Irritable Male Syndrome

Friday, September 28, 2007

A few months ago I was sitting at home alone on a Friday night, sucking on a bottle of Sierra Nevada, when I had an epiphany. I thought; hey, I bet it would be much cheaper to brew my own beer. I could do that. All it takes is patience, the ability to boil water, and the almost neurotic, strict adherence to sanitizing and you, too, can brew beer.

Becoming one of those cool guys that brews his own beer never even crossed my mind in the past, though. Up until a few years ago, all I'd ever drink is lighter beers that are super cheap as is, so it was much more efficient to go to the liquor store and pick up the finest case of swill that $11.99 will buy. In, out, and drunk by 5:45pm on a Friday night.

But drinking better beer, beer with any flavor whatsoever, is much, much more expensive. My current favorite, Sierra Nevada is $15 a 12 pack. With as much beer as I drink, it can get expensive, fast. But when you brew your own beer, the ingredients for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone run from $25-$30, depending on what yeast you use, and the recipe makes 5 gallons of beer, or about 2 1/2 cases.

On the flip side of that, 2 1/2 cases of store-purchased Sierra Nevada would set me back $75. Easies--decision--ever.

Before I could brew my first batch, though, I had to buy all the equipment necessary to brew.

First, I bought a kit with the fermenting buckets, a carboy, some sanitizer, a few brushes to clean the carboy, a bottle capper, and a book on how to brew. All that for the low, low price of $80.

But I still couldn't brew.

Next, I needed an ingredient kit; I chose the Sierra Nevada clone, thinking that if I was going to make my own beer, I might as well make something I know and like. The ingredients were $30.

Surely I can brew now, right? Not so fast. Even though I had the ingredients and some of the equipment, I didn't have all of the equipment.

I needed a $40 brew kettle. Fuck.

And because I'd rather spend money than do anything that required more time or energy, I bought a $50 wort chiller to lower my wort cooling time from hours to merely minutes. Not that I had any fucking idea what wort was, or does, but who cares. My wort needed $50 worth of chilling, and it needed it now.

And piggybacking on that idea that doing more work equals less fun, I decided to jump completely past bottling my own beer, and right into kegging it. I gave up counting expenditures at this point, so let's just use a ballpark figure of $100 spent on kegging equipment. Luckily I had a 20lb tank of co2 just laying around in the backseat of my car, though. If I would've had to purchase that, too, it would've tacked another $70 on to the total. Does it really matter why I had a 20lb tank of co2 wedged behind my passenger seat? I contend that it does not.

Can I brew now? Yes, yes I can! Thank God.

That brew session was almost three weeks ago and last night I had my first homebrewed beer; homebrew that I made. I'm not a braggart, but it's good. Really fucking good. It's closer to Honker's Ale than Sierra Nevada, but it's still better than I expected. Much better. My pride is akin to that of the father of a newborn baby, but, since I'm sure all the beer has rendered my impotent, this feeling will have to suffice.

If you're the countin' type--I'm obviously not--you'll see that their is a flaw in my money-saving plan. There are 60 bottles in 2 1/2 cases of beer. My first batch of homebrew, if you count all the equipment expenses, cost me close to $300. Only 25 more batches until the beer making equipment is justified!

Thrifty I is not.

It doesn't matter that my beer is $5 per 12oz (let's not take into account how much I've spilled, shall we?), or that I just wasted 3 weeks of my life that I'll never get back, or that I'll never get the sticky off my kitchen floor. All that matters is that I can drunk 7 nights a week without ever having to take a bag of recyclables to the bin out back.

That, right there, is worth the monetary waste, because I'm lazy, not because I care about all that 'save the environment' mumbo-jumbo. That's all a bunch of bullshit.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I just got a Myspace friend request message from Thom Yorke. Yes, that Thom Yorke. The Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame.

I don't get it. Usually when I get friend a request from a band, it's usually some random band with a name like ShitEaters--sorry, The ShitEaters, or something equally silly, like Matchbox20--that is the house band at some podunk Arkansas bar. Either way, though, it's usually a band that nobody has ever heard before, nor do they ever want to hear from again.

But Thom Yorke? Something is wrong with this. Why is he fishing for MySpace friends? Granted, I haven't heard any of his new solo stuff, but it can't be that bad.

If I could say one thing to Thom Yorke right now, it would be this; Tom, friend, buddy--HEY, look me in the eye when I'm talking to you! Ok, close enough. Thom, you're better than this. Stop sending out random friend requests on Myspace. It makes you look cheap, and trust me, I know something about looking cheap.

Last Friday I was at work and Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley walked by me. She's not much to look at, but goddamn if I wouldn't let her rape me with that voice of hers. I already clench my eyes as hard as I possibly can and cry during sex, so it's not like I'd have to change one bit of my routine.

Call me!


Friday, September 07, 2007

Every single time I go into Costco, the makeshift food court is packed. Babies are sitting in their strollers, parents nowhere to be seen. Unattended carts packed with 10 gallons of catsup, 15 4lb cans of Similac, and mountains of Juicy Juice boxes are strewn this way and that, like their owners suddenly realized that, "Holy shit, I can save time by feeding my fat-assed demon spawn here instead of at home. I've been saved!"

"Oooh, look, a slice of pizza the size of ham-sized fist! ", she said without ever once considering that the man behind the counter was wearing a fucking beard net.

A net. Over his beard. To catch rotten facial hair before it falls in the soup. Hygenic, maybe. But, stir my appetite, it does not.

At the 2nd job last night, we had some insufferable prick squeal his way out of the valet zone because a) it took two extra minutes to get his car, b) we wouldn't drop his car off a block away from where we're supposed to, and it's illegal for us to do so(plus, it was raining heavier than I've seen it rain in a long time, and we would've had to walk back to work in that shit) and c) the valet that brought his car down from ramp almost hit the curb with his tire.

I hate when I come up with the perfect response to an asshole like that, though I come up with it hours and days later, and even though I know the only thing you can do to someone like that is to shit under their passenger seat, or jam an open can of potted meat way back in the dark recesses of the trunk. Basically the same thing.

For the most part, the people we deal with are out and about because they want to have fun, to enjoy the evening. But every so often we get those self-important douches that think that a superfluous $6 and leased $35,000 BMW gives them the right to be an asshole.

When he got home, Chip opened a fresh bottle of Belvedere, mixed it with the finest of Sugar Free Redbulls, bankhanded his Russian mail order bride, Sasha, to pre-emptively stop her incessant yapping, cranked the Bose system, you know, so he could really feel the Nickelback, deep, way down, in his cold, black soul. He thought; Ha!, my god-given gift of pushing the accelerator 3/4 of the way to the floor really showed those fucking valets who's boss!

And then he quietly cried himself to sleep again because his penis resembles a shallow vagina.