Friday, March 21, 2008


Random things goin' on:

--"It's not funny going to work and worrying that a zombie might be around the corner." Yah, that'd put a crimp in your day. Workers at Southern Water's treatment plant in Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK said they have been scared to enter tunnels after being followed about by a "humanoid figure" as they went about their jobs. Yikes! Read the news story, it's funny and creepy.

--Last night I watched George Clooney in "Michael Clayton." I LOVE movies like this, billed as a legal, intellectual thriller. So deep on so many levels, but entirely watchable because you don't notice how deep it is while you're watching it. Have you seen it? I loved everything about it. I'm always so grateful when Hollywood makes a movie for adults.

--I lunched yesterday with a friend and an elderly man. He talks a lot about being in the Navy way back when, which I love. He tells good stories, and laces them with a wry wit. He is also a gentleman. He doesn't have family around and is blind in one eye and cannot drive. So I invited him out.

We ate at the Tanner House, a new restaurant in town everybody is crowding to. Down south restaurants are successful only when they offer a LOT of home cookin', cheap. That's what this place bills itself as. And it's practically the only thing southerners will flock to.

It was like Cole Farms inside an old house. In Gray, Maine, where I'm from, there's this restaurant called Cole Farms that has been there forever. Well, since the 1950s, which in the business world is almost the same thing. Cole's has quite a history to it, apart from the food, and quite a bad one at that. As far the food goes, originally it was a hamburger stop and it was what it was & was very good at what it was. Then it diversified and offered a larger menu and sit down service. In the 60s and 70s it was still great, offering things like meat loaf and homemade mashed potatoes and great stews and turkey dinners for just a couple bucks. Then it coasted in the 80s and in the 90s it expanded and started offering fru-fru things like Mexican taco bowls and please stop into our gift shop. Where you could buy a postcard of a moose. Or a lobster.

Its website touts the following:

Like the fabulous painted deserts in Arizona, perhaps?

Now it's just so bad the only thing a friend of mine will eat is dry toast. Regulars who sit at the counter bar bring their own condiments because the syrups for example are so watered down. The last (final) time I ate there I ordered pancakes. There was a hair in it. Not ON the pancake, IN it. But people still flock to it for reasons unknown and incomprehensible to me and it still has quite a following. In my opinion it's a waste of money but I guess those folks have money to waste. I do have something to say about the desserts, both at Cole Farms and at Tanner House. In a moment.

Sigh. So Tanner House was like early Cole Farms. I ordered a strawberry muffin, grilled or toasted, and a bowl of corn chowder. The muffin was as big as a walnut, I swear, and microwaved, too long at that. The chowder was like cream corn straight out of the can, I could stand a spoon up in it. The guy at the next table said. "What's corn chowder?" I think the cooking staff don't know either. My friend had a half sandwich with soup, and the sandwich came on Wonder bread. The best thing looked like my elderly friend's beef stew. I've become convinced there is no such thing as a good restaurant experience any more.

The desserts at Tanner are made by Mennonites in a nearby community. They looked FANTASTIC. Same with Cole Farms, the pies, cakes, and muffins are all made fresh every day and still deserve their stellar reputation.

--I hear the geese quite often. I realized I am always in the habit of looking north when I hear them, being from Maine and they are always traveling south. Here in GA though I need to look south. They are always heading the other way now that I am down here! It's always nice to hear a flock of geese. I love being in a place where you can hear not just geese but all kinds of birds. I left my window open the other night and even though it was 58 degrees in the apartment by dawn, it was worth it to listen to all the night birds as I fell asleep.

Have a good day everyone!

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