Tuesday, April 29, 2008

But they can't make me like it

I just went to Wal-Mart. (Cringe)

I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY! Please don’t go! I swear I had a good reason. Honest.

Just let me explain: I had a gift card. What was I supposed to do? I couldn’t just let the Waltons keep the money, right?

Turns out that prior to quitting my job last week, I was chosen as Associate of the Month. That is just how awesome I am. I get awards for jobs I don’t even have anymore, and the big prize that comes with such a prestigious honor is a $25 Wal-Mart gift card. Craptastic.

And then last night, after buying all the ingredients to make African Peanut-Potato Stew (compliments of fatfreevegan.com by way of Allie’s Answers), I discovered there was no way the whole recipe was going to fit in the largest pot we had here. Rather than halve it (because why make soup if you can’t make a lot), I held off for tonight, when I will press into service my brand new, American-made Wal-Mart graniteware stock pot.

And that is why, on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, I was wandering through the vast clutter among the NASCAR masses, hunting for cookware. Forgive me. I’d say it won’t happen again, but I still have $2.68 left on the card, despite the 4-pack of boxer briefs that was supposed to put me over the top. This is why I hate gift cards. Chances are, that $2.68 is going to stay in the Walton family coffers. At least it’s not my $2.68.

I am grateful for the stock pot and the underpants, though.

Also, it gave me something to write about. Not being on a schedule and not having a job that leaves me with several hours each day to fill with internet hijinks has really thrown me off my blogging game. Writing here at home just feels weird, too. Aaron can commiserate, I believe.

Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions on Friday. These are strange times for the lady and me, and right now all you blog folks are probably the steadiest thing we have going. So thanks for that. I’m doing my best to keep up with all of your happenings even when no one is paying me at the same time.

I have a job lined up through the temp service starting on Thursday, so I guess vacation will have to wait, but I’m glad I’ll still be getting a paycheck. I don’t exactly know what the job entails, but I don’t expect to have all day to compose posts and read blogs. Ahh, remembering the good ol’ days. Of last week.

Right now, it's time to make stew. Good night.


em said...

YUM! I want some of that soup!

When we get treats at my office, they are gift certificates to Carpe Librum (locally owned Knoxville bookstore). I guess I win.

But S lives in an area where the only store is a Walmart, so sadly I kind of go there a lot. That's dumb.

Jacob said...

You big sappy goon.

And let me know how the soup turns out.

nancypearlwannabe said...

$2.68 should be easy to spend at Wal-Mart, right? A couple of packs of gum. Some Goldfish crackers. An entire Faded Glory ensemble.

Stefanie said...

I know what you mean. I feel this crushing twinge of guilt and shame whenever I step foot in that place, and I do it only about three times a year. Maybe this whole "live green" campaign they're running is for real. Maybe they really aren't the retail devil anymore. (Nah, can't be, right?)

Also, I am cracking up at NPW's comment. "An entire Faded Glory ensemble." So true, so true.

Aaron said...

Yes, sadly, even the best of us sometimes find ourselves amidst the dirt and human waste that is Wal-Mart, wondering if we'll ever make it out alive. Glad you escaped.

I say throw that gift card in the trash, although alternately, I bet you could get a can of Steven Seagal energy drink with the remainder. Not that I recommend any human being actually consume the stuff, but the can makes a nice conversation starter.

The Modern Gal said...

Irregular schedules wreak major havoc on blogging schedules. I too am a victim.

And I know how you feel about the blog world being a constant -- I've turned to it for community as my company keeps displacing me.

sid said...

I'm so glad that you found work so quickly. Hope you will still have enough time to blog.

The gift card thing ... it's kinda weird. In South Africa if you have like R5 left from your voucher they give you the money. They don't expect you spend each and every red cent.

Julie said...

Ditto Jacob on the soup. I'm always looking for a good vegan recipe.

And also, Walmart's not all that bad. They actually have a decent organic section at some locations. I would have thought you'd use the $25 towards Mario Kart Wii. We got it in Sunday. It's pretty awesome.

Courtney said...

The soup was super yummy, people. I've decided that I like anything involving the sweet potato.

I've been in Wal-Mart just once since I've lived in Knoxville, and it was so nasty in there I never want to go back. Plus, it's evil.

Mickey said...

em- Yup, you win. Carpe Librum would have been a much more pleasant experience, but they don't sell stock pots, do they?

jacob- The soup was awesome. The peanut flavor was subtle and it was nice and spicy. Give it a crack.

npw- I was in the express line and there were no impulse purchases to be found! Except bottles of Coke, and I don't do plastic bottles.

stefanie- No, it still feels pretty evil and just plain wrong.

aaron- I may go back just to hunt that down. Something like that would look good collecting dust next to the TV.

modern gal- It just feels weird blogging from the couch at all hours.

sid- They used to do it like that back before "cards" supplanted "certificates." Then you could just buy a pack of gum and cash out the rest.

julie- Wal-Mart is that bad, and it goes far beyond the products they provide. (try the soup)

courtney- You go, girlfiend.

Noelle said...

You should send the soup to the Waltons.

surviving myself said...

walmart is fucking scary dude, I feel for you.

But I see you made it out and you can still write and everything, so I guess you're okay.

Chris said...

Our Wal-Mart is pretty trashy, too, but it's just so close to our house. The next closest store is Piggly Wiggly. Also trashy AND higher prices -- I think not.

I still need to try some fun sweet potato recipes. I keep saying that and then keep just making baked sweet potatoes and buying sweet potato fries.

Allie said...

Ooh! I'm glad you liked the soup!

I never know exactly how I should feel about Walmart. They led the change in taking transfats out of major food brands, and they are working to get BPA out of plastics. They have the whole organic thing going. I know in lots of ways they really really really suck, but they are big enough to institute change, and lately they've been wielding that power in good ways (as well as in horrible ways). I think they are a big fat grey area.

Mickey said...

noelle- Why would I do that?

surviving myself- Recovery from my ordeal is slow-going, but I'm staying strong.

chris- Get on it, man. Easy recipe, too.

allie- I like that you spell grey with an "e." Thanks for the soup recipe.

Jacob said...

Did you know that aluminum cans are lined with plastic carrying the same questionable chemical in baby bottles and other plastic bottles? You can't avoid the stuff unless you're drinking out of glass. Good luck finding that if you're not drinking Sobe or something.

And the problem plastic isn't even a big deal. They're kind of worrying about it in baby bottles because of interference with development, but it's not as likely to have any effects on adults. They interviewed the lead scientist on the most recent research on NPR the other day and he wouldn't even say that he'd discourage his children from using those bottles for the baby. The levels they gave the rats in the studies were pretty much consistent with you eating the bottle after drinking out of it.

Jacob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mickey said...

jacob- What?

Meaghan said...

Yeah, sometimes I just feel dirty for shopping at Wal-Mart, but I will say that we recently bought some cloth sacks for carrying our groceries in - from Wal-Mart - and it made me feel a little better that they actually were selling them.

And as Chris said, they are really close to our house. So it's a toss up between shopping at the evil Wal-Mart or wasting the $3.63 a gallon gas that's in my car. The man is bringing us down!

Beej said...

Here's Iron Chef Beej's Spicy West African Peanut Soup! This was the signature dish of the restaurant in the Bookstore I used to manage. Enjoy!

Spicy West African Peanut Soup - Tatnuck Bookseller and Cafe

2 ea Spanish onions -- large, diced
3 stalks celery -- chopped
2 ea carrots -- large, peeled and diced
1/2 c shallots -- diced
4 ea garlic clove -- crushed
2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 T peanut oil
3 T curry powder
4 c vegetable stock -- fresh
15 ea plum tomatoes -- very ripe, seeded and chopped
1 c peanut butter -- creamy
1/2 c heavy cream
salt -- to taste
pepper -- to taste
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco sauce
cilantro -- chopped

Beej said...

second half:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, shallots, garlic, and cayenne pepper.

Sauté for approx. 15 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, salt, and pepper and toss for another 2 minutes.

Lower the flame and add the tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then puree in a food processor.

Return the soup to low flame and stir in peanut butter, Worcestershire, and Tabasco. Slowly wisk in the heavy cream.

Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Jacob said...

Mickey, you mentioned you didn't drink from plastic bottles. I was commenting on that.

Mickey said...

meaghan- Damn the man.

beej- Holy shit, dude! Thanks! We'll have to give that one a go next time.

jacob- I know. I was fucking with you. It's more about the waste for me with the plastic bottles.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is my first time reading here. I would tell you how I got here, but I'm not really sure. Read a blog, clicked a sidebar, clicked another sidebar... lost track. So anyway, your first post was funny, so I kept reading, and whadyaknow... Cosmic twins. I HATE Walmart with a passion. Any hater of Walmart is a friend of mine. Truly, I'm surprised that you were able to find the thing you went in looking for. The times I convince myself that I need to go for a specific thing, they never have it. Oh and "Nascar masses" was awesome. :)