A friend of mine does very well for herself, she makes $125k a year. Keep in mind that is double the MEDIAN US income per person. So, she makes more than double the average worker. She informed me Sunday that her spending on her credit card is unsustainable. One would think this is a good thing, a wake-up call of sorts. Negative ghost rider.
Her biggest issue is she tries way too hard to fit in, for someone in their mid-20s to mid-30s this is understandable. You are likely in an apartment, a small one and hanging out with colleagues after work, and the like. You may also be going on dates/parties etc. However, this behavior needs to be grown out of, it’s a sign of a maturity process. It hasn’t stopped in fact it got worse.
I do not care what part of the country you live in, a 6-figure income should be more than enough to sustain the life of a couple/family, let alone a single person. This is where budgeting, and expense management comes into play. In addition, knowing needs vs wants as well. This person has shown repeatedly they are not capable of doing this.
Interest rate on car loan? Yeah, it’s over 30%, that’s not a good rate, that’s a good loan shark rate. The credit card rate is likely about the same mind you. You wreck your credit in this country you will pay at every turn.
Student loan debt? Sure, just make a minimum payment like your other loans. This person is checking all the boxes.
Her biggest problem? It’s not her debts believe it or not, it’s her lifestyle. She refuses to be an adult, instead opting to a college fueled party life. For someone closer to 40 than 37 mind you.
As hard as this may be to fathom, it is not hard to correct this, but it’s not a diet she needs, it’s a lifestyle change.
First? Knock off the happy hour and late-night partying. You are an adult not a college kid anymore. Happy hour is famous for the “I’ll have a couple drinks, well better get an app, well another drink please….aw shucks I better order food…. maybe dessert too?” Next thing you know that cheap mixed drink turned into a bill of around $100. Instead of this being a one-time thing, you have made it into a daily thing with your friends.
Second? Learn to cook at home, you have cable shows, YouTube, and cookbooks. Cooking at home costs a fraction of going out. You can even grab a bottle of booze/liquor/wine for a fraction of going out. Don’t believe me, look it up for yourself.
Third? Pay your bills first. Every paycheck. After paying rent, pay your bills. Your credit score will thank you later. Do not save money, extinguish all debt as humanly possible.
Had a client of mine come in this week; specifically, to chat about his 22-year-old son. This son has had 5 moving violation/accidents in 3 years of driving. The average is about 1 incident per decade by the way. So as you can imagine his insurance is very expensive and the parents have been paying it. Usually when you encounter this, it’s the parents saying “get Jr. off my policy, he is too expensive” or they grin and bear it while paying. In this case they wanted to keep the cost the same, make excuses for Jr. and try to get us to find a solution.
It was insane. The father (the one who came into my office) complained how his son has not worked for over 4 years. He then circled back with “He has a job with Vector but I do not know what he does.” He says the company is so secretive his son never talks about it, but he works from home. Obviously, my BS sensors went off quickly, so I Googled them. Vector marketing…LOL its CUTCO knives. AKA an MLM Pyramid scheme. So much so a link provided on their website explains how Vector is not a scam.
El Oh El!
So, Jr. got a sales job with a pyramid scheme company. His son, according to his dad when he confronted him, could not produce a pay stub (what are those?) so he doesn’t believe him. Well Vector makes all of its money off new recruits, not so much actual sales. The new recruits like his son pay a fee, and then get told, “Here’s your knives. Go get it.” MLM pyramid schemes are famous for marketing to young people and single mothers.
Enough about scams.
He went on that his son is a good kid, but smokes weed with his buddies every night after he and his wife go to sleep. They sneak off to a local park and basically eat all the snack food, and smoke weed. This seems to be normal behavior for these types. He spends a late night out and sleeps till around noon. The parents can’t figure out what gives, and he is unmotivated. They speak of how he plays video games all hours of the day, but again he is a hard worker and a good kid.
They kept saying how can we help motivate him.
My thoughts were simple, lay out all of his “costs” i.e., insurance, car payment, phone plan, gym, etc. and make it known if you want this lifestyle, he needs to contribute. He shot that down saying he tells his kid he we’ll pay till age 26. So, I guess Jr. has 4 more years of freeloading?
My business partner said he has a son just like this other fellow’s son, problem is the correct word would be “had” not “has.” Make no mistake the son is still alive but he has been making a great living for the last 23 years, he was also 22 when he experienced this growth. The error is now the client felt he was “on a journey” with my business partner.
The client continued to filibuster, and as far as I am concerned, hope is lost. He wants to be a “cool parent” not a father. He just doesn’t want to admit it. Allowing your adult child to sneak out of the house, engage in drug type behavior (I don’t care that CA legalized it) while living in your house is dumb. It’s your house not theirs. As far as work goes; if they don’t want to work, they pay rent or move out. Sorry, this is not a vacation resort, restaurant, nor a hotel. At a certain point, you must be a parent again, even if the kid is 22. He lacks motivation and is gaming you. Sorry, not to be mean, but every move you make, he is 3 steps ahead.
Get a job……Got one at a MLM deal that doesn’t pay
Get your own bills paid for yourself…..sorry I’m good till 26, your words pops.
If you don’t put your foot down, the kids don’t grow.
I can guarantee this kid aint doin nuthin until 26, and calls his father’s bluff, his father won’t budge. Book it!
Avoid. That’s the one and only word. Your humble correspondent has not and will not visit after hearing and seeing several trusted sources review our new shiny casino.
Sky River is a brand-new casino that opened in the same town as this blog’s world headquarters. We have always been skeptical as this is a small town, and do we really need another casino here? In a short driving distance, we have, Jackson Rancheria, Cache Creek, Thunder Valley, Red Hawk and a couple of card rooms downtown. All of them are far more exciting than our new casino. Sky River Casino is very small, and no frills at all. For now, it’s just a gambling floor and food. I guess long term they have plans for a hotel, we shall see.
As for the casino part, I have had 4 customers/friends attend the casino multiple times since it opened, of course they aren’t degenerate gamblers, they just like to play a bit. None enjoyed it at all. Some even won money and still would not go back. They said it was smoky as heck, so bad they had to go outside to get fresh air multiple times over the course of 30 minutes. This is a bad look for a casino who said they have state of the art filtering systems in place.
The slot and table play got decent marks, but it was very crowded, this is a good thing for the casino. But again, the smoke…. yikes.
The food was a major let down. Full disclosure they do have a standalone steak house coming soon, which would be a good addition to this town in my opinion, but the food otherwise consists of just a food court. Pretty lame. You order from your phone and sit and the workers bring it out to you. Prices were just ok. Food was high school cafeteria quality. Avoid.
In summary, this place is average, but it fits this town perfectly. If you think about it, we have lots of chain restaurants here, nothing special. Our casino fits that. We have people who are always hunting for a deal, this place fits that. We are a no-frills town… this place fits that.
Recently, I went out to eat and happened to be seated near an elected official from this area. I overheard her telling a colleague we have a Walmart quality casino, for our Walmart quality town. (We have 4 Wally Worlds in and around Elk Grove.) If you are looking to blow some cash, this place will allow you to do that, but bear in mind, it has no sports book, no quality food options, and no hotel. Also, no golf course or amphitheater. Suit yourself, but I am not going to partake. Like usual, this town would rather be adequate or average than have anything nice.
Editor’s Note: I checked Yelp just to see if Johnnie was being too hard on the place. Here’s what I found.
After trying to go here and eat more than Ice Cream, it was disappointing. Most of the Marketplace Food Court is surpassed by your local Shopping Mall Food Court in Selection, Quality and Service.
Yelp Reviewer Wanugee N. 09/17/22
Beautiful inside except the cleanliness. A casino of this size should have at least 5 people on the floor all the time just picking up and cleaning everything. It’s dirty.
Yelp Reviewer Marianna B. 08/21/22
There was no non-smoking area. I brought a mask but it didn’t help. There were also no hand sanitizer stations around. There are germs on every machine!
There was a long line to get into the food court area. It took awhile to get in and once I saw the prices I immediately went out… Too bad there is no buffet, whenever I go to a casino I expect a buffet.
Main question, did I have fun? My answer is not really. I did get some exercise though from getting lost in this casino and then getting lost again in the parking lot. I guess I at least got to experience this but I don’t think I’ll come back.
If you live in California you are used to hearing stupid, moronic, dumb, depressing things. It reached a new low this past week. The same week Governor Newsom and his merry band of idiots announced new gas powered car sales will cease in a decade, he also reminded us due to a heat wave not to plug your current electric car in. Yeah folks, we are banning new gas powered cars, in favor of more enviro-friendly electric ones, but please do not charge it while we grapple with an energy crisis.
It gets even better last evening around 6pm. I got an SOS text message from the State of California telling me to essentially cease and desist all electrical usage between 4-10pm due to the grid being overloaded. So yeah, I come home to a hot house and cannot use appliances due to conservation. It was 86 degrees in my house when I arrived home but that’s ok. I am sure the Hollywood types did their share to conserve as well. NOT!
You see, here in the People’s Republic of California, we have gone so green even Cheech and Chong are starting to worry! By conservative estimates, CA can only produce enough electricity to power about 2/3s of its needs, so we “buy” the excess power from Arizona or another neighboring utility. Who cares how that utility procures its electricity, all that matters is we don’t pollute here in CA.
We have mandated the closure of Diablo Canyon Nuclear plant…..then we reversed it! I guess Gavin must have farted himself awake and realized retiring more power plants isn’t smart when you cannot produce enough to keep up with demand. We have a law that all new houses must have solar panels on them, yet every summer we have threats of rolling blackouts. We have all kinds of solar farms and windmills, but we are reliant on our neighbors for electricity?
In CA we have a saying, at least those of us with an IQ slightly north of room temperature, it’s not how you think, it’s how you feel. That phrase is an embodiment of what is left here in this place. We have gone so damn insane on environmental issues that we have become our own worst enemy. We are now quite literally telling people not to charge their car (aka what you use to get to your job in CA) in favor of sitting in a hot house, because global warming. We have closed down nuclear plants, gas fired plants, in favor of far less reliable solar and wind farms. Word to the wise, solar doesn’t do a whole lot of good once the sun goes down, also you need a very un-environmentally friendly battery, and solar components as well. Don’t believe us? Do a simple Google search for disposal of lithium-ion batteries and solar panels!
It’s pretty pathetic that in the technology capital of the world, we have to rely on Arizona for our electricity. Even more sad is when Arizona doesn’t have any excess to sell us, they turn the lights off for us.
But this is all part of the plan here in California. The goal is to remove all gas powered everything from here. They are starting with gas generators and lawn equipment. Don’t believe me? The lawn equipment goes in 2024, the generators 2028. Do not hold your breath that the CA GOP will do anything about it, they likely have no clue this is happening. I haven’t looked into it much but how will the landscapers cut Elk Grove Park if they need to use electric mowers? Me thinks there will be exceptions doled out for all cities/municipalities. The point is a carbon free CA. The issue is that no one is using their brains to think about those who will be left out. A Tesla is not cheap. A cursory search of tesla.com for used Tesla’s within 200 miles showed the cheapest 2019 Tesla at roughly 46k. That is double what I paid for my 2019 4 door Tacoma by the way. Some localities have started banning new gas station construction, in this blog’s town I have seen numerous gas stations either starting construction or pulling permits as if to “beat the clock” on a ban being forthcoming. So they will make it even harder to find gas for your gas powered car. The price doesn’t get cheaper when supply is harder to find folks.
Make no bones about it, they are discussing banning natural gas as well. New home construction currently does not feature a fire place, not even wood burning ones. Some cities like Berkeley have either already banned or are considering banning all natural gas inside your house/business. Think no stove/oven/heater. You would be using electricity, yeah as in that thing we cannot keep on right now. Imagine going out to dinner in the wintertime, its colder than hell and your favorite steak house is using an electric cook top. You get no sear, and the heater won’t be able to keep up because it’s electric and takes a while to get going, then it stays hot for a while to shut off. My parent’s most recent house had an electric stove, they converted it to gas. Now instead of being able to throttle up and down the natural gas burners in the kitchen, they must stay on all day regardless of foot traffic since it takes a while to heat up and cool down. Even better, in the summer it may not work at all, we have these rolling blackouts we are famous for.
Can’t afford a Tesla? You can take one of our natural gas burning busses, at least until they ban those as well, they cannot be far behind. Try using mass transit in this town, actually don’t you’ll save the bruises on your brain.
All is well here in California, just remember since the 100-degree days last until Friday please do not plug in your electric car! We need to conserve energy. I’m sure your manager at work will understand!
Bloggers note: This was a late-night conversation that bled early into the morning hours; I may need to have an update later when the brain fog clears.
Readers you may know that on this blog we stress not watching heavy amounts of TV or cable. Its far better to seek out advice from real people not paid actors. A former close friend of mine from college nuked his life last night. While some may say this was a long time coming, he overreacted drastically and his marriage is over, and his life has begun a spiral. I have a feeling, copious amounts of drugs/alcohol or worse could be in his near future.
This friend of mine has been married for 15 years, he works for the State of California and lives in the Bay Area. He seemed to have a lot of great things going for him, including a 13-year-old daughter. He has always kind of hopscotched in and out of my life, kind of a “when I need something you are my phone call, when the opposite is true, he plays the kid/marriage card in my face.” Anyway, he called about 2 weeks ago in a full-blown panic. He was barely making sense over the phone, so I told him email/text what he wanted to say…. he kept insisting I had to believe him.
If you know me, I’m pretty fiercely loyal to friends of mine…until you screw me over/double cross me. I think I’m a pretty sound giver of advice should you choose to take it. I also normally can ask friends of mine “off the record” to advise friends in crisis. He started the text chain to me with “when I was in Texas for business…” I cut him off right there. California’s state workers are forbidden from traveling to certain states due to a perceived “human rights violation in certain state’s constitution” aka they are hostile toward gay/lesbian/trans people. So that was a lie and I knew it. He went on to say he was seeing someone there, ok that makes more sense. Apparently his “side piece” told him her child was likely “theirs”, this child is 10. The freak out ensued.
I apparently wasn’t texting back quickly enough, so he called. He kept saying I had to believe him, while not telling a story that made a lick of sense. When he finally calmed down, I asked how she knows it’s “theirs” and what his thoughts were. He told me he is convinced it’s his because he has been seeing her for about 11 years. When I asked if he used protection, his response was a no… preceded and succeeded by a sheepish chuckle. When I asked what this girl was like, he made her out to be a promiscuous, flirt. A red flag, but at the same time, it offered an out route. He asked what I thought and immediately offered an opinion of “do not freak out, wait and I’ll get in touch with an attorney whose new firm does a little bit of everything.” It was almost 2am so I offered a call back in a day or two. This wasn’t good enough for him, as he apparently was checking every site on the internet for advice.
I got in touch with my friend. She of course was appalled but said, the best thing to do is always operate under the guise, of “you do not know that yet.” Until you have a positive paternity test showing a definitive match, you are in a gray, but not dark area. She recommended 2 tests, to insure against a false reading on way or the other. Also said do not share any of this with your spouse. Blogger Note: I do not condone cheating in any form period, full stop, but in cases like these I prefer a wait, watch, and see as opposed to admitting your sin immediately. She also recommended getting tested for STD’s since he was “hitting it raw” there’s a likelihood, especially with both of their lifestyles. Additionally, if he popped positive… well you better tell both your side piece and your “spouse” asap.
Well, my friend, after I relayed the info, rejected in outright saying since I am not married and have no kids, I have no credibility on the issue. Fair enough, I guess. He also flatly rejected my lawyer friend’s advice, not only did he refuse the paternity test, but he also declined getting tested for STD’s. Apparently, he saw on TV a show that glorified cheating on your partner, and that they would come around. To be honest my lawyer friend was aware of this; and apparently there are many of these shows. He went on to tell me on shows like the Bachelor etc., contestants have sex with many women during a short period. I am not sure who told him this was smart, but he took it as sage advice. Note to readers, TV is not the real world, not even close, it’s a perverse fantasyland masquerading as reality for an hour each week.
So, in his infinite wisdom, last night (Wednesday) at the dinner table, after 2 glasses of wine with daughter finishing her meal, he decides it’s time to “come clean.” Again, I’m not sure who gave him this advice, but yikes. He tells his spouse he needs to talk to her in front of child. He says he needs to come clean about his “business trips.” They were in fact not business He was seeing someone else. He then tells her she needs to stand by him, it “was only a phase.” YIKES. He then said she is accusing him of fathering her 10-year-old child; again, accused but no proof, but I digress. Predictably, the spouse stormed off bawling her eyes out, grabbed an overnight bag, threw her wedding ring at him, and off she went. Saying I don’t even know you anymore. I guess the master plan failed.
Like any fantasyland residing loser, he then went to work on his daughter who was crying and locked herself in bedroom. He kept telling her “We need to be strong as a family” and “this will all work itself out.” Yeah, seriously.
So, he called me after this episode last night/this morning, as our chat lasted ‘til about 2 am. He blamed his wife for walking out; his child for being “obtuse” and could not understand how his plan failed. He could not get through his head he was at fault. He kept quoting “Scripture” from their wedding about staying together in good times and bad, sickness and health. Oh, the kicker, he literally said to me “what kind of idiot throws a 10k wedding ring at someone?” This Einstein couldn’t figure out he is the problem. TV overload like you read about.
When I could finally get a word in edgewise after being shouted down about not having a wife or kids, I tried to level with him. He took a bad situation and escalated it to a point he lost all control, then like a typical TV enthusiast he tried to blame everyone but himself. How is this possibly the wife or his daughters’ fault?
AM Update: Well, he called me again. I guess to seek out more advice he won’t take under advisement. He filled me in that “His dumb spouse filed for divorce this AM.” A truly shocking development to everyone who lives in fantasyland. Daughter has not left her room, and he has fielded a call from the sheriff’s office stating his spouse will be returning to get personal belongings later today. She also passed through the grapevine to him that she has gotten an STD test already. He took a personal day off work today, probably the only good decision he has made lately.
Final Thoughts & Commentary
I need a disclaimer here, as stated above I do not condone cheating in any form, its morally wrong; however, after texting the lawyer friend of mine, we both agreed on how to handle this in the best way possible. First the trips to TX stop immediately, and a paternity test needs to be done ASAP. If negative, I would end the “Texas Two-Step” for good, you have a family bro, and I would argue no one needs to know. If positive, well the situation is still bleak but there are options. You can try to explain away an affair, the child is not something that you can casually dismiss. It’s going to cost you monthly in $$$ and likely your marriage. This is when you break the news, while also providing a negative STD test. It won’t make the pain hurt less, but to put it bluntly, it may show you aren’t an immature child. I would have moved my things out and tried to come to an amicable split in an attempt to save face. He will not have much of any relationship with his spouse anymore, he could still have been in his daughter’s life…. that chance looks remote now.
As for as his soon to be former spouse, good on you for acting quickly. Society is so backward for this “stand by your man” trash. Your “man” penetrated another woman, raw, and showed no remorse until he inexplicably decided to come clean, then blamed you. You will have a tough road transitioning to a divorced single mother of an adult daughter but with the coming settlement, things will look up.
As for my acquaintance, you chose to nuke your marriage and demolish your life. I am not totally sure why. You had sound advice, yet instead you followed the advice of TV shows you binge watch? Your story of an affair going on for roughly a decade plus makes very little sense, but I mean, I guess TV has show’s that glamorize it. I find it hard to believe you knew nothing about that child until recently. Frankly you just didn’t care. Like most indoctrinated TV viewers, you can no longer sense real vs fake, all you know is the ending is usually a good outcome. You were puffing on vibes from your cable TV, feeling like superman, and didn’t realize your spouse had the kryptonite. You cheated on her and lived a double life, blaming your “job” for travel. Then you tried to use a narrative that you were the victim, unreal. That’s rich, you got what you wanted with the exception of a storybook ending, and you seem to think you have done nothing wrong. Rest assured the law firm retained by your soon to be ex-spouse is going to take you for everything they can…I verified them through the lawyer friend of mine whose advice you shoved off. Fear not I am sure your “side piece” is lawyering up as well and if the kid is yours, have fun working that state job until you croak. You may think your pension is sacred, but not in CA it ain’t! Try to pull your martyr act in family law court, it won’t go very far.
In closing, understand this, what you watch on television is made to hold your eyeballs and keep you from wanting to change the channel. You sit mesmerized for hours, through turns and plot twists. They eventually catch the bad guy, try him, convict him, or the belle of the ball gets with prince charming or vice versa. Even if the bad guy gets away, on the next episode he is caught. The mere idea of thinking breaking this news over dinner and walking away without a blemish, speaks to your lack of living in the real world. Honestly from the stories you told me, the chick in Texas sounds like a pay-for-play cheap hooker, the kid is likely not even yours, sounds like she was saber rattling and you got spooked. You may have cut off your family to spite yourself. GET THE PATERNITY TEST!
Lastly turn off the TV. You have been desensitized to what the real world is all about. Anyone who thinks cheating with someone and not using a condom is normal, is major league messed up in the head. BTW the bag over your pepperoni would have likely saved your marriage but I digress. You had sex with a bimbo and had no regard for your own body (who cares) or for your wife. This is how STDs are spread. You got pretty good advice from both a male and female, one who you were friends with in college, the other a licensed lawyer, and you threw it away. Rather you decided taking advice from a TV show was better? I guess the only happy ending you will be getting now is from the chick in Texas, sadly you nuked your own life.
I came across this tweet from an ESPN twitter account quoting WNBA basketball star Nneka Ogwumike (you win scrabble if you get that word) the other day after Griner pled guilty to a crime in Russia. It calls Griner a hero, and says we need to bring her back to the USA.
When a young Johnnie Does was growing up, he learned right from wrong, he also learned to be accountable for his actions. When I made a mistake, I too pled guilty in a court of law. My point? I was not a hero that day, nor am I a hero now. I took responsibility, and won’t go down that road again, and my crime was far more political than Griner’s.
So, what makes her a hero?
Well just her celebrity status. She is a WBA star who plays in Russia to earn extra money. The WNBA doesn’t pay much because… well no one cares. As Troll joked to me “the July 4th hot dog eating contest got more rating on TV than the WNBA all-star game.” So, the joke from Troll was “people would rather watch men shove a hotdog in their throat, versus women who refuse to shove a hot dog down their throat.” Ironic! Just think about it.
(Oh, Johnnie Does was Really Right even while being sarcastic, see note on TV ratings at conclusion of this post.)
I want to come off somewhat empathetic here as I have no idea what Griner is facing in what is likely deplorable conditions. Her “wife” has spoken out about how she is terrified and thinks she may spend the rest of her life in jail. However, Griner should have known better.
She has spent enough time in Russia to know hashish oil is illegal in Russia, she is also very lucky she wasn’t charged as a trafficker (aka drug dealer) as the penalty would be far harsher. Griner also needs to get with the real world. A war was going down between Russia and Ukraine, with the US essentially playing as Ukraine’s proxy. This likely didn’t make Russia happy, and likely made any US citizen or US/Russia dual citizen a bigger target. The world essentially cutting off Russia’s economy likely didn’t help with any leniency either. She is now a pawn in a nasty geo-political war. It also doesn’t help that her supporters are building her into a large celebrity. Russia is using her as a trade chip, but we are now going to have to pay a premium in order to get her back. To make my point, Russia seems to want convicted arms dealer Vicktor Bout in return, think of this as trading our queen (Bout) for their pawn (Griner). One plays basketball, the other is an arms dealer and likely terrorist financier.
Griner’s supporters have made her out to be something she is not, so the chances of securing her early return are likely moot. The US State Department calling her “wrongfully detained” also isn’t smart. This is akin to annoying the prosecutor’s office. This type of saber-rattling works in US politics, not foreign relations. Also why are we paying so much attention to Griner when there are likely hundreds of other Americans detained abroad? Fake celebrity status.
Griner knew Russian law, she knew she shouldn’t have had the oil. She has tried to say she didn’t know it was against the law, but this ain’t the USA we are talking about; no politician to pay your bail, no soft on crime DA to let you leave without charges. Griner and her supporters also need to have some self-awareness. Griner and her group may think the USA has a horrific human rights record, be racist, transphobic, and homophobic, but she is witnessing first-hand what it’s like to be in a country that is quite literally against that lifestyle. Griner is black, a woman, and in a same sex marriage. Like it or not, that’s 3 strikes in that part of the world.
Maybe the US isn’t all that bad?
I hope Griner gets out and learns a valuable lesson. I hope all the detained Americans are released, but like or system or not, we are more than fair criminally to anyone detained here.
Oh, may I offer a suggestion? Since Trump was so “connected to Russia” maybe Biden should send the Donald to negotiate with Putin? Just a thought but maybe rather than spit fire at Trump, put him to use as a past president?
Friday night, Johnnie Does and a male friend (both are straight) got together to share a meal and get caught up on recent happenings in our lives. We decided to break bread at the Macaroni Grill. I use the straight term as my co-worker made a comment that Macaroni Grill is an odd option for a couple of fellas to grab dinner. He wasn’t wrong. Some background on Macaroni Grill, it’s an Italian chain that is a rival with Olive Garden. It offers typical Italian faire, here is the review and my commentary.
Ambiance: It has a cool, wine cellar/Italian castle vibe to it. It’s a dark place, but that’s ok. It seems like a “take a girl out on a date prior to prom place.” They place a white piece of butcher paper over the table to simulate a white tablecloth dining experience, this was cool. For a typical table, if you ordered wine, they draw a glass on your table, and after placing the wine on the table, you keep track of your glasses. I would give it a 6.5/10 as our table had no butcher paper and while the place was basically empty it seemed we were an afterthought. At 7:30 mind you, closing time is 9.
Food: As I mentioned, its classic Italian faire; pasta, fish, steak, ravioli and the like. The chain 86’d its pizza during Covid for who knows what reason as they have a fired pizza oven in the kitchen. We both had create your own pasta, you get a choice of noodles, sauce, you pick 3 veggie/type toppings, and meat if you would like it. You also get a loaf of “peasant bread” and oil and balsamic to dip it in. Overall, I give the food selection 6.1/10.
Overall: It’s a chain, and I have blistering commentary at the bottom here. The open concept kitchen was cool, the décor was nice, but the menu was just ok. It’s a typical chain, and as I mentioned, it’s a “take your date there prior to the dance” place. 6.3/10.
Scalding hot-take commentary: Your experience may vary, but mine was bizarre. The hostess seemed more interested in texting on her phone than trying to seat us. We were seated at a barely made-up table. Our waiter seemed pretty off, like maybe he had a hit or two on the devil’s lettuce during his break. We placed our order, and he almost immediately came back with our food, like disturbingly quickly. My friend’s order was perfect, mine was served sans meatballs. When I made comment, I was told they are there. Okay, I guess I’ll dig around. When I confirmed their absence, the waiter ran the whole plate back to the kitchen to have the applicable 4 meat balls tossed on the plate. Not a big deal, but I mean where is the quality control? Also, no offer of parmesan cheese!? I figured the waiter likely forgot, or got the munchies and ate it all. Also, there was a wild move with an employee walking around serenading every single table. I would have had him more like a “for hire” guy because he just kept walking around the store. Kind bizarre actually, like you could serenade a table for tips, but oh well. Oh, and in addition, at the top of the bill, a $2 inflation fee? F*** outta here! Make Biden pay it, his dementia laden a** caused this. The only thing I want to see inflated are Jen Aniston’s tots……okay that’s it, Troll. Quit photo bombing my post.
It’s not fair, but Macaroni Grill is in a lot of trouble as a chain, they only have 41 locations left nation-wide. They challenged Olive Garden mocking their unlimited salad in an ad, but yikes. The chain has been sold more times than Troll changes his underwear. Most recently, in 2015 Red Rock Capital bought the whole chain for 8 million. The chain filed for BK protection in 2017 and is struggling badly today. If you have a gift card, use it.
Final note: I did describe this place to the Blog Father as a poor man’s Olive Garden but it costs more.
We are back, Covid is declared over….er I mean Putin invaded Ukraine. But anyways here we go with food reviews again! Blog Father tripled our salary so we will get these more often.
A new place opened in Elk Grove near the Costco called “Nick the Greek” we love Greek people and Greek food on this blog so here we go.
Ambiance: It’s a typical fast casual (order at counter, be seated, food brought to you place). Lots of décor and an outdoor eating area. Its new, and trendy, but very small. Think like a Chipotle but smaller. You can watch the cook crew make/assemble the meals. Overall, it’s a cool concept 7.2/10
Food: Typical Greek faire, Gyros, kabobs, souvlaki, bowls, and sides. Basically, it reminded me of Ariana’s. I went with the chicken gyro pita, fries and a coke. This meal sets you back about $15. The fries I chose were the regular fries, they came with sea salt and herbs. You also could choose Greek fries, which include feta cheese, or Nick’s fries which include meat, garlic and spicy yogurt. The chicken gyro pita was solid, it was quite large, and I got a very generous portion of chicken. I also thought the fries were a generous portion. A patron next to me got a chicken kabob plate over rice, which I also thought looked great. Call it 8.7/10.
Overall: It’s a small regional chain. I learned that they have shops in Roseville and Davis among other locations. I hope they make it and wish them well. They were very busy since it was opening weekend, and they had quite a crew working there. The owner was greeting folks at the door and explaining the menu, I thought this is a needed touchpoint. Some folks are not as cultured as others and if the menu’s not familiar to them it could cause confusion and a back-up at the order kiosk. Solid 8.3/10. We will be back.
I came across this article today, I’ll summarize. A SF 49er fan was beaten to within inches of his life (as of writing) at last weekend’s SF vs LA Rams football game. He is in a coma, fighting for his life. Luna owns a restaurant in Oakland and traveled for the game to see his team play in brand new SoFi stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Rams. The following is from the LA Times article.
“Police are investigating the apparent beating of a San Francisco 49ers fan found severely injured in the parking lot of SoFi Stadium during Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Rams.
Daniel Luna, a restaurant owner from Oakland, remains hospitalized at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in what Inglewood police said was a medically induced coma.
Luna, 40, was discovered on the ground by Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics in the stadium’s Lot L about 4 p.m., half an hour into the Rams-49ers contest, said Inglewood Police Lt. Geoffrey Meeks. Luna was wearing a San Francisco jersey and black pants, Meeks said.”
Police have stated they do not believe the attackers used weapons, just their hands, legs and fists. Looking at the time when Luna was found, it suggests this savage attack happened just prior or slightly prior to the game’s kickoff, as Luna was not in the stadium he was in the parking lot. We here at reallyright.com wish him a speedy recovery.
I compare sports allegiance to religion or politics in the sense if you disagree you shut the other person up. I work with someone who says AOC should be muzzled, and not allowed to speak, completely ignoring the first amendment because it suits him. If someone takes an opposing view, you get angry, mad, or flat out dismiss or wish ill on them. In the case of Luna, it could well be death. This is a scary place to be in a so-called civilized society. Its far scarier to envision a likely situation of fans of both teams (the stadium was reported as a roughly 50/50 split) walking by the altercation and the aftermath on the way to the game and no one attempted to stop this/call for help. Again Mr. Luna was put into a coma for simply wearing the other team’s colors in the opponent’s stadium…hardly the crime of the century.
To be fair, I was not there, and to date no security footage was produced to show the events leading up to, and the altercation itself. Me assuming or writing my thoughts on who or whom were the aggressors is plain wrong. However, I have been to enough games in person, wearing both the home and visiting teams’ colors to be able to form a likely opinion of what went down.
Luna was at the game by himself, as the article insinuated. I have been there before whilst wearing the oppositions colors, I can tell you I would never have even a sip of alcohol in me, prior/during/after the game just because I’m completely outmanned and outnumbered. Luna wearing the opposition colors likely angered some middle aged (40 plus) folks on their way into the game. Trash talk likely ensued, especially from the Rams fans, as they were the home team, Luna likely responded in kind. Alcohol played a very large role, drugs may or may not have been included, again no need to speculate on my part, just relying on my experiences. Trash talk leads to someone likely saying something stupid, and the other side taking offense, again no way of knowing the aggressor/agitator, but I doubt it was the sole 49er fan/business owner. The other side jumped him, savagely beating him, and leaving him to be discovered later/perish. Scores of fans and onlookers saw this but didn’t say a word. I call this the “subway car effect” when many see, but no one wants to be the one who says anything. As a result, Mr. Luna is in a coma, luckily he was found prior to being killed.
Here is my personal experiences at ballgames in Oakland, and San Francisco. I can tell you firsthand these games are not safe even for fans of the home team. I have witnessed Oakland A’s fans beating on each other (shocking), Giants fans, and Angel fans. I have been to a raider game wearing both raider colors (barf) and my Buccaneer colors. This was a site to behold, as Raider fans were goading me into fights, throwing beverages at me, and screaming directly into my face. The game sucked and my team won. I have been to Giants games both as a A’s fan, and one wearing giants colors. This was a total clusterfuck as it got to the point in the centerfield bleachers police in riot gear lined the outfield fence. The situation resembled more of a protest of a dictator then that of a ball game. As a result, I have not returned to any arena or stadium to take in a game. It’s flat out not fun anymore, I’ve even been offered free tickets. I will not go. Actually, let me rephrase it is dangerous, whether you are a home or away fan.
It used to be if you went to a game, the folks causing a ruckus were mid twenty-year-olds coked out on some form of drug, or frat bros heavily lubricated on alcohol. The script has changed, and not for the better. Now its folks old enough to be my parents (notice both genders) who overindulge and are looking for trouble. This is not the exception it’s the rule. I’ve had grown women screaming in my face, blocking my movements literally begging for me to instigate something. I usually got secondhand alcohol off their screaming. At the raider game the police would stand idly by and laugh even as I was pelted by beverages or shoved. That is when I figured it out, and at 28 my days going to games were over.
It’s all good though I’m sure LA County DA George Gascon will charge them to the fullest extent of the law when these thugs are caught….
Oh wait, when a dodger fan outside Giant’s stadium was stabbed and killed by Giants fans he looked the other way when he was DA……
San Francisco prosecutors have declined to file charges in a stabbing case stemming from the Giants-Dodgers rivalry that resulted in the death of a 24-year-old Dodgers fan near AT&T Park last year.
District Attorney George Gascón said Friday that his office could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Michael Montgomery, 21, of Lodi did not act in self-defense when he stabbed Fort Bragg resident Jonathan Denver in a brawl on Sept. 25.
Authorities say subsequent interviews with witnesses and fight participants conducted over the past six months revealed that Denver and his brother had teamed up against Montgomery before he used a knife to protect himself.
Denver had left a Giants-Dodgers game that night with his father and brother in the eighth inning to go to a bar.
They encountered Montgomery and his friends in front of a liquor store near Third and Harrison streets in the South of Market neighborhood about 11:30 p.m. One of Montgomery’s friends was wearing a Giants cap.
Six months later, prosecutors said the circumstances have changed but charges will still not be filed. Gascón explained that in California, prosecutors not only have to prove their cases beyond a reasonable doubt, but they also have to prove the defendant did not act in “lawful self-defense.”
Evidence from a district attorney’s office investigation determined prosecutors would not be able to prove that.
Think twice prior to going to a game whether in your home or away team’s colors, its deadly. Too much boozing/drugging in the parking lot prior, during, and after. It’s not worth it. The game will be on somewhere…. likely a lot safer.
I got quite a few texts from relatives of mine and friends regarding my blog lighting my sister on fire. Most were folks asking why I don’t try to help her or be a true brother.
Here are the reasons why…
First, she has lied to me so much I never know what the truth is. She borrowed $5k from me once and claimed she needed it to pay rent and buy groceries. Of course, she never paid me back, silly me, she told my parents it was a gift. She claimed to have sold several houses, so I enlisted her to help me buy mine…. another major fail, I got the house but remember bumping into my vendor (it was his parent’s house) and the realtor and talking shop off the record after my offer was accepted. My loan guy also said she was nearly impossible to reach prior to the hour of 1pm.
She was convicted of drug trafficking a felony, and while on probation convicted of DUI causing an accident while driving to the San Diego airport to catch a flight. Yes, read the last part again, she was going to be boarding an airplane. In both cases she had to be placed in a restraint, likely signaling she was on more than just booze. She never did any jail time, and her fines were waived…. she got a free second and third chance. The bloggers on this site never could have gotten the DUI as we would be partially through our jail time. Yet time and time again she never realizes her luck.
She is the most entitled human I know. She owns a bulldog mix type dog, yet claims it’s a service dog. Yeah, she is one of those. Sign says no dogs? Well, she will just eat at your patio. The dog has never been trained, but who would expect a child to teach a dog any type of trick? The best is when she flies home, check this out. She will leave my folks house 30 minutes prior to departure and call southwest airlines and tell them hold the plane she is stuck in traffic! Guess what? They do!
At every family event she attends she is a tertiary character, offering little during set-up, prep, cook, or clean up but is always the first to start drinking and the last to finish. Ditto for any extended family type events, she can always be found in the photos red faced and full glass in hand. She makes fun of other people, but that’s ok, because hey she drinks so she is one of us! My parents shrug it off because, well, drinking to excess at 34 is cool! Check out the last 3 weddings celebrated in the extended family, the photos are cringeworthy, literally in all of them she is drinking/drunk. It is well known throughout the family of her arrests, yet no one cares she is drinking to excess? Even worse they ply her with more drinks? At the most recent wedding she was back on her BS, rather than RSVP’ing on time, she waited until 3 days before, and wanted to bring a plus one. Thankfully for her she gets her way all the time, so request granted. Hopefully they had enough wine for 5 extra people.
Worse yet is her vice problems. A few years ago, an aunt of ours was in town with my grandmother. One night my sister and her stayed up until 3am and polished off 5 bottles of the sacrament. Leading to a rough hungover lasting until early evening. For my sister this is a slow day of drinking, for my aunt, it was so much she got violently ill. Keep in mind at the time my sister was 32, my aunt calls it 60. This behavior is unacceptable for people of those ages, but no one cares.
The absolute worst is these folks will make every excuse in the book for her, the coddling is off the charts. They even feel bad that she is a felon and cannot find work. The truth is she refuses to work. I have it bad just like all of you because our tax dollars prop up people like this who refuse to contribute to society. It is horrific to watch.
The behavior continues to this day, she is unrepentant and is typical of those who live in California. They make excuses for everything. Never have they been wrong in their lives, it’s sad to watch, but worse yet are the folks who coddle and cover for.
These are the reasons I do not defend her. She will mess up again, and next time I fear no amount of money will clean the mess up.