Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting Punished By Next Year

Every spring and summer I do it to myself. I sit around all winter wondering what the Chicago Cubs will do to bring me a World Series ring THIS YEAR. They sign players, they trade for players, they spend a ton of money, and people that really know baseball reveal their lofty expectations.

I am giddy. I am a schoolgirl. I am convinced: This year? This year is Next Year.
I am an idiot.

Being A Cubs Fan Is Like...

1. Being punched in the face 100 times.
2. Being a battered wife.
3. Playing the lottery with numbers you got from a psychic...every day...all summer.
4. Being a female Wal-Mart employee.
5. Being in love with a woman who doesn't love you back.

How so? Do read.

1. This is a physical pain issue. It literally causes me physical pain to watch them sometimes. Plus, is there anything more physically disrespectful that you can do to someone than punch him in the face? The Chicago Cubs have assaulted my visage 162 times a year...for the last 20 years of my life.

2. I keep getting assaulted but in some way, it's like I believe that they are only hurting me because they love me. Because when things finally do turn around, it will be all that much more special because of everything we have been through together. But mostly, I cannot leave them because I love them and I cannot imagine my life without them. I cannot wrap myself in the embrace of any other team's colors. I need a pill.

3. The psychics, or in this case, baseball analysts, say every year that this is The Year. The Year of 100 Wins and a Championship. And then they go on to say "This is how they'll do it." So every year, I play the game. Sitting, watching, waiting for the numbers that ESPN gives me to hit big. Futility, thou art a loathesome codpiece.

4. Glass ceiling anyone? Those female execs, those managers in a skirt, they can SEE the next step up, but they cannot take it because a force higher than they has mandated that they not be allowed to by virtue of something they cannot control. Is it a god? Maybe. Is it a blind adherence to the inadequate, unfair status quo that doesn't get questioned? More likely. For the Cubs it is the tradition of losing. Of not being quite good enough but being okay with that. For an outfielder, taking a spot with the Cubs is like a female college grad taking a front office job with Wal-Mart. They are pretty much resigning themselves to a life of "Yeah, But That's Alright." Are they unhappy? Unproductive? Downtrodden? Not enough to do something about it. Why? Because of the built in excuse heard all over Wrigleyville: "There's always next year!"

5. You call. You spend on dates. You wait around for them to call. You do what they want you to do in order to be what they need you to be so as to make things easier, and you are loyal. Your reward? A complete lack of effort and the obvious air of "I don't really give a fuck." In relationships I call this the Priority --v-- Option Effect. This is a baseball phenonemon as well. For the person in a relationship, the priority or option is the other person. For the Cubs? It's winning. Winning is their Option, not their Priority. And frankly, I'm tired of caring more than they do.

Where is the gin?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stuff That Is Dead To Us

Somewhere along the line, something happened. An episode, an accident, an incident, whatever. The point is that sometimes in life, something happens and turns us against things. You go your whole life having no real issue with something, then....BANG. That thing is now dead to you. To hell with that thing. You'll never use that thing again, eat that thing again, watch that thing again, or go to that thing again--that's how much to hell with it.

I, Jared, declare the following things

Stuff That Is Dead To Me

1. The semicolon.
2. American League Baseball.
3. Chocolate Cake.
4. Ranch Dressing.
5. Vodka.

1. Why do we need this? Can we simply not just...make a new sentence? I have never understood why it is that people use the semicolon. That, and it is also infuriating when the grammar check on Microsoft Word wants me to use it. For what? You are dead to me, Semicolon.

2. Until they do away with the designated hitter, I am left with no choice but to do away with AL baseball. The same teams every year are good, the same three teams always stink or start off hot and come back to earth. Plus, being in the American League means that on every team, there is a guy who is making the same salary as other only play half the game. Good riddance, AL Baseball.

3. The most overrated thing ever is chocolate cake. Especially with chocolate frosting. Stop doing that, everyone, or you're grounded. If you are dying to have chocolate so badly, why not just go buy a Hershey bar? It's cheaper, it's easier. Part of me thinks chocolate cake to be pretentious. Good day, Chocolate Cake!

4. Of all things, this is the one I am most passionate about. Stop putting Ranch on everything. It does not go on pizza. Ever. I don't care. I don't want it on my chicken. And please, can we stop sullying and embarrassing bacon by associating it with ranch? Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza, wraps, even fucking soup. Bacon Ranch Pringles? Stop it. And simply adding BBQ to ranch doesn't make it "Southwest Ranch". All you have done is ruined the BBQ. Fuck Ranch.

5. OK. So here is the thing with Vodka. It's for girls and people that didn't know what they were doing when they started drinking, so they just ordered it and now it's "their drink". I have never really liked vodka, but I tolerated it in shot form, or as part of a recipe for drinks...stuff like that. Until the bachelor party. Ike got married and we went into downtown Cleveland for the bach party. A friend was buying the drinks and before I knew it, I was sucking down Vodka and Red Bull like it was my job. Felt like hell for two days and last time I smelled vodka, I gagged. No. More. Vodka. Ever. That's how much fuck vodka.

We're double-teaming you this post, so here's Nance:

Stuff That Is Dead To Me

1. Cheetos
2. Red Robin
3. Texas
4. Gin
5. Margarine

Sigh. Cheetos and I used to have a major relationship. When the bigass checkerboard Cheetos came out, I even bought my own bag and, sadly, hid them from my children. (I am not proud of this.) Many of my fatpounds could be attributed solely to Cheetos. Then, one day, Cheetos turned on me. I felt an oily roiling in my stomach and a wave of nausea like a fluorescent orange tidal wave. I did not gurge, but damn near. Damn near. As of that moment--and it was probably about six years ago--I swore off Cheetos for good.

Red Robin is a franchised burger joint that Rick and I used to go to about every Friday night. Until two things happened: (1) It became so kidful and noisy that I got frantic and wanted to slit my wrists after a week of teenwrangling at The Rock; (2) I found out that they use a conveyor-belt type machine to cook their hamburgers, not a flattop or grill, which explained why I could never, ever, ever get my hamburger with the correct amount of pink in the middle and instead got a grey overdone slab of meat. Dead to me.

I know I have lots of blogfriends in The Lone Star State, and I don't want to offend anyone, but ever since The Dark Times (i.e. The Bush Years) and having Texas shoved down our throats, I have a terrible preconceived idea of this State. That, and all of the Food Network specials that show all the huge steaks being eaten competitively and the overabundance of "Tex-Mex" food and the fact that everyone there can't eat anything unless it includes chipotle or barbecue makes me want to avoid this place like the plague. All that, plus Tom DeLay, Country Music, the Bushes, Gary Busey, Renee "I Need A Sudafed" Zellwegger...yikes. DTM.

Gin. Oh, boy. Even talking about it makes me gag. Let's just say that there was an episode in college and leave it at that. (At least give me credit for remembering the episode.) Gin? Huh?

Finally, margarine. Listen, there are about 100 calories in a tablespoon of butter. There are about 90 in a tablespoon of margarine because they spin in some water. Oh, but think of what you are giving up! Succinctly--just your soul! It's OIL AND WATER, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. I used to use margarine all the time--Fleischmann's, to be exact, and it is still the best of the worst. But butter is better. It tastes so much better. I put a stick out in my little crockery Butter Cow and it is rendered spreadable, so no worries there. I abhor the fakey taste of margarine, but I have to buy both because Rick is still Margarine Dependent. But to me--Margarine = Dead.

So, think long and hard, Stuff readers. What, after long last, is now Dead To You, and why?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stuff We Stuff Ourselves With Even When We're Stuffed!

Let's talk desserts, shall we? I mean restaurant desserts, not the stuff you eat or make at home, like brownies or a bowl of Cool Whip with Hershey's syrup and salted mixed nuts...what? Oh, like you've never plopped that crap in a bowl in a pinch or in a fit of PMS.


Anyway, every once in a while, I am able to get dessert in a restaurant or talk my husband or huge sons into finishing whatever I have a taste for. Here then are my

Favorite Restaurant Desserts

1. Creme Brulee
2. Chocolate Mousse
3. Pavlova

That's it. I'm not kidding. I am not a fan of cheesecake--too heavy, and I hate those molten lava chocolate puddingy things that are really just underbaked chocolate cakes with runny middles. What I love these days is the fact that many restaurants have mastered the teeny tiny dulces, the itsy bitsy demitasse creme brulees in all kinds of fantastic flavors that are no more than about 3 bites, which is perfect for me. I absolutely adore creme brulees, and two of the best I've ever had are 1) at the Ritz in Washington D.C. where Monica Lewinsky met Linda Tripp and spilled her horrid, traitorous guts; that one was an orange spice tea brulee that brought me to simultaneous tears and orgasm. I am not lying. 2) lavender vanilla creme brulee at some restaurant in Colorado, I think...perhaps called "Strings." Oh dear heaven.

Now the chocolate mousse is a really old-fashioned dessert, but I don't care. It's light, it has a great flavor and, when it's done correctly, it has a wonderful mouth feel. One of the best I ever had was on my Alaska cruise. Lovely.

Pavlovas are just crunchy bigass meringues with fruit or chocolate and whipped cream. I love them and hardly ever get them. No one at the Dept./Stuff cares for them, and I hate wasting the egg yolks. Restaurants will do little individuals, and I had a lovely one of tropical fruits on the aforementioned cruise.

What are your favorite restaurant desserts? Or...which ones am I forgetting?


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