Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cheese + cake + factory

Equals the nationally preferred restaurant among Black females in my humble opinion. Why? I honestly don't know. I never knew they liked cheesecake that much. Matter of fact, I don't think they do. I mean, I never see them indulging in cheesecake in numbers to indicate that it is the cheesecake that attracts them to this establishment in droves. Personally, I think it is a combination of the large portions and numerous menu offerings that brings them out in Obama rally numbers.

With regards to the numerous menu offerings, logically this should not be a reason for Black females to love Cheesecake Factory. Seriously speaking, is it just me or don't they pretty much get the same thing everytime they are there? I mean, they all claim to have 3 favorites but that is just part of the scam they give you so they can act like they have reason to browse through the menu. And this is where I have to give the good folks at Cheesecake Factory mad props. These guys are fully aware of this phenomenon and as a result they fill their menu with ads to capitalize.

Everytime I am there I just sit across the table and watch her flip back and forth from page to page while telling me to turn to this page and that page while she pretends to rack her brain deciding between her three favorite entrees. All this time I am hungry like a dog and this is holding me up from ordering and making the waitress smile and say, "Don't worry, take your time, I will be back to take your order when you're ready." Somewhere around this point is where I say, "You should just go ahead and get __(the one she always get)__. You know you want it." And her response is always, "Yeah, but I had it last time I was here. I want to try something different this time." And in the interest of time, I say, "Well, I will get __(one of her other two faves)__ and you can have some of mine." This my friend, is what she was waiting for all along. You knew it and you know she knows you knew it. But I guess in some sense you were trying to wean her from eating off your plate for the hundredth time. Sadly, you give in, as you always do, because the hunger is becoming too much to bear.

Now the food arrives and of course she eats off your plate and nibbles on hers like you knew she would. Ten mnutes later your plate looks as clean as it did when it came out of the dishwasher because of your hunger and the two of you racing to eat as much food from YOUR plate as possible. You don't even mind sharing your meal with her that much but what grates your last nerve is when you look over at her plate it is at least half-filled. And right on cue she spots you eyeing her half-filled plate and says, "I am stuffed...I think I should get the rest to go." This is when you want to comment but better judgement prevails and you SMILE and say, "Yeah, they sure gave us a lot of food."

So now she tells the waitress that she would like to take the leftovers home as if this wasn't part of her master plan. Yeah, the plan that includes leaving half on her plate so she can get the leftovers to go for the purpose of WALKING AROUND THE MALL with the Cheesecake Factory bag in her hand and taking the leftovers to work the following day TO FRONT ON HER CO-WORKERS. Hey, it could be worse, she may try to get YOU to carry the Cheesecake Factory bag filled with leftovers through the mall.

But HA! This is why you exercised better judgement my friend. Middle of the night when you get hungry again because you were never full in the first place on account of HER RAIDING YOUR PLATE you wake up, go the fridge and spot that ubiquitous Cheesecake Factory bag. After roughly three microwave minutes it is you, SportsCenter, and the Cheesecake Factory leftovers. Ten minutes later you proceed back to bed with a SMILE on your face thinking about the scream that will erupt in the morning when she realizes you foiled her plan to take the leftovers to work. But alas, we both know that even if it means she may run a little late she will make a quick lunch and pack it in that cursed Cheesecake Factory bag!

PS: If this blog entry made you get a taste for some Cheesecake Factory then here is my gift to you in honor of their 30th year anniversary: a complimentary slice of cheesecake with the purchase of two entrees between 6/23/2008 - 6/26/2008.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Motorcycle madness

That time of the year again when I start thinking that I need to get a motorcycle. And this time I have the perfect excuse, gas prices.

But since I don't know how to ride to the point where I am comfortable on government roads I will have to take a class and test. Let me break down the total cost to see if this really makes sense:

Motorcyle permit: $30
Motorcycle class & test: $275
Motorcyle: <= $3K
Motorcycle insurance: No clue??

Assuming I pass the class and test I will be looking for something in the dirt cheap range with my spending limit being $3K and that is including sales tax, title and registration. With that price limit in mind, my skills as a rider, and the fact that I don't want anything older than a 2005 (ideally a 2006) would mean that I will be getting a used Kawasaki Ninja 250R. And from all the research that I have performed gas mileage looks to be in the 60mpg range. Hey, that is more than double what I do now in my 2 door coupe.

But hey, this will be a great entry level bike in which if it doesn't work out I won't be set back too much. Now the big issue is where will I be able to find a helmet to fit MY head??

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Belmont Stakes

Drove all the way from mASS yesterday to the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, NY. Over 4 hours and roughly 200 miles later I arrive smack dab in the middle of what America is all about: diversity. Folks from all walks of life came together somewhere around the number of 100K to see Big Brown vie for the Triple Crown.

The way the whole establishment is setup you cannot help but to get caught up in the demographics. There were so many different sections for different folks depending on how much they were willing to pay and also their status (official, press, etc). There were places that you were allowed into by having a certain stamp on your hand or card around your neck or even sticker on the card around your neck. And I simply didn't understand where I could sit, stand or even buy a drink for most of the day. I did notice that the one of the most comfortable areas I found in the whole place was also the most exclusive as well. On the very top floor of the Belmont a private party was taking place in which there were bodyguards in suits and earpieces (you know, Secret Service style) guarding the entrance. The air conditioning emanating from the room was so cool that my travel companions decided to park themselves in some chairs right outside the door. While they were busy cooling themselves off on this 90+ degree weather day I just sat their and observed the bodyguards doing their jobs allowing and disallowing folks based on the card around their necks and/or the stickers on said cards. Even up to now I still don't know what is on the sticker or card that allowed access. Sad.

But here is what is even more sad. After spending $20 to be in the Clubhouse versus the $10 to be in the Grandstand we still ended up watching the race from the Grandstand. Well, I wouldn't really say we watched the race exactly. We watched the monitor that they have on the track instead of the actual race itself due to the large and very boisterous crowd standing on benches throughout the entire race. And what a crap race it was. Matter of fact I will end this blog here before I get all up in arms once again thinking about my roundtrip-8-hour-drive-400-miles, chipped-windshield, $30-bet-wasted, Casino-Drive-scratched, Big-Brown-finishing-dead-last, no-Triple-Crown-yet-again, Belmont Stakes trip.

But we all made it back safe and for that I am thankful. :)