Natawurly, proprietress of the CurlyWurlyGurly blog, has issued a challenge to her regular readers. Come to think of it, I guess it’s open to her irregular readers too, which means that I’m obligated to participate. This from the woman who precociously in grade school informed the teacher that “I [didn’t] have my homework because the dog ate my conscience.”  (Fifth grade, I kid you not.)  In a nutshell (preferably a filbert loaded with nutella), the challenge is thus:

“The WORST candy in the history of mankind has to be  ______ .”

courtesy Posteritati

courtesy Posteritati

I won’t lie. I thought about alternate, “clever” ways to subvert the challenge. I thought of the 1968 movie Candy adapted from Terry Southern’s novel; it was a flop even though its pedigree was enviable (inspired by Volatire’s Candide, screenplay by Buck Henry, starring Marlon Brando, Walter Matthau, John Astin (Gomez Addams, swoon), John Huston, James Coburn, Ringo Starr, Charles Aznavour, Richard Burton, and, uhm, former Miss Teen Sweden Ewa Aulin). Despite its flopdom, it was nowhere close to being the worst anything in the history of anything. I thought of Dutch smooth-jazz saxophone goddess Candy Dulfer. I thought of Andy-Warhol’s-Factory-Regular Candy Darling. I thought of CNN correspondent Candy Crowley. And many others. Whatever their flaws, none are so horribly afflicted so as to be even remotely considered to be the worst anything in the history of mankind. So I was doomed to play it straight.

Another blogger immediately responded with circus peanuts, which might have been my choice were it not for the fact that circus peanuts are completely inedible and not fit for consumption, human or otherwise. Ha! They are obviously not candy but some bizarre souveneirs that someone decided are supposed to be eaten. The great P.T. Barnum, circusman extraordinaire, did say that “there’s a sucker born every minute.”  My theory is that circus peanuts are designer packing peanuts.


jordan almondsTwo candy-themed posts in a row. I just know CurlyWurlyGurly is going to sic her bloodthirsty lawyers on me: take them off their retainers or something.


Someone offered me some gum today. It was a stick of New! Wrigley’s · Extra · Fruit Sensations · Long Lasting Fruit Flavor · Sweet Watermelon · Sugarfree Gum. Now, aside from having a name nearly as long as the phone book, the box was roughly the shape of a phone book, in miniature:


New! Wrigley's Extra Fruit Sensations Long Lasting Fruit Flavor Sweet Watermelon Sugarfree Gum

— But that’s okay. Not a problem. Not where I’m going today —


Of the many topics I try to avoid discussing in this blog, chief among them is religion. I find it generally too controversial, which is only exacerbated by my minority, non-conformist views on the subject; it’s just more trouble than it’s worth, in my opinion. (I just searched the blog and the sole previous invocation, “Yuletidying-up,” came last month during the Christmas Blitz.)

Nevertheless, I was struck by an idea that I just had to share. If I were savvy, it’s potentially even a lucrative enterprise. Admittedly, this brainstorm isn’t particularly religious in nature; it just uses as a touchstone a secular version of an aspect of one religion.

In Judaism, a mitzvah is (1) any of the collection of 613 commandments or precepts in the Bible and additional ones of rabbinic origin that relate chiefly to the religious and moral conduct of Jews.¹ A mitzvah is also (2) a meritorious or charitable act.² The word is most commonly known from the phrases bar/bat/bas mitzvah, which is an initiatory rite into adulthood.

The second, more ecumenical sense is the one I have in mind for this proposal. Ready? Here it is: The Mitzvah Bar: an establishment where one is discouraged from paying for one’s own drinks and food. Instead, such niceties should only be accomplished through the magnanimity of others, either your companions or, preferably, strangers. Although there might be some technical snags in getting such a system to operate fluidly, I believe it could make for a rather congenial atmosphere and a popular establishment. Or a whole lot of fistfights.

As a nod to the gimmicky underpinnings of the conceit, some Kosher wines could be available and other products such as He’Brew (“The Chosen Beer,” produced by the Shmaltz Brewing Company) would be on hand. I don’t even know if there’s such a thing as Kosher booze, but there could be some of that in the place, too.

Incidentally, I used a number of web search engines to look up the phrase “mitzvah bar” and, can you believe it, I found  zero results (aside from the two words separated by commas or semicolons or in repitition, i.e. none with the phrase’s intentional transpositionary sense)!


On a related note, Ironic Sans wrote on his blog last June about his idea for a techie pub called The Progress Bar.

¹ Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc.  (accessed: 27 January 2009).
² Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Online. (accessed: 27 January 2009).

For lack of anything better to do (take a “cute” picture of Ernestine, work on that big old mega-post, write something that involves thinking, do some w*rk), I thought I’d share a passion of mine.

Coffee, java, joe, mud, jamoke, murk, kona, caffe, et al. Love it. Doesn’t give me a physiological boost, but I like the flavor of good coffee, the comfort of a hot cup, even >gasp!< sitting around and klatching with others.


Do I get a prize for tritest post title?

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the behavior of domestic cats is idiosyncratic at best.

Here’s a current example with one of mine the ones that lives in the same place as me:

A common breakfast here at Chez Pannaceaeae is yogurt (Stonyfield Farms Banilla) with granola or müsli (Alpen, et al.), occasionally with raisins, dried cranberries, or banana slices.

Ernestine the Brat

Ernestine the Brat

Ernestine, the grimalkin (actually, she’s a “dilute shaded tortoiseshell“) matriarch hereabouts, becomes very interested when I start assembling the meal. The bowl could be for that purpose, but it isn’t until the gloop, gloop of the yogurt being stirred and poured that her little feline suspicions are confirmed. At this point she sits firm and erect on the floor, stares keenly at me, and initiates the meowing.

  • Meow no. 1: (announcement) “Hey. I’m here.”
  • Meow no. 2: (firmly) “HEY!        I’m here.”
  • Meow no. 3: (stare) ”    ” (silent meow)
  • Meow no. 4: (rather demurely) “Just reminding you that I like that stuff.”
  • Meow no. 5: (stare) ”    ” (silent meow, refrain of no. 3)


Despite the title of this post, it’s really about grapefruit juice, which is unjustly and severely maligned. Well, maybe just neglected. Now, I’m a simple gal; I don’t ask for too much in this life. (Okay, I admit it, that was an outright lie. I ask for a lot, but I’m sure I’ll find other opportunities to rant about calmly discuss that stuff. And most people who know me wouldn’t characterize me as simple, unless it was part of the phrase “simply impossible.”) When it comes to a juice to drink on a regular basis, I have just one request: I want to be able to purchase grapefruit juice that is (1) not from concentrate, (2) not the cloying pink/red stuff, but the refreshingly tart white/yellow variety, and (3) pulpy (which would kind of easy to do and expected in a not-from-concentrate product, no?). What follows is a survey of the major citrus juice producers’ offerings. (more…)