Day 159: Friday with Olive Garden

Dinner was Susie’s choice, and Olive Garden was selected. We know the food is just above average, but the staff does try to make it dinner a special occasion. We have not been back since 2019!

Susie had her usual of alfredo sauce with chicken and fettuccini pasta. I had chicken parmesan. The breadsticks were the same and very hot, and the salad fresh with all the normal stuff (included industrial croutons instead of fresh-made–like always). The staff was in masks and very careful. The tables are spread out for safety, and arrows are in tape on the carpet to direct you. Susie got her Southern Comfort Manhattan on the rocks. I had a cheap house red.

Emily, our waiter, had a familiar accent. I asked her how her experience with the virus had impacted her. I was surprised to learn that Emily was from Michigan and had moved here and was finishing her classwork at Central Michigan University (CMU), like everyone else, by remote. She was yelling “Fire-up Chips” for Susie and me after she learned we are CMU Chippewas too.

Emily had moved out to Beaverton when her college roommate got a job in Beaverton. She helped her move and followed her out to Oregon. Then Corvid-19 hit, but she had years of Olive Garden experience (there is one in Mt. Pleasant Michigan just outside of CMU’s campus) and managed to get a job doing take-out and now as a waiter in Beaverton.

We got a $5 to-go spaghetti to go (a special to-go item they have after purchasing a meal), Corwin got that, and tiramisu to go for Susie later (I might have a tiny bit).

Before this, I picked up Evan and headed to the Mox Boarding House in Portland. Yes, it is still there, both Portland and Mox. Sydney and Tatyana were there again as our waiter and bartender. We had lunch, I had a salad and Evan had the amazing lamb with pasta.

Evan and I got out Scythe with the newly painted mech figures. We used the new deck of encounter cards that change the game to wildly swing. Evan managed to get one encounter that gave him five popularity. This increased his final point total to defeat me by twelve points. Not bad for Evan’s second game!

We then switched to Architects of the Western Kingdom with the Artisans expansion, which I strongly recommend as it improves the gameplay. The subtle rule changes make the game more exciting and reset some card play giving the players even more decisions. I won this game. Evan had a bit less luck this time. The game also has a lot of choices, and it is often unclear how some choices impact your final victory points. Evan will likely catch me next time.

And even before all of this, I worked from home for a half-day for Nike summer hours. I had coffee and toast and then hours of Zoom calls and a few crises of the moment that needed to be resolved. It is strange to talk to many people in so many different times zones.

It was reported that eleven-hundred seventy people lost their lives to the virus in the USA today.

Time for a Catholic hymn! Faith of Our Fathers found in the Methodist Hymnal #710.

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