Archive for May, 2009

Last night’s gumbo didn’t go so well

May 21st, 2009

For the past several months, I have established every Wednesday night as gumbo night. As one might guess, this means that each Wednesday night, I have gumbo for dinner. I’m not much of a cook and I’m too poor to afford the ingredients to actually make the gumbo myself, so instead I heat up a can of Big Y Chunky Gumbo.

At the beginning, things looked as though they might turn out okay. I managed to open the can, pour the gumbo into a soup pan, heat it up, and dispose of the can without incident.

After about five minutes, the gumbo had come to a boil and I got out my one and only bowl. I was unable to find a ladle, so I decided to pour the gumbo directly into the bowl from the pan. Unfortunately, my aim wasn’t quite perfect and I spilled some of the gumbo on my hand, which was a rather painful experience. In reaction to this, I dropped the bowl, which fell on to of a plate that was in the sink, shattering both. This is quite problematic as the last time I broke a bowl, it ended up taking me three months to replace it. I’m hoping to come up with some money for a new bowl soon as I don’t want a mug to be part of the equation on gumbo night.

After the spill, there was a small amount of gumbo – probably about 8% of the original amount, left in the pan and it wasn’t enough for dinner. When something goes wrong with my gumbo, as will sometimes happen, I’m usually equipped with some frozen waffles as an emergency backup dinner. However, this was not the case last night. I didn’t feel like going out to buy anything else, so I rummaged around the house for something else until I found a can of pineapple slices (in pineapple juice, not heavy syrup. heavy syrup blows) and dined on that.

If my finances allow it, I’ll get a new bowl and gumbo night will be back on for next week. I just hope it goes a bit more smoothly the next time around, whenever that may be.

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Tribute to a 15-year-old jar of relish

May 17th, 2009
old relish

A beautiful 15 year old jar of relish


Above is a picture of a jar of relish that has been in my house since 1994. It has survived two refrigerators, 3 presidents, my schooling from 5th grade through college graduation, 2 wars, and in another 7 months, it will see its third decade.

Truly, this is a jar of relish that has been with me a while and has stood the test of time. I’ve never much cared for the taste of relish and even if I did, I wouldn’t really be able to eat this particular jar of it due to its age. Despite this, I will keep this relish jar for as long as I can and hope that it will last me at least another 15 years.

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It’s a bad idea to go on eBay whilst drunk

May 14th, 2009

I was looking through a case of some old cds tonight and came across one entitled “The Palm Court Theater Orchestra Presents: Puttin’ On The Ritz”. Upon seeing this, I was reminded of a rather careless Friday evening in the summer of 2005, when after a typically miserable day of standing in one spot filling ambulance light parts with liquid resin, I resolved to get as wasted as possible to forget about my job for a while.

Upon going to Adams and buying a case of Coors, picking up a pizza, and shutting off my cell phone, I returned to my house all set for an enjoyable evening of anti social drunkenness. I turned on the Mets game and started consuming beer and don’t really remember much of what happened the rest of that night.

After getting up the next day, I checked my e-mail and saw one with a subject line reading “e-Bay item won!”. I didn’t remember buying anything on eBay, but figured I must have done it the night before, so I signed into eBay to see what it was that I had bought. Once I logged in, I saw that I had bought the Puttin On The Ritz cd mentioned above,which featured a medly of 1940’s recordings by a musical group called the Palm Court Theater Orchestra. This was not an item I would spend 25 cents on whilst sober, so I was a bit displeased when I realized I’d bid $40 on it the night before, which came to nearly $45 after shipping charges.

Fast forward 4 years and here I am, sitting in my cellar, looking down at the cd with $45 less in my bank account than I otherwise would’ve had. This my friends is why one should not go on eBay while drunk.

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How the hell did I not know they made Grape Newtons?

May 4th, 2009

I was watching my newest 80s commercial dvd recently and saw a commercial for Newtons of various flavors. As the commercial was wrapping up, they showed 4 boxes of Newtons. The flavors shown were fig, apple, raspberry, and grape. I almost didn’t notice at first, but upon rewinding and freezing the end of the commercial, I saw that they did indeed display a box of Grape Newtons.

This commercial was from 1986, which means that when Grape Newtons were being sold, I was three years old. Still, this is not an excuse for my great ignorance of this truly amazing product. I’m going to e-mail Nabisco after I finish this post and inquire as to whether or not they plan to bring Grape Newtons back, but I’m pretty sure that the answer will be no.

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Why doesn’t anyone in New England realize Dunkin’ Donuts sucks ass?

May 2nd, 2009

I hate Dunkin’ Donuts. I truly despise it. There exist a plethora of reasons why I have taken this stance and I won’t bore you with them all, but I’ll stick with the most significant ones.

Their food tastes like ass. Ass whose best days have long since gone by. If you’ve ever eaten at Krispy Kreme, Tim Hortons, Honeydew, Whole Doughnut, Mister Doughnut, or Bess Eaton, you’ll notice right away how much extra coffee you need to choke down the doughnuts you get at Dunkin’ Donuts. Then again, their coffee isn’t that impressive either. When you ask for flavoring to be put into your coffee, they give you the tiniest amount possible.

As a former Dunkin Donuts employee, I know this to be a fact. They hold it under the “flavor faucet” for about a split second, then haphazardly stick the lid on your cup, which almost never is done correctly. They claim to have fresh products, but most Dunkin Donuts locations receive frozen bakery items every few days and simply thaw them in the morning. Do you treasure your bacon and egg croissant that you get from Dunkin Donuts every day? If so, I hate to rain on your parade, but the eggs in that spend several hours and sometimes longer sitting in plastic warming trays stacked up next to a microwave, which is where they are heated up before serving. I don’t know about you, but the thought of microwaved eggs doesn’t exactly get my stomach growling.

Dunkin Donuts also blows because of how they treat their employees. As previously mentioned, I’ve worked for Dunkin Donuts and it was far from being an enjoyable experience. When I first applied, they said they were looking for managers who would be paid $45,000 per year, provided with free training, and given excellent medical benefits and 3 weeks of paid vacation per year. After the interview (it was on a Saturday) I was hired and told to come in on Monday morning. I came back on Monday morning, eager to start my new job and finally experience some financial stability.

Within 10 minutes, I found myself wearing a used (unwashed) Dunkin Donuts shirt from a former employee with a similarly unclean Dunkin Donuts viser atop my head and a broom in my hand. Apparently everything they told me before was bullshit and they all along had just intended to hire me as a regular crew member making minimum wage. After conversing a little with fellow crew members, I soon found many of them were fed the same lie I was.

Not having any other employment at the time, I figured I’d stay for as long as I had to and try to make the best of things. I set about sweeping up the dining area which was a depressing but fairly easy task. However, the smooth sailing did not last long. They needed help at the counter and also needed someone to help out with making sandwiches for the morning rush. At this point nobody had trained me on how to do anything, so I asked what I was needed to do. My manager (there were 3 different managers within my 8 day employment period) said to me in broken English “Do not ask me, I am not a kind person”. Realizing that wasn’t going to get me anywhere, I just tried to figure out how to do everything on my own, which was annoying but not overly difficult.

By the next day, I had been given the nickname “Viejo” by the rest of the counter staff as I was the oldest member of it as well as the only one who spoke fluent English. My coworkers had a tendency to not show up for their shifts, so I was often alone in the store with the exception of my manager who would often say “Same day! Same day!” whenever I went to do anything. The customers weren’t much better. They were douchier than the douchiest of douche bags.

On my 8th day of employment, a fat guy came in and wouldn’t stop riding my ass about anything and everything he could think of. This continued long past the time when he consumed his food. The last remark he made to me was “If I had a job like yours, I’d try to make up for it with some personality.” My patience wearing thin, I responded by saying “And if I had an ass as fat as yours, I’d kill myself.” The manager heard my remark, and that was the end of my tenure at Dunkin Donuts.

Another thing I hate about Dunkin Donuts is their commercials. They couldn’t come up with more annoying ones if they tried. Try watching their “doing things is what i like to do” commercial a few times on youtube and see if your blood pressure doesn’t go up. For reasons I can’t wrap my mind around, they chose to recruit They Might Be Giants to write and sing their commercials. After Smash Mouth, They Might Be Giants is my most hated band of all time. In fact, I might hate them more than Smash Mouth considering they perform the theme to Malcolm In The Middle, the biggest piece of shit television has churned out since Circus of the Stars.

Though Dunkin Donuts has terrible food (I’ll concede that their muffins aren’t so bad), treats their employees horribly, and has the most annoying commercials I’ve ever seen, none of these things constitute the reason why I hate Dunkin Donuts the most. The most damning thing of all that Dunkin Donuts has done is to push Krispy Kreme out of business.

In late 2002, Krispy Kreme was expanding rapidly nationwide and decided to come to New England. I was ecstatic upon learning this and made a visit to the one in Milford as soon as it opened. The first time I had a Krispy Kreme doughnut is a moment I will not forget as long as I live. It was better than sex with a Victoria’s Secret model. I had discovered a new world of doughnut pleasure that I never imagined possible, at an astonishingly reasonable price. Not only did Krispy Kreme have the best doughnuts I’d ever tasted, they also had Mr Pibb, which is very hard to come by in Connecticut.

Unfortunately, as is often the case in New England, people refused to try something new and one by one the Krispy Kremes in the area failed, with the one in Milford being the only New England location left. (Similar things have happened in New England with Jack In The Box, Hardees, Taco Maker and Arthur Treacher’s, to name a few) Everyone continued to eat at Dunkin Donuts, with Dunkin Donuts outselling Krispy Kreme by a ratio of greater than 12 to 1. As a result, Krispy Kreme was dealt a severe financial wallop from which it has still not recovered. In fact, due to the New England fiasco, they are not expected to be in business by the end of this year.

I was going to raise one last point, but can’t remember what it was. I was distracted by a Dunkin Donuts commercial that was just on tv. Irony is a bitch.

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