I Like Big Butts, Usually

I just have a little rant, and I thought I’d share it with the world wide web. 

I have had company this weekend and I had plans to cook a large pork butt in my smoker. Now, cooking outdoors is not a novel idea to me. I usually use either the grill or the smoker to cook all summer long, so the kitchen doesn’t get as hot as an active volcano. I know what I’m doing, and while I may not be an absolute grill master, I am not an amateur. However, I am a woman, and if this weekend was anything to go by, the penis carriers in my life have decided I cannot do this task unaided.

I knew this enormous pork butt was going to need about sixteen hours on the smoker. I knew I would be cooking it overnight. 

Well, my brother came over the night before, and I know he is actually better at smoking than I am, so I asked him a few key questions, he told me his tips, and I had my method firmly in hand. He left and I made a plan for an amazing smoked meat experience for me and my guests. Then my guests showed up and I got started.

I didn’t count on my dad and my boyfriend, neither of whom really grill all that much, and neither of whom had ever smoked a pork butt, needing to put their two cents in. If you add in the cost of male ego inflation this adds up to about five dollars and seventy cents worth of opinions that I didn’t ask for or need, but I digress.

I was happily rubbing the spices on the pork when my dad told me these words “Not to tell you how to do this, but your rub needs to be all over it (it was), and thicker”. Well, this was just the preliminary rub, if you will. It was only going to be on the smoker for an hour, then taken, covered in more rub and brown sugar, with butter added, then wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and put back on the smoker. 

Dad followed me down the stairs to the smoker and looked it over. Then said “Well, I’m not the person to tell you how to cook, but those vents need to be all the way open”. Well, it doesn’t, and I’ve used this particular smoker for two years, but sure, I’ll open the vents. So I opened them a little to pacify him.  Then he looked at the temperature gauge, and said the following: “I’m not the one to tell you how to make this, but the temperature needs to be about fifty degrees higher”. No, dad, it doesn’t. This is an eight pound hunk of meat. It needs to cook low and long. 

Then my boyfriend came home. He advised me I need to get the fire really going, that just the coals were burning. Yes baby, I know, it is supposed to smoke, not get direct heat from a fire. Every hour, my dear Richy would ask me if I was keeping an eye on it, that it was just smoking (which is ironic, considering I’m using a smoker… anyway). I literally was questioned about every decision I made on this, and at one point, Richy just took over and started grilling it the way he thought it should be done. I just went back inside and started watching T.V. and quietly seethed. 

My biggest problem is this: I have been at my brother’s cookouts many, many times. No one – NO ONE – has ever taken over his grill or even so much as offered a suggestion on how he could improve whatever he was cooking. No one has ever suggested he didn’t know what temperature to use or wondered why he put the rub on the way he did. No one questions a man at a grill. But god forbid you have a set of tits. It absolutely astonishes me that since I don’t have chest hair or a set of balls that I am seen as totally incompetant at cooking – outside of making a sandwich for a manly grill master. 

I know, I really do know, that not all men are this way. I know some men who don’t feel or think this way, and I don’t mean to generalize any group of people, but I also cannot be the only woman this has happened to. I don’t think I am just being salty, I’m just so tired of being second guessed because I am devoid of a Y chromosome. I’d love to hear opinions on this and just see if anyone out there can commiserate with me. And if you ever need a solid alibi, I’ve got your back.

Plumbing 101

You may ask yourself, “Self, why is there water currently running in a large stream out of the faucet in this Hootchie’s bathtub”? The answer is simple; the same reason I couldn’t flush the toilet this morning. Oh, why is that? Again, simple… because Richy replaced the bathroom sink faucet. 

Yes, you read that right. The bathtub is broken and the toilet can’t be flushed because the sink was worked on. 

I’m not sure how this happened. What I do know is this: a few weeks ago, Richy changed the shower head to a lovely push-button adjustable shower head with several settings. It is brushed copper, a lovely dark color, and I have enjoyed it. Well, a few days ago, Richy sent me a text asking only “Brushed Tuscan copper, or brass, or stainless steel?” Well, having absolutely no other information, I chose brushed Tuscan copper. Richy said that was the right answer, and came home with a bathroom sink fixture that is the same color of the showerhead. It is a nice brand, and looks great in the bathroom. The only drawback is that changing the faucet somehow initiated a leak in the sink pipes. There is now a plastic garbage can under the sink collecting the drainage.

 

That was okay, really, the leak. Richy just needed one little seal or nut or some kind of doodad, so no big deal.  Well, the bathroom was looking pretty good, so why not make all of the knobs and faucet fixtures match? It must have seemed like a good idea to Richy, so he brought home a bathtub handle to match the showerhead and leaky sink. He also brought home a shower head water filter and needed to install that. He managed to install the filter fairly easily and he showed me how much softer the water felt. I made many impressed faces and went back to whatever I was doing. 

Then I heard it.  Suddenly, he seemed to be running the bathtub wide open. I mean, it sounded like a waterfall in the bathroom, but I just kept to myself. Above the roar of whatever hell was breaking loose in the bathroom, I heard “Hey baby?” “Thereeeeeesa”.  Why would he want me in there? I soon found out. 

I walked into the bathroom and he had the shower curtain stretched as far across the tub as possible and the roar of the water sounded like I was under a waterfall. He yelled over the din “Baby! Hold the curtain like this! I gotta shut the water off!”  I held the curtain, all the while making sure he didn’t feel I doubted his ability to do plumbing work. He left the bathroom and went out to turn the water off and I took the tiniest peek behind the curtain.  OH NO! Water was jetting out of a hole in the bathtub where the handle USED to be at. I had no idea why there was just a hole where a handle should be, but the water was coming out at the rate of a firehose! I had no idea that household water pressure would be that intense and I had no idea what to do. The tub was filling faster than it could drain, water was being sprayed out of every available space around the shower, the floor was soaked, and all that stood between me and drowning was a very thin octopus shower curtain.

Finally, he got the water off and the nuclear blast of hot water coming from the new shower hole subsided to a drip and then off. Richy came back and helped me find my way carefully out of the soggy bathroom after which he shut the door and began working again with all of the water in the house shut off. Finally at some point in the night, Richy decided he just didn’t have the right part (a copper ring that blew right off the faucet when that water blasted it’s way out of the hole). He called it a night and went to bed after filling one pitcher of water to flush the toilet if we needed to use it.

I had to use the bathroom once in the night, and then this morning when I woke up, but didn’t dare to flush. I brushed my teeth with bottled water, but couldn’t wash my hands, so I sanitized them and started my day. Richy left for Lowe’s soon after and (finally) bought the ring he needed. He came back after trying to find it unsuccessfully at four stores, and finally found it at the fifth store. Proud of his accomplishment, he came back and quickly fixed the shower hole. He showed me that it was put together. He had to go back to work, so he left and I decided to take my shower. 

It really was a nice shower. The filter did make the water seem somehow softer and it rinsed off better. The shower head is a water conservation kind, so I had plenty of hot water to wash, shave my legs, exfoliate my feet, and luxuriate in the bubbles and pretty soap smells. I took all the time I wanted, rinsed one final time and turned the water off. Well, I tried to turn the water off. The handle wouldn’t go down far enough to turn the water all the way off. A steady stream of warm water about the size of my thumb was happily pouring out of the faucet without a care in the world for my water bill. I quickly got dressed and tried again to turn it off. No luck. 

Eventually, I had to give up and call Richy. He came back home from work and had to take the handle apart to get the water off again. Of course, the water had to be turned off. 

And now I have to pee. Welcome to my life.

The Man Card

Today’s topic is a direct result of my experience with men and their reluctance to seek medical care under any circumstances. 

Last night my darling Richy nearly impaled himself. I’m talking, he was actually afraid to move because he didn’t know how he would get himself off of the branch that was jutting up from the ground. He accomplished this near-impalement by jumping off of a ledge onto a crumbling brick wall that was already leaning about 30 degrees. (Get ready to make a surprised face…) because funny enough, the crumbling wall fell out from under him when he landed, and sent him sprawling with all that momentum behind it. He landed on his back on top of where a large bush had been sawed down, but still had about twelve inches of very sharp branches sticking up. His spine landed on the biggest limb and then his side landed on a shorter limb. That’s where he thought he’d been impaled. 

This is an actual picture of what Richy fell on! Yikes right!??

Richy lay there for what seemed like five minutes, though I’m sure it couldn’t have been that long. Finally, he dared to move and realized that even though the sawed off branch had cut him and hurt him, it had not actually stuck itself inside of him and he was able to get up. Unsurprisingly – He packed up and called it a day, and came home.

This morning, the man could barely sit up. It took him a good seven or eight minutes to actually maneuver himself out of bed. I saw him grimace and heard him groan. I saw his eyes water with the pain; and this is a man who was shot in Bosnia, he has a purple heart. He fell down a flight of stairs, broke his kneecap and helped a friend move the next day. Hell, he was bitten by a rattlesnake. This is not a weenie of a man, and his back was hurting him to the point that he couldn’t put his own sweater on. 

I pleaded with him to take the day off today and go to an urgent care or doctor, so obviously he listened to me and did exactly that. Haahaa! I love a good joke as well as anyone. No, what he did was give me a face that clearly stated that I regularly drool on myself and he went to work. 

Why?

Is there some health class guys take in high school where they tell them if they seek medical attention, their genitals will fall off? Is there a Man Card they have to turn in at any emergency room they dare to enter? Maybe men just assume if anything medical has to happen to them they are going to end up with a surprise prostate exam, I don’t know. 

Man: “Doc, I broke my arm and there is a bone sticking out from my elbow.”

Doctor: “Well, drop your pants, we need to make sure your prostate wasn’t affected.”

I think this is what they must believe, otherwise, what reason do they have to avoid an exam and possibly legal drugs?

I’ll tell you, I don’t know what makes them run screaming in the opposite direction of any medical staff, but they all do it. My dad had a heart attack and ended up with a quadruple bypass. This was a bad heart attack. It took me arguing with him all night to get him to go to the E.R.  An ex of mine dropped the front end of a loaded trailer on top of his foot. It turned purple and black and he couldn’t walk. No doctor. Another time, that same ex nearly died of pneumonia (to the point that his doctors told me to go ahead and call any family who might want to see him) because he wouldn’t go to a doctor during the previous two weeks that I had tried to get him to go. My brother has had two really bad illnesses because he avoided having a doctor anywhere near him until he was thirty-five years old. I have seen men I personally know, duct tape a wound, but refuse to get, you know, sterile stitches. 

Now, I know we don’t all have insurance or the money for medical bills, but come on, there are just some things you should get checked out. Like, landing on a sawed off tree branch, spine first; little things like that.