Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: Ersatz Red Bull and Toasted Londoner

by J.R.

It’s five past 5 across Conference III (leave work early, Colorado — you have our permission), time to hit bricks and get that freakin’ weekend started, am I right?

Of course I am.

It’s been a tough week for some of you so loosen your belt, pop a top, grab a spoon and stop being such a sourpuss. III Communication’s got good news for everybody.

The Particulars

l_d_2918What We’re Drinking: “Energy” from SodaStream. We bought one of these things because we figured out, long-term, we’d save about a zillion dollars a year. After a couple weeks, we’re pretty happy. So long as you remember to have chilled water  around and get the hang of how many pushes it takes to fizz it up, it’s pretty much idiot-proof. The sample syrups included something called “Energy,” which is more or less fake Red Bull. I like the taste of Red Bull — it’s like extra-sweet Flintstones vitamins — and I can use a zapper of a pick-me-up now and again. Of course, I had to make a whole liter (0.26 gallons) of the damn stuff because once it’s opened, the syrup won’t keep so now I’m drinking fake Red Bull — if Red Bull is Austrian, this stuff would be, like, Slovenian — like I used to drink ginger ale and running up the 800 foot hill at my house like its my job.

What We’re Eating: We eat a lot of London broil at III Comm HQ, in part because it’s cheap and I don’t have to think about it too much — soak it in some red wine and some other stuff overnight and then rub it with paprika and some other stuff. Plus, in Nashville, when its 60 degrees one day and 25 the next, it’s nice to have options that can reasonably cook inside or outside. Problem is, there’s only two of us and you can’t buy a London broil smaller than 2.5 pounds, especially from the Costco. So, I made up a sandwich: the Toasted Londoner. Slather some mustard on a bread, pile up the leftover meat, cover in diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar. Run that sucker under the broiler until the cheese gets kinda brown, toast another piece of bread and mash it together. Viola. Lunch.

Reasons to Celebrate

Chicago: Y’all supposed to be Conference III and you’ve dropped two of your last three to the Glitter Twins (that’s LA and Anaheim; calm down, hypersensitive Canucks fans). Oh, it’s not getting any better, is it? The Cubs are back this weekend. That’s a tough one. You lost out on Iggy — he’s going to Pittsburgh and everyone says you’ll be playing them in the Stanley Cup Finals. How ever do you go on knowing that at the end of the playoffs awaits the world’s most preposterously named third line left wing? The answer is corn: sweet, kernally goodness from the downstate. All that recent rain and snow did cause some flooding — but the corn is gonna be top notch. High as an elephant’s eye, just in time to dump gallons of it in the Cup and spoon it out to your hearts delight in a creamed-corn-fueled bacchanalia on the Miracle Mile.

Your Weekend Jam: “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! And They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhh!” by Sufjan Stevens.

Colorado: Losers of four straight, sure. But, Penis McNabb.

Your Weekend Jam: “Bigmouth Strikes Again” by The Smiths.

Dallas: As ever, the Stars enter the last few weeks of the season as the NHL’s ultimate nearly-men. Nearly good enough for the playoffs. And nearly bad enough to be true sellers. But not nearly either enough to make things easy on their front office. But the good news is that while some people in Dallas are real jerks, Big D is still home to the nation’s A-1 Good Samaritan.

Your Weekend Jam:He’ll Have To Go” by Jim Reeves.

Minnesota: What you lot have to be mad about, I can’t fathom (except that you got called “Liar” by a Nashvillian today — but that’s really the Indonesian word for Wild!). But just in case you have a case of what I totally suspect Minnesotans call “the mopes,” here’s some happy news: Depeche Mode is playing your state fair. Seriously.

bgj3aotccaacmiv.jpgYour Weekend Jam:Strangelove” by Depeche Mode.

Nashville: Yeah, 7-4 to the ‘Yotes is a killer, shooting the playoff percentages way down below the Mendoza Line, but six points in four games isn’t awful. It’s actually pretty good! And baseball is coming back to Greer and that’s, ya know, certainly a thing that is occurring. And, plus, Nashville is still a safe place to give birth to twins on the side of the road.

Your Weekend Jam:Sixpack” by JEFF The Brotherhood.

St. Louis: The Hemi-Semi-Demi-Quavers are fading like Emo’s Pizza’s undeserved reputation. One fellow was so distraught he tried to break into the St. Louis Zoo (probably because its residents smell better than most St. Louisians). In St. Louis — where Goodwill donates to you — good news is called “Postitive News,” apparently and here’s some good news: two good blue teams are playing in Busch Stadium and your city will be inundated with so many insufferable front-runners it’ll make The Best Fans In Baseball seem charming by comparison.

Your Weekend Jam:Tart Tart” by The Happy Mondays.

Winnipeg: Still winning the Southeast, in spite of yourselves, lining up for that first round match-up against some team that wins 13 of its last 16. But here’s some huge news: you’re getting a Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Your Weekend Jam: One Step Beyond” by Madness.