COWS Had Better Brands...

We have a regular customer down at "As the Cafe Turns", that I had noticed, me being the observant writer (HA!) that I am, had something stamped or branded on his wallet. Curiousity got the best of me, and instead of asking him outright (like any sane, normal person would have done), I spent weeks trying to read what it said, all the while trying to continue with the FABulous customer service I give-smile, eye contact, etc, etc, etc. Correct change fits in there somewhere...
Finally, one morning, I was able to read it. There it was, in big, bold print:
"Bad Mother F*cker".
Mind you, I edited for content in case minors and my pastor might get ahold of this...
Now, this guy is a really big guy. Bald, muscular, three egg omelet with an order of bacon (and a Diet Coke) everyday kind of guy. The kind you want with you in a dark alley.  So, yeah, he deserves that statement, maybe. But on your wallet?! I mean really, how does one go about purchasing that kind of thing? If you buy it for yourself, do you tell the clerk, "You know, I'm feeling spontaneous today. Could you engrave this on the wallet?" 
Clerk:"Well! Aren't we just a confident little person?!"
Or if it's a gift? "Yes, I'm buying this for a friend, who thinks he's just the shiiiiii..."
And then you give it to them, and y'all aren't as close friends as you thought you were to be calling each other that? Uh, awkward...Insert beatdown of your life here-> O.O
I suppose the fortunate thing is that, (hopefully) it's only stamped on his wallet.
And of course, now, everytime he comes to the register, the theme from Shaft goes racing through my mind...
"Shut your mouth!"

We've Been Eating These Things For Years
A while ago, I happened to notice that local chef Stephen Pyles had made his latest culinary discovery.
He had discovered....the pork rind.
Excuse me whilst I break out into laughter while thinking Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
Yes, apparently, this local 5-star, world renowned chef has just discovered the pork rind. Or as he and my fellow Mexicans like to call it, the chicharrone.
However, far be it from him to classify it as a mere piece of pork. No, he has to....Food Network the damn things and serve them, not with like, a Tampico salsa or anything like that, he's got to serve them "with a lovely mango lime salsa on the side" to accentuate the taste and texture of the chicharrone, which I"m sure he pronounces "chee-cha-roan".
Now, mind you, I'm glad that some of our native cuisine is finally getting some national exposure for a change. But c'mon. Let's be reasonable about this, shall we? First of all, us Mexicans have been eating these damn things since the dawn of time. Some of us cut our teeth on these things. But all it takes is a little outside attention and these things are now the talk of the town.
Case in point, the Atkins diet-you know the all protein, no carbs allowed diet?  Yeah. Suddenly, these things, the "chee-cha-rronnehs" we'd all been looked down upon for eating all these years, were the best thing going. Except now, they were now known as things like "Pork Crunchies" or some other horrible name. It sounded like some kind of meat based cereal gone bad.
And people were buying them by the BAGFUL. That, and beef jerky, another "low class" snack that suddenly had hit the mainstream and was now all of a sudden, "cool".
But, let's get back to the chicharrone, shall we? We couldn't just serve it with some kind of odd fruity spicy salsa, could we? Nooooo...we have to further blaspheme the damn things and have other chefs..."de-pork", if you will, the things so that they don't have that, well, pork content in them. So what do they do? They develop this...alternate method of making them, not of pork, but of things like, a tapioca based flour so that they maintain some kind of healthy content.
The best thing, though, and I mean the absolute BEST thing about this whole fiasco, is that Stephen Pyles actually loves the chicharrone soooooo much, that he had a local artist actually build a statue, paying homage to the pork rind, for display in his restaurant.
Now, I don't know about you, but nothing says love and affection like a pig shaped statue made of pork rinds....  

Who Says the Doctor's Office Can't Be Fun????
So, today I had the wonderful experience of going out to the doctor. For myself. It's bad enough when I have to go for my mom's appointments, and bless her heart, there are quite a few of those. But this time I got to be the lucky recipient of the checkup.
First of all, it's a state-funded clinic, which is always a joy, because you know you're going to be there forever with the other poor souls who can't afford health care. Today's event was to be bloodwork, a visit with the nurse (not the doctor, mind you, the nurse), and medication refills. Aww yeah, baby. This is a party waiting to happen.
Since I had to have bloodwork, I needed to fast. One would think I would also purge, so that way they don't tell me pesky things later like, "Your triglycerides are high. Are you on cholesterol medications yet?" Um, no? That's why I'm here. Duh? So, I decided to eat something nice and heavy last night, like a casserole, seeing as how I wouldn't be able to eat or drink anything after 10pm, and bloodwork wasn't scheduled until 9am. I rarely eat anything when I'm at work until after 9am anyway, so of course I'm thinking "Eh. Piece of cake."
I woke to the sound of my stomach practically screaming "FEED ME! FEED ME NOW!!!" I might also mention that I think my parents woke to that sound as well, but they very non-chalantly went about their morning routines and ignored my stomach's pleas for assistance.
I managed to make it out the door and headed out to the doctor's- across town on the bus and a mere THREE transfer trip - past the restaurants, donut shops, etc. Hell, at this point, I was ready to scarf down a sandwich and coffee from Racetrac, but I kept my composure and made it into the office-pale and gaunt looking, ready to just be stuck with a needle and get the damn thing over with.
It'd been a while since I'd had blood drawn there, and I was reminded why I had stricken the image from my memory: the hard, evil chair, the giant blue tourniquets, and the lab tech from hell who was descended from a long line of people who were probably the King of England's best masters of mayhem and torture. She seized my arm with a mad gleam in her eye, grabbed the tourniquet, and tied it around my arm, much to the protest of the flesh she caught in the knot. Um, ow??? Apparently my veins decided "every last man for himself!" and went into hiding at that precise moment.
Undaunted, the tech began to poke and slap the inside of my elbow-like that's going to make my veins appear?- and ask me informative questions like, "I can't find your veins. Are you dehydrated?" Nooooo...I just haven't had anything to eat or drink in the past FOURTEEN HOURS, what makes you think I might be dehydrated??? Poking and slapping resumed, all the while I was losing feeling in my right hand, but my left hand was gaining the strength and the desire to slap her back when she uttered an evil chuckle, yelled "Found one!", grabbed the needle, and jabbed it into my arm. Um, a little warning, perhaps? Geezmon!
After peeling myself off the ceiling and becoming morbidly fascinated with the amount of blood she was withdrawing from me, she mercifully let me go. After all that, I didn't even get the pleasure of a freakin' band aid-just a cotton ball and some medical tape and she sent me on my way.
I decided food was to be next on the agenda, so I headed out to the lobby to the vending machine, whereupon I discovered that the machine too, had turned against me, as it flat refused to allow me to buy anything. It became a battle of wills, with the machine's denial of a coke. A candy bar. Hell, I didn't even get to buy the BBQ flavored pork rinds that were in the machine, mocking my frustration.
I was forced to resort to what I had stashed in my backpack, which happened to be the smooshed remains of an unopened granola bar. (You'd think that by me working in a cafe, I'd have more snacks at hand. That's what I get for trying to eat healthy.) I ripped open the granola bar, and devoured it in 0.8 seconds, much to the fascination of the guy sitting next to me. I think he was quite impressed with my eating habits.
But I was damned if I was gonna let him watch me eat a tub of Jif Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter with just my fingers... I DO have some pride...      

I Just Found My Wedding Song...NOT
Ok. I'm going to admit something. I realize that I'm taking a HUGE risk here and I may possibly alienate myself from family and friends. But, in the name of all things sacred and true about my sarcastic little blog, I feel I must.
(deep breath)
I, Angela, am a Twilight fan.
Now, I don't mean one of those fanatics who will beat up someone else for being on the wrong "team"-(Hello? How could you NOT be Team Edward?!), or that I'm one of those "Twi-moms" that has a shrine built to Robert Pattinson in their family room. MIne will not be built until I can find the right background colors to highlight the loveliness that is Edward's hair... KIDDING!
No, my love is just enough to the point where I had no problem sitting on my sister's couch one day to watch New Moon and Eclipse back to back. And just because I have most of Twilight memorized is no reason to point fingers, ok? I once dated a guy who took me to see the re-release of Star Wars and was confounded by the fact that I had no idea where they had added the new scenes. It's called having a life, dude. I memorize more important things-like the way Edward's voice cracks so sweetly when he tells Bella hello for the first time and...
When I finally watched Breaking Dawn for the first time, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that  "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri wasn't used as their wedding song. It just seemed so fitting for the situation at hand. But, the song that was used did have a nice melody and I was willing to forgive the powers that be for not using the correct song.
That is, until I found out the words to the song.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot?!
Are you kidding me?! Who thought this was a good idea?! An example of the lyrics:
Now I'm a fat house cat
Cursing my sore, blunt tongue
Watching the warm poison rats
Curl through the wide white fence cracks
Oh, how romantic.
Nothing about "I have loved you for a thousand years, I will love you for a thousand more". Nope. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
And I understand that they use alot of cutting edge music in the movies and maybe I should appreciate the melody and the music and just ignore the words. Maybe I'm just not hip enough anymore.
Maybe. But I just can't see "pissing on magazine photos" as something I'd want to walk down the aisle to... 

Are You Gonna Eat THAT?
I thought when I worked at CentralMarketLand I had seen all the really weird things that people eat. I mean, c'mon-the first month I was there, these guys came up to my register all decked out in Hawaiian shirts...and had a whole. gutted. skinned. P-I-G pig on the bottom of the cart. Apparently they were going all out with their tropical festivities, down to building a spit to roast said piggy on, probably on the front lawn.
And I thought my neighbors in the 'hood were a rowdy bunch. At least nothing was ever on fire. On purpose, anyway.
My outlook on this particular subject has taken a slight detour to the lets say, bizarre. By this, I mean things that you can get kicked out of the state for. C'mon, we live in Texas, for crying out loud. There are standards. I don't care where you are from, even if you're a (gasp) Yankee-there's stuff you just. don't. do.
We happen to feature a humongous burrito at the Cafe that we call the Big Bill. It was originally the Big Tex (duh?), but nobody except Wild Bill the security guard was ordering it, so we renamed it. Since then, everyone wants it. Which was cool, until I spotted one of the customers putting grape jelly on it. Before you ask, no. He was not pregnant. Now, I know that isn't too far out of the atmosphere. Hell, I've been known to put a little jelly on my own breakfast sandwiches, too. But a tortilla was involved. And jalapenos. And salsa. Not only was that a gastronomical accident waiting to happen, but, pardon my Mexican heritage when I say there's just stuff you don't put on a tortilla. Not if you want the authorities to come get you.
There's also the issue of ketchup on our world-renowned Taco Salads. I can understand not being able to withstand the intensity of our homemade salsa. This stuff can burn off your eyebrows, and is classified as a weapon of mass destruction in fourteen countries. But seriously, ketchup?! That's just outright blasphemy right there. If you can't take the heat, then be like my little pitiful self and just skip it altogether.
I've come across customers who are so cheap, that in order to not have to pay for toast and bacon with their eggs, they help themselves to the bacon bits and crackers from the salad bar. (For the record, Creepy Eggs Over Easy Guy never did cough up the necessary dough to finally at least buy bacon once before he retired.) We have now graduated to the one I fondly refer to as Weird Eater Guy-this one will buy two containers of ranch, a bag of Baked Lays, and no less than 10-14 packages of crackers. Ok, so maybe he might have a salad upstairs, you say? No. Not possible. Because about 10-15 minutes later, he's back, for more ranch and more crackers. No one can possibly use that much ranch on a salad. He also puts ranch on his omelettes and the Big Bill burritos that he orders every morning. The only way I can figure that he's burning off all the calories from the ranch is the 64 ounces of coffee he consumes on a daily basis. Nobody, not even Juan Valdez should be allowed that much coffee in a given day.
Unless he's set up office in the bathroom on the second floor... 

Lookie What I Got You!!!
So, the other morning, I was watching VH1, (you know, at 5 in the morning when they still actually show videos) and I happened to see what my new "This is what I REALLY want for Christmas! For reals. I'm not playing." item is for this year. Screw the Fake Royal Ring. I know I said I wanted that, but now, I really want the Jammy Jammers.
For those of you who (mercifully) don't know, the Jammy Jammers apparently are the latest thing for the lazy people around the house who need to stay bundled up in a blanket 24/7. Translation: they're pajamas. With feet. And a zipper up the front. Which, if you are really in need of a bathroom in a hurry, you better hope that zipper works or you have a pair of scissors handy. Otherwise, things are gonna get ugly. So in other words, if you get this "for the entire family!", all of you are going to be walking around, looking like the TeleTubbie rejects from hell. But you'll be warm.
What was really catching my attention, besides trying to figure out which hideous pattern I wanted-clouds, lipprints, or maybe a nice leopard print-was the fact that the commercial kept comparing the Jammy Jammers to *gasp!* blankets and the (drumroll, please), Snuggie. Why use an ordinary blanket?! I don't know?! Maybe because that's what we've done in my house since the dawn of time? Plus, you can share the blanket with someone. Hint, hint?!  But that's another post entirely...
*ahem!* And the Snuggie just falls off! As proven by the somehow caught on tape footage of the housewife who's cold and trying to do the dishes in a Snuggie at. the. same. time. The poor sad woman was there by the sink, Snuggie sleeves just dripping with dishwater, and the most pathetic look I've seen on a person since they discontinued the juicer endorsed by Montel Williams. And who even wears a Snuggie, anyway?! Some of the "special" ones I've seen recently-not to mention the commercial with the whole family standing around the piano singing...? You know why they're only standing around the piano? Because you can't play DanceParty2 in a Snuggie, that's why.
But in the Jammy Jammers, you can do anything! Wash the dishes! Help the kids with their homework! Rake the yard! Ok, maybe not that last one, but you know what they're trying to tell you. They're trying to tell you to buy the Jammy Jammers! That way you too can pose in front of your bedroom mirror, zipping yourself up in your sexy little lipprint Jammy Jammers, caressing the sleeves and winking at yourself like you're the next one down the Victoria's Secret runway.
You know you wanna...

Getting and Giving the Eye... @.@
When I was in the 6th grade, I remember being absolutely fascinated with the way my sister would put eyeliner on her lower lids. She made it look effortless-just swoosh, swoosh, and look at me! I wanted to do that...
The trouble is, I have this morbid phobia about things getting close to my eye. Eyedrops, pointy wooden pencils disguised as eyeliner..uh-uh, just not gonna do it.
My friend Diana, bless her heart, one day when we were seniors, in my pitiful attempt to catch the eye of a guy (who shall remain nameless) I had a crush on, she decided to give me a makeover in the ad room of the Skyine High School Tribune. We got past the foundation, the lipliner, the lipstick (dark red on my big ol' lips?!)...and then came the eyeliner. Everytime she came near me, I nearly bolted out of my chair and ran across the room. Finally,  she admitted defeat, but not before she and I compromised and she showed me how to put it on the top of my eyelid. Now this I could live with...
...until the night of the senior prom, when it literally took the makeup chick at Glamour Shots twenty minutes to put the eyeliner and mascara on me. My sister practically had to hold my head in a vise-like grip so that the poor girl could finish the job. (Yes, Kevin-I went to Glamour Shots. You didn't think I'd put on that much makeup willingly, did you?!?)
Which brings me to my point. I can't figure out why girls put on so much eyeliner and mascara that racoons come up to them in the middle of the night saying things like "Mama! Is that you?!" I mean, seriously, in a world where having dark circles under your eyes is a bad thing, why do you want to wear so much eyemake up that you look like you should have a striped tail and be foraging in a dumpster for food? My coworker wears so much, I wonder how she's even able to blink without her lashes sticking together. Just big ol' blobs of black gunk on her lashes, so much that they don't even curl anymore-they just stick straight out at you, like a bunch of little tiny toothpicks. They honestly look like they should be the toothpicks on the tops of our club sandwiches...
We have a customer who wears such enormous false eyelashes that they actually could be used as paintbrushes. She has these huge eyes to begin with, so these eyelashes make her look like a human Betty Boop. I remember when my cousin tried wearing false eyelashes to dinner-it worked until we all started cracking up because one had worked its way down her cheek, like a tiny caterpillar looking for a home.
And don't even get me started on the eyebrows looking like caterpillars...that's another post entirely... :-)

Fear the Tomboy's Walk!
The other day, I was watching Dancing With the Stars...
Yeah, I know. Deal with it already...
Anyway, I'm rooting for Hope Solo, the goalie for Team USA women's soccer. Mostly because she seems cool, and hey, who am I supposed to root for, Nancy Grace?! I follow her on twitter, and she has really fun tweets. Things like, "Maks, if you don't give me back my Nikes, I'm not going to just be kicking soccer balls!"
I told you she was cool.
So the other day, I got a little pissy when Carrie Ann told Hope that she "needed to work on her walk."  Now, as a fellow tomboy (though of course, nowhere near as famous), I can understand and be sympathetic to the fact that some of us just don't have that...girlie walk. Me, it feels like I'm trying too, "look at me! Check out my ass!" Uh-uh. No thank you. Not me. Add in the fact that usually nobody is looking anyway, so why would I bother?
But really, what's wrong with the way we walk? It's not like me (or Hope) are lumbering through the wilderness, stomping around like Bigfoot wearing combat boots. (Well, ok, I HAVE worn combat boots. But I was a little more dainty about than Sasquatch's hairy self...) Maybe we're just more assertive. Maybe some of us (me) have thirty-six seconds to get to the bus stop before the bus leaves our little girlie swishing asses behind.
But I have been a little more conscious of the way I walk lately anyway. I have no idea why, but I'm going to blame it on the damn Zumba workouts I"m doing that are actually making me aware that I have hips that move. (Scary as the idea sounds to do you think I felt about it...) Then the other day I noticed that well,,,I kinda had this...strut thing going as I was walking to work. I was listening to one of my cumbias, or Pitbull or something with a good beat, and I was like, hey...I think I got the walk! (You'd think I just cured cancer or something phenomenal like that.) So, when I remembered to try it, I would do it, under the false pretense that I was working my core muscles,  thereby justifying the hip swivel, and also with a peek over the shoulder to see if anyone's noticing. So far the results on the noticing have been zero and zilch. But I continue "the walk" occasionally...
...except it's kind of hard to do your girlie strut in front of two guys when you're carrying Halloween books and two Disney DVDs from the library. Duh...

Do the Tight-en Up...Or Maybe Not...
Ok. It's time I address the issue of the tights. I've held my tongue for only so long, but now-
it's on, like Donkey Kong...
First of all, who thought the patterned tights/stockings needed to make a comeback? You know the ones I'm talking about-the kind that if they're the skin tone, the pattern makes you look like you've got an amazing case of vericose veins, or I've also seen some that look like you could play tic-tac-toe if you got really bored. Make the pattern bigger, hell, it's a checker tournament waiting to happen:
"Hey, Gomer, it's Andy. Me and Barney just found us a new and improved checker board. I tell you, oooo-weee! It's a sight! You ought to come down to the courthouse, and we'll have us a fine time!"
You know, the last time I actually wore a pair of patterned tights, I was in the 5th grade and I wore them for a Christmas pageant. They didn't go over so well then either. And I don't want to tell you how long ago 5th grade was for me, anyway...
And shouldn't people save the patterned look for after five, anyway? When the Mary Kay ladies were in town, they were all wearing them! Some of them even had sequins on them. So there they all are...basking in the sunlight, sweating like a bunch of horses in Dallas' recent heat wave from hell, but dammit, they had on their black. patterned. tights. Look at me! Don't I sparkle in the sunlight? Yeah, you do. Stand a little to the left though-when the sun hits you just right, we're gonna see if you spontaneously combust. It'll be festive...
Then, some of the patterns, I want to just shake the person violently and ask them how they thought that was a good idea when they left the house? On a recent trip to Traders Village (a.k.a. the metroplex's largest garage sale), I spotted a girl wearing opaque tights that were ecru and purple. For those of you who aren't misunderstood art majors like myself, let me explain: they were flesh colored, and had purple spots blended into them.
I had to look twice-one for the fact that she was indeed wearing tights under Daisy Duke butt-hugger shorts, and two-I thought she had maybe been horribly bruised in some kind of weird fashion police beating. You never can tell when Joan Rivers might get a wild hair and just go off on somebody-you can see it in her cat-eyes...
Either that, or I thought the girl was a leper. Ew.

The Skinny on Getting Skinny

In the eternal quest to lose "The Muffin Top", I've taken the initiative to begin working out.
First of all, why the hell is it called a "Muffin Top"? Why are you going to name it after one of the best things to eat in the whole world? Why can't we just stick with something more evil? Like, "Hideous Blob of Flab That Refuses To Disappear"? You know, something fun. "Muffin Top" sounds like something you want to keep. And eat.
So, I decided to try Zumba. I downloaded some "move your ass songs" in an effort to well...move my ass. However, lacking the necessary items to use Zumba to it's fullest extent-such as a class, a video...dancing ability...the results have been futile-save for six pounds that probably vanished only because they couldn't take my pathetic dancing skills any longer. I find myself checking for any possibility of human observation before placing myself in utter isolation, moving in a way that would make the judges on Dancing With the Stars cringe in terror. As my boyfriend Adrian has mentioned to me..."I'm cumbia impaired". The only thing to be optomistic about is the fact that I'm not subjecting other people to this. I don't dance in front of people-at least not sober. Consider it my own public service...
What I also want to know is, why the hell don't they ever have a chunky chick sweating her ass off in the latest "guaranteed weight loss!" infomercial?!'s always these little stick girls with washboard abs, smiling like putting us through insane torture is the highlight of their day. Hell, it probably is. I want a thick chick like me showing me which way the flab is supposed to move so I know I'm doing it correctly. "Ohhhh, okay, looook...she jiggled, not wiggled."
But knowing me, I'd probably run screaming at the sight of if soneone were to witness the horror of my dancing... :)

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