And we’re back!!!

And we’re back…. first an apology.  I had a rough week and knew that posting on the blog each day would not have been in the best interests of the integrity of the blog or in the enjoyment of the reader.  Today is officially March 30th and while I enjoyed the month of celebrations (while admittedly missing a few towards the end), I realized that my blog could not be so easily summed up as a “Celebration of Celebrations” blog.  I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  Just as a chef is able to be given the same three ingredients and dependent on their mood and their inspiration make vastly crazy yet delicious dishes.  I want my blog to have the same three ingredients that have made it enjoyable for different peopel: the links, the written word, and of course the videos.  If you stick with me over the coming weeks, I intend to celebrate more holidays of the months, touch on some special interest topics, go on some adventures, post some feature length short films, some creative projects and maybe even have some input from everyone out there for posts.  I cannot promise a post every day, but I can promise that the posts I do create will be thoughtful, enjoyable, and heavily laden with the sarcasm you know and love.

So buckle up because you never know when the mEssy Chef might stop by a kitchen, a computer, or a smart phone near you.

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Old is the new Young

A man was walking along a road trying to find his way in Greece when suddenly he was accosted a great wind caused by the angered wings of a creature so strong and powerful that moving any step further forward was impossible. The man was face to face with the Spinx, and as he stared deep in to the pair of intelligent eyes looking back at him, he knew that he only had one chance to survive.  Legend has it the Sphinx would sit outside Thebes and ask a riddle of everyone that passed by.  If they answered correctly, the Sphinx would kill itself allowing the traveler to pass.  To answer incorrectly meant death.  As the man, Oedipus, looked deep in to the Sphinx’s very alive eyes, he knew that no man that had ever lived this five minutes of his life had ever seen the next five minutes after this moment.  Without moving its lips, the Sphinx would ask the question, a riddle that had unhinged countless travelers before.

What has four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs at night?

Only then did Oedipus smile because he knew the answer.  With a subtle nod of his head, he announced “a man.”  The Sphinx reeled as though shot through the heart with an arrow and was destroyed.  The answer to so many of life’s questions including which gender are the better drivers is men (That’s right.  I am calling it haha).  The creature with four legs in the morning is a baby, two legs is a grown up standing on their own two feet, and once night falls an elderly man takes a cane to continue walking.  The riddle outlines the life of a man.  To all of the people reading my blog, happy As Young As You Feel Day.

I feel pretty old today because I enjoy cranberry juice, mid day dinner specials, and watching a little late night Jeopardy before falling asleep in my recliner.  As a result, I will keep this post short since I only type with one finger, as an old person would and may have even fallen asleep by 9PM.  I am too forgetful to remember.  Oh, and you  may notice the lack of links.  I figured someone who was really old… like 125 may not even know what links are.  In honor of them, I have included none today.  Hopefully I will feel younger tomorrow.

The moment I knew I was getting old was when I could no longer eat 32 pieces of pizza at an all you can eat pizza buffet and still be ready to eat again in an hour.  I could probably still knock back 32 pieces but I would be in a bit of pain for a couple hours after.  Besides, now that I am older and more mature, I would probably rather save some of those pieces for breakfast the next day.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

I have done a lot of research and have found ten sure fire ways to feel younger at any age. Check them out below:

1.

Oops, I was too busy goofing off and ran out of time to write them all out.  Next time.  In honor of National Goof Off Day, I took one additional ten minute break today at work.  I am quite the goof off I know.  It was a national holiday.  What else could I do?!?! And I certainly did not make up for it by working a little extra on another day.  That would be silly talk.

Now if you ever face a Sphinx while walking along the street, you will survive to see another day because even you know the answer to the riddle.

Friends, Countrymen, Lend Me Your French Bread

If you have ever read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you know a couple things about the world around us that the normal person does not.  (Spoiler alerts)  The Earth is a giant computer calculating the meaning of life.  Mice are extraordinarily smart and truly the master minds of everything.  Dolphins can now only hit a ball with their nose but fly into outer space right before Earth is destroyed.  A towel is the most useful tool in the universe.  While most of these assertions may be completely accurate, I would like to make the argument that a good French bread is much more useful than a towel until it goes moldy of course.

While this may count as playing with your food, French bread is a delicious type of bread that is hard on the outside but soft on the inside.  Yes, you may insert your “That’s what she said” jokes here.  If your are traveling across the universe as you would have been in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a good piece of French bread could help you stay alive because you could actually eat it.  Secondly if it is long enough, you could use it as a walking stick.  Think of how much more comfortable it will be to walk around your space shuttle with your very own walking stick.  If you have a bag for all of your belongings, you could put it on the French bread and carry it over your shoulder!  But wait, there is more that you can do with French bread.  If you get attacked by intergalactic pirates, the French bread can be used to sword fight them.  I am pretty sure that George Lucas was considering using French bread in the original Star Wars because he thought that it would be more believable than Light Sabers.

The French bread could be used to catch fish.  Just sharpen one end and practice spearing the fish right in the water.  It is bread though so make sure you get it right on the first or second try before it gets soggy.  French bread could be used as a softball or baseball bat thus encouraging the ideas of team and helping you have a fun time.  You could hollow out the French bread and use the inside space as a make shift sort of wallet.  If your leg breaks, you can splint it using your French bread (NSFW).  If you have to zipline, you can throw the French bread over the wire to slide along.

French bread is actually a little tricky to make.  Did you know that you have to add water to your to your oven to keep it humid enough to cook the bread?  Crazy, right?  But I would make the argument that even with it being tricky to make, it is a lot easier than learning how to make a spare towel if you lose your first one.  For all of these reasons and I am sure a couple more, French bread is much more useful than a towel. Take that Douglas Adams! (He was the writer of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

I really wish these holidays would stop tricking me with cool names and then end up being about slightly less exciting things.  When I found out today was kick butt’s day, I started researching craw mcgraw classes and cued up my favorite Ninja Assassin scenes.  You can imagine my dismay when I realized this holiday was actually about quitting smoking and encouraging other people to smoke.  I myself do not smoke and since most of my time during the week is either stuck in my office or riding a train where smoking is not permitted, I did not even have the chance to fake cough while standing awkwardly close to a smoker.  (Been there, done that)  So because as messy chef I feel like I should do some education on ingredients.  Here are five ingredients that you would need to make your own cigarettes.

  1. 6-Acetoxydihydrotheaspirane
  2. Allspice Extract, Oleoresin And Oil (If you ever run out of deodorant, try rubbing a cigarette under your arm…)
  3. Corn Oil (Corn truly is in everything we eat!)
  4. Farnesol
  5. Death

If you really want to be a cool parent, I read somewhere that it is not illegal everywhere for your kids to smoke but to buy.  When picking up some healthy snacks for them, why not also pick them up a pack?  The nicotine hits their brain just ten seconds after they inhale and what quicker way is there than that to show them you love them?  Cigarettes are made up of 20% sugar.  If you are on a diet, stopping smoking could cut out that much sugar from your intake.  As a result of all of this, I issue a challenge to you.  Currently, cigarettes are the most traded thing on the planet.  Over the next year, I say we all take the time to make something else more traded.  Unless anyone else has a better suggestion, I think we spend the next 365 days making frozen pizza the most traded thing on the planet.  Together, we can kick some butts!

Fun Fact: March 21 was also memory day.  Studies have shown that eating blueberries can increase your memory.  Try throwing some frozen ones in your fridge and eating them like miniature frozen pops!

Snowman Burning Day!!!

We didn’t start the fire… Frosty the Snowman did, and it is time to hold him and his magical top hat responsible.

SNOWMAN BURNING DAY!!!

First an apology.  There have been problems at my building with my internet (and cable connection) and this has caused me to miss two blog posts.  As an offering for missing Wyatt Earp‘s Birthday, let me entertain you with this haiku I have written.  In case you did not know, a haiku is a three line Japanese poem that has 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third line.  I am sure there are other rules, but I am lazy and intend completely and blatantly ignore the rest of them.

Wyatt Earp you rock

The west was won by you

Let’s hang out some time

If you enjoyed that poem, buckle up because one of these days, I may go full English major on you and drop some iambic pentameter on this hood.

Today is one of those days that should break the writer’s block of even Shakespeare who has not written anything in quite a long time… There are so many crazy holidays that fall on March 20th it might even be the zaniest day of the month.  It is Alien Abduction Day, National Proposal Day, National Meat Out Day, Snowman Burning Day, Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day, and it is a Tuesday.  Talk about crazy.  Let’s spend a few minutes looking at each of these holidays in no particular order.

Alien Abduction Day

The day I understood what the television show title Third Rock from the Sun meant was the day that I finally felt I had arrived at adulthood.  In case you were wondering, the show title means Earth since we are the third planet from the sun.  What does this have to do with alien abductions?  Absolutely nothing.  I have decided not to celebrate this holiday because if I ever run for political office I feel like celebrating a holiday on illegal alien abduction may be used against me.
In case you do not aspire to political office and decided to cast your eyes to the falling skies, I will not leave you hanging as there are plenty of examples of ways to celebrate your very own alien abduction.  If my blog has gone universal, I would like to also take this time to tell the aliens that I am a very boring test subject, and there are a lot better humans to investigate if they are ever in my neighborhood even if I do seem attractive on paper.
National Proposal Day
Do you ever wonder if prospective grooms (and I guess prospective brides these days) consider wearing knee pads when they drop down to one knee?  A little comfort can go a long way.  Why do people drop to one knee for a proposal of marriage?  I did some research and like the plural of Platypus there is no set answer.  Some say it heralds back to the positioning that knights would take when accepting a gift.  Others say it is because it places you at the complete mercy of the person you are in front of placing your vulnerable heart and life in their hands.  One source said it was so that the ring properly blings in the light.  Of course if they knew my salary, they would need to add more light, lots more light, to get the proper bling.  Is bling even a verb?  Here are my five tips for a successful proposal.
  1. If the proposal is supposed to be a surprise, you probably should not tag your prospective spouse in the Facebook status.  “About to pop the big question – with Kate BeckinsaleAlso, I would recommend not tagging yourself in at Jared’s on Foursquare.  This things have a way of getting around.
  2. If you ask the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage, make sure you get her name right.
  3. If you do decide to do a proposal on the beach, make sure you time high tide correctly.
  4. While you can sometimes forget your wallet when going out on a date, this is probably not a good time to also forget the ring.
  5. Don’t mention the tax write off benefits as the first reason you want to get married.  (Although if anyone is interested, it is a pretty nice write off)
And here are four proposal videos.  One of this would have totally been me if this guy had not beaten me to it first.  Comment if you can guess which one.  (Also in order to save my man card, one of these four proposal videos is actually of a monster truck.  Man Card Saved)

National Meat Out Day

This is actually a holiday that tries to convince people to give up meat and switch to a lifestyle of purely vegetables, fruits, and grains.  I tried to celebrate this holiday.  For breakfast all I had was a blueberry donut, but by the time lunch came around, I accidentally ate chicken in my Chicken Alfredo frozen meal.  How was I supposed to know it had chicken?  I guess Meat Out Day was not for me this time.  I will try again next year.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

This holiday is to celebrate the one and only Mr. Rogers on the day of his birth.  The website Fredrogers.org has a lot of pictures of great neighbor candidates but they also suggest many ways to celebrate this holiday.

  •  Smile – check
  •  Plant a tree – Bonsai tree check
  •  Say “Thank You” – Thanks for reading my blog today
  •  Sort and recycle glass, newspapers, plastic and cardboard  – I would have sorted through them all but they are already conveniently stored in the trash can together for safe keeping.
  •  Give the gift of laughter: clip cartoons, share funny stories – See blog
  •  Offer to take the shopping cart back for someone loading his or her car – You may even be able to sneak a couple oreos out of their bags when they aren’t looking.
  •  Shop with reusable bags – I do not know why my neighbors care what type of bags I use but okay
  •  Make a donation to your favorite non-profit – The make sure I still eat dinner fund is my favorite non-profit for the day
  •  Save throw-aways (egg cartons, ribbons, etc.) for art projects – Now I have an excuse for why my apartment is always kind of messy #mEssyChef
  •  Share a hug – Any takers?
  •  Be a good friend by just listening – You are more than welcome to share in the comments.  I will listen… whether I read them or not is another story.
  •  Reuse cardboard boxes to store toys and supplies – Where else would I keep my plastic army men collection?
  •  Volunteer at a senior center – Does working in HR count?
  •  Pay someone a compliment – You, yes you, look great today
  •  Visit your local library for story time, crafts, songs and games – Who knew playing solitaire in a public place could make me so many friends.
The site also recommended wearing a sweater in honor of him.  This is a record setting March in terms of temperature so I think I will leave the sweaters in the closet.
Tuesday
This is the third day of the week and normally falls after Monday.  They serve Chili in the cafeteria.  Go Tuesday!
SNOWMAN BURNING DAY
The much awaited moment is here.  Snowman Burning Day!  A holiday that is meant to wave goodbye to winter and welcome spring.  Since spring did not realize that Snowman Burning Day was not until the 20th and showed up around February 1st, I had to improvise a little bit on my own celebration.  I also got to thinking… What inspired people to light a snowman on fire?  Sure, it would cause it to melt and I guess this could be symbolic of ushering in spring.  But really it was at though mobs of people were attacking snowmen and lighting them on fire.  What could a snowman have done to incite such brutal attacks?
Things a Snowman Could Have Done To Incite A Riot
              1. Tracked water in to the house
              2. Had its eyes placed so that he constantly looked at your girlfriend funny
              3. Did not show up to your birthday party… in August… in Texas
              4. Left a ring around the bathtub
              5. Was not a jolly, happy soul
              6. Practiced witch craft.  Think about it… a snowman’s arms would float as they are made of wood, I have never heard one say the Lord’s prayer, and if you have a dog nearby, it could have spots all over!
              7. He was screen looking the last time the two of you played Halo
Whatever a snowman did to start the riot, once a riot starts a snowman is pretty defenseless and most do end up lit on fire.  In honor of the holiday, I too lit a snowman on fire.  There is no way to describe it other than to click below and enjoy!  Woooooo!

The Four Stages of Awkward

This post is going to be…well… awkward.  Now this is really awkward.  If some of you are still hung over from International Question Day (what else would you be hung over from), questions may still be popping in to your head.  If one of your questions was “Why is it four stages of awkward,” I will actually answer your question now.  Ten cool points to you.  There are basically four different types of awkward.  But wait a second, the title for this post is clearly four stages and not types.  If there are four types, why did I not title my post this?  Well for that, please enjoy my introduction and proceeding lecture on… THE FOUR STAGES OF AWKWARD!!!!

Welcome.  Awkward is not just the act of doing something awkward known as the act but the overall moment it creates, permeating through those around you also known as the audience.  It is the full awkward moment.  My theory is that each of these awkward moments can contain just one type of awkward or it can flow through the other types as though through stages. There are four different types of awkward.  While some scientists include other types, the different types are accidental, friendly, creepy, and intentional.  Each awkward moment is not a cycle and does not have to include each of these types but can include any of them based upon the audience and the act.  Please use these following stages as only a rough guide of the awkward moments that occur in your life.

  • Accidental- This is the type of awkward that happens when you are not planning on doing something awkward.  Anyone who has graduated from high school and walked to accept their diploma is familiar with this type of awkward.  Remember when you were nervous about walking along that stage and suddenly tripping on the edges of your graduation gown.  This was you fearing an accidental awkward moment, a moment that happens organically that leaves people wondering whether they should laugh or cry for you.
  • Friendly- Sometimes awkward is endearing.  This type of awkward can also be known as funny or innocent.  This is the type of awkward that it is okay to laugh at.  This is like when your friend says something while in an elevator with a senior member at your office that causes the senior member to grimace.  While kind of tense in that initial instance, it leads to great laughter and reminiscing afterwards.  Many times moments that are not even awkward can be turned in to a funny or innocent awkward moment by someone simply saying the word awkward.  Please consider the following example:
      • Bobby:  Hi Jim,  how was your weekend?
      • Jim: It was a great weekend
      • Craig: …awkward…

This moment was not actually awkward but was turned in to a friendly awkward moment when Craig said, “Awkward.”

  • Creepy- This type of awkward is like the hungry eyes guy from the M and M commercial.  This is the type of awkward that runs a chill down your spine and just makes you want to leave the situation.  The best example I have of this is when you are riding on the metro to work and you realize that the homeless person on your train is just staring you down.  You try to ignore them but they just keep looking at you.  While this type of creepy is normally considered the most evil type of awkward, it can also be kind of endearing.  For instance, the kid in Hey, Arnold! that only breathed through his nose and always appeared directly behind Helga.  He was creepy, but in a cute, squeeze him and pinch his cheeks kind of way.  However if he was sitting on my bed when I came home from a movie, not that would be too creepy for even a cartoon to make adorable.
  • Intentional- Back home my friends used to play a game called Nervous.  The game was played by the guys in the group primarily.  It involved two friends placing their hands on each other’s knees and basically seeing how got nervous first.  This is a great example of an intentional awkward moment, specifically doing something that you know my make someone feel uncomfortable.

Any of these different types of awkward can be done together and a moment can start out as one type of awkward and quickly turn in to another.  A moment could start out as intentionally awkward between friends.  This moment is also probably a friendly moment.  But then it could turn creepy if one friend decides to push that awkward moment too far.  Sometimes when one person does something awkward intentionally another person does something accidentally.  If I rub a friend’s shoulder awkwardly but then they knock over an elderly man trying to cross the street, my intentional awkward moment led to an accidental awkward moment that probably caused some people to laugh and others to silently moan.

Now for homework:  Even though National Awkward Day is complete, take a look at some acts I have listed below.  Think about what types of awkward this would cause.  If you get stumped, try a couple of them out and gauge the reactions around you.  Enjoy!

  1. Go to a church with chairs and not pews although this could work with pews but would be much more uncomfortable. Sit on the chair backwards and just stare at the person behind you for the whole service. It’s a church. What can they do?
  2. Planking on a crowded metro train.
  3. When you have your hand on the railing on the train and then someone else places their hand on yours but refuses to move it.
  4. Someone stands creepily close to someone in line at a grocery store
  5. Go to the meat counter and ask for five pounds of vegetarian sausage
  6. Wearing your dress shirt inside out to work
  7. For a guy, wearing a “world’s greatest mom” tie and for a girl, just wearing a tie… just kidding… kind of…
  8. Allowing people with any points on their record apply to be bus drivers.  Looking at you DC metro.
  9. When in line at Target or Walmart, the person in front of you mumbles about your significant other being at work and it being so hard to find good baby sitters for when you need to do some shopping.  Then asks the cashier if they can hurry it up because they cannot remember if they left the car windows open a crack or not… awkward…  Public Service Announcement: While in this example no children were actually left in a car to achieve an awkward moment, parents please make sure you take your children with you.  The occasional cup of coffee on the roof of your car may be forgotten but I feel like a full person in your back seat should not be that hard to miss.
  10. Go to a restaurant with stools on the counter top.  When the person next to you orders, tell the waiter/waitress to bring two sets of silverware so that you can share.
  11. Telling someone while messaging that you will “BRB” and then disappearing for hours.
  12. Sending your ex significant other a message meant for your new significant other.
  13. Picking your friends up but when you turn on the cd player Like a Virgin blasts through your speakers
  14. Jump on your friend’s Facebook when they step away from their computer and send a relationship request to that girl on your softball team he has never even spoken with.  Watch him awkwardly try to weasel out of that scenario.
  15. In your best man’s speech at your friend’s wedding, accidentally mention that you bet the maid of honor 20 bucks that they wouldn’t stayed married for over a year and you could really use the money.
  16. Randomly raise both your hands while seated on a crowded bus and keep it raised for an uncomfortable amount of time.
  17. As suggested by D, not giving any signals that you need to get off the metro at your stop and then hurriedly try to jump over the person sitting next to you at the last minute.
  18. Go to an empty movie theater and sit right next to the only other person in the theater.  Extra points if that person you sit next to is on a first date.
  19. After visiting a friend’s bathroom, mention to them that you think their toothbrush bristles are a little too firm and they should consider getting a softer one.
  20. Just keep smiling all day long no matter what happens.
  21. Enjoying an American Pie movie marathon with your parents and grandma.
  22. Noticing a masterpiece of random people’s pictures connected by brightly colored string and random words pieces of paper with giant words like “COOKIE MONSTER” written on it that your friend forgot to pull the curtain over before you came over to visit.

For more awkward moments, visit this awkward site.  If you do nothing else from my blog, check this out as it is sure to kill at least an hour of your day.

As if that long post was not enough, I also whipped together a Pillsbury Doughboy inspired recipe.  Since this post is a bit long already, I will post the full recipe tomorrow in my post.  But please enjoy this picture of the finished product: Chocolate Fudge Brownies.  I will be bringing these in to work.  While supplies last and to make this more fun for me,  I will not be advertising that I have the brownies but anyone that mentions my blog will receive a piece of the final product.  Happy Birthday Pillsbury Doughboy!

St Pat’s Got a Brand New Hat

Sometimes celebrating a holiday takes me away from the keyboard, and St.  Patrick’s Day was just one of those holidays.  Christmas and Thanksgiving is for celebrating time with family.  Fourth of July is for rejoicing over the birth of our nation.  Valentine’s Day is for pushing people to get out there and meet people… or drop some serious cash to prove that they still kinda, sorta like the person they are with.  President’s Day is for vaguely trying to figure out exactly which Presidents we are celebrating and why.  St. Patrick’s Day to me is for celebrating life and the great people around you then just seeing where the day takes you.  With such beautiful weather yesterday and great friends, it was an easy holiday to enjoy.

How did I spend my St. Patrick’s Day?  Well, obviously, I wore green all day both to dust off the softball skills but throughout the rest of the day too.  I made sure to check out some fun clips from the Leprechaun movies and of course, dyed things green that have no reason to be green other than its just kind of cool to look at.  Note to blog: dying coca cola green does not really do anything.

Now for a short history lesson on who else but St. Patrick.  While his life is mostly blanks that have been filled in by limited information, he was captured by slavers when living in Wales at the age of 16.  They took him to Ireland where he spent many years before he escaped.  He later returned to Ireland as a bishop spreading the word of God and basically taking the hills by storm.  St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the day of his death, March 17th.  The day is supposed to be spent as a Holy Day of Obligation.  What is a Holy Day of Obligation you ask?  Well, that is a great question.  I had to look it up myself, not being Catholic but Protestant- all of the religion with slightly less of Sunday morning in church traditions.  Besides, Protestants are not “required” to give up anything for Lent.  ::enjoys a nice piece of chocolate on a bed of potato chips washed down by some soda while playing video games and Facebooking hard::

Oh, it appears I went on a tangent.  Back to the Holy Day of Obligation… now where was I… oh yes.  Well, that is a great question.  This is a day that is on Sundays or other holy days where the faithful are obliged to participate in Mass and go to church.  They are also to abstain from works or affairs which hinder worshiping God or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.  So we have decided that the best way for most people to celebrate this holiday is to start drinking at 7 am, push our bodies to the upmost limits so that it can take a full week of lying in bed afterward to recover, and the closest we come to a church is if we have to pass one on the way to a bar that’s name starts with “Mc” or ends in “urphy.”  Hmmmm… I guess this is not the first holiday we have kind of made our own…

What fun Irish themed drinks did you have to celebrate the holiday?  Here is a recipe inspired by the most common drink in Ireland to drink that you can bust out at your St. Patty’s Day party next year.

Whether you celebrated the holiday by hunting Leprechaun (this trap would work if your Leprechaun is extra slow), drinking over 15 Shamrock Shakes in one day, watching some great Disney original movies, or just kicking it back with some friends, I hope you all had a great St. Patty’s Day.  Check back later today as I celebrate Awkward Day and Pillsbury Doughboy’s Birthday.  I have a feeling my coworkers will love me tomorrow…

Lip Appreciation Day- Postponed

Hello all,

You may be wondering why there was no post for Lip Appreciation Day.  My Comcast internet went down for the past 16 hours.  While you may find it hard to believe, I rely heavily on the internet for my posts.  I will be posting something in appreciation of Lip Appreciation Day later in the month.

Everyone enjoy your St. Patty’s Day and look forward to my St. Patty’s Day post later!

Sincerely,

The mEssy Chef