A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

06 February 2010

Planning Your Super Bowl Party

I am a sucker for cookbooks.

I must have...oh a couple hundred; I've never counted them, but I know it has to be over 100...or close to it. I get the majority of them dirt cheap at TJ Maxx, the library here in town, or the Thrift Shop on base. I'd never pay regular price for them - these things are always outrageously priced, and to be honest with you, I use Epicurious.com for 98% of my recipes. I just must be hungry when I buy them I guess.

Take for instance my newest one: "Seriously Simple Holidays". It's a handful of recipes I'd probably never make - I don't have access to a bevy of duck legs and the odds of me getting 8-10 pounds of standing rib roast at like $8-10 a pound...is pretty nil. Plus it's just me and my two kids (if you don't count all the cats).

But, nonetheless I bought it - one recipe must have looked tasty and it was less than $4.00 and it had all these lovely photos, and did I mention I usually am hungry when I go into TJ Maxx?

Now, I've never hosted a Thanksgiving dinner - no one ever comes here and I have no friends within the driving vicinity and, even if I did, they probably have their own family. Anyway, this holiday feast preparation which they suggested seemed a bit excessive if you ask me...and I was likening it to hosting a Super Bowl party (which I've never done either). But my little gears started turning and I thought some side-by-side (or underneath-by-underneath as it were) comparisons might be fun. This is modified and condensed...as they have two pages devoted to proper hunting/gathering etiquette. And, just so there won't be any confusion, all comments in parenthesis for their "Thanksgiving" prep are mine, not theirs:

Thanksgiving: According to this book you should start preparing one MONTH prior - making pate, pie and turkey stock and then popping them all in the freezer.

Super Bowl: One month prior - still paying out bets you lost as your team didn't make it.

Thanksgiving: Two weeks before you should start planning your menu.

Super Bowl: Two weeks before you should start cleaning your house (you should; but you won't).

Thanksgiving: One week before - order turkey, plan your table settings and decorations, make grocery list, and shop for "essential holiday equipment" (whatever that means - I'm figuring a new turkey baster as you threw away the last one as there's no possible way to clean the bulb doohickey that you suck the raw turkey juices up with when you baste.)

Super Bowl: One week before - buy lots of chips and salsa. Last year there wasn't any on the shelf when you waited until the nite before.

Thanksgiving: The Saturday before - make caramel sauce for pie, choose dishes, glassware, tablecloths...blah blah Martha Stewartish crapola. Sharpen carving knife. (Seriously - it says that...heaven forbid you have to do that in front of your guests...big...BIG faux pas.)

Super Bowl: The Saturday before - You are too late to buy anything from Walmart. They already sold out seven days before to the people who knew better from last year. But for the purposes of this blog - we are going to assume the "Saturday before" really means whatever Thursday subtracted from Saturday is.

Thanksgiving: Monday - Complete shopping lists. (Apparently you need to pen in "cranberry sauce" because you forgot to add it to your list you made a few days earlier. Even if you don't like cranberry sauce...add it to your list. It's mandatory. Don't worry - you have a few days left to actually type up or hand-calligraphy your list. Perhaps you need to buy a new calligraphy set? Stupid you...it was right there NEXT to the turkey basters at Williams-Sonoma.) Begin shopping for produce, organize refrigerator - cleaning out to make extra room for turkey. Defrost turkey stock.

Super Bowl: Thursday before - buy more chips and salsa as you ate it all last nite. Eat everything in fridge to make room for beer.

Thanksgiving: Tuesday - Reheat stock, make gravy, cranberry relish (told you that you needed to add it to your list) and put it in glass jars (why? No clue - just do it - the book says so), chop all your vegetables and put them in zip-lock bags (this sentence brought to you by whoever makes zip-lock bags), clean and chop parsley (again - more kickbacks from the zip-lock people) then zip-lock it away. Remove chicken liver pate from freezer and transfer to fridge (you will later feed to cats as no one eats that pompous crap plus it already LOOKS like Fancy Feast cat food).

Super Bowl: Friday - buy lots of beer now that you have all that room in the fridge. Beer tip: Buy Budweiser, Miller Lite and Michelob...no one's going to drink those fancy beers with rabid dogs or old guys on the label (at least not in a room full of other guys)...plus they are expensive. Put stack of coasters on the table to appease your wife.

Thanksgiving Eve: Pick up turkey and then do dumb things like buy flowers, arrange flowers, chill wines and water, put more things in zip-lock bags, set the table already (unless you have cats...trust me on this one), put Post-it notes (yeah...another product placement book deal here) on each platter designating what it will hold (again, I kid you not - this book says this), organize coffee and tea, plan a schedule for the next day (typed or maybe you have time to get them embossed by a professional if you hurry).

Super Bowl Eve: Clean toilet. Pick up underwear from bathroom floor. Put out dainty hand towels no one will use anyway. Gather all the clutter lying all over the house and toss it in the back bedroom; close the door (remind people NOT to go in there). Get your football phone out of the closet ( you know...that you got free with your subscription to "Sports Illustrated" 10 years ago) and hook it up. Look at it fondly as it WILL go back into the closet tomorrow after the game because your wife will make you do it. She does every year. This year will be no exception. Buy chicken wings and hot sauce. Buy the hottest, bad-ass-est one you can find - look for words like "hotter than hell" and "butt burning" on the label. Call dog over...while wife isn't looking, toss coasters at dog, Frisbee-style, ensure dog chews up each one. When wife comes into earshot - reprimand dog loudly. Chuckle silently behind her back.

Thanksgiving Day: Unzip everything you put into zip-lock bags, cook turkey, fill water glasses, defrost pie, put out pate with crudités and water crackers, arrange the bar...yadda yadda...carve turkey with knife you sharpened the other day (thank God they reminded me). Laugh with an air of superiority at the fact you will use the word "crudités" 47 times during the course of the evening...when all they really are...are chopped raw vegetables you took out of zip-lock bags. Practice this sentence, "Help yourselves to some lovely crudités over there on our vintage Louis XVI sideboard we picked up in a quaint little shop on one of our shopping jaunts to Rouen, France."

Super Bowl Day: Put out dip in giant football platter you picked up when you bought salsa and chips. Put chips in plastic team helmet you also wasted $40 bucks on. Throw away burnt wings you forgot about. While you're in the kitchen, phone your house from your cell phone so you can pick up your football phone in front of your friends. Feign conversation, "Uh...you got the wrong number." Hang up, now use it to order pizza. Marvel at the look of awe on their collective faces...as all THEIR football phones are at home in their closets.


  1. Still totally giggling madly at your blog! That was great! And yes, I read it... AND letting you know I read it. :o) Should I make you guess who I am? If you know who admitted to not reading as much as one should, and promising to do better... then you know who I am already. Seriously tho, that was hysterical!!!

  2. I think Mariann should send all her friends football phones for Christmas. I'll be expecting mine. ;)

  3. Oh and by the way I know who the other anonymous person is! HAHAHAHAHA! Ok so yeah, this is the same anonymous person as the second post. Discreet is not my specialty.

  4. I love reading your work Mariann! Another brilliant blog.

  5. Ok, so which anonymous am I? I am none of the others, yet we're all somehow cosmically (or is that comically) related. Are we male or female? Tampons or boner pills? Maybe I shouldn't postulate too much on this as it will divert attention away from the Alabama woman's blog. Don't serve tater tots at the Super Bowl party. Tater tots make me fart.

  6. Loved this post! And I, too, love cookbooks. My collection isn't nearly as large as yours, but I'm young yet.

    But really, that cookbook sounds ridiculous. Doesn't make it seem "simple" at all, when you have to do several days (or weeks) worth of planning for it. I made all the food for a Super Bowl party last year (but watched the game at someone else's house). The food was delicious, and I got it done in like, an hour. No need to over-complicate stuff. Especially for something like the Super Bowl, people just want to have fun.

  7. Wow...a lot of anonymous people today, I think. Thanks for stopping by and reading...glad you liked it.

    Colleen - thank you. :)

    ScrewDestiny - Yes, it was THE stupidest thing I ever read in a cookbook and I have read quite a few. I mean could you really imagine going out and doing all that? I wouldn't even do that if the Queen of England were visiting! The part about Post-It notes really made me think these people were actually laughing their butts off when they wrote it...thinking "I wonder how many people will actually DO this crap?!"

  8. Very funny blog Mariann and so timely!! (wink wink) No SuperBowl for me this year (or any other year) but Mom and sis won't be watching, since the Cowboys are not playing.

    The chopping of the veggies and puting them in plastic baggies is a good idea...We do that for our Christmas soup and it certainly makes things go faster.

  9. That is way too much thought for me! I can get my superbowl prep together in 15 minutes! :)

  10. Nancy - I'll grant them the pre-chopping makes sense...but other than that - c'mon.

    Otin - You and me both. And I always think it would be more fun if it were snowing on the field. It should be mandatory. And no time outs...and no padding. ;)

  11. My Superbowl prep: Wingstop, extra fries and beans, and a six-pack of Coca-Cola or beer. Done. But I also love cookbooks. I call it food porn.

  12. I love reading your posts. Two words of caution if you ever do throw a Super Bowl part though...

    If you want to be cool, & get Beer REAL men will drink in front of other men that isn't uber expensive. MGD, Tecate, and bestest of all Pabst. Anyone says anything bout Pabst just say, Hey It's good enough for Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, it's good enough for you mister. :) Though after it became a movie star it's price rose considerably. :( Guinness is also good; but IMHO too expensive to buy for a party.

    Instead of dainty handtowels men won't use (Understandble since I've known women to get mad if their guests use their guest towels to dry their hands off, wtf?); invest in a roll of paper towels. More sanitary & slightly more likely to be used, slightly. Be sure to have a trashcan in the bathroom though. You'd be surprised how many people don't. Okay fine, We don't & it drives me nuts.