Monthly Archives: October 2012
Holy Mother of God, is it Halloween again? Already? How I could have missed this given the flurry of Martha Stewart Halloween hints that clutter up my email this time of year is a mystery. Perhaps it’s because this is the first year the little Slattern has not been home for the holiday, and as such the first year I have not had to make or even think about costumes. Anyways…in recognition of this, my least favorite holiday, I give you…drum roll please…last year’s post. Don’t be disappointed. It was a corker.
I hate Halloween. The costume hysteria, the sugar meltdown, the sugar coma, the instant weight gain, the toilet paper in the trees, the stink of scorched pumpkin innards, and that’s before we even begin to deal with the children.
Then there’s the expectation that this, or something very like it, will somehow come into play. Yeah, sure. Imagine a bag of cold oatmeal in a thong and handcuffs for a preview of the appeal of that. Finally, factor in a bunch of cranked up kids and you’ve got a recipe for instant Armageddon, folks.
So how do I cope with it year after soul-destroying year? I think you know, but in case you don’t here’s my strategy. Do with it what you will.
October 27: Buy candy I think the kids will like, but which really is what I like: Snickers miniatures, Twizzlers, Heath bars, peanut butter cups, et al.
October 28: Emerge from sugar coma long enough to destroy the evidence and trash any remaining food items.
October 29: Replace consumed candy with items I do not like (Charlestown Chew, Laffy Taffy, pixie stix). Eat those anyway, because by now the sugar monkey on my back has become a gorilla and the beast must be fed.
October 30: Join Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous or similar. Plan a gym visit. Begin green tea detox and abandon it three hours later.
4 pm: Run out to corner store in a panic to replace candy currently stored on my ass or passing through my digestive tract. Find only reject items, such as Good ‘N Plenty, Mary Janes, Red Hots. Buy anyway along with a large bottle of pink grapefruit juice.
5 pm: Dump all reject candy into a large bowl and set on front steps. Too shameful to hand out in person. Turn out all the lights. Retreat to the back of the house with the grapefruit juice and a large bottle of vodka and wait it out with a Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon. By the time the trick or treaters have finished their retaliatory toilet papering and egging for the crap candy, I’m too fat to clean it up and too drunk to care.
November 1: Back to Betty Ford.
C’mon ladies, grab a Lazy Boy and a brew. It’s fun!
I love sports generally, and Boston sports in particular. Not playing so much, but watching them live and on TV. Give me a handy pack, a bag of Lays and a tub of onion dip and I am good to go for an entire Sunday. Put me on the first base line a Fenway, and I’ll sit right there blissed out on peanuts and watery Coors, screaming at the umpires and participating in the wave for nine full innings. I’ve never actually been to Foxboro, but I have my dreams, most of which involve Wes Welker, the Real Housewives of South Boston and mocking chants of “Hey Rex, suck my toes.” I have been to the Boston Garden, but my memories of the occasions are, not surprisingly, a bit hazy. I’ll even listen to sports radio on a long drive, though Mr Slattern, whose brain is larger and somewhat more evolved than mine I’ll admit, prefers me to confine these binges to solo trips. Given the blue-ness of the air and my propensity for enraged commentary, especially when listening to that soppy fool Michael Kay, it is, I suppose understandable.
In any case, as I was saying, I am a fan, and as such am puzzled by the general lack of enthusiasm evidenced by a significant number of my gender. Why anyone in her right mind would watch Sleepless in Seattle at all, let alone instead of a playoff game, is a complete mystery to me. I can only conclude that the Estrogen Disinformation Network is winning the propaganda war, and this will not stand. There is way too much fun to be had on the Sunday sofa, so I’m taking it upon myself to drag my uninformed sisters to the party.
Why I like sports (and you should, too)
There is even the occasional miracle.
You might just spot a Kardashian in the stands (if you go in for that kind of thing).
You get your heroes and villains all in one place.
Team jerseys finally come in figure flattering styles.
Wearing a cap means you don’t have to wash your hair.
Then of course there’s Tom Brady.
And for the single gals out there who think all the good ones are either taken, gay or hiding, let me offer up this little piece of advice. Get yourselves to a sports bar on a Sunday afternoon, order up a brew (not a diet coke or a glass of white wine) and wait for the party to start. Trust me on this one. You will not be lacking for attention.
What’ve you got to lose?
Support your local mandolin genius: Chris Thile
Now I know what you’re thinking: Mandolin GENIUS? C’mon, that’s really reaching. Piano genius, certainly. Guitar virtuoso, perhaps, but the lowly mandolin? Nah.
Well the folks at the MacArthur genius board of standards do not agree, and this year they awarded one of the much coveted, extremely elusive “genius grants” to Chris Thile, grown-up musical prodigy and collaborator to such middling talents as Yo Yo Ma, Béla Fleck and Dolly Parton. He plays classical music and bluegrass, and every genre in between with amazing skill. Still not convinced? Have a look at this, then.
Though not musical myself, I have it on good authority that what you just witnessed is completely freakin’ impossible, but there he is, sitting around the apartment in his yellow socks, picking a Bach prelude on his mandolin!
For those of you looking for more accessible musical offerings, give Maestro Thile’s bluegrass and acoustic music a try, under the band names Nickel Creek or the Punch Brothers. I’m also partial to the Goat Rodeo recordings, from which I’ll share the following, my favorite song from the record. And yes, that IS Yo Yo Ma playing the cello.
Want more obscure music recommendations? Try this.
Meet Mark Geary
Living as I do in the Big Apple, and married as I am to the very musical Mr. Slattern, I get lots of chances to hear music from people far more talented, yet far less famous than the vast majority of middling “big names” currently cluttering up the airwaves with their mediocre wailing and warbling.
Now I’ve been inspired by the Sportsglutton’s Monday Morning Humor, which always hands me a laugh and really helps get my week started on the right rack. In that spirit, I’d like to share some of my musical discoveries in the coming weeks. For the moment I have to confine my media choices to video, but I am working with the WordPress gods to figure out how to share audio from my extensive iTunes library.
Anyways, for starters, I’d like to introduce those of you who are unfamiliar with him, to my favorite Irish singer/songwriter, the delightful Mark Geary. Pop a Guinness, close your eyes and imagine yourself in a comfy chair by the fire in a cozy Dublin bar. Ahhhh.
What’s Panera without the bread? No cure for a hangover, that’s for sure.
As it unfailingly does at this time of year, fall has come to New England, and so this morning Mr. Slattern and I rose before dawn to head north for a squint at the leaves. As the alarm sounded at 6 am, it occurred to me that undertaking a 500 mile drive just a few hours after returning home from a festive evening wedding was perhaps ill-advised, but we were committed to this course, and so there was no question of not pursuing it, hangover be damned. And I had one goddamned hangover, let me tell you.
Of course, at a wedding — especially one that involves two superbly matched, uber-fun queens of fabulosity like our pals Robin and Jen — the champagne should flow like water, and though Mr. Slattern refused a tipple from my slipper, a good time was still had by all. I even allowed myself a big old slice of wedding cake (an indescribably sinful and delicious homemade coconut confection with cream cheese icing, sigh) in direct contradiction of the Feelbad diet plan, aka dinner at Gitmo. I figured I’d probably be incapable of eating for a couple days anyway, so what the heck, I had a brownie and an éclair too.
So anyways, by about 11 am, Mr. Slattern and I both felt like we’d been up for about a week and decided that a little sustenance was in order. Unfortunately neither of us was fit for public view for reasons previously alluded to, so a leisurely lunch at the Old Port Sea Grill was out of the question. Besides, we were in a hurry. So we decided to drop off the highway and go foraging for reasonable fast fare, which is how we ended up at Panera Bread at the ungodly hour of 11:30 am.
Mistake number one. Well two actually, since I guess you’d have to count my appropriation of a full champagne bottle from the waiter and subsequent request for a straw the night before as the first step on this particular trip to hell.
In any case, it’s been a while since we were on this kind of meal schedule, like about sixteen years, which is why I guess we had forgotten that when you eat lunch well before noon your fellow diners will mostly be under five or over 90. Kids I don’t mind so much, provided they’re cute and silent, but as previously documented, the active seniors tend to get up my nose, unless they’re built along the lines of my Grammie Florence, who is still a head turner and party favorite as she approaches age ninety. But of course, she’s the exception rather than the rule.
We spent about eight hours in line behind a foursome with a combined age of about 420 who had lots of querulous questions about free refills and senior discounts. (They all ordered soup in bread bowls, the mere thought of which nearly made me vomit as wet bread disgusts me.) Finally though, we put in our order, received our complimentary Panera vibrator and picked our way across the dining room to a reasonably clean table by the window, which was a tad bright for my liking, but at least was well off the flight plan of the cookie-fueled preschooler whose mother was deeply involved in a phone conversation about what Stan was going to do with all that money and why he shouldn’t spend it on that whore he’d gone ahead and married even though his entire goddamned family had told him it would be a mistake verging on a crime to do so. Maine, the way life should be.
Anyway, the vibra-pager eventually lit up and we retrieved our food. Mr. Slattern’s turkey and avocado sandwich was entirely acceptable, even tasty. It came with a pickle and an apple, which made for a satisfying lunch that left him fueled up and ready to drive the remaining three hours. My Panera dining experience, however, was considerably less spectacular, consisting as it did of chicken and avocado atop a Cobb salad made of previously frozen romaine, tasteless tomatoes and some kind of chopped egg product, in which the texture of both the yolk and the white reminded me more of Peeps than anything chicken-related I have ever encountered. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing, putting Peep eggs into a salad; however, one would expect to see that at Easter rather than harvest time. And as the gag inducing egg bits were both indistinguishable and inseparable from the bleu cheese crumbles, I eventually just gave up and lunched on the chicken and avocado. Don’t even get me started on the “vinaigrette.” The apple, however, was delicious.
As for the hangover, a day of green tea and Alka Seltzer eventually put paid to the nausea, which is a good thing because we’ve got party guests at the cottage, and they always stop at the wine store before they arrive.