Category: Joe Grace Columns

From Maruchan to Slurping Turtle: One man's ramen evolution

From Maruchan to Slurping Turtle: One man's ramen evolution
During my teenage years, my afternoon snack after getting home from school was fairly consistent – ramen, grilled cheese and a tall glass of chocolate milk. (It being my teenage years, I immediately would lose two pounds upon consuming all of this.) But I didn’t eat just any ramen. OK, maybe I did. I ate... Read more »

The last place you look and the joy of unpacking after a move

The last place you look and the joy of unpacking after a move
We moved from Chicago to the suburbs in early September. It’s now well into October and my wife is looking for a certain book, Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.” First problem: It’s still in an unopened box. Second problem: The second bedroom is filled to the ceiling with my unopened boxes from the move... Read more »

The seven days of moving (and a few more just because)

The seven days of moving (and a few more just because)
All of last week was devoted to MOVING. I use all caps in this instance because (1. I like to) and (2. It seems like MOVING deserves it.). On Monday, my wife and I got ready for our move from Chicago to the suburbs. On Tuesday, we moved. This took most of the day and... Read more »
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I saw a huge rainbow on my way home and it was awesome

I saw a huge rainbow on my way home and it was awesome
Driving home from work today, I saw a huge rainbow – maybe the biggest rainbow I’ve ever seen. It stretched across the sky, basking in its Roy G. Bivness. I smiled. I like rainbows. (Yes, I also like unicorns.) There is something inherently wonderful about them. The colors. The grandeur. The stark difference from how... Read more »

Three ways a computer game taught me how to potentially conquer the world

Three ways a computer game taught me how to potentially conquer the world
I went on a Sid Meier’s Civilization V bender over the weekend. In case you’ve never heard of it, Sid Meier’s Civilization V is a turn-based 4X strategy computer game in which you try to guide a national leader from the past to world domination. In case you’ve never heard of what a turn-based 4X... Read more »

How a dead dude helped me rediscover my drive to write

How a dead dude helped me rediscover my drive to write
“You fail only if you stop writing.” – Ray Bradbury I kind of want to punch Ray Bradbury in the face for this quote. It’s 11:30 p.m as I’m writing this. I’m exhausted. I want to go to bed. Oh man, I want to go to bed. But I ran across this quote today, and... Read more »
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The Chicago Botanic Garden: Full of life, love and watermelon raptors

The Chicago Botanic Garden: Full of life, love and watermelon raptors
Last weekend, my wife and I visited the Chicago Botanic Garden. While it’s not in Chicago (it’s in Glencoe) and the word “garden” doesn’t nearly do it justice, it is very botanic (botanic, of course, being the Latin word for “full of allergens”). Luckily, all of the tree pollen in the Chicago area had already... Read more »

Fish sticks: Remembering E. Robert Kinney, the man responsible for them

Fish sticks: Remembering E. Robert Kinney, the man responsible for them
Fish sticks, for me, are synonymous with childhood. I have many fond memories of sitting at the kitchen table enjoying the breaded fish morsels paired with macaroni and cheese, green beans and the most essential component of all – ketchup. I must have eaten enough fish sticks as a kid to enable a community version... Read more »

Why I can no longer support same-sex marriage quietly from the shadows

Why I can no longer support same-sex marriage quietly from the shadows
Marriage equality is a difficult subject for me to write about. I support same-sex marriage and have for more than a decade, albeit silently through most of it. I personally see no reason one loving couple should have more rights than another loving couple. I married my wife in a state-sanctioned beautiful ceremony surrounded by... Read more »
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Doritos Locos Tacos Doritos: Snack world has gone crazy

Doritos Locos Tacos Doritos: Snack world has gone crazy
Yesterday, we explored the wild and crazy world of snack food innovation when we tried the wonderful abomination that is Lay’s Chicken & Waffles potato chips. Today, we’ll delve even deeper into the tunnel of pre-meal insanity by looking at Pepsico’s announcement of its newest item: Doritos Locos Tacos Doritos. Yes, you read that right.... Read more »