Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Winter Squash

Posted on November 2, 2010


Winter squash seems to be everywhere this fall. It’s overflowing farmers’ market tables. It’s decorating front porches. It’s bulging out underneath elderly shoplifters’ overcoats.

If you’re like me, you can’t get enough or its earthy, savory flavor. But, for those of you who’ve never experienced to delight that is winter squash, allow me to run through a list of my favorite varieties:

Butternut Squash – The sweetest of the winter squashes, easy-to-peel, and perfect for pureeing. Eager to please without coming across as desperate. Good with kids and pets.

Acorn Squash – Wonderful for roasting or sautéing. Bold and adventurous with a cheeky sense of humor. Often disobedient towards authority figures. Fashion-forward.

Hubbard Squash – The largest winter squash. Stores very well for up to five months. However, it can be quite pushy. Has kind of an eldest child thing going on. Well-meaning, but often unwilling to compromise. Idealistic.

Pumpkin – Terrific for making the classic namesake pie. Can be cloyingly innocent at times. The kind of innocence that hides an oblivious self-interest. Often stumbles its way into situations that give it an advantage. Did it really simply happen upon such beneficial reward, or was it planned all along?

Spaghetti Squash – When cooked, its stringy flesh produces spaghetti-like strands. Staunchly conservative to the point where you have to avoid certain topics like healthcare or the war altogether. Has a habit of answering its own questions before you have a chance. Example, “What do you think of this new school chancellor we’ve got? I’ll tell you what I think of him…”

Kabocha Squash – Sweet and slightly nutty. Perfect for soups. Brown-noser. Constantly grubbing for attention from its superiors. Anxious when it goes awhile without adding its yes-man opinion to every conversation. Jumpy.

Delicata Squash – Thin skinned with a distinctly corn-like flavor. Kind of a nothing personality. Boring at parties but fine to have around at work. Nods a lot.

Turban Squash – Oddly shaped with a slight hazelnut flavor. Sees what it wants and goes for it. Sexually aggressive but quick to tire of a lover. Enjoys extreme sports and late-70’s progressive rock.

Calbaza – An ancient squash that served as one of the “three sisters” of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cooking. Crotchety. Hard to please and quick to criticize. Has the kind of tough exterior that hides years of pain and hardship. It once had dreams of a life in showbiz, but family responsibilities kept it home, and those dreams withered inside, like a burning match that slowly fizzled out. Farts in its sleep.

Banana Squash – Looks like a big banana. Pretty great. Pret-ty great.


Best Hiding Places

Posted on October 28, 2010

As a service to my many four-year-old readers, I thought I give a helpful list of my favorite hiding places during Hide and Go Seek:

- In the space between the couch and the desk .

- Under the bed.

- Inside a mascot uniform.

- Behind a severely obese man.

- Giggling under a pile of dirty bath towels.

- In a kayak floating downstream.

- Above the fridge.

- Behind the fridge.

- Never inside the fridge!

- Inside a giant, hollowed-out foam boulder.

- In the walk-in humidor.

- In a crowded parade.

- Behind a life-size cardboard cutout of Jennifer Lopez.

- Under the hang glider in the garage.

- Inside the grandfather clock. Not the bottom part, that’s too obvious. Up where the gears are.

- In a public radio tote.

- Under the pool table, behind the old Nordic Track machine.

- Inside a friendly robot.

- Suction-cupped to the skylight.

- Inside your fort. (No one'll never guess.)

- Under the dog.

- In the time machine. Being careful not to hit the--


Air Travel Tips

Posted on October 20, 2010


I just bought some plane tickets, because of a botched murder attempt. (Don’t worry about it.) And, it got me thinking about air travel.

I love flying. So many people hate it—the long lines, the security, the cramped space—but not me. I’ve figured out how to fly right, and I’m happy to share my many helpful tips. But, it’ll have to be quick, because this fake moustache won’t stay on forever.

Flying tips:

- A pleasant flight starts with proper luggage. You want to make sure your plastic shopping bag filled with underwear and golf clubs fits into the overhead compartment. Practice by shoving it as hard as you can into your toaster oven.

- Get to the airport at least two to nine hours prior to your flight.

- The TSA doesn’t allow liquids over three ounces. Unless it’s medicine. Just calmly explain that you get very sick and shaky without your Olde English 800 malt liquor.

- Airport security has started using imaging scanners that can see right through your clothes. So, before you get in line, you’ll want to fluff a little.

- Look at your boarding pass for your zone number. The higher the number, the less of a person you are.

- Make as much eye-contact with the flight attendants as you can, or else they might think you’re a terrorist. Never let them break eye-contact, no matter how sweaty you get.

- Remember to buckle your seatbelt, because flying is against God and Nature’s will.

- Use of electronic devices is not allowed during takeoff. Apparently, this includes using a hot plate, though I don’t understand why the stewardess had to be such a bitch about it.

- Ask for a blanket right away, in case all that fluffing in line got you in the mood.

- The Skymall Catalogue is a great resource for anyone looking to buy sunglasses with a built-in video camera. Or a miniature Stature of Liberty with a built-in hot dog cooker. Or pretty much anything with built-in something-or-other.

- If the baby behind you starts crying, lean your seat back as far as you can to let its parents know that you mean business.

- Don’t fall asleep before the drink cart comes by. What, you fell asleep?! Oh man! You just wasted like seventy-five cents!

- During landing, a good way to equalize ear pressure is by putting on your snorkel mask and making honking sounds like a goose. I promise.

- Stand up as soon as the seatbelt sign goes off. Wait in the aisle so that other people can’t get their bags. It’s important that you do this. It will get you off the plane a full five seconds earlier.

- At the baggage claim, grab your pet tiger and get the hell out of there.


Children’s Books

Posted on October 14, 2010

As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to write a children's book. Ever since I started reading them, myself. What was that, two years ago?

But, the brainstorming process is sooooooo hard. Not to say that I don't have any ideas. Just the opposite. I have so many ideas for children's books, I can't narrow them down. Here are a few of my top contenders, if you feel like helping me choose:

The Laughiest Giraffe
Gilda the Giraffe was raised by hyenas and loves to laugh. Will she learn to stop laughing at the other giraffes before they shun her forever for being a jerk?

The Funkiest Skunk
Stuart the Skunk lives and breathes disco. However, every time he steps out on the lighted disco floor, he nervously sprays his anal scent glands all over the crowd. Poor Stuart. How will he find his groove?

The Luckiest Duck
Dennis the Duck wins the Powerball and becomes the most famous duck in Central Park. But, will his lavish gifts to his goose entourage bankrupt Dennis before he has a chance to buy a yacht to sail south for the winter?

The Stinkiest Mink
Morris the Mink gets picked on for how much he stinks. It’s his lactose intolerance. Little do the bullies know that Morris’s foul smell is the only thing keeping him from becoming some rich lady’s coat. The happy ending finally comes when Morris recognizes a couple of his tormentors hanging in a shop window.

The Brattiest Bat
Bethany the Bat has gotten everything she’s ever wanted—the nicest caves, the spookiest bell towers. Her parents even paid Kayne West to perform at Bethany’s sweet sixteen. But, now she’s on her own in the big city trying to start her clothing line. Does she have what it takes?

The Scariest Mare
Doris the Horse is the protagonist of this psychological thriller, but she’s not the book’s namesake. The title comes from Claire the Mare. She’s Doris’s stepmother, and for most of the book, you think she might be trying to kill Doris.

The Brawniest Swan
Steven the Swan knows that swans are supposed to be delicate and graceful. But, when the pond’s football team needs a new linebacker, he decides to follow his dream and bulk up on protein powders and anabolic steroids.

The Wackiest Cat
Clarissa the Cat sure is wacky. Look at how wacky that cat is. What’s she doing now? Dog impressions? How wacky!

The Harriest Ferret
Frederick the Ferret makes a wish that his bald spot will go away. But, never make a wish on a monkey’s paw! Things always go wrong—like growing more and more fur until it fills the entire house. Things only get worse when Frederick wishes his big brother was there to help him. His dead big brother.

These ideas are just the first of many, many books. Hundreds. Let me know if you have any publisher friends. I need to get these children’s books out to help shape the minds of tomorrow. Precious, impressionable minds.


Dealing With Stress

Posted on October 8, 2010

Everybody has a something that stresses them out--a trigger that makes them feel like the world's closing in around them. For instance, my trigger is everything.

However, you can move past your stress. When it feels like an invisible hand is squeezing your heart and you might dump in your pants (Everyone feels that way, right? It's not just me?) here are a few tips to help you de-stress:

- RELAX!!! Jesus Christ, it's just stress! Rub some dirt on it and get back in the game.

- Try breathing into a paper bag or dry cleaning bag taped around your neck.

- One part scotch, two parts ice.

- Put your head between your knees and have someone rub your back. Nobody too attractive, though, or that might make you more nervous.

- Go for a quiet walk. 12 to 15 miles oughta do it.

- Deconstruct exactly what it is that's making you anxious. Really wallow in a loop of thinking about why you're anxious.

- Concentrate on your breathing. It should be in then out. Never out then in!

- A pet can be very calming. My ferret, for instance, soothes me with its disgusting musk smell and biting.

- Jazzercise.

- Picture in your mind a peaceful, tropical island with a calm breeze. Alright, now let's imagine some rum and pirate treasure. And, I don't know, free HBO or something.

- Try a warm bath with scented candles and guilty masturbation.

- Make a list of all the things you can do to fix whatever is bothering you. Wow, look at all that stuff you should have done by now. Why didn't you do any of that? Well, it's too late now. That's a long list.

Good luck. If none of this works (Which it didn’t for me. I’m a wreck.) then Walgreens has a good deal on generic Pepto this week.


Halloween Costume Ideas

Posted on October 6, 2010


I’ve spent all year hand-crafting my intricate Halloween costume, but I understand that some of you wait until the last minute/month. Listen, it’s not my place to judge. I leave that to the costume contest judges. But, if you are going to half-ass Halloween, at least make sure the ass is half full.

What do I mean by that? I don’t know. I just woke up groggy from an all-nighter at my sewing machine. The important thing is that my costume is going to be amazing. Yours should be, too.

Here are a few ideas for your Halloween costumes:

A Centaur Lady Gaga. Obvious, right? Well, here’s the twist: The front half is a horse, and only the butt and legs are Lady Gaga. It’ll be totally Lady Gaga of you to flip things around like that.

Vanpire. It’s a sexy minivan that sucks blood. Ooh, it’s so brooding.

Evil Smothers Brothers. In this version, Tom has the moustache and Dick doesn’t. That’s how you know they come from an alternate, evil Smothers Brothers dimension.

Pre-viz Avatar. Glue ping pong balls to a unitard and walk around giving constant exposition.

KGB Agents. Dress like a normal suburban couple, except clenching microfilm somewhere secret.

Snooooooki Crisps. The breakfast cereal version of the Jersey Shore cast member. I’m not sure how  you’d pull off the cereal part. That’s not my problem. I’m not the one who waited until the last minute. Goddammit, show some initiative!

Vehement, Speech-Giving Charlie Chaplin. Careful with this one.

Iron Man. This is where you show up in a white t-shirt holding a steam iron. That way, everyone has to ask you what your costume is, and you get to remain ironically aloof while still receiving  the attention you so desperately crave.

The Madhatter. I didn’t see this remake, but I’m betting you can just recycle your old Willy Wonka costume.

Steampunk/Lonely Dude. This is just a steampunk costume, but the subtext is that you’ve got too much time on your hands from a complete lack of social obligations.

Blood-Drenched Clown. Go ahead, be that guy at the party.

Flight Attendant Who Stays at His Job Because He Has a Solid Work Ethic. Won’t get as many laughs as the alternative, but at least it’s not super gross.

Slutty Bumblebee. It’s a classic.

That’s it. I hope those were helpful suggestions. I’d love to give you more, but I have to get back to carefully crafting my steampunk costume.


Preventing Bed Bugs

Posted on September 23, 2010

Bed Bug

A lot of people think the only way you can get bed bugs is by having sex with a bedbug or sharing a dirty needle with a bed bug. Wrong. You can catch bed bugs from anywhere--offices, hotels, girls named Jessica. They're unavoidable. Here are a few tips for avoiding bed bugs:

- If you hear yourself saying the words, "Hey, free mattress!" stop and count to ten. Is that free curb mattress worth getting bed bugs? It might be. Depends on the mattress.

- Subways and cabs are perfect carriers for bed bugs. Never leave your house.

- Put thrift store purchases in your freezer for a week to kill any bed bugs. Don’t worry, that yellow velour trench coat will still be awesome next week.

- Take apart your bed frame every night and shake it out the window.

- Bed bugs don't just live in your bed—they often live in your picture frames. Sorry, photo of grandma, you gotta go.

- I think it’s time to finally start washing your clothes.

- Bed bugs can live for a year without eating. That one’s more of a trivia fact than a tip, but it’s pretty interesting, right?

- Bed bugs like dark, warm nooks and crannies. Tape up all your crannies.

- Constantly blast Shania Twain’s Man! I Feel Like a Woman at all hours. Bed bugs hate that song.

- If you stay at a hotel where the staff is itchy and grumpy, wear your scuba wetsuit to bed.

- When travelling, never set your suitcase down onto a pile of bed bugs.

- Buy a plastic mattress cover. If you’re embarrassed to tell the store clerk about bed bugs, just tell him you’re incontinent.

- Vacuum often in erratic patterns the bed bugs can’t predict.

- When a friend tells you she has bed bugs, she is no longer your friend. She’s something else. Remove the head or destroy the brain.

- When renting a new place, check the Internet for bed bug complaints. Try not to get distracted by all the pornography online, otherwise you’ll never …


Favorite Subgenres

Posted on September 22, 2010

Afropop Bluegrass Punk

The following is a list of my favorite subgenres of Afropop Bluegrass fusion:

- Analogue Sampled Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Neo-Grunge Klezmer Afropop Bluegrass fusion

- Slashpunk Brassband Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Shoegazer Mumble-Metal Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Chamber Quintet Ramblin' Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Post-Electro-Funk Dissonant Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Lo-Fi Bollywood D.I.Y. Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Pre-Ironic Bellbottom Rock Jazzy Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Progressive Stadium First-Wave Dancehall Gypsy-Billy Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Backyard Trip Hop Surfer-Folk Wall-of-Sound Teeny-Bopper Tejano Afropop Bluegrass Fusion

- Misc.


Favorite Parts of Dinner

Posted on September 9, 2010


Dear Darcy,

Thank you so much for having us over for the delicious dinner last night. I think my favorite part was the conversation, which was wonderful. My second favorite part was the food. Not that the food wasn’t great—it was. I just liked the conversation slightly more.

My third favorite part of the evening was the napkins. I loved that you went full out with linen. Real classy. I almost enjoyed the fancy napkins even more than the food. Again, not that the food was bad; it was delicious. I just really liked those napkins.

My fourth favorite part was the appetizers. Do those count as the food? If so, include them as a subsection of my second favorite part about last night. If not, then they were my fourth favorite part.

My fifth (or fourth depending on how things fell in the last paragraph) was the temperature. Really good job on the temperature, Darcy. A lot of people get that wrong.

My sixth favorite part was when I made that joke about lemons, and wine came out your cousin’s nose from laughing. That might sound like I’m bragging about how funny my joke was, but I’m not. Everybody knows how funny I am at dinner parties. That’s a given. I just really liked how everybody rushed to help clean wine off of your cousin. I liked it sixth best of all the things about last night.

My seventh favorite part was not having to help do dishes.

My eighth favorite part was when the smoke detector went off because of the oven, and Sean scrambled to get it down from the ceiling. The evening felt truly alive at that moment. I shall cherish that memory forever.

My ninth favorite part was the anticipation as we first walked up to your door. What would you serve for dinner? Turned out it was lentils. Which were delicious. (Not amazingly delicious, though. Just regular, really delicious. Just a touch more salt, and they would have shot past conversation in my order of favorites.)

I feel like maybe I’m implying that some parts of last night’s dinner were not as good as others. No no no. Everything was splendid. The margin of difference between all these favorites is very narrow. I would say the conversation just barely eked out first place in the end.

I could go on listing all my favorite parts of the meal (there are seven additional favorite parts), but I won’t. Everything was excellent. Some things slightly more excellent than others.

Can’t wait to have you over to our new place, where you can judge which aspects you like from best to least.

Thanks again for thinking of us,
Andy (& Colleen)


People I Won’t Lend To

Posted on September 8, 2010

What follows is a careful, annotated list of friends and acquaintances whom I will no longer lend things to. I call them “The Lendless,” sad souls wandering the earth without hope of borrowing any of my cool stuff. I’ve got a lot of cool stuff to lend—CDs, art books, a rubber horse mask, a hammock—tons of cool stuff. But, these people can never again borrow anything from me for the following reasons:

Brian B. – Borrowed my comb on picture day in the 5th Grade. Never returned it.

Peter – Lost my copy of the Scorpions’ The Best of Scorpions.

Stephanie O. – Returned a book with a chocolate thumbprint on the title page. I hope it was chocolate.

Greg F. – Inadequately grateful for my lending him a sleeping bag.

Paul W. – Tried to replace my hammer with a cheaper hammer and thought I wouldn’t notice. I noticed, Paul. I noticed.

Jenny R. – Returned my bicycle all wet on a day it didn’t rain. Super weird.

Jeff A. – Asked to wear one of my sweatshirts at my rooftop party. Got compliments on looking better in it than me.

Henry – Borrowed my car to drive his wife to the hospital. Allowed her to give birth in my car, staining the upholstery.

Carrie W. – Returned my mouse pad too quickly. What, is my mouse pad not good enough to keep?

Charlie H. – Borrowed a kitchen knife. Framed me for a series of murders.

Brian B. (again) – Turned an awesome caterpillar I lent him into a girly butterfly.

Alice – I lent her a college textbook. Months later, she punched me in the face for cheating on her.

Liam – Borrowed a pair of dress shoes for a job interview. Returned them filled with olives.

Nellie – I don’t like how she says “totally” too often.

Catherine S. – Borrowed a paintbrush. Framed me for a series of paintbrush-related murders.

Annie R. – Borrowed a cup of sugar and re-loaned it to a guy I don’t like. (Paul W.)

Richard P. – Wasted my bone marrow transplant by not pulling through.

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