Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Powerful New Fear of Monkeys

I used to think monkeys were generally pretty cool and fun. The little ones would make a neat, little exotic pet. You could probably teach one to play video games or drive you to work. And a chimpanzee would be wonderful to play with chess with.

My opinion has changed.

I don’t want to make light of the unspeakably vicious chimp-on-human attack in Connecticut, the other week. It’s a real tragedy - for the victim, the owner, and the chimp. It serves as a poignant example of the fact that wild animals should not be forced to live unnaturally human lives.

How would you feel like if you had to live in the jungle, totally naked, with nothing to eat but termites and bananas? And nowhere to plug in your hairdryer. You would go ape shit, so to speak, and flip out unexpectedly on some innocent animal. So how can you blame a wild animal for going ape shit on a person?

But if any good could possibly come from such a sad event, it’s that monkeys really scare me shitless now. I will never, ever, own one.

Furthermore, I’ve realized that it’s not just the big primates – chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans – that present a clear and present hazard to my well-being. The little macaques, cute porch monkeys, and other adorable furry little squirrel monkeys are terrifying as well.

The New York Times (aka, source of all that is true) ran a lengthy article today about primate owners, and the almost incestuous attachment to their pets. In practically every case, the owners have been attacked or physically threatened by their monkeys at some point. And most attacks were described something like this: “I was with my monkey, eating an ice cream cone, and he suddenly flipped out and bit my arms, legs, and face. I had to call my friend to kill the monkey with a gun, but thankfully, I was able to knock my monkey unconscious with a nearby anvil. Boy did I learn a valuable lesson. My monkey now sleeps in my son’s room.”

An angry monkey ready to sink it's incisors into your scrotum.

Additionally - and to increase my fear to an even higher level – once a monkey reaches puberty, he begins to feel the need to dominate all the humans around him. This begins with the smallest humans or young children, but eventually works it way up to adults. To dominate in the wild, means to kill. Add to that the fact that monkeys are far stronger than humans on a pound for pound basis. A 25 pound monkey can take down a full-grown person. An adult chimp is seven times stronger than an adult human.

They usually go for the face, hands and genitals first, before attacking the internal organs. It’s simply instinctual. They know how to hurt you, as they would their wild monkey enemies.

How could you keep one of these cooped up in your home? It’s like storing uranium under your bed, or keeping a jar of sulfuric acid perched perilously above the toilet.

They are terrible, terrible pets. Leave them in the wild, or at least give them other monkeys to live with in a zoo or nature preserve.

I’m sure some of them are nice, and loving. But so are dogs and cats.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Houses, Houses Everywhere

If you’ve been living in the depths of outer space, or deep beneath the ocean waves – basically, wherever you can’t get a decent Wi-Fi signal – then you may not know that housing prices are plummeting. I’m not here to sound the alarm, just because home prices are falling faster than a NASA satellite.

But the recent data is pretty startling.

The Case-Shiller index – widely accepted as the most accurate indicator of average home prices - recently released some shocking numbers for the last 3 months of 2008.

What does the detailed data show? Well, the housing market is pretty shitty, pretty much everywhere. Numbers range from down 7% for Boston, to down 33% for Las Vegas. Detroit’s even worse, but I think housing prices there have been dropping 33% per month since 1982.

You can probably buy a 5-bedroom, 6.5 bath mansion in Detroit for about $12,000 right now. That includes home theater, handball court, wet bar, dry bar, AND raw bar. The former owners were no doubt foreclosed on after they got laid off from the Ford factory, and are living under a bridge somewhere - eating Acorn and Dirt Stew, with newspaper for shoes, and no way to get out of the lease on their Maserati.

So you’re probably thinking, “Mill, how do I take advantage of all this misfortune and misery?”

First of all, you’re a sick bastard for thinking that. Secondly, that’s a great question.

And the logical follow-up question: When is the right time to jump in and snag some super-sweet deals on real estate?

It’s a difficult thing to predict. More difficult than splitting the atom, or putting a man on the moon. Tougher than hitting a Roger Clemens fastball, and rougher than replicating a Mario Batali ravioli.

If you wait too long, then you’ll miss out on the deal of a lifetime. But if you jump in too soon, you’ll feel like an asshole. You need to time it just right.

My advice? If you see a house you like, and it’s been on the market for more than 3 months, put in a bid that’s 25% of the asking price. That way, if your bid is accepted, you have a nice, fat downside cushion to protect you as the market eventually finds a rocky bottom somewhere. If you REALLY love the house, offer 35% of the price.

Bid super-low and super-often, and you might just get lucky.

Anything less conservative, and I’m afraid you’ll lose money. And then you’ll blame me. And that would make me feel bad. Because all I want is to be loved.

Alternatively, you could just wait and see. This economic catastrophe thing ain’t anywhere near over. There are still 4 million vacant homes in Florida, waiting to be snatched up at bargain basement prices - so that the next generation of speculators can start this thing all over again.

According to my own analysis, before things turn around, the number of will be close to 50 million vacant Florida homes, and 500 million foreclosed homes overall. 25 billion people will be out of work in this country, and 600 billion more will be working part-time at Wal-Mart in order to put food on the table.

So you can see, it's going to get somewhat worse before it gets slightly better.

Mark my words.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Homebrew - Preparing for a Lifelong Hobby

I talk about beer a lot. But it’s all talk – with a bit of drinking thrown in for good measure.

At long last, it’s time to put my money where my mouth, throat, stomach, and bladder are. Money will be going where the beer normally goes, so to speak. Especially during these times of economic uncertainty - when one never knows what the value of a dollar will be tomorrow – we must find other sources of stability, and of comfort.

Buy gold. That’s my advice to you. And stock your pantry with Tamiflu, spare ammunition, and plenty of Chunky soup - to prepare for any sort of potential catastrophe, whether it be economic, biological, or otherworldly. Just make sure your ass is covered.

But if you fail to do any of the above, just please heed my final piece of advice. Learn to brew your own beer. In these tough times, it’s as good as liquid gold. And far more digestible. And much less hot. And less shiny. But beer conducts electricity okay. But the similarities really end there.

Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going to brew my own beer. The beer-making kit will be a birthday present from Jaimi – and it’s one that she’ll very likely regret buying. It’s messy and smelly. The fermenting chambers, and bottles take up a lot of space. And the final product makes people drunk and stupid – when handled irresponsibly. Also, the bottles could explode, the fermenter could burst. The beer could turn out bad, which might cause me to cry.

I don’t think Jaimi would want to see me cry.

So there are a lot of potential dangers associated with beer-making. That’s why I need to prepare carefully, and read all the proper procedures and best practices. For example, you should not dunk your hand into the boiling wort Wait until it cools to room temperature, and at that point also do not dunk your hand into it.

A typical homebrew set-up, which Jaimi doesn't realize will soon be taking up half of our living room. It will also smell really bad, and be potentially explosive.

A typical batch makes about 5 gallons of beer, or around two cases of 12 ounce bottles. That’s 48 beers. Be careful not to drink them all at once. That could make you very drunk, and worse, you might be too drunk to remember to turn the lights off before going to sleep – which will waste energy and thus add to our global warming problem.

So yes, brewing your own beer could make sea levels rise, and kill the polar bears. Brew with extreme caution.

But seriously, I’m a little uncomfortable with the concept of brewing up a big mess of beer, only to discover several weeks later that it’s nearly undrinkable. I probably wouldn’t actually cry, but I’m afraid that I’d convince myself that the bad beer WAS actually drinkable, and end up making myself very, very sick after only a dozen or so bottles.

Of course, as I enter the wonderful world of home brewing, I’ll take you along for what promises to be a wild adventure. A smelly, yeasty, malty, hoppy, intoxicating ride. So grab your floating thermometers and hop into my 5 gallon stainless steel brew kettle for a trip to Beerland. When the temperature reaches 200 degrees, it’s time to add the hops – and to get the hell out of the kettle unless you want to be boiled alive.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

EVERYONE is on Facebook Except For You

My Mom’s on Facebook. Your Mom’s probably on Facebook. For God’s sake, my 3-month old nephew is on Facebook (not kidding).

So clearly, Facebook must be awesome. I don’t think an infant would go to the trouble of learning how to logon and create an account before learning how to sit upright, crawl, or go to the bathroom on his own. Well, actually - I’m sure my brother and sister-in-law would quickly correct me on this - I believe he has no trouble eliminating waste. No trouble at all. But he can’t use the potty just yet.

Still, he uses Facebook.

Facebook is the ubiquitous social website. Through a combination of technical skill, and marketing wizardry, it has out-Googled Friendster, and out-Ebayed MySpace. I think it’s even out-MySpaced Yahoo!, and arguably out-YouTubed Adult Friendfinder. In other words, Facebook is perfectly positioned to dominate cyberspace for years to come.

What does this mean for those of you out there in the English-speaking world whom have yet to join Facebook? You know who you are. Both of you.

Well, first of all, you’re probably reading this on a Commodore 64, or Texas Instruments 99/4A. Get a new computer. Facebook’s content is all about pictures, videos, annoying friend requests, and add-on applications. Your old, pathetic, 10 kHz Apple II+ can’t handle it.

Secondly, you’re most likely in your underwear in your grandparents’ basement. The saddest part about it is not that your underwear hasn’t been washed for 2 weeks, but that your grandparents have been dead for 15 years, and all that remains of their abandoned house is the basement – the upper floors were destroyed by that big-ass tornado 6 years ago.

So basically, you’re homeless, in very dirty underwear, with limited dial-up internet access on an ancient computer. It sounds a lot like hell.

Of course, I’m presenting these circumstances only as an example – an analogy of sorts, for what it must be like to live without Facebook membership. Your actual underwear may be perfectly clean, and you may even own a slick new Dell laptop with plenty of RAM.

The point is, if you’re not on Facebook, you’re not part of the modern internet-centric world. It’s almost like not having electric lights, or not having an iPhone.


So if you’re not on Facebook, get with the program! Get your ass signed up, and start annoying former friends whom you haven’t spoken to in 30 years.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wedding Registry Madness - The Battle Continues

The battle continues – to fully stock our registry with items of the utmost utility, and within a reasonable price range.

To that end, and with Jaimi’s mom in town leading the charge – the Brigadier General of housewares and kitchen tools – we headed to Bloomingdale’s in midtown Manhattan. Jaimi had already added a handful of items to the registry, so I assumed we were in good shape. But according to Bloomingdale’s, we needed to add thousands and thousands of dollars worth of dishes, silverware, linens, small electrics (no luck with my attempt to add a big-screen TV to the registry) and knick-knacks to the list.

Keep in mind we were visiting the Bloomie’s mega-store, with 9 floors, 250 departments, and about 500 billion square feet of floor space – most of it reserved for the non-clearance, and up to 10% off select items. In other words, we weren’t here to shop for recession-priced bargains.

But let’s get back to the battle. I should mention that I find it helpful to pretend that the Wedding Registry is an enemy MiG-29 fighter (Soviet-built), and Jaimi and I are in a dogfight. We’re flying supersonic, in our own F-16, with Jaimi’s mom providing sea support behind the giant guns of a far-off battleship.

This Soviet MiG withstood numerous strikes from my barcode scanner. Here, it fires a missile at a Le Creuset cast-iron crockpot, to demonstrate the cookware's amazing durability.

Jaimi’s the navigator, and I’m the gunner – which is a very apt analogy. She leads me around the store while I zap items with the wireless handheld barcode scanner. It’s sort of like a big, electronic pacifier for recently engaged men. I clipped mine to my belt. That was pretty cool.

After shooting about 25 gaping holes into the figurative fuselage of the MiG Fighter/Wedding Registry (by adding items like a pizza pan and a coffee grinder), we decided it was time to head back to home base. We were running low on fuel and ammunition. After all, we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, and the barcode scanner’s battery meter showed half-full.

At the end of the sortie, the enemy was damaged, but not killed. Obviously, this will be a long and arduous campaign – maybe even a bit more dangerous than we had originally thought. But with a few more well=placed shots from the barcode scanner, this registry will be toast.

As we walked through Bloomingdale’s, we noticed a number of young couples adding items to their registry. The telltale barcode scanner was the only evidence we needed to come to that conclusion. And in every case, the guy was holding the scanner, while the lady led the way.

If only I knew in which secret combat mission or athletic competition these men imagined themselves, as they roamed the kitchen and home department. I could use a few more ideas, as the whole fighter jet thing is really pretty stupid.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Westminster Fuzzy Fluffy Puppy Doggy Show

The ultimate contest. A sort of cross between pro wrestling, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the Miss Teen America pageant – except with dogs. The competition rages like a forest fire, commingled with the scent of musky Milk-Bones and the alkaline aroma of flea bath. The occasional solitary squeak of a rubber hotdog chew toy reverberates through the exhibition hall.

The Westminster Dog Show - the national championship of dogs. Appropriately named after Westminster Abbey - the seat of British royalty, and the former center of the civilized world – this dog show has it all. Bichons, German Shepherds, Pugs, Irish Deerhounds, and Mexican Big-Toothed Chicken Terriers.

They all compete on an even playing field for the grand prize: a lifetime supply of honor. And 5,000 pounds of Eukanuba – the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of dog champions.

The dogs themselves are amazing specimens of their respective breeds. But the showdog owners are just plain batshit-crazy. No doubt about it. They make Scientologists look like scientists. Despite this, these owners have somehow managed to instill a sense of pride and competitive sprit into their dogs – even though, presumably, the dogs have no fucking clue what’s going on.

“Ooh, other dogs!! And lots of humans!! I get a treat if I sit still while this human who smells like other dogs inspects my teeth and ears! What fun! Now we get to go for a little jog in a big circle. I love chasing squirrels!! I’d like to urinate now, but I know that for some reason this would make my owner very upset. So I’ll hold it in until we get into the car.”

As some of you already know, I love dogs, and in my eyes every dog’s a winner – showdog or no. Except for those strange dogs who snap at me when I try to pat their heads, or those who look at me like I’m crazy when I say “Hi dog!!” as I pass by. They’re probably thinking, “Do I know that guy?”

I can understand how that could be frustrating for them. The owners generally don’t seem to notice.

Anyway, congratulations to Stump, the Sussex Spaniel. This 10 year-old, floppy-eared, goofy-gaited furry pile of fun not only won the hearts of the crowd in attendance, but also of those who watched clips of the show before writing a blog post on the topic. The oldest dog to ever win best-in-show, Stump is an inspiration to older mammals everywhere.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A-Rod and Steroids - The Couric Effect

So it turns out that A-Rod’s not perfect. Finally, the fans have something for which to hate him. Previously New York’s poster boy sweetheart hero-under-pressure, A-Rod is now the target of slanderous remarks, and some really mean looks.

Yes, I’m being sarcastic. I realize that Rodriguez cheated on his wife with a stripper, and he really sucks balls come playoff time – or whenever the Yankees are behind in the later innings.

Wait a minute. People have hated this guy wherever he’s played. And people will always hate him, no matter what he does or does not do. Or what he puts or does not put into himself. If he eats 25 hot dogs for lunch, people will say he’s unhealthy. If he eats a large, delicious salad, those same folks will say he’s harming the environment by consuming all those innocent plants.

These people are known as “player haters.” The etymology of the terms is as follows: Alex Rodriguez is a baseball “player.” And these intolerable fans “hater” him.

Still, one has to admit that there’s a lot to hate about A-Rod. He’s fabulously successful beyond comprehension, highly handsome, and the absolute best in the world at what he does – steroids or no steroids. In fact, I’m beginning to seethe right now as I think about how awesome he is.

Is it the guy’s fault that he’s so cool and awesome?

No. But he doesn’t have to be such an asshole about it. The steroid revelation only adds fuel to the fire. At least he publicly apologized for this transgression - but only after being outed by an anonymous source, and perhaps most despicably, after lying to Katie Couric’s face back in December, 2007.

Alex, how could you lie to Katie? And right to her face, no less. This is something that one just does not do without suffering major repercussions. Couric controls a worldwide network of anonymous sources, ready to investigate and report back to her on anything she commands. Legions of newspaper, TV, and radio goons at her disposal. Her word is their marching order. They fear her because they cannot see her. But she is always watching.

Couric can ruin your life with one phone call.

ALEX, YOU DO NOT FUCK WITH KATIE. It’s a simple matter of fact. And it would seem that you learned it the hard way. Ms. Couric could probably sense that you were not entirely truthful with her during that fateful interview. And she spent over a year trying to bring you to your knees.

Guess what? She won. She always wins.

O.J., Sonny Bono, Pac-man Jones, Mark McGwire, Bryant Gumbel. They all paid the price. And now she can add you to the list. A figurative notch in her literal bedpost, if you will.

For A-Rod, the worst is probably over. The damage has been done, and he can move on with his career – albeit a now tainted career. He’s lucky that Katie Couric let him off easy this time. She probably thinks he’s cute.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Preparing for President's Day

Here we go again. President’s Day is rapidly approaching, and I’ve done nothing to prepare. We’re only a week away, in case you forgot.

This special day - the holiday of Federal holidays - always seems to sneak up on me, year after year.

Maybe it’s because President’s Day is complete bullshit. I mean, it jumps around like a cat on a hot barbeque. February 17th this year, February 15th the next. Who can possibly keep track?

It doesn’t even commemorate a particular event, but rather, attempts to celebrate a couple of birthdays – those of George Washington (February 22nd) and Abraham Lincoln (February 12th). Why can’t we give each of these great men a day of their own? Why lump them together? How lazy are we, really? You’d think if we were so lazy, we’d give ourselves an extra day off from work by splitting the holiday up into Washington Day and Lincoln Day. We’re contradicting ourselves here, people.

(Warning: True historically accurate content according to Wikipedia immediately to follow. President’s Day was originally celebrated on Washington’s birthday. The holiday was imaginatively dubbed “Washington’s Birthday” back in 1880. But in 1971, the holiday was shifted to the 3rd Monday in February, and informally intended to celebrate Lincoln’s b-day as well. And it was only until the late 1980’s that commercial interests promoted the idea of President’s Day – a day to sell Lincoln t-shirts, Coolidge coffee mugs, Truman hand towels, JFK jello molds, etc. etc.)

Still, a day off is a day off, as I always say. Some thanks is due to whomever came up with President’s Day in the first place. Thank you Hallmark, and whatever company makes those miniature American flags. So, in other words, thank you China.

I, for one, will spend my President’s Day at my Computer Desk of Solitude, as I fill a notebook with thoughtful reflections on what the President means to me. A few preliminary thoughts:

- He is sort of like a super hero, but wears suits in public, and the tights and a cape in private. (See Bill Clinton.)

- He loves his country above all else…..second only to drinking. (See Ulysses S. Grant.)

- He stands for freedom, democracy, and bribery. (See Andrew Johnson.)

- He is incredibly short, incredibly brilliant, and is surprisingly good at basketball and ice hockey. (See James Madison.)

The list, of course, will go on from there. Even if you don’t get the day off, please call in sick, and use this day to celebrate our Presidents’ successes (Abraham Lincoln), innovations (Thomas Jefferson), and press conference jokes (G.W. Bush).

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Friday, February 06, 2009

I Heart Valentine's Day

For many, “heart” is just an anagram for “hater” when it comes to Valentine’s Day. The holiday is supposed to be all about love, but instead, it becomes all about stress, confusion, frustration, and getting ripped the hell off for a bunch of dying daisies and crappy carnations.

But if you do a little planning, and follow some calm, thoughtful advice, then you may actually find that Valentine’s Day is an enjoyable time to celebrate the love of your life.

You will not be receiving the aforementioned thoughtful advice from me, though. That’s because I don’t really have any good tips for you, and always seem to be rushing around at the last minute – paying 80 bucks for flowers from a street vendor; snagging the last box of candy from Walgreen’s; and rushing to the corner store to buy the final ingredients for a disastrous home-cooked meal, after deciding on the menu earlier that day.

Still, Jaimi and I have made it through 2 Valentine’s Days already, and plan on spending many more together – although next weekend, her Mom will be visiting us, so I’ll be doubling the order of flowers and candies.

If we’ve lasted this long, then Valentine’s Day can’t be as crucial to our long-term happiness as Hallmark would lead us to believe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I do a totally shitty job. Usually something turns out pretty well – whether it be the fish I prepare, the little love note I write (it should always rhyme, if at all possible), or the cash I hand to her.

Still, the more I think about it - and the more I struggle to offer some useful advice - I guess the most important point is, don’t try too hard. Don’t succumb to the commercial pressure. Don’t drop a cool grand on an overpriced dinner, dozens of roses delivered to her office by a singing clown, and a tower of Godiva chocolates.

You’d be better off to sock that money away in a low-risk interest-bearing account, and save it for her birthday – that’s the one you really shouldn’t fuck up.

So take it from me and dial down your stress level. A tiny bit of planning will go a long way:

- Find a couple easy recipes online, and figure out where you can buy the ingredients. Make sure it’s on your way home.

- Expect to get ripped off for the flowers. There’s really no way around it. Resign yourself to this fact, and you may feel marginally better about it.

- Instead of candies, buy cupcakes or some other relatively freshly-baked dessert of some sort (not Entenmann’s, or Keebler’s). Make sure you at least suspect she would like it.

And that’s about it. You won’t win any awards for thoughtfulness, or awesomeness, but you won’t finish last in those categories either.

Best of luck next Saturday. I know you’ll need it.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Best Bargains Since October 1929

If there’s a bright side to the financial crisis, and the impending worldwide economic collapse, it’s that many great bargains can now be found on luxury items (high-end autos, watches, and clothing) and non-luxury items (notebook paper, creamed corn, and beermats) throughout cyberspace.

This is because everyone’s scared shitless, and they all want to hoard all the cash they can before the apocalypse. “It’s just a matter of time,” they say.

They very well might be right. But even so, why not shop for some spectacular deals as you await the Four Horsemen - and the lies, violence, famine, and disease they shall leave in their wake?

First and foremost, I suggest you visit eBay and Craigslist on a regular basis. These sites provide an excellent forum for the most desperate, frightened, and irrational individuals to hock their wares. The best deals are usually for expensive things that people bought right before the economy really went to shit – so anything bought in spring/summer 2008 is often very lightly used and still in style.

Baby sealskin gloves? Retail price of $850 in August 2008. You can have them now for $100.

Solid gold caviar dish? Retail price $3300 in April 2008. Used twice, but only once for caviar. The other time it held the owner’s tears as his stock portfolio turned to dust. On sale now for $300.

How does a Tiffany and Co. gem-encrusted iPod case sound? Pretty damn good, I bet. Purchased in July 2008 (custom special-order, as a birthday gift for a Wall Street titan’s 19 year-old mistress) for $22,000, this unopened item is now on sale for $2500.

Astute shoppers may also find unexpected bargains in high-end brick and mortar stores – especially those located in the wealthiest neighborhoods. Take that ultra chic boutique that where employees eyed you suspiciously if you even got near the door. You never actually went in, because the cheapest thing they sold was a $600 Vera Wang keychain.

Well, they need your business now. BAD. They will kiss your shoes; they will give you a back rub; they will wash your car for God’s sake – if you’ll only take a look around the store, and pretend that you might be interested in buying something. And if you’re willing to plunk down 50 bucks for that $600 keychain, then it’s yours.

So, smart shoppers, keep your eyes open for the bargain of all bargains. Whatever you’ve always wanted – but never thought you could afford – can probably be found somewhere for 80% off the original retail price.

A recent example, although it’s not exactly a high end boutique - I recently bought a $170 pair of pants from Banana Republic for 20 bucks. No shit. I didn’t know they made $170 pants, but at least I got them for almost 90% off.

Take it from me: Wall Street profits from 2004 through 2008 may have been imaginary, but these incredible deals are the real thing!!

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Monday, February 02, 2009

The Mill's Super Quick Super Bowl Recap

I had zero dollars riding on the game. My favorite team lost in the NFC Championship two weeks earlier, and the pain was still palpable. I’m not particularly fond of any of the players on either remaining squad. But I do like Troy Polamalu’s and Larry Fitzgerald’s hair.

Polamalu's hair is luxurious - like bathing in champagne with caviar shampoo and a baby seal skin loofah.

Reason enough to watch the big game? Probably not. So I didn’t expend much energy or attention on the game itself. Rather, I multi-tasked last evening. I spent 50% of the time watching the Super Bowl, and 50% doing my taxes. There was probably another 10 or 20% of time devoted towards eating, drinking, and using the lavatory, but then we’d be up to 120% - and such an efficient and complete use of time is impossible, even for Barack Obama.

What I learned from half-watching the game, half-doing my taxes:

- The Arizona Cardinals are not a bad team. They should have won the game.
- Ben Roethlisberger is not a handsome man.
- Larry Fitzgerald is a freakin’ awesome receiver.
- Jesus is not with Kurt Warner in the huddle or on the sidelines. Jesus has better things to do than to make sure Kurt Warner wins another Super Bowl. After all, American Idol is just starting to get interesting.
- Bruce Springsteen is shockingly limber for a 59 year-old.
- I owe more money to the State of Connecticut than I did last year, for some reason.
- I can’t really deduct the money I spent on beer last year. It’s not technically a business expense because I don’t actually drink it at work. Maybe this will have to change in 2009?

I paid some attention to the commercials, but didn’t remember anything shocking or particularly notable. My friend Greg called me up soon after a Cheetos commercial aired in order to perform a sanity check. I was half-doing my taxes at the time, but he said Chester the Cheetah propositioned a leather-bondage-masked pigeon towards the end other 30-second spot. I feel like this would have made my list above if I’d been paying a bit more attention to the TV.

For that I am ever so sorry.

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