Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Birthday Paintings (and other thoughts)

Everyone had their favorite cereals growing up.  I loved several, though, including Cookie Crisp, Count Chocula and Frankenberry, Pebbles of all types, be it Fruity or Cocoa, and Lucky Charms.  When I ate Lucky Charms, I always at all the pieces that were not marshmallows, then at the end, had like, one or two huge scoopfuls of nothing but 'mallow.  It was awesome.

My cereal tastes really haven't gotten all that refined as an adult, though I steer more towards the less sugary, less cartoony kind.  Don't get me wrong, I still like a bowl full of Fruity Pebbles, but I do enjoy Corn Chex (or Kellogg's Crispex, which is essentially the same thing) or some Rice Krispies.

But two I usually have, or at least rotate through are Frosted Mini Wheats and Kellogg's Raisin Bran.  I have the latter in my house at this moment, though I do dig on the former a little more.  Problem is, its so cotton' pickin' expensive.  A good box of Frosted Mini-Wheats will cost you upwards of 4, maybe even 5 dollars. 

Sure, I could go to Wal-Mart, where many times items are a bit cheaper... however, Wal-Mart doesn't carry the Mini-Wheats I want.  I want the Mini-Wheats in the red box.  I want the Mini-Wheats that are frosted, they are about two inches long per... well, the box says "biscuit", but I'd just call it a "mini-wheat"... anyway, I want the regular Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Worked at Starbucks tonight, and after work, I stopped by Wal-Mart to get some milk...

...is there anything worse than having like, a half-inch of milk when you really want some cereal?  Like, just enough milk to wet whatever you pour in a bowl, but if you pour more than a half-inch of cereal, you have dry cereal... its dreadful... where was I?

...and some cereal.  Checked out the cereal aisle, and studied the mini-wheat selection.  I'd been here in this very aisle before, with the same results.  There are Frosted Mini-Wheat Little Bites, Chocolate Mini-Wheat Little Bites, Cinnamon Streusel Bite Size, Cinnamon Streusel Regular, Blueberry Muffin Bite Size, Strawberry Delight Bite Size, Maple and Brown Sugar Bite Size and Maple and Brown Sugar Regular Mini-Wheats.

But no Regular Sized Frosted Mini-Wheats.  Can't a guy get some Frosted, regular size Mini-Wheats?  I don't ask for much, really.  I did end up buying some Eggo Waffle Cereal, because it was only $2.00 and it looked like it might be good and not good for me.  Always a plus. 


This past Saturday was The Lovely Steph Leann's birthday celebration.  Her birthday is actually next Saturday, but she'll be out of town, so we celebrated a little early.  I had to work Saturday morning, but still had our friend Cah-Lah Rah pick her up at 11a, take her to lunch to meet her (our) friends DeLisa, The Dainty Steph Halpert and Emmy Turnbow, then off to Painted By U, owned and operated by Amarylis By Morning (up from san antone) to meet up Mama Ruthless and The Lovely Steph Leann's sister and kids for a big pottery paintin' party.

Here's Cahlah Rah, The Lovely Steph Leann, DeLisa and The Dainty Steph Halpert
 Had to do a bit of rushing around after I got off work, though.  Had to pick up dessert (chocolate covered strawberries), had to run into Wal-Mart (somehow I always do), and I had to go into The Dollar Tree for a couple of gift bags.

While I was in Wal-Mart, I picked up a few things needed for The Lovely Steph Leann's big day, and also a bottle of water, because I was thirsty as all get out.  So, when I walked into The Dollar Tree, I didn't think anything about taking my water with me, sipping/gulping as I did my quick shopping.  I ended up with two gift bags and, did you know they do Mylar Balloons there?  I got two of those.

I bought these at Edible Arrangements.  They are very
pricey, but extremely tasty.
The girl ringing me up just did not enjoy her job.  Don't know if it was that she was in her mid-30s, maybe 40s, and was working retail at The Dollar Tree, don't know if she had a personal issue in her life that was just keeping her from enjoying her day, but she didn't want to be there.  I was bothering her with my gift bag and my balloons and my smile and my "how are you today?" and my easy-to-please purchases. 

"That's $4.38" she says.
"Alrighty," I replied cheerfully, running my card through the swiper.  She put my bags into a plastic bag, then glanced down at my half-full bottle of water.

"Did you get that here?" she said suspiciously.
"Nope, bought it at Wal-Mart a few minutes ago.  Didn't even know you sold Dasani water."
"We do," she said, smirking at me, glancing at my water, and back up at me again.

"I got it at Wal-Mart," I said again.  I paused, and then added, "I have the receipt in my car.  I'll be happy to get it for you."

She smirked again, not believing anything  a word I said.

The rest of the day was just smashing, however.

You can contact Amarylis by Morning (up from san antone) at Painted By U by calling 205-988-8933, visiting their website at www.paintedbyu.com, or find them on Twitter and Facebook by looking for "Painted By U"


So, as I said before, I worked Starbucks tonight, which means after the visit to Wal-Mart, I got home around 11p.  And I fired up the DVR and watched this week's episode of WWE: Raw, and when it was over, I scrolled to Hawaii Five-O.  Watching it now, and it's awesome.

Though it is a little weird to have Jin from LOST speak English.


Two restaurants I've visited recently... one is Flip Burger.  Located at The Summit, its the "burger boutique", two words that may or may not ever belong together.  The atmosphere is modern, a little quirky and kind of fun.  The booth I sat in, as are all the booths, have backs that go all the way to the ceiling, almost like you are sitting in this little alcove in the wall, with a window.

The food is a bit pricey.  I ordered the burger combo with the fries and a milkshake ($12), and they delivered it fairly soon.  The burger reminded me of the overpriced sized burger you'd find at Hamburger Heaven or The Varsity in Atlanta, but was pretty good.  The fries were tasty, but the real treat was the milkshake. 

They serve some of the milkshakes with nitrogen on the top, so they are still smoking when they bring it to you, cold as they can possibly get without freezing.  I had the famous "Krispy Kreme Milkshake" and while it was good, and MZ, who I had met for lunch (I love Starbucks meetings on my day off... at least I got lunch) had the "Creme Brulee Milkshake", and that one was exceptional.  As always, I want the thing I didn't order.

Overall, it was a good dining experience, but my bill, with tip, came out to be about $16.  Considering I can get a huge meal at Milo's for about $6, and if I'm really wanting a milkshake bad enough, I can go over to Zaxbys and get a fantastic shake for $3, I'd probably do that.  Meaning I probably won't go to Flip again unless I'm with a group I want to be with and they all go, or someone else is buying, though I'd take The Lovely Steph Leann if she wanted to go.

Also recently, on a whim because I was hungry, I visited Chuy's (pronounced "Chewie's), again at The Summit.  The atmosphere was cool, with Mexican license plates all over the walls, a south of the border motif, and even stuff hanging from the ceiling everywhere.

I went around 11am, and a good thing too, because by 1130, people were starting to line up in the front to get in.  The menu is quite extensive, as you'd expect.  I ended up with the Baja Tacos, with no jalapeno sauce and light cilantro (its funny, because I asked for light cilantro and they put one small, single leaf on each of the two tacos I got.)

The plates were huge, and my tacos were essentially two pieces of fried shrimp wrapped in a tortilla... and surprisingly, it was great.  What wasn't all that great was the cheese dip.  Its slightly spicy, and for anyone who knows me, you know I'm not digging on spice, but even then, it was a little too thin and not nearly as good as you'd get from Pablo's around the corner.

The chips were excellent, though.  When the basket was emptied, the waitress came around with a huge scoop, and poured new chips into the basket--and they were warm, almost like she dipped them straight out of the fryer, shook off the grease and came to my table.

I feel like I paid about the same for my lunch as I did at Flip Burger, but Chuy's was a better value for the amount of food I recieved.    I'd go to Chuy's again, but like Flip, I'd probably go with people or if someone else was buying (hello business lunch!)... or, of course, if The Lovely Steph Leann wanted to go.

Make sure you visit Chuy's at off-hours though, like before or an hour or two after lunch, or before and after the dinner time hours.  Friday and Saturday evenings are probably impossible.  I've heard horror stories about the wait time there.

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