Sunday Thought Brunch

Today, we enjoy brunch at Jackson's Bistro on Harbor Island, Tampa. (Their motto: "Our Sunday brunch has a variety of items to please even the pickiest of eaters. From sushi to a chef attended omelette station, we offer over 60 items that include breakfast, lunch and delicious desserts. Join us Sundays between 10:30am to 2:30pm and enjoy brunch on the outdoor patio or in a cozy booth.")

  • From the Continental Breakfast station, a ham, musrhroom and Swiss cheese omelet:  Wednesday was my birthday.  I don't mention this to guilt you into sending me a present, but just as a statement of fact.  My family has developed a tradition of celebrating my birthday at Texas Cattle Company, a truly lovely steakhouse which offers a free steak dinner on your birthday.  Yay for steak and YAY for free equals YAY-squared for free steak.  Yes, it's an exponential YAY, not an arithmetic yay.  Anyway, this tradition marks the tom-family summer reunion each year.  My parents' anniversary is on June 12th, so my brother always flies in from DC for steaks with me and to visit my parents, go fishing, and eat my mom's cooking.  So there we were, sitting at the Texas Cattle Company, seven of us: ma, pa, Brother Marky, honorary kid sister Abby and her husband, plus Punkin and me, when Nicki, our helpful and enthusiastic waitress, asked for my driver's license.  Well, sure: they have to confirm my identity and birthday before they throw a free steak my way.  Lo and behold, Nicki went off to confer with her manager.  I was DENIED! Epic FAIL!! My driver's license had expired in 2007.  The crazy thing is that I've been pulled over by the local gendarmerie since 2007.  They took my license, noted the expired status on the card, called it in, and found that my license was current.  See, I'd renewed my license back in 2007! It's current. It's just…well, the little card thing got lost in the mail.  Bottom line, I'm legal to drive.  My expired license is good enough for law enforcement, the people with guns and handcuffs and flashing lights, but NOT good enough for the Texas Cattle Company. 
  • From the Sushi Station, featuring a variety of fresh sushi items, a smidge of smoked salmon: Honestly, I still love the Texas Cattle Company.  Nicki got her manager to write out a card giving me my free steak dinner when I show up with my valid license.  If I'd gotten pulled over without a license, I could go show the Clerk of the Court my valid license, and my ticket would be cleared.  Thus, to complete the loose syllogism, the Texas Cattle Company is as powerful and important as the entire judicial system.  And far tastier.  Almost everybody in our group got the 9 oz filet, which is made of buttery yum.  I ordered the T-Bone, which they have named the "Texas Cowgirl."  I like the filet, but this enabled me to say, "I'll do a Texas Cowgirl," which caused my brother to snort, nearly forcing iced tea out his nose.  Happily, my parents and Punkin, et al, missed it.  This place has amazing steaks, so Abby ordered seared tuna.  Abby has her own rules about things.  She's awesome, though: if I needed to adopt a younger sister, Abby was an A-number-one choice.  She has a great heart, good smarts, an excellent sense of humor, and tremendous papelbons. 
  • From the Chef Attended Pasta Station: Linguini with clam sauce: A few years ago, Abby was working overnights at my station, and I was doing evenings.  We got to be very good friends.  One night, I'd been watching a baseball game, and I determined that the Red Sox ace closer–Jonathan Papelbon–was not only a great pitcher and hilarious character, but his name was a rather interesting euphemism for breasts.  Abby agreed, and I think she's the only one who still uses the phrase "papelbons" that way.  She's a sweetheart.  When she had emergency surgery a couple months ago, she was depressed, and I talked to her every night.  I did my best to prop her up, because she's one of my favorite people.  One night I called, and she was laughing in that humorless, resigned way people do at their wits' end.  She was laughcrying, "I changed my bandage."  "And?" "And my scar's all crooked!" To Abby, the whole "almost dying" thing paled next to the cattywampus horror that is her imperfect scar. I laughed myself nearly incontinent.  She laughed too, thank God.  It was funny.  At least to me.
  • From the Chef-Attended Carving Station, a slice each of Honey Baked Ham and Roast Beef: One more Abby story.  When I was in St Anthony's ICU, Abby was recovering from a sprained ankle or some such nonsense.  She managed to limp up there one day to visit, even though she hates hospitals and was in great discomfort herself.  She stayed for 90 minutes, and we had a great conversation.  I was witty, upbeat, erudite, and a wealth of philosophical insight.  I also have absolutely no recollection of her visit.  None.  I asked her a few days later if she'd be able to come see me, and she replied, "You mean `again.' Come see you again." "(uncomfortable silence)" "YOU DON'T REMEMBER ME COMING UP THERE?" We laugh about it now.  Hell, I laughed about it back then, too.  God bless Dilaudid, Percocet & Associates, that's all I can say.  I'm happy to report that she and Bryan are still married, four years after I performed what must have been a verrrrrry surreal wedding ceremony before the assembled Hatfield and McCoy clans
  • From the Salads, Displays, and Pastries, a scoop of potato salad and some cheese cubes: The Interwebs are abuzz with the David Letterman-Sarah Palin feudlet.  Governor Palin was in New York last week, and Letterman joked that she and her daughter attended a Yankees game.  "And during the seventh inning stretch, Alex Rodriguez knocked up Governor Palin's daughter." Sorry, I laughed.  It was comedy.  She got all indignant and huffed and bloviated on the Today Show about how Letterman is a "so-called comedian," blah-cubed.  The more indignant you get over something like that, the funnier the joke becomes.  Letterman wasn't suggesting that A-Rod should really have sex with your teenaged daughter.  He was mocking the fact that your other teenaged daughter turned-up preggers, while simumocking A-Rod for being a lothario.  It was a joke.  Deal with it, lady. 
  • From the Dessert Station, Bananas Foster: Thanks to Kelly Bee, Laurie, IG, Brown Suga, and all who took their time and valuable Vox space to create happy birthday posts for me, as well as all of you who wished me Happy Birthday on IM,  PM,  FB, or wherever.  I swear, if one must barrel toward eternity, doing so with the absolute best, most wonderful friends and neighbors in the whole blogosphere eases the sting.
  • From the Bar, chilled San Pellegrino with lime: Some people say age is relative.  I suppose this is true.  I'm now 5.5 years old Celsius, and 301 years old in dog years.  Most days, I feel like I'm somewhere right in the middle.
  • With the check, a handful of palate-cleansing Jordan Almonds: Have a relaxing, recharging Sunday.



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11 Responses to “Sunday Thought Brunch”

  1. Glad it was a good birthday, but ummm, how on earth could they refuse an expired license? Does your date of birth suddenly become invalid? Knobs. At least you still got to do a Texas Cowgirl.

  2. I don't know, arbed. Perhaps they were afraid I was using a fake i.d., which I haven't done in an awfully long time. My Texas Cowgirl was juicy and delicious, thanks. πŸ™‚

  3. You ate sushi for Sunday brunch? You are a MAN. Anyone who can stare down a slice of raw (or semi raw) fish before noon has samurai in his DNA. Happy belated birthday, btw. I think it's hilarious that they carded you for a steak dinner. They don't even card me anymore when I order my birthday scotch on the rocks, "'cause you look like an old lady, Mom," as my son so graciously puts it.

  4. Oh, no. I wouldn't eat sushi for breakfast, or any other meal for that matter. It's just things I'd select were I brunching at Jackson's.
    I guess with the state of the economy today, every $30 steak dinner counts. I can't wait to go collect. πŸ™‚

  5. Sorry I missed your birthday, I am glad to hear that you had a good one, even though you had to pay for your steak. Happy Late Birthday! xoxo.

  6. Thank God, dad picked up the slack. He knows I'd do the same for him…if we were eating at McDonald's or Arby's or someplace similar. You should make plans to celebrate your birthday by flying diagonally across the continent to enjoy a free steak dinner. It's worth it. Just check your I.D. before you leave.

  7. Hope you had a rip snorter of a birthday Tom.

  8. What? No thanks for those of us who pointed out to you that they weren't going to say happy birthday to you? That counts for something, surely!
    Your Abby story reminded me of a friend of mine who also had surgery – in her case it was a tubal ligation. I came in to her room a couple of days post-op to find her howling into her pillow. I was really concerned she was regretting her decision. She rolled over and pulled up her shirt to reveal her tiny (and bruised and swollen of course) incision site.
    "My bellybutton looks like an a-a-a-anus!" she wailed.
    It took her a long while to forgive me for the resultant hysterical fit of laughter.
    Also – that restaurant is a bunch of jerks for not accepting your expired license. Birthday stays the same. And hello? if you were going to use fake id, you'd surely make it a current d/l. Ah well.

  9. The bellybutton anus is hysterical. Abby had an odd swelling, post surgically, and she referred to as her "nad." For a month, this thing was there, pretty much annoying her. FInally, she was able to report that her nad had gone away, and she was back to just being a woman again.
    I'm okay with the whole carding issue. I have my note, and my new license is on the way. Plus, Punkin's b-day is next month.

  10. Oh, awesome, this way you can both eat for free on her birthday!!

  11. Or! We could go there on her birthday and then some other random day, and both eat for the price of one. Colorado will have to make more steaks. πŸ™‚

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