1.24.2005

Forward, into the past!

I recently discovered that I still own ProductsOfAnIdleMind.com until 2008. I had thought the registration lapsed in 2004, and, as I didn't want to pay the much higher fees these days I let it die. Or so I thought.
Out of curiosity I WhoIs searched it to see if anyone owned it now, and, of course, I did. I didn't have access to it however, as the original registrar, DomainZero, had gone under and it had traded hands a couple of times since then.

Also, my contact email was my old college address, and as I can no longer access it, as I am not a student, I had an annoying week and a half of faxing copies of ids and email tag.

The folks at eHost, in Mass., were frighteningly polite and prompt throughout the whole ordeal, a Human responding within 15 minutes to every email I sent, even late at night. Eventually I crossed all my T's and dotted all my J's and now have access to it once again, though I am really only able to do redirects.

My friend owns a hosting service, however, and some good server space so maybe I'll move on in to a more personal cyber space.

Wa-chow. eHost was surprisingly non-evil. So here's all the props they'll get.

1.23.2005

French Onion Soup Review: West Street Grille

C


Nestled behind a hotel and boasting a famous chef whose name I didn't bother to remember, West Street Grille has all the ambience and bustle of a popular and successful restaurant without all the bother of a good bowl of soup.

Served in a bowl, the dish nevertheless looked appetizing, but succumbed ultimately to that Achilles heel of FOS: too much salt. If the supposedly talented chef was worth his salt he wouldn't have used so much. It was so mediocre I resort to bad puns.

Not overall terrible, but suffering from a fatal amount of average. Forgetfully limp bread, thin, carelessly applied cheese and terrible aftertaste. In fact the aftertaste is the only thing that really stuck with me.

The West Street Grille is at 770 O St, Lapeer, Michigan, U.S.A.

1.21.2005

I really love soup, in a platonic, yet delicious way.

In an effort to obtain some of my life's goals I have created this.
I chose blogger because I think it better suits the nature of my
endeavor (livejournal is still, basically, just an internet journal) and
because with Hello and Picassa I can post pictures for free.
I'm also working on one called "The Aphasian" and a revamp of "Products
of an Idle Mind."

Frikken sweet

The amazing Chris has done what I was too lazy to do, syndicate my del.icio.us links to a livejournal. Add http://www.livejournal.com/users/jeremiahlinks/ to your friends if you want to see what internet oddities I uncover.

1.20.2005

Movies.

If anyone else uses Netflix, I'd be interested in seeing movies you've rated. My user email is jeremiahbritt(at)gmail(dot)com. I've rated over 500 movies, which is sad really.

French Onion Soup Review: Upfront & Company

D-


Upfront & Company is a surprisingly classy (read: expensive) jazz/music club situated in the icy tundra of Marquette Michigan. While they offer good local and professional music, have decor and a never-ending flow of beautiful people, their FOS is sub par at best.

Presentation, for a bar pushing trendy as hard as it was, was appalling. The soup was delivered in what was either a very shallow flat bowl or a slightly deep plate. There was no cheese topping.

The broth was thin and salty, appearing to have been made with a bullion cube and an extra helping of water. The onions were limp and uninspired, far too few to justify calling this dish an Onion soup. The croutons were in fact small pieces of flaccid and dissolving rye bread.

Nasty.

Go to Upfront for the music, go there for the drinks, hell, even go there for the loose women, but do not go there for the overpriced slop they call FOS. D-, Upfront, D-.

Upfront & Company is located at 102 E. Main St., Marquette, Michigan, U.S.A.

French Onion Soup Review: The Portside Inn

A+


The Portside Inn, a nautically-themed bar known for closing early, offered me my first crock of French Onion Soup. The bar had been set, and high.

Presentation was great, a piping hot brown crock, real earthenware. The cheese was browned just so and spilled over the lip of the dish just enough to leave a crust that can be peeled off and enjoyed after the bowl is finished.

Now to see if the beauty is more than skin deep.

It was. A thick layer of cheese hid an almost opaque brown broth and thick, hearty onions. Neither too salty nor too weak, it was a challenge to eat it slowly enough to avoid burning my tongue. The croutons were soft but not soggy, and full of flavor innate and borrowed from the broth.

Overall, this dish gets an A+, for both presentation and taste held up time and time again, visit after visit.

Highly recommended.

The Portside Inn is located at 239 W. Washington St., Marquette, Michigan, United States.

1.19.2005

De Book o' Love

In the summer before ninth grade, socially awkward and pubescent, I wrote my first self-motivated work, a 12-page manual on dating titled “De Book o’ Love.” Juvenile and mildly offensive, the piece borrowed largely from the humor of Monty Python and Douglas Adams, was full of flaws grammatical and factual and was never fully finished. It also remains one of the best things I have written, which is amazingly frustrating.

“De Book o’ Love” had a short and glorious two year reign in my school, aggressively self-promoted and eliciting quiet polite chuckles from those I forced it upon. In true literary fashion, I abandoned it and it’s numerous versions, editions and rewrites only after milking it for all it was worth, finally going out with a bang by acting out a “chapter” with sock puppets for a speech assignment in my English class.

While inarguably idiotic, it did show a mature, almost Zen-like approach to writing in two major components; 1) I believed since I knew nothing of dating, women, and had never had a girlfriend I could, as a true outside observer, articulate the process in an objective fashion and 2) I decided to take the bulk of the book from what I could remember of the inane, random phrases I had written the previous year in my classmate’s yearbooks (i.e. “It’s a sausage.").

As an actual advice book about dating it was terrible and stupid.

My high school experience was one of a group of guys and I smoking stolen cigars, drinking in the barn, skipping school and watching as many movies as our minimum-wage jobs could afford us. None of us were particularly successful with the ladies, all of us were perhaps desperately, almost cynically romantic and we each had our fledgling bout with girls both singularly amazing and completely mismatched for our particular desires.

1.13.2005

12457

I am a lucky bastard, to know me is to know this is true. Here are some events, trivial to the outsider, but burned forever into my recollection. Their veracity even I sometimes question:



R) Reflexes: In college, while working as an Ass. Super. for the cafeteria, I, like all the student middle-management, was assigned at least one closing shift. I actually think I did my job fairly well, taking care of the frighteningly overfilled grease traps on the grill and polishing the Mongolian barbeque until it gleamed. I was also one of the few employees who did not steal 20 lbs. of hamburger or a five-gallon bag of cereal.

One night, while I was doing my last go through to make sure all the napkins were picked up and the mats replaced, I saw a spoon on the ground approximately five yards ahead of me. I had just finished watching some of my friend’s Bruce Lee collection, so, without breaking my stride, I drove my foot down hard on the spoon and did a grasping punch in the air, much like The Dragon used to do when stomping on skulls.

However, my foot caught the spoon just right, flipping it into the air. My grasping punch was so timed that I caught the spoon just in time for my version of a Bruce Lee Squeal. I was so surprised I dropped the spoon.

Fifteen attempts later I was unable to repeat the act.

Also, in an 8 a.m. psychology lab, on two hours sleep, I once caught a coffee cup in midair as it was knocked off a table by a girl. She was also sitting almost directly behind me--I saw the reflection in the corner of my glasses.



O) Skills: Once, at a neighbor’s barbeque, I channeled the multi-sport talent of Bo Jackson.

I, then a 110 lb. weakling who had only ever played a sport for witch Klutz Press had an activity book, sat out while the others started a game of touch football. Of course, in this instance there is always a wayward ball/Frisbee/baseball bat that lands near, requiring you to toss it back. The inevitable happened, as the football slid through the open hands of a player to make its bouncing dance to my feet. Nervous and angry at my awkward, skinny frame, I threw it to the guy farthest from me, about 30 yards away. Perfect spiral, right to him.

Twenty minutes later, after lunch, I threw a rock absently at one of those little yellow reflective sticks people put at the end of the driveway, so they don’t back into a ditch. I hit it, only three inches wide, from maybe 20 feet away. Three times. I was afraid to keep trying.

I have also accidentally fixed multiple items, from an electric pencil sharpener (third grade) to a radio station server (college).

By mixing things at a whim, I can make a damn fine pasta salad.

While filming a ridiculously bad homemade movie with some friends, without any training in fencing, I neatly lopped off both ears of a life-size foam deer, while in midair from jumping off a picnic table. I then gracefully kicked its head off and slashed it before it hit the ground. Had I not been using a golf club shaft, I would have cleaved it in two.



Y) Timing: I have left approximately seven different parties twenty minutes or less before the cops showed up. I have doubly showed up at a party just as a friend was going into the back room to “smoke,” handing out free beers, or needed someone to use a free ticket to a concert/movie/whatever the next week.



G) Money: While in college, there was always that inevitable dip into abject poverty experienced immediately after purchasing books for the semester. On four different occasions I have come into money when I was at my poorest.

The first was in the shape of a $500 sweepstakes check I received for filling out an online survey. It actually cleared.

The second involved me angrily saying yes to a series of questions a telemarketer asked me. I then received YM, Vibe, Rolling Stone, Mountain Biking Monthly, Discovery, Harpers, PC Magazine and People for two years, without paying. When I tried to cancel the ones neither I nor my friends enjoyed (YM and Vibe, though both were hilarious), I received a little over $100 in a refund check. Both magazines continued to arrive.

The third involved a computer error and the annoying requirements of being a BMG member, namely I HAD to purchase so many CD’s in a year. I did, got duplicates of all of them, many I had never ordered and only received bills for two (not just lost in the mail, I wasn’t charged). I sold or gave away the duplicates.

And the fourth was the most frightening. While interning in D.C. I only had $112 for the last two months, as the internships through my college program could not be paid. I went to the ATM next to my apartment and decided to withdraw all $100 and take the Metro to the city to buy bulk, cheap soups and cereals. An ATM error multiplied the amount of money dispensed by four, but only took the amount originally requested out of your account. $300 free, cash. I spent the rest of the day waiting for a phone call from the bank and watching other people walk either confusedly or quickly away from the ATM. It was “Out of Service” for a month after that. Also, right when that money ran out, the place I was interning at liked my work so much they offered me $2,000, the difference of my plane ticket transfer and lodging to stay two weeks after my summer program ended.



B) Crime: I have, as yet never gotten arrested for any of the various crimes I have committed.

These include theft (highlight: I stole an ATM receipt wheel out of a hospital ATM), forgery (highlight: selling fake IDs), fraud (highlight: credit cards, though the law was actually still kind of fuzzy when I did it), drug use (highlight: shrooms), conspiracy to commit burglary (can’t say, implicates others), malicious destruction of property (multiple) and trafficking stolen goods (see “conspiracy to commit burglary”).



I) Strength: I have, sporadically, been stricken with “crazy strength” when threatened or angry throughout my life. This includes snapping a fiberglass tray with my bare hands when a bully called me stick-boy in middle school, breaking multiple doorknobs by twisting them until they snapped (admittedly, this normally happens while I fidget drunk at parties while listening to annoying people), exploding an unopened soda can at a party by squeezing it too hard while harassed by frat boys and tearing a metal coat hook out of a locker because it was in my way.

On the other hand, it has also has caused a bit of harm, such as snapping the tempered steel rod of my friends pellet gun and being the mitigating factor in tearing my improperly formed lung when I lifted my car up six inches off the ground trying to rip a broken muffler off.



V) Durability: Despite a life almost purposely filled with hazard, I have never gotten a serious injury (the lung thing isn’t as bad as it sounds, not too painful, mostly annoying), broken a bone or gotten stitches. I have been on fire several times, fallen out of many things (buildings and moving vehicles), played with numerous explosives, corrosives and other dangerous chemicals, enjoyed cliff jumping and rock climbing with out safety equipment, and have been electrically shocked, once unconscious.

Still, none of these was particularly painful or scarring. The largest scars I have are from things like fixing computers (the insides are damn sharp) and clumsiness (got a relatively minor scratch from a cardboard cutting machine that could have taken my hand off).



Yep, I'm like a really lame superhero. Or a canceled FOX series.





1.03.2005

Brilliant.

I think Absolut Vodka has perhaps the most interesting and even collectable advertisements, right up there with Altoids.
Recently, they combined my four most guilty pleasures (1.Bollywood, 2.Jon Lovitz look-alikes, 3.Mullets and 4.Creative product placement) into 10 minutes of genius fit for the silver screen.


Heil Kilmer!

My new user image is based off of a bizarre graffito my wife Autumn () and I saw on our honeymoon in Toronto. The image, of a distorted, newsprint Val Kilmer with a Sharpied Hitler mustache found in Chinatown both confused and delighted me.

I have since made it into a stencil (the user_image) and a kick ass and confusing shirt.

Once I get pictures of the shirt, I'll post them in flickr as well and possibly make some for interested friends.