losing my v card.

29 04 2012

ok, not really. i’m not exactly an old french whore or anything, but i am 34 and divorced… you do the math.

but there is an equally scandalous V word that i have been keeping a bit of a secret lately- VEGAN.

now, i’ve been a vegetarian for almost 5 years now- and that’s no big deal. and for the entirety of that 5 year period, i’ve clutched desperately to my dairy and eggs. oh, i’ll get cage free. oh, i’ll get local. oh, i’m pretty sure that’s responsibly farmed. and i did it not necessarily because i really believed those things i was telling myself, but because cheese and eggs and butter are so ungodly delicious, that i couldn’t fathom giving them up. not ever. Read the rest of this entry »





cheap eats- thirsty piggin it.

5 08 2011

not to be confused with “porky piggin it”, which is the condition of wearing a shirt, but no pants or underwear (a la porky pig).

i love a hot dog. red hot dogs. foot long hot dogs. 7-11 roller hot dogs… in my meat eating days, i would shovel down those natural casing lovelies (THE SNAP!) like they were going out of style. and then i became a vegetarian, and my hot dog prospects became instantly very very grim. tofu pups? seriously?

over time, i have managed to find some work arounds. i’m a big fan of the yves  veggie dogs, i think they have the most realistic hot dog flava available in the mass consumer fake meat marketplace (especially when buried under sauerkraut, onions, and spicy mustard). they’re even better if you grill them in a pan with butter (sorry vegans!).  as it turns out, they are slightly less good if you roast them over a fire.  surprise! it’s blister covered corpse dogs!

although the worst thing about it is that i can’t just stroll through tommy’s park and grab a red snapper from mark’s on a summer afternoon… or any one of portland’s many varied and awesome hot dog stands. it sucks. so when linda bean’s famous bullshit chowder something something shut down, and the thirsty pig moved in (and actually carried a veggie dog), i was pretty fucking excited. Read the rest of this entry »





weekend pickthrough- recalibrated edition.

9 05 2011

i would like to thank you all for being patient with me this week. my spring fever has shown no real signs of waning, but i am becoming accustomed to it in a way that is making it possible for me to function again. the answer appears to be the swingset on the eastern promenade. if it’s been a while since you’ve had a good solid swing, i can not recommend it highly enough. don’t forget to look up. it still feels exactly like flying.

along with a series of small naps with my dog and and the consumption of an entire bag of pepperidge farm chessmen, i also managed to finally organize and update my coupon stash for the first time since february. it was really tragic to have to recycle so many great deals. i really do need to pay attention again- for a while. my preble street donation bucket is looking very bare these days.

maybe this week i’ll even crack open my walgreens cherry now that the new marginal way store is open… has anyone out there been yet?

chances are that all your easter candy is gone now… except for one of these. thank sweet jesus that the folks at the hairpin are problem solvers.

the sadistic truth about women’s clothing sizes. (i do love an infographic, even when it fills me with rage).

who is this mysterious asian woman?

how did i make it past 30 without ever reading this?

i’ve got 2 tickets to paradise. and by paradise, i mean the former yugoslavia.

ooh, free local music.

you had me at “cupcake stuffed“.

18 clues you’re anti-feminist piece of crap.

a hearty high five to the person who wrote this truly inspired review of paul’s food center on yelp.

drop off times for SWAPmaine have been released! (early drop off= FREE ADMISSION).

did you know that chicago dogs has a veggie dog?

thus solidifying her place in the pantheon of awesome moms, my mom sent me this link this morning.





so what’s this groupon shit anyway?

18 02 2011

last year when groupon really busted onto the scene in maine, i must have gotten like 48 emails from friends and family members telling me that i should think/write/talk/pee my pants about it.

so i checked it out… and frankly, it left me a little limp (boner analogy intended).

now conceptually, i think it’s a great idea: 1 deal, limited time, limited avialabilty… the deep discount IS seductive, as is the fact that there needs to be enough people taking the deal in order for it to be valid.  but for some reason, i was expecting to be completely blown away, and i just wasn’t.

for example, today’s portland deal is a discount car wash.  i’m sure a lot of people are really enthusiastic about this with the salt/slush tornado that’s been going on here lately, but me, not so much. i suppose with a site like this, it is a bit optimistic for me to expect that the daily deal to appeal to me even the majority of the time… but to date, there has only been one deal that has even vaguely interested me ($10 at barnes & noble for $5). groupon just doesn’t have what i want.

that said, i should be thanking groupon for being so exceptionally copy-able. groupon clones have been shooting wildly from every orifice of the internet for the last year or so, and some of them actually do give me the discount boner that i so deeply desire (although many of them [sorry loonEdeals] could sill use A LOT of work). but what i’ve realized in the last year as i have slugged through the symphony of variations on groupon, is that for me, it’s not about the format that makes a site desireable to me, it’s what they’re selling.  groupon might be the most elegant of the deal sites, but if it only offers car washes and pricey spa treatments… i’m never going to buy.

i’ve made a small list of online deal sites below (of various ilks) that i’ve been enjoying lately, but there’s so many out there! what am i missing? Read the rest of this entry »





worth the trip- the black album (with a plaid b-side).

24 11 2010

i feel like it was just halloween. how exactly is it thanksgiving already? now, thanksgiving means a lot of things to me- pie, defending my vegetarianism against people who think it is a personal attack, pie, rolling my eyes at football, pie, and most of all… BLACK FRIDAY.

to many, getting up at the pre-crack of dawn in order to shiver outside in the icy icy weather in a line of other assholes who also think that this is a good idea does not seem like a privilege. i know it seems wrong on a number of levels, but i can’t stop myself. i’m not even buying any xmas presents. i’m not even trying to score big ticket items at crazy low prices. i just really love a hot bargain, and have designs on expanding my chick flick collection for less than $2 a dvd.

now traditionally, one gets the thanksgiving paper and weeds through the ads while digesting their  gravy coated food baby after dinner (sort of like half time before the pie round). but since this is the internet age, and we’re all a big fucking pack of cheaters, there are multiple websites offering up all the black friday deal fliers days before anyone has to stick their hands into a frozen turkey and pull out the “giblet sack” (and people question my vegetarianism?).

i love black-friday. net, but it really doesn’t make a fucking difference if you go there or to blackfriday.info or even blackfriday.com. the point is that i’ve been planning my black friday shopping strategy for DAYS. here is my present  ACTION PLAN: Read the rest of this entry »





get your cake on!

29 09 2010

i don’t remember a single kid in my entire elementary school that had a peanut allergy. maybe bees (epi pens look so fucking cool when you’re 7), but not peanuts- and certainly not gluten. as a matter of fact, i lived the majority of my adult life not really even knowing what gluten is, or that people even could be allergic to it. but there it is. all of the sudden, everybody and their grandma has celiac disease or is gluten intolerant… where there were once no food allergies or sensitivities, now even walmart has a gluten free department. wacky.

i hate to conjecture as to why there has been this apparent spike in food allergies and conditions (pesticides? medications? evolutionary failure?), because it will just make me want to enclose myself in a plastic bubble (and not the sexy jake gyllenhaal kind, the creepy john travolta kind). but the fact is that gluten allergy/intolerance is a new reality that many have to deal with every day, and it totally sucks.

i fucking love gluten.  i can tear through a bread basket in the blink of an eye (no seriously, if you ever go out to dinner with me- DON’T BLINK if you have any interest in pre-show bread), so my heart goes out (way out) for anyone who can’t enjoy the glory that is starchy, glutenous goodness. that said, there are a growing number of products out on the market dedicated to our gluten repellent friends that are actually quite tasty. for example, i’m a big fan of the lucy’s brand cookies (specifically the sugar cookies). what i’m learning, is that gluten free baked goods can be totally kick ass, as long as they’re done well. unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

to add another layer of suck, gluten free shit is FUCKING EXPENSIVE. can you imagine having to spend $6 every time you wanted to buy hamburger buns? so basically, there’s not much you can eat, and what you can eat is ludicrously pricey. and then what about things like birthdays and holidays? maybe you can get some gluten free  mix or something from the whole foods, but it’s not hardly the same as having someone make you real cake or cookies from scratch.

therein lies the subject of our blog post/love letter today. cakeface contacted me about a week ago about doing a review of their startup gluten free bakery business.  now, i get contacted semi-regularly to review things on my blog, and i don’t always say yes.  what appealed to me about cakeface is the fact that they’re local, they’re vegan, and that i would get to eat cupcakes. sold! i headed on over to their website and ordered half a dozen peanut butter cupcakes, 3 blueberry scones, and 3 chocolate chip scones. the goods were delivered to my office promptly the next afternoon (they deliver to a good chunk of the southern maine area).

reason #1 to love cakeface– the people who own it are some of the best people you will ever meet. jj does the baking, simon handles the business end, and they are both ridiculously nice, charming, and completely genuine. i kind of want them to be my new best friends.  basically, you can rest assured that your cupcakes will not be made by assholes.

i decided to share the scones with the people in my office, and hoard the cupcakes for myself (well, and possibly the boyfriend).  everybody snarfed theirs down in record time, and the only complaint by one of my coworkers was “not sweet enough”.

reason #2 to love cakeface- they make smart food. as far as i’m concerned, people who who like their food overly sweetened have stupid tongues. too much high fructose corn syrup and processed snack cakes have made them unable to appreciate any flavor above and beyond twinkie level sugar shock. it’s tragic. i thought they were the best scones that i’d ever eaten (they are so not paying me for this in cupcakes or otherwise, i just thought they were kick ass scones). moist but not soggy, not too sweet, and with just a tiny bit of salty in there to make things more interesting. similarly, the cupcakes had a nice flavor balance (mildly sweet and nutty), were the perfect moist but not oily texture, and had exactly the right amount of jj’s killer peanut butter frosting (just ask the boyfriend who shoved down 3 of them in a sitting).

cakeface simon and i actually had a funny conversation today about how too much frosting can destroy a perfect cupcake experience. too much frosting for me is a clear sign that the cake portion of a cupcake can’t stand on its own. it’s showboating. excess frosting is full of lies.

reason #3 to love cakeface- they’re unpretentious. food that tastes good doesn’t need 4 inches of buttercream and a fondant daisy to make it worth eating.  my cakeface treats came neatly packed in a brown bag, simply presented, without a ganache floret in sight. oh, and they also threw in a  totally adorable bumper sticker, just because.

ok, so we’ve covered their charmingness, their taste goodingness, and their lack of showboatingness… all excellent and necessary qualities in a bakery. but what’s the bottom line on all this deliciousness?

reason #4 to love cakeface- you can afford them. i’m a girl who has (and will again) paid upwards of $5 for a single cupcake, and you might expect a company like cakeface that uses pricey ingredients like hazelnut flour and vegan sugar to be in the upper ranges of the cupcake market. not so! starting at $1.50 a cupcake, $1 a scone, and $.50 a cookie (less if you order more), you’d be lucky to get some gas station hydrox for the same price.

ok, before this lovefest carries on for too long, let me just say one thing- i know hardcore product/ pimping is not my general modus operandi, but when really good people are doing something admirable and worthwhile (and delicious)… i think they deserve a little shout out.  along with throwing down an order of your own (what’s on their order page is just a starting point- give them a call for everything from birthday cakes to alternative scone flavors), if you want to help support cakeface’s future development (they’re working on a second set of dedicated cookware so that they can also offer nut-free treats), you can also donate to their kickstarter account to help assure that their venture gets started with a real chance. after all, it’s always the right time to get your cake on.





where did this pig come from?

5 09 2010

well, my vacation has finally come to an end. it’s sort of sad, but saying goodbye to the steady diet of bread and cheese (not a lot of vegetarian options in piscataquis county) and lifetime network was an absolute necessity. so i finally dock my bloated ass back in portland, and i’m unpacking all of my various jazz… and this pig rolls out. well, this plastic replica of an antique hog shaped  pin cushion, and its accompanying receipt for $8.99.

um… what? was i on pills or something?

nope. no pills, no demon possessions, no being held at gunpoint… no, something far more sinister was at work here: RETAIL AWKWARDNESS.

on the long ride home from greenville, we made multiple stops at antique malls, thrift stores, and junk shops, all of which turned out to be a bust.  we must have done the 2 minute tour of disappointment at least 7 or 8 times, slipping out the side doors while other customers distracted the shopkeepers from our lack of buying. in and out like some sort of dirty double entendre that i’m too tired to make right now. but somewhere near abbot (maine’s #1 town- at least alphabetically), we stopped into a tiny little antique shop and everything changed.

despite what it declared on the exterior signage, it was really more or a junk shop than anything. a combination of crappy reproductions, aging craft projects, and other dusty sub-garage sale knickknacks. about 30 seconds indicated that it was time to leave, but one unfortunate feature of this store was a large rascal-bound elderly proprietor sitting right next to the front door. oh, and no other customers. at one point i heard a door slam and thought that i might be saved by the distraction of other incoming suckers, but it was only the equally elderly husband of the proprietor, coming in to hover in another part of the shop. there was no escape!

maybe it’s just me, but sometimes when i’m in a kind of depressing store that i can tell isn’t weathering the economy very well, i am overcome with horrible guilt for not buying anything. even when the merchandise is utter (often utterly overpriced) garbage, i still somehow find myself looking harder, digging deeper into bins, trying to find anything that might be worthy bringing home. when the sad eyed shopkeeper is there to stare me down (on a rascal, by the front door no less!), i am powerless. it’s almost like i’m paying a price of the trinket to escape the awkward sadness.

when i saw the pig pincushion sitting on the shelf, i saw my ticket to get out of that store sans bad feelings.  am i the only crazy person who does this? furthermore, is anyone out there in the market for a pig pincushion?