Pho Friday

Things I learned while eating pho at lunch today.

  1. I should always eat pho by myself in a quiet corner. Because while I love pho, I don’t know how to eat it.
  2. I should always wear a bib when eating pho, since all the slurping I do results in dots of broth all over my front (which today was a dress). This will help reduce dry cleaning bills, which will afford me to buy more pho.

Chick-Fil-A: more than just homophobic

Chick-Fil-A. I’m not even sure how they came up with that name. It’s not even a real name. Burger King. Taco Bell. Dairy Queen. These are real names. Chick is a real word. I don’t know what ‘fil’ is, and then they tacked an ‘a’ at the end. Not sure what that’s all about.

But I digress. This post is not about the absurdity of a name.

I have a friend who “confessed” on fb recently about her love of the chicken and waffle fries there. Confessed is a correct term, because she did it knowing that judgement would come down on her.

It’s easy for me to stand my moral high ground and say that I don’t go there because I don’t want my money to go to hate groups. To me, all these hate groups are equal. It doesn’t matter to me if you call yourselves the Ku Klux Klan or the Freedom Defense Initiative. In some cases, I equate them to terrorists when they are seeking out with the hopes of killing those that fall into a certain category; especially if that classification is something a person is born into and not a behavior they control.chick fil a

Anyway, the point of this is that it’s easy for me to stand my moral high ground, as I’ve NEVER HAD CHICK-FIL-A. The only actual difference it made in my life is that I don’t wave at the costumed individual standing outside Chick-Fil-As anymore.

I’ve never had it. It could be some magical thing, that’s irresistible. I’ll never know now. I’m ok with that. I’ve also never had Auntie Ann’s pretzels at the mall. I figure there’s gotta be some sort of crack in it or something that makes everyone that ever had one go gaga, and HAVE to have it when they walk by the store at the mall. *please note, that they probably don’t have actual crack-cocaine. This is a metaphor, not literal.

But it’s just standing on some moral hill, and waving your finger when you don’t really know all the practices of the places you patronage.

Like, there’s this place here called Mudgies. OMG, I LOVE MUDGIES. But what do I know about Mr. or Mrs. Mudgie themselves? Or any locally owned place? What do we know about where any owner of any food establishment donates their money to?

I guess it’s just that the chick-fil-a guy (Dan Cathy) made it publically known that he not only is opposed to the lives of fellow human beings, but he financially supports hate groups so that they can exist. So that they can go to other countries, and give lectures on “family values”. Lectures that lead to actual LAWS requiring that if you are openly the person you are, and that person is gay, you should be publicly stoned to death. That’s just extreme. But he funds it, and lets it be publicly known that he FUNDS it, with REAL MONEY. If he’s so public about what he’s doing, then I’m going to publicly say I don’t support them with my money.

Chick-Fil-A gives millions to the WinShape Foundation, who then allocates money across various “family groups”. But by family groups, they really mean groups that enable parents to help their kids “pray the gay away”, or “electrocute the gay away” more like it. All kinds of programs and camps, some that use various forms of “reparative therapy” including electro-shock therapy. One such group is called Exodus International, they sent a man to a conference where he spoke of “family values”. Well, this had some impact on those that are in the Uganda government, and based on what they took away from what the Exodus man had to say, they came up with the legislation that they should kill their homosexuals. To me, that’s encouraging murder, but murder based on who you are. Which is like terrorism to me.

So, that’s why I’m opposed to it. Anyone is free to think what they want. But I’ll be damned if my hard-earned dollar is ending up funding a hate group.

But God help me if I ever find out that Mudgies is not right in any way. Then, I’ll be holding some sort of prayer group. Or something.

*I’d like to note that I’ve been able to have my company place orders at Mudgie’s, and I know they use local products. I like supporting small, local companies.

Update: I’ve thought about this at length now, and I think I can relate it to my love of Papa John’s pizza. I despise “Papa John” himself for how he values his profit over his employees (even though reports have shown that having health insurance & high employee morale actually helps companies more than it hurts them). While I despise him, I do love his pizza. Enough that I’ve had it once in the last 5 years (since learning of his views on healthcare).

Gotta love the Macaroons

So, I got a text from my sister today that she joined Instagram. So, OF COURSE, I asked for her Instaname to follow her, and asked her to follow me back!

She then scrolled through at least a hundred (maybe more) of my photos.

And I got a notification that she liked ONE. ONE.

Out of over a hundred, maybe over 200 that she saw. I’ve posted almost 300, but this one was from 2013. I know, because in 2014 I made a resolution to try not to post as many food pics. So, this was before that.

This is the ONLY picture that my sister liked:

toddler vegetarian

Conversations w/ toddlers. Prob one of the greatest, truest, most inspiring moments in life.

Here’s a toddler who’s decided to be a vegetarian.

WARNING: This video might bring tears to your eyes!

the night we stood up Richard Strauss

Yesterday, we had planned a girls night; this consisted of dinner & opera.

Dinner was to be at 6pm, at L’Albatros. This was to allow ourselves a good 2 hours of gal talk before going to see Ariadne Auf Naxos.

Well, at least we thought 2 hours would be enough.

Maybe I should tell you my thoughts on L’Albatros first. I’ve been there waaaay too many times, imo. Everytime has been a disaster. The food was always, always, mind-bogglingly good. But the service has always been atrocious. Not the bread guys; they never left you bread-less. But the other serve staff. If you could get them to come to take your drink/food order. Then, when they finally did, if you asked them any questions about the food, I was prepared to be met w/ a blank stare. I even asked if she would go ask in the kitchen about what something was.

I ordered a goat-cheese tart once, & it came w/ something on the side that wasn’t on the menu. It looked like what I know as athāṇũ. When I asked her to check in the kitchen what it was, she seemed shocked. Not surprisingly, I never did see her again. No response to my inquiry. What if a vegetarian who’s never seen that stuff before had asked, or someone w/ food allergies; b/c of their dietary restrictions? Should I mention that it was a random Thursday happy hour, & the restaurant was pretty empty?

The food & drinks were always great there though, so everytime someone suggested it, I would just heave a sigh (silently), & be prepared for the atrocious service.

Weeeellll…. This time was different! We had the most delightful server, Tiffany. She was AMAZING. She knew everything there was to know, & was so incredibly sweet to us. Not b/c it was her job, but she really was just sweet, & kind, & nice, & smiley. Just a breath of fresh air. She would appear at the exact right moment w/ the exact right thing to say or ask! It was like she was in our heads!

She completely changed my view of L’Albatros, & I now can’t wait til the next time I go there!

Well, by the time we were done w/ dinner, we were no where near done talking. We don’t get a chance to get together as much now as before. Stupid lives got in the way.

We also made the mistake of eying the dessert menu.

By the time we were done w/ dessert, it was 7:50 pm. We took a vote & decided to ditch the opera in favor of martinis & wine elsewhere. Elsewhere ended up being The Bistro.

Now, just a few words about my thoughts on The Bistro before I ever stepped foot in there…..

1. Naming a bistro “The Bistro” is akin to naming your dog, “Dog”. Really? You guys want me to think you’re going to have a creative atmosphere & cuisine, but you can’t be bothered to come up w/ a name?

2. I had high hopes despite the name, b/c it used to be Sage, one of the most delish bistros I’d ever discovered. It didn’t get a lot of traffic, unfortunately, & closed.

So, we went to The Bistro (wow, that even feels weird saying that!). & I can’t comment on the food, b/c we only went there to sit at the bar & continue our chats.

But, of the 3 martinis I tried, I didn’t like a single one! They were horrible. The all had awesome names. I wish I could remember their names! I had some sort of a pear martini, I think, w/ some ginger syrup. But it really shoulda been called a pear-ginger syrup w/ some vodka. B/c it was too sweet, & I just couldn’t drink it. I tried my friend’s Smashing Pumpkin (for obvs reasons), but didn’t like that either.

So, I asked for ole faithful, an espresso martini. I’ve never had a bad espresso martini until that night. Ugh.

Anyway, this post was really supposed to be about bathtubs, but as you can see, I got off track.

But, I do think I’ll try to take more pics when I’m out of food & stuff, so I can share the experience here too. Also, so that I can remember it more; for my own benefit!

kindness of strangers

I google a lot. No, seriously, a LOT. Well, I call it googling, but I often use the Yahoo! search engine; b/c I do love Yahoo! So, googling for me is more of a verb that means doing an online search.

Anyway, I once posted about a TaxCut software problem I had & the solution to said prob. I check my stats, ppl, & I know that at least 80 ppl came to that post having searched for an answer to that same prob. & I know I helped them. But no comment from them. No, “hey dude, thanks!” or “good lookin out”. Nothin.

So, I’d like to do a post to thank 2 complete strangers.

I am 5’2″. This means that I have to look through racks & racks for “petite” or “short” on pants/jeans. I often do my jeans shopping at TJ Maxx/Marshalls, so I’m lucky to find maybe a pair or two each time I go. Sometimes I find a pair that I love, but only they’re too long.

So, I googled “how to hem jeans”, & found this post by Dacia Ray. It’s the most fantastic tutorial b/c you don’t have to cut off the hem. Her thinking is that you pay for the stitching, esp at the hem, so she shows us how to do it w/ retaining the original hem.

Here’s what I accomplished while watching Ocean’s Thirteen last Sat. (ignore my unmanicured nails)…

pic 057

A couple of years ago, I wanted to make lamb curry. I’ve never even had it before, but I heard it was fantastic. So, I googled it, & found this recipe by a 2nd gen Indian gal in London. She named her blog for the 30 min train ride route she takes to & from work.

I love how both these ladies show us how to do it, w/ pictures each step of the way, which I think helps tremendously!

Anyway, I love the internet. I love how close it brings all of us, & what we all can learn from each other. Esp the simple things.

drunken food post

Ok, so whilst on the internet today, I saw this:

w/out the dark choc on the left, w/ on the right
w/out the dark choc on the left, w/ on the right

It’s Drunken Strawberry Rhubarb Jelly Squares with Dark Chocolate. Yeah. The pic links to the recipe.

While we’re talkin alcohol & food together, I should mention one of my dear friends. She makes the most amazing rum cake. You should know this before I go into one of my Real-life conversations.

We’re at Lucky’s, a bit early to meet friends for Sunday Brunch. We went earlier to stop at the farmer’s market prior to Brunch. So, while ordering coffee to sip until the other gals got there…..

moi: you know I had some Jamaican coffee recently, it was de-li-cious! I wonder if they have any here?

mon amie: Jamaican coffee? Does it have rum in it?

moi: [giggling] no, it’s just imported from there.

mon amie: oh… cause if it had rum in it, I’d probably like it too.

I do love my friends. They make me smile.

btw, the Jamaican coffee I had was from Arabica (I think that’s a national chain) & it was called “Jamaican Me Crazy”. heehee.

more on my cravings

Well, I’ve been craving ice cream all week. I’ll take it in any form, really. I musta mentioned milkshakes like 5 times in the last week. Then, this week’s PhotoFriday challenge is Cold, & someone who must hate me submitted this pic.

I’m not a fan of sprinkles, but man-o-man. A choco-dipped waffle cone with really rich, creamy ice cream inside on a hot day? (it’s getting all melty, so it’s gotta be a hot day)

They’re killin me here!

snowed in

So, I’m kinda bummed. Was really excited about going to a pre-show party tonight for Red {an orchestra}. My good friend & I had gotten tics to this Cool Cleveland party before the show. It was an open bar w/ appetizers catered by another friend of ours (who owns Gypsy Beans & does the yummiest catering). So, we were pretty psyched* about it.

Red {an orchestra} was doing a night of movie music….


Red’s sixth season comes to an exciting conclusion with a concert featuring the music of film composer Bernard Herrmann, whose scores for classic films of Alfred Hitchcock–Vertigo, North By Northwest and Psycho–are unmatched in their distinctive style. His style as a film composer, keen psychological atmospheres made with simple means, was formed in his concert music. His early pieces in the manner of his idol, Arnold Schoenberg, matured as he worked in radio and then Hollywood, his ambition remaining high, even as his film music eclipsed all other efforts. In this unique program, film clips featuring Herrmann’s Hollywood music mingle with a suite from Psycho, and work from his time in the 1930s at CBS Radio. The highlight of the program is a group of excerpts from his unproduced opera, Wuthering Heights, perhaps the greatest unknown opera in the history of American music.

Sounds cool, huh? I KNOW! I was really looking forward to it, but just hoping now that they may reschedule. I mean, they’ve all been rehearsing for this show for a few weeks, I’m sure.

So, they were planning on doing a bunch of pieces that composer Bernard Herrmann did for Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, but they were going to do excerpts from an unproduced piece too?!?!?! Seriously?!

They HAVE to reschedule!

Oh, did I mention the reason everything’s cancelled? B/c of the winter storm. We were so ready to brave it. I went out there to my car. The snow drifts are 3 to 4 feet, I made it to the garage w/ the help of my trusty snow shovel. Then I opened the garage door……

Yeah, that wasn’t gonna happen. No way my Corolla’s makin it out of the garage. So, I call my girl to see what it’s like where she is, cause I can make it to the end of the street w/ my snow shovel. She gets outside, & makes it as far as the end of the street….

No more.

Dude, you’ve gotta give us credit for tryin though. So, we’re on the phone figuring out that this is just not gonna happen for us tonight, & go back into our respective homes. I get upstairs & turn on the news, & see that in some counties, the police are actually fining/ticketing ppl who are out on the street if it’s not an emergency!

*do ppl still say psyched?