As I’m sure you know, today is National Prime Rib Day. The problem, of course, is that I don’t foresee myself being near any prime rib. This is always a problem, but apparently it’s especially problematic on this day in particular.
But why today? You may as well ask why the sky is blue or why April is National Car Care Month. Or perhaps you should instead ask why September is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month and whether it may be a touch too optimistic to go ahead and devote an entire month to that one. The point is the same though: there is a day/week/month for everything, and it’s quite unnecessary.
Personally, I’m thinking we can go ahead and blame China for this. Yes, it’s cool that the Chinese zodiac has the Year of the Monkey and stuff, and I assume that’s a year-long celebration of all things monkey, but you’ve gotta think ahead and realize that without question people will find a way to take your cool thing and make it stupid. For example, in the early 1900s, when other teenage boys were scratching out the jagged letters of Metallica, AC/DC, and Def Leppard, one young Austrian boy tinkered with his own logos, drawing swastikas and “SS” as lightning bolts on his jean jacket, and this looked pretty sweet. But then a brat named Adolph Hitler swiped the idea and said, yeah, that’s cool and all, but we can make it better with racism. This is exactly the same thing. So while the Year of the Metal Monkey is, when assessed with ignorance and imagination, amazingly awesome, the International Year of the Potato is significantly less awesome.
But without further rambling, and to keep my mind off of prime rib, medium rare, I give you a list of ridiculous holidays and days/weeks/months of awareness:
Male, 33 years old
Mood: breezy (insert smilie)
They say we are social creatures, that social interaction is vital to healthy development, both emotionally and even cognitively. Some of us may instinctively be wallflowers or loners who crave space; some are “cat people.” But regardless of personality, despite the fact that some are satisfied in their state of seeming social ineptitude, beyond preference and comfort, somewhere Rick Springfield calls from 1983, reminding us that we all need the human touch. This is ingrained, we interact with others of our kind, it’s our nature.
The problem is this: the real world provides me with no convenient and accurate way to tally my total friend count for self-validation; when I interact with a person in real life, I’m required to interpret their current disposition; it is literally impossible for me to carry on a conversation in full view and within earshot of every person I know and countless people I don’t know, completely ignoring their disinterest in the dialogue; in real life sharing my every move — regardless of how minute and mundane — and assuming it is of interest to people comes off a little arrogant. (And this is coming from a guy with his own website.)
This is where online social networking comes in. Sites such as Facebook and MySpace allow you to do all of the above, and all from the comfort of your couch or toilet. And not only that, due to your peers’ desire to increase their popularity through total number of displayed friends, these sites can allow you to “be friends” with people who would never speak to you in real life (hence my online relationship with Ms. Pam Beesly). So it’s no wonder so many of us are glued to our screens and exchanging LOLs instead of meeting in person and laughing and clapping each other on the back. Online you can be seemingly popular but without spending the time, money and energy required by a real social life.
Food comes up a lot around here (not a barf joke, I promise), as evidenced by the slew of specialised threads for specific types of food and drink. For instance: doughnuts, pizza, cereal, ice cream (and ice cream marathons), fried foods, comfort food, candy bars, spicy food, fast food, Chipotle, cookies, and soda. Many of these threads are old and our lists could use some tweaking, no doubt. But the point is, food is clearly a driving force on the site, and that may mostly be due to you all being a bunch of piggies.
But you may ask yourself, do we really need another food thread? Well I submit this thread as a catch-all for food in general, for things you’ve discovered in the grocery store, foods you’ve tried for the first time, drinks you vaguely remember ordering, and essentially anything you ingest that doesn’t fit in one of our existing specialised threads. I do this now, of course, because I have examples of my own that don’t fit anywhere, but also because I know some of you have had this same issue in the past.
So ask and ye shall eventually receive, if I feel like it and if I find a need for it myself. If you need me I’ll be in the kitchen.
I enjoy cooking. I realize that this will not likely garner much respect from my male peers unless the recipe calls for grilling, flash-frying, or hunting down and slaughtering the game (all of which I am totally for, but don’t do very well). Your typical “man’s man” will probably frown on this little bit of “women’s work” that I for some reason find challenging and creatively stimulating. But so be it. I have no desire to pretend I don’t enjoy throwing ingredients together to come up with something creative and delicious, especially when I know that the females out there really dig a guy who can cook (ladies, am I wrong?). So I will more than likely start holding a weekly ladies-only dinner at my place and you guys can stay at home and grumble in front of your Swanson’s.
Anyway, I enjoy cooking, and I know my way around the kitchen okay. I will add though that I cannot bake, and here’s why: in my mind, the difference between cooking and baking is very simple: cooking is a free-for-all, a jazzy exploration of ingredients and methods with few boundaries. This I can do, since I’d much rather tinker and experiment than follow the manual. Baking requires more precision and self-control. Oh sure, you can experiment within some of the usual confines, but you have to adhere to set culinary laws or you’re going to wind up gnawing on a brick that was supposed to be a biscuit.
But I go through phases of cooking, I guess, just like anything else I do. It’s easy to fall out of the habit when you’re single (with only yourself to cook for) and can easily run for fast food or order in. And I know it’s supposed to be so much cheaper to cook your own food, but I dunno, when I compare my spending when I’m eating out and when I’m having a heavy cooking week, sometimes those grocery trips far outweigh my carry out purchases.
So I guess I wanted a place to talk about concoctions and recipes and whatnot. Cooking, baking, drink-mixing… So if you have a specialty, go ahead and brag. If you want to share the recipe, then by all means. If someone you know makes something great, give them their due props here. Or if you have a goal to learn to make some particular dish, mention it in this thread and maybe somebody here has some experience. At the very least we’ll be anxiously waiting for you to perfect it so we can invite ourselves over.
Honestly, what I’m trying to do here is find out your various strengths in the kitchen so I can strategically make up a schedule that has you all cooking for me on rotation.
I’m consistently confused by what the public latches on to. I don’t understand why some things become so popular, whether it’s a show, movie, celebrity, saying, food, etc. Of course I’m sure that to the untrained eye I obsess over some bizarre things, but that’s not the point. This site is for throwing stones at others for doing what I do but in different ways.
So what I’d like to do is compile a list of things we can’t believe caught on, or that we’re annoyed caught on, and maybe also things we’re glad didn’t become popular, or even things that we wish had.
Of course it is your right to stick up for trends that you support, but you will likely be made fun of, and likely for good reason.
I am officially on vacation. Those of you who know me well know that I’m a bit of a homebody, and I get nervous about traveling. But my apprehension about my journeys fades away once I check in at the airport; it’s just the weeks leading up to the trip that bother me; once I get started it’s on, I’m fine. So anyway, this morning I headed out for a trip, this time strictly for pleasure. This hasn’t happened in… well, I won’t tell you how long. It’s been a long, long time.
As I mentioned over in the Go to Hell thread, I am going on my first cruise. The boat departs from New Orleans, so I came down a day early to poke around the French Quarter a bit before hitting the water. The 5-day cruise will then stop in at Progreso and Cozumel, so I’ll get to see a little bit of Mexico too.
I’m not used to getting up early — certainly not at 5am — but I dragged my bones out of bed and saw the Columbus sunrise as I flew out to Memphis, on my way to NOLA. The journey itself was uneventful and not so much noteworthy. I was more than a little surprised though when we approached our final destination and the pilot informed us that the local temperature was 37 degrees. My one thermal layer and my trusty blue hoodie have been vital today… I made it to my hotel in the bustling French Quarter at about noon, which was way too early to officially check in. So I dumped my luggage (but unfortunately felt the need to hang on to my heavy backpack) and hit the streets for the afternoon.
So we’re into our final week before Christmas. There’s probably a lot of shopping yet for some of us, cooking, entertaining, traveling, and certainly eating. We have a couple Christmasy threads on the site, for Christmas movies/cartoons/specials, Christmas carols, and just general Christmas humbuggery. But this here shall be the official Christmas catch-all for years to come, or at least until my site breaks completely and laziness prevents its resurrection.
Some things that I don’t think have been brought up elsewhere:
Favourite Christmas memories (or worst, I suppose)
The typical Christmas gauntlet for you and yours
Preferred holiday foodstuffs
The glorification of obesity through Santa Claus imagery
Thoughts on decorations/using mistletoe to snare love interests
The effects of unregulated toy factories on the polar ice cap
Advances in caribou nasal oncology
These subjects should be discussed in great detail, as well as any other related topics you can think of. Holiday well-wishing and general online merrymaking is encouraged here, and of course links to anything humorous that in some small way can be connected to Christmas.
I seem to remember hearing that it’s the little things that make you the happiest. That in this world of colour TVs, stereo boom boxes, and fashion knickers, it’s the simple, often overlooked things that produce real joy in you. I know that sounds lame, and it probably is to some degree, but this is the thought I’m going with so lay off.
I have no intention of getting philosophical or deep, or breaking it down to simple things like basic food or clothing that we American fat cats take for granted. I know we suck here in the take-it-all-for-granted Western world, but that’s a rant for another thread (that I’ll probably never start, so what do I care, talk about it here if you really want). I just wanna know what little things get you every time, which often-overlooked things in life make you happy.
And since all of us here are quirky in our own special ways, I’m guessing our various simple, “little” things are probably pretty different or unique. Or maybe you’ll find that you really love something that someone else here enjoys, but it’s so little that you’ve overlooked the beauty of its wonderful simplicity.
Let me give you an example:
I’ve been meaning to put a Halloween thread together, so here we are. Anything related to pumpkins, tricks or treats, cross-dressing, mild vandalism, etc. goes here.
My initial thought was to get a thread started so you all can help me figure out what to be this year, but it’s getting kinda late for that, huh? I think I have a fair amount of creativity, but every year I have such a hard time thinking of a good costume. I guess that’s just the curse of my constant search for excellence. Of course not going as anything is the exact opposite of excellent. Last year I tied a table cloth around my neck. I’m sure that’s not that surprising to you, but what I bet you’re saying is, “Bill, you actually own a table cloth?” Yes I do. It’s plaid and it has the power to make me a super hero.
But I digress. What I would like from you is your costume for this year, costumes from past years, or a solid reason for being lame and not dressing up anymore. If you have pics email them to me and I’ll add them to your comments for you (or you can link to them if they live elsewhere on the interweb and I’ll take care of it). You peeps with kids, let’s see some cute kid pics. If you send me photos of your pets dressed up I *might* post them for you, but if I do it’ll likely be used as evidence in your animal cruelty prosecution case. You can also share Hallow’een stories, funny costumes you found elsewhere, general gripes about the holiday itself, or anything related like that. I’ll bring over any related comments too.
Oh, and go ahead and give me some costume ideas. Maybe I’ll have time to throw something together. Don’t make me wear the table cloth again, people.