Saturday, November 24, 2007
The act of suppressing your laughter in church is exhausting and exhilarating. It is one of the best ab workouts around. Church giggles usually begin innocently enough. They can be set off by your best friend's growling stomach. By the way, I'm talking about your best friend at church - not your real best friend. Your real best friend didn't go to church and he always got you into so much trouble at school and gave you your first joint and taught you how to get drunk, like that didn't come naturally, and then you ended up sleeping together and it just got weird.
Anyway - back to church...
So maybe your best friend's stomach is growling during the sermon, or maybe the preacher says something about how Jesus loved his Peter so much, and you just start giggling. You stifle it, but that only makes the laughter harder to suppress. Your shoulders shake, and you can feel the whole pew vibrating. People start to glance over at you. At that point they start glaring, or worse, they smile and that makes you want to laugh even more.
Usually church giggles are shared by two or more people. It is harder to get the church giggles by yourself because the contagiousness is intrinsic to what makes church giggles so funny. Knowing that your friend is hurting from stifling laughter makes you want to laugh. You can try coughing to release some of the pressure building up inside of you, but I would advise against that. Coughing may actually be too much of a release and can easily become a full on laughing fit. At that point your only option will be to fake a terrible coughing fit and run out of the sanctuary, causing a big scene and insuring a scolding by your mother after church.
I don't miss the hours of sermons I sat through growing up, but I sure do miss church giggles.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving one and all (except for you, fucker) and God Bless Us Everyone!!
Today I have a special treat for you. I have decided to share my recipe for Sweet Potato Pie with all the loyal readers of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. This recipe has been guarded by my family for generations. My great-grandmother was killed by the Nazis or Hutus or something, because she refused to share the recipe. I took a solemn vow when I was three years old that I would never share this secret recipe. But my mother pissed me off when she informed me that the Donny & Marie albums I had stored in her attic were lost in the fire that destroyed my parents' home yesterday. Because of her failure to climb into the burning attic and retrieve my albums, I have decided to put this recipe on the Internet. May this tasty treat remind you of the importance of family and unconditional love for others throughout the year. Not just at Thanksgiving or Arbor Day.
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish or 10-inch regular pie shell
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Run to the store for all the ingredients.
3. Remove burnt leftover pizza from oven.
4. Open all the windows in your house and clear the smoke.
5. Have a quick nip of whiskey to calm your nerves.
6. Head back to the store for the sweet potatoes you forgot.
7. Before you get to the store go back home and turn off the oven.
8. Go to the store and buy candles and licorice.
9. Turn around on your way home and go back to the store for sweet potatoes.
10. Return home and have some more whiskey.
11. Combine sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, beaten egg yolks, ginger, cinnamon, cumin (out of nutmeg) and salt in a mixing bowl.
12. Remove sweet potatoes from the mixture and boil them.
13. Put sweet potatoes back in the bowl and beat until light and fluffy or until your hand gets tired.
14. Put on Annie Lennox album and play "The Saddest Song I've Got".
15. Put the song on repeat, cry, and drink more whiskey.
16. Go look at pictures of your ex and remember that Thanksgiving at the coast.
17. Drink some more whiskey.
18. Drunk dial your ex and cuss him out.
19. Add half-and-half to the lumpy mixture.
20. Beat egg whites with electric mixer.
21. Attach stainless steel beaters to electric mixer and continue beating egg whites.
22. That works better now.
23. Call your ex and apologize and invite him over for Thanksgiving.
24. Cry and drink whiskey and wonder why he had to be so terse on the phone.
25. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
26. Look at the stiff peaks.
27. Go watch porn.
28. Wash hands.
29. Gently fold egg whites into the sweet potato mixture.
30. Run to the store and get pie shell.
31. Pour filling into an unbaked pie shell, and put the pie in the oven.
32. Go watch porn.
33. Drink some whiskey.
34. Check on the pie and turn the oven on.
35. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes.
36. 45 minutes later, smell burning pie and remove pie from oven.
37. Drink vodka after whiskey runs out.
38. Call mom and scold her about the Donny & Marie albums.
39. Ignore her complaints about spending Thanksgiving at The Salvation Army shelter.
40. Wish mom a Happy Thanksgiving and ask if she can send a couple hundred dollars.
41. Take a bite of the pie and throw it out.
42. Finish the vodka and go to bed.
43. Wake up at 3 a.m. and jot down an idea for a blog entry.
44. Watch porn.
45. Turn off oven and go back to bed.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
I am fine, but I did have an accident last night. I got lost (surprise!) in a strange neighborhood and had an "encounter" with a car in the intersection. Neither of us had a stop sign. It was dark and rainy. I tried to stop but my truck skidded right into the other guy's passenger side.
The important thing is that nobody was hurt. We exchanged insurance information and assessed our damages. His car was in much worse shape than my truck.
The accident also helped me come to an important realization. I have been single for too long. How did this wreck bring about this startling revelation? I actually felt disappointment when the guy I hit said, "Hang on a second. Let me call my girlfriend."
It could have been such a romantic story. Except that instead of riding in on a white horse and sweeping him off his feet I would drive my white truck into his car and push him off the road.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Why is it so important in today's world to update your friends on your whereabouts? Between the blog, the podcast, Facebook and MySpace, it takes about 3 hours to check in with everyone. Add e-mail to the mix, and you have almost a full time job.
That's why so many of us love technology-free vacations, right?
Todd is doing laundry today.
Todd is drinking some coffee.
Todd is turning off the computer now.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
On the last show we did America's Next Top Podcaster. Julie and Michael joined us and were excellent in portraying Tyra, Twiggy, Janice Dickinson, Nigel Barker and Miss Jay Alexander.
America's Next Top Podcaster
Friday, November 09, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I've been to IKEA twice this week, so I'm in a Stockholm state of mind. Since I'm swedening up my place today, I thought I'd tell you a little about a Swedish singer I love.
Monica Zetterlund was one of Sweden's finest singers. I first heard her voice when I was having dinner at my friend Ingrid's house. She was playing Monica's newest album at the time, and I was haunted by her beautiful voice and the lush arrangements on the album.
The next time my friend Ingrid went home to Sweden, she brought me back a copy of the album, Varsamt.
Shortly after that I began studying Swedish. I love the language, although I have not studied it for a few years.
Every Saturday morning when I lived in Washington DC, I would hop on the Metro to Falls Church to Svenska Skolan (The Swedish School). I have such wonderful memories of that time in my life.
Monica Zetterlund died in a fire in her apartment in 2005. She is missed by many who loved her music and her beautiful face.
I hope you enjoy her!