OT: Another Small Glimpse of Perfection

Sorry for the lack of blogging today, y’all. I think we’re all feeling a little worn down–I can’t really handle thinking about much today. (I did, however, think a lot about LeBron James, King Kong, and white privilege over at Shakesville yesterday and a little about Liz Phair and my feminist awakening at Broadsheet today, if you’re interested.)

The important thing is, around here I can still blog without thinking much!

So. Verrrrry longtime readers (i.e., pre-Shapely Prose readers) or those who have actually been all the way through the archives (bless your hearts) might recall my paean to the Cusinart Griddler. Here’s a taste:

I find it totally thrilling to own a product that does everything I could possibly want it to do, and looks good while doing it. How rare is that? It seems like everything I buy these days, from jeans to computers, ends up being a compromise at best and a total disappointment at worst. It’s been a long damn time since I’ve bought anything intelligently designed, well-constructed, and reasonably affordable. The Griddler now sits on my countertop reminding me that it is possible to really get things right in this world, and so brings me joy every time I walk past it.

Not surprisingly, between October 2006 and February 2008, I did not find any other products I could get that geeked over. But then, the day before Valentine’s Day, I was desperate to find something for Al (unfortunately, I will never top the Bacon of the Month Club subscription from last year), and I finally decided I’d cop out and just go for a couple nice bottles of wine. Then I got to the liquor store and discovered they had Houdini corkscrews–the Rabbit’s poorer cousin–on sale. I’ve been hearing for years that the Rabbit is the most amazing thing ever, but seriously, you want HOW MUCH for a CORKSCREW? I would rather dig the fucking cork out with my fingernails.

But the Houdini, while still being absurdly pricey for a CORKSCREW, was within my V-Day gift budget, and hey, aren’t gift-giving holidays exactly when you’re supposed to blow money on stupid shit people would never buy for themselves? So I got one. And OH MY GOD WHY HAVE I NOT HAD ONE OF THESE SINCE I TURNED 21?

This one only came with a foil cutter and the corkscrew, no other bells and whistles, but holy crap, those two things have changed my life. I mean, it’s not like opening a bottle of wine was really an excruciating trial before, but there was a bit of a challenge to it. And always the possibility of fucking it up. The Houdini? Removes both. A flick of the wrist, a pull of the lever, and bam! YOUR WINE IS OPEN.

It ain’t world peace or a cure for cancer. But man, it is one more instance, like the Cuisinart Griddler, of a design team getting something just right, solving a problem goddamn perfectly. I love that.

So I highly recommend picking one up, if you’re looking for a small thing to cheer you.  Of course, a $6 bottle of wine with a screw top is cheering, too, but it’s not quite the same.

28 thoughts on “OT: Another Small Glimpse of Perfection”

  1. ok, my mind is clearly too dirty for words. When I saw the link to ‘rabbit’ and something about V-day, I was wondering why you would buy your boyfriend a vibrator…..
    Anyway, my dad got one of those things (though the brand names are different in Europe) about 7 odd years ago, and yes, it is GREAT! My mum loves it especially, since she has some arthritis and thus not the strongest wrists.

  2. The Cuisinart Griddler is a true work of perfection. I love mine and can’t imagine not having it.

    I rarely however open wine that has a cork cuz I am classy like that. My wine comes in a box with a fucking spout for emergency situations. But should I ever start drinking better quality wine I will indeed check out the corkscrew, or perhaps I will get one as a gift for someone because it looks awesome.

  3. I also have a rabbit-alike corkscrew, and you’re right, it’s brilliant. I don’t even know where my other corkscrews are anymore because I haven’t used any of them since we got this. It’s especially good for those with wrist problems (like me) – it’s not completely effortless, but takes a lot less work than any other I’ve tried.

  4. I must know more about this bacon of the month thing. I sense an excellent Father’s day gift opportunity.

  5. Congratulations on getting hired on at Broadsheet! That is tremendous!

    And actually, I have to admit that although I haven’t heard Phair’s last album, I actually love the “Liz Phair” album, the one everyone thinks is such a huge L.A. sellout. Yeah, she’s singing much higher than she used to, but that’s her speaking voice range so I’m not gonna complain. (It can strain the vocal cords a lot to sing much lower or higher than you talk all the time.) I mean, “average everyday sane psycho supergoddess” stuck in my head the second I heard it, for good. I’d love to “suck” that badly, myself.

  6. Disclaimer: If getting into the Liz Phair discussion is thread hijacking, feel free to delete me. I don’t drink wine so I can’t talk about corkscrews.

    I give the appearance of being a person who cares about many issues, but the secret reality is that what I get truly angry about (I mean, the hell with the war, right?) is Liz Phair’s squandering one of the great natural pop talents.

    Liz Phair chose to become Meredith Brooks. Listen, if you will, to the pure genius that is “Stratford On Guy” and tell me that doesn’t make you seethe.

  7. I will also say in response to Kate’s actual Broadsheet post, that I believe Whitechocolatespacegg is an underrated album with some dead spots but some real gems. Things didn’t really get bad until after that.


  8. Fat Louie, I totally agree about whitechocolatespaceegg. I actually love that album. Even “Uncle Alvarez,” which a lot of people seem to find intolerable.

  9. Congratulations on getting hired on at Broadsheet! That is tremendous!

    Thanks, but I’m not officially hired. I’ve been doing some “audition” pieces over the last couple of weeks, and they should be making the official hiring decisions soon.

  10. I have a real rabbit.

    But I only have this because some pretentious jerk in my college dorm freshman year had it. And then he left it in someone else’s room, and then I lived with that guy, and he forgot it when he moved out. But still, I feel like I have done my part in stealing things from a rich pretentious jerk. (I saw him the year after graduation trying to drive his porsche in the snow. Sad.)

  11. We registered for a Rabbit corkscrew for our wedding, after being totally jealous of my parents’ Rabbit. And it is, indeed, one of the greatest tools ever made. No more corks breaking off and falling into the bottle! We have all the bells and whistles, but I haven’t figured out what half of them are for.

    I hadn’t heard of that Cuisinart Griddler before, but hmmm. It does look really awesome.

  12. The only beer I like, a lambic with a variety of different fruit options, comes in a bottle with a cork. Which sucks the big one when everyone else is popping right into their beverage of choice and I’m still fucking around trying to get the damn cork out of my fancy pants German beer. So this sounds like it might be a Very Good Thing.

  13. I need a Griddler. Right now.

    Also, I too thought for a second you were referring to the rather more interesting Rabbit, and my first thought was, when did they start selling those in liquor stores? Though it would make for a very nice evening. :)

  14. *high fives shinobi*

    So much deliciousness! Such stupid corks!

    There’s this fairly new mega alcohol store that is 1.2 miles (we looked at it on google maps) from our house. They have SO MANY LAMBICS! It’s like spontaneously fermented Christmas!

  15. shinobi, that is the best way to get one ever. I also love lambic beer! It tastes like what I thought wine coolers ought to taste like before I ever tried one (then yuck). Sadly, I cannot get them in my current location. :(

  16. Wait; hold the phone. People are annoyed by “Uncle Alvarez”? It’s a song I always point to as one of her most perfect compositions. Now I feel responsible for writing a critical piece somewhere explaining why. Damn.

    And thanks for cuing me in to the Cuisinart Griddler, KH and posters. It will go on the list with the KitchenAid stand mixer as components of the dream kitchen I can’t afford.

  17. Cynth, some of the more snooty wine companies have been putting higher quality wines in boxes. They call it a cask or something, but it’s still a box.

    Me, though, I don’t drink much wine. It has to be sweet and non-dry for me to even think about it.

    I just like the hard stuff. :)

    And I think I might need the Griddler, like whoa. Either that or the cool thing I keep seeing in informercials that has two ‘well’s and cooks stuff from the top and bottom at the same time – it reminds me of the little forms we used to have for camping that you’d put two pieces of bread in and pie filling in the middle, and chuck it over a fire.

  18. For those who are considering a Griddler or lamenting their inability to afford one, I have bad/good news. More than a year of use has taught me it’s not as perfect as I thought. Specifically, getting the plates on and off can be way more of a pain in the ass than I originally believed.

    Having said that, it’s still a terrific little machine, and it’s cute, and I love the temp settings, etc. I still recommend it. But a George Foreman with removable plates would probably make me damn near as happy for half the price.

  19. Sarah Hepola’s been my editor there, Meowser. I don’t know that Shapelings should flood her inbox with pro-Kate messages, but if you like what I’ve been writing there, it might not hurt to send them some kind of feedback to that effect–or comment over there.

  20. killedbyllamas: “Also, I too thought for a second you were referring to the rather more interesting Rabbit, and my first thought was, when did they start selling those in liquor stores? Though it would make for a very nice evening.”

    I THOUGHT SO TOO!! Only my first thought was, “How in the world would a corkscrew attachment work? And what would possibly be the point?!” @@

  21. I actually love pretty much every Liz Phair album, though they all serve different moods. In particular, whitechocolatespaceegg gets my personal vote as Most Underrated Album Of All Time By Anyone, Ever–it takes a couple listens to sink in, but if you give it a chance you realize all the songs are really great in a sort of subtle way (except “Only Son.” that one just sucks).

    The line you quoted at Broadsheet from “Strange Loop” was the inspiration for my tattoo, I love it so much.

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