Thursday, July 01, 2010

Blank Stares and Blank Pages at Wordpress...

Hey y'all-

Just a heads up that as of July 1, 2010, I've decided to stop double-posting all of my stuff, it's just become too much of a pain and it splinters my readership.

As such, my material will no longer be appearing here on Blogger, but rather only on Wordpress.

So if you'd like to continue reading my stuff, please switch any bookmarks you have so that they head to "Blank Stares and Blank Pages" on Wordpress.



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Silver Lining

Earlier this year, I laid out some goals for 2010 and as the year (which is more than half over already, WTF?!) has continued, I’ve added some other goals.

One of the bigger ones has been to find a “silver lining” in situations that might otherwise be, um, shitty.

For example, I’m currently in the midst of a big punch in the balls courtesy of writer’s block, but the silver lining is that I’ve gotten really, really, really, really good at searching YouTube for obscure movie clips and/or wrestling matches from the mid-to-late ‘90s…so that’s something.

Anyway, to further illustrate the importance of finding a “silver lining” in situations, here are a couple of examples of two situations made drastically less sucky thanks to a “silver lining.”

Example One: No Silver Lining

Example One: Silver Lining

Example Two: No Silver Lining

Example Two: Silver Lining

…see, everything is W-A-Y better with a silver lining.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to return to my regularly scheduled writer’s block and get back to YouTube.

I’m currently watching all of R. Kelly’s hip-hoperaTrapped in the Closet”…silver lining…I hate R. Kelly more than I hate myself right now.

So that’s something.


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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Jeremiah vs Writer’s Block

My Faithful Readers, I’m addressing you today to let you know that despite what you may think, I am not dead.

In fact, aside from a lingering sore throat and the usual knee and back pain, I am in good health and good spirits.

Unfortunately, however, I am suffering from a nasty case of writer’s block.

This happened to me late last summer as well and after a few months’ time I pulled out of it and wrote my tail off…until this bout-o-the block hit me and hit me hard.

For anyone who has never experienced writer’s block, I’ve skillfully drawn up (read: crudely made sorta-shapes) to show you what my latest encounter with writer’s block has been like.

UPDATE: Apparently Blogger is unwilling to let me post my finely-crafted rendition of my battle with Writer's Block. As such, click HERE and head over to the official "Blank Stares and Blank Pages" at WordPress to peep the comic.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

In Defense of Facebook: Privacy Issues

Note: For a less—um—ranty take on the Facebook privacy issues, check out friend of the blog, “The Miller Times.”

The hoopla surrounding Facebook’s latest privacy gaffe is getting absolutely ridiculous.

People are organizing a “Quit Facebook Day” and a “Facebook Protest Day.”

Listen up folks, Facebook isn’t the problem.

You are.

If you don’t want the entire world to know that you just love the crap outta “Real Housewives of Atlanta” or every Nicholas Sparks book ever written, you should probably never, ever, ever, EVER put it online.

If we’ve learned anything in the last 15 years of ridiculous web-growth it’s that anything you put online is out there and it’s out there for good.

More than ten years ago I called in—note: CALLED in—to USA Weekend to ask a question about Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Even though they totally butchered my question to involve Jennifer Lopez and the word “sizzled”...that question is still out there on the interwebs.

That’s right, something more than a decade old and something that originated over the phone and in print is available online. So do you honestly think the things you punch in online aren’t going to haunt you?

Seriously folks, if you're on Facebook and you have more than 100 friends, you've signed away your privacy.

Let’s be real here, you don’t have 100 friends. No one does.

Odds are pretty good that if you went through and deleted everyone that you don’t really talk to and/or care about, you’d be down to about 20-30 people, at the most.

That goes double for all of you half-naked blonde co-eds who have 3,000 friends; your privacy argument is out the window.

Dang near everyone on Facebook is friends with complete strangers who can see all of their favorite bands and television shows and pictures of them wasted on Jagbombs.

Anyone of those “friends” could just as easily be taking all of your oh-so-private information and selling it to the highest bidder, yet no one seems to be concerned enough to go through and wipe out their friends list.

Seriously, go through your friends and try to find someone with less than 100 friends.

On the off-chance you actually found someone who fits the bill, odds are pretty good that they’re either a Facebook newbie or someone’s mom who has yet to figure out how to find “friends.”

It is 2010, everyone has a Facebook page, a blog, a Twitter account, a million online profiles at Yahoo!/MSN/Google/etc. and who knows how many other online entities telling the world all about themselves.

We live in the vainest of times, everyone—whether they know it or not—wants to be an online star.

This is why we all spend ten minutes trying to come up with a witty status update or pose every time a digital camera pops out thinking “this is gonna be a great profile picture!”

Privacy is dead and gone.

If you really want privacy, you’re not on Facebook. You’re not reading this blog. You aren’t on the internet at all.

People who really want privacy don’t talk about how their privacy is being invaded because they’re living in the remote foothills of Kentucky or up in the mountains in Idaho.

Unless you’re ready to live in a cabin and eat raccoon—and/or move to northwest Iowa and hang out with my parents—it’s time you buck up and deal with things the way they are.

If you don’t go around posting everything you like on Facebook, then there’s nothing for the website to share with anyone, let alone those big bad advertisers who you can—you know—ignore.

You control your privacy, not Facebook.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Productivity Killer, Thy Name is “I Saw You MIT”

The huge nerds fine folks here at MIT are known for their creativity.

Whether hacking the ‘Great Dome’ or doing their damndest to rip-off casinos in Las Vegas, the students always seem to be coming up with something to help stave off the stress of—well—going to MIT.

In the last 24 hours, my co-workers and I have discovered a new marvel brought to the world by MIT students, the incomparable I Saw You MIT.

Essentially, this is the same concept as the wildly popular “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist that gives people—usually hopeless romantics and/or simply the hopeless—a chance to toss out a vague message and hope that someone (anyone) responds.

This almost always leads to a confusing thread of replies where some stranger who also happened to live in Alabama and also wore a tie one day last week when it was raining assumes that the post is all about them. It rarely is.

Initials, shirt colors, specific train stops and other completely random facts are then exchanged in an attempt to figure out if either party is actually talking about the other.

In the end, very few of these posts result in anything more than a few chuckles for the large audience of addicted readers and another missed connection.

Beyond the awkward attempts to forge a love connection, there are also the equally entertaining rants that often appear in these sections.

Say for instance some dude farts in an elevator at a busy mall. There’s a pretty good chance that before the day is out someone will work their way to Craigslist and write a scathing rant about the “smelly wildebeest who had the audacity to unleash his foul halibut and old-milk scented odor on the unsuspecting people of the Pine Bluffs Mega-Shop-O-Plex”….or something like that.

Anyway, you get the gist.

Now MIT has its very own version of “Missed Connections.” This means that the odds of being mentioned, knowing someone who is mentioned, and/or at least loosely recognizing someone mentioned are pretty freakin’ high.

This creates a whole new form of entertainment for all of us here at work who have undoubtedly gone through checking for all things “Barker,” “Hayden,” “Library,” “Reading Room,” etc…etc…etc…

We’ve already stumbled upon at least one post that we’re like 98% positive references a co-worker who apparently resembles a pirate.

There are a few others that are just vague enough that they may be about other library peeps and/or they might just be about our patrons.

Either way, productivity here has been pretty much shot as we’ve spent most of our day reading ridiculous post after ridiculous post and giggling madly, thanks MIT, you’re the best.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Cheeseburger Chronicles #055 & #056

I know, I know, I know…

I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of Wendy’s I toss in my face, but I really couldn’t resist.

I hadn’t really eaten all day and was at softball practice for like three hours. I was tired and hungry and on my way to have an adult beverage or two. Without some food in my belly I’d undoubtedly turn into Blackout Gravey…and the world doesn’t need any more of that than it already has to deal with, as such, Wendy’s was a solid choice.

Cheeseburgers #055 & #056

What: Junior Bacon Cheeseburger

Where: Ghetto Wendy’s

When: May 9, 2010

How (was it): They were about as good as anything at Wendy’s that costs a buck can be.

They were hot, the toppings were all crispy and good, and they totally spaced on the tomato, which was great because I wasn’t really feelin’ tomatoes yesterday anyway.

In the end, the burgers did what they were supposed to do, pad my stum-stum and keep me from either vomiting because I was starving and/or keep me from getting wastey-faced after one beer.
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Cheeseburger Chronicles #054

Okay, if I thought going to Four Burgers within two days of my previous visit was a little embarrassing than this visit was downright ridiculous.

Barely 24 hours after my previous trip to Four Burgers, I returned after a few adult beverages at the infamous Muddy Charles Pub with Dan and Shayna – two kick-ass work peeps of mine – along for the ride.

Once again, Four Burgers did not disappoint.

Cheeseburger #054

What: Cheeseburger

Where: Four Burgers

When: April 30, 2010

How (was it): Bad-to-the-Ass!!

Although it is hard to tell from my crappy-ass cell phone camera, it was another wonderful burger.

Once again I implemented the razzle-dazzle technique of ordering a “medium rare” burger to ensure that it was cooked to a perfect “medium” and once again it worked to perfection.

After a few beers, there really is nothing better than a cheeseburger and there is nothing better than a Four Burgers cheeseburger. All-in-all, that’s a pretty solid situation right there.

Additionally, Shayna hooked me up with a nibble of her veggie burger. It tasted mostly like falafel, but it wasn’t all bad. I don’t foresee me ordering one (ever), but it’s good to know that even the weird non-meaty stuff can be pretty bad-ass too.

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Cheeseburger Chronicles #053

I’m not going to lie, this is a tad embarrassing considering that I’d gone to Four Burgers not more than two days earlier, but let’s be honest some days a dude just needs to have a cheeseburger for lunch, right?!


Cheeseburger #053

What: Cheeseburger

Where: Four Burgers

When: April 29, 2010

How (was it): Delicious.

Having deduced on my last journey to Four Burgers that it was in my best interest to order things “medium rare” to get what equates to a “medium” everywhere else in the world, I was blessed with a perfectly cooked “medium” burger.

It was hot and juicy and jam-packed with a veritable butt-load of flavor.

Additionally, the fries were super-duper bad-ass. Can’t argue with that, right?!


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KFC Double Down: Meh

The KFC Double Down has been the recipient of many a headline in recent weeks.

It has been lauded as the greatest thing to happen to chicken since buffalo sauce and it’s been derided as the worst thing to happen to food since – um – everything on the This Is Why You’re Fat website.

Friend of the blog, “The Miller Times” took on the bunless terror a while back and today it’s my turn.

Being that I’m – well – a fatty, I had no choice but to attack this seemingly decedent treat guns-a-blazin’…and I did just that a mere two weeks ago (obviously, I’m a little slow at keeping up on my blogging lately).

It was laundry day.

Anyone who has stopped by here a time or two is well-aware that I f’n hate laundry day with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Not because doing laundry is any sort of agonizing process or anything, but rather because I have to travel to do laundry.

This infuriates me. If laundry were right near my place, I wouldn’t care in the slightest and I’d probably have clean clothes far more frequently.

Anyway, I seem to have gotten off track here, where was I?!

Ah yes…it was laundry day.

Every laundry day, I treat myself to a stop the vaunted KFC/Taco Bell hybrid near the Lost Sock Laundromat.

This generally works out pretty well because in the time it takes me to hike it up the block, order my food, wait and wait and wait for my food and eventually eat me food and get back to the laundromat, the wash cycle is usually finished.

This seemed like the prime opportunity to sample the Double Down. So I sauntered to the counter, full of the swagger that only a man who eschews buns in favor of more dead animal flesh can muster and placed my order.

The gal behind the counter looked as though every asshole male between the age of 10 and 30 who had come in with the same douchey-swagger and order for the better part of two weeks, but she hooked me up with the Double Down nonetheless.

As anticipated – service is a tad, um, sluggish here – the food took about ten minutes, but once it arrived I was on it like a pack of ravenous hyenas on a three legged elk. I tore the “sandwich” from the bag and shoved it in my face.

I then took a minute, or two, or three…as I tried chewing and swallowing the gigantic mass of chicken breast in my mouth.

“Gee…that just tastes like a fried chicken breast,” I thought to myself as I finally – with the aid of an entire glass of watered down Mt. Dew – finished off the first bite.

I took another and another and every time it was the same situation. All I could taste was chicken breast. After my third bite I finally peeled apart the two layers to see what the inner-workings really had going for ‘em and it wasn’t much.

There were two virtually non-existent slices of cheese, some bacon and whatever the hell the Colonel’s secret sauce is. Personally, I think if he’s a legit Colonel, then we can go ahead and invoke the don’t ask, don’t tell policy in regard to the sauce.

Sauce of sketchy origin notwithstanding, it was still a very un-awesome experience.

I eventually choked the whole thing down, feeling disappointed in both KFC and the choices I was making with my life and I slowly meandered back to my laundry.

All-in-all, it was a less-than-inspiring dining option and I can’t say that I’d recommend it to anyone.

For all the hype and hoopla surrounding the Double Down, I was anticipating some sort of dining experience that would change my life forever.

Instead, I got two big pieces of chicken and some stuff in the middle that I couldn’t even taste.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cheeseburger Chronicles #052 (and Mindless Rambling)

I hate when I waste time.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’ve got no issues with “relaxing” and/or simply enjoying some downtime, but when I’ve got things I want to do (ie: blogging/other writing/reading/etc.) nothing irks me more than realizing I’ve wasted half an hour trapped in the Wikipedia or YouTube-vortexes of doom.

Making matters worse is that I’m currently in the middle of day three of a very rare three day weekend. Since Mondays are my Sunday and most paid-holidays are on Mondays—and I work a bunch of these for the bling-bling—I’m pretty sure I’ve had more one-day weekends than three-day weekends since I started at MIT.

Well, I got myself hooked up with a nice little three-day weekend and so far I’ve done pretty well with it. I’ve gotten some blogging done and more or less broke out of my baseball-related writer’s block (w00t, w00t), I did a bunch of laundry, tried the infamous KFC Double-Down, cleaned up around the house, and trimmed my “beard.”

All-in-all it was a pretty successful couple of days.

Today, however, has been an absolute cauldron of suck. I’ve accomplished next to nothing. I woke up super late (read: 9:30am), I didn’t shower (gross), I meandered about the interwebs for three hours seeing all there was to see (not much), and I wrote a quick recap of a burger from last week. Booooooooooooo.

**cue crafty segue**

So what is a dude to do when he can’t get any motivation to get his day started?! Well obviously he should go out and get a big ole cheeseburger…right?! Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical question, of course that’s the answer…a cheeseburger is the answer to all of life’s problems. Except for maybe mad cow disease.

Anyway, onto the burger…

Cheeseburger #052

What: Bacon Cheeseburger

Where: Four Burgers

When: April 27, 2010

How (was it): Good shizzle once again. Although I’m starting to think that there is a serious difference of opinion in regards to what the phrase “medium” means between me and the dude running the kitchen.

I think of “medium” as cooked and still sorta pinkish. That’s how most places hook me up when I ask for it medium. This dude likes to cook all the pink out of it, which on some occasions has led to a bit of overcookage. Which is cool. It happens. The burgers are almost always awesome anyway.

I’ve gotta give a serious shout-out today to the “burger sauce” at Four Burgers. It’s one of the plethora of options you can toss on the burger. It is essentially the same type of “house sauce” you see at any other burger place. It’s likely just thousand island dressing and infused with ketchup and/or mayo, but it is some good stuff.

Me likey.

Seriously, y’all…if you haven’t eaten at Four Burgers yet, you clearly hate yourself.
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Cheeseburger Chronicles #051

It is on the rarest of occasions that Grace and I have converging cravings.

Often I’ll be craving—what else—a bacon cheeseburger and she’ll be in the mood for tofu curry or some other barely edible entrée.

Last Wednesday night, however, Grace turned to me at like 10pm and said the four sexiest words she’s ever uttered:

Grace: "I want a cheeseburger."

At this point my jaw hit the floor and I proposed...or something along those lines?! Perhaps I just started drooling and telling her how we were meant for each other. It all gets a little hazy.

As fate would have it, we snagged some Red Sox tickets the next day and made immediate plans to hit up UBurger before the game…

Cheeseburger #051

What: Cowboy Burger (Bacon/BBQ Sauce/Mushrooms/Pepperjack Cheese)

Where: UBurger by Fenway

When: April 22, 2010

How (was it): F-ing Awesome.

UBurger rocks my face off. The patty is a nice mid-level thickness. Not a pub burger and not a fast food burger, but somewhere right in between. This allows it to be a little overcooked without turning it into a hockey puck.

The cheese, BBQ sauce, bacon, and mushrooms all get along quite nicely together. It was all hot and melty and cheesy and gooey and simply downright awesome.

Although, I sort of wish I’d just gone the basic route like Grace did. She went with the UCheeseburger which is just a standard cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, American cheese, and house sauce.

As I continue my quest to reach the all-elusive (read: might take until August) 100th burger, I’ve found that I’m growing quite found of burgers with lots of veggies on them. It really adds to the flavor and gives some necessary crunch.

Many of the gimmicky cheeseburgers I’ve had this year (Bacon and Blue, BBQ & Bacon, etc…) have been good, but not nearly as good as the ole-fashioned cheeseburger with veggies.

Anyway, that turned into a rambling tangent. Long-story-short, UBurger is awesome. Hit it up and you won’t be disappointed.

BONUS: UBurger opening up a new location downtown by the Boston Common.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Stalker Dislikes More Things

Earlier today I mentioned a few of the things in life that My Stalker dislikes.

These things included, in no particular order:

-Sugary Candy

After all of that, I assumed that today’s edition of “Crazy Person Theatre” was over after she brought me some of the most questionable cotton candy this side of a Wal-Mart food court and disappeared.

I was wrong.

She came back roughly ten minutes ago ranting and raving about many other things she dislikes which include:


-Apparently caterers take issue with creepy women who stalk their food tables in hopes of sneaking off with a bunch of food that they should in no way be privy to. Who knew?! This attitude amongst the catering community infuriates My Stalker. Shocking.


-It seems that there are some students doing karaoke in the student center right now. She went over there to use a microwave or something—no, I didn’t ask what for—and stumbled upon the aforementioned karaoke and proceed to flip her shit. It seems that she dislikes it when people don’t know the words to songs. I can only assume this means her CD collection is void of any Ashlee Simpson albums.


-It’s almost Cambridge Science Week or something and My Stalker hates Science Week. Apparently she volunteered to help a few years ago or something and they made her stand outside—you know, like in the sun and pleasant spring temperatures and all that—to serve as a greeter. This angered her to no end. I guess she assumed they’d let volunteers play with the nuclear reactor or clone some sheep or some shit like that. They did not. She’s still holding a grudge, against the outdoors.

Children Eating

-In her rant about her volunteering “nightmare” she mentioned that they didn’t provide food for the volunteers. Being that she’s the epitome of a freakin’ vulture, this annoyed her to no end; especially when they had the audacity to feed the children. It should be noted that she did, however, steal plenty of food from the event. So there’s that.

Out of Towners

-She went on some random tangent midstream during her Science Week rant about people from—well—any place other than Cambridge. It seems that she absolutely hates when people don’t know where things are and they ask directions and whatnot. She even suggested that there be some orientation process for all outsiders before they’re allowed in Cambridge.

…and that about sums up the latest things she dislikes.

It should, however, be mentioned that the one thing she does like—as established earlier today—is “feeding growing boys” and she was in full-force during her third trip into the library.

When came meandering back into the library—full of vitriol and something that required microwaving—she had somehow happened upon an entire grocery bag-full of chips. She then proceeded to hand me bag after bag of chips.

Cap’n Charisma: “Yeah, I really don’t need any more chips.”
My Stalker: “Nonsense, you’re a growing boy…”
Cap’n Charisma: “No, seriously…that’s plenty.”

She then revealed an entire platter’s worth of mini-desserts she’d undoubtedly pilfered from the aforementioned caterer. In what I can only envision as a Mission Impossible-esque scheme to escape with the desserts, she’d dumped the entire platter into a bag (note: she carries a lot of bags) that was full of papers and Kleenex and other things of that ilk.

She pulled out handful after handful of mini-Rice Krispy bars and brownies and other delectable treats that—in dang near any other situation—would be awesome and proceeded to line them up on the counter. She then pulled out some mini-paper plates, from yet another bag, and re-arranged the desserts for me on the small plates.

Presentation is important, you know.

She then told me to have a great weekend and enjoy the walk back to Central Square after work and she disappeared.

I’ve never told her that I live in Central Square.


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My Stalker Dislikes Things

My Stalker likes to chit-chat, and by “chit-chat” I mean talk at me.

Most of the time I just smile and nod my head whilst thinking please don’t stab me, please don’t stab me, please don’t stab me…or something along those lines.

Well today, she came bearing gifts in the form of—surprise, surprise—pilfered food.

Today it’s a bagged lunch that she swiped from who-knows-where consisting of a fancy-ass chicken salad sammitch and some classy potato chips.

Under normal circumstances—normal meaning “not from a creepy middle-aged stalker”—I’d probably gobble that sammitch down. The problem is that nothing involving My Stalker happens under “normal circumstances” because—well—she’s a freakin’ stalker.

I’m like 90% sure that anything I eat will be laced with roofies or LSD or chloroform and I’ll wake up in my boxers chained to a drainage pipe in her basement and, let’s be honest here folks, that sounds pretty darn unappealing.

Anyway, whilst handing me the “food” she went on a rant about how she hates waiting in line for food, which perhaps explains why all of her “gifts” are things she’s scavenged from garbage cans, empty meetings halls, and/or student receptions.

She also told me that she’s not a big fan of meat, but she knows I am. This is likely why she once brought me an entire platter of ill-begotten deli meats. I don’t know where they came from and honestly I don’t want to know.

How she knows I’m a fan of meat is beyond me, I’ve never said as much. In fact, most of my conversations with My Stalker consist of the aforementioned nodding and panicked inner monologue.

Anyway, where were we…ah yes…she hates lines, she doesn’t like meat, and apparently she doesn’t like M&Ms.

I know that lil tid-bit because she’s apparently got a plethora of M&M cookies at home that she meant to bring me, but forgot.

Now, as always, I don’t know where they came from. Maybe she baked them (unlikely), maybe she bought them (highly unlikely), or maybe she swiped ‘em out of a garbage can (ding, ding)…either way I’m not eating them.

I’ll do what I always do. I’ll smile. I’ll say “thanks!” I’ll take ‘em downstairs to my office and/or the men’s room. I’ll throw ‘em away as hard as I possibly can.

Oh goody, while I was typing this she just showed up with some scraggly-assed cotton candy. Being that this is a college campus and not the fucking Big Apple Circus, I’m just a lil uneasy about sampling it.

Apparently she doesn’t really like sugary candies, so that’s why she brought me the cotton candy.

Come on now, this is getting a little out of hand. Bringing me a sammitch or random platter of dead animal flesh is one thing. That type of thing could easily be stumbled upon somewhere on a college campus on one’s way to the library.

But cotton candy?! Seriously?!

This may be the most concerned I’ve ever been about any item she’s ever brought for me (or maybe not).

Sure, sure it’s probably out of line to assume that she’s just given me an entire spool of melty cotton candy laced with rat poison or something, but damned if I ain’t a little bit concerned.

Anyway, I should mention that after going on her various mini-rants about all the things she hates, she did go on to say that she likes making sure growing boys are well-fed.

…undoubtedly to make us more valuable when she harvests our organs?!
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grace is Trying to Murder Me

I just want to make something totally clear now…if I have a heart-attack, it’s all Grace’s fault.

What’s that you ask, my Faithful Readers…why would Grace want me dead?

Well, I’m not entirely sure either. Perhaps I’m too awesome and it’s overwhelming being around someone who possesses so much raw, uninhibited awesomeness. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.

What I do know is that Grace has every intention of giving me a heart-attack.

Tonight we were making supper together. We’re whipping up a Midwestern staple, tuna noodle casserole and—to be frank—this stuff ain’t exactly health food. It’s got mayo, cream of mushroom soup, and a whole host of other non-healthables in it.

I did, however, go out of my way to get low sodium cream of mushroom soup and the healthier, new olive oil mayo stuff.

All of this was done with the intent of keeping the ole ticker runnin’ smooth.

So what does Grace do? She seasons it with salt!!

That’s right she added more SALT!!!

I know, right?! I was just as appalled as you are.

After all of my efforts to keep the sodium and other deathy-things levels down, she goes in and adds a whole big bunch-o-salt.

So make note, Faithful Readers, if I keel over from a heart-attack at any point, ever, it’s all Grace’s fault.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Patriots' Day Kinda Rules

Patriots’ Day, Who Knew?!

I’m not gonna lie, before I moved to Boston I’d never head of Patriots’ Day.

In fact, even after we moved out here, I initially thought it was some sort of gratuitous state-wide celebration in honor of Tom Brady and the boys on the gridiron.

As it turns out, that’s not the case. Not even a lil bit.

It’s actually all about commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord. According to the always accurate Wikipedia, it’s celebrated only in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (that’s right, we’re a Commonwealth, bitches!), the state of Maine, and—oddly enough—is a public school observance day in Wisconsin.

Yeah, Wisconsin…I know, right?!

Anyway, I just wanted to mention a few bitchin’ things about Patriots’ Day for all of my readers who don’t reside here in the Commonwealth, up in Maine, or—ahem—attend middle school in Wisconsin (by the way, if I have any readers—middle school-aged or not—in Wisconsin, I’d love to hear from you!)…and with that, here be the five bitchin’est things about Patriots’ Day.

Paid Holiday

Yeah, that’s right folks. Everyone out this way got to spend today sleeping in, eating Clam Chowder and talking sans-Rs in their jammies, simply because it was Patriahts’ Day. You can’t beat that stuff! For those of us who work Tuesday through Saturday (read: me) this means that I get to duck out for a full day somewhere in the middle of the week and/or show up late and leave early all week to balance hours, good stuff.

Boston Marathon

Let’s be honest, few marathons are as bad-ass or as popular as the Boston Marathon.

Morning Baseball

The Red Sox traditionally play an 11am game against some poor opponent who sticks around for an extended four-game weekend. I’ve managed to attend one of these—tickets for the Patriots’ Day game are pretty steep—and it was a great, albeit rainy, time.

Drunk College Kids

Let’s be real, if you’re going to give college kids the day off, they’re going to start drinking at like 7am, just for the sport of it. This will be even more intense if they have delusions of grandeur involving the marathon and/or the Red Sox game. Luckily, knowing most of the pop-collared peeps around here, it’s safe to assume that they were all either in bed or in the hospital by noon.

Did I Mention the Paid Holiday

Yeah, this one totally deserves a second mention. Growing up in Iowa and attending college in Minnesota, the concept of a “paid holiday” is largely foreign to me. When it comes to paid holidays there are a butt-load of ‘em out here in Massachusetts, but this quasi-fictional one is by far my favorite simply because I know that like 95% of the country spent today at work while I got to sit sleep in and eat cheeseburgers.

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Cheeseburger Chronicles #050

 That’s right ladies and gents, it took three days in a row of cheeseburger gluttony, but we’ve finally reached the magical milestone of fifty burgers for the year.

Given that today is the 109th day of 2010 I’m averaging dang-near a burger every other day.

That’s either super gross or totally awesome.

I’ll let all y’alls decide.

Me personally?! I just think it’s just dandy.

Cheeseburger #050

What:Bacon Cheeseburger

Where:Friendly Toast in Kendall Square

When:April 19, 2010

How (was it): This was a pretty solid burger. It was juicy and covered in cheesy, melty deliciousness and crispy bacon. Good stuff.

The highlight was that they’d absolutely overloaded the bun with lettuce and tomatoes.

Now I’m not always a tomato kinda guy.

In fact, there are some days I downright hate ‘em. Like seriously loathe ‘em.

If I catch a tomato lurking around me on a non-tomato kinda day, the odds of me superkicking that tomato in the face are pretty damn good.

Luckily, today was a pro-tomato kinda day, which—because I’m batshit crazy—meant that tomatoes are my favorite food ever.

As such, finding a burger that was not only cheesey and bacony and juicy but covered in a whole damned armada of tomato slices pretty much made my day.


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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cheeseburger Chronicles #049

If you’ve learned anything about me in your time here at “Blank Stares and Blank Pages” it is that I am a fan of cheeseburgers and I make poor-decisions, frequently.

This entry is a combination of those two certainties in my life.

That’s because this post involves, ghetto Wendy’s...

Cheeseburger #049

What: Bacon and Blue Burger

Where: Wendy’s in Central Square

When: April 18, 2010

How (was it): Let me go ahead and start this thing off by saying that I’m not proud of myself on this one. I know I’d basically sworn of Wendy’s—or at least the rapidly-declining Bacon and Blue Burger—after my last less-than-awesome experience nearly a month ago.

I went meandering today, mostly with the intent to get some contact goo and return a movie at Blockbuster. I decided I’d get a burger while I was out because, well, that’s what I do…but before I could get to my original destination (Four Burgers) it started pouring.

To duck out of the rain, I took shelter in Wendy’s and thought What the hell? and sauntered up to the counter and made my order.

Whilst waiting for my order some crazy old bitty came in ranting and raving (this is an all-too-common occurrence at this particular establishment) and insulted the guy behind the counter, the food, the service and eventually went on a ten minute rant about the lack of serving trays.

As such, I decided to hightail it outta there when my food (which did come pretty darn slow for a lazy Sunday afternoon) finally made its way into my grubby paws. I bolted to avoid the crazy lady who had made awkward eye contact and I ate down the street near my apartment on some picnic tables.

I unwrapped the burger and took a bite and noticed something was amiss.

That delectable secret sauce? Missing.

The delicious sautéed onions? Missing.

The freakin’ bacon? Missing.

That’s right the BACON and Blue burger had been served without bacon or the special sauce or the freakin’ onions. What this meant was that I had a burger with a big steaming pile of melted blue cheese and a slice of gnarly lettuce on top. That was it!!

Unfortunately, I was already blocks from Wendy’s and just said screw it and finished my burger.

It wasn’t good. I don’t really like blue cheese unless it’s got stuff to mix with…and it didn’t. So it was pretty freakin’ gross.

I’m still not ready to Embargo Wendy’s, but I sure as hell am warming up to the idea of burning it to the ground.

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Cheeseburger Chronicles #048

In life, we all make poor-decisions.

This is inevitable. At some point you’ll stick your finger in a light socket, lick a frozen piece of metal in the winter, tell a cowboy his hat makes him look ‘jaunty’ or purchase a burger at a Roller Derby event.

This past weekend, I was guilty of the latter.

Having meandered to the Shriner’s Auditorium in Winchestertonfieldville, Canada right after work, I had no time to snag food.

I shoved a banana in my craw on the trip there, but that held my hunger at bay for roughly the same amount of time anyone can actually stand listening to Bob Dylan songs. Seriously, don’t be like that. You know that you’re done after like two songs.

Anyway, so when we reached the great white north, my fate was sealed.

I was going to eat a derby burger.

Cheeseburger #048

What: Convertible Bacon Cheeseburger

Where: Shriner’s Auditorium: Canada(ish)

When: April 17, 2010

How (was it): Believe it or not, this wasn’t the worst burger I’ve had in 2010. That honor still rests in the unwashed hands of the Massachusetts Avenue Restaurant.

It wasn’t by any means, a good burger, either. For starters—as you can tell in the picture—it had no top bun.

I had my hands full when the toothless lady behind the counter handed me the Styrofoam (GOOOOOO EARTH!) container, so I just tossed my money at the gargoyle behind the cash register and sauntered back to my seat.

It wasn’t until the big “unveiling” for my peeps that the lack of a bun became apparent. Being that it was a long walk to the concession stand and I’m a lazy tool, I just ate it like an open-faced sammitch.

The bacon was crunchy, not crisp mind you, but crunchy and the cheese was only sorta melty. The bun was soft, so that’s something.

The patty itself wasn’t juicy by any stretch of the imagination, it was undoubtedly of the frozen (or recently picked off the highway) variety. Either way it is safe to assume all of the good burger juicy-juice was long gone. It wasn’t, however, overcooked or awful. It just sorta tasted like a drastically more gamey McDonald’s patty.

There was, however, some sort of “special sauce” lurking underneath the patty that I chose not to investigate.

It was actually pretty good and that makes me nervous. What if that “secret sauce” is some weird Shriner cult mixture of ox blood and unicorn semen?! Do I want to know that?! No, no I don’t. That’s why I didn’t lift the patty. I didn’t investigate.

I’ll pretend it was Cheez Whiz or something and move on with my life.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Nerds are Forgetful…and Weird

Library lost and founds are chock-full of things people have left behind.

Often times it’s something small and innocuous like a stocking cap, an umbrella or a notebook.

Other times it’s something more important like a cellphone, a laptop or an iPod.

Then there are the other other times where it’s something completely random.

With that, I present to you, my Faithful Readers, the three items left in the library today:

Yeah, that’s right folks…that’s a jug of milk, some roast beef, and a squeaky shark that has water in it. The water actually shoots out of the shark’s teeth and is pretty bad-ass.

The scarier part is that—from what the students told me when they brought these items up to the desk at closing time—none of these items were together. Three different people seemingly left behind these three completely random items.

Nerds are weird.

PS: If you want some roast beef and/or milk, it’s in the fridge in my office.

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Cheeseburger Chronicles #047

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this one or twice before here, but I’ll do it again…at work we’ve got this mentor/mentee program between the librarians and support staff.

We teach the librarians circulation stuff that they might not know and they teach us researchy-type things that we might not know. All-in-all, it’s a pretty good setup and everyone wins.

My mentor, Darcy, is about as bad-ass as they get. There’s really no doubt about it, but she went about and beyond by snagging me a burger the other day and then sprinting back to the library to ensure she got it to me before I’d left for the day.

Sure, sure…she acquired the burger from what she described as an odd truck that was just sort of circling campus and giving away food whilst grilling. Needless to say, the burger was a little suspect, but there was no way I’d turn down a free burger.

Cheeseburger #047

What: Cheeseburger of Questionable Origin

Where: A Mysterious BBQ Truck

When: April 8, 2010

How (was it): Not bad. It was still warm when Darcy got it to me, which was a place and it had a super soft bun.

The burger itself was pretty plain and had a fake smoky kind of flavor to it. It was blatantly overcooked, but it was a thin enough patty that it didn’t make it unbearable.

For a free cheeseburger of sketchy origins, it wasn’t too shabby.

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Cheeseburger Chronicles #046

Upon returning to Boston, I spent most of my first day lurking in the house trying to get “wit it” as the youngins are wont to say.

When supper time finally rolled around, I realized I didn’t have any groceries in the house, so my options were limited to ordering in or meandering out.

Being that I’d spent all day cooped up inside, I felt like heading out into the real world.

Obviously, I ended up at Four Burgers.

Cheeseburger #046

What: Bacon Cheeseburger

Where: Four Burgers

When: April 5, 2010

How (was it): Delicious.

After a rare misfire on my previous Four Burgers excursion, the fine folks behind the counter righted the ship this time around.

The burger was cooked to a perfect medium, the cheese was all super melty and gooey and the bacon was crisp and delicious.


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Cheeseburger Chronicles #045

My buddy, Craiggers first took me to Hazzard’s when I was home last May for another friend’s wedding and to catch my brother in the Special Olympics.

Essentially, Hazzard’s is Hillbilly Hooters, which is definitely sayin’ something.

Imagine a plethora of busty co-eds in cut-off jean shorts and shirts that are undoubtedly not-OSHA approved. This is usually capped off with a cowboy hat and/or cowboy boots.

Ah yes, and the beers are served in Mason jars whilst country music blares non-stop in the background. All-in-all the place has my stamp of approval.

The question is whether or not their signature item, the Hazzard Burger would have the same positive impact. The Hazzard Burger is—in all reality—just a Luther Burger, a bacon cheeseburger with Krispy Kreme donuts in lieu of buns.

Let’s be honest, I pretty much had to order one, right?!

Cheeseburger #045

What: Hazzard Burger

Where: Hazzard’s Bar and Grill: Mankato, Minnesota

When: April 2, 2010

How (was it): Interesting is the first word that comes to mind.

The burger was overcooked, which killed the overall experience because it was a pretty thick patty and that made it very hockey puckish. Somehow the whole donut thing worked pretty well, despite the overcooked burger.

The burger really needed to be slathered in pickles or something to counteract all the sweet from the donut, but in the end it wasn’t too shabby.

I mean, I’d never in a million years order it again, but it wasn’t too shabby.

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Cheeseburger Chronicles #044

I wanna make something clear here, folks, it’s not like I was trying to have a burger every other day of my trip, it just sorta worked out that way.

On this particular day we went out for lunch and the destination was Culver’s. Culver’s is home of the freakin’ ButterBurger. Is it even remotely possible I could have gotten something else?!

Okay, it probably is…their menu is insane and includes everything from burgers to walleye to pot roast. It’s kinda nuts. Undoubtedly, however, I went with a burger…

Cheeseburger #044

What: Double-Bacon Deluxe

Where: Culver’s (North Mankato)

When:April 1, 2010

How (was it): AWESOME!!

I never ate at Culver’s much whilst in college because—well—I was in college and broke. As such, I dominated the dollar menu at McDonald’s most of the time when I needed a burger fix.

It’s a shame I wasted all of that time.

The burger was super juicy and really flavorful and made me super-duper happy. Granted, it managed to not fill me up—which is odd given its size—and I ended up going back to get a chili-cheese dog as well.

I should probably eat less or throw-up more. One of the two.

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