Boss-across-the-hall update

He foiled my plan to volunteer him as a model for the organization’s annual charity fashion show. It was a valiant attempt, nonetheless–especially the part where I remembered the delegate permissions on his e-mail account.
Continue reading “Boss-across-the-hall update”

Park Cafe and cryogenic cookies

Park Cafe
Glacier National Park isn’t exactly a culinary mecca, especially for vegetarians. The only salvation is the Park Cafe, a homey restaurant with a motto you’ve gotta love: pie for strength. In addition to the extensive, homemade pie selection, the Park Cafe serves up some kick-ass Oatmeal Chipper cookies.

I have high standards and won’t waste time on a bad cookie. If it’s burned on the bottom, too flat, or too crunchy, forget it. Oatmeal Chippers were the perfect cookie for the trail–dense, nutty, chocolaty, and chewy. Even better, the cafe staff happily shared the recipe. And then they charged us $250 and wouldn’t give us a refund, so to get revenge I am posting the recipe on the internet.

Ok, not really. The recipe was free, but it was definitely written for a restaurant. Six pounds of flour and 24 eggs? Luckily, some kind soul had converted the ingredient list to quantities for a single batch:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1.5 cups canola oil

Uh, yeah. So desperate was I for the Oatmeal Chippers that I modified this crazy recipe and made a batch. The fatal error? I put in the entire 2 tablespoons of salt.

Some pessimists are saying that extra salt cannot be removed from cookie dough. The woman downstairs, a professional baker, says it’s a hopeless case. Sassy J concurs. I, however, have faith in technology and am keeping the dough in my freezer pending a salt-removing culinary breakthrough.

Bad behaviors

Pillsbury dough boy

At Fatou and Fama on Friday night, over some of Clair’s hand-crafted, award-winning Belgian Tripel, I heard two disturbing tales of bizarre male behavior.

A friend of Clair’s–let’s call him Howard–had been out with a woman several times, and things were going well, especially by his standards. On one fateful evening, however, Howard and his female companion were watching television when Howard decided to poke her in the stomach and cry out, “heehee.” You know, like the giggle that the Pillsbury doughboy makes when the disembodied finger torments him at the end of a commercial. To this day, Howard doesn’t understand why his doughgirl dumped him.

Type E followed up with a yarn about his friend Fred who slept with a woman, jumped out of her bed exclaiming, “time to make the donuts!,” and then left. He spent the next few weeks wondering why she wouldn’t call him.

Boss-across-the-hall update

He is on this strange diet where he eats nothing but sunflower seeds, which of course is an invitation to swipe his big bag of sunflower seeds.

Bring it on.

Fairmount snow

  • Milk? Check.
  • Stack of books and magazines? Check.
  • Blanket? Check.
  • Christopher Elbow spiced drinking chocolate? Check.
  • Leftover tortilla pie and shoo fly pie? Check.
  • Lawnchair to stake out parking spot? Tomorrow’s problem.

Bring it on.

UPDATE: Karl over at Philly Future is compiling a fun list of weblogger storm coverage. Sure beats Hurricane Schwartz.

snow at 22nd and green

22nd and Green

women's way snow

Women's Way

Citizens Bank Park: Update

hot dog gun
More impressions of Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park (aka Taxpayer Stadium II).

  • Hot dog gun: malfunctioned, firing a weiner into right field during the game.
  • Seats: still too close together.
  • Bathrooms: clean (before the game, anyway); a stadium employee was directing stall traffic, which helped the line move quickly.
  • Beer: where is the Hop Devil?
  • Harry the K’s (restaurant built into the left field scoreboard): as expensive as we expected, but a fun place to eat dinner and watch the players warm up.

And it’s good to know that Philadelphia hasn’t gotten uppity just because we have a new stadium:

The “Memory Lane” history display (a.k.a. “Nightmare Alley”) is literally within spitting distance of visitors’ bullpen. By game five, it was blocked off.

Saturday afternoon at the Kimmel Center (really big choir)

Saturday afternoon at the Kimmel Center (really big choir)

Argentina – Arriving in Buenos Aires

In hindsight, it was a terrible, terrible idea to commit to writing a blog post every day for a month. I already missed a day after falling asleep too early on a Saturday night. This is the fault of the recent time change, I’m sure.

Not feeling sufficiently motivated to come up with new material, I dug up 50 pages of writing from a trip to Argentina that Type E and I took to celebrate our five year anniversary. Take some excerpts from there, throw in a few pictures, and voilá — material for the rest of the month.

Argentina, June 8, 2013

After a delay, a panic, and another delay, arrived at Ezeiza International Airport after a long, uncomfortable flight.

First sign after exiting customs? It’s Miller Time. Hmmm.

Grabbed a cab into Buenos Aires, and the driver gave us our first Spanish lesson by pointing at other drivers and muttering, loco! Closer to downtown, we approached a tollbooth and heard an amazing cacophony of noises come from mostly 80s model American cars: beep beep BEEP beep beep beep beep BEEP BEEP BEEP beeeeeeep BEEEEEEEEP.


Finally, we arrived at our apartment in the San Telmo neighborhood.

San Telmo apartment

San Telmo apartment

San Telmo apartment

It’s actually pretty nice on the inside

San Telmo courtyard kitty

The courtyard came with a kitty

Our first outing was a walk up Defensa to wander in and out of the stores, which ranged from fancy kitchen gadget purveyors to underground mall-like spaces that sell everything from fruit to the Rocky soundtrack.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

This kind of pre-dinner wandering became a theme on the trip — there’s always time to kill before Argentinians fire up the grills for the evening meal. Stop for a café con leche (frankly, I needed those to stay awake until dinner), window shop, people watch, have a glass of wine. Sometimes, you get delirious from having to wait so long for dinner:

Bar Plaza Dorrego

Bar Plaza Dorrego

Eventually we ended up at El Desnivel, a parrilla recommended by our host as an inexpensive and local experience. As promised, a carnivore’s paradise. Let’s just say that mushroom omelettes are not their strength, but Type E liked his pork BBQ dish well enough (though he claims not to remember anything about that night except for servers walking around with huge plates of empanadas).

El Desnivel

El Desnivel

When traveling, it’s important to visit the local grocery stores:

boogie pasta

Boogie Pasta

Sufficiently tired and full of food, we decided to recover from traveling by calling it an early night (at least by Buenos Aires standards).

The Humus Reform Committee

Last week, the Humus Reform Committee* appeared on this site, accusing me of taking bribes from Bobbi in exchange for promoting her most excellent hummus.

Sadly, I have received no free hummus from Bobbi. Which isn’t to say that I’m not open to the idea of pay-to-play blogging. After all, Good Grief! is a Philadelphia website. So send me your bribes, payments, and kickbacks, and I will write a nice haiku about your product.

*The Hummus Reform Committee is a bit unnerving. A note sent to its gmail account (hummusatune at resulted in the following reply:

We are in every middle-eastern restaurant, every hummus-serving bar and every supermarket. And now, we are also online.
p.s. We heard you consumed peanut-butter hummus. This action is still under review.

Who wants to join my cult?

what color is your parachute
According to the exercises in What Color is My Parachute, my destiny in life is to be a cult leader.  This career path has many advantages over my current position in the soulless office park:

  • Work from home:  Through the wonders of the interweb, I can preach in my PJs.
  • Travel:  I’ll hold quarterly cult conferences in my favorite cities.
  • No pager or cell phone:  As a spiritual leader, I will be tethered not to an electronic device but to a higher power.
  • Instant audience:  having a cult will be my big publishing break.  Followers will have to buy my books because, well, they’re my followers.
  • Early retirement:  once my cult gets off the ground, I will retire to figurehead status.  I’ll still collect the money and make the big decisions, but day to day cult operations will be delegated to trusted disciples.

I am now accepting applications for the position of disciple trainee; remember, the best way to become a powerful cult member is to get in on the ground floor.  This position includes a great benefits package, complete with Canadian health coverage and a 401(k)oolaid plan.