Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Hate You, Mentos

Remember the Mentos freshmaker commercials from the 90's? The ones that were so infectious the Foo Fighters parodied them in their video back when bands other than OK Go made videos? They were excellent. I would go so far as to say they were fresh and full of life even. I've always had a soft spot for Mentos because of their clever advertising. Until.

Have you guys seen it yet? Have you? Have you seen the new commercial where a fucking spider BEATS THE SHIT out of some dude who tries to squash him? Seriously, it's like they climbed into my brain, filmed my very worst nightmare and then deliberately ambushed me in my waking moments with it while I'm minding my own business watching TV. There are close ups. Close up on the spider crawling across the room. Close up on the battered spider reaching up and grabbing the guy by the finger and slamming him repeatedly into a wall with the super human strength I knew they'd been hiding all along. Malice! Vengeance! Purpose! Everything that fucking terrifies me about these demon spawn, on my television, and presented to me at completely unpredictable intervals. Which is the final insult: the premise of the commercial is that it's always better to know what's coming. Yes, Mentos, it is. It's always better to know that I can turn on my television and not be besieged by horrors. But no, now I can't trust my television anymore because I don't know when this commercial is going to come on.


Monday, January 10, 2011

The Post That Is More Of The "Holy Fuck It's Finally My Birthday" Variety

The holidays are officially over and that can only mean one thing: it's about to be my muthafuckin' birthday, y'all. In fact, it's Wednesday, but feel free to start getting your drink on RIGHT NOW. As Supreme Ruler of the month of January (because that's when my birthday is) I officially give you permission and encourage you to start celebrating my birthday right this minute, as well as retroactively back to the beginning of this year, and for the duration of this entire month.

As crazy as I normally am about my birthday, and as many of you know about my birthday celebrating, you can't stop me, you can only hope to contain me, this year I have been particularly looking forward to it ever since June. Why June? Because that's when my beloved Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup title in 50 years, and almost immediately after that I made the decision to build my own confectionery Stanley Cup out of cake for my birthday (really it was almost immediately. Toews hoisted the cup, and passed it to Hossa, who shares my birthday like the fucking rockstar he is, and I looked at my birthday twin holding the cup over his head and thought, "I'm fucking eating that on my birthday." I don't know how my brain works, I only know that it does.)

Since then I've been doing a lot of research. The actual Stanley Cup is approximately a foot and a half wide at its base and about 3 feet tall. Duff made a full size replica Stanley Cup cake for a wedding on whatever the fuck cake making show he's on (I don't watch it, I just found a clip of it when I googled "how to make a Stanley Cup cake". They had the actual Stanley Cup brought into the bakery to use as a reference which is flat out fucking unfair, in my opinion) and was expecting it to serve 300 people. I don't actually know 300 people, nor do I have the kind of resources to make that huge of a cake (I had to buy a tiara and a princess wand so everyone would know it was my birthday, after all - I'm not fucking made of money people) so I had to scale it down. My cake will be 9 inches wide and about a foot and a half tall and I expect it to take 5-7 boxes of cake to complete. By the way, don't even think about getting up my ass about using boxed cake for this. I'm making the frosting from scratch because I make the best fucking frosting in the world and also, I'M BUILDING THE STANLEY CUP OUT OF CAKE which is a lot of work as it is, and I am not going to also make cake batter from scratch because believe it or not I have other shit to do, such as my job. Besides, boxed cake is moist and delicious and spongy and I have absolutely no reason to be ashamed.

Even scaled down that much, there's no way I can transport that tall of a cake from my third floor dwelling to Tai's and have it stay in one piece, so I'll have the additional challenge of having to assemble, ice and decorate most of it sitting at the bar. I've also had to work out a great deal of structural engineering for support, because anyone who bakes tiered cakes knows, if you don't secure them with cardboard and sticks on the inside, it will either start to resemble the leaning tower of Pisa or collapse in on itself like so many legendary Vegas casinos torn down in the interest of newer, shinier Vegas casinos. Keep it tuned here for photos, kids - this cake is going to be legendary, regardless of whether it turns out to be my greatest triumph or most soul crushing failure (it won't be - it's my birthday, and on my birthday there is no failure, only magic and rainbows and kittens).

But enough about cake - let's talk about the other things that make my birthday the most awesome day on the calendar. Such as the tea party I'm having at work on my birthday. BrownsFan suggested it jokingly when I mentioned I didn't want to make a cake for work because I am making such an enormous one for the bar. "You know, with scones. And cucumber sandwiches," she teased. She really ought to know better, because instead of being all "haha motherfucker", I gasped with joy and immediately began making plans to subject my co-workers to tiny cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. I will also be eating crab legs for dinner on Wednesday because that's what the bartender and I have for dinner any time it's one of our birthdays (or half birthdays. Or if we just found some money lying around. Or if one of us goes to Costco on a Saturday. We like crab legs, ok?).

And then there's the presents. The comic has had some sort of stroke or something and decided a birthday gift was in order, which I am suspicious of, because he rarely buys people things that aren't booze and it is obvious he's up to something. Also, the bartender keeps hinting at a gift that is going to trump my Christmas gifts (many of which actually were booze because my roommate totally gets me). As for myself, I've bought an ensemble of frilly red things, the aforementioned tiara and princess wand so everyone will know it's my birthday (the bartender: "Right. Because there's any possibility that people aren't going to know whose birthday it is.") and I am going to the toy store on my way home tomorrow for a new toy (or seven, you can never have enough toys). I will NOT be buying myself another 3000 piece puzzle, possibly ever again, because I can't build them anymore - the cat steals pieces out of the box and hides them and also she likes to knock the parts I've completed onto the floor as if to say "That's what you get. Now get your shit off my table." Even the TV executives wanted to get me something nice: tomorrow, on my birthday eve, Comedy Central starts airing new episodes of the brilliant Tosh.0 and it is totally because they KNEW it was my birthday and they wanted me to be happy (that is also why the new Social Distortion album comes out next week. For real). Fuckin' A.

I'll keep you guys updated on the progress of the greatest birthday cake of all time and about how awesome the next few days are going to be as time allows. I don't know if you heard, but it's my birthday and there will be too much awesome happening to really be online much. But don't worry, you'll be too busy celebrating my birthday to really notice.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Amberance: Nerdtastic

I just got off the phone with MrSteve. He was checking on the plans for my birthday party, seeing as how it's almost my birthday (there is another post coming which will be more of the HOLY FUCK IT'S FINALLY MY BIRTHDAY variety, don't worry). MrSteve has crossed over to the dark side into Grownupdom, what with his house and his family and his job having nonsense, and every time he calls I needle him about it because it amuses the crap out of me. While reminding him how hilarious it is that he does grown up stuff like commuting and lawn care, the conversation took a turn for the geek.

Me: Speaking of being an adult, 33 is the coming-of-age age for a hobbit, so according the the hobbits I'm going to be a grown up now.

MrSteve (with horror and disdain): Oh my god. I mean, [the actress] and I joke around about which one of us is the bigger nerd, but you are just...wow.

Me: Well I think it's because I have a variety of nerdery. I'm not just a sci-fi nerd, or just a iPad nerd. I have a lot of different nerd interests.

MrSteve: You're a broad ranging nerd.

Me: Yes. It's important to be a multi-faceted nerd. In increases your chances of meeting someone you don't actually want to date.

Being Healthy is Rotting Away My Brain

I've been avoiding writing this next post because I don't want to admit to you all that I broke down and joined a gym (I've been avoiding writing any posts at all because my parents bought me an iPad for Christmas and I cannot. Put. It. Down.). After all my anti-gym sentiment about how if people were really motivated they could exercise at home for free, and that gym people are obsessive weirdos who can't talk about anything except how many reps they did when they blasted their pecs that morning, and how spin class sounds to me like a real olfactory horror show O my brothers, it seemed like blogging "Omigod you guys, I totes joined the gym wheeee!" was an invitation for ridicule. The truth is, I still feel basically the same about the gym, but I joined one anyway because I was afraid I'd fall off the fitness wagon if I stopped my walking regimen and I'm way too much of a pussy to go outside during a Chicago winter for anything other than what is strictly necessary for basic survival. So I joined the gym in the building where I work, which is handy as I don't have to go outside even to get there and I don't have to motivate myself to get up and go to the gym in the wee hours of the morning or convince myself to do it at the end of the day - I can just swing by there at lunch when I would have just been sitting at my desk trolling Facebook anyway.

I remembered immediately one of the biggest reasons why I hate the gym: women. The gym has handy little tvs on every piece of equipment so as to distract you from the fact that you're doing something you absolutely hate. Because of this I can tell you with a high degree of accuracy the gender of the person who was on the machine before me. Sportscenter or the financial news? Dude (or BrownsFan, who throws off my calculations because she is glorious). One Life to Live or anything involving a Kardashian? Fuckin broad.

The locker room is even worse, because in the locker room the sound is on and it's loud enough for me to hear it in the shower so it can't be ignored. I've been subjected to Tabatha's Salon Takeover, staring a bitchy Australian woman who bosses around salon owners and their stylists with a level of assholeness that approaches Gordon Ramsey; Judge Joe Brown and his band of mouth breathing idiots who have the nerve to be surprised when the losers they date turn out to be losers and steal from them; a number of different soap operas that have been running since the dawn of time with the same twelve characters having the same set of problems that aren't actual problems ("But Danny's threatening to take the kids away because I'm having an affair!" It never occurs to them to just *stop* having an affair); some weird cooking with celebrities show where Matthew McConaughey taught me how to make a salad; and perhaps most disturbingly, Celebrity Plastic Surgery: Did They or Didn't They? which was too appalling for me to even describe. I know, I know, that this is NOT what is being watched in the men's locker room. They've got ESPN on in there, I can feel it, and it makes me want to go around and ask all the guys in the place if any of them would mind if I switched locker rooms. Even when BrownsFan managed to get Sportcenter on in our locker room, by the time I got done with my workout it had reverted back to Fashion Emergency! or something equally vapid. The only good thing about it is that it gets me in and out of the shower and back at my desk at an amazing speed.

WOMEN OF THE GYM: I have nothing profound to say here. Just please, please STOP.