Happy New Year (2021)! Thoughts on Tired Memes, Vaccines, Zombies, Rule-Breaking Bars, Beer, Brockmire and Cupcakes!

I’m not deluding myself that 2021 will be any better than 2020 just because it’s a different year. It will be nice if the global pandemic that’s been raging for about a year will come under more control so that our lives can resemble something more “normal.” Other than that, I don’t have any unrealistic requests. I’ll keep on cutting my own hair, getting all of my trivia fixes at home and dreaming of having Mexican food in an actual Mexican restaurant (takeout just doesn’t do Mexican food justice). What else do I want? Well, I want “the cat meme” to die.

This meme needs to be gone in 2021! Maybe the new “Twisted Tea” memes will make it extinct.

I’m kind of glad I won’t be one of the first “wave” of folks getting the vaccine in case there are horrible side effects that don’t show themselves until much later. Like zombieism, for example. I looked out in my front and back yards when I first woke up today to ensure that there weren’t any zombie hordes shambling around (yes, I really did that). All I saw was a pretty powdering of snow. More about powder in a bit (read on)!

Apparently, some hordes of living people have been going to bars in my neighborhood. Why is that a big deal? Well, all bars/restaurants in my state (Michigan) are “supposed” to be closed for in-person indoor service under a state order. Yet reports of places saying “fuck you” to the state order keep making headlines. One of them is Powell’s Pub, which is less than two miles from our house, and is a former trivia spot (and occasional karaoke/cheap beer spot). They recently had their license temporarily suspended for offering normal bar service, and so did the ROC bar in Plymouth, which was another occasional trivia spot. Powell’s was blatantly defying the order by offering service indoors, but in the case of the ROC bar, most of the problems had to do with the “tent” they set up on their patio. Bars putting up patio tents are required to follow certain guidelines so they provide adequate ventilation, spacing, etc. ROC didn’t do that…their tent was not properly ventilated. They were basically bringing the indoors outdoors (gross)!

I can’t say I’m really surprised…Honestly, if it weren’t for me having been such a “trivia whore,” I probabaly wouldn’t have set foot in either Powell’s or the ROC bar! We qualified for a couple of trivia tournaments by playing at Powell’s in 2018, and we played there occasionally for a couple of years before that. Once, I saw a fight nearly break out over sports loyalties, which another trivia player helped stop before it happened. Anyone see The Horse Whisperer? Yeah, it was like that! He leaned in, said something quietly into the ears of one of the guys, and eventually, the argument magically stopped…

I thanked him for doing that, and he said, “He was killing the trivia vibe!” Another time at Powell’s (which is a dive bar), two guys came stumbling in, one of them shitfaced drunk…he mistook the kitchen door for the bathroom door, and face planted right behind us. His buddy said, “Don’t worry about him, he’s had a whole fifth of vodka.” Neither guy was served any alcohol, and they left shortly afterward. Later, bar staff would find a broken vodka bottle in the parking lot. So classy…

I remember being there one night while the owner was visiting, and I pointed out a table that had peeling Formica on it (which happened to be the table we were using). It was duct taped about a week later, and about a month later, it was replaced! I was SHOCKED! Not sure they ever put a door on the men’s toilet stall, though. Rumors were the stall remained doorless to discourage drug use (wouldn’t doubt that)!

I seriously doubt I’ll be going to that bar again, even when it’s “legal” to do so. Mainly because one of the former servers I liked isn’t working there anymore. Also, that bar doesn’t offer trivia anymore. Will I ever go out for trivia games again? Still don’t really know!

More details about these liquor license suspensions can be found in several online news sources…I haven’t had food or drink indoors at a bar or restaurant since early March – even when it WAS allowed during the summer and fall. When we do go out to a bar, we’ll sit outside, or in one of the “igloos,” which can be hard to reserve. In the meantime, we’ve been drinking quite a bit at home. About that…

Cheers!

Last night, my husband and I grabbed a couple of strong beers (Buzzsaw IPA from Arbor Brewing, 7.5 percent ABV) to officially “ring in” the new year at midnight. And we also checked out the lovely full moon, and yelled out “Jumanji,” just in case doing that ends up resetting things back to normal. We were in a grocery store earlier that afternoon when a random woman near the checkout said loudly that yelling “Jumanji” when the new year started would “reset the game.” Could a crazed random woman at the grocery store be wrong? Certainly! But after 2020, why the fuck not try it anyway?

Rewind a few hours…we had a relaxing afternoon/ evening at home on New Year’s Eve – we had some “driveway beers” right outside our garage – all bundled up in our winter gear/blankets – and a little space heater to help take the chill off. We even had some beer delivered to our house while we were sitting in our driveway and drinking it (beats drinking and driving)! After dark, we moved the party into the garage, and hung out there until our delivery food arrived for dinner from Aubree’s. Chicken wings/fries for the husband, a spicy chicken sandwich and fries for me. Nice break from cooking!

For our TV viewing entertainment, we started watching the IFC series called “Brockmire,” which was appealing to me because of Hank Azaria being the star (he provides the voice of probably about a million characters on “The Simpsons”), and also because of the baseball backdrop. Even though I’m not really a fan of baseball, I’ve noticed I do tend to like movies with a baseball theme (I really liked The Natural, BASEketball, The Naked Gun and Moneyball, to name a few). I’ve enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite what I expected! It’s quite…lewd and rife with sexual situations and hard core drug/alcohol use, so you probably don’t want to watch this one with the kidlets!

After a relaxing New Year’s Eve, it was back to reality today – a break from cooking was NOT to be today! I spent a good deal of time chopping up veggies for a black-eyed pea soup, which I made in the new Instant Pot. After that, I started making preparations for dessert – cherry coconut cupcakes with coconut frosting. It’s my husband’s birthday today, and he LOVES coconut. When the last batch comes out of the oven, I’m going to toast some coconut to sprinkle on the frosting, which requires five cups of powdered sugar! See, I told you there would be another mention of “powder!”

I wanted to give the “birthday boy” a nice relaxing day today. He’s watching zombie movie #4, which is Better Off Zed. The first three were Dead Snow 2, Cockneys Vs. Zombies and Not Another Zombie Movie.

I ordered a new board game for his birthday, which will arrive after his birthday – it’s called “Pirate Republic.” He is SO excited about it – every day he asks if I know when it will arrive (seriously he’s like an 8 year old…it’s so cute)!

When I get to enjoy dessert later, I will have some of the “Liquid Vinyl” Russian imperial stout we ordered last night (has hints of chocolate). Then it will be MY turn to relax! And that time is…NOW!

Dessert – it’s what’s for dinner!

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