Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Show me the Cash Money

Our story begins last week Saturday. The Rhino and I had to get up super early so we could formally purchase Bloomy1, our very first food truck! Boss! We were so excited about this fact that we went to Rhino’s company holiday party the night before, which was being held at Chino Latino in Uptown, and proceeded to have one* cocktail.
* More than one

We then meandered over to Williams, which apparently has gone from an “early 20s preppie crowd trying hard to impress all the other early 20s preppies” that I loved dearly when I was 22 (somehow, just tossing your peanut shells on the floor without getting yelled at seems both devious and delicious, like you’re breaking the fundamental rule learned when you were three that “YOU DON’T THROW YOUR TRASH ON THE FLOOR!”) to an “early 20s hipster crowd trying hard to impress all the other early 20s hipsters” that, being an almost-30 grown up, now makes me cringe and think, “look at all those deviants just throwing their peanut trash on the floor. Would you do that in your own house? I don’t think so!” In any case, we had one* more cocktail before hailing a cab back home.

* More than one

We finally made it to bed around 3:30am and fell into a blissful sleep. Less than five hours later, my alarm clock started chirping, and we had to pry ourselves out of bed and go to Ham Lake to pick up Bloomy1. We were very, very grumpy. We are not morning people. 

We had procrastinated on picking up the funds for this purchase beforehand so needed to make a bank stop to take out a rather large stack of cash. No worries though, I had it all planned out. We would go to the Eden Prairie bank, take out the large stack of cash, and get to Ham Lake by our mutually agreed-upon time of 10:30. When we got to the bank, however, we discovered that their lobby was closed on Saturdays (despite what was noted on the website). What?! Ever the optimist, I responded by saying in a loud cheerful voice “Okay! We’ll just go to the drive thru!” Once in the drive thru lane, we were made to understand that the cap on cash withdrawals was $3,000. We needed more than two times that much. I started sweating.

At the teller’s advice, we drove to the Wayzata bank location, a mere 25 minutes away. Neither of us knew where in Wayzata this bank was, even though I’d lived in Wayzata (a city of just 3.2 square miles, according to Wikipedia) for two years before I met the Rhino. We fought. However, with the help of our smart phones, we figured out where the bank was (after at least one wrong turn) and I immediately realized that I had driven or walked past this very bank over 1,000 times before. The lobby sign said “closed.”

At this point, I decided not to be optimistic anymore and started having a whack attack. I figured that I would be forced to go to the drive thru and default to my verbal judo tactics in order to negotiate my way into the large stack of cash we needed, despite the $3,000 cap.

Here’s a transcript of what ensued:

KJ: Drives up to the teller window
Teller: “How can I help you today scary lady?”
KJ: <This is the point at which I cast my verbal judo spell using what I learned during Basic Training:* large words, distraction techniques, active listening, and street truths.>
KJ: Pause for response
Teller: “Well, you can’t take out that amount of money using the drive thru window so you’ll have to come into the lobby!”
KJ: “Wait, the lobby is open?!?!”
Teller: “It sure is!”
KJ: “Um…”

*I have never taken Basic Training.

So, needless to say, my verbal judo tactics were successful and we walked into the fake-closed lobby to get our dollars. By the time we were halfway to Ham Lake, we were both staring googly eyed at the stack of cash and saying things like “Do you need some change? Oh, well let me see if I have any!” and “Ok, it’s my turn to hold it now!”.

Rhino enjoyed holding the dollars.

The guy we were buying Bloomy1 from lives in a ginormous castle with a circle driveway and stone lion statues everywhere. I like pretending that I live there. He invited us inside to his office/library/museum and we spent the remainder of the time signing paperwork and trying not to touch any of his fancy museum pieces. We sadly handed over our cash money but drove away with our very own truck!! This moment made me remember the story about letting birds (money) go free and sometimes the birds (money) will come back to you.

Anyway, we are very gratefully storing Bloomy1 at Rhino’s mom’s house until we drop it off at the makeover garage for its transformation from empty truck shell to fully operational Bloomy’s on wheels.

Rhino spent the remainder of last weekend and early week learning neat things about food, as he had to take his official Food Manager exam on Wednesday at 1pm. This exam required all of the following things:

1. $175
2. Extensive preparation and completion of numerous learning modules
3. An easy-to-use flash card system created by yours truly (#goteam or #nerd, your choice)
4.  A one hour drive to the exam station, in Mankato, which necessitated 
5. That Rhino take a PTO day

I am happy to report that the exam went without hitch and the Rhino passed with flying colors! Now he spends his days informing me of proper food storage techniques, and I practice multi-tasking by both listening to him and reading the new (and very funny) Tina Fey book. I’ve had to learn to laugh on the inside.

Last Friday brought our first meeting with Mr. Mark “Awesome” Palm from Chameleon Carts. Mark is the brains and brawn behind the Bloomy1 makeover. We got to see the inside of another food truck makeover he had done as well as a warehouse stocked with equipment as far as my eyes could see. I stared, Rhino drooled, and we both got a little giddy. With Mark’s help, we are about 1,000+ steps closer to finalizing the details of the Bloomy1 makeover. And he gave us some kettle popcorn to boot. We ate all of it. We were happy.

The ensuing week was spent putting the dozens of Kickstarter reward packages together and making the handful of last minute holiday package shippers who were waiting in line at the post office very very very angry. After three Christmas celebrations and lots of laughs and memories with our families, the Rhino and I settled gratefully into our week of vacation time away from our day jobs.

So that brings us up to the present. I am attempting to convince the Rhino to make another video (for a top secret project) but it is a tough sell considering what happened last time. He’s avoiding my sales techniques and celebrating the fact that he won the Fantasy League chalice this year. <Insert Rhino comment here: "Whatever! It's engraved!">> We never put up our Christmas tree. Well, you can’t win them all.

Happy new year from these two food truck fanatics. We’ve had an amazing 2011 and hope you have too. 2012 - bring it on!

Peace, love & roast beef,

Rhino & Katie

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Verbal Judo & the Rhino Rap

First off, I have to share that I actually wrote this blog like a week and a half ago and then forgot to post it. So… oops. Anyway. Here it is although updated in the form of small rant and a picture at the end.

The Blog.

Ok, I know that this is supposed to be an educational and informative blog but can I just take a moment to say the following:


For those of you who have followed the blog since its inception in May, you can understand how completely crazy this whole adventure has been. I mean, think about it. I remember back to that mind blowing day in May when I realized my lifelong dream of making money (after which I Googled “how to make money” and explored the extensive and very attainable list of options provided (such as “design and execute a complex con situation during which you get ridiculously injured by a rich person. Then sue them for causing you psychological issues”. See first blog for other enlightening ideas.)). Now, 6 months later, the Rhino and I have done exactly all of the following things:

1) Brainstormed a wicked business idea.
2) Wrote a 65 page business plan that took approximately over 100 hours.
3) Bought stylish, 007-like dark sunglasses for our sleuthing operation.  I lost mine immediately and had to get new ones. Then I lost those too.
4) Got almost-approval for an actual bank loan (which is a nearly impossible process right now given our awesomesauce economy. Thanks guys! Good job!).
5) Made a minor motion picture (I’d watch your back M. Night Shyamalan. Just saying.)
6) Ate approximately 17 pounds of roast beef, each.
7) Got engaged. Ahhh! This was my favorite part, obvi.
8) Met a few new foodie friends.
9) Made our HDTV debut before which we deep cleaned the house for two days straight.  
10) Bid our prized nest egg a very (very, very, very) tearful adieu. I still find myself crying for no reason and figure that I am stuck in the fourth stage of mourning. 
11) Perfected our “working relationship” so now we don’t want to strangle one another anymore (this only happened occasionally). This achievement now requires that we fight like grownups, which isn’t nearly as fun as throwing tantrums and saying things like “you’re a dummy head!” 
12) Started planning an event for over 100 people! I have never done this before and am really scared/excited/nervous/anxious/excited. Mostly excited.

Wow! Phew! I feel like I blinked 1.5 times and now we’re here. This reminds me of a special story my dad used to tell me when I was a kid: “life just gets faster as you get older, so enjoy it while you can.” Actually writing it down makes me realize that it is not a story at all and probably one of those things that everyone says (but important to note nonetheless).

In any case, I have a feeling that the next 6 months will be more exciting, more slamazing, and more life changing than the last. Bring. It. On.

Bloomy’s at the bank (again).

The Rhino and I went back to Anchor Bank last week for the “beginning of the end” mega-paperwork signing marathon during which I received a finger callous and a hand cramp and we both discovered extra closing costs that came to no surprise for anyone in the room except for us. This latter discovery prompted the Rhino to share several personal opinions that succeeded in severely pissing off the head bank lady and resulted in me verbally judoing* the Rhino in the parking lot. But, we prevailed and we’re on schedule to close next week.

* verbal judo (n): tactical communications. Involved in this are things like (as quoted from the verbal judo Basic Training description): professional intervention, peace phrases, active listening, and street truths (such as two people equals six people). The Rhino and I can't figure out if they just don't know how to do math properly or if they have some sort of awesome replication/holographic service.

** Update **
We’ve unfortunately run into yet another bank obstacle. You’d think that getting a bank loan so you could start a business to provide yummy sandwiches and economic support would be slightly less difficult than achieving the gold medal for the 400 meter hurdle event in the Olympics. But, alas, it is not and the Rhino and I are now navigating more paperwork that the bank says will take (but we hope it won’t take) another 60 days to process. You can imagine my demonic reaction to this news, but we’re brushing the dust off of our butts once again and trying not to ask them, “um, why did we not learn about this until the week before we’re supposed to close? Could we not have learned about this 3 months ago when we first started this thing?” Anyway. <Heavy sigh.> I’m going to go listen to some Boyz II Men and cry a bit. BRB. 

Bloomy’s in the news (again).
A few Thursdays ago, the Rhino and I met up with a lovely freelance writer who is doing a foodie story with the City Pages. We rolled out of bed long before the sun came out, bared the chilly 14 degree weather, and headed to a nearby coffee shop to meet with the charming Tricia Cornell.

We proceeded to chat Tricia’s ears off about Kickstarter, Bloomy’s, adventures, life in general, and deer hunting season (during which the Rhino didn’t get anything but after which he saw two trophy bucks taunting him in various ways. I saw the second one and said “look, there’s a moose!” <Insert Rhino eye roll here>).

The story – hopefully minus the moose sighting - should be out in the next few weeks.
**Update ** It’s out now, just yesterday! Here you go! City Pages Article

Thanks to Tricia for braving Bloomyland! We’re glad we met you before we learned about our new bank obstacle cuz we both have fury flying out of our eyeballs right now, and I’m thinking it’s a bit scary.

Social Media Update

For those of you who rely on Facebook to get Bloomy’s business and blog updates, you will now need to become an official fan of Bloomy's on Facebook as the Rhino and I are reclaiming our personal profile pages. So, if you haven’t already, “like” Bloomy's on Facebook otherwise you will lose out on all future Bloomy’s Facebook updates. And we all know how awful life would become if that happens.

Backer Reward Update
We’ve officially received all responses from our wonderful backers and have the rewards ordered and on their way! You should be receiving them just in time for the wintery holiday coming up. I know everyone will want to wear their comfy Bloomy’s apparel around the yuletide log while drinking egg nog and singing carols. I know I do.  
Misc. Updates
So we’ve been toiling away on our various to do lists but have also been fortunate enough to take some much needed R&R and spend time with our wonderful families. I also got to see the Rhino in full-on kiddo mode over Thanksgiving. A mode that included piggy back rides, a game of Hungry Hippos, and a spontaneous + spectacular performance of the “Holiday Conga Line Featuring Rhino and the Fantastic Five Nieces & Nephews.”  The Conga Line quickly became a source of endless, low-cost holiday entertainment for everyone involved (and fulfilled my physical exercise quota for the day, even though I only participated by sitting on the couch and clapping my hands. It’s the thought that counts, as they say.). In any case, the Rhino and I truly enjoyed our much needed time away from Bloomyland reality but are excited about the…

Next Order of Business


The Rhino and I MAY have some very exciting news about the food truck. We MAY have found said truck and MAY have decided to purchase it. I MAY have posted a picture below for your viewing pleasure (if you’re wondering what’s up with the weird crappy paint job that does absolutely nothing to cover up the Doritos logo, pay no mind. We’re on it.). 

The Rhino was so excited that he immediately broke into song (rap song, that is). It went a little something like this:

The Rhino Food Truck Rap

“I hope I don’t have to look no more
Cuz I been lookin’ at trucks till I hit the floor!”

That’s all he has so far. I think it’s coming along great though.

Anyway, stay tuned for some exciting news about the where, when, and how behind one of the most important pieces of this roast beef endeavor. Until next time!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Twist & Shout

Survey says that last blog’s format was a no-go, so you’re back to just Katie or just the Rhino. Too bad, so sad! We tried…

Alright, so we have a lot to talk about!

(1) Bloomy’s Kickstarter Efforts

Our project is officially closed and, after 60 days of promotion and hype and – well – pretty much begging, we’re very excited to share that not only did we make our goal, but we ended up with 56 SLAMAZING SLAMAZING backers who supported us to the tune of $10,885!!! What?! What?! Did that just happen? OMG. That just happened. You can only begin to realize how nervous we were about meeting our goal when you remember that we were still $5,635 short just 9 days ago. Yikes! But, thanks to our truly wonderful and supportive friends, family, and new Bloomy’s fans, we’ve exceeded our goal and are super incredibly psyched about the next order of business.


Wait, did you think I was going to say:


If you did, don’t worry. Jamie D and I are starting the planning as we speak. (I actually have not yet informed Jamie D that I need her assistance on this project but, seeing as we have been friends longer than we haven’t (nearly 15 years to be exact), I can pretty much tell you that she is going to be so excited she will immediately begin developing the most comprehensive event to-do list and may do one or all of the following things: (1) get a notebook/journal specifically for the event, (2) write down things we have already done so that she can cross them off. Adorable.). Another Bloomy’s backer and long-time Katie J pal has offered to help as well and, between the three of us, I know we can throw a killer paaartayy!

The Rhino and I also have some super fun sponsor party secrets up our sleeves for our backers and cannot wait to celebrate with those of you who have helped us get this far! Also, we will be sending around a survey this week to our sponsors so we can get you your goodies. Rhino has already started strutting around the house in his Bloomy’s tee, and I can’t wait to replace my former fave hoodie (circa 2004) with the new and improved Bloomy’s hoodie (for those who don’t know me, when I am at home – this is what I wear 80% of the time: brown velour pajama pants, a tank top, and a gray hoodie. The other 20% of the time, I wear: blue pajama pants, a tank top, and a gray hoodie). I’m sure the Rhino will be excited for my hoodie upgrade, for sure. Gotta keep things fresh, ya know? (That’s a piece of relationship advice for everyone.)

Anyway. I am also really excited about putting together the Bloomy’s Soundtrack. Now, you know that Bloomy’s is a throwback diner, so our music will consist of jamz from the 50s, 60s, and very early 70s. If you have any requests, leave a blog comment or e-mail us at
eat@bloomysroastbeef.com. In order to conduct proper research, I have already started listening to Kool108 non-stop when I’m driving to and fro and, thanks to my intelligent SoundHound app, already have some fairly awesomesauce jamz on the list. However, the Rhino did have to explain to me once (as I was holding my SoundHound up to the car radio to catch the song) that “um, you know that the sound comes out of the speakers and not the actual radio right?” Right! Thankfully one of us is savvy about cars.

For those music junkies who have discovered the slamazingness that is
Spotify, I’ve also started a Spotify “Bloomy’s Mix” in case you’d like to subscribe (it’s free and great!). Just a fair warning, Bloomy’s Mix may or may not cause you to break into the twist, the mashed potato, and/or the hand jive in your cubicle/car/home office.
So that brings us back around to this:

We’ve received some great advice from our food trucker friend Josh (of the Smack Shack) and have subsequently learned where NOT to go to purchase Bloomy1* and where TO go to store Bloomy1 when it’s not rocking out on the road or at events. In any case, the Rhino is spending much of his days researching, sleuthing, scouring, and otherwise narrowing down our pool of food truck potentials. And, I’m no expert in this area or anything, but there seem to be quite a number of odd balls out there selling food trucks. For example, we were <this close> to partnering with a dude out in New York but were scared off by the fact that he didn’t want to take a bank check and didn’t want to provide us with anything that had his name or business name on it. So… we’ll take that as a firm tentative yes? Um, no. Moving on.

*Bloomy1 (noun): the first Bloomy’s food truck.
If you had worried about where we’d store Bloomy1, we’ve got it covered! No problemo! Due to zoning and mobile food regulations, we’re not able to store Bloomy1 at our place of residence, so we needed to find a storage facility/warehouse that would do the job. Easy, until you throw in the fact that we needed electricity and a fairly ginormous storage spot. As I mentioned above, our friend Josh (Smack Shack) tipped us off to the food truck friendly Gopher Towing, right outside of Dinkytown. My old stomping grounds! The Rhino has started conversations with our pals over there and decided that GT will be Bloomy1’s new home!

Side note: I find it very interesting that during the years of 2000 – 2003, I did absolutely everything in my power to avoid having to go to or speak to Gopher Towing in any way, shape or form. Being a U of M college student meant sometimes having to park your car in places you shouldn’t, and a trip to Gopher Towing usually meant having to scrape together lots of dollars I didn’t have in order to bail out my trusty rusty maroon 1987 Honda from the GT impound lot. Now, we’ll happily be storing Bloomy1 there. Ahh how the world turns.

So, in any case. By the end of the year, we will have Bloomy1 in hand and snuggled up in her new storage spot. Then we can begin the install of the super-duper-slamazing-slow-cook-ovens that we’ll be using to prepare our tender roast beef. But that’s Rhino territory, and I need to stay over here in Katieville where there’s event planning, apparel ordering, social networking, and media plugging to be done.

Until next time!   

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cue the DVR!

Rhino and I wanted to shake up the blog this week, so below you will find a new blog format. K means written by Katie, and R means written by Rhino (obvi). Let us know what you think! 

The Purple Cole Slaw
K: A few weeks back, a new Bloomy’s friend e-mailed us to share his prized coleslaw recipe. Now, if you can recall, a few weeks back was also the time during which each of the following things happened:
  1. Rhino asked for my hand in marriage
  2. I was struck by a massive four-debilitating-day head cold
  3. I was promoted at work (I know I don’t talk about my day job a lot, or at all, but I was promoted and alas this caused some delay with the coleslaw).

So, in any case, these fairly significant life events have challenged our ability to try new recipes in the Bloomy’s test kitchen. However, the timing actually turned out to be quite well – timely, and the first official taste tester of this coleslaw just so happened to be an Emmy award winner! (See “Hosting an Emmy Award Winner” section below).

R: Now that my Katie has given you the entire history of how we came to prepare the coleslaw recipe, I feel that it is due time to get to the point of this topic.  Dan’s recipe was wicked good.  However, during the “flair” that I truly enjoy putting on any recipe, my version turned out purple.  Wicked good, wicked purple.  Fortunately, we loved the purple results and neither of us had ever seen purple coleslaw, so we are keeping it (any correlation to the MN Vikings, Purple Pride, The Purple People Eaters,  I Bleed Purple, Purple Lovers Anonymous, or Purple Rain is completely unintentional and irrelevant to any content of this blog). Thanks Dan! Katie and I truly appreciate your contributions to Bloomy’s.

Hosting an Emmy Award Winner
R: As a result of Katie’s phone conversations with our visiting Emmy Award Winner, I was pretty excited to meet him and not so nervous about the whole being interviewed thing.  However, the immediate shock of discovering that your house is not only going to be on HD television, but that you also have to prepare sample food for HD television, was slightly more intense (by slightly, I mean immensely.) Now, in all fairness, Katie and I knew that we had an entire weekend of cleaning ahead of us as soon as we found out that we were going to be interviewed by Kare11’s Emmy Award Winning Reporter Boyd Huppert on the “Land of 10,000 Stories” last Monday.  Although we should have probably been the ones to bring it up, Boyd asked us if we would have samples available to shoot.  The answer to that question was so obvious that we were instantly making a list of necessities needed to make an accurately slamazing representation of the Bloomy’s Menu and factoring the cooking schedules into our weekend plans. 

K: So, I think the Rhino does not accurately describe how FREAKING INTENSE this whole “have a local celebrity over to your house to eat your food and tape you for tv” process is. In any case, I think that we both held it together pretty well. This is also evidenced by the fact that we didn’t fight ONE time and I didn’t have even ONE whack attack. (Apparently, we are adapting to increased levels of stress – aka two full time jobs, each.)

Getting back to the subject. When we found out that Boyd was going to head over to casa de Bloomy’s for the taping, I immediately went downstairs to dig out our industrial strength cleaning product bucket and requisite superpower cleaning gloves. Beginning Friday night and ending Monday pre-11am, the Rhino and I cleaned every square inch of Bloomyland. And I mean: Every. Square. Inch. In addition, we found time to do each of the following things:
  1. Stop at the grocery (we actually had to go to two places because the roast beef at the first place wasn’t up to Rhino quality and he felt “like there was some sort of trickery involved” with the deli so we had to drive 25 minutes to find the perfect cut – which we did and it was worth it)
  2. Get welcoming budget-friendly flowers (see pic below)
  3. Prepare a full menu (this required my “taking one for the team” and getting up at 3:30AM to put the roast beef in the oven so it could begin its evolution to pure roast beef perfection)
  4. Plate said menu, and
  5. Host the Kare11 crew, make them laugh at least four times, and feed them a delish Bloomy’s lunch
Ps – I also forgot that we totally went to a super bonfire during this whole deal too! But the bonfire-hosters are our close couple friend, and we needed a mental break from Bloomyland. We met a new cool dude at this bonfire too who is now a future Bloomy’s customer. I love how the world works!

>> The Rhino and I also have to take a serious moment to sincerely thank Boyd & Jonathan for taking the time to come over, share our home, and learn more about Bloomy’s. It was an awesome experience for us, and we’ll never forget it. <<

For those of you who wish to view our TV debut “live and in action,” please tune into Boyd’s “Land of 10,000 stories” segment this Tuesday (as in TOMORROW, November 1) at 10pm on channel 11.

Ok, back to it then!

Bloomy’s Gear
K: The Rhino has been tasked with identifying the perfect Bloomy’s gear that will be given to our slamazing 26 (and counting!) Kickstarter Backers  who have helped fund Bloomy’s to the tune of $3350! 13 days to go. Can we do it? Yes we can! As fate would have it, the Rhino used to work with a guy who just so happens to do screen printing as a side business. Aric (I wanted to call him “Mr. Tee” like tee-shirt but Rhino wouldn’t let me) graciously mocked up not one but four Bloomy’s logo prototypes to select from. After review and input from our talented Creative Director, Miss Jamie D., we decided to go with a washed out vintage-style color logo for our backers and a classic washed out vintage-style black and white logo for our official sponsors. Dope! I’m currently working with Jamie D. on finalizing our t-shirt and hoodie styles but I can promise you that they will be out of this world comfy cozy.

R: Aric is truly hooking Bloomy’s up for our apparel needs, and I would be doing an injustice not to recommend him for custom screen printing and embroidery needs to anyone.  You couldn’t have wiped the sh*t-eating grin off my face with paint thinner when I saw our logo on those T’s.  I realize that some business owners put too much stake in their logo and website, but let’s face it; this is a part of our dream coming true and epic to Katie and me.  I immediately put one of the sample shirts on for the rest of the evening (partially because Katie hadn’t seen them and I was ultra-elated for her to see them when she first walked in) and proceeded to strut my way around the house like a proud father of sorts.  A TV interview and our OWN clothing in one week was quenching my thirst for Bloomy’s success.

Buying a Food Truck
R: We get a lot of questions about the Food Truck itself.  The good news is that WE have fewer questions about our “soon-to-be food truck.”  For starters, we know that Bloomy’s is raising the bar for food truck requirements.  Our desire to have a true Mobile Food Truck does not follow the traditional method of “Food Trucking.”  A lot of food trucks currently either prepare their wares ahead of time in a brick and mortar kitchen or utilize a more “freezer to customer” approach to cooking.  Since Bloomy’s makes our food from scratch and won’t have a kitchen to use, we require a unique set of full kitchen equipment on our truck.  This ended up being an ultra-awesome project for me that has also been a bittersweet brain teaser.  “To be continued,” as we have a very good idea of the who’s, where’s and how’s involved in our ongoing custom food truck design, and we are fully expecting to place an order in the first week of December.

K: I don't have anything to add to that as the food truck is a vehicle and therefore something I know absolutely nothing about. 

So, In conclusion, these have been some serious days filled with serious planning and serious cleaning. But, in spite of it all, we still find time to laugh and love - and isn’t that what life is all about anyway?

Remember to tune into Bloomy’s tomorrow night at 10pm. Kare11 baby!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Truckin’ Along

First order of business, Bloomy’s Beef Stew:
Seeing as this is a foodie blog and sometimes even a business blog, I figured I would start off by telling you about the Rhino’s latest achievement: the creation of the Bloomy’s Beef Stew!  So the Rhino has made lots and lots of stew before in his life, obvi, but he decided he wanted to take it to the next level (this is a hobby he has. This is partly why I love the Rhino. He can do tough guy things during the day like fix the broken thermostat for the defroster system in the fridge and do awesome stuff at night like create the best tasting beef stew EVER and other creative things with his er- hands).

In any case, let me share with you the story of the Bloomy’s Beef Stew.
So first the Rhino simmered some soup bones (that we got from this cow we bought last year from a farmer friend) for like ever along with some spices and bay leaves and such. Then he threw some round steaks (from that cow again) on the grill until they were almost done but let them finish cooking under this tinfoil hut he made. Then he strained the broth into a new pot and then added a bunch of potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, anything else that looked good, more spices, etc and simmered for another long time. Then he added the meat and let it go just a little bit longer. Then it was done! I’ve eaten exactly 5 bowls in the last 7 days. It is that good. Slamazing. His secret ingredient? Lot’s o’ Rhino love. Awww…..

So I had this great photo of the Rhino's beef stew that I was going to post but my smart phone is being stupid, so that will have to wait for next time. The excitement!

Second order of business, 15 second Kickstarter update:
I know, I know, I know. Give me 15 seconds and then I’ll be done. We have exactly 22 SLAMAZING sponsors who have backed Bloomy’s to the tune of $3,000! I don’t want to say again how much this means to us, but you guys ROCK! We are so excited to celebrate with ya’ll at the sponsor-only tasting event in March. The Rhino and I are also contemplating an annual celebration event just for our sponsors so we can continue to recognize you for your amazing support and also to give you an excuse to PARTY!!    

For those of you readers non-sponsors, our Kickstarter project will close in 26 days so act now or forever hold your peace.

Third order of business, Bloomy’s International:
We are pleased to announce that our blog readers are popping up all around the world! Check it out yo!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “Holy smokes! Why would someone in Malaysia or the UK want to read about Bloomy’s, so far away in chilly MN?” I’ll tell you why. Cuz Bloomy’s ROCKS THE GLOBE! It’s slightly better than reading Perez Hilton or MSNBC. You don’t have to quick click off it if your boss walks by because I don’t put up scandalous celeb pics (yet… ), and you also don’t leave worrying about such things as recessions, the stock market, or what Justin Bieber is going to do next with his hair (Will he grow it out again? Will he cut it? We don’t know! It’s crazy!) In any case, here’s a shout out to our international readers. We hope you have delicious roast beef where you live and, if not, what better reason to head to MN and visit Bloomy’s?

Fourth order of business, Bloomy’s Update:
On Thursday, the Rhino and I met with Sysco to discuss a potential partnership. You may know that Sysco has launched a new Sysco Natural brand that offers people like us access to local, natural products – from onions to beef to the eco friendly serving dishes we are planning to use. The part I am most excited about though is the trip to the SYSCO TEST KITCHEN! Yayyy! All my dreams are coming true! This is a fantastic little spot where we can test all of Sysco’s delicious natural products and finalize which local producers we wish to partner with. Of course, the Rhino and our food truck manager (who I will call J even though that is not his real name, it’s just a nick name that I gave him just now, but I’m not too sure who all reads this blog so you can never be too careful given all that’s happened on CraigsList). So anyway, where was I? So the Rhino and J will be the culinary experts discussing things like flavor balancing while I stuff my face and contribute with great and helpful insights like “yummy!”

Also, the Rhino and I are on the tail end of this business loan process and I can tell you that, if we didn’t have each other to vent to, we would have gone bananas a long time ago. I told the Rhino yesterday that I wouldn’t be surprised if our bank dude e-mailed us and said that, in addition to all that he now has on file - which includes everything from every single shred of personal, professional and financial information we’ve ever had to an actual blood sample from yours truly (don’t ask, I have a bruise) - he now also needs <DO NOT READ THIS NEXT BIT IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED> Rhino’s left nut <OK, YOU’RE GOOD> and he just can’t approve the loan without it. <Sigh> But hopefully that won’t happen and the Rhino can keep that area intact. Stay tuned.

Fifth order of business: Bloomy’s in the news:
If you haven’t already heard, Bloomy’s had its first bit of press the other day! The local celeb BT of the Cities 97 morning show plugged us on his website!!! And you can read about it here!
Cities 97 Morning Show

AND, I received a call on Wednesday from a very slamazing individual who just so happens to be an Emmy award winning local reporter and wants to do a story on Bloomy’s Kickstarter efforts! Now, it’s still in the works so I can’t tell you guys any more details because I don’t want to jinx it, but keep your fingers crossed and you may see the Rhino & me on actual, non cable television in just a few short weeks! Hopefully I can fit in my skinny jeans by then!

Seventh order of business, random closing thought:
I’m wondering if anyone else has just started mistaking Owen Wilson for Ellen DeGeneres (see evidence below)? Apparently this has been going on for quite some time, but it has just started happening to me and it’s been cause for some confusion.
What the…?

I got this from TotallyLooksLike.com, which is a very entertaining and
somewhat educational websitefor those who have some down time.

Alright folks. We’re off to put the finishing touches on the Bloomy’s apparel and start studying for our foodie certifications. Until next time!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Post VBQ Scene - Some Stuff Goes Down

After watching the Vikings lose their 4th straight game yesterday, I could hardly muster the proper attitude to sit down and write this week’s blog. But, alas, I got over it as do the rest of us Minnesotans, and inspiration has officially struck smack dab in the middle of eating my $5 footlong from Subway. In case you haven’t seen the commercials, it is “Anytober” at Subway which means you can get ANY footlong for just $5! No, they didn’t pay me to say this (although I did have the idea to advertise in the blog in exchange for sponsorship dollars but then I decided that would be annoying on numerous fronts). I was just excited to share the cost savings implications. I get excited these days by such things as cost savings, and I said to the Rhino – look, I can get that $5 footlong and eat half for lunch and half for dinner! Seeing as we didn’t have our Sunday cookathon yesterday due to the fact that I failed on going to the grocery, I needed a cheap Monday lunch and look what happened! A $2.50 solution c/o Subway sandwiches. Another colorful example of our cost-savings capabilities is highlighted with the fact that I came home from the grocery last time with a family size jumbo value package of… wait for it…. wait for it…… wait… for… it….. Chicken Flavored Ramen Noodles. Agh! The shame is so great my cheeks are pink just from writing it. And worse – Rhino ate these very ramen noodles for dinner last night. Aghhhh! We’ve gone too far!

Anyway. Moving on. So last week, after the VBQ episode went down and had some days to sink in, I woke up on Thursday with a freaking massive head cold. And by freaking massive, I mean extremely incredibly insanely ginormous freaking massive head cold. It was so bad I actually called in sick to work on Thursday AND Friday, which is something that has only happened once before in 29 year Katie J history. Then I promptly built a little house on the couch - complete with blankets, pillows, large quantities of tissues, remotes, and smart phone (for adding Netflix movies to the instant queue, obvi) as well as a constant flow of hot tea, orange juice and cold meds. Then I crawled in, hunkered down, and didn’t move out until Sunday night. So I was full-time busy fighting off death, blowing my nose and making little mewing sounds so everyone in range of the couch knew how awful I felt, and the Rhino was spending his time providing me with warm, yummy cold-curing rations (like his made-from-scratch chicken noodle soup complete with homemade melt-in-your-mouth dumpling style noodles and fresh garden veggies and mmm hmm, just writing this is making my mouth water like mad and my footlong doesn’t seem so great now), battling that evil cabin fever that tends to arise when one goes too many hours without fresh air or natural light and trying not to barf from my constant nose blowing. PS - this story is also a.k.a. the reason why we didn’t make any cole slaw like I promised we would and under delivered, seeing as we didn’t.

On Sunday, I finally felt well enough to remove myself from the couch, venture outside and take a walk from the house to the end of the garage. Then I got really tired and just sat there gulping in natural light and non-tainted-by-sickness air flow as the sunshine burned my retinas. After that, I was pretty much on the mend.

The Commencement of the Nasty Terror Dreams
After I started feeling better, I was looking forward to some nice, non-interrupted-by-sickness sleep. I’m fairly sure that the Rhino was also looking forward to not waking up from getting coughed or nose-dripped on. So we went to bed on Sunday and both the Rhino and I began what ended up being a multi-night marathon of nasty terror dreams.

The Rhino’s terror dreams included the following:
- demonic cats, claws (including claws embedded in skin), sharp teeth, fish, hooks, and scary black figure spirits that needed chasing

My terror dreams included:
- super-cute and fluffy evil birds, claws that sliced my skin apart, razor sharp bird beaks that could only be removed from my body if I yanked the bird off and my flesh in the process, and weird empty houses with scary too-low lighting.

By Thursday, we were both incredibly beat-down and fed up with this plague that had obviously drifted its way into our house and dreams, and we convened in the Bloomy’s test kitchen to decide what to do. After much deliberation and intelligent discussions, we decided the best course of action was to conduct a very serious smudging ceremony.

The Bloomy’s Household Very Serious Smudging Ceremony
For those who don’t know, smudging ceremonies are used to clear out negative vibes and other weird things like monsters and dream demons that can apparently find their way into people’s homes. It appears that we have watched a very scary movie called Insidious and have opened our home to ugly dream spirits as a result (if you haven’t seen this movie, it is by far the scariest movie in the world. The Rhino, who is a bigger-than-normal fan of scary movies, got so scared he had goose bumps. I, who am a not-at-all fan of scary movies, got so scared that I nearly barfed into the Rhino’s lap, twice).

In any case, we decided to do a serious smudging ceremony to clear out the negative vibes from watching Insidious and restore our home to its usual positive self. This ceremony basically included us walking around the house and saying such powerful statements as: “ONLY GOOD THINGS ARE WELCOME HERE!” and other things as suggested on the Internet while waving around sticks of burning sage from our back yard sage bush. The weirdest part about it is that both of us were very serious about this and didn’t laugh or smile one time. Also, placebo effect or no, the Rhino & I have been blissfully terror-dream free since the ceremony took place. I did, however, mistake the downstairs steam machine for an evil spirit figure last night as I was preparing to steam my Monday workday dress. But it ended up just being the steam machine, obvi.

Bloomy’s Regular Update
Now on to the real purpose for the blog. The Bloomy’s update!
Our friends over at Anchor Bank are working diligently on putting the final touches on our business loan application, and the Rhino and I are also working diligently on putting every penny into our penny jar so we can fulfill our end of the financial bargaining. We’re about T-60 days from getting the loan, after which we will be moments away from purchasing the food truck and starting the really fun process of installing equipment (including the dream machine double decker ultra-dope Bloomy’s super slow roasting oven) and getting all of our permits. Yay in advance. Not. We are also <this close> to uploading pictures of the stylish apparel that our sponsors will soon be wearing and that we hope will soon be profiled in the 2012 fall fashion lineup and will also appear in Glamour or some such magazine.

Bloomy’s Sponsorship Update
We’re excited to share that we’ve had 14 wonderful backers pledge $2,115 toward the launch! This means we’ve successfully reached 21% of our sponsorship goal and have just $7,885 left to go! However, we have just 41 days left to raise the remaining funds. If we are successful, we’re having an exclusive sponsor-only pre-launch tasting event in March to celebrate our sponsors and all the support you’ve provided. If we’re not successful, well … let’s not think about that quite yet as it will mean several horrible things including another whack attack from yours truly. For those readers-non-sponsors, we continue to ask for your sponsorship support. We are so close to making Bloomy’s a true Twin Cities staple and are excited to build a community of supporters without whom this beefy dream would not be possible.

Go Vikes! - er... um... <cough> I mean MN Lynx?


Katie J

PS - to anyone who received an odd scandalous link from my hotmail account, that wasn't me - it was a hacker. Sorry about that. Thankfully no one was in my contact list except everyone I know and ex boyfriends.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bloomy’s first sponsors and the VBQ (Very Big Question)

Wow. Where do I start? You know that when my mind is whirling and twirling like this, I can only do one thing: bulleted list! So here we go.

List of things that have happened: 
1. We’ve gotten first level approval for the Bloomy’s BANK LOAN!!!! As you may know, this has been months in the making, and we are so super psyched to say that all systems are a go for the loan. The Rhino and I have spent about 20 hours this past week gathering documents and data for the bank and, although the Rhino’s credit score beat mine by a mere 5 points, we’ve received two enthusiastic thumbs up from our friends at Anchor Bank. Now we just sit back, relax (yeah right), and scramble to come up with the $30K & change that we need to send them in about 60 days (aaaahhhh!). HOWEVER…

2. Our fundraising efforts have resulted in 12 slamazing sponsors who have collectively helped us raise $1,915 toward the launch of the Bloomy’s food truck. This means that we are 19% to our goal of $10K with 56 days left to go. For those of you who don’t know, the dollar saving efforts between the Rhino & me have left us just over $10K short of our 30% bank loan requirement (hence the fundraising effort to raise the difference). Each person who sponsors our food truck will receive super awesome rewards like free food and invites to our pre-launch tasting party. You can find out more about being sponsor by clicking this super long hyperlink. Okay, on to the rest of the bulleted list. Where were we? Oh yes…

3. I’ve had a whack attack only one time! However (again)…

4.  I have cried on between 9 and 11 different occasions (2 of the occasions were direct results of #2 above as this has been an emotional time, realizing just how supportive our friends & family can be. Awww… we love you guys! Hugs all around!).

5. We’ve received a submission from a new Bloomy’s fan with a yummy sounding coleslaw recipe that I’m just dying to try (stay tuned next week for the results)

6. I’ve of course saved the very best for last …. The Rhino has asked me to be his real life Mrs. Bloomy and official partner in crime for the rest of our days together!!! Rock ON!

Now, before I tell you the story of the Rhino’s VBQ (Very Big Question), I have to share a quick picture of the Bloomy’s test kitchen halfway through our usual Sunday cookathon (where the Rhino cooks in bulk so we can have lunches & dinners for the week and do not have to spend our precious Bloomy’s dollars on take away. This is usually also the time where he peers into one of the cooking pots and says to the ingredients, “Well hello in there. Why don’t you take some time and get to know each other a little better?” and I laugh and say to myself, “Awww, he’s making friends with the food again.”). Anyway, here is the picture complete with detailed descriptions of our efforts:


Now, you can see from the above picture a section I labeled “Scene of the VBQ” and that is because this is the very spot where the Rhino decided to ask yours truly if I wanted to be his lady forever. So here it is…

The story of the VBQ:
Several weeks ago, the Rhino had informed me that we were going to go on an adventure (scheduled for yesterday). I immediately got super psyched because I LOVE ADVENTURES!!! I started adventure guessing right away (my guesses included everything from a mystery sleuthing-themed dinner to hang gliding) until…. The Rhino called me on Friday afternoon and said that we were going to have to reschedule the adventure for the following weekend. I have to admit, I was so bummed because I was all psyched up for this super adventure. However, on the way home, I realized that it was probably a good thing because 1) we severely need to save dollars and 2) well, that was probably the only reason.

So I shared this with the Rhino when I got home and suggested that, instead of rescheduling the adventure for next weekend, we save dollars and go on the adventure after we financially recoup from sending the bank our $30K. He was obviously very disappointed at this idea and didn’t even say much of anything, which is (if you know the Rhino at all) very very odd behavior indeed.

We ate dinner in near silence (again, very odd behavior because we are usually two blabber mouths rushing to tell each other everything that happened during the course of the day). So I got progressively sadder and sadder and sat at the table with my lower lip quivering (this face is referred to as my "llama face") until dinner was over. Then I collected the dishes to bring them to the sink for a wash, which is very usual behavior seeing as I spend about 25+% of my life washing dishes. I heard the Rhino go out to the garage and thought that he was so upset about the adventure rescheduling that he was going for a drive. In the middle of washing a spatula, I heard the Rhino come back in and come into the test kitchen. Here is the transcript of the ensuing conversation:

Rhino: “Baby?”
Me: “Hmmm?”
Rhino: “Can you turn around for a second?”
Me (turning around and seeing the Rhino on one knee with tears in his eyes): “Oh my GOD!” I say as my hands drip water all over the floor.

Rhino proceeds to tell me that he had scheduled a private hot air balloon ride for us (like in the movie “Up” which was the movie that helped us decide to do Bloomy’s in the first place and, if you haven’t seen this movie I suggest that you watch it immediately, and I send you in with the warning that this movie plays with your emotions like mad) but that the Saturday weather would be too windy so we had to cancel.

Rhino: "… and then I scheduled Sunday as a backup but it’s supposed to thunderstorm. This isn’t the way I wanted to do this. I wanted it to be an adventure like in Up because that’s what our lives have been together and that’s how I want it to be forever and I just can’t wait another second to give you this ring.”
Me: Crying like crazy all over everything
The Rhino then proceeds to ASK ME TO MARRY HIM!!!
I am slobbering so hard by this point that he actually has to ask me if I can answer the question (because in the midst of everything I realized I hadn’t actually said anything at all), to which I say (blubbering-ly): “YES!!!!!!! “

PS – scratch #4 above and add on another cry session as I couldn’t get through the VBQ story without crying AGAIN! It’s a wonder I have any liquids left in my eyes at all. Jeez. And PS - I couldn't even wear my contacts today because my eyes hurt so bad from all the crying. Good thing the Rhino already asked me because I don't look the greatest in glasses.

Anyway, then we slobber on each other for a little bit and he gives me the most beautiful ring that he designed himself and then I slobber just a little bit more. Then I proceed to cry several more times because not only are we engaged but I botched the plan by saying that we need to be fiscally responsible and postpone the adventure. Then I cry again because I realize that the Rhino asked me to marry him in our very own Bloomy’s test kitchen – the very spot where we’ve spent the majority of our time together making the Bloomy’s dream an almost-reality. So long story short (still kinda long actually): we are now planning to get hitched!

And before anyone asks:

1. First launch Bloomy’s
2. Then get hitched

Now the Rhino goes around and sings songs like “Take away this ball and chain,” and I reply that he only proposed because he wants to ensure that I will stick around to wash his underpants and clean up the test kitchen. On the plus side, I have realized that washing the dishes is much more exciting now.

In any case, we spent the rest of the weekend swooning and scheming up new fabulous ideas to surprise reward our Bloomy’s sponsors. So, before we say adieu, we’re going to send the sponsor link your way one more time and urge ya’ll to check out our page so that you can be a part of the Bloomy’s launch too!

Peace, love & roast beef!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dollar Begging Initiative, Take Final

Alright people (or, should I say - dearest friends, family & Bloomy’s supporters)…

The time has come for the “official official” launch of the Bloomy’s dollar begging/fundraising initiative! The Rhino and I are very excited to announce that we’ve heard great news from our bank partner and our business loan is finally in the works. However, as you know from previous rants, we need to come up with 30% of the money ourselves. We’ve been scrimping, saving, coupon clipping, bulk cooking, conserving fuel, couch cushion searching, and otherwise counting our pennies over the last year and are left with just over $10K to raise to make Bloomy’s a go!

This is where y’all come in. The Bloomy’s blog has nearly 130 active readers now, and we need each and every one of you! Donate $10 or $1,000 – whatever your pocketbook allows. For each donation, you will get super sweet rewards including free food, stylish apparel (we promise that the apparel is actually stylish too and wearable outside of the house – pictures coming soon), event catering and more.  Those who donate $100 or more will also receive invitations to our invite-only pre-launch tasting event where you can enjoy the full array of our tasty treats and help us perfect our menu before we hit the streets.

We’ve launched our dollar begging initiative using Kickstarter.com and you can find our page here:


In addition to the rewards you’ll receive, every time you see the Bloomy’s food truck on the street or at an event, you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling in your heart knowing you helped our dream get off the ground. Hugs all around!

Thank you in advance for your dollars and support!  See following picture for proof of our thanks.

Stay tuned for more Bloomy’s news next week when we temporarily cease our dollar begging and get back to the adventure stories that we’ve been collecting in our pockets over the past two weeks (okay, so the Rhino said to insert a “Muahahahahahahahahaaaa” here but I said NO! GET YOUR OWN BLOG!). Jeez. Alright, we are off to dinnerland* so we’ll catch you later. Go find those dollars!
*dinnerland (as quoted from the Jamie D. dictionary) (n): this isn’t an actual place, but a general name for places where one goes to eat dinner.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bloomy’s Bloopers Exposed

This week’s blog is short and sweet. No, the Rhino & I do not have the fundraising video done yet (in our defense - editing takes a really really infinity long time). However, we do have our better and more important Blooper reel ready for your viewing pleasure. Keep in mind, this footage was filmed over a period of 16 hours. Although it was edited to a mere 2 minutes, 33 seconds (this is how much we blow at movie making), we can make no guarantees as to the quality of sound or lighting. We also discovered that we are much better at saying “CUT!” and making odd arm gestures than getting our lines right.

Before we send you on your merry way to view our Bloopers, we must give a major intense kudos-style shout out to Ms. Jamie D. for her awesomesauce creative expertise and many hours of super assistance. Her work on the Bloomy’s Blooper reel resulted in an instant promotion (from “friend of Bloomy’s” to “Bloomy’s Creative Director”). As we do not have any actual dollars with which to pay Jamie D., she has graciously accepted our offer to compensate her with unlimited mac & cheese. What a lady! Thanks to Jamie D., our new Creative Director!

Now, we must get back to working on our actual video and dreaming about the day when we can sell our monster size Bloomy’s roast beef sandwiches at the great Minnesota state fair.

You can access our Blooper reel here:
Bloomy's Blooper Reel - You Tube
See you next week!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dollar Begging Video, Take One

The Rhino and I had a great plan this week to launch our official dollar begging initiative. I was incredibly excited about this project seeing as it would require a video, and I have always wanted to indulge my secret fantasy of becoming the next Steven Spielberg (never minding the fact that I have never touched a video camera before in my life nor have I really done anything related to movie making besides working at a movie theater as a popcorn popper and going to lots of movies, obvi*.). In any case, I prepared myself by doing the following:

*obvi: abbreviation of obviously. I love Bloomy’s roast beef sandwiches, obvi.

Official Pre-Shoot Research To-Do List:
(1) Watch all videos other like-minded food truckers have created to raise money via Kickstarter.com
(2) Gather good ideas and use to create script outline
(3) Research fancy script lingo on moving-making websites and E-How.com. For example: “INT. Bloomy’s Test Kitchen. Day” (which is script lingo for – “we are taping inside in the Bloomy’s test kitchen during the day”).
(4) Write script over lunch.
(5) Spend free time thinking about how sweet and awesome this video is going to be.
(6) Get special camcorder from the Rhino’s mom.

I completed each and every task on this to-do list and felt very accomplished. Trust me. We were prepared... Until the actual day of shooting arrived that is.

Day of Shooting – Saturday
7:45am: My car doctor place called with an update on my car’s sickness. I had dropped off my beloved vehicle (‘99 Honda Accord - that I affectionately refer to as “Frederick” - complete with numerous door dings and cruise control that only sometimes works) the night before for some TLC as it had been acting rather peculiar lately. The guy on the phone told me two things needed to be done to which I replied with something that I can’t recall seeing as I had just been woken up from a dead sleep.

7:48am: The Rhino asks who it was on the phone. Great. Now we’re both awake.

8:00am: The Rhino and I can’t fall back asleep so decide to get up and start the shoot. Mind you, this is the earliest we have ever been up on a Saturday except for when we have plans to be somewhere.

8:15am: The Rhino begins making breakfast and I decide to shoot some action shots. I get out the special camcorder (the first time I have ever laid my hands on one! Yessss! Movie making will come so naturally!). I figure out how to turn it on after like 5 minutes and some assistance from the Rhino. He goes back to making breakfast, and I get in his grill with the camera. Several minutes later, I realize it’s not in focus. I figure out where the auto focus is after another 5 minutes and some additional assistance from the Rhino. Good, great. Ready to go!

8:30am: I have taken some fantastic footage and sit down to a hearty breakfast. Afterwards, the Rhino and I attempt to hook the camcorder up to his laptop so we can see my Hollywood professional level handiwork. We soon see that the laptop isn’t noticing the camera and realize we need a disc to install some ridiculous software to get the video to transfer. This disc may or may not be at his mom’s house … an hour away. I yelled.

10:00am:  The Rhino discovers a smart workaround after over 1.5 hours of Internet research.

10:30am: Video footage transfers! Yes! Here we go! We watched it together and… well, the Rhino didn’t say anything, bless his heart, but I can tell you that the footage was fairly horrendous. You would think I had no clue how to make a movie! We also realized that the USB cable resulted in a really shoddy video complete with line jiggles. It looked awful. I yelled.

12:00pm: The Rhino and I returned home after a trip to Microcenter to get a new (better) cable and some Mountain Dew, the grocery (to get a roast beef for the video footage of course) and picking up Frederick from the doctor’s office.

1:00pm: Let’s try this again. The Rhino digs out his professional tripod that he just happened to have lying about in the garage (I wasn’t surprised either) and sets it up very Hollywood-style (see below picture for proof as well as proof of the Rhino in video-editing mode). He gets to work on the roast beef and I take some (hopefully better) footage of his efforts.

Rhino & the Hollywood style tripod.

6:00pm: 5 hours of trial and error later, we have approximately 10 seconds of video completed. We decide to switch gears and start working on our lines and taping ourselves begging for dollars.

11:00pm: I have fallen asleep on the couch until the Rhino yells at me to wake up. We have had approximately 11 fights and 3 dagger-eye-death-stare-downs in the last 4 hours. However, the roast is done and the Rhino needs me to take more footage. I press ‘record’ on the camera and refuse to answer any of his questions seeing as I was again woken up out of a dead sleep, haven’t eaten since 8:30am, am furious at my lack of movie making skills and at am super furious at the Rhino for telling me that I need to be “more enthusiastic!” on camera. He is in a similar furious state and gives me another dagger-eye-death-stare (bringing the day’s total to 4). I respond by saying “I NEED MORE ENTHUSIASM!”

12:00pm: We eat the juicy delicious roast beef, slamazing mashed potatoes & gravy, and green beans (a.k.a. Bloomy’s Platter) but are too tired and mad to even look at each other. Then we promptly pass out on the couch. We have taped exactly 37 minutes of usable footage (1 hr, 37 min of actual footage.) Good job!

Day of Repairing & Licking our Wounds - Sunday:
9:30am: We wake up and I, for one, am still angry about our super lame Saturday. The Rhino seems to be doing okay, so I remind him about our epic failed efforts and try to get him to be in a bad mood with me. It doesn’t work.

11:00am: THANK GOD WE SCHEDULED A MASSAGE FOR TODAY! We head to Massage Envy to get amazing massages from our faves – Denise (who I refer to as Debra) and Artem (who I refer to as Anton). An hour later, my bad mood has dissolved along with like 1,000 muscle knots. We walk out feeling like new people.

12:00pm: I sit down to begin editing our 37 minutes of usable footage and realize that the quality of the video on my computer looks like crap. I yell. A lot. I may have also yelled “F**K!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs after pounding the table and stomping into the bedroom, where I promptly burst into tears (a.k.a. yes, I unfortunately had another whack attack). The Rhino, bless his heart still, follows me in there after prying the door open (I slammed it) and tells me it’s time to put the video project aside for the day (I think in his head he meant forever). I respond by slobbering all over him and saying in a muffled slobbery voice: “I’mjustsofrustratedandIcan’tgetanythingtogorightandIdon’twanttogotoworktomorrow. Boooo hoooo!!!!”  Then I got mascara on the pillowcase. 

4:00pm: After a late lunch of Longhorn sandwiches (YUM) and Bloomy’s mac & cheese (we already know how I feel about the mac & cheese) AND relaxing via a 1.5 hour long super-hot bath (me) and playing Call of Duty (the Rhino), we were in love again. Awww…

8:00pm: Harry Potter marathon has officially ended, except we only had one movie so it wasn’t much of a marathon. We decide to make some nachos using the jalapenos from our garden. I volunteer to cut up the jalapenos like a proper sous chef.

Rhino: “Make sure you don’t rub your eyes.”
Me: “Right on.”

>> 9 minutes later <<

I rubbed my eyes.

>> 2 seconds later <<

I started on fire.

Me (running frantically to the bathroom): “CAN YOU GET ME THE EYE DROPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

He then brings me a glass of milk that I repeatedly splashed onto my actual eyeballs. I don’t even care at this point that I am rubbing a dairy product in my face… or that Rhino has seen me at my official low point. I respond with the following:


>> 4 minutes later <<
Me: “Ugh, I still have jalapeno juice all over my hands, can’t you smell it?”
Rhino: “Um, all I can smell right now is sour milk.”
And this, my friends, concludes our wonderful weekend of movie making. A weekend that has completely crushed my dreams of EVER being like Steven Spielberg. At least we learned some very valuable lessons, such as:

(1)  ALWAYS wear gloves whilst chopping jalapenos.

Well, at least we didn’t kill each other. Stay tuned for more, as next week we will have some slamazing footage of our movie making experience. Until then…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mac & Cheese Coma

Well folks, Bloomy’s has been moving and grooving this week. So much so that I’m nearly 100% positive I’ve finally burned off the calories I consumed via Bloomy’s latest macaroni and cheese taste testing episode. Did I really have to eat the entire creamy delicious bucket? Mmm… probably not. But it certainly was fabulous, and I have the pre-dig in picture to prove it (see picture below for proof). And, can I just say how grateful I am that stretchy leggings are in style right now? Expandable waistlines and I are super bros during Bloomy’s taste testings.

(Gooey mac & cheese goodness!)

Anyway, we’ve also showcased some photos of the Rhino and the Bloomy’s test kitchen so you can see exactly what the test kitchen looks like (on a good day), and fully understand how it is that I spend approximately 25% of my life cleaning this test kitchen and doing more dishes than I thought existed on the face of the planet. Good thing the Rhino lets me eat all the goods!

(The handsome Chef Rhino complete with identifying chef hat!)

(Bloomy’s official test kitchen)

Now that we have our mac & cheese recipe primed and perfected, there’s only one recipe left to go – Coleslaw! Now, I know the Rhino has been putting this one off until dead last because he despises coleslaw, but too bad so sad! We have hungry folks who seriously love their coleslaw (yours truly included) and we’re currently on the hunt for the most perfect of perfect base coleslaw recipes. I am also stubbornly determined to try my roast beef sammy topped with a scoop of coleslaw and, if it’s halfway dece*, am totally forcing it onto the Bloomy’s menu even though we’re nearly out of space. Anyway, if anyone has a slamazing coleslaw recipe, please send it to me at eat@bloomysroastbeef.com.

Oh wait, did I forget to tell you guys? We have our own e-mail address! Not a fake free gmail or hotmail one either! And it looks so nice on our very own website: www.bloomysroastbeef.com. Check it out and drool over our menu like I do every day at work when I’m trying to figure out where to go for lunch (out of the three lunch options I have at my disposal in rockin’ Chanhassen – Jimmy John’s, Subway, or the never-gets-old Life Time Fitness Café where I have already eaten lunch approximately 624 times and no, I certainly do not count the Taco Depot as a lunch option). In any case, do us a solid and “like” our new website! It took several (many) hours (weeks) of work to put together and included a devastating break-up with one big-name website developer because they pretty much sucked and had weird glitchy tendencies that I couldn’t handle. Anyway, I started seeing this new website developer site (www.Wix.com) and it’s going well so far (albeit early stages).

We’ve also made the tough decision to take some time apart from our first bank because they pretty much wanted us to sign away our organs (even the good ones), all of our hard-earned dough, and our not-even-born-yet children. I said to this bank: “Um…. I don’t THINK SO!” and we decided to go on a blind phone date with another bank. After a slight miscommunication with our new bank dude (Gosh I hate when that happens!), we’ve gotten our application paperwork settled and ready to submit this coming week.

However, we have realized the intense need to come up with about $10K in additional dough. We’ve already gotten approval to formally raise money via Kickstarter and are just getting ready to shoot our first-ever short motion picture episode for world premier on the Bloomy’s fundraising website (this is secretly the pinnacle moment when my life’s dream to become the next Steven Spielberg will FINALLY be realized…it’s about time already!). In addition, we will most likely start begging each of you for dollars starting next blog. However – I do have to note one caveat – we have really wicked sweet rewards for those who donate including FREE MEALS FOR LIFE! But you will just have to wait and learn more when we officially launch our dollar-begging initiative next week.

Okay… in other news: We interviewed our first potential food truck manager and are soooo excited that he is not only normal, but super wicked awesome! And he totally works on a mobile food unit already that sells a weird concoction (this concoction totally plays with your emotions in an – it kinda sounds good, but then you imagine taking a bite and then it sounds totally gross - kind of way) but we like him anyway. Hugs!

Alright, the Rhino just called and is a little traumatized from his weekend fishing getaway where he may or may not have committed birdslaughter, so I need to sign off and be ready to provide some comfort and TLC upon his return. Until next time!!

*Dece (adj; rhymes with peace) verbal abbreviation of decent. Try it. It’s really fun to say. That new Transformers movie was pretty dece!