Random 5 for August 8 – Pandemic, restaurants, off the list, gorilla man, cats

What will you keep from the pandemic? — I thought about that question and for sure take-out. It’s cheaper because you don’t order drinks and it’s quieter at home. You also can take your time. No one is waiting for your table. The only thing I miss is dining with friends. I guess we could do take-out at someone’s house.

There is an art to it – This past week we decided to go to a restaurant we (usually) like before there are any new restrictions. The food is good but it’s popular for families so going at a quiet time is a challenge. We went early. It wasn’t early enough although we didn’t have a wait. Just too many people. So loud and noisy. We ordered our usual but it came to the table all scrambled. Our pre-dinner cocktail came after the bread and the salad and seconds before our entrée. We mentioned (nicely) to our waiter that we’d prefer the drink before the meal. He said he had no control. The bartenders do the drinks so that was that. His manner was so nonchalant as if it didn’t matter. It does matter. Even an inexpensive dinner, which it wasn’t, should be a relaxing peaceful experience. I shouldn’t have to worry whether the bartender is in sync with my waiter.

So that was that – We had a bad experience doing take-out at this restaurant which is why we decided to eat inside. So…if eating inside isn’t a great experience and take-out isn’t either, it doesn’t matter how good the food is, does it?

A revisit with the gorilla man – If you remember gorilla man was a regular Starbucks patron who wore a gorilla face mask. I bumped into him yesterday. I told him to dust off his mask as Starbucks is going back to them. He said he still has it but sure hoped we didn’t have to resort to that again. It’s the first time I had a conversation of any depth with him (remember this is Starbucks at pre-coffee for me so my social level is at an all-time low). He talked about teaching but I couldn’t connect teaching with affording a Mercedes convertible. Maybe he won the lottery along the way. I’m going to check what cars my teacher friends are driving!

Gracie in one of her favorite sleeping spots.

The snugglebugs – This morning I woke up to four cats on the bed. This is unusual. Gracie rarely sleeps on the bed at any time. She has her favorite spots and they don’t include nestled in my knees. She was there for most of the night but the other three hopped on when it seemed, from their perspective, that I should be getting up to give them breakfast (which is always an hour earlier than it really happens). Anyhow that made my day.

I hope something makes your day and how was your week?


67 thoughts on “Random 5 for August 8 – Pandemic, restaurants, off the list, gorilla man, cats

  1. Hmm – things will likely stay the same for me and no holdovers, except a collection of masks which range from heavy-duty (for errands/grocery store) to barely there (for those stifling hot walks, of which there have been many).

    I’ve not eaten out in years but that’s because of the high incidence of Hep A here. I aim to get a shot eventually, but I stopped even getting items from the deli counter or bakery counter for the same reason. I loved going to Applebee’s until I saw a sign in the bathroom “employees remember to wash your hands” which was a turnoff and I have never felt the same about Applebee’s after that. As to the waiter – SMH. All he had to do was not turn in your food order and get your drinks first when the slow bartender got his act together. I understand that they are so short-staffed here in Michigan, that what restaurants have not gone under due to lack of help, are just eliminating items off the menu, or just opening for less people or shutting down multiple days in the week. It’s crazy.

    Customer service is not what it used to be and I’d work my buns off during my waitressing days for a quarter. (It was a diner and it was circa 1973-1978). What made my day (and maybe my year) was that little fawn two weeks ago. I know I floated home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gracie is a cutie! Well, when the weather gets colder, that’s when Salem and I sleep in the humans’ bed. We like the warmth. So nice they decided to grace you with it earlier! Sorry about the dining experience. That wouldn’t happen with a can of tuna!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good question. What will I keep from the pandemic? The memory of who cared about my well-being enough to stay in touch via screens and phones– and who couldn’t be bothered to check-in, even once. Just saying…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. While we’ve done take out once in a while, we actually went inside – not a patio – it’s 100 degrees here now – a restaurant we used to love to go to a bit from here. Our waiter was in training, but he was nice and trying and had a “shadow” trainer who didn’t seem to like him. We noticed the much abbreviated menu and higher prices. Even so, it was nice to see people – some kids in masks – enjoying themselves. Looks like we are all trying to hit the less busy times…and causing a crowd HAHA
    I’ve gotten used to curbside groceries and still use that time to time if busy. The “pickers” at that one store do can excellent job even with produce – just go mid day mid week when they have had deliveries and still have high demand items. No used to so much being MIA on the shelves and the reduced offerings.
    Glad to see more people out walking dogs and themselves…if only the heat would cooperate! Not an August person in the best of times.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I an glad it was not gorilla man’s mask you found on the floor. We call take out take away but I have not had many. I am looking forward to not needing a mask when we go out and being able to have a carvery or salad bar. I like being served at the table and not having to queue at the bar in a pub.

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  6. We had dinner out a couple of times when our cases fell in Spring. We enjoyed it but I just felt stressed by the whole thing. I am beginning to think things are just going to be different. Rather do pick-up and enjoy it in peace and quiet at home. There was a time in my twenties and thirties that I had something similar to agoraphobia, I think that’s happening now but related to the plague. Can we spend 17 months hunkered down in our houses with our lives totally changed and return to what it used to be?
    Gorilla man is getting to be interesting.
    I am wondering if the sungglebugs think you still need their extra attention. Sweet of Gracie to be close.

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    • I worry about that too. No interest in going out at all. People are odd. We were at a favorite local pub (first time in a year). One of the managers greeted and hugged me then proceeded to tell me it was all crap and no way was he getting the vaccine. He runs a bar where people come. Old people who are susceptible. I never thought he was the sharpest knife in the drawer but now I think he’s deranged.


  7. My brother visits most weekends except the periods last year when crossing the border between England and Wales wasn’t allowed. Just recently our usual haunts have opened their doors again so we’ve been able to eat out. Table service has been good but there’s been much less friendly banter than usual which has taken some of the pleasure away. I have at least been able to get a meal from the ;Chippie ‘ for the last few months and have been enjoying that on a Friday with a visit from my son-in-law. .Last Friday he brought my grandson along which was a real treat. I have no cats as the budgie won’t allow them in the house.
    Huge Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Being only one person, I didn’t get used to take-out during the pandemic. When I thought of it, it seemed I always had something in the fridge I needed to use. I hate to throw food away. But I do appreciate the idea. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter who recently moved here from Indiana invited some of us over for lunch. She baked a delicious dessert and ordered some food that my son-in-law picked up. Then she set a beautiful table. It turned out to be a nice get together without any fuss. Then we all toured her new house and yard. Plus, the Vietnamese food was delicious, especially the shrimp curry.

    Recently another daughter has been remarking that her cats have wanted a lot of attention, which seems strange. She’s been working from home, so they get plenty of attention.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pets get used to having people around. Wonder how that works when people go back to the office. I’m loving take-out. We get two meals from our local Italian restaurant and that translates into two dinners (4 servings) plus a lunch or two. I’ve learned how to divvy it up to make it easy. Our Chinese takeout is good too.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I haven’t returned to eating out, and it’s lost all attraction, frankly. We do a little takeout, but not much. I will go to the grocery store, which I didn’t for more than a year, but during that time I also started with some delivery services that I’ll hold onto. In the end I think I spend less because there’s no impulse buys! Love your little cuddle buddies. They’re so sweet and I think I’d enjoy waking up to their sweet faces!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That waiter sounds like an idiot, drinks always come first. Maybe gorilla man is a college professor?? I love waking up to 4 cats on the bed. I have 11 and usually only have 2 on the bed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wondered if he was a college professor but I don’t think they make that kind of money. Then again, some people have different priorities on what they spend on. It’s a very lovely car. Always clean and pure white, leather seats and all.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Haven’t done much take-out or dining in. Have been out to lunch with friends a few times and it was great as usual. I wouldn’t go back to the place that had such bad service with no apology.
    Jack always sleeps the whole night at the end of the bed. Teddy comes and goes because Jack has to visit with him and Teddy wants to be left alone…with me. Teddy wakes me up when he is ready for breakfast which is always too early. Jack lets him do the dirty work. As far as I know none of us snore.

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  12. I’ve gotten to appreciate take out and the quiet at home away from anyone with any issues. Even back in the good old days, I never wanted to talk politics or religion, but now it seems like a lot of folks are irate about a variety of things. 🙂 We had an experience a month or so ago trying to order one particular menu item at a local chain. It’s the only item we ever order, and they only have it on Friday and Saturday evening. We called, they said they weren’t doing take out anymore. I tried contacting the local store because I thought maybe there were certain hours for take out but no response so finally contacted their corporate headquarters. The next time we ordered take out, it was fine. I never stopped wearing a mask inside stores. Sometimes, I’m the only one and other times there are more. Several of our stores are now asking people to wear them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate the quiet at home time too. Especially enjoy no politics! These days it’s even pandemic discussions I try to avoid. I like peaceful. Last summer we had hit and miss with some of the local restaurants so we didn’t do much takeout until the fall. We still don’t do a lot, maybe every other week or so. Masks are not mandated here although some places have started to ask customers to wear them. You don’t know who was vaccinated and I don’t necessarily believe people.

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  13. Sometimes it’s so nice to have cat snuggles overnight 🙂 Not when they are pesting you to wake up, of course. But the rest of the time its kind of sweet.
    We have had some disappointments in restaurants here as well. Some of our old favorites have really gone down in quality or atmosphere over the pandemic. But there are enough pretty amazing places to eat here that it’s OK 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eating out is not as much fun as it used to be.
    Too noisy.
    Too crowded.
    Too “hit or miss.”

    Flying is not as much fun as it used to be.
    Too cramped.
    Too many cattle being herded into a small space.
    Too many inconveniences.

    Road trips are not as much fun as they used to be.
    Too much traffic.
    Too much “sameness” on the interstates.
    Not enough “conveniences” off the interstate routes.

    There’s no place like HOME!

    HOME is what I’m keeping post-pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve been doing LOTS of armchair traveling during the pandemic . . .

        After watching a travel video on Morocco, we requested several movies filmed in Morocco ~ Casablanca, Never Let Go, Babel. And I got a couple of books on Morocco, including a cookbook. And a book about renovating a house in Fez Morocco (like Under The Tuscan Sun or A Year in Provence). To cap off my “small travel” to Morocco, a fan fiction book set in Morocco ~>”Garment of Shadows : a novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes:

        “As Holmes searches for her, and Russell, suffering a temporary memory loss, searches for her”self,” each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.”

        So that’s another thing I’ll keep from the pandemic ~ fully utilizing the resources of our local library ~> we just got another batch of travel videos: New England, China, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Florida, California, Rail Travel along the California Coast, Wyoming & South Dakota, Utah, the Caribbean, Arizona, Hawaii, etc.

        After those (about 60 minutes each) ~> Nevada, Holland, Italy, Mexico, Greece, France, Norway, Iceland, Peru, Sicilia, Cuba, Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, Bali, Malta, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Nepal, Cote D’Azure, Espana, Myanmar, etc.

        No packing. No flying. No traffic. No Montezuma’s Revenge. No fuss. No muss. No bother.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s International Cat Day today. Waking with cats surely makes a good start of the day. Grace lays on my back while Lucy is snug as a bug next to my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve gotten to prefer take out as well–except sushi. Sushi’s only good when it is super fresh, and the presentation of Japanese food is usually something special, too.

    Also, it’s one of the few meals that a restaurant does better than my husband. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I once went to a restaurant where they greeted us with the words, “We don’t think of ourselves as a restaurant. We think of ourselves as a third space.” Erm, ok. 😬 They also told us that the dishes come out “as and when they’re ready”, meaning you might get your starter after your main. We didn’t go back.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I suspect I toss and turn so much neither dog would sleep with me. Then again, I probably toss and turn because they used to. One in particular is a bed hog, not to mention snores like a stevedore; don’cha Elsa? 😆 Eating out has become far less fun since the ‘pain-demic.’ For the trouble, it’s just no longer worth it.

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  19. I will keep my enjoyment of no traffic to speak of…..walks around town with nobody else on the sidewalks….QUIET…..and we only got curbside pickup twice during the whole pandemic shutdown but I REALLY did enjoy that and especially nice to just dump the plates/etc. in the trashcan afterwards with no dishes! Lucky you to have the bonanza of four cats sleeping with you…..Teddy prefers the comfy bedroom chair to the bed – or maybe hubby’s snoring bothers him?

    Hugs, Pam

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