attaching as gift cards for a special baby:

Here's a set of business-card sized ones, which I listed on Etsy so people can use them as their Thank You notes for customers:

And here's an assortment, with some bigger tags in handmade library pockets, some of the little square envelopes with cards, and some small scalloped gift tags. This set is all in shades of blue:

Check out my Etsy shop to find more of my recent creations!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Halloween crocheted lariat and earrings. These turned out even better than I expected they would. Hundreds of beads had to be strung to make this nice and long -- 57" of crocheted pattern, plus another 3" of branch fringe on each end! The fringes are fun, too, with black branches tipped with orange; and orange branches tipped with black. I liked those so much that I used the same style for the earrings.

The other big project today was hauling stuff up from the basement and down from the second floor, readying a big pile to donate to the local Purple Hearts chapter. Although I know they're coming a couple of weeks ahead of time, I always seem to wait until the day before the scheduled pickup to assemble everything to be donated. Oh well. It gives me a goal.

The TV's about to go on the fritz for good, I think. It's an old TV, one of those giant 60" behemoths, and the picture keeps going whacky. The colors go out of convergence, so everything has a pink or blue shadow around it. We keep adjusting it, but after a couple of hours it goes whacky again. Looks like we're going to have to go on a quest for a new one, and my husband's going to want another behemoth. :-) I must admit that it makes watching movies pretty enjoyable.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Gift tags. Yep, I've been making these little guys, and I'm having a lot of fun. I have a bunch of decorated paper (well, who doesn't) and tons of ribbon, so it just seemed like I should do something with all of that. The tags are fun to make, except for the noise of the punch when I cut them out. It's driving my husband nuts, so I have to plan my noisy time and my quiet time (when I cut and tie the ribbons onto the tags). He's much happier during quiet time.

So there I was, happily making little gift tags... And then I decided I wanted to make little envelopes with cards. The fact that I had no pattern for these envelopes didn't stop me either. All those years of drafting and design paid off, and I was able to come up with a template for making these cool little things. I'm so easily amused it's pathetic.

Never one to sit around idle, I've also been knitting away with the yarns I bought during that recent trip to Joann Fabrics. Another trip is planned for tomorrow, to hit yet another sale, so there's a good possibility that I'll come home loaded down with even more stuff! I've made some little scarflets, short little scarves that will have buttons and sit just around the neck. I haven't sewn the buttons on yet or taken any photos, but they'll be posted on here and in etsy as soon as I finish those tasks. I'm trying to figure out how to take photos of myself, since the scarves display themselves much better if they're around a real neck. If I can't get a good photo, I may have to enlist the aid of my husband to take the pictures. Otherwise, I'm thinking of using my little stuffed pig as a model.

The other unfinished project is my bunch of paper beads. I made a TON. Well, not a ton really, but a lot of them. I strung them together in color-coordinated bunches, and now I'm just trying to decide how to coat them. I think some people use shellac for a coating, but I'm thinking of spraying them with polyurethane. That means I have to be outdoors, since I don't want the fumes taking over the house, and it's been nasty weather here lately.

In fact, we just had tornado warnings a couple of days ago! The sirens were going off, wind was whipping the trees around like crazy, and the weather channel was advising everyone in our area to look for shelter. Down to the basement we went, armed with our flashlights, wallets, and keys (because, of course, the house could get blown away but we'd still need to be able to start one of the vehicles afterwards -- right?). We sat there for awhile watching the weather channel and then played some darts. My husband can actually hit the dartboard when he throws a dart. I, on the other hand, managed to miss the dartboard completely a few times. Since it's mounted on the handrail, that means the darts wind up on the stairs, or whacking against the cement wall on the other side of the stairs, or ricocheting off something and landing who-knows-where in the basement. It's a dangerous sport for me.