Archive for the ‘Blout Outs’ Category

The 2010 TJ’s Buggy — New Body Style, Better Handling

July 23, 2010

The woman at Trader Joe’s looked at me like I was crazy when I went for the cart behind the cart that was in the front. Does that make sense? I pulled out one cart, then pulled out the next one and took that one. So naturally I felt the need to explain, so I said, “I like the red ones,” to which she gave me an even crazier look, because they are all red. But what I meant was, the solid red ones. Because they. are. awesome.

Side note: I’ve been using the word “cart,” because I want you to know what I’m talking about. But growing up in N.C., we called them “buggies,” and I frankly prefer that, so I’m switching now and bringing you along with me. Yay! Here we are. We’re talking about solid red buggies, and you’re in for a treat.

So, historically, when I’ve gone to the grocery store, I’ve always gotten the bad buggy. You know the one. The wheels squeak; or one of the brakes is permanently in the locked position so it drags across the floor making a noise like a dying hippo; or it veers to the right or left so that in order to keep it going straight, I have to throw my entire body weight into it. On the way out to the car, if the sidewalk is slanted one way or the other, it careens toward that side, dragging me with it until I swing around and block its trajectory or race over to the opposite corner and pull it, lurching to and fro until I finally arrive at my car in a full sweat. I always got that buggy.


One day, I took my roommate to the airport right around rush hour. After dropping her off, rather than spend my day on the freeway, I chose instead to go to a shopping center and kill some time. Well, there is a Trader Joe’s at that shopping center, and much to my surprise and delight, upon entering I noticed that all the old red and chrome buggies had been replaced with sleek, solid-red ones. And folks, not only were they beautiful, which they were — a sporty shade of candy-apple red — but the way those buggies handled — well, it was, quite frankly, a dream come true. Sporty suspension. Razor-tight turning radius. Responsive handling. Light and zippy, yet sleek and fast. All in all, an exhilarating driving– er, pushing experience.

I was so stoked that I took a picture. Ahem… two pictures. And did I get some crazy-person looks? Yes, I did. But it was worth it.

Since then, my own neighborhood store has started replacing old buggies with the new ones. Unfortunately, many of the old “bad buggies” still remain, but when I’m lucky enough to get a new one, it makes it that much sweeter. But don’t take my word for it. Go take one for a spin today!

Request and Dedication

January 5, 2007

In this blentry, I asked for requests and dedications, and Joanna wrote:

“I would like to dedicate a picture of two blond little girls in matching watermelon dresses to Childhood. Childhood, you’ve given me so many special memories. I will never forget the good times we had. Thank you for making me into the person I am today. Stay playful, stay innocent. Much Love, joanna :)”


I’d like to add my own dedication: To long friendships that change with the seasons of our lives, but remain fresh, strong, and true forever.


My Boyfriend Cannot Remember How to Say “Okra.”

July 26, 2006

It’s adorable. We frequently go to an Indian restaurant — So frequently that they always get excited and greet us, and comment if we haven’t been back for a while. Every time we go, we order the chicken korma curry (spicy), okra masala (medium), rice, and naan bread. Some people grew up eating okra. Jeff did not, and therefore didn’t grow up pronouncing it either. So, before we order, he always asks me to remind him how to say it. Then he orders, and says it wrong anyway. He either says it with a short ‘o’ sound, like “Ah-kra,” or “Orca,” like the whale.

I find this positively delightful. It makes me want to go to the other side of the table and sit on his lap facing him, which I have done before in a restaurant when the occasion warranted, and smother him with kisses. I hope he never figures it out.

Joanna is 27!

July 16, 2006

Yesterday was Joanna’s 27th birthday. She is my oldest friend. Not oldest in age; don’t be ridiculous. Oldest in time I have known her. She and I have literally known each other since before we were born. Or, as much as one fetus can “get to know” another fetus in another uterus. I called her this evening, and she said, “I have high hopes for 27, because 17 was a good year for me, and it ended in 7.” This proves we’ve known each other for our entire lives, because although I haven’t seen her in years and we unfortunately seldom talk anymore, that is the exact thing I said when I was turning 27 in March. The exact thing.

Here is a photo of her 18th birthday. NINE years ago! She’s the one on the right. Oh, and it totally looks like we’re superimposed onto the background, but I promise we’re not! Because if I were going to superimpose us, I think I would put us against something cooler than an off-white wall.
I’ve made an album on my Flickr page of more old photos of Joanna and the good old days. These only date back to Senior year of high school, but our parents have oodles of pictures of us as adorable little kids. Hopefully I’ll get those on this blog at some point. Anyway, to view all the photos, click here.

Happy Birthday, Joanna Banana!

Blout-Out to My Car!

June 6, 2006

So yesterday I was driving down the street in my neighborhood and out of nowhere zoomed a kid on his scooter. Right in front of my car. Like, right in front. I saw the kid on the sidewalk for an instant, and with no warning whatsoever, he just shot into the street. He was on one of those little electric scooters, and was just ZOOM, out in the street. I slammed on the brakes but could tell it was no use — he was literally like 4-6 feet in front of me. So I jerked the wheel to the left, and he stopped, and I missed him. And I kept driving, and I was thinking, "I'm really calm right now. I don't feel at all rattled. I really feel fine. I wonder if that adrenaline rush is going to kick in. I would think I would feel it by now. This is weird, I feel so ca — and — here it is." The adrenaline hit, with the requisite shaking and heart pounding, and suddenly I became so angry at that kid and his parents that I wanted to turn around and go scream at them. Because he was at least ten, probably older because kids seem so much tinier than we were, and I always think they're younger than they are, but in any case he was plenty old enough to KNOW THAT HE IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET, whether on foot or on a bike or scooter or WHATEVER. In an instant, he could have ruined his life, his family's lives, and my life.

Once I got a little past the initial anger, the best part set in: the thankfulness. And the first thing I thought was, "Well Done, Car!" I had slammed on the brakes and jerked the wheel hard, turning like 80 degrees to the left, and my car handled it like a pro. As though this was small potatoes compared to all the test courses it used to play on when it was a young punk. My car was all, "What, that?  That was nothing! I got tricks you ain't seen, Woman!" Man, those tires gripped the road, and that car knew what it needed to do. It knew what had to be done, and it did it like it was nothing. And no lives were ruined.  So thanks, Car. I owe you one.

Blout-Out to Dave O’Hara!

April 8, 2006

I love the blogging community!  As I thoroughly demonstrated in my last two posts, I have been having tons of trouble adding photos to my blogs and was clueless as to how to add them full-sized.  So, I remembered that I'd seen one on another wordpress blog, that of one Mr. David O'Hara, and so I asked him how, and he told me, and now I know, and am liberated from thumbnails!  Thanks, Dave, you are the recipient of my second blout-out!

By the way, this is a random photo I grabbed for testing purposes.  It was taken at my friend Theo's American Citizenship Bowling party, on the night he got his American Citizenship.  Here's me, Brennan, Emily, and two of Emily's friends (on the far left and right) whose names I don't remember.  Sadly, Theo is not in this picture, but now that I know how to add full-size photos, perhaps I'll add more in the future from this memorable occasion. 


Guess What Week It Is?

March 8, 2006

It’s National Procrastination Week!  It’s also the week before my birthday, but since I’ve been busy celebrating Procrastination Week, I haven’t planned any sort of celebration.  Speaking of birthdays, today is Amanda’s (Happy Birthday, Manditas!!) and coming soon is Nathan’s.  Nathan’s is right around the time of mine, but I forget the exact day.  I would go ahead and check on Friendster, which I am already logged into, but I feel it would really go against everything National Procrastination Week stands for.  I’m trying to be patriotic here, by observing this national holiday, so I’ll check another time.

March 20, my birthday, is also my friend Galen’s birthday.  We will both be 27.  Galen was my first new friend in college.  I actually met him just before college, when our mutual friend Catherine introduced us.  As it happens, we ended up in dorms right next to each other, so we began our freshman year walking to class together and going to eat bad food together at the dining hall.  The first time I got drunk I was with Galen, drinking Aristokrat vodka out of plastic "Don’t Get Wasted" cups that had been given out at the beginning-of-the-year campus street festival (and by festival I mean lots of booths advertizing various extra-curricular activies and giving out soap and deodorant samples, plus free pizza, and of course keychains and small plastic cups with the "Don’t Get Wasted" logo, the perfect size for large shots of cheap vodka).  We discussed our birthdays for the first time over the phone and didn’t believe each other.  We made each other show each other our respective driver’s licenses to prove that we were actually both born on March 20, 1979.  We even got our licenses renewed together on or around our 20th birthday.  The night we both turned 21 we weren’t together, but we still saw each other.  I had been fed so many drinks so fast at the bar where I was celebrating (Linda’s, for any Tar Heels out there) that by 12:45, as my guests were still arriving, my boyfriend was taking me home.  I made it all the way until we pulled into his driveway (a big five-minute drive, tops), then made him stop so I could get out and puke.  At that moment, a red truck drove by, stopped, backed up, and paused… to watch! me puke! 

The next day Galen and I got together to celebrate, and I was joking about my night, and he said, "Wait, were you on Hillsboro Street at around 1AM?  Puking on the lawn?"  Yes, folks, it was him and his friend in that red truck, and they just backed up to make sure I was OK.  And that is why Galen has just become the subject of my first blout-out.

Hmmm, I realize now that it would have been more prudent to give Amanda a blout-out, since today is her actual birthday, but I didn’t know what I was going to write when I started this entry, and I must let my creative forces rule.  Plus, giving Amanda her blout-out after her birthday will both allow her to stretch out her birthday fun, and embody the true spirit of National Procrastination Week.

P.S. Check it out!  It kind of sucks, actually, as websites go, but it’s all in the spirit of the holiday.