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Posts from the ‘Hey, Good Looker’ Category

Shady Requests


At first I thought someone might be playing a joke on me and I was appreciating their cruel sense of humor. What are the odds that mere days after talking about a stranger asking me where to buy the Lilliputian sunglasses worn by Cheeseburger in Paradise’s garnimals, I receive another such request? And from someone with a ratfanclub email address (my hopes were dashed when I realized there was only one T—I was imagining an aged Stephen Pearcy groupie) no less?

Clearly, there is a need for people to get their hands on miniature sunglasses even if it means pet rodents will have to wear them. Perhaps I am being told something and there is a not-very-lucrative side job for me wheeling and dealing tiny eyewear.

This time my desire to help procure shrunken shades got me “God blessed.” Good deed of 2011 taken care of. I can cruise unhelpfully through the next nine months now.

Photo credit: Ratticchio

Making Faces

Tropical-frozen-photo "who makes chart to show how to make garnimals at cheeseburger in paradise"

That’s a good question! I’d never even considered that such a chart existed, let alone that a human would be responsible for its creation. I’m not saying I have any answers…

This person made flashcards describing what each Garnimal consists of. Bungalow Bob? Who knew they had names?

On a Jimmy Buffet forum, a CIP staffer (at least in 2006) and Parrothead divulges that he can’t share how to make garnimals because he signed a confidentiality agreement. Damn!

I’ve never seen a Cheeseburger in Paradise commercial. Now I know what garnimals sound like when appearing on the water pitcher during a continuing education lecture.

People misspell Garanimals quite frequently. Whether you type garanimal or garnimal, 98% of the content is about those matching clothes for children that I had no idea still existed and possibly only do at Walmart.

Did I ever tell you about the time I got an email merely asking “Can you help me locate a place to purchase the sunglasses that is on the piece of fruit in the drink picture on your website?” (Ok, I did) A weaker person would delete the shit out of that (I get orders for shovels now and again and those go straight to the trash) but I knew exactly what the online stranger was talking about and my strong sense of duty (and library background) compelled me to find those tiny plastic shades.

The best part was the follow-up (for real–I saved the email): “I don’t get that kind of response from people who are friends. Again, thanks for your kindness.”

So there. That was my good deed for 2009. Last year I came up empty and so far in 2011, my do-gooding has been lacking. I want to be the Michael Landon character in Highway to Heaven of chain restaurant needs.

What can I (barely) help you with? Sorry, I still don’t know who makes chart to show how to make garnimals at cheeseburger in paradise.

The Poor Man’s Macaroni Grill Chianti

Chianti I don’t give much thought to wine lists in chain restaurants, though at a white tablecloth joint like Bonefish Grill (I mean that literally, not metaphorically, though on my last visit they’d stopped using tablecloths) I will order a glass or two even if the rest of the diners are drinking Diet Coke in glass tumblers. Bonefish also has inexpensive martinis with blue cheese-stuffed olives, but that is getting off track…

Little did I know that Macaroni Grill has had its own house wines—Chardonnay, Chianti and White Zinfandel—since 1988. Maggiano’s Little Italy started their own label, Salute Amico, last month and un-Italian P.F. Chang’s just launched two private-label wines under the name Vineyard 518.

A few days ago this search string landed a poor misguided stranger here: I need names of wines that compare in quality to Macaroni Grill’s Chianti but not as expensive. That is awesome and so very specific. I wish I could help but the prices aren’t listed on their online menu so I’m not sure what not as expensive might mean.

Lilliputian Chianti bottle photo from Miniature Cottage.

Feeling Good in Certain Neighborhoods

Chain restaurant queries that lead searchers here range from:

The typical
jose tejas coupons woodbridge nj

To the thought provoking (it doesn’t take much to provoke me). I never associated Cheesecake Factory with cheese.
cheesecake factory cheese platter

To the distressing. I tried Tyler Florence’s now-gone menu a few years ago at the Linden Applebee’s and will now associate this misbehavior with him.
semen in my food at linden applebees

Most Wanted: Jose Tejas

Garnimal “Can you help me locate a place to purchase the sunglasses that is on the piece of fruit in the drink picture on your website?”

While this plea, important enough to send directly through email, seems nonsensical and vague on the surface, I immediately knew what the searcher was looking for. Unfortunately, I have no clue where Cheeseburger in Paradise obtains the miniature eyewear for their “garnimals” (not to be confused with garanimals).

Which isn’t to say there’s not a bevy of shrunken sunglasses available online: not only hawks sunglasses pins for zebra t-shirts, they showcase a photo of garnimals. Bingo. They are also a premier source for dickeys.

ImagineArt7 has John Lennon-style glasses.

Vintage plastic glasses for dolls.

Also, I’ve never seen a television ad for Cheeseburger in Paradise, but someone’s been auditioning for garnimal voice work.

From the search log:

2. jose tejas menu

Ok, that’s easy.

3. pictures jose tejas woodbridge

Also, a snap. And I just learned of the existence of The Unofficial Woodbridge, NJ Flickr Group. So, there’s an official one?

4. what does jose tejas mean in english

Probably whatever Carl’s Jr. means in Spanish.

What Happens in Eugene Stays in Eugene

eugene oregon dunkin donuts semen boston cream

Why is this even a search string? And more importantly, why is my blog the first hit on Google?!

Keeping It Hyperreal

1. vonda shepherd red lobster

Why do I know that name? It'll come to me…yes, the Ally McBeal songstress. Oh nineties, good for something, after all.

Though I’m afraid that I can’t help this searcher—do they want to know if she was spotted in a Red Lobster a la Page Six, if her music is piped into the restaurant or what?

The most disconcerting aspect is that apparently I made mention of Vonda Shepherd at some point in the past (and spelled Shephard incorrectly).

Well, at least we have this.

2. the simulacra of olive garden

That’s a bit heady. And I didn’t attend an intellectually rigorous college (obviously) so this is no time and place for deep deconstructing. But according to Jean Baudrillard (via Wikipedia, of course) a simulacrum is no mere copy of the real, “but becomes truth in its own right: the hyperreal.” Sounds like the Olive Garden I know. So, uh, Tuscan all the way!

Also, if you Google “but becomes truth in its own right: the hyperreal” you’ll find a shitload of artist’s statements.

3. how many points in dunkin donuts flatbread egg white veg

Ok, more my speed. Black and white questions, and one with which I have direct experience. I’m a sad sack who counts Weight Watchers points and has eaten a Dunkin’ Donuts Flatbread sandwich (only once).

Six points, if you must know. For the record, one of their chocolate-frosted doughnuts is only 5 points.

Celebrity Diets

Readingrainbow.jpg Before doing whatever it is you do on a Memorial Day weekend, take a second (a minute would be too long) to ponder these recent celebrity food queries that have sadly led strangers to my site. Sad, because I'm of no help.

dose zack efron like steak and apples blended?

Levar burton wasabi

Personally, I have no opinion on whether Disney stars like eating baby food (though, apparently, he has indulged in a meat-fruit shake) but any mention of Geordi La Forge brings a smile to my face. I bet the man likes wasabi. @levarburton has 534,036 followers on Twitter, maybe I should just ask him how he feels about the spicy root.

Quiznos and Rachael Ray Have a lot to Answer For

1. Teen suspended for selling fancy sammies.

Don’t tell me those Park Slope panini kids are at it again.

If the youngster in question actually used the word sammies, he (I feel like it’s a he) got off easy with a mere suspension. I would hope that Saturday school was also involved somehow, but then that would just lead to poignant Breakfast Club moments and the opportunity to share fancy sammies with his newfound acquaintances that turned out to have more in common with him than he ever realized.

Uh, if the searcher used normal people words like sandwiches, they would've found the real story. Yes, it was a he, and the precious hand held meals involved mozzarella, Roma tomatoes, olive tapenade, zucchini, Provolone cheese and pesto (not all in one sammie). Maybe if you time traveled to 1990 that would be "fancy," though I do understand that's quite a step up from Hot Pockets and Bagel Bites.

Long Overdue


Who knew there was a market for two California public library staff (the librarian in me must point out that one is by a librarian while the other is by a library assistant. This is a serious distinction to some, particularly in the public and academic spheres, because it’s the difference between a couple years of your life, tens of thousands of dollars and the resulting misunderstood master degree and underpaid, unappreciated job and just having an underpaid, unappreciated job) memoirs in four months? Or ever?

Quiet, Please: Dispatches From a Public Librarian
Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library

I must now put together my proposal for an enlightening creative nonfiction masterpiece from the perspective of someone who was born in California but hasn’t resided on the west coast for a decade and worked in a public library for nearly three years in the mid-‘90s and never intends to work with the public ever again.

It will be titled Overdue? Fine: Tardy Tales From a Long-Suferring Librarian Who Doesn't Work in a Library and will be utterly gripping. You won’t be able to put that shit down.