April 2010


After my last post on childhood games that are fun to play drunk, I realized that I omitted a Public Service Announcement that I feel owe to my readers. This PSA comes in the form of the WikiPedia page for Action Park, NJ. Allow this Wiki to serve as concrete evidence that sometimes alcohol does not make things that are fun exponentially more fun. For instance, I have to assume that whoever designed this engineering marvel that for many people marks Action Park’s legacy did so under the influence:

SLIDE FAIL.

For those of you who grew up outside of New Jersey (or grew up in the great state, but not in the ’80’s), Action Park was much like the well-known Six Flags Great Adventure, only slightly less expensive, and it provided its patrons with easy access to alcohol. So, while Six Flags lived to see the day it could create that awful fake old man who dances in the commercials, Action Park was forced to close its doors based on the number of lawsuits it received. In fact, it earned so many civil suits it was awarded the nickname “Class Action Park.”

I can’t do this park justice, so you really just need to read the Wikipedia page. There are few things that I get a greater kick out of than a really good Wikipedia page. Wiki is already warning us that this page “has a number of issues” and “has been nominated to be checked for neutrality.” In other words, come get it before it gets shut down by The Man! You can thank me later.

Feel free to post choice excerpts in the comments, y’all.

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I am way overdue for a blog post, and I know it. Sorry! I was out of town for about a week for work, and had a post scheduled to appear while I was away, but alas, technology let me down. I swear, Pintje has returned, and I now return to writing as I used to.

I recently joined a competitive skee ball team. Yes, you read that correctly. Intramural softball is sort of the dominant competitive sport in my city, but there are two main reasons I have shunned it and instead gravitated toward skee ball. 1.) My experience on the Jersey Shore has made me a natural, and 2.) Games are held in a bar. What more could you possibly want from a competitive activity? This new found interest of mine has inspired this burning question: which other childhood favorites would work well for drunk adults? Luckily for all, I have compiled a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:

1.) As I said, skeeball is a no-brainer. The game combines virtually equal parts skill and luck, and it can be played in a bar. Accordingly, no matter how bad of a game you might have, you are not more than 10 steps away from someone who will sell you alcohol. Beyond that, it literally has bells and whistles, so the immediate gratification level is high. This is important, since my drunk attention span is notoriously low. If the number of times I said “I’ll be right back!” while in the middle of a beer-pong game was documented, my face would be on the back of a milk carton.

2.) You might not think so, but Jenga is an excellent choice. A favorite local bar of mine features board games on all of the tables, and this is always a big hit. There are few things more amusing than sitting across from the table from your wasted friend, watching him try in vain to pull that tiny piece of wood out of that giant tower without incident. Try as he may, that mess will come tumbling down. It’s science. My good friend Finn suggests a slight twist on the game, which is to write instructions on the pieces that you must read and obey once you pull them (for instance: “finish your beer”). While I applaud her for her ingenuity, asking me to balance something while also reading is really asking far too much.

3.) Connect Four, as long as you accept that after enough drinks, you will be lucky if you manage to connect three.

The Bad:

1.) Hide & Seek. While I cannot speak for every single drinker out there, I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that I do not have a single friend who could stay hidden for the duration of this game without giggling, knocking something over (and then giggling), or loudly announcing that he or she needs to pee. Although I suppose if the seeker himself was also drunk, this alone might not be enough to make the discover necessary to warrant the end of the game.

2.) Under no possible circumstances should you attempt to play wall ball when inebriated. I cannot make this clear enough. The idea of throwing a ball against a wall in the hopes that it will come back at you is puzzling enough when sober, but it is downright idiotic when drunk. In case I sound bitter, it’s because I was a member of the first P.E. class in my high school for which goggles were no longer mandatory for racquetball (a close cousin of wall ball), just strongly, strongly suggested. Worrying more about how I look in goggles (not good) than my need for protection for my own ineptitude (unusually high), I opted for the no-goggles look. All it took was one hit for the ball to hit me straight in my right eye. My teammates laughed themselves into tears, and I am sure that gym teachers in the years that followed have used my story as a “what not to do” for future gym classes. Or, as I like to think, at a small suburban high school in New Jersey, I am a legend.

Finally, The Ugly

Manhunt was, without a doubt, the “cool kid’s game” in my middle school and even high school. You had to be allowed out after dark by your parents in order to  play, which made it extremely badass. Regardless, it would not make for as fun of a night as you might think. Why? Because the odds of leaving someone behind are far too great. And unlike in Hide&Seek, that person is probably in the dark somewhere, lost, not hidden clumsily behind a rocking chair. A final reason Manhunt won’t work is that everyone’s drunken sense of time is illogical. How many times have you been at a party and stopped to think “is that clock wrong? It says it’s 2:00AM.” No. The clock is not wrong. You are drunk. Similarly, the expectation that whoever is “it” will be able to patiently continue looking for her hidden friends is really far too great. I give it 10 minutes until that chick remembers she is out of beer and asks to be directed toward the cooler (again).

That’s it for today! I am sure I missed loads of games/activities, so please let me know in the Comments section!

Spring is officially here. I am wearing sandals, getting sunburnt on my shoulders after sitting outside for about an hour, and craving iced tea. With Spring comes permission to listen to what may otherwise be called a guilty pleasure; Penny and Me by Hanson. Now, I do not consider this to be a guilty pleasure. I was not a Hanson fan as a kid, nor did I like N’SYNC or the Backstreet Boys or any other band that might have earned me the term “teeny bopper.” (Full disclosure: I did like the Spice Girls, but between their message of “girl power” and songs like this, I have no regrets.). So I like this song sort of in spite of, rather than because of  who sings it. Freshman year of college, my roommates and I christened this our “Spring” song, and to this day, I literally cannot bring myself to listen to it unless I can do so while wearing shorts with my bedroom window open. Enjoy:

As for dinner tonight, I was inspired by those short shorts I’m trying desperately to wiggle myself back into and decided to go for lots of fresh ingredients, and to try and get every color of the rainbow onto my plate. To do this, I made some baked salmon with peppers and onion, some steamed broccoli with parmesan cheese, and some quoinia with sauteed mushrooms. It turned out both fresh and delicious.

While the oven heated up at 400 degrees, I rubbed a spoonful of olive oil over my raw salmon, and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I chopped up 1/2 a green pepper, a yellow pepper, and about a quarter or a small yellow onion and throw it over the salmon and put the whole thing in the oven. Meanwhile, I started cooking up the quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). I was introduced to this super food by my big sister, who has been on a big health kick lately. While I am disappointed that she and I won’t be splitting an entire container of raw cookie dough any time soon (a common bonding experience we shared during high school), I must say that from her hair to her skin to her figure, she’s never looked better, so obviously she’s doing something right. I’m too much of a food-lover to eat something healthy simply because it’s healthy, but quinoa really is yummy. It’s a little drier and nuttier than cous cous, and I’ve been using it sort of beef up dishes that otherwise wouldn’t fill me up. In this example, I served it under a handful of mushrooms that I had sauted in garlic for about 5 minutes.

After about 15 minutes, the salmon is done. I bought some broccoli at the store in a “ready to steam” bag, topped it with some fresh parmesan cheese, added the quoinia-mushroom and voila! Now if I can just stick to dishes like this and not blue-box Macaroni and Cheese, I should be ready for sundress season in no time. :)