Monday, June 14, 2010

All Good Things Must Come To An End

The life cycle of a star is long; our sun was born approximately 5 billion years ago. Compare that to the lifespan of the Lake Erie midge, more commonly called the Canadian Soldier, which lives only 24 hours. In between those two extremes is this blog, which has been in existence for almost two years. Sadly, its time is now over.

3 Reasons We Must Stuff Stuff On Our List

1. Jared
2. Nance
3. You

Ok. In brief:

Jared is a twentysomething guy with twentysomething-guy pursuits and a twentysomething guy commitment level. You probably noticed that I outposted him at least three to one. Additionally, he has moved out to an apartment with a buddy, and they do not yet have Internet capability beyond their Blackberrys. This all adds up to A Lot Going On And Some Minor Inconvenience, so he is pretty much not going to be posting anytime soon, not that he was doing so all that often, which I covered already. SO! Moving on.

I have two other Main Blogs, so this one admittedly was not my Main Priority. I started it with Jared so that we could Do Something Together. It soon became something of a drag for me when it looked like it was yet another Personal Blog. I can't helm three blogs. This is the easy one to let go. Just like in a work situation, last hired is the first fired.

Finally, this blog has the least number of subscribers and almost no commenters. It's pretty obvious that it won't be missed, and so I feel that I'm bowing to the will of the public anyway. Please know, the few of you that do read occasionally, that I will incorporate a few Lists on my anchor blog over at the Dept. of Nance. The clickable link is in the sidebar here. I won't be taking down this blog; rather, I'll be using it to experiment with some of Blogger's new features recently introduced. That way, I can decide whether or not to implement them worry-free at my other sites.

Thanks for the laughs and for the discussions we had here. It was fun while it lasted.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Outta Here!

The Animals sang, "We gotta get out of this place if it's the last thing we ever do." I find myself in hearty agreement about several Places. Here is my list of

Places That Don't Do It For Me Anymore

1. Applebee's
2. The Gap
3. Old Navy
4. Max & Erma's
5. Express
6. Macy's

I know I usually go in order, but try and stay with me. Let's start with the two restaurants on this list. Those of you who are even snobbier than I am and are ready to start harping at me by saying (with your noses in the air), "Oh, what do you expect when you--assume air of disdainful elitism here--eat at a chain restaurant!?" can settle yourselves down immediately. I live in Ohio, first of all, and secondly, do not have the choices or unlimited disposable income to go eat at Le Bistro de Plus d'Argent. Regardless of all of this, allow me: These two establishments bore me senseless with mediocre food and uninspiring menus. I can make their offerings at home. (And far better. So I do.) I don't think Max & Erma's has put a new pasta entree on their menu since, possibly, 1988. Inexcusable.

The clothing stores start off at a disadvantage for me because I am a difficult individual to fit. The Macy's in my area, which would carry clothing for a 51-year old woman does not stock pants or skirts in a size 2. Also, they lean heavily on the Karen Scott line, which runs alarmingly large and trends toward knits, which I hate. And if anyone can tell me how the hell that store is "organized," and I use the term very loosely, I will gladly listen. That store is a nightmare. Express, which is the only place I buy pants for work, fits me beautifully, but let's face it: I am not their target demographic. I would, however, like to know who in the hell buys puffed sleeve tops, for that is the preponderance of their shirt style. All of their shirts are hideous and overpriced. Even if I were not a half-century old, I would never buy a shirt there. Ever.

Old Navy and The Gap are owned by the same corporation, The Gap being the upscale big sister of the two. In this case, "upscale" means vastly overpriced. Sometimes I go into The Gap just for the entertainment value. I once picked up a little cotton eyelet sleeveless blouse and it was $56.00. Usually, I just wait out The Gap. Sure enough, my patience is rewarded. I really liked a skirt there that was $49.95. Rick wanted to buy it for my birthday. I snorted and said, "Don't be silly. I can beat The Gap. By July, this will be down to twenty bucks." I got it for 14. (On a related note: I am currently waiting out a little sleeveless shirt at American Eagle where they are silly enough to think someone will pay $29 for what is, essentially, gauze. Idiotic.)

Old Navy used to carry some pretty decent stuff for very reasonable money. I would shop for separates there: jeans, jackets, the odd sweater or shirt. Now, it's all crap, period. My sons, ages 22 and 25 don't even shop there. Not even for a sweatshirt. What happened to that store is a tragedy. Their fit got bad, their quality got bad, everything went to hell. Even their commercials. What on earth is that mannequin campaign? Terrible.

So, what about you, Stuff readers? What places are you over and done with?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sounding Off On The Sporting Life

I don't participate in Sports; they require that you exert effort and I might, therefore, become sweaty. I do, however, watch Sports on television. (Sometimes, I might even go to A Sporting Event "live.") Spectating also allows me to observe those in attendance, and I have to tell you, there is a lot of

Stuff That People Need To Stop Doing At Sporting Events

1. Sending text messages
2. Talking on cell phones
3. Trying to get on television
4. Inserting themselves into the event
5. Taking off their shirts

Even if you don't watch Sporting Events on television, you can undoubtedly appreciate the righteousness of these arguments. Consider:

1. There is nothing so idiotic and irksome to me than to watch, say, a championship Sporting Event whose prime seats go for a thousand dollars, and to see some bozo or bimbo sitting there with a cellular device, thumbing away. If you are going to ignore The Major Sporting Event in order to send vowelless gibberish to your friends, then just stay home! I don't get it. And it is People Of All Ages who are guilty of this transgression. I know dozens of people who would literally mow down the elderly for lower bowl seats to an NBA playoff series game, and some airhead is sitting courtside sending random bullshit to someone who is probably sitting next to him/her.

2. Ditto with cell phone usage. Every time the camera zooms in on a batter in an MLB game, some yahoo behind home plate with excellent seats is on his phone. Naturally, the goofball he is talking to is watching the game at home and tells him he is on TV. Now the doofus has to wave and stand up and act like a moron so that his friend can say, "Yeah, I see you! I see you!" Sigh. Sit down and--here's a novel idea--watch the game!"

3. Sometimes there are pre- and post-game interviews near the seats/stands. This means that sad, attention-deprived fans who are maturity-challenged will stand behind the interviewers and jump up and down, make faces, keep wandering nonchalantly back and forth, wave, etc. in order to be on television. Sometimes they will helpfully yell the name of "their" team or the statement "We're number one!" Stellar.

4. Recently, a teenager decided to run onto the field during a Phillies baseball game. He was tasered when he kept running and eluding security. According to some reports, this idiot even called his father first to tell him he was thinking of doing it. He just wanted the game to be memorable. To quote my son Sam, "Hey. Save your ticket stub." Police also had to taser a golf fan on May 7th. And Danny Ainge, the Boston Celtics General Manager, tossed a towel into the air while an opposing player was shooting a free throw during a playoff game. He was subsequently fined $25K for insinuating himself into the game. What is wrong with these people? THE GAME IS NOT ABOUT YOU. SIT THERE, WATCH THE GAME, GO HOME. HOW HARD IS THAT?

5. What is it about going to a Sporting Event that makes men act as if they are having Their First Beers Ever? Then they take off their shirts in a manly display of...what? It would be different if they were Fine Examples Of The Masculine Form. But, more often than not, they are tubby, flabby, chalky ickmonsters who then jiggle their puddingy selves while their bad haircuts get sweaty and some of them then throw up. Ugh. Again: I don't get it.

All sports have rules. It's part of the game. Maybe it's time for there to be stricter rules about Watching the Games, too.

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.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March Mania (I promise this will be better than the NCAA tournament)

Supposedly, this is March. And in some ways, I know that it is. But it just doesn't feel like it. Usually, I get excited about it. My birthday, the NCAA tournament, the NBA coming to the stretch run...things are supposed to be coming along.

However, it just doesn't FEEL like it's March for some reasons. And it is these reasons I am annoyed by.

Stuff About March
1. The NCAA tournament sucks.
2. The weather is absolute bullshit.
3. My birthday will happen.
4. There is baseball beginning to happen.
5. The Easter Bunny is at the mall.

Let's separate these into reasons that it obnoxiously DOES feel like March, and reasons that it. does not.


2. The weather is bullshit. Honestly, one day a couple weeks ago, it was 70 degrees. I went out that night and was comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans with no jacket anywhere near me. I promise, this happened. Do you know what happened two days later? It snowed. Swear to god, this is a fact. Also, two days ago, it was 60 degrees and gorgeous. Of course, as a result of this, I worked ALL DAY. Today? Today is my day off and it is 40 degrees and has been raining all day. Now, if it were gorgeous, would I be active outside? Probably not. But I would like to have that option.

4. I hate it. I am so fucking sick of all things baseball, that I could throw up all over myself as I type this. It is the single most boring sport ever. Will I go to a game in person? I don't know. Can I get loaded and have pizza and wings before it? Also, can I spend less than fifteen bucks on my seat? Do I have to drive? If the answers are, in order: yes, yes, and no...than yes I am in. Will I watch a game on television? Not unless I am suffering from insomnia or am pulling a Dimmesdale and punishing myself for something. I don't ever want to watch a baseball game on TV again...that's how much fuck baseball.

5. The Easter Bunny is always there, and I always wonder why. Do kids ask him for stuff? Isn't this why we have Santa? Also, it isn't even remotely believable that it is a real bunny. For real. At least with Santa, he is the size of a real person, looks like a real person, and IS A REAL PERSON! That "bunny"? Not even close. It's big, plastic, doughy eyes sort of stare at you blankly. Then, there's that weird seam between his neck and his do kids buy this? Are they THAT stupid? Also, the Easter Bunny was spotted smoking a menthol cigarette in the alley behind Harry Buffalo. Just sayin'.

Does Not

1. I used to enjoy the NCAA tournament. I used to get excited and throw a bunch of money away on brackets, call off of work on the first day of the tourney, and use it as an excuse to get loaded in the afternoon. Now? I hate it. The basketball is not high quality, the athletes--for the most part--are not high quality, and the announcing is ridiculous. And can we stop the charade that every team has a chance? They don't. A 16-seed has never beaten a 1-seed. Let alone win more than that game or a title. To hell with college sports. They are crap. Except BGSU women's basketball; those of you that know me, know why this is...can you blame me?

3. Evidently, I will be 25. Who knew? I feel old. Not OLDER than I was/am. Just OLD in general. I don't want gifts, I don't want a party, I don't even really want/need to use it as an excuse to get loaded. I think that being 25 means that you don't need a reason, or a defence for your desire to do so. I will have dinner with my parents and potentially my brother and grandmother. I will enjoy a great meal and my family's company, and really, what more do you need from a birthday? I had a girl ask me recently, "What are you gonna get for your birthday?" What? I don't know. Nothing? And that's fine. All I really need is jeans and boxers. Maybe a t-shirt. Am I concerned? No. The one disconcerting thing here is that I used get AMPED for birthdays. Old sucks. And the real bad part? I am only getting older.

I don't mean to sound like I'm being bitchy. It isn't that March has been terrible. Not for me at least. How about all of you?

Here's to April bringing better weather, better basketball, and of course, the NFL Draft.


Related Posts with Thumbnails