July 20, 2011

July 15, 2011

July 14, 2011

July 14, 2011

What a Day of Rejoicing That Will Be

This past Sunday, I attended the Summer Fancy Food Show.

You may recall that in past years I have attended the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show.

You may assume that these two shows would be very similar.

You’re right, if you think that a swimming pool and the Atlantic Ocean are also very similar.

Folks, by the end of the day, I WAS PASSING UP FREE CHEESE SAMPLES. That’s how you know this event was huge. The quality and quantity of the free samples (all kinds of food and beverage, not just cheese) emphasized the “for the trade only” nature of this event. Not to knock my own trade, but its conferences aren’t nearly as good.

So, anyway, I got there a bit after the thing started an immediately began cramming samples down my gullet, obviously. I knew from advance planning that there would be approximately 63 aisles of vendors, with thousands of vendors total. From all over the world. Mostly selling food, though a few sold labeling machines or shelves or other foodservice ephemera.

This, in short, is what heaven will look like.

Took an early afternoon break to help judge the Sofi Awards, handed out to innovative food, drinks, packaging, etc. 33 categories. 33 samples. 33 choices.

Eating free food + being judgmental = utopia.

Then it was back to the floor, where I saw Rick Bayless in the flesh, tried avocado ice cream, and watched someone use liquid nitrogen for no other apparent purpose than the wow factor.

Cameras, children, and rolling bags were not allowed, so I was not able to document for you. However, the media has thoughtfully provided the following video:



I’m so glad the NYC convention center was under construction this year, forcing the show to relocate to DC. One man’s smoking hole of asbestos is another girl’s day of a thousand samples.

July 13, 2011

July 13, 2011

Plinko!

My struggles with mathematics are many and varied, but even I sensed something amiss while taking a Frontier Airlines survey:

Do you see it? Perhaps not, depending on your income. See, my current salary puts me JUST below one of the typical thresholds on the income question. I am a day late and exactly $128 dollars short. (We'll pretend for the purposes of this blog that I earn $149,872.) So for this survey, my income level falls between two categories, because they are each separated by $1000.

However, I must follow the Price Is Right in this (as in all things), and select the closest possible category without going over.

What exactly does one do when the correct answer does not exist? What happened here? Was the person writing this survey unfamiliar with the concept of counting? Even *I* get that one.

Oh Frontier, you saucy minx.

July 12, 2011

July 12, 2011

Blue Genes

Cheapskate that I am, I subscribe to several websites and RSS feeds of sample offers, trial sizes, and the like. My mail is filled with teeny boxes of cereal, single dryer sheets, and magazines that I have scored for free. My postman thinks I’m really savvy, I bet. Or insane. Same dif.

Occasionally, as happened yesterday, I’ll get notification of a really freaky freebie. In this case, a free poster of the human genome, with genetic disorders clearly marked.

To my fellow hypochondriacs: DO NOT CLICK. Because examining the many ways in which your cells can turn against you will suck up your entire afternoon.

I mean, take a look at the X chromosome:

By the hammer of Thor, that’s a lot of disorders! You may tell me that most genetic issues, if they are going to occur, would already have presented via an extra limb, colorblindness, or a superpower. I mean, “occipital horn syndrome,” really?

This poster, along with X-Men: First Class, have me convinced that we really are all freaks of nature. A pre-Professor X Charles Xavier at one point during that film mentions that brown hair is a mutation. First off: suck it, blondes. But more importantly, how many other of my gazillionteen molecules are abnormal? And yours?

I can think of nothing less appealing than having reminders of the many ways in which my body could turn against me that do not involve developing telekinesis or the ability to fly, so I’m going to pass on the poster. If you do get it, I assume it will be in order to bring the Marvel universe to life. The Nobel has your name on it, my friend.

July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

Better Off TEG

While riding the elevator at federal-agency-that-shall-soon-be-named*, I recently saw a fellow employee I know only as The Eyepatch Guy. I’ve only seen him a few times, and each sighting raises more questions than it answers.

TEG’s eyepatch is the only thing I know about him. No idea what his name is, what he does, or where he’s from. I’ve thought about making small talk and Nancy Drewing the details out of him. But unlike hair extensions or botox, you really can’t play down an eyepatch. If I mistakenly ask about someone’s new haircut and it turns out they haven’t had one, I just say they must be eating right or some such. You mean you didn’t get a chin lift? I guess you’ve been getting plenty of rest, because you look *luminous*!

(I might have some future in politics.)

However, when it comes to casually referencing AN EYEPATCH, I’m at a loss. The only environments where the eyepatch naturally occurs are 18th-century pirate ships and Majesty Music (inside joke for the fundy folks). So I’m at a loss to slip in a question working in the pirateless, secular workplace that I do.

I’ve seen TEG a few times over the past couple of months, always with the patch. To be fair, I could’ve seen him before the patch era (B.P.E.) and had no idea. Did he have surgery? Is he getting a bionic eye? Did he lose a bet?

Burning questions all. No idea how to get answers.

(I have absolutely no future in journalism.)

To my eyepatch-wearing readers: How might someone inobtrusively find out about your eyepatch? Pretend said inquisitor had glasses and a blog. Discuss.

* Say WHAT?! That’s right, my babies. Prepare for the big reveal, including video evidence, on August 1, 2011.

July 7, 2011

July 7, 2011

Hail and Farewell

I can now proudly announce that I will be moving from my current position at federal-agency-that-shall-not-be-named to cabinet-department-that-shall-not-be-named very shortly.

(It has an ‘e’ in it.)

While I’ve been undergoing the transfer process for a while now, I just got the official word this week. So you, beloved blogreadership, have been just as out of the loop as the co-workers who annoy me every damn day. No worries.

(I started looking for a new job in December. Though, as friend-of-blog Justin pointed out, when am I *not* looking for a new job?)

The downside of announcing that you’re leaving your current job, of course, is that it tends to make people comment on how much they appreciate you, draw attention to you, cause people to give you things, etc.

(Only applies if you’re doing your job well.)

I’ve been learning this the hard way. Because no matter how successful I get, I will always be a chubby agoraphobic only child on the inside. ALWAYS.

The day after I announced my imminent departure, I received a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. Now, I’m certainly not one to look a gift donut in the hole, but I prefer cake donuts. I like a little stiffness to my cruller, and that is 100% not a euphemism.

(Tried to come up with a catchy Johnny Cochran-esque version. The closest I got was “If the donut can be squished, you must acquit.” So…not so much.)

As excited as I am to relocate my lava lamp to another part of DC, I’m not going to let a little glaze get me down. It’s just that there’s no good way to say “Do not celebrate or draw attention to me, but if you must, please do so to my exact specifications.”

(I should start a line of OCD Hallmark card for just such occasions.)

July 6, 2011

July 6, 2011

The Big Owe

You may be aware that Congress is currently playing chicken with the national debt ceiling. (You may not be aware, I suppose: I never can tell how many of these stories make it outside the beltway.) The gist is that Congress must raise the debt ceiling by August 2 or America goes out of business. (Note: Not intended to be a factual statement.)

Prima facie, this would seem to be a battle of conservatives (who will raise the ceiling only with corresponding spending cuts) and liberals (who would prefer government provides exactly what it has been providing). Yes, these are the same folks who almost shut down the government in April. They’re still kicking, and we’re heading into round 2!

However, in a development that would make the writer of any West Wing episode tingle, a new faction of thought has arisen in recent days: what if the President whipped out the 14th amendment and raised the debt ceiling his own dang self because He Is The Decider? Zomg, right? Imagine Martin Sheen pounding his fist on a very dramatically-lit table and you have some idea of how tingly this makes the wonks.

Now, I am not nearly qualified to speak on this, my repeated viewings of all seven West Wing seasons notwithstanding. Obviously the hundreds of commenters on the article cited above have more intelligent things to say than I ever would, to wit:

“Obama lied and the economy died.”

“Democrats founded the KKK instead.....”

“Cons hating America one truth at a time. Why do cons hate America so much?”

I don’t know where these people find the time to flame each other on USA Today messageboards, but not to gain a grasp of punctuation and English syntax. Anyhoo.

I wish I had a more insidery take on this, but when it comes to the inner sanctum of government, I am the girl who gave a ride to the guy holding the coats of the people who clean the inner sanctum.

July 5, 2011

July 5, 2011

Global Foods

I hope you had a lovely holiday, with most of your limbs intact. I ended the long weekend by watching the DC fireworks (yes, the ones narrated by President Santos) from my living room.

However, I spent a good deal of time on Saturday wandering around a (mostly) Korean grocery store called Global Foods. It was crazy.

Okay, this actually looks pretty typical for an ethnic grocery. I know.

Then the banana brittle (were they out of peanuts? for those with peanut allergies?) came out.

This would seem to answer my previous question, except I'm not sure what in the world a "pilinut" is. One would assume it's a type of nut, but they tell me peanuts aren't nuts, either.

I love love LOVE how excited Asian food mascots are. Whether they're advertising a restaurant or a packaged good, they have a very "EAT ME NOM NOM" vibe.

I guess people have done this a lot and caused a real problem for them. And by them, I mean Koreans. And by people, I mean other Koreans.

The freakish samosas selection knocked my socks off.

As did the Coke in a bottle.

Now you're just showing off, Global Foods.

To be fair, the b is silent.