Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Great Coffee Dilemma

I hate coffee.

Like seriously, I really hate it.

It tastes awful. It almost always burns my mouth. It smells like it’s going to be awesome, just to lure you in, and then it tastes like baby souls and shame.

That having been said, I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to the hot, black devil.

You see, my Faithful Readers—despite my disdain for coffee—I’ve still got this itch that I’ve gotta scratch known as caffeine addiction.

As has been well-documented here at “Blank Stares and Blank Pages,” I’ve got some sleeping issues. As such, I’m often in dire need of caffeine to—well—function during the day.

Obviously this leads to a vicious cycle. A cycle which has been pointed out to me many-a-time.

The conversation typically goes like this:

Your Hero: “Man…I’m so freakin’ tired today.”
Random Passerby: “How come, my exquisitely-dressed friend?”
Your Hero: “Well, Random Passerby, I didn’t sleep at all last night.”
Random Passerby: “You didn’t sleep at all last night, yet your still so vibrant, friendly, and you smell like a rugged woodsman—in a good way of course.”
Your Hero: “…but of course.”
Random Passerby: “Do you suppose it’s because you had eleven Red Bulls, six Mountain Dews and a hand-full of No Doze yesterday?”
Your Hero: “That’s poppycock!!”
Random Passerby: “Have you tried going without caffeine?!”
Your Hero: “Yes…yes I have.”
Random Passerby: “I like your beard.”
Your Hero: “I know, everyone does.”
Random Passerby: “Anyway…you were saying.”
Your Hero: “Yes, I’ve tried to go caffeine free before and I still can’t sleep, but then I can’t function during the day either. So I’m pretty much worthless all-around the clock.”
Random Passerby: “Well, gee…that sucks. At least you’re awesome…”
Your Hero: “True ‘dat…”

That right there is pretty much how my conversations always go when people inquire about my caffeine consumption.

Lately, however, I’ve been rollin’ without energy drinks and soda as part of MIT’s annual (and super bad-ass) GetFit challenge. Essentially the getfit@MIT challenge is a three-month fitness challenge.

Peeps split up into groups and are expected to meet weekly fitness goals. It’s an awesome program that is designed to help people shed some of the winter weight they’ve packed on and most likely to keep a large chunk of the workforce from keeling over at any given time.

The MIT Libraries enter a team (or two) every year because, well, we’re freakin’ awesome and that’s just how we roll.

One of my goals for this year’s GetFit was to try and cut down on energy drinks and sodas. Granted, this was more for the fiscal gains rather than the health gains, but whatevs…it still plays well in the spirit of the challenge.

I figure that in an average week, I spend upwards of $40 on energy drinks and sodas. On a big week (read: when I don’t really sleep at all) it can be closer to $65 or worse.

Most energy drinks run a dude somewhere between $3 and $5 a piece anymore and it’s not entirely out of line for me to swing into 7-11 before work and snag $15-$20 worth of beverages, often times I’ll be lucky to stretch that supply out over more than two days.

As such, I’ve given myself a serious limit during GetFit.

I’m allowed a grand total of ten sodas and five energy drinks.

That’s it.

I’ve already used up three of the sodas.

I wasted one on accident without even thinking. I was at Sbarro’s getting a slice of the “zza” (as the kids call it) and I’d ordered some sort of combo. The dude slid me a fountain soda of Mt. Dew and without even thinking, I had half of it gone before I realized what I’d done.

The second came from the magical Coke machine at MIT. Obviously a dude can’t turn down a magic Coke, so I guzzled that one down.

The third came the other day when I just absolutely was craving a Coke with my hot dogs and made it happen.

I had my first energy drink today; which is why I’m typing about a million miles a minute and why I’m assuming this entire post doesn’t really flow well.

After nearly a month without energy drinks—and trying to supplement my caffeine necessities with the black death—this energy drink pretty much feels like the greatest thing in the world.

I feel both energetic and powerful.

In fact, here’s my status update from Facebook (where you can become a fan of BSBP) that came roughly 17 seconds after my first sip:

“First energy drink in nearly a month. So. F-ing. Awesome. I feel like Zeus must have felt after a line of blow and a Pulp Fiction-esque dance marathon with Uma Thurman. Now how to use this feeling of euphoria and power?! Ah yes, sitting at the circulation desk...perfect!!”

Yeah, ‘twas exactly that awesome.

On the bright side I’ve been incredibly productive, so that’s something.

Anywhere, where the hell was I going with this?!?!?!

Ah yes, coffee.

I’m addicted to the stuff. I had my first taste of it about three weeks ago. It was awful, but it was also caffeinated.

Since then I’ve been chugging the stuff, essentially by the pot. On any given day I’m drinking anywhere from one to three pots of coffee. Not cups, but pots.

Sure, sure most of my cups of coffee at a solid 50/50 mix of coffee and creamer, but I’m still chugging that crap like nobody’s business.

Given the drastically more euphoric feeling of energy I get from energy drinks, I’ve got assume that I’ll probably switch back when GetFit is all said and done, but financially I’ve spent—at most—a whopping total of $20 on coffee stuff in three weeks. That’s like one bad day of energy drink and soda consumption.

It’s hard to argue with that kind of math.

Granted it’s also hard to argue with the fact that I need two pots of coffee to simply function and just one energy drink to feel like I could run through a brick wall and shoot lightning bolts from my eyeballs.

Honestly, if Kimbo Slice were to walk in here and challenge me to a fight right now I’d go all jungle cat on his ass and beat him to a bloody pulp!!

…or at least go down swinging.

If I were simply drinking coffee today and Kimbo Slice walked in here, I’d still be so out of it that I probably wouldn’t even recognize him and he’d totally get the drop on me.

You see, my Faithful Readers, it’s going to be a tough choice when all of this ends.

Do I go the fiscal route and stick with the disgusting mess that is coffee or do I go the tasty, drastically more expensive route of energy drinks.

Feel free to weigh in with comments; Jebus knows that I can’t make an important decision of this magnitude by my lonesome.

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My Newest Superpower and/or My Dumb Luck

My Faithful Readers, I don’t want to alarm you, but I might have superpowers.

Sort of.

Well, maybe not at all. It’s far more likely that I am:

a) really lucky
b) the beneficiary of a malfunctioning machine

Either way, I feel pretty bad-ass about the whole thing.

There’s a Coke machine at MIT that hooks me up with a free can roughly 33% of the time.

Call me crazy, but that’s a pretty solid percentage.

That fact notwithstanding, I don’t do anything to abuse this glorious gift from the Coke gods.

You see, I used to walk by this machine a lot more often when I lived in Southie and took the subway to and from work every day. I’d say only once a week or so would I press my luck and try for the mystical free Coke.

Since moving to Cambridge, I’ve only encountered this machine a handful of times and I’ve been a little more willing to press my luck (and the button) every time I saunter by the machine.

My first Coke came as a total shock to me. I was walking by the machine on my way to the subway one night after work and as I passed a bank of vending machines, I just started randomly pressing buttons, why I don’t know, and suddenly one push produced a loud clanging noise and then a beautiful red can suddenly appeared.

It took a minute to register, but then I did a happy dance and popped the top on my free Coke.

This happened, at random, roughly four more times.

Then it stopped. I went months without getting a free soda.

We moved to Cambridge and I never thought of the machine again.

Then, the other day whilst searching for an elusive Taco Truck (blog entry forthcoming) I sauntered by the machine and gave it a push. Nothing happened, but I figured I’d try my luck again the next time I ventured that way in search of the aforementioned ninja-like Taco Truck.

My next trip came a week later and *BAM* that machine Coked me up something fierce.

As one might expect, I gave the machine a hug and went on my merry way.

…but you can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll be headed for that machine the next time I’m on that side of campus.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Peed a Little

I’m a big ole fan of comics on the interwebs and one of my faves is XKCD.

I’m sure all y’all have stumbled across an XKCD comic at one time or another, but for anyone who is completely uninitiated here’s the rundown straight from the horse’s mouth:

“I'm just this guy, you know? I'm a CNU graduate with a degree in physics. Before starting xkcd, I worked on robots at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. As of June 2007 I live in Massachusetts. In my spare time I climb things, open strange doors, and go to goth clubs dressed as a frat guy so I can stand around and look terribly uncomfortable. At frat parties I do the same thing, but the other way around.”

Basically he’s a super nerd who writes comics about super nerdy things that are also all-kinds of hilarious.

All-kinds, I say!!

Sure, sure….XKCD has the occasional post that references “contradictory axioms,” “squared time resistance,” and/or “Lord of the Rings” and I generally have no idea what’s going on, but the rest of the time it’s bad-to-the-ass.

In fact, here’s one from a few days ago that made me laugh so hard that I’m pretty sure I tinkled in my pants, but just a lil bit. You know, just like a few milliliters or something, nothing that wouldn’t be deemed social acceptable.

Here it be:

Laughed so hard I peed...
Try to tell me that doesn’t sound like an awesome way to spend an afternoon?!

I figure this same logic could be applied to all sorts of “uniform” that can be purchased with ease.

With that thought in mind, if anyone would like to buy me a policeman’s uniform so that I can go ahead and live my dream as a real life version of John McClane in Die Hard, that’d be swell.

Like, you know, really freakin’ swell…

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Blog Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy…

Okay, blog pimpin’ is actually pretty easy, but it’s not something I’d normally go out of my way to do.

You see, my Faithful Readers, I’m not normally one to use my blog as a vehicle for shameless promotion—except for self-promotion, that is—but today I can’t pass up the opportunity to rock some shameless promotion for someone else.

Andrew Miller—a fellow Minnesota State graduate, wordsmith, and an all-around nifty fella—is implementing one of the most original forms of bribery to push readership and fanship right now and I cannot help but support the cause.

Andrew’s blog, “The Miller Times,” has been featured in my blogroll (that’d be that list over to the right) for a while now, but he’s recently stumbled upon a renewed sense of bloggitude and has been churning out plenty’o’good reads.

As such, I think he deserves a little more traffic and some free marketing for his current campaign.

The campaign’s intent is to nearly double the number of fans on his blog’s Facebook page, a noble cause if ever there was one and one that I’ll support any day of the week.

Here’s the gist of his marketing campaign, straight from Mr. Miller’s fingertips:

“I'm announcing a new contest today, a Tell-a-Thon, if you will. If I can hit 400 fans this week, I'm going to randomly mail out autographed boxes of Triscuits to 10 somewhat lucky fans. (Yeah, Triscuits!) Do me a favor, and suggest this page to your friends. If nothing else, do it for the delicious crackers.”

If you’ve been to the “Blank Stares and Blank Pages” Facebook page and/or the “Cheap Seat Chronicles” (that’s my sports blog for the uninformed) page at Facebook, you’ve no doubt seen that both pages support “The Miller Times.”

If you’re a fan of my blogs on Facebook: a) thanks a ton and b) why not go ahead and get your fan on for another bad-ass blog.

It’s like the old saying goes: the third time’s a charm, when it comes to blog fanship on Facebook.

Seriously, a freakin’ charm!!

It’s like an unwritten rule. You’ll win the lottery or something, or at least you’ll seriously up your odds of snagging some free Triscuits…and who doesn’t love themselves some Triscuits?!

Carrot Top and Commies, that’s who.

So if you’re not Carrot Top or a Commie, head on over to Facebook and get your fan on for “The Miller Times.”

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cheeseburger Chronicles #019

Oops! I did it again.

What do you expect? I purchased a pound and a half of hamburger and a whole bag of buns, why wouldn’t I make myself another burger for supper?

Tonight I mixed things up a little. I chopped up a bunch of onion and mixed in Tapatillo with the burger before making the patty. It gave it some real kick. Good stuff.

Cheeseburger #019

What: Cheeseburger

Where: My Kitchen

When: February 16, 2010

How (was it): It was hella good.

Like so good I’m contemplating making another one, but I can only assume that Grace would flip out about heart attacks and strokes and whatnot. Nobody wants that.

The onions on the outside got all crispy and crunchy; the ones on the inside were still all raw and powerful.

The Tapatillo gave it some real punch which was awesome and it all blended perfectly with the two slices of melty American cheese.

Honestly, if there’s a better cheese for a burger than American, I’ve yet to find it.

Anyone out there got a fave cheese other than good ole American?! Lemme hear it…

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Cheeseburger Chronicles #018

Some days you just need a burger.

Today was one of those days.

I was originally planning to go to Wendy’s, more for the chicken nuggets that I was also craving than anything else.

Luckily, just as I got to Wendy’s and saw it was surrounded its usual plethora of creepy-looking drunks and homeless people, I changed course and headed to the grocery store.

I bought a couple pounds of hamburger, some buns, and—because I couldn’t resist—a package of a dozen sliders.

I’ve decided to save the twelve sliders—and twelve new burgers for the countdown—for a later time and date; perhaps when I’ve got another long weekend, because microwaveable cheeseburgers haven’t exactly boded well for me in the past.

Anyway, on with today’s burger:

Cheeseburger #018

What: Cheeseburger

Where: My Kitchen

When: February 15, 2010

How (was it): It was pretty freakin’ good.

I took the meat and seasoned it with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, some black pepper, a shake or two of garlic salt and a hearty dosage of Worcestershire sauce.

I fried it up in butter and then melted two fresh sliced pieces of creamy, melty American cheese on top of that bad boy.

As I prefer, it was cooked to a nice medium with a little bit of pretty pink in the middle and tons of juicy, deliciousness.

Great. F-ing. Burger.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cheeseburger Chronicles #017

So after my first experience with a LaVerdes cheeseburger, I decided I had to go back and give it another go’round.

After all, the first experience had been both good and bad, so logically I needed to try it again and see if it was more of the former or the latter.

So I sauntered into LaVerdes and should be behind the counter but the best guy on staff.

He takes my order and I watch as he seasons the patty on both sides, he cooks up extra bacon, he puts the mound of bacon on the burger and then melts the TWO slices of cheese on top of it to hold it all together.

I F-ing LOVE this dude. If I could tip at LaVerdes, he’d have totally earned it.

How was the burger you ask? Well, let’s dive right in:

Cheeseburger #017

What: Bacon Cheeseburger

Where: LaVerdes

When: February 9, 2010

How (was it): This time around, the burger was bad-ass. Sure, sure it’s still a frozen patty cooked up on char-broiler, but the dude behind the counter negated all of that in the preparation.

The patty was very flavorful, the melty cheese was intertwined with the bacon. Plus, anytime someone hooks you up with extra bacon and cheese, it’s a good day.

The toppings were all fresh and delicious.

It was a hella good burger.

The only problem is that I’ve now developed a mental block where I’ll only order burgers—and probably any food—from LaVerdes if it’s “my guy” behind the counter.

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McDonald's Embargo: One Year Later

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all-ages…and most importantly, my Faithful Readers…I’ve done it!!

Today marks one full year since I last ate at McDonald’s.

*cue massive applause*

That’s right, the heavily-lauded “McDonald’s Embargo” was established 365 days ago, on February 13, 2009 after a fourth consecutive day dining beneath the glow of the Golden Arches.

Now I realize that the McDonald’s accomplishment is a little less bad-ass being that it started as I already rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of my (surprisingly still active) Burger King Embargo.

That fact notwithstanding, I find it pretty damn impressive given some of the obstacles I’ve encountered throughout this embargo.

The BK Embargo grew increasingly less difficult to maintain after we moved out of Southie and away from a Burger King.

McDonald’s is everywhere. More specifically, it’s right by my freakin’ apartment. In addition to the obvious proximity-factor is that I’ve had many, many Mickey-D’s-related temptations in the past year:

Grace the Temptress

In March, roughly a month and a half into the Embargo, Grace taunted me endlessly and went as far as to drag me into a McDonald’s. I held strong, but damn if it wasn’t the toughest test up that point.

Wedding Blues

 In May, while serving as a groomsman at a buddy’s wedding, the only pre-wedding food option was McDonald’s. Having not eaten all day and knowing that an evening full of heavy imbibing was in the offing, I resisted. Once more I sat in a McDonald’s, surrounded by burgers and chicken nuggets and went hungry. I nearly cried.

Airport Adventures

In October, I was waiting at an airport—again after having not eaten—and the only option was McDonald’s. Despite my overwhelming hunger, I bypassed Mickey-D’s and survived on the granola bar the fine folks on the airplane tossed my way when we hit 30,000 feet.

The McRib Returns

It late 2009 and early 2010, the legendary McRib made a triumphant return to McDonald’s locations all-across the nation. The McRib is probably the most delectable (and elusive) piece of fast food on the planet. I would have tossed the Embargo out on its ass had I encountered one of these bad-boys. Luckily, the closest reported McRib sighting on the famed McRib Locator proved to be false and the Embargo lived to see another day.

There you have it folks.

It’s been a rough year, but I survived.

Unfortunately, much like the one-year anniversary of my Burger King Embargo, this all feels so anticlimactic.

Perhaps I should run out tomorrow and devour everything on the menu; partially as a way to celebrate and partially to show my love for burgers, after all it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

Or perhaps I’ll just continue the McDonald’s Embargo with no reward, because honestly, there really shouldn’t be a reward for “not eating crap food.”

Although, in a perfect world, the reward would be a ton of McDonald’s and Burger King served on a silver platter.

Yeah, that sounds nice.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Moment with Grace

Grace is a liar.

Grace is a dirty, filthy liar.

I came home from work tonight and my once honest and trustworthy significant other approached me and said:

Grace the Liar: “I made tacos if you want some. There’s meat on the stove and veggies on the counter.”

I rebuffed her offer, having eaten a late lunch.

She started putting things away and asked me to try the taco meat.

Grace the Liar: “Try the taco meat. It’s really good.”
The Duped Boyfriend: “Well I’m not real hungry.”
Grace the Liar: “Come on, the meat is real good.”

Being a good—and trusting—boyfriend, I obliged and made myself a taco. I scooped in a dollop of the meat she was so keen on, tossed on some cheese, onions, corn and hot sauce and devoured that taco.

I then proceeded to compliment Grace’s cooking skills.

This was followed by her breaking into a fit as maniacal laughter.

The Duped Boyfriend: “Whatcha laughing at?”
Grace the Liar: *More Maniacal Laughter*
The Duped Boyfriend: “What the hell, dude?!”
Grace the Liar: “You liked the taco, huh?!”
The Duped Boyfriend: “Yeah…why?!”
Grace the Liar: “…because that wasn’t meat!!”

This was followed by more maniacal laughter and her revealing that she’d fed me some weird vegetarian soy meat thingity thing under the guise of real meat.

You wanna know how it really tasted, my Faithful Readers?

It tasted like…deception.

Happy Birthday to Jennifer Aniston

The lovely Ms. Jennifer Aniston turns 41-years-young today.

As y’all may or may not have picked up on by now, I’ve got a bit of a “thing” for Jennifer Aniston.

Although it is with a heavy heart that I must announce to the world that today begins Jennifer Aniston’s final three years on my “list.”

You see, Grace and I each have a “list” of celebrities that we’re allowed to hook up with. Upon hooking up with the celebrities on the list there shall be no repercussions from either of us.

Grace’s two are pretty solidly set at Johnny Depp and Matt Damon. I do believe Leonardo DiCaprio snuck in there at some point whilst filming a moving out this way, but nothing ever came of it.

My top gal has been Jennifer Aniston for—well—forever.

The second-place spot has been a veritable game of hot potato between the following ladies: Amy Adams, Zooey Deschanel, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Hayden Panettiere (the hottie cheerleader from Heroes) and—for one fleeting afternoon—Mandy Moore.

The number two spot for me changes largely depending on mood, weather, and/or whichever one is closest to the Boston-metro area.

The top-spot, however, remains unchanged.

Well, for another three years, that is...

You see, my Faithful Readers, my crush on Jennifer Aniston has existed since the very first episode of Friends.

I fell in love with that gal immediately and have yet to give up on my mad-crush. The thing is, as much as she still looks all-kinds of super hot, when she hits 44…it’s over.

The logic behind this, you ask?! Well it’s simple, my Mama become a Grandmama when she was 44-years-old. As such, I shall forever associate grandma, with the age of forty-four.

No matter how much I may pine for Jennifer Aniston there is absolutely no way I can imagine myself finally settling down with the former Ms. Rachel Green after she’s reached “grandma age” in my mind.

As such, this is a public heads up to the aforementioned Ms. Aniston. Your time is running out, lil’ lady…you better act fast!!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random Fact #271

Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I’ll use the kiddy urinal in public restrooms.

I do this because it always makes me feel like a freakin’ giant. I mean seriously, I lord over this tiny urinal that comes up to, like, my shins.

It’s like I’m 15 feet tall.

Normal adult-sized urinals come up to, like, my waist.

I feel roughly 6’3” at a regular urinal.

Now you know.

You’re welcome.

Monday, February 08, 2010

How F-ing Old Am I?!

Did y’all ever have one of those days where something very small and innocuous sets you off?!

Well, I had one of those moments the other day when I was surfing around the interwebs for Taylor Swift videos.

Given that I’ve got no MTV or VH1—not that those channels actually play music videos anymore—or CMT, I can’t remember the last time I actually saw a music video.

That having been said, I figured it’d be kinda cool to see the official videos associated with the songs I’ve been listening to on repeat for the better part of two years.

My YouTube search for Taylor Swift went swimmingly until I found this little ditty here:

First and foremost, you gotta give the dude props. Seriously, is there a better way to win over a gal who is logically out of everyone’s league than by writing a song about how you’re obsessed with her?

I think not.

Chicks—especially famous ones—love it when dudes are obsessed with ‘em…women can’t resist that stuff.

Secondly, I find it pretty amusing that this dude is looking to make a name for himself by writing a debut song called and about “Taylor Swift.”

For those who haven’t followed Taylor’s career as closely as me and the rest of the internet’s unofficial Creepy Dude Coalition have, let me clue you in here. Taylor’s very first single was entitled “Tim McGraw” and the song pretty much put her on the map.

Thirdly, back off dude. She’s mine. I called dibs, like, forever ago. DIBS, man! Respect ‘em.

Fourthly, I followed up on this song a little, because I’m a nerd and clearly have far too much access to the internet and not enough to fill my free-time, and mostly because he claims to have first heard Taylor Swift when he was 13:

first time i heard her we were only 13
i remember where i was when she started to sing
now that were older i just wanna be seen
hangin out talkin bout the two of us

That last fact bothered me something fierce.

Upon further reading in interviews and whatnot this guy claims he “grew up” listening to Taylor Swift.

I’m pretty sure Taylor Swift has really only been around since I moved to Boston and that boggles my mind. I haven’t even lived here for four full years yet.

Yet in that time, people have grown-up on my top country music crush (sorry Ms. Underwood, you take a close second-place) and are already writing songs pining for her hand?!

How F-ing Old Am I?!

This Tyler Dean punk got me feeling like I’m 160 years old knowing that the once-upon-a-time underage songbird I crush over is now old enough to have songs written about her…


F-ing kids and their music.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Websites: Can They Be TOO Awesome?!

Earlier this week a co-worker—who has asked to remain both anonymous and Canadian—introduced me to what is probably the single greatest website of this, or any, generation.

The website is simply titled: “Selleck Waterfall Sandwich” and lives up to the hype in every single way possible.

I know that in the past, every single time I’ve watched “Mr. Baseball” or an episode of "Friends" featuring the mustachioed-marvel, I’d think to myself…“what would that sumbitch look like with a sammitch and a waterfall?!

Now the guessing game is over.

I know EXACTLY what that sumbitch would look like with a sammitch and a waterfall.”

Thank Jebus for the glory that is the interwebs…

PS: Don’t miss out on the official Selleck Waterfall Sandwich theme song!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Cheeseburger Chronicles #016

Saturday has seemingly become my unofficial “cheeseburger for lunch” day of the week.

For like the 88th week in a row—give or take, I’m not math whiz—I succumbed to temptation and got a burger before my Saturday afternoon shift at the library.

After my last experience as Fresco’s was less-than-stellar, I’ve been a little reluctant to meander back in for another go’round on the beef-train.

I did, however, notice that the fine folks at LaVerdes in the student center recently revamped their otherwise limited menu.

Much to my delight the new menu contains cheeseburgers.

Let’s be honest, it’s not like I even had a choice…

Cheeseburger #016

What: Bacon Cheeseburger

Where: LaVerdes in the MIT Student Center

When: February 6, 2010

How (was it): I’ve got some seriously mixed feelings about this burger.

On one hand, it was actually pretty good. The bacon was awesome. The toppings were all fresh and reeking of awesomeness.

On the other hand, it was very meh. The burger itself was a frozen, overcooked patty of the hockey-puck persuasion. The cheese was barely melted—a HUGE pet peeve of mine—and the bun was a little, um, stale(ish).

Additionally, the burger wasn’t really, you know, warm.

It all tasted good, but it was all at room temperature. It reminded me a whole lot of eating a McDonald’s burger…(side-note: the one-year anniversary of the McDonald’s Embargo is just over a week away!!)…and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

I’d probably try the LaVerde’s burger again, perhaps during the week when the buns are a little more likely to be fresh and the dude make the burger is a little less likely to remind me of a serial killer.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Moment with Grace

Grace has a tendency to do this involuntary kick thing after she first falls asleep and occasionally throughout the night.

Needless to say, there have been many instances that resulted in my getting kneed in places that don’t mesh well with knees. Last night was one of those times, only last night was a little different.

Instead of the usual one and done with the knees, she hit me with a delayed-double shot, which was freakin’ awful.

The first came at like two in the morning. I was lying there and then BAM—knees to the pills and I let out a sad little whimper and rolled over for the sake of protection and so Grace wouldn’t wake up to see my sad, whiny little “I just got nailed in the stones” face.

Like ten minutes later, BAM—knees to the tailbone. I let out a yelp, like a tiny dog that was too ambitious underfoot and rolled over and said:

Cap’n Charisma: "Grace…what the hell, dude?!"

Grace replied in a string of mumbles, grumbles, and a few moderately audible words.

The official response sounding like this:

Grace: "mumble mumble mumble girls like the Holocaust and glitter pens mumble mumble mumble…"

She then rolled over and went right back to being blissfully unconscious whilst I sat on the other side of the bed in obvious pain and trying to decipher her mumblings.

This morning I asked her about it and she didn’t remember any of it, but when I told her what she said she gave a very Gracian response:

Grace: "…yeah, that sounds right. Girls do like the Holocaust and glitter pens."

Then she went right back to getting ready for the day as though it wasn’t weird at all.

She makes me nervous.

UPDATE: Per Grace's rather adamant request, I want to clarify that Grace does not, nor has she ever, supported Nazis and/or the Holocaust. Her reference was toward Holocaust literature. Apparently girls love themselves some good Holocaust literature.

Sad Realization of the Morning

 I was meandering into work this morning when I stumbled upon a group of nerdy scientist looking dudes.

These cats were discussing the need for some new machine or piece of equipment or kegerator or something. Here’s how the conversation went…

Nerdy Scientist #1: “Well a new machine or piece of equipment or kegerator will run us about $30,000…”
Nerdy Scientist #2: “Oh…well at that price maybe we should just go ahead and buy two of them, it would speed up our work.”
Nerdy Scientist #3: “We might as well get a third one, since they’re so cheap, to have around just in case something happens to the first two.”
Nerdy Scientist #2: “Ah yes, then we won’t lose any time waiting for a replacement.”

…as I sauntered passed these white coats, I couldn’t get around the fact that I make roughly $30,000 in an entire freakin’ year.

These dudes were about to drop that amount—roughly three times over—in a matter of like a two minute phone call.


I’ve really gotta win the lottery.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cheeseburger Chronicles #015

After eating the aforementioned “cheeseburger” at the Massachusetts Avenue Restaurant, I was able to quickly erase what is easily the worst-burger of the year thus far from my memory by sauntering into the Tavern in the Square.

A bunch of peeps from MIT were meeting up and the Tav was the destination of choice. I didn’t necessarily plan on getting a second cheeseburger that day, but once I got in there and took a cursory glance at the menu, it became apparent that I really had no other choice.

The burger is basically a cheeseburger with cheese and bacon shoved all-up-inside of it and then cooked (to perfection, mind you) with more cheese on top and then slathered in BBQ sauce.

Oh yeah…and this bad-boy came with a mountain of kick-ass waffle fries.

Tav on the Ave wins this round folks…

Cheeseburger #015

What: Smokehouse Stuffed Cheeseburger

Where: Tavern in the Square

When: February 1, 2010

How (was it): Look at that freakin’ burger…how could it not be awesome.

It looks that good and that’s just surface level, this bad-boy’s beauty lies below the surface.

It’s jam-packed with cheese and bacon. Come on. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?!

I submit that it does not!

The burger was awesome. It was full of flavor and cooked to perfection.

Additionally, it proved to be quite the conversation piece. I mean it certainly didn’t draw the intrigue that an order of fried pickles would have, but it was a pretty close second on the evening.

Cheeseburger Chronicles #014

So I was going through the pain-in-the-ass process of doing my laundry on Monday and after tossing my clothes in to start the wash cycle, I had roughly 45 minutes to kill.

I was trying out a new laundromat and only really knew one restaurant close by, the awesome Plough and Stars, but I wasn’t really jonesin’ to drop $10+ on lunch.

Although—random side note—if you’re ever there you should TOTALLY get the Cuban Sammitch, ‘tis freakin’ awesome.

Anywho, the next closest option was the Massachusetts Avenue Restaurant.

Now, I should have been wary based on the name alone, but with nearly an hour to kill and some serious hunger brewin’ in my belly it seemed like a no-brainer.

The service was slow. The place was very, very dirty. The food was very—um—“lackluster”…yeah, that sounds way nicer than referring to it as “shitty-ass-shit.”

In what I can only assume will shock all of my Faithful Readers…I got a cheeseburger.

Cheeseburger #014

What: Cheeseburger [technically]

Where: Mass Ave Restaurant

When: February 1, 2010

How (was it): It was bad. Not just like, bland or boring or not good, but legitimately bad.

After asking me how I’d like it cooked [medium, always medium] I assumed I’d get a juicy burger. Instead, I got a well-done hockey puck that tasted like charcoal.

On the bright side it had a partially-melted Kraft single on top that peeled off with the bun when I went to douse it in ketchup to make the taste bearable.

On the more amusing side, if you notice the stick-shaped fries in the picture, those are “curly fries.”

Here’s pretty much how the conversation with, um, “Flo” went when my hockey puck arrived:

Cap’n Charisma: “Um…I don’t wanna be a bother, but I ordered curly fries.”
Flo: “Those are curly fries…”
Cap’n Charisma: “Riiiiiight, but they’re not…you know…curly.”
Flo: “No, curly is the flavor.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Come again…”
Flo: “Curly is the FLAVOR. They’re curly-flavored fries.”
Cap’n Charisma: “…but curly isn’t a flavor. It’s a shape.”

…and then she walked away.

I ate the awful burger and gave her my $5 a few minutes later and walked out, well aware that I had just had my first and last experience at the Massachusetts Avenue Restaurant.


Cheeseburger Chronicles #013

Last Wednesday I was one day removed from a full-on burger craving that had gone unsatisfied.

I’d come home from work last Tuesday night all stoked to go to Four Burgers and absolutely devour some dead cow, I just had to swing by my apartment and grab my camera to get a snapshot of the bounty I was about to receive.

When I got home I found Grace hanging out. She was supposed to be out with a friend, but the plans had been cancelled and she wanted to eat supper with me. Four Burgers would have to wait.

For those who don’t know, Grace eats about six burgers a year. To put that into perspective, I had six burgers down in the first nine days of 2010. Needless to say, burgers would not be on the agenda for a couple’s meal.

So we went and had some rockin’ food at the totally bad-ass All-Star Sandwich Bar in Inman Square, which was all good, but come lunch time the next day, it was burger or bust…

Cheeseburger #013

What: Bacon Cheeseburger

Where: Four Burgers in Central Square

When: January 27, 2010

How (was it): As always, Four Burgers was freakin’ amazing.

The patty was big and juicy, the bacon was crispy and delicious, the toppings were bountiful and fresh.

It’s really hard to write about Four Burgers without feeling like I’m giving them free advertisement, but I don’t give a rat’s ass, because they’re THAT FREAKIN’ GOOD.

I’ve been to Four Burgers probably 15 times or better in the past year or so and the absolute worst burger I’ve had there would fall under the “good burger” category. I’ve never had a bad burger from those cats.

Oh yeah…the fries are awesome too.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Punxsutawney Phil Can Kiss My Ass

Things I Love: The movie “Groundhog Day.” It is Bill Murray at his non-Ghostbusters-finest!!

Things I Hate: Punxsutawney Phil, the demon ground-rat who always seems to curse us with six more weeks of winter. What a tool.

I don’t know what Phil can’t just toss us a bone and say that he “doesn’t see his shadow.” I mean seriously, can he really enjoy winter that much that he wants to make us all suffer through more of this crap.

I get that Phil probably gets some kind of cheap high off of performing in front of crowds, and that’s cool, but why not give the crowd some good news for a change?!

If I were there when Phil popped out of his little hole in the ground and mumbled in “Groundhogese” (WTF is that by the way?!) that we were getting another month and a half of the cold, snowy mess…I’d probably kidnap that little SOB and go make myself some Punxsutawney Phil-burgers on the ole grill.

Mmmmmmmmmm…nothing like groundhog and a good slice of sharp cheddar, right?!

Stupid, winter loving furry-assed demon!!