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Archive for the ‘Commuting’ Category

It is dusk on a Sunday, and bearclaws is approaching a crosswalk, visions of sugarplums probably dancing in her head. Mechanically, she notes that the intersection’s resident electronic crossing guard is wearing his smart white pantsuit, NOT his fiery reddish-orange unitard. To bearclaws, this sign says, “C’mon! Cross over! We live in a civilized republic where it was decided that anarchy -while sexy when you are 15 and hate your parents- is ultimately impractical, so have faith that aforementioned white pantsuit means that you will be safe to get to the other side.” Fault her for not looking both ways – which she admittedly didn’t- but had bearclaws started to cross a moment earlier, she would have been ass over tea kettle, sideswiped by a biker going through a red light.*

Now before all the bikers get themselves into a kerfuffle about how riding a bike has more positive side effects than hanging out with baby kittens, save it. I get it, and I mostly agree with you. Biking is healthy, ecologically friendly, creates less traffic, etc. However, what is NOT healthy is colliding with pedestrians nor scaring the bejesus out of them. I am a proponent of increasing the volume and enforcement of bike lanes, until the next time I get knocked on my ass. Nothing is guaranteed to erode the goodwill of bike-supporters faster than six months of eating food through a straw. Think of it like this; running red lights just because you are on a bike is like having a friend with gills who always brags about being able to breathe underwater. At some point, I am going to try to drown you both in my toilet.

*No bearclaws were harmed during the inspiration for this PSA

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Remember Scooter Libby? He was the one who got convicted of perjury and obstructing justice. That whole Valerie Plame thing. Her husband was an ambassador who said that the administration was lying about Iraq buying uranium in Africa (back before we shock and awed them – remember that shit?). The administration got pissed and so they told Robert Novak, this conservative columnist to write a column “outting” Valerie Plame as the CIA agent that she so was. Turning against “their own.” Or whatever. Clearly issues exist between the exec’s and the CIA type of people, but to me they’re all government people doing sneaky stuff.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. And Scooter Libby was the chief of staff for Dick Cheney. And he was the one who took the fall for all of it. I don’t say that to mean that he wasn’t guilty, but just that he obviously wasn’t the only guilty one.

So he got sentenced to 30 months in prison and $250,000. But, I guess Bush agreed with this guy:

“This is not a man who deserves to go to jail in any sense of the word,” said Kenneth L. Adelman, a former Defense Department official and longtime friend of Mr. Libby, who stayed at his Colorado vacation home before his trial.

“Whatever he did wrong, he certainly paid,” Mr. Adelman said, referring to Mr. Libby’s resignation from his prominent position and his public humiliation. “This is a good person who served his country very well and is a decent person,” he said.

Bush commuted his sentence – meaning that he doesn’t have to serve any jail time. Huh.

Me? I aree with this guy:

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, called the commutation “disgraceful.”

“Libby’s conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War,” Mr. Reid said. “Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone.”

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The Gowanus Lounge told me that Brooklyn Brewery might move into Smith & 5th!

I once made the trek out to the industrial boneyard that is W-burg to celebrate a fellow blogger’s b-day at the Brewery, and it was great. The only bad part was getting there. And getting back.

Yay beer gardens! I’m thirsty.

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Dear New York,

Please stop peeing in every nook and cranny of the New York City transit system. The scurrying rats, regular gusts of hot, moist air, piles of poo, expectorating teenagers and Bugaboos are quite enough. I don’t need the acrid stench of piss to greet me every morning like an over-eager puppy.

Love,

Recklesley

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On the subway on the way home tonight I read over someone’s shoulder “Cheney in Rage at Reid“. My first thought was what did that crazy girl do now?

I was imagining Cheney sitting slumped on the floor inside the oval office, despondently waiting for Tara to call after their drunken groping at McFadden’s after-hours club the night before.

creepy cheney McFadden’s Party Time

Unfortunately, it turned out to be some boring story about ‘defeatism’. Yawn.

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pilsner.jpgLast week, in my beer-sodden euphoria, I may have been a bit too harsh on Brooklyn Brewery’s Pilsner. I realized my error only last night, after I drank one of the leftovers. And you know what? It was actually pretty good. It’s a light beer with lemony highlights and a pleasant crispness. It lacks the bitterness that most of the other Brooklyn brews feature. I think the problem was that the other beers overwhelmed the flavor of the Pilsner and the tofu pups in blankets were not adequate palate cleansers.

In related news, I think I had a dream last night where two European ladies told me that they thought it was ridiculous that I drink any kind of beer all year round. In Europe, they explained, they are given incredibly detailed instructions written in tiny lettering about which beer will be ready at which precise moment, a particular amount of time from the date it was created, and only then after having been chilled at one temperature for one amount of time and a different temperature for another amount of time. Depending at what day and moment you wanted to drink a beer, you basically only had one choice. I thought that was kind of fascist.

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j-train.gifz-train.gifm-train.gif You pretty much know what you’re getting with the JZM Condom. It’s mostly in Brooklyn, but there’s a quick in and out through Manhattan.

4-train.gif5-train.gif The 4/5 Condom is smooth and efficient. It’ll get you there fast and it hardly ever breaks.

airtrain.gif  The AirTrain Condom is just like all the other condoms, but more expensive, modern and confusing. Give yourself at least two hours per use.

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The scene: It’s 8:20AM and a young lady – let’s just say it’s this editor, for the sake of argument – stumbles sleepily down the stairs to the subway, shuffles past the booth and stops for a moment to fumble with her MetroCard. Lodged in the turnstile nook, headphones on, hands engrossed in the search for the MetroCard, she is helpless. And that’s when the Subway Pervert descends.

SP sneaks up behind the helpless lady and grabs her ass like he is being sucked into a black hole and it is the only way he can keep from being torn out of this reality and having all of his cells flipped inside out. What I’m trying to say here is that it is a strong grab. However, in the moment it happens, she is already going through the gate and by the time the atrocity of the situation hits her, she is on the other side. She spins around, locks eyes with SP and gives him the dirtiest look she can muster. It is some cold shit, though probably no match for a good old fashioned molestation.

Now, the aggrieved young lady has a couple of options. First, she can go back through the turnstile, forfeit her $2, and punch/yell at SP. This is not really an ideal choice should the young lady have wrongly identified the Pervert or should the Pervert be more wily, high or violent than she originally expected. The second option would be to yell to the cop who happened to be on the platform, “THAT PERVERT JUST GRABBED MY ASS!” The cop, of course, would be forgivable if he responded, “I’m really just here to look out for terrorists. Ass-grabbing is totally righteous and American.” The final option would be to ignore it, tossing nothing his way but some stink-eye. And this is what she does.

I propose we start an advocacy group for subway molestees. Or at least provide everyone with NYC branded pepper spray. Or scarlet SPs.

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Hi Everyone. Would you like to hear my detailed account of last Friday’s Brooklyn Beer tasting? Yeah? Good.

I’m not sure what you could gather from the “Cold Beer, Heated Discussion” entry, but if you’re at all literate, I’m sure you picked up on the fact that I, Johnbaptisedme, was not in top form the evening of the Brooklyn Beer tasting. I blame it on the two shots of Svedka (vodka) I took right before attending the drinking social. The two shots of Svedka I took by myself. In my apartment. About 3 minutes after waking up from a nap. It’s fine, I mean, “liquor before beer, you’re in the clear,” right? Right. No wait, wrong. So very wrong. I don’t know if you knew this already, but naps are incredibly dangerous. They can really impair a person’s judgment, causing he or she to do crazy things, crazy things like drink hard liquor by themselves and watch 1.2 episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond” before realizing “Everybody Loves Raymond” is their most hated tv show. In any case, shortly after the party shots that I took with no one else, I strolled on over to Recklesley’s apartment. By the time I got there, R’ley was putting together some vegetarian oinkers in a quilt (that’s a silly way of saying pigs in a blanket–get it?), and we talked a short while about how she made them: cut hot dogs into 1/3’s and wrap each portion with a Pillsbury crescent roll. It’s pretty easy, especially if you’ve ever lived on earth. But I must say, unless you’re actually vegetarian, I suggest using actual meat when making p.i.a.b. Or not. Do whatever you want. I couldn’t care less.

Moving forward, while the tofu pups were baking we decided to watch a movie. A little movie called, “Mulan.” Great, great movie. Then we took some lovely pictures. It was fun.

Shortly after our “Mulan” screening, the Brooklyn Beer tasting began. Here are my actual thoughts on the biers:

Brooklyn Lager– I very much enjoy B. Lager. It’s bitter, yes. But so am I. So, we’re a very good match.

East India Pale Ale– “Tastes like Colonialism.” This was a statement made by a fellow taster that evening. I agree with whoever he or she was. I remember this beer being “perfumey and divine,” with just a hint of Judy Davis (“Passage to India” reference– it’s an obscure one, yes. But if you got it, we should be best friends).

Pennant Ale– This is good. Drink lots of it.

Pilsner– I believe this was the beer that turned me off (both physically and mentally) for the rest of the evening. “Not a fan,” is all I wrote for my notes. And you know what? I’m not a fan. Even through my vodka-beer goggles I was able to recognize this beer for what it really is. A not great beer.

Brown Ale– Yum. This is the good stuff. I don’t remember how I felt about it the evening of the BB tasting, but I’ve had it before. It’s brown, and ale-y. Drink it.

Black Chocolate Stout– Again, I don’t remember much about this beer, just that at this point in the evening, I could only handle a shot’s worth of it. I had to reduce my beer intake (from a small glass to a shot glass) shortly after the tasting began. I am very hardcore. Beer shots. But anyway, with something like 10.whatever% of alc, this is the drink of choice for anyone who wants to get “wasted” and likes chocolate. And, I think that might be most people.

Monster Ale– This tasting is long-lost somewhere in my memory. I, at this point, was probably trying to analyze the gender politics represented in “Mulan,” and sitting by myself in a corner. But I trust it’s good.

So, there you have it. My Brooklyn Beer opinions. Do what you will with it.

Bye.

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The Brooklyn Skeptic Brooklyn Brewery Taste Test 2007

In an effort to both bond with our fine borough and get totally soused, Brooklyn Skeptic gathered on Friday evening to painstakingly taste test seven varieties of Brooklyn Brewery beer.

Undisputed winner: Monster Ale
Undisputed loser: Our livers

Brooklyn Lager: We started our evening off with the cornerstone of the BB lineup, Brooklyn Lager. The general consensus is that it’s mad bitter. I mean, it’s bitter to the point that before I moved to Brooklyn, I thought the borough would be too intense for me because of this beer. Some suggested it’s “bitter like johnbaptisedme,” while johnbaptisedme suggested it is “bitter like Wynona Ryder, but delicious like Val Kilmer. Oh! Cheers to the new couple (according to pizappas – but her celebrity gossip is debatable). Either way, Brooklyn Lager is a total power couple from 12 years ago.” Other folks suggested it tastes like “street cred” and “tobacco,” which, apparently, taste excellent with tofu pups in a blanket.

East India Pale Ale: Immediately upon popping the cap off this bad boy, we noticed the little story on the Christmas-colored label. BB suggests that the IPA is responsible for colonialism in that it is the beer that enabled the British to get to India. This ideological bitterness overcame the bitterness of the beer itself. Nice touch. Otherwise, all parties agreed that the eIPA was flavorful, dynamic, fruity, perfumey and divine. It felt like it was just bouncing on the tongue.
Johnbaptisedme added: “I feel sick” and “DRUNR!” I think this means she felt sick and drunk. That happens to the best of us.

Let's go METSPennant Ale: This is Brooklyn Skeptic’s binge drinking beer of choice. It is mild and delicious, with a burst of versatile flavor. We agreed that it is not offensive to any palate, won’t turn anyone off to Brooklyn, but still tastes like a quality beer. The best comment here is that it “can be drunk in mass quantities if necessary.”
Turtle suggests that it is Brooklyn Brewery’s safety school. Agreed. Pizappas offered that it tastes like a beautiful day at the Mets game. This concerns me because I really don’t like the idea of her licking around Shea Stadium. Shit’s nasty.

Pilsner: The Pilsner was, by far, the crap-wad of the group. It was suggested that it’s name be changed to Bud Dark – uncharismatic, deserving of a can rather than a bottle. Upon sipping this beverage, Turtle declared it a “wussy, flowery foo foo dandy beer,” and then dashed it to the floor. I cried as it began to warp my hard wood. Get your mind out of the gutter. The discussion was ended abruptly by the hostess declaring, “the sooner we finish the Pilsner, the sooner we can move on to something good.”

Frothy BrewBrown Ale: This is a really delicious beer that pizappas, johnbaptisedme (who at this point in the tasting is completely out of the game) and I had the great fortune of sampling at the actual Brooklyn Brewery last fall. It was just as delicious in the bottle as on tap.
This is a dark, rich brew with hints of chocolate, coffee and burnt sugar. Pizappas, who is a long time Brown Ale enthusiast, commented that it had a nice mouth-feel – thick on the back of your tongue. Plainclothesman countered with “makes me drunk.”

mmm...chocolate...Black Chocolate Stout: By this time, all of the Skeptics were drunk as skunks, but we still had two high-alcohol-content beers ahead. All handwriting illegible. I’ll just abandon the narrative so you can get a good picture of what’s going on:
“Smells like liquor!”
“Tastes delicious and gets me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasted.”
“Smells like delicious tar – like once the dinosaurs has gotten totally fucked up & hallucinating on the tar that would be the end of their species.”

AHHH! Godzilla!Monster Ale:
Wins.

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