IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
My Favorite Video Blogs
(for others, see Links page)
Wizard of Oz--Alternate Ending
Phil Donahue vs. Bill O'Reilly
Drunk Driving Test
Steve Irwin Meets Ross the Intern
Volcanic Eruption 4/2/07
Polar Bear Cub
Family Stories Vlog
New on My
12 May 2007
There was a time (a happier time, perhaps!) when I boasted of knowing nothing about reality shows. I guess that was before Survivor, which was my undoing (thanks, Ned). Now, I guess it has become like Lays potato chips ─ "bet you can't watch just one."
Survivor was followed by Amazing Race and, over the past couple of years I got hooked on a whole slew of them: Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Next Food Network Star, Project Runway, Top Chef and Shear Genius. I'm sure there are others. [I don't do the "mating-and-dating" ones or the "all XXX all the time" camera-in-the-home ones. I wasn't the least interested in The Osbornes, Anna Nicole Smith or that newly wed couple who divorced after a year.] I even watched The Apprentice for a couple of seasons until the Trump ego (along with the Rosie feud) made it unwatchable, for me). I'm looking forward to the upcoming On the Lot, which will follow amateur film makers. Having raised a few of them myself, I'm curious to see how other people's kids make video!
One of the oddball reality shows that I stumbled across a year or so ago was probably on Food Network. I found it surfing late at night when I couldn't sleep. It was a contest to create the next Häagen Dazs flavor ice cream.
As an ice cream lover, I was curious to see how this one would go. I'm always up for a new flavor sensation. All along, the new flavor that sounded the most promising for me was "toasted coconut sesame brittle." Anything with "brittle" in the name, in my opinion, can't be all bad.
In fact, toasted coconut sesame brittle made it to the final two, running neck and neck with "sticky toffee pudding." I didn't know about that "pudding" thing, though "toffee" didn't sound too bed.
Ultimately, the creator of sticky toffee brittle was the winner and I wanted to see when the new flavor would hit the shelves. The judges had raved about it so much that I was really eager to taste it.
It took several months before I finally found it on the shelf of our local supermarket, and they had done the marketing well ─ by the time it finally arrived, I was so psyched that I bought two cartons.
I rushed home, opened up a carton, grabbed a spoon and dug in.
I was so disappointed. There was nothing about this ice cream that I liked. The texture was off, the pudding was weird, I got no sense of "toffee" at all. I can't remember if I finished it or not. Knowing me, I probably did ─ it takes more than just being a bad product for me to throw out ice cream.
BUT, I was moved to write to Häagen Dazs to complain that the ice cream did not live up to its hype.
Way back in 2002, I wrote an entry about complaint letters I have sent over the years. I am quick to complain, and I am quick to praise. I write letters if something (or a service) is bad and I write letters if I've had something that I really liked. (It seems only fair that if I'm going to complain that I be just as conscientious about giving credit where credit is due.)
I heard back from Häagen Dazs with a letter expressing their regret that I didn't like the new flavor and sending me coupons for two free pints of another flavor, which I thought was very nice, though I still have not cashed them in, a year later.
To my surprise, about 2 weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Häagen Dazs. They were apparently writing to people who had complained about sticky toffee pudding ice cream to say that they were introducing new flavors in a limited "reserve" release (one of which was toasted coconut sesame brittle) and asked if I'd like them to send me a box of samples.
No dummy, I, I responded that I would love to be a taster. I had to choose a date of delivery, because the boxes would come packed with ice and would need to be stuck in the freezer right away.
So around 9 a.m. there came this clatter at the front door, which set all 3 dogs barking and racing to the door. I saw two delivery guys hurrying back across the street, while I fought Sheila to try to get to the door. I couldn't remember what else I had ordered that hadn't been delivered. Already I had forgotten about the ice cream.
But there it was ─ my box of samples. And my goodness, what a production. Four pints of two different flavors of ice cream, along with a box of dark chocolate and pomegranate bars. Along with all the goodies came "Sommelier Tasting Notes."
I can tell you that this toasted coconut sesame brittle is "the perfect ending to a Thai dinner" and that it is suggested to "serve your scoop on a banana leaf as the fans whirl overhead" (I guess I'll have to buy some fans). It also suggests that TrokenBerenAusele is a good wine to accompany my ice cream.
It suggests serving the "Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream ice cream on a freshly baked Belgian waffle with a "rich and balanced sauterne."
Häagen Dazs is also releasing Amazon Valley Chocolate Ice Cream, Brazilian Açai Berry Sorbet and Pomegranate Chip Ice Cream. I suppose I'm going to have to go out and give them a try. It seems only fair.
There are surprising things that happen when you speak up and let people know what your feelings are!
For better or for worse, the computer is now off with Geek Guy. I managed to connect the laptop to the DSL line and if I can only find the program disks for WordPefect, which are "around here somewhere," I will be almost normal again. Well, at least computer-wise.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2599