The Little (Search) Engine That Shouldn’t

I don’t know how you found me. Chances are, you know me and have heard me whining about how no one reads my blog (NO ONE READS MY BLOG!) so you clicked on it just out of curiosity, or pity, or maybe a little fear. But maybe you stumbled across it after typing something in to Google. Maybe you typed something COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS in Google and managed to find yourself here, in this twisted, whiny, bitchy little corner while I assault your eyes and brain with whatever is bothering and/or interesting me today. And maybe I like to read the list of search terms that WordPress keeps for me so that I can confirm that my readership at any given time is indeed the stone cold pack of weirdos that I believe you to be.

So I thought I’d share with you my ten favorite recent search phrases that somehow brought people straight here. I used to do this kind of a lot but that was back when I was blogging almost daily.

crazy bitch cashier coupon – The best kind of coupon!

turn laptop screen into disco light – Feed it to your puppy. That’s what I did.

what in space starts with f – Ha ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. I have some ideas. Wildly inappropriate ones. Also I think F is my favorite letter.

it has come to our attention that someone is stealing lunches from the refrigeratorWORST. EVER.

internal transcribe spacer resign of fungus – English is a second language?

fetal pig dissection bingo – Not your grandma’s bingo!

“Camden Gilman” – I don’t know the man but I hear he’s a real asshat. Also the fact that you can Google Camden and get my blog seems like some kind of epic win on my part. Good for you, Mere. Good for you!

stan lee’s harpies download free – NERD! Also, I love you. Let me know if you found it.

wasted space on my laptop – Most of you have that right now! WINNING!

sea urchins at petting zooVery Bad Idea. But good if you don’t want to pay for collagen injections.

time wasted by “reply to all”All of it.

Jingle Hells Part II (The Streets)

Years and years ago (this blog is old), I posted a list of five of my least favorite Christmas songs of all time. While the songs on that list still hover around the bottom of my All Time Christmas Song Shit List (who knew there was such a thing?!), I would like to formally add the following. Please keep in mind that while I spend 11 months out of the year being a real Grinch, I freakin love Christmas. So in a way, it pains me that I’ve been able to come up with two separate lists of songs that are terrible. But at the same time, Christmas wouldn’t be perfect if it couldn’t give me stuff to whine about (*sigh* I love you, Christmas). Again, in no particular order, some of the worst songs ever:

5. Dominick The Donkey Lou Monte
WTFOMG I HATE THIS SONG. First of all it gets stuck in my head like whoaaaa bad. In fact, it’s probably going to be stuck in my head after this. Thanks a lot, BLOG. What is this song even about? Why does there have to be a stupid Christmas donkey? The reindeer can’t climb the hills in Italy? So what, dude, THEY CAN FLY. This is dumb AND I think a little racist. And what’s with all the wonky music and sound effects? Hate.

4. Baby It’s Cold Outside
I don’t understand all the love this song gets. Sure, it was featured in Elf, which may be the cutest movie of ALL TIME. There should be a fight to the death between Elf and Up! and the winner wins the title of Cutest Movie Ever. But I digress. People love this song, but have you ever thought about JUST HOW CREEPY it is? The lady wants to leave, mister, let her go. But nope, he’s gonna sit there and try to talk her in to staying, even though she’s basically telling him that people are gonna think she’s kind of a whore if she doesn’t go home. Plus her family’s going to be all worried about her.  And that whole “No means no” thing.  Does the guy care? NOPE. It’s a bit too date rapey for my taste. Just let the poor girl go HOME! Sheesh. Also: “What’s in this drink?” That would be ROHYPNOL. Ladies, if you’re on a holiday date with a guy that enjoys rocking out to this song, run, don’t walk, to a guy with less creepy taste in music. The official position of this blog is anti-roofie.

3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause
Mommy’s kind of a slut.

2. The Twelve Pains of Christmas Bob Rivers
I’m the only one allowed to bitch about holidays around here! Actually this song wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so damn long. It could have been worse, I suppose. He could have written the Thirty Two Pains of Christmas, New Year’s, and President’s Day, but let’s all be glad he didn’t. But yeah, all the annoying voices, bitching in rhyme about crap that we all have to put up with around the holidays, and bitching along with the music for TWELVE WHOLE ROUNDS? We’re done here.

1. The Christmas Shoes
Still worthy of the Worst Christmas Song of ALL TIME about twenty times over. In fact, I could write a list of the TWENTY worst Christmas songs of all time and every single line would read “The Christmas Shoes.” I could write a worse song than this, but it would involve mutilated kittens and starving bunnies. And kids who don’t understand that Mommy needs MEDICINE, not a stupid pair of shoes. Even Dale doesn’t like this song. Y’all, Dale loves EVERYTHING. But this song pisses him off. Normally, I’d find that hilarious, but in this case YEAH, worst song ever. Also, it’s responsible for millions of kitten deaths every year. Because it’s the WORST CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME.

Any of my follow Grinchlings out there have anything to add to the list?

Slow Cooker Smashed Taters

I promised to post this the other day and just barely got a chance to sit down and type it up.

I’d heard about slow cooker mashed potatoes but I’d never tried them. At our Thanksgiving dinners, mashed potatoes are nothing to be experimented with. For nearly thirty years, the mashed potatoes have been done the same way, probably in the same pot. They’re famous, and a family favorite. You just don’t mess with the mashed potatoes!

Sadly, things have changed, as things do. Instead of gathering with extended family at my grandparents’ house, D and I hosted Thanksgiving(!!!!) at our home, with my parents, his parents, and Amy and Nick. As we divided up the cooking duties among couples, I bravely volunteered to attempt mashed potatoes. People weren’t sure. Amy eyed me warily when I volunteered. My mom kindly asked if I would like help. Even I didn’t know if I had gotten in over my head. But, this is the smallest Thanksgiving group we’ve ever had, so if I’m going to ruin Thanksgiving I’d rather ruin it for eight people instead of eighteen. So yeah, I’ll make the potatoes. I can do this!

I decided right away to use the Crock Pot for them because I didn’t think I’d have a bunch of time to hover over the stove, plus using the Crock Pot lets me cook and serve from the same dish. (Hellooooo, convenience!) A lot of recipes I’d seen called for chicken broth. We don’t have any vegetarians in the family (right now), but I didn’t particularly like the idea of non-vegetarian mashed potatoes. I don’t know…that’s weird. So here’s my version of slow cooker mashed potatoes:

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Not the best food pic ever...

Ingredients:
5 lbs. potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and cut in to 1/2″ pieces
1 c. vegetable broth
2 sticks of butter, each cut in to 8 pieces.

That’s it. I had some sour cream and milk on hand but it turned out that I didn’t need them. Put the potatoes in your Crock Pot (we have a giant one, I hope you do too!), pour the broth over the potatoes, and distribute 1 stick’s worth of butter evenly over the tops of the potatoes. Set the Crock Pot to “high” (4 hours on mine). Put the lid on. Walk away.

I stirred my potatoes about once an hour, just to make sure they all got to spend time in the broth.

After 4 hours, check to make sure that the potatoes crush under firm pressure and drain the liquid. I did a little smashing with a fork and then used a hand mixer for about a minute. The potatoes were so perfectly cooked that they basically melted in to little mashed potatoes the second I turned on the mixer. D asked if it was awesome to pulverize the potatoes with the mixer. It most definitely was. I threw in the second stick of butter as I mixed and they melted away, looking delicious.

I was done at this point. I had perfectly smashed, perfectly potato-y potatoes.

The only problem with them was that about an hour after they cooled (long after Thanksgiving lunch), they got a little dry and lumpy. I don’t mind this, I’m a huge fan of gravy, so for leftovers I just stirred in a little gravy and it was fine. I think stirring in a cup of milk while you’ve got the mixer on would take care of this though (let me know if you try it).

Next time I do this I think I’ll try for loaded mashed potatoes. Instead of just stirring in the butter I’ll add sour cream, cheese, and bacon and then die of deliciousness.

Also, sorry about the poor picture quality, I finally got a phone with a camera but I didn’t get a phone with a good camera. So there’s that.

Driver’s Ed

Here is a bunch of things that you should not do if you find yourself driving in front of me.

Do not pull in front of me and then decide you need to clean your windshield.  Why yes you DID just spray my windshield with a fine mist of your own wiper fluid and whatever the hell you just smeared off your windshield.  It was gross, and caused me to clean MY windshield, thus wasting perfectly good wiper fluid (or water by now, I always just top it off with whatever I’m drinking when I notice it’s gone dry) and also causing the person behind ME to clean their windshield.  Did you really, truly, absolutely have to clean your windshield right then and there, in front of me, like a jerk?  No?  Then you suck.

When waiting at a red light in a turn lane after dark, it is not necessary to leave your blinker on.  This mainly applies to those of you who drive the giant behemoth SUVs and big boy trucks (which is most of my neighborhood).  I get it, you paid a lot for your fancy shmancy SUV with your weird little sticker family there on the back windshield.  I’m sure whatever top-of-the-line blinkers you upgraded to were worth the cost, in case you ever need to let someone 5 miles away know which direction you’re turning or if you’re ever called upon to lead Santa’s sleigh.  However, when parked at the light turning left in to the neighborhood, you can go ahead and turn off your blinker.  We get it.  It’s a turn lane.  You’re turning.  Use blinker to merge in to turn lane, shut off blinker, and turn blinker on when light turns green to complete turn.  EASY PEASY.  But instead, you want to flash your giant ass red blinking beacon in my face for five minutes, giving me a headache and making me have a seizure like those Pokemon kids.  I hate you.

By the same token, you geniuses with super ultra bright blue headlights aren’t much better.  Since this post is just about the idiots in front of me, though, I’ll save you for another day.

Don’t slam on your brakes.  I don’t care if you’re in the wrong lane, or Britney just came on the radio and you’ve got to text your friend because OMG REMEMBER THAT TIME WHEN WE LISTENED TO BRITNEY AND IT WAS TOTES AWESOME!, or if there’s a teeny tiny puddle in the road and you’re afraid of it.  Slamming on your brakes is a bad idea.  People can smash in to you.  I get that you have no sense of direction, dancing to Brit-Brit was so, so funsies, and there might be a shark or a black hole in that puddle, but be cool, don’t panic, and don’t freaking make me almost hit you.  Slow your roll.  Don’t stop it.

Don’t cut me off in your Super Slick convertible with the top down and your vanity plate that tells the world that you graduated from an embarrassingly expensive school an embarrassingly long time ago.  Because while you’re thinking “I look so awesome driving like a badass in this sweet ride,” the rest of us are thinking “Damn, that old guy is bad at driving in his mid-life crisis car.”

Don’t EVER let me see you throwing anything out your windows. I take it personally when people mess with Texas. Unfortunately, it isn’t legal for me to chase you at high speeds, honking my horn and screaming that litterbugs are actually the spawn of Satan, concluding my tirade by knocking off one or both of your side mirrors.  (Although I might if I see you toss a cigarette out your window.)  But I will memorize your license plate number and report you later. You don’t actually get in trouble, you just get a little “Don’t Mess With Texas” litter bag and a nice note asking you to stop freakin’ throwing crap out the window like some trashy moron (only nicer) but I like to think that would be embarrassing enough to make you reconsider the next time you decide your Sonic cup would look nice in the bushes beside the highway.

If you feel the need to drive 20 mph below the posted speed limit, just freaking stay home.  Nobody wants to creep along behind you while you occasionally press your foot down on the gas pedal with one hand on the wheel and the other holding your phone or figuring out your GPS or whatever the heck you’re trying to do.  Frankly, I don’t appreciate you putting my safety at risk but I’m actually more offended that you’re of legal driving age and can’t figure out your freaking iPhone.  And let’s just be honest: You can’t successfully drive the speed limit and update your Twitter status.  You’ll just have to tell your 138 followers that your coffee makes you happy in the morning when you get to work.

Of course, as with the Occupy Everything Everywhere Forever protesters, this is not necessarily an inclusive list and is subject to be amended or enhanced in the future.  But perhaps said protesters will note that at least this blog post has a cohesive message.  BURN!!!  Ok bye.

Project Redesign

Blog redesign!  Haven’t done this in a while.  Haven’t blogged in a while, and so far all of my attempts to get me writing more have crashed and burned in a delightful, smoldering wreck known as effing writer’s block.  It’s not just affecting my blogging.  It’s everywhere.  I haven’t written a single thing that wasn’t work-related in months.  And for lots of reasons, it’s slowly driving me crazy.

So, quick tour in case you’re new to this whole “internet” fad and you’ve never seen a blog before.  Everything that’s ever going to be posted on here will show up on this main page.  Things will also be categorized according to topic.  The categories are according to my favorite stuff: Food, Drink, Movies, TV Reviews and Everything Else.

I will be trying to post restaurant and bar reviews, recipes, drinks, etc.  And I’ll post movie reviews whenever I think about it.  I used to do “Movie Monday” movie reviews a million years ago when I was on blogger and they were a fun and easy way to start my week.  And right now, there’s nothing under “TV Reviews” but once the new TV season starts I’ll be reviewing a few shows for Examiner.com so I might as well post that crap over here too.  So yeah – if you just want to read about food-related stuff, click “food.”  If you’d prefer to read about movies, click “movies.”  Or just stay here on the main page and read whatever is going on up in here.  I should probably point out, though, that I haven’t really added a lot of category tags to old posts, so this is mostly a “going forward” thing.  Oh well, the more time of yours that I can waste, the better.  Eh?

The usual mayhem, whining, and idiocy of my life that used to be such automatic blog fodder will continue to fall under the category of “Everything Else.”  Because it really is everything else.  So there’s that.

The “shiny things” have stayed the same for like twelve years now and I have no idea how to arrange them or get them in any kind of order (don’t email me).  A lot of people are like me and only update their blogs once a century, so I might reassess what’s on there for now or add some more stuff later.  But they’re still shiny objects that can distract you.  If that’s what you’re in to.  Which I know you are, because you’re here.

Movie Monday: The Help

Movie Monday (On Tuesday!): The Help

It’s been forevs since I’ve done a Movie Monday.  But the blog’s being redesigned and now it has its own little movie section so why the hell not, right?  Movie Monday includes a review of whatever movie I saw over the weekend, whether in the theater or elsewhere, and a grade.  Grades are “Awesome,” “Bad,” and “Awesomely Bad.”  For example, Jurassic Park? Awesome.  The Lost World: Jurassic Park? BadJurassic Park III? Awesomely Bad.  Got it?  Here we go:

Let me start by saying that I did not read the book.  I hear it’s good, but unfortch I don’t have time to pick up another book thanks to my current literary commitments.  So maybe I’ll read it when I’m done with the Song of Ice and Fire books…in eight years.  Anyway – nothing really drew me to The Help except for hearing good things and an invitation from Katie, so while my expectations were “medium,” I wasn’t super attached to loving this movie.  OH, except for Allison Janney.  I would watch her read the phone book.  She’s that entertaining.

So anyway, with little expectation and the promise of a) food and b) no kids or talkers (thank yoooou, Alamo Drafthouse!) I bought a Sunday morning ticket.

I am so super glad that I saw this movie.  It works on a lot of levels.  As a period piece, it’s honest and candid and maybe a little idealistic, but so is the main character so isn’t that the point?  Katie noted that the character development is stronger in the book, which we agreed happens often when a book is adapted for the screen and we lose access to the characters’ internal monologues.  Besides, when movies insist on exploring every single facet of a character, you end up with a four hour James Cameron mini-series, and I end up sleeping through Avatar.

I thought The Help was beautiful to look at, even when parts were hard to watch.  There were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and for a few audience members (who were hopefully running on some Sunday morning mimosas), a couple of “cheer-out-loud” moments.  And yes, there may have been one –ONE – point where I teared up but I’ll never tell when it was.  And that’s only IF it actually happened.  Which it didn’t, so shut up.

Other than the awesome that is Allison Janney, I am rather unfamiliar with most of the cast.  I’m pretty sure I’ve always thought that Emma Stone, Emma Roberts, and Emma Watson are the same person.  I’m still not really clear on all of the differences (don’t email me!) but Emma Stone did a great job in the lead role as “Skeeter.”  I guess I’m a fan now!  Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer did beautiful work as Aibileen and Minny, two maids that tell their stories in an effort to tell the truth and eventually spark change.  The supporting cast  of Junior Leaguers, maids, and mid-century Southern community fabric enrich the “period piece” feeling.  I said before that this is an honest movie and that includes clean, honest, straightforward acting without a lot of added or unnecessary drama.  And lots and lots of Mississippi accents.

The Help surprised me.  It’s unusual that I sit through a movie and instantly feel like watching it again, but I would have if I’d had the time and nothing else to do.  If you haven’t already, go see it.  I declare it awesome.

Keep It In Your Pants!

Ok: so I’ve been pretty good about working out lately and I just have to take a minute and check in and ask what the hell do people think before they put on some of the stuff they wear to work out?  I do a lot of yoga, for starters.  And sure, there’s the occasional dude who wears a Speedo to a hot yoga class and while I find it a little odd, they’re usually more like tiny (teeny tiny!) boyshorts and less like tighty whities and they tend to magically stay in place somehow so I can kind of let it go.  One trend I’m not on board with, though?  Wearing a “workout skirt” to a yoga class.

Certain stores (*cough*oldnavy*cough*) suddenly started selling skirts that are meant to be worn while you exercise.  I’m sorry, unless you’re playing tennis, I have to ask: What the hell?  They’re these little mini skirts that have built-in matching briefs or bloomers or whatever sewn in underneath.  They’re ridiculous.  I can’t imagine ANY workout where I would be excited about wearing a skirt.  In fact, I’m a big fan of capris rather than shorts, but for me it’s more of a comfort thing than anything else.  And these skirts do NOT seem comfortable!

For some reason, there is a certain type of girl who likes to wear these little skirts to do yoga.  Let me just tell you, when you’re standing on one leg and pulling the other foot up behind your head while wearing a skirt, the poor people behind you can see stuff.  And don’t think those bloomers are doing much to protect your modesty.  You bought that skirt at Old Navy, remember?  The 5 cents an hour that they paid an eight year old overseas* to construct those little bloomers may have helped you get a deal on your kewl new yoga skirt, but 5 cents an hour does not pay for high quality work.  Unfortch, this means that the garment is not doing you any favors in the “covering your junk” department.  You seriously just flashed your Britney at a room full of people who already felt like dying a little bit.

So pretty please, friends, do the world and your workout buddies a favor and consider the type of activity you will be doing when you choose your adorable little workout outfit.  If it involves humidity, sweat, and a lot of bendy, stretchy postures, maybe don’t wear a skirt.  That is all.

*I have no affiliation with Old Navy and may have guessed a little bit about their business and production processes.  I think a lot more stuff should be made in America, but as Ron Swanson says: “Child labor laws are ruining this country.”

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