Category Archives: How to Do It

How to Do It Jeremy Rosen Letters Special Feature

Dear Blackbirds Bar

Dear Blackbirds Bar,
I wanted to like you, I really did. Even though you had yet to acquire that patina of age and that feeling of really being a cool neighbourhood bar, you had promise. So many kinds of beer, so much good food. A dart board. Hell, the sports fans even seemed to appreciate me yelling out “Go local sports team” whenever they got excited about a football basket.

I spent the better part of four months of Sundays in your establishment. It was the only regularly-scheduled item on my agenda every week. Whatever kind of craziness my week brought me, I was in Blackbirds on Sunday eating hot wings between 1:30 and 2:00 PM. Did I mention your hot wings are the best in Astoria?

But about a month ago things went bad. So let’s imagine this, shall we? I enter your establishment at around 1:30 PM. I’m dressed in black pants, a camouflage jacket, and a hoodie. The hoodie has flames on it, by the way. Strangely this time around the bar seems full, but the tables are empty, which is the reverse of how it normally goes. Okay, so I take off my coat and sit down at a table. I forgot to mention, I’ve got a big, fat copy of the New York Post on me.

So I sit down with this copy of the New York Post, crack it open and begin reading. One of your friendly waiters comes over to me and asks what I want. I tell him “I’ll have a Peroni, and an order of very hot wings well done.”

This is really where my day turned to absolute shit. Look, I know there are starving people in Zimbabwe and I understand that the overrun of certain areas of Pakistan by elements of the Taliban is a problem; however, on Sunday at a sports bar I expect wings.
I hope you’ll understand that that’s why what your waiter (who was very nice) said to me next was so baffling.

“We don’t have the regular menu today because we’re serving brunch.”

I gave him a blank look and he, to his credit, looked a tad sheepish.

“You see, all the stuff for brunch takes over the kitchen, so we can’t cook the regular menu.”

My look now was a little less blank, but I’ll give your waiter (who I mentioned was really nice, didn’t I) a little less credit for his next statement.

“Would you like to take a look at our brunch menu?”

No. No I don’t want to take a look at your brunch menu. I’m a guy in a camo jacket with a copy of the New York Post. Do you see me with anyone else? Brunch is for couples. It’s something guys do when they’re with girls because the girls like it and maybe the food’s okay.
Or it’s something you do when one of your “bros” is in from out of town and you want to go check out the cute waitresses and feel okay getting trashed at 11AM. It’s not something a lone guy who looks like an escapee from the Montana Militia is going to do.

No, Jeremy is here for wings. Which, as I was putting my coat on and leaving, your waiter (who’s still friendly, regardless) said he would communicate to you. On my way out (without spending a dime), I noticed an omelet station.

An omelet station. In a sports bar. There were a couple of hot plates and a dude in a silly hat. Really. Here are a couple of better ideas for a station in your bar:

1. a gimlet station
It sounds about the same and makes more sense for a bar to have. “I’ll have a gin gimlet, hold the emasculating bullshit.”

2. a wing station
See, you have a guy out there cooking the wings you can’t make in your kitchen now, apparently. Everyone wins. “I’ll have a dozen very hot wings. Then I’m going to read about the destabilization of the Zimbabwean dollar because of Robert Mugabe’s regime.”

You know, even though I’m some fancy music industry dude, I don’t make a lot of money. But, I was willing to part with $20 – $30 every Sunday for you guys. Because seriously, those wings are killer.

You know what I do now instead of going to your bar? I spend an extra $15 to take a train up to the Peekskill Brewery in Westchester. There, I can get a lovely view of the Hudson River, I can choose from four times as many beers as you have, and I can get some really good hot wings.

No, they’re not as good as yours, but at least Peekskill has figured out how to serve brunch and bar food at the same time. What, your grill can’t handle a burger and truffle oil grilled cheese sandwiches with added estrogen at the same time?

Look, I know it’s not football season and you’re not going to do the wings special cheap anymore. I don’t even care about football. I don’t even know what downs are. I just want hot wings on Sunday and I want them six blocks from my house.

So fire up that deep fryer and get your act together. ‘cause brunch is really bumming me out. And I’m starting to tell my friends.

Yours truly,

Jeremy Rosen

How to Do It Scott Birdseye

How to survive a disaster

How to survive a disaster

Disasters can be dangerous, even deadly, but by following these handy tips you can be sure that you’re safe every time. Feel free to print this out, laminate it, poke holes in the top and run string through those holes so that you can wear this article around your neck at all times. Thus you will survive.

Should you need to resort to cannibalism, never eat the thin active people. They’re always stringy and tough. Go for the overweight and docile; their meat is finely marbled and always tender.

To survive, you will need plenty of water. 90 proof whiskey is 20% water, so be sure to have plenty on hand to aid your thirst. Whiskey is also a handy disinfectant.

White it would seem useful to have a rifle or handgun, remember that the wide scatter of a shotgun requires less aiming and can be used effectively against crowds of looters or zombies.

A portable radio can provide life-saving information and updates; there are even solar powered models that never run out of batteries. Or better yet, get an MP3 player which lets you choose your own playlist so you don’t have to listen to what those fat cat corporate radio stations want you to hear.

It is important that you find shelter in a safe structure. In Des Moines, you will find that bowling alleys are exceptionally well built.

If you are in a group of strangers, stay together. Try and make sure you are either A: the cocky young hero who needs to reconcile with his dying father, B: the pretty girl who, at first hates the hero’s brash attitude but later gives in to the obvious attraction, or C: the comic relief guy. Everyone else will be dead within two hours.

In this day and age you need not get two of every animal on your boat. Just take digital copies of their genome maps.

When looting, always go for the sporting goods store (guns, ammunition and camping supplies), the hardware store (generators, rope, and shock weapons) and the grocery store (food, bottles water and salad dressing). You’ll find that you’re prepared while those idiots with plasma screen TVs will die of starvation in a few short weeks.

While it is highly unlikely that you would need such information to survive a disaster, the metric prefixes are, from smallest to largest: milli, centi, deci, deca, hector and kilo. You can remember that with the handy mnemonic My Cousin Delores Died Horribly Kilo.

They’re popular articles, but don’t take those “desert island albums” things to heart. That classic Coltrane record isn’t going to help you catch fish, though you might be able to make a passable snare from a reel-to-reel copy.

Don’t view the next insect attack in a negative light. Think of it as dinner.

If all else fails, panic; run around and scream your head off.

How to Do It Jeremy Rosen Special Feature

How to Tell if You’re In Love

  1. Sasquatch tells you so.
  2. You stitch your loved-one’s name into your socks.
  3. Suddenly you start liking death metal.
  4. One afternoon you decide to make dioramas of the best scenes from Say Anything, but you replace the main characters with you and the person you love.
  5. You give up your religion, your family, and your community.
  6. Their goitre doesn’t bother you one bit.
  7. In conversation with your friends, you say “Their feet don’t smell that bad.”
  8. So their apartment’s infested. So what?
  9. You tell them you hate their sexual orientation.
  10. When you think about them you get nauseous. This could also be indicative of salmonella poisoning or existential angst.

How to Do It Scott Birdseye

10 Simple Steps to “Greening-Up” Your Life

green

1. You can reduce your carbon foot print by bicycling to work. Then again, bicycles are made of aluminum that has to be stripmined. Instead construct your own bicycle out of recycled cardboard and old compost.

2. Leaving the water running while shaving or brushing your teeth can waste over 2,800 gallons of water every year. So save water by avoiding grooming like other dirty eco-nut hippies.

3. Produce has to be trucked across country just to get to your local grocery store. Why not cut down on all that fossil fuel pollution by growing your own vegetables? If you don’t have the time, just enslave some migrant workers. Don’t worry, they’re here illegally and are afraid to go to the police. So really you’ll have carte blanche in how treat them.

4. Always make sure you buy recycled products. If you can’t find recycled products, you can make your own just by rereading yesterday’s newspaper or rewiping with previously used toilet paper.

5. Solar panels can reduce your electricity and heating costs by over 83.3%. For the average American household that’s $200.00 extra dollars a month you can spend on cocaine.

6. Speaking of Colombia, you can save some land from agricultural degradation by using dirt instead of coffee grounds to make your coffee. Most Americans make coffee that tastes like dirt anyway, so it cuts out the pretense, saves on transport costs, and you don’t have to worry about that “fair trade” baloney.

7. You know how putting a brick in your toilet tank will help you save water? Give it a shot with your car by putting a brick in your gas tank.

8. You can save electricity by only listening to music recorded prior to 1965. After that producers started making everything really loud, thus not only getting rid of some wonderful dynamic contrast, but also using up more energy when played in a stereo.

9. Install a small turbine generator above your shower’s drain and you could generate enough power through draining water to keep that MP3 player of yours going for minutes.

10. Commit suicide and make sure that your will stipulates that you’d like to be composted. Nothing says love like eating vegetables nourished by someone for whom you cared. Nothing could be greener, either.

How to Do It Scott Birdseye

So You Want to Eat an Airplane

airplane eater

Consuming an entire aircraft is a difficult task that requires patience, hard-work and perseverance. The old saying still holds true: Preparation is the difference between eating a whole airplane and eating only half an airplane. To help prepare you for your feat of wonder, we’ve created this handy guide.

  • First determine what type of airplane you want to eat. Champions might be able to handle a Boeing 747 or a C-5 Galaxy, but for your first airplane it’s best to not go for anything larger than a Piper Cub or a Cessna.
  • Once you’ve found a suitable airplane, you’ll need to disassemble it. Remember, it doesn’t count as eating an airplane if you only eat never-assembled aircraft components. They had to have once been assembled and in flying condition or you’re not really eating an airplane, are you?
  • Sort the pieces by material type; rubber, glass, aluminum, wood or fiberglass. Mixed components like gauges go in their own separate pile.
  • There are two schools of thought on how to begin eating an entire airplane; you can start with the easy stuff like tires, seatbelts and cushions, or you can start with the difficult metal and fiberglass. While experts do differ, for a first timer it’s probably best to get the tough stuff over with first so that the rest is an easy down-hill coast to the finish line.
  • Consuming metal isn’t too difficult, once you’ve completed the difficult task of grinding it all down into a fine powder. Simply add four or five tablespoons of ground metal into your favorite sauce, yogurt, or omelet. You should probably no more than a couple of teaspoons in your coffee or soda though. Either way, you’d be surprised how much airplane you can get through in a week .
  • Unshreddable items like seatbelts or cushion stuffing can be puréed in a blender. Add some ice cream, milk and chocolate syrup for a smooth, refreshing treat.
  • Save a tire for last. Invite some friends over and bake the tire with onions, carrots and little potatoes (450 degrees for three hours). As your friends enjoy a fine meal, you can go for the big finish by eating that one last tire with a knife and fork by candlelight. Watch out for those steel belts though, they’re worse than catfish bones.
  • It should take about three to five years to get through a Cessna. Be sure to get checked out regularly for signs of metal poisoning and intestinal lacerations.
  • Once your task is complete, don’t shy away from the limelight. You’ve earned the press attention and the adulation of friends and loved ones. C’mon, you’ve actually eaten an entire airplane and how many people can say that!*
  • Don’t give up. Winners never quit and quitters never eat airplanes.

plane food

*As of this printing only eight people have ever eaten an entire airplane. Mellissa Hodges (A-10 Warthog), Kaitlin Fuller (C-5 Galaxy, Boeing 747, DC-3, B-29 Superfortress), Maureen Ridgely-Smyth (Cessna Skyhawk SP), Ellen Ridgely-Smyth (Learjet 23), Erin Ventuch (MiG 23, F35 Joint Strike Fighter), Catherine Fulcher (Spitfire), Aimee Echo (Sr-71 Blackbird, F117A Nighthawk, X87 Aurora), Molly Pepridge (Piper J3).