Wednesday, June 28, 2017

XO White Mexican

I've been trying to find creative uses for Patrón XO (which is a coffee-flavored tequila, and which is also awesome, by the way, and I recommend it). I've poured it over vanilla ice cream (FTW) and also combined it with milk to make what I think may be a new cocktail.

I was inspired to add milk by the classic mixed drink, the White Russian, which you probably already know is vodka, Kahlua, and cream. There's actually an existing variant called the White Mexican that substitutes tequila for vodka, so no credit for discovering that, unfortunately. Patrón XO combines the tequila and the coffee liqueur into one potent potable, and I think that's just different enough to qualify as a different drink. Try it. Or not. It's a free country.

Have you ever tried a Grasshopper? I've only ever been to one cocktail bar that has it on the menu: The Wellesbourne on Pico in West LA. It's good, but it's more of a dessert cocktail, and they look at you funny if you actually order one. I was there on a date once and ordered it and I didn't get a second date and I wonder if that had anything to do with it. But I HAD to order it because it gave me an excuse to tell one of my favorite jokes. Which goes as such:

A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Hey, you know we have a drink named after you." And the grasshopper replies, "Really? You have a drink named Steve?"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I'm not working at the moment, so it seemed like a good time to dust off the old blog. Wait, I haven't posted since 2014? Seriously? Shit, man. Shit.

Another good reason to start blogging again is it seems like reliable sources of information are going to be hard to come by in the Trump era. CNN is fake news? Who knew? Next you'll tell me Walter Cronkite was just making it all up. Does that mean the moon landing was fake after all and Kennedy is alive? This is explains SO MUCH.

Personally, I can't wait for Friday. Trump's going to get up on the inaugural platform and say, "April Fools, everybody!" It could happen, right? It's totally going to happen. No way this is real life now.

Trump becoming our next president is like something out of an episode of Sliders. Young Jerry O'Connell and the comic relief from Indiana Jones and the cute girl with the lesbian haircut and the token black guy all go to alternate earth 1138 or whatever and it's a world where a reality TV star who's a sexual predator and declared bankruptcy 6 times just got elected to America's highest office. Except it's not really America as we know it; it's a world where Nazis are kind of a thing still because racism. (For legal purposes, they can't call them Nazis, so in the show, they're renamed the "alt-right.") And, in typical Sliders fashion, someone takes the timer away and they spend the whole episode trying to get it back before they lose their window of opportunity to slide to the next sci-fi trope.

Please, take me with you, young Jerry O'Connell.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

love me

I'm not liking this new trend in customer service where every product I use wants my constant feedback. Don't get me wrong--when I'm fired up about something, I relish a platform to speak my mind. However, when I don't have a particularly strong feeling about the way my online chat with a Sprint representative met my minimum expectations, just about anything sounds more fun than taking a brief survey to rate on a scale of 1-10 how adequately Raj in New Delhi answered my question today.

I get it: You need to be able to identify where customers aren't satisfied so you can make the changes you need to keep them. But endless probing about your performance comes off as a little needy and insecure, like the significant other always asking his/her partner, "You still love me, right?"

For some companies, it's not enough to get feedback and fix problems where they exist. No, some companies demand perfection. If you don't give them an "excellent" rating for every category, they want to know why or what they can do better. I'll tell you why. Because excellence means doing more than simply what I asked. For that, you're "average," maybe even "good." It's like when you were in school and the whole class did badly on a test and asked the teacher to grade it on a curve, and then the teacher said you wouldn't want that if you knew what it really meant--that most of you would get a C, not an A. As for what you can do better, it's not my responsibility to brainstorm ways you can impress me. Why can't you just be happy with your "good" rating knowing that I'm satisfied?

This is a slippery slope, my friends. Next will be the customer satisfaction survey to rate what we thought of the actual survey. "Well, question 5 was a little too personal for me, and I think only having the options of 'poor,' 'good,' and 'excellent' to choose from just smacks of racism."

Friday, August 8, 2014

no, I will not "like" your Facebook page...probably

I'm friends with a lot of people on Facebook. That statement is true in both of the senses you could take it: that a lot of people I consider to be friends have Facebook accounts, and also that I have a lot connections to people via Facebook's site which, in their own parlance, makes those people my "friends" (in much the same way that a Twitter entry is called a "tweet" or a menu item at McDonald's is called a "hamburger").

But as much as I enjoy the Facebooking, Zuckerberg's code monkeys have done a rather insidious thing (aside from the egregious privacy violations of their Messenger app)--they've allowed people to have a professional Facebook page that's separate from their personal page. Now, all of these Facebook "friends" expect me to like their professional pages too.

Here's a quick flowchart that predicts (with a small margin of error) whether or not I want to like your professional Facebook page:

If your professional Facebook page is for a dog grooming service and I don't even have a dog, on what basis can I like or dislike it? My "like" actually means something to me. It carries weight. I can't water it down because you want your thing to seem popular. What I "like" on Facebook says a lot about who I am as a person. How can I, in good conscience, possibly endorse a thing I haven't used myself?

Now, be a dear and like this blog post on Facebook.

Monday, August 12, 2013

blurring the lines

These days, if anyone is bold enough to ask me how old I am, I simply reply, "Old enough to complain about today's music." Or 35, whichever is easier.

I've officially become "that person." The grumpy adult who complains about what kids these days are into. Growing up, you observe this behavior in your parents and think, "That'll never happen to me. I'm going to make a point to be cool when I get old." Who was I kidding? I was never cool when I was young.

And then Justin Bieber happens. Miley Cyrus happens. Now you're thinking instead, "If staying relevant means listening to this, then fuck it. I'd rather be out of touch."

I mean, who is Drake and why does he think he can get away with using just one name like Prince or Madonna or Sting? You haven't earned that yet, buddy. Come back when you' honestly don't know what it is that you do.

I wasn't even aware of a song called "Blurred Lines" until I started seeing the parodies, which of course I didn't get at first because I wasn't in on the joke. And then I finally heard the "song of the summer." Needless to say, I was underwhelmed. Is this Robin Thicke's contribution to our culture? At least his dad gave us "Growing Pains."

I was at a party last weekend and The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" came on, which elicited a reaction from the people I was talking to. I had to say I didn't recognize it, which was true. Apparently, it was the "Call Me Maybe" of a few summers ago. I had no idea. For a moment, I felt tragically uncool, until I realized I didn't much like the song anyway, and therefore I hadn't actually missed anything.

Then it hit me that being up on current music has absolutely zero bearing on how I live my life. In my case, ignorance of the likes of Ke$ha and One Direction is truly bliss. Now excuse me while I go put on the Stones.

Monday, July 29, 2013

mastery of bird physics, level expert

A bird pooped on the front passenger seat of my car this week. You're probably thinking, "That sucks, but it's hardly remarkable."  And it wouldn't be...except that my windows were rolled up.

Not all the way, mind you. They were cracked about an inch--certainly not enough for a bird to get inside my car, unless it was a contortionist or had some sort of mutant teleporting capability. *Bampf* and it's in, like Nightcrawler.

So, barring those unlikely attributes, this bird logically must have unloaded mid-flight with just the right trajectory to get through that inch opening and nowhere else on my car. Note diagram below:

Now, it could be that this was all just an amazing coincidence. However, if this bird willfully targeted me, he had not only a Stephen Hawking-level understanding of physics, but a kung-fu mastery over his own bowels, and we should be recruiting him for NASA immediately.

Monday, April 15, 2013

news item

North Korea Backs Down to Avoid Conflict with U.S. "Gun Nuts"

PYONGYANG -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un backpedaled on threats to attack the United States this week, citing the recent debate in America over gun control as a leading factor in the decision. Said a high-ranking official for the Asian nation, "After weeks of making plans to invade, we've come to realize that we simply underestimated the resistance our troops would encounter from ridiculously overarmed gun nuts."

The official then went on to say, "We had seen the statistics on gun violence and gun ownership in America and just assumed the numbers were inflated for propaganda purposes, like we've done reporting the size and prowess of our military. But go and threaten to enact sensible restrictions that 85% of the population supports and these guys just come out of the woodwork. We had no idea so many of your citizens were armed to the teeth just for hunting and self-defense purposes. The last thing the glorious nation of North Korea wants to do is land an invading force on American soil only to be met by a sea of rednecks with AR-15s."

The announcement was a victory for gun rights activists who have made a lot of hay arguing the importance of gun ownership as a deterrent against any force that would threaten our freedoms, including threats made by foreign powers.