Sweets from Finland

It isn’t everyday that you get a package of sweets from Finland from @heinakroon.

Look everyone I got sweets from Finland. SWEETS! From FINLAND!

Look everyone I got sweets from Finland. SWEETS! From FINLAND!

One fateful morning, I found this package in my mailbox. Andreas sent me salted licorice! I squealed with glee and took my find immediately to the people who would appreciate it the most: my office mates in cubicle land.

My cubicle mate was very impressed that people on Twitter would send me licorice from Finland. My cubicle mate never seems very impressed with me in general because I never know what is on YouTube even though things have had like a million hits or whatever. I save face by telling him that the rock I live under doesn’t get wireless. Today, however, things are about to change. I told him that not ONLY have I received licorice from Finland, I have also received penguin chips from New Zealand (via @carocreature) AND pickled mango with a sexy bikini postcard from Hawaii (via @daralynnieloo). Then… he FOLLOWED me. Can you believe it?

Andreas got me the XXL Salmiak. Because that is how I roll!

Andreas got me the XXL Salmiak. Because that is how I roll!

When Andreas sends you licorice, he is very thorough. Not only did he sent the salted licorice I told him on Twitter I wanted to try, but he also sent a slab of regular licorice, and some lovely chocolate with licorice centers.

This is the licorice assortment I took around the office for EVERYONE to try. They all appreciated it. I can tell by the distrustful looks they gave me.

This is the licorice assortment I took around the office for EVERYONE to try. They all appreciated it. I can tell by the distrustful looks they gave me.

So, I assembled this very attractive platter of licorice from Finland and took it around for everyone to try. People seem to be suspicious of me in general, I have no idea why. Carrying around this licorice assortment did nothing for my credibility. However, sometimes people need me to do stuff for them. Even though I am actually paid money to sit around this place and do things for people, I guess it never hurts to humor someone and try their salted licorice.

How to get people to try your licorice

The chocolate licorice is the gateway licorice. It looks and tastes like a nice creamy chocolate until suddenly, you hit the licorice center. Then, it is too late. You are already committed. You may as well go for the next licorice encounter.

If the person isn’t gagging too much from the licorice-squirting chocolate, then you offer the traditional licorice. I assume it is the traditional licorice. People in the office compared it to ripping apart a tire. Once people successfully rip a section from the licorice slab to start chewing on, it is time for the piece de resistance (and by that I mean the piece they will resist the most)… the salted licorice.

Mmm... salted licorice. Because salt makes everything better.

Mmm… salted licorice. Because salt makes everything better.

I tried the salted licorice several times, because I am assuming it is an acquired taste. Let me just start out by saying this is not a candy to be taken lightly.  At first, the flavor is very intense. Then, once you chew on the candy for a while, it is even more intense. If you like being simultaneously overwhelmed by the flavors of salt and licorice, then this is the treat for you. People in the office usually bit a piece of the salted licorice in half. They would chew it for a few seconds, then start immediately looking for a trash can to accommodate the other half.

This is our candy jar at work. My cubicle mate didn’t even THANK me for filling it up. People can be really ungrateful.

This is our candy jar at work. My cubicle mate didn’t even THANK me for filling it up. People can be really ungrateful.

I placed the rest of the candy in a lovely arrangement in our cubicle’s communal candy bowl. Only one guy really liked it, but he is from Iran. Not even that guy from Honduras who made me try those awful biscuits was a fan of the licorice. But, that does NOT mean that I am ungrateful for my care package from Finland. On the contrary, I would like to submit a formal thank you message to  @heinakroon.

Dear Andreas: Thank you so much for sending us all the licorice assortment. I’m sorry that it wasn’t received as well as I had hoped. Apparently, we aren’t used to licorice candy over here. I really can’t understand why. American licorice is just like licorice in Finland except we take out all the licorice flavor, twirl it around in a nice shape, and make it taste like strawberries. We also give it a cool name. What you call ‘Salmiak,’ we call ‘Twizzlers’. Note multiple use of the letter ‘z’. That is how you know your candy really has something if it is named with lots of z’s.

Hmmm. One of these things is not like the others.

Hmmm. One of these things is not like the others.

All in all, it was lots of fun, getting people to try all the licorice. I still keep it around to put out on my desk once in awhile. I’m fairly certain it has no expiration date, and it is great because people are a little more wary in coming around to chat in a perky voice early in the morning when there is licorice handy that I might make them try. It is like a “Go Away” sign, only subtle.

Come try my licorice... For when a stranger handing out candy just isn't creepy enough.

Come try my licorice… For when a stranger handing out candy just isn’t creepy enough.

Failed Hair Day

Because, when your hair looks great you should get credit for it. Even if it is all drizzly outside.

How to stalk Indiana Jones in the parking lot and miserably fail

There is a jeep that parks outside my work with four-wheel drive and knobby tires. I always imagined Indiana Jones driving that jeep with wearing a leather hat and hanging his whip out an open window (and by that, I mean an ACTUAL whip. Get your pants back on Ding Dong Joe).

Today, I saw the jeep pull into a parking space. The man exiting the jeep looked, disappointingly, nothing like Indiana Jones. He wasn’t rugged, with tan skin weathered from the sun and wind. He was thin and pale. He had glasses and a suit. He had no leather hat. He looked, in fact, like he had never been outdoors a day in his life. I walked into the building reflecting on how disillusioned I was with the driver of this jeep.

Then… I started wondering if people are disappointed with me arriving in my Honda Civic. Who drives a Honda Civic, anyway? Maybe they are expecting a polite Asian man, and here I come out of the car all sarcastic and glaring. I feel like my car is a good fit for me though. I’m a terrible driver because I am essentially bad at aiming at things. This car is small enough to limit the damage of my carelessness and bad aim. Every time I miss something by inches, I am grateful not to be driving some mammoth SUV.

Then… I started thinking about those bumper stickers people put on their cars about their other car being something else. Wait, let me see if I can find an example.

This seems close enough.

Then… I started thinking about how you could apply this to t-shirts. This is what I came up with…

Get it? Because, you are trying to impress people, but really you make them think that you only have two shirts. HILARIOUS… right?

Fine. Give me a break. It’s Monday.

Oh… what? It’s Friday? Damn.

A Dollar Make Me Holler

What happened to TV while I wasn’t paying attention?

This all started when the person I share a cubicle with at work asked me, “Do you know Bon Qui Qui?” To which I said, “I dunno. Does she work here?” This happens a lot actually. Because I am not watching YouTube, apparently I have no idea what is going on in the world. So, he directs me to this rather amusing video and we all have a nice laugh.

Bon Qui Qui at King Burger

I particularly like the part how the dude at the end states he is no longer under house arrest. I don’t know about you, but that is how I pick my men.

So, later on in the week, this same individual asks if I have seen, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. “No,” I innocently reply. So… a brief Google search reveals what people are watching on television these days:

Here is the TLC Promo Trailer:

That was only the trailer. If you look a little below this paragraph, you will notice another YouTube link. This will fully explain the whole disturbing thing. DON’T click it yet! Before you proceed, I must warn you that once you watch this on YouTube, you can never un-see it. Never. Remember that time  you were reading heinakroon.com and suddenly people’s torsos were burning up and you were looking at a bunch of legs sitting there? This is EXACTLY like that. Only with a strange little child that can’t enunciate. And no one spontaneously catches on fire.

“A dollar make me holler, BABY.” Really? You are going to train your kid to say that and then send her out on stage with a halter top and a pair of daisy dukes? Also, is a dollar even a respectful price point for hollering? You’d think it would be more than that.

Worst of all, this is on TLC…. The LEARNING Channel! At least, I think TLC still stands for The Learning Channel. What am I supposed to be learning from all of this? Granted, it is almost a reference guide for turning a six-year-old into a stripper, but I don’t think this is anything I need to know. I don’t even have a little girl, much less one that I want to train to be a stripper. I’m sure I could start some sort of outreach program or something, but I really don’t have time for all that. So, let’s just say I DON’T want to start a stripper training outreach program for six-year olds. Thank you anyway, TLC. Maybe next time you can have a show about how to get started with the meth labs, because THAT is something worth looking into.


A shirt for all the self-respecting six-year-olds. I tried to make it into a halter top but the words wouldn’t fit.

New Zealand Snack Food

Today I will critique the snack foods of New Zealand. I know you are thinking that I have little or no qualifications to be a snack food critic, much less a New Zealand snack food critic. However, just because I have no food critiquing experience, have never been to New Zealand, and have done absolutely no research on this topic whatsoever, does not mean I can’t be an expert.

All you have to do to be an expert is talk a lot and eventually someone will believe something you say. For example, Amy (AKA Lucy’s Football), once went on a tour with this tour guide who knew absolutely NOTHING about the history from the historical tour. If you ever find yourself in this situation, all you have to do is ask rhetorical questions about miniscule beds and strange wallpaper. Done.

So… who is ready for an elaborate critique of New Zealand snack food?*

*Don’t answer that, Amy. It is RHETORICAL.

First, I would like to thank @sleepsinhats for the generous donation of New Zealand snack foods which she mailed from New Zealand to my house. Unfortunately, I forgot that everyone on Twitter is an assassin. Wait… is EVERYONE on Twitter an assassin, or just @lahikmajoe? I need to ask Amy to clarify that with her dad.

The selection of treats that will most likely cause my untimely demise.

Now that @sleepsinhats has my address, she can drop by and kill me at any time. However, she will have to come all the way from New Zealand first. And, she will also need a place to stay, so she will probably ask if she can crash on my sofa before she kills me, and then I will be totally on to her. So, if anyone else would like to send me snack food from foreign places and then kill me, that would be great. Just make sure I get the snack food items first. I would hate to be killed for no reason.

Wait… what was it I supposed to be writing here? –death by assassin? -strange wallpaper? oh… yeah… New Zealand snack food.

First, let’s start with the peanut butter chocolate. This stuff is to die for. If you have to be killed for snacks, this one is the way to go… literally the creamiest chocolate thing I have ever had. If you are having New Zealand assassins mail you snacks anyway, I highly recommend the peanut butter chocolate.

Next, chocolate covered kiwi. I would classify this treat as green goo encased in a chocolate shell. They remind me of chocolate covered cherries, except with kiwi. I assume there is actually kiwi in there someplace. I had three of these, and it was difficult to locate the kiwi. I may have to step up the research.

The next snack food item is the chicken chips. This was actually the main point of the entire endeavor as I needed strange chip bags to display at work. What else do people do at work besides collect chip bags?

Notice the bag states the chips are chicken flavored, but they are clearly made of penguin. Look… the penguin is RIGHT THERE on the potato chip. Of course, he is a lot less killed and ground up in the picture than he is while settling in on your crisps, but you get the point.

I tried the chicken chips, and they aren’t bad. They actually taste a bit like you are eating potato chips and chicken soup all at the same time. I wonder if people could eat these chips if they have a cold. It might be easier than having an entire bowl of chicken soup. You could actually market these chips in the cold and flu aisle, right next to the TheraFlu and the echinacea. Of course, you would have to take the penguin off. No one ever heard of eating penguin soup when you are under the weather.

As a special thanks to @sleepsinhats for the New Zealand snack food items, I am creating this special t-shirt. You can wear it when you come to visit so I will recognize you.

On further reflection, if you are on Twitter at all you should be wearing this t-shirt. We all might be assassins. Don’t think you aren’t just because you haven’t assassinated anyone yet. It is only Tuesday.


Look, Everybody… A real live blog post at heinakroon.com… dedicated to ME!

Originally posted on heinakroon.com:

First: a brief history

I started this blog back in March 2010 with the post We’re all doomed, and have since written on average one or two posts a month. However, as can be clearly seen in the visitor statistics graph below, I didn’t really have much of an audience for the first 18 months or so. In fact, by late summer last year I was considering packing the whole thing in due to lack of interest – after all, what’s the point of writing if no one’s reading*?

But then something happened. I was reading a post on the Bloggess awesome blog where she quoted someone called Lisa Galaviz. It was a hilarious collection of one-liners and quirky observations that had me completely hooked. In my innocence, I tweeted some of the quotes (I think one of them was “Don’t ever google how they extract squid ink for black pasta when having…

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How to Text Your Friends and Enemies

Below, you will find a set of urgent messages I texted to Michiel on a Thursday afternoon. I had no way to mark them as urgent, like you can in Outlook. If I was sending these to her via email, they would all have huge red exclamation marks on them. Maybe I should have sent them in all caps. Better yet, I should get Michiel to send me her work email so I can send the urgent messages marked as such. That seems like the most practical plan.

My Messages to Michiel:

“Hey… What was that joke that girl told us at the bar?”

“There were two of them, like a set.”

“A set of jokes, that is. Not just a set.”

“Maybe something about a paraplegic giraffe was involved?”

“Are you in a meeting?”

“If you are in a meeting, and you think of the joke, can you step out? I really need this joke. I’m already committed to tell it and now I can’t think of it.”

“I’m in big trouble here.”

Michiel’s Response:

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

I finally thought of the joke by myself without Michiel’s help. By the way, Michiel… if you are reading… thanks for NOTHING. The joke had absolutely nothing at all to do with a paraplegic giraffe, but rather a quadriplegic deer. The whole thing would have fallen apart with a giraffe.

Because, sadly enough, they don’t.

How to Survive a Wildlife Refuge

When we first arrived at the Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch, my first impression was the significant lack of sharks. My second impression was, that despite our best intentions to arrive ahead of the summer heat, it was hot, and crowded, and dusty.

Barrels attached to a tractor.
Innovation like you’ve never seen.

Little did we know it at the time, but this barrel ride was the highlight of the wildlife ranch. The little barrels attached to the tractor took off in a trail of dust as whatever stereo system rigged to this contraption blared music… “I like to move it, move it. I like to move it, move it.”

Then, we went on to stand in line for the tram that would take us around the park. More prepared parents stood with their children, feeing them goldfish and drinking sodas. Michiel and I waited as our boys informed us helpfully about the intense heat and the state of their starvation. It was looking pretty dire. I was worried that the boys would not survive, but it was more important that we get on the damn tram to look at the animals. I looked at Michiel hopelessly and asked her, “Why are everyone else’s kids so quiet??” She assessed the situation carefully, then answered, “Because they are EATING.” Lesson one in going to a terrible wildlife ranch, bring some freaking snack crackers.

This is a Zeedonk. I’m fairly certain this is NOT the scientifical term.

Next, we were shuffled onto this tram and shut in with wires and bars to prevent escape. Let the wild ride begin! Music blared over the makeshift intercom… the theme from Bonzana actually. Imagine hearing the theme from Bonanza as these wild horses run alongside the vehicle. It was exhilarating for about three seconds until we realized the horses weren’t wild, but rather sad, unfed creatures anxious to reach the food buckets attached to the tram.

The enthusiastic announcer seemed rather proud of the ranches crossbreeding efforts as he pointed out a “Zeedonk.” A mix between a donkey and a zebra. I know what you are thinking… what kind of sick perverts would do this?

Just as I getting over my donkey porn repulsion, the announcer says, “Say good-bye to your horse or Zeedonk! We are going on SAFARI!!” In the meantime, my kid is complaining that he is hot, the air is dusty, the animals smell, and that also, he is near death from starving. I assure him that everything will be fine once we go on safari, get infected with mosquito bites, and die from malaria. That is what happens on safari, right? I’m too busy looking up donkey on zebra porn right now to research it properly.

This is safari. Impressive, right?

Watch out little innocent zebra… you have NO IDEA what sordid events lie in wait for you. Run away! Run away!

The highlight of this entire tram ride was when daughter of the carefully prepared, snack laden family in the bench in front of us spilled her drink. The drink promptly run across the bench, wetting the clothing of an entire row of pre-teen girls. I should have felt bad for those parents, but FINALLY, someone else’s kid was complaining more than mine.

This is probably a handsome look for a camel.

Next, came the camels. Michiel’s son informed us that camels spit, so we were eyeing them suspiciously. Turns out, their main defense lies not in spit, but their foul stench. The smell rates not as high as a skunk, but is certainly comparable to unwashed dog or sweaty armpit hair. Imagine, as you look as the picture, the smell of dust, animal feces, and rotten eggs.


As a personal favor to anyone taking your child to a wildlife refuge in the near future, I have created this handy t-shirt of complaints. This way, your child will have the complaints pre-posted and will not have to alert you to them every ten to fifteen minutes. You’re welcome.


Save the Words

Do you wake up late at night because you can’t figure out how to find a way to live where you don’t feel like one of those goldfish? You know… the goldfish that you win in a carnival and it is in a bowl and it is fine for a while, but then one day you look at the fish and it is at the top of the water with his little fish mouth gaping open, constantly struggling for air…

You are probably just tormented by all the dying words taking up all the oxygen in the air. According to The New Science of the Birth and Death of Words from the Wall Street Journal, words are shriveling up and dying all around you. Most of us are too desensitized by the noise and bustle of the world to notice.

Did you know that more than half of our language is dark matter? Words are struggling at a rapid clip not to disappear for ever into this vast pit of non-use. I can hear them screaming. Worse yet, not even new words are safe. Once a word is born, gets about 30-50 years in the sunlight, and then begins its gradual decline into “marginal utility.”

Have you used the word “Roentgenogram” lately? No, of course you haven’t. Because it is DEAD. Thanks to everyone going around saying “X-ray,” roentgenogram is never to be heard from again. I hope you will recognize your part in killing this word. I for one, am going to do my part to prevent these words from slipping off the cliff into oblivion, by providing you with this helpful t-shirt.

logolepsy n. -an obsession with words

It may be too late for “Roentgenogram,” but I think we can all do our part for “logolepsy.”

Originally posted on Lucy’s Football:

So last night was Sarcastic Movie Night. Which you know, if you follow me on Twitter. You probably wanted to kick me in the head last night, actually, if you follow me on Twitter. SORRY. Sarcastic Movie Night! Only fun for people participating!

Here’s the genesis of Sarcastic Movie Night. I tweeted a while ago about whipped cream vodka, which I’d had in a mixed drink out one night with my friend C. The drink tasted like an alcoholic Dreamsicle, and was amazing. If I remember correctly, the food was not so amazing, but who cares! Alcoholic Dreamsicle! @lgalaviz and I started talking about whipped cream vodka, and she came up with the idea of how much fun it would be to watch a movie and make fun of it while drinking whipped cream vodka. WELL. I am never one to back down from a challenge. Well, no, that’s a…

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