Archive for January, 2010

Things I’d Like to See More of

January 23, 2010

*Big Beers I feel like this makes so much sense. When bars offer you the choice between a pint and a larger beer, that saves everybody so much time. Pints may as well be thimbles for all the good they do a thirsty folk like myself. But oh man! A big beer? I don’t even need to worry about the hassle of trying to get that bartender’s attention again for another beer for like several extra minutes! That is so great! If you or someone you know is the proprietor of a tavern, please tell them (if they aren’t already in the big beer loop) to start offering something in a huge lager. One idea that I think would be great is some kind of cornucopia into which ale could be poured and out of which said ale could be drank. I know what you’re thinking- how would you set it down?!?! I think that if we can put a man on the moon we could get around this pretty easily. This is an artist rendering of my solution:

Artist Rendering of a really great idea.

I think the finger grips might make it a little tricky getting it in and out of the stand, but I think that they are vital for a couple reasons. 1) For grabbing! 2) to make the artist rendering of the ale horn look less vaguely phallic. Let’s get the ball rolling on this, guys.

*L’Oreal for Kids Tangle Tamer This is without a doubt the greatest hair care product there is. Granted, I do not know a lot about that particular market, but I do know this: Tangle Tamer is a must have for any one with tangles. You know how brushing your hair hurts like shit? But not brushing your hair results in one big weird dread lock that you have to go to the barber to untangle and it’s wicked embarrassing like going to the dentist without brushing your teeth first? Yeah, that totally bites. But L’Oreal for kids has made this a thing of the past for me, and could for you too. Here’s the deal though: I can’t find it ANYWHERE. If you see it around, please pick it up. I’ll reimburse you for it, just save your receipt! It’s lime green and the bottle is shaped like a narwhal (another clutch feature of this product). I’d really, really like to see more of this stuff around.

*A general consensus on ghosts being real I love to talk about ghosts. I think it is a blast. Never had a dull conversation about ghosts, I don’t think it can be done. But here’s what I don’t need: to get going on ghosts in a room that includes even one person who doesn’t think ghosts are real. Not everyone needs to think ghosts are everywhere, but most people should know that they’re at least around. Someone going ‘pfft!’ while I’m telling a ghost story is the last damn thing I need in this world. That ends now. I hope. Let’s all get it straight–ghosts are no joke, and the second we all agree on that is the second we can all get a little bit further as a population. Also, my ghost stories will go over a lot better, which will make me feel like less of a shit heel.

*Unpredictable Snowboarders These days, too many snowboarders are way too obvious. They roll up on the coffee bar demanding Monster energy drinks and Mountain Dew and it’s just getting too easy. I like to be kept guessing. I like to have to look at what kind of boots you got on to know what you’re up to at this mountain. Note: For some reason Microsoft word opted not to correct my grammar on that sentence. What is spell check coming to?! So if you snowboard, how about not talking about the gnar for a couple of minutes? There are a few who are great- total mysteries! If I didn’t either know in advance, or know from the boots, I would have no idea that they are up here to ride. This is what I like. But some long haired hippy 15 year old counting out change to see if he’s got enough for both of the doughnuts he wants and a Monster? That kid needs to step up his game. Some group of gingers who roll up smelling like a dorm in late April? Come on, guys. Get real.


Fuck You, Chairlift.

January 20, 2010

So I know this whole post is going to make me sound like a total fool, but I don’t even care. This has to be said. Chairlifts are total horse shit and I hate them. I hate them so much. I think that they are scary and difficult to get on and off of. Every time I go to get off of one, I fall spectacularly all over my face. Then I have to worry about the people who are right behind me on the next chair who will crash into me if I don’t right myself stat. Obviously, I’m too much of a joey to right myself anywhere near stat, so I have to sort of scurry out of the way on all fours like a disgraced rat with a 155 cm long plank strapped to my feet. The top shack lift operator has to come out and ask if I’m okay, which is really nice of him, but totally only serves to augment my shame. Also, I only ride the bunny slope chairlift, so this is the same guy all day long, and he gets to totally monitor my lack of any kind of progress, which–you guessed it–totally augments my shame even further.

And getting on a chairlift? Forget it!! It is total crap. unless you love getting your knee all twisted up for like 14 seconds, which I fucking do not. On skis this is probably no big deal. on a snowboard it is a disaster. Because you have to be facing parallel to the chair if you want it to scoop you up right, but your board needs to be pointed directly up the mountain if you want to head in that direction, which you probably do because you are taking a chairlift. This then becomes a totally macabre charade where it’s like you’re trying to mount a trotting horse side saddle. So I face parallel to the chair and then my still strapped in foot drags the board up the little hillock in front of the chair, twisting my knee 6 ways from Sunday. I’m SURE there is some way around this, because otherwise no one would ever want to snowboard, but no one seems to want to tell me what it is. In fairness, I havenn’t really asked because it seems like I should be able to figure this out by myself. From where I stand at the coffee bar I can see out the window to the very lift that is so much my white whale. I can actually see people sucessfully getting off this lift all day!! What is my damage?! Gah!

One thing about chairlifts that isn’t so bad is that you can smoke on them. By ‘can’ I mean that I am physically capable of it, not necessarily that I’m allowed to. But I also don’t know if I’m specifically not allowed to, so I’m not going to ask anyone, just in case. If you happen to see the head of mountain operations walking around, please don’t mention to him that I smoke on the lift. I think that it could result in the loss of my pass. Even if it only resulted in a warning, I would have to stop smoking on the lift and then that would ruin the ONLY good thing about the chairlift for me. EVERYBODY PLEASE KEEP THIS UNDER YOUR HATS!!!!!!!!

**Update: So I typed this all after my first day of snowboarding, and now I’m sitting pretty on my second day, and I feel a little better about the lifts. I still fell all three times getting off, but they were much less spectacular falls. In fact, I almost didn’t even fall one time. Unfortunately today there is a different top shack liftie, so I couldn’t show off my leaps and bounds of progress to the guy I so magnumly embarrassed myself in front of on day 1. I still sort of loathe the lifts though. But less. A little less.

On New England

January 19, 2010

Every time one moves to a new place, it takes some getting used to, and it is usually pretty interesting to see all the different shit people are into. Here are some things people are always talking about here in New England:

*Vehicle Inspection

A lot of people seem to be worried about this, or else just interested in this, because it is the word on like everybody’s lips. Hey man, will that car pass inspection? I don’t know man I might need some new tires to pass inspection. Do you think my wipers not working will make me fail the inspection? And so on. I don’t have Maine license plates, so I can’t really participate in these discussions, but it seems pretty h’core. I feel like The Inspector must be a total bruiser.

*Whoopie Pies

I had never heard of these before my employment at Saddleback Maine’s Coffee and Pasty Bar began, but many people here are super fucking into them. Into them enough that if we don’t have any, they’ll ask when we will, and then return at that time, and then be really really disappointed if we don’t have them then. Whoopie Pies, contrary to what you might expect, are not in fact pies at all. What they are is two chocolate muffiny sort of patties with white cupcakey frosting in the middle. Note: I do NOT mean vanilla frosting. Vanilla frosting is the shit. I’m talking about that sugary shit that grocery store bakeries put on cupcakes and you get heartburn if you look at it for too long. They are about the size of a Gold Rush Era canteen made into a sandwich. They seem like a pretty decent idea, but I just cant imagine caring enough for them as to stand and wait for them to be frosted and assembled for like 20 minutes. One thing I think about every time I stack them up on the serving tray is how weird they feel and how much fun it would be to stack them into big wall and then crash through it. Note: Accidentally I just named two things I think about instead of just one. I’m so sorry!!!!

*Coffee Milk

This is not so big a deal in Maine as it is in, say, Rhode Island where it is the official state beverage, but they still sell it here, both premixed and in syrup form. I never pay it much mind becasue I think it’s borderline weird, but some New Englanders are under the impression that everyone everywhere is drinking the shit out of this shit all the time. In some parts of New England, the American Dream is to have a chicken in every pot, a car or some other advanced robot in every garage, and a glass of coffee milk in every other hand (obviously only extremists would insist on double fisting coffee milk).


The moose here are super fucking extreme. The whole time I was in Wyoming I was baffled by why anyone would be impressed by moosen as I thought they just looked like even dumber horses. Ugly, dumb horses. And if I’m rarely impressed by majestic, regular intelligence level horses (which are already pretty dumb and scared), why would I pull over my car to take a long inconvenient gander at their inbred cousin? No way! But here, it is a different story altogether. The moose here are frigging huge!!! Also, in the animal kingdom, huge = majestic (except [OBVIOUSLY] with snakes where huge = EVEN MORE TERRIFYING). Also they are less distinctly horsey. Furthermore, I like them because unlike deer, they don’t linger in the road. They run out into the road, sure, and if you hit them with a sedan then moose musk is probably the last thing you’re likely to ever smell, but as soon as they see your headlights coming, they totally clear the road. Thanks, fellas! That is a huge help!

*Too Many Letters, Too Many Syllables

Having grown up in a state where almost everything has a Spanish name, I am distinctly at odds with all the weird North Atlantic Indian names for places and things. Names like Cupsuptic, or Mooselook Meguntic. Totally weird, wicked alienating handles, bros.

I had more to say but I forgot all of it!!!!!!

Uh, Yeah, I’ll Watch Those Lemon Squares for You

January 14, 2010

I couldn’t swear to it, but I feel like I’ve heard of people who house sit for a living. And I know that I can swear to the fact that there are people who pet sit for a living because I’ve for sure looked into that for this one rabbit.

Here’s something I would love to try out as a profession– watching over people’s unattended lemon squares. You’re probably like “when would that EVER be necessary?” And I’m like “Oh I don’t know…maybe if you were working at like a church bake sale or something and you had to go to the bathroom????” Would you really want to leave those lemon squares totally out in the open at the mercy of all the light-fingered youth with a passion for the L’sq’s? NO WAY!! You’d never cover your overhead if you were that vulnerable to theft. You would maybe only make like $4. FUCK THAT!!

This is where I would come in. I would just sort of loom around them. Keep a weather eye out. I think this service could potentially be valuable. Why would I want to spend my days this way, you ask? Because I could maybe take a couple of little pieces of lemon square, that’s why. Not whole lemon squares, that would be sort of foolhardy, I think. What I would do is just sort of trim around the edges and eat a really little piece of each one. That way even if someone noticed what I had done, they might not even be that mad. I mean really, who’s going to kerfuff over a missing 1/12 of a lemon square? Probably nobody! Even I wouldn’t. I’d be like “hey did someone trim off a little piece of this? Eh. No biggie.” 11/12 of a lemon square is so immeasurably much better than no lemon square at all that that missing 1/12 is negligable. I don’t know if I’d call this the perfect crime, but I definitely think that it is a really, really great crime.

Excuse Me, but I think you’re missing a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY.

January 13, 2010

One word that you hear quite a bit around a ski lodge is ‘shred’. People LOVE to talk about shredding the gnar, getting out into the pow pow and doing some shredding, shredding the shit out of the bunny slopes, etc. Here’s what I think needs to start happening: People need to start talking about shredding to mean ‘antagonizing the Ninja Turtles’. FOR ONCE I want to be behind my coffee counter and hear some skiers walk by saying ‘Oh man today I am going to shred, and by that I mean of course that I am going to withhold pizzas from these turtles who absolutely love pizza. It is going to be the gnarliest day of my life.’

This might be the pipingist pipe dream I’ve ever dreamt of.

Planters Nut Brittle Medley: Such a Good Idea!

January 12, 2010

As promised, I am going to expound upon my new found favorite item: Planters Nut Brittle Medley.

So in a regular nut mix—yes even Deluxe Party Mix—there’s some definite fat to trim. Namely, almonds. Don’t get me wrong, almonds have some really great qualities. Off hand I cannot think of a SINGLE ONE, but I know there is something to redeem almonds for sure. But inevitably, at the end of appetizer time, there is a bowl full of fucking fondled-ass almonds. All afternoon, everyone has been taking handfuls of nuts, and throwing the almonds back in the bowl because they totally blow and there’s way too many of them in the mix. How can anybody be expected to enjoy a cashew when its flavor is being completely gang banged by like 4 almonds? It can’t be done! Some people also leave brazil nuts, but this is fine by me because I find brazil nuts to be totally fucking dank. But when its just a bowl of almonds and all my guests’ skin cells? Fuck that I’d rather eat garbage! Oh wait, that already is garbage. In the NBM, there is no almond, literal or figurative. Every element is as desirable as the next. The filler element is honey-roasted peanuts for Christ’s sake!!! Are you shitting me?! That is the best nut!

The Nut Brittle Mix (unsurprisingly) contains bits of peanut brittle. Do you know how rare it is that I will take a handful of ANYTHING and have it contain peanut brittle?! To be honest, before the NBM, it was basically never. And I spend a huge part of everyday with my hands full of things! Cardboard, sugar packets, nickels, all sorts of things! At the end of a long day of holding everything but peanut brittle it is so nice to finally hold a little bit of Nut Brittle Medley. And then eat it.

Let me take you through this. The NBM contains honey-roasted peanuts, yogurt covered raisins, cashews, peanut brittle, and little pieces of pretzels. Find me a weak link there, I dare you. You can’t! Because there isn’t one. Everything in it is just fantastic. If there were peanut butter M&Ms and pieces of rare steak in this, I would probably never eat anything else ever again. If there were a way to serve it as a sandwich containing hummus, carrots, and my grandma’s meat sauce, I would definitely never eat anything else ever again.

I had loads more to say on this subject but I realized as I was typing how totally batfuck I sound. So I decided to stop this prosaic ode to a fucking nut mix and calm the hell down. And also eat some.

Things I’m So Glad I’m Not Dealing With

January 8, 2010

One thing about winter is that people love to gripe. I associate winter with griping 1) because people are always doing it in winter and 2) because in Oregon Trail I lost a lot of members of various westward bound wagon trains to the grippe, and this mostly happened in the winter months. Note: I do not know what the grippe is.

Anyway, it seems like people are always finding things to gripe about. This is pretty understandable, I guess. It’s cold, and sort of cruel, and there are pretty much no crops as far as I am aware. Also you have to wear long pants and closed toed shoes all the time, which is a major buzz harsher if you’re like me and you always dress like a mix between a lumberjack and character from Empire Records on a trip to the beach. But regardless of what other people say about winter, I am having a great time because I’m not dealing with the following things:

cuff rollers

These guys have the right idea. Look at those bone dry cuffs!!!!!!

1)  Wet cuffs. When you’re out in the snow or rain and your pant cuffs get wet it’s not really so bad at the time, but then you get home and you take off your shoes and fuck you running it is just terrible. Even if your shoes kept your socks and feet dry, the minute you start treading on those soaking stupid cuffs, you can forget about dry socks and feet. Even if you don’t go out of your way to splash through puddles or jump in big snowdrifts like I do because I’m six years old, you’ve still got some moist-ass cuffs that are, if you live in a big city with some grime on and in it, full of many mystery gritty things and little bits of foul enigmatic soggy debris. This is just awful. You take off your wet coat and you sit down and cross your legs and boom- wet knee. Or you put your feet up and then it’s boom- wet couch or coffee table or bed or chaise lounge or sweet fucking indoor hammock. Ruined. Ugh. No thank you. So this winter, in order to not deal with this, I’ve opted to roll my pants up to the top of my boots. It’s been noted that this makes me look like a white supremacist, but I’m secure enough in my generally equalistic views of mankind that this doesn’t really bother me. Note: equalistic isn’t a real word; Microsoft Word suggested that I might like to use the word ‘euplastic’. I thought that this word was hilarious, so I looked it up. It means ‘healing readily’. What a fucking teriffic word!

This poor fucker!

2)  Coat Carrying. Most winters, I gripe about this constantly. Mostly toward the end of winter when you get some days that are real cold in the morning and then warm up in the afternoon. There is literally nothing short of the death of a loved one that can ruin a sunny day faster for me than having to carry my coat. I fucking hate carrying a coat. It is the worst! My arm gets all sweaty under the coat and I can’t enjoy the sunshine at all. I feel fettered and foolish. But shit! How was I supposed to know when I left my house in the chill of the morning that my coat would be rendered irrelevant by lunch time? Goddamn. This winter however, I am not dealing with carrying a coat ever because I am pretty much wearing that coat all the time when I’m not inside because December in Maine is a really cold time and place in which to be. It is really goddamn cold. The idea of walking around with my coat draped over my arm is absolutely ludicrous to me. PERFECT.

3)  Not having any Planters Brittle Nut Medley. I don’t have to deal with this right now because I have some. I will probably write a fucking novel about how much I love this snack, but that’s for another time.

4)  Stepping in puddles of melted snow from other people’s boots while walking around my kitchen in socks. The reason I don’t have to deal with this is because I am always wearing my boots. This is the upside of having boot odor related insecurities. Before my boots started to really smell foul, I was constantly stepping in little puddles and dampening my socks and my spirit. Total bummer. It is so hard to get warm while wearing wet socks, even if the socks are only a little wet. Even if the water you stepped in was by some gross mystery super warm, it will eventually cool down and you will have some chilly feet to reckon with. This is a thing of the past! Hurray boot odor! Note: When typing this I made 2 hilarious typos. One was that I typed socks as ‘sorcks’ which is such a funny word. The second was that I wrote ‘Hurry boot odor!’ as if I was tied to the tracks and expecting boot odor to rescue me before the Union Pacific came and ended me.

5)  Not being bear aware. This is in no way relevant or winter specific, but I am just so thankful that I am bear aware. It is literally never a bad time to know about bears. Even if you’re not in a place or set of circumstances where you need to be thinking about them often, if someone asks a question about bears or bear safety, when is it ever better to answer ‘oh shit I have no idea about bears’? Never. It is never better to not know about bears.

Secret Shame

January 4, 2010

So as I sit here in the library I have just realized that my boot odor has gotten so heinous I can now smell it THROUGH THE BOOTS. This is problematic and terrible.

Boot odor is a vicious, vicious cycle. How? Because your boots smell more the more you wear them, and the more they smell, the less you can take them off when in company to air them out. So the funk continues to strengthen, and there is absolutely nothing you can funking do about it. One night I took my boots off in my room instead of by the front door. The boot odor was so pungent it woke me from a deep sleep. Also, I was having a boot stank related nightmare at the time. These boots smell like a hamster cage sharted in a petting zoo that is mysteriously located in between a paper mill and a garbage dump in Manhattan in August.

I love these boots, I really do, and they are perfect for walking around outside in the snow, but they are exhaustingly heavy to work in. Maybe you’re wondering why I don’t do like everybody else with a clue and wear my boots into work and then change into regular shoes when I get there? Maybe some of you are not wondering becasue you’ve already guessed. The answer, everybody, is because if I take them off and leave them in the coat room, everybody will have to deal with my boot odor. Also, they will definitely know that they’re my boots. Also, the stank is so bad that I fear for their coats. Also the coat room is full of the chef coats we in the food and beverage department have to wear, and if putting on a boot stanked winter coat at the end of the day is bad, imagine putting on a boot stanked chef’s coat and having to wear it ALL DAY!!! In front of a hot stove, no less. That boot stank just cooking into all your clothes and skin. Shit that would be unbeaerable and disgusting. And no one would want to buy food from us. Because we would all smell like my disgusting boots.

So I’m sitting here, fully booted, smelling the inside of the boots. This is terrible. I thought it was a bummer having to smell the boot odor when I took them off, and dealing with the residual odor that remains with any sock that has been in the boot, but Christ! Dealing with boot odor when the boots are full of feet?! I just can’t catch a boot odor related break. Meh.

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