Lunch and Dinner for Three Days

RIP, Patrick Swayze, the second sexiest white man in America. (The first is Sean Connery. Even though he doesn’t actually live in America, his sex appeal makes it across the ocean). Swayze, unlink Connery, seemed like a genuinely nice man – and boy, could he dance! If you want a great laugh, check out SNL’s take on the Chippendales’ audition. He’s trying so hard not to laugh!

Today is a modestly quick hit because I’m trying to pack and otherwise get organized for my trip. Why is it so hard to find travel size contact lens solution? Why is the regular size 3.4 ounces when they could drop the 0.4? Then I could take what I already have instead of buying a new bottle, which I can’t keep till the next trip because the stuff has a three-month expiration?

I did have lunch today with some former colleagues from the Hartford Courant. This time there were nine people of whom three are still employed at the paper – two part time and one full time.

We ate at a place call Joey Garlic’s. It was the first time that my former boss, who normally eats his own lunch and everyone else’s leftovers, couldn’t finish his meal. The place is Italian themed – grinders, “New Haven style” pizza (which means thin crust), pasta, etc. When the first grinder arrived, Susan said, “Oh, my God, you could move into that thing.” She wasn’t kidding. I ordered the Sicilian orange salad and subbed goat cheese for Gorganzola. I ate about a quarter of it and had to put the leftovers in a pizza box because there was too much to fit in a regular takeout container. Besides the orange pieces, there were two kinds of black olives, grape tomatoes, capers, red Bell peppers, fennel (finocchio, pronounced “f’nok” to the Italians) romaine and iceberg lettuce, a huge round of the cheese. The menu listed onions, but I didn’t see any. Maybe the fennel substituted. The thing was already gargantuan, and it was resting on a pizza! At least that’s what I called it – very thin crust with just a little olive oil and garlic and sprinkling of cheese. They called it “fresh baked flat bread.”

Joe our boss (as opposed to Joey the restaurant person) couldn’t finish his grinder in part because of the appetizer, a mountain of eggplant fries that arrived right at the same time as our sandwiches and salads. The eggplant was cut into strips about the size of medium french fries, battered then fried and served with a marinara sauce. We all ate a generous portion of those and I nibbled at a couple of french fries, which were decently crispy but way too salty. I’m still guzzling water.

Our conversation did not dwell on the recent “aggregation” outrage at the Courant. (See “Aggregation, Plagiarism, or Theft?” September 2.) The employees continue to be outspoken in their lack of respect for the publisher.

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