Archive for the 'Off Topic' Category

A Word on Plagiarism

It has recently been brought to my attention that there is a blogger out there who is blatantly ripping off content, tone, and style from mine. I refused to believe that such a thing would happen, but upon closer inspection I saw that yes, this person is directly lifting topics and subject matter, even turns of phrase, straight from the pages of Hungrypants.

This makes me upset for a few reasons. Number one being, this blog is original content. I work hard at coming up with topics and tidbits to post here, and I consider it to be a unique and personal place that I can come and share ideas and insights and observations with my friends and followers. Number two, personal blogs are supposed to be just that: personal. You cannot imitate someone’s style and subject matter and then try to pass it off as your own. That is lazy writing and frankly a pathetic and embarrassing attempt at being individualistic that fails miserably when you can’t even come up with your own topics.

I realize I am not the only food blogger out there. Far from it. I am not operating under the delusion that I am a special snowflake in the food blogging world, but I can say that everything I write here comes from my own brain, written from my own experiences, or culled from my own viewpoints and sentiments about certain subjects. I pride myself on having strong opinions, and it brings me great pleasure to share them in this space and have them met with a huge range of reactions and arguments. I appreciate it when people don’t agree with me, and I like having this forum as an outlet for all the weird shit that passes through my head.

That is what makes it uniquely mine. If you have a blog that you’ve created, make it uniquely YOURS. Don’t pick and choose from what I post here and try to make those topics your own, because they are not. Be original. Be creative. It’s not hard.

Fool me twice…

So, I’m a big believer in second chances. I’m willing to believe that things and people and circumstances can change and that everyone deserves another shot and so on and so forth. It is because of this willingness to have faith in change that I found myself once again at Big Star, the scene of this very unpleasant dining experience back in February.

My friend K. and I had spent the beautiful, Indian summer Saturday criss-crossing Milwaukee Avenue, wandering in and out of various thrift shops in search of boots or dresses or a set of kitschy ceramic jars adorned with mushrooms. Hunger was imminent after such an exhausting day, and K. suggested we grab a drink and some tacos at Big Star. I was reluctant at first and understandably so, considering the trauma I had gone through the first time around. But it was a gorgeous, breezy day and I was in a forgiving mood, so we set off for Big Star.

The patio was bustling, but not slammed, but we waited obediently in the line outside the patio to put our names on the list for a table (I was now familiar with this “list” concept, so it didn’t bother me quite as much.) Once our turn came, K. gave the door girl our names and said we would be happy with a table inside or out, it didn’t matter. “What’s your phone number?” the girl asked, her pen poised over her all-important list. “We’re going to call you once, from a blocked number. If you do not answer, we will assume you don’t want the table and we’ll give it away.” K. and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes, but nodded in agreement and went inside to wait by the bar and grab cash from the ATM, because Big Star does not care for your “credit cards”.

I hung around by the bar as K. collected cash from the ATM,  waiting patiently as a middle-aged couple spent 10 minutes gathering their belongings and vacating their seats at the bar. I figured that there would be more than enough time for us to grab a drink at the bar while we waited for a table, seeing as how the wait was so very long and they were so very busy that they had to call us from 30 feet away. K. joined me as the couple left their bar stools, and just happened to look down at the phone in her hand. She gasped. “Missed call: BLOCKED” read the message on her phone. We stared at each other, eyes wide and uncomprehending. But..but..how! How could this happen!

“GO! GO!!” I said to K., and she scurried off towards the patio, arms flailing in a vain attempt to rescue our table. “Oh, I’m sorry,” the door girl said, her voice completely devoid of apology. “You didn’t answer, so we gave the table away. But you can put your name back on the list if you’d like.”

At this point, it was all I could do not to take the goddamn clipboard and the sacred list and just throw the whole mess into oncoming traffic. I took a deep breath and let K. handle the business of “reapplying” to eat at this goddamn restaurant. Luckily, the  phone call ordeal was unnecessary as a table opened up not five minutes later, and we were seated quickly. Our waitress was brisk but not unkind, and my nerves were soothed by a plate of hot, salty tortilla chips and a dish of freshly made guacamole. I ordered a chelada; a Tecate beer served in a glass with a thickly-salted rim, topped with ice and a lime wedge, and one of each taco on the menu.

The food is great, readers, don’t get me wrong. I encourage everyone to go try a taco or a bourbon or a tequila, or even the weird-looking bacon-wrapped hot dog that has recently appeared on the menu. But if you can, please try and explain to me why the staff makes it nearly impossible to actually sit and consume food and then pay for it. Big Star can’t invest in those little buzzer things like they have at Chili’s? They can’t hire someone to be that person who seeks you out when your table is ready? No, heavens no. Big Star knows you’ll work for a table. Big Star knows you’re willing to be treated like you don’t deserve a seat, so they make you practically grovel for a spot on your hands and knees, begging and pleading. Big Star is not a democracy. Big Star only caters to those who are quick enough with the answering of the phone, who cannot be parted from their mobiles for even the merest of seconds lest they miss the call from BLOCKED.

Some folks may not be bothered by the system instituted here. Maybe some of you think I’m overreacting, or that I just don’t “get it”. To that I say: Taco Bell would never pull this shit.

Spotted:

At Whole Foods on Dearborn & Huron, the rare and elusive Ed Hardy-wearing hipster is spotted in the wild. Lurking silently amongst the imported beers, he makes his selection carefully and with great consternation. His beer choice must reflect who he is, down to his very ironic core. It must align perfectly with his offbeat and rarifed skinny jeans,  his penchant for B-side mixtapes, and expensive shoes. He hears a faint rustle, the sound of a camera phone snapping behind him, capturing the startling juxtaposition of his full-sleeve tats and douchebag clubhead-brand t-shirt. Grabbing a case of Matilda, he darts furtively away, lost within a maze of quinoa and gluten-free cake mixes.

Fly away, Ed Hardy-wearing hipster. Fly away and be free.

The Dorito Diet

Day 1: Go out drinking. Drink a lot of alcohol, preferably on an empty stomach.

Day 2: Wake up at 10 o’clock, eat half a bag of Doritos, preferably Cool Ranch. (Effectiveness of Nacho Cheese, Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch, or Tacos at Midnight have not been tested.)

Remainder of Day 2: Feel so sick that you won’t eat anything the rest of the day. Watch the pounds melt off.

Repeat as needed.

A typical conversation

Me: Are you wearing rainboots under your pants?

K: Yeah, but doesn’t it look like I’m wearing lesbian shoes?

Me: Kinda. I’m going to take a picture.

K: Wait! Let me get in a lesbian pose.

lezshoesjpg

wtf, Google?

 

So, I get this text from my friend L. last night, telling me to Google “why are these strawberries…” and see what comes up. Poor grammar aside, you get the idea.

wtfgoogle

Straight from Sveeeden

This is technically a food blog, but music is food for your ears, is it not? I have this inexplicable weakness for trashy Euro technopop and I feel I would be doing my reading community a disservice if I didn’t share this song with everyone.

Blank is a trio from Sweden, self-described Eurotrash, and the creators of one of the most infectious songs I’ve heard in awhile. They released their single “Shirt Off” (not to be confsed with the Gucci Mane song that goes by the same title) about a year and a half ago and just launched their debut album, You’ve Never Been to Sapmi.

If you do nothing else today, please bang this in your headphones and try to refrain from dancing. It’s nearly impossible.

 If you’re feeling really buck, go here and listen to I Love My Drink; a lighthearted take on alcoholism. Truly silly stuff.