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Pasta Perfection

Day 22

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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:

Countershade
Crypsis
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

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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:

Veni
Vidi
Vici

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

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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:

Charlotte
Emily
Anne

See you tomorrow.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Faye!

Day 19

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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

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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:

Synergy
Juxtaposition
Quality

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!

Day 17

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As any of the waitresses unfortunate enough to be stuck with me can attest, I drink a lot of Coke Zero. It's my favorite beverage, and pretty much the only thing I drink, besides water. Those of you wondering if I ever get bored of it would do well to remember my diet as of the past two weeks.

The "Share A Coke" promotion seems to have gotten a lot of traction, and kudos to Coca-Cola for coming up with something so simple yet compelling for the consumer. What I've found particularly amusing, though, is the discrepancy between Coke Zero's names and Diet Coke's.

It's no secret that Zero is marketed more towards my demographic - young men who typically don't drink "diet" soda. Diet Coke invites you to share it with your "Mom", a "Go-Getter", or, my personal favorite, your "BFF". Coke Zero ain't got time for that sissy garbage, and it knows you don't either. You gotta share it with your "Bros", a "Legend", or a "Gamer". Aw yeah. Just lemme pop this Zero quick, bro, then we can get back to some truly legendary gaming.

Lunch was Sunrise on the Savannah.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

The Lonely Inuit
Vesuvius
Weekend Warriors

I know today's update is only tangentially related to the Olive Garden or the pastas thereof, but I'm using this site as a platform to discuss all the hard-hitting issues.

A special thanks to my dining companions, my Legendary Gamer Bros!

day 16

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(i do not know when it is that the olive garden closes
and opens;only something in me understands
that if i show up too early they serve smaller portions)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small bowls

            lunch was fourpaws

dinner was
                         composed of
three

plates

          of pasta

love
rain
death

with apologies to mr cummings

a special thanks to
          my dining companion
" "

Day 15

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I've been getting a lot of questions asked via inquiring fans - some of these questions have been asked with some frequency. Thus, the following:

**Frequently Asked Questions:**

Q: How did you get pasta pass? How do I get pasta pass?

A: The pasta pass was given out as a promotional item to the first 1,000 people to find the buried treasure (a single golden olive) of Horace Garden, founder of the Olive Garden empire. Since there was only one treasure, it was very easy to find after the first guy just left it sitting at the Home Depot.

Q: Why is every Pasta Pass holder a white guy in his mid thirties with a half-built shed in his back yard?

A: See above.

Q: On a scale of none to all, how much of the pasta?

A: [not dignified with response]

Q: Fat????

A: Maybe!!!

Q: Are you actually depressed, or is that just the pasta talking?

A: Can't it be both? But seriously, this is a known effect of long-term exposure to high levels of pasta. It is commonly referred to by any number of clever monikers; see today's pasta names for a partial list.

Lunch was Sadghetti.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Mario's Malaise
Curse of Carbs
Linguennui

Keep those comments, tweets, and emails coming, people! I don't have time to respond to them all, but I read every single one~

A special thanks to my dining companion, Nick, who has been the shining beacon of every new week for three weeks running!

Day 14

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The journey of a thousand noodles begins with a single bowl, and I've now eaten roughly 286 of those noodles. Some observations from the past week:

-Still no appreciable change in weight, energy levels, or any other vague metric of 'health'
-Still cannot resist a breadstick placed within snatching distance
-Still cries at a good film
-Have had dreams in which I accidentally ate food from somewhere other than the Olive Garden and I had to induce vomiting to maintain the integrity of the challenge
-As of today, all 36 pasta+sauce combination has been tried. They were all delicious! You should try some. Why not go to the Olive Garden tomorrow? You could even go with me! I mean, if you don't have anything else going on, I'm just sayin', I'll be at Olive Garden. You don't, like, have to come or anything.

Please come. I'm so alone.

Lunch was Cannonball.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Pier on an Orange Lake
"Healthy" Choice
Rime of the Ancient Marinara

Thus ends week two of seven. I've got a long way to go.

A special thanks to my dining companion, the blank stare of my own twisted reflection in a pool of five cheese marinara!

Day 13

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Between the blog, my job, and the actual consuming of pasta, I have very little leisure time. But weekends throw a wrench into this, and the amount of time I suddenly find myself with paralyzes me with anxiety, not freedom. I don't think "what can I do with my time", I think, "what should I do with my time"?

Sometime in college I developed a sense of guilt about doing anything 'pointless', like playing video games, reading fictional novels, browsing the internet, or so on. Note that I didn't stop doing these things; I just felt bad the whole time I did them, and awful when I saw it was time for bed. Had an entire day just slipped by, with nothing accomplished but a higher number above my gnome warlock's head?

Lunch was Noah

Dinner was compose of three plates of pasta:

Atrahasis
Gilgamesh
Nûḥ

Clearly, my guilt is even more useless than my hobbies, but I've yet to find a way to escape it.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Danny!

Day 12

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Today I was famous.

I liked doing this, but the end product was heavily edited. This is just a partial list of things cut from the interview:

-A scene in which I look at the menu and say "I think I'll have...EVERYTHING!", then the camera zooms in on the waiter's shocked face [sound effect: slide whistle]
-The boom mic operator distracting the manager while the cameraman fills his gear bag with breadsticks
-Palpable sexual tension between me and the reporter
-My reading aloud of the entirety of the ending speech from Atlas Shrugged, in which I replace all personal pronouns with pasta equivalents
-The ending montage of me eating pounds upon pounds of spaghetti, interspersed with shots of starving 3rd-world children

Lunch was Exposition.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Recapitulation
Scherzo
Cadenza

Big thanks to the cameraman who asked the most insightful question I've yet to hear in an interview - "what does Hospitaliano mean to *you*"? I'm still thinking this one over!

A special thanks to my dining companion, Kay!

Day 11

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Dining with children puts me in an awkward position. I understand that parenting is a difficult job - fortunately, thanks to my face being plastered all over the news as "the guy who's going to die in a diabetic coma in three weeks", nobody will risk procreating with me - and I am not the type of person who is irritated by children at a restaurant. I understand that kids will be kids, and will typically be unruly, loud, or otherwise unpleasant. It genuinely does not bother me.

But I can tell it bothers other people, and I'm nothing if not sensitive to the feelings of others, bordering on obsequious-ness. So what am I, as a non-parent, to do when my dining companions' children, adorable though they are, drag down the evening for everyone within screeching range?

Obviously, direct interaction with the parents or the children is impossible. One does not tell parents how to parent, for any number of reasons. All I could manage was a tired "sorry" smile to the diners near us and a large tip for our server. I honestly don't know what the etiquette is in this situation. Can anything be done at all?!

Lunch was The Classic.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Orange Tide
School Lunch
Eighteen Dollar Entree

The above blog entry is entirely fictitious and is a theoretical essay only. On an unrelated note...

A special thanks to my dining companions, The Doll Family!

Pasta Combination Selector