Happy April Fool’s Day

Ah, April Fool’s Day. The day to make fools of friends, loved ones, and enemies.

I’m not big on April Fool’s Day. I don’t really have much of a practical joke sense of humor. I also can’t believe anything anyone says that day, which can end up being very awkward if something legitimately significant actually happens. My April Fool’s Days are usually spent on the sidelines, though on occasion I will aid and abet.

My favorite April Fool’s Day joke that I participated in happened back when I wrote for a wrestling website.

Our head honcho came up with the idea to make it look like a parent group against wrestling (very prevelant at the time) had taken over our domain name. He actually laid the groundwork a few days ahead of time, posting an announcement on the site and having all of us writers sell it to our readers. Come April 1st, he switched the site to the joke layout.

The new columns that appeared on the site were written in such a way that they started off very serious and the farther along  you read, the more ridiculous they got. It was really quite good. We ended up getting a lot of traffic and most people who got the joke thought it was hilarious.

However, some people didn’t get the joke and we ended up fielding several emails about it. Of course, we straightened them out. Eventually.

All of us were pretty proud of tha tjoke and we were never able to top it.

It’s been over ten years since I played my small part in that and no aiding and abetting I’ve done since then has paled in comparison. If fact they’re so pale, I can’t even remember them.

Enjoy your fooling.

Save anything serious for tomorrow.

Music: Sunny Girlfriend by The Monkees

I am a huge fan of The Monkees, show and music. It’s been announced that three of the four (as usual) will be going out on tour once again for the 45th anniversary.

To celebrate, how about a song that isn’t “Last Train to Clarksville”, “I’m a Believer”, “Daydream Believer”, or “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (not that they aren’t great; just looking for something a little less played).

Recipe: Pickle Wraps

When I announced on Twitter that I was making pickle wraps for my New Year’s Eve celebration, I got quite a few comments asking what they were and a couple of requests for the recipe. I decided posting the recipe would make for a good Friday Funtimes post.

And since I do like to cook, I figured that posting my recipes from time to time would be a good go-to for the Fridays that I’m not feeling particularly fun.

Food is fun.

Pickle Wraps

Ingredients
1 jar of small, whole dill pickles
2 90 calorie packages of Budding’s Beef (any deli thin sliced corned beef will do, really)
1 8oz container of cream cheese (I like the low fat kind)

Use a paper towel to dry off the pickles. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese on one slice of the beef. Set the pickle on the edge of the cream cheesed beef and roll it up. Slice up the pickle into rounds no more than quarter of an inch thick. Serves several people at once or one person over several days (at least that’s my experience).

One word of caution: This recipe is not for everyone. I know it sounds terrible and even some pickle lovers have a hard time trying it. Rarely does it work out well for someone not fond of pickles. In fact, my roommate Carrie swears it’s the most vile thing she’s ever put in her mouth.

I’m going to take her word for that.

Enjoy!

Friday Five: Birthday Presents

My birthday is next Wednesday and I, like so many other people, love my birthday. It’s my special day even if I don’t do anything more out of the ordinary than going to McDonald’s for lunch to celebrate it. It’s my day because it’s the anniversary of my birth and therefore, it is automatically a fantastic day.

Also, I like free stuff and birthdays are great for free stuff.

Here are five presents I would love to get for my birthday this year:

1. Tickets to a Cubs game. It’s a sin that I’ve only been to Wrigley twice in my life. Maybe they’d actually win the game so I could hear “Go Cubs Go” in person.

2. Books. I’ve got a whole wishlist of them on Amazon and I am desperately low on new reading material.

3. iTunes gift cards. I love music. I’ve got lists of songs that I’d like to acquire. Some of it recorded after 2001, even.

4. Monkees Present and Changes CDs. Yes, downloadable music is where it’s at, but they’re the last two CDs I need for my collection of original Monkees music (I’m not counting Missing Links vol. 1 and 2; I need those, too, but they’re all outtakes and alternative takes). I’ve got a great collage of the cover art going and I need those two pieces to finish. Also, the music.

5. Donations to The Dempster Family Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a local children’s hospital, or a local humane society or no-kill shelter. One of the biggest bummers to being broke is not being able to contribute as much as I’d like to charities. I think it’d be cool to have people do it for my birthday.

If you read my Christmas list, I bet you were expecting something just as wild and extravagant, huh?

Well, I’m a complex person. Get used to these sorts of surprises.

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s New Year’s Eve and today is the day that people all over make resolutions that they’ll probably keep until about Valentine’s Day if they’re really dedicated. I like to make resolutions, too, but I don’t like failure, so I like to make resolutions that are easy to keep.

Here are my five easy-to-keep resolutions for 2011:

1. Don’t get dead. This is my resolution every year and so far, I’ve done a fantastic job of keeping it.

2. Don’t lose too much weight. A little is fine, but I don’t want to go total transformation crazy.

3. Eat Oreos on occasion.

4. Don’t start smoking again.

5. Have a good time.

I’m pretty confident that I can keep those resolutions.

Easy or hard, fun or serious, what are your resolutions for the new year?

Twas the Night: Five Things I’d Leave Santa

When I was a kid we left cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. My cousin’s son asked if they could leave Santa chicken nuggets and chocolate milk this year because he’s probably pretty tired of eating cookies. One adult friend of mine suggested leaving Santa beer and pizza. I’d go with that.

But my cousin’s little boy had a good point: Santa is probably tired of cookies and milk. For all we know, he could be lactose intolerant by this point. It’s time to shake Santa out of his cookie boredom. So here are five treats that I’d leave Santa on a night like tonight.

1. Hot cocoa and brownies. A nice chocolate fix to get him through a long night of present delivering.

2. Steak and mashed potatoes. At some point, a guy needs something substantial on top of all of those cookies.

3. Pixie Stix and Mountain Dew. Because sometimes a guy needs something stronger than a chocolate fix to keep his energy up. Mainlining sugar and caffiene is the best next step.

4. Beer and chicken wings. I imagine Santa needs something adult from time to time. (Besides, I imagine by now that the reindeer pretty much know where they’re going and what they’re doing.)

5. Ginger ale and Pepto. He’s been eating all night. He’s probably got a massive case of indigestion by the time he hits Nova Scotia.

So, for Santa’s sake, what new goodies would you leave for him on Christmas Eve?

‘Tis the Season.

Five Gifts I Would Give (If I Could)

Last week I listed five gifts I wanted from Santa. As much as I like getting, I like giving, too.

Here are five gifts that I would give if I could afford to give them and if it were practical to do so. Don’t look for anything of substance here. You won’t find it. It’s not one of the things on the list.

1. I’d give the Pittsburgh Pirates a winning season. I’m not talking championship; I’m saying finishing things out above .500. I’m no Pirates fan, but it’s got to be miserable as a fan and a player to running on two decades of losing seasons. No one deserves to go through that (though there are some people I think should; doesn’t mean they deserve it, though).

2. I’d give everyone a white Christmas. The snow would only last a day and wouldn’t be on the roads so there’d be no travel problems. I think people in the warmer climates are missing out.

3. I’d give people a break from being self-righteous. I imagine it’s exhausting and they could use a vacation.

4. I’d give my old high school some windows so it wouldn’t look so much like a prison. Or I’d give it some razor wire so the prison look would be complete. Whichever would be better for the current students.

5. I’d give everyone an extra tomorrow so they could catch up on their sleep today. Sometimes you just have to pause and take a nap so you have the energy to keep up with life.

That’s my giving list. What’s on yours?

Five (Unreasonable and Frivolous) Things I Want From Santa

To get into the holiday mood, I figured I’d start where my childhood left off…with Santa. He hasn’t been to my house in years, but if he did, I’d ask him for some serious loot. Here are five things I want from Santa this year (don’t bother looking for world peace or anything too sentimental on this list; it’s all about me and it’s all about extreme):

1. A red 2008 Dodge Charger. Instead of decorating it with a bow, I’d rather the insurance on it be paid for five years.

2. An all expenses paid vacation to Hawaii and the money to spend to make it worth my while. I’d totally buy Santa a cool thank you gift while I was on the Big Island.

3. The various missing pieces to my Monkees music collection and tickets to their next reunion tour. Santa should encourage my Monkee love.

4. Every Vincent Price movie on DVD. Speaking of love, Vincent IS my Valentine every year. I should have every movie he’s been in at my disposal for February 14th.

5. Ted Lilly to play for the Cubs again. I miss him. Other people miss him. Santa wouldn’t even have to bring him to my house. Just deposit him at Wrigley Field on Opening Day.

It’s a list like this that really makes me sad that Santa doesn’t visit my house anymore. Oh, I doubt he’d bring me these five things, but he would bring me free stuff. And I love me some free stuff.

What outrageous, purely selfish things would you ask Santa for?