Sunday, August 31, 2008
To whom it may concern:
My husband and I have been going to your cafes almost weekly since 2004. We frequently brag about your desserts, coffees, and propensity to play jazz music and Frank Sinatra; we ship your chocolate bars to my siblings and parents; we bring our out-of-town friends to the cafe, etc. You get the point.
Imagine my shock when I met a friend for coffee at one of your Portland metro area cafes last week and saw your "new" desserts. Gone was the delicious peanut butter cheesecake, brownies, and otherwise yummy and reasonably priced desserts (oh yes - I forgot the chocolate pyramid.)
In their place were skimpy, wilting things that may have once been chocolate, for about twice the price. I mean, it was laughable. One of them was literally the size of a Kit-Kat (or more exactly, one of the Kit-Kat bars) for nearly $5; instead of the lemon tart there was the slice of one, again for about twice the price of the original dessert.
Like any reasonable person, I find the characteristics of skimpy and wilting undesirable in both men and dessert. Surely you agree?
Mind you, I am not a dessert hog. I am not one of those people who thinks super-sized portions are a good idea. But I do expect to have more than three forkfuls if I'm forking over $5 for a dessert.
Then I looked up to see that the menu was redone. The biscotti and chocolate-dipped cookies were gone. So was the jazz music, which my friend and I were informed you
no longer allow.
After I exclaimed something along the lines of, "What the hell?" a kind barista gave us the skinny on why the desserts had gotten skinny.
Apparently, a new marketing person at your corporate HQ in Portland, a guy sans people skills, has decided that while Moonstruck cafes were already making money, you needed to make more. He apparently also decided that you need to use the "Starbucks model."
A tip for the uninitiated: Starbucks closed 600 stores recently because they were losing money. They woke up to the fact that they needed more, not less, of a good thing.
Furthermore, people like me have been loyal Moonstruck customers because it's a local, unique place - not because it's a copycat rendition of a chain coffee place. Why would I drive across town to go have a Starbucks experience when I can drive down the street instead? Just because it says Moonstruck?
"Buy local!" you yell. What happens when local starts sucking?
So now what happens? According to the barista we spoke with, enough people have made noise that the manager has taped a card with the corporate phone number and e-mail address to the cash register, so irritated folks like myself can call and/or write.
Like any business that gets more corporate, you probably won't listen.
And you'll lose customers.
And then the usual suspects - "the market getting oversaturated," "the economy," etc. will proverbally get blamed, and your gracious employees will lose their jobs.
But perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps, like me, you won't settle for skimpy and wilty in men or chocolate, and don't think Moonstruck customers should have to, either. Maybe Mr. Sans Personality, who probably got his job because of nepotism, will get a swift kick in the ass and go back to his trust fund. Maybe Moonstruck will once again be the unique, fun, yummy place my husband and I will take friends for birthdays and other occasions.
Until then, I'm going to go elsewhere, where the dessert is less corporate and more robust.
PS I really did send this to Moonstruck. You can, too! E-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call them at 503-247-3448.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Please cast your vote. Mr. Riot Kitty says no. I disagree.
At any rate, as I have mentioned in several other posts, he works with several people who speak English as their second or third language.
Apparently the word for "chop" in Lao sounds like the word "fuck."
So today, someone brought in a bunch of carrots to Mr. Riot Kitty's work, and one of his co-workers, who enjoys cooking and happens to be a native Lao speaker, was waxing poetic about recipes.
"So you take the carrots and go fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck! Just like that."
And you take the chicken...
You get the picture.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
For those of you who aren't on the do not call list...or are tired of getting political candidate calls...
Here's a short how-to guide, courtesy of Mr. Riot Kitty and his friend Dave. This has all been said in the following types of phone calls!
When a credit card company calls with an offer:
Caller: "Heeeeeeeeeey, we have an XYZ card at just 27.5 percent interest!"
You: "Oh...no. I can't go through this again."
Caller: "You have been pre-selected-"
You: "After last time..um..all the therapy...no."
Caller: "The approval process is-"
You: "You don't understand! There were BAGS of porn!"
Caller: "We can have a card sent-"
You: "I can't have the police here anymore. She will divorce me for sure this time. When she saw the German Scheisse video, well, it wasn't good."
You: "You know, when she-"
Caller -click- line is dead.
When a political candidate calls you:
Politician: "Hi. I'm calling to let you know that I am running for election in XYZ county"
You: "Hang on...Suzy, lean a little more to the left! Save the pudding for later."
Politician:"My stand differs from my opponent because I do not support-"
You: "Just a sec... Hey! Add the orange!"
Politician:"I do NOT support putting babies on spikes"
You: "Yea, wait a moment...Are you going to take all day? We don't have that much film left. And get your hair out of the way!"
Politician: "I'll try back at a better time"
When your naive friend who your wife will never, EVER forgive passes on your phone number to a retirement planner:
Caller: "Hi, I am a retirement plan consultant. Blah blah Blah"
You: "My retirement plan is taken care of."
Caller: "Do you mind if I ask what your retirement plan is?"
You: "We will be collected."
You: "By the mother ship."
Caller: "The mother ship. Do you have a will or estate plan? It's never too early-" (sounding flustered)
You: "We don't need to have a will or estate plan. We will all be collected at he same time."
Caller: "OK. Uh, if you need any of my services you have my number" -click-
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I snagged this from Jessica, who snagged it from someone else...
Go to Google and type in "your name" and "needs" and post the first five things that come up.
Needless to say, this was difficult, because I typed in "Riot Kitty" and got references from my own blog!
So I used my first name...which will remain anonymous and be substituted here with Riot Kitty. Enjoy!
1.Riot Kitty needs a family that will be patient, consistent, kind, loving (have one, luckily!)
2. Riot Kitty needs attention (don't we all? But hopefully not from the wrong people!)
3. It's Riot Kitty who clearly needs to shut the fuck up. (I LOVED this one! Was it posted by my ex, the GOP, or my mother's side of the family?)
4. Riot Kitty needs to take an extended break from golf after this weekend (No problem. I have never played it, and never will...although I will never take a break making fun of people who do.)
5. Riot Kitty needs help translating. (Um, again, don't think so. I'm pretty fucking clear, in several languages, actually. Especially when I am irritated.)
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Special Guest Blogger
I have known Riot Kitty for over 10 years, when we met in Washington, D.C. She was visiting a mutual friend and I was working for a foreign embassy at the time. We took off from there. So, when she asked me to re-tell this story I had conveyed to her during her last trip to New York City, how could I refuse?
Several years ago, I was a new web/graphic designer in Connecticut. Once I was there a few weeks, I was told the primary reason I got hired was to help the lead designer with an “adult” (i.e. porn) website.
Actually, it was the website for a well-known adult store around the area. After working there for a few months, the site was done, so there was one last thing that needed to be done before it went live. I was told to test the site.
That’s right, folks. Test the site. Make sure it won’t break or break down or any number of things that could happen to a website where you could buy stuff. Adult stuff. They gave me a fake credit card and I went nuts. I bought dildoes (to quote a comedian, is this the plural of dildo? I wonder), I bought videos; I bought various plugs and sex toys.
Just to make sure some pervert chucklehead didn’t accidentally break the site or get his whack-off material for free. I got paid for this, people. My uncle thought it was the funniest thing he ever heard.
This was also around Christmas, so my boss had me design a Christmas-y home page for the site. With the catch-phrase, and I shit you not: We Put the Ho-Ho-Ho Back in Your Holidays. With garland, trees and blinking lights.
Then this ass of an owner tells my boss he doesn’t want to pay us for the work done on the site. My boss told him that if he “could convince my guys to work for free, knock yourself out.” Preferably with a dildo. I added that one myself.
What a job.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The theme: 5 things that scared me when I was a kid.
1. Alice Cooper, after he appeared on the Muppet Show. (Giggle.) I know, I know...and this lasted until about sophomore year in high school, when I saw Wayne's World. And now he does commercials for Staples, has written a book about golf, and has opened a Christian youth center...yes, yes, keep laughing at me.
2. A Gilette commercial circa 1979. I have had super-sensitive hearing since birth, and when their electric razor commercial came on the TV, I ran behind the couch and covered my ears. Keep laughing.
3. My younger brother - briefly - because he threw my Burt stuffed doll in the toilet. And because he bit me from time to time. But I wasn't really afraid of Nik, so much as I was afraid of him throwing more of my stuffed citizens in the can. Post script: for his birthday a few years ago, I got him a Burt doll. I am reasonably certain he hasn't thrown it in the toilet.
4. Sharks. I am still afraid of sharks. I blame this squarely on my fourth grade teacher, who showed our class "Jaws 2." What kind of teacher shows a horror flick about a man-eating great white to a bunch of 9-year-olds when she has a free day? I mean, shit! Talk about running out of ideas for lesson plans. Extra reading would have been just fine with me.
5. Briefly, bear tracks in the snow in my backyard in Minnesota, when I was about 5. My best friend next door and I ran inside and hid under the covers. My parents thought it was hilarious, because the bear tracks had been left by the plumber.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I have no shortage of glee: the Hooters in my town just closed!
Mind you - I am not against strip clubs. If people are dumb enough to fork over money for women (and men) they'll never get to touch or talk to, so be it.
However, Hooters pisses me off because it's a fraud - pretending to be something it's not.
Their corporate fuckhead mouthpieces continually say that they're a "family restaurant" - excuse me, that's not how my family dresses for dinner!
However...their defense a few years back, when their female employees sued several male managers for sexual harassment, was that the workers "should be used to it" because it was that kind of place.
So it bothered me no end that one of the sleazeholes opened up in the same shopping area as my Trader Joe's. Veggies and breasts, anyone? Then the local newspaper - which is part of a chain owned by a born-again Christian pastor, no less - partnered with this family restaurant for a promotional bbq giveaway. I'm not sure how many legs and breasts were promised in this package...
But yesterday, Mr. Riot Kitty noticed a glorious thing...the Hooters lot was empty. The sign, which had glared out at me dozens of times like a Home Depot sign, but with breasts, was gone.
Yippee kay yay, motherfuckers!
Friday, August 08, 2008
At work this afternoon, one of my co-workers was talking about the funeral service of a member of our nonprofit community who died suddenly of an aneurysm last week.
Apparently, there was a lot of talk during the service about "his women" - he had quite a lot of them! His mother said, "His first girlfriend is still in love with him, and when they broke up, she was still his friend, and the second girlfriend is still in love with him, and when they broke up..."
And so on.
I blurted out, "He must have been GREAT IN BED!" right as another said, "He must have LASTED A REALLY LONG TIME!!!"
(I mean, IS THERE any other reason to hang around an ex? Unless he has come out of the closet and really wants to be friends?)
And then we all laughed loudly.
Yet we humans think we are so clever...
Check out this story about a 111-year-old lizard and his 80-year-old mate!
And...drum roll, please...she's just one of THREE of his bed buddies.
Not bad for a guy who weighs just 2.6 pounds.
While we have no photos of Henry, here's another picture of a tuatara like him - and I suppose that for his species, he must be one sexy guy!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I parked at a bookstore last weekend next to a truck with these bumper stickers:
"Gun control is hitting your target"
"Is there life after death? Find out if you mess with this truck!"
and similar crap...one of the stickers made reference to a body BBQ cafe.
So I thought you'd all be proud to know that I left a note on the windshield of said truck onHello Kitty stationary (that nifty little set that my 12-year-old brother got me) and I wrote, "I'm quite sure your dick is the size of a peanut."
Of course, Mr. Riot Kitty thought that would actually be giving him a compliment...
And of course I shared this story with a legislator friend who is a liberal, but also a longtime NRA member.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Actually, it was a Thursday funny...but it's funny today, too, and I've had kind of a fucked up day, so here's making it better by hoping I will make other people laugh.
(Note to the little bro: this is an R-rated blog. Skip it!)
So Darth went to see The Dark Knight with Mr. Riot Kitty and I last night, and afterwards, he was talking about how he kicked ass in a game of golf, even though he hadn't played in a year and his fellow players were much more experienced. (Note: Darth is modest, but it became apparent to all of us that he had kicked ass.)
He said, "It's funny, when you play golf - the harder you try, the more you suck."
And I blurted out, "Hmm, sounds like oral sex!"
And I think I embarrassed him because he ran away and called out, "Let me know how that works out for you, Mr. Riot Kitty!"
But there you are - there's a laugh, and a clever one, if I do say so myself. It's one thing I haven't fucked up this week!
And a postscript...I keep telling Mr. Riot Kitty that he needs to start a blog about things he has overheard at work, because they're hilarious.
Sometimes unintentionally hilarious, because many of his coworkers speak English as their second language - or, in this guy's case, their third language. (Puts most of us to shame, doesn't it?)
Scene: The breakroom. Someone left a bag of hotdogs in the fridge. It leaked.
Coworker (in heavy Lao accent): "Brad's hotdog is leaking. I get it. I clean it up."
Coworker:"English is not my first language. I said something again, and I don't know what it was!"
*More raucous laughter.*