Miss(ed) Manners

January 8, 2010

Smaug the Magnificent

Filed under: Candy,Humor — missedmanners @ 8:59 pm

It’s that time of year again.

Or it was that time of year again. That time when snow falls, families come together to celebrate their respective holidays and when myself and my weary friends postpone our drinking long enough to cobble together another candy creation so high in dork factor that it’s almost crippling to behold. If somehow this is the first time you’re seeing anything like this feel free to bone up on a little history:

The Battle of Helm’s Deep

The Battle of Pelennor Fields

The Mines of Moria

Also a disclaimer: this will be, unfortunately, the last year that we will be making a candy art diorama castle sculpture thing from the source material of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is the the collective feeling of our group that we have scraped the depths of the hobbity barrel for recognizable scenes that are both large enough and sufficiently grand so as to be worthy of my tirelessly trying to convince my friends and family give up a vacation weekend to such a decidedly silly pursuit. As much as I’d love to get all Sillmarrillion all over the place, it’d be a little harder to sell.

Worry not, we’re simply going to be using another, equally dorky source for next year’s.

But enough prattle about plans for the future, on to the dragon!

Smaug the Magnificent

Long before the fellowship was created, before the Deeping Wall was breached and the Hornburg was stormed, before the mighty Grond assaulted the white gates of Minas Tirith, before Gandalf faced Durin’s Bane on the bridge in the depths of Khazad Dun, before any of the stories were written that would spur millions upon millions of manchildren to move to their parents’ basements and spend their days creating Ravenloft campaigns for their stale milk-smelling compatriots, before all of that there was The Hobbit.

This ageless tale follows the journey of perpetual homebody, Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and his Dwarven companions as they travel through mountains, forests, swamps and other various land types hoping to raid the treasure hoard of an ancient Dragon who’d taken control of an ancestral Dwarven hold. Long story short, they break in, steal something and piss him the fuck off.

This year we chose to make two scenes around the aforementioned mountainous lair.

Awesome. I know.

Before I get into the obviously awesome parts I’ll start with the less awesome. To the left you can see the bustling village of Lake-Town which sits in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain and to the right is a gummy representation of the Battle of the Five Armies.  Clearly you can tell that the Hobbit was written well before the Lord of the Rings as Tolkien’s proclivity to make up ridiculous names for literally everything simply wasn’t developed yet. There’s a town on a lake, Lake-Town. A mountain all by itself in the middle of nowhere, that’s the Lonely mountain. Five armies fight in a battle? The battle of five armies.  This guy made up names for every pebble in a river bed and their entire family histories in LOTR and The Hobbit‘s got a scene at Lake-Town.

Again I digress. Let’s take a look at Lake Town before it gets all burnt to a sugary crisp.

Magical, am I right? These people were basically just chilling in their awesomely decorated houses sandwiched between a beautiful blue lake and the greenest meadow that food coloring and frosting can make and then this hobbit and his friends come along and steal from a gigantic fire breathing dragon who takes it all out on their homes.

Which brings us to the centerpiece of this year’s construction. The dragon himself, standing a whopping thirty six inches and weighing in at just under fifteen pounds of diabetic coma inducing sugar products… I give you Smaug:

If you haven’t noticed, he’s pissed. Beneath that leathery fruit roll-up skin and several pounds of licorice rope muscle is beating a heart that’s only demand is vengeance. As he soars above the masterfully constructed mountain that houses his lair you can almost see the rage in his jellybean eyes. It’s palpable. Like a Spike Lee movie.

Also in this shot you can see that over the many years that Smaug has lain on top of his treasure he has armored his soft underbelly against attack with the sweetest Jelly Belly brand gems and jewels. He’s kind of like one of those weird kids that pierces odd parts of their bodies. Smaug’s an emo dragon.

The prevailing winds must have been blowing in the wrong direction because by the time Smaug makes it to Lake Town, he’s even more pissed. He starts huffing and puffing and blowing white hot fire down on all those candy houses. It’s only right now that I realized that I should have taken a blowtorch to the village and just melted the shit out of those houses, but no, I had to settle for this:

Shabbas candles. For some inexplicable reason my family always has a completely full box of Shabbas candles in the pantry, behind the soup. What bizarre rituals are being conducted there when I am away? Animal sacrifice? Are they used in creating the soft lighting required for the teen star of a CW melodrama to lose her virginity? Whatever the answer, it cannot be weirder than my using them as faux dragon fire on mini gingerbread houses (except maybe the animal sacrifice thing, what is this, Burma?).

Remember when I said that Smaug had armored his belly against all attacks by slowly embedding gems and gold and stuff into his fleshy underside? Well apparently he missed a spot and Bilbo totally scoped it when he was in there stealing shit. But when the dragon took off to go reduce Lake Town to a smoldering crisp, Bilbo was miles (in our scale one foot) away and his iPhone wasn’t getting service because AT&T has shitty coverage in Middle Earth, especially around Thranduil. He of course does the only logical thing and tells a bird to go tell someone else to shoot the dragon in the chest.

This works.

Boo yah! Right in the heart!

I’ve tried to use all kinds of birds to tell other people things. I actually tried to break up with this one girl by telling every pigeon I came across to fly to her apartment and break the news gently. I assumed the message got through but no, I wake up with a knife pointed at me and all my text messages inscribed in lipstick on my walls. Not cool, pigeons.

Since Bilbo had a Thrush or Sparrow or a Raven or something to rely on, his message gets through and Smaug goes down like San Francisco on Pride weekend.

There was much rejoicing (not pictured, it’s hard to make candy look like it’s rejoicing) until everyone and their mother within five hundred miles realizes that with the dragon dead all that treasure in that immaculately crafted and frosted mountain was now unguarded.

At first is was just a battle of three armies. Dwarves, Elves and Men, which as it turns out is a sub genre of porn.  They were about to go at it in a very non-porn sort of manner when the fourth army showed up. Goblins. Lots of Goblins. Some of them even riding on big ass dogs called Wargs.

Oh the carnage! As you can see the green and red goblins are totally kicking ass at this point. The meager armies of Men, Dwarves and Elves are being slowly whittled down by the gelatinous horde. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Goblins brought giant vampire bats with them! Oh the demi-humanity.

It was at this point that Bilbo spotted the arrival of the fifth army, the Eagles (not to be confused with the entirely incapable Philadelphia variety).

And lo with the aid of the Wind Lord Gwaihir (that’s one of the big eagles, not an 80’s synth pop band) the armies of good triumphed and there was again much (not pictured) rejoicing.

That’s our candy creation for 2009! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed making it. So long Tolkien and thanks for all the ridiculous memories. An even bigger thanks to the following people for helping put this mess together: Sunny, Brendan, Chase, Colleen, Lis, Katie, Becca and Ben. You guys rock.

See you all next year when we’ll be going back a long long time ago and visiting a galaxy far, far away!

December 28, 2009

Oh hey!

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 3:20 pm

I love it when one of the candy creations gets bounced around the internet again. Someone decided that our Minas Tirith was in need of some extra attention some two years after it was built and so I was greeted by a few dozen emails this morning.

Obviously I’m not posting that much around here, though I am planning another piece for our ever dorky “What I did over Christmas Vacation” series. This year will actually be our last entry in the realm of Tolkien source material, and should be completed sometime this weekend.

Some teaser details, it’s taken from The Hobbit, it’s got a mountain and some serious aerial suspension.

June 17, 2009

Fucking A

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 10:09 pm

This is NOT almost summer new York. It’s sixty fucking degrees out there. I just saw two girls sharing a blanket as they walked down the street. Last Sunday an epic BBQ was cut short because it was too cold. What the fuck?

I realized not too recently ago that I am a very sweaty person. Like an Armenian stuffed inside a wookie I sweat bullets. I sweat when I’m hot, nervous, overly happy or just sitting still for too long.

When it’s summer hot out in new York everyone gets as sweaty as I am and I stop sticking out so much.

So enough with the cold already.

June 4, 2009

Things I’m Going to Do This Weekend

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 5:07 pm

Not stand up all that much.

Pulled three doubles in three days covering for a friend yesterday. That’s somewhere between 40 and 50 hours on my poor little feetses.

Also on the agenda:

  • Get so drunk that I fall down and/or text something that will be greenlit on textsfromlastnight.com
  • Get sun stroke on Sunday.
  • Purchase twelve black American Apparel shirts and iron on contact printer paper so that I can eventually make customized shirts with offensive mottos for each of the four parties I work. For example, “I Freestyle Mondayed Your Mother Last Night,” or “I Wish More of the Ugly People at Camouflage Would Dress in the Spirit of the Party.”
  • Drunk movie review, Saturday afternoon.

June 1, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 11:51 am

They opened a hipster bar in my neighborhood. Seven years I’ve been here with nary a walking distance watering hole and blammo, they open a Beauty Bar location just three blocks from my door. The opening party was hopeful, there were so many skinny jeans packed into that joint that I was worried the cumulative static electricity might short out the entire block.

Cheap drinks, nice staff and skanky hipster chicks hanging from the rafters. I think I’m in love.

Unfortunately the love couldn’t last as I had to be up the next morning at a god awful hour to spearhead a seven hour drive north to Bates College to see my little sister graduate college. She’d been there for four years and I’d yet to visit. Halfway through the drive I realized why. Thruway driving sucks balls. For a seasoned road tripper like myself there is no worse experience than driving three lanes of repeating tree lines, eating McDonald’s and using the cruise control.

Bates is a gorgeous campus. Tucked into the armpit that is Lewiston, Maine, its green grasses and hyper liberal student bodies seem like a wind farm in the middle of an oil field. We schmoozed, drank and ate for almost twenty four hours straight, stopping only to hear the commencement speeches by what seemed like twenty people, but was in fact just some donors and Fareed Zakaria from CNN (who was pretty awesome).

Having just entered my last year on the right side of thirty I found myself completely oblivious to the difference I should be feeling from these little kids. I remembered that when I was graduating college I thought of my 29 year old friends as ancients, always complaining about their responsibilities and sore backs. They seemed to carry the weight of their world every where. They were always tired.

Finally back in the car on the way home yesterday I think I finally could commiserate. My lower back aching, the looming week ahead of me, all the things I haven’t done since grabbing that diploma and running like a chicken with a half chopped neck came rushing back into my head. I imagined my post college life as a giant page of paper scribbled all over with a messy to-do list.

With so many big black X’s slashed through the checkboxes of my little plans and desires it was nice to see those big and bold and neatly printed life required tasks still ignored. No kids, no house, no wife (and no ex wife as the case would have surely been).

As I was passing out last night I dreamed I tore out the page and started new, re-printing in my best crossword handwriting the new to-do list. Just as small, just as seemingly pointless to most of those who would read it.

First box: Write a slightly mushy and introspective blog entry.


May 27, 2009

Things I’ve Seen From My Window Today

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 6:16 pm

Mondays and Wednesdays I work double shifts. Our location is kind of perfect of people watching. Tourists, locals, bums, busboys, billionaires and the beautifully tragic.

Here is a small tally of things I saw from my window yesterday:

Five skinny jean wearing hipsters with hair wider than their waists.

Three perfect asses.

One douche carrying a longboard skateboard lose a wheel and almost lost his head as he chased it into traffic. I was cheering for the traffic. Longboard skateboard? Really?

Two sets of those stovepipe calves that just let you know a chick is lazy.

One girl who full stopped in the middle of the crosswalk to talk on her phone. She blocked traffic for a good five minutes.

Seven hurricane lamps that I had to put up in our windows while it was light out that did nothing for business.

Five golden rings.
No, seriously. Five married chicks. Two of whom are married to high up NYC detectives. They’re a part of a cougar pack who come into the bar to hook up with young boys. Now, I’m all about the illicit hook up, but damn if that isn’t a gray way to get shot.

Get Legs, Blog!

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 3:14 pm

I got an iPhone. I’ve been the most ardent of mac fanboy haters but damnit if this little gadget isn’t the greatest invention since sliced bread. Scratch that, sliced bread sucks. Every supermarket gets their bread sliced too thin. The iPhone is better than sliced bread. There. I said it.

If you haven’t figures it out yet, I’m posting from someplace other than my computer. From the train, actually. Something I used to be able to do but definitely not with as much style.

Definitely not with pictures, either. See that horrid mess posted below? That’s what a local bar near my place of work is trying to pass off as a mojito.

I know mojitos. I work with mojitos. Several dozen mojitos and everyone around me becomes my new best friend. And that, sir, is no mojito.


May 26, 2009


Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 4:39 pm

That’s how many currently healing wounds I have on my hands.

While I love my job, something about working in extremely dark conditions around glass and small protruding screws left over from rick shaw DIY work has left my hands to be monuments to the word “Ouch.” Yes, I get lime juice in them. All the time.

A little while back during a particularly crazy night I was rushing to fill a few hundred orders and reached into the bottom drawer of the fridge to grab a pair of Bud Lights (whose idiotic “drinkability” ad campaign seems to be working like gang busters, white people can’t get enough of that shit). As I pulled them out I must have nicked the bottom lip of the door track, causing one of the bottles to completely shatter in my hand.

It was like a glass grenade had just gone off. Sudsy, tasteless beer shot everywhere and I just sat there staring at my hand. All I could do was wait to see how bad the ensuing injury would be.

I remember thinking that I’d felt this way before. It’s the same feeling you get when you’ve been caught by your girlfriend doing something that you should not have been doing.  Only you’re not sure exactly which thing. And you’re definitely not sure how she’s going to react. All you do is sit there and wait to see if she’s going to start crying hysterically, call your mother, cut you in your sleep (this one’s the worst) or if she’s going to give you another chance.

The cut was small. A gusher, but small. I was really lucky.

I guess to keep in line with the previous metaphor it was like if the girlfriend had asked me to bring home the stripper I’d T-boned for a threesome.

Space Holder #10

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 4:25 pm

Speaking of Twitter, I’m still blown away that someone was twittering from space. I’ve got a fucking cell phone dead zone on my goddamn front porch that drops every call I make while sucking down smokes and some dude is making bland posts about how pretty the earth is.  Yes. I do wish I could see it too. How about you take a picture?

Somewhat Shameless Spaceholder #9

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 4:22 pm

I’ve been twittering. That sentence makes me cringe everytime I say it. Like every time I hear someone else say it I just know that we’ll be having that same old conversation we always have about websites:

“Dude, do you still twitter?”

“Once my mom signed up I deleted my account, printed out a screen shot of the confirmation and burned it.”

“Yah, what a stupid idea for a website.”

I figure it’s still got some life in it. So find me there sharing mini observations even more pointless than the ones on here.

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