If there was an Olympics category for lying, Team Anthony would win it, no question about it. Watching them in action brings to mind my mother railing against lies and liars. It was a good lesson to teach us, a lesson all parents should teach their children. "Liars are the worst," she would remind us. In my house, that fell into the "do as I say, not as I do" category of childhood lessons, because, well ... my mother was a liar. An accomplished liar, I might add. She just could not tolerate anyone lying TO HER. Certainly she did not present that as part of her lesson, and she worked long and hard to protect and perpetuate her lies. Lying is wrong, lying is damaging, lying can be evil. Being forced to lie is toxic to the soul, painful to the psyche. This I know from personal experience. But I feel compelled to mention that I have never murdered anyone as a result of the deficits in my upbringing.
Friday evening I swooped into Publix yet again to garner the ingredients for a chicken wing recipe that had caught my eye. It was so ridiculously easy it couldn't work, right? And with Coca Cola as a main ingredient, it had to be awful, right? All reviewers except for one gave it high marks. That one said it was the worst thing she had ever tasted and she wouldn't feed it to her dog. Well, with a single dissenting post like that, I had to try it, didn't I?
These are not like any chicken wing you have ever eaten in your favorite sports bar. They are neither grilled nor deep-fried. You wouldn't top a waffle with them. You would sit all alone in the middle of the night when the rest of your family was sleeping upstairs and scarf down a whole pound by yourself. Of course I'll post the ingredients and directions on the recipe blog.
I have been back in the office for three days and I'm ready for another vacation. Since I can't do that, I'll relive my last trip instead:
June 22 and June 23, 2011
The day did not go the way I had planned. Got as far as breakfast and then crashed back to bed for another few hours. The sky was threatening more rain, and we decided to get on the road to Little Rock without the anticipated side trip to Beale Street. And that was more than okay with me, as I was over Tennessee. Not sure why . . . Glad to be back in Arkansas. Back at last year's hotel. And it was Pizza Night!
Maybe it's the weather, which has been overcast and rainy most days. Maybe it is the fact that Rob and I are both missing Cory on this trip. Maybe it was the disappointing lunch at Central BBQ, or the fact that I am still fighting the same UTI I have been dealing with since the cruise. Besides the obvious discomfort, it is leaving me more tired than usual. Perhaps it is the fact that the Marriott hotels we have stopped at - all of them repeat stops - seem tired themselves, and not quite as spiffy as in years past. With the exception of our trip to Panama City Beach, I have booked Marriott exclusively, and now I am wondering if I should not broaden my horizons. Funky smell emanating from, of all things, the air conditioner unit in Memphis. A nasty bug in Little Rock, and this really bothers me as this is a relatively new hotel, and the difference between this year and last year is noticeable. A little rundown, a little shabby. In both Memphis and Little Rock, the free in room wifi is notional - sometimes it's there, and sometimes it is not. Neither Kodak nor Atlanta had in room wifi, and while there was supposed to be wifi in at least one of the lobbies, I could never gain access. All of the free breakfasts have been cut back to something barely utilitarian. Maybe it is the fact that Hobby Lobby has cut back it's yarn department to a mere shadow of it's former glory. Every year I check with the hope it is in a period of regrowth, and every year all I see is the Incredible Shrinking Yarn Department. Are we back to the days when I am the only person knitting within a 20 mile radius? I admit it was worse in Korea - no yarn, no needles, and no chocolate - but I am part of an online knitting community which makes it seem as though there are millions of us, so where is everybody? Has the Yarn Harlot lived in vain? And I suppose it doesn't help my mood that this is the first year I will be unable to go to Knitch in Atlanta, because the store is gone. Oh, I can order online, but nothing beats perusing yarn, petting yarn, drinking in the colors of the yarn, treating oneself to a set of smooth, warm, ridiculously expensive rosewood needles, chatting with the yarn-crazy staff, and admiring their handiwork in the form of gorgeously draped sample shawls, scarves, and sweaters.
Maybe I am just getting old.
There are good things happening, such as our lovely afternoon with Vickie, Brieanna, and Brandon. The dinner at the Chop House in Kodak and the lunch at On the Border were quite nice. And there are some really good restaurants here in Little Rock, at least they were really good last year. The event itself is entirely enjoyable from the Top Ten to the Opening Ceremony at Verizon Arena, to the regular tournament on Sunday. This year is special, as our Chief Instructor, Master Fidel Casco, is testing for his 7th Degree Black Belt. We were here in 2005 when he became a Master instead of a Mister. That was a terrific ceremony. This year the Opening Ceremony is being done on Saturday rather than Friday night, and it is being called the Inauguration of Songahm's 3rd Grand Master. Should be magnificent.
With all that said, the World Championships ain't what they used to be. Most noticeably missing are our friends, Betty and Frank Curatolo, and Elaine Jandersit. Part of the enjoyment of this event was meeting up with them here, cheering at their rings and having them cheer at Rob's and Cory's, sneering them for our last night dinner at Benihana's, and all the while, much laughter. This is the second year they were unable to attend due to medical restrictions, and I miss them keenly.
The economy has cast a pall over everything, and I think that is to blame for a great number of the things I have crabbed about. The number of vendors at these events gets smaller every year. The little niceties we took for granted at the hotels have been cut back. The staff, while not rude or unhelpful, are not as cheerful as they used to be and who can blame them?
Enter the Purple Cow.
UPDATE: never made it to Corky's. Too much food leftover, plus it was Sliders Night at the hotel.