Just a place where I can sit and write my thoughts on my newest passion. . . . . knitting. Hopefully, I will better document my progress throughout knitting and get in touch with others as obsessed as I am!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Diners - America's orginal 'comfort' food

What is it about Diners that makes the experience so, well, magical? I love Diners. They have that awesome true Americana feel to them. You can always count on friendly but no-BS staff, basic but gooooood food, and charm out the wazoo. We found a new diner for us today in a nearby town that was the epitome of what a diner should be. Southern accented staff who can't do enough for you (or each other as demonstrated by the manager busing tables and bringing out food for her waitresses), good basic comfort food staples (i.e. fried chicken, chili cheese fries and chicken fried steak), metallic vinyl seated chair, bar style seating and cheap prices.

Diners are an experience and one must truly understand the experience to appreciate it. Don't expect 5 star anything at a diner. It ain't gonna happen. But, if you can get beyond that, dining at a diner brings a feeling of nostalgia unique to these establishments that only adds to the overall experience.

You instantly feel at home in a good diner. There's no worry about being too loud or having to mind your "p's and q's". Now, that's not to say that one should be without manners at a diner. Just, you can speak at a normal volume and not feel like you are intruding on your neighbor's dining experience. You can put your elbows on the table and eat with your fingers (finger foods of course) without feeling 'gauche'. You can literally laugh out loud at your child or spouse's commentary without worrying about calling attention to yourself. Nobody cares. They're all too busy enjoying their own company and food and laughing as well.

Food at a diner is basic but good. Burgers are greasy and messy and amazing. Fries are hot and fresh and have that deep fried taste that makes them too good to leave any on your plate. You will find foods that you can't find at restaurants . . . chicken fried steak smothered in gravy is a staple as well as old fashioned meatloaf sandwiches and fruit cobblers.

So, tonight we went to a diner. It had all the neon light signs and decor that you think of when you think of the 50's and diners. The menu was thorough but basic. DH had the chicken fried steak with white gravy, side salad and black eyed peas. DS had a bacon cheeseburger with chili cheese fries and I had the chicken fried chicken with mashed taters, brown gravy and side salad. For dessert, DS had the best chocolate-peanut butter shake that I have tasted in a long long time (they use chunky peanut butter and you get little pieces of peanuts when you are drinking it). My only disappointment was that they didn't have any cherry syrup to put in my coke to make a cherry coke. Sigh. I guess nothing can be perfect right?

Miss Tina was our waitress and she was attentive, funny and efficient. We never were low on drinks and she came by just enough without being annoying. Families were sitting all around us, couples on dates, buddies out for a quick bite after work, etc. The walls were covered in pictures that looked like they came from the local HS yearbook for the last several decades and the music was classic rock 'n roll from the 50's.

It was great. Real Americana nostalgia in a single meal. All for $6.50 - $8 for our entrees. Now, where else but a diner can you get all that?

BTW, if you are interested. I have YET to finish "dragon tattoo". I did finally get 'into' the story but ran out of time to finish it for book club and although I am now truly interested in seeing it through to the end, I am not madly crazy about the story enough to not be able to put it down.

Next up for book club is "Loving Frank". Anybody got any feelings on that book?

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm slowing heading over to the dark side

So, DH has always spoiled me. Even when we were first married and had very little money, he would find ways to go above and beyond the necessary. He said that ha got a kick from seeing me happy. It's never changed.

I usually have something significant that I want for Christmas that he will get me as my " big" gift. This past year he was puzzled that I had nothing significant on my list. I had everything that I wanted and didn't really have any "wishes".

So what does he do? He got me an iPad. The big 3G iPad. I was stunned and said "but I've never asked for an iPad". He said he knew me and that he knew I would love it. He knows me well.

So although I've always been a PC person, here I was with an iPod, iTouch and now an iPad. Hmmmmm........

Fast forward to this past week. Verizon gets the iPhone. Hallelujah! I have been an Altel customer for over a decade (now Verizon) and had been waiting for this day. I was debating on whether or not to upgrade to the iPhone or not.... Friday night my hubby tells me that Verizon has decided to eliminate it's "new every 2" feature on the tail of getting the iPhone. It seems that they feel that getting the iPhone has given them an edge and that their customers will be so elated from that, they won't balk at the elimination on "ne2" AND that AT&T customers with iPhones will switch to them b/c of their network. Humph!

Verizon is attempting to change the wireless industry in the USA by setting a standard of making their customers pay for their phones each time they upgrade without providing any discounts. Hmmmm, I personally am a fan of good old fashioned competition and providing incentives to customers. AND Verizon has never and doesn't plan on providing rollover minutes. (a pet peeve of mine). Due to this new change in service, I was forced to upgrade my (and DS's) phone by today or forfeit my eligibility for a discounted upgrade. Really? A customer for over a decade and then this? NOT. GOOD. CUSTOMER. SERVICE.

So, off we went yesterday to the 3 major players (AT&T, T Mobile and Verizon) to review our options. Surprise surprise, who had the least accommodating and financially accommodating options? Verizon. Switching to a smartphone would void my current cellphone plan (a vestigial Altel plan) and force me to change to a current Verizon plan (more expensive). Plus their smart phones (even with my NE2 discount) were expensive! Unlimited texting (I DO have a teenager) was ridiculously expensive compared to the other companies. Anyone that knows me knows that I can't stand to be bullied or forced into any decision. Yeah, that's really bad. I WILL do all within my power to go against those decisions. Call me stubborn.

When comparing the other to companies (plans, texting, phone choices) we decided to go to AT&T and I ended up with an iPhone 3G S.

So, now I have an iPod, iTouch, iPad and IPhone. How long do you all think it will be before I switch from a PC to a Mac?

I guess we will have to wait and see.........

(but I love my iPhone!). Tee hee

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