Unfortunately, original Thing 33 has been discontinued. Costco used to have this awesome cheese—Lake Country Asiago. It was the best deal ($5.50/pound) and one of the most delicious and versatile hard cheeses out there. It was perfect to eat by itself, or could be added to a huge range of foods. I always had some in my fridge. RIP Lake Country Asiago.

But, Peri in Rochester needs a Thing, and there is plenty more I like, so we continue on. In many other countries, everywhere you go, there is a kettle. The US is just not kettle country, which is silly because they are awesome. I have a kettle in my office and a kettle at home, and my winter is greatly enhanced by always being 60 seconds away from tea time.  Plus, with the rise of better instant soups, emergency lunch is also right at my fingertips.

TIP: Trader Joe’s is the place for cheeses. You can put together a fantastic, fancy-looking cheese board for under $12. An excellent entertaining cheese adage to remember is: something old, something new, something goat, something blue.

Old: aged, smoked…a hard cheese. Aged goudas are an excellent choice, as are parmesans. RIP Lake Country Asiago
New: soft & creamy— think Brie. Never go too funky with a soft cheese when entertaining
Goat: Chevre is a classic, but don’t limit yourself
Blue: see rule on new. Gorgonzola is usually a crowd pleaser.

Twenty Seven Things

Straws have had a tough year. They joined the axis of evil after that one turtle video. We should cut down on all plastics and consumables, but disposable straws are necessary tools for many people with disabilities, and they’re awesome (🥤). Let’s fight disposable plastics through water bottles takeout containers, plastic bags, and commercial fishing regulations first.

But, I concede. Straw use can go down for sure. And there are plenty of solutions for using fewer plastic straws. At home, at the office, and whenever I have a large bag, I carry one of these suckers.

I find metal straws far superior to glass and silicone straws for many reasons, including durability and ease of cleaning.In good company, Oprah had metal straws on her Favorite Things list this year too. Just don’t use them on the dance floor or you could stab the roof of your mouth (who would even do this 😬).Nancy from Virginia now has a set of metal straws to enhance her drinking experience and cut down on plastic use at the same time.

TIP: A friend recently informed me that sequins and glitter are terrible micro-plastics and a hazard for wildlife, and my little queer heart weeps. But I am hopeful for BioGlitter and Sustainable Sequins.

Sixteen Candles…

…one magic eraser. So, the magic is a quickly degrading sponge and chemicals, but it really is magical. Why are you still scrubbing your tub like a chump? Do you bike or wear rubber heels? You’ve probably got scuffs galore. Mr. Clean has your back. Mr. Clean knock-offs have your back too. They all work GREAT. I buy the big multi packs at Costco, and the biggest generic pack they have at Target. Dave in Seattle will soon be banishing tub scum forever.

TIP: Join Twitter. Seriously…we welcome you (to the end of times). Plus, we have the good memes first.