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5:10 a.m. - 2003-01-27

ARABS DECLARE WAR ON RICE...FILM AT 11

I don't know where to begin.

I guess I'll start with the fact that I'm an idiot.

There. I feel better already for admitting it in print.

Anywhooo...I'm an idiot AND a picky eater. I know the foods I like and I don't normally venture out too far from those.

The Mrs. on the other hand ... she's what we call an "experimenter". She likes to try different foods and then say things like "Boy! This sure is different!" or "This sure beats hamburgers!"

So this past week, I gave in and we took part in "Experimental Meal Week 2003".

A week ago we had "Day Ahead Beef Brisket".

Sounded good. A beef brisket with a sauce consisting of beer, chili sauce, onions and uhhhhh...something else. I've mentally erased the recipe from my head since we're never going to eat it again.

The brisket was dry, tough and barely edible.

We both gave it a thumbs down.

Tuesday night, we had barbecue chicken.

Usually a thumbs up in the Uncle Bob household. However, this recipe was in the slow cooker/crock pot. It was boneless skinless chicken breasts over a bed of sliced onions and lemons, with a bottle of barbecue sauce and a Diet Dr. Pepper thrown over it. Slow cooked for six hours.

It was ghastly. I hated it because the chicken was dried out and gritty. You put it in your mouth and all your saliva was gone. It was a sponge that sucked your mouth dry.

Susie hated it because of the lemons. It was tart and bitter.

Thumbs down on that bullshit.

Saturday night, we went with what we both thought couldn't go wrong.

Upside down Pizza.

It's basically a casserole dish. Ground beef and tomato sauce with onions (once again), peppers, pepperoni and mushrooms all mixed together.

Put sour cream on top of that.

Cheese on top of that.

Then lay a sheet of Pillsbury Crescent rolls on top of it. Bake. And eat.

This was actually the best dish we cooked, but I'd never eat it again.

The whole "Cheese/Sour Cream" combo was too ewwwww for my tastes. I can only eat so much dairy and I can't stand cheese but can eat it on pizza. Just...not upside down pizza.

Susie liked it though and has made a pledge to eat the rest of it. I've made a pledge to never touch it again.

Last night was the worst. Last night was the straw that broke the experimental camel's back.

"Arabic Rice" read the recipe.

Hmmmm...I'm not Arabic, but after a long summer's day of cutting the grass, edging the lawn and covering myself in camel shit, I can certainly smell Arabic.

The recipe sounded different. Ground beef, garlic powder, allspice, cinnamon, rice, beef bouillion and water.

Simple, yet different.

It wasn't until I started making it that I realized something was horribly wrong.

THREE TABLESPOONS of garlic powder.

I love me some garlic. But three tablespoons in any dish and you're asking for trouble.

THREE TABLESPOONS of cinnamon.

I don't know about you. But when I eat my hamburger, I don't normally coat it in cinnamon. Call me quirky, but it's just not my cup o' tea, dig?

TWO TABLESPOONS of allspice.

I don't really care for allspice. It's the poor man's cinnamon. And I may be poor, but I just don't care for the shit one iota.

I didn't bother to check the AMOUNTS of these spices when I first said "Man, this sounds different!"

I fixed the stuff last night.

It stunk the house up like an camel's ass.

"I dunno about this Arabic rice," I said to Susie as it cooked. "This may be the worst meal yet."

"It can't be worse than that chicken barbecue," she said, shuddering.

We sat down to eat it.

We both took a bite.

And then we put the entire skillet full of Arabic rice and the contents of our bowls in the garbage disposal.

My GOD that was some nasty shit.

No wonder the Arabs are all pissed off all the time. They have to eat this shit on a regular basis. I'd be all belligerent too if I had to wolf down this crap and then go ride a camel through the desert to mine for oil or whatever it is Arabs do.

I told Susie...this week we're back to eating the basics. Sandwiches, frozen fish, tacos, and frozen pizza.

My experimental phase is officially over.

At least I know what to expect when I bite into a taco.

I know it won't taste like I'm tonguing a burro's ass, that's for sure.


We are quitting our church.

I know...shocker of shockers.

A year ago, I was loving all over the church. Loved it.

Then, my buddy Brian the preacher left for Kentucky.

And like I told Susie yesterday...it's like if you go to a bar because your friend's the bartender there. You sit at the bar and you enjoy the bar because you can sit there and watch and listen to your friend.

Then your friend goes to another bar and a new bartender comes in that you don't really care for. He gives you beer, sure....but he's not your old buddy.

Do you keep going to that bar? Or do you go looking for a new bar where you can meet a new bartender that you like?

And do you realize in this search for a new bar with a bartender that you like that you might have an alcohol problem and require some counseling?

Yeah. So anyway.

I didn't go to church yesterday. I stayed home and cleaned house. I'm doing that more and more since Brian left.

Susie came home and said there was big news.

A new pastor is coming in to try out for the job as pastor of our church.

(Right now we have an interim pastor who's there to keep the ball rolling until we find a permanent one. Nice guy, but old.)

So this is exciting. A potential new pastor is coming to do a few weeks as a tryout.

Yep.

SHE will be here in February.

SHE.

SHE.

Okay...by now you people should know...I'm not a sexist. I love the women, I respect the women, I adore the women.

But I get all weirded out when a woman leads the church.

For three months in 2001, we had a woman pastor filling in for Brian who was on a sabbatical.

I couldn't stand her. She was like a comedian from the Catskills. She'd get up there and tell jokes and say "Ba-da-BUM!" to signify a rim shot if she said something funny. That drove me bananas.

The rest of the church fell in love with her. Everything she wore had polka dots on it which I thought was uberweird.

The last day she preached, three-quarters of the church wore things with polka dots on them.

Not me.

I didn't even say goodbye to her. I couldn't get her out of there quick enough.

So Susie and I talked.

And I explained to her that I think it's time we started looking for a new church.

But it's not about the female pastor. Not at all. We were waiting to do this until we got a new pastor in the church, felt them out (or in this case...up. I kid, I kid...) and then decide if we wanted to leave or not.

But here's the deal...at our church, it's about 70% old people. Over the age of 60.

The other 30% is below the age of 60.

Maybe 15% is below the age of 40.

It's an OLD people's church. And try as we might, we just can't get young families to join.

They may try us. They come to the church to see what it's all about.

But then they see there aren't many young families there, and they never come back.

It's an uphill battle and it's one we're tired of fighting.

Andrew is THE ONLY TODDLER in the nursery. We have maybe ten kids in our church and the next youngest is six years old. He's two. They literally have a woman on the payroll whose sole job is to watch Andrew each Sunday for an hour. The weeks that she's not going to be there, they make an announcement in church asking if anyone can leave the church service to go take care of the nursery. I always shrink down in my seat when this is done. They may as well just say "We need someone to go watch Andrew since his parents won't do it. Anybody?? Bueller? Bueller??"

I told Susie that if we stay there, it's a matter of time before Andrew gets bored with church. Every week, he plays with an elderly woman for an hour. Right now at age two, that's not too bad. But by the age of six or seven, when he's the only one in his Sunday School class...how much fun will that be?

Susie agreed.

We have commitments to the church in February. I'm a deacon all month and she's doing something else. Changing the old people's diapers or something. Hell if I know.

But in March, we're on a quest for a new church. A church where we won't be required to do everything like we are now. And a church where we can meet people that we have stuff in common with who are close to our age with children that Andrew can play with in the church.

Susie was all depressed about this at first, but now she's looking forward to "auditioning" new churches.

I'm just looking forward to finding a bigger church with a younger congregation where all the deacon seats and choir seats and evangelism seats are already filled.

THAT...my friends...is Heaven.


My first batch of stuff from Swappingtons came in on Saturday.

Whooohoooo!!!

I'm now reading the BRAND NEW book "Live From New York" which is all the backstage dirt from 28 years of "Saturday Night Live".

Did you know they smoked pot while writing a lot of those sketches? Who woulda thunk it??

I got that ... I got the "Shrek" DVD which we hadn't ever seen but watched on Saturday night...that was a cute movie.

And I got the "Insomnia" DVD. The one with Pacino and Robin Williams. Haven't watched that one yet.

I've got to admit...Swappingtons is my new home page. The sheer amount of stuff you can get on there is mind-blowing and it's not even two weeks old yet.

If you haven't signed up yet, you're missing out on all the good bargains.

And...as always..."Bob" is the user who referred you ... right??

That's who you write down...not "Uncle Bob"...."BOB".

If you do that, then you automatically get added to my Christmas Card list which is a very prestigious place to be.

Unless you're Jewish. And then it's kind of uncomfortable for everyone involved since you probably just light candles and don't sit on Santa's lap. And then you get the Christmas Card and you're all "Dude...I don't celebrate this shit" and I'm out 39 cents or whatever and I'm all "Man...shit...I wish I'd known, dude." And you're all "It's cool. I mean...it's not like you just kicked my granny in the vulva...I just wanted you to know to take me off the list." And I'm all "Dude...no biggie. I'll take you off tonight when I get home." And you're all "No dude...now. Take me off RIGHT NOW." And I'm all "Dude, I can't. I'm at work." And you're all "Bitch...take me off NOW. I don't want this shit happenening again because you forgot to take me off!" And I'm all "LOOK ASSHOLE! FUCK OFF! I ONLY PUT YOU ON THERE BECAUSE YOU PUT ME DOWN AS A REFERRAL ON SWAPPINGTONS, BEEYOTCH!!"

So uhhhh...if you do put me down as a referral and you're Jewish, drop me a line to let me know.

Thanks.


For those of you who relish such things...my recap for The Surreal Life is now up and running and is chock full of hilarious celebrity putdowns that have all the kids chuckling madly.

So feel free to check that out if you have the time.

And for God's sakes...leave a message in the Forums when you're done. It doesn't matter which thread, there's plenty to choose from.

Just do it to keep hope alive.

Or at least...my little gig.

Anyway.

Gotta go wake the Mrs. up and get in the shower.

Adios, muchachos.

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