1. I Have A Feeling…

    …that these will make video game developer Rovio and their attorneys very funny.

    Posted by on May 31, 2012, 4:01 AM.

  2. When A Strangely Named Stranger Calls!

    REMEMBER how some time ago I went on and on and on and on about some poor innocent soul, name of Jinky Singson, who evidently dialed a wrong number and ended up on my Caller ID; and I never deleted it, nay, I cherished seeing that most delightful name each and every time I obsessively reviewed who called me when I’d been out, even for a moment!, and was emotionally scarred for life (well, more so) when I dropped my phone and it broke and I had to get a new one and there was of course no way to transfer Caller ID numbers (I mean, why would there be?) to the new phone, so it was goodbye Jinky Singson? Remember all that?

    Well, if not, you can read all about it here. But I think that’s about the gist of it.

    Anyway, they say when one door closes, another opens. But I never believed it until I got home Thursday evening and looked to see who had called…

    Posted by on May 30, 2012, 12:28 AM.

  3. Wendy’s New Baked Sweet Potato – A Review!

    LONGTIME readers of this blog know that today on a whim I decided to head over to Wendy’s for lunch.

    Once there I decided to try one of their new “Signature Sides” – not because I wanted it, but because I knew you’ve been anxious to read my take on it.

    “Ted,” so many of you, what, six regulars have written, “Ted, have you had any of Wendy’s new ‘Signature Sides,’ and if so, tell us, what’s the verdict?”

    So I decided I’d give one of them a try, presuming as I do that you’ll reimburse me for the cost. (You will reimburse me for the cost, right?)

    The verdict is in! Wendy’s new Baked Sweet Potato Signature Side was…okay. But you’ll need more to go on than that. You’ll need to know all about these things, these “Signature Sides: Baked Sweet Potato Edition” and that’s what I’m here for.

    What happens is that instead of getting a regular side with your order (fries, or …well, no one ever orders anything but fries), you can instead opt for one of their three new “Signature Sides” – the baked sweet potato, the chili cheese fries, or the macaroni and cheese.  Now as these are premium items, you’re going to be asked to go ahead and pay a Signature Sides Surcharge, or SSS, which I think is a dollar. Note that this extra cost is over and above the price of your meal.

    I’m betting the Baked Sweet Potato will be the first item to be discontinued from their new “Signature Sides” line: The other two are less healthy and therefore will be more popular in this nation of fat-asses – so try it while you can, brother! Try it while you can!

    Now, I joke about no one ordering anything other than fries for their side dish – I joke.  Because yours truly – yes, me! – frequently opts for one of their standard, baked non-sweet potatoes. (Can you believe it?!)

    In fact, I’ve always been impressed that Wendy’s offers such an item. To me, (and now you), it sets them apart from other “quick serve meal-based hospitality destinations” (their term, not mine!), and I bet its inclusion on the menu has a lot to do with Wendy’s inventor Dave Thompson being adopted and raised by someone other than his birth parents. “Think Different” was not just a Wendy’s ad campaign – it was, and is, a company-wide philosophy. My favorite poster was the one with Mr. Rogers and King Friday.

    Back to the sweet potato: its consistency was somewhat mushier and slightly more fibrous than a starchy regular baked potato. Others who have eaten baked sweet potatoes before (I was a baked sweet potato virgin!) tell me this was no anomaly: As a rule, a baked sweet potato is mushier and more fibrous than a standard baked potato, which is starchier. I feel this may have much to do with the sweet potato being adopted and then raised by someone other than its birth farmers.

    The topping (No need to bring your own – they provide it!) is some sort of sweet cinnamon-flavored oleo and comes in a wad, or dollop in a little plastic cup. The people at the Wendy’s I went to put a personal touch on my oleo dollop, imprinting part of its surface area with what I take to be a thumbprint. Exquisite! I’m not sure if this is standard across the chain or if it’s just an example of the folks at my particular franchise location “going the extra mile.”

    Many of you are wondering aloud, and I can hear you, “What if I’m not interested in an entire meal? Ted, what if I just want the baked sweet potato? Will it be available to me, and if so, at what price?” To that I respond with a resounding “Probably.” And then add emphatically “I don’t know how much it would cost.”

    Ordering the new baked sweet potato is just as easy as you please!

    Here’s how I did it: I stated my requested meal as usual at the beginning of the ordering process.  Then, near the end, right after everything had been added up and I was about to write a check for the total, I told the cast member who was taking my order “And instead of the fries…? I’d like a baked potato.” Then she punched a series of buttons on her electronic console and gave me a total (which I filled out in the amount line of my check), then I mentioned “And instead of a baked potato, I’d like a baked sweet potato.”

    That’s how I learned it costs a little more!

    I figured by the time I’d gone out to my car and fished out enough change from the ashtray and felt underneath the seats to make up the difference, those in line behind me would have had a chance to chat and rediscover the lost art of conversation with his (or her!) neighbor  – but most importantly, my order would be ready.

    Sadly, this was not the case – the only conversation (if you can even call it that) which I did hear were the muttered words “asshole” and “ridiculous” (I can’t imagine what happened in there during my seven  minute absence to so annoy everyone), and I still had to wait another twenty-five seconds or so for them to give me my tray.

    Will I order it again? I’ll try it again, sure. I realize there’s often a learning curve with a new product launch (industry term), so I’m hopeful by the next time I order one of their Baked Sweet Potatoes, Wendy’s will have worked out all the kinks and it won’t be such a goddamn hassle.

    But if it is, maybe I’ll “think different” and drive across the street to Long John Silver’s instead!

    Posted by on May 29, 2012, 3:20 AM.

  4. A Message for Memorial Day!

    AS YOU KNOW, it’s been a longstanding annual tradition around the ol’ blog here to run over to the local Walmart and check out that year’s patriotic t-shirt. Hell, I’ve been doing this each and every year since I’ve had a blog!

    Walmart graciously offers a new “Faded Glory” t-shirt for us patriotic customers to buy from them each year starting around Memorial Day  – so that it’s good an’ broken in by the time Independence Day rolls around (which falls on July 4th this year).

    Here’s 2012’s offering:

    Gorgeous! Can we get a close-up on the design?

    Ah, makes your heart swell with pride, don’t it?

    Now last year, I pointed out that Walmart’s previous patriotical shirts had been manufactured in Pakistan and Nicaragua.

    I checked with our resident eight year-old “mapophile” Dylan (who you should know made it all the way to the classroom finals of Mrs. Silverstein’s Geography Bee, and very nearly had a place in the grade-wide competition where he would have competed against children in Mrs. Maroni’s class across the hall – if that little pain-in-the-ass know-it-all Brianna Wong had called in sick) and Dylan confirmed what I long suspected – Pakistan and Nicaragua are foreign countries and not part of the United States.

    Walmart was farming out their lucrative t-shirts-with-American-flags-on-them business to other, non-US countries!

    Like you, I was more than a little disappointed with this.

    But take heart! I think Walmart’s starting to get the message. No longer are we buying shirts that are stitched together by foreigners in such foreign places as Nicaragua or Pakistan, no sir!

    Well, at least it’s a little closer to America than its neighbor to the south, Pakistan.

    Posted by on May 28, 2012, 3:53 AM.

  5. Emails from Ted’s Pails! …Er, Pals!

    COUNTLESS of my, what, six readers have written to me during the many years I’ve had this blog, and all have posed the same question:  “Ted,” they all ask, “Why, Ted, you must get so many interesting emails from your readers; won’t you share them with the rest of us – especially since like an idiot you refuse to enable comments on this blog of yours.”

    Up to this point I’ve avoided covering Listener Mail for one reason only: It would mean I’d have to commit to a name for this feature and I was torn between “I Shaved My Mail Bag for This?!” and “Parsnipsnal Corresparsnips” both of which you’ll agree are Bennett Cerf-level genius. They’re so good, in fact, that I’ve decided to save them for some future project, and they’re both protected by basic copyright law merely by virtue of me coming up with them and so noting it here, if I understand basic copyright law correctly and ignore what my attorney tells me completely.

    So, to review:  I made them up, they’re mine, and by law you cannot steal them and use them for your own. You’ve been warned; govern yourself accordingly.

    “To Ted It May Concern” is of course just as good as the other two and it’s a little more accessible to my readers in Serbia (Two visitors as of May 23, 10:28 p.m.! Or one visitor, twice.) who might not get the clever wordplay of the other possible names.

    Anyway, on to the letters!

    A pal from Sacramento writes,

    I enjoyed your recent post about the decorative bottles of vinegar so much, I ran to the kitchen to take a picture of my mother’s own collection she keeps atop the stove to share with you. But alas! They are gone. Did someone donate the bottles to the thrift stores in your area? I guess we’ll never know.

    Yes, we’ll never know indeed!  The vinegar / olive oil bottles piece got more mail than any piece we’ve run so far – two emails!  Read on!

    A pal from New York City writes,

    …My mom still has those gross disintegrating oil and vinegar bottles on her shelf, along with bath products from twenty years ago!  Gotta love old pack rats. Where would our thrift stores be without them?

    Where would they be indeed! Pack rats are thrift stores’ best customers and their best suppliers (especially once the health department steps in and you get one of those Three Day Notice to Comply things taped to your door – and who doesn’t remember their first one?).

    A pal named Canada writes,

    Regarding Nancy Walker… did you ever notice the she and Dr. Zira from Planet of the Apes have the exact same hairstyle?

    They have the exact same hairstyle indeed!

    And as though to drive home the point, said email-writer posted pictures side-by-side of Dr. Zira and Nancy Walker on his blog, and brother, he ain’t kiddin’ – they have the exact same hairstyle!

    Actually, you should visit Bob Canada’s BlogWorld regularly because it’s got pictures taken in Target, like my blog does, but I don’t want any of you going there and then saying, “Screw Ted Parsnips and his lame website – this blog is better plus the guy can draw!”

    So while I’m enabling the link now, you’re all on your honor not to click on it until you each submit a signed affidavit promising  that you’ll come back here when you’re done. There’s going to be a head count at the end of the post, and God help any of you, what, six regulars who aren’t here. God help you, that’s all I’ll say.

    A pal from Dallas writes in regards to my second-to-none coverage of local dollar stores,

    “I was just telling my wife, Audrey Mae, ‘why pay more for electrical doodads just because they may be UL approved.’

    And then later,

    “My wife Dorothea and I are looking forward to more reviews of good wholesome calories from the cheap eats stores.”

    Hm. Hmm. I thought maybe I was being mocked, so I had my better half Caroline take a look at the email but she just said I was being paranoid.

    Finally, a pal from Somewhere On The Internet writes,

    “I, too, noticed that there was no corresponding asterisk in the directions on the back of the box.”

    This was, of course, in reference to those Duncan Hines brownies I alerted readers to some months ago.  Said pal called Duncan Hines and not only got an answer to the whole missing asterisk problem, he (or she?) passed along the information to me.

    What were the chances that someone else would have noticed the missing asterisk, contacted the company about it, later read my take on it and then email me?!

    Forget that time last year when my long-lost twin brother Bronislav-Vibol (who was adopted shortly after his birth to Boupha Pok, widely regarded as the Cambodian Angelina Jolie) contacted me purely by chance via Nigerian scam at an internet fermented fish paste café –  this Duncan Hines Missing Asterisk Email  is the most amazing thing I have ever and will have ever received in my inbox.

    But I want to thank you all for writing in.

    Every one of Ted’s pals whose email I read in this edition of Ted’s Mailbox or whatever the hell I’m calling it gets their very own Goodie Bag filled with… …A bagel necklace with your name on it! Dynamite magazine! Nannnndy Cannnndy! A pack of Fruit Stripe gum! A 45 of “Boogie Fever” by today’s guests The Sylvers! A package of Lender’s Bagelettes!  …And an Oral-B toothbrush!

    I’m just kidding – you get nothing.  The honor of having your email edited down to nothing and posted here is thanks enough. Plus, we both know that I’m writing to no one at this point – I lost most of you by the second email, and the rest of you never came back from Bob’s blog.

    Posted by on May 25, 2012, 5:02 AM.

  6. Are These Sardines For Real?

    Or were they shooting a movie in my local grocery store?

    Posted by on May 24, 2012, 2:50 PM.

  7. I Just Threw Up On My Lawn A Little

     FOR the inaugural installment of Get Off My Lawn, as you readers who wrote in voted to name this feature where I complain about things that because of my advanced age I don’t understand (Surprisingly, the rather abstract “It’s 2012; why do you even have a blog?” came in second!), I decided to focus on three phrases that irritate the hell out of me.

    I was pretty sure that I remembered hearing “I just threw up in my mouth a little”  in the movie “Clueless.” So in an effort to make sure I was accurate I looked it up online and not only did I not find out whether it’s from “Clueless,” I also learned that Gawker has also covered this phenomenon.

    Gawker’s complaint, however, is the use of these sort of phrases on blogs – while I’m annoyed by them wherever I happen upon them. Sure – I do see them on the internet, but I hear them more often than I read them.

    I’m aware that “I see what you did there” is a well-known internet meme, but that’s not the phrase that troubles me. Switch the pronouns around and pose it as a question – “You see what I did there?” and it serves roughly the same sarcastic purpose but becomes an admission of an obvious joke by the person who just made it (rather than a condescending comment on someone else’s bad joke).

    I’m sure this variation exists on the internet. But me, I hear it out there in the real world, brother – in radio spots for car dealerships, on TV by that jackass announcer on NBC who tells me to stay tuned for sixteen seconds of additional “Whitney” hilarity after they flash its production logo, from the bingo caller at Kon-Kow-Wa Vista Casino where I bring Nana on Tuesday afternoons. (It’s always, always after he makes the same crude joke when he calls “0-69.” And then it’s up to me to explain it to my grandmother and the other ladies at the table, half of whom are hard of hearing.)

    The most overused and therefore worst of the three is, of course – and I refuse to use it here (meta-)ironically – “wait for it.” (I’m disgusted enough at myself for using the prefix “meta.”) Over at Gawker, they’re as puzzled as the rest of us regarding its origins or what the hell it actually means other than being “a ridiculous tease and artificial tension builder that’s never worth the wait” – which is saying volumes because the “wait” is merely the length of time it  takes the speaker to say the words “wait for it.”

    This bit of drollery makes even less sense when you come across it on a page. Yet this is the one I hear the most – on radio, TV, in person by people who need to be kicked in the head – as though it’s somehow original or clever.

    Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of these ridiculous phrases and their usage – and yet it’s all quite apt – is that even my complaining about them shows how out of step I am with the rest of the world: That Gawker post was written in 2006.

    Posted by on May 23, 2012, 3:50 AM.

  8. What Is And What Was Bueno At The 99¢ Only Store! And Dollar Tree!

    AS my blogging mentor, or blogntor, Sylvia Haynes Darden often says “A good blogger is a frequent and timely blogger.”  Well, she didn’t so much say that as write it on her blog in May of 2007. And the reference is easy to find; it’s her most recent entry – the one that’s mostly about the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    So it got me thinking:  I find a lot of What’s Bueno at the 99¢ Only Store and What’s Bueno at Dollar Tree items, but due to my busy schedule and my heavy drinking, it seems I never get around to posting most of them!  And then when I realize I’ve pissed away all this potential blog content, or blogntent, because these items are no longer available I get depressed and I end up drinking more.

    So you know what we’re going to do, you and I? We’re going to jam through a whole mess of these things and finally get them the hell off my computer and into your hearts! Despite the fact that a number of these items are no longer be available!

    …And then we are going to get shit-faced drunk! What happens after that depends entirely on you, but I’m always open to new experiences!

    First up!

    Pearson’s King Size Mint Patties
    Bought at: Dollar Tree
    Availability: Haven’t seen ‘em in months and the last time I did, they was only one left, in a box with a bunch of other miscellaneous candy on the bottom shelf. And it was all smooshed.

    Why they were bueno: You won’t find anything in the way of bargains for regular sized, name brand candy bars at Dollar Tree – those are all priced at 79¢ each now. Pearson’s King Size Mint Patties, while not a big name brand, were also 79¢ – but you got two big patties while those others only gave you one for more money. I’m looking at you, York Peppermint Patty. The taste? Fine! How can you screw up a peppermint patty? These were great and I miss them. What I’d do is I’d have one, and then save the other for later, i.e., after I finished chewing and swallowing the first one.

    New York Pretzel
    Bought at: Dollar Tree
    Availability: Only saw these for about two weeks back in November

    Why they were bueno: As the box says, you’re getting 60% more frozen pretzel than the other leading frozen pretzel. These babies were nice an’ big. I suspect they might have ended up at Dollar Tree because every single box was open, and it looks like this was the result of poor package design or a lack of glue rather than someone opening them. (The pretzels inside were safely sealed in a bag.)  The New York Pretzel website indicates that they do a lot of wholesale / food service industry business, so maybe these pretzels were an unsuccessful attempt to break into the retail frozen pretzel business. A shame, too, they were good.

    Interestingly, Dollar Tree still offers their retail competitor, Bakers Best. And there’s nothing wrong with a box of those frozen pretzels for a buck; they, too are bueno.  It’s just that New York Pretzel was significantly bueno-er.

    Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
    Bought at: The 99¢ Only Store
    Availability: Last saw the second week of December
    Why they were bueno: The 99¢ Only Store offers a lot of Quaker granola bar-type stuff. (You might remember my little love affair with Smash Bar…?) With these, you’re not getting the usual eight granola bars, no – you’re getting two extra bars, still for 99¢ only. And perhaps some of you might appreciate the, eugh, “green” aspect of the packaging: No big cardboard box for these to rattle around in. They’re just cleverly bound together by a perforated adhesive sticker and you just tear them off as you eat them at home – or if you’re like most of the thieving shoppers in my neighborhood – in the store without paying for them.

    Personally, for someone like myself who takes great pride in generating enormous amounts of trash each day (My neighbor and I are having a contest!) and can’t be bothered to recycle or try to minimize my household waste footprint, I’d prefer they go back to the box. Still, the plastic each individual bar is wrapped in will no doubt add to that enormous floating pile of garbage in the Pacific, so at least that’s something. Even without the cardboard boxes, I presume they’re still cutting down plenty of  trees. Where else are they getting the sawdust and wood chips these granola bars are made from?

    I’m kidding! I’m kidding, of course, as my attorney insists. They really are delicious!

    Dairy Fresh Dessert Topping
    Bought at: The 99¢ Only Store and Dollar Tree!
    Availability: Still available at both chains
    Why it’s bueno:  You go into a regular grocery store and try buying a can of aerosol whipped topping for a buck. Go ahead, try. You’ll be arrested is what! Sure, your precious $2.99-a-can “Reddi Wip” may crow about containing “no hydrogenated oils” but for God’s sake, you’re having pie, who the hell cares? Live a little!

    Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a partner who’s as active and creative in the bedroom as my Reymundo is, you’d go broke buying name brand aerosol whipped topping. (Now if you’ll excuse me, he and I need to get to this tub of Chubby Hubby before it melts all over our new Wythe blue Egyptian cotton sheets – 1,200 thread count, baby!)

    Chunky Chips Ahoy!
    Bought at: The 99¢ Only Store
    Availability: They were around for about a week or so back in February. Long gone now, pal! Long gone!
    Why it was bueno: If someone needs to tell you why getting a full-size package of Chunky Chips Ahoy! for ninety-nine cents only is bueno, then get the hell off my blog right now! No, no, wait, don’t go! I was kidding! God almighty, with, what?, six regulars coming here, I can’t afford to turn anyone away, even the stupid readers!

    Anyway, these Chunky Chips Ahoy! cookies, like other Nabisco products I’ve seen at 99¢ Only, are nearing the end of their shelf-life as stamped on the package, but hell, they weren’t actually expired and they were just as delicious as the day they were baked – presumably by pirates who like unnecessary punctuation as much as I enjoy italicizing.

    V8 Splash Tropical Blend
    Bought at: The 99¢ Only Store
    Availability: Around for about a month circa March
    Why it was bueno: This stuff was really delicious. Add vodka, and it’s good for you, too!

    I mentioned the availability of V8 Splash Tropical Blend to two different pals and I heard the same exact thing from both of them, “Jesus Christ! V8 mixed with fruit juice?! It sounds disgusting! No wonder it’s at the 99¢ Only store! Why the hell do you shop there?!” No you morons! It’s not regular V8 juice, it’s just carrot juice, which you can’t even taste (thank God) and then a bunch of tropical stuff on top of that.

    And it seems it ended up at the 99¢ Only Store not because it bombed but because these were 32-ounce bottles which have since been discontinued. They do sell this flavor in 64-ounce jugs at your local grocer, but I’m betting you’ll pay a hell of a lot more than two bucks, which is what two of these would have run you. It matters not, however – these babies are all gone!

    Ah, that I had purchased an entire pallet of this nectar of the gods (once you add the booze, anyway) when I had the chance. Seriously, this stuff was so good, there’s even been reports of me drinking it without first properly diluting it 50% with Schmirnoff.

    Country Crock Pumpkin Spice Vegetable Oil Spread
    Bought at: The 99¢ Only Store
    Availability: Still around, but as you can see above, the supply is dwindling.
    Why it’s bueno: Like you, I love pumpkin pie, and this stuff tastes like if a homemade pumpkin pie and a stick of butter had a baby together – it’s that good. A seasonal product that was in regular supermarkets from Thanksgiving to Christmas, countless thousands of the unsold little tubs of Country Crock then made their way to 99¢ Only after the holidays. Some had already hit the dollar chain by the end of December, so I was able to work my magic in the kitchen and bring the resulting creation to a party we went to on New Year’s Eve.

    Ted’s Country Crock Pumpkin Spice Pie
    Serves four.
    1 – 8-inch refrigerated pie crust (available at the 99¢ Only store)
    5 – 6-oz. tubs of Shedd’s Spread Country Crock Pumpkin Spice Vegetable Oil Spread
    4 – 7-ounce cans of Dairy Fresh Whipped Topping (available at the 99¢ Only store)

    1. Allow Country Crock to soften at room temperature
    2. Using a spatula, slather contents of five margarine tubs into the pie crust, into a sort of mound
    3. Refrigerate for at least two hours
    4. Slice into fourths, and serve with a full can Dairy Fresh Whipped Topping alongside each slice

    We brought enough pies for all the other guests and just about everyone was surprised when I told them, at the exact moment everyone had a great big mouthful, that this wasn’t regular pumpkin pie filling (though it could pass for it in color and texture), but rather flavored margarine. Finally, a New Year’s Eve party when I’m not the only one vomiting!

    Topsy Turvy Planters
    Bought at: The 99¢ Only Store and Dollar Tree
    Availability: As of this writing, you can’t enter either chain without tripping over a display of them.
    Why they’re bueno: They were selling these for anywhere from $8 to $18 (or more if you bought them off the informercial – like an idiot) just a year or so ago. So at just a dollar, you’re saving all kinds of money on these now!  They were even slightly higher than a buck at Big Lots just a few months ago! Sure, these are nothing you would buy otherwise, but that’s besides the point. I bought one each, like an idiot, of the Hummingbird Hangout planter and the Hot Pepper planter (not shown). With any luck, you just might read all about my luck with them in an upcoming post. And that luck refers more to me having any of you actually visiting this blog again than you having an opportunity to read about it.

    SuperPretzel Poppers
    Bought at: The 99¢ Only Store
    Availability: I think they’re still around. They’re in the frozen section.
    Why it’s bueno: These things microwave up in mere seconds –  thirty-five, to be exact – but then comes the agonizing two-minute wait for them to cool. The only kind they had were these sort of “sweet cream cheese”-filled ones with “graham cracker topping.”  So they did not resemble pretzels at all in form nor flavor.  In fact, after heating them…

    …some of their cheese oozed out and they reminded me almost of little steamer clams with their siphon muscle extended, and just the sight of these brought me back to my youth when as a boy I’d harvest clams by the hundreds in the tidal mudflats at Tod’s Point in Greenwich (near the nude section of the beach). Once I’d filled my little red Radio Flyer wagon I’d sell them by the sand pail-full for a quarter on the side of the Post Road across from Caldors. Of course the price went down as the sun got hotter and they (and I) began stinking.

    Where was I?

    Ah, yes – they may look sort of like rounded steamer clams, or not, I guess, but that’s where the similarities end. Because these things were delicious. If steamer clams tasted as sweet as these SuperPretzel Poppers, I’d have eaten them all myself and not sold a one. And then where would we be?  Those steamer clams paid my way through blogging school.

    And finally…

    Marani Vodka
    Bought at: The 99¢ Only Store
    Availability: Saw ’em a month ago at only one location – Washington Blvd in West Los Angeles, and I haven’t been back there since. Knowing of this location’s proximity to Venice and Santa Monica – the twin homeless capitals of the world – I bet the supply was quickly exhausted; each bottle having been sucked dry under the Santa Monica Pier by one of the colorful (and pungent) “locals”  who then stumbled over to the Hot Dog On A Stick stand by the beach volleyball courts to ogle the girls making lemonade. Hell, I know I would. (Don’t tell Reymundo.)
    Why it was bueno: It’s just a wee little bottle of vodka – Armenian vodka – but if there’s one thing those Armenians know, it’s how to grow more body hair than us Slovaks and chain smoke cigarettes while doing it. Oh, and make vodka, presumably.

    Or do they? The bottle actually listed powdered skim milk as an ingredient. Regardless, these are your little airline cocktail-size bottles – just a coupla ounces. But who can say no for a buck? Plus that’s real cork in the stopper. Hell, if my people were responsible for a vodka packaged in a classy frosted glass bottle with real cork in the stopper, I guess I’d be pushy and rude, too. I’m kidding, I’m kidding; I love all people – especially a people who can make a vodka as delicious as this.

    Anyway, we did it, you and I!  We got through a whole bunch of these things; now you know what is bueno and what was bueno at both the 99¢ Only Store and Dollar Tree, and most importantly, I’m able to finally get all these stupid photos off my desktop.

    And as promised, to celebrate, we’ll pop open a couple dozen mini bottles of Marani and see where the night takes us. But first I’m going to disable the camera function on our phones. Just in case.

    Posted by on May 21, 2012, 5:03 AM.

  9. Awed By Nature’s Beauty!

    EVER SINCE I CAN REMEMBER, I’ve always been fascinated with patterns in nature – the delicate, symmetrical lacework of a fleeting snowflake, the infinite spirals of a nautilus shell, the so-called “golden ratio” describing the precise arrangement of the seeds in the head of a beautiful sunflower tilted proudly heavenward at its namesake.

    So imagine my thrill when I opened a little plastic canister I was using to store some of those cheap wafer cookies that odd-smelling ethnic grocery stores all seem to dedicate entire aisles to – and saw this:

    Breathtaking.  Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

    One look at that and I don’t think anyone can deny that there’s a higher power at work here, on earth, in our universe – some grand architect responsible for all the beauty we find in such things – call him what you will – God, Jehovah, Allah, Gazoo, Oprah.

    It’s like I’m gazing upon an M.C. Escher sketch come to life: Each “dulce de leche” (caramel, apparently, in Farsi) creme-filled wafer-stick has been placed just so by an unseen, unearthly hand, in a perfectly circumscribed composition that the greatest mortal draftsman or confectioner would be unable to duplicate in a thousand thousand millennia. Each of the eleven identical bars is precisely equidistant from its neighbors, forming a Fibonacci sequence by the resulting series of angles when divided by the layers of creme.

    Anyway, I already sent it in to National Geographic so don’t bother trying to steal  it and take credit for it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by on May 11, 2012, 2:22 AM.

  10. ¡Es Más Cheaper Que Viagra!

    Posted by on May 10, 2012, 2:18 AM.

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