Saturday, February 25, 2006

a thing that seriously chapped my ass ...

When it comes to dining out, I’m not really a hard guy to please. I like good food. I appreciated a comfortable atmosphere, as well as good, thoughtful service. I like cheap, little hole-in-the wall restaurants. I like greasy spoons, diners, family restaurants, fast food and fine dining — pretty much most places.

It usually takes a lot to put me off a place. I have to have a couple of bad experiences there, as I’m usually willing to give an eatery a second chance, figuring anyone or anyplace can have a bad day once. Some of my friends refuse to eat at places because of bad experiences they have had, but I still eat them because, well, it wasn’t me who had the experiences and I like the food. LOL

For example, a group of us from the office was having lunch at a local steak house once. We all got our food in good order, the servers were friendly and fairly prompt, even though it was packed, and the food was good, or at least not bad. One of my friends had ordered clam chowder and was about 1/3 of the way through it when she came up a very chewy clam. She chewed and chewed and finally spit it into a napkin, to find that it wasn’t a clam but the tip of a rubber glove. Apparently, a prep chef had inadvertently cut it off their hand while preparing soup ingredients.

Now my friend, understandably, was very upset. The manager came over and apologized … but didn’t offer to comp the meal — not for her or any of us. I think we ended up getting a 25-percent discount. She was so pissed off over that — combined with the fact that she’s heard of stories about how other customers (usually white customers) complaining about less nasty experiences got their full meal comped. For example, the chicken wings were cold. What, cold chicken wings? Free meal! What, rubber glove in your soup? Slight discount.

Anyway, I bring this up because of an experience I had on Friday. I was planning to go to one of my favorite places to have a nice, thick steak for lunch, to spend some of my poker winnings. But some co-workers were going to try out a new small little restaurant that basically serves a few kinds of sandwiches and a few kinds of pasta. Eh, what the hell, I thought, I’ll give them a shot.

The restaurant is very near our offices, though the four of us drive anyway, in one of the co-worker’s car. The place looks nice on the inside. It’s clean, it’s very chic and modern looking — great ambiance for a small place. Plus, they didn’t cram things in, so even though it was small it didn’t feel cramped.

The menu is small but interesting. Let me start off by saying that under their list of sandwiches, it clear stated that they charge $1 per substitution.

I decided I was going to try their “Denver” sandwich — roast beef, cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and sprouts on multi-grain bread with a spicy au jus sauce. Sounds good, huh? Well, I don’t like lettuce on sprouts on my sandwich, so I order it like that.

Waitress: “I’m going to have to charge you $2 for the substitutions.”

Me: “Excuse me? You count not putting ingredients on as ‘substitution?’”

Waitress: “Yes.”

Me: “But I’m not substituting anything.”

Waitress: “Well, we have a process for making the sandwiches and when we get really busy (which it WASN’T), it throws things off in the kitchen, so we have to charge $1 for substitutions.”

Me: “I’m actually making it easier for the kitchen. It’s two things less to put on the sandwich.”

Waitress: “Sorry. So would you like the sandwich?”

Me: “No. The coffee’s fine (I’d ordered it beforehand).”

Waitress leaves.

Lunch companions: “What? You’re not going to eat?”

Me: “No. I’m going to drink my coffee, walk back to the office, get in my truck and go get a steak or something.”

Lunch companions: “Come on. Try the pasta. Or take the stuff off the sandwich yourself.”

Me: “No, that’s bullshit. If I was actually making a substitution, I’d pay for it. All I’m asking for is for them to not put something on my sandwich, something I don’t want to eat. Hell, what if I was allergic to one of those ingredients? I would get charged for that? Bullshit.”
So then one of my co-workers calls over one of the owners. He gives us the same spiel — there’s a sandwich process, substitutions fuck up the process, blah, blah, blah. So I repeat my point to him: I’m not making a substitution. After about 3-4 minutes of this, he agrees to have them make the sandwich the way I want it — sans lettuce and sprouts — if I still want it. I say OK, mostly just to avoid dragging out the scene further.

It’s funny, because I get my “special-made” sandwich before everyone else gets their pasta. It’s also a pretty good sandwich. Good ingredients, tasty, etc. The pasta wasn’t too bad either.

But you know what? I don’t see a reason to go back there ever again. I mean, the sandwiches weren’t THAT earth-shatteringly good. And that policy, in terms of how they implement it, is ridiculous. It’s stupid.

Am I being a little petty here? Maybe. But it really pissed me off that fucking much. So if I get in the mood for a sandwich, I’ll head to one of the other sandwich shops/delis/coffee shops that offer sandwiches. Or I’ll just come home to make one of my favorite sammiches in the comfort of my own apartment.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• The Chamorro word for land is “tano.” Taotao tano translates into “people of Guam.” It’s also used if asked you’re what village you are from. For me, I would say, “Guahu si Duane, taotao Anigua,” which means, “My name is Duane, from Anigua.”

Friday, February 24, 2006

bribe for hat arrives ...

... I mean, the winning entry in the Win DZER's Guam Hat Contest has arrived here from England!

Yes, as we all remember, I offered a hat I wore in a Half-Nekkid Thursday post to the best offer. The winners were , with the offer of Alex's synesthesia pastel drawing.

And here it is:
Ain't it grand? It will receive a place of honor here in DZERLAND.

The hat is now on its way to jolly old England, where we all are hoping that Suze uses the hat for a VERY special HNT. Heh.

To Alex & Suze — sorry again about the delays. I hope it gets there post-haste!

A quick word
Just to let folks know, between work, poker, strippers and the like, I have not only not had time to dedicate to working on my blog, but I haven't had time to visit most of yours either, or at least not to post. I also have pretty much ignored e-mails, too. I promise to catch up this weekend. *smoochy-booches*

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam's time zone is Greenwich Mean Time +10. Just in case you wanted to know what time it is here.

why there is no substantive blog entry today ...

... late at the office ...

... poker ...

... winning night ...

... strippers ...

... very late dinner/very early breakfast ...

... *yawn* ... tired ...

... 'nuff said.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

my eyes have it ... (and the HNT) ...

As many of you may have noticed, my eyes are blue.

Now they aren’t a constant blue; the shade of blue changes because of a number of factors — usually the other colors that surround me or that I’m wearing, and the quality of light. I wish that they changed because of mood, but I doubt that feelings are even the slightest factor in eye color.

I never really thought of them as “baby blues,” though I do like the term “battin’ my baby blues atcha” … heh.

The terminology I’ve preferred to go with, when I want something more specific or precise than just “blue” has been “steel blue.” I like the way those two words sound together. Anyone who has seen really shiny steel will know exactly what that color is.

But I was taking a closer look at my recently renewed driver’s license recently, and under the part that lists my eye color, instead of the usual “BLU,” I was confronted with “GRY.”

Yep, the Division of Motor Vehicles license guy decided that my eyes weren’t blue, after looking closely (I imagine) at my driver’s license photo. Nope. He decided that they were grey.

I didn’t even know that was an option. I know about green eyes, brown (light and dark) eyes, hazel eyes, blue eyes, pink eyes (Albinos, people! Keep up!) Grey eyes are new for me — both in terms of hearing about them and then finding out the DMV guy thinks mine are that color.

Better my eyes than my hair. My boss has brown hair with a few touches of gray. When he renewed his driver’s license earlier this year, they changed his hair color, on the license, from “brown” to “gray.”

Hmm … so why didn’t the guy change my hair color from “brown” to “none?” How does he know that my hair even comes in brown? I was freshly shaved, both head and face, for my driver’s license picture, after all. Hell, I could have been a redhead. I could have been a blonde. I could be naturally hairless, like one of those freaky, Mr. Bigglesworth-type felines. He trusted me when I said I had brown hair, why not when I said I have blue eyes?

Maybe he’s the new champion of gray? Maybe he changed my eyes and my boss’ hair. I wonder if some woman just found out she was gray feet, 5 inches tall.


So ... what adjective would you put in the blank:
DZER's eyes are ___________ blue?

To find out more about Half-Nekkid Thursday,
check out the link, baby:

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• The Chamorro term for “gray” is “kulot apu.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

DZER gets political ...

WARNING: This is not one of my typical fun and humorous posts. Neither is it one of my looking back/memory posts. It also isn't one of those times I get all deep and personal. It's a bit political ... and serious ... and dry ... LOL ... Read on at your own peril; you have been warned!!
Anyone else noticed that February is almost gone already? That's right, almost 1/6th of the year is about gone. How the fuck did that happen?

How does the year seem to drag along, slowly and painfully, and then you look up and it's almost March already? I guess inexorable boredom can go by quickly if you're not paying very close attention.

Speaking of time ... The word "it" is a pronoun that, according to Merriam-Webster, that is "used as subject or direct object or indirect object of a verb or object of a preposition, usually in reference to a lifeless thing." So here's my question. When someone asks, "What time is it?" ... to what does "it" refer to/take the place of?

Ah, the fun of words.
I want to become an official pundit. It seems like it doesn't take much to be one — just a hard-line philosophy with immovable stances and positions on subjects.

One of the biggest problems with America is the "my way is the only right way" mentality — of politicians, media wonks, policymakers, etc. The inability to compromise and work together for the greater good has lessened us as a nation. Why do people think you have to be defined as "liberal" or "conservative," "Democrat" or "Republican," or what have you? Why does conservative automatically translate to "rich, capitalist, war-mongering Christian Republican" and liberal to "socialistic, weak, unpatriotic godless Democrat?"

Why can't we be conservative on some issues and liberal on others?

And why can't people, when presented with an overwhelming amount of evidence that goes against their view, belief, opinion, etc., say, "Well shit! I was wrong! Know I know better, am better informed and thus can make better decisions!"?

If conservative Republicanism and liberal Democratism (not real words, I know) had been around for the bulk of the last millenium, there would still be people who staunchly believed that the world was flat and that sun revolved around us.

Sorry for the political rant, but I'm just so tired of hypocrites and fanatics.

Here's my thing: If you think that a president should be impeached for lying about getting a blowjob, you should also agree that a president should be impeached for lying about reasons behind U.S. involvement in wars. If something is intrinsically wrong for one party, be it Republican or Democrat, and you berate the opposite side for doing it, if the same thing later occurs in your party, you have to berate those who did it with equal measure. If it's wrong for Democrats to do, it's wrong for Republicans. If it's wrong that Republicans do something in a certain way, it's just as wrong for Democrats.
Oh, and since when does being critical of a presidential administration equal non-patriotism or anti-Americanism?

I guess it's because criticism, these days, is so often just for the sake of criticizing. The forgotten element is that critiques are meant to identify problems and fix them, or to improve bad situations. Constructive criticism is helpful, is good.

So don't just say something is wrong, or an action is bad, or a person is an idiot. Offer a reasonable solution along with your criticism.

Listen to criticism instead of being instantly dismissive of it. Don't automatically think that because someone doesn't totally agree with you that they're wrong. Realize there are often several sides to every issue, and that there are degrees of difference.

Free yourself to be more accepting, understanding and open-minded.
And if you don't agree with any of this ... well, that's your right. You're wrong, but you have a right to be wrong. ;)


Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Up until the 1970s, Guam's political parties weren't affiliated with the national Republican and Democratic parties, and weren't called that either. There was a Territorial Party I know for sure, plus one or two other parties. I'm pretty sure the only reason we adopted "Republican" and "Democrat" was to attend national conventions. Heh.

Monday, February 20, 2006

DZER-by-four ...

Tagged by terry: The Four Thang.
Four Jobs I've Had:
• Grocery bagger
• Bouncer
• Sold dart supplies
• Journalist/Editor
Four Movies I Can Watch Repeatedly:
• “Forrest Gump”
• “Shawshank Redemption”
• “The Great Escape”
• “Miracle on 34th Street”
Four Places I've Lived:
• Okinawa, Japan
• Abilene, Texas
• Rome, New York
• Tucson, Arizona
Four TV Shows I Love:
• “Criminal Minds”
• “CSI”
• “The Daily Show”
• “The Colbert Report”
Four Places I've Vacationed:
• Baguio, Philippines
• Philadelphia
• San Francisco
• The Wilderness
Four of My Favorite Dishes:
• Country-fried steak with mashed potatoes and country gravy
• Steak, rare, with steamed short-grain rice
• Chamorro fiesta plate.
• Bacon double cheeseburger with crispy French fries.
Four Sites I Visit Daily:
DZER's Diatribe… doh!
Yahoo! News
Blog by Force
Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:
• At the final table of the World Series of Poker main event
• Turning in my winning lottery ticket for a giant check
• Inside Chrissie’s panties
• In love

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• March is Chamorro Month on Guam. Write to your senator — get him or her to make it Chamorro Month in your state too!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

DZER's chick posse ...

OK. I get it. Chicks can be badasses. Chicks can be viable parts of a posse. Chicks are valued and important members of society and should be integrated into all aspects of life, including imaginary posses made up of movie characters.

So instead of substituting out any of my perfect all-male posse, I present DZER’s posse of chicks:

• The perfect assassin: Nikita (Anne Parillaud) from “Nikita,” aka “La Femme Nikita.” Former junkie and criminal who was reformed by the secret do-bad-things section of the French government. As noted with Leon from my previous list, I am putting aside my hatred for all peoples French because Nikita is that much of a value, as she’s able to mix in with the normal folks while performing missions.

• The tough-as-nails cop who can handle anything: Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) from “Ghosts of Mars.” She looks hot in a futuristic cops outfit, is smart, tough and good with her guns, as well as her fists. Plus, she’s down wit Ice Cube. She’s a natural leader and sassy to boot.

• The mutant-hybrid freak of nature: The Ellen Ripley clone (Sigourney Weaver) from “Alien: Resurrection.” That’s right. Not the original Ripley, not the Ripley in the exoskeleton robot thing. The clone of her, 200 years after she died, who is part-Alien and this a major badass in all kinds of ways — super-fast, super-strong, super-resilient. She can dunk, she’s a brawler non-pareil, plus she gets along well with androids.

• The badass blonde bombshell bimbo: Barbara “Barb Wire” Kopetski (as Pamela Anderson Lee) from “Barb Wire.” OK. I have no real excuse for this one, except that the whole movie is Pam Anderson in black leather/pleather with her cleavage on display for the world, plus she’s double-fisted with the .45s. Oh, and let’s not forget the MAJORLY cool tattoo of barbed wire around her arm! LOL It helps that she can ride a motorcycle and has no trouble stripping down in water to get the job done. Heh.

• The woman who seems vulnerable and frail but turns out to be deadly as all hell: Alice (Milla Jovovich) from “Resident Evil.” If you need a woman to take on a zombie-fied workforce within the confines of an underground city, you can’t do better than Alice. She’s as tough as nails. She’s a expert in hand-to-hand combat. She knows how to use a weapon. And she gets even better and stronger as time goes on. She rocks!

• The deadly neophyte (girl, you'll be a woman soon): River (Summer Glau) from “Serenity.” If you need a tiny weapon of terror, it would be hard to beat River. She’s been genetically enhanced by the government to be a major badass. She’s a living, moving weapon, deadly with her hands and her feet. As long as no one leaks the secret whispering word of slumber, all is good.

• The old-school muscular but sexy mom: Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Sarah Connor started out as the cute, soft and tragic victim in “Terminator.” The second time around, though, she’s ready to wage battle against the machines. She’s rock hard, sexily muscular and an expert with all kinds of weapons. Oh, and she drives like a controlled maniac.

• The small, Asian martial arts masters ... ummm ... mistresses (madames?): Mei (Ziyi Zhang) from “House of Flying Daggers” and “Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” OK, I picked these chicks for pretty much the same reason — they’re Chinese martial arts masters. They know kung fu, and know it well — well enough to dance on the top of bamboo and fly through the air with the greatest of ease. They can use everything from staves to swords and then some.

• The kick-ass character from a bad movie: Elektra (Jennifer Garner) from “Elektra.” Yes, this movie sucked major green donkey balls. I haven’t even SEEN it and I know it sucks big time. But the character of Elektra is awesome and amazing. Based on the Marvel Comics character, she is basically an amped-up female version of a ninja. You don’t want to mess around with this sai mistress.

• Queen of black leather and sunglasses (who is "the one"): Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) from “The Matrix.” It’s hard to think of any other female character in Science Fiction movie history who is as bad of a badass as Trinity. She can beat up a plethora of cops with her bare hands and feet, or she can shoot ‘em up with the best of them. No female rocks the black trench coat and shades like Trinity.

• The not human death dealer: Selene (Kate Beckinsale) from “Underworld.” Other woman who looks amazing in black leather. But it’s her cold-blooded fighting skills that put her on this list. Get it? She’s a vampire, so she’s cold blooded because her heart doesn’t beat. Ummm … yeah … heh. Another chick who’s good with a gun in her hands, and who can break you with her bare hands.

• The lanky, lovely but lethal lady: The Bride (Uma Thurman) from “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” and “Kill Bill: Vol. 2.” Duh. Has any female character ever killed more people in one movie? I mean, other than Jennifer Lopez “Gigli?” Heh … I keeeeeeeel me. If you want a chick with a sword, it doesn’t get any better than The Bride. She rocks the samurai steel. Oh, and the five-step thing? Way cool!