Stop eating microwave popcorn. Get a Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper instead.

Everyone has a microwave, and that probably means you think that the best and easiest way to make popcorn is to throw a bag in and have hot popcorn a few minutes later. You would also be terribly, horribly, disgustingly WRONG.

Whirley

A stovetop Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper is the best way to make up some delicious popcorn in no time. You will only buy one, so in my opinion it’s better to spring for the stainless steel version, which has less chance of leaching aluminum into your food. If you’d rather save a few bucks, an awful lot of people use the basic version without complaint.

Why not microwave popcorn? Good question. 

  1. It’s disgusting. It is soaked in some bizarre imitation butter concoction that is greasy and coats your mouth with a disgusting film. It’s also covered in some strange salty discharge that is probably the tears of small children desperate to know what real popcorn tastes like.
  2. It makes your microwave disgusting. It leaves some waxy, butter-like residue all over the microwave tray. You want to put that in your mouth? No way!
  3. See how gross that bag is once you empty it? Why would you put the contents that caused it to be so revolting inside you?
  4. It’s unhealthy. The Food Babe, who I discovered while writing this post, does a nice job of breaking down the ingredients in microwave popcorn and their problems.
  5. It just tastes bad in every way. Sure, it smells good. However, that’s it. Once you put a kernel in your mouth, you’re spending every following second trying to convince your mouth it’s not that bad. It’s like watching a Transformers movie. It looks like something you should like but it’s impossible to consume it without realizing it’s utter crap.

Enter the Whirley Pop! Why is this so much better? 

  1. You are actually involved in the cooking process. This gives you a small sense of accomplishment and satisfaction you do not get from pushing a microwave ‘start’ button.
  2. You use actual real popcorn that you see before it becomes delicious. You can see how clean and natural it looks before you doom it to your digestive tract.
  3. You can modify the taste easily. There are different types of popcorn, different oils, different salts, different flavorings. All of these in various combinations can have a subtle or profound effect on your popcorn. Indianapolis has a fantastic popcorn store called Just Pop In! that hints at the varieties of popcorn flavors possible. This makes it fun to experiment and create your own flavor, which you can then market and sell to Just Pop In! (maybe).
  4. See how relatively clean the pan is when you’re done cooking? That’s a good sign that what you are eating isn’t disgusting.
  5. It’s cheap. Even gourmet popcorn is pretty inexpensive, all things considered.
  6. You determine how much popcorn you are going to make (and eat). This can reduce waste and be sure you utilize the popcorn you buy. It’s also really easy to make several large batches for movie night with friends.
  7. Cleanup is super easy.

So quit eating that nasty microwave popcorn and start enjoying the good life. Get a Whirley Pop!

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The Joy of Slippers

Slippers are so underrated. I take mine with me pretty much anytime I’ll be indoors more than a few hours. Some friends used to laugh at me for showing up to their house with slippers in tow. Over time, I’ve noticed their jealousy at my toasty warm feet has overwhelmed their fear of being mocked and they now bring theirs out as well.

Haflinger AT

My slippers: The Haflinger AT

Why are slippers so great? I’ll tell you why: 

  1. It sucks to be cold.
  2. When your feet are freezing, it’s hard to get warm.
  3. Many people ask you to remove your shoes while in the house, especially when it’s snowy or wet outside.
  4. There’s always one person who wears their shoes anyway or walks through to the kitchen before remembering to remove them.
  5. Once you remove your shoes, there is a law of physics that states you MUST immediately misstep and get your sock wet.
  6. Slippers are easy to bring along and easy to slip on and off regularly, as required.
  7. Great slippers just feel cozy.
  8. Slippers with a rubber bottom mean you can step briefly outside or walk through the house without worrying about getting your sock wet for any reason.
  9. Slippers can add something unique to your outfit or they can blend in seamlessly, similar to shoes.
  10. Comfortable slippers make you feel good all over and anyone not wearing slippers will be jealous and wish they had your sense of confidence and style. If they say otherwise, they are a liar.

How to choose slippers:

The Sweet Home has a terrific write-up for choosing slippers. They have it pretty well covered here, so I won’t repeat it. I will say I look for a few things in my own slippers:

  • Easy on, easy off
  • Rubber sole
  • Conservative styling; giant muppet-heads on my feet are not for me.
  • Good quality; I wear them daily and expect them to last years.

Know this: Anyone commenting positively on your slippers is admiring them and wishing they had thought to bring their own slippers. Anyone commenting negatively on your slippers is jealous and hating themselves for not having their own at that moment.

Either way, you’re cozy warm and feeling great. Next time you visit a friend or family, take your slippers. You’ll be glad you did!

Show Review: Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas were one of the highlights of Riot Fest 2014 for me. They played on the smaller stage and I thought they were terrific. When I heard they were opening for St. Paul and the Broken Bones on Halloween night, I was sold.

JH Deltas

JH came out in a skirt and some amazing checkerboard tights, complimented by tin foil antennae. The rest of her band were also each wearing dresses. Of course, every other member of the band is male, but it’s Halloween and they didn’t have time to find costumes, according to JH.

JH is a terrific performer and has a powerhouse voice. She also knows how to have fun on stage and even gave a shout out to the Chris Farley costume, which probably was the best of the night. They played a terrific set, then got out of the way, which is what you want an opener to do.

I didn’t really know what to expect from St. Paul and the Broken Bones. I was really there to see JH and SPBB were a bit of a bonus in my mind. Not so for the crowd, though. The Vogue was sold out and it was clear they were thrilled to see this band.

Several older folks were in the audience also, surprisingly. By older, I mean people in their sixties or seventies. One older gentleman got really drunk and fell into the tables in the balcony towards the end of the night. He seemed ok but that old guy probably had a bad day on Saturday.

SPBB were also a terrific live band. They all wore costumes also, with the lead singer wearing some Heath Ledger Joker-style makeup. They were high energy and tight throughout. The bonus for me: Radiohead and David Bowie covers. Nice!

Some bands just know how to perform live. Indianapolis was lucky to have two bands play The Vogue on Halloween that really understand how to play a crowd.

Next up: Peelander Z at Radio Radio on November 14! Can’t wait for this one. If you like to have fun, this is a can’t-miss show. See you there!