Food and home

Expect something major to break in the first year.

homer-simpson doughnutsY’ know I have several Ask Roger Anything questions, but these from SamuraiFrog struck my fancy:

What are your favorite and least favorite kinds of donuts? And if you don’t like donuts, what is your favorite pastry? And if you don’t like pastry… you’re no fun.

Thank goodness I am fun! There’s a place right across the street from where I work called Cider Belly Donuts. I try to go only once a week. I get a maple, usually. Historically, donut-wise, I generally will go for the glazed first.

I’m not that fond of filled donuts, usually because I bite into them and hit some dry donut when I wanted the jelly. I’m also not crazy about powdered donuts, although Spaulding Krullers, from my growing up days, were miraculous in that the powder did not come off.

BTW, my spellcheck does not like the word “donut”; it prefers the word “doughnut.” Anything that prefers a spelling with THREE silent letters IN A ROW is REALLY no fun!

Are you a coffee drinker?

No, I’ve never acquired the taste. And here’s my major pet peeve: food entities that do not segregate their pitchers for coffee and tea. I went to a wedding once, and the reception was catered by a well-known local establishment. The food was lovely. But I had some tea, and I could tell INSTANTLY that the carafe had contained coffee in the past. Coffee-laced tea is VILE.

I should drink tea more often.

What’s your ideal breakfast? What’s your usual breakfast?

Ideal breakfast is pancakes, two fried eggs and sausage. My usual breakfast is cold cereal, for which I mix two or three non-pre-sweetened items, such as Cheerios, shredded wheat and raisin bran.

My wife inherited a house. What’s something she should know about home ownership?

I don’t know if you’ll be living there. Regardless:

1. Take care of the outside so that the neighbors don’t complain. Mow the grass periodically. (Or hire goats; I’m in favor of hiring goats.) It generates good will amongst your fellow home owners.

2. To that end, I know it’s your house, but try not to paint it chartreuse.

3. Keep the walk shoveled. It snows in Illinois – assuming the house is there – and S-P-R-I-N-G is a lousy snow removal strategy. Maybe you can barter a service. Your wife’s a great artist, and you are smart and very detail oriented.

4. Expect something major to break in the first year. For my wife’s first house, it was the water heater. For us, it was the clothes dryer; those hanging racks all over the bedroom got old very quickly.

5. If you’re not handy, find someone who is. Because you may not be able to afford to fix certain things, but some items – like a sewer pipe that threatened our basement and cost $3500 we did not have to dig up our front yard to repair – you can’t afford NOT to fix.

6. It’s never finished. The first thing my bride said when we bought the house is that we needed to update our kitchen. We moved in 2000; it hasn’t happened. Oh we got a new kitchen faucet, the only thing we could afford the first year when my spouse was a grad student. We got a new floor, because the old one was treacherous, and a new dishwasher, which I HATE – loading the silverware is a chore -and a new refrigerator.

But the aforementioned sewer pipe, and a new roof, a new front porch (lest someone put his/her foot through it – it WAS that bad), a new shed (the old one leaked, and was falling down), and FINALLY, a new bathroom, has precluded fixing the kitchen.

What’s your favorite newspaper comic strip ever?

I have books on Krazy Kat, Pogo and other strips from before my time. I own collections about Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts and a few others.

But I have the first four complete Doonesbury anthologies. I LOVED those early strips. I still read it in the paper, not nearly with the same passion. But I don’t think I read ANY strip these days with anything approaching a similar compulsion.

What was something nostalgic for you until you revisited it and the nostalgia wore off?

My 10th high school reunion rather sucked, although it was salvaged by the after party.

I remember a guy named Charlie, whose hairline changed a lot in a decade. I didn’t recognize him, and he got all offended. Ten years was not enough time to get over all the petty BS of high school.

I went to my 32nd HS reunion and it was MUCH better. But I’m just not that nostalgic. Part of it is that I forget. “Do you remember the time…?” The answer is, generally, “No.”

I DO KNOW West Side Story isn’t as good a movie as I remember – it’s too long and too slow – but the music is SO good, I don’t care.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

5 thoughts on “Food and home”

  1. Other homeowner tips:

    – Any project you attempt will take 3-4x longer than the book/ video says, partailly because you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t have the right tools

    – Get tool sets. It’s a few bucks more, but then you’re ready for the next project

    – Get Home Improvement All In One For Dummies. It’s awesome. Saves me a lot of time.

    – Find out which friends know what they’re talking about and ask questions. On bigger projects ask 2 or 3 (or 4 or 5) people for advice. Sometimes different people have different answers because they have different needs or styles. (People always welcome payment and thanks in food form)

    – Ask around about home inspectors. A bad inspector can cost you thousands. A good inspector can save you thousands. Even if you don’t have to buy, knowing what the house needs is incredibly useful.

    – Don’t be afraid to try. Have an experienced friend help you and then get your hands dirty.

    – Working on your house will make you fall in love with it.

  2. Thanks for the great answers!

    We inherited the house when Becca’s mother-in-law passed in December, and we’re STILL going through everything and getting everything in order. Reading your answers made her more sure than ever that we should sell it and stay in our apartment.

    Maple donuts aren’t my first choice, but I like them. Every time I’ve bought one, I’ve gotten a skeptical look… Are they not that popular?

  3. I am writing a parody of a West Side Story song, Roger! For a friend, for their revue this fall. The song is “I Feel Pretty,” and the first lines go:
    Dos vedanya
    I’m Melania
    That’s my name, I’m Ukranian born
    When I model
    You can hardly tell that it’s not porn

    Whattaya think? I agree about WSS, by the way. Too long. I just run it ahead to the next song. And Marni Nixon having to sing for Natalie Wood, who in turn also had to “brown up” for the role… yikes. If they go ahead with the plans to redo it, I’m sure they will find an actual Puerto Rican actress to play Maria. And the bonus will be NOT a Greek guy playing her brother, hee hee. #oscarssowhite

  4. Maple donuts are awesome and I do not understand why they are not out there more frequently.

    West Side Story is a movie I admire more than love…but damn, some people can get really snooty about it. I once thought some dude’s head was going to explode when I argued that MY FAIR LADY is a better movie. (Because it IS, darn it.)

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