Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Day 90 - 05/21/2007

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Carter today. When I went back for my follow up blood test, he did a CBC and found my cholesterol levels to be in the unhealthy range (but not so much that they'd prescribe meds to control them). So, with that in mind, he wanted to retest the cholesterol levels and see whether it was a fluke or whether this was something we'll need to start monitoring.

So I went there for the appointment and had my blood redrawn. I imagine that it will be somewhat lower than it was before (137) as I've adjusted my diet somewhat: I've stopped having my nightly bowl of ice cream and have been trying to have a bowl of heart-healthy cereal on a daily basis. I imagine the ice cream wasn't doing much for my health anyway (well, physically speaking; it always does wonders for me emotionally). Actually, I was quite surprised by my blood pressure reading. It was 106/64. I'm not sure how low that is, but the doc didn't make any fuss over it (the nurse sure did though). I'm not sure if it was due to me fasting or whether I've just got super-low blood pressure. Oh well, I guess that's better than the alternative, right!

After the appointment, I stopped by the house to pick up the external hard drive. It was still in the office, attached to the computer and as I was disconnecting it, I noticed a large brown spot through the shutters in the office. I went to the window for a closer look and saw three deer (a doe and two fawns). They were helping themselves to the bird seed in the travel plaza and, more importantly, were ignoring the flowers I had planted on Sunday. The mother smelled them, but passed them by for a mouthful of leaves from a nearby plant. Phew. I'm glad that happened. I wouldn't have been very happy to see her eating $12 worth of flowers I had just planted. (I wonder if Lowe's offers refunds on plants that have been eaten by deer? Hmmmmmmmm....)

After getting to the office (my work office, not my home office), I barely had enough time to sit down before my dad called. We were scheduled to go out to lunch today and he just wanted to know he'd be early. I told him I'd head out early as well and hung up.

We've been having lunch for the past few years on a somewhat monthly basis. We've worked out a system so that he pays for lunch during the even months (e.g., February, April, June, etc.) and I pay for lunch during the odd months (e.g., January, March, May, etc.). I'm not sure how it got started this way, but it's easy to remember whose turn it is to pay as my birthday is in February (an even month) and his is in January (an odd month). Some would call this a little extreme, but it works for us. I look forward to the monthly lunches. It gets me out of the office, as well as provides us with some one-on-one time to talk about whatever's going on in the world. While we usually don't have any huge earth shattering discussions, it's refreshing to be able to pretty much talk about whatever is on our minds. It also allows us to hit up different spots. We have our circuit of restaurants that we go to, but every now and again we'll try something new. Like we did today.

El Portalito is a new place that just opened where Taj Palace used to be (which was where Golden Palace used to be). The location isn't that great (as evidenced by the revolving door of restaurants in the same space), so I'm not sure how long this one will last. As you can imagine, the food was Latin (I won't say Mexican as I think it was more Central American influenced vs. Tex-Mex/Southwest) and seemed to target the natives of that area vs. the gringo population. We walked in and the place was empty save for the waitress standing behind the bar and what appeared to be the manager in the office. Both of them looked at us as if we were invading their space and didn't belong.

We sat down and were handed the menus. Nothing on the menu appealed to me that much. I was in the mood for some enchiladas or tamales, but the only thing remotely close were the burritos (chicken and beef). My second choice would have been some carnitas, but this was missing from the menu as well. I settled for the carne asada and, while I wasn't disappointed in the steak itself, the beans tasted like they came straight from an Old El Paso can.

After the waitress took our order and walked back towards the bar area, my dad commented that she forgot to get dressed that morning (she's probably taking life a little too easy). He had a point in that she was wearing a spaghetti-strap halter top w/ a jeans mini-skirt on (partially covered up with an apron). I didn't pay it much attention, but when the other waitress came on duty, she, too, was dressed somewhat scantily (well, for being a waitress, at least). The second was wearing a mini-skirt as well (smaller than the first one) with thigh-high stockings and a t-shirt that was somewhat form-fitting. I can only imagine their outfits are for the benefit of the afternoon clientele who come in to relax after a hard day at work. Either that or this place is a cover for a bawdy house. I haven't decided which yet.

As we ate our lunch, the music on the jukebox kept on starting and stopping. I thought at first they were playing the music for a song and then stopping it for some reason. I then found out there was a jukebox and it was on a timer. Regardless, it was annoying to go from dead silence to mariachi music in the blink of an eye.

We finished our meals, got the check and left. I don't think I'll be heading back there anytime soon. While the steak was good, the menu was limited and on the expensive side for lunch (most items were $10 and over).

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