Sunday, August 17, 2008

Uneventful Saturday

Since I write these posts in advance, e.g., I am writing this on Saturday to be posted on Sunday, I have no idea what is in store for Sunday but there sure wasn't a whole lot happening on Saturday. For what it's worth, here's a brief recap along with my antidote to last week's most annoying rock/pop songs of all time: my opine of the greatest rock/pop songs ever written.

First I got my oil changed. Ooh, how exciting. I have it changed so much less often now that (1) I don't have to drive the kids around all over the place; and (2) I am fortunate to work from home twice a week. Once that was done, I headed off to do my usual Saturday morning thing: visit Costco.

Hmm.. I'm not sure if I would be buying Costco stock right now. The place was not hopping. Half the pumps at the gasoline section were open. Hardly anyone was in line inside the store when I checked out - just some woman in front of me buying one item. Lots of empty spaces in the parking lot (but even still, people sitting waiting in their car for me to leave even though there were empty spaces only six or seven slots away from me).

Here's some pictures of today's take, excluding whatever was a repeat buy that's already been published in earlier posts.

A big package of paper towels. I don't even compare the prices on these to other brands because it is just more convenient to buy these; I know the quality is good, the price has to be competitive, and they do the job.

Mini-bell peppers. They are so much cheaper at Costco than other stores. I like it when there's lots of red ones in there because they're sweeter plus for whatever reason they have less seeds to clean out.

Giant box of Quaker Oats. That's not for me! Julie asked me to get it for her mom. Ugh, oatmeal and so much of it, even! Now I don't think that Quaker Oats is owned by Quakers so I am wondering why the Politically Correct Police (oops, that's PCP, better name them something else) haven't complained about this. If it was called "Indian Oats" I'm sure the boxes would have been yanked off the shelves long ago.

Kirkland Swiss chocolate. I stood there for a few minutes comparing this to the bag of Ghiradelli dark chocolates and to a bag of Hershey's special chocolates and this won out mainly because I have a bag of Ghiradelli right now so I thought I'd try something new, and part of the Hershey's bag has toffee chocolate. Ugh.

Finlandia 4-cheese slice variety pack. Those are to put in my boring turkey sandwich that I take to work on the days I am in the office. Well at least that will liven things up - who knows what flavor might end up between those slices of bread on any given day? I remember reading somewhere that when Gray Davis was our governor, he'd have the same thing for lunch every single day: a turkey sandwich. I'm no better, sigh.. well actually, on my work at home days I have something different so I'm only Gray three days a week.

For lunch Julie and I had terrible food. Well, mine was terrible but hers was merely mediocre. We went to the Garden Cafe on Baldwin Avenue, one of those Hong Kong cafe-type places because she had just gotten back from her dentist who did scaling on her teeth and she wanted something soft, like jook.

I forgot my camera, but just as well because this place is definitely not worth a visit. Julie said her jook had a lot of ingredients but was tasteless. I ordered the Korean-style short ribs. I guess that was my mistake, ordering something Korean in an HK cafe place.

The plate came and it looked delicious. Three good-sized slices of short ribs, a mound of white rice, a small scoop of mashed potatoes, and some zucchini and carrot slices. My first bite of the ribs was so chewy and fatty I couldn't even swallow it. The rest of it wasn't much better and I had to hunt and peck for edible parts to take a chance on. The squash and carrots were tasteless; if I had my eyes closed I wouldn't be able to tell what they were. Even the rice was bad. The grains stuck together but yet the rice was dry. I don't know how they managed a feat like that. The only thing that was decent were the mashed potatoes.

At least we learned where to avoid. And the place was packed - go figure.

Now here's a few more pics I thought I would throw in.

I don't know if it is because of where I live and work, or if these are just not as popular as when I was growing up, but I don't see that many of these anymore. This belongs to one of the guys who works in our warehouse. I snapped a couple of pictures of it because it is a textbook example. It's not a Chevy Impala, but those are so old I can't imagine there would be that many remaining these days.

And someone who works in the building next to us has this neat little Yaris. Whenever I walk down the street I always admire it - it looks so efficient. Nice, neat, compact, unassuming.. will we all be driving something like this in the future?

Okay, now for my list of songs that I say are the five best ever written. Not my five favorite songs because that's a whole 'nother list, but to my way of thinking, the best compositions.

#5: The Who, Won't Get Fooled Again. There's such incredible energy in the music and vocals in this masterpiece. I love the last line, " the new boss, same as the old boss.." Sort of appropriate considering what's coming up this November in our country. Obama, McCain, whatever.. in 2012 they'll be talking about change once again.

#4: Derek and the Dominos, Layla. I had to confirm there's no "e" at the end of Dominos. I didn't want to be accused of Dan Quaylism. There's so much electricity in this song - from the classic opening guitar riff to Eric Clapton's anguished vocals that fade into paradise in the last section. It's marred by the fact that Layla was George Harrison's wife at the time, but if you take that out of the equation this is just a perfect song.

#3: The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations. I love the opening chord on this song. Brian Wilson did everything just right - the melody, lyrics, vocals, the rhythm, use of the synthesizer, even the right degree of reverb. It's the ultimate beach song. It may sound simple upon first hearing but there is so much complex interplay going on among all the parts of this piece. Maybe another reason I think it's great because it was popular at a time when I was starting to notice the opposite sex. The line, "..I don't know where but she sends me there.." is genius.

#2: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Thunder Road. Bruce paints a picture of grand Americana, a movie in six or so minutes. This is a perfect match of lyrics to music as the song progresses, and when the Big Man's sax solo arrives towards the end, I am just shaking my head in amazement with a silly grin on my face. It is just sooo good.

#1: The Temptations, My Girl. Surprised? You were probably expecting something of regal proportions. It starts off with one of the catchiest hooks of all time - that opening bass line, then the finger snaps and the simple but effective guitar line - and, like the others on this list, is a perfect match of the lyrics to the melody that creates a perfect mood. It's simple but yet so moving. Who wouldn't be humming this song in their head when they meet their perfect match? It's the most perfect song ever written (I know, I know, how can something be 'most perfect' but you know how I take license with things). Watch them do their routine in the video below. The Temps were so cool.

Of course you probably disagree and may be reading the list in stunned disbelief but that's what the comment section is for!

Have a happy Sunday!

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