First, I must apologize to the two people who read this blog (hi, mom and dad!) for my failure to post in quite some time. Allow me to inform you of the latest endeavors responsible for my extended hiatus from the blogosphere. Since my last post, I’ve met a pygmy goat named Hector, I visited George Washington’s home and learned what a macaroni is (and I’m not talking about the pasta. See SIDENOTE), I changed my first diaper and then re-changed it after realizing I put it on backwards (Bryce, we can laugh about this when you’re older), and I created a new blog based on the strictly frivolous and mundane adventures of my new friend Monster Hands (http://mundaneadventuresofmonsterhands.tumblr.com/).

I’ve also found myself knowing way more about college football than I ever thought was possible for someone as ill-equipped with gridiron enthusiasm as me. Maybe one’s interests are like one’s taste buds in that they change every seven years. For instance, I used to not like hard-boiled eggs and olives, and now I love them, though not necessarily together. Seven years ago, if you asked me about the big game, I would have racked my brain just to figure out what sport you were referring to. I suppose it has a lot to do with who you hang out with. Because hanging out with people who have different interests than you opens you up to all kinds of new things, like zombie apocalypse survival skills, X-Men movies, Skyline chili, squinkies and Nordic crime novels.

My knowledge of current college football rankings, players, coaches, good teams, bad teams and fun nicknames for refs (zebras) is more than a bit surprising for me. However, you will not find me yelling at a television screen or hassling others based on their team preferences. Those behaviors are reserved for people who have been diehard fans for much longer than I’ve stumbled upon a forced interest. Perhaps my inability to relate to a certain level of sports enthusiasm is directly related to my lack of competitiveness. I played sports all my life, and when I was younger I seemed to always be on the losing team. Consequently, I took to heart the saying “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” This made me a really good loser. As long as I did well, I never sweated the outcome. I once had a basketball coach say to me, “Marie, if you had a competitive bone in your body, you would be unstoppable.” Alas, I didn’t have a competitive bone in my body, which by default meant I was very stoppable.

The Such and Such Placeholders

I may never quite understand why people take sports so seriously, or why people say things like, “I hate such and such team” since most of the time there seems to be no logical reason, except that they’ve always known such and such team as a bitter rival. I suppose a love for a certain sport’s team is a lot like the love one has for another person. It cannot be described or explained. It just exists, and I guess I’m okay with that. On a completely frivolous note, I wish there was such a thing as the Such and Such team. Their mascot would be The Placeholders, and I would be their biggest fan.

Malicious Bowl-O-Chili

Anyways, you know what brings people together, no matter what team they pull for or against? FOOD, that’s what. What better football season food is there than a hearty bowl of chili? My ex-roommate/husband, Matt, makes a malicious bowl of chili. Unfortunately, Matt cooks like my grandmother in that he is one of those a-little-bit-of-this-a little-bit-of-that cooks. This means that measurements are never exact, but somehow it’s always right on the money when it comes to taste. My recipe is a rendition of Matt’s, and I shall share it with you right after I explain what a macaroni is.

SIDENOTE: While exploring Mount Vernon, Marisa, Lindsay and I made a visit to the Whiz Palace (aka the bathroom). Bordering the room were tiles with flamboyant colonial men painted on them and each had a name identifying them as a such and such Macaroni. One that made us chuckle was the Fumigating Macaroni. As I began wondering what the heck a macaroni was, I remembered that old ditty about Yankee Doodle and how he stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni. So, while strolling through George Washington’s garden, we looked up the meaning of this macaroni on an iPhone. Oh, the irony! According to Wikipedia, in mid-18th century England, a macaroni was a fashionable fellow who dressed and even spoke in an outlandishly affected and epicene manner. So, I’m thinking that Yankee Doodle was kinda like Rachel Zoe but instead of saying, “That’s bananas” he said, “That’s macaroni!” With that in mind, I also wish there was a sports team called the Yankee Doodle Macaronis.

Go Macaronis!

Malicious Chili

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped green bell pepper

1 pound ground meat (venison, beef, chicken or turkey)

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5-ounce) can spicy chili beans

1 packet Chili-O seasoning mix

1 tablespoon chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


Sour cream

Grated cheddar cheese

Ritz crackers, crumbled

  1.  Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add first 3 ingredients; cook for 6 minutes or until meat is done, stirring frequently to crumble.
  2. Stir in tomatoes and next 5 ingredients (through cayenne pepper); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with garnishes. Yield: 6 servings

Happy Halloween!


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