I Can’t Help Myself Friday. The Cholesterol Edition.

We all want to keep our arteries clear and our minds even clearer, right? Let’s take a spin through America’s restaurants and see how they are trying to kill us:

The KFC Double Down:

The Colonel reaches from beyond the grave and gives us a fried chicken sandwich, hold the bread and stuff it with cheese, bacon and some unspecified sauce. HELLO, 32 grams of fat!

The Olive Garden Fonduta:

Maybe it’s me, but when I see that kid on the latest TV commercial going “hey grampa, get anything you want, it’s on me”, I kind of think the young man is trying to do his grandfather in and collect the inheritance. I believe 1700 grams of sodium must swell and then pickle your brain, right? Also, I have a bone to pick with all those happy families going crazy over those breadsticks and salad.

Here’s what a real family would do at Olive Garden:

The International House of Pancakes “Pancake Stackers” features a new breakfast containing a piece of cheesecake sandwiched between two buttermilk pancakes, topped with fruit and whipped cream. Does anyone besides me feel their teeth are squeaking right now at the thought of eating this?

IHOP is really a place you go (or went, as the case may be) after drinking. A young Meg remembers a raucous night in Florida where she and her husband were out with her sister and brother-in-law and after copious amounts of draft beer and shots, and we insisted our limo driver stop at IHOP, whereupon we were cordially invited to sit in our very own section at the restaurant. Ahh, good times.

Let’s end our trip through clogged arteries with Daily Show contributor and comedian Lewis Black, who relays a little story about going to IHOP to take the edge off of his bad day.

Lewis Black gets edgy at IHOP.

Here’s to your health, faithful readers!

Cool Gadgets for Your Kitchen

While running errands yesterday, my feet could not help but take me to Williams-Sonoma, the home of the greatest kitchen porn ever. Who could resist the scent of beef stroganoff and chocolate chip butterscotch bars? Could this be the workplace that is truly heaven on earth?

I really just intended to buy a jar of garlic puree, but I then spied this cool thing:

Have you noticed that a lot bottled salad dressing tastes really crappy? It should when it contains stuff like xanthan gum and all other kinds of crud. This gadget called the emulstur will inspire you to make your own fresh dressing, that it will honestly taste like stuff from the actual earth!

It has the dressing recipes printed on the bottle, as well as the exact measurements and ingredients. You then squeeze the little trigger and it emulsifies everything for a perfect bottle of vinaigrette.

Here’s something else I can’t live without:

The Wusthof knife. I could chop all day with this thing. These were a web special one day at WS, and I had a gift certificate which made for a perfect transaction where the cost was free. I think it was $50, and after chopping my first onion I was like “how have I lived without you”?

Do you love fresh ground pepper?

This is a Nantucket Pepper Mill, purchased on it’s namesake island. You can stir and add pepper to anything at the same time. It is especially amusing to see someone use both hands to grind their pepper and wrinkle their nose as if to say, what the heck?

What gadgets and items in your kitchen that you can’t live without?

In the Garden

I have been hugely challenged when gardening lately. Not because I have to dig up the yard or weed until my arms fall off. Instead, I have been struck with the worst pollen allergies ever. I have gone through a bottle of Zyrtec, and GAH Almighty, it does not seem to do any good. Today I’m heading to the Natural Food Exchange downtown and see what products on their shelves might cure me. I may possibly turn myself upside down like a bat and try a Neti Pot. That should be an interesting test of flexibility and balance.

In the meantime, here’s what going on outside at Chez Meg:

Adorable pansies. The sure sign of spring. They get you started and bring you heroically into summer until you can plant all those exotic tropical things in your planters. They stand up to cold, an unexpected frost, and always appear to smile at you as you come up your front doorstep.

The lilacs are almost out. I remember picking lilacs as a kid and bringing them to my teacher at at school. Yes, that’s right in the olden days when Conestoga wagons circled around the campfire. Or maybe it was when those station wagons with fake wood paneling roamed the highways?

A good way to end the day. I’m in the garden, with a glass of crisp Chardonnay and flowers blooming around me. And of course, a pocketful of super strength Puffs. You will not defeat me, pollen!

I Can’t Help Myself Friday. Politics 101.

Aren’t there times when the whole political thing seems completely broken? Let’s stop, look and listen at the frustration with politics these days:

Proof that politics makes strange bedfellows. I especially like the part where “Beth” tells him she thought he was merely emotionally stunted. And P.S., size matters.

The Tea Party went to Washington on tax day and eloquently explained the myriad of complex issues facing the American public. Take for example, the fact President Obama is going to ban fishing in America! However will Andy and Opie spend their time in Mayberry now?

Dick Cheney, appearing on the Dennis Miller show, said that telling Patrick Lahey “F–k yourself” was “sort of the best thing I ever did.” Oh, Dick, (emphasis on DICK) you and that crazy Eddie Haskell, always getting into that sorta goofy trouble!

Shall we end with our friend Jon Stewart? Jon Stewart really does preach to the choir, and enlists their help in a gospel rendition of “Bernie Goldberg, go F*** yourself”.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Have a fabulous weekend!

When Social Apps and Your Brain Collide

Do you use Facebook, or Twitter? Do you often feel like your brains are scrambled after using these social networking sites?

I admit, I have accounts on these applications. And resist I did at first, but came to realize that in the world of web design and computers, you actually have to KNOW how these sites work, and incorporate them into other people’s websites. And GAH, it’s not enough to put fireworks and a pig riding a bicycle (yes, someone actually had me do that, what can I say? They paid me.) on a website, I now literally put everyone’s grammar school BFF’s their family tree, and the kids soccer schedule into their website, too.

So far on Facebook, no creeps have emerged from the woodwork. I wisely elected not to use my maiden name as a lot of folks do, and that limits it to people who REALLY want to find me. Strangely, all my nieces and nephews immediately pounced and friended me. Sometimes I wished I hadn’t seen the youngest one just tattooed his area code in Chinese dragons on his torso, but hey, his Mom will find out soon enough, right?

Is it possible that kids are literally born with a social networking chromosome? Has DNA morphed in the 21st century? Will there ever come a day that I can actually use text messaging?

Well, even I admit to one guilty thing, which is sort of on the periphery of social networking. It’s my best friend “GOOGLE”. As a web designer, people are always asking for “free advice“. And the free advice usually involves a time consuming answer, some research and a thoughtful answer. For people I know and like, this is generally not a problem. It is a problem when a neighbor knocks on my door and says “Tell me how I can get a URL”? (You mean a domain, moron?) I promptly say, “If you GOOGLE that, you will have all the information you need in front of you. And then your job will be to sift through that and research it”. It’s like I have a GOOGLE sword I can brandish every time someone asks me a question. HA, TAKE THAT!

So when I saw this cartoon in the New Yorker, I was horrified to even think such a concept could exist:


That’s right, the person you couldn’t find on Google, Facebook or Twitter. I shuddered to think of the possibility, but then remembered it’s just a cartoon and not reality. Whew!

No Really, We Can Do Better!

It really won’t take you long to figure out where that line is said, virtually every minute of every day.

Have you figured it out? I know you’ve heard this!

That’s right, it’s the oily little finance manager at any given car dealership you are dealing with. Sadly, as much as Meg loved her little Camry, it was 10 years old and all those wacky things started to fall apart. The gas tank had to be opened with creative use of a snow scraper. And Holy Jumping Jesus, her passenger window would stick and that cost $500 for a new motor and labor! HA! I don’t think so. And then, with her brute strength, Meg snapped off her door handle just like she was the Bionic Woman. She heroically tried duct tape on that, but to no avail.

Well, it was time for a new boyfriend then. So off we trolled to the Honda place, because Sister Mercy, car recalls and flaming brakes up the wazoo with Toyota. I wasn’t feeling the trust and love with that model anymore.

And, we find a salesman that’s not TOO obnoxious. I test drive a gently used Honda CRV and like it. The price is right, the mileage low, and we can mostly pay cash. A deal is struck for our old car, and the price of the new. We are happy.

Then, things take a turn. They keep shoving financing papers in front of us, swearing they can beat 3.4 percent. Hubby say fine, show me what great deal you have and I’ll consider it. We already have a pre-approved loan from our bank, for whatever we want, but go ahead, see if you can get me the greatest deal ever.

So Mr. Onyx Cufflinks slinks over and starts yakking about he can beat that by a whole .005 percent, and don’t we really really want that? Umm, no we don’t. Then he tries to go back and do God knows what on his computer. By this time, tick tock, tick tock, time has passed, and we are both aggravated. We stroll over to his office, and tell Cufflinks to toss the papers, and tell the salesman we’ll see him tomorrow with a check in hand.

All I can say is, I’m relieved I don’t have to do this again for at least another 8 years. Oh, and that great service department they bragged about? Didn’t pick up after 15 rings.

Hmm, maybe I should send them a bill titled “Time Spent Annoying Me That I’ll Never Get Back”!