Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Sense of Poisoned Rationality

Yesterday I read a news article about how some members of Westboro Baptist Church had written a parody of Panic! At The Disco’s song I Write Sins Not Tragedies. I didn’t watch or listen to the cleverly titled (but reportedly extremely profane and hateful) You Love Sin What a Tragedy. (But while we’re on the subject, why does the official version of that song bleep out “God” but not “damn”? Is there some inside joke I’m missing?)
Apparently this article and the silliness behind it stuck in my subconscious all day, because last night I had a dream that I attempted to infiltrate the church and learn its secrets, but my dream-self must not have been terribly subtle, since the dream ended with a very exciting car chase in which I narrowly escaped thanks to a concerned accomplice’s tip-off. (Okay, maybe I’ve also been watching too many spy shows.)
Thinking about my dream again when I woke up, I reflected that it probably wouldn’t be terribly easy to become a member of Westboro Baptist Church. Other members would be able to tell if someone new was dedicated to their cause, and there’s no way I’d be able to fake hate like that.
The actions of the members of Westboro Baptist Church make me angry. What they do is completely incomprehensible to me: how can you claim to be a follower of Christ when all the world sees you do is hate, hate, hate? How can you have missed that huge, blinking sign hanging in the Bible that says: “GOD IS LOVE”?! There wasn’t a single second during the life that Jesus Christ lived on this earth that was dedicated to hate. He didn’t even punch the devil in the face when he came to tempt Him in the desert. And the only time He got really pissed off was when people were using space in the temple for money changing instead of what it was meant for; He went bezerk, flipped over tables, and screamed, “This is my Father’s house!” (The message there was, “Seriously, you guys, let’s show some respect for this place, and for the God we came to worship.”)
If Jesus came to earth today to just chill for a while (instead of the whole Second Coming/trumpets/angels thing), He’d probably go hang out at Westboro Baptist Church. It probably wouldn’t be to go nuts, flip pews over, tear down several “God Hates Fags” signs, and scream, “This is my Father’s house!” (Although that would be awesome.) When He was here before, He spent most of His time with prostitutes and tax collectors―the people who needed Him the most. Who needs Him more today than people who spread hate in His name?
Hate only begets more hate. If you are a follower of Christ, you should act like Him. Jesus loves you, Westboro Baptist Church.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Writing Prompt: Nocturne of the Salt Marsh

It was my little sister’s idea. Mom says I always blame everything on her anyway so this time I’m going to start early and get it out of the way.
We always used to watch every nature show that came on TV. We didn’t care if we had to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night to turn on PBS, and we didn’t care what kind of nature show it was: astronomy, search for Sasquatch, lions on the Serengeti, or aquatic dinosaurs. We loved them all. We didn’t live in a desert or a great forest where we could search for lost creatures. The only thing remotely interesting nature-wise that was nearby was the Salt Marsh.
Before he left for college, our older brother Geoff would tell us stories about the Terrifying Beast that roamed the Salt Marsh at night. He promised that someday, when he had his film making degree, that all three of us would go out with a camera and make the world’s first nature film about the Terrifying Beast of the Salt Marsh. Every story he told us would end with his usual warning: “Don’t go out to the Salt Marsh alone at night,” after which he would add, in a sinister tone, “or you’ll get lost. And die.”
We missed Geoff terribly. Even though I tried my best to take up the mantle of older brother, my Terrifying Beast stories weren’t nearly as terrifying or beastly, and Ella and I very nearly got into trouble within the first week of Geoff’s absence because we’d gotten up too early one evening to watch nature shows. Geoff was always the best at being able to tell when our parents were really asleep instead of just in bed reading.
One night, about three weeks before Geoff was due home for Thanksgiving, Ella had her idea. I had to admit that it was a good one, even though I didn't think so right away.
"Are you trying to get me killed?!" I shouted at her. She shushed me, in case our parents were still awake.
"Think about it," she cajoled. "We can't start filming on the Salt Marsh right when Geoff gets back. These things take time and research! You think dudes with cameras just drive out onto the savanna and boom: lions? No! They study migration patterns! Weather! Animal behavior!" Ella was into nature shows for the actual nature. I, admittedly, was mostly in it for the scene when the lions brought down and devoured the unsuspecting zebra.
"You... think we should study animal behavior on the Salt Marsh," I said, sounding like a prisoner who had just been condemned to death.
"How else will we know where to start when Geoff gets back?" my sister reasoned.
"But... why should I go by myself?" I whispered, hoping that I wasn't about to become that unsuspecting zebra.
She rolled her eyes. "Think about it," she said again. "What would Mom and Dad do if they came to check on us and found both of us gone?"
"They'd probably think we were kidnapped or something," I admitted, forgetting under the force of my sister's very persuasive arguments that my parents had never come to check on us when we sneaked downstairs to watch television.
"Exactly," she said, sensing that I was finally giving in. "Now, here are two flashlights and a couple of pairs of binoculars. I'll stay in my room and watch you. Shine your light at my window when you find a good spot so I know where you are."
Before I could think of any more excuses or perfectly good reasons not to go out to the Salt Marsh alone, I found myself standing in our backyard in a warm jacket and galoshes, clutching a flashlight and binoculars, with my older brother's words ringing in my ears: "Don't go out to the Salt Marsh alone at night... or you'll get lost... and die."
I didn’t really expect to see anything. After shoving Geoff’s prophetic words out of my head, I decided that I would show Ella that I wasn’t afraid so that I could challenge her to go out on watch another night. It was only fair that we should share the researching duties.
I trudged out as far as I felt safe yet far away enough that Ella wouldn’t make fun of me for being afraid. Then I shined the flashlight back at the house. I saw a returning gleam from my sister’s bedroom window, so I turned my back on it and hunched down in the tall grass. It was too wet to sit down, even though I was on mostly solid ground, and I figured that crouching like that would help, since there was no way I was going to fall asleep in the Salt Marsh.
I’m not sure how much time went by. Sometimes I watched the distance through the binoculars. Sometimes I put them down and just looked around. Nothing happened.
I was beginning to suspect that my sister had been playing a trick on me, that she’d gone to bed hours ago, and that in the morning she would laugh so hard that she wouldn’t be able to eat breakfast. I glanced up at her dark window and decided to go back inside. I could always make something up about what I saw (instead of a boring report about what I didn’t see).
But that was when I saw the lights.
They were too big to be the flashing eyes of the Terrifying Beast. Even so, my heart was beating like I’d just finished running the mile in gym class.
I looked around, hoping to see someone standing in the distance. At first, I thought that it had to be a spy signaling a nearby zeppelin. (Some of Geoff’s stories had featured James Bond types passing covert messages in the Salt Marsh.) I crushed the binoculars to my eyes and searched the skies, but there was no trace of any aircraft at all (annoying birds don’t count). Then I convinced myself that the lights were coming from a speed boat, which had obviously come to meet up with some smugglers. (I was never sure what exactly was being smuggled in the stories Geoff told, but they were always exciting.) I swept the binoculars over the horizon, but then remembered that I hadn’t heard any sound, and speedboats can’t sneak up on you without turning on their engines.
I sighed into the night. Maybe I had imagined the lights I saw. There was probably nothing out on the Salt Marsh except for me.
Just as I was beginning to feel silly again, I froze with fear. I saw it! The Terrifying Beast prowling over the Salt Marsh! I knew deep down that I should have followed Geoff’s advice. I should never have come out to the Salt Marsh alone at night. It wasn’t like I was lost, but now I was sure I was going to die. I would be mauled by the Terrifying Beast and they’d find my remains spread across three states, and it would be all my sister’s fault.
The Beast’s shaggy form came closer. Its steps weren’t rocking the earth like I’d thought they would, and its breath wasn’t flattening any vegetation as it had been known to do in Geoff’s stories. In fact, it seemed to be walking very daintily as though trying not to make much noise.
I almost jumped out of my skin when one of our neighbors, a high school kid who lived across the street, walked past my cleverly concealed position and straight toward the Beast. I wanted to shout a warning, or grab him, or something, but I was already so scared that I couldn’t move. As I watched him walk closer to the bush where the Terrifying Beast lurked, all I could do was selfishly hope that he would distract it long enough for me to get away. I buried my face in my hands. I had no desire to watch that unsuspecting guy become lunch for the Terrifying Beast.
And then I heard something strange.
A girl.
“I thought you wouldn’t come,” she said.
“You didn’t really give me much choice,” replied the guy whom I had just given up for dead.
“I’m glad I changed your mind, then,” the girl said, giggling.
I looked up to see something even more strange: the Terrifying Beast was removing its Terrifying Shaggy Hide. It tossed its coat over the bush, revealing a girl in a skimpy dress. She looked sort of like Geoff’s ex-girlfriend Mara.
“I guess I’m glad I did, too,” said the guy.
I only realized what was actually going on when they started kissing.
Quietly, as though I were slinking away from the actual Terrifying Beast of the Salt Marsh, I turned and made my way slowly back to my house. I had no idea what I was going to tell Ella the next morning, but I knew there was no way I was going to tell her the truth. I told Geoff when he came home for Thanksgiving, though, and he laughed so hard that he started to have trouble breathing.
Stupid Ella and her brilliant ideas. Next time, she could go out to the Salt Marsh alone at night. It’s not like she was going to die out there. But if I was lucky, maybe she would get lost.
Writing Prompt #446

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


A while back I saw a hilarious BuzzFeed video featuring several different people who had never seen or read Harry Potter. They told their own story, based on the ideas they had gotten from seeing snatches of the movies or watching an episode or two of Potter Puppet Pals or gleaning impressions from popular culture references. The video makers had then animated some of these ideas and played them over the top of the narratives. The result was highly amusing to any actual Potter fans and even those people who have seen the films but aren’t necessarily hardcore Harry lovers: some of the story was right, but there were several glaring errors.
The general response after watching the video (after the laughter, that is) is usually “how can these people have missed Harry Potter?!
Now is the time when I admit to being one of the three people in the universe who have never seen Disney’s Frozen. I have never hummed along to “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” or belted out “Let it Go” in my car. But, as one of those non-Harry Potter watchers said: “the social world has pushed Harry Potter intellect onto me against my will,” I have had Frozen trivia shoved in my face probably since before the movie even came out.
So without further ado: Frozen Retold by Someone Who Has Never Seen It, by me.
Frozen is the tale of two sisters. Two princesses who are sisters. Their parents were killed in a shipwreck while going to a wedding (Rapunzel’s from Tangled) (because no one on the internet would shut up about that for like, three months). Because of this, the older sister, Elsa, took the throne.
I’m not sure if it was an inherited thing or if it was brought on by grief over the death of their parents, but somehow Elsa got some kind of magic ice powers. I’m thinking it’s like a King Midas deal, only instead of gold, everything she touches turns to ice. So, understandably, she pushed her sister away and made her go live somewhere else so that nobody could get hurt by her ice powers. So she lives alone in her ice palace and rules the country from this isolated place.
But her younger sister Anna, the cute little redhead, doesn’t want to give up on seeing her sister. Not because she wants political power, but because it’s a Disney movie and they’re sisters. She makes several attempts to visit her sister in her ice palace, but Elsa never lets her come to see her. I think that’s when the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” song happens, because Elsa wants her to go away but Anna wants to spend time together, like, “oh, this is something we can do together and nobody will get hurt” or whatever. (I’ve never actually heard the song, but there are parodies everywhere.) Anna is sad when Elsa tells her she has to go.
Elsa sings again later, but I’m not quite sure what it is she’s letting go of: whether it’s her fear that she’s going to hurt someone with her magic or her loneliness because she’s isolated herself due to being afraid of hurting anyone she might come in contact with.
There are some secondary characters: a couple of princes (obviously one for each, otherwise it wouldn’t be fair), a guy with a yak or something, and what I can only assume is a very annoying talking snowman (who was maybe animated by Elsa’s magic?).
But eventually, everything is wonderful and fabulous, and everyone lives happily ever after, because this is a Disney movie and it wouldn’t be right if everyone didn’t live happily ever after.
The End.
Maybe someday I’ll see the actual movie and come back and laugh about how wrong I was, but I hope that in the meantime, those of you who aren’t one of the three people in the universe who have never seen Frozen will enjoy what I got right and (mostly) what I got completely wrong.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Look Both Ways

When I was sixteen, I took a driver’s education course at the local community college. Two times a week I sat in a classroom with thirty other kids, listening to lectures and watching videos about driving safely. Once per week we met in pairs with a driving instructor in one of those special cars with a brake pedal in front of the passenger’s seat and “CAUTION: STUDENT DRIVER” emblazoned all over the outside.
I don’t remember much about the classroom learning, except for vague recollections of the videos and the fact that I spent most of the time pretending to pay attention when I was actually writing love notes to my boyfriend. I do remember the driving lessons. The rest of the class had various different driving instructors, but somehow my stoic partner Jordan and I ended up with the lecturer as our driving instructor.
We learned how to drive on the interstate (which did not prepare me in any way for driving on a real interstate in a real city, like Denver), how to parallel park downtown (which I still hate doing), and the appropriate time to pass someone (if they are going slower than you but as long as you don’t exceed the speed limit; which I have learned since is completely wrong. The correct time to pass someone is when they’re in your way).
But the thing I remember most about driver’s ed was when our teacher was trying to make sure we really looked at an intersection before going through it. To make sure that the driver was taking this precaution, the kid in the backseat who was waiting their turn to drive was given a job: make a noise if the driver didn’t look before going through an intersection. Our driving instructor told me to say “beep” if Jordan’s head didn’t turn sufficiently, but being the sassy teenager that I was, I jokingly asked if I could meow instead.
The instructor said he didn’t care, so I meowed several times at Jordan’s lack of neck movement as he drove us through a residential area. Then it was my turn to drive. The instructor wanted a very exaggerated “look both ways before you cross the street,” and I tried to make sure I was doing a good job, knowing how often I had caught Jordan not doing his best.
Then, the first time I went through an intersection without really looking, what I expected to hear was the “beep” our instructor told me to use in the first place. Instead, the noise that came from the backseat was a tiny “mew!”

Friday, July 25, 2014


I love secondhand yarn. My taste in colors is never the same as someone else's, and when I receive a big bag of yarn that I didn't pick out, it gives me the chance to work with materials and shades that I would never have chosen myself. I don't have the added stress of "I can't use this for a silly project, it cost $$$!!" because, hey, free yarn!
I'm seeing some interestingly plumed tiny owls in the future.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday in History: Beer

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
-Benjamin Franklin (though he was actually talking about wine and... you know what? Never mind.)
You can find all sorts of charts and graphs with details on various economic information through an amazing project at MIT. This image was found on wikipedia, used there (and here) with permission.

Beer is a big deal. It pretty much always has been.
Leeuwarden, Friesland, a city in the Netherlands that has today roughly the same population as Chattanooga, Tennessee. It became a township 1435, and fifty or so years later, it couldn’t have been very big, but just because your town is small doesn’t mean that you’re safe from major events.
Some well-meaning civic officials had decided in 1487 that a great way to stimulate the local economy would be to make sure that local beer makers were the only ones making money there. So basically, the only beer that could be consumed in Leeuwarden was the beer that had been made in of Leeuwarden. Pubgoers could not even have their favorite beer from the city next door.
But that didn’t mean that innkeepers didn’t still have any. One evening, customers ganged up on an innocent barkeep and got him to admit that there was still some Koyt from Haarlem in his back room. They wouldn’t rest until he sold it to them, so what was the poor man to do? Not sell it?
When patriotic policemen just doing their job showed up to enforce the “nothing but Leeuwarden” law, the patrons were understandably upset. And what happens when alcohol consumption and high tempers collide? The ensuing fight may have ended when the beer-drinking instigators escaped to a nearby house, but the conflict was far from over.
On this day in history in 1487, eight thousand people marched into Leeuwarden demanding that the ban be lifted and that they be allowed to once more buy and enjoy their favorite beers, whether they were from a city south of Amsterdam or from a faraway land. The well-meaning civic officials chose to ignore this demonstration, and the demonstrators chose to react to their lack of reaction by sacking the city.
The ban was lifted eventually, but not immediately, to show the protestors that the officials were doing it “because we want to, not because you told us to.” But the happy beer drinkers were just glad to have their favorite beer back.
Beer is a big deal. If there’s one lesson we can learn from this historical event, it’s definitely that you should make sure that your local beer is good before you ban everyone else’s.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writing Prompt: Small Talk and Shield Drops

“So, uh… I didn't realize that we lived in the same building.”
After a small pause, he answered, “It’s a small world.”
Another half a block meandered by.
“I take the bus,” I volunteered. He looked at me. I clarified, “To work.” He nodded. We crossed the street, and by the time we'd gained the sidewalk on the other side, I was determined not to say another word.
Then I abruptly changed my mind. “This thing I've been trying,” I snapped, “where I talk and wait for you to talk back? I just wanted to make sure you knew it’s called conversation, and doesn't work if you never say anything.”
He laughed.
My annoyance began to melt away as I looked at him in surprise. I’d never heard Tristan laugh before. I’d never heard him say much either, and I had a flash of realization that maybe it was stupid of me to insist on small talk. Maybe he didn't like it; maybe getting angry with him was unfair of me.
He was the most boring guy in the office. It wasn't as though he was tedious or repulsive. He just hardly spoke to anyone unless it was work related. And it wasn't as though he didn't look interesting. The new receptionist Kendra surprised all of us with her determination to get him to ask her out. She drilled all of us for any information about him, and was disappointed when we had none. Three months of trying hadn't produced any results that she was satisfied with. Finally one morning she left the break room in a huff to try to engage him in conversation about the word-a-day calendar he kept on his desk. “I don’t know why you’re all lying to yourselves,” she sniffed, “he’s the best looking guy in this entire office.”
There was no way for us to deny it. Tristan Mallory was easy on the eyes. But it was sort of like when you get to know someone and they become more attractive because you like them… only the opposite. It was easy to have a crush on him in the first three weeks of working together, but after finding out that he didn’t like to talk about himself, would only join in on conversations about work, and never flirted with anyone at the copy machine, he was just as easy to forget. Despite his good looks, Tristan melted quietly into the background. He was… boring.
I ended up walking home with him after our boss took us all out to dinner to celebrate a particularly good quarter for the company. Kendra, who was hoping to get a cab home with him, asked which way he was headed, and that’s when we found out he and I lived in the same building. “Try to get something out of him!” she whispered at my back as I put my coat on. “Find out what his type is, or if he has a cat or something. Anything!
When Tristan Mallory laughed, it was like he was lowering a shield. I could really see for the first time that he was attractive.
“Sorry, I kind of suck at this,” he said, pushing his dark hair away from his forehead like some kind of Disney Prince. “I walk.” I was trying not to blush so I didn’t answer right away, so he probably felt like he had to clarify: “To work.”
I glanced up at him and nodded, torn between being embarrassed for snarling at him and being struck by the way his eyes glittered in the light of the streetlamps.
“There’s actually a really great footpath past a park nearby, and there’s ducks in the pond and a coffee stand, and it’s pretty peaceful.” After another moment of silence, he added, “Sorry.”
“For what?” I asked.
“Well, taking the bus can get expensive, but if I’d known you lived in the same building I still probably wouldn’t have told you about it.”
The look on my face said, “Why not?” and I was trying to figure out a way to say it that wouldn’t come out as insufferably rude as it was sounding in my head when Tristan laughed again.
“Looks like we can have a conversation even if you never say anything,” he observed. We crossed the street again, and I kept my face turned away so he couldn’t see that I felt like a complete idiot.
He sighed and stuck his hands in his pockets. “I probably wouldn’t have told you because it’s a nice way to start the day. Alone with my thoughts, I can let my mind wander. And besides, people already look at me funny for talking to the ducks.”
“You talk to the ducks.”
“Well, I quack at them. They wouldn’t understand me otherwise.”
I finally turned back to look at him, and the grin on his face made him look like a twelve year old kid who was teasing the girl he liked.
“You never thought to ask if I liked to quack at the ducks?” I asked with a smile.
“I guess I wouldn’t have, if I’d known sharing my morning routine with someone was a possibility. Some things are nicer when you keep them to yourself.”
“Is that why you never talk unless it’s work related?” I asked without thinking about it first.
Tristan didn’t seem offended when he answered, “Maybe, but I really like talking about work. I love my job.”
“You love…” I began disbelievingly, “being… an insurance actuary?”
“Yeah!” he responded enthusiastically. “Why, don’t you?”
“Not…” I started, then stopped talking, confused. “I mean, I don’t hate it, but I wouldn’t say I love it, either. It’s just my job.”
He nodded, and I got the idea that he was slightly disappointed.
“I guess everybody has something that they love,” I added. “I just never really thought of actuarial science as that exciting.”
“People don’t usually think that the things I’m interested in are exciting,” he admitted quietly. “Not that many people want to talk about poetry, either.”
“You like poetry?” I asked.
“Reading it, mostly,” he replied. “Anything I try to write myself is mostly terrible.”
I looked up into his face as we reached the front of our building. “Tristan Mallory, I think I unlocked your soul tonight,” I told him.
He smiled. “I think maybe you did.” He held the door open for me and we walked into the lobby. “What about you?” he asked as I headed for the elevators.
“What about me?”
“How do I unlock your soul?”
I pushed the button and the elevator doors sprung open. “I like yelling at pigeons,” I confessed.
He leaned forward held the door open as I stepped onto the elevator and pushed the button for my floor. “Meet me down here at eight tomorrow,” he told me. “We’ll walk through the park to work, get some coffee, and see what the ducks are up to.”
I smiled. “It was nice to really meet you tonight.”
He returned the smile. “You, too.”
Writing Prompt #750

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I saw this on facebook ages ago, but it turns out
that it comes from a blog called CraftSnark.
My husband has put up with eight years of messy house and forgotten dinner preparations, but I guess he still likes me anyway. I love you, Husband!

p.s. I did laundry today! Happy Anniversary!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Honest Abe's Burgers & Freedom

Most burger places have an "awesome sauce." But often, they're misusing the term because we as a culture have forgotten what it means. "Awesome" doesn't mean "cool," "radical," or "really neat," it means choirs of angels, speechlessness, and being unable to comprehend the greatness before you. When you see the words "awesome sauce" on the menu at Honest Abe's, they don't mean it cowabunga style.
"We make honest burgers for honest people," their website explains, "Get off the internet and come find out for yourself."
Honest Abe's Burgers & Freedom is shoved in between the Valentino's To Go and Great Wall Chinese at Meadowlane Shopping Center on 70th and Vine Streets in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are open from 11 am - 9 pm Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday). There is seating room for 24 people plus eight stools against the wall where you can wait for your food to go. There is hardly ever an empty seat, even by the wall, and as soon as a chair is vacated, someone waiting snaps it up. On a busy day, it can take close to half an hour to get your food.
It's worth it.
And you need to be able to appreciate Honest Abe’s, so it’s not the kind of place that you can go a couple times a week for lunch. If you do, it just becomes that place you go for lunch. It becomes, “yeah, whatever.” Honest Abe’s is not "yeah, whatever." This place is a treat, a place you go when you need a gastronomic high five. It’s the food equivalent of traveling to a remote spot to get an amazing view of breathtaking scenery, and it would be sad to ignore the gorgeousness if you decided to commute past it every day instead.
You can decide for yourself how often to allow Honest Abe’s to grace your taste buds; if you go too often, you might find yourself saying things like, “This is a good burger,” and Honest Abe’s deserves more. My personal self-imposed length of absence is anywhere from two to four months. It seems like a long time to wait to eat at a place this fantastic, but as I said, appreciation is a necessary element in the Honest Abe’s experience.
Also, you need to go when you're hungry. Pretty much any food tastes like ambrosia from the archangels’ buffet table when you're hungry enough, but if you skipped lunch and then hit Honest Abe’s at 4 pm, that first bite will have you feeling guilty that someone may have accidentally slipped you God’s main course.
They have a rotating menu that you can keep up with on facebook so that you don’t miss anything, but they also have a few fixed items (my husband always gets the “United States of America”). When you've allowed enough time for enjoyment of the food and are ready to speak again, any one of these burgers should have you saying something along the lines of: “That was one of the most delicious things I've eaten in my entire life.” Saturday I had the “Hotel California,” (a rotating menu item that could be gone soon, so don't wait to get there and try it!) and my response was, “How do they do it?” I glanced suspiciously toward the kitchen and reasoned, “One of them must be a wizard.”
It doesn't matter that the dining room is tiny or that they only have 6 different fountain drinks to choose from (they also sell bottled “Mexican” Coke). Yes, their parmesan truffle fries are good, you can substitute a vegan patty on any of their burgers, and the Sasquatch cookies are awesome (baked fresh and sold from the tiny building across the parking lot that used to be an ATM). Many visages of our sixteenth president decorate the walls and counter, but don't let any of that distract you from the real reason that you want to go there.
The greatest burgers ever.
The first thing on the menu (and coincidentally my favorite fixed menu item) is the “Greatest Burger Ever.” Nobody is being modest, here; when they say “Greatest Burger Ever,” they mean it.