March 14, 2009 · Uncategorized · 12 comments

Seriously.  What happened to bus stops?  I never had to take the bus to school growing up.  I was lucky enough to live within walking distance of my elementary & middle school.  But I read about bus stops in books, saw bus stops in cartoons & tv shows.  Bus stops were where kids did things like  get into fights and wait for the school bus to take them to school.

This was apparently all just fiction.  Because now bus stops no longer exist.  I know this because on my way to work I get stuck behind school busses and they stop aproximately 89,548 times on one single street.  Granted, its a long street, but still.  They stop in front of just about every single house.  Then there’s the bus coming the other direction and making stops along the same street.  It’s bad enough I get stuck behind the bus in front of me, but to have to stop for another bus that i’m not behind is just asking for too much.

Yeah I understand the whole safety thing.  I’m not arguing the importance of stopping when a school bus has their lights on.  I’m just wondering who decided that little Madison can’t wait at a central location with her little school friends Kyle and Britney.  I’m thinking this phenomenon started around the time that people stopped giving their children normal names like Matt & Jessica.  Matt and Jessica waited at bus stops.  So did kids like Sarah & Tim.

What I find to be especially obnoxious about this new era of stopping in front of each house is the mothers.  While Jasmine and Kendall stand out in front of their respective homes with their Hannah Montana book bag on wheels, the mothers, in their bathrobes with steamy coffee mugs, all congregate together.  They group up in their own little bus stop while they talk about how little 5 year old Jordan is reading at a 3rd grade level.  These women get the concept of meeting together in one location mid way between their little darlings, yet they can’t seem to bring the kids with them.  The kids remain like little wooden soldiers waiting for their next command.  This only seems to aggravate me further.  Why do I have to spend an extra 15 minutes every morning stopping every 150ft just because these kids need curb side service?  Why can’t they wait at a bus stop?  I think we are encouraging a nation of wusses and I, for one, would like it to stop.

Look how happy these kids are!  Little Jimmy & Bobby don’t need bags on wheels.  They are capable of carrying them in their hands or wearing them on their back.  What a concept!

March 12, 2009 · Uncategorized · 15 comments

So it’s a good thing I don’t lose very often.  Some people might say that I stack the deck by rarely attempting to do things I suck at, but I prefer to think of that as my way of maintaining the integrity of the competition.  I prefer to stick to what I know.  For example, I’m an above average mini-golfer.  Any time, anywhere, I will do my best to kick your ass.  All other incarnations of golf – don’t even bother.  The last time I played pitch-n-putt the only thing I pitched was my 9 iron into the woods out of frustration.

Due to my competitive nature I’ve earned a bit of a reputation among my friends.  When we play board games, I’m usually the one who is given the position of moderator.  I get stuck being Bob Barker only without the cool skinny microphone – and the spade and neutor jokes get old really fast.

I recall a conversation I once had with my husband about board games (It was on the way home from the cranium incident where I made the drunk girl cry because she wasn’t taking the game seriously):

Bri:  You know Al, not everyone plays board games just so they can win.

Ally:  That’s idiotic.  Why else would you play?

Bri:  Because some people play for fun.

Woah.  Woah.  Woah.  Since when is winning NOT fun?  That sounds like something that people who lose all the time say.

In fact, it is something a loser would say.  Perhaps a self proclaimed Star Wars fanatic who LOST Star Wars trivial pursuit?  Or maybe someone who can’t seem to beat his wife in a game of oh I dont know… Risk?

In recent memory, he turned down an opportunity for a board game night with coworkers because he didn’t “have a chance to warn people” about me.  It’s not like I do a little dance or sing a victory song.  Is it so wrong to expect nothing but the best from my teammates?  Should I not give it my best?

In the words of Vince Lombardi, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”.  Unless, of course, I’ve lost.

March 11, 2009 · Uncategorized · 16 comments

I’m turning thirty in a little over 2 months, and my husband asked me what kind of party I want to have to celebrate this momentous occasion.  I thought about it for a few moments and lots of wonderful ideas flooded my brain.  But in the interest of “these economic times” and the fact that even in the best of times I’ll probably never have a whale shark of my very own, I decided to forgo the plans for a masquerade ball, and set my sights on a taco party.

List of items needed for a taco party:

1.  Tacos

2. Friends to eat the tacos

3. Beer to wash down the tacos (note:  I don’t like beer, but I’m told its good to have with tacos)

Simple enough.  But this is a big deal, it’s not every day that I turn 30.  So I figured we might as well have a pinata.  Because pinatas are what you have at parties, and they hail from the same country as tacos.  So really, it makes perfect sense.  I’ve done some research on pinatas at the local Target.  Apparently sometime between now and the last time I had a pinata (Halloween of 1985 i think) they stopped letting people beat the crap out of paper mache animals and now want you to gather ’round Sponge Bob and pull on a little curly ribbon.  What the hell?  When did pinatas become so lame?  Half the fun of them is the potential for “accidentally” beating the crap out of your friend with a baseball bat because you’re blind folded.  How can I condone violence if there is no violence to be had?  There will be no lame ribbon pulling on my birthday.  Well wait.  Hang on.  There’s an exception to that rule.  The only lame ribbon pulling on my birthday will be in conjunction with present opening.  But I digress.  There will definitely be a pinata.  Preferably in the shape of some sort of traditional pinata animal, and it will absolutely be obliterated by a Louisville slugger.

UPDATED List of items needed for a taco party:

1.  Tacos

2. Friends to eat the tacos

3. Beer to wash down the tacos (note:  I don’t like beer, but I’m told its good to have with tacos)

4. Pinata

The last pinata I had the privilege of destroying contained candy.  Nothing wrong with candy.  Everyone (even my diabetic friend Nam) loves candy.  My husband, for example, loves twix bars.  But that’s neither here nor there.  I think this pinata has to be a super fancy awesome special pinata.  So after discussing pinatas with a taco loving friend of mine, we decided that my birthday pinata should be a multi purpose pinata of awesomeness.  This pinata will be filled not just with candy, but with taco toppings.  What better way to top a taco?  It really brings the pinata to the fore front of the party, frankly, where it belongs.  Usually pinatas are towards the end of the party, possibly before the cake.  By then most people are tired, cranky & drunk.  While I realize that pinatas are probably exponentially more fun when drunk, I think the prospect of flying taco toppings outweighs the benefits of drunk pinata destruction.  Plus, if need be, I could always get a second pinata.  It is, after all, MY birthday.

My friend Nam was kind enough to provide an artist’s rendering of the taco topping pinata:

Everyone is excited about tacos.

Everyone is excited about tacos.

The mode d’emploi for this is really quite simple:

Step 1.  Fill the pinata with taco goodness.

Step 2.  Beat the crap out of the pinata

Step 3.  Collect the toppings onto your taco as they fly through the air.

I know what you’re thinking.  What about the mess?  It’s really quite simple.  Ponchos.  They’re in keeping with the Mexican theme, they’re disposable, and they’re inexpensive.  AND they’ll double as a plate.  You can collect the toppings not only on the taco you are currently holding, but you can use the taco toppings that are stuck to your poncho to top all subsequent tacos.

NEWLY UPDATED List of items needed for a taco party:

1.  Tacos

2. Friends to eat the tacos

3. Beer to wash down the tacos (note:  I don’t like beer, but I’m told its good to have with tacos)

4. Pinata

5. Ponchos

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking this just might be the greatest idea ever.  Now we just need to find a place that will allow such awesomeness to take place.  I know for a fact that exploding food can be a bit messy.  I’m reminded of the summer camp bean incident.  Where someone decided to bury a can of beans into the hot coals of a campfire.  Later that night the can exploded and the beans splatted all over the tents.  I recall this being quite a mess (but as a bonus:  hilarious).

This is going to require some more thought.  If anyone has any ideas or concerns, please feel free to comment.