Pepsi Mango Zero Sugar 6.5/10

Kathryn and I share snack review texts all the time — with 1 through 10 ratings, sometimes with commentary. Eventually we’re going to collect them in a web page (or subdomain!)

In the meantime, here is a Pepsi Zero Sugar Mango. It tastes exactly like it sounds which can be good or bad, depending on how you feel about soda, Pepsi, and mango flavor.

It is something I would put on a continuum like White Castles… I would have one of these every 7 months and it would be good / fine / a’ight.

But I would not want White Castle to ever go away, and I would not defend this Mango Pepsi.

Soft serve season comes to a close

Sunday Sundae Sunday! I very much wanted Putz’s excellent banana shake, but I ended up with a little sundae and it was great except we had to run from the bees. It’s my own dang fault I didn’t get out there earlier to enjoy both during the summer.

Homecoming, day 2

Today I learned Weyes Blood is pronounced Wise Blood and her short set was excellent. Would like to experience an extended, dedicated show of her music.

Pavement followed with their last performance after a two year run and maybe ever? One can hope not.

The National closed things with a run through of Trouble Will Find Me which we listened to while enjoying dinner outside of the venue and it felt like the most luxurious thing ever… to hear the music, feel the vibe, and be seated comfortably with drinks.

We lumbered back to catch the second part of the set before calling it a night.

Mental note: Find good, super comfortable concert shoes.

Combined photos from both days

An Evening with CAKE

Oh my word another concert? Ayup! This one at the MegaCorp Pavilion in Kentucky for the band CAKE. (Typing the name of this venue elicits a chuckle every. single. time.)

It was an extra special show as family and friends converged with most cooperative weather.

Things I learnt:

  • CAKE is all caps. CAKE IS A SCREAM.
  • They had a no photos policy for this concert and I was shook… What was I to do?! As a stickler for rules, I honored their wishes. Folks generally kept glowing screens to a minimum and it all swirled together for an excellent time.
  • CAKE has an incredible fan base. Most everyone knows all the lyrics and the band weaves the choir into their show.
  • They give away a tree at each concert. On this night Denice received one of the peach variety.
  • You can see a map of all the trees they’ve given away at CAKE FOREST.

Aside: I feel a bit like disaster girl in this pic, that is if you replace a house on fire with happy folks.

New coat of paint and then some for Aglamesis Bro’s

The candy and ice cream parlor just got a refreshed brand (their reveal on Instagram) and a new facade for their Oakley location.

This snapshot of the new storefront would have been oodles better taken about 8 hours prior to avoid backlighting, but it’s what was happening during this evening’s walkabout.

I miss the awning from before, but glad the stripes live on in the packaging.

Aglamesis Bro’s
December 2022 street view

In most every corner

I posted some random thing on BeReal and my friend Jim noticed the fiddly bits of ceiling molding in the corner — something I hadn’t noticed before. Now I see them in most every corner.

Unrelated, today’s soundtrack is a TikTok link but it was my first introduction to Will Santt and wanted to make mental note

rachel kozlowski duck table lamp

Years ago Kathryn texted a link to a duck lamp and asked if it was ridiculous or not. I thought it was awesome and made note.

Sidenote: Whenever I get intel from a friend, I file it in the note field on their contact card… Names of pets, important dates, likes, dislikes, random stuff and gift ideas.

Often I’ll revisit a contact card the information makes zero sense, so I try to add sufficient context for future me.

In this case I added “rachel kozlowski duck table lamp” to Kathryn’s card. They were long since sold out when her wedding rolled around so I created an eBay alert and promptly forgot about it for years.

A notification came up in July for a fine specimen and I won the auction. Put a bulb in it to make sure everything was working correctly and it sat in our house all these months. I grew quite fond of that little duck.

When it came time to her birthday I was sad to see it go, but happy it’s going to its forever home.

Bonuses of the evening included a meal at Crown Cantina (now lodged firmly on my list of favorite places in Cincinnati) and meeting her friends Emily & Josh.

Checkout business

Self checkouts continue to take over. In addition to the mini ones with lazy Susan bag holders, this store also has belted self checkouts which can be a boon if you bring your own bags, have lots of items or prefer less chaos. No matter which you choose there will always be errors, flashing lights and confusion. If you’re a person into efficiency and order, do not watch folks doing their checkout business. No good will come of this.

Taqueria Los Cunados

Finally got Casey to this taco truck at the BP and experience the food first hand (though their leftovers always hold up well).

Split a torta (huge!), quesadilla, some tacos and guac. Like each time before, it was super good and lived up to the hype I kept heaping on the place.

In other news, Casey went to meet up with my niece at the Ohio is for Lovers concert and I stayed home because I’m lame and have a stack of rom-com movies in my queue.

Tacos and torta and guac

Giga coaster, Pride Night

This King’s Island Pride Night we made a beeline for Orion, the world’s seventh giga coaster as soon as we arrived. What’s that you say? It’s a roller coaster with a height/drop of 300 feet. Orion has that and goes 91 mph (146 km/h) on that first hill. (Wikipedia)

I was hesitant to even ride… During my last Pride Night (6 years ago) I started having less than stellar experiences with coasters. But I wanted to try.

Once strapped in I made note of my blood pressure (quite elevated), felt clammy and wondered if I made the right choice.

Orion turned out to be very smooth and fast and whoa. It was less about plastering you into the seat and more about lifting your butt off it.

I survived, gripping the bar with white knuckles while all the tendons in my neck were about to pop out. (As evidenced by photos below)

The beauty of Pride Night is you can hop on most any ride without much of a wait. So as soon as we finished with our first ride we met up with friends at the exit and did Orion again, immediately.

This time I was less deathly. By my third time when we closed out the evening, I was able to have my hands up the whole way.

Pride Night had a great crowd and I got to see (and hug) many folks I hadn’t seen for years — and met new friends along the way. Man, I missed all this. It was lovely to experience again.

Note: I was not comfortable with the tightness of the lap bar on The Beast and decided to skip out on the classic coaster. In hindsight, I feel really good about this decision.

A group of bearded men in front of a roller coaster

Spaceship hospital

Went to check on a friend at the UC Medical Center and dang if UC didn’t redesign the whole place to look like a space movie from the 70’s. Nice job!