It's funny that such these staples of American-style cooking - meat, cheese, and just enough refined carbs to turn a meal into intestinal library paste - come together in an Italian-style dish with a French-style name.
Demeanor: Egg salad-like: hard-boiled, smooth
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "Well, I grew up in an Italian family. So my mom wouldn't approve of this."
Tolerance level of toddler literally screaming three feet away for 40 minutes straight: admirably high
"So," I manage to get in while the kid takes a breath, "do you ever want children?"
"Not at this very moment, no."
Elise is in the process of clawing her way up the ladder of the publishing industry. This is particularly challenging since, as my blog's runaway success conclusively proves, print media is dead. She's the editor of "a line of small food magazines", which I assume means she mostly covers hors d'oeuvres, appetizers, etc.
She didn't ask to feature any of my food photography, probably because she was too starstruck. For the record: I'm available for all forms of selling out.
26 more dates to go.
Today's pasta was
Demeanor: Greek salad-like: simple origins that yield complex results
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- ((realizing that she was served spaghetti, and not the fettucine she ordered)) "This is too much food. This isn't my fault."
Favorite demographic, out of 'children, convicts, or the elderly': Convicts by far
I sit on my side of the booth, wolfing down my second bowl of ravioli, and watch Breanna work her seductive magic on our hapless waiter. She flirtatiously cons her way into a free "birthday" dessert before my very eyes.
Then, perhaps simply to prove she can, she gets all the waiters to sing for her. I'm amazed. It's like being on a date with a Disney princess.
Breanna has a natural charisma that makes her instantly likeable. Her sweetness is not cloying, and her intelligence is not haughty. I truly enjoyed my meal with her, and hope to see her again sometime after my world of pasta has come crumbling down around me.
27 more dates to go.
Today's pasta was
After enough time sitting out, the different specific densities of the ingredients which make up pesto alfredo sauce cause it to naturally split into its component elements.
Demeanor: Parmigiano-like: complex, though most people only experience a pale imitation
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- *taking a bite, seems surprised* "This is actually delicious."
Number of times she said the phrase "maybe that's why I'm single": Six
((Lauren has multiple videos of her dog and cat, and jumped at every chance to show them off. They are very cute!))
My third Lauren in seven days, this one was determined to stand out. I actually was given her number by Jessica - I think they know each other through work or a mutual cult or something. I couldn't help but notice that she had Tinder up while waiting for our table, which definitely incentivized me to give 110% on this date - clearly, she always kept one eye open. I admire that go-get-'em attitude!
Like Jessica, Lauren works with the mentally disabled, and like Jessica, she didn't laugh when I said that was great experience for her online dating. She's a great person, though, and was a pleasure to dine with.
28 more dates to go.
Today's pasta was
This weekend marked my first of my three planned road trips - the other two being Phoenix in two weeks, and Las Vegas on the last weekend. San Francisco is a dense and overwhelming city, yet only has one Olive Garden to its name! You can probably chalk that up to the type of image it strives to maintain - hip, young, independent, tech-oriented, et cetera. Still, for such a Cool Town, the Olive Garden was extremely popular.
The trip was uneventful, save for regular bilboards in the desert paid for by California farmers who blame the drought on Congress and wanted anyone driving by to know who's fault it really is. My AirBnB reservation didn't pan out (he rejected me after I told him about the blog), so I ended up having to sleep in my car at a rest stop. Womp.
Here it is - SF's extremely exclusive Olive Garden, with a grainy, foggy backdrop of the city! I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked - most turned out mediocre, since I left my camera at home and had to make do with a cell phone. We're off to a great start!!!!
Demeanor: Provolone-like: pleasantly sharp
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- ((After her second, and last, bite of her entree)) "It's okay. I don't think it's poison or anything."
Killer app that she designed: Automatically scans the news article you're reading and embeds a link to related charity that deals with whatever horrible thing is happening, to optimize your slacktivism and white guilt.
Here is a list of pug puns that Claire seems to enjoy, ordered by how long they made her say "eee!" when she saw them on shirts/notebooks/bumper stickers/etc in the store we went to after dinner.
"Pugs Not Drugs"
"Pug And Play"
"Pugs A Lot"
"PUG" (underneath an Andre the Giant OBEY style image of a pug)
"The Pug Is My Favorite Kind Of Dog; Here Is A Picture Of One"
A former manager-turned-coder, Claire takes a good deal of pride in knowing what she's talking about and understanding the way the world works; you can understand why management was not a good fit for her. More than anyone else I've dated so far, she seemed to genuinely dislike the food at Olive Garden, though she was very polite about it and not at all snobby - I really appreciated that!
Claire spends her free time in her apartment, located in the most difficult-to-drop-someone-off-in-on-a-Saturday-night part of San Francisco that she could find.
29 more dates to go.
Today's pasta was
Rice A Roni
Demeanor: Ricotta-like: versatile, flexible
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "I feel...I feel like you're putting me on the spot, right now. It's okay. I don't come here that often."
Reaction to the food, date, me, life itself: Currently under NDA, will be posted in 2023
"Oh my god, are those Crocs?" She has a look on her face like my shoes just crushed a puppy.
"I...I didn't think you'd see them. You were supposed to get up from the table first, and just walk away."
"I don't know how I feel right now."
And I meant it, too. Clearly, I flew too close to the sun with nature's most perfect footwear: a mistake I won't soon repeat.
...Unless I'm pretty sure I can get away with it. Gotta have my Crocs.
Erica is a charming young woman working in the video game industry, which is apparently a much bigger world than I thought, because I seem to keep running into them. She hails from the far east(ern coast of the United States: Georgia) and taught me a lot about the horrors of online dating as a woman. Most of the stories she asked I not repeat here on the blog, but they can generally be summed up like this: dudes are weird.
To Erica's credit, she did at least *attempt* to win me a giant cat pillow from the arcade. One day, it will be mine.
30 more dates to go.
Today's pasta was