This one is all over the place

Me and my brown son

I'm having a relatively quiet week and, as such, don't have a lot to blather on about. I am speaking at church on Sunday, so I'm trying to get my act together for that. My friend Beth and I are speaking on the topic of "Building a Family: DNA Not Required." We are actually running the whole service; we chose the readings and the hymns and all that jazz. I'm reading the "Story for All Ages." Well, if the book I ordered arrives in time. It's called "The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairytale."

I've never told A's birth story out loud before, so it will be interesting. My friend Beth adopted a sibling group of three from Poland (all at once). I have a lot of admiration for her, because it was all I could do to handle one child! I mean, mine didn't speak English either but that's because she was a squalling newborn. However, I have been truly amazed at how quickly Beth's children have learned the language over the past couple of years. Kids, they're like sponges.

Speaking of moms and kids, I did have a nice Mother's Day. As you may recall, P had botched two of the five Mother's Days that had passed prior to this year. There was some botching this year, but it was of my own doing. As for gifts, I received a nice musical card (the kid is obsessed with cards that play music). This one plays "How Sweet it is to be Loved by You." She drew a picture of the two of us inside the card, both of us wearing dresses, of course. They also got me an iTunes gift card. I've spent part of it. I downloaded some music from The New Pornographers, Yeasayer, and Jonsi, but haven't figured out what else to buy yet. I have to chuckle when I look at the Genius recommendations from iTunes. Since I have a fair amount of children's music on my iPod, iTunes keeps insisting that I would really enjoy buying the Pocahontas soundtrack. Good try, iTunes. I'm still mad at you for suggesting I might like "The Best of Paul Anka" a few weeks ago.

Anyway, the part of Mother's Day that got botched was lunch. I took the kid to church and then spent some time online, digging around to figure out where we should go. I thought it might be fun to go somewhere we'd never been. I selected a casual nearby restaurant that listed a vegetarian black bean burger on its menu. Better yet, moms ate free on Mother's Day. Woot! We hopped in the coolmobile and headed over.

We were seated promptly, but then ignored promptly. After ten minutes or so, our server finally acknowledged us and took our order. Since my lunch would be free, I splurged on a fancy drink (a Rosetta) and we got an appetizer as well. We didn't see our server for long stretches at a time, but eventually everything made it to our table. Then the bill came. As it turned out, my food was only free if I chose from the "entree" section of the menu. Would you like to guess how many dishes were listed in that section? Five. Would you like to guess how many of those were meatless? One, the "beer cheese" macaroni and cheese topped with breadcrumbs. Would you like to guess how many calories were in that bugger? I don't know either, but I'm guessing it's in the millions. That's why I passed it up and opted for the black bean burger (which came with carrots instead of fries). The two dishes cost the same, $9.50. When I asked the server about the bill, she advised me that I'd ordered from the "burger" section and not the "entree" section. When I, in turn, advised her that I am a vegetarian and wanted the black bean burger, she checked with the manager and then came back with the news that if I had selected the macaroni and cheese, it would have been free. Grrrrr

I should mention that I really don't think I am a difficult customer. I'm generally pretty easygoing when I eat out. My stad has been in restaurant management ever since I can remember. If anything, this makes me more tolerant of little things like the kitchen running out of an ingredient, a moderate wait for a table, etc. However, I don't have a high tolerance for excessively slow service and a "take it or leave it" attitude from management.

We paid our bill in full and vowed never to come back. When I got home, I wrote a letter to the manager and yes, I mailed it. I just wanted him to know that he sucks, in case he wasn't aware of it. I also printed a page from their website (and attached it to the letter) which clearly stated that moms ate free with the purchase of an adult meal - a page that made no mention of some requirement that the free meal come from some small sub-section of the menu. Oh, and just for good measure, I posted a bad review on Google and on a restaurant site. They messed with the wrong vegetarian, man.

So, that's my Mother's Day tale. I haven't had much drama since then. For a final bit of randomness, I got my haircut and requested bangs. Yes, I know I only recently grew them out, but I just didn't think I should keep subjecting people to my naked forehead. I've had approximately the same haircut since I was five.

I'll try to find something more meaningful to talk about next week. Until then, here is one of the songs I bought. I think you'll agree: it rocks.