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7:32 p.m. - 2010-04-24
Just say, "Neigh!"

Wow, it's wonderful to feel human again. That muscle in my back spazzed out again a couple days ago and I was one hurting puppy. Couldn't think, couldn't eat -the pain was that intense, I stumbled about doing only what I had to and sleeping the rest of the time. Why I can escape into sleep when it hurts like that I do not know, but I am grateful. Also grateful that Mick scored some Naproxen (big time pain reliever, I believed to be a muscle relaxant so it worked) off his mom. I took one last night and woke up this morning a new woman. That freakin' muscle had finally let go and aside for some residual tenderness, I feel great. I'd tried all the usual stuff- yoga, hot water bottle, massage, going to the gym and letting weights stretch me out, crying, pleading, you know, all the shit you try when you're whacked out of your mind with pain. That thing would NOT unclench! Still no idea what sets it off. Sometimes it goes nuts if I sit too long here at my machine. Sometimes it's driving the Escort. But other times it just goes bonkers out of nowhere for no discernible reason except maybe for the sadistic pleasure of turning me into a whimpering ball of pain.

Anyway, I'm back to my usual self. So much so that we took out of here early to go to Ikea. We made a couple other stops, of course, but Ikea was THE destination and boy howdy, we did it up right. Scads of little stuff, because you know how it is at Ikea. Also got what we went down for specifically- a whopping load of matching picture frames. Over the last few years I've amassed quite the collection of autographed glossies at Chiller. They're going on the stairwell wall. I'm not matchy-matchy with frames as a rule, but all the pics are the same size so I thought having them all in the same style frame would look cool. Sort of a Sardi's thing.

Heh. I paused there to put the glossies in their frames and realized what a eclectic collection I have. Everything from this exact shot (only autographed) of Brian O'Halloran to Angie Dickinson looking impossibly glam and bad ass from her 'Police Woman' days. What does it say about me that I'm equally happy about having met the Sweathogs and Lita Ford? Maybe nothing more than I appreciate the people who've made some of my favorite music, TV shows and movies. Or that I attend dopey fan-cons. I might look like one of the coolest PTA moms on the planet, but in a lot of ways I'm just a big old dork.

I'm tickled with my new garlic press and the little cotton throw rugs for the bathroom too. A dork who likes to cook and have warm feet when she gets out of the shower.

On every trip to Bergen Co Mick's raved about this Italian joint he and his family used to go to. OMG! This place was fantastic! The best food in the universe! We had, had, had to go there! I'd die when I had my first bite! Somehow the timing was never right to actually go there…(ominous organ music)… until today.

All the raving about this place had gotten to me. I was expecting something really wonderful. See, in all the hype it kind of got lost that my in-laws are simple folk. Not simple-minded, but plain, salt of the earth types. Naïve homebodies, really. And their food tastes are equally as basic. Really basic. Until I came along my MIL had never had oregano in a home-cooked meal. Honest.

So we go there and the first thing I see is a big plastic horse on the roof. WTF? Why would this stellar eatery have a plastic horse on the roof? I asked Mick and he was startled, I don't think he'd ever noticed the horse before.

We go inside and there's a tiny, narrow tap room off to the right and in front of us is a crowded, rather dingy looking dining room with booths hugging the walls and tables covered with plastic tablecloths in the middle. The joint was jumping, I'll give them that. But it was nothing but families. Weary looking moms, rumpled dads, kids in little league uniforms and almost every table had its own shrieking toddler flinging food everywhere. A harassed-looking waitress who'd last combed her hair around New Year's led us to a booth, gave us one menu to share and stomped off muttering under her breath about our outrageously difficult drink order of three cokes. When it was my turn with the menu I saw the 'lyrical' Italian offerings were nothing but your basic pizzeria stuff. The same stuff I could get at any number of local pizza joints. So okay, not every place has to be Babbo's, but I can get a chicken parm sandwich a hella lot closer to home. I don't need to hike to Ramsey, NJ just to get one at some dump with a horse on the roof.

My sandwich comes and it's not even a good chicken parm. One overcooked breaded cutlet made of sawdust (I think) chopped in two and floated on an equally charred bun with some Ragu and a puddle of rubbery mozzarella.

This??? This shite was the fabulous gourmet meal I'd been told to expect? Mick, at least, had the grace to look embarrassed. I had to laugh and he finally joined me. The whole deal was absurd to the Nth degree. The surly unkempt waitress, the shrieking toddlers, the lousy food, the sticky booth with the wobbly table, and oh, they don't take credit cards. You gotta pay cash if you want the privilege of dining under the plastic horse.

Lesson learned, though, getting restaurant recommendations from my in-laws is like getting fashion tips from Dog the Bounty Hunter.


Hey, I had a crap lunch but I got a good anecdote out of it! ~LA

PS: Who sent me the adorable little Bozo doll? I love it! Thanks!

9 Wanna talk about it!

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