Archive for November, 2010


“The Place” to hang out regularly, without question

If I had "the place," then I too could participate in dance competitions.

Ever since I was young, I always longed for “a place.” “Seinfeld” had Monk’s Coffee Shop, “Friends” had Central Perk, and “Doug” had Honker Burger in the Nickelodeon series, then Swirly’s in the Disney series.

I blame part of this obsession on growing up in a rural area where you could not just walk to a restaurant. It blew my mind, and I remember thinking “wow, I cannot wait for high school when our friends meet up at the place every day.” (I did not really have too lofty of goals as a child.  I remember watching “Saved by the Bell,” when I was younger and yearning for a spot at The Max. What was the deal with The Max anyway? Did Bayside High own it? If not then why did they always have school functions there? I also do not feel like anyone ever paid to eat there, they just got their food from the wise cracking, problem-solving magician, without actually ordering. It was a horrible business plan.

I have always been captivated by the possibilities of meeting up at “the place,” with my core constituents, getting in our usual booth or couch (everyone mentioned above ALWAYS got their preferred booth or couch) and discussing the minutiae of our day. We would discuss pressing issues, like if my friend was finally going to get the nerve to ask out Patty Mayonnaise, or if Jerry’s date went well with “man hands.” Ah freck, I blurred television and reality again.


The point is, I want “a place,” I want there to be a certain place that I could walk in at most times of the day and my group will be there in the usual booth. I want to be able to refer to “the place,” as “the place,” and no questions would be asked as to which place. Right now I am far from my goal, every time we are going to go dine somewhere, I have to call a few friends and say “let’s go eat,” then they say “where do you want to go?” Then I will be all like “I don’t care, where do you want to go?” and they’re like “I don’t care, I am up for anywhere.” Despite their apathy toward the location they shoot down five of my suggestions before settling. No more of that please, I want to establish a base and use that base often, variety is overrated anyway.

I am currently scouting out a few locations to make “the place.” This morning I had breakfast at what could be a top contender. Sydne’s Café and Catering located at 234 North 12th Street filled many of my criteria for being my holy grail. It is a very comfortable place, aesthetically pleasing and warm. Sydne’s had a full breakfast and lunch menu, and turned out to be very good. I recommend the potatoes O’Brien. Although the waitress did not appear to be a magician, she was very friendly and attentive. The next step is to bring friends here for multiple meals, until it becomes a habit, then my sad little dream will come true. Try out Sydne’s Café, it’s very good, but I call dibs on my preferred table, after all, it is “the place.”

Jacob McGuire


For Glory: Food shenanigans and such

When a group of guys get together without much to do, more likely than not, stupid things are going to happen. This can be almost guaranteed when there is not an xx chromosome in sight.

I would also bet that every “impossible” food challenge was invented by a group of gentleman that had a free evening, and had not purchased “Call of Duty: Black Ops” yet. An evening such as this came about yesterday, and it was decided that we should take on some of these so called “unattainable” food challenges. I do have a little experience in the challenges, last year, after hearing the impossibilities of completing the Gallon Challenge (drinking a gallon of 2% milk or more in one hour without eating anything, and of course keeping it down.) I felt a calling to take on the challenge and completed it successfully with two minutes to spare. What followed was the worst stomach ache I can ever recall. The terrible ache was enough for me to hang up the ol’ food challenge umm, bib, until last night.

Googling “challenges like the gallon challenge,” brought up a profusion of dumb things people have researched and found difficult to consume. We decided to go with the cinnamon challenge, which is swallowing a tablespoon of cinnamon without water. We also decided to try two slices of bread in 45 seconds, and six saltines in one minute.

I have previous experience with the cinnamon challenge and am still getting over the horror of it all, so I opted out. My friends Mike, John, and Paul took on the challenge. Everyone threw back the spoonful of cinnamon. John and Paul went with the method of trying to down it all at once. Big mistake, Paul started coughing little puffs of cinnamon smoke, then doubled over and the vomiting began. John wasted no time hanging over the porch and losing everything he ate that day. Mike took the cinnamon slower and worked it down; needless to say he was a lot less funny to witness. This really is a horrible challenge to experience and I do not know how it came about. The cinnamon balls up in your throat and infiltrates the sinuses. Dumb.


Next we tried the two slices of bread in 45 seconds.

This is probably possible but none of us completed it. I won with a little over one minute. The saltines should have been next, but Walgreens did not have any. We probably could have called it a night at this point, but instead it only seemed natural to search the fridge and create our own. A brave soul named Ramone went with the hot sauce. I give him a 7/10 for perseverance and hear. Next up we found a neglected gallon of milk about half full with an expiration date of Oct. 5, yeah. With coaxing and the deal of $5 for just trying, $10 for finishing and $15 for finishing and keeping it down, Paul stepped forward. Let’s just say he earned five bucks, bleck.

Altogether it was a moronic, but entertaining evening. Next time a slow evening comes about, such as this one, I’ll probably just read a book.

Jacob McGuire