Two cows are standing in a field (of cavatappi). One says to the other, "Hey, you worried about that Mad Cow Disease going around?"
The other one scoffs. "Why should I be? I'm a squirrel."
Greatest Strength -- Has thousands of LinkedIn contacts from the one time she accidentally hit "invite all"
Weakest Weakness -- Sunlight allergy necessitates constant wearing of fashionable hat and glasses combo
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "Well. I'm half-italian, so my family has always felt kind of..." [literally thumbs her nose at the food in front of her]
Snapshot: Jenny and I are discussing whether Orange County is a suitable place for me to buy a home, put down roots, etc. She wrinkles her nose. "Don't. You've got the rest of your life to give up."
Creative Challenge -- "Write a limerick that contains the phrase 'weird kid'"
There once was a weird kid from Dakota
Who was as calm and as wise as Yoda.
He was quick of the wit
And the pasta he bit
I said "goodbye" as I got in my Toyota
People, especially those in Southern California, throw around the word "inspiring" a lot, but that's the best way to describe how I feel about Jenny. She has a go-get-'em attitude that makes you feel like all your dreams are just a few steps away, so go ahead and step 'em! Now!! Stop taking pictures of spaghetti and DO IT!!!
Also, we're currently workshopping her limerick into a spec script for a based-on-a-true-story Lifetime Original movie, with me being played by Danny DeVito. If you're reading this, Danny (I know you are), call me. You have my number.
Vino's Vegan Victual:
41 dates to go! Thanks for dining with me, Jenny. I am looking forward to quiz night!
The cool color palette and burning spirals of shrimp in this dish immediately evoke the foxglove-hazed world of Van Gogh's most beloved by college freshmen painting, The Starry Night. And if you don't see it, you're the uncultured one.
Greatest Strength -- CEO, lead designer, Unquestioned God-Matriarch of the bridal hair accessory megaconglomerate, Hair Comes The Bride
Weakest Weakness -- Potential business connections have become so scarce that she is forced to seek out exposure for her beautiful hair accessories on unrelated pasta blogs
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- [Before eating] "I...don't think I'd accept a date here." [After] "This is surprisingly good."
After a brief awkward exchange, Gina gets up to 'go to the bathroom', and since she takes her purse with, I assume she's leaving for good. To my pleasant surprise, she returns shortly after! I ask if she had trouble starting her car.
"Mm. Triple A's on the way."
Creative Challenge -- "Write a haiku that contains the word 'tickled'."
Tickled by my meal
The company was the best
Pick me to win please
It's great to find someone as positive and bouncy as Gina. Often, these qualities are tied to a tiring ditzy-ness (and this is true of both men and women), but she is savvy on top of being fun to talk to. Also, since I plugged her store, I expect full cross-promotion in the form of a breadstick tiara in time for my wedding.
Vino's Vegan Victual:
42 dates to go! Thanks for dining with me, Gina. You go, girl.
Imagine a ring of cheese so dense, so packed with cholesterol, that light cannot escape its gooey center. What appears to be a normal pasta transcends into a physical phenomena beyond science's ability to explain. Also, it comes with soup.
Greatest Strength -- Fearless nature led to perhaps the greatest heist in Olive Garden history (see Snapshot below)
Weakest Weakness -- Easily distracted; finished maybe 1/10th of the stories she started
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "I'm ambivalent. Oh. Once I came here with my mom, and her friend, and her friend's daughter. Anyway. We had a waiter named Quest. I'll never forget that." (editorial note: I have no idea if this was a joke, or a reference, or something of that nature -- I leave the interpretation to the viewer)
Snapshot: Throughout the date, Lu continually flirts with our waiter, each time getting him to bring back more and more shrimp (which she barely touches). Watching her work her craft enthralls me. There's something deeply primitive about the way the waiter returns again and again, overflowing her salty ocean shrine.
By the time we leave Olive Garden (half an hour after closing time), Lu has bilked Olive Garden out of 23 shrimp and a colorful cloth napkin, which she repurposed as a trendy scarf that really tied her whole outfit together.
Creative Challenge -- "Write a limerick than contains the word 'camera'."
I once went on a date from Reddit
& my God I wanted to end it.
I struggled with rhyme
The whole FUCKING time
I tried but in the end I didn't.
Lu was a gamble that paid off, and not just in ill-gotten toppings. She found me through a post I made on Reddit.com, an internet message board famous for its campaign to make Bernie Sanders so popular that Hilary Clinton would lose the race for the presidency (WE DID IT, REDDIT!).
As you may expect, the clientelle of this site is all over the place. That was my original point. So a date with a redditor can, potentially, be just about anywhere on the scale. This one was right up there at the top. Lu has the "demure exterior, sharp-tongued interior" thing down pat. One minute she's giggling coquettishly, the next she's tearing your heart out and mocking your height.
Not that I'm even sensitive about that. I don't know how much more clear I have to be. I must have said so, like, five times.
Vino's Vegan Victual:
The Ocean Called!!
43 dates to go! Thanks for dining with me, Lu -- and it's not like you're that tall, either, y'know.
Greatest Strength -- Finely-honed nose for news enabled her to get in on the ground floor on what will assuredly be the pasta blog/reality tv dating game show hybrid of the season.
Weakest Weakness -- Fierce independent streak which involved a week-long phase of referring to herself as "Xoie"
Feelings about the Olive Garden -- "I love it! When I lived in Orange County there were not that many unique or interesting places to eat, so I fully embraced the chain restaurant lifestyle."
Snapshot: As usual, I explained the concept of the date's Creative Challenge, and its purpose, to Zoie. When I completed my summary, she smiled, picked up her pen, and brightly chirped "Wow! I hate this!"
Creative Challenge -- "Write a haiku that contains the word 'breadsticks'."
Alyssa gave breadsticks to-
go. She's the greatest
waitress in OG history.
Zoie works for Los Angeles magazine and, since she was "assigned" to me as if I were a natural disaster, must have a boss with a sense of humor. I usually play the interviewer role in my dates, so it was a weird change of pace to be asked so many pointed questions about Olive Garden that went beyond making polite conversation. It gave me a new sense of empathy for the women on the other end of the salad bowl, that's for sure.
Vino's Vegan Victual:
44 dates to go! Thanks for dining with me, Zoie - I know you'll get that big scoop one day!