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Archive for the ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ Category

(Barista Action Figure) (Photo Credit)

I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the whole entire world.  I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and there are approximately 2,359,321 reasons that the Pacific Northwest kicks ass.  We have amazing terrain (mountains and rivers and islands, oh my!); amazing artists of all types; amazing food; and amazing coffee.  In Seattle or Portland (and countless cities and towns in between), it would be impossible to walk more than a few blocks in any direction without coming across a fabulous independent coffee shop.  Hipsters, hip-to-hip in funky boots and cool glasses, sip Americanos and Morning Glory chais whilst discussing politics or music or venereal warts (true story); the walls are lined with the awe-inspiring works of local artists; and the baristas are unique, well-trained and sometimes surly.  Getting a latte at one of these joints is an experience, and generally a good one at that.  But I have a confession: I have been carrying on a 20-year love affair with that place that serves their coffee in the white and green cups.  I love it.  When I see the green awning, my heart skips a beat¹ and my soul sings a happy tune.  Sure, they are suffering from a severe case of market over-saturation and their baked goods leave something to be desired² but they’re predictable and this little Virgo heart of mine can appreciate that.  In a world gone mad, I’ll always have that white and green cup.

So, you can keep your tattooed, misanthropic baristas and leave me to enjoy my venti-soy-2-pump-pumpkin-spice-no-whip latte in peace, served up fast and with a smile.³  And I won’t apologize about it.

Alright, I’m kind of sorry, but not enough to change my ways.  Starbucks, I just can’t quit you.

¹ This may or may not be my heart murmur, pleading with me to pass up the caffeine fix just. this. once.

² I’ve told Panera Bread and I will tell you: If it ain’t boiled, it ain’t a bagel.

³ Never you mind the fact that the smile is masking untold bitterness over having to remove that nose ring, cover up those tattoos with long sleeves and pretend to give two shits about how my day is going.  A smile is a smile is a smile and I’ll take it.

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I would like to announce, right here on my little blog, that I am hereby instituting a trade embargo against Trader Joe’s. In effect, I will no longer be trading my money for their increasingly questionable goods. The trouble began last year (although I have a hazy memory of some moldy 7-layer dip in or around 2001) when I bit into a Trader Joe’s bran muffin and found myself receiving an unwanted flossing with a previously unknown hair. I am not saying that the hair was necessarily of pubic origin but I am saying that the hair was shorter and curlier than I am accustomed to seeing atop any head that doesn’t belong to Tom Jones. Because I like to make the same mistake repeatedly, I returned to the scene of the crime last month after finding that the price of frozen, organic fruit at Whole Foods is nearly double that of Trader Joe’s fruit. While in the frozen foods aisle, I also picked up a few individual servings of mac and cheese. Because who doesn’t love mac and cheese?  Nobody! Oh, wait…  I no longer do, since biting into yet another unwanted hair courtesy of Joe and his hairy traders. Thankfully (?!) this one was quite long. When I told my brother this story, he countered with his own hairy escapade from the TJ’s frozen foods aisle. He found a hair in a frozen, chocolate-covered banana. Gross. Really, really gross. True, Trader Joe’s may have great prices but I think that I’ve uncovered their secret to keeping prices so low. I feel it’s highly likely that their Monrovia production lines are staffed by naked, underage slave-apes who are suffering from alopecia. In fact, I’d like to challenge you to prove otherwise.

I have other complaints against Trader Joe’s but I won’t list them all here. Well, maybe just a few:

1.  I feel that they certainly must add extra sulfites and nitrates to their wines. Nothing else could explain the ensuing hangovers.

2.  Must they sell their bananas individually? Is it that hard to weigh a bunch of bananas?  Maybe they could get their Alopecia Apes to help out.

3.  Why the hell are so many of their products made on equipment that also processes tree nuts, soy, eggs, dairy, fish and shellfish?! I mean, really? I want my hummus to be processed on equipment that processes hummus. And maybe tabouli and baba ganoush.  But that’s it.

4.  The shirts that they force their staff to wear remind me of Nick Nolte’s mug shot photo.  This is definitely not a plus.

So, did I return to Trader Joe’s for my $2.99 refund? Of course. I told the whole, awful story to the cashier (frozen banana and all). His reply? “That’s disgusting.” You can say that again, Middle-Aged Man Wearing Board Shorts and a Hawaiian Shirt.

“Hair” is curiously absent from this list of ingredients.

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Just in case you were wondering…

Stella Marrs

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This afternoon while making stew
I came across a carrot who
Unequivocally and without a doubt
Decided to let it all hang out.

The lady carrots coast to coast
Seem to like this one the most.

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Bite Me

Over the weekend I made the purchase of 2 muffin tins and I am officially obsessed.  So far I have made Oatmeal-Cranberry muffins, Bran-Blueberry-Cran muffins and Brownie Cupcakes with peanut butter and caramel milk chocolate inside.  Today?  I’m tackling Pumpkin Raisin muffins (I subbed some WW flour and wheat bran and added raisins and used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.  I also ditched the oil).  My justification for this obsession is that by making the small portions, I can eat just one and it will be a healthy and delicious, not to mention economical (oops, I just mentioned it…), snack or small meal.  The problem I’m running into?  Eating several of them seems to cancel out all of these best laid plans…  Whatever.  Those brownies were divine!

Muffin ManNo, I have no idea who this person is.

IMG_8647Update:  The Pumpkin muffins turned out delightful, if I do say so myself…

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John Wayne Bobbitt

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Mr. PeanutMy daughter is starting preschool on Tuesday and there are lots and lots of forms to fill out, lists to read and agreements to sign and date.  Most of them seem to pertain to peanut allergies and my rights and responsibilities in regards to them.  While I, like any good and decent American, am vehemently opposed to school segregation in general I am starting to wonder if these peanut allergy kids might not enjoy their own little peanut-free schools.  Because what in holy hell am I gonna put in that lunch box on Tuesday?  Preschool without peanut butter and jelly?!  I don’t know about this…

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