Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Hangover Part II -- Full Trailer

It's looking good. It's looking really good. Let's hope for the best, and BYOB to the theaters on Memorial Day.

Social Drinking Excellence: Lindsay Lohan

This was destined to happen the second this regular "On the Rocks" feature was started. Lindsay and alcohol are almost as synonymous as...well, as me and alcohol. Ironically, if she didn't have the checkered past that she does [Am I the only person who is shocked to read that she's only 24? I feel like we've endured 20 years of Lindsay/alcohol/drugs/general buffoonery news clips.], this story likely would have ended up as a different kind of "On the Rocks" feature: "Wifey Material". But, alas...

Lindsay seems to have broken probation with a spectacular night of drunkeness in Gotham. From The Daily Mail:

Sitting in a grimy street, head almost on the pavement, troubled star Lindsay Lohan appears to be down and out as she leaves a New York bar.

Looking decidedly the worse for wear, Lohan - who as part of her probation is not allowed to drink alcohol - appeared to have spent the best part of the evening hanging out with friends in bar The Cabin Down Below soon after arriving in New York by private jet.

After emerging, she is seen stooping on the floor, groping for support, and struggling to stay atop her high platform heels.

Dressed in a very short black dress, leopard print coat, the Machete star knelt on the floor, cigarette in hand, laughing uncontrollably and inadvertently exposed her underwear.

The 24-year-old stumbles to her feet while her laughing friends - which includes Samantha Swetra who was recently involved in a fight with Boardwalk Empire actress Paz de la Huerta - show little concern.
I hesitated to post this at first, because no one has confirmed that Lohan was, in fact, drunk. But, Lindsay being Lindsay, I feel pretty safe standing on the assumption that she was twisted like a wet rag. My thoughts:
  1. The Paz connection is ironic, given that she was the last Hollywood actress to earn a Rummy. Though her performance was a tad more grandiose, as she managed to expose a titty AND have it all recorded on video. Lindsay, it seems, has some work to do on her game—she's getting outperformed by newcomers.
  2. Which is more surprising: That Lindsay flashed her panties, or that she was actually wearing panties? Yeah, that's what I thought.
  3. There is a part of me (likely located in my southern hemisphere) that wants to believe this is all a misconstrued moment of innocent fun with friends. I mean, she is wearing huge platform shoes—the odds of falling in those are roughly the same whether you're drunk or sober. She does know her own reputation, and that it would be impossible for her to go anywhere in NYC without paparazzi following her. So how would she expect to get drunk and violate probation when she has zero chance of getting away with it? But every time I stop to consider these factors, I keep coming back to, "Yeah,'s Lindsay."
*sigh* Who would've thought there's a rich, good looking woman out there who's too big of a drunk to be wifey material? Lindsay, your Rummy's in the mail. It comes with a matching ankle bracelet (that a nice officer will be helping you put on).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wifey Material: Sweet Dee

Whether she's chugging beers with teenagers or being more Paula than Paula Abdul at a talent show tryout, Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) is the perfect drinking partner-in-crime-and-in-life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Full Metal Patrick

Tony and I strode down the street towards Shannon’s Mt. Washington apartment at 9:30 a.m. Armed with a 5 Hour Energy in my pocket, a fifth of Jameson in my hand, and my “Irish I was Drunk” tee on my back, I felt like I was walking into combat. It may have been my last shred of sensibility that kept me from saying to Tony, “On my word, unleash hell.” As we approached we met up with Weatherman, who was also just arriving. He dapped me and nodded towards the large gym bag slung over his shoulder. “Case of Guinness.”

I love the smell of Car Bombs in the morning.

Shannon’s the consummate hostess. A table with cups and pong balls was set up on her deck, and the sliding glass doors that you pass through to get there were turned into a sign-up sheet by washable markers. Two coolers full of beer and ice sat near the steps. Trays of food blanketed the kitchen like a fresh snowfall of pepperoni rolls, cookies, and pretzels. Bottles of hard liquor crowded the counter of the portable bar in the living room, and Celtic music wafted from her stereo. Only one blemish appeared on her party-planning performance: she left Entertainer, her boyfriend, in charge of the beer. That meant that her coolers were stocked with Pabst Blue Ribbon Light. My first instinct upon hearing this was to cast various aspersions upon his pedigree. Then I remembered that he and I not only graduated from the same college, but the same high school, too. *sigh*

If you were going to gather the most rabid pack of alcohol-hungry boozehounds that you could imagine, with the sole intention of sicking them on Saint Patrick himself, I think you’d come up with the following lineup: TJ and Rackt, Jay Swag, Mitch Canada, Dupa, Chappy, Affliction, Belle, Prince of Ligonier, Dr. Kelly, Weatherman, Tony, Shannon, Entertainer, and a humble fella by the internet pseudonym of D.E.F.I. Maybe you’d throw in another 30 lovers of the sauce as well—we certainly did. And every last one of us drank like consumption was going to be outlawed at sunup the following day. If you had 24 hours to live, how would you drink? If you had 24 hours to drink, how would you live?

The steps from Shannon’s living room down to the deck were slick from seasonal rains and a moderate accumulation of moss. We may never have known how much of a hazard these conditions can create if it weren’t for Prince, whose ass made contact with Shannon’s deck long before his feet ever did. Rackt and TJ witnessed the tumble; later, when they were telling me about it in the living room, Rackt said, “I felt so bad for him.” TJ shot a look in my direction. “If you had been down there when [Prince] fell, how would you have reacted?” “Well,” I said, “I would’ve asked if he was okay…as I uploaded pictures to Facebook with tears of laughter coming down my cheek.” When Prince and his fractured dignity made it back inside, he showed us the moss green stains on the sleeves of his thermal undershirt. “At least it’s St. Patty’s Day,” we offered. “Otherwise, those stains would look ridiculous.”

By 1:45, several of us had trickled into Redbeard’s. I crossed paths with a project manager from my program at work, and luckily was still coherent enough to say a few words of greeting before plopping down at a table on the patio with TJ, Rackt, Tony, Dupa, Prince, and Weatherman. But it wasn’t much longer before things grew…foggy. I’d done at least three rounds of Irish Car Bombs at Shannon’s, as well as Jell-O shots and beer pong. And all the while I had been steadily drinking cans of PBR Light and Miller Lite, as well as bottles of Point St. Benedicts Winter Ale. My memory and I were on a conference call, and someone on my side had started playing with the mute button.

We left Redbeard’s, intent on taking our campaign to Station Square. As we walked toward the Incline, I jumped on Weatherman’s back for an unrehearsed piggyback ride. That lasted all of .693 seconds, as the big guy lost his balance—seriously, how does someone who’s been drinking all day lose his balance…psshhh—and his resulting struggle to restore stasis launched me feet-first into the street. Thankfully, the approaching minivan’s brakes were up to par. Having defied (or is that “D.E.F.I.’d”?) Death, I laughed and rejoined the march to Station Square.

Pardon me if I paraphrase, but by now my brownout was only growing stronger. We moved to a bar in Station Square…that I know nothing about. Well, not nothing; it’s across the street from the Hard Rock CafĂ©. Beyond that, I’m at a loss. Tony chose it (personally, I think Tony being in charge is a distinct sign of just how irreparably impaired the rest of us were), and not even he knows the name of it. I remember there being girls there—new ones, not the used ones from the party (I kid, ladies). But how well we romanced them, how many times they maced us, how long the restraining orders are in effect…these are all unsolvable mysteries. The only thing I know for certain is we somehow all got to Rumshakers in South Side.

I remember only one moment from my visit to Rumshakers: a still frame of frozen time as I stood at the bar talking to Mary. [You know, the sexy bartender with the huge chest? …From the time last year when I was there and The Ex was in the cut, stalking me? …Wait, I never told you that story. …Damn I’m a lazy-ass writer.] Also, I remember someone handing me a beer. But that’s it; the 8 mm on my St. Patty’s 2011 ends there. When the lights came back up in the theater, I was sitting on the loveseat in my own apartment. In my boxers. Alone. *sigh*

Damage assessment: Total.

The postscript to my memories of the day has been incredible, as nearly every person in my crew who I’ve talked to seems to have had some adventure or two at the close of the night. Wondrous tales abound at every turn:

  • When TJ and Rackt decided to call it a night, they walked back towards Station Square and the Incline. Rackt was, by then, in “Angry White Female” mode—a common side effect that can result from a full day of heavy drinking. When she found that a group of guys walking down the street needed to be told that they were acting like idiots, TJ had to do his best to drag her away from the confrontation. As they continued down the sidewalk, he said, “We’ve been with a crew of people bigger than me all day, but you wait ‘til we’re alone to get me into a fight?!”
  • As they traveled on, they happened upon Affliction, who we had lost early in the day’s action. He had literally vanished while we were at Redbeard’s. Now, at about 9 pm, here he was in a random part of the South Side, quietly standing at a bus stop.
    TJ convinced Aff to come with them; TJ would drop him off at his house on the way home. As they walked, Aff explained where he’d been all day. “I had to take care of something,” he said with a guilty grin. “She was terr—…” He stopped his storytelling as they passed a row house with its front door opened wide. Inside there
    was a party going on, with the sounds of people and music spilling out into the street. After they’d passed the house, Aff spoke up again. “I just fucked some fat chick at that party.”
  • Jay Swag sent me a text, right around the time I awoke on my loveseat, stating that his face was bleeding and his glasses were smashed. He also sent a picture he’d taken in the mirror; his face looked like he’d gone five rounds before the knockout. I asked him a day later who hit him. “Carson Street packs one hell of a punch.”
  • Then you have Tony and Dupa. They left Rumshakers together, and tried to hail a cab. Having no luck, they found Pakistanimal and offered him $20 to drive them up to Mt. Washington. He agreed, and they all started walking towards his car. But when Pak turned back a block or two later to ask them something, both Dupa and Tony were gone. They had spotted Tom’s Diner; getting to Mt. Washington, it seems, would have to wait.
    Although they had quit on the day’s boozing—and had eaten, even—the day’s boozing hadn’t quit on them. Their blackouts had rolled on, growing stronger with each passing minute. After they had paid the bill at Tom's, they parted ways as though they had never known each other. Dupa walked straight outside and renewed his search for a cab; Tony walked down the street in the other direction. TK randomly happened upon his roommate, who by this point was standing in the middle of Carson, waving money at passing cars. He pulled Dupa over to the sidewalk and drove him home. Tony, on the phone with K-Man’s wife April, ran into a girl that they both know from work. He handed the phone to Girl-from-Work, who said to April, “You need to come get him. He’s a mess.” April, angel that she is, drove the half-hour-each-way trip into the city and back, dropping Tony off at his house along the way.
  • Monday morning I was in the kitchen at work when the project manager from my team walked in and greeted me with a grin. “Just so you know, I saw you almost get killed on Saturday.” I blinked at him in confusion, because I had (and continue to have) absolutely no recollection of almost getting hit by a minivan on the way to the Incline.

In the end, everyone—with the notable exception of Swag—managed to make it home unharmed…sort of. Chappy and Rackt each had to purchase new cell phones due to alcohol-related causes. They may have gotten off cheaply, though. The only way I could begin to sum up my state of mind that Sunday: I felt as though I’d damaged my soul. Dupa expressed similar sentiments, and Tony maintains that we each shaved a good five years off of our lives.

"Only the dead have seen the end of war."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Get with the Clique

Here's a new ad for Clique Vodka, which is brought to you by Pittsburgh's own Premier Innovations Group.

I know a few people who know a few of the people behind Clique's marketing efforts, and decided to test it out late last year. Being a start-up, and costing only $15 for a fifth, I didn't set my expectations too high as I poured my first glass of it. After taking my first sip, I waited for a bitter floor cleaner taste to seize my tongue. Instead, I was greeted by a pleasant surprise: the vodka was smooth, with a fresh, clean taste. So smooth and clean, in fact, that I had to check my receipt again to be sure I had only paid $15 for it. Amazing.

Check their website for locations where Clique is sold. If there's one near you (and with every passing day that becomes more and more likely), I highly suggest you get to the store and pick up a few bottles. It's great on the rocks or with mixers (which guarantees the ladies will love it too). Their savvy marketing team has, of course, also blitzed Facebook and Twitter in an attempt to help get the word out.

Well boys, consider this the official On the Rocks—and Crooked Straight—endorsement. If you folks at home need any further encouragement, though...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Social Drinking Excellence: Keith Gruber

I really don't think there's anything for me to add to this tale. So I'll just give you the report in full:
A New York man is being held in jail after showing up an hour and a half late for a court hearing on a felony DWI charge — he was also drunk and carrying an open can of Busch beer, authorities say.

Keith Gruber, 49, is in Sullivan County Jail without bail. He was allegedly carrying four more beer cans in a bag when he went through the courthouse security check on Monday.

The Middletown Times Herald-Record reported that Gruber, from Swan Lake, appeared before Sullivan County Judge Frank LaBuda, who asked him if he enjoyed his "liquid lunch."

Gruber said he did, then said he was sorry. LaBuda sent him to jail with no bail.

"It was obvious that he was intoxicated," LaBuda said according to the Herald-Record.

Gruber, who has prior DWI convictions, was arrested on Dec. 27 in the town of Liberty and had been out on $30,000 cash bail before this week's unfortunate court appearance.
A few thoughts:
  1. Showing up for any court hearing drunk is just tugging on Satan's tail. But when you've been charged with a felony DWI? Well, you're not just pulling on Satan's tail, you're laughingly pissing on it.
  2. Day-drinking is supposed to be limited to special parties, events, or basically days free of responsibilities/chores. If you call off work to get hammered all day with your boys while playing PS3? Maybe you're a bit of a slacker, but in general you're just a fun-loving person. If you outline your day by saying, "Let's see, I have to stop by the post office, go to my court date, and then stop at the store to pick up that medication for my mother. Hmmmmm...I'll never have time to finish this 12 pack before I leave; I'd better make them to-go," well then you have a legitimate problem, and it ain't the metal detector at the courthouse.
  3. Admittedly, this has nothing to do with the drunken shenanigans in the story, but I love the irony that Gruber was arrested in "the town of Liberty".
Mr. Gruber, your Rummy's in the mail. It can also be used as a thermos, so you don't have to lug your "roadies" around in a bag.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wifey Material: Holly Madison

Another week, another Playboy bunny shows her "On the Rocks" merits. This time it's the former "Girls Next Door" and current "Holly's World" star, who took part in the Sport of Kings in Vegas on St. Patrick's Day.

On St Patrick’s Day, Ex-Playmate Madison took part in a Beer Pong tournament at O’Sheas Casino, which is apparently the “Centre of the Beer Pong Universe.” Good stuff. Didn’t know it warranted a universe.

...Holly played Beer Pong (which seems to involve a lot of jumping around with your arms spread – we’re not complaining, though) in a sexy dress and then had some pictures taken with what we’re sure isn’t an authentic leprechaun.
Playboy Playmate, beer pong vet, television star, lover of leprechauns... Yup, wifey-worthy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wifey Material: Hiromi Oshima

Being a refined drinker (shut up), I love nothing more than a fine glass of single malt scotch. And, as those who know me personally can attest, my love for Hiromi is deep—and well-documented. So when I saw this photo of my favorite Playmate working the Glenlivet table at the Playboy Golf Finals...well, needless to say, it just brought a tear to my eye.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Drink up, bitches. I won't be able to toast a glass until later today because of work (and partly because I damaged my soul during Pittsburgh's St. Patty's celebrations this past Saturday...but mostly because the work thing). Cheers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Keep It Movin'

It’s almost here.

Pittsburgh’s St. Patty’s Day is tomorrow, and preparations are underway everywhere you look. Shannon’s been collecting supplies of food, alcohol, and adrenaline shots for her party, which starts at 8 a.m. Rackt is in town for her first real St. Patty celebration (despite what you may have heard about Tampa’s vast Irish population) and, after some encouragement by TJ, she finally bought herself a t-shirt for the day (most everyone running wild through the streets of Pittsburgh, of course, will have on clever green tees to mark the occasion; it's what St. Patrick would have wanted). Entertainer bought himself a $200+ kilt, and now is busy picking out the thong he’ll wear underneath (I’m kidding…kind of…). As for me, I stocked up on whiskey, both for Shannon’s party and for practicing at home. And I’ll also be buying a bottle of 5 Hour Energy to use as an eye opener tomorrow afternoon.

Aside from all the excitement and mayhem that comes with this day, it raises a potential problem: Chaperones. As in, we’ll be so drunk that we’ll need some. I tried to get Steph to fly in from NYC to take the job of being my personal Sherpa (since she did a miraculous job of it at the Pirates’ Home Opener last year), but she declined. Dammit. And I need supervision more than most do, since I have the bad habit of roaming off when heavily intoxicated. In fact, one of my most fantastic voyages came on St. Patty’s Day in 2004 [cue flashback cutaway...].

    It was 11:30 p.m.; I’d been boozing across the city for the better part of about ten hours and found myself at Jack’s Bar with various friends. I was scheduled to share a room at the Holiday Inn Express in the South Side with Tony, K-Man, and five other Irish-for-the-day revelers. The problem I soon perceived—as much as I could perceive anything, given the restrictor plate of beer that I’d installed in my head—was math. Six of the other people in our group were actually three couples; and Tony, the only other single besides me, had run into a jumpoff. That left me in a hotel room with eight people engaged in various forms of romantic entertainment while I twiddled my thumbs.
    Now, keep in mind, this is only how I was predicting things would go. It was an assumption on my part, not something more logical like, say, reality. In truth, even the couples in the room would be doing nothing but sleeping. None of them were the freaky type to bone with other people present. And Tony’s jumpoff wasn’t confirmed to be joining us; it was just drunken supposition on my part. Still, the little drunken man behind the curtain in my head had no way of coming up with “4” when putting “2” and “2” together. I told my friends I was going to the bathroom, and stealthily headed for the exit. Halfway down Carson St., though, I realized no cabs were going to stop for me. Home, at that time, was my mother’s house, about eight miles away. Surely I wouldn’t walk that far in a drunken stupor at midnight, would I?
    Oh, yes I would. A 4½ hour trek ensued, including:
    (1.) Walking a bike trail along the banks of the Monongahela River, since the sidewalk along Carson eventually stops when the street turns into more of a highway;
    (2.) Falling asleep as I walked, and awaking to find myself sliding down the embankment towards the river, having stepped off said bike trail;
    (3.) Walking along train tracks after the bike trail stopped abruptly (only in Pittsburgh would they build a trail that doesn’t go anywhere);
    (4.) Soldiering on as a large, loud freight train blew past on the tracks, about five feet away from me;
    (5.) Climbing up and over a fence between those tracks and the access road to Sandcastle, an area waterpark, to avoid any future encounters with trains.

St. Patty’s Day 2010 saw another bit of unexplainable travel on my part; this time much less dangerous—though just as curious. Early in the evening I was again in the South Side, this time at Rumshakers with Dupa, Tony, Prince of Ligonier, Mrs. Prince, Belle, Jay Swag, Mitch Canada, and various others. After an hour or two, Prince walked down the road to another bar with his squad (consisting of his wife and two of their friends) and Dupa. According to Prince, I was still at Rumshakers when they left. I have no personal recollection of this, though, because I was painstakingly blacked out. When I came out of my walking sleep, I was at Prince’s apartment in the North Hills (which is roughly eight miles in the opposite direction than that which I had traveled in 2004). More impressively, though, I was still drinking, a good 14 hours after starting that morning. The next day, Prince and the others filled me in as best they could:

    After some time at the other bar, the five of them decided they wanted to head back to Prince and Mrs. Prince’s place to eat and drink away from the crowds. They tried to hail a cab, but if you’ve paid attention to any of my past stories involving taxis in Pittsburgh, then you know just how difficult that can be—especially on a huge day like St. Patty’s. It took them quite a while to get a cab to stop for them. And when one finally did stop, they eagerly began piling in one by one. Then, suddenly, they were joined by a new companion: me. No one knows
    where I came from—hell, not even I know that, and I lived it. But, as if by puff of smoke, I appeared and nonchalantly climbed in alongside them. [If only MTV or some other network would start reading this blog; a camera crew following me around would mean finally getting some answers when I wake up in the morning.]

Reading these stories, you might think that I only go on these unplanned adventures when I’ve been drinking green beer, but there are plenty of other tales of me hiking across Pittsburgh after a night of boozing that take place during other times of the year. So the calendar date isn’t the common denominator. No, the culprit seems to be the South Side.

    Last summer, TJ’s boy Cap came to Pittsburgh one weekend, and a night on the town was launched to celebrate. We started at Hofbrauhaus and soon moved onto the South Side. But, although I was drinking beer by the litre at Hofbrau, I soon found Entertainer shoving multiple Jack & Cokes—prepared by a bartender that he went to high school with, so you can guess just how much Coke was actually in them—in my direction when we stopped at a bar on Carson. We soon moved to Jimmy D’s, but the next thing I remember unquestionably is me walking through Oakland around 2 a.m., headed towards my place. Confused though I was to find myself far, far away from where I’d last remembered being, I decided to continue my journey home, sleep it off, and sort things out in the morning.
    After a few more paces, though, a thought awoke in my head: My car was still parked in a parking garage…by Hofbrauhaus. Fuuuuuucccccck. I hung a right and headed back towards the South Side. It was another sobering hour plus of walking before I reached the garage, and another 20 more minutes before I was safely in my bed.

Saturday could get ugly. I’m hoping the 5 Hour Energy will be just the kick I need to keep myself in line and off of bike trails throughout the night. If not, then it’s all Steph’s fault.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

To all my alkie peoples on Bourbon St. today: get right, and have several for me. Yet another Mardi Gras has come and found me stationed hundreds of miles away from New Orleans. The only thing I can take solace in is that the closest thing Pittsburgh has to Fat Tuesday, our St. Patty's Day Parade, is coming up this Saturday. We have just as much booze, beads, and buffoonery; but, at 50°F, there's a lot less bare boobage (and that's really the best of the "B's").

Maybe next year I'll get to dance on Bourbon St. with a Hurricane in my hand and a cutie like the one below on my hip? A man can only dream. Again and again and again.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beer Ninja

"The force is strong in that one..."

From Deadspin:
David Goldman of the AP caught this magical snapshot on Friday at the Jays-Braves game in Kissimmee. Mitch Davie is the Gators fan with the quick hands, protecting his seatmates and protecting his drink. Props to him for stepping up and preventing something like this, and props to the Braves for serving Red Stripe tall boys.
Well done, Mr. Davie. Well done. TJ with the assist.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

When It's Poured, It Reigns

In my 31st year on this planet, my level of activity is never consistent from one weekend to the next. I’ll spend one Friday and Saturday night in sweatpants, posted up on the couch with DVR’d episodes of Archer on the TV screen, and a week later I’ll be running between multiple events, happenings, and brouhahas that all seem to be going on at once. In February I took a road trip to Buffalo on a Friday afternoon; boozed all over the town that night; woke up the next morning and came back to Pittsburgh; drowned myself in Gatorade and aspirin, took a nap, and then hosted an Anti-Valentine’s night of barhopping in Shadyside with a cast of characters on Saturday night. The weekend after that? I didn’t move from my couch for the better part of 72 hours, hacking and wheezing through a bad chest cold.

The glamour life.

Last weekend I managed to find time for both sweatpants and debauchery. Friday TJ and I kicked it low-key with food, TV, and a few drinks at my place [Dupa was supposed to be a part of this, but he pulled the “blow off your boys at the last minute to see a girl” bitch move; he has been repeatedly chastised by our circle ever since, and deservedly so]. Saturday, though, was packed with three soirees around town—as well as one in Seven Springs that I had to forfeit attending due to the obvious logistics hurdle involved. My friend “Nitschke” was beginning his night of birthday celebrations at Hofbrauhaus, where a get-together for another friend of mine was also taking place. I planned to put in appearances at each of these, and then conclude the night at Tank’s place, where he was hosting a house party.

There’s an innate risk, though, in trying to synchronize this type social event hopscotch; the plan’s choreography is dependent upon each player’s attention to detail and ability to think on his or her feet. And, unfortunately for me, Dupa has the situational awareness of Lenny from “Of Mice and Men”.

He had gone to Hofbrauhaus around 4 to meet up with Nitschke and co. I rolled down around 6, having not heard a peep out of anyone aside from TJ, who said he’d catch up with us when we got to Levelz, a bar on Carson St. in South Side. I tried calling Dupa as I walked up to the Hof, but didn’t get an answer. I shot off a text to both he and Nitschke asking where they were in the crowded German restaurant. When I’d walked around without finding anyone or getting any calls or messages back, I phoned the birthday boy. “Uhh,” he responded after picking up, “didn’t [Dupa] tell you I left? I’m walking into the White Eagle.”

Nitschke said he had specifically told Dupa to alert me to the change of venue before he left Hofbrauhaus. And not only had Dupa—who hadn’t departed when Nitschke did, but had instead trailed behind to look for the other Hof party—failed to inform me that everyone else from the first shindig had already moved onto another bar, but he had neglected to notify me when he left a few minutes later. That’s two kicks to the doorknockers that I owed my Polish associate for party fouls that weekend, and I hadn’t even been in the same building with him yet.

Nitschke said he would only be at the Eagle for one quick drink, and that I might as well head to Levelz, which would be their next destination. Since TJ was also heading there, I abandoned my plan to stop by the other Hof party and drove over to Carson St. And after I’d gotten to the bar and ordered a beer, I shot TJ a text to see what his ETA was. His response: “We’re at the White Eagle.”

I hate my friends.

I sipped on my bottle of Sam Adams for another ten minutes, while daydreaming of kicking justice out of my boys and wishing I’d worn heavier boots. Nitschke and some of his friends were the first (well, second, third, fourth, etc.) to arrive. He loaded up the jukebox with Clipse and Mos Def songs while we waited for everyone else. “You know,” I remarked to him, “You’re probably the first white boy in a V-neck sweater to ever play ‘Grindin’ on a jukebox.”

Eventually Dupa, Mitch Canada, Jay Swag, and TJ came through the door; after I dished out some verbal abuse, the party as a whole relocated to the tables in the back of the bar to watch the Penguins/Leafs game. Reaching your 30s has a definitive effect on your party behavior. In our 20s, we would’ve been loud and rambunctious, propositioning female bartenders, spilling drinks, and making management nervous. Instead the 15 of us relaxed in chairs, calmly talking sports, music, and life. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is our conversations inevitably turning towards the topic of sex.

Jay Swag: “I could hate-fuck something right now.”
Me: “Isn’t that kind of redundant, though? I mean, knowing you, I can’t picture any of your fucking being anything but hate-fucking.”

Swag informed us that he has, in fact, engaged in “love sex”—twice. Every other time was angry and ginger.

I made my way to Tank’s around 10:30, cruising with a slight buzz and The Black Album bumping on my stereo. When I walked into a house full of familiar tipsy faces, Chief gave me the beverage menu. “Beer’s downstairs, or *pointing to bottle* we have Beam.” I eagerly went with Plan B [The odds of me ever using that phrase again? Yet another mile marker of being 30something]. I poured myself a glass and looked for a mixer, to no avail. Noticing my unsuccessful search, Chief said, “Yeah, we’re drinking ‘neat’ tonight.”

Drinking glasses of straight Jim Beam after several hours of polishing off bottles of Boston Lager during the game? I saw no good coming of this.

And, of course, none did. As a collective, we circled the drain gradually, but with certainty. Finn and I narrowly lost to Chief and Sloku on the beer pong table. Sipping from a tumbler of bourbon in between chugs of beer from felled cups was poetic illustration of the balancing act we’ve found at 30. One moment urbane and sharp, discussing the politics of the Middle East and the pitfalls of marriage; the next youthful and crude, cracking jokes about body parts and each other’s sexualities. And yet it all contributed to the whole and finished product that we had become: very, very drunk.

  • One of our friends, Clay, yelled, “Meat! C’mere, Meat!” TD watched in shock as his four year old daughter came walking in from another room. “You call your daughter ‘Meat’?” Clay, however, didn’t see anything strange in it. “What? She’s my little meathead,” he said affectionately.
  • Hollywood and Chief stumbled into the type of mini-feud so commonly suffered by two guys too inebriated to know what language they’re speaking. Jokes led to sack taps; sack taps led to wrestling; wrestling led to a fishhook; a fishhook led to someone’s finger being severely bitten. And, of course, that bite led to rage and a momentary disruption of the party.
  • Tank, Esq, and I lit up cigars on the back porch (a terrific idea for someone recovering from a bad chest cold, by the way). Tank, typical of married people who have some alcohol in them, became convinced that finding me a girlfriend was somehow necessary for my survival. “You don’t want a girlfriend?” “I’m just not concerned with it, man. I’m not saying I don’t want one, but I'm not going to break my back to make it happen.” This wasn’t satisfactory for him, though. Seeking backup, he turned to Esq, who had been more engrossed with bringing the radio outside while we smoked. “Don’t you think he needs a girl?” Esq is engaged, and certainly in no hurry to see others go through the same headaches that he does. “Not really. Let him enjoy it while he can.”
  • The only three still awake by 4 a.m.: Hollywood, who watched old sitcom reruns in the living room; Tank, who microwaved frozen snack food; and me, who ransacked the remaining buffalo chicken dip that Tank’s wife had made.
Like I said, the glamour life. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to Archer. Danger zooonnnnne.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hit Me with Your Best Shot

Boozing is like war: A fight to the finish between you and anyone who poses a threat to that which you hold dear. And, as warriors in the boozing game, we hold our ability to triple our vision more dear than any other liberty.

From Pat Hanavan's Tumblr.