Friday, September 22, 2006

TV night ends with breakfast

Yesterday was a rough day. I got home and the tension in my neck and shoulders was making me whiny and child-like and I had no idea when Mike was coming home and I was HUNGRY. I had just placed my “bag of death” on the living room floor when I heard Mike pull up the drive. Oh sweet heaven, he’s home early. I ran out the back door like a little girl excited to see her pa.

Dinner was fast and easy and we headed out to the monthly Thursday night Collingswood Cruise Night Classic Car Show to stop at the Treehouse for a coffee and hot cocoa, check out the strip of cars, try a different gummie at the Sweet Tooth and eat a pretzel. A new tradition that ended too soon. Next month is the official last Cruise Night till next year but little does Mike know, we’ve got tickets to see Social Distortion in Philly.

We made it home in time to break out some pillows and the new fall throw and settle in for Everybody Loves Earl. I stayed for The Office but Mike took his cue to shower and do the dishes while I watched.

Next was Iron Chef. Mike and I like to watch this show together and it’s one of my faves. Last night’s secret ingredient: Chicken egg. Bobby Flay and some other dude.

Everything looked awesome and the judging had me salivating.

Jess “I could eat all that up.”
Mike “It looks good.”
Jess “I’m salivating.”
Mike “Do we have any eggs?”
Jess “Yes”
Mike “You should try to make that toad in the hole thing.”
Jess “Now? You think I can?”
Mike “Sure, just cut a hole in some bread and fuck around with it. You said you wanted to ween yourself off using recipes all the time”
Jess “Well, it’s 10:00 and I’m not hungry but ok.”

So I broke out the last two pieces of bread, some cheese, chives, two slices of taylor ham and some eggs.

I cut out a circle, messed around, did some guesswork and had a little fun.

Overall, it was good but tasted the same as anything we’ve ever had with the same ingredients. It just was put together in a fun new way and I realized right away how I could have/should have done things differently. But I played make pretend and had fun trying out my “fancy” breakfast and we got a nice snack and I proved my point again that breakfast is not supposed to consist of three eggs, a giant roll, three slices of pork roll and potatoes but a small meal that’s full of flavor and put together well.
So I’ll be buying a two-blade circular cookie cutter that leaves an inch of bread in a circle and I’ll reference some recipes and I’ll be making toad in the hole again very soon. Toad in the hole shall be my signature brunch item. Oh yes. It will.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I drink AND vote responsibly

I spent some time today on the NJ Division of Elections website figuring out how to confirm I’m a registered voter (99% sure – I have been voting, but you never know), find out how to change my address and how to register Mike. Mike voted in the 2004 presidential election. I was so proud of him. Then he got a letter in the mail six months ago reminding him he should register to vote. Woops.

So I got it all together and confirmed I’m a voter and confirmed the contact and address for all the forms and filled them out and had trouble checking a box for my political party affiliation. Do I write Democrat, check the box that I wish to be an unaffiliated voter or check the box that says No, I do not wish to declare a political party affiliation at this time? I checked the latter and then went to the top of the form and checked the box for Political Party Affiliation or Nonaffiliation change in addition to the address change box. (I don’t know for sure but I assume I wrote Democrat upon registering several years ago.)

So that’s that. Next step, figuring out who’s running and what for. Common knowledge? No, not in the least especially for someone who works in Philadelphia and often forgets she’s not voting in that election. I know nothing of NJ politics and apparently, googling something like “New Jersey 2006 Elections” doesn’t yield clear results. The best link listed in the results was that of Wikipedia. What a cool source of information.

I soon learned that Thomas Kean, Jr. (R) is taking on Bob Menendez (D) for the Senate seat. I could tell whomever wrote the information was clearly not unbiased. This person was voting for Menendez. Although I am too, I couldn’t leave it at that and was compelled to venture to both candidates’ personal sites and read up on how they stand on issues.

I feel confidant now in my decision and can support the questions why I dislike or support one or the other in a conversation. That’s key, right? One should be able to answer why they dislike the other guy other than because he’s a Republican.

I found out fast that D and R doesn’t mean that much. I think that’s why I checked the box that I don’t want to choose right now what party I support. Depending on who runs in ’08, I may very well be voting Republican.

But enough of that, the point is that there is a sort of comfort in being responsible and making the important changes which affect census and stats and GOVERNMENT. I’m glad I took the time to figure this out and yeah, it’s not easy to just figure out. It takes a little research, a little time, and a little desire to want to help make a difference.
Or keep your state pro-choice and gay friendly. AKA open-minded.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cable angst

Cable. Most everyone in the United States has it. Most everyone gets it within a few days of moving in to a new place. Not Mike and I. Why? Part laziness, part thinking it cost more than it really did (they wanted payment on delivery), part my subconscious desire to not get cable for fear Mike and I would become couch potatoes and get fat, part fear that my apartment wasn't cable ready and a huge project was on our hands.

So we agreed once football started we couldn't bear it anymore and that after the wedding I would make the dreaded call. So Monday morning Mike said I better call and I wrote CABLE real big on a scrap piece of paper and put it on the kitchen counter. That day upon coming home from work I had competely forgotten about calling and saw the note after changing into more comfy calls and decided it was time.

Ring Ring
Mike: "Hello?"
Jess "Who's the best?"
Mike: "What?"
Jess: "Who is the best?"
Mike: "What test?"
Jess: "Arrgh. I got cable! Dude's coming tomorrow between 3:00 and 7:00"
Mike: "Oh sweet"
A brief question and answer session ensued regarding cost and internet access and yada yada. We were happy.

Fast forward to yesterday (Tuesday)

Ring ring
Jess: "Jessica Walsh?"
Mike: "Hi."
Jess: "Did he come?"
Mike: "Yeah he just left. TV should be on in an hour."
Jess: "I am so excited."
A brief chat ensued where I said the word excited about 27 times and stated that we must do nothing tonight (last night) in honor of tv day.

On the way home I just knew I wasn't going to walk in to TV. Another night of Robot Chicken Season 1 episodes and Rampart (Best Atari game EVER!). Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, works in our house the first time or without loads of cursing, mental angst and stress.

I got home and the tv didn't work and Mike and I were pissed because who the hell knows what's wrong with it and I called and complained and the guy only had one box instead of the requested two and he didn't even attempt to hook up the internet. There's weird cables all over the house and the guy was just so certain the nice new looking one was for cable and he left and nothing worked.

"That's it, we're going out to dinner."

Let's speed this up shall we. A new Arby's opened nearby and I had never been since it's not a local chain so we checked that out. I said to Mike that we should really go out and get a longer cable to try this one other weird wire looking thing near the dining room in all its frayed wire glory and he said he had long wire at home. We drove right past Staples and Wal-Mart to get home to see Mike did not have it. I couldn't believe he actually put a little stock into my idea but he did and we went back out. Afterall, there were wires along the house that went right into our dining room.

We got the cable and a used copy of Tetris Worlds for PS2 since we figured we'd need a new game to play when we got home and realized our plan didn't work. I like puzzle games and it was cheap.

We hooked it up and it didn't work so we got all pissed. I was carrying on trying to straighten up the living room to get back to a sense of order when Mike gasped and scared the hell out of me and kind of gasped screamed, "It's on!"

My idea worked. The scary looking frayed half dead splitter thing worked. It was great. Mike channel surfed all night which makes me want to kill myself and I didn't even watch tv but enjoyed hearing "TV" in the background while I did other things. Finally we settled down quite late and caught "Whose Line is it Anyway?" then an episode of "Family Guy" which we really missed all these months and then I started to doze at 12:10, 10 minutes into "PeeWee's Playhouse". It was the latest I've stayed up on a work night in ages.

It was really exciting to actually have cable again but then I realized I missed absolutely nothing but the first half of Project Runway Season 3 and the Eagles/Giants game last week. But Mike's happier now and I'm happy for him. Tonight I have the house to myself and I intend to watch Project Runway and pick up a TV guide since I do want to get into one Fall show. I always thought it would be romantic to have TV night. A night of drama sitcom we can look forward to once a week.

Any suggestions? Kirk, I need to rent the first few seasons of Lost before I start watching this new one whenever it starts.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Week One!

Week One. Mike could hardly wait to get out of work, get home, get showered and get wings and a lager Sunday night, the first Sunday of the football season. Even better, the Giants were playing at 8:15 pm so he wouldn’t miss a moment of the game.

Mike and I checked out the bar/football scene when first having moved to South Jersey. We found one spot with the “Ticket” that seemed promising. The wings were awesome, I liked the nachos and it was a comfy sports bar type place with a full menu and plenty of TV’s and bar room. It went under renovation for almost two months and opened back up on Saturday. We scoped it out and had a drink and couldn’t help but notice the service was horrendous. No one had a clue what was going on and we knew it was going to hurt their business. It was painful to witness.

So Sunday came and we headed out early to catch the last of whatever game was on and get good seats for the Giants game. Mike and I don’t have cable yet and don’t typically get Giants games anyhow due to our proximity to Philly.

We stopped by Tailgate City again (the place with the horrendous service) and walked out after circling the bar. Bad bad bad. Nothing but bad service and drunk trashy Eagles fans who were still lingering after their win earlier in the day. (Go Eagles!)

So we moved on to the Inn on the Avenue. We sampled their wings a week or two earlier and scoped out the TV setup. We soon found out one of the bartenders was a Giants fans so Mike knew he could wear his Jersey.

This is what brings me to my story.

Growing up in Central Jersey, there was no official “team”. You liked who you liked and for whatever reason. You liked who your dad or big brother told you to like. If you were a girl, you liked the team with the cool colors or whoever your boyfriend liked. By no means would I say Central Jersey was more prone to Giants or Jets fans than say Raiders or 49ers fans.

Take “the crew” for example. Mike – Giants, Dustin – Titans, Randy – Browns, Jay – Bills,
Jess – Eagles and on and on. Sundays at Poor Billy’s meant clusters of similar colors crowding around televisions scattered throughout the bar. I, for one, liked to circulate throughout these clusters of color and talk a lot of shit.

Now for South Jersey….tsk tsk tsk. We walked into that bar Sunday night and it was EMPTY. Why was a sports bar with great plasma TV’s and awesome wings empty on a Sunday night? Because the Eagles had played earlier in the day. We had the whole place to ourselves except for the crazy Weird Al Yankovic looking Giants fan bartender, two Giants fans who turned out to be from Central Jersey and a few old drunk guys who said I should be ashamed of myself for being an Eagles fan and rootin’ for the Giants instead of the Colts.

“But the Giants are my second favorite team.” (Loyalty to my man.) The Seahawks are my third favorite for the same reason the Redskins were my favorite my whole childhood. (I still get a kick out of thinking my big brother is the shit and being that kid sister who likes what her big bro likes.)

So South Jersey is Eagles territory. Every other yard has the inflatable Eagles running back on the front yard, those who don’t have Eagles flags waving proud. Every bar is decorated green and has Eagles paraphernalia all about. Green green green. This is fine with me. I’m an Eagles fan but I don’t need Mike getting shit for wearing his Giants jersey. Think I’m over exaggerating? I think it’s pretty much common knowledge that Philly has the sickest sports fans. (I heard Raiders fans are pretty bad too.)

So anyhow we had a blast. I got a mean sore throat and had to leave and woke up Monday with a fever but that’s beside the point. The drunk Eagles/Colts fan told Mike after I left we were nice kids and welcome in “his” bar anytime we wanted. I think we found our spot and just like the old days at J.J. Bittings, the bartender Denise hooked us up and the bill was pretty tame.

Another bullshit difference between Central Jersey and South Jersey. North, wing and beer specials lasted as long as football was on. Here, only when the Eagles are playing. What kind of bullshit is that! A lager is $2 when the Eagles play and $4 before and after. That pisses me off. At least the Inn had other drink specials. Tailgate City had nothing else on special after the Eagles game.

But alas, it was fun. Let the weight gain season begin!!! I also thought it was funny that out of all the real football fans I know; only Doug and I were victorious. The Eagles and the Seahawks won week one!!

Beater’s getting married tomorrow. I’ll post some pictures. I hope I feel better by then. I don’t want to be blowing my nose every two minutes.

I'm actually excited to watch football Sunday night again. We'll have cable soon.

Friday, September 08, 2006


"CNN Pipeline presents CNN's TV coverage of 9/11/01 free, in real time. Starting at 8:30 AM Monday"

Why? Why would anyone want to relive the absolute horrow of that day by watching the actual real news coverage from the moments the towers were hit on to their destruction then onto the Pentagon and so on and so forth. 9/11/01 goes down as the most horrifying day of my young life and of most others. Why on earth would anyone want to relive that? As horrible as it sounds, 9/11 is being marketed. All the movies, documentaries, fictional mini-series based on the events. What's next? Greeting cards?

I, for one, will not be watching CNN's pipeline free, in real time, Monday morning.

Are you interested in reliving the horror? If not, why on Earth would you think anyone would?

The comment boards are open. I want to know what you think about this.

What a shame that even real life horror and loss of life becomes a money making scheme in the end? It's been five years. Is it suddenly ok to be unsympatheitc? Is five years the standard amount of time to allow for grieving? It feels that way since this year marks the beginning of the 9/11 market. It's so in your face like some sort of sick hype before a sick demented "holiday". I saw the smoke from the Towers in my hometown. I smelled the destruction. I don't need to relive that or be reminded. Like all those bumper stickers you saw after 9/11, "We will not forget". Then why do we need reminding?