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2005-04-28 - 9:00 p.m.

Italian Food = drunkenness

Here's how it works at our household.

I make spaghetti. Sometimes with garlic bread, sometimes not. In order to make the spaghetti sauce, I need to use some red wine. In order not to waste the red wine, we need to drink it with dinner. Which ends up being before dinner. Which ends up being on an empty stomach.

Peeps? I can HOLD my beer. Not to where I could go beer-for-beer with a large man, but I can handle more than most of the other 114 pound girls running around.

Wine, however, leads to my making HILARIOUS FREAKING jokes about Dubya's news conference. My husband and I then get in a Drunken Conclave about how libertarians would deal with the current Energy Crisis. HA! I'm SO FUNNY!

Then, my husband brings me a glass of water. I say, "Ooh! Thanks for the water!" And then he says, "Did you try it yet?" And then I say, "Uh, oh. What is it?"

It's gin. In a pint glass. Because he loves me. Gin AND Tonic. Both. But together, they are more deadly than alone.

I spilled gin and tonic all over his labor law books.


Want a coherent post?

I wrote the rest of this earlier today. Before the wine/gin fiasco. Enjoy.

Baseball for Casual Fans: Installment #6
On Being A Female Sports Fan:
Also applicable to gay men. And all casual fans if the heterosexual men skip item number 1.

So, I'm a girl. And a small, unathletic one at that. I don't look like a sports fan really at all. I look kinda like the annoying chick at the baseball game who sits in the bleachers with her bikini top on to get a tan. (But I would NEVER be seen at a baseball game in a bikini top. Not because I'm ashamed of my body, but because it's A FREAKING BASEBALL GAME! I need to advertise my allegiances, people!)

There are a few things to remember if you're a female sports fan.

1.) Try to avoid getting too gooey over the hotness of players. Yes, I know, you can throw my Patterson-crush RIGHT back in my face now. But I've created my own theory. If women's sports were more popular, men would have certain players they would want to do. Therefore, if you have reasons to love them beyond just that they're hot, go nuts. Just try to limit yourself.

My personal limit is one per sport. Corey Patterson is my favorite player in baseball because he has SO MUCH talent, is incredibly fun to watch (did you all see that climb-the-wall catch in St. Louis? How about all of his bunts for base hits?), and (lastly) is attractive. He has made me tear my hair out at times (Corey, if you stop striking out and popping up I'll give you a cookie!), but he has some impressive potential. Steve Yzerman is my favorite player in hockey because he was the captain of my hockey team since I was 4 years old (he retired this year. But don't talk about it. I'll cry.), he's one of the best players in the sport, he's tough enough to play through anything, and (lastly) is attractive.

If you're dealing with male sports fans you don't know well, just don't talk about hotness. It's just easier than running down all of the reasons/theories/and so on. Feel free to think it - or discuss it with girlfriends, but it's the number one FASTEST way to lose credibility.

2.) Know something obscure about the sport or something historical. Don't just know the team currently -- read up on some older information, know who their retired numbers are. Know how to discuss certain confusing rules. If you don't know what something means or why it happens, ask. Or look it up on the internet. Or email me and I'll do a Baseball for the Casual Fan installment on it. The more you know, the less you can get tripped up and laughed at. AND, the more impressed the average male will be.

A few means of learning more:
-Internet. Not my favorite as I'm too easily distracted and I forget what I read.
-Books. I love this option. Ask me for recommendations and I'll hook you up. Want to know more about Hank Aaron? The '69 Cubs? 1920s baseball? Who does what with the Stanley Cup during the summers? Pretty much anything you could want to know about is out there in book form.*
-Other people. Be careful with this. Choose people who aren't going to throw your lack of knowledge back in your face. ("Ha ha, do you remember when you didn't know what a double play was?" Not good.) I'm lucky enough to have a VERY knowledgable husband, so ask me if you're nervous about the fans in your life and if I don't know I can turn to him.

3.) Don't get drunk at games. Get drunk AFTER the game. When you didn't pay through the nose (or through other, grosser orifices) for seats and beer. Disparage people around you who are drunk.**

4.) Keep score. It will teach you more than anything else, and will also impress upon the men in your life that you are SERIOUS. And NOT FLAKY. Plus, it's really fun once you get good at it. And you can do things like: Go to game. Have to pee. Hand off scorecard to male friend, saying, "hey, can you score for a few plays?" Then laugh when they don't know how to. (a lot of men have known how to do it from birth, but the ones who are all sports-fan-ish but who don't know how to keep score will be fun to traumatize)

5.) Try joining a fantasy league. I may start one next year for all of you who just want to learn players from teams you don't usually follow and a few strategies. I haven't joined one yet (most of them I'm around are already full and I'm not that vocal about wanting to join), but my husband enjoys his a lot and I see a huge improvement in my knowledge of other players just from being around him.

6.) Jump on every chance you get to go to a game. Be in minor league, high school, whatever. You need to physically be there somtimes to understand the flow of the sport. For instance, I love hockey in all its forms. But a lot of people I know will only watch hockey live because it's so much more enjoyable. If you think something isn't your thing, try it first. You never know.

7.) Don't disparage players, teams, or fans without having some real evidence to back it up. If you're going to say something like, "Cubs suck!" or "Roger Clemens sucks!" you're going to want to be able to back yourself up. It seems like it would be an integral part of fandom -- and it sort of is -- but there's a level of respect in all discourse. So if a rabid Roger Clemens fan were to hear me saying mean, nasty things about him, that fan would probably ask me why? Why am I hatin' on a 300+ game winner? If all I have to go on is that he beat my team recently, I'll look like an idiot. If I can say something about his going to any team willing to pay him more without a care in the world for the fans, I'll be more likely to get into an intelligent (if not, perhaps, enjoyable) discussion. Same thing goes for the Cubs/Sox rivalry.

*Once you're pretty comfortable with the basics of baseball, I HIGHLY recommend "Tim McCarver's Baseball for Brain Surgeons and Other Fans : Understanding and Interpreting the Game So You Can Watch It Like a Pro" by (obviously) Tim McCarver. He was a catcher for the Mets, so it can be a little frustrating if you're a Mets-hating Cubs fan, but it's a very detailed and readable book. I got it from the library a few years ago, but I'm always tempted to buy it. I probably will the next time I'm short a few dollars for a Amazon free-shipping order.

**Once, many years ago, I was at a Cubs game in the bleachers. Unbeknownst to me, it was Senior Skip Day at many suburban high schools. There was a contingent of (obviously) drunk high schoolers one row in front of me and BOY were they annoying. So my friend and I started making fun of them. At one point, he said, "I wonder how much Bud Light it took to get them this drunk?" A drunk girl with too much makeup on spun around and shrilly said, "It was BAC-AR-DI." Oh. Okay. Then we just won't make fun of you. But in real life, we made fun of her for the rest of the game and she got so pissed she ended up moving. I know. Am a Big Jerk. But hee hee...

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