Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Sandwich by Any Other Name...

I know that I hyped a new blog on facebook, almost a week ago…but as I like to say, the road to new blog posts is paved with good intentions. OK, I don’t really like to say that. No one does.

Basically, if you were paying attention on the FB, I tried to generate interest in my blog posts by holding a call to action for blog ideas. And I got a whopping 6 responses (give or take)…2 of them (give or take) were from actual readers!

The suggestions that I did receive were really quite good. Some of the ideas included: shameless selfies, kitties & puppies, coffee, movie bombs, Manitou, and sandwiches.

Here’s a breakdown of why/how I decided on my blog topic as I did:

Shameless selfies- Um, well…there’s already enough coverage of Anthony Weiner’s shameless selfie of his junk (and lack of actual junk coverage). I’ll leave that one to Fox and MSNBC to duke out.

Kitties and puppies- The avid readers of my blog- both of you- will note that I have dedicated a great deal of posts to kitties and puppies. Ad nauseum. I’m going to give my readers (both of them) a break from all that.

Coffee- Suggested by my husband. I felt it would be a bit of the old nepotism to use this idea.

Movie Bombs- Also suggested by my husband. Seriously, doesn't anyone screen these calls?

Manitou- This is a great topic and it was suggested right after the gorgeous city at the base of Pikes Peak suffered from devastating flooding (the town has since seen a community pull together in a beautiful show of support). My thought is this: There are wonderfully talented journalists in this area who have beautifully covered the horrible flooding and the consequent outpouring of help that occurred in the city; I could never do that story justice. Besides, haven’t the people of Manitou suffered enough? They don’t need to be highlighted in my crappy blog.

Which leaves me with sandwiches, or rather the suggestion from Anthony Graham: “Why sandwiches are the most perfect food.”

Well, congratulations Ant,  I am going to write about sandwiches! (Ant, by the way is a super talented photog. Check out his website: http://brokenglassphoto.smugmug.com/)

Except, I don’t know that I fully support the thesis of sandwiches being the most perfect food; I believe that tacos are the most perfect food (or close to it), but they are not sandwiches (a fact that will be backed up later). I do, however, think that sandwiches are pretty great. Pretty great, indeed.

So, let’s talk sandwiches (aka sammies around my house).

I’m sure you have all heard that the sandwich was invented by a dude named the Earl of Sandwich. Actually, his name was John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, a British statesman. And actually, he didn't really invent it. I mean, come on. Do you really think humans would wait until the 18th century to enjoy a sandwich? Sure, homeboy gave the thing a name, but people had been enjoying stuff between bread for a long time before that.

The sandwich, although not called that at the time, goes way back. The Jewish sage, Hillel the Elder (I don’t have a date on this, but if someone’s name is followed by “the Elder,” then you know that this shit is old as dirt) is rumored to have wrapped lamb meat and some herbs between two pieces of matzah. Mozel Tov! There’s also evidence of sandwiches, or sandwich like creations being used in Medieval Europe. Initially, sammies were considered the food of the poor; often being used with bread that was thrown out by the richies and also often associated with gamblers and drinkers who needed a hand free for their vice of choice. However, just like everything else great, the sandwich made it’s way from the streets to the bourgeoisie.

In comes the Earl of Sandwich.

It has been said that he enjoyed playing cribbage and would often ask his valet to bring him some meat between bread. His fellow card players would in turn ask for “the same as Sandwich.” Supposedly, this is how the word made its way into the vernacular. However, there is a less exciting version of the etymology: it seems that the Earl was a bit of a Renaissance man and had involvements in the navy, politics and the arts. He was a busy man and most likely consumed his sammies soberly at his writing desk, not drunkenly at the cribbage table. Pick whichever version fits your fancy. I usually root for the drunkard.

So, what constitutes a sandwich? There is actually a court ruling on the matter. A sandwich must include “at least two slices of bread.” This excludes tacos, burritos, egg rolls, Hot Pockets, falafel, etc. And why was there a court ruling on this? You are wise to ask. Here’s the deal- turns out a sandwich restaurant in Boston wanted to prevent a burrito stand from opening in the same shopping center as part of a non-compete clause. However, a Massachusetts court ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich and a sandwich is defined by having two slices of bread. Thus, the burrito joint was able to open in the same center as it did not break any non-compete laws. Ole!

There you have it. A burrito is not a sandwich. However, a torta (Mexican sandwich) is; so is a hoagie, sub, grinder, French dip, po’ boy, sloppy Joe, muffuletta, Reuben, and my favorite- a banh mi. Apparently, a hamburger is also considered a sandwich; but if I’m eating lunch with you and you order a “hamburger sandwich,” I will promptly leave the table. Only cult members and people from the 1930’s order a “hamburger sandwich,” Weirdo.

Want to find out about more sammies from around the world? Check out this great Buzzfeed list, guaranteed to make you want to go on an Around the World in 29 Sandwiches tour. http://www.buzzfeed.com/alexnaidus/around-the-world-in-sandwiches

Hope you enjoyed this. Now, let's all have sammies!




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Country Grammar and Other Pet Peeves

I want you to think far back to a time before Facebook and twitter, and- hell- even the Internet. Think back to the time that you could have a long conversation with a good friend and have no idea that they were illiterate.

Yes, illiterate. Well, "illiterate" might be a harsh word. Maybe, "lazy" is more appropriate? 

I'll explain. Unless yours was the type of friendship in which you wrote each other lengthy letters back and forth, you probably had no idea that your friend did not know the difference between "apart" and "a part," or that he/she thinks the abbreviation is "ect." instead of "etc."

Then came Facebook and everyone's grammatical short-comings became abundantly clear. I remember cringing the first time I saw a dear friend post a status update using the word "hear" when she clearly meant "here." "That must be a typo," I thought to myself. But the "typos" continued; and they spread like a verbal plague amid the updates in my news feed.

I need to make it clear that I am no grammar saint myself. I have committed countless sins: splitting infinitives, incorrect subject/verb agreement, my spelling is atroshus, oh and run-on sentences that never seem to end; as well as my liberal use of commas, semicolons; parentheses....and ellipses. (See what I did there?...please tell me you see what I did there.) My point: I am not a Grammar Goddess (or Grammar Nazi as some of my friends would suggest). I'm not even close. Short of dotting my "i's" with hearts, I pretty much have the writing skills of a junior high school girl.

 BUT....

I know the damn difference between "your," "you're," "there," "their," "they're," "to," "two," "too," "where," "wear," "ware," etc. Or should I say "ect." because that does seem to be the most popular way to type that abbreviation, according to Facebook. Grrrr. It's an abbreviation of the word "et cetera," not "ec cetera!" Need help remembering the correct abbreviation? Think ET cetera, "E.T." cetera. As in ET phones home, etc.

Whew, where was I? Oh, yes- straying FAR off topic.

You'd never guess, but this blog post isn't going to be about grammar. Well, not really. The post is about pet peeves. My pet peeves. Yes, poor grammar is one of my pet peeves. But I have so many others. So, so many. And I am going to share them with you today. Because, that's what I do as a self-absorbed blogger; which is to say, blogger.

In addition to shitty grammar, my pet peeves are as follows:

1) Dreams. More specifically, hearing about your dream. I don't know how to put this delicately, so I won't: I don't fucking care about the dream you had last night. Unless, I'm in it; and even then, I will check out until you get to the part about me.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who feels this way. The next time you are going to share a dream you had, just remember that the person to whom you are describing your dream is most likely not listening to you. I can promise you that I am not.

2) Watching someone play video games. This one was much more applicable during my college days, but my angst still lingers. I mean, seriously, you invite me over so that I can watch you and your loser roommate play Mortal Combat? "Finish him?" Finish this. *cue my much perkier 20 year old ass walking out the door.

3) Racists who assume that I am also racist. Yeah, I realize that with my fair skin and platinum hair, I probably look like a jackass Aryan's wet dream, but be assured that I DO NOT share those views. I can't tell you how many racist jokes I've heard- no, not just heard- but someone has purposely sought me out to tell me those jokes, just because of my complexion. Hey, slow your roll Mel Gibson; you are talking to the wrong white girl. I do however, love the opportunity that follows, in which I get to tell the racist joker, that I do not find that type of joke funny in the slightest. I also love the part when I call the person a racist piece of shit. I also, really love the part where I tell every girl in the bar what a racist piece of shit that person is and they shouldn't fuck him even with someone else's vagina. Damn, I really hate racists.

4) Jam Bands. I used to refer to jam bands as ear rape, but I've since softened my stance. I think that jam bands are like ear date rape. They start out rather innocuous, but 20 minutes later, you realized that you've been slipped a musical mickey. Jam bands are self-indulgent assholes dressed as hippie nice guys. Do not drink their kool-aid.

5) Number lock. Number lock is bullshit. 

6) The word "realness." As in a selfie of yourself on Instagram that says "glitter eye-liner realness." Using the word "realness" to describe your appearance or your location is actually poor grammar "realness."

7) The word "moist." It's gross. I avoid using it, unless absolutely necessary.

8) The word "lover." Ew. Just ew. I quote Liz Lemmon: "The word 'lover' bums me out, unless it's between the words 'meat' and 'pizza."

9) Anthropomorphic food. You know, like the dancing hot dogs and sodas in the "Let's all go to the lobby" movie song. And don't get me started on Veggie Tales. That combines anthropomorphism and evangelicalism. That is something I'm just not ok with.

10) Passive aggression and guilt trips. Hey, by the way. I just happened to notice that voting starts today for the Indy's Best Of edition. Oh, and looky here- they have a best local blogger category. Did I mention that the name of this blog is "Bottoms Up! With Whiskey Darling." Or, even the name Whiskey Darling, should suffice. But you guys probably don't even like me. You're just reading this blog to be nice. I mean, it's not a big deal to me or anything; it's just that I got second place last year and I'd really love to at least hold on to that title. It would be a shame for me to have to tell my parents that I'm no longer Colorado Springs' second favorite local blogger....especially after my mom knitted me that "Springs' Second Favorite Blogger" scarf. I mean, do whatever. It's cool. I'll just go update my Facebook status to "no longer Colorado Springs' second favorite local blogger."

Of course, if you are so inclined, you can vote here: Colorado Springs Independent Best of Voting

Seriously, thank you all for voting for me last year and I am beyond flattered that I earned that title.

Oh, but before you go, here's some cute squirrel "realness" as a thank you for your time:)

 (photo credit: Troy Staat troutimagery.com)







  



Monday, April 8, 2013

My Day In Court (aka Call of Duty 2013)

The following is a "live blog" account of my jury duty experience today. I had an ipad, wifi, and a ton of time. You are welcome.


So, it has come to this. I tried everything to not be here. And by everything, I mean wishing really hard that I wouldn't have to be here. And by "here," I mean the juror waiting room of the El Paso County Courthouse.

Luckily for me and unluckily for you, they have wifi. So I can take this opportunity to rant....I mean blog.

First let me start off with the parking situation. It is stupid. There are about 400 people called into jury duty service and about 50 juror parking spots. Grrrrr.

I had to remove my belt at security. Grrrr.

Dude sitting next to me reeks of stale cigarettes and old fast food. Grrrr.

I'm thirsty. I'd buy a bottle of water, but I used all my change to pay for parking.

9:15AM
Now we are watching a video. We are supposed to pay attention, so I will.

Done with video. They made a point to tell us that the people in the video were not paid actors. They didn't have to tell us that. It was obvious.

9:47AM
Now we are watching a movie as we wait. It is National Treasure with Nicholas Cage. I thought the goal of jury service was to prevent an undue hardship.

The smell coming from the guy next to me is getting worse. I'm am nauseated. I've tried to switch seats but am having a hard time not being obvious about it. Hey, I'm a bitch internally, but I don't like to be one outwardly.

Anyway, while I wait, I will go over some of the ideas I had as ways to get dismissed:

1. Bring in my cat Maeby and ask where the child-care center is.

2. Solicit fellow jurors to form a flash mob.

3. Quote lines from National Treasure. Along with the the movie as it is playing.

4. Answer every question with "You can't handle the truth!"

5. Explain that my membership in the KISS Army will conflict with my juror service as I am required to rock and roll all night and party every day.

6. Two words: impromptu burlesque

7. Show up covered in cat hair....oh wait, I did that already.

8. Tell them that I'd love to serve, but I have to meet the Doc at the clock tower so I can make it back to 1985.

9. End every sentence with "meow."

10. Giggle uncontrollably every time someone says the word "duty."

Well. That took up some time.


I have now filled out a second questionnaire, which pretty much means that I will be called to jury selection. This is lame.

Very lame.

I'm gonna power down my iPad for the moment and await further instructions. Also, I think Smelly Dude next to me keeps looking at my screen. Back off, smelly.

11:08AM
I'm still here, but the good news is that Dude was called to a jury. Smell ya' later.

My meter expires in 45 minutes. I will not be reimbursed for a ticket as I didn't park in the overflow lot. Because I'm an idiot. And also because I didn't know there was an overflow lot. I guess I can't blame the system for my stupidity and lack of knowledge on overflow lots. There was probably a sign somewhere. I didn't read it. I don't have time for signs. I also don't like to pay close attention to things or examine them thoroughly. This should serve as a great reason for them to dismiss me from the jury.

They assured me I would be able to move my car before noon. I'm beginning to suspect that the judicial system does not move as promptly and efficiently as I had hoped.

11:14AM
Everyone who has not been assigned to a jury gets to leave. They leave smugly. I hate them.  Now it's just me, Nicholas Cage and some other assholes unlucky enough to still be here. I'm probably going to get a parking ticket.

Grrrr.

11:20
I'm hungry

11.28AM
I just remembered that I brought some sugar-free homemade flax cookies. They are...not good, at best. I has just occurred to me that I could easily get dismissed by offering to share my sugar free homemade flax cookies.....

Ugh. My civic duty is boring. And potentially expensive if I don't get to that parking meter soon.

11:58AM
Good news: I am home.

Bad news: I have to go back to the courthouse for jury selection at 1:30PM.

Even worse news: I got a parking ticket; even though I still had plenty of time on the meter. Yes, plenty of time on THE meter, but not MY meter. Yep. I put money in the wrong meter. THE WRONG FUCKING METER. I put $3 in the meter and got a $20 ticket from the City of Colorado Springs. Worst slot machine ever. But, there is no one to blame for this but myself. And I am fully aware of that. Still, it sucks.

I would like to point out that if this parking meter idiocy doesn't prove that I am unfit to serve on a jury, then I don't know what does.

I would also like to point out that there is a religious group assembled outside the courthouse asking people if they prayed while in court.

Here's my issue with this:

Aside from the obvious: street prosthelyzation is fucking annoying;  I'm also irritated at the fact that these people are willingly at the courthouse on a Monday afternoon. Some of us had to arrange to take the time off work and then complain relentlessly on Facebook about it. But these zealots are here willingly. Willingly! Also, I'm jealous about how open their schedules must be. I know I don't have the time to stand in front of a courthouse and bother people. Well, not when I'm sober anyway.

So my question is this: is this condoned by the city? If so, that is beyond- for lack of a better word- fucked.

1:15PM
It would appear that this is not condoned by the city as the Courthouse Jesus Gang has been apparently asked to leave.

Well, OK.

1:30pm
I'm now taken to a smaller room of the courthouse in which I get to hangout with my "peers." My "peers" apparently consist of a bunch of ladies in their mid-fifties, a sorority girl, and a cranky old dude.

2:20pm
I am called to the witness booth.

2:32pm
I am dismissed.

2:45pm
I went to work and finished out the day. Yeah, you hear that Courthouse Jesus Gang? I have shit to do. That's how we do up in the non-prosthelyzation hood.


I do want to note that, despite all of my joking about trying to get out of jury duty, I treated the experience with honesty and integrity. While I will not reveal the subject matter of the case, I did feel that it would be impossible for me to be impartial and objective given the questions I was asked. And this was not a ploy to shirk my responsibilities. This was an honest and conscientious response.

You wouldn't know it by the way I described my day, but I do think that jury duty is a great responsibility. An irritating, time-consuming, sometimes nauseating responsibility, but a responsibility nonetheless.

When I first got my summons, I posted it on facebook. Because I'm super mature. A weird, random lady criticized me for not being excited about my "precious gift." I can only assume that she meant jury duty as my virginity was re-gifted long ago.

Jury duty a "precious gift?" No. A kitten is a "precious gift." Apparently some sort of ring in Middle Earth is a "precious gift." Jury duty is an obligation. One that you should take seriously and fastidiously, but by no means one that you are required to be joyous about.

Oh- and I unfriended that wacko on facebook. No one posts the words "precious gift" on my wall. No one.