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Pasta Perfection

Day 29


The transformation continues. I feel the pulse of pasta power coursing through my veins, my very blood congealing from the thin cream it once was into a robust bechamel. I can taste seasonings more bold and brilliant than anyone can possibly imagine. My touch carmelizes that which is raw, turns it into something golden-brown and delicious.

Lunch was skipped.

Dinner was composed of four plates of pasta:

Anime Panda

And still I hunger for more.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Ca'va'tapp, one of the eldritch pastalords who has chosen me for his vessel!

Day 28


When I started this challenge, I was young. Inexperienced. Hungry, yes, but with newly-cut teeth. In my youthful hubris, I boasted that I would eat all the pasta, without really understanding what that meant. How much pasta is all the pasta? I would argue that no one really knows, and only I can even fathom a guess. Hint: it's a lot.

Now I can feel my body changing, adapting to its new life. Yes, for the past week I've been sick, but that was just the beginning. That was the pasta breaking me down, so that it could build me back up. Reform me into something stronger, something greater than I was. I don't yet know where this power will take me, but I know that I'm ready for it.

Lunch was skipped.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

July 28, 1914
September 1, 1939
August 23, 2018

Week five starts tomorrow.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Nick!

Day 27


I don't think I've ever been sick for so long. On the plus side, I was pretty hungry. What's that they say? Starve a fever, feed a cold? Or something? Can you feed it pasta? Hope so. I'm going to engorge this jerk.

Lunch was skipped.

Dinner was composed of five plates of pasta:


Gonna try to get some extra sleep in tonight.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Vinegar!

Day 26


Occasionally I'll answer viewer mail here, some frequently-asked-questions sort of things. But today I'm going to answer a question that no one asked, presumably because you're all wondering it but are too nervous to bring it up. That's fine, by the way, and I appreciate that you respect the fact that I'm a busy man with a lot of pasta to eat.

Q: What is your Olive Garden mixtape / What four songs represent your Olive Garden experience most closely?
A: See below.

Lunch was Taylor Swift - Mean.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Taylor Swift - Love Story
Taylor Swift - Picture to Burn
Taylor Swift - The Best Day

Short blog today, but can you blame me? It's Friday! Go out and have a good time - or do what I'm doing: writing a blog and drinking alone!

A special thanks to my dining companion, Danny's neckbeard, which shows a great deal of promise to one day becoming truly majestic, despite its youth!

Day 25


The sickness is beginning to subside. I'm definitely not up to 100%, but I can do things other than feel pain and complain to other people about it, and that's a great start.

I did end up seeing what I thought would be a helpful person - a licensed physician. Turns out he was a total quack. Allow me to share the story with you, though you might want to be sitting down for this one, especially if you are susceptible to secondhand indignation.

So I explain to the doctor my symptoms, and he asks a number of, frankly, very personal and inappropriate questions about my health, my lifestyle choices, and my diet. Seriously, I don't see how often I go to the bathroom is anyone's business but my own - perv much? Anyway. When I mention the Olive Garden thing, he bristles. Apparently he thought I was joking. I tried to set him straight:

"No. I'm serious. I'm going to eat all the pasta. I'm halfway done now."
"You can't do that."
"Tell that to the fine people at USA Today", I said, pulling out my printed copy of the article that I show to everyone who doesn't believe in, or pretends not to care about, my blog.
"No, I mean, you can't do that. You're going to irreparably damage your blah blah blah blah..."

And he went on and on and on. This is why I don't trust so-called medical "professionals". They're more interested in their bottom line than they are in actually help people with their completely non-pasta-related health problems. Very sad.

Lunch was A Drive Through The Country.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Hide and Seek
Rainy Autumn Day
Collecting Seashells

I've been looking into alternative medicine lately, and I think I might try some of it - look for my reviews in future blogs!

A special thanks to my dining companion, Anna, who declined to have her photo taken!

Day 24


My head is pounding. I can't write. I can't think. Only pasta.

Here's some pasta for you guys.

Lunch was Eris.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:


see you tomorrow

A special thanks to my dining companion, Janna!

Day 23


Travelled up to Grand Forks today to get a break from the routine of slowly dying of what I can only assume is a pasta-based tumor, a malignant ball of carbs that has permanently lodged itself in my sinus cavity and causes a nonstop flow of mucous and misery.

Sorry. Where was I? Oh. Grand Forks.

Grand Forks has been on my to-visit list ever since I began this quest - their Olive Garden is legendary as the subject of Marilyn Hagerty's viral review from 2012 . I have so much to say about that review, and the Internet's response to it, that I'll save it for its own day, because I try not to let these blogs get too long.

Lunch was skipped.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:


As Mrs. Hagerty pointed out, the decor of this Olive Garden is much more ornate and grandiose than the Fargo branch. As expected, the food is absolutely identical. I was hoping to meet the manager and compare his personal style to that of the three Fargo ones, but I couldn't find him. :(

A special thanks to my dining companion, Sue!

Day 22


The days grow colder, pastas grow warmer, and my sinuses grow mucous-filled-er. It is extremely unpleasant, and I do not envy anyone who has to sit across from me and watch me alternatively sniffle and wince in pain as an errant wire from my braces tears into the soft flesh of my cheek with every chewing motion. Perhaps this is why I have so many first dates, and so few second ones.

Lunch was Sailor's Moon.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Milky Way

That's okay, though. Everything is always downhill after the first date anyway~

A special thanks to my dining companion, Tayler!

Day 21


Week 3 is over! We near the halfway point, which I plan to do something special for. :)

I can't stop wondering if this will be the only thing I ever do with my life. I guess it's better than nothing, which is what most people do. I get a lot of "haters", as the millenials say, but that's never slowed me down. It takes more than a "ur probly fat irl" to make me stop eating pasta.

Though I kind of wish it didn't. I could really go for a burrito.

Lunch was skipped again.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:


I'm still pretty sick. Sorry for the lack of lunch, and the tossed-together post.

A special thanks to my dining companion, my rock, my anchor, Nick!

Day 20


I've been pretty sick lately (a cold, not pasta-related) so I haven't been eating much and I don't really feel up to writing something actually funny, but the show must go on! I hope you all are having a very nice day and are eating well.

Lunch was skipped.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:


See you tomorrow.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Faye!

Day 19


As word of the blog spreads, it's getting more and more difficult to find dining companions.

This is the opposite of the effect I anticipated. I mean, I don't know about you guys, but I would *love* the chance to eat with a z-list internet celebrity. He even pays for your coke product, and empowers you by letting you purchase your own entree - a real modern gentleman.

Lunch was Welsh Rabbit.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Jessica Rabbit
Rare Bit
Rabbi T

Hopefully, I'll be able to snag some less media-savvy dates in the coming weeks.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Katherine!

Day 18


New waiter today. Fortunately, I have the speech I give to the new ones pretty much down pat, now. I'm ready to go with it by the time he walks up to me and tells me his name.

"Hey, I'm Vino, and I'm doing a -"
"Yeah, I know."

Apparently, news travels fast in the tightly-knit community of Olive Garden employees. My waiter regards me with a friendly, yet hard, stare. It's as if he's daring me to order my first pasta. His hand rests with a practiced ease on his notepad, like a sheriff ready to draw his gun. I begin to sweat.

"I'll have, the, um...spaghetti with roasted mushroom sauce and --"
"Chicken fritta?"

I scramble to check my notes. How could he have known that I hadn't tried that one yet? I try to regain my composure, but my nerves are shot.

"Y...yeah. Chicken fritta."
"I'll be back with that, and your Coke Zero."
"That...that sounds good. Thanks."

But he's already gone. I'm up against a professional, and it looks like I've already lost round one.

NOTE: A lot of people have asked me about the "arbitrarity" of my 5-star scale. I hope these pastas will help decode how I look at a dish and where the rating comes from. There are four main elements, so today I've picked four dishes that exemplify one of each.

Lunch was Presentation.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:


I'm sure I'll see that waiter again. Hopefully I'll be ready next time.

A special thanks to my dining companion, this person who wants everyone to be aware of the existence of breast cancer!

Pasta Combination Selector