Monday, December 31, 2012

Clink 'Em Up

New Year's Eve. The drinking man's (and woman's) Super Bowl. Get out there and make me proud. But please, if you're going to get it in tonight, don't get behind the wheel of a car. Unless it's one of those racecar beds. In that scenario, and that scenario only, drop the hammer and go for the win. Otherwise, call a cab (some are even free tonight—go here to see if you live in one of the participating areas).


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is it March Yet?

When you reach a certain age, Christmas is about the past more than the present. Or presents. Maybe it’s just me, but anymore I find myself staring off into my Technicolor memories while sipping from my spiked eggnog. I’d swear my mother’s house used to be a damn castle. Each room was cavernous, and yet full of relatives, chatter, and amusement. My mother’s family was a lot more Rockwellian than we ever would have admitted. Maybe they were just the third-generation-Czechoslovakian version of Rockwellian.

It’s a strange paradox to look back fondly upon the days when Christmas music actually meant something to you, while simultaneously wishing you could hear any one of Springsteen’s darker chords instead of Burl Ives’ jolliest.

No history book seems to support me, but I’m convinced scotch was invented by some poor bastard who yearned for aid in facing yet another relative asking why he hadn’t “made his life complete” by tying himself to the wrong person for a lifetime, or why he hadn’t “given his life meaning” by living with the consequences of not pulling out.

A toast, to anyone who has had to choke down a “go fuck yourself” at a dinner table, humor a stupid question about their meandering career path, or pretend to care about an in-law over the last several days.

Don’t worry, the pain is temporary. This is why the Floating Spaghetti Monster gave us New Year’s Eve: so we can drink away any lingering facial tick brought about by spending time with family during the final ten days of the year. Salud.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Holiday Drinking Game

Not that you need any help numbing yourself during the nuisance that is the month of December...

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Beginnings

Halfway through December, and not a single post. No, I’m not lying in a gutter somewhere; though that’s the first place I would’ve looked for me, too.

I still found time to do
some Christmas shopping...
It’s been an eventful year for me, most significantly because I’ve had a change of employment. And while there are several advantages to the switch, none of them have to do with how much free time I have now. In October I started writes about my trip to Tampa and my “What I learned this summer” roundup. Both have slowly grown unrecognizable under cobwebs, while I toil feverishly on actual work each day.

Some of that should clear up after December, as the holidays and some of my new company’s initial growing pains all mercifully fade away. In the meanwhile, I’ll try to get more tales of drunken enchantment submitted for your viewing pleasure. Such as…

This past Saturday Tony convinced me to put away work and instead drink myself charming in the many bars that dot my neighborhood. After hitting a couple of them, we ended up back at Shady Grove, where the last shots and beers of the night finally polished the shine on my inebriation.

There are few people of true genius in this world, but one such immortal walks among us here in Pittsburgh. He realized that, for all of the money and bars that the Shadyside has, what it doesn’t have are lots of places to eat after last call. And so this modern-day Rockefeller did what makes sense: He got a permit to set up a hot dog stand on the main drag every Saturday night. Now, when you spill out of a nearby bar, the smell of fresh hot dogs and kielbasa tickle your nose like a prom date in a limo.

Tony and I quickly found spots in line, and I placed an order for two hot dogs. Or two kielbasa. …One of each? Within two seconds of telling the guy what I wanted, I had completely forgotten what I had requested of him. Here’s the problem: So did he.

Now, I make no excuses for myself. I’m an idiot most of the time, and when my BAC rises my IQ doesn’t exactly come along for the ride. But I’m not supposed to be the one with the good memory here. I’m a drunken customer, and in such I am the exact demographic fueling this guy’s business. He’s sober, and makes his money dealing with drunks; which one of us would YOU count on to remember an order?

Hot Dog Guy: “What was your order again, man?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Hot Dog Guy: “You don’t remember it?”
Me: *annoyed* “Pftt no! I’m drunk, buddy!”
Hot Dog Guy: “Well how about a [some chintzy variation on a chili dog]?” *hands me hot dog*
Me: *passes hot dog to Tony*
Hot Dog Guy: “What about for you?”
Me: “Ionno.”
Hot Dog Guy: *rattles off names of other hot dogs on his menu*
Me: “Whatever man.” *walks off*

Let’s not forget that I was the one who had paid for the food. I was so irritated by the guy forgetting my order that I essentially gave him a 100% tip for the hot dog that Tony ate. I overpaid and didn’t eat, just to make my point.

And maybe one of these days I’ll figure out just what that point was.