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Live Blogging: Kombucha

13 Mar

We get a lot of free books sent to my office for review, and every now and again, instead of tossing them in the trash, we schlep a few down the street in a roller suitcase and sell them for cash, which we then toss in the air and/or spend on exorbitantly expensive and totally unnecessary beverages from the neighborhood boutique grocery store before returning to our drab and moneyless lives.

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This, for instance.

*ahem* So having sold a few books today, we walked over to this five-and-dime of folly so a coworker of mine could purchase overpriced coffee. I’m hypersensitive to caffeine, for some reason—which is great in the middle of a drinking binge, but less handy in the middle of the workday—so I settled on a jar of kombucha.

Which, I know what you’re thinking here: Kombucha? You mean that ridiculous Gwenyth Paltrow-y beverage that has a lump of mucous that some people with sex and intimacy issues call a “mother” smack in the middle of it?

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Yes, that’s exactly what I mean

I’ve had commercially produced kombucha before, and liked it quite a bit. It tastes kind of like the shrubs that everyone’s mixing into cocktails these days—vinegary and sweet—and it makes me just caffeinated enough to bounce around my office like a crazed balloon animal, without convincing me I’m about to have a heart attack. And usually the ones that you can buy in stores have had the gross jellyfish “mother” removed, so I can pretend it’s just slightly fizzy vinegar tea instead of a “living organism that boasts a dynamic, probiotic profile.”

Well, that wasn’t the case this time. I start drinking this cloudy, slightly pink thing, thinking, “Hey, this tastes not bad at all, and my hips are starting to maybe relax a little? Like when I drink booze? And maybe I want to dance a little?”

I dance a little.

“Perhaps I should look this up online and see what awesome benefits I am currently getting from all these dynamical protobiozomes or whatever-the-hell.”

The Mayo Clinic, at this point, basically tells me that the ratio of positive scientific results to adverse reactions to drinking kombucha is so low that I shouldn’t be drinking it at all.

“Ha. Ok. Well, it can’t be worse than some of the things I’ve put in my body in the past ten years.”  *imagines credit card and crushed up pile of Adderalls.*

FIVE MINUTES LATER

“Man, I feel good right now. Like, I feel fantastic. Just ran 10 miles fantastic. HEY OFFICE GUYS, Y’ALL WANT TO RUN DOWN TO THE ICE CREAM SHOP RIGHT NOW LIKE RIGHT NOW COME ON IT’LL BE FUN! LET’S DO IT I WANT TO YELL AND MAYBE DANCE AND WATCH A MOVIE ABOUT YELLING AND DANCING!”

I decide I am going to drink kombucha every day if it makes me feel this fantastic, science be damned. The end of the beverage is drawing near; I’m closing in on the dregs, and hence, the dreaded “mother” in the bottom of the glass. After every sip, I look quickly at the bottle to make sure I won’t accidentally take a sip of the blobular thing that lies in wait for me.

*Accidentally takes sip of blobular thing that lies in wait for me*

“ACK. Ugh. UGHHHH. *retches* I just. UGHHHH that tasted like a chunk of tripe made out of dirt and wall mold!!!”

The kombucha now sits in the trash. And that’s where you shall stay, kombucha.

FWIW though, kombucha mother is the consistency of really hard jello.

You know you were wondering.

Ew.

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A Kindred Soul

22 Jan

Here’s another guy who believes in doing things that scare him, albeit on an entirely different level:

http://www.emilkozak.com/photography/projects/big-black-nothing/

Spooky.

(via NumbaOnePunna)

 

 

The Basement Chronicles (Or, Do You Like Scary Movies?)

1 Jan

This is you watching a scary movie. You have balled your hands into fists even though you don’t know it. Your feet are curled up in your chair in case there are real monsters underneath it that might eat your feet. Periodically, you check your Twitter feed as if the movie is merely boring instead of resolutely terrifying. This is how you get away with not watching the scariest parts. (But I’m on to you.)  The killer, clearly, is in the basement. He knows it. You know it. The only person who appears not to know it is the film’s lithe heroine, because she is just now descending into it WITHOUT A FLASHLIGHT despite the fact that the only light has clearly been broken by human hands, five of her friends were dispatched by a psychopath in the last hour, and there is creepy music that indicates in no uncertain terms that she’s going to die.

“YOU FUCKING IDIOT,” you yell. “DON’T GO IN THERE!! NO ONE GOES IN A SCARY BASEMENT WITH A BROKEN LIGHT!! WHO ARE YOU?!?”

This is a true statement. People do not do this. Except when they do. Last night I was in my apartment, taking my sweet time getting ready to  head out to a New Year’s Eve party. I have a new, shorter haircut, so I had bought some super fancy Osis hair powder to try out (Shameless promotion: Buy this shit, it rules). My roommates had gone to dinner and I hadn’t bothered to turn out the light in their room…or the living room… or the kitchen. I put a cup of cider in the microwave. I turned on the hair dryer and… I think you see where this is going.

Total blackness.

This is what black looks like. You're welcome.

I live in an old Polish building in Greenpoint with a door and general foundation I would swear are made out of cast iron. The shower basically turns into hot lava anytime anyone in any of the 12 or so apartments so much as turns on a faucet (so, like every two minutes DIESHOWERIHATEYOU). So I was not exactly surprised that simultaneous microwaving and hair drying were beyond the building’s capabilities.

That said, my general state of being appears to be “woeful unpreparedness.” I did happen to have lit a candle in my window in the course of getting ready, but I do not:

1. own a flashlight.

2. know where the fuck the fusebox is, or

3. have any idea how to operate a fusebox even if I were to miraculously find one… in the dark.

So naturally, I got out my iPhone and shined its dull gleam in locations I thought were likely to contain fuse boxes. These included, but were not limited to: behind the fridge, next to the radiator, inside the coat closet and “places I can only see if I stand on the couch.”

This strategy having (surprisingly) failed, I texted my roommates to ask if they knew where the fuse box was. They did!

“It’s in the basement. On the right. I think they’re pretty clearly marked,” said my Fancy Pants Not Scared of the Basement Roommate. Even though nothing explicitly scary had occurred thus far, I was already huddled on my bed with the covers up to my nose imagining all sorts of terrible demons and medical tortures that were probably going on in the sections of my room I could no longer see, so I didn’t think going into the basement was a good idea–but I had to get to the party before midnight, and my hair was drying *GASP* naturally by the second. I had to do something.

“Fine,” I thought. “I’ll go in the basement. I’m not scared of any old basement. I am going to go in there and turn on the lights and write about how awesome and fearless I am on my blog.”

“YEAH!” said the chorus of supporters that lives in my head.

So I went downstairs. And I was like, “Here, basement basement basement. Here, little basement.  If I were a basement where would I ….”

Oh THERE it is.

For those of you who have underdeveloped amygdalas (the part of your brain that processes emotional salience… e.g. fear), this door is one of the scariest doors to a basement I have ever seen. In fact, in light of this basement door, I fully support filming the next season of American Horror Story in my apartment building.

Then. I opened it.

I mean, seriously, just look at this shit. And I took these during the DAY.

Still, despite having seen at least 15 zillion horror movies where the scantily dressed female lead who was JUST getting ready to go to a debaucherous party gets murdered to death in the basement, I was like, “Oh, hey, yeah. I’ve already come this far. I’ll just turn on this light here and…”

*click.*

*click*

*click click*

*click click*

The light doesn’t turn on, and as I sit there fiddling with the switch, I hear, quietly emanating from the depths of the basement, but getting louder.

hehehahaHAHAHAHAHAHA

At which point I actually said “Oh FUCK this” out loud and ran up three flights of stairs so fast I think it might actually be an Olympic record.

Then I did my makeup in the dark. Until my roommates came back.