Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Drunks Say the Darndest Things 4

Oh, it’s that time again? Well then, let’s get to it.

A quick note first, though, so that I may pat myself on the back: Over the past year I’ve made a point of doing a better job at recording quotes as they happen (not that I’ve been flawless at this)—or, at least, as the stories have randomly come to mind. As such, I have kept a running journal that by now is fairly full. I actually had to pare down the list when writing out this post. Who says I’m a useless drunk? Ha! I’m a useful drunk!

  • One Sunday last June, TD was scheduled to be guest-bartending at her favorite South Side watering hole, the Birmingham Bridge Tavern. When I arrived, however, I found her on the customer side of the bar, along with a grand total of six other people—four of whom were Jay Swag, Dupa, Tennessee, and Dupa’s roommate. And everyone, especially the little would-be bartender, was crushed. When we decided to relocate to Rumshakers, TD squeezed into the backseat of my two-door coupe, which apparently was in need of some detailing. From behind me I heard her scoff, "Your backseat is dusty! Don't you ever have sex back here?!"

  • TK booked a hotel room the night of his going away party in July, since the lease on his apartment had ended the day before that. This only added to his one-night-in-town-break-out-or-be-clowned—“carpe diem”, for those untrained in 90’s hip-hop—sort of mood. At one point in the night, he and I stood in Sammy’s having the following conversation:

    TK: “I'm taking a bath tonight.”
    Me: *pause* “I've never heard a drunk person say that.”
    TK: “Well, it's the Westin. I'll probably masturbate in a pillow case!”

  • Late on St. Patty’s Day—well, after 4 p.m.; keep in mind, we started around 9 o’clock that morning—in 2010, I was at Rumshakers with a cast of characters. Belle was one of said characters, as was a tall, brunette friend of hers. At some point I turned from a conversation with others to find Belle’s friend with a mouthful of Polish tongue. With a chuckle I brought this display to our friends’ collective attention. Dupa had become the day’s drunk slut, making out with random girls at the bar.

    A little later he pulled himself away from his disappointing public display to wander off elsewhere in the establishment. I engaged in some small talk with Belle’s friend; but, as I was easing into a brownout, I cannot say with any certainty just what we talked about. What I can say with certainty, unfortunately, is that not long thereafter she had a mouthful of half-Black-half-amazing tongue. Realizing I had become what I had just clowned Dupa for being, I shot off a text to him: “Why am I cleaning up your mess?”

  • I caught up with TJ, Prince of Ligonier, and others for a Friday happy hour at Tilted Kilt to celebrate Mrs. Prince’s birthday last June. Her good friend, Danielle, was dutifully by her side in the race to go from “sober” to “hammered”. After it was pointed out that she had misread a menu item, Danielle shook her head and picked up her glass of green cocktail, resigning, "I'm going to drink until it makes sense."

  • During a random email conversation with Dupa one workday this past summer, he bemoaned the effects of his recent boozing. And I, in return, was full of sympathy.

    Dupa: “Four Loko is ruining my insides.”
    Me: “That’s kind of like accusing Hitler of ruining Hell.”

  • Our 2011 Furry Safari was our best yet, comprising a full day of drunken revelry and plush costume pageantry. The day’s festive spirit may have been best vocalized by TK (who very nearly made me spit Corona all over Tonic’s sidewalk seating area with this comment, which came forth completely unprovoked and without warning): “I'd like to get a handjob from someone wearing a stuffed animal.”

  • On Baby Joey’s birthday, Esq, Tank, and I joined him for some drinks at Mario’s in the South Side. Esq’s upcoming nuptials were never far from his mind, and this showed during a discussion about some of the more scandalous moments of our pasts. After taking a long pause, Esq’s face suddenly dropped, and he exclaimed, “Oh god—the next married woman I bang will be my own wife!”

  • Steph attended the Steelers’ season opener in Baltimore; and, unlike me, she was not pleased with the outcome. Piling onto her misery the next morning was a massive hangover that had resulted from a full Sunday of heavy drinking and tailgating. When I asked if she had made it home to Queens yet, she texted back, “I’m still on a bus. I need a new soul right now.”

  • With plans to go to a friend’s surprise birthday party on the upcoming Saturday night, Hurley and I texted back and forth to nail down the final details one day in June.

    Hurley: “You bringing anything outside of your good looks and charm?”
    Me: “Nope. I figure that alone is more than most women can handle.”

  • The Sunday morning after Brewski Festival 2011—just like the morning after every previous Brewski Fest—was painful. Dupa and I decompressed in my car as we buzzed through the Western PA backwoods on our way to his parents’ house for a cookout. As I went about the standard day-after mental and emotional inventory check, I mentioned my failure to make use of the bottle of 5-Hour ENERGY that I had brought with me for Saturday’s fun. After a moment of quiet contemplation, Dupa proclaimed, "One of those and a Viagra, and I'd kill a bitch!"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wifey Material: Chelsea Handler

The queen of vodka-drenched partying is a natural for this feature. So much so, in fact, that I'm a little curious as to why it took until now for me to do a post about her. Nevertheless, Chelsea recently took the term "put your back into it" to a whole new dimension.

From The Huffington Post:
Chelsea Handler visited "Live! With Kelly" Friday morning to assure us all that it is, indeed, possible to have too much fun. After bringing up a Page Six story describing Handler's Belvedere-fueled night at New York's Provocateur last Friday, the "Are You There, Chelsea" actress and creator told Ripa that the night of dancing and drinking has since landed her in a back brace...
Well damn. Any woman that will go that far just to rock it out is certifiably wifey-worthy. Keep doing the damn thing, Chelsea.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

On the Job with Sajak

Pat Sajak is even cooler than you thought.

From The Washington Post:
In an interview with ESPN 2’s “Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” Sajak said he and White used to imbibe when he “first started and was much younger and could tolerate those things:”

    We had a different show then. ... Vanna and I would have two or three or six [drinks during our two-and-a-half hour dinner break] and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet. They’re really good tapes to get a hold of.
    You know, Pat Sajak, I’m sure someone out there in Internet land is diligently searching for them at this very moment.
Apparently, there’s no alcohol-induced tomfoolery going on at “WHEEL (pause) OF (pause) FORTUNE!” anymore: “If I were to inhale the cork [from] a bottle of wine, I would probably keel over. I’m getting a little older for this. I would be hesitant to have anything to drink now. Although I'm hammered at this moment.”

Sweet Science

I absolutely abhor Valentines Day. But, if you're lucky enough to have found a wifey who will truly appreciate the magic of beer-infused chocolates, then I suppose it's worth sacrificing your common sense for one day and treating her to this delicious package from Beercandy.

From Thrillist:
Recognizing the harmonious balance between beer & candy, then spending literally no time thinking of a name, Beer Candy.

Created by a CA home-brewer whose first effort turned a bitter lambic into a sticky lolli-hop, Beercandy’s pulled together a package of their sweetest goods, and’ll hand it over for just $35. Here’s what you get:
  • 12 assorted caramels: Gooey fillings homemade with different brews (stout, IPA, raspberry lambic...), then covered with white, milk, or dark chocolate chosen to set off the suds’ specific notes
  • Bag of taffy + bag of HopDrops: A beery version of the timeless chewy indulgence, and bittersweet hard candies made with real hop oil
  • 6-pack cooler: A branded satchel, so you’ll never have to go anywhere without cold ones, which once Beyonce had to be, and you always have to drink.
Though, if she's really a keeper, she'll want to skip the gifts and candy, buy a bottle of good scotch, and spend an evening together trying to break every bed, couch, table, and counter in her place. Alas, a good woman is just so hard to find.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Here's a little decor touch for your mancave or bachelor pad: Custom-made drink coasters featuring labels of various beer and whiskey brands. BaxtersWorkshop is a small side business for a Kentucky couple (Hilary and Stephen Seaman), who make each coaster by hand. For a small additional charge they can add magnetic strips to the coasters, so that they can be easily stored on the side of your refrigerator. They can also make coaster sets out of vintage album covers, your personal photographs, etc. Making your guests use a coaster is a lot easier when the coaster's coolness distracts them from the fact that you're being an anal prick.

...And yes, I'll be placing an order shortly.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Open for Business

A wise man once said that the greatest two-word phrase in the English language is “open bar”. And not only is he wise, but handsome. And modest.

Obviously, this wondrous phrase is most commonly associated with weddings, corporate-sponsored private parties, and other very formal (and typically expensive) engagements. But, on that rare occasion when the stars align, this gift from the gods of liberal libation can be found at your local bar or nightclub.

If you’re ever given a shot at it, I tell you now to make the most of the opportunity—it may be once-in-a-lifetime. Of course, for me it’s been at least thrice-in-a-lifetime. I can’t say for certain that there have not been more than three times when I’ve been able to saunter up to a bar and nod towards the higher shelves with nothing more than destiny in my hand, like I was Hugh Hefner at a Playboy Mansion party; but I know there are three distinct occasions that I will now brag about detail for your reading pleasure.

The Matrix Grand Opening

In April 2002 I was less than a year out of college, and still a rookie in the world of professional boozing. Most of my Fridays and Saturdays were spent at bars and nightclubs around the city, making good use of dollar drink specials (yes, young Padawan, such a thing once existed within Pittsburgh’s city limits), drunk girls who couldn’t spell “virtue”, and bartender hookups. One of my favorite hookups—though it was more for the fact that she actually became a close friend, and not just for her bartending generosity—was Steph. She had been working at a bowling alley bar in Monroeville […I mentioned I was just out of college, right? I wasn’t going to be picky—cheap booze was cheap booze!], but soon announced a new job she had just landed: slinging overpriced plastic Dixie Cups of rum & Coke at the newest nightclub in the city, Matrix.

She urged us all to come to opening night at this new megaclub, which boasted no fewer than four separate barrooms, each with a different theme and atmosphere. Butters and I, the only two adventurous enough to take her up on the offer, showed up to the Station Square locale to find a growing line at the doors. Keep in mind that this is Pittsburgh, not New York or L.A.; here, a line actually means something special is going on. The lengthy wait at the door may have just been due to the club being brand new…or maybe everyone else already knew what my friend and I were about to learn.

You see, there had been one slight glitch in Matrix’s owners’ business plan (well, actually, there were a lot more than just one…): They had failed to secure a liquor license in time for opening night. Thankfully, this didn’t mean that they couldn’t serve alcohol; no, it just meant that they couldn’t sell alcohol. And so, faced with this impediment, they did the only sensible thing—once you were inside the doors, everything was free.

My thoughts, upon learning this from the bouncer: “Oh. My. Fuck.”

Of course, it’s been almost 10 years since then, so I’m really just guessing as to what my exact neurological reaction was. But that can’t be very far off. What Butters and I walked into was very likely the closest either of us will ever come to Shangri-La. The first room (and, until the day Matrix closed, my favorite of the four) was the ultra lounge. It had an adult, upscale, European feel, with carpeting, leather couches and chairs, and mellow music—it was the only one of the four to not have a dance floor. It also featured two beautiful girls in revealing cocktail dresses dancing on top of the bar. In my 23-year-old mind, that fact in no way diminished the classiness of the room.

We walked into the second bar. This room, much bigger than the first, carried an “ancient Greece”/“vintage Hollywood” vibe: The bartenders and waitresses wore togas; white, sculpted architecture was everywhere; and black and white portraits of famous actresses covered the walls. A large dance floor sat in the middle, and top-40 music pulsated from all angles. We found Steph in here, toga’d up and offering up her big trademark smile as she greeted us with full cups of booze. We said a few words to her, but quickly moved on to allow her to tend to the mounting crowd of customers.

The third barroom, which had dimmer lighting and wooden d├ęcor, was more of an all-out dance party, with house music rumbling through the air. The fourth and final room was dark and trippy, with techno music, black lights, and an oxygen bar (…yes, these existed too). We decided it best to stick to the first two rooms, repeatedly hitting up Steph and her fellow besieged bartenders for cups of Belvedere, Grey Goose, Jack Daniels, etc. In those days, almost any drinking I did at a bar or club was nameless: rum & Cokes, bourbon & Cokes, gin & tonics, etc.—well drinks, in other words. Being able to add a brand name to your drink order was for lawyers, CEOs, doctors… You know, people who had jobs. But now, for just a $5 cover charge, I was big-timing it. The meek had inherited the Earth.

The one clear memory that remains from the latter hours of that night is a telling one. Butters and I found ourselves in the ultra lounge, standing at the bar as one of the formally-attired go-go dancers worked it to a Spanish rhythm a few feet away from our Dixie Cups. I suddenly realized that the various TV screens in the wall behind the bar were showing what appeared to be very old softcore porn. In one scene in particular, a nude young nymph frolicked through a meadow in black and white, basking next to a pond from which a moose was drinking. I pointed out this odd ambience to my friend, who then began shouting, “Moooooosssssssse! Mooooooossssssssssse!

Me: “You do realize that there’s a naked woman on the screen too, right?”
Butters: “I don’t care! Mooooossssssssse!

The Buckhead Drinkers’ Delight Night

[Note: I use “Drinkers’ Delight” as a placeholder here. As you would expect of any promoted event at a nightclub, there was an official name for this night…I just haven’t the foggiest idea anymore what it was. That’s what they get for giving me “free” booze (I’ll explain those quotation marks in a moment).]

This is where we hit a gray area; the setup of this Saturday night of bacchanalia in the summer of 2007 can be described as either “open bar” or “all-you-can-drink”, the point of contention being that you had to pay one inflated, upfront fee before enjoying the “free” drinks. I would argue that this fits under the former of the two options for one simple reason: A $25 cover charge pales in comparison to the kind of damage I—or any single one of my friends—will inflict upon a bar if freed of financial restraints for the night (…and it allows me to fit the story neatly into my theme, so…two simple reasons).

And so, on that balmy night, I caught up with Hurley and others at Buckhead, laughingly handing the doorman the measly $25 that I was about to get returned to me twofold. And that probably would have been fourfold if not for each of the bartenders being outnumbered approximately 3290-to-1. Whereas Matrix had four barrooms, six or seven bars, and several beer tubs at which orders could be placed, Buckhead—which, at half the floor space, was packing in nearly as many people that night as Matrix had on its opening night—had only two bars and two beer tubs. Their bartenders and beer girls were the 300 Spartans fighting for blood and country against us, the invading Persians.

With the bar counter looking like the floor of the NYSE, and the bartender only able to take your order about once every 30 minutes, the seven or eight of us in our group quickly fell upon a strategy for survival and intoxication’s victory. Very early on, someone was able to snag a seat at the main bar in the front of the club. With the rest of us crowded around this location, we set up a rotation—one man would order a round for everyone (and usually multiple drinks per person, as well), pass them out, and then quickly hand off the barstool to the man to his left. The new Seat Keeper would then pull out money (for tips, but really more of a bribe at that point) to wave, in a renewed bid to draw a bartender over. This may have been the most efficient and productive bit of process engineering I have ever been a part of while completely blotto.

I think I started the night drinking either Goose or Belve; but I know for certain that, over the course of the night, my orders covered a wide spectrum. Vodka, beer, gin, whiskey…repeat. At one point in the night I was even double-fisting glasses of Dewars. “Looking good Billy Ray!” “Feeling good, Louis!” As last call drew near, it occurred to me that I would need a ride home. I had driven myself down to Station Square that night, but nothing good could possibly come from me trying to make the return trip behind the wheel.

…Enter “Old Friend”. At the time, she was a bit newer of a friend, though it had still been some time since our last session of Bed Sheet Muay Thai. I bumped into her and her homegirls midway through the night,
but didn’t dare stray away from my group’s drink ordering rotation when the girls roamed elsewhere. Now, miraculously, they had reappeared at the end of the night. And, like a guardian angel, Old Friend swooped in like a vulture to take advantage of my weakened mental faculties for the purposes of her own sexual gratification rescued me in my time of need. Thankfully, as twisted as I was, I was still capable of “earning” my lodging for the night.

[*looking around* I put in work, son. *cough*]

The Cain’s New Year’s Eve

When our crew of young thirsty bastards was looking for a place to hang our party hats for New Year’s Eve in 2002, a friend of ours from college kindly offered refuge. The father of one of her close friends (“Sinful”, just because…) owned Cain’s in Dormont at the time. Sinful, as it happened, was hosting a closed-door NYE party at the bar: All-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink, all-night-long. It’s almost like they were daring us to get recklessly shitfaced. It cost $25 to attend, since this was a private party; but again that’s nothing, as any one of us was more than capable of drinking down $100 worth of alcohol in a night (and that’s not even factoring in the food we were capable of consuming). And, unlike with the Buckhead event four and a half years later, our blackouts weren’t going to get cockblocked by the bartender-to-booze-fiend ratio getting out of hand.

Genoa and two other friends of ours (Theresa and Gina) were renting a house about a mile away from Cain’s. Once she and Finn said they were down to hit Sinful’s party, the rest of the planning wrote itself: 1. Drive to the party. 2. Crawl home to Genoa’s. 3. Figure out in the morning how to get back to our cars. Boom. Easy. We were a lock to achieve a fourfold return on our investment.

There’s not a lot of in-depth tales that I can still recall at will about that night. Some of that’s true now because it took place almost ten years ago, and some of it was true the very next day. I know one thing for certain: The six of us (BlahBlahBlah, Finn, Genoa, Triple A, our boy “Firewater”, and me) did the damn thing. Cain’s is a low-key, neighborhood bar, and has always been one of our favorite places to drink the booze. That NYE simply solidified its place in our hearts. Sinful made sure plenty of food was on hand (Cain’s kitchen has long been one of the best in the business, as far as greasy bar food goes), and the flow of beer and liquor—from taps and bottles to glasses to patrons to throats—was nonstop.

Here’s the most specific anecdote I can remember from the night: Late in the proceedings, I entered the barroom in the front of the building (the back half was the dining room and the location of the pool tables and dart boards) on my way to the bathroom, only to find BBB and Firewater engaged in conversation with two good-looking women. One of these ladies appeared to be older—which, at the time, meant she was between 27 and 34—and was wearing a tight top (that wasn’t at all shy about displaying her ample cleavage for her) and a novelty cowgirl hat. Basically, she was a “woo girl”. In those days, though, “woo girls” had yet to be identified as a social subgroup; so to me she was a cougar (…well, a cougar like you would find in porn, since they’re almost always played by 27-to-34-year-olds and not true “cougars”). I slowed down as I approached them, only long enough to bring a pause to their conversation when their heads turned towards me. Looking directly at Porn Woo Cougar, I exclaimed, “NICE!” Then, never breaking stride, I turned and headed straight into the men’s room.

How we made the mile long hike back to Genoa’s, I may never know. I vaguely remember stumbling through darkness and suburbia with my five friends, hoping each step was the last one necessary before I could fall asleep. Triple A and I crashed in Theresa’s room (both she and Gina were elsewhere for the night), fighting over covers and each of us almost pushing the other completely off the bed at different points in the night and morning. Firewater slept in Gina’s room, where he vomited all over the floor (ironically, she was the neat freak of the house; Genoa may never have had to clean a room as feverishly as she did the morning of 1/1/03).

As for BBB…well, I’m not sure where he slept. But I’m guessing it was on a couch in the living room; there had been no capture of the Porn Woo Cougar that night. The species remains as elusive as the Sexual Gratification Vulture, the Softcore Oasis Moose, and the open bar. The reward of bagging one, though, will always make the hunt worth it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Shit Bartenders Say

Trust me, this is the only "Shit ____ Say" video I'll be posting. Waaayyyy too many of these going around right now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

In This Diary

Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading “Living Loaded”, and Dan Dunn’s recounting of his “business trip” to New Orleans inspired me. Maybe it’s because Jay Swag appearing in my neck of the woods is such a rare occasion. Or, maybe I was just end-of-a-boring-workweek-excited on a Friday. (...Maybe all three?)

I’m not exactly sure why I decided to try and keep a running diary of my Friday night this past weekend. The Living Loaded theory carries added weight, though. Dunn is, as you can imagine, my living god an idol of mine. And his running diary of the New Orleans trip is pure poetry. I’ve live-tweeted events (like the bar crawl I was on a couple of weeks ago) and did one running diary before, but after reading that Living Loaded chapter I felt the need to do more in-the-moment recording of my own. And while major events like Brewski Fest and the Pirates Home Opener make for the perfect type of subject material, they are still a few months off. But what better practice could I ask for between now and then than Swag’s sudden decision to throw down in The ‘Side? Game on.

6:08 PM – Just rambled on about Dan Dunn, Swag, and a running diary.

6:09 PM – Wondering if I’m being too in-the-moment. Time to start cleaning up before Swagapalooza. …Swag-a-thon. Moves Like Swagger?

6:11 PM – …Swag & Bake? …Yup, too in-the-moment.

6:52 PM – Get out of shower and start getting dressed. Put on a pair of jeans that were lying on furniture in my bedroom.

6:54 PM – I remember that the last time I wore that pair of jeans was New Year’s Eve. Take jeans back off. Administer “sniff test” on said jeans, and they pass. I put the jeans back on.

7:50 PM – Waiting on Tony, who said he’d be here at 7:30. I haven’t even started drinking yet. I remember there being a couple of Four Lokos in my fridge…

7:52 PM – I crack open a bottle of Michelob Lager instead. From somewhere deep within my body I hear a meek and bedraggled, “Thank you.” Was that my liver?

2:30 AM – Back home. What just happened? There was a cop, and…

And that’s where my recording cuts off. To say things didn’t go as I had planned would be an understatement. I did eventually meet up with Tony, as well as Swag, Mitch Canada, TJ, and Lil Mo. And, while I didn’t black out that night, I have no clue where or when a cop came into the mix. When the 2:30 entry was typed at night’s close, Tony was passing out on my couch and I was sipping a beer on my loveseat as we watched reruns of “Entourage”. If someone in my group met with the law that night, then they’re still sitting in a cell somewhere. (If they can sit…)

It may have occurred to you that these entries were all typed here on my home computer. I tried to keep tabs on my Droid while running tabs at the bars, but came upon the harsh realization that a bar night with friends is not the most convenient time to be typing detailed notes into your phone every few minutes. The following is, word-for-word, what I captured (you’ll notice the lack of a timestamp next to each item; I completely forgot to record that minor detail):
    “[Swag] gone. ‘My roots are not invested in that soil.’ Mo on Lakers/Celtics.
    Wait was I supposed to be recording something? Watching ‘Pound My Muffin’ on Mo’s Kindle.
    ‘If he had turned around, I would’ve donkey punched him.’ – Mo about dropped cell on random dude.
    drafts. Mo. quote”

Don’t even ask me to decipher the last line; your guess is likely just as good as mine. The “donkey punch” entry, though, was Mo’s reaction after very carefully retrieving her cellphone from the lower back of a guy by whom we were standing in a crowded Mario’s. Somehow, neither he nor the people he was sitting with noticed (a.) that Mo’s phone had been dropped into his tramp-stamp region, nor (b.) a 5”1’ girl delicately reaching down his back and extracting a phone.

Fucking drunk people, huh? As for my running diary efforts, well…I guess I’ll need more practice. *opens bottle of Ketel One*

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

History's Teachers

In this interesting article from The Atlantic, hangover cures from 12 famous figures in the world of literature and entertainment were pulled together. Just about all of them involve drinking more alcohol (my kind of people), and most of them aren't for the faint of heart (or stomach, as it would seem). My favorite—not to mention that of Frank Sinatra—is Robert Mitchum's go-to:

Tough guy and terrifying screen baddie Robert Mitchum could certainly hold his liquor. He made friends with hard-drinking crooner Frank Sinatra, who was indebted to the Night of the Hunter actor for a trusted alcohol antidote, dubbed by Mitchum as Mother’s Milk. The Ramos Gin Fizz is a mix of gin, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, sugar, cream, orange flower water, and soda water. It seemed to work for Sinatra, who took to calling Mitchum “mother” for years to come and supposedly even mailed him a card every Mother’s Day in thanks.
That being said, Ernest Hemingway's "Death in the Gulf Stream" sounds pretty magnificent itself. Check them all out.

12 Hangover Cures From Famous Drinkers

Holiday Seasoned

The last week and a half of December is like a drinker’s March Madness. It ends a long and arduous year; you face seven or eight contests, the last of which is the grandest and most-hyped; then, once that’s over, you start preparing for the next year—recruiting, scouting reports, press junkets…

...Or maybe that’s just me.

I feel that some of my recent posts have been of the long-winded variety, so add, “Wrap that shit up, B!” to my list of New Year’s resolutions. I’ll try to focus on getting right into the meat of my tales and drunken rants this year. If you’ve been visiting this page specifically for those superfluous ramblings, I apologize. And you’re clearly drunk. …Which means you’re also now scratching your head at the word “superfluous”. Salud.

Friday, December 23rd

TK came into town for a day, so we joined him in the South Side for Christmas Eve Eve festivities. Tony, Pakistanimal, TJ, LRG, and I were among those who caught up with the Tampa resident at Mario’s. Most of us, of course, had pregamed in the hour(s) leading up to the get-together. I was enjoying a smooth little buzz myself, and looked forward to methodically building a solid drunk. I didn’t want to rush into things and risk ending up like I did last Christmas Eve Eve (throwing up in a bathroom sink just doesn’t make for as festive of a holiday tradition as you may think).

Shortly after arriving, though, Pak opened a tab with our waitress and asked for a round of shots. When she asked what kind he wanted, he replied, “Surprise us!” What a dick. The waitress came back to the table with Redheaded Sluts; I went from cursing Pak to praising this angel for choosing something so tame. For the next round, she came back with Crown Royal. She was accused of treason. For the third round, she brought out Buttery Nipples. Now I couldn’t tell if she was a traitor or a confidante. Or if she was hitting on us. Or if I was talking to the coat stand.

Our crew soon relocated to Finn McCool’s, where we continued our sloppy antics. We bumped into Hurley, who was up to his own holiday celebrations, and who was so drunk that he couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear. He looked like a drunk cartoon character. I was rapidly making up ground on him, though; as Pak’s handiwork kicked in, things were becoming fuzzier and fuzzier. Eventually, I was at Jimmy D’s circling the dance floor with Pak, LRG, and Tony, looking for potential baby mamas true love slores. Finding none to our liking (and being that we were each very wobbly), Pak, Tony, and I parted ways with LRG and headed off to our respective comas.

Saturday, December 24th

Hangovers hurt; lying on your couch hungover while watching your fantasy football team lose in the championship game—thanks in part to Tony Romo’s fragile right hand—is excruciating. That pain carried over into the night, as my cousin Jump (along with his family), TD, TJ, and I convened at my mom’s house for Christmas Eve dinner. While everyone else poured glasses of wine, I sipped at a glass of ginger ale, which led to some chastising from TD (who stared at me with a disappointment akin to that of someone watching Santa urinate on their Christmas tree). I would eventually down two cans of Miller Lite after dinner, but that was as close to the battlefield as my wounded body would drag me.

Sunday, December 25th

As per tradition, I drank spiked eggnog while opening gifts with my mother, and then later had a glass or two of wine with dinner. I stopped by Jay Swag’s afterwards to catch the second half of the Bears/Packers game with him and TJ, though his household was a dry one, as per court orders. Back at home later that night, I cracked open the bottle of 12 year old Glenfiddich that my mom gave me. But, on the whole, my drinking on Christmas day was purely light cardio; I barely broke a sweat. Nothing to see here. Nothing at all.

My final gift tally for the holiday, by the way: The bottle of Glenfiddich, an airplane bottle of Jameson, and a bottle of extra-strength aspirin from my dear ol’ mum; tumblers and a bottle of Ketel One from TD; a bottle of Crown Royal from Jump; and a huge cocktail recipe book from TJ. As I said to my mother that night, “I’ve got all of the tools and materials for a home bar, except for the bar itself.”

Monday, December 26th

Mofo was in town, and demanded that I join him, Hurley, T.C., and others in South Side that night. But after the previous several days of booze, food, holiday commotion, and fantasy football heartbreak, I needed a night of chilling at home. Besides, I knew what would be coming in the next few days, so I took a rain check.

Tuesday, December 27th

Since some of us haven’t really seen each other in some time (at least since Esq’s wedding in September, though much longer in some cases), Chief organized a get-together among some of our W&J family. Finn, Genoa, Tony, Dupa, Smashley, Chief, Kim, T-Bags, Armo, Sloku, our boy Milhous, and others caught up with each other while polishing off liter steins of Hofbrauhaus’ various biers. We would eventually move to The Claddagh to finish the night, and then, well…Then I browned out and came to once again while watching TV in my place. Apparently all of the German and Irish elixirs detonated my central nervous system right about the time I got to my car. I’m not proud of this, mind you. Damn those Europeans. [Note: Just this morning I took a look at the shirt I had been wearing that night; large beer stains ran from top to bottom across the front of it. It seems that, in addition to my memory of my drive home, the European Union owes me a Tommy Hilfiger polo, too.]

Wednesday, December 28th

I met up with Pak and our friend Ruby at Rivers around 8:30 that night. We bs’d over a few beers at the bar and then moved to a craps table. I watched them play for 15 minutes or so, trying in vain to figure out how the hell you play the game. Soon I decided, though, that my time and money would be better served in the poker room. I found Esq at a 1-3 table and joined him, playing for a few hours. For the record, I was fairly card-dead, and never really got anything going. My night ended when some donkey sucked out 6s-up against my wired Qs. Felted and sober, I headed home and poured myself a few Crown & Cokes to ease my pain.

Thursday, December 29th

I originally had dinner plans with Steph and others, but they were cancelled when the woman of honor had to scrap her travel plans and stayed in NYC. Thankfully, Armo reminded me via text that on Tuesday several of us had asked him to hold a bar night at his house. I joined Finn, T-Bags, and Dupa in Armo’s man cave to watch sports—college bowl games and the Pens/Flyers game—while eating pizza and drinking copious amounts of beer. A night of low-key, low-dough, highly-fattening, and highly-inebriated fun with my peoples. Basically, a snapshot of the holiday season.

Friday, December 30th

The day being Entertainer’s 25th birthday, Shannon planned a party for her boo at Picsi’s in Munhall. Pak, Tony, TJ, and I each made an appearance, and got twisted while delighting in the Munhallian exchange rate. My tab, which contained a round of shots and various rounds of drinks, came out to $25 (had we been in the South Side, for example, that same bill would have been nearly twice as much).

Pak, Tony, and I headed back to Shady Grove around midnight. As soon as I walked in, I had a Long Island Iced Tea in my hand; I sensed doom for me and my consciousness. We ran into my favorite Grove waitress, “Lil Mo”, who was off duty and off-her-ass drunk. When Pak made a joke to tease her, she slurred back, “Fuck you, motherfucker! I’ll fuckin…suck your dick! Wait…no…that’s not what I meant.” While the rest of us cracked up, she slowly caught up to what she had just said and began laughing as well. Though it was just a flub, and she obviously had no intention of following through on her “threat”, Pak still took it as an ego boost. Suffices to say, Lil Mo is now his favorite Grove waitress too.

Saturday, December 31st

The Championship Game—also known as New Year’s Eve—was played out at the house that TJ and TD rent. The place was filled with guests, many of who (such as yours truly) jumped on the beer pong table in the garage. The table was draped in a Captain Morgan shower curtain, and the beer being poured into the twelve cups on top of it was from the keg of Sam Adams Winter Ale on the back porch. Beer pong with Sam Adams…ohhhh, us. TD passed out Jell-O shots as well as Fluffed Vodka shots, and no one even considered the possibility that we all wouldn’t blackout. When the ball dropped, I popped the cork on my bottle of Moet and got my New Year’s kiss from Belle—not a bad way to start a year. I passed my bottle around, and tried some of TD’s, which was a special 2002 bottle of Moet. God I hope the rest of 2012 is as ballin’ as the first four hours of it was.

I awoke mummified in a sleeping bag on the living room floor the next morning. As I gathered my belongings, I surveyed my surroundings and typed the following into my Droid:
    New Year's Eve is a microcosm of a drinker's year: everything you could ever want will come and leave you, all before your eyes.
    And you don't want to look at anyone you were drinking with the night before. At all.
    My 2012 is perfectly summarized by what sits before me: a molested bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. People were doing shots of it last night. It was like watching Miss America get raped on stage.
That passage, and the fact that I was still drunk until about 3 pm that day, is all I need to say about the quality of the party. And, for that matter, of the close of 2011. Now it’s on to 2012. Chiefapalooza, St. Patty’s Day, the Pirates’ Home Opener, and Brewski Fest loom large in the approaching months.

Time to start going through those scouting reports.

Thursday, January 5, 2012