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Posts Tagged ‘Miss USA’

A couple weeks ago I tripped while shopping at TJ Maxx. I tried to laugh it off and act as though I was okay with the situation, but being that I was by myself, I don’t think anyone was buying it. A few minutes later I left.

The point of this story is, I can only imagine what Miss USA is feeling right now. Poor thing.

If I were her I would’ve kept on cat-walking off the runway onto the nearest bridge. Then I would’ve jumped off.

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Ethanol or Ethan Hawke? A possibly sustainable alternative fuel or a faded star with a history of sexual infidelity?

 So in order to debate the issue, we need to know a little bit about them. The type of ethanol that is the current media darling is Corn-Based Ethanol. When I first heard about this I was like, what? Seriously, the government is taking an alternative and renwable fuel source seriously? Awesome! But eeh, these guys are usually on the wrong side of things, what’s the catch? I hope there isn’t one…….

Hmm. Oh wait. Of course there’s a catch. The catch is corn. Corn is something you should know about, and be thinking about, regardless of whether or not you read The Omnivore’s Dilemma (which you might want to consider, as it is fun to read and pretty interesting).

One basic thing to know is that corn is in everything we eat. It is there to hang out and add calories. Now, I know as soon as you mention ‘calories’ you sound like a one-apple-a-day-eating-livejournaling freak (perhaps like Ethan Hawkes’ ex? interesting….) but it’s important. Adding corn syrup is food manufacturers’ way of bulking up a product, making it look and taste more like food, without actually adding any nutritional value. It’s like the Rosie O’Donnell of food (not that The View was so nutritious to begin with).

Check the back of your bread package. Chances are, unless you buy organic or some other kind of ‘specialty’ bread, corn syrup is the second ingredient. Hmmm, right. You don’t need me to tell you, that doesn’t belong.  You don’t need me to tell you, it will make you fatter and take away delicious calories you could use elsewhere, like, for this. Mmmm.

So anyway, the point is that corn makes its way into everything, corn farmers get huge subsidies from the government for growing things that make us fatter and more diabetic, and oh right, it’s also totally genetically modified and freaky (like Gattaca maybe? interesting….).

When I said “corn farmers” up there, it’s important to note that I don’t mean happy jolly feel-good farmers, I mean huge huge HUGE businesses like Archer-Daniels Midland and Monsanto. They get the vast majority of the millions of dollars the government spends on farm subsidies, and they use much of it to produce corn, much of which is for corn syrup and animal feed (cows and salmon and other such animals are trained to eat corn-based feed instead of their natural foods and it makes them fatter and, right, us who eat them fatter).

So who stands to gain from a push for corn-based ethanol? Those guys.  Those already super rich and just gonna get richer guys.

Alternative fuels are a totally good idea, much like a movie version of Fast Food Nation. However, it’s not such a good movie to watch, and corn-based ethanols are already driving up the price of food around the world. People in Mexico have been protesting in huge numbers the 60% (!!) increase in the price of corn tortillas that has already happened, and some economists are estimating rises in the US as high as 14% for milk and 21% for a dozen eggs.

“The stage is now set for direct competition for grain between the 800 million people who own automobiles, and the world’s 2 billion poorest people.”

Yikes.

So, what’s the answer? Another term you might have heard is cellulosic ethanol – it just means stuff made from plants. Any plants. Different plants take different amounts of pollution to make into fuel, and different plants’ fuels result in different amounts of pollution. Corn is not the best. Different plants do different things to the soil – some are better for it and some are worse. Corn is worse.

Just a few things to think about as we move into our debate: Ethanol vs. Ethan Hawke. Hmmm. 

The truth (duh) is that Dead Poets Society (oh god my heart!) will win out over any fuel, ever, be it cellulosic ethanol or trillium or coal.

I encourage you to continue the debate with your friends and onlookers.

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I’ve recently adopted a Tuesday evening tradition. Well, it’s only been two times now, so maybe it’s more of a Tuesday evening coincidence. It’s something in the spirit of Mardi Gras – revolting hedonism on a Tuesday. This event, which I like to call “Shotdogs,” has everything but the girls gone wild.

The evening starts out at Welcome to the Johnsons, a perfectly divey bar in the Lower East Side in Manhattan (yuck, I know). I’ve been going to this bar for several years now and was something of a regular when I lived in that hood. I was there for the summer when fruit flies had infested the limes and so there was always a fine film of bugs and bug-parts on every drink you ordered. That was when I developed an irrational fear of bar fruit. I’ve witnessed the replacement of the toilet that was once so covered in band stickers, you could hardly tell what you were supposed to do with it. The new one is collecting its own piss stained collection. I’ve been there for brawls between guys who look like they fell out of a Ramones show thirty years ago – replete with blood trickling from their self-pierced safety pin earring holes. Anyway, as pleasant as all that sounds, there is one reason above all that I have been a Welcome to the Johnsons fan for so long: $2 drinks during happy hour (from when you wake up till 9 PM). You must not tell anyone about this. It’s a secret.

At Welcome to the Johnsons, the drinking begins. First, $2 whiskey and gingers. Then the shots. Last night we did a Red Headed Slut, followed by the bartender’s own concoction, Dr. Nut. Then we continue on with the regular drinks. All the while, the conversation gracefully flits from one topic to the other, weaving in nearby patrons and their opinions of The Flaming Lips, March Madness, olive juice, etc.

cupcackeeIn order for the Shotdog participants to remain reasonable, we all have to eat dinner. Dinner is hotdogs from Dash. In my case, vegetarian chili dogs. In other cases, processed meat monstrosities, choked with bacon, Fritos and other wonderful things. But that’s not all. Then come the chips and salsa from Festival Mexican Restaurant (outside of which, some guy drunkenly peed behind a Pathfinder while everyone in the bar watched with horror and glee) and then cupcakes (including one for the bartender) from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Please keep in mind, I skipped the gym to partake in this madness.

By 9:00, we are all sufficiently bloated and return home to watch American Idol while we mainline salad and try to rehydrate.

Now, I don’t know if this particular evening’s activities can be approximated in our borough. I have a feeling that it is possible, but only in Williamsburg, where girls in leggings and guys in hoodies are a dime a dozen. The real issue here is that while the people at Johnsons and the people in Williamsburg are all disgusting hipsters, the ones at Johnsons are much skeezier. In my mind, this goes a long way. So, until an absurdly underpriced dive bar and an absurdly overpriced hot dog vendor move into my current hood, I think I’ll just keep hitting up the L.E.S for my shotdog fix.

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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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