Demeanor -- Jerk sauce-like: "Very familiar with the dry rub", he continually reminds me
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "It's an extremely romantic place for a date~"
Gender identity/sexual orientation -- Decidedly male, decidedly straight
"Are you looking at your phone again? That's no way to treat your daaaate~" Michael says. I can hear the tilde in his voice.
"It's not a date!" I snap back.
"Then explain all these candles~!"
"I still can't believe they let you bring those in."
Michael is my stupid jerk roommate who was my last option for a date after I had two consecutive cancellations for tonight. Remember, people: every time you cancel a date, someone has to go out with their roommate.
45 more actual dates to go.
Demeanor -- Ragù-like: subtle characteristics that are easy to miss; possibly underappreciated
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "I...hmm. I guess I have no strong feelings about it."
Favorite assassin -- Charles J. Guiteau
"You know, fettucine alfredo was originally sold as a bland, flavorless dietary aid," she says, moving hers around her plate disinterestedly.
One of the best parts of this project is meeting people I would normally never come into contact with, like Rebecca. She's a 6th-grade teacher who effortlessly switches from insightful commentary on our education system to analyses of musical stage productions.
46 more dates to go.
Today's pasta was
Layoffs At The Mine
Demeanor -- Alfredo-like: mild, yet rife with hidden nuances
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "It reminds me of my friend. He likes it a lot because it's a chain."
Named after the world's largest evil food conglomerate? -- Undetermined
"I couldn't pick a favorite dog. That'd be like picking a favorite child."
Neslie is a warm, affable woman who is clearly capable of a great amount of care and love. Hearing her talk about her family and the people who are most important to her reminds one that there's more to life than serial dating and pasta. On that note...
47 more dates to go.
Today's pasta was
Demeanor -- Marinara-like: spicy, saucy
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "It's, uh...it's okay!"
Belief as to whether the United States should get further involved in the Israel-Palestine Conflict -- Did not come up
She straightens out her dress, then smiles wryly. "You really ate that fast."
I nod and say nothing for a while, because my mouth is entirely full of chicken. "Mm. S'been a while."
From the start of the evening, the waitress likes her more than me, which is understandable. Katrina is the type of person who is immediately likeable. I had some reservations about this year's blog; what kind of people would I meet? Could I really share any values with people from a state so different than where I was raised? How awful is that gluten-free rotini going to be, anyway?
Katrina allayed all my fears in one perfectly enjoyable evening. I look forward to seeing her again one day.
Until then, though, there are 48 more dates.
Today's pasta was
Tomorrow begins my quest for pasta! I'm very excited. To celebrate, here's the new site, which lays out the new angle I'm going for with this year's blog.
If you or someone you know would be interested in going to Olive Garden with me, just fill out the form!
The game is afoot.
Hey, pasta fans!
If you're reading this, you're likely a fan of the quest I completed last year. I'd like to do something similar again with this year's pass, but with a fun new gimmick (more on that later). Unfortunately, the Pastas That Be did not see fit to ordain me thus.
That's where you come in! Today only the OG is running a contest where they will give a pass to the person who is most deserving, by community vote. It would truly mean the world to me if you could take a bit of your day and write me in. Just refer to me as "Vino, from the blog www.allofgarden.com " and explain why you believe I'd make the best use out of the pass.
The best part? If your entry is the one that wins me a pass, you get a pass of your very own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let's make some magic happen, people. And by magic, I mean empty carbs.
Please share this around on social media, if you know anyone else who would be helpful
Hello again, pasta pals. It's good to talk to you again after all this time. I'm sure you have questions; here, briefly, are a few answers.
-Yes, I have heard
-No, I don't have one yet. There was a bit of a mixup where I was not informed of its availability. I am certain this is a minor oversight and will be corrected shortly.
Dinner was Finale.
Thank you for dining with me.
It seems like just yesterday I began the journey of a thousand noodles, and now that only a single bowl remains, my wandering into Olive Garden seemed aimless, distracted. As I sat down at my table, a nameless waitress approached me, fear obvious in her eyes.
"Sir, I -"
"Please," I interrupted. "I've been here for 7 weeks now. You can call me Vino."
"No, no, actually, go back to sir."
"Sir. I don't know how to say this. Um." She paused, took a deep breath. "We are out of pasta. You...you ate it all. We can bring you something, but they'll be a little different. Substitutions. Please forgive us."
Lunch was skipped.
Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:
Grande-Sized Number Six Combo With Diet Coke
I felt a sense of emptiness. This wasn't right. It was delicious, but it wasn't what I needed: the final bowl. The culmination of everything I'd been building the past seven weeks.
A special thanks to my dining companion, Vinegar!
In the hustle and bustle of my fast-paced pasta-scarfing existence, it's easy to forget the most important thing: family.
Now, I don't have a "traditional" family*. But I do have the staff at the Olive Garden. If the OG's advertising campaign from the 90's can be trusted (and if not, can anything be?) they're more family to me than anyone else.
So, this blog is a shoutout to the servers, the bartenders, the managers, the door-holder-openers, all of you guys! You've made the past seven weeks much more fun than they should have been. I hope you find today's pastas as cheesy as this blog.
Lunch was Icarus.
Dinner was composed of two plates of pasta:
*When I was twelve, my parents were both crushed to death during a routine tour of an Olive Garden shipping facility by an unsecured crate of Italian sausages. On that day I swore that I would get vengeance by eating every last one, as soon as it was economically feasible. The day the Pasta Pass was announced was the beginning of my new life.
A special thanks to my dining companion, Vino!