Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: Tamales and Hot Toddies

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

What We’re Eating: The New Year has come and gone and the traditional foods have been consumed.

TAMAL23Down here, that means ham, black-eyed peas and some kind of greens (in my family it’s cabbage, for what it’s worth); the old Southern folk tale is that the peas represent coins and the greens folding money and ham is eaten because pigs can’t look backward. That’s a nice story, but it’s more likely that legumes, greens and tough old hogs were what was available for eating in the old days.

But in some circles down here, it’s been a long-standing tradition to eat tamales on New Year’s Eve, too. And not just in the parts of the south with long-standing Mexican influence, but even in the inland South.

Tamales are great — meat and cornmeal (well, masa if you are being technical), steamed in a husk. Delicious, filling and wholly different from the rest of the holiday foods.

But the best kind of tamales are ones that other people prepare, because, woo child, are they a pain.

What We’re Drinking: Ole Miss was in town for the Music City Bowl this week, which means I had to hear this asinine cheer about six hundred times more than I wanted (I wanted to hear it zero times):

Hotty Toddy, Gosh almighty
Who the hell are we, Hey!
Flim Flam, Bim Bam

Charming. But it did make me hanker a hot toddy — whiskey, hot water, lemon and honey. Cure for what ails and the perfect warmer when this happens:

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 12.15.07 PM

Those are the forecast temperatures. In Fahrenheit. For Nashville.

Reasons To Celebrate

Chicago: Jay Cutler’s back. It’s snowing like mad. Thankfully, anyone without a hammer but with a banana can still drive a nail.

Your Weekend Jam: “If I Had A Hammer” by The Neighborhoods


Colorado: Been a good week.

Your Weekend Jam: “Legalize It” by Peter Tosh


Dallas: Remember when you were a charming, plucky afterthought?



Your Weekend Jam: “Fake Tales of San Francisco” by Arctic Monkeys


Minnesota: You beat Buffalo!

Your Weekend Jam: “Buffalo Stance” by Alice In Videoland


Nashville: Not to jinx it or anything, but the Preds are 2-0-1 in their last three against the Kings, Wings and Bruins and have two winnable ones coming up against our old friend in Florida and the Hurricanes. Also: Iowans are naming babies for Nashville.

Your Weekend Jam: “Greetings from Nashville” by Jason & The Scorchers


St. Louis: Speaking of the slumping Kings, the Conference III Championship Belt holders put a hurtin’ on ’em, no? A great way to start the city’s 250th year. You don’t look a day over 240, St. Louis.

Your Weekend Jam: “St. Louis” by Blur


Winnipeg: Somehow, against all odds, the river isn’t frozen enough to skate on, but congratulations, Blake Wheeler, Olympian, I guess!

Your Weekend Jam: “Rivers of Ice” by Simple Minds