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What’s Good At Trader Joe’s?

What’s Good At Trader Joe’s?

I’m a huge fan of the company, and I recently started working there as well, making it pretty convenient (too convenient) to peruse the aisles and buy groceries. I’ve been trying a good lot of their products so I figured that I might as well make product reviews. If anyone can make a happier or better purchase with their hard-earned money from the information here, great. Otherwise, yay for food.

Product reviews will be given one to five bells, and this is what they mean to me:

🔔 – Revolting. Stay away from it.

🔔🔔 – Terrible, with little redeeming qualities, but still doesn’t make the cut.

🔔🔔🔔 – It was okay. May or may not be worth the money.

🔔🔔🔔🔔 – Delicious, well-made, reasonably priced. I like it very much.

🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔 – The holy grail of TJ’s products. Stuff typifying my appetite’s idea of perfection which I will try not to hoard and secretly binge on. I’m curious about what might end up with five bells because if I were an english teacher, I might be the type that never gives a perfect essay score because nothing is perfect. But we’ll see!

Murasaki Sweet Potatoes and Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Prepare for an onslaught of Trader Joe’s product reviews! Since I became part of their awesome crew, I have been mentally noting down new things to try. Who knows how long this new thing of writing reviews about TJ’s products will last, given that I have been wonderfully inconsistent. Whatever. I’ve decided to rate how much I like the product by number of bells (from one to five bells 🔔), since ringing the bell inside the store is a TJ’s kind of thing. On occasion I may include a guest rating (my cousin Megan, whom I trust in all matters relating to food and parking, and other personas) for added perspective on the product!

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Showing Up In The Dark

Has it really been April since the last time I wrote?

Yes, and we can blame it on analysis paralysis (having too many writings in the Noted app of my phone, imprisoned by the insecure need to revise them, and revise again) and having my arm cut off, i.e., not having a laptop to bring around because of a busted screen.

Otherwise, life has been okay. Almost the robotic Good, my response to customers who start an order for coffee with the courteous How Are You Today? I like these fine folks though. Better than people who can’t even look you in the eye throughout an entire transaction, or the ones who shove a credit card at you before anything’s even been spoken. Good times. If you don’t already know, I’ve been a barista for the past months.

Anyway, I’m OK. So here I am, just showing up, here, and maybe something will happen. Or not. But in case it does, let’s get it started:

  • Lately I’m learning to forgive myself, which is harder than I even understand because I keep on screwing myself up. I easily forgive others, but when it comes to myself, I’m harsh. The good part is that majority of my problems are all in my head, so it all depends on me to get out of it. But boy am I heavy like quicksand.
  • Reading Bird By Bird, a comic of Sun Tsu’s Art of War, and some business books. I’ve also got three thick volumes of an in depth study of the Gospel of Matthew, and half a book remaining of a Kerouac. Curriculum for the year’s been spelled out I guess!
  • Halfway towards eating healthy while having my favorite set meal at McDonalds (6 piece chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce, fries, and a hot fudge sundae)
  • Watched Tig on Netfliz last night. Recommended. I also watched Welcome To Me starring Kristen Wiig. Dark comedies are good stuff.
  • Also watching the following while waiting the The Last Man On Earth to resume: Ink Masters, Iron Chef, Pretty Little Liars, Adventure Time, and Tattoo Nightmares. One of my regulars has an Alphonse Mucha tattoo, which makes me want one too.
  • If there’s one thing I can’t live without, it’s my laptop. My hands can’t keep up with the speed my mind in writing down my thoughts. Without it, it’s felt like my arms have been cut off, and I’m disconnected from the world. Even if it means just peeking into it.
  • Since I moved to Chicago, I’ve been to church thrice. Maybe four times. It’s taking a toll on me, and I must keep looking. -_-

Let me end with a quote that got me moving:

Hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that is you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.

From Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Have a great week ahead, all.

Words: Matthew Henry

In a time of finding, when the heart is softened with grief, and burdened with guilt; when all human refuge fails; when no rest can be found to the troubled mind, then it is that God applies the healing balm by his Spirit.

Dusk at The Devil’s Doorway

We started on the east bluff on the south of the lake’s shore. Initially the plan was to hike the east bluff trail, but we thought it would take more time than planned. The shorter route was through the Balanced Rock, the Devil’s Doorway, Potholes trail, and Grottos trail. In hindsight, it was easier than we thought, we made it back to the car well before sunset. This is a photo essay of the hike, below the jump are photos from everyone’s cameras.


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Wisconsin for the Weekend

P1010128-19Over the Easter weekend, a bunch of us drove to Wisconsin. We hiked up Devil’s Lake, fed deers at a deer petting zoo, walked around Madison, and freed four wizards.

This is a photo essay of the trip. I included photos by Megan, Randy, and Mark. The ones that look VSCO-ed are mine, and a few more. The one above is a shot of the Devil’s Doorway in the Devil’s Lake State Park by Mark.

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The Burbs

When I first moved to Illinois, I pictured meeting the hot guy who didn’t know how hot he was, as described in Anne Friedman’s essay. I forgot that this supposed guy would be a long drive from the north, where the quiet suburbs are spread out generously, where restaurants close at eight in the evening. There are no late night deliveries in the burbs, shocking my midnight snacking burger-and-fries-while-marathoning-Gilmore-Girls-on-a-weeknight New York self.


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