Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Life, the Universe and Everything

If you haven't already entered, head to yesterday's post for the caption contest!

Tonight was an unexpected treat. The Hunny and I went out for dinner - accidentally.

I don't know about all of y'all, but my children go back to school on Thursday. Maybelline will be a freshman at the high school, which is across the river. Oatmeal Head is in eighth grade, part of the middle school. Little Guy starts fifth grade at the intermediate school. Three separate schools, three separate enrollment dates - I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get everyone squared away, making sure they all have the right supplies.

Honestly (because you know I like to lie to you - all the time)? I love the running around and shopping and making sure everything is taken care of. I don't know if it's because I feel productive, or if I'm excited that the children are going back to school, or if I just love school supplies (I DO! I DO!). Whatever it is, I've been enjoying the heck out the running and the panicking and the meeting of teachers and seeing of classrooms. I've enjoyed seeing the classrooms and meeting teachers with my kids, seeing them smile when I'm not looking. Even more fun, watching them greet classmates from last year. You'd think they hadn't seen these kids in 10 years.

Today we went BACK to the intermediate school to set up Little Guy in the class, and stock his locker. It seems all the OTHER parents bought the pre-packaged school supplies from the school, enabling them to set up yesterday at enrollment. We had to count and sort last night at home, making sure everything was in order, then take it in today. That's what I'm talkin' about. The school was empty and quiet. Little Guy could focus on getting everything where it belonged and practice locking and unlocking his locker. We asked his teacher if he was interested in a millipede or two for his classroom (he wasn't - dang it!). It was GOOD (except for not being able to unload a millipede).

Tonight was parent night at the Freshman Academy (across the river). It began at six PM, and the Hunny gets off work at 6:15. We knew we'd be late, so we took the toll road and rushed and arrived at seven, thinking we'd be in time to head to classrooms and meet Maybelline's teachers. Nope. Everyone was streaming out as we arrived. In fact, only faculty were left in the building, leaving us to meet the principal (whom I adore). And leaving us with an hour or two to kill.

What to do? Where to go? I have a cool little Starbucks card, thanks to the Burgh Mom (thank you, BBM!), and wanted to head out for coffee, but my Hunny was starving, so we wound up at Johnny Carino's, new to us both. About a third of the way through our time there, Hunny asks, "Do you ever do restaurant reviews on your blog?" Well, you know that kind of question means that I sure as heck WILL NOW.

Carino's seems to want to be a Carraba's, even down to the pricing (I think they're both expensive). They are SO not a Carraba's. The table was sticky, the waiter was distracted, the food was mediocre at best. Even the bread and oil was - just weird. The little bread loaf comes out in a white paper bag, and there's some strange stuff on the plate for the olive oil - maybe it was roasted garlic? - and it was tasteless. The Hunny ordered Chicken Parmesan and it was ... I didn't taste it, but he wasn't wild about it. I can tell you that it didn't look all that appetizing. He only ordered that because the spaghetti and meatballs - his first choice - passed us as he was about to order, and it didn't look very good.

I kept trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the chef was having an off night. The waiter too. But the sticky table, the bread in a bag and the tasteless oil concoction? I don't think so. Needless to say, we didn't stick around for the homemade tiramisu. Guess where we went instead? Guess? STARBUCKS!!!

Mmmm! Not only did I enjoy a Cinnamon Dulce Latte (hot - it's been surprisingly cool for August in Tulsa - yay!), I sat outside with my Hunny and just talked for an hour. I'd nearly forgotten what that was like. He's a dreamer, always full of ideas, and I love hearing them spill. No worries about life, no working through some problem with a child, no talking money - just dreaming and thinking out loud. The sun was setting, a cool breeze was blowing (there is ALWAYS a breeze blowing in Tulsa!), birds in the tree next to us were settling in for the night. Heaven.

And now I'm home. Ready to visit with all of YOU. Anyone out there want a millipede?

Until I write again ...



Marguerite said...

Ew. No millipedes!

Sounds like you had fun, but I'm sorry about the restaurant. I'm surprised too. The Johnny Carino's I've been to was actually very good.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a wonderful night! I prefer Carraba's over Johnny Carrino's as well. Their caesar salads are the best!

Thank you for sharing on my blog. I really appreciate all of the kind words you've shared with me over these months. And I am honored to call you cyber friend.

Anonymous said...

Um... I'm sure if I ask the kitties, they'd be deLIGHTed to take the millipede. I will not be asking, thanks.

As for JC's, I've been on both ends of it. I agree, the roasted garlic had no flavor, but I love the bread. My fav is the chicken scallopini. YUM, just freakin' YUM. But. When it was bad, there was little sauce and even less pasta, and the whole place was loud and chaotic and gross. I'll still give it another chance, tho, since the nearest Carrabas is 2 hours north. Also, the cannoli is HEAVENLY.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm so glad you had time to spend with the Hunny. I can't imagine how wonderful it is to have a...well, a mate. Other people's husbands aren't really good enough.

Karen said...

Too bad the food was less than appetizing! The unexpected date sounds nice though! I would give my left toe for a date with my husband right now.

I share your love of school supplies. I really like the way new pencils smell, the way everything is new and organized, I am almost giddy just thinkin' about it.

Tanya Brown said...

I'm glad you and your Hunny got a chance to connect. It's funny how life and work can get in the way sometimes!

Jan Parrish said...

My opinion is that NOTHING beats Carraba's. Seriously. Nothing. They are the best, hands down. It's the only Italian I'll eat besides my own.

Ellyn said...

Sounds like a really fun night, except for the bad food part. We don't have those around here but if we ever get them we won't go. Thanks for sharing.

No to the milipede. They are so icky.

Burgh Baby said...

Really? Carino's is one of my absolute favorites. We have always gotten really excellent service there and YUMMY! Eggplant Parmesan. The best.

Sorry you had a crappy visit, but glad you enjoyed Starbucks!

Karen said...

1. I love school supplis like nobody's business. It's scary how much I love this time of year with their shelves full of scholastic bargains.

2. I think our school starts later than everywhere else in the country. And strangely I'm good with that.

3. You're in charge of setting up your own class supplies? What are the teachers paid for?

Karen said...

Wait, I didn't mean it was the teachers job to purchase everything for the kids, or arrange it in their desks for them. I meant that the school usually buys things and the teacher hands them out on the first day. What happened to that?

Anonymous said...

I love it when there's time to sit and talk. The Old Goat and I do that at the pub. I'm glad you didn't try the tiramusu!

Trisha said...

I am right there with you about the school supplies. There is just something so hopeful about them. Like if you buy them you can do anything - okay anything in the realm in which school supplies are helpful!

I also love being in school buildings when they are quiet and empty (but not dark - then they are a little creepy. I get almost the same feeling as when I am in an empty church.

Ummmmm. Millipedes? Did you tell us about these or did that slip in under the radar?

dlyn said...

Glad you guys enjoyed a good evening together - that is always a treat.

Chelf said...

The one or two times we went to Johnny Carrino's, it was pretty good. The first waiter was the best. But... I have never had a bad experience at Carrabba's. LOVE THEM. I Like their bread better, like their herbs in the oil. Much like you, I think they are both expensive, but you can get out for not too much if you are careful. I have a personal favorite of the Chocolate Dream (Kahlua Brownie).

So, that idea of going to Carrabba's when I come through Tulsa again... that was a good one?

Anonymous said...

I think I became a teacher primarily to indulge in school supplies. Don't laugh; it's true! It gave me a reason to be so crazy about the stuff.

I love Carrabbas, but that's probably because all the C boys went to school with my brother and I.