Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pigging Out

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Just like last week, I'm closing four nights this week. And it looks like this is going to be the way the schedule runs for the forseeable future, for reasons I would rather not go into.

As you probably guessed by now, dinner was takeout from Oriental House. I went with something from the main menu, and as I placed my order, the hostess's eyes snapped open with surprise. She even said something to the effect that this was a little unusual for me. I mentioned that I had gone through most of the lunch specials. I even asked about a couple of the items on the menu for future reference.

Last night, though, I had the roast pork with steamed rice. It came with a side of steamed (and wilted) lettuce, just like the roast duck I had a week or two ago. And this wasn't on the bone, so I didn't have that little problem of gnawing the meat off the bones and then disposing of the bones that I did with the roast duck.

And of course, I made sure I had a fortune cookie. Last night's fortune read as follows:

"Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes."

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Slightly Less Insane

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I was scheduled to close at work last night. It really wasn't that bad, though. U Of L was playing last night, so for a good part of the evening, I'm guessing that most of the people who would normally be in my store were someplace where there was a TV, watching the game.

As usual, I went to Oriental House to grab takeout. Lemon chicken tonight; I wasn't in the adventurous mood. And much to my surprise, I actually had the chance to eat my dinner at a somewhat leisurely pace. You know, it's much more enjoyable to eat when you aren't scarfing down a bite or two in between customers.

And the capper of the meal was the fortune cookie, with this fortune:

"To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others."

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crazy Time

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Yesterday was . . . just a little rough. I had a nine-hour shift, and I was alone for most of it. And that was particularly a problem when it came time to get something to eat. It seemed as though I was never going to get the store empty long enough to lock up for a few minutes, walk over to Oriental House, and pick something up. And when I finally was able to go grab some food, I found a line waiting for me when I came back. Good grief!

Last night was not one for trying something new. So, I went back to something I had before, the sesame chicken. It was just what I needed, even though I was eating on the run. And I suspect that last night's fortune might be more than a little appropriate:

"There is nothing that costs so little nor goes so far as courtesy."

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Much Better

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This is going to be another long week at work. I'm scheduled to close four nights this week. At least one of them is already out of the way.

I'm probably stating the obvious, but that first night was last night. And I decided to move away from the lunch specials when I ordered takeout at Oriental House. This time, I went with the stir fried flat rice noodle with sliced chicken, pork, and shitake mushrooms.

The girl at the counter remembered the mistake they made Saturday night with my order. She even went back to the kitchen to make sure that they didn't put any bell peppers in my food this time.

I think this may have been one of the best dises I have tried yet. No rice with this dish, but there was so much food, I didn't need any rice. The only problem is that the noodles didn't want to stay on the fork.

And I was slightly (and pleasantly) surprised to find two fortune cookies in the bag, with the following fortunes:

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
"This instant is the only time there is."

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Monday, March 23, 2009

I Said, No Bell Peppers, Please . . .

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Working on Saturday night is rapidly becoming a reason to get takeout for dinner. And once again, I turned to Oriental House. (Sooner or later, I will probably choose some other restaurant just for some variety. But Papa John's doesn't deliver fortune cookies with their pizza.)

This past Saturday, I chose kung po chicken from the lunch specials. When I ordered it, I specifically stated, as I have in the past, "No bell peppers, please." I also requested the less spicy version of the dish.

When I got my food back to work, though, I could smell the bell peppers in the food. And one of the first things I did was remove a rather large chunk of bell pepper and dump it in the trash. At the time, I figured that just picking out the bell peppers would be the easiest thing to do, because I was already on the register, and there was no way I could go back to get things corrected.

But then "Emma," one of my co-workers, came behind the counter, smelled the bell peppers as well, and commented on it. (She has the same low opinion of them as I do.) She then offered to take my food back to Oriental House to have the problem corrected, since she still had a few minutes to go before clocking out. I said sure, and a few minutes later, she returned with the food. This time, the odor of bell pepper was noticeably absent.

The kung po chicken was good, but they also didn't pay attention to my request for the less spicy version. It was just a little hotter than I originally anticipated. It didn't have me breathing out fire like you would see in any number of cartoons, but it was definitely hot enough to make me realize that this was not the less spicy version.

I had taken out the fortune cookie before Emma took the food back for correction. When she returned, I opened the bag, and found another fortune cookie inside. So at least there was something good that came out of this. Two fortune cookies, two fortunes, and two rather interesting viewpoints:

"It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear."
"It takes courage to lead a life. Any life."

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

A St. Patty's Day Fortune

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As I mentioned last time, my normal work schedule was scrambled just a little this week. It was for a good reason, but it left me feeling just a little scrambled as well. In addition to closing Monday night, I closed Tuesday night as well.

This was a little disappointing. While I'm not Irish, I was planning to make some corned beef and cabbage in my Crock-Pot for St. Patrick's Day. Because of the schedule change, though, that was pushed back a day or two, and I had to settle for a Reuben sandwich from Penn Station (which I ate when I got home) as a substitute.

For dinner, it was -- you guessed it -- takeout from Oriental House. I decided to go for another spicy selection from the lunch specials, Hunan beef. As usual, I specified no bell peppers, and I requested the milder version.

They did leave out the bell peppers, but I think they missed my request to make it less spicy. The food was good, but just a little hotter than I anticipated. It left just a little afterburn on my tongue and in my mouth for a few minutes.

At least they remembered the fortune cookie. Here is the fortune:

"Social events have a lot to offer at this time."

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not Just For The Weekends

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My week is feeling just a little off. Normally, I work afternoons and early evenings on Mondays and Tuesdays. But for a couple of different reasons (and I won't bore you with the details), I was scheduled to close both of those days, which meant that I was going to have to make different plans for dinner than what I normally would.

In other words, I was going to Oriental House for takeout.

I decided to do something a little different Monday night. Instead of one of their lunch specials, I went with something off their main menu. Now, Oriental House's menu boasts that their food is "authentic Chinese." Not being authentically Chinese myself, I'm just going to have to take their word for it.

I had been looking through their menu for a few weeks, looking for something else to try, and I settled on roast duck with steamed rice. It also came with steamed lettuce as a side.

I'm trying to remember if I had ever had duck before. It was moister than chicken. Unfortunately, the duck came on the bone, so I ended up eating it off the bone, so it was just a little messier, too.

And as always, I made sure to get a fortune cookie with my meal. This fortune read as follows:

"Necessity does everything well."

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More From Saturday Night

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That little collection of fortunes wasn't the only fortunes I gathered Saturday night. I continued my quest through the lunch specials at Oriental House. My choice this time was the beef with broccoli.

Not a bad choice -- even though I can't say that I have been disappointed by any of Oriental House's dishes. And of course, I got a fortune cookie with my dinner. Unlike the customer who came in my store, though, I kept my fortune:

"There is no greater pleasure than seeing your loved ones prosper."

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Fortunes Without Cookies

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Saturday night was another usual Saturday night at work. During the early part of the evening, though, I had a slightly surprising moment. As I was ringing up one customer, she was on her cell phone with someone. Normally, I find this more than a little irritating, but I also noticed that she was going through her purse, looking for something to write on.

I fed some blank paper from the register tape for her, and as I handed it to her, I noticed several fortunes from fortune cookies on the counter. The most likely assumption would be that she had just come from Oriental House. Of course, you know what they say happens when you assume something.

She wrote down whatever the person on the other end of the line was telling her, and I was finally able to ring up her purchases. After she left, I noticed that she had left the fortunes behind. Naturally, I retrieved them, and here they are:

"Book lovers never go to bed alone."
"Have a vision. Be demanding."
"Know a person with time, know a horse with distance."

I have to admit, I really agree with that first one.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yet Another Saturday Night

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Saturday night, and I'm stuck at work again. Okay, it isn't that bad, but there are times when I wish I could get the afternoon shift on Saturday every once in a while.

For last Saturday's dinner, I tried the sesame chicken. The chicken was stir-fried, then covered in some sort of sesame sauce, and served on a bed of shredded lettuce. Delicious, but apparently, the sauce is rather pungent. My coworker made a couple of comments on my breath after I had eaten. It sounds like I need to remember to have breath mints on hand the next time I order this.

A fortune commenting on the need for fresh breath would have been eerily appropriate. I didn't find anything like that in my fortune cookie, though. What I found was this:

"No problem leaves you where you found it."

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fortune Blast From The Past

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After spending the past couple of weeks trying every variation on the chicken with garlic sauce, I decided that it was time to go back to checking the other lunch specials at Oriental House. Last night, I went for the sweet and sour pork.

It wasn't that different from the other sweet and sour dishes that I've ordered from Oriental House. Just a different meat from what I've had previously. I remembered to have them hold the bell pepper. And I've discovered that the best way to eat the rice with any of the lunch specials is to eat the main dish, then mix the rice into the sauce that remains. (Makes less of a mess that way.)

The fortune that came with last night's fortune cookie was short, sweet, and too the point:

"Knowledge is power."

I think I learned that one from Schoolhouse Rock, many years ago.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pushing The Envelope

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Last Saturday, I decided to throw caution to the wind. After trying the chicken with garlic sauce in both the mild and medium versions, I thought I could handle the full spicy version. And that's what I ordered for dinner.

I was pleasantly surprised by one thing when my order came out. The hostess who took my order made certain that there was a fork in the bag. It's nice to know that she remembered the time I didn't get a fork (of course, she probably remembers because I'm becoming something of a regular).

I didn't have a problem with the full spicy version. I think I may have noticed that it was little spicier than what I ordered before, but it wasn't enough to make my tongue feel as though someone had set it on fire.

This week, though, I think I will be trying something else when I get my takeout. I think I still haven't tried about half the list.

And I'm still thinking about the fortune that came with Saturday night's fortune cookie. I think this one might apply to me more than I realize:

"It is more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others."

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