Guilty Summer Pleasures

It’s hot in Houston these days. Really, really hot. And you’ve got to have something to get you through. Below are my biggest summer guilty pleasures. Here are a few things I’m obsessed with these days:

#1 Cane’s

Whether it’s after a hot day at a summer music festival, or at a birthday party complete with a fountain of Cane’s sauce (you read that right – a FOUNTAIN of Cane’s sauce), Cane’s has been my comfort food meal of choice this summer. I love the simplicity of it all – all they serve is chicken fingers and fries (and toast and coleslaw if you’re feeling creative). You can order any combination of those items, and that’s it. Everything (even fries, no need for ketchup) is topped with the patented Cane’s sauce… and that’s the best part.

Fountain of Cane’s sauce, that’s 16 to go cups of sauce coursing through that fountain:


#2 Reality TV

This probably comes as no surprise, but I love Reality TV. And summertime serves up the best of it. Some of my summer favorites:

  • The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo – Rachel Zoe lives in a world full of gorgeous clothes, gorgeous jewelry, gorgeous shoes, and lots of pressure to make sure they all work together perfectly. Watching the show gives me one hour to feel half as glamorous as Rachel, Brad, and Taylor. It’s better than new clothes plus new shoes times new haircut.
  • Project Runway is BACK on Lifetime – I have been watching the Fashion Show because I love me some Isaac Mizrahi, but damn did I miss Tim Gunn and Heidi. So far Lifetime hasn’t diluted anything… the show is just as dramatic and creative as when it was on Bravo. And I can’t get enough.
  • Man Vs. Food on the Travel Channel – Adam Richman is a normal guy who loves food and knows the restaurant business. I love watching him stretch himself to the limit eating large portions, crazy spicy food, and more – all for the glory of bragging rights. If you’re a fan of the show (or going on a trip anytime soon), be sure to check out the show’s Travel Guides – complete with addresses of each of the restaurants seen on the show and what Adam ate when he was there. They haven’t had a Houston episode… YET. I’m eagerly waiting.
  • America’s Got Talent on NBC – I’ll admit, this show is not great. But since we went to the Houston America’s Got Talent taping back in May, I’ve been invested. And I would like to note that all 3 of the Houston acts in the quarterfinals also made it to the semifinals… which of course means we’re good luck.

My favorite reality show moment of the summer has to be Penn & Teller on AGT. It’s a completely new and shocking twist on “sawing a woman in half.” Enjoy!

#3 Lynne Truss

My first step to becoming an official Houstonian was getting a Houston Library Card. And my first book borrow with said card was Lynne Truss’s “Talk the Hand: the Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today.”

Lynne Truss is the author of one of my favorite books – “Eats Shoot and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation,” a book less about punctuation rules and more about the struggles of a punctuation stickler living in a world where the rules that are in place to set a standard for our expectations of language are often ignored.

“Talk to the Hand” is similarly not a list of etiquette rules, but more a commentary on the history of etiquette and how it affects our daily life. It can all be summarized: “once you leave behind such class concerns as how to balance the peas on the back of a fork, all the important rules surely boil down to one: remember when you are with other people; show some consideration.”

My favorite part was the chapter entitled “Why am I the One Doing This?” on how the culture of choice and the concept of Do It Yourself has turned into a DIYFS where the customer is left to do more and more on his or her own before ever getting any assistance. I’ve read it over and over again – these days we’ve simply come to expect poor customer service. It’s an interesting point for those of us who are in contact with customers on a daily basis (especially those of us who often work tech support and troubleshoot with confused or frustrated clients – how can we meet customers half way?):

In common with many people today, I seem to spend my whole life wrestling resentfully with automated switchboards, resentfully joining immense queues in the post office, and generally wondering, resentfully, “Isn’t this transaction of mutual benefit to both sides? So why am I not being met half-way here? Why do these people never put themselves in my shoes? Why do I always have to put myself in theirs? Why am I the one doing this?

While Ms Truss is all over the internet, she has not branched out to social media – and there are no signs of her on Facebook or Twitter. In the event that Lynne Truss ever decides to augment her published books by publishing in 140 characters, I have saved a Twitter name for her (my hope was to get to it before the squatters).


So Ms Truss, if you ever want to branch into Twitter and use @lynnetruss, just let me know and I will gladly hand it over.

For the rest of my readers (hi Mom), if you appreciate a little British wit from a stickler on punctuation, manners, or any of her other topics – pick up one (or more) of Lynne Truss’s books. They’re great for reading poolside (or better yet, in the air conditioning)… anything to get through this hot, sticky summer!

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