Some years ago, don't ask me how many, Michael was in the car and we drove past The Vortex -- the one at Little 5 Points [the Haight Ashbury of Atlanta y'all] -- and he said "I want to eat there!" What boy wouldn't? The door is a giant skull and you go in the mouth to eat in the restaurant. Click on the above link and you'll see what I mean.
I had to explain that because they allow smoking in there [gasp!] that he would have to wait until age 18 to eat there.
So yesterday was his birthday. My friend Gary came to town and we all went down there to eat at the Vortex. Well, the area is so popular that now you have to pay $5 to park near there. I don't care about that but Michael was steamed. A couple of weeks ago he and some friends went to Little 5 and parked in the wrong place and the car got booted and he had to pay $50 to get the boot removed. What a racket. Taught him a valuable parking lesson, though...
So anyway, Michael had babysat my friend Nicole's kids yesterday morning and we had to go to lunch late. I thought that was a good thing, a very good thing. How crowded will The Vortex be in the middle of the afternoon? I [foolishly] thought.
Answer: very crowded. As in, people huddling outside the door, waiting to be called in.
I walked inside and asked how long it would be before our party of three could be seated. An enormous black man glared at me. A woman with a piece of metal sticking out of her nose informed me it would be 30-45 minutes. I asked if we could get a beeper. "No, we will just step outside the door and call your name" I was informed.
ACK. All the good memories of eating at The Vortex in past years instantly vanished.
I was feeling peckish. I hadn't eaten since breakfast, and when my blood sugar drops I feel weak and sometimes dizzy. I should've had a mid-morning snack but I didn't because I had to get Mother to the hair salon.
I asked Michael what he wanted to do, while Gary walked down the block to Savage Pizza to see if there was a wait there. He returned and informed us there was not, so we walked down there. I had not eaten there before.
Well honey, despite the peculiar name Savage Pizza was a great place. I told the girl at the cash register my dilemma and instantly she returned with many packages of crackers and a coke. I made my way to the table and Gary had ordered a huge Greek salad. We all split that, and then had a fantastic Greek pizza:
"Garlic tomato sauce, feta, artichoke hearts, Greek olives, red onion, fresh spinach, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Anchovies at your request."
YUM. So, so tasty. AWESOME crust, too. [We skipped the anchovies.]
Michael had a royally honored birthday. His babysitting boss [my friend Nicole who has 3 kids, 1 adopted from Russia] paid him extra and brought him a small cake. Yesterday evening, two of his friends dropped by with really nice presents. Mike was out with other friends, but so be it.
Mother and I had leftover pizza for dinner, a win win for me since I didn't have to cook. I will tell you the secret to re-heating pizza properly: don't use the microwave. Take a big skillet with a lid and put a light coating of olive oil on the bottom, then place the pizza slices on there and put the lid on. Wait 5-8 minutes. The pizza should be perfectly re-heated and not rubbery.
Lola was totally into the birthday fever. Michael had a birthday cake I had made for him on Friday, a sour cream pound cake [thanks cousin Jan!] and he wanted a piece for breakfast yesterday - hey that was fine with me, since usually I can't get him to eat breakfast. I cut a piece and put it on the table yesterday morning, and when I wasn't looking Lola snatched it off and ate it in one gulp. Later yesterday, the cake was on the dining room table in a cake carrier and she managed to nose the lid off and take a bite out of the cake. ACK. Then I had to take the cake and put it on the middle of the stove, the only place in the kitchen besides the microwave where she can't get it.
That's the issue with having a very loooooong doggie who is very smart.
The weather was really unseasonably cool yesterday - hi of 79 or so, after a lot of rain. I found a 5 lb. zucchini hidden in the enormous plant.
Anyway, the day ended with Mike getting a tattoo. Yes, in addition to the ear gauges he now has a tat. It's my name, in calligraphy lettering, on his left arm. It's bigger than I would like but how can I fuss about it?! Short answer, I cannot. He's 18.
I told him to please get a tat that could be covered up in a job interview and he agreed to that request and complied with it. I also warned him to go to a clean place and check on the walls for the certificate from the health department. He went to 2 places before he found one that looked clean enough to suit him.
I hope he doesn't get any more tats or piercings, but it's out of my hands. He's still adorable. And no matter how big he gets, to me, he will always look like this photo, made on the occasion of his 11th birthday, his first one celebrated with us: