Sunday, September 30, 2012

It’s matzo ball time in Texas.

Before I commence making matzo balls for Sam I want to mark an extremely special and happy occasion, one that I’ve been looking forward to for the last couple of months.
Holy crap, people ... this is our ONE THOUSANDTH POST since the Howdygram’s inception in December 2009! That’s an average of 29½ posts per month for your entertainment and enlightenment on a wide range of topics that include food, travel, pop culture, politics, consumer alerts, news from Texas, current events, weather reports, Marcy’s Adventures in Diabetesland, online shopping tips, recipes, gossip, TV and movie reviews, Einstein Awards and advance notice of upcoming Gefilte Fish Festivals. Seriously, where else can you find so much quality and variety ... for free?

I should also mention that my birthday is ONE MONTH FROM TOMORROW, so in case you’re working on a shopping list I want the following cans of freeze-dried crap from Shelf Reliance. Pictured below are: 1) sour cream powder; 2) butter powder; 3) diced carrots; 4) cut green beans; 5) mangos; and 6) chopped onions. This stuff is so convenient and tasty it almost makes my head explode.
It’s matzo ball time in Texas. Thank you for reading this!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mastering the fine art of gummi bear surgery.

At last, some creative new ideas for home-grown Saturday night entertainment! If you’re a senior citizen shut-in with a sharp X-acto knife and a lot of time on your hands between meals I’d like to recommend mastering the fine art of GUMMI BEAR SURGERY* as illustrated below for your possible interest. (There are other procedures, too, so please let me know if you’d like to see more.)
Incidentally, diabetics (like me) should consider practicing only on sugar-free patients in case you decide to eat your mistakes. You can stock-up with a convenient five-pound bag here on

I’m delighted to report that it’s been raining here in the Dallas area since the wee hours this morning and continues to rain steadily as I write this post. Sam is asleep in the family room, and I’m seriously contemplating a large volume of food as I think I forgot to eat dinner. Since it’s getting late I might begin with one of those cute yet tasty Schwan’s frozen breakfast omelets — microwave perfection in 2½ minutes! — of which I’ve grown exceedingly fond.
My favorite is the garden vegetable omelet but they also make a really nice ham and cheese variety, provided you like ham and cheese. (I like ham and cheese.) Thank you for reading this and don’t forget to shut the light when you’re done.

*With heartfelt thanks to

Fashion Week gems from around the world.

Happy Saturday from your friends in north Texas, where the weather’s overcast, wet and primarily crappy. We’re expecting 24 hours like this but nobody cares because we haven’t had rain here for weeks. Incidentally, the pink star on the map below denotes Howdygram headquarters. If you zoom in a little you’ll note that Sam is eating pistachios and I haven’t brushed my hair. (I apologize for the second half of that sentence.)
I’m confused today by two great mysteries of life. Can anybody explain how a person who spends no time outdoors winds up with two MOSQUITO BITES on her arm? Or why that severe pain in my hip (see yesterday’s post) actually turned out to be a PULLED MUSCLE even though I don’t exercise, I don’t do any heavy lifting and I don’t engage in any visible activity whatsoever unless it involves eating, typing or folding socks? Holy crap, people, this just doesn’t make sense.

And finally, I’d like to share the following images from recent runway fashion shows around the world even though we didn’t really need additional proof that shit sells. I think my favorite is the dude in the bottom row with the mouth jewelry, fluffy vest and lucite jock strap. It’s what everybody wants this year for Hanukkah!
It’s lunch time. Thank y’all for reading this!

Friday, September 28, 2012

My stupid right hip and assorted other complaints.

I’m in PAIN. I haven’t moaned about this kind of crap for quite a while so please bear with me while I tell you more than you need to know.

Aside from aching knees, vanishing tastebuds, cramped-up fingers and a headache, the biggest issue at Howdygram headquarters this afternoon is MY STUPID RIGHT HIP. The hip joint feels like it wants to “pop” — but won’t — which means I can’t move my right leg, I can’t sit, I can’t stand, I can’t bend, I’m scared to put any weight on it (a nice dilemma when you’re home alone), tap dancing is out of the question and I’m not even comfortable on that gorgeous chaise in the family room with an afghan and the remote! Shortly before he left for the office Sam reminded me that stretching out flat on my back worked last time (this happened once before, about a month ago) so I might wind up in bed at some point today ... probably sooner rather than later. Can a person eat leftover Mongolian chicken lying down?

And now for our latest Einstein Award! Meet Brittni Colleps, 29, a former high school teacher from Kennedale, Texas, who was recently sentenced to five years in prison for 16 felony counts of engaging in group sex with several of her 18- and 19-year-old students. Colleps spoke out today, insisting that she’s actually the victim here — and not a sexual predator — because her playmates videotaped their orgies without her consent. Colleps remains in the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth waiting for her transfer to prison. The only sad part is, Miss Einstein has three small children and a husband serving in the military. What a genius. Holy crap.
Thank you for reading this. I think I’ll shlep myself into the bedroom for a while.

Pigs, skeeters and sexpots.

I’ve got some breaking news for y’all from Howdygram headquarters! The 2012 Texas State Fair swung open its gates about an hour ago ... but not without a measure of impending doom and controversy.
Impending Doom Prediction #1. Children’s Medical Center in Dallas says there’s a SWINE FLU THREAT this year and medical experts are warning fairgoers — especially children and senior citizens — not to eat or drink around pigs. 
For the record, it’s almost impossible to avoid pigs at the State Fair. You’ve got pig races, pork exhibits, pig acrobats, hog judging and all those long lines at the chocolate-covered bacon booth!

Impending Doom Prediction #2. If that’s not enough to scare the crap out of you, fairgoers are also being warned about the danger of WEST NILE VIRUS at dusk and early evening since Fair Park has a number of lovely but potentially-infested fountains, pools and retention ponds. We have all been encouraged to learn that intense aerial shpritzing and ground abatement efforts in August failed to eradicate any of the city’s population of killer mosquitos.

I have the answer. Everybody should just stay home or plan a day-trip to the Choctaw Casino for pea salad and sugar-free pie. (I vote for door number two.)

At present Sam has taken our Saturn for its 2012 state inspection sticker — same as a “smog check” for those of you in California — and as soon as he gets home we’ll finish watching a movie we started last night: White Cargo (1942) with Hedy Lamarr, Richard Carlson and Walter Pidgeon. The plot? An intense and sweaty hate-fest among a group of intoxicated men who live and work at an African rubber plantation, with everybody competing for half-dressed Hedy Lamarr, who plays a manipulative local sexpot named Tondelayo. Sample hate-fest dialog appears below. (The part of Harry Witzel is played by Walter Pidgeon.)

Wilbur Ashley: “The natives have been looking at me lately in a queer sort of way.”
Harry Witzel:   “Maybe they’re wondering how you can walk without a spine.”
Thanks for stopping by. Say hi to the family for me, okay?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My favorite revolutionary year-round bean soup.

I’m really into beans. They’re cheap, cute, loaded with fiber and protein, easy to cook and an excellent cold-weather food that even works when it’s 91°, like today. And so I’d like to share my recipe for Marcy’s Revolutionary Bean Soup, which gets its name from the instant freeze-dried pinto beans that don’t require an overnight soak or any of the typical complicated hoo-hah you’d expect with dried beans. Enjoy!
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 cups instant pinto beans from Shelf Reliance
  • 4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon chicken base
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup freeze-dried diced carrots*
  • ¼ cup freeze-dried diced celery*
  • ¼ cup freeze-dried chopped onions*
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup ketchup (add during final 10 minutes)
Bring water to a boil in a large kettle. Add the beans and remaining ingredients (except for the ketchup) and simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes. Stir in the ketchup and simmer for an additional 10 or 15 minutes. *I order my freeze-dried veggies from Shelf Reliance. If you substitute fresh you’ll have to double the pre-ketchup cooking time.
Sam and I love this stuff. Don’t tell anybody, but we never invite company when it’s bean soup night because there wouldn’t be enough for us. Thank you.

Maybe somebody could invent freeze-dried matzo balls.

It’s a few minutes after 9 in the morning and I’m sending Sam to the grocery store today because once in a while we need things that I can’t buy online, like baby carrots, sour cream, American cheese, olive oil and ice cream cones. We like to eat well. Therefore, it’s my plan to make Marcy’s Revolutionary Bean Soup this afternoon and regular non-revolutionary matzo ball soup on Saturday.

In case you’re wondering what’s “revolutionary” about my bean soup, I’ll be experimenting with those INSTANT FREEZE-DRIED PINTO BEANS that I ordered last week from Shelf Reliance, which are supposed to rehydrate and cook in only 20 minutes. If the results are edible I’ll post my recipe in the Howdygram later today. In the meantime maybe somebody could invent freeze-dried matzo balls.

Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Obama campaign loves me.

While I wait for Sam to get home from work I thought I’d fill you in on all the latest happenings here at Howdygram headquarters.

I baked a pan of brownies for Sam and the loaf of caraway rye that I mentioned in my last post. The house smells good but confusing. I also took a nice hot shower, watched a couple of “Hardcore Pawn” reruns, ran the dishwasher, ate cole slaw and ordered a few essentials from, a website that sells a whole lot more than you’d think. Tonight I bought three-packs of Classico pasta sauce in two different flavors (Tomato & Basil and Cabernet Marinara), four large squeezy things of Ivory lavender body wash and a bag of Bugles. (Stop laughing.) They have excellent prices and free two-day shipping if you spend $39 or more. It’s easy to spend $39.
Guess what, people! I just got an email from Angus Durocher, a large cheese with the Obama for America campaign, inviting me to manage one of their field offices in a battleground state because I’m so cool, competent, technically-savvy and available. Unfortunately, I don’t think they realize I’m also mobility-challenged, unmotivated and addicted to “People’s Court.” I’m not exactly sure how my current skill set synchs with the needs of the campaign, but I have no problem donating money instead and hope you’ll consider doing the same at your earliest convenience. Click here and thank you.

No longer news: Kate Middleton’s royal titties.

In case you haven’t noticed, nobody’s talking about Kate Middleton’s royal titties any more since they really weren’t that exciting from the get-go and nobody cares about them except her, anyway. And possibly the Queen. Thank you.

And now, dear readers, it’s time for another installment of our popular Holy Crap Gallery, featuring scary pictures of celebrities past and present.
While I have to admit that former French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot has NOT aged gracefully and Mark Hamill looks a lot like our mechanic at Pep Boys, I’d personally rather see a familiar face with wrinkles than a severely-remodeled version I wouldn’t recognize in a million years, such as Barry Manilow, with no lips, foam rubber cheek implants and a face like a Cabbage Patch doll, and Marie Osmond, an over-rouged Vegas drag queen who should consider suing whoever does her hair and makeup. The poor thing looks like a 60-year-old man who’s trying to look like Marie Osmond.

I’d better withdraw my claws now so I can continue typing.

I ordered another load of crapola this morning from, my favorite source for fabulous and surprisingly cheap low-carb products. Today’s treasures included Dixie Diner Low-Carb Instant Mashers, Low-Carb Pound Cake Mix and Low-Carb Muffin Mixes (Corn, Blueberry and Chocolate Chocolate Chip), two bottles of Guy’s Award-Winning Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce (original and spicy) and one bottle of DaVinci’s Sugar-Free Unflavored Sweetener Syrup to make everything I eat and bake taste like it’s exploding with sugar. Welcome to Diabetesland!
Tonight’s my night to fuss around in the kitchen so Sam can eat things when he gets home from work. I’ll be baking a loaf of caraway rye in my bread machine and a pan of Pillsbury Sugar-Free Fudge Brownies. (They’re so good you’d never guess there’s no sugar.)

Incidentally, tonight is also the big finale of “Top Chef Masters” on Bravo, where you get to watch very talented people preparing food for a panel of annoying judges. At the top of this list is Annoying Judge James Oseland (see right), editor of “Saveur” magazine, who constantly makes his sexual orientation a little too obvious for a show that’s supposed to be about cooking.

Thank you for reading this. All of a sudden I have a craving for tuna salad.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy birthday to me. I want a new set of wheels!

With only 37 shopping days left until my birthday I ought to let you know that a classy new set of wheels is at the top of my “wish list” this year. I WANT A ROLLATOR! The kind with a BUILT-IN PADDED SEAT, POWER BRAKES, a CUP HOLDER and a SHLEPPER BASKET for transporting crap around the house. My favorite must-have accessory is a 120-decibel AIR HORN to get slugs, small children and old people the hell out of my way. The air horn is available online from Deal Extreme for about $13 with free shipping.
On my agenda this week? I want to join one of Mesquite’s Senior Centers so I won’t turn into an antisocial hermit. According to their latest newsletter, September activities at our three local Senior Centers include: 1) Friday night bluegrass music with cookies; 2) a supervised weekly shopping trip to Wal-Mart; 3) the annual “Being Young” Fair featuring Buck and Gloria’s rock & roll sing-along, free popcorn and bingo; 4) board game night; 5) daily hot lunch for a buck if you’re 60 or older; 6) a monthly happy birthday mixer; 7) craft classes (choice of making earrings with Jerrie or a mummy candy dish with Dorothy); 8) Senior Day Camp with hay rides and hot dogs; 9) flu shots on Thursdays; and 10) this month’s feature film: Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters; B) the Goodbar Senior Center behind McKinsey Elementary School; C) the Evans Senior Center; and D) the Rutherford Senior Center. Goodbar and Evans offer the cheap lunch program. I’ve got September’s menu if anybody’s interested.
Please stop laughing because I’m serious about this crap. Thank you.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Choctaw Casino ... good meat loaf, the best pea salad and memorable money.

Hi. Miss me? I took a two-day break from posting here for no particular reason and therefore apologize if any of my regular Howdygramsters have considered rioting or mass suicide. And I mean this sincerely.

As I get older I’m learning how to deal with unexpected weirdness, loss and general crap. After a semi-sleepless night on Friday, during which I amused myself at the computer Googling names from the past, I found a current home address for a friend from 25 years ago when I lived in Dallas with my first husband. Last night when I sat down to write Judy a letter I Googled her name one more time to double-check the mailing address and WHAM, up pops her obituary from March 2012 “following a brief and intense battle with cancer.” I felt like somebody kicked me in the gut. But as I continued reading I learned quite a lot about her family during the past two and a half decades and felt considerably less lousy afterwards. Judy’s three children — who were in their teens last time I saw them — all grew up to be educated, successful and fertile. They gave her 16 grandchildren. SIXTEEN! I found an address for Judy’s youngest daughter in a small town east of Dallas and might send her a note. I’m hoping Katie remembers me.

Sam and I had a lovely weekend that included a drive in the country and a pointless trip to Baskin Robbins in Rockwall because THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY MORE SUGAR-FREE ICE CREAM. Not one to be discouraged, however, I immediately moved on to Plan B ... hot dogs and fries from Five Guys.
Even though this looks like every bad decision you ever made, a Five Guys hot dog is AWESOME and they let you add as many toppings as you want for free. And just when you think it can’t get any better, the hot dog is GRILLED and the bun is TOASTED. Glorioski!

Sam took a day off work today. It should come as no surprise that we used it for a fun little junket to the Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma. We arrived around 11 just in time for the lunch buffet — featuring good meat loaf, the best pea salad in the world and sugar-free pie — and then proceeded to win memorable sums of money from our favorite penny slots (Cash Wizard for Sam, Rembrandt Riches for me). We’ll probably go back in a few weeks to celebrate my birthday because I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

I’d better start making some decisions about dinner. Thank you for reading this.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Meet “Big Tex,” the Texas State Fair’s mascot, scaring the crap out of people since 1952.

Yo, people. Sam is still sick. He went back to bed around 9:30, and bed is a damn good place for him to be. Since I don’t want to turn on the TV and disturb him I thought I’d spend a little time horsing around with the Howdygram. I’ve even got a vanilla phosphate and six different slot machine games on my iPad to keep me company. In case you’re interested, a vanilla phosphate — which tastes like cream soda — is made with 10 pumps of DaVinci sugar-free vanilla syrup and a 12-oz. can of cold seltzer. We’ve got an entire pantry full of these amazing DaVinci things in all of our favorite flavors, including banana, pineapple, peach, watermelon, raspberry, blueberry, chocolate, lime, root beer and strawberry! ENOUGH TO MAKE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF PHOSPHATES!

If you want to buy some of these for yourself I recommend because they carry every DaVinci flavor imaginable with cheapo flat-rate shipping no matter how many bottles you buy. (Be sure to order a bunch of syrup pumps, too. They screw on.)

Yee-haw! The State Fair of Texas — still the largest state fair in the United States — will be open September 28 through October 21 at Fair Park in Dallas, just in case you’re planning to be in town for this huge and festive hoo-hah. Regular gate admission is $16 for adults and $12 for children and seniors, but there are several excellent discount specials that might interest you.
  • Seniors get in FREE on Thursdays.
  • On Wednesdays bring three cans of food as a donation to area food banks and admission is just $2 courtesy of Kroger. Yay Kroger!
  • Bring an empty Dr. Pepper can on Tuesdays to get in for only $5. Belch at the ticket counter for a free bag of popcorn. (Just kidding.)
Pictured below is “Big Tex,” the State Fair’s mascot, who stands five stories tall and scares the crap out of everybody at the main gate booming “HOWDY! WELCOME TO THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS!” in a voice that reminds me of the Jolly Green Giant. (Does anybody remember those commercials?) Big Tex gets a new outfit every five years. He weighs 6,000 pounds, his hat is 75 gallons, his boots stand more than seven feet tall and his pants inseam is 200 inches. Holy crap, that’s one gigantic dude. Do you think he’s anatomically correct?
I’m tired tonight so I think I’ll just wrap up this post, do my nightly insulin injection (oh boy!) and join Sam in dreamland. Thank you for reading this.

Howdygram Community Hospital, open for business.

It’s a beautiful, sunny Friday morning in Texas, and take a guess who’s sick. Sam! Apparently he was up and down feeling crappy several times during the night — how the hell did I sleep through that? — and eventually woke up this morning achy, shivering, running a fever and coughing. After he called his office around 9:30 to report his deteriorating medical condition I wrapped him in two blankets, shot a couple of Tylenol down his throat and sent him back to bed, where he remains unconscious as I write this post.

I will, as always, do my very best to take care of Sam today. I’ll even make a pot of soup and let him watch anything he wants on TV ... within reason.

At the moment I’ve got a website client in Wisconsin who’s driving me crazy. I think her email account is having a stroke because she’s been sending the same message repeatedly for the last hour — 31 times at last count — with the same eight attachments! I keep asking her to STOP THIS STUPID HORSESHIT BEFORE I KILL YOU but she’s not responding. It’s possible I might be scaring her.

Obviously I need to find a less violent way to deal with my frustration so I’m considering leftover Chinese food and a Mary Astor movie. Thank you for putting up with me.

I have to stop eating fake meat in a can for lunch.

Although I’m sure the next statement will be construed as too much information, I’m currently in the midst of a serious “digestive incident” involving repeat doses of Imodium and frequent dashes down the hall at startling speed for a senior citizen with a cane. Sam, who’s already asleep, has no idea what’s going on, and there’s certainly no need to disturb him since there’s not much he can do about my intestines at 2:45 in the morning. (I guess there’s not much I can do about them, either.)

Do you ever remember your dreams? I’m experiencing a new phenomenon this week ... vivid dreams that I recall in intricate detail. This afternoon I conked out on the chaise in our family room and proceeded to have a steamy affair with Mitt Romney. He apparently showed up as a paramedic to bandage my injured foot and then followed me around like a lovesick puppy at a GOP cocktail party. When we ran into Ronald Reagan I told him Mitt and I were in love and he wanted me to change my vote. At that point I woke up long enough to mutter “HOLY CRAP” and then dreamed I was at a huge, busy urban intersection trying to find the right bus to get home. It was freezing cold outside and I didn’t have a coat, and all kinds of people were directing me from corner to corner until I finally walked into a birthday card shop to look at bus schedules pinned to a wall, but none of them made any sense. I recall being very freaked out but have no recollection if I ever figured out how to get home.

Bottom line: I definitely have to stop eating fake meat in a can for lunch.
Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sitting shiva for two stuffed mules in Lubbock.

Hi. I thought I’d spend a few minutes Howdygrammin’ while I gear mself up for this week’s episode of “Project Runway.” I’ve got a couple of hot news stories from the Lone Star State to share with y’all.

First up … the Texas Department of Public Safety is presenting a free exhibit on Sunday afternoon at its headquarters in Austin, which will include a traffic helicopter, the Austin Police Department’s new squad cars — be still, my heart — and a display of historic police uniforms. I’m thinking if they’ll throw in a few free refreshments it might be worth the 210-mile drive.
Next, apparently a museum in West Texas recently purchased a couple of old mules and euthanized them for a farm display. The American Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock says the mules were purchased from a local trader after a fruitless search for already-preserved (i.e., stuffed) animals came up empty. One mule was 28 years old and the other was 32.
Responding to public outcry, a museum spokesman insists that stuffed real animals will give visitors a more accurate picture of how mules are used in the field. Holy crap. I sure hope nobody ever decides to display an old Howdygram blogger.

Time for a hot shower, a bowl of ice cream and “Project Runway.” Incidentally, I’ve been a little disappointed by season 10’s lack of scandal, sniping, in-fighting and debauchery. I mean, what’s the point of reality television if nobody acts like a moron? All we get are weekly challenges and occasional crap fashion design. B-O-R-I-N-G.
Pictured above is a pose from the Rockettes challenge. Host Heidi Klum is in the middle wearing green and mentor Tim Gunn is the dude to her left. Tim is the best part of the entire show aside from Michael Kors’ outrageous comments during judging. He’s famous for saying things like: “Those pants are just insane. It looks like Pacman is eating her crotch,” and “I can’t look at this. Your model makes me think of Morticia Adams wearing a shredded dress to a bar mitzvah.”

Thanks for stopping by. Seriously.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh boy! Let’s go to Club Meds!

Sam is working late tonight. VERY late. Such as being stuck at the office for 14 hours all by himself and not getting home until 3 or 4 a.m. tomorrow. Apparently he’s picking up overflow projects from the company’s sister site in Houston. I sincerely hope he finds time to eat and pee, because both activities are awfully damn important.
In case you’ve ever wondered where Sam works — and even if you haven’t — pictured above is a diagram of the Crescent Court complex in Dallas, an arrangement of three ritzy office towers, a five-star hotel and a bunch of snooty stores and restaurants around the perimeter. (The exact location of Sam’s window is an educated guess. I know he’s waving but I can’t see him from this far away.)

In the meantime I’m here at Howdygram headquarters, holding down the proverbial fort, so-to-speak, which isn’t too difficult due to a luxurious nap earlier today and not doing much else afterwards aside from ordering dinner from China City, writing a post and watching How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) starring Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable.
That was one of the longest sentences I’ve ever written. However I’m pretty sure there’s no formal recognition for this accomplishment or a cash award. (Never mind.)

Oh boy! Let’s go to Club Meds! On the menu for yours truly at this hour every night are the following bedtime snacks, prescribed for a variety of chronic conditions that include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, neuropathy pain, sleeplessness and type 2 diabetes:
  1. Trazodone, 50 mg
  2. Amitriptyline Hydrochloride, 30 mg
  3. Aldactone, 25 mg
  4. Atorvastatin Calcium, 40 mg
  5. Benazepril/Hydrochlorothiazide, 20/25 mg
  6. Lantus Solostar insulin, 100 units (injected)
Incidentally, I’d rather eat chocolate chip cookies. Thank you for reading this.

Cheetos and Coke Zero, still the two safest food products on the planet.

I think I’m in the Twilight Zone. I just woke up from a four-hour nap that I didn’t need, which was filled with weird back-to-back dreams, such as: 1) a high-level office job I kept “ditching” by calling in sick; and 2) being picked up by security guards at a store that looked a lot like Marshall Field’s for not buying a yellow top and a raincoat that I liked on a previous visit. I’m so damn confused right now I might have to order Mongolian chicken for dinner because Mongolian chicken cures everything.

From our Holy Crap, What A Deal department comes breaking news about a clearance sale hoo-hah underway at Soups Online. For a limited time they’ve got large-size (16 oz.) jars of Better Than Bouillon soup base for only $5.95 (half price) because this size apparently is being discontinued. I just ordered two jars of chicken and one each of mushroom and turkey for the Howdygram’s pantry. Sample images appear below in case you have no idea what I’m talking about. (This stuff is terrific.)
If you’ve never shopped at Soups Online you should give them a shot right away. They have a huge inventory and carry so many flavors of Better Than Bouillon your head might explode. Aside from the three I ordered today (chicken, mushroom and turkey) they also sell lobster, kosher chicken, chicken tomato, ham, organic vegetable, au jus, beef, chili, fish and clam! Glorioski!

And now I’d like to print the results of a study that ranks America’s favorite national burger chains. A research company called Market Force Information questioned 7,600 consumers about their preferences and I’m pretty sure the results won’t surprise anybody. In every region nationwide Five Guys topped the list and In-N-Out was second, followed by Fuddruckers, A&W and Smashburger. Fuddruckers?!
Dairy Queen ranked dead last based on its lousy food and frightening décor. You won’t get any disagreement from me. The last time Sam and I set foot in Dairy Queen was about five years ago. The front half of the store smelled like somebody just threw up and the kid who made our cones was covered with scabs. We raced each other to the front door and couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
Here’s a Howdygram Consumer Alert! As long as I’m writing about food (a favorite Howdygram topic in case you haven’t noticed) I wonder if you’ve read today’s big news about RICE. According to separate tests conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Reports, many name-brand rice and rice products contain “troubling” levels of CARCINOGENIC ARSENIC, a level one toxin that causes bladder and lung cancer. I think it’s a safe bet that Chinese restaurants from coast to coast are feeling a little panicky right now, although white rice is apparently safer than brown since arsenic is being found most often in the outer layers of the grain. (So much for all those bogus health claims about brown rice.)
These latest findings have led Consumer Reports and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to call on the FDA to set limits for arsenic in food, particularly baby food, and to caution the public about eating large amounts of rice and feeding it to small children. While that’s all very commendable, I wouldn’t recommend feeding arsenic to ADULTS, either!

I think I’ll consider Cheetos and Coke Zero for dinner, still the two safest food products on the planet. Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fat Daddy’s Seafood Grill, now open in the Shell station down the street.

Thought y’all might want to know there’s a brand new fine dining establishment that’s walking distance from Howdygram headquarters! It’s Fat Daddy’s Seafood Grill, tucked inside the Shell station at the corner of Northwest Drive and Belt Line Road. Fat Daddy’s replaces Howard’s Christian Catfish and Taxes, a dual-purpose dive that offered fried food year-round with optional income tax advice from January through April by two religious short-order cooks. The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters on Bonnywood Drive; and B) Fat Daddy’s (formerly Howard’s Christian Catfish and Taxes).
For your possible interest I’m told that Howard’s has moved to a strip mall location in south Mesquite.

It seems that GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is getting lots of crap from everybody in the United States — even from some of his own campaign staff — for continuing to stuff both feet in his mouth every time he speaks in public. Those leaked remarks about the “47%” (see my earlier post) from a Republican fundraiser have derailed every other issue on the table. (Nothing could make me happier. Not even Mongolian chicken.)
The point is, all those thoughtless, arrogant, off-handed comments spewing from Romney’s mouth aren’t “gaffes” at all ... that’s simply who he is.

Obama 2012!

And now I think I’ll defrost some food and finish the Eddie Cantor movie I started watching a couple of hours ago. I refer to If You Knew Susie from 1948 featuring screwball comic Joan Davis and a lot of stupid situations that include tap-dancing white showgirls in blackface and Paul Revere’s horse (don’t ask).
Here’s a video clip of Eddie and Joan singing the title number. Feel free to replay this as often as you want, no extra charge.

May you live and be well. Thank you for reading this.

I’m married to a Jewish plumber! Who knew?

As a brief update to last night’s post, I’ve got some hot news from Howdygram headquarters. Glorioski ... SAM JUST FIXED OUR BACKED-UP KITCHEN SINK! I began my day at 8 a.m. with a call to our handyman, who said he’s leaving for vacation and can’t come over but the first thing we should try — before calling anybody — is checking the trap by ourselves. He told me what to do, I told Sam, and holy crap … IT WORKED. I’m married to a Jewish plumber! Who knew?

Sam and I are definitely a power team. I design websites, he fixes plumbing. We can rule the world.

Grocery alert from the Howdygram Test Kitchen! Yesterday Sam bought me a box of Jimmy Dean’s frozen three-cheese omelets from Albertson’s. In case you’re wondering, they’re good but definitely not better than Schwan’s. Plus Schwan’s delivers, and everybody knows a delivered omelet tastes better. Period.

Here’s an excellent reason to start your Hanukkah shopping early. From an apparently useless company called Popcorn Indiana comes a desktop device called the “Popinator,” a voice-activated popcorn bazooka that shoots kernels into your mouth from across the room when you say the word “POP.”

While admittedly this would be a pretty cool gadget for cubicles, hospital rooms and board of directors meetings, just imagine a few of the other possibilities if a clever dude could tweak the design, such as “GEFILTE FISH,” “MONGOLIAN CHICKEN” or “CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP.”

Ahoy, mateys! The Howdygram is pleased to announce that tomorrow is Talk Like A Pirate Day, and if you show up at Krispy Kreme in costume you’ll get a dozen donuts FREE at participating locations! (The Howdygram suggests that you call ahead so you won’t feel like a moron.)
But wait, there’s more! Talk like a pirate at Long John Silver’s tomorrow and you’ll also get a lump of FREE FISH with any purchase! This isn’t quite as generous as the deal from Krispy Kreme, but what the hell. At least you won’t starve, right? Now all you need is free mouthwash from Walgreen’s and you’ll be set for life.

Thank you for reading this.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another gem from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the arrogant piece of poo.

As I sit here with a clogged kitchen sink waiting for Sam to get home from work I’d like to share the latest quote from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the arrogant piece of poo who continues to demonstrate complete disgust for half of America’s citizens. Here’s the proof:

“There are 47 percent who will vote for the President no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. These are people who pay no income tax. My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Holy crap! Can anybody be more disengaged, mean-spirited, calculating or heartless? Every time Romney opens his mouth I want run screaming into the street! It’s just another lame attempt to deflect public scrunity from his own lousy platform and secretive financial holdings by creating hatred towards Americans in need. THE HOWDYGRAM THINKS EVERYBODY SHOULD VOTE FOR OBAMA.
And now I think I’ll try to scrounge up something to eat that doesn’t involve using the sink. Thank you for putting up with me.

Albertson’s, home of the toothless doofus.

Breaking news from Mesquite. Sam just left on a shopping expedition to Albertson’s! His prey? Jimmy Dean frozen omelets (which aren’t available anywhere else), Koop’s stone ground mustard, sugar-free Heinz ketchup and some dairy crapola so I can move forward with my low-carb baking adventures.
In case you’re wondering why this would be such a big hoo-hah, we never shop at Albertson’s even though there’s a big store three minutes from home because Sam doesn’t like the doofus with two teeth who works at the deli counter. For your possible interest the map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters; and B) Albertson’s in Garland at Broadway and Duck Creek, home of the toothless doofus.
From our Let’s Pretend You Give a Crap department, right now I’d like to review a couple of recent purchases! First up ... Bob’s Red Mill Low-Carb Whole Wheat Bread Mix. Although I loved the taste and texture, and it expanded into such a huge loaf in my bread machine that the lid nearly popped off, I didn’t actually get to eat very much of this stuff because the whole loaf turned moldy less than 48 hours later. This was definitely a waste of time and money, since the packaged mix and additional ingredients cost almost six bucks. SIX DAMN BUCKS!
Next ... Dixie Carb Counters Banana Nut Bread Mix. This was easy to make but had some clear negatives, including: 1) inconvenient and expensive ingredients, such as sour cream, butter and a bunch of eggs; 2) the baking time on the package is wrong unless you enjoy eating charcoal; 3) the damn thing has no discernible flavor whatsoever; and 4) on Saturday I practically choked to death on banana bread crumbs and had to pause a Myrna Loy movie twice. Other than that it was a wonderful experience.

This week I’ll make the Low-Carb Cinnamon Swirl Snackin’ Cake. Stay tuned.

Glorioski! It’s time for lunch!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Never give a Jewish dwarf exercise equipment for Hanukkah.

Everything in the news is pretty disgusting these days. We’ve got hysteria in the Middle East, royal titties on magazine covers across the globe, Twinkies going bankrupt and fringe nutjobs like Paul Ryan calling President Obama “an extremist.” That being said, the only articles I allowed myself to read online this morning were Dear Abby and a photo retrospective of Florence Henderson’s hairstyles from “The Brady Bunch.”
L’shana tovah, everybody! Sam and I ushered in the first night of Rosh Hashanah with a pot of Jewish chili and two crappy films: 1) Along Came a Spider (1970) starring Suzanne Pleshette and a lot of orange furniture; and 2) The Wasp Woman (1959) directed by shlockmeister Roger Corman and featuring Susan Cabot plus a lot of other people nobody ever heard of.

Please allow me to swing off on a screwball tangent for a minute to discuss the aforementioned Susan Cabot, whose actual life and death were stranger than anything Roger Corman dished out in his drecky horror movies. Apparently Cabot’s son was a dwarf named Timothy Scott Roman who, following years of emotional abuse, bludgeoned mom to death with a barbell in 1986 while she slept. At trial the court found him mostly nuts due to taking an experimental growth hormone for 15 years that didn’t work, and teeny Tim wound up with three years of probation and a cash fine more appropriate for a speeding violation. In addition — here’s the best part — Cabot apparently had a torrid love affair with King Hussein of Jordan in 1959 that ended when he found out she was actually Jewish. Cabot’s real name was HARRIET SHAPIRO. Holy crap.
I can hear Sam slamming cabinets in the kitchen so I think I’ll go join the fun. Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our new favorite restaurant features forks, happy servers and perfect brown rice.

While Sam is half-asleep in the family room watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train I thought I’d do a little Howdygrammin’ and review a terrific restaurant at the same time. Sam and I had an early dinner tonight at Thai Star, an adorable little spot in Addison (far north Dallas) with the most incredible Thai cuisine EVER. We got there a few minutes before the doors opened at 5 and customers were already standing around outside waiting to get in. Now I know why.
I ordered a chef’s special called Kapow Tilapia served on a plate shaped like a great big fish; Sam had Thai Sweet & Sour Chicken on a normal plate not shaped like a fish. You get to choose your level of “heat” on a scale of 1 to 5 — I’m a 4 and Sam’s a 3, in case you’re interested — and everything includes a fork, a happy server and a perfect mound of brown rice. I’d also like to mention that the décor is awfully damn cute, too, like eating inside a little grass hut. We’re definitely planning to go back. This would be an excellent place to take houseguests except we never have any. (Incidentally, that’s a hint.)

Holy crap, I need some dessert bad. Thanks for stopping by.

I wonder if I can boost my Google ranking by typing “royal titties” in really big letters.

We didn’t make it to the Choctaw Casino today after all. I’m not noticeably hysterical and/or despondent since Sam promised we’d get there next weekend instead and — glorioski! let’s eat! — we’re going out for an early dinner around 4:30. At this point we still have no clear idea where that will be, however, and high-level negotiations are currently in progress. So far the other side (i.e., Sam) has expressed zero interest in buffets or anything that’s located downtown. I’m leaning towards Thai food in Addison. Stay tuned for additional developments. In the meantime, you have approximately one hour to email your suggestions. Thank you.
Last night’s Howdygram post — titled “A pair of very royal titties in the news” — is apparently making a big fat splash in cyberspace. So far we’re receiving top-tier results on Google for the search phrase “royal titties,” attracting a huge list of new visitors from Great Britain, New Zealand, the Netherlands, India, Guam, Germany, various cities in Canada and locations throughout the United States. I wonder if I can boost my Google ranking by typing “royal titties” in really big letters. Let’s give it a shot, shall we?

royal titties

Thank you for reading this. Tell your friends, okay?

The Great Twinkie Bailout of 2012.

I woke up two hours ago with a song in my head, a screwy yet catchy thing called “Oh What a Horse Was Charlie” from the movie Going Places (1938) starring Dick Powell, Louis Armstrong and a horse. Ronald Reagan had a non-singing bit part that included two (too many) lines of dialog.
The plot is actually really stupid and really funny at the same time. Powell is a sporting goods salesman who attends a snooty steeplechase event pretending to be an Australian jockey (seriously) and gets conned into riding a wild horse named Jeepers Creepers in the big race. Poor Louis Armstrong — already a huge international star at this point — is badly cast as a stable boy who serenades the horse, obviously the studio’s attempt to introduce Johnny Mercer’s big hit song (“Jeepers Creepers”) and humiliate Armstrong at the same time. Here, for your possible amusement, is a video clip in case you think I’m making this up.

Before I forget ... happy new year from your pals at the Howdygram! I always make an effort to keep track of the basics even though Sam and I are not religious or observant except for matzo balls. For instance, I know that Rosh Hashanah begins tomorrow at sundown (mazel tov) and Yom Kippur is September 25 and 26.
Breaking news from the world of cheap and tasteless snacks! Apparently Hostess Brands, teetering on the edge of demise, has asked a bankruptcy judge to force the baker’s union to accept a revised contract with substantial cuts in pay and health benefits so Twinkies and Ding-Dongs can live a long and happy life at the expense of 18,500 employees.
Personally, I never cared much for Twinkies. Even as a kid I thought they tasted like polyester. My favorite was always Hostess SnoBalls, but that was half a century ago before the marshmallow chewed like rubber and nobody dyed the damn things pink. Maybe somebody should put this company out of its misery already.

I think I’ll go back to bed for a while and annoy Sam. Thank you for reading this!