Archive | November, 2007

All the leaves are brown

30 Nov

J & I are leaving at Oh Dark Thirty tomorrow morning for our first trip to the left coast!  Its a combination Anniversary Trip/Last Trip Before We Buy a House and Have No Money Ever Again.  I’ve never been that far west before and neither has J.  We’re looking forward to bonding with relatives at the zoo, getting splashed at Sea World, eating real Mexican food, and, most of all, not having to work for a week.  Especially because there is not enough alcohol in the world to keep my happy at work lately. 

Anyways, I was going to line up a guest blogger or two, but got too lazy to ask, so I decided to simply leave you all with the California Dreamin’ ear-worm.  I find it most annoying to sing the background parts a few decibels louder than the main lines.  Have fun! 

A Plea to My Faithful Readers

27 Nov

Dearest Readers of Lord, Beer Me Strength,

As a child, I spent many nights listening to my dad’s band practice in the basement.  No, my dad is not quite as cool as Eddie Van Halen or even Eminem, but he does have a really good voice.  He can also play the keyboard, guitar and accordion very well, despite not being able to read sheet music and sometimes making up lyrics as he goes along.  I’m sure he would have loved if one of his kids had half the musical talent he has.

I have never been coordinated enough to play an instrument, so I thought I could be a good singer.  I was in the church choir.  An older girl once told me I was flat, and I thought, “I thought I had decent boobs for a twelve year old.”  I graduated to high school choir.  Picture, if you will, a bunch of white suburban kids in hideous green robes singing spirituals.  It wasn’t a pretty sound.  I was always a terrible singer, not that I ever sang loud enough for anyone to actually hear me after that flat comment.

Now, though, I have a chance to make my father proud.  The good people at some game company have answered my prayers: Guitar Hero. 

All you need to do to “learn” how to play the guitar is press some color coded buttons and strum a bar.  Its a child’s game, really.  But its hard.  Not quite as hard as Dance, Dance Revolution, which involved moments of my life I’d rather not relieve. 

I’ve only played twice.  I need more practice.  But that means I need an XBox 360 and the game.  Oh, and the guitar.  That’s like $500 worth of toys for an adult trying to buy a house. 

This is where you all come in.  I’ll set up a PayPal account, and you can all donate whatever disposable income you have just hanging around, I can get Guitar Hero, get good and rock out with my dad’s band at the restaurant/God’s waiting room he plays at, and we’ll all be happy.  Sound good?

Smooches!

Julie

I am a cotton-headed ninny muggins

24 Nov

Now that Thanksgiving is over (and I got no leftovers, by the way, making pumpkin pie for breakfast impossible.  Not happy) its time for the holiday season to begin.  I know, the songs have been playing for weeks, the stores are full of wrapping paper, and there are already Christmas movies on TV.  But now is really the time to enjoy all that the world has to offer for the holidays.  Numero Uno on my list: the food.

The reason I am a cotton headed ninny muggins is because I am a marketer’s dream come true.  Townhouse crackers?  Bo-ring.  Townhouse crackers with Christmas trees on them?  Must have item.  Yes, I know they’re the same thing, but the newer holiday ones are pretty!  (Aside from that annoying picture of Rachel Ray on the front of the box, that is.)  I had to physically restrain myself from buying the six different kinds of Hershey Kisses that are out now.

My new favorite section of Target is the Christmas section, most specifically the food aisle.  All the pretty gimmicky food gifts no one really wants to get, but are perfect for those you don’t know what to get for.  Three different kinds of cocoa with a holiday mug and tree shaped marshmallows — what boss wouldn’t want that?  And how about that processed cheez log, complete with crackers and a holiday spreader — perfect for great aunt Ethel! 

Then there’s all the food you can’t get during the rest of the year, like Egg Nog.  I love Egg Nog with a passion.  My Papa used to buy it straight from the dairy.  It was so thick you practically needed a spoon to drink it.  There’s no better way to top off a holiday dinner with a weeks worth of calories than with another days worth of calories in one small glass!

And the cookies!  How could you not want to bake at a time like this?  The chocolate chips and bags of sugar are at the end of every aisle of the supermarket, just waiting to jump in your cart.  Because you need a dozen bags of chocolate chips if they’re that cheap.  Don’t forget the Ziplock bags with the snowflakes on them for storage! 

Happy Eating!  I’ll be chowing down on my spaghetti with maple syrup and focusing on the four food groups (candy, candy corn, candy canes and maple syrup) while buying every stupid gimmicky item I see on TV.  Basically, being a cotton-headed ninny muggins. 

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Turkey Time!

21 Nov

As all of my good American readers know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving (our wacky “neighbours,” the Canadians, celebrated last month).  As I previously mentioned, I do like Thanksgiving, just not its lack of presents for me.  But I’m selfish like that.

I started to think about what I do like about Thanksgiving, and how it has changed for me over the years.  When I was little, it meant getting all dressed up and making the LONG 20 minute trip to my grandparents for dinner (and probably wondering why there were no presents).  And making a turkey by tracing my hand on brown construction paper.

When I was in high school, Thanksgiving meant getting up early and standing in the freezing cold to watch our high school football game.  It felt so weird to leave the house on a holiday without my family! 

In college, Thanksgiving often meant the first time in months I was home, and the first time I saw my friends.  We celebrated by going to the “Poor Man’s Party,” where we drank cans of beer and danced at the local Elks Club. 

Now, Thanksgiving means a road race (the Gobble, Gobble, Gobble) and spending time with a family that’s not really “mine.”  We tend to spend Thanksgiving with J’s family, which is kind of weird.  Maybe not so much weird, but different.  They don’t eat Antipasto and Soup before dinner like we do.  They eat Cranberry Sauce, like we don’t.  And they don’t go through nearly as much wine as we do.  Luckily, they’re nice people, and while the food isn’t my mom’s, its still good.

And then, we can come home, and start thinking about Christmas!  And presents!

 Just so you don’t think I’m totally selfish, here’s my list of things I am thankful for this year:

  • The fact that I and my family are healthy
  • I have a husband who loves me, a good job, a roof over my head, and a car that runs
  • That the Do Not Mail list has not put me out of a job
  • I’m going to San Diego!
  • I have wonderful friends
  • The Sox won the Series (again!)
  • Macaroni & Cheese

Happy Thanksgiving!

And away we go…

19 Nov

I’ve (obviously) made the move over to WordPress.  My main reason for moving is so that I can stalk who reads my blog (I see you!  Yes, you!  Put on some clothes the next time you come here, its cold out!)  Secondly, I think WordPress is prettier, and hopefully it won’t mess up my formatting like Blogger did.  I’m a bit anal, so messed up formatting drives me crazy (I’m a Virgo, its not my fault).  I’m not wicked confident in my WordPress abilities, so I’m not making any promises.   Almost everything from Blogger got carried over to here, save a random post and a comment or two made after I made the switch.  Do you like it?

 Its been awhile, so here are my random musings:

A-Rod just signed a deal from a team he essentially walked away from for more than the annual budget of a small country.  Insert vomitty guy here.

I love Shepherd’s Pie.  Its everything you could want in one meal in one plate of yummy goodness.

While Thanksgiving may be the least stressful holiday, its also the one where I get the least amount of presents, and that makes me sad.

How does a grown woman accidentally drown in a bathtub?  Yeah,  yeah, I know its possible, but seriously?  No one investigated this further? 

Colds suck.

How am I supposed to work out when its dark and cold at night and my jammies are waiting for me at home? 

Don’t you think a blog’s spellcheck should be able to recognize the word “blog”?

The End of an Era

4 Nov

This weekend, I went up to Manchester, NH to run a half marathon. I went to college at St. A’s in nearby Goffstown, so I know the area fairly well (technically, I know how to get to assorted bars & chain restaurants really well, I just wing it around the rest of Manch-Vegas). Driving from the Expo to the hotel in the pouring rain (I swear we get a Nor’easter the day before every big race I run. I could be a weather girl), I noticed that “The Balls” is gone!

“The Balls” was never called “The Balls” while I was in college. It was called the “Rack ‘Em Up Lounge.” Honestly, I’m not sure if or when it was actually called “The Balls.” Or why, for that matter. Its probably because of the numerous pool tables, or it may be simply because it was just so cool (you know: the balls).

My first trip to The Balls was the first Thursday of Freshman year. I wore jean shorts, sneakers, and a tee shirt I bought from a frat boy. I danced until I was a sweaty pig, and watched my new roommate dance on speakers. Shockingly, I didn’t pick up any guys, and she was pregnant 7 months later.

The Balls was owned by George & Hannah. George had a loud raspy voice, and yelled at anyone who sat on his pool tables or drank too much. Hannah was his wife who swore like a sailor. They were the perfect couple. They were an institution around St. A’s. Career & Employment Services once actually put up signs reading “If you don’t want to end up like George at The Balls, come to CES for career guidance.”

The Balls was huge. It had tons of pool tables that we usually just tried to sit on, two bars, and a dance floor. Oh, and, later on, a sex toy shop where George & Hannah’s dog would nap. They had drink specials, and really strong Long Island Iced Teas. And Thursday was college night, so you could get in if you were under 21 (it probably wasn’t a coincidence that there was always a handful of sketchy locals at the bar on college night). You were supposed to be at least 18, but George only checked your license if you were drinking. He wasn’t happy when I announced to him, three weeks into the school year, that I was turning 18 that night. Oops.

If you were under 21, upon entering at the jacked up cover charge, you received a giant X on each hand, courtesy of an Industrial Sharpie. Those Xs stayed on for days, no matter how hard we tried to wash them off in the bathroom. A quick glance around Chem Lecture on Friday morning would tell you exactly who went out the night before, as the Xs were either still on their hand, or, for the unfortunate few who slept with a hand under their cheek and drooled, on their face.

The Balls was always our fallback Thursday night hangout. Some nights we were dying to go there, especially when a fraternity was hosting the night. We could usually convince the DJ to play Madonna for us if we knew him. And you could always count on hearing “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” There was a Dunkies and an ATM that gave money out in singles next door. It was the perfect place for a bunch of Catholic college kids with hard classes and no boys allowed in their rooms to unwind after a long week of Humanities Seminar.

So, now a St. A’s institution is gone. And I’m left to wonder: where will college kids go to drink underage? Is there somewhere else they can shamelessly grind with co-eds on the dance floor? What parking lot will frat boys use to beat the crap out of each other after a night of drinking? Are George and Hannah happy? Did they open a bigger sex toy shop? I may never know.

Farewell, Rack ‘Em Up Lounge.

This Blog is Brought to You by the Letter P and the Number 19

1 Nov

Tuesday, for the first time since I last watched Sesame Street, I watched a show on PBS. And I liked it!

For those of you who know what I do for a living, it might come as a surprise to you that I never watch public television or listen to public radio. Its not that I don’t believe PBS offers fine, educational and uplifting programs, I’m just usually not personally interested in them. And I don’t really feel badly about it. PBS seems to aim its programming at the under 5 or over 50 crowd, neither of which I fall into. I learn enough about the shows by proofing letter after letter asking you for money to support them to know that I won’t really like them. If they start airing something like “Heck’s Kitchen with Executive Chef Oscar the Grouch,” I’ll be sure to tune in!

The show I watched tonight was NOVA. They did an episode on 12 non-runners who ran the Boston Marathon. It not only showed the runner’s progress throughout the 40 (!) weeks of training they went through, but it also discussed the physical and physiological aspects of running and how it affects the body. It was actually interesting, and I really enjoyed the show for even more value than just looking for myself in the crowd of runners. The end was heartwarming as well, watching these people cross the wet finish line with such an amazing sense of satisfaction on their faces. Its a nice reminder that the human body can do amazing things. Could someone remind my body of that fact when it wants to accomplish the un-amazing feat of eating candy on the couch all night?

So, that was my first PBS show in over twenty years. I’d watch more, but when the hell am I supposed to go to the bathroom if there are no commercials? Could you all please donate some cash to your local PBS station so they can afford to buy some ads? Thanks!