Saturday, May 29, 2010

I scream, you scream

I've decided to start a new feature here on the blog, more for my own benefit than for my readers', but if it helps some of you out, all the better! As those who know me in real life can attest, I tend to be experimental in my ice cream purchases, with results that run the gamut from delight to disaster. It's sometimes hard for me to keep track of what I like and don't like, so I thought I'd record some of my findings here. This first post will be a catch-up post, with things I remember particularly liking or not liking in the last year or so. After this I'll try to keep up with it whenever I try a notable new flavor.

On my good list:

Turkey Hill Coconut Cream Pie. Until this spring, my all-time favorite ice cream flavor has always been Edy's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but I have found a new champion. This ice cream was loaded with tons of real coconut and really yummy pie crust pieces. Too bad it's a seasonal flavor, but let's hope it comes along again next spring.

Private Selection Banana Cream Pie. While not as good as the Turkey Hill (especially in the flavor of the pie crust pieces), this flavor came in a close second, and I would be glad to buy it again. It was a limited edition, though, so who knows if it will return?

Great Value Blueberry Pomegranate. I almost never buy ice cream at Wal-mart, but last fall I just couldn't resist this enticing variety. I got a lot more blueberry than pomegranate from it, but whatever it was, it was good!

Breyer's Cookies and Cream. Although simple flavors like this don't always catch my eye, for some reason I bought this, and it was fantastic! The simplicity of the ice cream base really brought out the chocolate flavor of the cookies. Note that this was from the all-natural black-label Breyer's range. There's also a Breyer's Oreo Cookie from their not-all-natural range; I haven't tried that, but I imagine it's more artificial tasting and probably not as good.

On my Bad List:

Edy's Fun Flavors. Look carefully at the label, and you'll notice something that isn't there: the phrase "ice cream." Edy's Fun Flavors line has whey listed as the first ingredient, and it just doesn't hold up well either in the taste or texture department. I've gotten burned by them twice, once on Espresso Chip and more recently by Banana Split. I will try to remember to stay away from this whole line in the future.

Kroger Deluxe. I hate to say it, because I don't have anything against generics on principle, but I've never tried a variety of this ice cream that I actually liked, and I've tried plenty! Something is always just a little bit off, and I'm thinking maybe I should just give up on them in the future.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The thread of Theseus

This morning I pulled out an essay on the labyrinth written by a writer I very much admire almost exactly 10 years ago. I would reprint the whole thing here if I could, but all you really need to know is the ending.

'The door at the end of the room opens up. A woman in a plain dress and Nike running shoes steps through and looks at the cookie gripped in my cracked hand.
"It's you," she says with a sigh and a smile.
I shrug and look at her.
"The blood. On the wall. It is yours."
"Yes," I say, wondering if she wants a cookie, but forgetting to ask.
"I almost gave up when I got in that long cul-de-sac, but I saw the blood at the end, and no body. I figured that someone else was in here. And they weren't dead yet."
I don't know what the Labyrinth is for, not really. Maybe it makes the world a better place. Maybe it is the world. Maybe it ends up complicating the simple distance between two points. I don't know what the Labyrinth has taught me, or if it has taught me anything at all. Sometimes I'm not sure that going through the Labyrinth is anything but a dream, and one that we share with no one. Sometimes, we wander through it with half a heart, knowing that we'll never find an end, knowing that our best efforts may be vain ones. I know that much is true. The one other thing I know is that sometimes, when we get really angry or inspired or exhausted, we do something we can't explain, and maybe then we leave a little blood on the wall for someone else to find.'

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fall 2010 TV preview

So we have had the traditional May upfronts this week, when all the new shows for next fall were unveiled. Maybe it's just that I have a big slate of returning shows again this year, but I don't see much new that intrigues me. Still, I'll go through the week and point out what interests me in each timeslot. And now that I have a DVR, I can pick two things per slot instead of just one if I like!


8 pm-- Chuck!

9 pm-- Three new shows in this timeslot. The Event is yet another show about a man looking for his missing fiancee who uncovers a big complicated conspiracy. I lost interest in that kind of show a long time ago, and Jason Ritter isn't exactly the kind of actor who's going to draw me in. Mike & Molly is about two plus-sized people who find romance at a Weight Watchers meeting. This one kind of depends on how it's executed. I'm withholding judgment until I see it. The one that I love from the trailer I saw is Lonestar, the story of a bigamist in Texas living a very complicated life. My money is on this one.

10 pm-- Castle! And I'll probably tune in for the first episode of Hawaii Five-O. I've never seen the original, which means I'll be starting out with a clean slate on this one. But with all that gorgeous Hawaiian scenery (not to mention all that gorgeous Alex O'Laughlin scenery!), how can they go wrong?


8 pm-- Glee! And I'm definitely interested in No Ordinary Family, about a family who travels to Brazil and then discovers they all have superpowers.

9 pm-- Life Unexpected! Also in this slot are two new comedies that might be worth a look. Running Wilde, about a man reunited with his childhood love who has just returned from Africa, seems promising. Raising Hope, about a family saddled with an unexpected baby to raise, seems less so.

10 pm-- The Good Wife!


8 pm-- The Middle! I'm also mildly interested in new show The Undercovers, about a husband and wife spy team.

8:30 pm-- Better Together is a new show about an older sister who has decided not to get married and her younger sister who impulsively does. I like some of the people in this one, especially Joanna Garcia, and so will give it a chance.

9 pm-- Modern Family! There is also a new show in this hour, Hellcats, about a college cheerleading squad. I am unconvinced but will probably give it a try.

10 pm-- There are three new shows in this hour, all of them law shows. I'm not interested in the new L.A. version of Law and Order. The Whole Truth, in which we see both sides of a murder case, has been done before a few years ago, and as I remember, it was cancelled after only a few weeks. Why try again? My money is on The Defenders, which at least has Jerry O'Connell, Jim Belushi, and Las Vegas to recommend it, and seems like it will be on the lighter side.


8 pm-- The Vampire Diaries! And I'm definitely interested in My Generation, a faux documentary that cuts between the class of 2000 as high school seniors and their lives now as grown-ups.

9 pm-- Fringe!

10 pm-- The Mentalist! And I'm also definitely going to check out Love Bites, the new anthology series that tells several different interconnected love stories each hour. It sounds like it will be the Love Boat without the boat.


8 pm-- Nothing to report here.

9 pm-- There is a new show called Body of Proof, about a brain surgeon who becomes a medical examiner. It's worth a shot, right?

10 pm-- I'm vaguely interested in Blue Bloods just because it stars Tom Selleck. But to tell the truth, I zoned out halfway through the preview and am not really sure what it's about. That's not a good sign, is it?

P.S. Just in case you're interested, here is the tally of shows I'm interested in by network. I think it shows how each network is doing creatively, at least with my demographic.

ABC- 8 (4 new and 4 returning)
CBS- 6 (4 new and 2 returning)
Fox -4 (2 new and 2 returning)
CW- 3 (1 new and 2 returning)
NBC- 3 (2 new and 1 returning)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010