Hope’s (Early) First Halloween

Because Columbus is backwards and celebrates Halloween on any day that isn’t October 31, we dressed Hope up on Saturday.  The Civee and I decided to keep it simple:

Actual things that I’ve said about this costume:

  • If this were anyone else’s child, I’d have to ask what parent dressed them up like that.
  • She’s not a pumpkin. She’s Kermit the Frog after getting stuck in  tanning booth.
  • She’s not “a pumpkin.” She’s The Pumpkin, the little-known villain from the old Batman show. I think Jackie Coogan played him.

But I have to admit, she looked really cute.

The Only Thing Worth Waiting In Line For

Earlier this week, The Civee stood in line for a few hours to get vaccinated against the Swine Flu.  Being pregnant, she fits in the main target group. I got a regular flu shot earlier this year and I see no need, for the Swine Flu shot especially considering that by the time the baby arrives, flu season will have passed.   Yet she keeps trying to convince me to get the other shot. Although she hasn’t tried since we had this exchange:

The Civee: I’m so glad I got that shot.  Now I feel invincible.

Me: Well, I’m glad you got it. You only had to wait, what, two hours?

The Civee: It doesn’t mater. You should get it too.

Me: I’m thirty-two-years old. The only thing I’m waiting in line for that long is to meet Mr. T.

The Game's The Thing

I’ve had a conversation similar to the following each of the past four Fridays:

Random Person: So you watchin’ the game this weekend?

Me: I’m going to watch all three of them (insert comments about the Yankees’ opponents or how they fared over the past few days).

RP: Yeah, it’ll be a…wait…what?

In most instances, the random person who I’ve encountered in the elevator, or while out to lunch is talking about the local college football team.  I’m not.  And I don’t care about football, much less the local team.

As I’ve previously mentioned, some of these fans use the phrase “go bucks” to start, end and punctuate sentences.  Even suggesting that their team doesn’t factor into my weekend plans totally throws them off track, and in some cases, has been responded to with outright hostility.

Not that I care.  I just think it’s fun to mess with them.  Once baseball season is over though, I’m going to have to change my tactic.

I have to admit, the football game does factor into my weekend plans slightly.  Often, it’s the best time to go out and do something, whether it be shop or eat, as a  majority of the city is distracted. As long as I’m doing anything but watching their game, I’m happy.

I Guess They Don't Get Out That Often

Today, The Civee and I took a mini-road trip to Northwest Ohio. For dinner, we stopped in the city of Bowling Green to eat at a place I’ve eaten a few times before, Samb’s.  While not anything I’d call fancy, it’s a nice quiet place with a varied menu and real good food.

Near our table there was a party of five and unforutnately, The Civee and I heard more of their conversation than we wanted to.  Two of the five were loud talkers,  with most of their comments echoing a common theme.  See if you can pick up on what it was, judging by these choice quotes:

No salad bar? You should see the salad stuff they have at the Golden Corral.

The Golden Corral doesn’t have this much seafood at their buffet.

We don’t have to wait this long for our food at the Golden Corral. (the wait really wasn’t that long.)

You get a bigger piece of meat at the Golden Corral.  (I had no problem with the portion size.)

There were a few other references along these lines.  But I’m guessing the loud talkers don’t really eat at non-buffet establishments all that often.  I”m just glad the food was good and I have a sense of humor.  Otherwise, something like that could have ruined my dinner.

You Can Tune A Piano, But You Cannot…

Something that’s been stuck in my mind the last 24 hours:  Last night, The Civee and I were watching The Office when Michael said he “had a dream where [he] ate a peanut butter and tuna fish sandwich.”

This has disturbed me all day.

Not the idea of a peanut butter and tuna fish sandwich.  Sure, that’s got to be nasty.  But not disturbing.

Rather, it was the use of the phrase “tuna fish.”

We don’t say we eat turkey fowl for Thanksgiving (not that I would).  Nor do we grill steak meat during the summer time.  So why do we say “tuna fish” when referring to that gray stuff that comes in a can?

I have a feeling I will now be fighting this crusade for the rest of my life.

By the way, fresh tuna is much better than anything that comes in a can.  Case in point, this is one of the Civee’s favorite recipes (for someone who didn’t like fish before we got married):

Tuna Sticks in Pepper Sauce

  • 1 tuna steak per person
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Cut the tuna steak(s) lengthwise, turning each steak into 3-4 “sticks.”

Cover each side of each stick with the sesame seeds.

Place garlic, red peppers  and salt into food processor. Blend until peppers form a sauce.  Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and pulse to mix.

Heat a pan on high, adding the remaining olive oil.  Cook the tuna sticks for a minute per side.

Remove sticks from pan, plate and cover with the red pepper sauce.

Welcome Back To Columbus

The Civee and I spent the past week visiting my mother in Portland, Oregon.  In Portland, the weather is nice (categorized as nice by virtue of being above freezing), the landscape varied and the food choices/cultures abundant.

We returned to frigid Columbus today, and tired of our travelling, we decided to keep it simple and order pizza.  I called to have it delivered from a place that shall go nameless (*cough PAPAJOHNS *cough) and had the following conversation:

Him: Hello and thank you for calling — would you like to try the deluxesuperfamiliyvaluedealfortwentyfiveninetynine?

Me: Excuse me?

Him: Would you like to try the deluxe super family value deal for twenty five ninety-nine?

Me: What is included in that?

Him: Ummm…I’m not sure. Hold on a second.

Me: Nevermind.  I’ll have a large pie.

Him: We don’t sell pies, we sell pizzas.

Me: Ever hear of a pizza pie, chief?

Him: Oh. A large pizza.

Me: Yeah, half plain, half sausage peppers and onions.

Him: Sooo…on that one side, no cheese or sauce?

How tough is it to order a freakin’ pizza on a Saturday night?  A few days ago I was having this great Phở and now I have to convince a guy working at [CENSORED] that yes, I do want a pizza with cheese and tomato sauce.  Oh well, at least I didn’t have to order from Donatos.

You Know My Name [Look Up My Number]

A while back I was having a conversation with The Civee where she claimed that I don’t use a person’s name while speaking to them.  For example, instead of saying “Hey Gustave, these are some kick-ass curly fries,” I’d say “These are some kick-ass curly fries.”  

She’s right–I don’t say people’s names that often while talking to them.  Unless I’m in a crowded room, chances are the person on the other end of the conversation knows I’m talking to them.  But I think there’s a subconscious reason for that too.  A lot of times, I tend to blank on people’s names, especially if they’re a casual acquaintance.   It’s not that I don’t care about the person to whom I’m talking, it’s just of all the things my memory is good at, names usually aren’t one of them.

Last night, I was at a meeting and decided to greet someone using their name.  Except, as I started to say it, I realized that I had their name wrong.  So I ever so gracefully, while in the middle of the first syllable of their [incorrect] name, just covered my mouth and coughed.  And then proceeded with the rest of the conversation, hoping they didn’t notice.

How do I avoid this in the future? Stop using people’s names. Or become one of those guys who calls everyone “Ace,” “Chief” or “Boss.”

Ringo's Got Your Letter; You've Got His Song

Unless you’re the gas, electic or cable company, Beatle Ringo Starr won’t be reading or answering your mail.

As he posted in a recent video on his Web site:

“Nothing will be signed after the 20th of October. If that is the date on the envelope, it’s gonna be tossed…I’m warning you with peace and love I have too much to do. So no more fan mail, thank you, thank you, and no objects to be signed. Nothing. Anyway, peace and love, peace and love.” 

Every story I’ve seen about this gives the impression this is a bad thing because Ringo answering Marge Simpson’s letter inspired her to paint again.  But what everyone is forgetting is that twenty years earlier, as shown in the rockumentary Help!, Ringo faced multiple assassination attempts because he wore a ring he received through the mail.

In his defense, Ringo was one of the Beatles and still tours and records music, so in addition to hand cramps, he’s probably very busy.  If he had this attitude back in the ’60s, he would not have had crazies trying to paint him red and assassinate him.

On a personal level, I think letter writing can be a good thing.  In my youth, I was somewhat lazy when it came to letter writing (which may have translated into being lazy about blog writing as an adult).  Case in point- when I was about 10, I met MAD Magazine publisher William Gaines while at dinner with my mother and ex-stepfather.  Gaines was a friend of theirs and talked to me throughout dinner. As he was leaving, he told me if I wrote him a letter, he’d give me a free lifetime subscription to MAD.  For some reason, I didn’t do it.  Years later, while reading a book about Gaines and MAD, I found out that he read every letter that came into MAD and was known for giving away subscriptions like they were candy.  Stupidest thing I never did.

But if Ringo doesn’t want to answer any more letters, comment on paintings, or wear rings, more power to him. Peace and love Ringo. Peace and love. (Gear, Fab.)

Those Two Little Words

On a scale of 1-10, my interest in football ranks about a 1.  And my interest in college football is even lower.

Which makes me about one of ten people in Columbus Ohio who does something different every Saturday when the local college team has a game.  For my first few years here, I was indifferent.  I just didn’t care.  But my view has changed.  As I said previously:

I admit that I’m an obnixous Yankees fan. But there are times in Columbus, when listening to people talk about the local college football team that I feel uncomfortable.

I wrote that last October, and I still feel that way.  There are certain things that drive me crazy, one of which is the use of the phrase “go bucks.” People use it to start and end sentences as well as everything in between. It’s used as a salutation and a departing greeting.  But what it really does is drives me crazy and encourages me to commit violence.  If I knew anything about college football, I’d probably have something to throw something back in their faces, but until then I’m left searching for a witty rejoinder as I stew, waiting for the madness to end.

Reading is Fundamental

I was in a conversation recently with The Civee and the in-laws about reading. 

The Civee’s mother, who does a lot of work raising money for her neighborhood library, mentioned that it’s reccomended that people get in three hours of reading per week.  Books and newspapers count.  Most things on the Internet, including “blog-stuff,” doesn’t.  So if you’ve been taking your time at the Kingdom, enjoying my observations and witticisms, your time spent here may not count.

I easily spend a few hours (more than three, less than, say, six) each week reading.  And I’m not counting  the time spent wasting time on the Web.  I’m also not counting the number of hours I spend at work reading and proofreading material.  That gets to be mind-numbing and I almost need to read non-work material (outside of work, of course) just to get my mind on the right track.

Give a hoot, read a book!