Monthly Archives: March 2012

For Mike, the Jets Fan – When Beer & Chocolate Can Make Things Better

When I tried out a new recipe yesterday, a carryover from St. Patrick’s Day, I had no way of knowing that it could be medicinal for my poor husband.  Mike, lifelong and diehard Jets fan, enjoyed one piece last night and may very well feel like demolishing the rest of it tonight.

The recipe is for Chocolate Guinness Cake (see my Food post from today, NYINNJ – Food ).  The original occasion was St. Patrick’s Day but we went out to eat that night instead, so our leftover St. Patrick’s Day dinner was last night.   I don’t make corned beef or cabbage myself, ever, but it’s the traditional dinner and we’re traditional people.  Thank goodness, the Market Place has the delicious and easy-to-pick-up complete dinner for take out, so problem solved!

Today, though, is cause for the cake to not be celebratory.  This cake is now medicinal.   In the midst of a circus-like off season for Mike’s Jets, rumors and accusations have been consistent and frustrating.  If that wasn’t enough, Peyton Manning went to the Broncos and now Tim Tebow has landed with the Jets.  The circus atmosphere is now approaching Ringling Brothers proportions. 

The thing is, Mike is a pretty even tempered fan.  He’s been a Jets/Mets/Rangers fan for his entire life, so this latest drama isn’t new to him nor is it likely to turn him off from rooting for his team.  If this was happening to the Giants, I’d be having an anxiety attack, no kidding.  He’s realistic enough to not expect much good to come of the Sanchez-Tebow QB situation but he’s also laid back enough to not let it faze him much. 

We’ll call him the Chocolate portion of the sports-aspect of our relationship.  Steady, reliable, sometimes WOW! and sometimes Meh…   It’s rare to have bad chocolate, right?  The kind you spit out?  Doesn’t happen much.

Then there’s me.  Most of my family and friends know how I’m a bit… shall we say… obsessed?  passionate?  frantically loyal?  nuts?  about my sports teams.  Mike is definitely as loyal about his teams as I am about mine but he shows his enthusiasm differently.  He, for example, doesn’t need to do deep breathing exercises when watching the 4th quarter or 9th inning.  He gives me his hand to squeeze for that last second field goal attempt, not vice versa.  I’m not sure I’d have fingers left if he ever tried that on me…

So, in the Chocolate Guinness Cake analogy, I’m the beer portion – I don’t think I need to explain why…

Anyway, the cake is delicious – and it may prove to be our ‘go to’ comfort food depending on how things go for our resident Jets fan.

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Bad News Travels Faster Than Good News… Why?

When something bad or sad happens, word spreads like wildfire.  Technology has only made that wildfire spread even faster.  With email, Facebook, smartphones, you name it… if a celebrity dies, does something criminal or a favorite sports player has retired or been traded (to the rival team!), it can be a matter of minutes before anyone who wants to know… well, knows.

And when a story of child being approached and picked up by a stranger in your favorite playground comes to you in an email, you do not hesitate to react.  After all, with 100+ email addresses at my fingertips, it would be easy and yes, even my duty, to warn as many of my neighbors and local friends as quickly as possible.

Except if the story doesn’t sound right the minute I’m done reading it.

When other copies of the story get emailed to me in a matter of an hour, I’m rattled.  My brain is telling me that something isn’t right about the story yet so many people are clearly concerned about it, worried enough to sound the alarm to everyone they know, so why am I holding back?

Because there’s enough in the story to make me pause and try to confirm or debunk the story before I send it to anyone else.  So I start calling and emailing (separately) people that I know who could shed light on what happened.

After some phone calls, a few separate emails and some monitoring of the police department’s Facebook page, it turns out that the story is not true.  No one knows why the story was created in the first place but it’s no surprise that it spread around as quickly as it did.  It’s our nature, whether human or social, to warn our community of any danger.  We use the tools we have handy, and we do it quickly, urgently, and with good intentions.

Better safe than sorry, we say.  And, while this is true, it is also discouraging that the truth doesn’t often get as much, or any, attention at all.  In the case of an attempted abduction at a local playground, none of the papers have cleared it up nor has the police department issued an updated statement.

No one’s reputation is directly hurt by the false story but some damage has been done nonetheless.  Some people who think the story is true may likely stay clear of the park and playground.  That’s a shame and an unnecessary result of a story that should never have been spread.

One silver lining to be found in this particular phenomenon is that that, if such an incident had truly taken place, we know now that the town can respond quickly.  “Word of Mouth” is no longer limited to a face to face discussion or a phone call.  Technology has expanded ‘Mouth’ to be so much more.

Yet even that good news isn’t in the local paper or clogging my email’s inbox.  That’s a shame, too.