Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of That Which Was 2013

I’ve messed with the year-end list concept once before. It got old for me about five minutes after I finished the post. But nostalgia can intoxicate you as well as any bottle of scotch ever could, and the final couple of weeks of every year are full of it (and full of scotch, if you’re lucky). Toasting to the days that passed, awaiting the inevitable tide of ones to come, and such. So, skipping the ceremony and pageantry oft associated with these types of posts, let’s raise our glasses to 2013’s best.

Best Drink
I discovered the Papa Doble. To be more specific, I discovered Simon Difford’s recipe, which calls for four and a quarter shots of booze to two of lime and grapefruit juice. That’s over six shots of powerful, sour fuel charging its way into your veins.

More often than not, I’ve only mixed them up on quiet nights in, where I know I’m the only one I’m endangering with this high octane. Once or twice, though, I’ve kicked off turnt up nights with a couple of Papas. And each time I’ve awoken the next morning wondering why the fuck I did that, while I carefully check the building for bodies.

Best Life Lesson
Stupidity is expensive.

I’ll get to the “What I Learned This Summer” post later [If you thought it would be posted before January…well, then you must be new to the site. Welcome! Have a Papa Doble!], but half of the summer of ’13 was dominated by learning that previous statement. It seems like it should be an obvious concept, especially when you’re 34. But then I ran shin-first into a fire hose fitting.

It seems like it should be obvious…

Best Decision
2013 was the year I finally grew out a beard. And now I don’t know what life would be without it. I started it during the Penguins’ playoff run in May. Of course, that’s also when I learned about “playoff bushes,” so…call it a draw.

Most Improved at the Twitterz
Dupa learned to live tweet his drunken moments, and it’s everything I had dreamt it could be when he first opened a Twitter account. Just read the sequence from the start of his flight to Hong Kong earlier yesterday. (Click on the images to the right; for the Twitter-illiterate, read from bottom-up, beginning with the bottom picture—which, coincidentally, has a picture of a bottom in it. #BottomPicCeption. For the Twitter vets, yes “@CS_Defi” is my new handle.)

That’s pure, 100%, raw uncut Dupa. I’m just mad he didn’t make use of the inflight Wi-Fi to keep the viewing experience going. Now we’ll never know if he took his pants off and danced around the cabin.

…He probably took off his pants and danced around the cabin.

Most Improved Wifeyness
I’ve loved Aubrey Plaza since the first few episodes of Parks and Recreation. But this year she made me mentally propose.

Some say her drunken debacle at the MTV Movie Awards was faked. Some say it was real. Honestly, either way I’m impressed. You’re telling me a beautiful, funny young actress either (a.) got so irreversibly party-drunk that she tried to wrestle an award away from someone onstage, or (b.) did such an incredible job of acting drunk that no one immediately questioned whether or not she was? Sign me up. I love me some Aubrey.

Most Fun I Had Involving Naked Women
Bareoke Night happened for my crew eight months ago. How it hasn’t happened again is completely beyond me. Everything ridiculous and boozily hilarious happens there, and therefore there is where I wanna be.

Best Morning After Meal
DeLuca’s. Madone. Trust me, if you show up hungover and find a line, just wait there in it. You’ll thank me once you’re in a seat with a plate full of amazing in front of you.

Best Birthday Mayhem
Leave it to TD and Boy Toy; for her birthday party, they put together a huge scavenger hunt across the South Side to be completed by their friends. Six or seven teams raced every which way between bars lining Carson St., getting strangers involved with our tasks. I mean, really involved. After the contest was over, everyone retreated to the home of the birthday girl and her boyfriend, where folks continued drinking themselves senseless.

Best Job of Convincing Me to Do What I Shouldn’t
When it’s 11 pm on a work night and you’re at the bar, you’re inevitably faced with a decision: “Go” or “No Go.” The smart money, of course, is on “No Go.” But the simple fact that you’re faced with the question tells me that you’re not familiar with smart decisions. Which means you’re like me—specifically, like me this past Thursday.

MoFo, Jed, T.C., and Hurley were out at Shady Grove that night. And though I caught up with them expecting to be in my bed by midnight, a few Manhattans and words of peer pressure had me piling into Hurley’s car to head to Cain’s in Dormont. I awoke on Hurley’s couch at 7:42 a.m., texted my manager to tell her I’d be a little late getting in, and spent the rest of the day hating myself and my friends, and all that was life.

Biggest Mystery
Seriously, what the hell happened to my Timb lace?


Friday, December 27, 2013

Wifey Material: Kate Upton

...I mean, it's just not fair. First, she's Kate Upton. Flawless. And now she goes and does this.

The only way she can top this is to show off her skills at twerk cup. Then the prophecies will finally be fulfilled...

TJ with the assist.

Having a Good Time

All of this is my last 24 hours. All of it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

This Drink is The Balls

Not to feed any further into the Anchorman 2 hype machine, but a tasty drink recipe is a tasty drink recipe.

From Foodbeast:
The Ron Burgundy

What You Need
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 oz. Scotch (i.e. Famous Grouse)
  • ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 dashes peach bitters
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • Orange or lemon peel, for garnish

How to Make It
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat brown sugar and 1 cup water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. In a shaker with ice, combine the Scotch, lemon and grapefruit juices, ½ oz. brown sugar simple syrup, and bitters. Shake vigorously and strain into a short glass with large ice. Garnish with an orange peel. (Leftover brown sugar syrup can be stored in a jar to use in future cocktails.)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Snap, Crackle, Pop Bottles

I'm not much of a baking aficianado, but add whiskey to a list of ingredients and I'm there. You had me at "whiskey." Try out this recipe and report back (or, better yet, send some samples of the finished product my way).

"How to make Jim Beam Rice Whiskey Treats," from Guyism:
  • 5 ½ cups Rice Krispies
  • 10-oz. bag marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 2 shots Black Cherry Red Stag from Jim Beam
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt to taste

  1. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in cinnamon and marshmallows.
  2. Once marshmallows have melted completely, remove from heat and quickly stir in bourbon and a sprinkle of salt.
  3. Don’t stop for pictures… narcissist.
  4. Add Rice Krispies and stir until evenly combined.
  5. Press treats into buttered 8×8″ baking dish.
  6. Admit you can’t level the treats.
  7. Cover with parchment (wax) paper, find square object, press down evenly.
  8. Add a sprinkle of finishing salt over the top.
  9. Cut into squares with sharp knife.
  10. Stack on penguin plate.
  11. Watch disappear.
  12. Mourn the loss of your delicious Rice Whiskey Treats.
  13. Move on to next recipe.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Buddy System

A long, long, long time ago, a very wise young man gave you a very valuable life lesson: Make friends with your server. What that dashing, slightly tipsy gent didn't do is give you a long list of steps to take to make that happen. Thankfully, the folks at Thrillist are here to pick up where that other guy left off.

How to Become Your Bartender's Favorite Customer
Order simple when things get hectic
Even if the bartender designed the cocktail menu, he’ll be grateful if you ask for a beer or whiskey instead of an 8-ingredient masterpiece.

Handle your people when they get out of hand
If someone you brought in starts instigating fights, grabbing asses, etc, get them to stop, or get them to leave. Don’t wait for the bartender or bouncer to step in. Their first move’s gonna be to ask you to handle it, because you’re in a better position to calm your boy with words instead of judo.

Offer your bartender the right shot, for the right reasons
The right attitude’s “I know you’re working, but it’d be awesome if you joined us”, not “Screw your job, hop on our party train!”. Also, offer them their preferred shot, not yours; and remember that a shot is never a substitute for a tip.
Check out the full list, as it's full of great do's and don'ts, the latter of which I see less-practiced bargoers exhibit time and time again.

Oh, and while we're at it; the fourth tip on the list?

That aforementioned dashing gent invented this back in 2005. Where are my his damn royalties?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Scotchy Scotch Scotch Scotch

Yes, it's real. From Thrillist:
Weekend Bulletin: The Anchorman's favorite booze — and his own brand at that — is coming to market and a liquor store near you. In some of the best news since Ben & Jerry's made primetime and LEGO got that signature coif, Great Odin's Raven, a Scotch (of course), is hitting shelves sometime this December. While exact pricing and availability are still unknown, there has been breaking updates that it is indeed a 40% ABV blend of whiskies from Speyside, Highlands, and Islay, featuring a healthy amount of jazz flute fruit flavor.

*practices* "The human torch...was denied a bank loan..."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How It All Shakes Out

“You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that's... that's... that's part of life. But, you only learn that...when you start losin' stuff.”

— Tony D’Amato, Any Given Sunday.

Getting old…blows. And that may be the best way I can put it. I could try to twist eloquent phrases and metaphors into a melodic expression of regret and fear, but…nah. Getting old blows.

I know for some, that statement sounds amusing. They would be the 20-something set, the people still experiencing the ten years I cherish most of the 34 I’ve lived. For them, “old” is a word thrown lazily at any person or thing unfortunate enough to have been born before them. There is no “old,” only whimsical musings on the far, far, far-off future.

For others, the statement sounds downright ludicrous. Not because they disagree with the core principle, mind you; but, instead, because it’s being said by someone who’s 34 years old. They would be the 40-something set, the people who look at me and wish they still had the years I’m spending. In ten years I’ll be them, looking upon the currently-20-something set, as they bitch about getting old.

Not to get too Freudian on you, but everyone wants what they can’t have. Especially if it’s something they once had, but can’t have now. “Tis better to have loved and lost…” Bullshit. Ignorance is bliss. If you don’t know the feeling of having it, you won’t miss the feeling of knowing it.

When I tell you, now, that this post is about the closing of a bar, I’d be shocked if eye-rolling didn’t follow. Though I admit there are easy jokes to be found in me, of all people, speaking in nostalgic tones about a dirty little piece of real estate with cheap booze and cracked-pleather bar stools, understand that there’s reason for my passion. And it extends beyond $1 draughts.

Rumshakers became a part of my life more or less the instant it opened its doors in 2003. To be fair, the cheap beer and $2 shots were a big part of the initial draw. Those were the wild days, when Friday nights saw any number of us congregate at the huge Mt. Washington house where BlahBlahBlah (BBB) lived; we’d drink ourselves silly with beer pong and cards, and then hop into cabs down to the South Side to start our night in earnest. We were fresh out of college, earning our own (adequate) salaries, buying cars, paying taxes, and living aggressively. It was a love affair with the moment. So when a small new bar opened up on Carson Street, stocked with a pool table and $2 tall draughts of Miller Lite, it was inevitable that it would be added to our monthly rotation of watering holes.

It became one of our “go-to’s,” a place we could always count on to treat us well, no matter the day or time. But, at some point in the years that followed, our migration patterns shifted, and Rumshakers fell from our regular itinerary. Hey, life changes. BBB moved out of the place on Mt. Washington and went back out to the far suburbs, which ended our weekly parties. A few friends got married. I moved to Shadyside, and was suddenly within walking distance of my nightlife needs. New bars and clubs opened, some in other areas of the city. The world is an Etch-a-Sketch—nothing’s permanent.

Then, in 2009, Jay Swag became a fixture in our crew. And he brought Rumshakers along with him.

Swag is nothing if not loyal to those who he feels have earned such endearment, and Rumshakers has earned it. If you think my reflective reverence for it is funny, that’s only because Swag doesn’t write. To me, the closing of Rumshakers is saying goodbye to a friend; to him, it’s saying goodbye to a brother. During a recent visit, Swag and his roommate Canada asked the owner if they could have some kind of keepsake, something to honor a time and place in their lives that they knew they’d always cherish. There are now two beat up old barstools sitting in their living room.

Since ’09, a lot of the days and nights of Swag, Canada, and I—and, really, of everyone in our circle of friends—have involved drinks at 1224 East Carson St. Search this page for “Rumshakers” (or just click on this link), and you’ll find tale after tale. St. Patrick’s Days, birthdays, bar crawls. Dupa so drunk, he couldn’t talk. The whole shebangabang.

When I gashed open my leg this summer, it was just down the block from Rumshakers. And Jay, a bartender there, is the one who drove me to the ER. There’s a story from there that I’ve never written, purely for legal purposes. There’s one that involved a manhunt, that the perpetrator insisted I write.

I got stalked by The Ex there. While we were together, I would’ve had to have carried her over my shoulder—kicking and screaming in Spanish—to get her to go into Rumshakers. But a year and a half after the relationship ended, I got an email from her one Monday telling me she’d seen me there the previous Saturday. I didn’t sleep so well the next few weeks.

Rumshakers was where I met the man who would eventually marry the girl responsible for the deepest crush I’ve ever known (and even though they’d only just started dating, even then I kind of knew they’d end up together; which makes that memory a little more painful than most).

I still remember games of 8-ball at Rumshakers, especially those with BBB as my teammate. There were bar tabs I don’t remember closing, women I don’t remember meeting, conversations I don’t remember regretting. Photos of friends, photos of hilarity, and photos of jubilation. Moments of dancing, moments of laughter, moments of…youth.

We all get old, we all lose the things that we hold dearest. Even the superficial things, like bars we hung out at, and the fleeting connections to people we drunkenly made out with. But those feelings, the atmospheres, the friends, and those times… We’ll hold on to them forever.

Is it silly to say goodbye to a bar? Probably. But sometimes, it’s more than just the bar that you're saying goodbye to.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sit & Sip

This is a mancave must. I just can't stop watching this over. And over and over and over and...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Get Grown

Men drink Manhattans. That's not some overwrought attempt to puff out my proverbial chest. And it's not a misogynistic jab at the ladies; a woman drinking a Manhattan neat is sex personified.

Look you can drink whatever you want. But if you've never reveled in the exquisite dance of whiskey, vermouth, and bitters seducing your tongue, you can't call yourself an adult. Not within earshot of me. Frankly, "Drink Manhattans" should have been found somewhere on the Business Insider list I posted the other day. (As much as I loved that collection of rules, the fact that it makes no mention of Manhattans threatens to invalidate the whole thing.) So take this lesson from Joaquin Simo to heart, and step into your big boy (or big girl) pants.

From Thrillist:
If you ask 10 different bartenders how to make a drink, you'll likely get 10 different answers. Which is why you should just listen to us, and our man Joaquín Simó, the face of NYC's Pouring Ribbons, who was named nothing less than Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail 2012.

This time we're taking on one of the classic-est of classics -- prepare to get step-by-stepped through the Only Manhattan You'll Ever Need.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

She Got Game

I've always been kind of "meh" on the topic of Flip Cup. Beer pong? I'm game, 24-7. Card games? Shuffle up and deal, bitches. But Flip Cup... Sometimes I'm tuned up on a healthy diet of beer and shots, and when Flip Cup starts, I'm in. Other times, I chuck the deuce and find something more interesting.

But, if—IF—the twerking element becomes a Flip Cup mainstay, I'm in. All in. Let's flip it up.

(FYI: If you're one of the ladies from these gifs, or you think you can top them, find my email address pronto.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Toddy'd Hotty

The brunette that dominates this video is the sound my heart makes. She's going to make some poor guy completely miserable one of these days. It would probably be me if I wasn't deeply averse to being lynched, and therefore unwilling to travel into Mississippi.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Forget Me Not

All I'm going to say is...I recognize these women. I see them every time at the bar. Sometimes they're in my own crew.

That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Art of War

Actually, step #1 in this list should be "Graduate from Washington & Jefferson College." But the rest of these tips are cool, too. I mean, they only come from a $50,000 World Series of Beer Pong champion, and not from someone who won the rights to the nickname "The King Kong of Beer Pong." But, you know, whatevs...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cruel World

Here's something we can all relate to. "How the World Looks with a Hangover," courtesy of College Humor. The only thing missing is a bottle of Gatorade looking like a defibrillator.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy National Vodka Day!

I don't know who decided October 4th should be National Vodka Day, and I don't know how they went about deciding it. But I love them for their forward thinking and vision. Obviously, I'll be celebrating in the traditional manner later tonight (I'm assuming tradition is killing a bottle of Ketel One and then drunk-dialing ex-girlfriends).

За твоё здоровье!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Punk'd, Kiwi Style

It's a thin line that exists between "prank" and "home improvement project."

The first time I watched the video below, I marveled at the outrageous amount of time, effort, money, and manpower that had to go into this prank. And I considered moving to New Zealand, just for the chance to become friends with these guys. But then I read the write-up at Gizmodo:
Friends don't get better than this. They could always have your back, they could be your groomsmen at your wedding, hell they could even give a kidney to you and they won't ever beat these guys who pranked their friend by replacing his entire home plumbing system with beer. As in every faucet would spew out sweet delicious beer instead of water. As in beers on every tap. It's a dream come true.

It's obviously a viral marketing campaign by New Zealand's Tui beer but I'll excuse that because for one, beer. Also, these guys are just so eager to rig their friend's house with beer and then drink it together that I find it absolutely adorable. Plus, New Zealand accents are pretty awesome on the scale of accents. And lastly, who wouldn't want this to happen to them?!

Well...damn. This is still hilarious. And effective. *googles "apartments for rent in Auckland"*

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wifey Material: Scarlet Bouvier

I'm new to Scarlet's fan club, but I'm waving my "I heart Scarlet" flag just as vigorously as anyone else. She's beautiful. She's funny. She loves booze. She loves getting naked. And she loves cats. And she loves funny cat jokes about booze (that I can only imagine she tweeted while naked).

Hello, Mrs. D.E.F.I...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We Do This Shit Errday

When it comes to unloading kegs, the folks in Ireland have this shit down to a science.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Social Drinking Excellence: Wild Pig

Go home, Pig, you're drunk.

From The Guardian:
The animal was seen stealing three six-packs of beer from campers before ransacking rubbish bags for food.

One camper reported seeing the pig guzzling the beer before getting involved in an altercation with a cow.

"In the middle of the night these people camping opposite us heard a noise, so they got their torch out and shone it on the pig and there he was, scrunching away at their cans," said the visitor, who estimated that the pig had consumed 18 beers.

"Then he went and raided all the rubbish bags. There were some other people camped right on the river and they saw him being chased around their vehicle by a cow."

The pig was reportedly last seen resting under a tree, possibly nursing a hangover.
TJ first sent me this story at about 9 a.m. today; 15+ hours later, I'm still searching for something witty to add to all of this. So far all I've got is, "Go home, Pig, you're drunk."

This might just be the most perfect news blurb to ever be blurb'd. But, for the sake of a challenge, let's see what I can do:

  • Boy, Babe has really fallen on hard times since Pig in the City.
  • Turn-back-the-clock-to-my-college-days-slam: A drunk pig on the rampage, rummaging through the trash for food? Weird. Kappas usually just hit up the soft-serve machine.
  • The fact that no one has come forward with video footage of a drunk pig getting chased around a car by a cow is a travesty, and has left my life feeling incomplete.
  • Does this make this pig the Australian version of Spuds MacKenzie?

Pig, I'll be hand-delivering your Rummy Award. I'm coming to Australia to drink with you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Not So Top 10

Here is a video list of 10 little-known facts involving alcohol. And I'll echo the sentiments of BroBible: #2...*shivers*

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wifey Material: Rihanna

I really don't have much to base this post on. It's just a thin excuse to put up this picture of my dream woman looking delish as ever at a VMA after party.

But while we're here, let me bestow upon you a lesson in wifeydom (listen up, ladies): The sexiest accessory you can wear is a rocks glass. Leave the martini glasses to shitfaced 22-year-olds drinking 30 proof, overpriced Kool Aid that they bought with their first paycheck. You want to get your grown-ass-woman on and let guys know you can handle your own? Follow RiRi's lead.

Do the damn thing, baby.

[Image source: Global Grind.]

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Extremely Swag & Incredibly Close

“Welp, that got out of hand. No one saw that coming.”

Swag began the first Sunday of his 31st year with a blatant lie—albeit one saturated with sarcasm. He knew everyone else could obviously see what was coming two weeks before that, when we got the Facebook event invite for his birthday party. You don’t put “Swag,” “Saturday,” “birthday,” and “McFadden’s” into the same calendar entry and come away with something sensible and understated, in much the same way that you don’t put Justin Bieber, a microphone, an auto-tune machine, and peppermint schnapps into the same room and expect to get good music.

When I got to his place just before 7 p.m. that night, I was stunned. He had told me to come over anytime between 2 and 7; surely, I assumed, getting there at the tail end of that window could only mean finding the man of honor in a rapidly worsening, blindingly drunk state. Instead he was calm and alert, as though the Miller Lite in his hand was secretly a Fresca in an elaborate disguise. I guess not starting your day with Four Loko has a positive endgame. Ah, maturity.

Also on hand: TD, Skeets, Tony, Bobbo, MoPaddle, and Mr. MoPaddle. JL showed up not long after I did. We all BS’d on the deck for another hour or so, empty beer cans falling everywhere like bullet casings in a Rambo movie. By 8 we were grabbing roadies and heading out the door to catch the T. Swag, JL, and Bobbo took a few swigs from a Fireball Whiskey bottle before they got past the dining room, and squinted as they emerged into the cooling August twilight. Upon reaching the T station, Swag admitted, “That shot of Fireball was probably a bad idea.”

When we stepped off the train, we were on the North Shore, which at this point feels like home. Weatherman was waiting for us at McFaddens when we walked in. T.C. and Gaelic Gangsta stopped by after leaving the Stealers preseason game not much later. If Swag remembers any of them being there, I’d be amazed.

We found a table out on the patio, and set up shop with the Pittsburgh skyline behind us. Most of our party ordered beers; JL, though, decided gin & tonics for himself and Swag were the best course of action; I sensed the beginning of the end.

But if his ship’s already sinking, why not send Swag off in style? I voyaged inside to the bar to get him a shot of Crown. Along the way, I (literally) ran into a fella named Adam. Being cool people, he laughed off the accident. Since he had been on the way to buy a shot of his own, he asked if I wanted one too. It’s not my birthday, but…ok. Have you ever felt booze change your odds? Like, you feel as though you have an 80% chance of making it home alive that night, and then you pour a specific cup of alcohol down your throat, and that number plummets to 40%? Yeah, welcome to my world.

I thanked Adam for the shot, collected the drinks I’d ordered for Swag and I, and headed back to our base. The pride I felt over spilling the bare minimum of alcohol on my way back was quickly subdued by having to drink the shot I hadn’t spilled. Hadn’t counted on that…

An hour or so later, I was due for another trip to the bar. Noticing Swag was near the bottom of his beer, I asked, “Want another one?”

Swag: “Yeah, I’ll take a shot.”
Me: *blinks*

Inside at the bar, I flagged down the bartender and ordered two shots and two beers. Weatherman appeared a little further down the rail, and noticed me as he was about to place his own order. “You want a shot?”

Me: “I’m buying shots for Swag and me.”
Weatherman: *beat* “…so do you want a shot?”
Me: *beat* “Yeah, sure.”

It’s not like I expected this night to go any differently.

It wasn’t much later that, while laughing with everyone on the patio, I turned to find an ominous sight: Three bouncers were lined up outside the railing, waiting for Swag to fall into their grasp. “He’s too drunk to be here,” one of them called out. JL, Bobbo, and I formed a human wall between Swag and the vultures, and held it while Skeets got him cups of water and he worked to reestablish himself in the human race. Once he was well enough to walk under his own power, JL and Skeets took Swag back to the T station. It wasn’t even midnight yet.

With the man of honor heading home on a train, the rest of the party quickly dissolved. Tony and I switched venues to Rivers, and in doing so caught up with Special K and Shelly, who were out for K’s niece’s birthday. A short time later he and I found ourselves at the casino’s central bar, Levels, talking to a couple of girls who were the Tim Tebows of interesting conversation; they probably got a lot of false praise from critics with ulterior motives while they were in college, but they had no business being on a field with pros. After one had droned on for a solid five minutes about some pointless story, Tony just laughed and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been this bored before!”

They were not amused. There was a lot of squawking that I immediately tuned out, focusing instead on my beer. Tony laughed uncontrollably at himself as they stormed off. Apparently they headed for the ladies’ room, where Shelly happened to be; she said that they were still denouncing our respective lineages when they got there. We must’ve really won their hearts.

It’s probably worth noting that I have no clue what either of those two women looks like. And that’s not even due to the two weeks that have passed since that night. *shrug* Thank god they didn’t ambush us outside the casino. I never would have been able to identify them in a police lineup.

Sooner or later the homie and I made our way back to Swag’s via taxi. I initially fell asleep on a recliner in the living room. After a short time there, though, I remembered that Mitch Canada was out of state, and his bed was wide open. I went upstairs and passed out. I next awoke around 8 a.m.; I was back on the recliner, and Tony was upstairs in Mitch’s bed. The “hows” and “whys” of that game of musical chairs will never be settled.

When I awoke in the living room that second time, an episode of The Golden Girls was playing on the TV. I fell back asleep for another hour and a half; when I awoke again, The Golden Girls was still playing on the TV. Just when I thought I was going crazy, Swag—who had come downstairs feeling brand new—asked, “Why is Golden Girls still on?”

“you're a pal and a confidant.
And if you threw a party,
Invited everyone you knew,
You would see the biggest gift would be from me,
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend…”

Tony headed home. Swag, JL, and I tried to piece together the previous 24 hours. Skeets came downstairs for a brief appearance, aided our efforts, and then went back upstairs. Swag anxiously awaited an 11 o’clock readout on the cable box, which would signal that Fiori’s had opened for the day. After some pizza and a few more episodes of Golden Girls, I made the move towards my car. The sunlight blinded my eyes, and my head thumped with every breath of fresh air.

I most certainly saw that coming.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Taste of Desire

Let me start by apologizing for not covering this when the news broke about 10 months ago. I have no excuse (aside from being in the midst of a job hunt). So I'm just going to blame TJ. I think it works better for everyone that way.

From The Huffington Post:
A German liquor company is turning heads this week due to its limited-edition line of spirits, which the brand promises were all poured over a model's naked breasts before being bottled, the New York Daily News reports.

The G-Spirits company, started by a pair of former bartenders, was founded on the principle that liquor is about both taste and that "special feeling" one gets when drinking.

"For us there is nothing more than the erotism of a beautiful woman," the website states. "To create the perfect taste we let every single drop of our spirits run over the breasts of a special type of woman, a type we recognize in this liquor.'

To that end, G-Spirits is offering rums, whiskeys and vodkas, every drop of which has been poured over a woman's chest.
This is officially the first time I've been more interested in watching the bottling process than drinking what ends up in the bottle.

The G. Whiskey No.1
Approx. $179.00 (plus s&h)
Our G.Whisky No.1 is a unique, 12year old single malt whisky from Scotland (cask strength).

Loose yourself in a world full of autumn gold, matured in former Sherry casks, and feel the warmth of Alexa [Varga] (Playmate Of The Year 2012), whose breasts it´s poured over. Its unbelievably versatile flavours range from roasted almonds, dried fruit, and toffee, to honey, vanilla, baked apples and cinnamon. Its finish is harmonic, well balanced, spicy, and long-lasting.

The G. Vodka No.1
Approx. $153.00 (plus s&h)
G.Vodka No.1 stands for utmost purity, clarity, consummate taste. Created out of the best harvest of French winter barley, distilled six times and diluted with purest springwater to the desired drinking strength, it was poured over the breasts of Evelin [Aubert]. This makes it an incomparable G-Spirit. Explore its ice-cold breath and enjoy the stunning beauty of its representative Evelin drop by drop.

The G. Rum No.1
Approx. $166.00 (plus s&h)
The G.Rum No.1 is assembled from various very old types of tropical rum. It owes its incomparable, perfectly balanced, soft, but still heady finish to its double-aging. After storing it in ex-bourbon cask for 10 years and 1 year in barrels of French oak, it is poured over Amina [Malakona]'s breasts, which lends it an unique erotic character. Flavours of ripe banana, vanilla, sugarcane and roasted coconut carry your senses into a Caribbean world, making you dream of being on holiday, intensified due to its long-lasting and well defined aftertaste.

If you've been paying attention to Crooked Straight over the past few weeks, I think it's obvious that of these three options, I'm going to choose the rum, despite being a professed whiskey lover. Who am I to go against my new wifey?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Worth the Wait

Brilliant marketing work by Amstel on this one. Do nothing and get free booze? I can't believe an American company didn't think this up.

From Adweek:
Sentient vending machines are all the rage right now. This Amstel spot out of Bulgaria adds the latest twist to the share-baiting trend—forcing antsy consumers to actually stand still in one place for three minutes if they want a free beer. The point? Take a break from your busy day. Really, it's like all the others in that it's just another way to waste your time and maybe have a little fun. But at least it doesn't make you bow to it. All we can say is that if we were Kit Kat, we'd be pretty pissed that we didn't do this first.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


There was a time when three straight days of alcohol-sodden, brain-left-at-home fun was the gold standard for a “staycation” holiday weekend.

If you’re at the beach or on a cruise, all bets are off. You’ll go a week without even stopping to feel the first twinge of a hangover—I’m speaking from experience here. But when you haven’t even traveled out of your area code? Three days is the max. The human body just can’t take more than that without being recharged by ocean air and drunk strangers from other states, who you know you’ll never see again.

That used to be what I believed. Fourth of July Weekend 2013 changed my religion. I have been to the mountaintop.

Wednesday, July 3rd

You gotta get up to get down. How do you get everyone primed for a weekend full of shenanigans and alcohol? Throw a house party—correction: “a small get-together,” according to TD—full of shenanigans and alcohol in the middle of the week.

The location: TD and Boy Toy’s new townhouse. I chose to wait and arrive fashionably late (most everyone else was tweeting or facebooking about drinks as I was still sitting at work). So I wasn’t the least bit surprised by what I found as I carried a case of Canoe Paddler through the front door: a dozen or so people kicking the ever-living shit out of sobriety.

  • When I walked in, Mitch Canada and TJ pointed out the half-empty little cans scattered about the kitchen. Apparently the newest product coming to these boozing streets is cocktail-in-a-can. Martinis, margaritas, Cosmopolitans, etc., in small aluminum cans. It appeared the first half of the party had served as an impromptu product test.

  • Marty was awake for about the first 20 or so minutes that I was there. He then passed out while sitting on the couch, and slept the rest of the night. I was told he had started his night by drinking glasses of straight whiskey. People put props on him, people took pictures of him, girls gave him lap dances; none of it had any effect.

  • Jay Swag was drunk. Very drunk. And he was guilt-ridden. Very guilt-ridden. It seemed like every time I tried to engage him in conversation, he’d just look down at the bandaging on my shin and say, “It’s my fault.” I finally had to pull him aside and explain that all of his self-flagellation was ruining the fun I was trying to have busting his balls about the accident.

  • TJ had brought a friend with him: “Fried Green Tomatoes” (FGT), a new coworker who had just moved to Pittsburgh from the South. I'd already met her once before, but this was her first introduction to everyone else; being that she’s blonde, sassy, buxom, and cute, everyone else took notice.

    And she’s young—24, to be exact. That night was a crash course, like a rookie backup seeing her first action against all-pros. She was okay when I got to the party get together, but rapidly declined thereafter. At one point she asked for my Twitter handle, followed me, and tweeted to me, “It was nice meeting you” (again, I was the one person besides TJ who had already met her before that night). I tweeted back, “It was nice to meet you, too.” Two minutes later, while still standing next to me, FGT showed her phone to TJ and said, “Look, this person tweeted me—I don’t know who this is!”

    Her first night of sitting at the grown-ups table ended with FGT falling down a small flight of steps on her way out of the townhouse, and then sleeping it all off on TJ’s couch.

  • I don’t know when, where, or why this became a thing, but TD and Boy Toy taught us a new ritual. “Slap the Bag” consisted of passing around a plastic pouch filled with punch drink [A cocktail party ball?]. While one person holds the bag in the air, the player smacks it like a john who’s paid extra, and then pours a shot directly into his or her mouth via the built-in tap. Pass the bag, repeat.

Thursday, July 4th

I felt no guilt over being slow-moving that day. The trial-by-fire that I had given my weekend, in hindsight, was probably for the best. But… FUCK. When TD texted me impatiently around 4 p.m. asking where I was, I laughed it off. Fourth of July or not, the simple fact that I was upright and moving was a victory in my eyes.

I pulled up to Swag’s with another case of Canoe Paddler. Let’s go. I found a host of people in the backyard drinking, listening to music, and playing cornhole. Oh, and this was just the pregame. After a couple hours of killing most of the case, we walked up to Belle and Finger Bang’s for the actual Fourth party. Get it.

  • I had decided to get festive for the occasion, though I quickly learned the difficulties of writing upside down.

  • My injury is more of an inconvenience than a health concern. Case in point? I can’t run while it heals, which means any gains I’d made in personal health in June bled out with the cut. Combining that with a hilly ten-minute walk through stifling heat and humidity meant I was wheezing and sweating like a Kevin James movie by the time I reached Belle and Bang’s.

  • I cooled off in Belle’s air conditioning, and took in her gorgeous view. I may have to put aside my rule against dating friends just to marry her and bask in that prime real estate. [#TrueLove]

  • One of Belle and Bang’s friends showed up in an American flag cape, with an Uncle Sam top hat and wearing red and blue shorts—and not much else.

    This did not shock me. That he showed up with his kid and his baby mama, though, did.

  • Belle & Bang’s neighbors were having a party of their own, complete with beer pong games in the front yard. Boy Toy reportedly ran their table like a boss for most of the night.

  • FGT made a subdued appearance, barely drinking anything despite the mayhem going on all around her. Welcome to the league, rook.

  • I remember drunkenly babbling at Belle and Bang’s parents. I didn’t get slapped by any mothers or chased by any fathers, so I’ll chalk that up as a win, though I have no clue what I may have said to them.

  • …my Wednesday night drunk may have combined with my Thursday drinking. If this seems obvious to you, and you’re wondering why I’m bothering to mention it, the simple answer is: I hadn’t even considered that possibility until just now, as I sit here writing this.

  • I know we walked back to Swag and Canada’s after the fireworks, though I remember very little for the rest of the night. The one thing I do remember? Well, I’ll get to that. But first…

Friday, July 5th


I may or may not have awoken on Swag’s couch shouting that. After going home for a power nap and a shower, I hopped into TD’s car around 11 a.m. and chugged liberally from a Mountain Dew Kickstart as we headed for our Furry Safari mecca, Tonic.

  • While lying on my couch that morning, I’d suffered the sudden memory flash of trying to kiss someone. A few seconds later, the full picture came back. “Well…I owe FGT an apology.”

  • A block from my place, I realized I’d made the mistake of leaving my shades at home. TD stopped at a gas station so I could pick out the finest pair of sunglasses $12 can buy. I rocked it out in my Sunoco Chanel’s the rest of the day.

    …I then lost them by the end of the night. And this is why I buy my sunglasses at gas stations.

  • TD and I grabbed a smaller table in the sidewalk seating, our traditional big corner table having been reserved by another party. Our primary goal—well, secondary, when you factor in furry chasing—became the command and conquer of every other table and chair we could get our hands on as other diners left. A couple of hours later we held command over 90% of Sidewalkistan.

  • The first furry I got my picture taken with this year? A black unicorn wearing a kilt. I could’ve retired off that one.

  • I started with Red Bull & Vodkas. After two I switched to Corona, because there was no way drinking vodka while sitting out in the hot sun all day was going to go well for me.

  • Boy Toy started with Bloody Marys. After one, he switched to Bloody Marys with a double shot of vodka. Then he started pounding shots, including those bought for him by a cougar at the bar. His drunk went from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds. He’d eventually recover, with the help of food and glasses of water. But for a while there I kept expecting to look over and see him sleeping on the sidewalk with his arm around a furry.

  • Some among our crew started their day with Molly. Why they chose to snort MDMA before partying with people in animal costumes is something only their future court-appointed psychiatrists can tell you.

  • Special K was our Rookie of the Year. She eagerly chased down furries for hugs and pictures, and grilled them with questions about the lifestyle.

  • A big blue dog with a GoPro camera rigged on his chest hugged TD. From the gallery I observed, “He just got a camera full of boob.”

  • That furry and his furry buddy had a camera crew with them that we hardly noticed. We would find out the next day that the camera crew was from a local news station, and that all of us—minus TD’s cleavage—were in a piece that aired that night. That’s right: Our Furry Safari has now attracted media attention.

  • Dupa made an appearance, albeit three hours later than he was supposed to. He immediately got up to speed by sexually harassing the guys and doing some furry chasing. You can take the drunken W&J grad out of Pittsburgh, but you can’t take the drunken Pittsburgh out of the W&J grad.

  • Half of our crew made a break for the South Side around…well, if you think I spent all day furry watching in the July heat while pounding drinks and still had some kind of grasp on time, you’re at the wrong blog site. Dupa, his lady, TJ, and I hung back.

  • A blonde girl in a trucker cap, shades, and leopard-print stretch pants took residence at the table closest to us, which our friends had recently vacated. She looked like Paris Hilton, if Paris Hilton was the Sidewalkistan ambassador to Furmany.

  • A girl Dupa went to high school with appeared, and sat down with us. After a few minutes, he leaned over to me and said, “We gotta get out of here right now—she’s about two minutes from dropping an n-bomb.”

  • TJ and I headed for Rumshakers to meet up with Belle, Swag, Canada, and others. At some point, the racist chick showed up. And at some point after that, she started dancing at the bar with Belle’s homegirl, a sister who is more “Da Brat” than “Lil Kim.” (…ya follow?) The world I thought I knew was hanging by a thread.

  • After a while we made our way to the White Eagle, where the other refugees from our safari were located. I drank until I just couldn’t drink anymore.

  • I caught a moment alone with FGT and apologized for the night before. She graciously accepted my apology, and then gave me a ride home. I passed out in my own bed for the first time in what felt like six months.

Saturday, July 6th

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Well, he partied on the 3rd; but that was the last workday of the week, so why not? And he partied on the 4th because, well, he’s ‘Murican. And the 5th just happened to be the day of the Furry Safari. He had no choice but to drink all day that day. It was just a scheduling anomaly that he had no control over. But the 6th? He probably just stayed in bed the entire day with an IV of Gatorade, and put it on cruise control. There’s no national holiday or annual celebration of people in animal costumes on 7/6. What could he possibly do to punish his liver on that day?”

Three words: Whiskey. Distillery. Tour.

In June, Alex and I had kicked around the idea of taking Wigle Whiskey’s tour. But July 6th was the earliest set of tickets available. So we did what any sensible-minded adult would do: laughed at the devil and bought tickets to ride into Hell aboard a chariot loaded with dynamite.

  • When Alex picked me up, TD, Joel, and Gaelic Gangsta were already in the car. The latter two had not been active (read: shlammered) participants in the previous day’s mayhem, and seemed fine. I loathed them for that. Me? I was a pause away from being declared mentally-handicapped.

  • Have I mentioned that TD is my little sister from another mother? She tried to verbalize a thought, and got met head-on by her inability to form a sentence. A few minutes later, I ran into the same roadblock, proclaiming, “Vehdf floi shfff bnff shffid aookd.” Without missing a beat or showing a trace of sarcasm, TD nodded her head and said, “Mmhm, yup.”

  • We reached an intersection and saw the distillery off to the right. TD pointed at the building and proclaimed to Alex, “It’s right there, on the left!”

  • When you walk into the lobby, they offer you one of three free cocktails, made from either their whiskey or their genever. We managed to get some of each, including an extra drink for free. (Tell me you expected anything less.)

  • The tour is fun and informative. If you plan on being in Pittsburgh on a Saturday afternoon, I highly suggest it. The 128-proof glass of whiskey they gave us at the end was worth the price of admission alone.

  • We were joined on the tour by Alex’s parents and her good friend Jerry. While Jerry had other business to attend to afterwards, the rest of us walked over to the Harp & Fiddle to further wet our whistles. And, being that we were in the Strip District with moist whistles on a Saturday afternoon, TD and I quickly decided an all-day bar crawl was in order. (Tell me you expected anything less.) The other five people had made plans to go to GG’s house for a small party; after two rounds we bid them adieu and ordered ourselves another.

  • Our next stop was The Beerhive. There we grabbed several rounds of beer, as well as some food to help channel the boozy floodwaters. Boy Toy, Under The Porch (UTP), and MoPaddle soon arrived to give us some backup.

  • Next up: Luke Wholey’s. Probably not bad for a business lunch or dinner date, but…nah. One beer and done.

  • Next: A place called Lefty’s. Arguably the least well-known of our destinations that day, its relaxed atmosphere (read: nobody there) made it cozy and welcoming. I mean, how many places advertise $4 Strong Islands? Okay, okay…the fact that the bartender gave us a couple of rounds of free shots may have swayed my opinion. And the fact that they had sex in the bathroom may have swayed TD and Boy Toy’s.

  • It was getting dark, and the decision was made to move the crawl to the South Side. UTP drove us over, but then made up an excuse and dipped after dropping us off at Rumshakers. Boy Toy theorized that his homie had left to hook up with a girl he’s involved with. Is that really what the new generation [he’s 25] of drinkers does? Lie when they are getting ass? Really?

  • Everyone at ‘Shakers seemed subdued. Even the homie Joe. I tried chatting with some girls there for a birthday, and the room stayed lukewarm. Given my history with Rumshakers, it felt like I’d stumbled into the Twilight Zone. After a couple of rounds we got the fuck out.

  • Next, The Smiling Moose. I grabbed some dinner to go along with a few more beers. MoPaddle, on the other hand, highlighted her time there by sitting her purse too close to a candle burning on the bar. Did you know leather was flammable? Thankfully she caught it pretty quickly, and the damage was minimal. But if you think a drunk girl is going to be calm about her Coach bag getting singed, well…

  • Stop #8: Casey’s Draft House. This crawl had suddenly become segregated by gender. Distraught over her purse, MoPaddle had a moment, and had to be chased down by TD. They would end up at Primanti’s. While that was going on, Boy Toy and I got ourselves beers and shots at Casey’s and talked about the world, being really, really good looking, and other deep, philosophical things.

  • I don’t remember what possessed either of us to suggest Skybar as our next destination, though I do remember Boy Toy reconsidering when we got to the doors. That the South Side’s latest attempt at having an “ultra lounge” expected us to pay a cover charge to get in wasn’t too shocking; it was the fact that they wanted $10 a piece that made us pause. My response, though, was “Fuck it. I’ll gladly pay $10 now for the experience, and to be able to say I did.” And I did. I probably never will again. But I can always say I did.

    Look, it’s not that the place is all that bad. Once you’re inside, Skybar is a good time, especially if you have money to throw around recklessly, and/or you’re an inexperienced drinker under 25. But this is Pittsburgh, and the environment will never support their business model for multiple years of existence. Ultra lounges in this town are the bastard children of the overly ambitious, and the naïve who think this is a city as into “scene” as a New York or L.A. Pittsburgh doesn’t want a “place to be seen”—the blue collar heritage is too deep.

    Hell, I’ve seen Pittsburghers bitch over having to pay a $3 cover at bars and clubs. If you’re a tourist, Skybar probably seems like a great night out on the town. But, as a resident…nah. One-and-done.

  • We rendezvoused with the girls, and went to Jack’s Bar. I don’t know if I caught a contact high off a roofie’d drink at Skybar, or if 12 straight hours of drinking was just finally catching up to me, but I have very limited recollection of the tenth and final stop on our path of (self-)destruction. I had a beer, but shortly thereafter we were back out on the street, hailing a cab.

  • Once back at the townhouse, Boy Toy, MoPaddle, and I called it a night and went to bed at 2 a.m. like somewhat-sensible adults cracked open a handle of premixed cocktail (some kind of fruit punch, though we appropriately christened it “Red Drank”) and didn’t stop ‘til it was gone, close to 4 a.m. It felt like a poetic close to a maniacal weekend that had started there.

The next morning TD drove me home. I climbed out of her car with bright red lips and a bright red tongue, shuffled into my building, and fell face-first into my couch. That’s the problem with reaching the mountaintop: It’s all downhill from there.

Wifey Material: Natasha Leggero

Before last night, you may have known Natasha from her millions of quick-hit guest spots on TV shows. Or her killer quick-hit scene in He's Just Not That Into You. Or her stand-up. Or from her frequent appearances on Chelsea Lately. Or her hundreds of other appearances around the comedy world. Or her album, "Coke Money". Or Burning Love.

But forget all of that. Now, you can just call her my beautiful, drunken wife.

Enjoy Yoself

I don't know why it took me this long to find this picture. But I do know that I love it. Every last bit of it. Cheers, Mr. Ford.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy National Tequila Day

Drink up, bitches.

Wifey Material: Selena Gomez

Is it just me, or is Selena looking a lot sexier now that she's "legal?"

From E!:
Selena Gomez didn't mess around when it came to celebrating her 21st birthday.

During an appearance on Tuesday's Tonight Show, host Jay Leno asked the "Come & Get It" singer about her first legal drink upon reaching the milestone.

"I had a shot of Jack [Daniels]," Gomez revealed.

When Leno inquired how many, she admitted, "I don't remember."

She went straight to Jack? This is a woman after my own heart. Come to Pittsburgh, Selena. Come home. 'Cuz we ain't gettin' no younger, so we might as well do it...