Fake It Till You Make It

Greetings from my standup work desk. Ooh, look at me! I’m so ergonomic! I know, fancy fancy, huh? Hold on while I sip this tea as I hold out my pinky…

DoubleFML1So, several people asked if I actually wore that “I’m Awesome” tee to the Entertainment Conference that I told you about last post. The answer is yes, absolutely! If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

Even if you don’t feel great on a particular day, like the title says, you’ve got to “fake it till you make it.” So, if it takes a shirt to remind you of your inner superpowers (which is why I literally wear a Batman shirt to the gym some days), then so be it. Besides, it’s kind of hard to not project confidence if you’re going to be bold enough to wear something that ridiculous.

Of course, it’s a fine line between being confident and being cocky, but these shirts are all in good fun. If you can’t tell, I never take myself too seriously. I mean, last post I compared my head to a Milk Dud so clearly, I’m joking!

Oh, yeah, but I said “shirts” because you know there’s more than just that one!

Let’s see, if you read the Spoon Me post, you may have noticed this “King” hoodie and hat. I’m not sure how well the details of that hat appear in the photograph, but that crown is a metal plate affixed to the front of the cap. It’s actually pretty cool.

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This one came in handy since the last girl I dated loved horses!

Fat Darrell Stud
In case you were wondering what cool looks like. Because cool people always do the “finger point guns pose”, especially while winking and making that clicking noise. Oh yeah, who’s fresher than fresh?

Fat Darrell 4
This one also cracks me up because here’s how it looks in person:

And here’s how it appears once I look in the mirror and the letters are reversed:

Yes, my dumb shirt collection runs deep my friends. There are plenty more where those came from although I’m sure you get the idea.

But remember, you don’t need to bring other people down in order to make yourself feel better. Which is why I don’t wear these 2 very often:

You definitely have to know your audience!

Anyway, welcome back to #DoubleFML FatDarrellPalooza! If you got smashed on St. Patrick’s Day, hopefully that hangover is gone by now!

1489758944506In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t end up going to Savannah to check out their celebration yet again this year. In case you’re lost, Savannah, GA has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the nation! Here’s a brief write-up that I did about it from last year if you’d like to check it out – click here!

I’d only really be going for the spectacle and the parties though since the day is mostly about alcohol. I don’t drink so it’s never really been one of my favorite holidays. Although it would still rank higher than Oktoberfest if I had to prioritize the booze themed calendar days (I’m not including New Year’s Eve, The 4th of July or Christmas since those aren’t primarily about alcohol. Although technically speaking, ANY holiday, including Groundhogs Day, could be a boozy holiday if you believe in yourself…). The top? Cinco de Mayo of course because well duh, tacos man, tacos!

il_340x270.1420431946_65xsAnyway, I didn’t make it out to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day weekend and I still haven’t tried corned beef yet, so I’ll finally have to one of these days. Although it’ll be another year before St. Patrick’s Day now but maybe I’ll hit up an Irish bar to see what the corned beef hype is all about soon.

Oh yeah, that last topic just inspired a brief moment of word association! St. Patrick’s Day reminded me of leprechauns which reminded me of the 90’s horror movie Leprechaun which reminded me of the 90’s horror movie Candyman which leads me to my next topic (did you follow all of that? This is how my mind works people, it’s a scary place up there…).

candymanSo last post, remember how I told you that I was working as a background talent for a horror movie that’s being filmed here in Atlanta? Well, I was asked back a few more days last week and guess who was in one of the scenes? Tony Todd, the guy who played Candyman himself!

That movie used to always freak me out, so it was surreal seeing him in person! For those of you who’ve seen the 90’s film, yes, he was just as creepy in this one!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Candyman movies though, long story short, this knife-wielding boogeyman was summoned when people would say his name into the mirror 5 times like “Candyman, Candyman, Candyman…”

272cb119c263a878715da4d2c3d008c6812dd1037dbd5dad95712fa1817bfd8eOf course, that begs the question, why would some dummy actually say his name into the mirror then? Unless they thought that he was going to bring them actual candy instead of mayhem? I probably still wouldn’t call for him though because I’m not THAT into candy. Burritoman or Pizzaman though? Hmmm…where did I put that mirror?

Although I’d obviously prefer to have a much larger speaking role, I was definitely placed in a lot of key positions to be recognized when this movie comes out. However, I thought the same thing when I did background work on the film Jersey Girl back in the day.

They had me show up for 7 straight days but when the film came out, you could only see me on screen for literally a half of a second! I was in the perfect spot too because I was directly behind where Ben Affleck’s character was supposed to sit but they edited most of that scene out so if you blink, you’ll miss me! Actually, even if you don’t blink, you probably still won’t notice. It’s like playing Where’s Waldo (Where’s Darrell?) but instead of a striped sweater and glasses, look for a beige turtleneck and a high-top fade. Good luck!

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Caliente!

I was completely fine with being cut out of the final edit though because I only signed up so that I could see J.lo in person! I had a huge crush on her so when she waved at me on the set of the movie, I swear I heard the heavens part and angels sing.

I also got to meet George Carlin, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck (aka Batfleck but before he was Batman) and the guy who played Milton in Office Space! In hindsight, I really should have asked him to sign a red stapler for me, that would have been incredible (if you don’t’ know the movie I’m referring to, you need to watch it! Office Space is hilarious).

Oh, you know who else was there? The woman who played Lady Aberlin on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood! She played a high school principal in the movie! No, not the puppet who ran the museum you goof, that was Lady Elaine Fairchild. Lady Aberlin was King Friday’s niece somehow…even though he was a puppet. So, I suppose that does technically make her part puppet too? She was human though. Are you lost yet? 

Anyway, although J.lo was my crush at the time, 4-year old Darrell loved some Lady Aberlin! Maria from Sesame Street was my imaginary bae back then but once she married Luis, Lady Aberlin became my rebound chick so it was surreal to see her in person too!

Wow! I just proofread those last 2 paragraphs. That was some strange commentary! Anybody still reading this?

20170226_212712Anyway, moving on… in other follow-up news, I actually filed my taxes over the weekend! If you followed along last year, you know that I didn’t get that completed until April so I’m adulting much better this year (says the guy wearing the Mr. Rogers tee)!

Well, at least in that regard. So, what’s the difference? Oh, that’s simple: I’m broker this year! I need that return man! My account balance is the real horror movie! Wait, hold up! “Moneyman, Moneyman, Moneyman…” damn, that didn’t work.

Actually, I also did more adulting this morning (go me!) and thoroughly cleaned my bathroom. More specifically, I finally ditched the magazine rack that I’ve kept in there for years! Much like cd’s being phased out from Best Buy as I detailed a few weeks ago, this truly felt like the end of an era.

I hadn’t touched those magazines in ages though, so it was time. Even my parents have finally switched to reading their newspapers online so as much as it pains me to concede as a Journalism major, hard copies of magazines and newspapers really are a dying breed.

Paper copies are only cool for collector’s editions or for killing time in line at the grocery store. I suppose paper coupons could also be useful but even those are digital now.

If you’re a psycho serial killer and need to cut out letters to make a ransom note though, I’d imagine paper copies could still be useful but for the rest of us, digital is where it’s at. I’d much rather my doctor’s office have extra outlets instead of dusty old copies of Time.

FatDarrell1My bathroom looks strange without that rack in there now though, so I’ll have to come up with something else to fill the space. Since I’m so greedy I almost replaced it with a mini fridge and microwave that I had in storage until I remembered that you know, it’s a bathroom. Nobody wants to eat fruit snacks and leftover spaghetti and meatballs on the toilet! Or at least I don’t. There are way too many farticles and sharticles in the air for all of that. I barely even want to touch other people’s cell phones because you know most people use them while sitting on the toilet. Actually, half of you are probably reading this on the toilet right now!

Before I fix up my apartment too much, I need to see what my rate on this new “pressure lease” I’ll be getting in a few weeks looks like though.

For those of you who rent, you know what this is. Each year, 2 months before it’s time to renew, they always hit you with a new lease that increases the rent. Then they threaten you to sign it immediately or risk your cost going up even more!

I hate that but since I’m not prepared to move, I’m most likely at their mercy for another 12 months.

the-rent-is-too-damn-high-21035700
#facts

I just don’t understand why I have to give them more each year for the same exact apartment when they’re not giving me anything extra for that money. I mean, if I have to pay $60 more per month then give me $60 more apartment per month too! That’s got to be at least 1 square foot! This will be my sixth year here, I should be owed an extra balcony or something by now!

So why do I keep renting instead of buying? I don’t know, commitment issues perhaps (have you read my Bae Watch post)? I don’t plan to stay in Atlanta forever or at least not this area. Besides, there are perks to not having to mow my own lawn, shovel or fix any of these appliances. That reminds me, I still need to finally learn how to use that dishwasher…

Speaking of dishes, I heard Rude Jude (the author and DJ who I interviewed a few posts ago) talking about this Bluetooth smart fork the other day and thought he was kidding but nope, here it is, along with its smart utensil pals.

hapi

These utensils are supposed to help you lose weight by tracking how long you eat for, how long between each mouthful and how many of them you take. It analyzes your habits on a spreadsheet like those activity monitors do.

cvsI’ve never heard of this ridiculousness but apparently they’ve been around since 2013.
Man, as greedy as I am at times I would NOT want to see my printout. It would probably be longer than a CVS receipt….just kidding, nothing is that long. CVS kills an entire tree each transaction.

Look how tiny the utensils are though! They look like they came straight from one of those toddler kitchen tea party sets! Would you seriously want to eat off this pink baby fork at a fancy restaurant? If so, you can go ahead and put your pinky down, that is definitely not fancy fancy.

And what about the foods that you eat with your hands? Sure, the fork may help you chew your salad properly but what’s stopping you from scarfing down a triple cheeseburger with your hands?

I’ll tell you what would stop you: willpower. Get some.

Seriously, has it really come to this? When I close each post with “may the fork be with you” this is not what I meant…

Between cell phones, Fitbits and apps constantly tracking your location and Google tracking your web history, do we really need a fork spying on us too? Like I said in The Matrix post, this is how the robots win! We’ve all seen how these sci-fi movies start off, yet we’re still going down that route!

when-you-talk-about-something-and-then-all-of-a-30058522 (2)I recently posted a meme on the Fat Darrell Facebook page (which you should follow by clicking here now!) about how strange it is that one moment you’re talking or even thinking about an item and suddenly Facebook places an ad for it on the site. Hmm…we’re on to you Zuckerberg! Creepy isn’t it?

That’s why I haven’t bought one of those Amazon Echo Alexa things for my house yet (even though the name reminds me of my favorite current WWE Superstar Alexa Bliss…um yeah, sorry Sheamus! If any wrestling nerds want to know who else is on my list of faves comment below)!

alexa
5 Feet of Fury…

The other devices at least pretend they’re not spying on you, this one blatantly advertises that it’s always listening! Um, no thanks! But hey, if you still want one, make sure to use our affiliate link to Amazon by clicking here first! You still get the same low prices and discounts, we just take a small commission for referring you. Thanks for your support!

That reminds me, Toys R Us is closing for good. Last post when I first mentioned this topic, it was merely speculation but now it’s official. The digital marketplace is killing more than just magazines and newspapers obviously. It’s sad to see them go, although I was definitely more loyal to their competitor KB Toys back in the day. That was my spot before they went out of business too. Hmm, this is where I’d normally plug our affiliate link to the Amazon Toy section as well, but I’ll wait since the wound may be too fresh for some of you. Too soon?

I was going to pay my respects to other establishments that have closed over the years but I’m not sure that my global audience will know about most of these places since many were based in New Jersey (ex: Bradlees, Caldor, The Wiz, Hunka Bunka Ballroom). Instead, I ask what are some of your favorite stores, restaurants and companies that have gone out of business throughout the years? Comment below!

Wait, what? No way, I did not just hear that. Hold on, I have Maury on in the background and I need to verify something really quick.

Yep, there it is! Photographic proof. That my friends, is a woman named after lasagna (it’s spelled differently but pronounced the same way)!

DoubleFML lasagna

Who does that to their kids? Well, apparently her parents did…but why? Wow. So many questions…

That actually makes this baby name seem more acceptable!

wakanda

If you haven’t seen Black Panther, the main character is named T’Challa and the city he’s from is Wakanda.

People have to understand that naming your child after a pop culture reference is risky though because obviously it won’t be cool forever. Like right now, I’m sure some chick named Furby Macarena is nodding in agreement.

Anyway, speaking of lasagna, predictably, I’m hungry so let’s talk about some food, shall we?

mfmSo, last year I told you about Lenny and Larry’s protein cookies which are absolutely delicious!

Well, earlier this year, one of my favorite protein bar companies finally threw their hat into the healthy cookie game too!

That’s right, today we’re trying out Quest Nutrition’s gluten free protein cookies!

Like the title says, “fake it till you make it” so healthy alternative versions of fattening foods are a great way to satisfy your cravings until your scheduled “cheat” meals!

Based on how great Quest protein bars are (Quest chips and shakes are pretty good too!), and their decision to wait so long to release these, I have very high expectations! If you’re going to be late to the party, you’d better make a grand entrance!

Obviously, the standard bearer for these is Lenny and Larry which is why my first step was to compare the nutrition labels. Here’s how an entire Double Chocolate cookie from each company matches up head to head:

DoubleFMLdotcom

Hmm, this comparison is tricky since there are obvious faults with both labels, but Quest has the slight edge, despite the higher fat content. Oh yeah, and for those of you who don’t know what Erythritol is, it’s a sweetener made from sugar alcohol which is why Quest can make the claim of having less than a gram of actual sugar.

As far as the ingredients, here’s how they stack up (Quest is first and highlighted in blue):

quest1

THE-COMPLETE-COOKIE-DBPBSRL-SF (2)

Lenny and Larry’s wins with their ingredients since they’re all natural, dairy free, egg free and also vegan. The only category that I can give Quest an advantage is that they’re gluten free. So again, neither is a perfect blend but Lenny and Larry’s is closer to that claim than Quest in this case.

Of course, the true matchup is the taste so let’s cut to the chase and try these out! I’ll be testing Quest’s chocolate chip and double chocolate protein cookies (I also spotted peanut butter and oatmeal raisin on the shelf).

First Impression: Hmm…these are pretty dry. Had I not tried Lenny and Larry’s first, these might have cut it but wow, these definitely aren’t as moist (sorry, I know people hate that word! Check out my unintentional dirty words post!) as I expected. Both flavors also taste pretty much the same, but the chocolate chip is marginally better. They’re not bad taste-wise but wow, I suppose a side benefit is that these encourage you to drink plenty of water! I’m glad that I’m not driving and have a drink handy or I might choke and die on these!

Quest Cookie.jpg
After the microwave…

One of my favorite things to do with Lenny and Larry’s cookies however, is to place them in the microwave. Those are good naturally but the heat takes them to a whole new level! Maybe the same approach will work with these Quest cookies? Let’s nuke these…

Okay, that’s much better! The heat definitely makes these more enjoyable! Oh yeah and for the record, chocolate chip is still my favorite out of these 2 flavors.

Final Verdict: Judged independently, these aren’t necessarily bad but compared to the industry leader, Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookies, their Quest (<- see what I did there?) to unseat them has failed. I wouldn’t recommend either on a daily basis but if you’re going to splurge, I’d go with the Lenny and Larry’s version with the natural ingredients and amazing diverse flavors! I’ve often find myself craving Lenny and Larry’s cookies, but I’d never crave Quest’s. I wouldn’t throw them away if someone gave me a box either but that has more to do with my greed than an endorsement. These are unfortunately just so-so. Meh.

Anyway, while I was at The Vitamin Shoppe in Duluth, GA buying these (shout out to Store Manager Dwayne and Assistant Manager Nicky!), I also spotted a few more interesting protein packed items!

First up was Square Organics Protein Popcorn. Here’s the nutrition label:

popcorn.jpg

Hmm, I like that it has very few ingredients and is all natural. The rest isn’t as impressive. Aside from a marginal amount of added protein, the stats aren’t much different from a bag of Smart Pop. As for the taste….

The Verdict: Hmm, these are kind of weird. The underlying popcorn is obviously fine but the seasoning is bland and chalky. If you’re going to buy pre-popped popcorn, the aforementioned Smart Pop is the better option (your best option would be to pop your own kettle corn). Again, if you’re going to go after the industry leader, you need to bring something decisively better to the table. Mission not accomplished in this case unfortunately.

Last but not least, I tried Optimum Nutrition’s Dark Chocolate Truffle Flavored Protein Almonds which boast 2x the amount of protein in regular coated almonds. Here’s that label:

Optimum Nutrition

Again, not as impressive as I’d expected but let’s see how they taste…

Deez N…nevermind.

The Verdict: Hmm…like everything else I’ve tried today, these are tolerable but not good by any means. Since I’m used to eating bland fitness food at times though so I can handle these, but I’d imagine that most people would spit them out. The outer coating has a strange texture and they leave a funky after taste. Again, a pro is that I’ll be drinking water for the rest of the night though!

Much like the other products I tried today, I’m comparing these to another product that’s far superior. Blue Diamond’s chocolate covered almonds may only contain half the amount of protein but they’re delicious and a much better value.

Unfortunately, the items in this taste test went 0-4. Of course, everyone has a different palette so perhaps you may like these! You should only consume so much artificial protein in a given day though so I wouldn’t recommend having all 4 of these items in one sitting like I did! Good thing my phone is fully charged, I may be camped out in the bathroom for awhile after this…

Before I close this one out though, here’s a quick recipe from Phenomnomnomenal group moderator, chef and fellow blogger, Angie Charpentier!

Cheffess Beef and Brocolli

Courtesy of Angie Charpentier of Cheffess.com

Cheffess
Insert drool emoji here…

1-pound top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips. Get about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil really hot in a large skillet. Add meat. Let seer. Add 1 whole onion, sliced into thin strips. Take the florets off of the broccoli stalks (about 1 1/2 pounds). Add to skillet. Peel the stalks and cut into thin strips. Add to skillet. Feel free to add sliced water chestnuts or bamboo shoots. Add 4 cloves minced garlic, 2 teaspoons black pepper and 3 tablespoons liquid amino acids. Allow to cook about five minutes. Add one or two 15-ounce cans of beef broth (if you add more broth, season accordingly). Make a corn starch slurry to thicken. Serve it with rice or noodles.

Wow, that looks incredible! I’m definitely going to have to try this one soon! For more content like this, make sure to check out her blog and join our foodie group, Phenomnomnomenal, on Facebook by clicking this link!

Do you have another food item, restaurant or recipe we should all try? Tell us about it in the comments below!

But um, yeah, I’m going to have to pass on trying these Nancy!  Thanks for the suggestion though and congrats on the new baby!

Lactation cookie

Today’s Soundtrack

Walk it Talk it – The Migos ft. Drake

SZA – The Weekend

Thirsty – Daya (Man, those cookies were rough!)

Do you have another song that fits today’s themes or that’s just so good we should check it out anyway? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Breaking News! So, my friend Mildred just informed me that Dairy Queen is going to be giving out free ice cream cones to celebrate the first day of Spring which falls on Tuesday March 20th so if you’re near a DQ, you’re welcome! Actually, don’t thank me, thank Mildred, I had no idea!

Anyway, this post is already crazy long so I’m going to wrap it up here! Please make sure to drop a comment before you go (no, seriously…DO IT!) and click on the social media icons on the side panel to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more!

Thanks again for dropping by! Until next time my friends, May the (non-bluetooth) Fork be With You…

-Darrell

“Don’t judge a person’s story by the chapter you walked in on…”

15 thoughts on “Fake It Till You Make It

  1. Lol believe me, those cookies are delish! I found a recipe that I will share soon. And the best part is that anyone can eat them not just nursing moms =)

    Btw, nice shirts!! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure they are delish Nancy but um yeah, still no thanks! But nursing mom’s out there I’m sure will love the tip! And yes, share another recipe with us! Your last one was great! Thanks for your comment!

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  2. Had a rough day, but just could not go to bed without reading your blog. It is really GREAT and gave me a good laugh for the day! You are right, we have to “toot” our own horns sometime – keep on wearing your awesome t-shirt! Love all of those t-shirts and food reviews!!!!.

    Like

  3. You packed a lot in this one! How do you find time? Good job! Those utensils that are supposed to help people lose weight by tracking how long you eat for, how long between each mouthful and how many of them you take sound unbelievable!!. Many are going to rush out and buy those!!! lol Those protein almond bars are a “must-have”

    Like

    1. I don’t know about those utensils, I think people can just slow down on their own but hey, whatever helps, right? If you try those almonds, remember my warning! I didn’t enjoy them at all lol

      Like

  4. I know how you feel about the upcoming demise of cds. I am having a problem even thinking about this because I use them all of the time! We must move on…get use to the bathroom without the rack!!!lol

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  5. Awesome post! I hope you get many, many more opportunities to showcase your talent…your big day awaits you…Hold on!!!!. Sorry about the rent increase. It is a big racket!!!! Got those taxes in early this year huh? Kudos to a guy is well ahead of schedule this year. lol

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  6. I think you about covered my list of missing (and missed) stores. Sans Hunka whatunka. I do miss PathMark too ,though. They had the best damn fried chicken we had ever purchased and eaten, anywhere. That’s right, anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha Hunka Bunka’s was a club -t was great! I have more to my list, I’ll have to post it. Many are restaurants. Wow, I never tried the Pathmark chicken but I did love that store! I miss them too 😦

      Like

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