Sunday, February 26, 2006

there aren't many things that make you feel this much better about the world:

Friday, February 17, 2006

Holy Starbucks, Trinidad Safeway!

It's been a while since I've visited my neighborhood safeway. I mean, let's face it, calling it the unsafeway might be reaching for that proverbial low-hanging fruit, but as my friend Aziz says, sometimes the low-hanging fruit can be very tasty.

Guess what else is tasty: The newly renovated safeway.

You see, normally I make the trek up to the Giant on Rhode Island Avenue. It's conveniently situated near the Post Office and Home Depot, making it easy to achieve a trifecta of errands in a fraction of the time. But time was slipping away from me yesterday and I was on a mission to make my friend a Bundt Cake for his birthday. (The Bundt Cake was very tasty. Here is a picture of it unfrosted, which looks a bit nude and oddly pervy). I served it with powdered sugar and a fruit medley of blueberries, strawberries and mangos. All of which I got at the newly remodeled safeway, which brings me back to my point.

The new safeway is tricked out with all sorts of gourmet trappings. Not only does it feature a starbucks inside, it also features grocery carts with special coffee holders built-in. God, have I ever arrived! This safeway says "luxury, baby," and all at a fraction of the cost of Whole Foods.

I do wonder what this palace of gentrification will do to the community. It was a bit disconcerting to see some of the low-income shoppers navigating the shiny gourmet displays, and I have to expect that many of the products offered by the renovated safeway would bang the budgets of its previous shoppers. (Damn you, Tantalus!) On the upside, however, employees I spoke with at the store said the improvements translated to a better work environment and one nice woman behind the deli counter said Safeway had hired upwards of 100 new employees.

The one concern I have? The Starbucks better not eff with the business at R&B Coffee. I know I will continue to visit with Alfonso, Kenya and company over at R&B when I'm not going shopping. But the addition of the starbucks and other niceties at Safeway definitely caught my attention.

Step it up, Giant!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This li'l baby actually works!

I keep buying espresso machines to feed my filthy latte habit, and most of the products I've brought home have been real stinkers. So when I saw that crate and barrel had this gem. Could a stovetop drip machine possibly create the barrista style espresso delights a demanding caffeine connoisseur like me desires?

Answer: Yes.

This espresso maker is perfect and I love it.

the mystery of tuan dat

So my boss went to Viet Nam and brought me back this Vietnamese candy called Tuan Dat (Cashew Nut Candy). I hate nuts and I don't eat candy but I am so busy that I didn't take time for lunch today so I keep shoving these things in my cake hole cuz I'm starving to death.

So here is a better description of "Tuan Dat:"

Picture an oreo. Now take away the chocolate cookie outside and replace it with a communion wafer and/or the substance used to make those UFO candies we used to eat (and play communiion with as kids) as kids. Or maybe it's a hybrid of that and siding - you know - from a house.

Are you still with me? Remember that this stuff is the outside - the cookie part of the oreo, if you will.

Now. Take this (questionably) edible alloy and on top of one side spread a mixture of pecans, sesame seeds (hey don't ask me i didn't come up with the idea i'm just eating it) and um, I don't know exactly what else this is, crushed glass?

Wait, I have to eat another one just to be sure.

Yep, definitely glass. Or else maybe Amber. You know how those fossilized insects get trapped in Amber? Like mosquitos? And out of those mosquitos you can extract DNA and make dinosaurs for Jurassic Parks? Yeah, it's kind of like that. And guess what else? There are definitely unidentified black blotches in the glassy / ambery substance that are no doubt insects of some sort.

Hold on, my mouth is bleeding.

Okay i'm back. So did I mention pecans? I hate nuts, but truth be told, these pecans are really the best thing about this whole enterprise. And further, I have to tell you, if I'm a pecan, I know what I'd be screaming:

Why the eff would someone do this to me? Who says, let's take some pecans, suspend them in glass, then smash it between two pieces of communion host and also, involve sesame seeds and (alleged) insects.

But I'm hungry as hell so I'm eating it. So I've got that going for me.....which is nice

UPS and me, mano y mano, and I think I won

I caught the little bastard red-handed today, in case anyone wants to know. I had two days of "missed you slip" anger building up so I let him have it when I saw him sneaking up to my door with his little slip ALREADY MADE OUT to announce that I had missed his third due-dilligence attempt to deliver my goods and services. Due dilligence my ass!

I'll tell you, I really felt I was channeling the spirit of good-naturedness as I called this delivery man out on his deceptive little "missed you!" slips.

"Hey, you weren't even going to knock!" I cried as I tore open the door and assaulted this man with my insane person hairdo. It is important to note I had not yet showered, not wanting to miss his knock for the third day in a row!

"I've been waiting here for four days!" I exaggerated at his back as the broken man tried to escape to his truck. He didnt say much, except a few futile attempts to convince us both that he had rung the bell.

I mean, whatever. No he didn't! And I let him know by signing for the package EXTRA HARD. If I would have been signing with a pencil it would have been broken and boy that would have showed him not to mess with me! Yeah, he was "just about to knock" when I opened the door but we both know that isn't true. That's why when he said happy holidays I said it back but VERY QUIETLY.

I also sighed a lot.

No sense calling to complain about the guy (I would feel terrible if I got somebody fired) but I think you'll all agree that I showed him what's what in the kind of passive aggressive way that is absolutely impossible to argue with.

That's right, I'm all up in your face, Mr. UPS Man, all sighing and shit. What now!?

it is an OSHA-violating 57 degrees in my office

This angry little charmer hails from the summer archives of my previous blog

It's so cold in my office. Sooooo......cold.......I'm getting sleepy. Seriously, I already disabled the A/C vent in my office with a hammer and I keep my door closed to close out the chill from the vents outside my office (I'd have at them too only I'm concerned about security cameras).

I know, I know, it's sweltering outside. But this just makes the situation that much worse. Becuase, given the marvels of modern air conditioning, it is now in fact at sub zero temperatures in my office. Even when I have my TWO SPACE HEATERS running at full tilt under the desk. (These are contraband. I don't care.)

And since it is this cold, I have to dress for the weather! This means I can't wear skirts, or summer weight materials, or leave my legs uncovered. So when I do venture outside, I sweat profusely either from wearing or dragging around multiple layers of warm clothing, and then have to come back inside where the sweat instantly freezes into ice for a personal cold shower inside my pants.

The poor soul who sits in a cubicle (and is therefore even more vulnerable to the gale force winds issuing forth from the A/C unit than me, with at least my office walls for protection) is wearing GLOVES right now. I tried to explain to her about the hammer and A/C but she knows about the security cameras too and apparently likes her job more than I do.

God damn it office services! When I call you and complain of the painfully freezing temperatures in here, stop reminding me of how hot it is OUTSIDE! What you don't seem to understand is that while it may be sweltering outside it happens to be very fucking cold where I have to work! Recently, they've grown sick of my complaining so they just tell me that they will adjust the temprature but they are full of shit. Or else they say "If we raise the temperature for you, we will get complaints from the other people in your area." WHAT? From whom? From the girl wearing mittens in July? From the dude with chattering teeth who is wearing a WINTER COAT?!

I'm shivering and just told my boss that, in addition to the space heaters, I am going to expense a blanket! I brought in a thermometer and it registered that it is in 57 in here. 50 fucking 7! That is TOO COLD! I'm going to get sick! Imagine if I didn't pulverize the A/C vent?

Maybe a little less with the "popcorn Wednesdays" and a little more with the "reasonable temperatures," corporate. Damn!

A product that craps out this quickly has no redeeming qualities

A few nights ago, my $150.00 DVD player refused to play and is (of course) beyond warranty. It kept giving me this error message H07, which the manual told me means "trouble likely to have occcured - reset system." So I did, to no avail. Now, I realize that DVD players are cheap these days, but I wanted to watch a movie, not drive into Northern Virginia traffic hell, hope to make it before Best Buy closed its doors, lay down some bucks on an unresearched product (not that research served me particularly well the last time) and then come back and watch my movie. I mean, damn, the popcorn will be stale!

So yesterday morning, after 1 1/2 hours on hold with panasonic, I happened to enter the error code into google and found at least 100 sites featuring people condemning the product.I decided to write one of my own.

Subject: Panasonic DVD-RV32K

Summary: Junk product from a junk company

Pros: None. A product that craps out this quickly has no redeeming features.

Cons: Like virtually everyone else who has owned this product for at least one week, I got the "H07" message. I'm suprised the crackhead engineers at Panasonic didn't just program the code to read "F.U." because after you talk to their customer service department, you'll know that's what they mean!!!


in case you missed the S.O.T.U. (I've prepared a transcript)

Hi, America, how are you? Now, I'm very honored tonight, because I've got some honor to spread, to you, America, one awkward little soundbite at a time. Oh, yeah, and Hi Congress too I GUESS. Just kidding. Hi congress. Love you. Good times.


1. First of all. Stop telling me what to do! If I want to torture terrorists (or tourists, as I prounounce it, and actually, I've been thinking about expanding my torture network anyway), I will. So shove it McCain or I'll send you right back to the tiger cages. I'm also going to wiretap your ass.

2. Smirk, smirk.

3. America is Super Double Number One! Forever!

4. Employment! During my Administration! Walmart! Jobs.

5. Yeah, yeah, you got me, haw haw. I screwed us royally and lied to all you gullible bastards regarding the War in Iraq. But let's all put that behind us because now we REALLY are fucked! Considering all my costly mistakes and grave errors, there's no possible way to pull out without starting WWIII. Ha ha! I mean, this is a grave situation. Just ask those three people there. They lost a son. Well two of them, the kinda hot lady there is newly single. wink wink. The dead guy, this brave soldier, he wrote a letter. A letter of honor. Like something out of braveheart. His parents and widow are here just one month after his death to stand up for America. (reads letter) See America, he died in Iraq so they wouldn't have to die in Iraq. So you wouldn't have to die. In America. Ever. I like corndogs. Nobody dies in America! Could you guys, I mean, could the family of the fallen soldier please stand up tonight? Yeah, standing up for America. For me. Wink wink. (camera reverses focus to grief-stricken, exploited family. Camera returns to Prez, enjoying applause). Thank you. No, really. Thank you. Thank you. Wink, wink!

[Editors note: Did the winking strike anyone else as horrifying, considering these poor exploited people were standing there fighting tears and truly believing they were honoring their departed loved one by letting this dick stand there and wink and make no effort to seem sincere while they fight back tears? I mean, crap on a stick what an asshole!! I want to hit him with a shovel.]

6. Isolationists, beware. We could be best friends with a dictator in Iran that merely suppresses his people in a way that doesn't deprive us of oil! Might as well face it we're addicted to oil. Technology for fuel efficient cars is the answer! But I'll refuse to sign any legislation with any teeth! And you, Europe! That's enough out of you. You better shut up I mean it! Remember when we had to save your asses from the Romans? (aide whispers in ear) I mean the Nazis and the Commies? We asked for nothing in return. (aide passes folded note) uh - that is to say, asked for nothng except your eternally grateful subterfuge. Subservience! I meant subservience. I always get those mixed up. Did I pronounced that right? What I mean to say is, did our brave soldiers die so you could disagree with us? (camera reverses shot to family of fallen soldier, standing and holding one another and clapping confusedly).

7. I love Laura. Doessn't she look pretty, Congress? Blue. And Black people. I love them both! America's economy could NOT survive without immigrants and blacks! I also like blacks in Africa enough to pretend I'm going to give them some money for their AIDS problem. (the frisky fornicating bastards). That reminds me of a joke I heard one time...these two Africans walked into a bar - oh, right. Sorry. What was I saying....?

8. Yay America!

9. Hi Alito! There he is. Hi, Sammy boy! No more activist judges, right? wink wink. But hey, just one thing, feel free to strike down pesky Congressional laws that seek to mitigate my uncontrolled expansion of executive power. I'm the President! I can do whatever I want despite the opposition of Congress and the lower courts. That's not judicial overrreach, that's how we do it in America. (smirks)

[Editors note: Does the prospect of a presidency unrestrained by the courts or congress worry strike anyone else as imperialism?!!??]

10. Hey guys, do me a favor - make my tax cuts permanent. I know they've sunken us into the largest deficit scenario, ever. But I need them to pay wealthy people to vote for me and as an excuse to cut domestic entitlement programs! I'm going to cut 140 of them! I'd cut welfare, but my buddy Clinton (one of Daddy's two favorites - see I"m endearing and funny!) already did that for me so I'll have to find another focus. Ok here's one: down with healthcare for the poor! Oh wait, did someone just tell me that the polls say Americans support affordable health care? Oops! You know I'm clumsy with words. What I meant to say is "Up with healthcare for the poor!" Up! Up! Up! Sike. God, I can say anything here! It's like I have tourrettes! (wink wink).

Okay America, that's all the winking I can handle. God Bless America. Good night.