Thursday, August 19, 2010

This made me cry a little bit (a lot)

Lil Wil

Not so Lil Wil

TBTL Ten Jaime posted this to her tumblr account, and while reading it, I started to cry by the sweet and heartfelt gesture by Wil Wheaton.

So it seems that 8-year-old Teresa Juniso applied to be in the Wil Wheaton fan club, known as "WilPower". She never got a response from Wil until 21 years later when 36-year-old Wil invited now 29-year-old Teresa to the club and sent her the following letter:

According to The Daily What, here's Teresa's comment from the letter:
He gets a big thank you from Twenty-Nine Year Old Me. Don’t get me wrong. Eight Year Old Me is very, very pleased. But Twenty-Nine Year Old Me better knows the importance of a kind gesture, and hopes that her gratitude carries more weight.

You can read the full article here. HOW ADORABLE IS THAT? What a nice guy move on Wil Wheaton's part. His interview on TBTL about his nerdy background and love of D&D, where he starts to get audibly emotional recounting how a gift of the D&D rules made him a better person and gave him imagination, is definitely memorable.

Wil, high five to you today.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Keeping it real with TJD

Tim has no sympathy for you:

Tim: so my sympathy sack is empty
me: hahaha
Tim: looks like it's gonna be a sad xmas
with no sympathy toys

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The worst kind of caper

My friend Jess' away message said "the great cupcake caper!" this morning, and I wanted to get the scoop:

me: cupcake capers?!
Jessica: I KNOW
me: what's going down??
Jessica: we had cupcakes yesterday
more arrived today
me: whoa
Jessica: and they suddenly disappeared all at once
me: WHOA
that's almost worse!
Jessica: there is a thief in our midst!
a cupcake thief!
the very worst kind
me: that is the worst kind of thief!
who steals a cupcake??
Jessica: who steals a BOX OF CUPCAKES?
me: so cruel
Jessica: seriously
me: any leads?
Jessica: i have my suspects
i will investigate
me: excellent
forget work, this is far more important
Jessica: i know
i have my priorities straight, don't you worry
this crime will not go unsolved
me: yessss

What kind of world to we live in where cupcakes get stolen?

I'll be upon you by the moonlight side


Salem, get ready! Already one Taqueria has opened and ANOTHER ONE is set to open soon. I've checked out Howling Wolf Taqueria twice since it opened earlier this month. It's located down the street from Walgreens and next to the waning video rental store.

From what I gather, Howling Wolf Taqueria was opened by a Salem couple out of a love of Mexican food and the desire to see a restaurant in Salem that had good food with a casual dining atmosphere. Howling Wolf also has a wide variety of Mexican sodas and beers on tap, which is nice and adds to this cozy, friendly atmosphere.

The menu is pretty basic, consisting of burritos, quesadillas, and chips. Guacamole and queso can be bought as extras. With an open kitchen, you can see the employees make your own burrito and build it as you go. Beans? Cheese? Rice? A green salsa? All of these can be added or removed as you please. I also like when you can see the food being prepared for you, because you can see the care and effort put into your meal.

I like that the food has a very fresh taste here. All the food is made fresh on site, including the salsa (big points for that). The first time I went, I had a chicken quesadilla with a side of chips and guacamole. Ricky had a beef burrito. Both were quite delicious and even had a light flavor. (Is that even possible? For burritos to not feel greasy and heavy?) The second time I went I had the queso. This may be my favorite thing on their menu to date. Lookswise, it appears to be just a white cheese sauce with jalepeno peppers in it. I had low expectations, but oh was I wrong. It has a nice cheese flavor, and then the heat creeps up on you, adding a nice balance.

I am a fan of the portions as well, as they do not skimp on burrito size or side dishes. The second time, Ricky's large tortilla broke because of the amount of chicken, beans, and rice inside. They apologized, but Ricky said that this is never an issue. The queso came in a large cup and when I asked for a small side of sour cream to take some of the heat off of the queso, they offered to put it in an equally large cup. I also appreciate that with theses portion sizes come low prices. It's nice that they're not trying to nickel and dime you.

One thing I think could use some work is their delivery and the production line for making burritos, but I am chalking this up to a rookie mistake. The first time we went, was the fourth day they were open, and it felt it. The lines seemed a bit stilted, due to many people behind the line not sure what to do. There was also a "manager" who was more intent on fixing mistakes and schmoozing for the customers than helping cut down on the length of the line. The owner, however, was going from table to table to see how everyone was liking their meals and what suggestions they had for improvement. When we went last night, a few weeks later, lines were in control and the employees seemed to have a rhythm and system built up to make orders in an efficient manner.

I recommend checking out Howling Wolf for it's casual atmosphere and simple, inexpensive, and delicious food. It's a great place to hang out, and I hope that they succeed in Salem.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ricky's Dad=AWESOME

....BECAUSE he found me a bike.

A beautiful, blue, retro bike with gears and a storage thing in the back. It is awesome, needs some tuning up, then I'll be ready to go.

Oh, and I also need a helmet.

I'll post pics when its ready!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Arcade Fire Album!!!

I love Arcade Fire. They may be a top 5 band of the 2000's, if not of all for me. I want to see them in concert live. Their songwriting, layering, and orchestrations are so beautiful, deep, and lush. I also like that they take their time to release albums and make sure they're good and not just half ass an album every year to make a couple of bucks.

Well, Arcade Fire fans all around know that their new album The Suburbs dropped this week. I streamed it on Monday from NPR, and was not disappointed. Not as good as Funeral, but better than Neon Bible. Then again, I also love Neon Bible, so this is not a slight in any way. The first song grabs me, and has been haunting me all week. I've heard it compared to a Ray Davies album, where he has an intro song to establish a theme, multiple songs in the middle that explore that theme (the suburbs, ennui, teenage angst, loss), and then a final song that acts as Coda to close the album and theme. This is quite accurate.

I'll be buying my hard copy of the CD either today or tomorrow (I like having hard copies of albums I really like) and listening to it the rest of the weekend. In the meantime, here's the opening track (also titled The Suburbs) for you to enjoy. GO GET THIS CD!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Portland: J's Oyster

Ricky plays model to his giant lobster dinner.

For dinner, there was no doubt that we wanted seafood. I mean, we're in Portland... it only makes sense. Upon the suggestion of Anne the Innkeeper, we avoided the tourist trap of that restaurant on the ocean and visited the more low key J's Oyster, which is next door. J's is low on frills, but the food was quite impressive and the prices were very low. While we dined with plastic cups and paper goods everywhere, getting a great meal for under $60 more than made up for it.

We were greeted with Allegash White on tap, a Maine staple and a simple joy for sure. For an appetizer, we got an order of garlic bread and some mussels, steamed in a pan with garlic and peppers. The garlic bread was the best either of us had ever had. Soft, warm bread with plenty of garlic flavor, and nice to soup up the sauces from the mussels. The mussels were tasty, and it was nice to have some peppers to enjoy with all the seafood.

For entrees, Ricky treated himself to a Lobster dinner and I went for the baked scallops. The scallops were cooked in honey and breadcrumbs. Very decent portions, and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor profile. Ricky's lobster dinner came with corn and steam clams, both were quite tasty. It was pretty basic in the way of a lobster dinner, and surprisingly only $21 for a good-sized lobster, an ear of corn, and about a dozen clams.
mmmm... mussels

J's provided a great meal by the harbor, but for tourists looking for a more fancy pants meal, this is not for you. It was nice to have a low-key and in expensive meal on our trip. I recommend going for an earlier dinner, because when we were leaving around 6ish, it was already packed with a line of both locals and tourists to get inside.

Next up: Sebago Brewery!