Sometimes it is easy to put off grocery shopping in favor of dining out. And maybe you are going out-of-town for a night or two and don’t want food to spoil at the house. Perhaps there is no motivation to actually prepare the goods on-hand and craft a home-cooked meal. For whatever reason, the grocery list has gotten totally out of hand. You could easily spend $50 or $100 buying only the essentials like bread and milk and butter and chocolate cake, but hardly make a dent on the stuff you actually want to make a week’s worth of meals. This is a ham-handed way of saying I haven’t done a good job keeping the pantry stocked, or making sure this internet space is furnished with content.

  • Every lap around the store starts gazing into the curved glass enclosure that contains salty, delicious deli meats. I take a number and imagine the sandwiches being piled high with Virginia ham or smoked turkey or hard salami. I marvel at the incompetence of the worker, not actually knowing the difference between honey turkey or buffalo chicken, and forgetting if I ordered one-third of a pound or three pounds. I like meat and everything, but three pounds of honey ham is a little much for this party of one. Cussing behind this smile sets a good tone for the rest of how I’ll serpentine the remaining aisles.
  • You make your way over to the produce department, notice the surprisingly current and hip Muzak and start lip-syncing until the cutie inspecting the swiss chard busts you for butchering the lyrics. No matter, wait until she turns away as you play hopscotch, skipping towards the stone fruit and deciding how many nectarines and plums can fit into the basket. I am proud of my ability to Tetris one weeks’ grocery list into a manageable quantity. This becomes much more difficult shopping on an empty stomach, which has become more common since adopting the new practice of skipping lunch in favor of a long walk or an early bird dinner.
  • It has been so.damn.hot. in the Southland over the last week, like I needed another reason to ensure ice cream is in full supply at my apartment. My ancient building does not have air conditioning, so consuming copious amounts of Klondike bars and Dreamsicles and Cookies & Cream ice cream is the only way to stay cool. Last weekend I decided that 90° along the coast wasn’t quite warm enough on my Saturday walk and ventured inland to play golf Sunday in Corona where the afternoon high was over 100°. You might have noticed me on Monday when my red shirt matched my pulsating red forehead. The punishment was training for upcoming trips to Palm Springs and Phoenix. Feelings and sweetness are long gone, so I shouldn’t be in any danger of melting in the desert.


Work finally let up enough on this Friday for me to tag along for an office lunch date and celebrate National Cheesecake Day. I am all for celebrating social media created, faux holidays, especially when it involves Nutella and whipped cream. We were rewarded for our efforts thumbing through the massive Cheesecake Factory menu with a half-priced slice to mark the special occasion.

We are in the middle of summer, halfway through season where white pants are socially allowable. This morning I took advantage of bunker discount prices and restocked my wardrobe with light-colored options appropriate for desert heat on the golf course. Comment below to check on my well-being and remind me to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of (non-alcoholic) fluids. Happy PGA Championship Weekend.


Why Does Pepper Make You Sneeze?

A sneeze is a reflex that is triggered when nerve endings inside the mucous membrane of the nose are stimulated.

Pepper, be it white, black, or green, contains an alkaloid of pyridine called piperine. Piperine acts as an irritant if it gets into the nose. It stimulates (or irritates) the nerve endings inside the mucous membrane. This stimulation will cause you to sneeze. Actually, the nose wants to kick out this irritant and the only way it knows how to do this is by sneezing.”

Did you know …

  • Sneezing is called sternutation.
  • When you sneeze air rushes out your nose at a rate of 100 miles per hour!
  • There are an estimated 5 million scent receptors in the human nose.
  • Our noses produce an estimated one to two pints of mucus a day.

Pepper facts:

  • Known as the “king of spices” because it is one of the oldest and most popular spices in the world.
  • Pepper was so valuable that in ancient Greece and Rome it was used as currency.
  • It is believed that when the Goths defeated Rome in 410, they demanded a ransom of 3,000 pounds of pepper, along with other valuables such as silk.
  • During the middle ages, peppercorns were accepted in lieu of money for dowries, rent and taxes.
  • During the 19th century, Salem, Massachusetts played an important role in the world pepper trade and made some of America’s first millionaires.

via Library of Congress: Everyday Mysteries


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