February 24, 2005

 taco saga

last thursday on my way to divaville i stopped at los portales for dinner, and got my standard order of to-go tacos. it had been a while since i'd been there... i had a 3-month-long craving for subway that i had to surrender to.

anyway, last week i ordered my three chicken tacos. when the lady in the drive-thru speaker asked if i wanted them "with everything" i said "yes! and with cilantro, too!"

when i got to XDU and opened up my to-go box i saw that there was no cilantro. i was sad.

this kind of thing happens, though. i understand. there seems to be a great amount of turnover at this little drive-thru restaurant. i never know who is going to greet me and how much english they're going to speak.

today i once again stopped by for tacos and had a funny exchange with a different woman-in-the-speaker. she barely spoke any english, and we went back and forth a couple of times. "three chicken tacos," i said.

"taco? chicken??"

"yes... chicken tacos. THREE."


"yes... three chicken tacos."

long pause.

"with onions and cilantro??"

i'd never been asked that before. they usually just ask if i want "everything".

"yes, please!" i answered, slightly confused.

when i pulled up to the window i saw that the woman i had been speaking to was, in fact, the cook. she was all alone in the little building... taking orders, cooking and ringing people up. she was frazzled.

so it took a while to get my food. i sat in my car and contemplated the ways in which i could order more simply next time. "tacos. pollo. tres. por favor." that's about all i can manage, i think.

when she handed the bag through the window and said, "gracias!" i said "gracias" back. and when i got to the XDU i opened up the box and saw that the tacos had everything... except cheese.

she forgot the cheese. that's never happened before, either.

i feel like every time i go to this place i get some variation of what i actually ordered. i'm never angry about it. in fact, it's become a sort of game with me. when i sit down and open the box i'm always anticipating what my food is going to look like. what will it be missing today? what will it have that it's never had before?

you don't get this kind of fun at taco bell. no, siree.

Posted by xta at 5:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 20, 2004

 water, eyes and burgers

the woman taking my order at los portales last night knew even less english than the woman i'm accustomed to. when i ordered a glass of water with my tacos, i just knew she wasn't understanding me. so i wasn't too surprised when i got to XDU and found i had a glass full of that milky stuff that mexicans call water.

but it actually tasted really good! it was terribly sweet, though. it reminded me of chai tea. i would have prefered clear old water... i wonder if i just ask for "agua" (sesame street taught me that) if i'll get what i want? help me out here, phil.

this morning i got my drivers license renewed. i stopped by the branch on miami boulevard in durham, but they had the door locked and a sign posted telling us to visit their mobile service center. it didn't say where the mobile sevice center was, though, so i walked up to a gaggle of men in the parking lot and asked. turns out they were it. but they hadn't finished setting up yet, and he didn't know when they'd be done. so i decided to go to the branch on capitol boulevard near work instead.

i waited for an hour and a half at this branch (which wasn't too aggravating, since i'd brought a copy of bust with me for entertainment... the only tricky thing was arranging the magazine so that the vibrator ads weren't prominently displayed to the elderly lady sitting next to me) and i smiled when i heard my number being called by the sweetest-looking of the employees... a middle-aged black man who was humming beneath his breath. i commented on it and we had a nice friendly chat about what a nice day it was outside, and how he wanted to go ride his motorcycle.

i asked him if i could try to take the eye test without my glasses and he said ok. the machine apparently tests one eye and then the other, because he said "read the second line" (which i did), then he flipped something in the machine and said "now read the second line again" and there was nothing there. i said, "there's nothing there!" but as i pulled my head back i could see that there was, in fact, something there. ooops.

every time i go to the eye doctor he says, "you see double, don't you?" and i say, "no." and every time he says, "no... you do see double, it's just that your brain has adapted to it and it does a good job merging the two images into one." when he gives me the card to test my depth perception i never see any of the fuzzy circles jump off the page like i'm supposed to. i had 3 operations on my eyes when i was a small child (to correct the crossed-eyes i was born with) and have worn glasses ever since... mostly to help train a lazy eye, i think. my eyesight isn't really all that bad. it's just that my eyes have to work together in order for me to see anything. so my license once again says i have to wear glasses when i'm driving. which is good news for you. ;-)

for lunch today i did something i have never ever done... i went to hardees and got a hamburger. first of all, i never leave the station to go out for lunch, so that was new. we're just so far away from everything that "going out for lunch" simply takes too long. but the gorgeous weather lured me out. i'm glad it did.

secondly, i rarely eat fast food, so that's unusual too. but something seemed appealing about hardees today (probably their slogan about how "the last place you considered going for a burger will now become your first")... and i have to say, it was really quite good. surprisingly so. plus, my GI tract seems pretty happy, so all the better.

oh! and i just heard from charo's beau... he's invited the french atmospheric engineer and her boyfriend to my party, and they're planning on coming! yay!

Posted by xta at 2:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 12, 2004

 oh, ye of little substance... 

dammit. i always intend to post this link before divaville, but i consistenly forget. i need to take some of that stuff that helps my remembery, whatever it's called. anyway, here's the link to tonight's playlist.

i had some good calls tonight... one of my regular fans, richard, phoned to tell me that he never thought he'd like wayne newton, but thanks to my show he's really gaining quite an appreciation for his fine voice. ha HA! my plan is working! worldwide wayne domination!

i haven't posted any photos in a while. i like when other people post photos on their blog, so here's something:

some people say my brother & i look alike...

we didn't always look alike, though.
and i wonder what ever happened to those boots?

oh lord, i forgot to talk about how excellent last week's tacos were. i know it seems a silly topic, but i live for los portales' tacos. every thursday, after work and before divaville, i drive by and get 2 or 3 chicken tacos. i've been doing this for probably 9 months, and last week they were better than ever before.

they're soft tacos, of course, in home-made corn tortillas. they have real chicken (sometimes you even get a bone or two), lettuce, tomatoes and 2 kinds of funky white cheese... one kind looks like feta (but is much more mild) and the other is a runny white cheese. i have no earthly idea what either of them are, but they're both so good i don't care.

anyway, last week, there was very little cheese on the tacos, which was disappointing, but what they lacked in cheese they made up for in fresh cilantro! mounds and mounds! i gasped when i got to XDU and opened up the box. oh god, they were so good.... *drool*.

tonight's tacos didn't live up to last week's, but they were still very yummy. no fresh cilantro, but several tasty jalapenos.

i'm finally learning how to ask for water. sometimes the nice hispanic ladies want to give me some kind of mexican water-beverage that isn't really water. i just look at them, and say "plain water" and move my hand in a flat sideways motion and that seems to do it.

i really need to learn some spanish.

Posted by xta at 8:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 8, 2004

 "So that's the reason you're 37 and single. It's the trouser suits. Who knew?" 

someone brought shortbread cookies to work this morning and just abandoned them in the kitchen. shortbread has to be my absolute favorite cookie-type, and i'm pigging out on them in a bad way right now. a very bad way. lorna doone is one of my best friends.

i really enjoy sweets that don't have any taste. do you know what i mean? shortbread cookies, simple pound cake and plain cake donuts. dry, vaugely sweet, buttery things. yum.

oh hey, it's taco thursday!! i love thursdays, because after work i have to drive straight to divaville and this provides me with a great excuse to stop and get dinner at my favorite little mexican drive-through restaurant ("los portales"). i always get chicken tacos. sometimes i get 2, sometimes i get 3... but always chicken tacos. they're so damn good! the cute little mexican ladies load them up with this weird white cheese, fresh cilantro, and a salsa verde to die for. i'm sure i'm one of the few gringas that go to los portales, yet they're always very nice to me... our communication is basically limited to little smiles and nods since i don't speak any spanish, but i can still feel their love.

before i go any further, single ladies in their 30s should read this article, then consider whether you should brand yourself as clorox or hemorrhoid cream. yeesh.

last night turned out to be an immensely fun evening. i started cooking a nice dinner for ray & me (pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green beans) when lisa called, asking for assistance with her car troubles. ray went down and helped, and then brought lisa back to share in our meal.

dinner conversation turned to computers (what a shock) and lisa said, "let's go to the apple store!!" so we abandoned ray, hopped into spacepod, drove out to southpoint mall and played with lots of shiny things (new ibooks and powerbooks, ipods and cameras) and basically had a gay old time.

then, out of the blue, mary appeared. she had been shopping at that organizer store and happened to walk by and see us playing with computers. so the 3 of us decided to go get a glass of wine at one of the nearby restaurants.

i love totally spontaneous evenings! i had been planning on simply cooking dinner, watching "the west wing" and going to bed. and now i was suddenly drinking a glass of penfolds koonunga hill shiraz with 2 of my bestest friends. yay!

listen, though. the bar we were sitting at was inside "maggiano's little italy", where it was dark & cozy with a woman at a piano singing sinatra tunes. very nice. but i began to wonder about the "little italy" part of the name when i noticed that practically everyone who worked there was 4 feet tall. i'm not joking. it started to freak me out a little.

so, do you like the blog's new color scheme? i got to feeling a little creative this morning and just went nuts. those fall colors are my favorite.

also, i'm now linking to a bunch of people that i've been reading for a long time. i feel like i'm suddenly legit after having spent months secretly spying on your lives. :^)

Posted by xta at 2:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack