The Fastest Tacos are not always The Best Tacos

Last Friday I logged into my computer and realized I had meetings booked from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I hate that kind of day. Stuck at my desk on conference calls during lunch is never good for my mental health. It always seems worse on the last day of the week.

A lucky break – one meeting cancelled and I had  30 minutes to eat. I escaped to Cafe Rio because I knew I could get there and back in time. They also make their own tortillas and you can really order your meal any way you want. I like to order things the way I like them, as opposed to the way the menu dictates.

08-29-13 tacos

The food is good enough. But it’s not great. I ordered the enchiladas with medium sauce. Instead of medium it should be called “sugar sauce” it was so sweet. I remember this about the tacos I got last time – the meat tasted like it had been marinated in syrup. I think this is the problem with chain restaurants overall – in order to make the recipes scalable they cut back on quality. And while I really do appreciate the fast service, it is clear that the employees feel beaten down by the stringent policies of the company. Apparently they are required to get people through the line in a specific amount of time or suffer the consequences.

Having recently worked under conditions where my statistics were monitored by the minute and my manager would be at my desk if I took too much time in between clients, I feel uncomfortable supporting this corporate strategy. I think I just talked myself out of going there again….

So today was miserably hot. As I said yesterday, August is a cruel cruel month. But then it started to rain in the middle of all the sunshine.

08-29-13 rain

If you look closely that’s our neighbor frolicking in the storm. I highly recommend clicking on the photo to see it in full resolution because you can see the rain reflecting the sun in the most beautiful way.

A metaphor, right? For us, the rain is joy – a welcome and necessary sign that things will one day be bearable. The sun is a searing misery. They exist together. It is difficult to appreciate one without the other, and if you live somewhere rainy, this storm would tell you the opposite story.

In the third grade my son has homework every night that is focused on kindness and gratitude. Today he was supposed to come home and do three nice things for his parents. It caused him so much stress that he ended up doing the opposite – he was unruly, mean, and whiney. He stepped on his brother’s arm, and pulled a pillow out from under him and cracked his head on the floor. I asked him what the deal was, since he was clearly doing the opposite of what the homework suggested. He said he was so worried he couldn’t complete the task that he just blew up.

The fact that his teachers are focusing on this skill is wonderful, and I am doing my best to not get frustrated with how impossible it is for him to consider others. He’s 8. If he learns this now it will pay off for him in the future, and part of the learning is the failing.

I guess I have kids so I can relearn all the stuff I missed the first time around.


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