Author Archives: Bitterman

For Once, a Post About Something Other Than Cake

How important is presentation? I don’t mean for a job interview, or for improving quarterly sales, or whatnot. I mean on a day-to-day basis, is it important for your stuff to look good? Typically I think it doesn’t. We want nice stuff, don’t get me wrong. And certainly people buy things because they look shiny on the shelf. But it’s true that some things that look good on the shelf in the store don’t work out so well in real life. I’ve seen a lot of funny looking MP3 players that are very eye-catching in the store, shaped like cubes and trapezoids and all manner of odd geometric shapes, but in truth the iPod works as well or better than any other shape.

Yet lately I’ve been thinking that there are some times when presentation matters, and in the stupidest possible ways. For example, my fountain pens. I like writing with my fountain pens. I just do. It makes no sense. I own a digipad, a sort of electronic writing tablet that can record everything I write and later transfer it as an image to my computer so I can run handwriting recognition and get typed notes from handwritten copy. Pretty neat, eh? Well, it is pretty neat. But the thing is, I have to use their special pen (which writes like any normal ball point pen) to interface with the tablet. And even though I use my digipad because it’s so much more efficient, I sometimes feel bad because it means I’m not writing with my fountain pens.

Another example is the cups I use. I used to use my Clarion coffee mug almost exclusively. It reminds me of good times and friends I haven’t talked to in a while. The mug has good memories for me. Yet a couple of months ago I bought some nice tulip glasses, and I use them for everything except hot drinks like coffee (you really need something with a handle for those). So, I’m drinking all of my water and milk out of tulip glasses. I couldn’t even explain why, except that there’s something about a tulip glass that makes the drinks more appetizing.

I know, it makes no sense. Who thinks of milk and water as appetizing? Apparently I do, if it’s in the right glass. Truly, it is odd. But when I get a nice glass full of ice and fill it up with water, I think, “Yeah. That looks about right.” And then I drink it.

Why is it that I only like onions after they’ve been boiled in oil?

Today I thought about what I’ve been blogging lately, and to tell the truth it’s pretty sad. It’s all cake, and french fries, and today’s blog was going to be about onion rings.

Why do any of you read this blog? Seriously. I can’t imagine what would drive you to do it. I think that maybe it’s because you don’t actually read my blog. You only skim it, and fill in all the bits that you don’t read with what you think I’d probably say if I were a much smarter or wiser individual. Perhaps you expect me to make compelling points about life and the inevitable failure of the human condition.

If that’s the case, then I’m happy that you think so highly of me. But it is a little sad, because it means you apparently don’t read the blog at all. You’d just like to think that you do, or hope that you do, or make excuses for who I ought to be.

Anyway, today there were onion rings. I’ve wanted some for a long time now. But even though I enjoyed the onion rings while I was eating them, in retrospect they weren’t the best I’ve had. They needed salt, and the ranch dressing had a distressing tendency to separate. Yet despite all this I guess the mediocre onion rings were better than none at all, and the french fries that came with the sandwich were extremely acceptable.

And so, in conclusion, I like onion rings.

Cake: More Useful Than We Originally Thought?

Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat. When I complained of it, everybody asked if I’d taken anything. But I don’t particularly enjoy being medicated, and I hate cough syrup. The most I’ll do is drink water, because you want your throat to stay moist.

But then I had an idea. If a moist throat is what you want, then why not just eat something moist? And what’s more moist than cake? Genius!

Now, I know what most of you are thinking. What about the calories? This is indeed an issue, and one I gave considerable thought. To that end I’ve decided that until my sore throat passes, I will simply confine my eating to the cake. That way, I won’t load up on too many calories. It’s a deceptively simple yet effective solution. Indeed, it was so simple that I questioned it myself. But really, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel here.

The only problem I foresee is that only fresh cake achieves maximum moistness. As such it is necessary that I bake cake on a regular basis. And to avoid wasting food, I must also make sure to eat all of the cake. I am pleased to report that so far this has not proven to be a difficult burden.

My throat feels great now. This new ‘cake therapy’ certainly deserves further research. I posit that the medicinal benefits of cake may extend to other ailments. As soon as the possibility presents itself I intend to study the effects of cake on minor psychological trauma.

I Hate Decisions

I couldn’t decide what to hate today, so I decided (and I will be very sad if you couldn’t figure this out for yourself) on everything.

I figure, by hating everything I’ll pretty much have gotten whatever it was that I was going to hate. Kind of a bigger-hammer approach, but it’s effective.