Tuesday, August 27, 2013

what I want: Armenian food in Nashville

I've been home from the golden state of California for over two entire weeks, and there are a lot of things I am craving that I just can't get here. Sure there are the classic things that most people miss: non-humid weather, decent avacado, In N' Out burgers, palm trees for days....but the one thing I really want in my life is tasty Armenian food. [Tangent: My sister-in-law is Armenian, which means when I go visit my brother and his family- there is this whole Armenian family awaiting me to fill me with food, till I literally need to be rolled out of their homes Violet Beuregard style. My SIL grew up in Armenia and when she moved to the US as a teen, she moved to Glendale, CA which is comprised 35% of Armenian people. In fact, Glendale has the highest percentage of residents of Armenian descent in the US, most of whom have only lived there the last two decades. Also, I learned in this article that Kim Kardashian wants to run for mayor of the city on 2017. WHAT?! THE MORE YOU KNOOOOW!]

Armeian food has a similar vibe to Greek or Middle Eastern food, since they are pretty close map-wise. Pretty much if hummus or yogurt sauces or giant meat piles are involved, I jump on board no questions asked. Here's some food porn from my lunch at Raffi's Place in Glendale, CA.
 
prime rib, chicken veggies and yummy flat bread


enormo pile of rice

this is a dip or spread made of grilled eggplant, tomato sauce and garlic and its kinda the best thing ever

Basically all this stuff above along with hummus and yogurt cucumber sauces were laid before me and it was like a make your own burrito party (Armenian edition), which is basically the best scenario ever.  The only Armenian thing that I couldn't quite get behind was Tahn, which is a yogurt drink that is pictured above lurking behind the bowl of eggplant goodness. [Tangent: You can learn to make it yourself here.]. In essence, it is water mixed with yogurt and served cold over ice. It's probably an acquired taste and everyone assured me it was very refreshing, but to me it tasted like I was drinking the fluid that accumulates on the top of  a sour cream container.  I gave it my best shot, though. 

Throughout the week in Cali, I polished off stuffed grape leaves, custard filled cakes, Russian ice cream bars and something so many delicious kinds of cheeses that I can't even keep track. I WANT THESE THINGS IN NASHVILLE!!! So far, I have no places in the metro area where I can quench my hankering for Armenian food.  Yesterday, I went to my favorite Greek Cafe [Tangent: Literally called Greek Cafe. Creative, no? ] because my craving was so great. Of course, it was delightful and I consumed my gyro meat pile without stopping to breathe...but it still left me wanting. Is there anywhere to get Armenian style food around here? Someone has to know! Internet, help me out!

Monday, August 26, 2013

twerkin' and hashtaggin' with miley

[Disclaimer: Prior to last night, I had a post all ready to roll about my Armenian food obsession, but then this dumpster fire of a performance reigned down on America...and I knew I had to veer off topic.]

Although I seem to keep on top of popular culture with my daily viewings of Inside Edition and the mysterious Us Weekly issues that appear on my doorstep each Friday, I'm an old woman and I don't listen to top 40 radio so I am dreadfully out of touch. All I knew of Miley Cyrus post- Party in the USA era is that she got a Brigitte Nielson 'do and was all about not keeping her tongue in her mouth.

This was the case until about a month ago when my buddy Rae implored me to drop everything I was doing and go watch her video for "We Can't Stop." [Tangent: Of course, videos are not something you see on TV anymore, because well, Hello! MTV has like season 27 of Teen Mom to air ad infinitum...so I youtubed it. If you haven't seen it, watch it below now. Take a Miley break and prepare for ballyhoo. My favorite part is the guy trying to sexily eat toast in a giant pile of bread, because I think that is the first time that has adequately captured on film.]


 
[Tangent: The song was kinda meh, but I kept singing the one part "la da di da di- Dancing with Miley." This was the redeemable part of the song that made it palatable to me, until today when I realized I was totally mishearing that lyric and she wasn't saying "Miley"...she was saying "Molly." Who the hell is Molly? Oh, wait it's slang for ecstacy? I am dreadfully unhip and apparently need to just go apply for my AARP card. I kinda wish no one had told me so I could imagine Miley was just twirling with her American Girl doll. Below is my badly photoshopped re-enactment.]

   
OK, fast forward to last night, I am watching the VMAs [Tangent: After Breaking Bad of course. I have priorities!] and I see the new "edgy Miley"  take the stage in what looks like a lost member of the Showbiz Pizza band, The Rockafire Explosion, and I knew a shit show was about to occur. [Tangent: I am all for the Avant gard...but good lord, I get it Miss Cyrus, you aren't Hannah Montana anymore. You're edgy. You're not a little girl anymore. Got it.]


 It was all that I could've hoped and more. [Tangent: If you haven't see the 100000 replays of it, you can check it on here on Mashable.com] So much thrusting and twerking and  molesting poor sweet Robin Thicke in his best Beatlejuice couture before some rapper I have never heard of comes out in Dwayne Wayne glasses to rescue me from Miley in her rubber bikini.  I think the tipping point to crazy town was when she made a penis out of her foam finger and just air humped with her tongue permanently hanging out of her mouth, naturally. [Tangent: I felt so violated.]


The rest of the evening after this was a blur. A song I had never heard won song of the summer. Joey Fatone took some time off from being the announcer on Family Feud to go cut a rug with J Timberlake and company...but still I felt there was so much damage done from Miley that I couldn't fully concentrate. As it was setting in that I was old and out of touch [Tangent: Probably worsened when I was saying aloud "Why do none of these girls have pants on?!?], I took to the social media landscape to see what others thought.  It is truly pop cultural moments like these that remind me why I love the internet. Within an hour of Miley's performance, social media was exploding. These are some of my favorite instagram screencaps from the hastag #VMA2013







So basically long story short, if Miley Cyrus is the mouthpiece for her generation....I am OK being 30.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

fug mugs : a collection is brewing

When I go inside a thrift store, I pretty much have a flight pattern so I don't get overwhelmed. [Tangent: I do purses and accessories/dresses/shoes/books/housewares and then go check out things like board games and other tchotchkes....meanwhile Jamie is off somewhere in T-shirts or records...two things he literally has hundreds of, but he is always needs more of.] The semi-endless shelf of coffee mugs always beckons me, and because they are usually priced super cheap at $0.49 to $1.99, I  can't pass them up.  If there is one that is particularly unfortunate or bizarre, I generally have a hard time leaving them behind....kinda like the 3 legged puppy at the pound. [Tangent: You may remember this weird strokey faced man mug that I bought for Jamie last year.]  I'm a sucker for an off kilter weirdo.  Behold my isle of misfit coffee mugs!

so so tacky, but it was half off day, and I couldn't leave it behind.

that little weird dude is supposed to be shaped like a human liver. It was a piece of pharmaceutical marketing. I googled it. Although, I haven't yet enjoyed the fun of drinking out of a liver...I'm totally open to it!

I found a six flags mug similar to this and sold it on eBay for over $30. This one no one wants but me, I think.

how ridiculous are these? And now I own 3, so if you want a 70s Run for Your Life mug- I'm your gal.
This is not to say I don't have a lot of pretty vessels to slurp my coffee out of...but come on- UGLY MUGS NEED LOVE TOO!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Giveaway from Firmoo Optical- YOU GUYS COULD GET FREE GLASSES!

You all should be aware by now that I love a bargain and I love cute eyewear, so you will not be surprised that I have recently ordered another pair of internet specs. The last company I tried out was Firmoo Optical, and from them I ordered this pair in tortoise, which I literally cannot take off. They are pretty darned near perfect.
here's a haggard picture of me rocking my tortoise shades

...and my niece doing them much better justice!
Let me backup a bit and get all the business out of the way, Firmoo is the World's Most Popular Online Eyeglasses Store. They offer their clients the most affordable prices for eyewear, which start at 8 dollars- 80%-90% lower compared to that in local store. Furthermore, Firmoo has launched a First Pair Free Program for new customers to test their products and services for free by having the customer pay shipping only. People who have never ordered before can choose from a limited menu of about 74 styles, seen here,  and get them with with 1.50 single vision lenses.  [Tangent: I got my cute tortoiseshell style above as part of this program and paid about $9 in shipping.  I spend about that much at Sonic, so I think its a pretty good deal for something that I wear daily on my face, and makes me able to see what I'm doing. Because I don't require biforcals or thin lenses, I was the perfect candidate.]

So, by now I am sure you are seething to get your hands on a pair, and gladly I can help make that easier for you. The lovely folks at Firmoo must know how enthusiastic I am about anything glasses related, because they have asked me to share the joy of cute specs with my readers.


When I was contacted by the nice Firmoo people, they wanted to offer you something beyond their first pair free program, which non exclusive and is open to all first time users, they are going to give 2 of my lucky readers a full pair of glasses from the classic series of frames, which include styles for men and women that are flattering and timeless and remain the company's best sellers! This means you men that read my blog can get in on a giveaway. [Tangent: And if you are blessed with perfect vision, fear not- you can still get something out of this deal. You can always get a pair of "dummy" non-perscription glasses or some non RX sunglasses from their classic series.] You could look as sassy and hip as one of these people:



Two winners will be chosen and they can pick their glasses at http://www.firmoo.com/classic-series.html Eyeglasses include frame plus 1.50 single vision lenses. [Tangent: Also, the cool plus is that the glare proof coating comes standard, so that is not an additional charge! I know from experience that this can make or break a glasses experience.] Sunglasses include frame plus zero-powered lenses. The only caveat: although everything included frames/lenses is free of charge,   you will pay the minimal shipping, which as I said before, for me was about $9.

How to enter:
  • Visit Firmoo.com and tell me below in my comment section what style you are itching to try on your face! 
  • Like Firmoo Facebook page and tell me below once you have done so for an additional chance at winning some specs
  • Mandatory: Leave your email address because I need to be able to find you if you are selected!
In order to open this up to as many people as possible, I am giving ya'll 2 weeks to enter. The winner will be selected Monday September 2. [Tangent: ...and as always, if you have any questions email me: kimmie.jones@gmail.com]

Saturday, August 17, 2013

things that cost more than a jewel book of poems

As a Nashvillian who loves the challenge and determination necessary to get a solid deal- I love McKay's Used Books, but this weekend, amid the piles of secondhand tomes and once loved VHS, I found something that made my inner teenager very sad.
oh, how the mighty have fallen
As you may guess, not unlike many now 30-year-old gals, I spent my adolescence deluding myself into thinking I was a very complex tortured poet. In my rubber banded braces and Gap overalls, I liked to think me and ol' Jewel were kindred spirits. [Tangent: What girl my age didn't own Pieces of You? I can't confirm or deny it. but I may or may not have recited one of her songs to my English class freshman year. I was a tool, but we all were. Everyone loved Jewel. She was not an isolated case; I also felt this was about Alanis...Though I have already touched on my Jagged Little obsession here here and here.] So when I saw her poetry book for 5 cents, it should have made me super elated, but it made me mildly depressed. Selling something for 5 cents?!? Might as well put it in the free bin outside. My maternal underdog instincts kicked in and I knew, not unlike a sad feminist puppy, I had to rescue it, even if I had no intention of reading it. I threw it in my basket. [Tangent: The book had clearly been really loved by whoever actually bought it a BookWorld or Borders, or some other store that no longer exists. Pages were folded and a section was marked with a torn magazine clipping, an article about Gwen Stefani. I felt it needed a home.]

As, I wandered the store, as I always do, I surveyed some of the silly things that line the shelves, and started to put truly in perspective the value of Jewel's poetry.  I'll share some of these things. I now give you....

7 Things that are priced higher than Jewel's poetry at McKay's

1. Macarena Club Cutz cassette tape 
    Price: $0.25 (5 books of Jewel poetry)

2. Children's Boo Book
    Price: $0.50  (10 books of Jewel poetry)
this book was about 3 inches square.
3.  Either of these Northern Exposure fan guides
     Price: $0.75 cents (15 books of Jewel poetry)


4. A VHS tape of the Tim Allen classic Jungle 2 Jungle
    Price- $0.95 (19 books of Jewel poetry)


5. ESPN presents Jock Jams volume 4
   Price: $1.45 (29 books of Jewel poetry)


6. Goosebumps Postcard book
    Price: $2.00 (40 books of Jewel poetry)


7. The Coach soundtrack*
    Price: $2.95 (59 books of Jewel poetry)

*upon further inspection, I learned this wasn't a traditional sountrack, it was an odd mishmash of songs that were personally selected by Hayden Fox, a fictional character.


As I put this all in perspective, I started to think A Night Without Armor was the cheapest thing at McKay's. That seemed wrong to me. I didn't want poor weird Jewel poetry to be made insignificant by the Jungle to Jungle VHS tapes of the world. That was until I found that there was another literary masterpiece that was being dispensed for merely a nickel.


1 Thing That is Equal in Value to Jewel's Poetry at McKay's

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I GOT SOCKS IN THE MAIL...and you can, too!

Look at these beauties! Aren't they snazzy socks? They make me almost excited for fall to come up, because by god, I love a knee sock!!! [Tangent: Also, let it be known that when Jamie was snapping the pic below, for a split second, I felt like a foot fetish model, which made me uncomfortable yet giggly.]


But, really the way I acquired them is kind of amusing.  Right as I was boarding my flight to California, I got the following email from the CEO of Sock Panda:

My first inclination upon seeing the subject line "Mail order bride with enlarged penis wants iPad" was "ABORT ABORT! MARK TO SPAM!" but then my internal monologue was like, "Hey wait, those terms all look eerily familiar and a winky smiley is involved..I am intrigued." [Tangent: They are what I have listed on my contact page as reasons I will NOT be interested in you contacting me or spamming my site with links to knockoff Louis Vuitton bags and softcore pornography.] Clearly, this person was either a complete psychopath or knew that being a weirdo and offering me complimentary socks will endear me for life. This evil genius  had me all figured out, they must know I respond well to creative marketing, so I decided to view his correspondence as charming rather than creepy. Long story short- they had me at mail order bride.

Basically, this email solicitation was care of the folks over at SockPanda.com, and after peaking my interest with a bizarre subject line and the promise of goodies by mail- I researched them a bit. [Tangent: As if the mental image of a panda in socks isn't enough to make me fall in love immediately. Is there anything cuter? OK, maybe a pig in boots gets a silver medal in adorability.]


 Here were my findings:
  • Sock Panda is a sock of the month service (you can start at just 4 months and it goes to year subscriptions). 
  • You decide whether you want male or female designs or want more subtle or bold crazy designs (or a mix). My socks shown above were of the more conservative variety.
  • You can allocate the socks to come to you or someone of your choosing.
  •  For a monthly fee they will send you a pair of socks each month. Couldn't be more simple
  • Although they don't show a lot their styles on their website, as to keep the element of surprise, you can peruse their instagram feed to see what you might have in store.
Although, on the surface, this sounds like an indulgent service,  but they have subscription boxes for everything from nail polish to vitamins to wine..so why not socks? Imagine what an amazing and out-of-the-box gift it would make for bridesmaids/groomsmen/pen pals/grandmas/siblings/teachers/mistresses basically anyone. Who doesn't love socks? [Tangent: Unless you're thinking of sending them to a double amputee...then this kind of thing may come off as insensitive and there are probably better things that you could send them by post. Get those people a Reader's Digest subscription or something.] They come all packaged in cute little mailers covered in multicolored little stockings! How freakin' delightful!


Who knew getting a pair of socks in the mail could make me so happy?! When I spied it in my mail pile, I felt like I was getting a present...from a stranger....one that didn't include arsenic or bombs. I'm currently trying to think of who in my life I will be buying a sock panda membership for, because this kind of simple joy is too good not to share with others! I'm pretty sure my ginger is a fan, too, because the nice people at Sock Panda hooked him up too with this awesome pair or Santos luchador socks! You better believe he has already worn them, because seriously, why wouldn't you!?!


So I guess, the moral to this is: Always read your email (even if they seem sketch) because you may get something free out of it...and also go check out SockPanda.com because they are cool peeps!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pink's Hotdogs loves the disabled.

The things I like most about going to California are seeing things that fit into some kind of pop cultural zeitgeist and eating...lots and lots of glorious food. [Tangent: Last week I seriously ate mass quantities like I was infested with 9 strands of tapeworm...and kinda loved every moment of it.] I killed these two goals with one outing, by cruising down to Hollywood to eat at the World's #1 hotdog stand: PINK'S! [Tangent: A few years ago,  with stars in my eyes, I did the whole tour of Hollywood Blvd. It is definitely worth doing if you are a first time visitor, so you can stick your hands in celebrity handprints and get possibly assaulted by someone dressed as a superhero... but, otherwise Hollywood is kinda sad and gross...except for Pink's...Pink's is awesome.] If you wanna learn about the whole Pink's experience/backstory, watch this.

thanks to Jenna from Kitty Cat Stevens for pointing out the phallic nature of that trashcan on instagram. I can't unsee it now.
[Tangent: I know what you're thinking- yes, I am aware that hotdogs are nothing but crushed up assorted animal parts in a casing. I have read The Jungle, I know what's up, but come on, I'm no vegan. Hot dogs are delicious. Even if it is just lips and assholes, they are tastily prepared lips and assholes, so deal with it, and leave me be with my favorite food group.]

From what I understand, part of the folklore behind this legendary hot dog eatery, is part of the experience is standing in line for a long time, before venturing into the cute little patio area behind it. However, I didn't even have to try to pull the wheelchair card- it was pulled by the lady behind the counter. As soon as she saw us get in queue, she told us to just find a seat...and that she would bring us a menu and take our order! SCORE! [Tanegnt: I mean, as much as I wanted to soak it all in and be authentic, I was already melting into the pavement. I could forgo this one little detail.] This meant we were done with our meal and heading out before the people in front of us had even gotten their food. Disabled people perks.

My brother ordered The Mulholland Drive; I had the mushroom and Swiss and my mom had one that was bedecked with custom fixins like sauerkraut, mustard and pickles. They were all delightful and cost around $5. God, I love a bargain! 

 My favrorite part were the onion rings, which were probably the best I have ever had. The onion to fried ratio was perfection and the batter was light and almost had a funnel cake quality to it. They made my internal fat kid so happy! 
 

I loved Pink's because they are a little trashy and no fuss; I feel at home. I mean while we ate and enjoyed the summer breeze, we  watched a schitzo homeless man talk to the trashcan before digging out a half eaten weiner and two finger scooping some chili off a nearby container and slinging it in his cheek like a slug of chaw. You really can't buy that kind of ambiance.

here's my mom and bro as hot dogs!
 If nothing else, I am now one step closer to being like The Muppets! Dreams do come true. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

terminally ill (worst airport pun ever)

 [Disclaimer: I wrote this blog on my phone at about 1 AM last weekend, while trying to avoid watching Burt Wonderstone on a plane, so if it seems a little delirious, trust that is why.]

I hate flying. Maybe because I never did it growing up and have never had a jet setting career. It's not the heights or the fear of crashing. [Tangent: that actually kind of thrills me on some Lost kind of level. Remember that John Locke was once in a wheelchair till Oceanic flight 815 crashed into the Pacific and he became a completely ambulatory evil genius. Hey ya'll everybody - that's pretty awesome.]


...it's more the hassle  and the fact that because I don't do it terribly often - I'm on a 4th grade comprehension level when it comes to air travel.

This time, with our flight from BNA > LAX,  things seemed different, I bought tickets, did online check in. Checked bags. Made disabled passenger accommodations. [Tangent: you know where they strap you to a teensy Hannibal s&m type dolly contraption and wheel you to your seat. Truly it's not terrible, but I weigh about 85 lbs so I fit on the dolly. Some probably don't.]

I seriously feel like I'm going into  a psych ward
Things were going splendidly. We listened to our how's and whys of how to buckle your seat belt and how to turn on our light signals if we were scattered into the ocean. I even started scrambling for something to watch on the inflight TVs [Hello Access Hollywood!]

Then the captain informed us that there was something critically wrong with our engine [Tangent: maybe a John Locke moment was closer than I thought!] and to just hang tight...which in my case meant watching Betty White's Off Their Rockers on my tiny headrest TV. [Tangent: as terrible yet somehow enchanting as one would think from the concept of a Punk'd from the greatest generation ]

This led to about an hour and a half of sitting tight while they decided to scramble for helping the people who were using BNA to LAX as a connector and give us 25 dollar vouchers to use anything in the airport ! Boom! My mind reeled with possibility of ballin' with neck pillows and paperbacks and overpriced airport cocktails aplenty...only everything was closed when we got back in the terminal. Suddenly the idea of finding ourselves in the Nashville airport terminal after hours got seemingly less glamorous.  [Tangent: Because they had to excavate and unload my wheelchair which had been stowed with baggage and strap me back on the dolly to get my ass off the plane,we were left with one dining option that was trying to close and whatever they hadn't thrown out yet.]

For five hours, we hung out and tried to sleep on benches and weighed in our heads whether it was better to make friends with our fellow inbetweeners or avoid eye contact altogether. [Tangent: I was torn between the teen religious zealot playing with his Rubiks cube or the lone rider in a backwards snuggie.]



Just when I was starting to feel like Tom Hanks in that movie with the airport [Tangent: no not Castaway..the other one.] , the announcement was made that they found us a new plane and we were boarding at 11:45 pm. To quell the angry and exhausted villagers, we were given free reign of the movie options, which seemed cool theoretically, but they'd inevitably would shut off at the 45 mark. Over the duration of my 4 hour flight to LA,  I watched roughly half of 3 shitty movies. [Tangent: for the record- Admission<Identity Thief> Burt Wonderstone]

It was definitely a rough start to my trip out to California, but luckily I had no pressing commitment to get to other than seeing my sweet niece and hearing her put about 4 extra syllables in my name: "kiiiiiiimmmmmiie". Seeing her when I landed in Cali at 1:30 AM made it all the better.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mike from Breaking Bad...the earlier years (spoiler: Periods are involved.)

Today, Jamie and I were sitting around watching the Breaking Bad marathon [Tangent: I know you guys are totally sick of this topic after my last post...so just suck it up, and deal with it.], and I keep telling him how much I love Mike's character, played by Emmy nominee Jonathan Banks. He's such a scary dude, but you root for him to no end. Whenever his chilling exterior melts and he does anything nice= it warms your heart all the more. However most of the time, he is just glaring and terrifying the shit out of you...kinda like this...


We kept discussing how everytime he pops up in something, he is ultra creepy and we can't imagine how he was in his earlier roles. This led us, naturally, to IMDB, where we made the grandest discovery of my week...and left me kissing the feet of the information superhighway gods. Jonathan Banks likely earned his SAG card on a 17 minute short film entitled Linda's Film on Menstruation.


 Naturally, I immediately youtubed it and thank allah that it exists and I could watch this little gem in all it's glory, where the once terrifying Mike, who looks like a young cousin to Frank Stallone, learns that his girlfriend is now getting her period. It's as fantastic as one would think. 


Because I couldn't keep this all to myself and because I need you to be left with this lasting image of Mike from Breaking Bad- watch this short film now. It's totally worth it. [Tangent: If only to hear the most awkward line ever uttered on film- "THAT MEANS BLOOD FALLING OUT OF MY UTERUS!"] BTW- This is 100% real.

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