Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We Can Put A Man On The Moon, Huh?

I used to hate it when people would say, "We can put a man on the moon, yet we still can't..." But now? Now I get it. The USA put people on the moon because they wanted to. They had drive. Ambition. Curiosity. I see how this works. However, the question remains: Doesn't it take significantly less of each of those attributes to do a few minor things that are relatively practical and provide everyday functionality for everyone? This brings me to my list of questions:

Hey, How Come We Can't...

1. Make a cordless vacuum?
2. Have normalized television programming?
3. Make a faucet that doesn't sound like you're rinsing dishes with Niagara Falls?
4. Make cooperative car cupholders?
5. Create a straw that does not leak?

1. That cord is terrible. Running The Sucker is really two jobs. Job 1: Vac. Job 2: Babysit and wrangle the cords constantly. This is terrible. Also, while we are at it, can we do something about the noise that this thing makes when you inevitably suck up a little bit of the cord? Really? Do the neighbors need to know that you failed at Job 2? Everytime I suck up the cord a little, I feel like I have to get ready to defend my fail. "Am I OK? Oh, yeah. I'm fine. Just sort of accidently navigated over this here cord. Yeah, I know it was loud. Right. I know. It's fine. Thanks."

(Is there such a thing, technically, as a "cordless" vac? Yes. Absolutely yes. It is called Roomba. However, does anyone really trust these things? Let me get this straight. You turn on a ROBOT that glides around your house and supposedly knows where all of the dirt is? And I am just supposed to TRUST this contraption? Not a chance. If a person doesn't vac, then no sucker-running has taken place. We are not The Jetsons. Also, I am not one of Those Men. Those Men that think that housework is for women. Oh hell no. I was not raised that way. Men, run that goddamned vac. Please. Not tough.)

2. QUICK! What time and on what day does your favorite show air? Exactly. Now, don't get too comfortable with this. Because for no reason, and without warning, it will change. Also, new episodes will be interrupted with re-runs for weeks before the continuance of the prior episode. This is egregious. And I want it fixed. This is why I like ESPN. I know EXACTLY what time my shows are on. And if something preempts it? It is simply, easily, and VERY publicly moved to another one of their networks. Flawless. Take notes, Network Bitches.

3. Full disclosure: I hate noise. Of all sorts. Most things are too loud and probably don't need to be as loud as they are. And I hate it. I HATE the noise that the faucet makes. It sounds like someone is standing at my kitchen counter with a fire hose and they refuse to stop until the nonstick coating is permanently destroyed on every pan and that the glossy coating on the plates is totally obliterated. And what's more is that they don't give a FUCK that I am trying to watch television, read an article or do anything that is NOT listen to the goddamned life-ruining faucet.

4. There's this annoying little rubber insert thing in cupholders. I understand that it is there to try to stabilize the beverage in question. And, hell, if you take them out? Why, then you can theoretically fit a larger drink in there! ERRONEOUS! What happens then is that your drink is wobblier than a drunken Teletubbie. And when the thing is in there? As soon as you free your beverage from the visegrip that is your cupholder...get ready because that obnoxious little bugger will attach itself to your delicious refreshment. Brutal. This is why I refuse to use the cupholders in my Focus. Unwieldy, at best.

5. We have combs that will not break. We have bridges that basically use wires to hold up TONS and TONS of poundage every day. We even have fabric that will resist a stain. However, for some reason, any time you whack the end of your straw in an effort to break the opposite end's cellophane enclosure, your straw is liable to bend and break. Not visibly shatter. But create a small leaky crack that will undoubtedly challenge your ability to use it to enjoy your drink of choice. I can run a comb over with a car that weighs 4356758667567 pounds with ZERO DAMAGE, but I cannot simply open a straw without fear of ruining it? Furthermore, it isn't even being ruined by using it. It's being ruined by trying to prepare to use it. Am I the only one that finds this ludicrous? I cannot be.

So, Stuffers, what do you find yourself unable to come to terms with due to modern mankind's lack of effort, despite the fact that MEN HAVE WALKED ON THE MOON!?

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Have Seen The Enemy And The Enemy Is...Delicious

Sometimes, the thought of an entire meal overwhelms me. I'd rather just snack, or graze, as some people call it. Often, though, this turns into the sad and horrifying spectacle of me shovelling mass quantities of the snacky food into my gaping maw. What is it about some foods that just make us completely lose control? Here are my own personal

5 Dangerous Food Nemeses

1. Lays Original Potato Chips
2. Fresh Guacamole
3. French Fries
4. Garlic Bread
5. Shrimp Cocktail

Okay. The simple act of looking at the nouns listed above is driving me nuts right now. But for you, I will endure.

1. I have written about my unseemly adoration for Lays Original Potato Chips ad nauseum at my other place. I have been known to hide my Grownup Card and have only the Foldy Chips from an entire bag for dinner if I can't think of anything else that sounds good. I once made my husband hide the chips from me when I couldn't trust myself around them anymore. I hope the staff treat me kindly at The Home when I get there.

2. Last summer I discovered the ease of making fresh guacamole in a bigass Ziploc bag and let's just say that the Ziploc bag was not the only bigass thing until I got my addiction under control. But holy crap, I love that stuff! Do you know that for over 45 years, I had never tasted an avocado, let alone guacamole? I blame my mother for this, and I lived in a part of Ohio that had a significant Mexican population. When avocados go on sale, I get unnaturally excited. Just thinking about it makes me tear up. And store-bought guac sucks. Period.

3. First, let's agree to some basic terminology: those things at McDonald's are not French Fries. Not even close. Wendy's fries, yes. Burger King? I have no effing idea what those fakey things are, but French Fries they are not. They taste like generic, off-brand Pringle's. I love hand-cut, real-deal fries with both vinegar and ketchup, and don't be stingy with the salt, either. If you're an Ohio or Michigan reader, think Cedar Point's Berardi's fries. But, failing those, even good old Ore-Ida fries, deep-fried (don't bake your fries, come on!) and golden with the aforementioned condiments will see me through my jones.

4. More than once during my pregnancies, I made entire meals of garlic bread. I love good bread. When Rick and I plan a trip to Cleveland's West Side Market, we always make sure we go well before 10 AM, or all the bakeries are sold out of their gorgeous artisanal breads: asiago, rosemary garlic, kalamata olive, pepperoni, challah, and before they stopped making it, an astonishing chocolate cherry. If there is garlic bread served with a meal, though--warm, chewy, fragrant and buttery--look out. Forget the pasta for me. I'm parking next to the breadbasket and smacking the paws of anyone else who ventures a grab.

5. When I was little, my dad used to bring home the little teensy frozen glasses of individual shrimp cocktails. They were 99% sauce with about 5 miniscule shrimp in each one. I thought it was the most wonderful stuff in the world. I still love shrimp cocktail, and I'm forever just blown away that the shrimp are so much bigger and so much better. As a result, whenever cocktail shrimp appear, I act like it may very well be the last time in my entire life. But really--isn't shrimp cocktail terrific?

How about you, Stuff readers? What little snacky or grazing foods make you lose all control?

Monday, April 5, 2010

In Which I Am Praiseful And Laudatory Of Little Things In My Employ

I like to think that I do not take things for granted; that I am a thankful person who appreciates--for the most part--How Good I Have It. In this spirit, I want to recognize the little everyday Unsung Heroes that make my life easier or more pleasant. Bet you never stopped to think about these

5 Little Everyday Doodads I'm Glad I Don't Live Without

1. Q-tips®
2. Paper Clips
3. Ziploc® Bags
4. Clicky Pens
5. Kleenex®

(Can you tell that my former student Ian taught me how to do the "registered trademark" thingy?)

Okay. First, let's just dispense with the fiction that no one puts cotton swabs into their ears. Yeah, right. They have to put that crap on the label, same as the Ambien® people have to put the "may cause drowsiness" warning on their label. Everyone puts cotton swabs into their ears. Jared, part-time co-author of this blog, has a serious Q-tip addiction; he has a 5-swab-a-day habit. Why? Because it feels wonderful. Also, because it gets the ick out of your ears. I need Q-tips because I apply mascara like an amateur, despite being 50 years old. I need it as an Eye Makeup Eraser.

Next, paper clips are to me, an English teacher, Organizational Crack. I get them in all sizes, including the gigantic ones for entire stacks of multi-page papers. I can't live without them. Especially wonderful are the binder clips, too. They are easy to attach and detach, but they don't store as nicely.

At home, Ziploc bags, or any generic equivalent thereof, are indispensable. I get frustrated trying to find the correct lids for my plastic containers (which may or may not exist, subject as they are to my sons' whims and fancies, i.e., "maybe I'll bring this home or maybe I'll just throw it away or leave it in my car until it molds beyond all use"), so I employ the various-sized Ziploc bags for many leftovers. If it's a messy, liquidy leftover, no problem! Just cut the corner of the bag and squeeze it out that way! Ziplocs are also wonderful for loose hardware, small suitcase items, unreliable jar contents (slip the jar into a Ziploc for insurance), guacamole making (put all ingredients into the bag and just smush it all together, cut off the corner, squeeze into bowl!), and for freezing anything.

Now, I was at first uninitiated to the Wonders Of The Clicky Pen until my colleague/buddy Roger sat me down and set me upon the Path To Righteousness one day in the Teachers' Lounge. And he is right. The Clicky Pen, a.k.a., the Retractable Pen, is the perfect writing device for a busy teacher. No lid to worry about keeping track of, no ink tip bare and mistakenly leaving marks on your skin or clothes or in the bottom of your pen cup where it clots and dries onto other writing utensils, no having to remove the lid in order to jot a quick note, and you can click the clicky part to annoy students or to help you think--both useful endeavors.

Finally, I am continually reminded of the Benefits And Gladness Of Kleenex because my husband is a Hanky User. I know. How Sad. We fight over this all the time. What on Earth is the attraction of keeping a wadded-up swatch of snotted and boogered cloth on your person when you can always have a fresh, clean, hygienic alternative at the ready? And he is an allergy-sufferer! As for me, I will continue to use a pleasant and delightful, soft and clean tissue whenever I need to...evacuate my nasal passages. And then throw it away and get a fresh one. Again and again.

Wasn't this uplifting and pleasant? What Little Heroes make your existence bearable? Sing their praises and see if we share your joy.


Related Posts with Thumbnails