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Podcast-Olympic Meddling

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Olympic meddling

 

Some observations about the Winter Olympics.

curlingThe only sport in which athletes do not wear gloves is curling, although SOME of the curlers do..others wear just one.  Every other sport involves almost every ounce of flesh protected from cold, snow, ice, sun, concussions, being sliced by razor sharp blades or edges, being mistaken for a souvenir when a well-meaning, but seriously drunk spectator seeing the Olympic logos emblazoned on an athlete’s outfit, mistakes him or her for a souvenir and attempts to whack the poor guy or gal’s noggin’ like a bobblehead.

figureWhile watching figure skating I often imagine one of them landing the first quintuple lutz, then falling right through the ice and disappearing, resulting in a two-tenths of a point deduction for rousting the fossilized judges from their stupor. The spectacle would spark commentator Johnny Weir and Tara Lapinsky to exclaim, “don’t you love our outfits!”

skeletonI really enjoy the insane sports of skeleton and luge, but I think slathering those little sleds in Crisco before the riders lay down on them might make them even more challenging and entertaining.

crosscountryfallThis is the first Olympics that I’ve found myself watching cross-country skiing. It’s a great sport and I admire the unbelievable strength and conditioning it takes to succeed. But that’s not why I’m watching it. When one skier runs into another, a whole bunch fall like dominoes and you just don’t see that in many other sports. Worth waiting four years to see.

kimLove, love, love the snowboarding. Those crazy riders keep pushing the envelope in terms of height, difficulty and danger. I look forward to one of them launching themselves up the side of the half-pipe, into the air, and flying off with a flock of pigeons to Pyongyang, defiling every statue of Kim Jong Un.

biathlon-venue-dusk-pyc-flickr-33081586770_a9303383de_oI think they should replace guns in the biathlon with pea shooters. They’re a lot lighter and it would be fun to see athletes with frozen faces attempt to pucker up enough to blow a pea. I would think that would make the sport even more challenging and less noisy.

olympictorchFinally, it’s about that torch. The current one doesn’t look at all like the traditional cauldron, but more like a giant flaming goiter.

Still another week to go. Pretty much have my money on NBC commentators winning gold medals in Marathon Foot-in-mouth.  katiec

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Sweet balls of death (plus podcast)

No time to read? Check out link to podcast at the end of this post.

paczkiboxIn our office today are boxes of doughy, sweet, greasy and goddamit, delicious filling-injected balls of dough called Paczkis..pronounced poonch-kees. That’s Polish, I believe, for “imminent death.”  They look like jelly donuts, and many are stuffed with it, along with custard, various fruits and creams, only enhancing their effectiveness as desserts d’demise.

packzibox2

Indeed, inventive purveyors of comestible poison keep coming up with new ways to make paczki’s even more hazardous to one’s longevity. Note..the coney paczki, combining the nutritious elements of a chili dog with the pernicious pastry.

packziconey

Why so harsh about a tasty treat? Oh, I dunno. Maybe because one of key ingredients is that renowned health food called lard. Perhaps they call it shortening because it shortens your life.  The average paczek (the singular form of the word) will caulk your arteries with 11-22 grams of fat and pack 340-500 calories.

Paczki | DonutsIt’s all related to Fat Tuesday..the beginning of the Lenten season. The idea, I’m told, was the heavy use of lard  is part of the tradition of emptying your cupboards of the stuff by frying up pastry in it.

They make a huge deal of Paczki Day around here. Polish bakeries work around the clock to serve the thousands of people who called in advance orders. Lines form while it’s still dark so folks can pick up their paczkis in time to bring them into work…in an effort to kill their inter-office rivals. It seems no one can resist eating paczkis despite their lethal legacy. I’m guessing more than one victim died with powdered sugar and jelly on his or her smiling lips.paczkis

I was brought up in NYC, and lived in Central New York State, Tucson, Arizona and Atlanta, Georgia before moving to the Detroit area in 1989 and Paczkis were available, or even heard of, in exactly none of those locations. Indeed, according to the CIA World Factbook, the average lifespan in New York State is 80.5..or 6th in the nation.  Arizona ranks 18 with an average lifespan of 79.6 years.  Meanwhile in Michigan, the average time on Earth per person is only 78.2 years..ranked 37th. See the correlation?  Oh, Georgia? Well..you’re talking awesome Southern cooking where they fry everything from chicken to Crayolas. Down in Dixie they only live an average of 77.2 years….ranking 43rd. But I will never complain about Southern cuisine.

Since I grew up in a Jewish community, the only thing halfway equivalent was the heavy use of chicken fat. Grandma would toss it in anything “just to add a little flavor” and to elicit loud cries of “feh!” from anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the kitchen.

It’s kind of quiet in the office now and I’ve had my lunch. The fumes from the few remaining paczki have worked their way over to my desk. A nice lemon cream would make a fine complement to the sorry ham sandwich I brought from home. The doc just told me yesterday I need to lose some weight…and I will…but not today. I may not celebrate Fat Tuesday, but it would be wrong not to support my co-workers who do.

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