Blog Archives

summer lovin’: ideas for keeping cool

well it’s another hot scorching day in the States.  which is wonderful, because it’s not winter!  but if you don’t have AC at your location, here are some recommendations for keeping cool:

1.  Go to your local library!  Not only should your local library have loads of good stuff to read, listen to and peruse, they should have AC as well!  Do what our patrons do and enjoy the cool spell for a while as you play Farmville on the web.  Or nod right off in one of the fluffy chairs.  It beats passing out on the sidewalk and getting a concussion from heat exhaustion.

2.  Go mall walking.  Malls are full of AC.  And consumerism.  And pretzels.  So then walk a little more after that.

3.  Hit the theater.  Summer blockbusters don’t even have to be interesting, because they offer popcorn and AC for a few hours of the day.  Who cares what’s playing?  But if you can still catch it, the Avengers is worth watching back to back for multiple kick-butt enjoyment and extended AC play.

4.  Bug someone in your family.  Surely someone you know – family member, friend, ex, or foe – has air conditioning you can siphon off for a while as you return that old lawn mower you forgot you had, or the old jean jacket that went out of style twelve years ago.  Or maybe you just want to patch things up with someone you’ve had a feud with, because that will be sure to take about three or four good hours of crying and cooling down.

5.  Go to Red Robin.  Not only do they have the best most delicious burgers EVER, they are coooool.  Not sure what the maximum stay period is, but you can stretch it out by ordering desert, refills, and asking for a coloring book.

6.  If all else fails, lie in the tub!  Pour a tub full of cool water, sprinkle in some mint leaves if you want refreshing scents, and hop in with a good (disposable) fiction read.  Be sure you bring in something you don’t mind tossing out, just in case you drop it in the water.  Magazines are great for this, and comic books if you aren’t an avid collector and worried about the mint condition.  You may find yourself slightly pickled after a few hours, but just think of all the telemarketers and mothers-in-law you will avoid by not hearing the phone!

a Chili day in the neighborhood

I love chili. 

My mom was never a big fan of cooking.  I’m not sure if it just didn’t interest her, because it was no fun cooking in a hot, sweaty kitchen?  I mean, she HATES having her hair messed up, and she paints her nails every day, so I can see that cooking would be unappealing because it might involve flour getting on her or a chipped nail if she forgot how the knives worked.  But it was probably more that she would rather be watching Richard Chamberlain in the Thorn Birds than making dinner.  So I grew up on macaroni and cheese, Chef Boyardee pizzas and greasy homemade tacos, like a lot of other people my age.  My mom was skilled with the hamburger helper as well.  One of the few meals she actually made herself was chili, and this one isn’t a terribly hard recipe.  Couple cans of beans, hamburg, canned tomatoes and chili seasoning, that was about it.  She doesn’t like onions.  Or peppers.  But since the concoction she made when I was growing up was pretty darned good, I’m a big fan of the stuff now.  So this year, for the first time, I went to the Chili Cook-off in my town.


Every year my city hosts a Chili Cook-off, but since they hold it in June and it’s always hot as hell, I’ve never gone.  Who wants to eat piping hot chili full of spices that blow your taste buds off and make your eyes water when it’s ninety degrees outside?  Why they couldn’t have planned this annual festival in, say, September I don’t really understand.  But hey, this year I figured I’d give it a try. 

 Booths were sprinkled throughout the lawn area, and hawkers called you to there stand with humor, flirtation, and sometimes just sheer obnoxious volume.  Some of the tents had massive lines, and some had no people at all.  Now, at first I thought the obvious: the tents with the lines have the tastiest chili.  But then I came to my senses and realized that we had come way too late in the game, and half the tents were already out of food two and a half hours before the event was over.  The event was advertised as running from “4-9”, but now I know better:   you have to come at 4:00 and eat all the chili before everyone else gets there, then you stay around drinking beer and getting good and pickled until 9:00.  I’ll know how to work it next year.

 Some of the chili was mighty tasty (you know I already love you, Red Robin, but good job on this as well!)  And some of it was downright disgusting.  But I mean, our palettes are all different, right?  I guess some of us eat dirt a lot more than others and borrow from that taste profile.  Anyway, it was fairly fun and a good cap off to “Be a Tourist in Your own Town”, which is what we were doing earlier.  My sister and I came home, had some booze and sat on the couch and watched movies.  Altogether a really nice day, and I was hard pressed to think how it could have been more entertaining.

 Silly me.  My life can ALWAYS get more entertaining!  At 5:00 in the morning I discovered that my neighbor had gone to the Chili Cook-off as well.  From across the street blew periodic farts of such catastrophic caliber that I woke up from a dead sleep.  Off, on, off, on: toxic ass farts that could potentially damage the earth’s ozone layer even MORE than hairspray!  And even when I closed my windows the faintest little hint of dying animals seeped in as I struggled to fall back asleep and contain my laughter.

 ahhh, good old chili.

sex burgers…yummm

Dear vegetarians:

this particular blog is about MEAT and meat by-products, namely …  meat.  please refrain from reading this blog if hearing about meat or people consuming meat will cause you to lose points in your karma game, develop a rash, or spontaneously combust.


all others, proceed with caution.

last weekend i had a rather unique experience that, of course, i have to share.  because i’m so generous.  which my sister sometimes calls ‘chatty’, and my mother sometimes calls ‘annoying’.  i use generous, or occasionally ebullient. 

anyway, last weekend my sister – bodhi – celebrated another birthday of youthfulness.  we went antiquing for hours, and after finding no hidden treasures (except some old keys i wanted but didn’t purchase) we had worked up a pretty fierce appetite.  where to go on a special birthday weekend?

we headed to a restaurant we’ve never been to before; Red Robin.  (yummm)  (this is how the commercial goes, you know.  they say “Red Robin” and then follow it by a “yummm”)

who knew this place was so amazingly fabulous?  as soon as we came in we were seated…like, immediately!!!  and our hostess was so cute and friendly, and very sweet, we were sort of taken aback.  she was carrying a balloon for some reason, and i asked if bodhi could have one, for her birthday.  maybe it was the big pleading puppy eyes i gave her that did it.  maybe it was her sweet nature.  maybe it was the fact that bodhi was wearing a shirt that had a small stuffed Elmo in the pocket, and i was wearing butterfly wings on my head.  i don’t know, but soon the hostess came back with not one but TWO balloons for us.    Red Robin…Funnn

then came our waitress, who looked us over and said promptly “i love you”.  i don’t know if she’d had a hard day, or if she was just an emotional kind of person, but apparently our silliness factor – being high for a normal person, but very normal for silly people like us – had gotten to her, and we put a little bright spot in her day.  

she then brought us drinks and bottomless fries!   hello, did you hear me?  BOTTOMLESS FRIES!  who knew food could be so sexy?  or so scandalous?  i wonder if right wing Christians are offended by this brazen nod to partial nudity in the tuber community.  bothersome.  but tasty.  Red Robin…mmm

so then came our meals: for bodhi, the banzai burger (which she loved) and for me, the peppercorn burger.  let me just say this about the peppercorn burger:

it tasted like sex.

ok, i don’t know why.  i’ve never said that about anything food.  but i think at least three times during the meal i told bodhi it tasted like sex.  something about the grill flavor reminded me of summer time with men and their barbecues.  or maybe the steak sauce reminded me of saucy meat.  or maybe the little onion rings had garlic in them, which is an aphrodisiac.  i don’t know, but eating this burger was probably the most sensual dining experience i’ve ever had.  except maybe that time in Pittsburgh. 

add to that the adorable atmosphere, the upbeat and lively staff (who were ALL nice and fun, to the last person), and the fun food wrappers and containers!  crinkly paper on the burgers.  quirky drink cups. happy, motivational liners in the baskets.  no i’m not kidding.  listen to this:

GET FRESH! (see, very sexy)



WILD COD (piece)





see?  even their french fry basket liners are hot!  this place can really work a girl up!  not to mention the men!!  so really, it wasn’t just the burger.  but god, oh god, oh, oh, oh god that burger tasted like sex.  thanks Red Robin, for getting me off…to the right meal.

Red Robin (makesyouwannahaveacigaretteyummm)