My former neighbor Henry now lives in Okinawa. We'll miss him and his pumpkin figure this Halloween.
Salad Boy and I went pumpkin shopping yesterday. Paid $26 for two large pumpkins, including one that looked like a butt. Which explains why we bought it.
The big twist: Salad Boy drove this year. Which tells me we won't be pumpkin shopping together for much longer.
The other day I got a Facebook message from a friend:
Ummmmmmmm. I had no idea what she was talking about so I clicked the link.
Who else is on the list?
Anthony Bourdain. Ruth Reichl. Mario Batali. Gordon Ramsay. Food & Wine's editor-in-chief Dana Cowin. Gael Greene, a New York restaurant critic pretty much forever.
What was I cited for?
@JeffHouck: Jeff Houck - This cheeky, knowledgeable Tampa Tribune food writer flavors his tweets with plenty of jokes.
I joked it off around the office. I said it was like winning an award for World's Tallest Midget.
Then they ran this on my newspaper's Web site.
For a greatest hits of my tweets, click here.
Interestingly, it only writes in monosyllables and twisted syntax.
Saw this on TV the other day.
Looks like someone needs to lay off the green apple Jolly Ranchers.
I'll wait for the rhythm method model.
Came around the corner yesterday to see this in the living room:
Nice. It's only a treasured piece of furniture that you're ruining.
No, no, no, no. Don't get up on my behalf, Lincoln. Lay back down.
Your comfort means more to me than that precious family heirloom.*
* The sarcasm you're picking up in my tone comes from Dale Sturtevant.
Thanksgiving dinner accessory. Check.
Can I just give her a ring instead?
It would seem an unreasonable bar to set for the rest of the relationship.
Oh, the fun I could have with this.
Part of my responsibilities as a food writer includes covering trends.
Right now, food trucks be just that.
The city just had its second food truck rally in three weeks and it shows no sign of abating just yet.
That's great - clearly it's meeting a need - but I'm hoping it matures quickly. Because going to these rallies is wearing me out.
Luckily, I have my nephew Adam's daughter Avery to help me keep my energy up.
Adam, Avery and Adam's wife Ashley have become my food companions recently. Adam's love for cooking and smoking and grilling appear to have translated to his daughter's taste buds. She'll eat anything.
Coconut lime ice cream bars
Cantaloupe agua fresca
I can't wait to see where her palate goes from here.
Here's a gallery from yesterday's rally:
You looking at me? You looking at me? You must be looking at me.
Conspiracy theories apparently require the occasional jolt of corporate caffeine.
Last week was Homecoming at Salad Boy's school. He's a junior now, so he has the confidence and standing to go all out when it comes to dressing up for the "theme days." during Spirit Week.
First up: Character Day.
For his character, Brian chose Rick Ross. [See previous post]
He and Corey. They be mates.
Second Day: Tacky Tourist
How deep did his character portrayal go?
He applied SPF 50. In October.
The ladies love a man in tropical prints.
Day Three theme: Color Block
Looks like someone had too much NyQuil in that last one.
Day Four: Nerd Day
He wears it a little too well. Then again, he's my son.
Chicks dig nerds.
Fifth Day theme: Black-Out
The theme was to wear all-black in honor of the school colors.
The dreads? Those were freelance.
Saw them in Goodwill attached to the hat and bought them because the color matched Brian's hair.
It certainly set him apart.
But the best thing he wore all week had nothing to do with costumes.
I think the bacon wallet sets this off. Accessories make the outfit.
Then again, it might be his handsomeness. Yeah, that's it.
I told him he looked like an international man of mystery.
Handsomeness didn't help his buddy Shawn show up on time.
Oh, to hear that conversation...
Most days I at work when I walk from the parking garage to the News Center I see this vehicle.
Some days, seeing this car provides the bright spot amid a rather gloomy situation.
What's on the side?
Sales or baseball. Baseball or sales.
Handwriting, [blank] Names. Fill in the [blank]. It's a psychic Mad Lib.
Personal note: I was previously unaware that palms had two sides.
The things you learn ...
If his tag is any indication, he also enjoys excellent parking.
His bumper could have used a psychic. And a low deductible.
Let me categorically state: I LOVE THE EMINIZER. I do. Deep in places I don't talk about at cocktail parties. I need him in my life. So much so I considered hiring him to walk through the newsroom.
Then I considered what he might "predict." I didn't think we were emotionally stable enough to take the future truth.
I still might do it.
A few years back, he made the news by objecting to a requirement that all astrologers be fingerprinted:
Charles Eminizer, 68, who hires himself out as a psychic entertainer under the name Dr. Shane, can take the loophole. Look at him out of the corner of your eye and he seems to fit the profile. Think Dumbledore meets Chong. This is the face whoever wrote the fortune-teller ordinance had to have had in their head as they searched for words. But as a minister of the Universal Life Church, which charges nothing to register online, Eminizer is unaffected. He also opposes the idea of the city singling out fortune-tellers.
"Who are these people who are fortune-tellers? They're people trying to make a living the best way they can," he says. "This is just another way to hold poor people down."
Every so often, the magnetic panels swap out. It happened this week.
Ah, something seasonal. Very smart.
He knows if you've been sleeping. He knows when you're awake.
He doesn't know how to spell Christmas. Or Claus.
What do you want? He's Santa's brother. It's like going to see Gallagher's brother whack the watermelon. In the end, it's still not the real deal.
What do you get for your holiday psychic moolah? Here's a video sample:
I'll wait for the ramen referendum.
If the phrase "golden mushrooms" isn't yet a euphemism for something terrible, disgusting and depraved, it should be.
If a bell rings in a restaurant and no one is there to hear it, did it really ring?
It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.
Well, I already do.
It's Salad Boy's junior year homecoming week.
Which means it's a week-long costume contest.
The first day, which had a theme I cannot recall, he left the house like this:
Who was he dressed as?
William Leonard Roberts II, better known as rapper Rick Ross.
It would have been hilarious if they had been pulled over on the way to school for "driving while costumed."
This blog used to be a flowing font of sombrero information. We love the grand chapeau in a way that borders the unnatural, so we've always been fascinated by anything related to the topic.
Like this story from Florida Atlantic University's student newspaper, which recently explored the topic of contraceptives.
How can one know that a condom is in the appropriate shape? Just ask a university administrator:
“Just remember, if the condom looks like a perfectly formed sombrero as it comes out of the wrapper…then it’s totally fiesta time!” said FAU administrator Courtney Weaver to a roomful of students.
In entertainment news, the group Holy Moly has a new batch of songs out. D Magazine online has a review:
Holy Moly, “Golden Sombrero” This is one of several tautly played, twangy tales on the Fort Worth country band’s new CD Grasshopper Cowpunk, which will be released Saturday during a show at the Aardvark. The tune isn’t lacking in corny lyrics (“‘Donde es tequila mi bonita senorita, said the man with the gold sombrero’”), but singer Joe Rose (pictured) possesses enough attitude to pull them off, and there’s some nice pedal steel to be found in there, too. Fun for all ages.
You can listen to "Golden Sombrero" on the band's Facebook page. It's a pretty snappy tune.
Lastly, my friend Anna sent me a lovely sombreo-related note.
Coming up on the 20-year anniversary of the death of the great Freddie Mercury.
I'd heard rumors of his large sombrero. I find it was indeed true.
This thing called sombreros? I just can't handle it.
So, I was on "Man v. Food Nation" the other night on Travel Channel.
That was fun.
Adam Richman was a nice guy. Even after he learned that I tweeted he was at the Taco Bus in Tampa.
I was politely asked to take it down. I did. Adam thanked me personally.
I responded by letting America watch me throat a burrito.
YOU'RE WELCOME, AMERICA!
Here's a gallery of screen grabs I got off the show featuring the Taco Bus crew:
I try not to brag when it comes to my social media exploits. Not only is it unseemly, it means absolutely less than absolute zero.
But still, you have to pat yourself on the back for picking up a follower like this:
I don't know why Russell Hitchcock would follow me on Twitter. But it may have something to do with this tweet I put out into the universe a few weeks back:
He's not the first music star I've brushed against professionally. Longtime reader(s) might remember that I had something of a correspondence going with Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin DuBrow for a while before his death.
Still, his addition to my Twitter ranks wasn't the only remarkable new friend I made this week. I also attracted this follower:
As you can see, I followed her heineyness back.
Longtime readers of the Salad (the three of you that maybe still check in here) may recognize the two people in this photo. They let me tag along during a visit to the Magic Kingdom for a story I did in the Tribune about the 40th anniversary of the park and what it meant to Florida.
Apparently being on the front page of the Tampa Tribune still holds cache.
Sherrye wrote me a note after the story ran:
I have become famous at my school and they are asking for autographs and more pictures. I signed one as Minnie and put ears on it. Could you send more of the pictures you took that day? Thanks for making me a star in my own little world. People keep calling me that I have not heard from in years.
Sherrye also admonished me to start updating Side Salad again.
So here we are.
Thanks again, Sherrye. You and Paul are the best.
Here's a gallery of the day we spent at the park: