If you’ve already reviewed the list of the Top 5 Best Restaurants according to Charlie, you know that my dad is not a picky eater. Indulging himself with greasy Ivar’s fish and chips, McDonald’s Big Macs, and gravy drenched Denny’s cuisine is not exactly the makings of a culinary expert nor a healthy diet for that matter. However, for all his fat-injected, cholesterol-elevating, artery-clogging cravings, Dad also has his standards.
Don’t get me wrong; he’ll still clean his plate, but if anything – from the staff, silverware, or food – doesn’t live up to Charlie’s strict guidelines of taste and acceptability, he’ll find a way to bitch about it from appetizer to dessert.
What follows is Charlie’s Top 5 Worst Restaurants. They are, without a doubt, a selection of the last places you would ever want to take him for dinner or even suggest for a special occasion. His reaction could be potentially anywhere from a frown and a head shake to an open display of 3-year-old tantrum-like hostility.
You have been warned. (more…)
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Posted in Culinary Criticism, Movies, Music, & TV, tagged Crocodile Dundee, Dad, Deep Fried Apple Pie, Denny's, Food, Health, McDonald's, Restaurants on August 2, 2010|
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If there’s anything Dad likes more than computers, it’s food. And not just any kind of food… well, actually no, that’s not entirely true. Charlie will eat anything you put in front of him. In fact, I remember distinctly a time when I was dishing out ice cream after dinner and when my sister, Leigh, complained about the brand or flavor, the following short dialogue ensued:
Me: “I scooped the same kind of ice cream for Dad and Dad isn’t complaining.”
Leigh: “Dad wanted to eat the scoop of ice cream that fell on the carpet.”
Me: “Touché, Leigh, touché.”
So, needless to say, Charlie is not exactly a picky eater, but he is a tough critic. If he likes something, he becomes overly animated about it. Sometimes he’ll even request it the next day and momentarily sulk if there are no leftovers. And what happens if Dad doesn’t like his food? Well, because he grew up in the generation of “Clean Your Plate!” (as did I by proxy) he’ll still eat it, but with the face of a 10-year-old being forced to eat his broccoli and brussels sprouts.
Over the summer, I’ve been trying to get Charlie to eat healthier.
- Sodium-filled TV dinners are replaced by fish and organic, free range meats and eggs.
- Greasy potato chips as a snack, substituted with apple sauce and carrot sticks with hummus dip.
- Sugary, frosting-covered donut desserts tossed out in favor of fruit smoothies with flax seed and pro biotic yogurt (the ingredients of which I have to repeatedly explain before he’ll agree to drink it).
This is a man who, when left to his own devices, nukes an entire package of bacon (sans plastic) in the microwave until it’s black and eats it all in one sitting. He needs help.
I’ve tried to explain that he must take better care of himself. His blood pressure is through the roof, he’s already had a couple heart attacks AND a quadruple bypass. Instead of eating the shite he chooses to eat on his own, he might as well have doctors shove a scoop of lard and a dozen maple bars into his arteries and get it over with!
Nevertheless, despite my best efforts, protests, and fruit smoothies to the contrary, Charlie still has his preferences and a routine to maintain. If I or my sisters aren’t cooking or it happens to be the day of the week Dad has penciled in a specific meal, there are five places he’s willing to patronizing (the consumer-type of patronizing rather than the condescending-type he’s more prone to). (more…)
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Posted in Grievances, Movies, Music, & TV, tagged Animals, Bear, Cursing, Dad, Denny's, Internet, Laptop, Naps, Snoring, Star Wars, Technology, WiFi on July 5, 2010|
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He’s had his lunch, it’s 2 o’clock, so Charlie decides to take a break from swearing at technology for an afternoon nap.
In addition to the technology – which I’ve come to hate with a passion – Dad’s naps have become the curse of my current existence. He sleeps about three times a day, sometimes unintentionally, and far too often within ear shot.
- One to two hour naps shortly after breakfast and/or lunch.
- One hour in front of the TV, computer, etc. usually when attempting to stay up passed 8pm.
- Eight hours of semi-regular sleep from 9pm, which hopefully carries on into the next morning.
Having spoken to others on the subject of old people and naps, I know this is a pretty common occurrence. As you get older the body slows down, you have less energy, and thus require more down time. Based on this theory, I’d assume millions of people over the age of 60 are taking naps at any given point of the day. I have to wonder, however, while the frequency tends to remain the same, do all retirees also choose the most random of locations? And how many have daughters slowly being driven mad by proximity and nap-related noise?
Location, Location, Location
Charlie can fall asleep anywhere:
- In church
- In front of the computer with his head propped up on his elbow
- Sitting in a booth at Denny’s while waiting for his usual, senior discounted Country Fried Steak with Coleslaw
All completely random and without warning.
Dad even sleeps in the car. After kindly offering to drive me to the store, though he knew I’d need at least 15-20 minutes to get ready, Charlie still went straight out to the car and proceeded to take what seemed to be an unplanned snooze behind the wheel. Did he forget he was in the car or did he really mean to sit there, coat on, key in the ignition, and head tilted forward like he’d taken a blow to the back of the head?
It’s like he’s some kind of elderly, absent minded narcoleptic.
And God forbid if you try to wake him up. Even if you’re successful, Dad ALWAYS tries to pretend that he wasn’t. Teeth clinched, claws out:
“GrrrGRRRAH!… Huh… What?!… NO! I wasn’t SLEEPING!” (more…)
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