Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Village Inn ripped me off!! (but it might be my fault)

OK, so Angie and I went out shopping last night and stopped by Village Inn to pick up some pie to eat at home. We have never really gotten pie from Village Inn but the Cheesecake Factory was 15 minutes further away.

It went wrong from the very start.

There was a nice young woman behind the counter. Here is the exchange; you tell me where it went off the tracks:

Village Inn Girl: "Can I help you?"

Chris: "She would like a slice of Cherry pie and I would like a slice of Chocolate Peanut Butter."

Village Inn Girl: "That will be $6.50."**
**take note that my slice of pie cost $3.80

I swiped my debit card and the machine instantly asked me if I wanted to tip 15% or 20%. We have now been in the building 3 minutes. I saw Village Inn Girl move out of my line of vision as she headed to the back to get our pie, so I turned my head slightly to Angie behind me and out of the corner of my mouth uttered:

Chris: "Tip? 15% tip? 20% tip? How about zero?"

It is at this moment I realizeed much to my horror that my superhero-like spidey-senses have detected Village Inn Girl right behind me. She whispered in my ear:

Village Inn Girl: "If you want zero just hit zero. That's fine."

I was mortified; Angie was mortified but it was too late. Village Inn Girl gave us our pie and I slinked out.

When we got to the car I opened the pie container to make sure she hadn't spit in my food. What I found was almost as bad: I had received the smallest piece of pie I have ever seen at a restaurant. And I had paid $3.80! Here is a dramatic recreation using Village Inn's website (click to enlarge):

In the interest of social studies, I went to my friend Kimball's house and "talked him" (ie, had to pay him in pie) into going to Village Inn to order pie as well. This time he was ready to tip big. He ordered, he got a bigger slice.

Angie and I want to make the world a better place. Friends and followers of this blog know that we both want to teach others our valuable life lessons.

Here is what Chris learned: Drive the extra 15 minutes to the Cheesecake Factory if you can. It is so loud there that they won't hear you announcing you won't be tipping.

Here is what Angie learned: stop going out in public with her husband.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Little Culture

Last week we took the boys to the Hale theater to see "A Christmas Carol". I didn't actually tell the boys where we were going until right before we left for the play. To say that they were not happy would be an understatement. Chandler sulked up until the play started, Jackson just wanted to know what candy he could buy and Christopher ran around outside throwing rocks. I was afraid it was going to be a huge disaster.

We have taken the boys to see musicals before. They have seen "The Lion King" and "Wicked" and they loved both. So I was a little surprised at their reaction to this play. It was almost magical to see how they all softened during the play. It was a great show!! The music and actors were really good. During intermission Jackson asked if we could sit in the balcony next time we come and see a play. Chandler thought it would be cool if we could get season tickets and Christopher decided he wanted to be an actor.

I was surprised that the boys didn't know the story of Scrooge- I guess I have been slacking in my parental duties--but they really got the point and loved the play. I loved the play and think we are going to make it a new Christmas tradition. So at this Christmas time I say "God bless us, every one."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The End of an Era

Alert- If you are 12 or younger or think Santa is the most amazing person ever please don't read this post.

Tonight when I was bringing Chandler home from scouts we had an interesting conversation. Here is how it went:
Me: How was scouts?
Chandler: fine.
Me: What did you do?
Chandler: We went to the High school and played football.
Me: Sounds like fun. So how was school?
Chandler: Fine.
Me: So- What do you and your friends talk about at school?
Chandler: Nothing really.
Me: Are you excited about Christmas?
Chandler: Of course
(good thing I learned how to ask find out questions on my mission or this would have been a very short conversation).
Me: What do you think Santa is going bring you?
He kind-of gave me a funny look.
I repeated the question- again the funny look.
Me:Chandler- do you and your friends talk about Santa?
Chandler: sometimes
Me: what do you talk about?
Chandler: we mostly talk about if he is real.

Now I know that Chandler is almost 12 and we probably should have had this conversation a couple of years ago- but I was hoping to hold off one more year.

Me: Do you think Santa is real?
Chandler: well I don't think he can be real. I mean who believes in Santa. Of course he is easier to believe in then the Easter bunny. I mean really, who would believe that a huge bunny hops around the world delivering candy.
I sat in stunned silence.
Me: so you don't believe in Santa? (I asked it like it was unbelievable that this could be true)
Chandler: well kind-of
Me : what do you mean kind-of?
Chandler: I kind-of hope he's real.

The rest of the ride home was quiet. I have to admit that I was a little teary to see my baby begin to see the world as a teenager. How I have enjoyed the innocence of youth. How I have enjoyed watching them as they look at things through eyes that think anything is possible. It makes me sad to see a little bit of that belief lost to the reality of the world. I wish I could keep them young forever and that they would have the absolute belief in all things good.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bobby Flay Loves Me

OK, so my post about being in New York and meeting Bobby Flay really starts with trying to explain a monumental injustice in the world (not monumental like children starving in Africa or testicular cancer but still...).

A couple of years ago, we got together with the Wickes and the Richins to recreate the TV show the Iron Chef. Have you seen Iron Chef? Famous Chefs are given 1 hour to create meals using a secret ingredient revealed to them only moments before the 1 hour starts. The girls picked a secret ingredient (sour cream) and Kimball, Thomas and I had to create a main dish and a dessert in 90 minutes. We had to shop, gather supplies, and cook in the same kitchen in those 90 minutes. We called it Iron Chef Mesa.

Long story short, we made the mistake of having Thomas' brothers be the judges. There was a controversy involving a simple shake with a sprig of parsley being declared a winner over stuffed crepes, yada yada yada, Thomas wins the desert portion, splits the votes and leaves Kimball as Iron Chef Mesa.

Fast forward 3 years later: Chris is in New York City trying to put the ugly memories of Iron Chef Mesa behind him while drowning his sorrows in Diet Cokes. I was walkiing up 5th Avenue near Central Park and who do I see coming my way? None other than famous Iron Chef Bobby Flay:
I quickly explained the facts of Iron Chef Mesa to him. His eyes grew large in disbelief as I regaled him with the ins and outs of the culinary horror that robbed the world of Iron Chef Miner. I could have sworn that I saw one lonely tear roll down his face. In our minds, we hugged goodbye, one Iron Chef to another. Both being germaphobes, however, we kept our goodbyes to a nod of the head and a picture taken by a passing old man.

Once I knew Bobby was on my side, my day perked up. I put down the Diet Coke and saw the city in a whole new light. The grass was greener, leaves were goldnener and the taxi drivers swore less.

Here are some pictures I took in Central Park:

Pretty, eh?

In the end, the trip was good since the conference I was in New York for was excellent and I was able to get some new purses for the girls through some tough haggling with Nigerians selling counterfeits on the streets late at night. Plus I will always have Bobby...