Friday, January 30, 2009

80's Toys Revisited - Volume 3 - The Koosh Ball


Isn't that a Moroccan meat stew? Or some Middle-eastern dipping sauce?

Maybe. But it's also a soft-cored ball-like thing covered in thin rubbery filaments. The Koosh Ball. Remember? Everyone had one of these back in 1987.

According to legend, back in 1986 Scott Stillinger was searching for a soft, danger-free ball that he could give to his young daughter and son. Apparently, they were very accident-prone. And thus, he came up with the Koosh. "I defy you to hurt yourselves with this crazy ball," he said with assertion. Also, it was non-toxic.

The myth is that a super ball and a sea urchin had sex - and the Koosh ball was born.

In the ensuing years, millions of others around the world accepted Mr. Stillinger's challenge. The vast majority failed to hurt themselves with the Koosh - and they had a ton of fun doing it. Really, the only way the Koosh could be dangerous would be if it was swallowed whole. I'd imagine that could really gum up the works, so to speak.

Here are a few things you may have done with your Koosh ball:

1) Throw it around like a tennis ball, especially indoors.

2) Chew on it like licorice - BUT DO NOT EAT!!!

3) Collect all your favorite colors. And then throw them in the trash 2 years later because you don't know what the hell else to do with 25 Koosh balls.

4) Give as an incredibly cheap gift to friends and family during holidays and birthdays. Alienate said friends and family in the process.

5) Add to cubed lamb meat, potatoes, onions, cardamom, cinnamon, and chick peas. Simmer on medium-low heat for 6 hours. Serve over cous cous.

That's about it.

But still, despite its limited utility, for several years the Koosh sold like life vests on the Titanic. And in fact, its still widely available for sale today. It's one of the few toys of the 80's that's still in production. I guess there's still a big market for toys that do not readily cause injury.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Surprisingly Stressful: Planning a Honeymoon a Year in Advance

So The Mill is getting married in a little less than a year. That’s right. I’m taking the plunge. Getting locked into leg irons. Getting hitched. Taking myself out of the game. Imprisoning myself in the Super-Max Penitentiary of Matrimony. Gettin’ my wed on.

And countless other sports and prison-related analogies, too numerous to mention here – for many of which, decorum prohibits me from printing on this family-friendly blog.

If you’ve visited this blog in the past, you would have noticed from my writing that I don’t like to plan stuff ahead of time. Most of my posts are spontaneous acts – much like drinking water when you’re thirsty, or throwing up when you get punched in the stomach. Likewise, it’s been supremely difficult for me to plan our Honeymoon almost a year in advance.

My one main job, after all, is planning the Honeymoon. If I can’t do that, then the whole thing might be called off. Jaimi and her Mom have taken care of practically everything else already.

Obviously, the pressure’s on.

How can I ensure that we’ll have the best possible trip? Do I have all potential options on the table? Are we getting a good deal? Will we have a butler? Will I be able to bring my Perfect Pushups on the plane with me?

I worry that the future is too murky to make any educated decisions right now.

For example, should we automatically disqualify Pyongyang, North Korea as a romantic destination? Or Tehran? Maybe Obama will fix everything by then. Do I really want to book the trip now, before giving the Axis of Evil a chance to earn my tourism dollars?

Will Hawaii – a perennial favorite with Honeymooners - still be a state by January 2010, or will the U.S. have sold her to the Saudis in order to bail out the porn industry?

Can we really book a flight on USAirways, United, Delta, Northwest, Continental, or any other major airline without running the risk of their bankruptcy during the next 11 months? And even if the airline doesn’t go broke, will they still offer snacks and soft drinks for no extra charge? If they do try to charge me a dollar for a tiny-ass bag of constipating peanuts, will I be able to prevent myself from flying into a rage?

Too many questions, and very few answers.

I haven’t, as of yet, even mentioned the possibility of a meteor strike anywhere in the southern hemisphere. That’s an “act of God” that could completely shoot our Honeymoon to hell – with no refund.

And don’t get me started about the imminent effects of global warming on sea levels and coastal resorts. We’re liable to have to sleep with scuba tanks if we book an oceanfront cottage in the Caribbean.

All I know is that we have a few simple criteria for the Honeymoon:

- Warm climate
- Mini private swimming pool in the hotel suite
- Swim-up bar at the resort
- Free Wi-Fi
- Stable local government
- Little or no civil unrest

Sort of what I had in mind, but maybe too vulnerable to meteor strikes?

In the end, if I can find a place that fits that description, isn’t in a potential war zone or meteor strike area, and is at least 15 feet above sea level, then I’ll probably just pull the trigger and book it.

Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Monday, January 26, 2009

A Shining Example of Fiscal Responsibility

Citigroup – the supermarket of banking and investing. Whether you’re a high net worth individual, or a working class peon, Citi has financial products for you. Also, their management is a bunch of douchebags.

Take, for example, their most recent display of advanced douchebaggery: the planned purchase of a Dassault Falcon 7X 12-seat private jet. For a cool 50 million bones.

This is the same Citigroup that recently accepted $45 billion in taxpayer dollars in order to stay in business, because their toxic assets are worth less than nothing.

This zombie bank is top-heavy with assholes. They’re basically bankrupt, and splurging on a private jet. Does that seem fair?

By now, you’ve probably read plenty of articles and blog posts foaming with outrage, and overflowing with contempt towards Citi’s top executives. If I had thought of it earlier, I’d be right there with them. But I missed the flight, so to speak, so I’ll just give you some details on the plane that has caused such a ruckus:

The Dassault Falcon 7X has a range of 5,950 nautical miles. That’s like regular miles, except different in some way. I think it has to do with the fact that as the plane approaches the speed of light, time slows down, the length of the plane decreases, and miles become smaller. Or something.

The Dassault also has a landing distance of 2,262 feet, when measured with a 38,287 pound landing weight, and a top speed of 593 mph – in case you were wondering.

Wing-mounted Sidewinder missiles, and underbelly Hellfire rocket clusters provide Citi execs with extra protection. Here, a Wachovia MIG fighter jet attempts to dogfight the Citi Falcon 7X.

With full glass cockpit instrumentation designed by Honeywell, a 2nd grader could fly this plane. The instrument panel of this Honeywell Primus EPIC “Enhanced Avionics System” (or EASy) is reminiscent of several popular Playstation 3 games. The Falcon 7X is also the first business jet with a Digital Flight Control System (DFCS). I know, I know. Who cares? Let's get a party started up in this!

Indistinguishable from a video game. Score bonus points when you buzz the flight tower - just like in Top Gun.

This full, fly-by-wire system improves fuel economy, increases flight safety, maximizes maximum aircraft performance, and allows the aircraft to be piloted by very drunk people with very little flight experience. The perfect executive jet.

The Falcon 7X is powered by three Pratt and Whitney PW307A engines, with a maximum thrust at takeoff of 6,402 pounds. If you don’t know anything about jet engines, let me tell you, those engines are pretty sweet. Additionally, the PW307A’s will not require an engine overhaul for 7,200 flying hours, or more than 14 years of typical operation (2 years of typical Citigroup executive operation).

The cabin is slathered in supple Corinthian leather and studded with Swarovski crystal on all interior surfaces not covered in leather. Options include billiards table, handball court, and sauna, among many others. For an additional $22 million, Citi executives will enjoy personalized birthday cakes, and a solid gold toilet with mink fur toilet paper – the ultimate in luxury for the most discriminating executives on the planet. Included with this extra-luxury package, Citi will also own the pilot and co-pilot - not just their time, but the actual human beings.

The leather is softer than a baby's bottom. Presumably, That's why Citi execs call it "Baby Skin."

So, as you can see, that’s money well spent.

Quite frankly, I’d be okay with the purchase if I get a trip on the private jet when I apply for the Citibank Signature Rewards Visa.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wishing I Was the Verizon Wireless Guy

I can hear him now.

He’s probably lounging in a hot tub, sipping champagne with supermodels somewhere in the Rocky Mountains – all on Verizon’s dime. Suffice it to say, he’s got the new Blackberry Storm, and some as-of-yet-unreleased Japanese cell phone that uses laser beams to drive your car while you talk on it.

He’s one of the most recognizable faces in advertising, and is not nearly as obnoxious as the Dell dude, or as egregiously bland as Jared from Subway.

The fortunes of the largest cell phone company on the continent rest on his supple and well-massaged shoulders. If he were to quit, Verizon would be in ruins. Their marketing campaign would be shot to hell, and they’d be forced to lay off tens of thousands of employees, and shutter hundreds of Verizon Wireless retail outlets and kiosks. Piercing Pagodas would likely take their places in malls across the nation.

That’s not economic stimulus we can believe in.

So important, yet I never even knew the guy’s name – until I looked him up on Wikipedia.

And so, Mr. Paul Marcarelli - aka the Verizon Wireless Dude - I salute you and your horn-rimmed specs for some incredible advertising longevity. I’m not sure how you’ve lasted so long. I bet by now, you can portray that role in your sleep.

I only hope that you renegotiated your contract before the current downturn really kicked the shit out of our economy.

Anyway, in many ways I wish I were you – albeit I’m mostly interested in the Verizon gig. Your personal life could be an utter disaster for all I know. But even if you’re addicted to gambling, porn, heroin, and shopping, and haven’t spoken to your parents or siblings in 15 years, that Verizon thing must be a totally sweet deal.

Once again, congratulations. I don’t know if you deserve it, but I haven’t read anything on the internet about you being a jerk – so you’re probably an okay guy.

In closing, I only ask that if/when you get tired of being the Verizon guy, you’d give me a heads-up. I have an amazing high-concept idea wherein – you guessed it - I would be the new Verizon guy.

I wouldn’t say “Can you hear me now?” I wouldn’t even mention “Verizon.” Rather, I would be filmed playing with puppies while some guy in the background makes a call on his cell phone. It would be unclear whether or not he’s a Verizon customer, but the puppies would be cute, and my hair would be perfect.

I would play with puppies- while collecting a hefty paycheck - in order to indirectly increase Verizon's sales.

This is but a sampling of my marketing genius.

I await your signal. You may direct Verizon to send the contract directly to me, as I currently have no agent, believe it or not.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Hereby Resolve to Lose a Few Pounds

Weight loss. A common New Year's Resolution.

And wouldn't you know - as I digitally flipped through the New York Times website the other day, I came across this article. It's about personal fitness, weight loss, and how it generally takes much longer than 6 weeks to go from flabby like a side of bacon, to lean like a turkey drumstick. And in order to lose the weight, you really can't eat either bacon or turkey drumsticks.

The point is, there is no such thing as quick and easy weight loss. You can't just exercise 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week, and expect to get ripped in a matter of weeks.

Lose 50 pounds in 50 days, with Ultra-Easy Fat Blaster Supreme! Apparently, tan skin weighs much less than lily-white skin. Neither photo is me, by the way.

Suffice it to say, I didn't read the article very carefully, so I may be missing the real point. However, the gist of the article, in my opinion, is that I should try to lose 100 pounds in 9 months - like one of the guys who was featured in the article for some reason or another. I guess it was because he knows the reporter, or something like that. I mean, how hard could it be to lose 100 pounds?

My only concern about this plan is borne of simple math. I weigh about 180 pounds. If I lost 100, I'd then weigh 80 pounds. At my current height - about 6 feet - that would make me dangerously thin - maybe even too light for Earth's gravitational pull to affect me. Also, I'd probably be dead.

Let's forget about math for a while - as I've been known to say whenever challenged or confronted with real-world problems. Rather, let's just allow this to serve as a thought experiment.

How would I go about losing 100 pounds, like the guy from the New York Times article? How does one lose more than half one's weight?

That's easy.

Surgery. Lots and lots of surgery.

Remove all non-vital, redundant, heavy organs such as the spleen, right lung, left kidney, gall bladder, regular bladder, and legs. Remove one half of the brain - the other half will not grow to fill the empty space, but it will get twice as smart to compensate for the missing half. Finally, the most obvious surgical weight-loss procedure of them all: liposuction.

Add it all up and I'm already down 30 or 40 pounds, with practically no effort at all. Shed another 60 or 70 more, and I will have reached my goal.

A few more ideas:

- Shave head and body hair. Wax all hard to reach places.
- Cut finger and toenails VERY, VERY short.
- Frequent bloodletting and/or leeches.
- Replace bones with lightweight titanium or PVC pipe.

That's another 10 or 15 pounds right there. Now, just lose 50 pounds or so, and I'll be there.

But here's the hard part, and the reason why significant weight loss is so overrated. I'd have to change my diet AND participate in some form of regular exercise in order to lose any more weight. According to my plan, I've already removed my legs and half my internal organs, and I'm only halfway towards my goal.

As my own personal trainer and weight loss consultant, I'm not at all happy with myself. This plan sucks.

Alternatively, I may just stick to The Perfect Pushup, the occasional jog, slightly less beer, and a low-carb, protein-packed diet of beef jerky and canned tuna.

Did I say I'd lose 100 pounds? I'm pretty sure I meant ounces.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Philadelphia Eagles - A Case Study in Human Pain

I’m an Eagles fan, and have been for the last 32 years or so.

Thus, it was with great pain and misery that I watched this past weekend’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals. It was for a trip to the Super Bowl, no less.

I’ve never been a fan of any other football team. I sorta liked John Elway’s Broncos, and I kinda liked Warren Moon’s Oilers – but never enough to really care if they won or lost.

So I really have no idea what other team’s fans go through year after year. That being said, it sure as hell seems to me that Eagles fans suffer the most searing, torturous pain of them all: the pain of never quite getting there.

Sure, the Eagles have been a very good team for most of the last 10 years. They have the 4th best winning percentage in the NFL over that span. Bengals and Browns fans would give anything for a .500 season right about now. But Eagles fans want it all. And getting so close for so many years, makes it hurt that much more – like a fork in the eye, or a fork in the groin. Or even a fork in the neck.

Losing to the Cardinals was, in some ways, not as painful as previous big-time losses. The Eagles looked like shit midway through the season. It appeared like their playoff hopes were dashed long before the dice began to roll their way. It’s easy enough to say, “We never should have been there in the first place,” or “Andy Reid looks hungry. Somebody get him another hot dog before he passes out.”

The playoffs were a mere afterthought to a turbulent season.

But in other ways – and the more I think about it, the more it hurts – this most recent disappointment was most painful of all. I mean, come on. The Cardinals? They suck. They suck perennially. It has literally been 60 years since they were any good. How could we not make it to the Super Bowl this year?

It’s the pain of an awful toothache. The kind of pain that makes you want to grab a pair of pliers and a handle of whiskey, and take care of business on your own. No doctors, no sedation. No disinfectant, no rubber gloves. The pain of a thousand burning needles on your feet. The agony of one single paper cut on your tongue.

It hurts.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic. In fact, I know I’m being melodramatic so that I can use New York Times Op-Ed words like “melodramatic” and “elegiac.”

My elegiac moans could be heard for miles and miles after the Eagles loss.

I was bawling like a schoolgirl whose parents wouldn’t let her go to the Jonas Brothers concert because, “those boys are just a little too seductive.”

Anyway, the season’s now over. The pain will slowly subside, as it always does. Five NFC championship games, four bouts of melancholy and intestinal distress. Only one trip to the Super Bowl.

Maybe next year.

After a few months of healing, I’ll be ready to do it all over again. And maybe I’ll try something next season that I haven’t tried before: narcotic painkillers.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Monday, January 19, 2009

The Definition of Freedom - A Blanket With Sleeves.

The Slanket. Keep warm and leave your hands free to read a book, operate the remote, battle ninjas, etc.

As we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. it seems obvious to reflect upon his legacy – a legacy of freedom and equality for all men and women, regardless of skin color, economic status, or ability to talk on the phone and operate the TV remote while draped in a blanket.

That’s why, as we honor the memory of Dr. King, and the dreams of freedom and equality that he so eloquently espoused during his tragically short life, we also must look forward, to the future of freedom in this great nation of ours.

Enter The Slanket – a wearable blanket that endows its wearer with the ability to do pretty much anything one would be able to do while wearing a bulky sweater – but at the same time, covers the body in super-soft, luxurious, 100% polyester fleece.

Finally, and at long last, our prayers have been answered. It’s a blanket with sleeves.

Let freedom ring.

Slanket is short for “Shockingly awesome freedom blanket,” or “Supremely soft and wearable blanket,” or “Snuggly soft fully-sleeved blanket.” I think.

Made in China, and sold here in the USA by Slanket Loungin LLC, The Slanket is one of those things that makes think “Why the hell didn’t I think of that first?” It just makes sense, goddamit.

Jaimi got one of these from my Mom for Hanukkah this year, and seems to be rather pleased with the gift. The massive, one-size-fits-all Slanket covers here completely, in a sea of supple coziness – it’s like sliding into a big bathtub full of warm chicken fat.

Speaking of which, if you do happen to splatter The Slanket with chicken fat, it’s machine washable. And in fact, it’s in the dryer right now. So we’ll see how it holds up. I half expect The Slanket to melt and stick to the inside of the dryer.

My one complaint about The Slanket – assuming it doesn’t melt and turn crusty in the dryer – is that it’s difficult to grab things when your hands are in The Slanket’s sleeves. Call it a bug. Call it an engineering oversight. In any case, this is why it’s in the wash right now.

You see, Jaimi was simply trying to get a carton of eggs out of the fridge, to fry ‘em all up for breakfast this morning. From eyewitness reports, her Slanket ensconced hands attempted to grip the egg carton - only to have the carton slip from her grasp, sending the eggs on a one way journey to the floor.


And so, considering how huge The Slanket is, the part of it that drags along the floor when she walks was covered in raw egg. Unpleasant, yes. But being that The Slanket is 100% machine washable, we should be back in business before the evening’s through.

If you own the Slanket, or one of its counterfeit competitors – The Snuggie – please let me know what you think. I’d say we’re rather happy to have The Slanket join us in our humble home. But will it last? Is it tough enough to withstand hours and hours of snuggling? Will it continue to provide warmth and comfort for years to come? Or will we need to replace The Slanket every few weeks?

Only time will tell.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's With All the Bitterly Cold Air Around Here?

It’s cold as balls around here. This is what the National Weather Service had to say:


924 PM EST THU JAN 15 2009











How cold is it, Mill?

It’s so cold, I tried to spit on a gas-guzzling, greenhouse-gas-emitting SUV, but my saliva froze in mid-air, and fell harmlessly to the sidewalk as a frozen nugget, where a squirrel picked it up and scurried away.

It’s so cold, it was snowing in the apartment when I got home. We turned on the heat….and it started sleeting. What a fucking mess.

It’s so cold, my iPhone froze to my finger when I tried to check my email; and again when I tried to place a bid via the eBay mobile app; and once more when I was using that program that makes the iPhone sound like a light saber. I thought maybe the light saber application would generate heat…..It doesn’t.

Anyway, you get the point. It hasn’t been this cold in quite a while. But it’s not all bad. Extreme weather is always a great blog topic.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Monday, January 12, 2009

Inaugural Excitement

Are you as excited for the Inauguration as I am?

Probably not. Because that would make you insanely excited - unfit to hold down a job until after January 20th, and unable to keep your pants dry.

Okay fine. Maybe I’m being just a wee bit sarcastic. But still, it is a momentous occasion in our nation’s history, and I for one will have my DVR set to record, for posterity’s sake. In case no one else records it.

Questions abound:

What will Michelle wear?

Will Barack use his middle name during the oath?

Will Bush hand over the keys to the White House snack bar?

Will Hillary fly into an envious rage, and snatch Barack bald before a crowd of millions?

The answers: Vera Wang. Yes. No. Yes.

The next and final question is: How amazing will Obama’s speech be?

Expectations are high, to say the least. If he doesn’t reveal the meaning of life, confess that he’s actually a Cylon, or divulge the whereabouts of Amelia Earhart then the speech will be a disappointment. I can assure you.

If most of the lines don’t rhyme, or it’s not in perfect iambic pentameter, then we’ll be in for a rough 4 years. Fox News will have a field day: “Barack Hussein flushes inaugural address down the drain, along with America’s chances for survival.”

Millions of eyes will be watching him. And thousands of ears will be listening - most people at home will have their sets on mute, or will be listening to Britney on their iPods. Many Americans will be able to read Barack’s lips though. And if they can, they’ll see words like “hope,” “change,” and “college football playoff system.” There will probably be an “economy,” and maybe a “Joe Biden” or two thrown in for good measure.

And just as Abraham Lincoln stated so eloquently in his second inaugural: “…be it this time so gracious that we extend our reach to the very mouth of Heaven, and preface the freedom cherished in the hearts of our forebears, so that this blessed union of state and man may once again thrive under a golden sun of brotherhood. Go Eagles!!”

Lincoln wore this stylish green taffeta bowtie from Kenneth Cole during his second inaugural address. Hardly anyone remembered the actual speech.

So too will Barack Obama end his speech thusly:

“We’ve reached the threshold of change. The hope we’re seeking is just through that golden door. From a tiny town in Kansas, to the rolling hills of Ohio, to the bright lights of Chicago, we’ve made this journey together - through the light and the darkness, the wind and the rain, the sleet of discontent, and the hail of adversity. It’s now our choice to move forward as we would. To reach for that ring of lasting hope and establish ourselves, once again, as that shining beacon for all the world to follow ahead – onward to the triumph of the ages. Go Eagles!!”

Obama recently won an honorary Heisman for being awesome. He holds tyranny and intolerance at arm's length - thus giving them "The Heisman" every day of his life.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles - Does Philly Deserve Two Championships in One Year?

If the Eagles win the Super Bowl this year - and the odds are approximately 1 in 4 right now - then Philadelphia will have celebrated two major professional sports championships within the past 4 months.

The city's collective head will explode if this happens.

Philly sports fans are used to the losing seasons, the endless disappointment, and the deep seasonal depression. We accept it. We expect it. And in some strange way, we take pride in it.

But now, for the first time in recent memory, Philadelphia is on the brink of true sporting excellence. Super Bowl and World Series champions in the same season? It's almost unheard of.

Unless you live in Boston or New York.

Sure, the Eagles have been generally quite good for the past 10 years. Bengals fans must be cursing me for even a hint of complaining. But we can't help but anticipate some sort of last-second calamity - snatching and securing our defeat from the jaws of victory. Will it be a McNabb interception? A blocked punt in the endzone? Coach Andy Reid choking on a cheesesteak? All of the above?

I think the Eagles have an excellent chance to beat the Arizona Cardinals next weekend, and earn a trip to Tampa. But in a way, I fear that potential victory. I know my hopes will be raised to a height from which they can be easily smashed - like a seagull drops a clam on the rocks below, breaking the shell to get at the soft innards. I saw that on the Discovery Channel. And trust me, the analogy is perfectly apt - due to my delicate, tender psyche, and hard, calcified sports fan exterior.

Anyway, I'm prepared for the disappointment if they lose. And I'll do whatever I can to help produce a victory, in order to avoid that disappointment.

By the way, you really don't want to know what rituals we performed today in order to help the team win. It mainly involved distracting Eli Manning while the Giants were on offense, and eating/drinking certain things at certain times when the Eagles had the ball. I think I'll leave it at that.

In any case, whatever we did, it worked.

At this time next week, we'll know if the Eagles will continue their quest for the best, or if I'll be curled up in the shower crying. Again.

And even if they do win, I'm sure Philadelphia fans will find something else to be disappointed about - even before the Gatorade has dried on Andy Reid's soft, shapeless back.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Mill's Newest Ponzi Scheme

Advice of the day: Do not give this man your money. Unless its for a rickshaw ride, or a Big Mac.

I’m sure by now you’ve figured out exactly how much money you’ve lost in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

If you’re like me, that number would be somewhere right around zero dollars. Give or take 5 cents or so. But there are plenty of poor, unsuspecting folks (mostly older, Jewish folks, as it turns out) who lost a shitload of dough by way of Madoff’s douchebag scheme.

How much simpler could it get?

You convince people you know what you’re talking about when it comes to investing. They give you money. You do God knows what with that money, and continue to accept new money. When investors come calling for redemptions, or profit-taking, you get more people to give you money, and then you hand that money out to the other investors.

In the meantime, you’re living on Park Avenue, bathing in foie gras, and burning alligator handbags for fuel – to heat a stove that, in turn, burns $100 bills.

What an asshole.

If you’re going to come up with a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, at least do Mr. Ponzi proud. Right now, if I were to come up with a “Madoff Scheme,” it would involve selling bags of dogshit to terminally-ill cancer patients as a cure for their disease. For $100,000 per bag. And the bags would be brown paper. Not even plastic!!

That’s how shitty his plan was - and how misleading.

My Ponzi scheme would operate quite differently. It would mostly involve giving flowers to old ladies, and helping children with their math homework. I would also nurse sick puppies back to health, and cure AIDS.

Instead of taking money from innocent, financially ignorant people and doling it out to other people as false profits – in a vicious cycle of douchebaggery - I would give love and charity to people, and then give more love and charity to other people – while at the same time, help everyone with everything. And cure AIDS.

In return for nothing, except for everyone’s eternal gratitude, and maybe some free pie every now and again.

I know it doesn't sound anything like the classic Ponzi scheme, but maybe it's time to try something different. I believe Mr. Charles Ponzi would have wanted it that way.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

To Plan a Wedding, Part 1 – It’s the Open Bar, Stupid!

This may or may not be a short-lived series of posts.

If you’re a regular reader of this site (both of you know who you are – three-letter names, both palindromes; one of you gave birth to me; the other one is a man whom I lived with for my entire childhood and is married to the first one) then you’d know that Jaimi and I are engaged.

It turns out that this doesn’t just mean I had to drop a bunch of dough to freeze that little ring finger of hers with some serious ice - it's a wonder she doesn't get frostbite.

There’s also a big party to plan.

In fact, Jaimi and her Mom already took care of much of the difficult and dangerous work. We have the venue, the caterer, etc. Hell, Jaimi even has her dress. We still need to procure a skilled and financially stable photographer who does it just for the love of art – or something like that. And an economical, yet totally awesome band comprised mostly of precocious, angsty teens who’ll perform for nothing more than a taste of the open bar.

And speaking of open bar, that’s the most important piece of the entire affair. Keep in mind, Jaimi is something of a teetotaler, and I only really drink when my manhood is challenged - during football games, hunting trips, and Gossip Girl marathons - but I think we’d both agree that our guests will REQUIRE a fully stocked, premium, top-shelf, no tips allowed, open bar.

We may even have vodka ice flumes, and a separate martini bar with all the fixins.

The other option is to have the wedding sponsored by p.i.n.k. vodka – the only ultra-smooth, imported, premium vodka flawlessly infused with caffeine and guarana. That way, the party would last into the wee hours of the morning. Of course, I’ll be asleep by 11pm. And Jaimi will probably be asleep by 9. But remember, it’s all about the guests. And we want them - first and foremost - to have a great time.

And to that end, I would gladly sell out and make the wedding a big advertisement for liquor - if it meant massive amounts of discounted/free booze, and free glow-in-the-dark party favors for everyone.

But this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Jaimi , myself, and both sets of parents (no, we’re not related!) will have to weigh our options carefully - although the full sponsorship route is sounding more and more appealing by the minute.

Now it’s time to think about the rest of the wedding entertainment – band, caricaturist, mime, jugglers, mechanical bull, etc.

A wedding is not complete without a motorized cow of some sort.

The motto of this party is going to be “kick boredom’s ass!” That’s why the mechanical bull is such a crucial component.

More to follow…..

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Monday, January 05, 2009

The Mill's 2009 New Year's Resolutions

In my last post, I took a look back at my 2008 New Year’s resolutions. I examined my successes (fantasy sports) and my failures (most everything else).

All I can do now is promise myself that 2009 will be different. I’m not sure how many of these resolutions I’ll be able to keep, but resolution #1 is definitely keep more New Year’s resolutions this year than I did last year. More is better when it comes to resolutions, as I always say. So although I may not list all of them here – and maybe not even the most important ones - you can see from the sampling below that, generally speaking, I’m setting myself up for success in 2009.

1) Continue the Perfect Pushup regimen, with verve and vigor.

2) Get totally ripped using the Perfect Pushup workout system - ripped, being a relative term, of course. So, at least ripped like a walrus.

Who needs six-pack abs when you have 16-inch tusks, and a thick, leathery hide?

3) Jog at least once a week.

4) Shower at least twice a week.

5) Eat at least thrice a week.

6) Write 200 kickass blog posts.

7) Start a Jewish speed-metal band.

8) Eat less bacon, more beans.

9) Use 25% less paper.

10) Watch 25% more television.

Sorry old salty, delicious friend. I'll be consuming less of you this year.

I think I’ve got a good shot at 70-80% success rate, based upon the resolutions above. Of course, I’ve left out some of the more personal/embarrassing/frightening resolutions, and only have the full list available to authorized individuals and law enforcement.

Maybe this is the secret to good resolution-making: super-easy resolutions.

This strategy builds your confidence, and encourages you to strive for even greater success next year. After all, life is a series of baby steps – literally at first, and more figuratively as we get older. We want to minimize our trips, stumbles, and falls as much as possible. So why not make things super-easy on yourself? Sure, you can throw a couple challenges in there, but for the most part, just be proud that you remembered to breathe, eat, and bathe often enough to keep yourself alive and relatively inoffensive to others.

New Year’s resolutions are notorious sources of shame and failure if you’re unable to follow through on them. Do you really need any more shame and failure in your life?


That’s why my resolution #11 is “Less shame and failure.” I didn’t list it above, but I think it’s important to mention here. Resolution #12 has something to do with rabbits, and #13 deals almost exclusively with body hair. Oddly enough, the two resolutions are distantly related. I think I’ll leave it at that. For the rest of the list, you’ll need a search warrant.

Anyway, I think it’s worth your while to aim low when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, and allow for small incremental growth over many, many years.

Please check back in with me in 40 years and let me know how you’ve done.

Subscribe to my sweet feed