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Friday, November 4, 2005

Since I donít eat out much, I donít always know whatís supposed to happen in a restaurant, especially a nice place where the prices on the menu are in code. Iíll tell you one thing, though. If theyíre too upscale to put dollar signs on the menu, I expect the food and service to be pretty darn good.

We had a family dinner at such a place tonight, in honor of Tammyís mom, who has been visiting but is heading home tomorrow. It was also a birthday celebration for her, and Iím pleased to say that she shared the chocolatiest cake Iíve ever tasted with me. In fact, she almost insisted that I eat more than my share. Well, you donít really have to push very hard to get me to say yes to a deal like that.

We had all the adults in the family except John, who was out of town. (Dakota was the one who asked where Grandpa John was. You donít think that little boy notices things? Someone was missing, and he called us on it.) All of the children were there, too, of course. Thatís what made things interesting, and thatís also what earned the servers a substantial gratuity. They were very good and very patient (the servers, I mean, but you could say that about the kids, too).

It was a special kind of trial because Aiden has been trying so hard not to be miserable, cutting teeth and running a slight fever. He was a trouper tonight, entertaining everyone in that special way he has. And Dakota hadnít been feeling well early in the day, either. In fact, he was sitting next to me, taking in what was happening and making the occasional quiet comment. Then suddenly he kind of rolled over so his head was in my lap, as he pulled my arm around him.

D.J. was amazing. As uninhibited as he can be sometimes, he acted like the oldest child he is, sitting quietly and drawing with the colored pencils provided by the server. He ate most of the cheese pizza that he ordered, and he didnít demand a lot of attention. Hmmm. Maybe he was a little under the weather, too. I sort of missed his constant chatter.

Kylie made not a sound the whole time we were there. She was asleep for a lot of it, of course. The clatter of dishes (and the clang of Aiden helpfully clearing the table of anything that was in front of him for very long) didnít faze her a bit. And when she was awake, there were enough colored lights within her field of vision to keep her amused. Sheís one baby you can take anywhere, apparently.

4 November 2005

Kylie and Dakota.

The wait staff earned their big tip, not by being overbearing or overly solicitous, but by taking everything in stride, and with a smile. The food was excellent, but we expected that (at least, I did). The service? Some people in that line of work donít understand what the word means any more, so when we get it, I notice.

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If the Yankees are this busy hiring former all stars and ex-managers as coaches, what are they going to do when it comes time to put a team together to take the field next season? Today they made Ron Guidry their new pitching coach, and theyíve already added Larry Bowa and Tony Pena as the new third and first base coaches. They might have more all stars on the sidelines than they do on the field, but with the Yankees thatís doubtful. Anyway, I think George is just setting these guys up so he can do some high profile firings when things go wrong.

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"Anyway, itís my kind of argument. I like debating people who agree with me."

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