Why doesn’t Whole Foods want me to eat their pizza?

When the Whole Foods opened up in Hyde Park, we were naturally a bit excited. We’re not every day Whole Foods shoppers, but there are a few things that are more convenient to get there than anywhere else.

At first there were some hiccups: mistakes ringing things up, having to remind cashiers about the “case discount” every single time, cashiers not knowing things like which kind of bread you were buying.

Now that the store has been open for almost a year, I can report that…absolutely nothing has changed. Whatever opening day hiccups were there, are still there in full force.

One particularly humorous aspect to this is our repeated (failed) attempts to order multi-grain crust pizza. If you’ve never had Whole Foods pizza, it’s actually pretty decent. It’s roughly on par with anywhere else we might order pizza from, and cheaper too! Especially on Wednesdays, when they’re discounted, which just happens to be the day the kids have activities until late. A match made in heaven! I would really, really like to recommend it to you, but….

We vastly prefer the multi-grain crust, and they vastly prefer, I don’t know, not to sell it to us I guess? Every time we call, we get a different excuse. It’s become something of a game between Sara and I.

“We just sold our last one” is a popular excuse, second only to “we can’t make it, it takes too long to thaw”. “How long does it take to thaw?” we asked once. “Two hours.” Next time we called two hours in advance. “Oh, it takes three hours to thaw.” Nowadays we call about 5 hours in advance. “We just sold our last one,” said the guy on the phone. “It’s before noon!” Sara said in exasperation. “Maybe you should get more than one!” “Yeah, well, it’s really not that popular…” “How could you even know that if you only make one a day, and it sells out before noon?!”

Multiple times we’ve gotten, “Multi-grain crust? We don’t sell that. That’s not a thing.” My all time favorite was, “There’s no way you can order that, our ovens here can’t even cook it. It wouldn’t even work.” This despite the fact that we have gotten it there many times AND it’s on the paper menus sitting at the counter.

The funny thing is that about 50% of the time we are able to convince them to make it for us. “It’s in the freezer. You need to thaw it first,” we tell the person whose job it is to know how the pizzas work. “It takes about 3 hours, which is why we are calling now.” “Oh, okay,” they say, and sure enough, that week we get multi-grain. …Until the next week when it’s, “Oh, no, we don’t carry multi-grain at this store, you must have gotten it at a different store.”

We’ve personally spoke to the distributer about getting more mult-grain crusts ordered. “You should fill out a comment card,” one guy at the counter told us. “That’s the only thing they listen to.” Well, we’ve filled a few of them out too, and it hasn’t made a difference.

This past week we got, “You know, for some reason the delivery never came this week, so we don’t have any.” “That’s a new one, right?” I giddily texted Sara. “Better add that to the list.” “You know what?” sighed Sara. “Call them back and cancel the order.” “For real?” I said, but she was for real. I guess she finally hit her limit.

By my calculations, we have called to order pizza somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 times. That’s 20 times of having this ridiculous conversation. Why should I have to work this hard to convince somebody to sell me their product? What am I missing here, why don’t they want to make this pizza? Is it really that much harder to make than the regular pizza? We’re talking about Whole Foods here…shouldn’t they be into multi-grain crust?

I don’t know, man, and I guess we’ll never find out, because I think we’ve finally thrown in the towel. Another unsolved mystery for the files…

Could I be a musical theater nerd?

Scene that happened at work today:

::me, explaining some work stuff::
Coworker: “…and then you’ve got trouble in River City.”
My face:

Me: “Did you…did you just make a Music Man reference?”
Him: “Oh, I don’t even know where the phrase –”
Me: “Weeeeeeell you got trouble my friend. Right here, I say –”
Him: “Oh, you’re singing it. Well –”
Me: “…trouble right here in River City. Well sure I’m a billiard player, certainly –”
Him: “It keeps going. Okay.”
Me: “…mighty proud to say, I’m always mighty proud to say it. I consider –”
Him: “You’re not stopping.”
Me: “…that the hours I spend with a cue in my hand to be GOLDEN –”
Him: “SOMEBODY HELP ME I CAN’T PUT THIS TOOTHPASTE BACK IN THE TUBE!!”

I know some of you think of me as the Hamilton guy, but I absolutely never thought of myself as a theater nerd. I never *did* theater, so I thought that automatically disqualified me. And sure, I have a soundtrack or ten (or 20), but who doesn’t? Musicals are just pop culture, I thought, and I have a talent for picking up song lyrics.

I mean, it really probably wasn’t until about a year ago, when I was at a wrap party for one of Evelyn’s plays, and I got involved in a conversation with some of the adult actors. They were discussing topics like “best/worst Andrew Lloyd Webber show” and “best musical (not named Hamilton) in the past 10 years” and I was all

I had opinions man.

So that got me thinking. Have I been musical theater nerd this whole time?

I mean, okay, so I have an abiding love for Jesus Christ Superstar, but that’s really my mom’s fault, and yes, okay, if you really press me I can make a top 10 favorite musicals, but it’s not like I have it written down somewhere, and sure, I know all the words to all the songs forward and back to maybe 15 musicals, tops, but some of those are because of the kids, and yes fine, I’ve seen quite a few shows on Broadway, but we used to live in Philly, and we didn’t plan our Honeymoon specifically around Broadway, it was just a happy accident, and I know that perhaps it’s a little abnormal that one of my favorite movies of all time is Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, but when you think about it, for it’s time…

But that doesn’t make me a musical theater nerd, does it?

The Case of the Preponderance of Pastries

Shortly after we moved into our new house, I noticed a bagel on the ledge outside the dining room window.

It was a little odd, because I don’t even know if that window opens. The window is right above the door to the basement, so it is way too high for someone to easily have set a bagel there. The only thing I could figure is that it is next to the steps leading up to the back porches of the apartment building next door, so maybe somebody dropped it off by accident? I kept meaning to get it, but I kept forgetting until I noticed there were little animal nibble marks on it. After that I got a broom and knocked it down. Don’t need critters thinking my house is a good place to look for food.

I probably wouldn’t have thought much about it until one day Sara was putting on her shoes and she looked out the back window. “Hey,” she said, “Is there something that looks like frosting on the back window? Like, sealant or something? It looks like…buttercream.”

Sure enough, it DID look like buttercream, and in fact WAS buttercream. A nice piece of birthday cake, smooshed up against the back window.

What does this mean?? Sure, a neighbor on the other side of the house ALSO could have lost some food and accidentally tossed it at an angle to get it up on our back porch I guess? But that’s a pretty weird coincidence, right? I mean, I could see a bagel rolling away from you or something, but a slice of birthday cake?

Naturally, my first thought was that the children of the neighborhood somehow left food offerings to appease the capricious and petty demigods who inhabit the walls of our new house, or else possibly the previous owners pissed the neighbors off so much that they continued to throw pastries at the house, not knowing it was under new management. Either way, it seemed ominous for us.

“Stop being so dramatic,” said Sara. “I’m sure there is a logical explanation.”

I called her about a week later. “I am at home, in the backyard. There is a cupcake on the air conditioner…”

Poor little naive Shane

We were sitting in the bathroom at the new house, and I noticed something in the heating vent.

“What do you think that is?” I asked Evelyn. “Is it a letter?”
“I think it is a book,” said Evelyn.
“A book?” I said, getting all excited. “Maybe this is where they hid the secret tome with the forbidden knowledge! It could have been hidden here for decades! Let’s get it out!”

We ran immediately to the toolbox and got a screwdriver. It only took a few seconds to get the grate off.

Now, obviously I didn’t REALLY think it was a forgotten spell book, but I was at least hoping for an old newspaper or something. We found some old newspapers in my house growing up one time and it was a lot of fun to read the old stories and look at the old ads.

With Evelyn excitedly peering over my shoulder I removed…an extremely explicit adult magazine.

Why, oh why, did it never occur to me that the kind of “book” you’d find hidden away in the bathroom would indeed be forbidden knowledge?? I felt so hopelessly naive. It never in a million years would have crossed my mind for even a second, but it seemed so obvious in retrospect. I guess it says a lot about me that I was totally convinced it would be some secret mystery text, possibly leading to an adventure, rather than something so obvious.

Luckily it was kind of rolled up and I whisked it away before Evelyn could see what was going on, but of course she wanted to know what was going on. After all the hype, why did I run away with it so fast?

“Evelyn and I just found a dirty magazine in the bathroom,” I hissed to Sara. “What do I tell her?”
“Tell her it was a gun magazine,” said Sara.

“It wasn’t for kids,” I said. “It was, uh, a gun magazine.”
“Oh,” said Evelyn. She still looked like she didn’t believe me, but to my great relief she didn’t push it any farther.

According to the cover, that magazine had been in the bathroom for about 26 years. I guess you really don’t know what you’re going to find hidden in your house! Just got to remember to be a little more circumspect (and worldly!) next time.

Kwkwkwkwkw (chicken)

Alex has a couple of words that he consistently says to indicate something, even though they don’t sound anything like the word itself. For example, “Guh” is always cheese. He will point to it in books, he will ask for “More guh”, and he will show you where it belongs in the refrigerator. If you say, “Do you want more guh?” he will laugh, but if you say, “Do you want more cheese?” he will shake his head yes, violently.

So he knows that cheese is cheese, but it just comes out guh for some reason.

One of the entries in Alex’s word list was “Kwkwkwkwkw (chicken)”. This was my attempt to spell the way he says chicken, and it is ADORABLE. Again, chicken is always consistently this sound, kind of a cross between clearing your throat and choking to death.

Anyway, enjoy:

Entrepreneur

Oliver bought cookies at a bake sale today, and they look gooooooood.

So good, in fact, that he is now turning a profit by selling them to Sara and me for more than he paid for them. In fact, after dinner he was too full to finish his cookie and he offered to sell me his leftovers for $0.25.

The irony is that that boy is loaded and refuses to spend any money anyway. On the other hand, if anybody was going to raise cheap kids, you knew it was going to be Sara and me.

Alex’s Word List

In the spirit of posts like this one, Sara and I have been putting together a list of words that Alex knows. We started with a few words, and then we kept coming up with more and more, texting each other additional words for the list, until we realized that Alex knows a lot of words! It seems like he learns a new one every hour or so, so I better publish this quick, otherwise we will never stop adding to it.

I think it is a pretty impressive list of words for a not-even-one-and-a-half year old!

To quote from the post about Oliver:

So I tried to be very conservative in my list, and only include words that he uses often and obviously understands completely. He has a lot of words that he has said just a few times, or that he repeats after you, but has not used independently. So those I didn’t include. He also understands about 100 times more words than this, but I think that’s pretty normal.

Anyway, here is the (partial!) list, in no particular order:

  • book
  • Eva (Evelyn)
  • Oliver
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • Up
  • Down
  • More
  • apple
  • applesauce
  • avocado
  • cracker
  • egg
  • pasta
  • pizza (sounds pretty much exactly like pasta)
  • water
  • burger
  • Guh (cheese)
  • Guh (keys)
  • Vroom-vroom (car or anything with wheels)
  • Ambulance
  • Airplane
  • No
  • Packer
  • Girl
  • There
  • vata?  (flower)
  • elephant
  • bacon
  • pancake
  • hammer
  • come on
  • Nana (cat)
  • Da (dog)
  • Kwkwkwkwkw (chicken)
  • Ba (bear)
  • fish sound (fish)
  • rar (for lion or other big cat)
  • Monster
  • Elmo
  • Bir (d)
  • Who-who (owl)
  • Tongue clicking (horse)
  • Baah (sheep)
  • (ba) nana
  • Buh (bottle)
  • Buh (bib)
  • Buh (bug)
  • Buh (ball)
  • buh (bus)
  • balloon
  • bicycle
  • elephant

Maybe tractor too. Maybe puzzle. He also inexplicably still signs a few words, but refuses to actually make the noises: bye-bye, night-night, all done, milk, train.