Thursday, February 19, 2009

Washington, D(runkeness) C(ertain) [Part II]

[We pick up the story the morning after Part I's drinking, eating, drinking, and laughing (and drinking).]

Saturday morning I was awoken by the sound of violent retching. As far as I knew, all four of us (TD, Baby Joey, Girlfriend, and I) were present and accounted for in the bedroom; which made me wonder if someone had broken into our suite just to hurl. And knowing my friends, it wouldn’t have surprised me in the least. It seemed only logical that one of them had conned his way into getting a room key from the front desk, let himself in, gone into the bathroom, and began to loudly erode his esophagus. When I looked over at the other bed, though, I saw only TD. Muttering “Lightweight,” I rolled over and went back to sleep.

An hour or so later, after the rest of us arose, Joey explained how he had gotten sick. He and TD had been the last two travelers to arrive the night before, only reaching the hotel at about 11:30 pm. He was determined, therefore, to even the playing field and get as drunk as the rest of us. Or, in his words: “I was playing ‘catch up,’…and I caught up.” At The Light Horse, he had just begun drinking a tall Red Bull and vodka when they rang the bell for last call. Figuring we would be moving on to another venue to continue drinking, he ordered a second tall Red Bull and vodka. He nearly chugged each, trying to put them away before we left. Six hours later, his eyes opened to a spinning room.

The previous night soon got its revenge on TD, too; she made several trips to the bathroom that morning to heave. Girlfriend and I, however, were fine (she even went downstairs for the complimentary continental breakfast, bringing back some fruit and pastries for the rest of us). By noon everyone was on solid footing again, and we took the train into town to sightsee (with the notable exception of Esq and Shock, who chose to stay in bed).

When we came back to the hotel that evening, Baby Joey and I made an executive decision: we needed pregaming supplies. He was the first of the four of us to shower up, so he collected some money and took the hotel shuttle out to a store to get beer. He returned with two 12 packs of Miller Lite, and we stocked up the mini fridge—not to mention the kitchen sink (right). He and I kicked back with beers and “Wedding Crashers” while the girls did their hair and makeup. At one point, Joey said, “God this movie is so great!” TD, who was in the bathroom with her flat iron, came rushing out. “What did you just say?? ‘It would suck to be married’?!?”

If he doesn’t buy her a ring soon, that girl might crack one night and choke him in his sleep.

Chief, Kim, Esq, Shock, Finn, and Genoa came to our suite with our newly-engaged friends “Tank” and Katie (congrats to each of them), who had driven down from Pittsburgh earlier that day. After a beer we all caught the Metro into D.C., to the apartment of CJ and Rob, two of Esq’s law school buddies who by now have become members of our extended alkie family. A stop away from our destination, though, a middle-aged woman stepped onto the train; once inside she turned back towards the platform and coolly unleashed an intense tongue-lashing. In an even tone she said, “Fuckin bitch! Yeah, we’ll see. You don’t know motherfucker!” I leaned back and looked out the window to see who had earned her wrath, expecting it to be some equally-angry individual. But all I saw outside of the train was an empty platform. She was talking to herself.

She moved to a more stable location as the train left the station, but continued to berate her absent foe all the way to the next stop, emphatically slamming her hand on the train wall once or twice. After we got up and carefully filed past her to exit the train, I looked back down the platform at her. The last of us to walk by her was Joey, and something about him must’ve pushed her button. She stared directly at the back of his head, spewing more “motherfuckers” and “bitches” as he strode away. I pointed this out to Chief and said, “How great would it be if she kicked his ass right here?”

At the apartment, we met up with Rob, “K.” (his girlfriend), CJ, our friends Cat and Sam, and others. Rob’s apartment is amazing—what else would you expect from a young lawyer living in D.C.?—and served as a great setting for a small pre-party. An extra large hip flask (which, like the Jim Beam inside of it, was given to Chief for his birthday) was passed around amongst the braver of us. Several of us gathered in the living room, which included a large brown couch. Unfortunately for Esq, he was wearing a large blazer of a similar color. And doubly unfortunate for him, one of the favorite pastimes of our circle of friends is joking about each other’s weight. Chief walked over to our group and said, “Hey, [Esq] is wearing the couch!”

When we all—well, all of us except for Esq—erupted into laughter, Chief looked amazed.

Chief: “Wait, you mean no one else said that yet?”
Me: “No, we saved it for the birthday boy!”
Chief: “Wow. Thanks guys!”

Girlfriend continued to mingle and blend in seamlessly (she even took a healthy swig from the flask). This was her first time meeting anyone from this family of friends, though, and the sheer number of names and faces being thrown at her gave her a little trouble. Everyone decided to head to the bar, and at the Metro station she and I talked with Rob & K. about a recent boozing adventure of theirs.

K.: “...That was the first time I met ‘Mr. Jameson,’ so I wasn’t feeling too well the next day.”
Girlfriend [whispering to me]: “Wait, which one was Jameson? Was he the guy in the pink shirt?”

Rocket Bar, a great sports bar/pool hall across the street from the Verizon Center, was chosen as the destination for the night’s main event. Things rapidly became blurry after we arrived. Drinks and shots were being passed out like bags of food from a UN truck in a war-torn country. When the bar closed we took our fun out into the streets, posing for various pictures, including several of people wearing Esq’s blazer. There’s even one of Chief and Tank wearing it together, each with an arm in a sleeve.

Everyone from our large congregation seemed to split up after that, though. At the end of the night, Girlfriend, Chief, Tank, Katie, and I ended up in the Embassy Suites’ atrium, which features a large fountain. Tank and Chief decided they should dip their heads in the fountain and then wrestle—to the delight of the night manager, who then had to walk over to three very large, drunk guys and ask us to disperse. Katie and Tank took Chief back to their hotel down the street, but not before they all got “stuck” while trying to walk through the large automatic sliding doors. When the doors didn’t open, Tank began headbutting the glass, yelling, “LET. ME. OUT!! LET. ME. OUT!!” Katie waved her hand in front of the sensor and the doors finally opened, and the three of them spilled out into the Northern Virginia night.

The next day, while we ate lunch with our ladies, Tank, Chief, and I received a text message from Baby Joey that summed up the weekend:

“It was a blast boys and girls! Chief, thanks for everything…Especially for noticing that [Esq] was wearing the couch last night, lol!”

Monday, February 16, 2009

Washington, D(runkeness) C(ertain) [Part I]

Evil is good, and ass is good. And if you get you a piece of evil ass? Woooo!

—Eddie Murphy, “Vampire in Brooklyn

Road trips are good, and birthday parties are good. And if you take a road trip to a birthday party? Hello.

Two Fridays ago (February 6th), Girlfriend and I loaded up the trunk of my car with (mostly her) luggage and voyaged to Washington, D.C. for Chief’s weekend-long 30th birthday party. We survived, but more importantly, so did our relationship. And she wasted no time in reminding me why we’re so compatible. When checking in at the hotel [Embassy Suites Alexandria-Old Town—I highly recommend it, for reasons you will soon understand], the woman at the front desk informed us that guests were invited to a daily happy hour at 5:30 in the lobby. Girlfriend’s eyes lit up like the high beams on a Murcielago. So after dropping off our bags and cleaning up (among other things *less-than-subtle-wink*) in our room, we found ourselves at a table in the lobby, with a Bud Select draught in front of Girlfriend and a vodka tonic in front of me. The best part? They cost $1 and $2, respectively. A few drinks a piece, and we were sailing smoothly towards that night’s merriment in Old Town Alexandria.

Three other couples traveled from the Pittsburgh area to join up with us that night: TD and Baby Joey (with whom we were sharing the hotel suite), Genoa and Finn, and Esq and Shock B. Add to that group the eight people—including Chief and Kim—from around the D.C. area who met up with us at Theismann’s for the evening’s events, and you have a party. We were all introduced to the new faces in our crowd, and then got caught up on the lives of the established ones (congratulations go to Genoa and Finn, who are now expecting their first child). I tossed back Smithwick’s draughts with a quick dinner, while Girlfriend quickly fell in with the other wifeys, gabbing away about…whatever it is women gab about when left alone to their own devices. One of the couples in our group handed Chief a birthday gift—a handle (1.75 liter bottle) of Jim Beam, his nectar of choice. If even half of that bottle was left by Sunday morning, I’d be surprised.

Around midnight we moved our revelry to The Light Horse in Old Town Alexandria. Rounds of Jager Bombs were loaded and fired. I made a quick trip to the bathroom, and when I returned I noticed that Girlfriend and Shock had disappeared. A few minutes later they came back laughing and breathless. Shock had wanted to dance, and Girlfriend decided to join her; when they reached the dance floor, however, Shock grabbed girlfriend’s hand and dragged her up onto the stage instead. A guy in the crowd, seeing two beautiful women shaking it up on the stage, tried to climb up and join them. But bouncers quickly stopped him—only the two girls were allowed on stage. Sexism rears its ugly head once again.

Amazingly, despite the large collection of miscreants that we had assembled, only one of us was asked to leave the bar prematurely (he had begun the night earlier than any of us; someone told me that he had put away a fifth during pregame alone). The rest of us danced and drank until closing time. Girlfriend, wanting to keep the party going, was determined to buy some six packs from the bartenders. They told us that they weren’t allowed to sell them, but one of the barkeeps began to relent. She checked to see if the manager was looking—even taking the twenty dollar bill that Girlfriend offered. The manager walked by, though, and quickly shot us down. We caught a cab, and Girlfriend continued to fight in the name of booze. She asked the driver if he knew of anyplace we could go to buy beer, but he said that at that time of night, any store or bar that sold sixers was closed. My lady remained resolute, though.

Girlfriend: “So there’s nowhere you can take us to get beer?”
Cab Driver: “No, it’s all closed.”
Girlfriend: “There’s got to be some place. *eyes narrowed* I know you know where it is!”

I wasn’t sure whether he was going to pull over and kick us out, or finally give in, sigh, and say, “Okay, I’ll take you there.” Or if I was going to have to bail my girlfriend out of jail on our first road trip together, because she had attacked a cabby who refused to tell her where all of Alexandria’s beer was.

We returned to the hotel suite beerless; we were not, however, foodless. Baby Joey’s mother (Delightful) had cooked a cooler’s worth of food for him to bring to D.C. Joey, Girlfriend, and I feasted (TD is vegetarian, and all of the food had meat in it). Thank god they equipped the room with a microwave.

[To be continued...]

Skittle Vodka

I suppose this could serve as the "Hers" counterpart to last month's bacon-flavored vodka post, which was a decidedly "His" interest piece. I plan on making my own bottle of bacon vodka in the coming month, and I wouldn't be too surprised if Girlfriend was hard at work alongside me making herself some Skittle-infused vodka. I would have to imagine the resulting concoctions here are incredibly sweet, but to each their own.

Here are step-by-step directions from Mix That Drink on how to make a bottle of each flavor found in a standard bag of skittles (cherry, orange, lemon, lime, and grape):
For this project, you’ll need:

* One 1.75 liter bottle of vodka (I used Stoli - you don’t need the most expensive vodka, but do avoid the cheap ones)
* Five 8.5 ounce flasks or bottles
* One 1 pound bag of Skittles
* Five empty plastic water bottles
* A funnel
* Bowls for separating the Skittles into flavors
* A measuring cup (not pictured)
* Coffee filters or paper towels

This vodka-infusion trend is really starting to pick up. What's next, chocolate cake vodka?


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Match Made in Windsor

A quick note for the “On the Rocks” faithful: “Lady Friend” is now “Girlfriend” (ironic that the change in status sounds like a downgrade…I guess you’d have to ask her about that). What was it that finally sold me on committing? Her beauty? Her grace and charm? Her intelligence and wit? Certainly, each of these factors played a significant role in my overall attraction and fondness, and eventually contributed to my pledge of devotion. But what was the final hammer swing that knocked down my wall?

It was the following conversation, which took place after we ate dinner this past Friday:

Me (talking from the kitchen as I make myself a drink): “Do you want something to drink? Coke?”
Her: “Yeah, but just a little bit. *notices me opening a bottle of whiskey* What’s that?”
Me: “I’m going to have a Coke & whiskey. Why, do you want one too?”
Her: *without hesitating* “Make it a whiskey on the rocks, with a splash of water.”

She’s a keeper, folks.

A true “On the Rocks” wifey, though, must have boozing skills well beyond that of the average woman. And so Girlfriend faces her test of fire this weekend: Chief’s 30th birthday celebration, to be held Friday and Saturday in Washington, D.C. This will also mark her introduction to a cast of characters whose exploits have been chronicled on this page in the past, such as Chief, Kim, Finn, Genoa, Breitling, Esq, TD, Baby Joey, Uncle Paulie


Actually, I’m just hoping she’s still around when I wake up Sunday morning.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On-the-Job Stress

The everyday pressures and annoyances of the workplace can get to the strongest of us, even when your workplace is fully stocked with alcohol.