Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The Dunkin Donuts I speak of today is not the modern day Dunkin Donuts that "America runs on", but the one of my childhood. Last night, I saw their new TV commercial, which hails quality family time spent enjoying luscious donuts together. It made me think of my late, beloved Grandfather. Being the last in a line of five, I was not yet of school age and the only one left at home every morning when my Grampa would come and visit us armed with a box of Dunkin Donuts. Come to think of it, I can't ever remember a time when Grampa didn't come through the door carrying the pink and white donut box. It was our morning ritual. Sticky, sugar covered Jelly donuts were my favorite as a kid, with a "honey dipped" or glazed donut running a close second. Grampa and I would sit at the kitchen table, he with his coffee and me with my milk, eating, talking and enjoying the moment together. Those were some of the happiest times of my life and I adored him.
Grampa was truly my best friend. He would watch me every morning while my mom would go run errands for an hour or so, and I harldy knew she was gone. After our donut, we would do fun things like wash pennies. Grampa would get a can of Comet, a bowl of water and an SOS pad. He then would take a bunch of pennies and change from his jingling pocket and it became our mission to get them as shiny and clean as possible. The pennies, almost always revealing the most dramatic change. Of course, Grampa let me keep all the change when we were done. Those days for me, came pretty close to perfection.
I thought about my children's grandparents and how on a Sunday morning visit they occasionally arrived carrying a pink and white box, much to my children's delight. I thought about the kids, after an early morning game or a school hour dentist appointment, requesting a stop at "Dunkies" which always resulted in a purchase of multiple chocolate frosted donuts which then produced multiple smiles. The TV ad had done exactly what it was intended to do. It evoked an emotional response to the national brand and it's signature product. Knowing what we know about nutrition and food additives today, it probably puts the donut on the "top ten worst food violators" list for sure. But somehow I think the reward of an occasional donut with the kids outweighs the risk.
Dunkin Donuts just may have got their money's worth with this latest ad campaign. When I go to visit my brother and his kids this weekend, you can bet that as I walk into his house, I'll be carrying a pink and white box.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sir Troll, author of the thought provoking blog, The Troll Report where, "The Troll-In-Chief maintains the right to rant about putrid rap "music" rave about new culinary concepts and write brilliantly about all sorts of interesting stuff.", extols his wisdom daily to us mere mortals who had not the benefit of being reared under a bridge, as he did.
I consider this post my penance for "tricking" (as he described it) Troll into thinking a previous horse related post on the Daily Dandy was my birthday tribute to his favorite subject. Ever true to Chef Troll and to my word, allow me to tell you a story about a horse.
Thirty-nine years ago today, on March 30, 1970, a bright red chestnut colt with three white socks, was born in Virginia to a mare named Somethingroyal and the great racing stallion, Bold Ruler. Born and bred to race, "Big Red", as he was dubbed, spent his time as a yearling, still unnamed. It would take 11 submissions to the Jockey Club by the Meadow Stables secretary, Elizabeth Ham, until a name Ham picked herself was approved; Secretariat.
He entered into his horse racing debut on July 4, 1972 at Aqueduct. Although he went in as a favorite, he ended up finishing fourth in the race. It would only take Secretariat eleven days later to become a champion. He then won the next 5 races in a row, including three important stakes races for a two-year old, his only other defeat as a two-year old, coming in a disqualification in the Champagne Steaks at Belmont. Those seven magnificent victories in nine races that year resulted in his being voted Horse of the Year.
The world soon had a new superstar and Secretariat mania was everywhere. Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated all featured the horse on the cover the same week. Major talent agencies booked Secretariat appearances as if he were a top box office movie star, but at the time no movie star could match his fan appeal.
"This red horse with blue and white blinkers and silks seemed to epitomize an American hero,' said owner Penny Chenery."
Then, and just as his legend was hitting a fervor peak, he solidified his unmatched champion status on June 9th 1973, when he became the first horse in 25 years to win the biggest contest in all of horse racing; the Triple Crown. In true legendary form, he not only won by 31 lengths, he shattered the previous record held by Citation's 1948 Triple Crown. So impressive, so dominant was his win, it is documented;
"It was so big, even the widest angle of the CBS camera covering the stretch run could barely show Secretariat in the same shot as the next-nearest horse, Twice A Prince. As Charles Hatton wrote in The Daily Racing Form, "His only point of reference is himself."
In a most memorable career that lasted a mere 16 months, the great Secretariat won 16 times in 21 starts, finishing in the money in every race except his first; his career earnings totaling $1,316,808. By his retirement in 1973, he had won back-to-back horse of the year awards.
"As former Pimlico general manager Chick Lang said, "He looked like a Rolls-Royce in a field of Volkswagens."
Listed by ESPN at number 35 of the 100 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century, the highest of the three non-humans on the list, he will always be remembered as one the sports greatest, his name synonymous with horse racing.
The superstar athlete was euthanized on Oct. 4, 1989. Upon his death his owner remarked, "He wasn't just the greatest horse I ever had, he was the greatest horse anybody ever had."
Both this article and this contributed to this report.
Friday, March 27, 2009
I can't say exactly why; (probably because my lower back is sore and I'm craving chocolate), but it could just be the influence of the moon's rising sun or some other crap like that. When I'm feeling like this it's not necessarily a bad thing, and by that I mean I'm not bitchy in a nasty mood kind of way. It's more like I have an edge about me. A razor sharp edge that somehow works in my favor.
No, today I feel good. Almost too good because the mood inhibitors are giving me a swagger. I very rarely get like this, but when the mood strikes, I feel compelled to go with it. I'm liking the reflection I see in the mirror and that nasty old bitch is liking me right back. This is the kind of feeling that could get me into trouble. Of course, the trouble I speak of would never happen because I'm far too smart and far too old for that kind of stuff, but no harm in workin' it, if you know what I'm sayin....So I'll wear it today as my badge of courage.
It's reflected in my attire: slimming designer jeans: check. A tight fitting top that accentuates my womanly assets in all the right places: check. Hair and make-up; done just so: check. My sexy recessional purchase wedge shoes I told you about: check. (yeah, today was just the day to break those babies out) The complete view from behind: check plus! (at least in my mind)
I was thinking this morning about an exchange I had with a guy I knew in high school. His name was Rick and he was the leader of the "Stoner crew". They were the tough guys that nobody messed with, and were just dangerous enough to stay away from. Rick and his crew held court out in the shared smoking area outside our school. I was a part of the "coolie crew" or the jocks as they are called, and we were on complete opposite sides of the social spectrum. For some reason, Rick took a small liking to me. I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that I was never easily intimidated by him and that I never cowered to his bullying, always quick with a smart ass comeback to his domination tactics. Regardless, our social groups co-existed in that tiny area with minimal interaction.
One day Rick decided to make a proclamation, in front of his friends and mine when he announced to everyone, "One day, Candy (insert my last name here) I predict you will be starring in a ZZ Top video." Everyone sort of just laughed slyly and I'm sure I threw back some quick, sharp comeback because at the time, as I was only slightly familiar with ZZ Top and their music, my being a "pop princess" and all and I was more than a little annoyed at his suggestion that my life's ambition would be to star in a music video. It wasn't until later that I realized that Rick had paid me the highest form of a compliment in his world.
I never forgot it, and on days like this, I recall it to memory. A visual aid to explain my swagger, so to speak.
So take this as my offering to go and get your "swagger on". I hope it inspires you to put a little bit of that sometimes necessary edge in your step.
And God help My Guy tonite, cuz it's date night and after all that has been said here today, HELL YEAH, you can bet I know how to use them!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
During the past three years, my tenure at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy and whim.
However, I have decided to spend more time with my family and attend to health issues that have recently arisen. I am proud to have been part of such an outstanding team and I wish this organization only the finest in future endeavors.
Please accept this cake as notification that I am leaving my position with NWT on March 27.
W. Neil Berrett"
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
This recipe comes courtesy of Saveur Magazine and are the brain-child of chef Barbara Lynch of Sportello Restaurant in Boston.
FOR THE GNOCCHI:
1 lb. russet potatoes (about 2), unpeeled
1 1⁄4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
3⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. truffle oil
1 egg, beaten
Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. (I used 3 potatoes, as they weren't large in size)
Drain the potatoes and set aside to slightly cool.
The potatoes will be soft enough to peel the skin off easily.
Working with one piece at a time, roll it down the back of a small fork so that the tines of the fork make ridges on the surface of the dough. This is important to help the sauce "cling" to the cooked gnocchi. Transfer rolled gnocchi to the floured baking sheet. When complete, cover with a kitchen towel and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Thank you to Saveur Magazine and Sportello's Chef Barbara Lynch for the recipe for gnocchi-my favorite pasta. Rest assured, I will complete the recipe the way it was intended to be served eventually.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Forget Rednecks .......here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about New Englanders...
If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in...New England
If someone at Home Depot that doesn't work there, offers you assistance, you live in...New England
If you've had a telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in...New England
If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of New Hampshire for the weekend, you live in...New England
If you know several people who have hit a deer w/ their car, you live in...New England
If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again, you live in...New England
If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in...New England
If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both doors unlocked, you live in...New England
If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you live in...New England
If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in...New England
If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you live in...New England
If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in...New England
If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you live in...New England
If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you live in...New England
If you don't think twice about cutting someone off to get in or out of a Rotary and you enjoy it you live in...New England
If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly', you live in...New England
If there's a Dunkin Donuts on every corner, you live in...New England
If you actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all your New England friends & others, you live or have lived in...New England
Happy Spring Y'All!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Sorry, but I just don't get it. See, one of sports biggest superstars, (not one of my faves) but a superstar nonetheless, was shown photographed like this in the current issue of Details Magazine.
WTF IS THAT? Are you kidding me?
Another wanted to know if Rodriguez realized he was being photographed, and was surprised when told it was a professional photo shoot. Most just shook their heads or shrugged, with a couple saying you’d never see them in similar type pictures. One Yankee said: "Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to make fun of him for it."
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Man fatally stabs Grandmother in Weston, MA.
(NECN: Brad Puffer, Waltham, Mass.) - A murder has shocked people in an affluent Boston suburb. A Boston man is charged with stabbing his grandmother to death in her home in Weston, Massachusetts. 22-year-old James Clark appeared in Waltham District Court today to face murder charges.
Clark is now charged in the murder of his 80-year-old grandmother, Eleanor Clark. Police say Clark stabbed his grandmother inside her Weston, Massachusetts home Sunday evening. It is the first homicide in Weston in more than 3 decades.
"There was an altercation there which resulted in James Clark stabbing his grandmother to death," says Gerry Leone, Middlesex DA.
Clark visited his grandmother’s house Sunday afternoon. He later showed up at a neighbors house with blood on his hands.
"The trail of blood led to the next door neighbor’s home. The neighbors learned that the trail of blood was from an injury to James McGuire Clark’s hand. He went to his neighbors house and said he had suffered the injury in a home accident.
District Attorney Gerry Leone says after being treated at a hospital, he showed up at a friend’s house, and apparently told them what happened.
"After telling his friends what happened, they called 911 to a report that a crime had been committed."
Clark appeared in Waltham district court Monday with a Shakespeare and Co. T-shirt and a bandage on his right hand. Prosecutors say Clark is a citizen of the UK but has been living in the US since he was two years old, most recently at a halfway house in Boston. His mother recently moved back to England.
Monday, March 16, 2009
We entered into Boston's storied Symphony Hall, where music's finest artists have showcased their talent for decades. Mr. Marsalis proudly proclaimed Boston's Symphony Hall, "the greatest hall in the country" to the delighted packed house.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis did not dissapoint. The 15 member band, including Mr. Marsalis, put on a show to remember. Yes, these boy's can blow! The afternoon's program, which was announced from the stage, began with wonderful, soulful renditions of everone's favorite nursery rhymes. Beginning with "Old MacDonalds Farm" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to a swinging rendition of "It's Not That Easy Being Green"with the afternoon's only vocal accompanyment.
Who knew that childhood nursery rhymes could sound so hip and so smooth!
The knowledge of these Doctors Of Music shone through in every piece performed, each one arranged by a different and talented member of the band. After a brief intermission from the first act, the band came back to perform a solid blues piece,"Blues Walk", which literally brought a tear to my eye. Mr. Marsalis noted that the piece performed was their best, perfection. "It don't get any better than that," he said. "Like the Blues, it arrived perfect. We can only add to it."
The afternoon was capped off in a jammin' style with the crowd erupting after each master had showcased his craft in a solo by demonstrating a complete command of the instrument they posessed. The result was some of the finest display of Jazz mucisians I have ever seen.
The crowd was then treated to what seemed like an impromptu encore, with Mr Marsalis, accompanied by the piano and bass, playing a rockin, swingin Jazz piece while he walked the stage, engaging the audience to their feet. The music so fine, the tune stayed with me for hours afterward.
There is no better was to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Boston. If you have the opportunity to catch the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis I highly reccommend you do so. You won't be disappointed.
I give it a Daily Dandy two thumbs WAY UP!!
Friday, March 13, 2009
So I just got back after a long day and I checked my email. A friend of mine sent this to me and I laughed so hard, I just HAD to share it with you.
Listen closely. This is the funniest thing I have seen/heard in a long time.
Oh the irony...I'm still laughing.
Hi ho peeps! I've got a crazy day today so I gotta be brief and get right to it.
This is definitely NSFW!!! and something I was thinking about posting a while back but never got around to it. Who knew Eddie Murphy was a clairvoyant?
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
You're loyal and punctual and I like that in a friend.
You don't rush me, you nudge me and you never pretend.
So I thank you for giving me total waking satisfaction.
It's much nicer, than say, a jump out-of bed kind of reaction.
To you, I give credit for a pleasant transition into my day.
I can start out stress-free, though it never seems to end that way.
Take care, till tomorrow when begin our morning dance,
for as long as you're there, I've got more than a fighting chance.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I know we are in a recession and on the verge of the worst economic climate in decades. I am also fully aware that since I am currently unemployed in said recession, I certainly have no business spending money frivolously. But could you really look at those babies above and blame me for bringing them home and calling them my own?
Since I made the purchase while implementing recession-like strategies, I figure I did a good thing. OK, so they weren't on sale, like the rest of the shoe department was, but are you going to hold that against me? I mean, I didn't buy the other two pairs I wanted that were on sale ALSO. This is a giant step for me.
No, I implored the shopping "love it law", which clearly states: "The final decision on a purchase must hinge on whether or not you "love it". There is to be no grey area here. You either love it or you don't buy it." These were a no brainer.
Cuz, you know, I need them...I need them to wear with my jeans. The multiple pairs of jeans that I have that are too long and need a heel? And I need them to go along with my 6,473 other pairs of shoes that I have in my shoe arsenal. And they are sooo pretty. Just because the economic climate is all gloom and doom, it doesn't mean I have to look the part. Look good, feel good; I always say.
So what if they were more expensive then the two pairs I wanted that were on sale, combined. Again, I didn't buy those too, so I made out better in the big picture. Maybe I am finally growing up and learning to budget my money more effectively. It's possible.
Or maybe I just won't eat for a week to justify this purchase. I could stand to loose a few pounds anyway.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
It's spring ahead Daylight Saving Time! That special time of the year when the loss of one hour of precious sleep kicks you right in the a**. I've put together a list of helpful tips and things to watch out for to get you through the next few days.
Drag your butt out of bed.
Drive safe today.
Studies have shown that the Monday following the spring Daylight Savings Time change, has seen a 17 percent increase in motor vehicle accidents. Sleep deprivation is the major contributor resulting in the statistical increase. Do your best to be sharp and focused while driving today.
Avoid Cranky people.
Watch out for serious crank pots today. Everyone's snooze button was working overtime this morning, so expect unusual irritability while people re-adjust their bodies bio-rhythms. Not the best time to ask for that raise or an extra vacation you've been longing for. Wait a week or two.
Stay on schedule.
For the first few days of the time change, I find myself looking at the time and thinking to myself, "but it's really an hour earlier". This causes me much confusion and chaos inevitably ensues. Better to stay the course.
Pick the kids up on time.
Now that the time change is in effect, the kids soccer, lacrosse, baseball and softball practices can take place later and at the outdoor facilities. Don't be that mother sitting at the middle school waiting to pick up your child while your child is waiting to be picked up across town at the field. Make sure you get THAT e-mail today.
Limit your caffeine intake.
Thinking thoughts like, " the sun is still out so I can have that extra cup of joe" may work against you. Consuming caffeine later in the day is sure to wreak havoc on your already readjusting sleeping patterns.
Enjoy the extra hour of sunlight.
Fire up the grill! Nothing says spring and summer like the smell of burgers cooking on the gas grill. The best of spring is yet to come.
Get your sleep.
As I said before, stay on schedule. If bedtime rolls aroud 10 pm or later, don't kid yourself into thinking it's really 9 pm or an hour earlier. Stay the course because either way you pay. And when the clock strikes 6am the clock strikes 6am.
It's a harsh reality.
Happy Daylight Saving Time.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I have led a sheltered, sheltered life. Now bear with me here for a moment and you will understand what I'm getting at.
I stopped by the local quick-mart yesterday to pick up some milk on my way home. The gas station/mini mart is located on the main thoroughfare, no more than .5 tenths of a mile from my street, smack dab in the middle of two affluent, suburban communities. I stop in there regularly; to get gas and last minute items and the staff and I are on a friendly, first name basis. We always take a few moments to chat about daily events, and often times they will share a story or two about what goes on in the quick-mart. Yesterday the story was focused on the amount of condoms that are sold in this particular store. The owner asserted that of the four mini marts he owns; this particular location, by far, out sells the others in condom purchases. He added that the purchases are made mostly by women-who appear to be just like me, apparently-and by that he meant your ordinary, every day mom.
Another staff member then proceeded to tell me about these same suburban women; the ones buying the condoms, propositioning him for a little discreet, extra-curricular activity,*wink, wink*. Now they had my attention. We then discussed it a little more. They said well dressed men in business suits also make numerous condom purchases and we all marveled over the frequency of this taking place in an affluent community such as ours. Who'd have thought? Interesting. Wealthy, successful business men and their lonely, neglected wives.
On my way home, armed with this new revelation, my mind went directly to a memory of a similar sort. About 5 years ago, I was waiting at home for a service man to come to turn on my irrigation system. This is a twice yearly appointment, and the homeowner must be present in order for the service tech to have access to the pump located in the basement. The company always give you a 3 hour window for the arrival of the tech. My window was from 9am to 12. I jumped into the shower sometime close to 9, and sure enough, I heard the doorbell just as I was getting out of the shower. I quickly threw on my bathrobe and slippers, wrapped a towel around my head, and rushed to the door.
I told the tech he was welcome to come in and go find the pump in the basement on his own, but that I would just need a few moments to get dressed before I could show him. The tech immediately put up his hand, beating a hasty retreat from the door and said, "I'll do what I need to do out here first. When you're dressed you can come and get me and I'll come in." OK, fine. I get dressed and go find the guy and walk him down to the basement to show him where the pump is. He then says to me, "I hope I didn't offend you by being short with you earlier. It's just that I have learned the hard way never to enter into a home when the lady of the house is dressed in a bathrobe."
Really. Forever the journalist, I pressed him for more information.
"You're kidding me, right?" I said.
"I wouldn't kid about that," he replied.
He proceeded to tell me the stories about how more often than not, the robe and the towel quickly drop to floor. He said he could write a book about the propositions he's received over the years and that despite his warnings, some of the younger guys he works with have actually messed up their relationships over their indulgence in this offer of an"afternoon delight". I was speechless.
Let me go on record here as being fully aware that this could take place anywhere in the US of A, and it is certianly not limited to affluent communities. I just need to wrap my brain around the fact that it actually does happen in real life and not just in Hollywood.
I have lived a sheltered life, for sure, because this stuff never ceases to perplex me. The service guy? The UPS man? The plumber? Not to imply that there is anything wrong with any of those professions. I just don't equate an afternoon quickie with my major kitchen appliance being returned to working order.
I just don't get it. And I'm glad I just don't get it.
Herein lies the point-these women "just aren't getting it" so they're getting it when ever and where ever they can, on the sly. The allure of the forbidden fruit.
This is just one woman's opinion is all, and to each his own, whatever floats your boat and every other seemingly appropriate cliche. I just think there needs to be some sort of connection, chemistry or history before engaging in the act. Call me old-fashioned, call me a prude even, all I'm saying is that I just think there are better ways to float that personal boat, if that's what you're looking for.
It certianly gives new meaning to the job title, service man.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
If this doesn't tug at your heartstrings, I don't know what else will.
ps-I'm a boxer mommy too!!! Awwww..good boy.
Editors Note: The words above video to "rate and comment" were not added by Candy's Daily Dandy and are no way intended to beg you to comment here. Just incase you were wondering.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
It's a little gold Chinese fortune cookie that opens up and holds your favorite Chinese fortunes for safe keeping. You know, the really good fortunes that you get at the Chinese restaurant and you keep because you truly believe in it's wisdom or it's prophecy of your impending good fortune.
Usually, I keep the good ones in my wallet, but now I have this shiny little number to house all of my pending good fortune. I bought this at a cute little boutique that was having another one of my new favorite things-a 75% off sale! I ended up getting it for a few dollars.
When I got home, I emptied my wallet and purse of the saved fortunes and found that I had been carrying 10 small pieces of paper around for years.
Some of my favorites:
"There will be many surprises; unexpected gains are likely."
"A dream will always triumph over reality, once it is given a chance."
"Wise men avoid troubles while fools search for them."
"You will enjoy good health, you will be surrounded by luxury."
"The small steps you take will ultimately bring you great fortune."
"Many a false step is made by standing still."
Now go to your wallet and pull out your fortunes and share their wisdom here. Have any of the fortunes come true?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Last month My Guy and I were sitting at the dinner table with the kids discussing his recent stint at jury duty. We talked about what it usually entails-wasting an entire day doing a whole lot of nothing-and the duties that befall a juror, if you are chosen to actually serve on a jury. The kids had a ton of questions about the kind of jury trials you could serve on and why. We gave them the whole "it's your civic duty" speech and explained how our legal system works and how in the end, some people's fate lies in the hands of a jury made up of their "peers".
The kids were a most captive audience. They asked questions about how one gets called to jury duty. They wanted to know about murder trials and armed robbery trials and the like, and were facinated by the fact that ordinary people would be responsible for a defendants fate. We talked about the OJ trial, a perfect example of how 12 ordinary people had their lives turned upside down for many months because of their "civic duty".
We told them that while all that trial stuff sounds glamorous and somewhat exciting, usually jury duty amounts to nothing more than a day wasted, spent sitting in the court house in a room with lots of strangers, waiting to be called for a trial. More of a supreme inconvienience than anything else, and that jury duty, for most people, was not looked upon as a favorable task.
Then I did it-I committed the biggest karmic error....I matter-of-factly said, "I used to get called for jury duty a lot when I was younger. I must have completed more than my share because I haven't been called to jury duty in about 10 years."
Of course, it should really be of no suprise to me or anyone who is reading this that this arrived in my mail on Friday afternoon.
I should have kept my big mouth shut.