You heard it here first. Call it Blogger’s Intuition, a sixth sense, or the ability to read a newspaper – but it sure feels like the end is nigh.
In ascending order of worldwide catastrophic implications: A-Rod is still injured; Chrysler is going bankrupt; Pakistan’s government nears collapse; North Korea is uppity again; my fantasy baseball hitters are batting a combined .247 on the season; Daniel Faraday’s character died on ‘Lost’; Spencer and Heidi are married – and may reproduce if given the opportunity; the H1N1 virus, aka swine flu, is practically guaranteed to go pandemic on all our asses.
What’s next? I’m afraid to even fathom a guess.
But here it goes anyway - a handful of fearless prognostications, further signaling the imminent demise of mankind. Just call me Millstradamus, the internet oracle.
1) Burger King unveils the “Swine Flu Whopper Deluxe.” The hearty sandwich contains, a ½ pound Angus beef patty, several doses of Tamiflu mixed in with Thousand Islands dressing, and five – count ‘em, five – thick, juicy strips of bacon from the country’s recently culled swine herds.
2) North Korea’s enigmatic leader, Kim Jong-Il, entices Hillary Clinton to visit Pyongyang with promises of “the best fake Gucci handbags you’ve ever fucking seen.” Once she arrives, he not only fails give her any handbags – or gifts of any kind - but also holds her hostage in exchange for complete control over the countries of South Korea and Japan. The world concedes.
3) Britney and K-Fed get back together.
4) Arlen Specter (D/R – PA) is exposed as a Republican Benedict Arnold, when he’s caught wearing a wire in the Senate Steam Room and Spa, while lounging with Chris Dodd (D - CT) and Harry Reid (D – NV). Apparently, the shirtless Specter and his handlers thought the listening device would be well hidden within his luxuriant, chest hair. They didn’t count on Dodd playfully trying to cop a feel on the 79 year-old , fifth term Senator. Resultant damage to Democrat-Republican relationships is irreconcilable.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
You heard it here first. Call it Blogger’s Intuition, a sixth sense, or the ability to read a newspaper – but it sure feels like the end is nigh.
Monday, April 27, 2009
I think the most important thing we learned today – through all the constantly updated numbers of confirmed flu cases, and travel bans handed down by European douchebags – is that it’s still safe to eat bacon. I repeat: YOU MAY CONTINUE TO CONSUME BACON IN ANY QUANTITY YOU WISH.
The swine flu virus cannot survive the curing and cooking process. And what helps to make bacon so goddamn delicious, also makes it safe to eat. So go ahead, fry up another slab. That bacon is probably the last thing you’re likely to catch the flu from.
Listen - I’m just as alarmist as the next blogger. But I don’t think this swine flu thing is going to be as bad as some are saying. Sure, it killed well over 100 people in Mexico. But we really don’t know how many people caught the bug and didn’t die.
Because when it comes to flu pandemics, it’s all about the mortality rate, baby.
So right now, the news outlets are spouting some crap about 1,300 confirmed cases and 149 dead Mexican people. If those are the real numbers, then yes, that’s pretty fucking scary. Look to your left. Look to your right. Both of those people will be dead if they get the flu.
But the reality is that there are almost certainly many, many more cases of a much milder illness in Mexico, and elsewhere. These people were probably sick for a few days – maybe missed work for a week – and were back on their feet with no lasting ill effects. They weren’t counted as confirmed cases because they didn’t think much of their illness, didn’t even realize you could get sick from making out with a hog. No jokes about fat chicks, please.
The swine flu is not as deadly as it appears. Fear not. You will probably be fine, even if you do catch it from that asshole next to you on the subway who just sneezed with his mouth open. Indeed, that was a fine spray of saliva you just got in your eye. And of course, it’s swarming with flu viruses.
So, suffice it to say I’m actively stocking my cabinets with several months worth of canned food and bottled water. I’m hoarding gallons of gasoline in the bathtub, in case we need to make a run to the safety and sterility of Canada. And I’ve got about 5,000 rounds of ammo stuffed under the mattress – making for a very uncomfortable, but reassuringly lumpy night’s sleep.
But I wouldn’t overreact to the swine flu threat if I were you. It’s probably just a great excuse to work from home.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I’m not about to press charges or anything like that, but I feel like the evidence is pretty convincing. I saw her last week at a restaurant called “Five Points,” in Manhattan, while Jaimi and I were having brunch.
I know what you’re thinking - one celebrity sighting. Big deal. That shit happens all the time in New York. It’s difficult NOT to see a celebrity while you’re out and about in the big city.
And hey, I once shook Ron Jaworski’s hand - true story, and I haven't washed the hand since. So I’ve had my fair share of celebrity sightings.
But what really raised my stalker alert level to orange was the fact that I saw Ms. Portman again this Saturday. In my own neighborhood – about 1.5 blocks away from our apartment. She was walking an adorable Yorkie. I was paying so much attention to the dog that I almost missed her, even as she walked right by me.
The eye contact was brief, but the meaning of her silent stare was unmistakable – “I’m stalking you. How do you like them apples?”
As a young, hyper-popular starlet, Natalie Portman has doubtlessly encountered her fair share of mentally disturbed, stalky, and potentially stabby fans. I don’t think I could ever fall into that category myself. I’m just not the stalker type. Stalking seems like too much work, and I’m just too damn tired most of the time.
So is Natalie turning the tables on an average, non-stalker guy just to prove a point? And what might that point be? If you think it would serve the point of helping me understand how bad it feels to be stalked, you’d be wrong. It’s pretty cool.
After much soul-searching and Google-searching, the only reason I can think of for this behavior is that Natalie Portman is a huge fan of The Mill, She came across my blog after searching for “Costco chainsaw crab leg,” or “Juicy Couture Magic 8-ball.” (Try it out - I’m the number 2 and 3 results, respectively.) And she had to find out more.
The best way to do this is, naturally, stalking.
Well Natty, I’m sorry to say that I’m happily engaged, so you’re shit out of luck on that front. But I’d be more than happy to tell you a bit more about myself – if that will limit and/or end your stalking.
For instance, you may be interested to know that I drive a Mazda, and I own about 45 pairs of underwear. Additionally, I like to eat cottage cheese right out of the container, and I’ve become more of Mac guy over the past 2 years – what with the iMac and iPhone being such incredible phenomenons.
Finally, I don’t like cilantro but I do like chipotles.
If you need to know more, feel free to keep stalking.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
At long last, I've joined Twitter. I'm a lot like that one, lone Japanese soldier who held out in the mountains of Okinawa for 40 years after the war ended. I was in denial. I was completely out of touch with the times. And finally, I was hungry enough - and needed to go to the dentist badly enough - that I decided to come out of hiding and surrender.
You can join my upcoming Twitter parade - or incredibly annoying Twitter onslaught - at any time.
I shall henceforth be known as "rathmill."
"The Mill" and "Mill the Thrill" were already taken.
In my first tweet - as I get used to this new mode of communication - I proudly proclaim that I'm feeling a little gassy.
As if through the eyes of a small child, I see the internet anew. With Twitter, I can simply type out my thoughts, with no filter whatsoever, and they'll be instantly transmitted to the waiting world of fellow Twitterers.
I'm still feeling gassy, my friends. Very gassy indeed. And as the gassiness passes, you shall know when and how. Because that is the true essence of Twitter.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
With Mother’s Day rapidly approaching, it’s a good time to reflect on what Mom means to each of us.
We love her. We adore her. She’s the best.
This is all true. So what’s with all the Mom jokes during the rest of the year? Even if your Mom is, in fact, very fat and/or very ugly and/or very stupid, it’s never appropriate to make derogatory Mom jokes. And especially during the Mother’s Day season, it’s entirely unacceptable.
We should take this time to celebrate Moms, to honor Moms, and to give Moms a day off from cooking, cleaning, and caring for their children. Give them a break, in other words, from the terrible physical and emotional anguish they may suffer from during the rest of the year.
Even so, I couldn’t help but notice your Mom’s so fat she’s on BOTH sides of the family.
Your Mom’s so fat, she got hit by a bus and said, “Ouch! Who threw that stone?!?”
Your Mom’s so ugly, when she was born, they spanked her face.
And so on, and so forth, into eternity.
This year, however, let’s start with a new breed of Mom jokes. These jokes won’t be particularly funny – mostly because they won’t be offensive to anyone. And instead of making fun of Moms’ deficiencies, they will celebrate all of Mom’s positive attribute(s).
- Your Mom’s such a great cook, she makes the most delicious soufflé I’ve ever tasted!
- Your Mom’s so smart, she can solve for x AND y using only one equation!
- Your Mom’s so elegant, she can make Wal-Mart clothes look like Vera Wang!
- Your Mom’s in such great shape, she looks 30 years younger than she actually is!
- Your Mom’s such an excellent driver, she could easily avoid a collision during Manhattan rush hour traffic, AND make it to JFK airport in record time. In other words, she should drive a cab, instead of waste her time cleaning up after your sorry ass.
Truly, the possibilities are endless. Or at least as endless as the number of Moms on this planet.
Although these “jokes” aren’t really funny in any way, they will make Mom smile. And that’s all that really matters.
Monday, April 20, 2009
This really could be part of a series (thus the "volume 1" label), but I don't want to become one of those ranting bloggers who moves to a cabin in Montana, starts a cult, stockpiles ammo, and waits for the ATF to storm the compound while camera crews scuffle to get the best angle on the action.
To that end, I believe my enemies shall take careful note of this post, and may use it against me in the future. For everyone else, this is just a heads-up. To any and all federal agencies reading this - I know where you're headquartered - Washington D.C......And it's a lovely town. Really. Can't get enough of that National Mall area.
Anyway, the top item on my nascent list of things that I find annoying is when people say, "I could care less."
Oh really? You could? Then why are you complaining to me? The correct saying is, "I COULDN'T care less." See, if you say you could not care less, then you're actually making a meaningful statement. Otherwise, you might as well say something totally mundane like, "My heart continues to beat as I stand here," or "I like rice," or "Those shoes are cute."
Get it? I certainly hope so.
The second item on my list really is the #2 most annoying thing I encounter during my daily rounds on this planet.
There's a TV show on the Travel Channel. It's called "Bizarre Foods" and stars a chef/personality named Andrew Zimmern. Mr. Zimmern travels around the world, visiting exotic regions, and sampling the local cuisine. He says his name at the beginning of every show. "ZIM-MERN." And he probably says it at the end of every show, and somewhere in the middle of the show as well. Also, during each commercial break, the show's logo appears, in which his name is spelled.
This gentleman's name is NOT Andrew Zimmerman!!! Please stop calling him that. Zimmern is not any harder to say than Zimmerman.
Remember, the Zimmerman Telegram is what brought the USA into World War I. Zimmern is that bald guy who eats bugs, cow faces, and entrails on his TV show, "Bizarre Foods." There's a big difference. Please don't forget it. Its the difference between Roberts and Robertson. Or Lipschitz and Lipcrapz. Let's just get this one right, and move on with our lives.
Anyway, if you say Zimmerman instead of Zimmern, rest assured that you're not the only one. But this has got to stop. It's an outrage.
In this case, I COULD care less. I could care a whole hell of a lot less, because this is, inexplicably, rather important to me.
Thank you for your attention to these matters.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
If you’re on the east coast, you’ve got about 30 minutes to file. Left coasters have a few hours. The lucky Hawaiians have the rest of the evening.
For all Americans though, you need to file yourselves some tax returns before your local clock strikes midnight. Otherwise…well. I’m not exactly sure what will happen.
You’ll be scolded? An IRS official may speak to you in a serious voice, or send you a somewhat stern letter? Sure, I guess if you wait for a long while to file, and you owe a bunch of money to the government anyway, then you could incur some hefty fines. But if you’re an everyday, average Joe the Blogger, or Jane the Surgeon, then I don’t think you have any reason to fear.
We make such a huge deal about TAX DAY. The big DEADLINE. You and your family will SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST if you don’t file in time.
Sea levels will RISE. LOCUSTS will swarm. FIRE will rain from the sky. First born sons will be forced to work at OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE during their summer breaks from school. You know, typical end of the world stuff.
Come on people. That deadline’s a joke. I was just trying to demonstrate how ridiculous it is by comparing God’s wrath to the IRS. Pretty funny, huh?
That being said, I filed my tax return about 3 months ago. But it’s not because of any fear of the April 15th deadline. No sir. I was worried that there wouldn’t be any money left for my refund after all those bank bailouts.
Suffice it to say, that refund is safely stored under my mattress, along with 12 weeks of canned food, bottled water, signal flares, solar-powered flashlights, Tamiflu, and ‘Friends: Seasons 1-6” DVDs – just in case the world economy does indeed melt down entirely (I give it a 52.5% chance). But that's fodder for another post.
So if it doesn't look like you're going to owe much in taxes, or even expect a refund - and you just haven't had time to file - take your sweet ol' time. The IRS is plenty busy right now with the Bernie Madoffs and Tom Daschles of the world to worry about you.
Oh, and whatever you do, never, ever, never, never follow any of my advice when it comes to anything to do with taxes of any sort, anywhere, anyhow.
You still have about 10 minutes to file.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Harry Kalas, the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies for the last 38 years, passed away unexpectedly today – actually dying in the broadcast booth before the game. I feel like I’ve known him my entire life.
I grew up with him. Heard his voice every baseball season for the past 30 years. He was the best announcer to ever walk the earth. And I’ll miss him dearly. Seriously.
It’s hard to make a joke out of that.
And that’s why I’ll make my tribute into a poem:
You could have been a crooner or an opera singer.
You could have had a starring role opposite to Debra Winger.
Your voice remains a legend, and will so for many years.
When I heard you gave up the ghost, I felt like shedding tears.
It was all so unexpected, a life so full of joy.
I’d listen to you intently, when I was just a boy.
Whether Phillies won or lost, it really didn’t matter.
If Von Hayes hit a homer, or John Kruk was getting fatter.
You shouted and exalted when Mike Schmidt hit 500 dingers.
I think my iPhone uses your voice for one of its 10,000 ringers.
It just goes to show how you’ve spanned the generations.
In Canada, the USA, and many other nations.
Your sound is timeless. Your tempo’s perfect. Enunciation too.
You beautifully described some gum stuck to Lenny Dykstra’s shoe.
Last year you saw your precious Phils win, ending their fans heartaches.
It was caused by years and years of losing, and more than a few cheesteaks.
The cheese and steak block arteries, leading to atherosclerosis.
I heard Curt Schilling struck out batters with his chronic halitosis.
And Steve Bedrosian saved the games, as you smiled on us all.
While Whitey Ashburn mumbled on about King of Prussia Mall.
Juan Samuel can go to hell, but Eisenreich’s a winner.
Tommy Greene could be obscene, Darren Daulton’s quite the sinner.
Shane Rawley’s flame burned brightly, Bruce Ruffin’s not so much.
Steve Jeltz had the strength of half a man, Ed Wade had the golden touch.
The Ryan Howards, Jason Werths, and the Victorinos.
The Gap is having quite a sale on its loose-fit boot-cut chinos.
But rather than shop, we’ll raise a glass and toast to Harry Kalas.
For peace on Earth, good will to men. An end to all this malice.
Among tough times, of troubled hearts, and endless sour news.
It’s easy to forget the past, and only sing the blues.
But when we think about you Harry, of happy, simple times.
I thank you for your so-sweet voice, and praise you with these rhymes.
Rest in peace Harry. We’ll miss you.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
4:12 PM, Sunday April 12, 2009:
I write this post as a man completely disconnected from the world. For once, the real-time nature of my blog posts is shrouded in uncertainty – my internet connection is dead as a doorpost, and neither I nor Time Warner have the slightest clue as to when I’ll be back online.
To make matters worse – as if that were possible, considering the baby-bottle-like security that the internet provides me - the cable TV is out.
So, upon our return from sunny Florida, and a happy few days with Jaimi’s folks (thanks Et and Sandy!!), we arrive at the apartment only to confront modern man’s worst nightmare.
No internet AND no TV.
And it’s not like this is the first time it’s happened. Over the past few months I can count at least 3 or 4 other lengthy outages – all of which resulted in me being very upset, depressed, and uncomfortable. Not to mention angry.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Luckily, I pretty much only get angry when Time Warner Cable fucks up my day.
It’s perfectly understandable for telecom and networking equipment to break down from time to time. That shit’s bound to happen with any type of frequently used equipment – high-tech or otherwise. Even Hondas blow a gasket every 250,000 miles or so.
And if it breaks once, shouldn’t you be able to fix it so it doesn’t break again two weeks later? And then again 3 weeks after that?
At the very least, Time Warner – for God’s sake I beg you – just give me some damn idea of when the problem might be fixed. Ballpark is fine. A four hour window? This fucking cable’s been out since 9pm last night – according to the nice gentleman from the Time Warner helpdesk. And there’s no ETA as to when it might be fixed.
Now, I’m no network engineer. And I mostly believe that internet and TV signals are pushed into our apartment by elves riding unicorns, pushing pure rainbow-colored beams of information and entertainment along microscopic highways of joy. That’s where the term “information superhighway” comes from, I reckon. But still, it really seems like they should have this fixed by now. Surgeons could have performed 4 heart-lung transplants by now, with the patients comfortably resting in recovery and beginning their rehab – perhaps even stretching out for a game of tennis by now.
So why can’t this internet/cable problem be fixed?
All I know is this: first thing I’m gonna do when that internet is fixed, is go and look for another service provider. Verizon FiOS? RCN Cable? Compuserve? Smoke signals?
Anything sounds better than Time Warner right about now.
Friday, April 10, 2009
I'm writing to you from sunny South Florida, as my abdomen decompresses from 2.5 days of almost nonstop Passover-induced eating.
We're visiting Jaimi's parents for the holiday, and have been treated to approximately 750 different forms of matzo - solid, liquid, gas, and other. There's the matzo brei (scrambled eggs and matzo), matzo kugel, matzo ball soup, matzo stuffing (for the turkey), super-heated molten matzo plasma, chocolate-covered matzo, and bacon-wrapped deep-fried matzo balls.
Okay, maybe I dreamed up a couple of those dishes for my next cookbook, "Matzo's Many Miracles: It Goes With Anything, Including Bacon."
But really, although matzo is nothing more than flour and water, baked to cracker-like consistency - and more closely resembles cardboard in flavor and aroma than it does actual food - I can't help but find comfort in it's happy crunch. When I eat matzo, it reminds me of days gone by - the days of the Israelites' escape from Pharaoh's Egypt, and their concomitant release from the bonds of slavery.
Matzo reminds me of this ancient time, mostly because that's the story read at every single Passover Seder - but also because it must have really sucked balls to have been a slave in Egypt a few thousand years back. And the suckiness of matzo really drives that point home, with the accuracy of the great pyramids' chiseled blocks. Which, by the way, my forefathers actually fashioned. Or so the story goes.
On a normal night, during a normal week, you may find me enjoying a warm, soft dinner roll, along with a deliciously cold yeasty beer. Maybe I'd follow that up with a hoagie, or some spinach ravioli. For dessert, a chocolate eclair, apple pie, and/or chocolate cake would end things on a high note, and prepare my body for 8 hours of hibernation - the rich, leavened foods, and hearty fermented grains keeping me alive during that period of voluntary starvation.
But during Passover, I can't have any of that good stuff. I eat matzo in its many forms, drink Manischewitz fortified grape wine out of a jam jar, or straight from the bottle (wrapped in a brown paper bag), and go to bed not knowing for sure whether I'll survive the night. Will my body devour itself? Will I accidentally eat my own face during an awful episode of sleep-eating?
You see, this is exactly the point. It brings us back to the times of our ancient elders - they lived day-to-day, and never knew if they would see tomorrow's sun. Whether slaving away in the brutal heat to build Pharaoh's massive pyramids, or running through the desert on a 40 year quest to find the Promised Land - it was an uncertain existence for them all.
We've got it WAY better than they did - what with our automobiles, digital watches, and iPhones. But for 8 days every year, we remember that incalculable suckiness of life under Pharaoh's rule. And matzo reminds of both of how bad that time was, and how good we have it now.
And also, it reminds me that I miss my beer very badly during this time - and if we put a man on the moon, why can't we develop a beer-like substance that's Kosher for Passover? Perhaps that's the real tragedy of this story.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
So I came across this website that sells various sorts of scientific equipment to the general public. Among many other interesting, dangerous, and frightening items they sell are extremely, mind-bendingly powerful neodymium magnets.
But the simple fact that they sell such powerful magnets is not really the most entertaining aspect of this story. Rather, the profuse warnings offered on the site - vividly describing the potential dangers of these magnets - are where the action’s at.
“THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT TOYS AND CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS! KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN! THESE MAGNETS CAN EASILY CRUSH FINGERS!”
Well, I’m still not totally sold on whether or not I’d like to purchase some of these magnets. I mean, come on. How dangerous could they possibly be?
“Of all the unique items we offer for sale, we consider these items the most dangerous of all.”
Oh really? Now I’m intrigued. My wallet is on the desk, and my Mastercard is peeking out from its special hiding place. Tell me more. Did I already mention:
“THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT TOYS AND CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS! KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN! THESE MAGNETS CAN EASILY CRUSH FINGERS!”
Now we’re talking. I’m looking for something that’s so dangerous, children can’t get anywhere near it. If they do, who knows what’s bound to happen. Wait a minute. According to the website, here’s what might happen:
“A small child recently lost his hand when his father left two # 31 supermagnets unattended. The child picked one up and when he approached the other magnet on a nearby table, it became airborne and obliterated his small hand.”
YES!!! I’m sold.
I’d like to order a pallet of these magnets, please. Or maybe a whole tractor trailer. What’s that? You can sell me an entire cargo ship of these things?!?!?
While I’m at it, do you have any uranium, anthrax, or live cobras? Just like super-powerful magnets, kids don’t get along with those things either.
“Loose metallic objects and other magnets may become airborne and fly at great speed to attach themselves to these magnets. If you get caught in between the two, you can be severely injured. These magnets will crush bones in the blink of an eye.”
I guess my only question would be – after I’ve purchased a boatload of these magnets – what the fuck do I do with them? They’re too dangerous to handle. Kids can’t get within a mile of them. Dogs could be instantly crushed by their presence. Adults must obey their ultimate power, and bow down before them. They will instantly erase any computer’s hard drive…..
Wait a minute! They could hurt my iPhone!!!!!!
Forget it. I’m not interested anymore.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Opening Day. It’s a day to reflect – to reflect upon the misery and loneliness of last season. And the previous season. And the one before that. Perhaps, three seasons ago you were single, or in the midst of a breakup. But it makes no difference now.
Opening Day represents a recurring sea change in the relationship. One that usually passes, come late October – and reverts to something resembling the loving and nurturing you once knew. But until then, you’re pretty much on your own.
With opening day comes months and months of seemingly endless baseball games. Unlike football – which basically only ruins Sundays - the innocent bystander (aka - girlfriend, fiancée, etc.) experiences Major League Baseball’s season of never-ending 3.5 hour ignore-a-thons.
162 games per team. 32 teams. 2,112 possible game combinations. Factor in the fantasy baseball implications, and you have millions upon millions of potentially impactful outcomes. That’s a whole lot of ignoring to be done.
And with that ignoring comes shouting at the TV, jumping on the sofa, drinking beer, and – oh yeah – ignoring you.
But the baseball season is only April through October - just a little over the half the year. And did I mention it’s only 162 games long? Not including the playoffs and World Series, of course.
If you pick up a couple of hobbies – like reading, knitting, or traveling to Mars and back – then the baseball season can really seem to fly by.
I wouldn’t know firsthand. After all, I’m the guy watching all the baseball games, and ignoring poor Jaimi (my fiancée) more than usual. The upside is that she gets less of my smart-ass lip, and more time to do whatever she wants. She can totally monopolize the computer or read her beloved books in peace, without me bugging her to watch how many pushups I can do, or see how fast I can drink a beer – you know, typical guy stuff.
So maybe it’s not all bad for her.
April 6th to October something-or-other (not including last night’s Phillies-Braves game, which I also watched). The MLB season has arrived.
A-Rod can do steroids, Manny can be Manny, and David Wright can continue being as cute as a button. For most of the rest of the year, I’m all theirs.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
My homebrew is ready. It’s official. And although several of you came up with some damn fine names for my first real homemade beer (one of many, to be sure) I don’t know if this first batch is really deserving of any of the imaginative and thought-provoking names that you presented to me in your comments. Some of my favorites included "Hydrocorti-beer," "Von Hayes Dazed Ale," and "Beerded Lady." Those will definitely be used in the future.
Let’s just call this one “The Mill’s Made-From-a-Kit Homebrewed Reddish Ale-like Beverage.”
It’s not bad. And it certainly tastes like beer. Additionally, after drinking one, I suffered no hallucinations, stomach cramps, nosebleeds, or cancerous lesions. So whatever I brewed, it looks and tastes like beer, and isn’t toxic to humans. I think there may even be some alcohol in there.
These are all positives. And for a first attempt, I’m pretty proud of myself. But I do have a couple complaints. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself. One thing’s for sure – any complaints about my beer will result in myself offering me a free beer.
Anyway, the beer is a little too carbonated – maybe the bubbles are too big or something? It’s just a bit too fizzy, like seltzer. Second, there’s a slightly perceptible alkaline aftertaste. It’s like licking an almost dead 9-volt battery – but just with the tip of your tongue. Very mild, but I’ve noticed it in two bottles that I’ve sampled.
Could it be from the local water supply? The steel kettle? Not enough love added to the brew? Who knows. As long as it’s not too noticeable, and not too poisonous – whatever the hell it’s coming from.
My next brew is going to be an India Pale Ale - loaded with hops and more hops and extra hops on top of that. The hops bitterness should mask any off flavors of batteries benzene, or whatever else might happen to fall into the fermenter before bottling.
In any case, I’m excited to continue developing my brewing knowledge and techniques. At worst, I brew mediocre beer that’s still costs me half the price of any store-bought brands. At best, I make some very tasty brews to share with friends and family – making me a beer hero to them all.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
When Jaimi has a hankering for pizza, there’s no stopping her – except when intergalactic forces of profound evil conspire against her.
I think that’s what happened last night.
Usually, I just go along for the ride. Pizza? Great. Greek food? Sounds good to me. Sushi? Let’s do it. So when I got the call to go grab some pizza at our new neighborhood joint, I was game.
It’s called Ignazio’s - “Nazi’s”, plus an awfully fortuitous “Ig” and “o” at either end, for those looking for help with pronunciation. They’re mainly an upscale pizza joint, but also feature a few appetizers, salads, etc. Right around the corner from Grimaldi’s, in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
We went for the pizza, natch.
As we approached the newly opened restaurant, we could see steam on the windows, and a lively crowd filled most of the tables. As we entered, I got a good vibe – plenty of waitstaff, and seemingly satisfied customers surrounded us.
We were seated promptly, and told that this was Ignazio’s “soft opening” for friends and neighbors only. They’d be opening to the general public soon, but if we had any comments PLEASE let them know. We proceeded to peruse the menu for several minutes, and had set our minds on the standard pizza. It looked great.
Our hopes would soon be dashed on the rocks of despair, like a ball of fresh mozzarella tossed from the Brooklyn Bridge, which looms over Ignazio’s like a….well, like a big-ass bridge overhead.
The waitress returned and told us, sorry but we ran out of pizza. Being that it was April 1st, I immediately called her out. “April Fool’s!” I shouted, like a mentally challenged 5th grader.
But it was no trick. They had underestimated the local response and hadn’t ordered nearly enough pizza ingredients to satisfy the demand. It was only 8:30 on Wednesday evening. Seems like the stock room manager, or ingredients-ordering person had fucked up royally.
Disappointed? Yes, very much so. We felt as if there was a pizza party going on, and we were being asked to leave for some unspoken reason. “Sorry, we don’t allow lactose-intolerants in here,” her eyes seemed to say.
Anyway, the waitress was very gracious and apologetic, offering free drinks for our trouble. But it wasn’t good enough – Jaimi still wanted pizza and was even hungrier than before. So we decided to head up the road to Grimaldi’s.
We were at the door within 3 minutes, and were happily greeted by a throng of empty tables. The place was practically vacant. Of course, it was too good to be true.
I quickly noticed that the coal-fired pizza oven was as dark and cold as the rain-soaked sky. One of the employees came over to us and said “Sorry, we’re having a problem with our oven. No pizza tonight.” It’s probably never happened before and will never happen again.
Wow. We just got backhanded bitch-slapped by two pizza places in a row. Astounded and dazed, we stumbled back onto the slick sidewalk. I was ready to cry – but not so much for myself. I could have cried for hungry Jaimi, and for all the other pizza lovers who must have been shunned last night.
It was a confluence of once-in-a-lifetime pizza disasters. And then, on our way home, we saw that the one other pizza place in the neighborhood was closed. It was only 8:45.
So we ordered Chinese food and watched ‘Lost.’
All in all, things ended just fine. But I’ll never forget the day the pizza died.