Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm just out of it ...

At some point (actually at several points) during every flyball tournament weekend I ask myself why on earth I do it. It's always exhausting because you have to get up really early (racing starts at 8 am) and do lots of physical activity all day long while surrounded by insanely energetic barking dogs. Often it involves many hours of driving to the tournament site on the Friday preceding the tournament, unless the tournament is local, which means my club is probably hosting it which is actually worse because it involves a huge amount of work the day before the tournament.

I guess I do it because it's a fun thing to do with my dog ... at least that's why I started doing it. I got involved sort of by chance; Mr. Pants and I were playing with our dogs at Montrose Beach in Chicago, and a woman (AgilityNerd's partner Nancy), asked me if I had ever heard of flyball. She invited me to her team's practices. We went, Lucy and I learned flyball (it took a little over 6 months to get her, I mean us, ready to compete), we competed and I guess I was hooked. When we moved to NC one of the first things I did was contact a local team and ask if I could join. (They said yes.)

But flyball tournaments really wear me out and while I'm there, feeling tired and often having sinus problems from all the dust and dog hair, I frequently think "This is insane!" And I guess it is. When I tell people about flyball and that I will drive to other states for tournaments, they almost always ask "Can you win a lot of money at the tournaments?" When I explain that no, there's no money in it whatsoever and that we pay entry fees plus travel and hotel costs, they look at me as if I'm on crack. No, I can't afford crack after spending all my money on dog sports.

But I used to know a guy who was seriously into civil war re-enactments, and let me tell you they spend way more money for the opportunity to wear authentic period gear while slogging around in all kinds of weather pretending to kill one another and/or die. When I think about it, it makes me feel like my dog sport thing is perfectly normal.

At any rate, all of the above was a very roundabout way of explaining that I have absolutely no new thoughts or insights about which to ruminate in this here blog. But last week, I had a few remotely interesting thoughts which resulted in some fun photos:

marmite125marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite field trip!marmite & canada dry

It's all bwventril's fault. If he hadn't whined about having no Marmite I wouldn't have mentioned it to a Canadian friend, whose husband just happened to be in Canada and was due to go to a store and procure things before his return to the US. So he brought back an adorable little jar of Marmite. Meanwhile, bwventril had procured an ample supply of Marmite, leaving me to wonder what I'm to do with this one. I certainly didn't plan to eat any, having had a close brush with some Vegemite a few years ago. At any rate, I've become quite attached to my little Marmite. I plan to actually try it, although I hope I don't like it because then I'll become like bwventril, always wondering where my next hit is coming from.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lurved the marmite field trip photos. They were weaselrific!!

-georg

andrew said...

Yay! Go marmite. I have a huge new jar my parents just brought over from Britain. Grab a spoon and dig in!

B. W. Ventril said...

See, it's comments like Andrew's that put people off Marmite... I mean, I'm sure (I hope!) he meant the spoon-grabbing and in-digging ironically, but some unsuspecting soul always ends up taking this sort of thing literally. And, after running around yelling, "it's stinging my lips, it's stinging my lips" they're ruined for life, Marmite-wise.

My advice is this:

1) Wait for a cold, shitty British-like day. As British as possible, preferably during a long, drawn-out war with Germany, when meat is rationed.

2) Open said jar of Marmite.

3) Inhale, savouring its delicate aromas of yeast and, well, yeast.

4) Make some toast. If you can, make it from really think, hand-sliced, crusty white bread, though that often requires a gas grill of the sort found in British "cookers". But if your toaster can handle bagels then you should be okay.

5) Once the toast is ready, immediately spread liberally with butter and wait a few seconds for it to begin melting.

6) Then, and only then, spread your Marmite on the toast to the thickness of about one micron (beginners' strength).

7) Put on "Mr. Churchill Says" by the Kinks.

8) Eat (the Marmite on toast, that is, not your Kinks CD).

With any luck, the shittiness of the weather and the prospect of many years of war-time sacrifice fighting the Germans will combine to make the Marmite a dilectable snack treat.

Enjoy!

B. W. Ventril said...

Oh, and I meant to say, great photos!

Lisa B. said...

I have indeed inhaled deeply of the Marmite, and it smells a bit like the hairball remedy one gives to cats, and also a little like a Purina Pro Plan Performance Bar (for sporty dogs).

I think I may try it tonight, having first procured the crusty delicious bread you recommend (although I hear that serious addicts will spread it upon just about anything.

As for the war part, will class war do? And the cold ... although it's been a warm January so far, it should get a bit nippy out this evening.

Ill be sure to take pictures.

B. W. Ventril said...

Everything goes well with class war.

Actually, Marmite goes particularly well. Just ask Arthur Scargill. It's definitely helping my own post-election drift to the much/even further left.

Marmite provides comfort food for the revolution (or, okay, in my case the long-term evolution of a socialist society - sorry, I'm not there yet, but I seriously may be by 2008, so bear with me). It's high in vitamin B12 and is just the thing for a long, drawn-out [class] struggle.

andrew said...

I think the trick is to be given marmite as a really small child. I am just reading Jeffrey Steingarten's book The Man who ate Everything and he points out that children don't instinctively dislike any foods. They simply develop the habit of rejecting some foods by reinforcement from primary care givers. That is why so many British people can eat marmite - I ate it since before I can remember - whereas it is much less likely to be pallatable to a dirty foreigner like Lisa.

Anonymous said...

That's very true, though I was actually a relative latecomer to Marmite - I think I was 6 or 7, and never liked it before then. But I guess that was still young enough. I actually started out with Bovril on toast. Now that stuff you really can't find in the US. Mmmmm... hooves on toast.

B. W. Ventril said...

That's very true, though I was actually a relative latecomer to Marmite - I think I was 6 or 7, and never liked it before then. But I guess that was still young enough. I actually started out with Bovril on toast. Now that stuff you really can't find in the US. Mmmmm... hooves on toast.

B. W. Ventril said...

Wow... that was annoying. Sorry!

Lisa B. said...

Not annoyed a bit. I'm loving this whole discussion.

So there's a spread made from Hooves? That's truly disgusting.

Anyway, I tried the Marmite last night. I'll get to the recaps later ...

B. W. Ventril said...

Well, I don't know if it's hooves exactly... But it's a meaty equivalent of Marmite. You're *supposed* to make a tasty meaty drink with it, but it goes nicely on toast as a spread. Mmmm... meat on toast. I think Bovril is probably more bourgeois though, and doesn't go quite as well with class war.

Lisa B. said...

I'm still wrapping my mind around the phrase "tasty meaty drink" ...

B. W. Ventril said...

You know. Like gravy. In a mug.

Lisa B. said...

Ooh, I'm wishing I hadn't wrapped my mind around that.