In the stars

You know what MY problem is (everyone gets out their Giant Scroll of What’s Wrong With June), is that moderation is stupid. I mean, it would appear that I think moderation is stupid. Signs POINT to me thinking moderation is stupid. Except when it comes to exercise.

The woman who sits next to me–and I’m sure at some point I gave her a blog name but who can keep track of 11 years of blog names. Anyway, the woman who sits next to me, Alex, received a giant box of Dean & Deluca treats for Christmas. I think a client or a vendor or someone gave it to her.

page_1.jpgThen she left for the world’s longest Christmas break.

“Did, um, Alex say anything about these treats?” I wondered, one hungry afternoon in late December. As if all my afternoons aren’t hungry. And by “hungry,” I don’t mean Biafra hungry. I mean Bored White Girl hungry.

“Oh, she did. She sent an email about them. Didn’t she include you?”

Humph. See above re No One Likes Me At Work.

“She said the treats were for all of us, and to have at them.”


Naturally, I opened the good stuff first, right? The obvious dark-chocolate-covered hazelnuts, the shelled pistachios, the tin of 27-year-old muscled bald men of color.

By the time she returned, her hazelnuts were mysteriously lacking. “Oh, no, that’s fine. I told everyone to eat them,” she assured me. “Didn’t I include you on the email?”


So here it is, early January, and I’m starting to break into the weird stuff.

And that is how my addiction to Sanded Starfish began.


Okay, first of all, pretentious Dean ampersand Deluca, if that is your real name, they’re sugared gummy candies shaped like stars.

But oh, man, do they have flavor. Orange is distinctly tangerine-y. I’ve no idea what the others are supposed to be, but I can tell you the famous flavors Blue and Green are to die for.

[Five sanded starfish are five Weight Watchers points. Careful maths will reveal that they are approximately one point per sanded star.]

“Haaa aaaayone ried a arfish?” I asked the room at large, around a mouthful of sanded starfish, which is now my Official Work Language®.

Turns out, no one wants to try them, or if they have, they are not nearly as charmed as I. Which works in my favor.

Meanwhile, back at my ranch, four men were working on m’house yesterday. My ’50s ranch house, which is always in need of something.

IMG_3517.jpgWas not at all annoyed to pull up to my own house and have the driveway so full I couldn’t get in.

Alf was over to put the clothes rod back up in my closet. But for months he’s been telling me I need to fix the fan in my bathroom. Since Day One at this house 10 years ago, the combination fan/light switch/outlet has not worked in that bathroom, and at this point I’m just used to the idea of charging my toothbrush in the kitchen.

I’ve had two other men over to try to fix it but it never gets really fixed.

So I got a sherpa and some trail mix, parked, and hiked over to base camp, aka my house with all the men parked at it–and I hope that’s what Ned thinks it’s like here day and night. All the men parked all over the place, just lounging in my home, waiting to service me however I see fit.

Anyway, first of all, when I walked in, good watchdogging, Edsel.

Welcomes to howse of mom, strangurs! we gotz starfishz. they sandee.

For the love of all…I SWEPT THAT FLOOR YESTERDAY. Okay, maybe day before yesterday. Still. I give up. Plus, is that Kleenex on my robe? I am happy to report that I washed a Kleenex this past load of laundry, and just this morning was trying to PICK IT OFF all the clean clothes.

Anyway. The electrician used to be a fireman, and he brought two young firemen with him, who are learning how to electrician or whatever, and why is it that I have firemen over more often than even the firehouse?

They were all very nice, and they all had dogs–big manly dogs such as Labs, so Edsel was a refreshing change for them, I like to think.

The good news is, the electrician found the problem! It had to do with the fuses or whatever, outside. Something was loose or missing or something. Simple fix, a big $98 total, and boom, they were done. “It’ll work now. I can pretty much guarantee it,” said the electrician, scratching ecstatic Edsel’s manly head.

One of the young firemen was also admiring Steely Dan, who was clearly showing off for company: fetching his mouse, leaping cleanly in and out of the computer box.

IMG_3540.jpgAs you know, when you set down your Giant Scroll of What’s Wrong with June and pick up your Big Book of June Events, I just got a new computer. My plan was to trade in my old one for a big $155, and they sent a box for me to do just that. When I was gathering it all up to eventually put it in that box that Steely Dan has been obsessed with (chewing the corners, leaping into it from every possible angle and so on), I realized I don’t have the original mouse any longer. That was something they’d asked about when they gave me a value. “Sure, I have a working mouse!” I’d written, not thinking about how it was a pink right-and-left-clicking mouse from Office Depot.

Also, one of the keys of the keyboard was loose. The Q. From all those letters to Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, I suppose.

The point is, I knew I wouldn’t get all $155. When the young firefighter was admiring the cat, I told him what the box was for. “You don’t need a 2011 Mac, do you?” I asked him.

Turns out, he did! And he was so excited! I warned him that thing was slow, but he seemed unconcerned. So that was my good deed for yesterday.

The point is, with all these men crawling about, I was sort of self-conscious about what I ate for lunch. I’d done Pure Barre earlier in the day, so what I WANTED for lunch was that big slab of meat that tips over Fred Flintstone’s car. What I had was Amy’s Organic Vegetable Soup.

While I was pretending to be dainty, I got an email from our receptionist at work.

You know, work doesn’t pay for my phone, and why I decided to include work email on my own phone is beyond me. Anyway, she wondered why the newsletter wasn’t out yet, and of course (Big Book of June Events page 409) I gave up editing the company newsletter way back.

“Holsteder and Frapdorp run the newsletter now,” I informed her, and right when I wrote the two editors’ last names like that, it occurred to me that their names are sort of …comical together.

“Did you get the email from the receptionist wondering where the newsletter was? I forwarded it,” I asked Frapdorp when he walked past my desk yesterday.

He had.

“You know, the two of you, with your names together. They’re such unusual names. You’re like a…I don’t know. Like a pretentious candy company or something.”

Frapdorp paused.

“A pretentious candy company. Is that even a thing? Is that even a genre? A pretentious candy company…” he was getting ALL READY to make fun of me. I could see him winding up.

And that, my faithful readers, is when I was able to grab my nearly empty tin of SANDED FUCKING STARFISH and shove it at him victoriously. I was trying to fill in the gaps that stupid vegetable soup had left in me.

What I lack in willpower I make up for in ready tins of sanded starfish.



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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

73 thoughts on “In the stars”

  1. If you want pretentious candy you should google Sugarfina. Be sure to check out the images so you can fully appreciate how pretentious their stores are.


  2. Pretentious candy!
    I work not far from the flagship (or is it the only? Wait, no…there’s another now in the Times Square area) Dean & DeLuca and it is as obnoxious as you might imagine. And hella expensive. Next time I go in there to peruse and walk out empty-handed, I’ll look around for your sandy starfish.


  3. I wish I could’ve been in on the comments yesterday. The story about LSG cracks me up. It reminds me of my mother-in-law who was known to take french fries off the plate of someone at a restaurant that she did not know as she was walking by going to her table. She also emptied ketchup packets into her bottle at home. Needless to say, we did not eat many meals at her house! What a joy that woman was.


  4. This post was just what I needed after a day of one meeting after the next…even lunch was a meeting–I went to the bathroom just to get away from people lecturing for five minutes.

    From work to pick up one kid from her play practice after school…to the grocery store to buy cheese…home to heat up the red sauce and meatballs for 20 minutes so I could bring them to the spaghetti dinner for a different kid’s hockey team. FIFTEEN teenaged boys. Relaxing. Finally home, to read June and fall asleep before I finished the comments.

    I am up before six this morning because I have to get the boy child to his hockey game. We have to leave at 7:00 AM to get there an hour before the game that is at 9:15.

    Already tired.

    Love this whole post…and comment discussion!

    Nice work, Coot.


  5. Those little chubby starfish are adorable and I’m sure delicious too. But who wants to eat candy legos? That’s just dumb. And no, kids should not be eating highfalutin candy.


  6. My husband loves the sour jummies. I prefer the sweeter ones like the peaches or the cherries. I think the peaches are sandy, I know the sour ones, worms, are. He used to get a lot of Christmas tip goodies from car dealerships (the auto body shops buy a lot of parts). Those have dried up. He got one tin of peanuts this year. Someone who is shameless (me) (what diabetes?) ate the double chocolate dipped ones. I left him the plain and the honey roasted ones. He is pissed. I promised to replace them with an upgrade, chocolate covered cashews from the good all homemade candy shop and I will.
    I think law student was very selfish and needs to be told.
    We had a wealth, sweet customer at Marshalls. We all got bottles of wine from her at Christmas. I was the only one who got homemade perogies, sauteed in butter and onions, because I am Polish too. I would gladly crawl through dustballs in the stockroom to hunt for things for her and she always asked for things respectfully. She restored my faith in mankind with so many rude customers.
    We had a Harry and David Outlet here but it went out of business. Very sad.


    1. He seems to be playing more than he had been, like that little cat brought out the play in him. Fortunately, he has 405945030203232 toy mice stashed around for his amusement.


  7. My coworker Frapdorp is taking much issue with being named “Frapdorp.”

    “It’s like Starbucks and Lord of the Rings had an ugly, ugly baby,” he said.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. So much to love about this post, but I snorted when I read your comment about Frapdorp’s reaction to his name.


  8. I think Edsel and Steely Dan are working on finding mom a man to stay around the house. Looking all cute and needy and making big eyes at the men? Perfect way to get them interested and then when they notice that June has ALL THAT, well, they are hooked.

    Thanks for the funnies this morning! You can keep all your gummy starfish though. I hate anything gummy – the texture is awful. Maybe cause we didn’t have that kind of stuff growing up. Seems like we had circus peanuts, that awful marshmallowy stuff. I’ll take crunchy over gummy every time.


      1. My grandpa loved those things. I ate one and among many other thing I could not stand the way they felt on my teeth.


        1. Circus peanuts are one of those food inventions where you’re like, okay why. Why did someone invent this. Like pretzels. Why. Here’s a hard salty flavorless log that’s easy to choke on once you bite into it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. But! A pretzel as a vessel! A pretzel with guacamole. Or salsa. Or raspberry honey mustard dip. YUM. And maybe two less calories than the corn chip.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Please tell me you have a picture of Abra-spam Lincoln! I loved circus peanuts when I was little, also candy corn for much longer, and now I wonder why my mother, who almost always provided two veg at dinner (you must take two bites) bought such things for us. Well, because they were cheap and we were not rich. But hard orange marshmallows and canine teeth-shaped wax are no longer interesting.

                When I was small enough to fit in the seat in grocery carts, my mother would occasionally buy me a treat at the checkout if I’d been good. The Eagle Food Store had little plastic bags of Brach’s candy for, I think, 9 cents. I would still snarf a bag of Kentucky Mints, little peppermint pillows with a center of emerald gel, but I haven’t seen them in years.


                1. I still love those Brach’s jelly nougats. I never see a Brach’s display anymore. Do they not sell in grocery stores?


  9. And, AND? As she was leaving with her arms full? Commented that she’d take the bottle of wine on Tuesday. Like Hell, I thought. So Tuesday rolls around and she actually had the brass to ask about the bottle of wine. (I took it home.) But the CRUST on this one! About a week earlier, a client had dropped off a tray of cookies and two bottles of wine; the wine for the bosses, the cookies for the staff. The bosses offered the wine to us and Law School Grad JUMPED and claimed the red for herself, Whatever with her. So then, after Christmas when she came back, she had the nerve to complain about the red wine and how none of them liked it!! OMG with this one. The correct response is: THANK YOU IT WAS DELICIOUS. She has a bit to learn.


    1. Sounds to me like Law School Grad is turning into a typical attorney. She sounds like 190 of the 200 attys in the firm I worked at. One of the retired partners, who married a woman from the Heinz (yes ketchup) family, so they had more money than God, would come in every single day and bogart the majority of the leftover sandwiches from meetings after lunch. Then he would wrap up a few to take home. This man has a bombgenesiszillion dollars, and he’s stealing sandwiches away from poor staff who can barely afford to pay their bills. All the attorneys would get all kinds of gifts from clients around the holidays and very few of them ever shared even a cookie crumb with the staff. Gee, wonder why we were all so bitter?

      I would count it as a good day when there are 5 men at my house: 3 of them firemen. Woohoo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I worked at big law firms, we always made sure the staff had plenty to take. Sorry your experience was so different, but I have to argue your point about that being typical of attorneys.


        1. Sorry – not all attorneys; just all attorneys in the firm where I work! They were a selfish lot, and the selfishness was just encouraged.


    2. I don’t like this chick. Not one little bit. She has not been there long enough to be grabbing anything! Oh, this irks me.


  10. OH, and I could regale you ALL with how Law School Grad took nearly EVERYTHING gift-basket-wise that the Firm received over the holidays. In fact, I might, just to get everyone’s opinions, because my son was all, “you told her to take it,” and my daughter was all, “that doesn’t mean every last bit of it, including the basket itself.”

    We probably had four huge gift baskets. Bosses don’t eat anything in the baskets and were away for the holidays anyway. Told us to enjoy. I opened everything, etc., to see what was what. Law School Grad, on a day when she was to see her (large) family, decided to take a full basket plus a shopping bag of the goodies. She basically took everything. When I got to work after Christmas, there were about three packages of chocolates and one box of crackers left. Your thoughts, Hobson?


    1. Naw, that’s fucked up. I worked with one woman who was otherwise a delightful member of society, but whenever there was an announcement that there was food? She’d take it all. Like, one guy would buy those expensive dark chocolate candy bars for us some days after lunch. She’d take the whole thing back to her desk.

      Law Student was being selfish. She probably figures you’re older and have money. AS IF.

      Also, Paula, last night’s True Romance story was about a divorced woman who falls for a man named Ned. However, THAT Ned was married. AS IF.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Nope. That’s just wrong. How much you wanna bet she passed that off as a gift for someone?

      I work with a teacher who is a notorious food thief and EVERYONE knows it. He constantly takes food and then claims he thought it was leftovers. Even if it is, it’s not YOUR leftovers. Or he will wander through a lunch meeting and help himself to a plate of food. Do people have no shame?


  11. Coot, I am going to rip those starfish right out of your sugared hands! Stuff like that is such a vice for me. And you’re right, fancy names do belong together so they can be a pretentious company. Are you going to get a new palate of lipsticks for us to admire?


  12. Yeah I was going to comment on Harry and David too. My sister-in-law thought we should send mom-in-law a Harry and David gift basket for her birthday one year, and we all agreed. Then I saw we were chipping in something like 20 dollars apiece for what turned out to be 5 chocolates. I may be exaggerating a bit, but that is how I remember it.


    1. We got Harry & David at work, too. Law School Grad took the pears for her PIGS, for the love of God. I mean REALLY now.


      1. Those pears are amazing! LSG didn’t know what she was missing. You have to let them ripen perfectly. And oddly, they pair (pear? see what I did there?) well with that cereal that looks like dog kibble. What’s it called, Crackling Oat Bran or something?

        Now I want a pear. And some cereal.


      2. We used to have a H&D outlet at the nearest outlet mall (I mean, where else, right?) where you could get a case of pears for $19. We bought them all the time. That and an entire TUB of their delicious truffles for $20. Then they closed and ruined us for H&D for life. I could never pay full price now.


  13. I had to have an emergency root canal during the Bombgenesis (ridiculous) blizzard yesterday, Snowmageddon or whatever, and really? It was a snow storm. Get over it you hyped-up weather people. It’s snow. And some wind. ANYWAY, I left the dentist’s office quite QUITE loopy and have little to no recollection of the trip home (I was not driving) or most of the afternoon. However, this morning I discovered that two pretentious bags of candy, or two bags of pretentious candy, from my Christmas stocking, had been eaten. And all signs point to the fact that both bags were eaten by ME. How sad that I don’t remember eating them, nor do I have them to look forward to any longer. Also how PATHETIC that even in a drugged state, I could find the damn candy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My sister was also on the Ambien for awhile and would wake up the next morning to cartons of melted ice cream in her bed. She never remembered a thing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. At my former house, my kitchen faucet handle would flop around (it was one of the handles that you lift up and down rather than turn, but it wouldn’t stay up and would fall over like a limp man). I had 2 contractors, my brother, and my mom’s husband attempt to figure out why and fix it. None of them could figure it out. I was constantly fighting with that stupid thing for about 3 years. One night I was sitting at the kitchen island and I heard a loud crash. The handle had completely fallen off right into the stainless steel sink. It was loud. I walked over and thought, “Well, I guess I have to get a new faucet now.” Then I looked at the handle and realized it just needed screwed on. Four men and myself had failed to realize it just needed to be turned around and around several times and tightened to prevent it from flopping around all the time and driving everyone crazy who had ever used my sink.


        2. Why doesn’t anyone ever work out on Ambien? Why are we always eating without knowing it? Weird. Meanwhile, I’m about to take my first hot yoga class and I am making my husband go with me. As he’s about to put on his shorts he asks “Do I need underwear?” Of course you need underwear! What the hell is wrong with you? And now all I can think about is fainting from the heat and seeing my husband’s balls flying around the room unattended. Why do we even bother?


  14. I can’t believe she left the candy at work for everyone to pillage through. I would have kept that gift all to myself! Also, too, I think moderation should be a cuss word.


  15. Firemen. Don’t you have other electrical repairs? I have an old house and we are constantly repairing something. I get so excited when broken things are repaired. Recently the light in my pantry was replaced, because husband (accidentally) yanked the pull chain clean out of the fixture. I’m with Dancer, why did we wait so long to get the cheap repair done?

    Has that guy never heard of Harry and David, another fancy candy group. (Do I need a ? after that statement?)

    Obviously, I’ve missed something. I love that picture over the box SD is sitting, the colors are wonderful.


    1. I concur with Suburban – Albanese gummy bears are indeed, da bomb. And also too they are very yummy.


      1. Oh thanks for making me Google fucking Albanese gummy bears (because I have never heard of “Albanese”). Found their site and now I want to order everything!

        I remember when my ex, my parents and I traveled to Germany to visit my niece and family, about 10 years ago. They had HUGE displays of Haribo gummies at every drugstore, gas station, hotel, bar etc in the area. Every time we stopped for gas, I came out of the gas station with 10 pounds of Haribo. They were so fresh there – nothing like they are here. I swear, that was exactly when I became diabetic!

        So you’re telling me that Albanese gummies are better than Haribo? I am intrigued…..


  16. I’m ready to come to your office and start bitch slapping people. I’m offended and annoyed on your behalf. You should just move your belongings and move to whatever group/area your friends are in. Except for the 1,639 Alexes that have left the rest of the group is still there, aren’t they? Do you still take your daily walks?


      1. I’m angry over the “oh, didn’t I include you in the email?”, the general feeling that people aren’t including you. Maybe I’m projecting but I seem to have an abundance of anger on your behalf today.

        Or the coffee hasn’t kicked in.


        1. Oh, yeah, no. The person next to me actually likes me. She works on a different account, so she probably sent the email to people on, you know, that account, who actually deserve the free pretentious candy. Because they, you know, did work for whomever sent said candy.


  17. I love how Steely Dan is all like “look at me I’m so cute and innocent”. You know what would have irked me? $98 and boom, done! Why didn’t I do this earlier??? But that’s me.

    Oh. And, firemen!! Did you have a house full of calendar?


  18. Wow, does that guy live under a rock? Pretentious candy companies are definitely a thing – Dylan’s Candy Bar anyone? Started by none other than Ralph Lauren’s daughter. I was so excited to go into my first one years ago and when I was walking around … like … oh … how is this different than the mall candy shop I grew up with? Oh, just the price tag is about three times the normal price.

    Dean and Deluca is crazy overpriced for everything – that’s an amazing gift she received!


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