Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I've been venturing into neighboring Brewer, Maine on my days off.  Bangor and Brewer are sometimes referred to as the "Twin Cities" locally.  I would argue that they are neither twins, nor cities, but that's a discussion for another post.
When I was in Brewer yesterday, I stumbled across the Super Twin Buffet.  Much to my surprise, the "twin" in it's name is not a reference to the two towns, but to the fact that they offer both Asian and American cuisine at the buffet.  I had read online reviews of the fabled Super Twin Buffet on Yelp and Yahoo restaurants.  All the reviews tended to focus on the low price.
Located in a strip mall with a bus stop directly in front of it's front door, the Super Twin Buffet does not have an ideal location for a place where you would want to go, ah, consume food.  Walking in, it resembled a bingo hall more than a restaurant.  The room was cavernous, with long rows of tables and chairs.  The outer walls were lined with booths.  I was quickly led to a table, and silverware wrapped in a napkin was placed in front of me and nothing else.  My waitress asked me what I wanted to drink.  She quickly returned with my diet Mountain Dew, and hurried off again without giving me any directions.  There were no menus or signs on the wall.  I guess everyone knows the drill.  I made my way to the buffet area.
There were six huge islands filled with food.  There was rice, ten different kinds of chicken, fried everything, salad, sushi, veggies, pizza, roast beast, and even mac and cheese.  One whole island was devoted to desserts, and there was a help yourself ice cream chest in one corner.  The decor of the food area was "shabby community center," with cheap linoleum tiled floors, and weathered fake wood paneling on the walls.
I got back to my table with my first plate and assessed the damages.  The crab rangoons were surprisingly good, but it was all downhill after that.  The white rice was passable, but the fried rice was spoiled.  The beef and broccoli was tasty, but the mystery meatballs were....mysterious.  The egg rolls were remotely edible.  Almost everything was straight from frozen directly to the fryer or oven, and I could just picture the huge walk-in freezer filled with generic white boxes filled with mass produced factory food.
On my second trip I tried some mystery fried nuggets (chewy), some onion rings (chewy), asian noodles (chewy), sesame chicken (chewy), and I couldn't resist getting some mac and cheese (chewy and sour).  My third trip involved salad, sushi, and some more rangoons and broccoli and beef.  The sushi was horrifying.  Fortunately, there were no raw fish components to any of it, and at least the rolls looked freshly thawed.  The fake crab rolls and shredded shrimp (??!?) filled rolls were easy to avoid, and I found a veggie roll that was bearable.  I think it had lettuce and rice in it. 
By then it was almost noon, and the place was filling up at an alarming rate.  People just kept pouring through the door.  All of the long community tables were starting to fill up, and the buffet area looked like a Koi pond after they throw the pellets in it.  On the big TV on the wall they were showing crazy Chinese gymnastic teams performing.  It was unsettlingly quiet in the dining room as people choked down their food and stared at each other.  If a prison and a retirement home had a kid, this is what it would look like.  And the humanity!  I felt like a skinny guy there, and if you've ever met me you know, skinny I'm not.
My fourth and final trip to the feeding grounds (yes- I am a glutton and a glutton for punishment) was entirely devoted to dessert.  I had butterscotch pudding (they still make that?!), chocolate cake (sugar air), carrot cake (no taste whatsoever), espresso cake (kinda......good!), a cream puff (delightfully stale), and a sugar cookie (I can neither confirm nor deny it's goodness).
I started hitting the Buffet Wall about halfway through the desserts, and had to hurry to finish before The Pain set in.  The waitress had dropped off my check with a fortune cookie and a curt "thank you" somewhere between my second and third plate after she had refilled my soda, and I got the distinct impression that dawdling was frowned upon.  Even though it was crowded, there were still plenty of seats, but I decided to leave anyway.  I needed to get some circulation going as quickly as possible.
I looked down at the check.  One all-you-can-eat buffet, one bottomless soda......$6.70 total!  Are you kidding me?  You can't get a sandwich and a can of soda for $6.70!  It seemed almost criminal to get that much food for that little.  It defied some sort of physics/economics law!  No wonder the place was packed.  I paid my check and stumbled out the door.  For the next four hours I groaned and winced as I thought to myself "Oh god, I'm so sick.  Oh god, I'm going to be sick.  Oh god, I'm so sick."  My fortune cookie said "You are magnetic in your bearing."  I not only felt magnetic, I felt like I had my own gravitational pull after that meal!
Of course, later that night I began to get predictably, inexorably hungry again.  I started to think about the Super Twin Buffet.  Maybe I'll go back tomorrow..... I mean $6.70?!?  Come on!
The food is atrocious, but the portions are awesome.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Bangor is starting to grow on me.
Underneath a veneer of seediness, roils a current of content normalcy.  Usually, it's the other way around.  People are generally happy and laid back.  One of the things that impresses me the most, is that you don't see impatient people.  When people are waiting in line, they don't sigh loudly or exasterbatingly slouch their shoulders or look at their watch and roll their eyes.  They just wait their turn.  After living in Boston, which is chock full of people who love to be pissed off and in a rush, a more civil atmosphere is refreshing.
Bangor has little parks and benches everywhere, and it's the kind of place that still has a couple video rental stores (unfortunately an endangered species).  There are free movies outside in a plaza downtown every Friday during the summer.
As far as the economy goes, in the worst depression in almost 100 years (and it is a depression- don't let some statistical economist egghead blow smoke up your ass and say it's technically a recession.  It's a full blown depression), in one of the most depressed region of the country, I ended up getting a job at the first place I applied, at literally one of the closest businesses to where I live, at exactly the kind of place I wanted to work, so I can't complain.
Bangor is big enough that it has a couple malls, but still feels and smells like the countryside.  The University of Maine is in the next town over, so there are plenty of educated people, but very few pretentious people.  When you say "designer label" people think L.L. Bean, and those are my kind of fashionistas!  Besides, any town with a giant statue of Paul Bunyan is cool in my book.
The bottom line is that in Bangor, the buses run on time and people smile at you and say hello on the street.  And really, isn't that the most you can hope for from humanity these days?

Monday, July 18, 2011


Guess who just won a caption contest??? Did you guess me?!? Good guess.
There were only twenty entries, but 1st place is better than 20th place!

Check out the photo HERE.

P.S. You should be playing on Rise Poker! It's free and it's fun. Not quite like the online games pre Black Friday, but it's Klonopin for heroin addicts. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.....

Friday, July 15, 2011


Thanks to Dr. Pauly for passing along this wonderful, heartfelt public service announcement.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Holy crap.
When I found out about this show, my head exploded.  When I got done duct taping my cranium back together, I immediately tuned in to TLC to check it out (yes-  it's on The Learning Channel).
It did not disappoint.
It's never too early to teach young girls about superficiality, eating disorders, spray tans, narcissism, and the failed, misplaced dreams of their mothers.  I don't advocate violence as much as I did when I was younger, but I'll make an exception in the case of these beauty pageant parents.  They should all be taken out and beaten with extension cords, wire hangers, and barbed wire while being sterilized so they can't torture any more children.
The kids in the show are pretty entertaining.  My favorite was the little hyperactive girl who wants to be in horror movies, and punishes her mom by making her wear bunny ears in the audience at the pageants.  She has a speech impediment, so she refers to her beauty dress as her "booty" dress.  A Freudian slip in so, so, so many ways.  She is also on Prozac.
There is one little girl who is missing her front two teeth like a normal 5 year old kid, so they stick fake teeth on her before she goes on stage.
There is the token black contestant who the pageant emcee condescendingly calls a "real trooper" and "a wonderful girl" who just needs "a modeling coach" and "maybe a more appropriate dress."  She must have meant a more expensive dress, because none of those dresses were appropriate for a little kid.
The episode I saw was in Vegas, so they had a "Glitz" category instead of a bathing suit competition (even these nut jobs haven't gone that far.......yet).  For "Glitz," the girls dress up as showgirls, or strippers, or cigarette girls, or blackjack dealers and strut around stage doing horribly suggestive moves while their parents hoot and holler and egg them on.  It was truly a spectacle.  At the end of the pageant, the gigantic trophies are handed out and the tantrums of the losers begin.  Sometimes the little girls get upset too.  They also hand out a cash prize to the top girl. 
Wear a ton of trashy make up, strut around on stage half dressed, shake your ass, and get handed a bunch of cash.  Super positive lesson.  They even have the winner fan out the bills and pose for pictures. 
It's always great to see the next generation of pill popping, attention craving, stripping, head case, future meth heads and plastic surgery victims growing up.
It almost brings a tear to your eye.

Toddlers & Tiaras airs on TLC on Wednesday nights, and former participants of the show can be found in strip clubs and psychologist offices all across America.