Our Long National Wait Is Over

Here is the update on my dinner out last night that you’ve all been waiting for:

The waiting line for Cheesecake Factory was out the door and around the building. It’s a big place too with huge seating capacity. Think about that.  On a Monday night yet. So we chose to go to a nearby McCormick & Schmick Seafood place. The fish was fresh if boring* but the most outstanding things about it were:

  • The place was almost empty. This was maybe 300 feet from Cheesecake’s front door.
  • It was crazy expensive. Or at least it is for a person like me who is trying to hang onto my lower middle class status.
  • I had THE BEST cocktail. The bartenders were like their own chefs. Chefs of booze. All the drinks that came out looked delightful. And I’m not saying that just because I’m on a diet and cut back my cocktailing to once a week so I’m somewhat on the deprivation side of things.

It was a Cucumber Gimlet. Which was made with Hendrick’s gin, a bit of Triple Sec, muddled lime and cucumber slices. Normally I don’t go for your “mixed drinks” because all that stuff takes up room in a small glass where the gin could be, but this was really cucumbery and delicious.

When we left the restaurant at 9:45 pm, there were still people waiting outside Cheesecake Factory.

*I don’t have a bucket list but if I did, this would be the only thing on it: to eat a whole fish roasted over a wood fire. Where can I get that? Preferably on a restaurant menu, not a backyard barbeque that I have to make myself or at a camp site. I’m not interested in eating while I sit in dirt. Although i would if I had to. But please don’t make me.

I Am Failing At Trying to Contain My Excitement



Take some deep breaths, Suzette.

I am going to have dinner at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant tonight. I was just checking out he online menu, as you do. I checked out  the NEW SELECTIONS area and what do I see there but this:

Papas Bravas. A Spanish Favorite. Crispy, Golden Brown Potatoes Served with Garlic Aioli and Spicy Bravas Sauce. Could it possibly be … ?

Excitement! Of course then I had to immediately  look up the details and found out that Pappas Bravas is not the long-remembered and achingly longed-for Papas a la Huancaina but for that brief minute, it might have been. Why didn’t I let it go for a while? I could have savored the maybe-ness of the whole situation and lived on that for the whole afternoon.

But no. As I was writing this, I lost all hope and completely bummed myself out. I should just go buy a pineapple-themed dishtowel to wipe away my tears and find a corner to sit in so I can be alone with my memories.

Consolation Prize: shrimp and grits.

No I Can’t

Two things that I can’t do anymore and I feel terrible about it.

1. Write legibly in cursive. And I do such nice notes. Too bad no one can read them. This is usually how it goes:

[reading ...  reading ... reading] … what is that? Spiteful? Grot, grot … OH! GRATEFUL!

2. This one is a two-parter:

(a) Tell a story in complete sentences and/or (b) stick to the linear timeline.

I used to be so good at both of these things and now it is the big-time suck.

The NBC Narration Reminded Me Of “Best In Show”

A message from Suzette: My posts, no matter what simple thought they start out with, seem to be turning into TL;DR type of things. So just to spare you the pain of reading through this whole thing, I’ll give you the key words* so you can skim to the part that interest you. If any.

Key words:

  • Olympics opening ceremony
  • gin
  • corgis
  • eBay
  • bone china

*What ho, Bertie?  As has become obvious to everyone – even me – that except for the Olympics, these things are pretty much the subject of every post I make.


I just heard someone on   call the Olympic opening ceremony “eccentric”. (5) Strongly Agree I tried to live tweet it but I grew bored and drifted away. Here are some selected excerpts:

I can only do so much with the material that I’m handed.

All I can say is that I fully understand why Emma Thompson divorced Kenneth Branagh. I could never take looking at that smug mug every morning. Even without the beaver fur hat. Love that the Queen was as disinterested as the rest of us. I bet she was thinking about gin, too.

Queen Elizabeth picks her nails during obtuse extravaganza at the Olympics opening ceremony.

The Queen’s “usual” is gin and dubonnet. Here she is in a happier setting on vacation at Balmoral.

The Queen Mother drank it every day – mixed three parts Dubonnet, seven parts gin, with a twist of lemon – and was even known to take a small bottle with her on journeys, ‘just in case.’ The Queen inherited her passion and enjoys a Dubonnet and gin every day before lunch, and reportedly one before bed too.


I must say that I was vastly amused, not with the heavy-handed NHS love-fest overall, but with the message that was delivered when the monkey monsters showed up and scared the wards of the state  in their back-lit beds. The next characters were a cloudburst full of NANNIES fer cripes sake  spiraling over them with their LED umbrellas come to save them from the things they were worried about. Thanks because the hit over the head with the NHS theme wasn’t hard enough until that point.

Roy Kirkham “Poppies” Lancaster shape bone china mug. This is not mine and it never will be.

Also – and this is where I am now writing to a very limited audience. We use two bone china cups from England via eBay to drink coffee out of every morning. We both love them because they are deliciously thin and have a fine but not sharp edge that feels fabulous on on the lip. They also are the best for retaining the heat in hot drink. So I’ve been trolling eBay for more mugs – maybe something with a splash of red to get the mornings off to a swift start. Poppies seemed like a good be and lo the same company does offer a poppy pattern. But it’s all messed up with wheat stalks and so I could never tolerate the untended feild-y-ness of it.

Did you see the poppies in wheat as an image of Britain that made the cut for a signifyer in the opening ceremony? Same thing. I get that the flowers were a reference to the battlefields of WWI but wheat didn’t pop up from the soldiers’ graves on the Somme, did it?  If it did, I’m pretty sure it would have been mentioned in that poem. Maybe that’s how poppies grow over in England. Maybe that’s how they grow everywhere. Maybe I’m one of those ingnernt  murricans that doesn’t know anything about other countries. Where do American poppies grow – California, right? Do they pop up all willy-nilly in the wheat fields of Fresno, too?

Finally, Daniel Craig is my enemy forever for that nasty look he threw to the corgis as he helicoptered away from them.