Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Tree of Dollars

Today I went to the Dollar Tree. I wasn't planning on making a blog post out of it, but this trip just had too much good stuff not to. Starting in the food section...
Yes, that is Larry the Cable Guy chicken batter. You see, food at the Dollar Tree consists of two basic types: cheap stuff that's there all the time, and discontinued stuff that wasn't originally intended to be this cheap, but was such an epic failure in the "real" retail world that it was passed down the ranks to the Dollar Tree. Clearly, the real winners are the consumers, who get to eat Larry the Cable Guy batter for just $1. 

Then there's the meats. Super-processed meats are always questionable, Dollar Tree super-processed meats are SUPER questionable. They're not all terrible, though. Brian used to enjoy buying these pepperonis at the Dollar Tree here in Ellensburg:
and I admit, they are tasty. AND they don't make you feel sick! (Always a very real point when discussing the deliciousness of Dollar Tree food: "I really liked it, AND I didn't get sick!"). There are some things, though, that simply should not be tried...

That, right there, is a $1 3.5 oz "rib eye steak". I have not, and will never, buy or eat one of these. This is a Dollar Tree regular, which means its quality is genuinely abysmal, and the back...
... just tells the whole story. No thank you. That's about as appetizing as a dog turd.
And speaking of turds...

Another popular Dollar Tree item is rejected/discontinued energy drinks. "Red Rain" is the newest entry into the Dollar Tree market. Making a successful energy drink is apparently a delicate balance of a good name combined with good taste. With Red Rain, you get both a bad name AND bad taste. If you're thinking, "Ewww, an energy drink named Red Rain? That sounds like a drink that will make me rain down red on my toilet bowl!" then you're thinking correctly. Red Rain's terrible name was probably not intentionally, but was unfortunately indicative of the terrible, burning diarrhea that it causes. 
Luckily, though, the Dollar Tree is also here to help...
The answer is yes. That is a menthol relief STICK. Like deodorant, only more cooling and pain-relieving, apparently. It says it's "Quick and easy! For soothing relief." Maybe it was meant to alleviate the pain of your ass after the brimstone volley rained down by Red Rain.
And because it's Halloween, the Dollar Tree has it's usual selection of ghastly (no, really, they taste terrible) candies...
 Those "Lightning Skulls" look suspiciously like Darth Vader. That "WARNING" on the bag is probably something about not feeding the LED light in the tongs to your child. And speaking of children...

 That's right. The magic, the madness, the WHOLE FREAKING STORY. For $1. Apparently this book has simply not captured the hearts and minds of, well, anyone...
Yes, apparently "Bookmarked" it to make it a bargain 30% off of the publisher's list price. But that wasn't enough. It had to go lower. And lower. Until eventually, Target said, "Hey, Dollar Tree! If we sell them to you for 50¢ each, will you buy 10,000,000,000 un-sellable Michael Jackson books from us?" The answer from the Dollar Tree was obviously, "Yes, let us show you the power of low prices for garbage products."

And finally...
Miniature snow-globes! They're not particularly nice, and I can't think of anyone who would actually like these, BUT they do seem to be the most economically-feasible (if not justifiable) way of fulfilling my lifelong dream of smashing a snow-globe.

Yes, trips to the Dollar Tree are always fulfilling, exciting, terrifying, and rewarding adventures.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hey, you're "blocking" my view!

Today I noticed this sign on a door just outside the psychology building on the CWU campus:

Now, clearly this sign is merely saying "Do not block doorway", but it's fun to think about other possible intentions:
"Do not build a Lego fortress in front of this door"
"Do not hold neighborhood parties in front of this door"
"Do not pretend to block this door"
"Do not deny this door any points"
"Don't mess with Mr. Doorway. Not even sarcastically."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Correction: your correction is INcorrect

So a couple days ago I got the joy of sitting down with the final draft of my group's research proposal paper. I wrote the majority of the paper myself, and I have to say, it's pretty good. Very good, actually. Anyhow, going over the paper with the other group members (1 other graduate student, 1 male undergraduate, and 1 female undergraduate), I got to experience the joy of hearing the female undergraduate's "helpful" suggestions.

It wouldn't have been so bad if she was willing to listen to my explanations for why she was completely, utterly, and horribly wrong in 95% of the "corrections" she suggested, but unfortunately, she was insistent that she WAS right, despite the mammoth differences between her own and my credentials.

At first, I tried to explain why her "corrections" in fact made the sentences/paragraphs/words more INcorrect. Then, I gave up. She clearly didn't understand a word of what I was saying. So I just started flat out rejecting her ridiculous corrections, which led her to sulk and (seriously) ask me "Are you an English major or something?" as if my explanations for why she was wrong would ONLY be valid if I was an English major.

What. An. Annoying. eh, Person.

I was proud of myself though. Despite seething at her stupidity and impudence, I never broke down and brutally expressed the harsh reality of the situation:
"Look, I'm sorry, if we disagree on something, we're going with my opinion. Why? Let's start with the obvious: I am a graduate student, you are an undergraduate. Not enough? OK, we'll move on to information gleaned about you from conversations: you have a 1.9 GPA (mine is roughly twice that), you are taking this class for the second time (having failed it the first), and you scored 10 points lower than me on that 40-point test in this class last week."

Again, could have said, but didn't.  I am a saint.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Foods and other Foods

*Note: this post was going to include pictures of the various food items, but I always ate the food before I got around to photographing it. Also, non-professionally photographed food looks disgusting.*

Thanks to my parents' recent visit to my new abode in Ellensburg, I have a pantry full of food. So for the last week or so, I've made a few different things.

- Primarily, I have made refried-bean burritos with melted Velveeta cheese. They are delicious.

- I have also made salads, peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, and turkey sandwiches. Also good.

- In addition, I've had clam chowder, meat stew, and boxed mac 'n cheese. All very good.

Tonight, however, I made a Velveeta grilled-cheese sandwich. Absolute HEAVEN. Why did it take me this long to try this?  I think this is my new food kick.