i spy- schweddy balls (a tale of woe).

3 10 2011

i’m not really an ice cream person. i don’t hate it, it’s usually  just not at the top of my list when it comes to consuming mass quantities of crap food. i would much rather hit the cheez-its, or the cheez doodles, or anything else so processed and atomically  orange that it is forced for legal reasons to spell the word cheese with a Z. either that, or a stick of butter. (yes, a WHOLE STICK). i essentially only eat ice cream on birthdays or scorching summer days where i accidentally end up within a five mile radius of a DQ.

but then a few weeks ago, ben & jerry’s announced a brand new limited edition flavor called schweddy balls. i generally find ben & jerry’s to be a bit too heavy, and to have too much crap in it (too sweet is the kiss of death in my book). but something about rum flavored ice cream with malt balls and rum balls sounded like the most amazing thing i had ever heard of, and i became COMPLETELY OBSESSED with finding and ingesting it post haste.

except that they weren’t fucking around when they said limited edition. apparently only dispatched to 30% of their stores, and not available on the “flavor locator“, it became the motherfucking holy grail of ice cream. i checked every supermarket and convenience store in town. NOTHING. i put out an APB on twitter. lots of complaining about how nobody else can find it either, and an unhelpful rumor about it being spotted in bangor. essentially, NOTHING.

weeks passed, and with my new obsession came an unquenchable thirst for ice cream. every time i would to into a store and be disappointed, i would sooth my disappointment with a pint of something else: Read the rest of this entry »





the september issue.

9 09 2011

if you’ve ever been a reader of fashion magazines, you know that the september issue is notoriously huge (usually about 2 inches thick). one would think that its increased bulk is due solely to the coverage of the fall collections, but one would be wrong. sure, maybe fashion week coverage adds a few pages here and there, but far more than half of the 758 pages in this year’s september issue are ads, ads, and oh- isn’t that some more ads over there?

now, these ads are usually for all sorts of high and brands- your standards chanels, and guccis and marc jacobs types… nothing remarkable (actually, they all tend to look exactly the same to me, you would think they would try harder). however, this year, i noticed and interesting trend. in addition to the standard fancy pantsness, there was a disproportionately large amount of ads for more pedestrian (discount even!) chains trying to keep up with the couture.

lots and lots of celebrity designed lines (karadashians for sears? oh lord!), but also just a general attempt to show that dowdy department stores are at least trying a little bit more than usual to keep up in the contemporary fashion marketplace. edgy ad campaigns! more modern shapes!

well, i ripped all the ads out, and decided that i would do a shopping tour of this supposedly affordable high end design. i am most excited for lagerfeld for macys, and french connection for sears, but my initial inspiration came from the very charming (most especially amongst the satin draped airbrushed bone racks that the rest of the ads were schilling) “money can’t buy style” campaign by kmart.

well, it just so happened that was going to augusta this week, where resides one of the last remaining kmarts in maine. also, it is my hometown. Read the rest of this entry »





top 10 reasons why i suck at gardening.

8 08 2011

when i first started my garden about a month ago, i was on top of the world. things were growing! i was making life! i would eat salad like a boss all summer long!

almost like sex fantasies, i would imagine myself harvesting shining and plump red tomatoes and pornographically large cucumbers (ron jeremy grade produce). it would be glorious, and things were going so well!

and then, shit started to go wrong:

1. neighborhood cats started digging in my seed areas, killing whole squares of crops (i lost 3 squares of lettuce and one square of carrots).

2. my tomatoes won’t pollinate. the flowers just turn brown and die, and the bees never come. i only have the 4 tomatoes that were already pollinated when i got the plant.

3. my peppers are dying. the little pepper buds are just shriveling and falling off.

4. my cucumber is taking over everything. i find it’s spindly tendrils wrapped around every other plant in the bed- strangling them all slowly. although to its credit, it’s the only thing that’s actually producing any sort of vegetation.

5. my green beans have nothing to climb up, and they are OUT OF CONTROL.

6. my pumpkin just doesn’t look right. it has leaves rotting off and flowers dropping like crazy.

7. my butter lettuce keeps getting ass pounded by the rain and is looking very very sad.

8. i tried last weekend to install some barrier plants to try to keep the cats out (brussels sprouts, cauliflower, & iceberg lettuce), but i don’t think the brussels sprouts are supposed to be yellow.

9. maybe planting 5 heads of iceberg lettuce in one square was a mistake?

10. the basil seems fine, but i don’t eat that much basil.

basically my gardening euphoria has quickly descended into gardening shame and disappointment. maybe i should read a book or something, but i don’t even know where to start. i just feel very overwhelmed and very at sea. i could ask the lovely soul who helped me plant it in the first place, but i don’t want her to be disappointed in me! basically, i am castrated by my lack of knowledge and fear of failure.

i thought that gardening was supposed to be relaxing!  somebody please, FIX IT.

*no, that dead garden picture isn’t mine, but you can check out the “progress” of my garden on my flickr page. i haven’t taken any pictures of the really tragic stuff, but you can picture them in your mind’s eye (don’t forget to make ’em extra shriveled).





totally buzzed.

27 01 2011

it’s no secret that i love me some free stuff. now i’ve proclaimed my love for vocalpoint many a time… as i have long considered it the king of the product testing/free shit sites with their seductive full size samples and fistfuls of high value coupons. except that lately, vocalpoint has left me a little cold. i mean how many boxes of kashi cereal can one girl really eat? oh, and the bounce dryer bar was just about the stupidest invention EVER. but i suppose even like 100 lame lowes coupons are better than a completely barren landscape.  i had tried kraft first taste and pssst! but got a big fat delivery of BUNK. even myblogspark has forsaken me!

but a few months back, i saw a post on ilovetogossip regarding a service i had never heard about… bzzagent. basically it was the same old song and dance where they say they’ll send you free products, in exchange for tweeting that shit up, or writing about it on your blog.  but then, all they offered me for like months and month was a crappy free redbox rental. boo! but a couple of weeks ago… THEY FINALLY SENT ME SOMETHING THAT I WANTED!

last week my coupons & “press kit” for thomas’ bagel thins arrived in the mail. a $4/1 coupon, 5 $1/1 coupons, some educational materials, and of course, not 1 but 3 bagel shaped magnets. it’s no secret that i’m in a perpetual state of vaguely trying to lose weight. i also have a deep and unquenchable lust for bagels. thus, a free bag of 110 calorie diet bagels seemed like an awesome idea. and in many ways, it was. here are 5 things i learned about bagel thins from my recent quality time alone with them: Read the rest of this entry »





weekend pickthrough- nonfunctional edition.

22 08 2010

i get exactly 10 days of vacation/sick time every year. i allow myself 1 full week off from work, and the remainder are reserved for emergencies and obligations (spluh). usually i take this week sometime in july or august, but this year, on account of the puppy and the lost deposit debacle, my vacay had to be downgraded from 9 days in a cabin on MDI to 4 days at a motor lodge in moosehead.  and it’s not happening until september. and i’m dying. slowly. day by day.

ok, maybe not dying so much as withering. i have a very bad habit of overextending myself, and sometimes even if there are still responsibilities to be met (namely a long overdue graphic design project and a post of the observer), i just hit the wall and become completely nonfunctional. unfortunately, my wall-hitting has just fallen short of my vacation, and i spent the weekend sitting like a lump on my couch in a stupor. i know, my weekend pickthroughs are getting picked through later and later. i know, i haven’t scored myself a hot deal in weeks. i know, the more projects i try to take on, the worse job i do at everything.

so here it is. 3 days late, and barely breathing.

try liquefying your vegetables and pouring them in the humidifier. recipes for the really modern woman.

do i really have a future in toll booth collection? this random generator seems to think so.

man, if the streetcar was still running in portland (like it did in 1916), i wouldn’t be late for work every day (probably).

fuck that ghost! (a superior flow chart of super superiority)

what’s in this hipster’s bag? or for that matter, would you just look at this fucking hipster?

does the auburn mall really count as a dead mall? tragic. why oh why did porteous have to go?!

and while we’re sitting here on the couch, here’s a small collection of fashion blogs that have recently tickled my fancy:

young fat and fabulous– apparently she won the MTV twitter-vj slot (i am the jealous-ist), but i like her because she’s thrifty, curvy, and sassy as shit.

this bitch has the time, skill, and energy (and apparent access to a very thrifty thrift-store) to make a dress a day. maybe me and my remedial sewing skills need to start a spin off site called “a hot mess a day”?

portland local cutie pie sweet william catalogs her daily wardrobe.





a little help.

18 08 2010

did i ever tell you about the time that i was addicted to entering online sweepstakes? for like 5 or 6 months, i spent every second of my free time entering every contest i could get my hands on. instant wins were my preference (i’m impatient), but i wasn’t really that discriminating. i would throw down for whatever, from cash prizes to year supplies of beef jerky (this was in my pre-vegetarian days). after all of my insane efforts, my bounty equaled exactly one goldfish cracker shaped coin purse, and one unflattering orange lip gloss. it was a complete and utter bust. not only did i not win anything good, i didn’t actually want either of the things i did win. sweepstakes are cruel that way. i had wasted so much time, and it wasn’t worth it, not even a little.

but then i found couponing (i’m a fickle little bitch), and i realized that not only was sweepstakes entering a pitiful waste of time, but that i could have been entering awesome giveaways on blogs and actually winning stuff the whole time. maybe there are no million dollar prizes, but you can get some pretty kickin stuff, and the odds can’t be beat (usually less than 100 entrants per contest).

so about that favor i need… as i mentioned in the weekend pickthrough, i recently entered a writing contest over at one of my very favorite sites- red head writing. i actually have no idea what the prize is, or even if there is a prize at all (but rumor has it that her last winner got a $150 gift card), but it isn’t about that. after my crushing defeat at burlesque amateur night (still writing it up, but soon!), i require the glory of ultimate victory to reinflate my flaccid ego. or maybe i just like writing and wanted to see if i could win this shit. but anyhow, the way to win is to collect more positive comments (actual comments, not just hitting the “like” button) on your piece than all of the other story tellers. i’d like to believe that random strangers will wander in and be captivated by charming little tale of nosebleeds and mojitos, but that’s looking pretty unlikely at this moment in time.  instead, it’s going to be an exercise in how many of my friends i can sweet talk into voting for me regardless of whether they like my story or not.  are you sweet talked yet?

how about now?

but seriously, i would really love it if you would toddle on over to the contest, and check it out. you don’t have to vote for me, but it would be wonderful if you would vote for the person that you like the best. a bunch of really interesting people put a lot of love into their 300 words, and they deserve to get some feedback.

and if you’re horribly annoyed that i’m even asking you to do this at all, just ignore me for today, and i promise that i will not abuse the privilege again anytime soon. (but if i do win- IN YOUR FACE!).





getting wasted.

17 08 2010

for me, busy pretty much always equals lazy. i tend only to the most pressing items on my checklist, and everything else just falls away into the land of half-assed-ness (a woefully untidy land filled with frozen pizzas and unpaid bills). as most of you already know, this last week was fucking nutsuo for me. well, one of the big things that i’ve been copping out on is grocery shopping. i haven’t even been glancing at the deals, and i vaguely remember something called a “grocery list”, but i couldn’t tell you what it is or why people use them (maybe i should google it?). anyway, whenever i go to the grocery store sans planning, things fall apart in a huge way. i somehow managed to get all the way to the checkout line before i realized that i had not thrown any dinner food in the cart.  i had however grabbed a weirdly disproportionate amount of cheese.

every week, i clean out my fridge when i put my new food in, and i’ve noticed over the last few weeks of freestyle grocery shopping, that i’ve been throwing a lot away. basically, not planning ahead, not sticking to my budget, and not being more aggressive about my couponing= refrigerator disaster! DISASTERRRRRRR! we’re talking expired food in sealed containers- never to be touched by human hands (wasteful!), or 1/8 consumed and then swiftly forgotten, only to grow a topography of mold so vast that would impress the national institute of health (wasteful AND unsanitary!). let’s just say that in this household, i make a lot of jokes about how i’m growing a new boyfriend in old containers of sour cream.

but it made me think. there are so many things that i repeatedly buy, and repeatedly waste. the prices may be low, or they may be wrapped up in good intentions for my health, but i’ve decided that in the interest of the health of my bank account, i’m placing the following 8 items on the no-buy list:

1. baby carrots: whenever i’m trying to lose weight, i always buy a bag of baby carrots. they seem convenient, healthy, easy to prepare, and otherwise perfect in every way… except for one thing. I AM NEVER IN THE MOOD TO EAT BABY CARROTS. NEVER!!! thus, they are sentenced to get slimy in their protective sack while they languish in my crisper drawer. there’s probably a purgatory somewhere full of baby carrots that i’ve inadvertently killed.

2. greek yogurt: firstly, shit is expensive. at roughly $4.99 for the big tub, i have somehow yet to learn my lesson that even though i enjoy it sometimes, i don’t enjoy it enough to be harboring 17.6 ounces in my fridge every week. why am i plagued with such horrible food denial? it’s been 32 years of waking up and not wanting to eat fresh fruit and greek yogurt for breakfast (which is what i assume skinny people eat- i’m more of the eggs, cheese, and heavily buttered toast school). why would this week be any different?

3. anything “southwest” style: i really need to put together a little southwest style donation box for the food pantry. my cupboards are choked with soup and rice mixes and god knows what else… cheap isn’t really that cheap when i hate the product, and  it’s taking up valuable cabinet real estate.

4. any vegetable that i don’t have definite plans for: hell hath no fury like impulse produce. unless it belongs to a specific meal, i need to learn to back the shit away from the zucchini just because it “looks good”. instead, i need to remember that it will look much less good when it’s forgotten and turning into brown goo in the back of my fridge (behind the food that i actually do eat, mostly cheese).

5. hummus: i buy this to go with the baby carrots. clearly, it does not make them any more enticing to me, it just gives me another product to throw away.

6. fruit out of season: sometimes i’ll really be craving grapefruit or pomegranate at the wrong time of year, but i’ll buy it anyway even though it’s super expensive, a little shriveled, and has probably spent at least a week on a boat being shipped in from some tropical island. what i’m really craving is FRESH fruit, but my tiny dinosaur brain doesn’t understand that. those pathetically dried up examples of fruithood are never going to look/be appetizing enough to make it into my mouth. my house is merely a pit stop on the road to wasted fruit hell.

7. lip gloss: i have a drawer full of lip gloss (no joke, it’s like a fucking arlington national cemetery for discarded lipcolor in there), yet i still wear the same one every single day. seriously, when did i get so stupid?

8. underpants: in one of the true hallmarks of extreme laziness (if there was an olympics of laziness, i think i could win. although, i bet everyone would be too lazy to show up to the competition.), i have occasionally (i mean often) been known buy new underwear rather than do laundry. this isn’t exactly a grocery item (although i have on an emergency basis bought some extremely ill fitting hanes her ways at the grocery store), but it is ridiculous, and i should really still knock it off.

writing this list has filled me with great shame. please tell me i’m not alone! maybe it would help if i slapped brightly colored price tags on all of my food, so that when i’m reaching for something more desirable (like butter or cheese- 2 things that never get wasted in my house), i know how much money i’m wasting in neglected produce? ooh, or better yet, i can draw sad faces on all my healthy food, and give them little speech bubbles that say things that make me feel guilty for not eating them…