Thursday, January 29, 2009

The 4 Guys

I have to say, the strategy employed in this new TV commercial from Captain Morgan is rather genius. I'm almost tempted to test it out with some friends one of these days.

The 4 Guys - Captain Morgan Funny Commercial - More free videos are here

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Boozing Field Survival Kit

Every adventurer knows that specific tools and equipment are vital to his or her safe voyage through lands unchartered and escapades unpredicted. The youngest of us learn to “always be prepared” in our boy (or girl) scout days, and that motto should serve as an important lesson for us as drinkers in our adult years. Alcohol is good for bringing about the unexpected—that’s one of the many things we love about it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t crucial to be ready for some of the obstacles that will get thrown your way.

The items on this list are essential for smooth navigation of the good times, and should be considered standard gear for any true enthusiast.

Bottle Opener

You don’t have to carry around a large steel one like most bartenders keep handy (although I’ve always found something rather sexy about female bartenders who work with one sticking out of the back pockets of their jeans…but I digress). A simple keychain opener is usually enough (that’s mine to the right). I’m sure that 90% of your beer drinking (if you’re of similar finances as me) involves pop-tops and screw-caps. But few things are more frustrating than being handed a cold Heineken, Corona, Sam Adams, etc. at a party, and having no way of quenching that all-encompassing thirst. And nothing says “knight in shining armor” like being able to come to the rescue of a cutie who is facing that same frustration.


This one hardly needs to be said, since these days even the cavemen in the Geico ads have camera phones. And the cyclical popularities of digital cameras and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook has turned every 20-something girl out on the town into Annie Leibovitz, snapping away as her gal pals vogue with glee. But there is some honesty to the intentions; capturing the moment becomes all the more important when you’re unlikely to have any personal recollection of that moment the next day.


Raise your hand if you have ever been gathered at a friend’s house, apartment, dorm room, etc, with beers in hand, but at a loss for conversation or entertainment. More than likely, your solution was the same that my friends and I have employed on numerous occasions: a deck of cards. There are an infinite number of drinking card games, and they usually require little more than a coffee table to set up.

Pong Balls

On my way to a party a few years ago, I got a call from the hostess, who asked me to stop by a store and pick up some pong balls for the beer pong table. As I stood in the sporting goods store that day, a revelation hit me: “I should keep a pack in my car for emergencies.” I bought one and threw it in my trunk, and was instantly impressed with my cleverness (of course, that could just mean that I’m easily impressed…but I digress). When I told some of my friends about this, I received the skeptical jokes and laughter that I expected. But when the hosts of a party held not long thereafter found themselves with beer, table, cups, and eager participants, but no beer pong balls, the jokes and laughter ceased.

ID Card/License

This item would seem to be a no-brainer. Bars and clubs across the country require proof of age—often even before you can enter. Yet time and time again, plans get stalled by the dreaded “Dude, I forgot my ID.” Maybe I’m just a creature of habit, but I never leave home without my driver’s license. Especially since it’s always in my wallet, which is something you kind of need when it comes to purchasing alcohol in a bar or store.

I have noticed, though, that occurrences of this error have lessened with age and experience. Now that my friends and I have grown a little older, we rarely (if ever) find ourselves hindered by a missing ID card. For those readers out there who are still early in their career, however, heeding this advice can save you the aggravation and time that experience costs.


I really can’t remember when or where I learned about the merits of drinking Gatorade to chase a hangover. I know it was some time after graduating college, but by now it feels like I’ve been doing it all my life. I typically keep one or two 32 oz. bottles (or “morning after pills”) in my refrigerator, chilled and ready for action.

Most drinkers are aware that water is a more than suitable substitute for fending off the day after’s misery; some even chug water before going to bed after a night of imbibing. Personally, I find it easier to throw back something that has some flavor, but to each his or her own. Some form of hydration is necessary, though, all the more so to assist in the use of…


If religious zealots the world over had their way and drinking disappeared tomorrow, companies that make aspirin would probably go out of business the following day. That is, unless you can get a headache from boredom.


The classic hip flask isn’t necessary for your day-to-day, typical night-on-the-town boozing. No, this is for special occasions, like weddings and road trips (if you’re a passenger), when there is a need for discretion. At the risk of sounding somewhat hypocritical, though, this is the one item on the list that I do not personally own—yet. I am determined to attain one by the end of 2009.

Luckily, some brands of liquor can be bought in small flask-like bottles. One of the events during my Senior Week in college was a dinner cruise on the rivers. Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper Fleet sells alcohol on their boats (at inflated prices), and therefore doesn’t permit you to bring any onboard. Little did they know, however, that I had two small pocket bottles of Hennessy tucked into my coat. For the better part of the night I deftly ordered only plain Cokes from the bartenders and waitresses, and yet found myself pleasantly twisted by the time we returned to the dock.

Hopefully, most of you out there in the trenches of the war on sobriety are well aware of the importance of each item on this list. If not, then your next move should be to properly arm yourself. Then add alcohol and ice, and stir. Salud.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"I, Booze, take thee, Bacon..."

Who out there—amongst what I have to believe is a fairly large cross section of people who hold an equally strong love for both alcohol and bacon—hasn’t dreamed of combining the two? Thanks to the folks at Sloshspot, you can now create your own bacon-flavored vodka, bourbon, and mixed drinks. Oh the wonders of creativity that house arrest can produce.
Making bacon-infused vodka is relatively easy, albeit time consuming process. In order to properly execute this infusion you will need some time. Therefore, it is best to plan ahead, about three weeks ahead. And, this is how you do it: Cook three to four pieces of bacon in a frying pan. Once cooked, add bacon to a clean pint sized mason jar. Trim the ends of the bacon if they are too tall to fit in the jar. You could also go hog wild pile in a bunch of fried up bacon scraps. Optional: add crushed black peppercorns. Fill the jar up with Vodka. Cap and place in a dark cupboard for at least three weeks. At the end of the three week resting period, place the bacon vodka in the freezer to solidify the fats. Strain out the fats through a coffee filter to yield a clear-filtered, pale yellow bacon vodka. Decant into bottles and enjoy (Makes one pint of vodka). Badda-bing badda-boom.

For more recipes, check out the original post at Sloshspot.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Drunks Say the Darndest Things

With apologies to Bill Cosby, the adage “kids say the darndest things” is bull. Anyone who thinks that has lived a boring life. Not only are drunken people a better source of quotables, laughing at them is far more sensible than laughing at children. A child, in most cases, has no reason not to think what he or she says; a drunk, in most cases, has no reason to say what he or she thinks.

The following are some my favorite lines slurred and moments stumbled through by my friends and me over the years.
  • After a long Saturday night at the bar a few years ago, I sat with Tony, K-Man, Stacy, and Bill in a Denny’s booth. The waitress brought us our drinks and then left to give us time to peruse the menu. Stacy, who had not let the fact that she was a girl stop her from keeping up a respectable pace in the booze race that night, was twisted—to put it lightly. Taking a sip from a straw, she recoiled in disgust. Angry, she looked at Bill and barked, “Why didn’t you TELL me this tea was unsweetened!”

    “Stacy,” I offered from across the table, “That’s water.”
  • During our 2003 trip to Ocean City, my friend (“Mike P.”) found himself in an enviable position. He had landed on the radars of two females: an attractive girl (“Amazon”) in our vacationing group of PA refugees, and an equally attractive friend of a friend of T.C.’s. Mike and Amazon were amongst several of us that went to Seacrets on the final night of the trip. He left early, though, when the other girl came by and picked him up. I left not long after with another four friends, and when we arrived home Uncle Paulie was talking to two less-than-desirable randoms on the front steps of our rented condos.

    U.P.: “Where’s [Mike P.]?”
    Me: “He’s moved on to number two.”
    Random 1: “‘Number two’ what?”
    Me: “His number two girl for the night. He left number one at the club.”
    Random 1: “Would I be a ‘number one’ or a ‘number two’?”
    Me: *screwfaced* “You’d be a four!”
  • This past New Year’s Eve, TD broke out the Jell-O shots midway through the night. About seven of us—including a girl who we’ll just call “Blonde Moment”—tossed back the first of many rounds; afterwards, however, Blonde Moment was a little confused. With complete sincerity, she leaned into TD and said, “Boy, this sure does taste different then the Jell-O I bring to work everyday!”
  • During the aforementioned-Ocean City trip, my boy Nick and I were standing outside late one night talking. Our friend Heather, a 5’2” sorority girl, came bounding up to us.

    Heather: “Did you ever do an Irish Car Bomb? I did my first one tonight, and snnihh sevveeehh shhifff flevv!!”

    In unison, Nick and I looked at each other incredulously, and then back at her. “What?

    Heather: “I szzshh thhtepp wwsh…*pauses, frustrated; turns to leave*…Fuck you guys!”
  • One Saturday, Dupa and I spent the night drinking in Ligonier. Returning to his parents’ house at the end of the night, we decided to feast on some leftovers. After putting a plate with a healthy cut of lasagna into the microwave, I paused. Staring at it lost, I finally asked, “Hey, where’s the 'lasagna' button?”
  • While sitting on the deck at an Ocean City pool bar, Uncle Paulie and T.C.’s wife (though at the time they weren’t married yet) watched T.C. (who was sporting a sunburn after a couple of days of fun in the sun) and I play Marco Polo with some children. One little girl in particular had taken a shining to T.C., and proceeded to playfully chase him around the pool.

    Mrs. T.C.: “I don’t know if I should be jealous of that little girl for chasing my boyfriend around.”
    U.P.: “She doesn’t know any better. He’s red and fat; she thinks he’s Santa Claus.”
  • In college I was an officer in our Black Student Union. In my junior year we organized a bowling outing one Friday night. My roommate Dame and I, in full party mode, packed several cans of beer into my bookbag to take along with us. Our group climbed onto a chartered school bus parked in front of the student center, and Dame soon asked me to pass the bookbag back to him.

    A short while later, however, a last-minute scheduling problem arose that meant we would have to wait about an hour to leave for the bowling alley. Dame handed the bookbag back to me as we departed the bus, but he neglected to warn me that it was still unzipped. As I walked off the last step of the bus, the bag flung open, sending about 10 cans of beer tumbling to the ground. Instinctively looking up to see who was watching, we locked eyes with the Dean of Students, who was only about 40 feet away. Dame, in a moment of alcoholic ingenuity, announced unconvincingly, “Oh no—our SODAS!
  • I awoke reasonably disoriented on the third morning of a four day trip to Ocean City in 2005. Looking around the hotel room that Dupa, Eric, Nate and I were sharing, I tried to wrap my head around the situation.

    Me: “Wait, is today Saturday?”
    Eric: “Yep.”
    Me: *still confused* “What happened to Friday?”

Wife Material

This video brings about some conflicting emotions within me. On the one hand, I'm inspired and joyful that this beautiful creature is out there, somewhere; and that she may be teaching her gift to others. On the other hand, seeing bikinis, swimming pools, and outdoor beer pong is a dirty, dirty tease at the moment, when the thermometer in Pittsburgh is showing "-3ºF".

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Let's Hear it for Peru!

I doubt this will lead to any legislation or similar rulings here in the United States, but a man can always dream.

From Reuters:
LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's top court has ruled that workers cannot be fired for being drunk on the job, a decision that was criticized by the government on Wednesday for setting a dangerous precedent.

The Constitutional Tribunal ordered that Pablo Cayo be given his job back as a janitor for the municipality of Chorrillos, which fired him for being intoxicated at work.

The firing was excessive because even though Cayo was drunk, he did not offend or hurt anybody, Fernando Calle, one of the justices, said on Wednesday.

Drunk, but not offending anyone? Amateur.

The article can be read in full here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dream Kitchen

This On the Rocks intermission is brought to you by the folks at Heineken, who remind you to always dream big.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Holi-Daze

Welcome to 2009, bitches.

Please forgive the term of endearment. Or don’t. Trudging back to work through cold rain after a week and a half off has triggered my annual January irritability. My empty bank account hasn’t helped either. I’ve mentioned before that my company’s pay schedule leaves the less-affluent employees hurting for funds at this time of year. Liberty (and libation) awaits me in February, but until then…f**k all y’all.

That being said, I did get in some good boozing over the second half of December. You can always count on me to enjoy the true holiday spirit(s). Some of the highlights:
  • On December 20th, Dupa and I went to a party at Carson City Saloon that was thrown by our friend Eric and his fiancée, Ashlee. It had been about nine or ten months since I had last seen Eric, so we threw back beers and stood by the bar catching up. I then relayed a story to him from back in May: I was out with a girl that I was dating, and two of her friends joined us. One of those friends, a petit blonde (“B.”), told me that she worked for a local company. Eric, to the best of my knowledge, also worked for that company. I asked her if she knew him, and she said, “Oh yeah, I know him. He just got fired!”

    After I told him the story, Eric asked me what this girl’s name was. When I told him, his eyes lit up.

    Eric: “Wait, [B.]? I know her—she’s hot! Wow, you were f**king [B.]?!”
    Me: “No, I—”

    I tried to explain that he had misunderstood, and that she was just a friend of a girl that I was dating at the time. But before I could get another word in, Eric tapped Ashlee’s shoulder, and said, “You remember [B.], from [company name]? [D.E.F.I.] was f**king her!” In a moment illustrating that these two are a perfect couple destined for a long and blissful marriage, Ashlee chirped, “You f**ked [B.]?! She’s hot!”

  • Earlier that same day, Dupa and I had helped TJ move into his new apartment on the north side of town. It was a long, 8-5 workday for us, and by the time we dropped off the U-Haul, TJ was somewhat adamant about staying at home for the rest of the night. Cut to about 11:30 pm, when I texted him to tell him that our friend Chad had met up with us at CCS. Twenty minutes later, while we drank and loudly caroused with strange women, TJ walked into the bar, ready to party.

  • My last day of work before the break was December 23rd, so that night I hit up the Shadyside Saloon with TJ, Tony, and Nate. Shannon and Dr. Kelly eventually met up with us, and we all had a good time playing darts, drinking beers, and just relaxing. Hollywood was due to join us, but seemed to be taking forever to do so. Around 11 pm I got a phone call from him. Through a heavy slur and pulsating music in the background, he asked where we were. I told him and asked where he was.

    Hollywood: “Okay, I’ll be there.”
    Me (again): “Where are you?”
    Hollywood: “I’m [unintelligible 2 second slur]…f**ko. [a pause, then a click]”

    He eventually showed well after midnight, and was more sauced than I had ever seen him before. He plopped down in a chair at our table, and sat glassy-eyed and motionless while the girls used tinsel from a nearby railing to decorate him like the Ghost of Christmas Fabulous.

    A couple of days later he asked how he got to Shadyside on that night. “By sheer miracle,” was my only response.

  • On the following Saturday (December 27th), Ashhad and I pregamed at my place before heading out on the town. I had received a bottle of Appleton Estate V/X for Christmas, and it smoothly pushed me over into my downhill journey towards blackout mode. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes rum (and forgetting half of your night). Dupa was scheduled to join us, but was slowed by his heavy partying the night before (which involved an embarrassing night at his hometown bar), and he soon gave up any inclination to go two nights in a row.

    Ashhad and I met some friends for a couple of drinks at Shady Grove, and then caught a cab to the South Side to convene with Eric, Ashlee, and some of their friends at Mario’s. The party soon moved to Casey’s Draft House, which is renowned for ManBoy, a “little person” who entertains the crowd by dancing around on the bar and pouring shots into people’s mouths. Not long after we arrived, Ashhad noticed a sign advertising a “Jager Bomb Bucket.” He bought one for the six of us, and the bartender handed us a tin bucket filled with ice, a bottle of Jager, cans of Red Bull, and plastic cups. Each of us threw back two shots—oh boy. There was no turning back now; the best I could hope for the rest of the night was to steer myself away from vomiting. TJ arrived not long before my night faded to black. I vaguely remember going to Carson City and then to afterhours at the Caravan Club (a private club in the South Side), and then Ashhad and I walking from my place to Village Pizza at about 3:30 am.

    When I awoke the next morning Ashhad was gone (as was a bottle of Powerade that had been in my fridge), and my bathtub and a towel in the bathroom were wet (only one of my friends would indulge in a shower and bottle of sports drink on the house). Talking to TJ a day or two later, he gave the following commentary:

    “Highlight of the evening: Ashhad pulling out a cigarette at Caravan, realizing he had had no lighter, then looking at a random girl 5 feet away and saying, ‘I need a light, bitch.’”

    When I repeated the story to Ashhad, he paused and said, “Did she give me the light?”

  • New Year’s Eve was spent at Joey and TD’s house. Guests filled the refrigerator with bottles of the bubbly (that is an actual picture—complete with TD’s “thumbs up”—at right), and beer pong matches raged in the heated garage. Joey said that at one point, not long after the ball dropped, he walked into his living room, and observed that each of the 7 or 8 people in there had his or her own bottle of champagne, and each was taking it to the head.

    I downed one full bottle myself, and then polished off the second half of Dupa’s bottle. According to him, I then found an abandoned bottle sitting on the dining room table and started working it down as well. I don’t recall that, personally; unfortunately, the very fact that I don’t recall doing it makes it all the more likely that I indeed did it. I blacked out for an hour or two, at the end of which I found myself emptying my stomach into the bathroom sink.

    If your first few hours of a year are any indication of how the next 364 days will go, then 2009 is going to be one hell of a ride.
Once I get to February, that is.