Sunday, April 1, 2012

In which I have historical thoughts about a bumper sticker.

I saw a bumper sticker today that read "If you're reading this, thank a teacher. If you're reading this in English, thank a SOLDIER." (I didn't take a picture because I'm not that organized.)
This puzzled me (although I don't pretend to be naive enough to not get the implied message*) because, lol whut?
I mean, the last time we fought a war with someone that actually wanted to take over our country to the extent of changing the very language that we speak was, like, the war of 1812. Or at most, the Spanish-American War**. I suppose you could make a case that Germany or Japan*** could have wanted to take over America if WWII had dragged on, even though they never expressed any interest in owning us to the degree of changing our culture and language. (They just wanted to bomb the shit out of us so we'd stop helping Britain.)
So this sticker seems a bit retro to me. I don't think anyone is going around not-thanking the WWII vets to the point that we need a bitchy stickery reminder.

* Arab terrorists don't want to take over America and make us speak Arabic. They just want to break us. Not the same thing.
** We had a Spanish-American War?
***I ignore Italy because aww, look at your attempt at fascism, how cute you are - see Eddie Izzard for a better joke here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reviewing Things My Mom Bought Me: Frozen Fast-Food Drinks Of Summer

I am a sucker for frozen slushy-style drinks, but also a fussy eater, so summer is a happy time for me, when fast-food places debut or bring back drinks that aren't a) coffee-based b) primarily berry-flavored or c) yogurt-containing smoothies, which I really want to like but just can't. Sorry yogurt, if you are not frozen TCBY-esque choc/vanilla swirlity, I don't care.

So far this year, I've tasted McDonald's strawberry lemonade, Taco Bell's pina colada "frutista freeze", and Orange Julius's lemon Julius (which doesn't have a direct page link so this is as close as I could get).

First off, what is it with fast-food websites being so flash-heavy? Swirling menus don't make me want to eat it, they just make me think you spent a lot of money on web design in like 2005 and damn it all, we're going to keep using it until the depreciation figures add up and/or the internet explodes in a giant fireball and wipes out all life on earth.

But I digress. Not that that's a surprise. Reviews.

The strawberry lemonade is pretty darn good. I've had it several times so far and plan on doing so again. The lemonade is nicely tart, with a pretty good texture for a non-ice-cream-specialist vendor, and the strawberry syrup is sweet and makes a nice contrast. It needs a lot of stirring if you want the taste to be at all consistent, but it stirs reasonably easily and it's not necessarily a bad thing to have variable flavor, either. And it's still tasty, not too watered down, even after it melts. I don't even like strawberries and I like this, though I'm thinking of also trying it without the syrup some time as I do love frozen lemonade anyway.

The pina colada, on the other hand, is not so good. And I had hopes for it, because the frutista line isn't too bad (not really into mango or strawberry so I don't normally drink them, but I have tried them) and the limeades are pretty nice. But the coconut flavoring is a little off (and I'm not one to complain about artificial coconut flavor, as I do drink Malibu rum after all) and it seems to be mixed with a lime flavor rather than a pineapple as one would expect - or at least it doesn't taste like pineapple. It just tastes kind of off, like sweet and tart, but each in the wrong way. It's not horrendous, but I couldn't finish it, and will stick with my delicious red-dye-filled cherry limeade next time.

The lemon Julius was a part of the regular menu - at least where I lived - about 5 years ago, until some jerkface decided to remove it. Now it's only offered seasonally, not necessarily every summer, and not all locations carry it (it tends to match up with Dairy Queen units that carry cherry cone dip). I love this thing, as it's all the great stuff you love about the traditional orange Julius - the creamy-but-not-dairy-ness, thinner than a shake for easy drinking but heartier than a normal beverage, the blend of fruit and cream without having to venture into yogurt smoothie territory - but in lemon! my favorite flavor! How was this not popular enough to stay on the regular menu? Always excited when it comes back for the summer and sad when it goes away.

But that's basically true for all wonderful frozen lemonade-based drinks (like Panera's frozen lemonade, which either isn't out yet or isn't returning this year *tear*) - I feel about them the way Jon feels about the McRib: I celebrate when they return, sun-like, each spring, and I mourn their passing just a bit in the fall, knowing that as the earth turns, they will, hopefully, make their way back again once more.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reviewing Things My Mom Bought Me: Toothbrush Of The Gods

So my mommy buys me things sometimes (yes at 29 years old I shop with my mom all the time it is great shut up) and I was having trouble with my teeth (thank you blocked sinuses). She bought me the mighty powerbrush that is the Oral B Vitality with little flossies and it is so very awesome. I have a few teeth that are, like, etched, or something, and they don't come clean unless I rub them with a towel corner after brushing and this thing got them clean. Seriously, this is huge for me.
Also, I hate flossing because my teeth are huge and crowded and my jaw is tiny (insert big mouth jokes here and also thanks for almost nothing, orthodontic expanders and wisdom tooth surgery). But the Reach Access flosser is brilliant and I have actually flossed almost every day since I got it which ends up totaling just about as many times as I've flossed the whole rest of my adult life combined. I hate that it's disposable, but I also want to keep my teeth in my head and also not die of heart infections from diseased gums and other horrible scare-stories so I think I will just have to accept the tiny bits of plastic that will be thrown away after they wear out.

Just thought you might like to know.

In other buying-things news (which I totally shouldn't be doing but I am telling myself is for job interviews and going back to school-ness), I am attempting to pick out some fancy new bras in the hope that one might actually fit my saggy old-lady 34Fs. Also royal blue babydoll toe pumps on Ebay - 3 inch heels in leather, or 2.75 in velvet? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Would Watch The Hell Out Of This Show.

It occurred to me today that "To Catch A Predator" would be even funnier if Chris Hansen teamed up with Tom Bergeron and the America's Funniest Videos team. Between the two of them, I think we could reach sex-predator-mocking critical velocity, and the videos are already absurd as it is. Maybe while Hansen interviews them, Bergeron can give us the color commentary as the decoy actress comes out and hits them in the balls with a poorly-swung pinata bat, or knocks them into a pool or something. This could be great!
NBC, get on it!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fools House Rules; Or, "Did You Guys Really Bid On A Yacht?"

While trying to plan a suitable prank for my mom and I to execute upon my dad tomorrow, I got to thinking about my friends (especially the excellent Tom Foss over at the Fortress) and their college house full of pranksters. They developed a set of unwritten rules for pranks perpetrated - unwritten, that is, until now. They're pretty basic, but they guide me to this day in my attempts at mischief-making. Beyond the obvious and intuitive safety precautions, they are as follows:
  • Do not mess with anyone's food or drink. Everyone deserves to know that they can get up to pee and not have to take their plate with them in order to protect it, and that they can eat of the communal pizza without fear.
  • Do not mess with anyone's ability to use the toilet. No plastic wrap on the seat, etc. When you can't pee in safety, you get into bladder/kidney problems or bedwetting, neither of which are funny even when they're not happening to you.
  • Do not mess with anyone's nightly sleep. (Naps are fair game, thanks to Andrew's pre-CPAP ability to doze off mid-sentence.) You can see the common theme here: knowing that you can meet your basic needs in life without interference - because if you can't eat, sleep, and poop in your own house, then life is a daily torment and you might very well have a psychotic break.
  • Finally, don't do anything emotionally damaging or that can't be fixed, and if you're pranking via false information, don't tell them that something happened that is emotionally damaging or can't be fixed (i.e. don't tell them that their dog died, or that someone broke in and stole all their stuff). 
Remember, the goal is to do something that they would find funny after the fact, something that you would laugh at if it happened to you, and above all, something clever, and breaking stuff, crushing their spirit, or giving them a complex is bringing an Uzi to a Nerf gun fight - you may win, but you're going to hurt people, so save it for your actual enemies.

Now, the story about the yacht, which fits the criteria and had Andrew in fits.

We were helping Andrew sell some stuff on eBay, or try to at least, as he wasn't particularly organized or good with computers, and as such we had his eBay account info. In using his computer, we had often changed his screen saver, desktop, or home page to a suitably hilarious picture or website. You would think that between these two things, he would have seen this coming, right? Readers, you see what's going to happen, but Andrew, bless his heart, did not.

We signed in to his account, found an auction for a forty-some-thousand dollar yacht, and took a screen cap of us bidding on it (which of course we didn't actually complete, just filled in enough info so the screenshot would fool him). We then set it as his desktop and turned off the icons, so it looked like an actual webpage, and sent him at it.

"Uh, guys. Why does it look like you bid on a yacht? You didn't actually bid on a yacht, did you? Oh God, it says so right there! You guys bid on a yacht! My dad's going to kill me! Tell me someone else is going to bid on this thing!"

Yes, of course we told him it was faked after a minute or two of watching him flounder, but the fact that he actually thought we would *bid on a yacht* was worth it. You'd think after the day when everything on his computer took him to he would have known better.

Anyway, I'm trying to rig up a device involving water balloons and a garage door opener, or possibly a fog machine. If I pull it off, I'll let you know. Come tell me about your pranks here!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Things I Thought About Today While Driving 9 Hours Across The Midwest.

Welcome to the new improved home of me. I decided to snag the blog address that would be all matchy with my Twitter name @dustwindbun (since @philosophizer and @dustwinddude were taken by someone who never tweets and some conservative douchewaffle*, respectively). I'll be importing things (later - see 9 hour drive) from the old place at for any serieses I want to continue on.
So, in no particular order,
Things I Thought About Today While Driving 9 Hours Across The Midwest
  • farm subisidies
  • which is worse, Juggalos or Hoyas
  • why does it smell like bacon at mile marker 107 on I-55
  • whether or not it would be safe to put my resume on my personal website
  • wishing I could afford to have orthodontics again since my teeth are misaligned despite having worn my retainer properly
  • how Pinky isn't actually dumb, he's just on a different wavelength from The Brain
  • if the song "Brandy" is an earworm for anyone else
  • what eats pigeons
  • how best to back up all my PDF'd tax documents and credit reports (I decided on a CD)
  • how weird it is that there are two Midwestern colleges with the same name, same mascot, and same year of founding that have nothing to do with each other
  • how much I like wind farms (they're so modern primitive)

Obviously, this isn't everything I thought about today during nine hours, but it's the fun stuff.

*one of my new favorite insults, learned from someone on the internet. the other is "assberry".