Two Kinds of People

Posted: August 1st, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

As far as I can tell, something that really divides people is whether to roll a corn cob directly onto a stick of butter versus spreading it on with a knife. In my experience, peolpe align themselves fervently with one approach or the other.

For me, I’m a knife-butter-spreader who aspires to being a roller. I just can’t enjoy the ease of rolling enough to make up for the stress that I know the messy stick of butter will cause me later.

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Corn Muffin Conspiracy

Posted: July 27th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 42 Comments »

Simply put, why the f*@#k aren’t corn muffins sold on the West Coast? If you don’t live here I’m not lying about this. It’s true. This is a serious problem, and I’m willing to do what it takes to blow the lid off of this conspiracy.

To give credit where it’s due, this issue was first brought to my attention by my friend Jill. She grew up in Connecticut and she could appreciate herself her a good corn muffin. But in her days living in the Bay Area she noted that they just don’t have them here. Now she has pulled up her roots and she and her family are living back in Providence, RI. Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

Now granted, I’m the kind of person who finds out you can’t get something somewhere and it’s suddenly all I want, need, and crave. I know that doesn’t reveal a very appealing part of my temperament but be that as it may. When I was living in France my junior year of college someone casually mentioned that they have all the same candy bars there, but they don’t have Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Well that’s all it took. I was desperate for them. A candy I’d previously never taken a particular shine to, though within seconds I was lamented how wrong it was that I’d so foolishly overlooked it’s many gastronomical virtues. To this day, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite candy.

So, you can imagine what happened when Jill mentioned the Corn Muffin Debacle. Actually, it was a few years ago and I’m happy to say I didn’t instantly go mad with the thought of the denial. I guess it was because Jill said she just made them herself whenever she craved them–and that pacified me, for a while at least.

But I just got back from nearly 3 weeks back East. While there I stumbled across some Thomas’ English Muffins that were made with corn meal. They were sublime. The same favorite English muffin goodness, with a slightly sweet and more crunchy corn element. We had them at my sister’s house on Cape Cod and everyone who tried one agreed they were delicious.

Then on the last day of the trip I was in the grocery store and saw another fine product by Thomas’: The Corn Toast-R-Cake. Yum! They were essentially like flattened muffin tops that’d fit nicely in your toaster so you could have your nice warm crunchy butter-topped muffin with your, say, Earl Grey Decaf tea for breakfast. My God, people! What could be better than that?!

Well I was flying cross-country solo with a baby and 12-odd tons of associated crap so I squelched the desire to buy some to take back. Besides, I thought, they’ve got to sell these in CA, right? Thomas’ is a national brand. There would be *no reason* for them to deny these delicacies to us Left Coasters just because we don’t like cold winters.

Well, I’m sure you can see where this is going. I got back and spent the ensuing days scouring the shelves of every Safeway and Albertson’s this side of the Mississippi. Sure they had all the standard English Muffins, but no Corn Toast-R-Cakes. Not even the corn English Muffins.

What gives? Frankly, this was starting to get a little creepy. I was feeling like a character in a John Grisham novel who realizes the nice boss at his fancy law firm is really not looking out for his best interests after all. So I did what any good consumer in the Internet Age would do, and sent an email to Thomas’ asking them nicely where near my zip code I can get their delicious corn products. No doubt they are somewhere here, right? I’m just probably shopping at the wrong stores.

Yesterday I got a letter from George Weston Bakeries Inc., some company that I guess is the parent company to Thomas’. In it they thanked me for my “recent communication” and said:
“We regret to inform you that this product [Thomas' Corn Toast-R-Cakes Muffins] as well as our Corn English Muffins is not distributed on the West Coast.”

Aside from the grammatical issues with that sentence, I was understandably troubled. They went on to say some rigmarole about their two corn muffin products being distributed primarily in the upstate NY and New England markets. They also dangled before me the possibility that their corn English Muffins, a new product, may be distributed outside of the northeast some day. Well I’m not holding my breath.

What I want to know is who is behind this? And to be honest with you the conspiracy extends far beyond the George Weston/Thomas’ clan. You can walk into any bakery–large or small–in California and still not find so much as a corn muffin crumb. And how can that be? Tell me there is no small bakery owner who, like Jill and I, hailed from the East Coast and understands the joy of a corn muffin.

And sure, sure, I can make them myself. But at this point, this whole thing is starting to smell very fishy. Someone is up to something and I plan to do everything within my power to get to the bottom of it.

You will hear from me again on this topic, I can assure you. And if anyone reading had any information about this, please please do share what you know. If it ever comes to it, I will not reveal you as my source.

Oy, I need to go take a nap.


A Unique Consumer Opportunity!

Posted: July 25th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

If, like mine, your child is just sitting around looking cute and occasionally demanding food, clean clothes and fresh diapers, why not put him or her to work? Doing what you say? Promoting your blog!

Sandwich boards are unfortunately not practical on children this age, and tattoos are costly. So why not buy a shirt (or onesie or bib, if you prefer) that directs all those who see your little one to read your little blog?

Genius? We think so.

“Read my Mommy’s Blog” shirt ($15)

“Read my Daddy’s Blog” shirt ($15)

It’s a pleasure doing business with you.

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Morning-After Babysitting

Posted: May 20th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The thing with getting a sitter is it thrusts you temporarily into pre-baby mode.

You find yourself out at a lively restaurant amazed that other people apparently have maintained the social life that you abandoned postpartum. You’re ordering fabulous food with menu-item names you don’t thoroughly understand (Ligurian ravioli), but you’re throwing culinary caution to the wind! And of course, you’re having a glass of wine–or two or three. Baby? What baby? We are young(ish) and social and fabulous! Watch us eat and drink! Watch us make witty banter.

Last night we went out to our favorite neighborhood restaurant, A Cote, with Mark’s cousin Maggie, her charming BF Josh, and Maggie’s friend from home (Lexington, KY) who is in the Bay Area being trained for her odd sales job–selling high-end surgical tables. (As Kevin would say, “My career counselor sucked. Who knew these jobs existed?!”) We had a grand evening, and even felt compelled to cap it off with a drink at the local tiki bar.

At this point your baby is a hazy memory. The closest you come to thinking of her is when, in a moment of tiki-bar abandon, you consider showing off your c-section scar. (Don’t worry, I somehow resisted the urge.)

This is all going some place very obvious, right? When Kate woke up at 3AM and again at 6, the crushing reality that you *do indeed* have a baby bore down on you. Trust me, it’s no fun shuffling to get your baby out of bed while you try to recount just what you drank the night before. I guess this is why people like Britney Spears have nannies.

For us non-millionaires, I’ve come up with a sure-fire solution: a morning-after babysitter. (If you read on, consider that you have in essence signed an NDA and will not make off with this brilliant get-rich-quick scheme. And I didn’t even go to business school!) How it would work is you’d call Bruno’s Morning-After Babysitting Service (or some such) and could either pre-schedule having a sitter come to your house in the early morning hours after a night out, or–for quite a premium–you could call and request a sitter right when you need one–in the very painful early morning hours.

Think of what an exhausted, dehydrated, barely functional parent would pay for this! The upside is staggering.

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Long Live Longs

Posted: May 13th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I can write about my divine daughter Kate, but I’m all a-tremble that nothing I say about Longs Drugs will do it the justice it deserves. It’s just that good.

Longs is this kind of mega drugstore emporium that’s in a low-budget strip mall near our house. It’s the best store, ever. You can go in there and ask if they carry the most random thing, and invariably they do. They not only sell your typical drug store fare, they have groceries, an extensive plant department, Christmas trees (when seasonal), picture frames, art supplies, outdoor furniture, clothing, cards, tools, sheets and curtains, pet supplies, books and magazines, toys. They even have an entire fabric department. When my father visited in October I thought we’d be able to drop him off there and return hours later to find him happily humming and picking through things.

My sister Judy told me her friend has two big topiaries that she wants to get rid of, and if I just show up with pots to lug them away, they’re mine. This is the kind of kind of opportunity that delights me not because “two new plants, free”–but because it’s a legitimate reason to go to Longs to shop for something.

I was considering going tonight, but think I’ll relish it more if I go by light of day. It’s Mother’s Day, so mark can watch Kate while I giddily wander the aisles. Oh! I need a graduation card for Mark’s cousin too. Yee hah!

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