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Posts Tagged ‘Rants n' Raves’

So tonight I took Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy to Mickey Mantle Steakhouse in Bricktown. To cut right to the chase, it was a disaster of a dining experience.

Ratings (Key)

Overall: 1.50
Presentation: 0.75
Taste: 2.50
Service Quality: 1.00
Service Promptness: 1.25
Service Accuracy: 2.50
Menu Selection: 3.00
Menu Clarity: 2.75
Value: 1.50
Queer Friendly: 2.50
Hot Staff: 0.75

Lets be clear from the get go that this was not a date, Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy has a husband and despite the fact that I find him extremely attractive (which he knows) this is a friends night out and nothing more. I enjoy his company a lot and so I don’t mind spending a little money on him as one might spend on a boyfriend. Many people don’t understand the dynamics of the relationship and mistake it for, well, whatever. As he often points out, its hard to find a “complete package” of beauty and brains in Oklahoma City. While it was not a date, we do go to nice places and I do expect the same level of service I would expect on a date, after all, it’s not any cheaper because it isn’t a date and I expect to get alot of the same things out of it most people expect on a date, like the ability to talk one on one.

To put it bluntly, the atmosphere, presentation of the food, service and the arrival of the check made me want to vomit. For starters, the place bills itself as a top of the line steakhouse. Its nothing of the sort. Undoubtedly the most over-rated restaurant I have ever had the misfortune of dining in. I wound up leaving $170 on the table for a meal that wasn’t worth $70, this includes the customary tip of 20% which was left out of respect to my dining guest and my desire not to raise a stink right then and there not because it was earned. If I were dining alone, I would not only have not left a tip, but I would have left an address to mail the refund check to and I would have taken the manager back into the kitchen and shown him how to make food presentable before it hits the table.

The atmosphere reminds me of a nice Dennys on the good side of town. People sit right on top of you, so there is no privacy (which makes talking about blowjobs, anal sex and who has a nice penis over dinner and wine without offending neighboring tables difficult) and there is nothing in the place to buffer the sound, so its like sitting in an echo chamber. Here is a hint, fancy restaurant designers: people go to nice restaurants to relax, unwind and enjoy peace and quiet. They also go to talk to the person they are taking out to dinner, to enjoy their company and enjoy being with them. None of these was possible, and I often had to ask Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy to repeat himself, much to his annoyance. I couldn’t hear him over the clatter and roar of the restaurant. If I want to hear everyone yap about their lives, I can go to Applebees or TGI Friday and pay $40 for two including drinks.

The presentation of the food was awful, save the cheesecake which we both agreed was attractively presented. When it arrived, Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy remarked “Wow, I think this is the most attractive thing to come to the table yet”.  I had to agree. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have snapped a picture of it with my iPhone, because the presentation on the desert really was well done. Ironically, it was also the cheapest thing on the ticket and probably the only item not prepared in the restaurant.

His Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo was presented with a touch of class – with four shrimp set at compass points on the rim of the plate and the pasta piled in the center – but it still was not what you’d expect to have gotten for the price. It looked like an Olive Garden specialty. My Surf and Turf was just thrown on the plate with no particular attempt to make it attractive. Neither dish was garnished. Every chef knows that presentation is one of the most important aspects of the dining experience and they made little effort to do so much as throw some parsley at these dishes.

The service was for shit, I have gotten better service at sit down burger places. The server filled the drinks a total of three times, often left them unfilled for a long period of time. The server made an awkward show of reaching across my face and over my plate to remove my lobster tail from its shell without asking me if I’d like it de-shelled. Prior to that, some guy who was not even our waiter walked by and took my shrimp cocktail off the table without a word – and without noticing we were not done with it as there was still a jumbo shrimp clinging to the side. Before I could object after a moment of speechlessness and shock, he was already half way back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, he returned to apologize for taking it, saying he didn’t see the shrimp there and gave me the cocktail back. Never offered to make me another one, or asked me if I wanted it back.

This incident was probably the biggest screw-up of the evening here. Proper procedure in what is supposed to be a high-class restaurant dictates then when you fuck up and snatch someone’s food off their table and don’t realize they weren’t done until you get back to the wash pit, you don’t bring the same thing back to them without offering to make them a new one. First off, it was your error and the establishment should eat the cost. Second, you have just had your grubby little hands all over my food, to bring it back to me and suggest that I eat it is an insult. Finally, you took my food back to the wash pit. How unappetizing is it for you to bring me something from the trash can to consume? Give me a break. Never mind the fact that the kid clearly doesn’t know the first thing about waiting tables in a decent restaurant, if he did he would have asked before reaching to the middle of the table while we are talking to ask if we were done with that dish. Heck, the even do this at family restaurants!

Finally, we get to the bill. Before the check arrived, I asked Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy what the check would be. I wasn’t adding it up and my surf and turf was a  market price item, so the price wasn’t in the menu. He guessed about $80 and I concurred. I felt that was about what it was worth, sort of. When the check arrived for $141.75, we both exhaled at about the same time and said words to the effect of “no way, not worth it”. They charged $75.95 for my surf n turf, and I must say that while the lobster tail was good size, the turf portion of my dinner was barely larger than a business card. I don’t believe it was a 7 oz filet, even if that’s the precooked weight. We both agreed that it wasn’t a $75 plate. Of course, presentation goes along way to making a diner feel like they got a good value

The bottom line: Mickey Mantle is an overpriced steakhouse that touts its ritzy location on the Bricktown canal to the hilt, charges way too much for what they deliver and is extremely over rated. I don’t mind paying for quality, but when you are gonna stick a bill for $170 (including 20% tip) on my table over a diner for two that didn’t even include drinks (Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy rarely drinks), you had better be doing something doing something exceptional to earn your asking prices. At the very least, give me competent service from a wait staff that acts like they have worked in a world-class restaurant before. These hacks were a complete disgrace to the profession. Its clear that the management does not provide training and has terrible hiring procedures.

Now, lest this review find its way to the wait staff who served us this evening, I want them to know that I don’t blame them for the awful experience. I blame their boss. Its clear they were doing the best they could with what they were given. They were polite and caring, but are clearly just ignorant of the proper way to wait tables. The responsibility for that, my friends, rests solely with the management, as it is the management who is ultimately responsible for the performance of the wait staff or lack of it. Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy owns several businesses and while I don’t always agree with his business decisions, there is one thing about his approach to business that is spot on and that is that management is always responsible for the success or failure of the business and satisfaction of the customers. Knowing that, he often chooses to manage everything himself rather than delegate that to anyone else.

The buck stops with the management, period. All failure or success in a business, regardless of who actually screwed up or did good, is a product of the management and therefore they are directly responsible for it. This is something that Mickey Mantle could apply to its business methods. Start taking responsibility for its staff and get them on par with other area restaurants, because this one is far below par to say the least.

I am printing a copy of this blog post (along with a cover letter) and mailing it to the owners of the restaurant with a copy of my receipt along with an address of where they can send me a refund check. The experience was that awful. I wouldn’t recommend Mickey Mantle Steakhouse if it was the last restaurant in Oklahoma City unless they had a dollar menu, because they don’t deliver much above fast-food levels of service.

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Some of us are hot. Some of us are smart. A very few of us are both hot and smart. I know someone in that last category. I met him a few weeks ago, for obvious reasons, not the least of which is he would kill me if I were to do so. He is hawt as hell, probably one of the most beautiful boys I have ever personally met. I saw some photographs of him and he has one of the most amazing bodies I have ever seen. If I were still shooting porn, I would have immediately gotten out my checkbook to get him in front of my camera.

I wont say his name here (also for obvious reasons) and for many reasons, we are friends quietly and my interaction with him is mostly done under assumed names and aliases. This is necessary because he has appearances to keep up and I am the sort of person who sinks careers and destroys business ventures just by virtue of association. I have spent a fair amount of time talking to him and I enjoy his friendship and conversation. I would be lying if I said I did not find him attractive, but I also know it will only ever will be friendship, for he is married and he and I would never work in that way. In the past, I have been bad about avoiding fucking my friends, so this is an exercise in self control. He is one of the smartest people I know and my knowing him and the conversations we have  as a result have caused no small amount of self reflection.

He is hot and smart and unlike many hot guys (smart or not), he doesn’t flaunt it. He’ll take the compliments and he doesn’t mind the attention and will even bask in it, but he doesn’t feel the need to remind you of the fact that he is hotter than you at every chance. Such an approach to life is refreshing, I must admit. Nothing is worse than somebody who is hot and knows it. So this article is not about me fawning over him or putting him on a pedestal and dressing him up. Its about my self-reflection and musings on the title: what if I were hot?

Everyone has a few things going for them and a few against them. One of the gifts I have is the ability to give myself honest self appraisals. Doing so has lead me to the following determination: I am smart. Not an opinion held by just me, even most of my enemies admit this freely when they are being candid in their thoughts about me. People who like you will often patronize you and tell you what they think you want to hear or what will get them what they want. If you want to know how you are really projecting yourself or how you are come off, then ask someone who hates you. Be prepared, you may not like what you hear, but then again, that’s probably why you are enemies.

But while I am smart, I am enough of a realist to know that I am not hot. Well, there is one truck driver I met at The Finishline from somewhere out in Indiana who thinks I am hot. I got drunk one night really bad and wound up swallowing his cock. I was so drunk that before that night was over, I’d get arrested, have three criminal charges filed against me and wake up in the hospital tied to a bed and being forcibly treated after lapsing into a coma at the county jail. So I have to say that the trucker finding me hot was an isolated incident.

I am not cute – but what if I was? The guy I talked about at the start of this article is hot and smart and he has a wonderful middle class life. Does he have it because of his looks? Do I not have it because of my looks? This is the million dollar question, to be certain. I have wondered about this early and often. He is just as direct and in your face as I am and when he thinks something stinks, he says so. Only he says fuck you with a smile, and I say “fuck you” aloud when the time comes. This is a difference between us, but when you look right at it and compare the way he approaches things and the way I approach stuff, we are not all that different. He is extremely manipulative and self-focused, as am I. We are both focused on money, success and power. Yet with all these similarities, he has the life and I do not. While he will tell you his not rich, he has it going on. He makes money while he sleeps and he can go out on the town every night of the week and not blink. By contrast, I have a half a dozen corporations in bankruptcy and a personal life in disaster.

If I were hot, would I have the kind of life I want? Would I have his life? Sometimes I think it all boils down to looks in our community. Most homosexuals will tell you its not a choice to be gay. I disagree with this, I think for some people it is a choice and I think others they are born that way. But we all know that we cannot control the way we look, at least not without much plastic surgery. In a community that screams for equality because we cannot change who we are, why would I be excluded from the community because of my looks. I know I am slightly more abrupt than he is, which may be what holds me back in life. While he just gives the fuck you smile, I put it into words. Perhaps that subtle difference is what separates us.

Who knows. I am pretty sure that my looks are not the only thing holding me back. There are plenty of popular ugly people in our community. Yet there are also plenty of popular assholes in our community. So what gives? Perhaps I am just cursed. These are the kind of thoughts that keep me up at 2 AM in the morning, watching Logo and Queer as Folk re-runs posting on my blog that no one reads or cares about.

Today is set to be a busy day as I do more errands than I have done all year in a single day. Yet I can’t sleep, I don’t want to sleep and I just want to sit here and be miserable. I want to sit here and think about how my life has been a complete failure. I am keenly aware of the fact that I am 28 years old, in two years my life will be over (as every faggot’s life ends at 30) and while I am doing the things successful fags do, I dont feel it. I don’t feel successful. I am not happy. I am not where I want to be in life. I have no plan to get there. Today should be a good day, for it marks my burial of a hatchet with someone. But I don’t feel it. More than anything, I want a nice, stiff drink. Looks like I am going to be having booze for breakfast – again.

Despite the fact that I have spent more than a thousand words writing about it, I really don’t care. Why should I? I am cursed. I am doomed to suffer in this life. Maybe next time, I will be a cute little faggot that everyone wants.

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Well, is this any surprise? George Bush helping out some of his fellow rich friends by attempting to bail out the mortgage industry from its self-created mess. I honestly cannot claim to be surprised. After all, he already saddled taxpayers with a $15 billion dollar bill for the bailout of the airline industry after 9-11. While the rest of the country was morning the loss of thousands, the US airline industry was busy lobbying Bush and his minions for billions in the form of a federal handout. And of course, they got it: at our expense.

And like most things, its monkey see, monkey do. The mortgage industry now seeks this stupid bailout at our expense because of poor investment choices they have made. The calls for the bailout have been more fervent as IndyMac Bank failed. Whats intresting about the IndyMac failure is how despite the fact that the bank is insolvent, there is still plenty of funds to pay the former executives for thier services rendered (i.e. running the bank into the ground) at IndyMac.

For years the mortgage industry has given anyone who can sign a promissory note a loan, many of the products with bloated balloon payments and other such things. Then they are absolutely astounded when folks cant pay for the loans. There is a reason why these people did not qualify for loans under the old rules and it didn’t have anything to do with the color of their skin. It was because they were a bad credit risk.

Then there is the no-so-small issue of real estate appraisers who continueally overvalue real property, causing banks to write loans for far more than a given parcel and structure is worth. While the linked article is a paticularly agregious example, this has been going on for a while. In some areas, appraisers have been able to generate growth in the value of homes north of 10% a year. While it is true that they arent making any more land, the population is not expanding so fast that it warrants the value of homes doubling every decade. Of course, this makes homeowners feel good that thier home is gaining value even as it gets older.Except that it is not real value, its artifically inflated value.

What we ought to do instead is sit back and watch the fireworks as the industry implodes. We should not bail it out. Its not the government’s job to bail out businessmen who make stupid decisions. Nor is it the job of government to compensate for stupidity on the part of home buyers who bough more house than they could afford or bought at prices that failed to reflect the true value. And yes, this would leave alot of people homeless and some investors screwed, but thats fine with me. After all, I bought a modest property that was within my means and properly setup the buying arrangement so that it is owned by a corporation that leases it back to me providing assert protection and personal liability. I shouldn’t have to pay (through taxes) for the stupidity and/or poor choices of others.

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Most thinking people in the United States (all ten of them) now admit that Wal-Mart is the great Satan of retailing. And even some of the less intelligent people on our planet realize it as well. So then why is Wal-Mart still here, why is it still expanding, why haven’t we gotten rid of this disease that plagues us? Its simple, really. People are selfish. They know what shopping at Wal-Mart does and they don’t really care.

So what is so bad about Wal-Mart? And why is shopping there so bad? And most importantly, why are the people who shop at Wal-Mart so bad?

First off, just try going to the hardware department and finding anyone who knows anything about hardware. You won’t find it. In fact, you’ll be lucky to find anyone who can even tell you where something is. While you are in the hardware department, try to find a plunger made in the United States. Wal-Mart is partly responsible for the increasing rampant stupidity that infects our country.

    Wal-Mart has destroyed good brands that made quality products – like Rubbermaid – which cost a good many jobs that paid well by constantly forcing US jobs overseas. You can learn more about this by watching Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. Our country has lost hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs with good benefits and retirement plans, to be replaced by low paying dead end jobs at Wal-Mart with no benefits and no retirement.

    Speaking of benefits and retirement plans, do you know what Wal-Mart tells its employees to do when and if they complain about not being able to afford medical treatment? Wal-Mart must give them a discount on their insurance of something, right? Nope. Instead, Wal-Mart sends them to the welfare office where our tax dollars provide – at no cost to Wal-Mart – health coverage, housing, food and retirement.

    We all know the crimes of Wal-Mart. They have been extensively covered in the media and elsewhere. I started to rehash them here, but there is no need. Those who continue to say “Hey, what’s so bad about Wal-Mart?” are simply burying their heads in the sand so that they don’t have to face the fact that their continued patronage of Wal-Mart is ruining our country.

    Bottom line: If you shop at Wal-Mart, you are a selfish prick. When you shop at Wal-Mart, every dollar you spend screams “I want my plastic crap from China for a few pennies less than anywhere else, and I don’t give a damn how many people die, lose their jobs, get thrown out of their homes or get sold into slavery to make it happen. I also don’t give a damn how bad my country gets screwed, because I am more important, my needs wants are above all and I am what matters – all that matters.”

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