I have created another blog to give updates on my writing efforts. You can find it here.

February 27, 2007

In which I got soul (food, that is)

We had "Soul Food Day" at work today. Each month, someone in my department chooses a theme and we all bring in a dish that matches the theme and we all eat and enjoy. Last month was the first month we tried it, and we did hot dogs. This month, the theme was more challenging: soul food. The menu was wonderful--smoked turkey, collard greens with pear relish, macaroni and cheese, yams, potato salad, cornbread, and banana pudding for dessert. My contribution was...meatloaf.

That's right. Meatloaf.

I made meatloaf.

All by myself.

Shut up, Ben.

I have never done anything this ambitious in the kitchen before (Marcel I am not (although I would love to have hair like that)). Yes, it's only meatloaf, but when your previous masterpieces are taquitas and Hamburger Helper, you take your ambition where it leads you.

Soul food was the theme, and my first thought was collards. Unfortunately, someone had already ganked collards, so I was in a quandary. I thought of meatloaf, my mouth began to water, and in a strangely lucid (yet not, considering my culinary history) moment I volunteered to make one.

I went home and e-mailed my mom for the recipe for her famous meatloaf, a staple in my childhood home, and did it up myself. Darlene was going to help, but she fell asleep on the couch watching Deal Or No Deal. I hung around until Tater Cake won his money, then I headed for the kitchen. I soaked bread in milk, cut up an onion (for the first time in my life, no lie), cracked eggs, measured other stuff, smushed it all up with my hands (a treasured childhood memory: watching my mom make meatloaf and smush it all together. I'd always thought it was so disgusting when she did that. Subconsciously that's probably why I wanted to make a meatloaf in the first place, so I could do that) and put the bowl of meatloaf-to-be in the fridge. This morning I woke up, turned the glob of meat paste into a loaf and baked it up. The morning house was filled with the delicate aroma of onions and lean ground beef. Mmmmm!

After it was done I covered the dish in aluminum foil and packed it up in the casserole sling thingy Walter gave us for our wedding last year (thanks, buddy) to keep it warm and headed out the door. Of course, on the way out the door I dropped the *&%#*$% thing!!! The whole thing turned over as it fell and landed right on its head. I started leaping up and down like a lunatic and cursing, scaring Steven to death, as tomato sauce leaked forlornly out onto the carpet. The loaf itself, though, was fine, having been trapped in the pan by the foil and the sling. All was well and my leaping about was for naught. Steven said, "I've never seen you like that." I was happy that he felt he could say that and mean it.

I added a layer to my burden, wrapping the dish in a towel before putting it back in the sling to keep the heat in (since lunch wasn't until 11:30), and headed to work. My boss told me my wife must have packed it for me, since apparently wrapping a towel to keep the heat in is a woman thang. I told her nope, it was me all the way. She was impressed. I figure I'm just in touch with my feminine side. I didn't tell Teresa that, though.

Lunchtime came, and the meatloaf, as well as the rest of the soul food menu, was a huge success. Everyone told me how much they enjoyed it (and some of them even managed to not sound surprised that I had successfully cooked meatloaf) and a couple of people even asked for my mom's recipe. That made me feel good. I had done it! Later, my mom told me I have to make meatloaf for them when they get back from Arizona. I can do that. I'm a meatloaf maker now.

Eat your heart out, Paula Deen

February 23, 2007

In which I shamelessly beg for validation from my readers

Welcome to the "I'm just banging out a few sentences so I can get credit for having written something this week" portion of my blog! It may not be much, and it certainly may not be relevant to anything going on in the world around me, but that's what blogs are for--pointless blathering. And boy, it doesn't get much more pointless than this (unless it's nothing but a random picture like my last entry was).

Now it's on to the shameless begging part: If you read this entry, please leave a comment by clicking on the "comments" link at the end. Tell me who you are, where you're from, who your favorite American Idol contestant is--whatever you want. Just please say something! Don't leave an anonymous comment, though; please put your name on it so I'll know who you are. I know there are people reading, but I don't know who you all are or what keeps bringing you back. I'd like to. If you popped in, whether I know you or not, please say hello. I'd love to know who I'm actually writing for.

Over/under on actual comments left by actual readers: 2. I'll take the under, but I'm a cynic, so there you go.

February 12, 2007

In which I test mobile blogging

I took this picture with my phone. Now it's on the Internet.

February 11, 2007

In which we lost, but it was ok

Augusta Lynx 7
Gwinnett Gladiators 4

On paper, it looks like a depressing night at Gwinnett Arena for the Brady Bunch and the other Glads fans. In reality, though, we had fun, even if the power play was inconsistent and the legendary Dan Turple had an off-night in goal for Gwinnett, giving up three goals in the second period alone, and six overall (Augusta scored an empty-netter in the final seconds to nail the coffin shut). To the good, our boy Vig had two assists, and Colton Fretter scored his 34th goal of season, a franchise record.

Our seats were magnificent. Just to the left of the goal, five rows off the ice, in the rowdy end of the arena. We knew it was going to be good and loud around us when the game started and the chant went up on our end--the opposing goalie's name three times, followed by a rousing chorus of "You SUCK!" Steven got a big kick out of yelling that one all night. Later, after we scored a goal, their goalie was informed, "It's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!" Ah, good times!

I loved that the pregame video presentation featured Denis Lemieux's television interview from the beginning of Slap Shot ("You do that, you go to the box. Two minutes by yourself, and you feel shame. And then you get free."), as well as the "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius..." speech from Gladiator. A powerful moment from a movie I like quite a bit, and a good start to the pregame foofaraw.

Sandy from my office and her family we at the game as well, and they sat behind us, as it turns out. They've been coming to Gladiator games all year, so they knew the ins and outs of being a fan. They took the loss a little harder than we did, I think, but Turple is practically Sandy's son-in-law (or so her daughter wishes), so they were disconsolate at the loss.

We had a fantastic time. I was going to get a jersey, but they didn't have my size in stock. Maybe next time. We're definitely going to go back; the St. Patrick's Day game is going to be played on ice that has been painted green. No way we're missing that one. Hopefully the result will be more pleasing to the hockey fans in the house. Win or lose, though, we'll have fun, just like we did tonight, and we'll do it as a family, which makes it even better.

Chin up, Gladiators. You'll have your vengeance, in this life or the next.

February 7, 2007

In which we're Glad to be here

Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?

-Maximus Decimus Meridius-

The Brady Bunch is into hockey these days. We went to our first Thrashers game a couple of weeks ago, and now we're getting ready to go to our first Gwinnett Gladiators game on Sunday! The Glads (as the cognoscenti call them) are the AA affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers. They play in the ECHL and are currently in second place in the Southern Division of the American Conference, one point behind the dastardly Texas Wildcatters, who are apparently a collection of hoodlums, if my friend Sandy is to be believed.

They're playing the Augusta Lynx on Sunday. Augusta is in fourth place in the Southern. All I know about them is that they were coached at one time by Atlanta Knights legend Stan Druuuuuuuuuuuliaaaaaaaa (that's Drulia, for those who never went to a Knights game). Ah...the Knights....I could write about some Knights memories. Maybe I will. (note to self: add "the time the Knights had that huge fight with Salt Lake" to the list of potential blog topics)

We got free tickets to the Gladiators game. Racetrac gas stations were sponsoring player appearances and we went to Cumming and met number 21, forward Mike Vigilante, who was a nice guy. I mean, he was great. He was friendly and congenial and seemed to have all his teeth. He signed autographs for all the kids and has one of the greatest names ever for a hockey player, in my opinion. We also got to meet Maximus the mascot, and got free tickets. We'll be in Section 111, right behind the goal, in Row E. Five rows off the ice (aw yeh come on)! We'll get to see some old-time hockey from there, I bet!

We're all looking forward to it, and I'm sure it's going to be a great time. I'll write about the game after, and let you know how it went. Go Gladiators!

February 4, 2007

In which I give mad propz and compose haiku

I'm on record as saying for years that Peyton Manning is the most gifted quarterback of our generation. He's extremely intelligent, has a broad knowledge of his offense and the game as a whole, and seems to be a genuinely nice fellow off the field as well, even if he is from Louisiana. Still, something has been lacking over the years that took me out of the cult of Peyton. I've always called him a "head case" and never thought he would win a big game. I certainly didn't think he would ever win a Super Bowl.

Well, now he has. It's about time.

Bravo, Peyton, and congratulations to Liz, Heather, and all the other long-suffering Peytonites out there. He's still got a couple championships to go to match my cousin Tom Brady, but I'm glad he finally won the big one. I'll concede that he deserves it (I'm still not a fan, so don't go thinking I'm getting soft in my middle age), and it looks like the Colts are going to be class champions. I can accept that.

Here's my haiku, Super Bowl-style:

The rain beads on the
Lombardi Trophy while I
go start the dryer

With that said and done, now let's figure out a way to get Mike Vick a Super Bowl ring.