pumpktoberfest #43 -
treat yoself.

spice up yer nuts.

pumpktoberfest 2010!

#195 - links &
drinks 2011.

Entries in whoopie pie (2)


#142 - tracks & snacks.

will you look at that! if you're reading this, that means that you've made it through 2009. congrats. i knew you could do it! well, not you, phil. frankly, your immortality is SHOCKING...but everyone else...i knew you could do it! since we're done with the living hell that was 2009 & already a week or so into 2010, i figured it was high time that i got on with putting together my year-end best of lists. at the end of 2008, i recapped my top ten albums, snacks & drinks of the year. this year, i'm going to keep in the same realm & offer up my top ten TRACKS & SNACKS OF 2009!

just like last year, since my main music obsession these days is mostly in the field of indie rock, all ten tracks on the list are by indie rockers. there are a ton of tracks that i could have included here, but we only have room for ten, folks. the first songs to get cut were those from other years, from miles benjamin anthony robinson's "buriedfed" to o.d.b.'s "got your money" to final fantasy's "this lamb sells condos."

from this year, there are a few honorable mentions. there's peaches' "serpentine" & morrissey's "something is squeezing my skull." in the hip hop world, there's the cool kids' "broadcasting live," vinnie scullo's "eyehearthiphop" & kid cudi's "pursuit of happiness" (with MGMT & ratatat). the last track to get cut from the list was animal collective's "my girls," which i listened to extensively for the first two months of the year before i just got plain sick of it & it fell out of favor. regardless, it still makes me happy when i hear it. so yeah...lots of good music this year. grab a snack & a drink, pull up a chair & let's get to my top ten tracks!

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#133 - ninety.

i'm pretty lucky in that of my four grandparents, three are still alive & kicking. my mom's mom passed away a few years back, but her dad turned ninety last weekend. he's always been the liveliest of my grandparents. he grew up in brooklyn, worked the same job for years, raised three kids & was active in both his church & community. he's the kind of guy who gives you a extra firm handshake when he sees you because he sees the humor in giving an extra firm handshake. he has a place in a retirement community now & whenever we visit him & go to the dining room for a meal, pretty much everyone there is his best friend. he has jokes for all. during one visit a couple years ago, we were standing in the dining room entrance waiting to be seated, so i checked out a bulletin board featuring pics from the community halloween party. my grandfather was in a few. he had gone as a vampire in drag that year.

my parents hosted a gathering last sunday in celebration of his ninetieth, so i spent the weekend at their place up in good ol windham, NH. it's always interesting to be home & see how my parents respond to the stressful task of satisfying a houseful of guests. in addition to the six of us in the immediate family, they were hosting fifteen other relatives, so it was one of the biggest gatherings they've hosted in at least a decade. luckily, nowadays they have three semi-responsible, somewhat helpful adult kids (hell yeah i'll prep the deli platter!) & a level-headed teenager, which means they don't have to do everything, so i think that eases a little bit of the stress for them.

for me, the gathering was an opportunity to catch up with a few relatives i hadn't talked to in ages. there were my two cousins, one of whom i haven't seen since the clinton administration & who is now all adult & married & living in pamplona & shit. as two of the four people eating bean burgers, we totally bonded. four of my mom's cousins were there as well. i remembered them from when i was a kid & they were teenagers, so it was interesting to see how they all turned out. one of them lives in alaska & worked on the pipeline until she was laid off. another has two adopted girls, one of who noted that "the jonas brothers' music sounds stupid." yeah, little girl. a third was wicked excited when i said i helped with nickelback's website. i can't remember much about the fourth, but she was nice.

i also learned that back in the day, my aunt (a baker chef who is my mom's younger sister & the pamplona cousin's mom) had baked a cake for president ford. somebody made a comment about it as she cut my grandfather's birthday cake, a white cake with white frosting & fresh raspberries on top that she had prepared. auntie definitely has baking skillz. as everyone got a piece & stood around consuming it & chatting, i couldn't help but feel a wee bit wistful. my mom had organized a successful gathering for twenty some people, my dad got to give tours of the yard & his gardening & my grandpa got to be with three generations of his family on his ninetieth birthday. the best part? on the way out, my grandpa & i promised to do it again in ten years.

#133 - ninety.
snack: pumpkin whoopie pie
drink: manchester brewing the devil's rooster märzen

on saturday, my dad picked my brother, his girlfriend & i up in boston & after dropping the bro & girlfriend off at various locations, my father & i drove around the greater windham area for a bit. i'd informed him about my quest to try tons of pumpkin beers, so first, he took me to the drink shoppe in hudson to see what they had in stock. after i had dawdled around in there for a little while, we tried to hit up a sandwich place he likes. unfortunately, when we arrived, they were closed. turns out they'd closed just three minutes earlier. sorry bout the dawdling, dad. he was still hungry for a sandwich, so we headed back to windham & stopped at the kitchen at windham junction, a cutesy lil small town place just down the street from the parents' home. i smoked a cig whilst sitting at the picnic table in the picture on their website!

my dad & i stood at the counter whilst he waited for his food & chatted up the woman behind the counter. at one point, he looked into the glass case next to the counter & noticed a tray of treats. once he determined that they were pumpkin whoopie pies, he looked at me, the professional snacker & decided to get two. then he tried talking to the woman behind the counter about my blog, leading to me having to explain this here blog to her. she seemed quite confused about the whole thing.

when we got home, i tried one of the whoopie pies & WHOOPIE was it tasty. it was crazy sugary sweet, so i had to take my time with it, but it had cream cheese frosting on the inside & cakelike outsides dusted with powdered sugar & DOGGAM! i'd also picked up a piece of chocolate cake, but my my dad, figuring i wanted both of the whoopie pies for blogging purposes, ended up eating that chocolate cake instead of his whoopie pie...so i got to eat two of them last weekend. since those whoopie pies were damn good but are now hundreds of miles away up in NH, i'm seriously considering making some of my own. so many baking ideas, so little time!

i did find some pumpkin beers at the drink shoppe, but they were for another time, so i also picked up a bottle of manchester brewing the devil's rooster märzen. they had a rack of manchester brewing beers, all with nifty labels like the pentagram/rooster one on the devil's rooster märzen. satanic! they had one beer there called the "conspiracy theory oatmeal stout," featuring a guy whispering "did you hear about building 7?" into another dude's ear on the front of the label & another with soviet-style font & imagery (the koncord kombat ale). the second beer's named in honor of the city that's home to manchester brewing & all the communists in the state, NH's capital city of concord.

whenever i'm having a beer at my parents' house, i benefit from the chilled mugs they keep in the freezer. nobody in the house drinks beer, so i'm not sure why they have them, but i digress. i'm not a fan of the frosty mugs, but if i take one out for a bit before using it, it warms up enough to not ruin the taste. since the devil's rooster comes in a 22 oz bottle, i grabbed the biggest mug available & poured me a tall, semi-frosty one. it's an orange/amber beer with a brown sugar/toffee sort of taste. definitely something to crow about. devilishly good. i'm hoping that i'll get to try a few more of their beers next time i'm in NH. maybe the one with the dominatrix "naughty nancy" cartoon character on the label, although that one apparently "makes you say 'whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks,'" so i may have to opt for another one. i'm 95% sure my parents wouldn't appreciate that sort of behavior under their roof.