Friday, June 28, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I believe it was Henry David Thoreau who first said, “The more time I spend being drunk and awesome, the less time I have to write about being drunk and awesome.”

March and April were so full of shenanigans that I skipped out on writing about most of them. It tends to happen every year, since you get three significant drinking holidays—St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, my birthday on March 29th, and the Pirates’ Home Opener in the first week of April—packed together in a three-week window on the calendar. Add in TJ’s birthday, Penguins playoff games, and Brewski Fest tying a nice bow on it all at April’s end, and you get a whole lot of “Wait, whose couch is this?” mornings. In past years, when I worked at my old job, I would’ve devoted some of my daily free time during workdays to retell the details of those events. But, with my current occupation, there is no such thing as “free time”; consequently, it’s you the viewing public who suffer. ‘Tis a cruel, cruel world, I know.

Let’s see if I can give a quick rundown of the blurry-visioned fun that has taken place through the first half of spring.

St. Patty’s Angels (Saturday, 3/16)
  • Our standard squadron of drinkers assembled on Mt. Washington, with TJ, Specs, and I starting our morning at Jay Swag and Mitch Canada’s house. Making a special appearance was Affliction, who quickly explained his recent M.I.A. status: He’s (reluctantly) going to be a father.

    Yes, he accidentally impregnated the hot, mentally-unstable Jesus freak that he had been casually bodyrockin’ for a few months. This chick is so crazy that he once caught her reading the bible aloud…to her dog. Seriously.

    Always wear a condom, kids.

  • For weeks, Shannon had been teasing that she would have a surprise waiting for me when I arrived at her annual party. Given my various bedroom entanglements with her and her sister’s friends over the years…well, I didn’t expect good things.

    My god was I proven wrong. When we walked into her apartment, she pointed me towards her kitchen table, on which sat a pyramid of Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. Whether she knows it or not, we’re getting married. And we’re consummating the marriage on a mountain of those cupcakes.

  • I did quick, swift damage on St. Patty’s. True, it was to myself; but…whatevs. Before I knew it I was sitting at the bar in Redbeard’s, using chicken tenders to ward off a full-on blackout.

  • By the end of the night I was air-humping a passed-out-on-the-couch JL at Swag’s, while everyone else played drinking games. About seven of us passed out in that living room, and that eventually turned to eight when Tony showed up out of nowhere at 2:30 a.m. and began drunkenly groping his way through the room with a goofy smile that beamed through the darkness.

Meet the Parent (Friday, 3/22)
  • Alex’s parents were in town for her Mom’s birthday. To celebrate, Alex took her to a local place where you can do amateur painting while sipping wine. Her dad, however, is like the rest of us normal people, and therefore chose sitting at a bar over sitting in an art studio. So Tony, TD, and I caught up with him at Shady Grove.

    In about 30 minutes of hang time, TD fell in love with him and I gave up Alex’s secret about the parties she threw at his house when she was a kid. This is why we shouldn’t be allowed around parents.

  • We offered to buy him a shot, but he wouldn’t hear of it, saying firmly that he wasn’t up for anything crazy like us “kids”. Curious, though, he asked TD what kind of shot she would normally buy.

    TD: “I don’t know, probably some kind of bomb…”
    Alex’s Dad: “No, I don’t want one of those. *to me* How ‘bout you?”
    Me: “I’d probably just do a shot of Jack.”
    Alex’s Dad: “Now that sounds good.”
    Me: “Bartender!”

  • The night ended with TD, Tony, and I back at my place, obliterated and suffering from drunk munchies (or “drunchies”—copyrighted). Tony found out Dominos was still open, and ordered up two pizzas. Three minutes after he hung up, TD accused him of not ordering pizza. She called Dominos herself, and was told by their staff that the order had been placed, as Tony and I laughed.

    That wasn’t enough confirmation for her, though. She called back several more times, to the point where the people at Dominos asked her to please stop calling them.

Treat Yoself! (Thursday, 3/28)
  • My birthday weekend kicked off with Aziz Ansari’s “Buried Alive” tour stop in Pittsburgh. After work I caught up with Alex, TJ, and Armo at Olive or Twist, and swilled Manhattans while taking in Pittsburgh’s young professional set (shocker: I wasn’t impressed). We moved from there to the show (much love to all three of them for covering the cost of my ticket for my birthday—a truly fantastic gift), and Aziz brought the heat throughout his performance.

Birth Dazed (Friday, 3/29)
  • The day’s fun started that afternoon. TD picked me up at my office building and took me to lunch at Fatheads, handing me a gift when I hopped into the car. My present? A bottle of Bulleit bourbon. Love. My. LSFAM (Little Sister From Another Mother).

  • We met up with Boy Toy and Special K for beer and fantastic sandwiches. I ate until I couldn’t move, washed it down with drafts of good beer, and then ate some more. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to work half of a Friday while simultaneously fighting off a Fatheads coma and a coronary.

  • That evening we gathered troops in Shadyside. TD, Special K, Special K’s husband, Tony, and Pakistanimal, all met up at my place for some pregaming, and then headed to Shady Grove for dinner and drinks. Hollywood, too, would eventually make an appearance.

  • Pak, in particular, was anxious to start ordering me shots (#shocking). But even TJ—who couldn’t make it out that night—was in on the assault, ordering the modified Liquid Cocaine shot that has by now become our traditional birthday napalm. I texted him something anti-Semitic and threw it back.

  • At William Penn Tavern later in the night, Tony was utterly dumbfounded to find out that the lyrics are “Highway to the Danger Zone,” and not “I went to the Danger Zone.” Yes, I’m serious. Yes, we made fun of him.

  • For the second Friday in a row, it was TD, Tony, and I back at my place to the end the night. And for the second Friday in a row we ordered pizza from Dominos. But this time we kept TD’s phone away from her until the food was delivered.

Cold Open (Monday, 4/1)
  • This year Mother Nature played a cruel April Fools’ joke on Pittsburgh: the high for the Pirates’ Home Opener was a sweltering 47 degrees Fahrenheit, though for most of the morning and afternoon—the prime tailgating time—temps hovered in the low 30s, with frequent snow flurries. Ever get pelted in the face by snowflakes as you grip a can of Miller Lite with a shivering, numb hand, all while trying to watch a guy and five girls do some hip-hop line dance a row of cars over? Mother Nature is a devious bitch.

  • LRG was on hand, along with his crew of young(ish) millionaires. Once we had all migrated indoors to McFadden’s, they quickly set up shop at the bar. And, before long, shots were being passed in every direction. I got hit by a few, and the next thing I remember with 100% certainty, I was sipping a beer on Swag’s porch.

  • Somehow, someway, we found our way to Redbeard’s, where we were joined by Boy Toy, Mitch Canada, and a few of Canada’s boys for dinner and more booze. Lil Mo even made a brief appearance—just enough time for me to drunkenly yell at her for absolutely nothing. We closed the night at Cafe Nikos, and I finally called “No mas” around 2 a.m. Not bad, considering I’d started drinking at 9:45 that morning.

TJ’s Birthday (Sunday, 4/14)
  • The birthday boy waited until that afternoon to decide that he wanted to have drinks at Grove; Alex and I faithfully obliged. A drunker-than-usual Lil Mo made an appearance, the Grove bartenders worked their magic, and we managed to get the homie buzzed-up on his day. It was small ball, but a win is a win.

Brews’ Clues (Saturday, 4/27)
  • Brewski, oh Brewski. 20+ of us swarmed Seven Springs for this year’s event. I sipped beers during pregaming in TD’s room, pounded beers during the event, pounded beers and shots during the after party at Matterhorn, and threw the last shovelful of dirt on my coffin during the after-after party in BlahBlahBlah’s room.

  • The best-kept secret of early 2013: Dupa made a surprise guest appearance at Brewski. The homie, who now lives in Houston, TX, flew into town to ensure that he, like me, extended his attendance streak to eight straight years of beer-tasting, booth-babe-teasing awesomeness.

  • Among this year’s rookies was Jay Swag…who was technically one of last year’s rookies. But last year he spent the entire event sleeping off the hangover he’d incurred the night before; this, therefore, was his first time actually tasting brewskis while at Brewski Fest.

  • When entering the event, you file in past security, ticket takers, etc. Nodding towards the policeman working security detail, I flashed a smirk at a female member of the event staff. “Have you guys ever had to throw someone out for being too drunk before they even got in?” Without a hint of a smile, she looked directly into my eyes and said, “Yes.” I suddenly wished I’d never said anything at all.

  • That night at Matterhorn, I stepped up to the back bar with T.C., and waited while a middle-aged white woman—the only bartender at that post—worked her way clockwise around towards our spot. And when my turn came a good ten minutes later…she passed me over for the guy standing to our left. T.C. and I both instinctively yelled “What the fuck?!” And in my alcohol-sodden state, I added, “That’s racist!”

    Was I entirely serious with the accusation? No, of course not. If anything, it was a reflex, given the humor my crew and I engage in on a daily basis. As you might expect, though, the bartender did not take kindly to my comment. Her claim that I had just then walked up to the bar, however, inspired shock from both T.C. and some of the guys standing around us. Then, when she could have saved herself by selling me booze to erase my memory of the whole situation, the bartender instead waited on a guy who had just walked up to the right of me. I walked off, calling her a “fucking racist”, and listening to T.C. telling her how full of shit she was as I went to the bar on the other side of the room.

  • Once back at BBB’s for the after-after party, we decided to play beer pong. Someone had been smart enough to bring cups, but no one had been smart enough to bring pong balls. W&J boys never falter, though; BBB and I played one-on-one, using bottle caps.

  • …All of that lasted one lengthy game, before the girls took over and started rounds of flip cup.

  • I awoke a few hours later to my boy “Hurley” standing in the room with his new friend, a trashy blonde. Hurley, Dupa, and I were splitting the suite. But Dupa had the girl he’s dating with him, and had weaseled his way into the deckside bedroom, leaving Hurley and I to share the hallside bedroom. And since I’d gotten there first, it seemed like Hurls was all out of options for lovin’ in Room 356.

    He and his gal pal left. I got up to use the bathroom, and as I walked out a few minutes later, they came back. I went back to bed, and realized soon after the light went out that they were now cuddled on the other half of the bed. So I did what any reasonable friend would do: I got my phone and snapped a picture of her laying on top of him.

  • Eventually, I was awakened again, this time by…certain sounds…and a moving bed. I refused to roll over to see something I couldn’t unsee.

  • When I told Dupa the story the next morning—Hurley had left early to catch a flight—and showed him my photographic evidence, he expanded the picture, chortled, and shoved the phone back in my face.

    Dupa: “What do you see?”
    Me: “What?”
    Dupa: “Look at her hand!”

    There, on the second-from-the-left finger on her left hand, were a wedding band and an engagement ring.

  • I realized, as I got dressed to leave that morning, that the lace from my left Timberland was missing. Gone. Nowhere to be found.

    This is now a cold case. R.I.P. Timb lace.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thirst Games

In general, I loathe the whole "how to pick up women at the bar" column-fodder. First of all, I don't go to bars to pick up women. I go to have a drink or ten with my friends. If the other stuff becomes part of the night late afternoon brunch, then cool. [Which, as you'll see shortly, is actually the best way to get results, virtually rendering this whole video pointless.] To me, a tutorial on how to meet girls at the bar is as useful as a manual for how to buy a scratch-off lotto ticket at a gas station while filling your tank. Second, the people who do concern themselves with this topic have something askew in their basic understanding of the world in total, and probably won't do well in the one-on-one conversation required to complete their goal. (If you actually have to be told not to use pick-up lines, then you have no grasp on reality whatsoever.)

All of that being said, I'll give credit to Buzzfeed for a somewhat novel approach to the idea: Interviewing the people who see more sloppy-drunk game than anyone else—the bartenders. This probably should have just been a clip of these barkeeps telling some of their favorite tales about guys hitting on women in the bar. That would have been infinitely more useful, but que sera sera...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Because this'll be my friends when bonding with their grandkids in 25 years.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wifey Material: ...

...whoever this angel may be. Let's consider all of the qualities she's displayed for us:
  • She's sexy (I mean, call me shallow. But...that's the first thing guys see.)
  • She's faithful. (Who did she have sex with in this ad? No one, right?)
  • She got shit taken care of for her man. (All you want, as a guy, is a woman who will take care of any detail and/or home-related duty that you don't. And, in this case, the man left his woman with the task of cleaning on this particular day. And she found a way to accomplish that without actually having to work hard. Call me crazy, but that sounds like innovation to me.)

I'm so in love. In my heart, I want a woman who will be out there climbing corporate ladders just like me. But...I won't lie; there's something sooooo sexy about her "Everything is resolved, I took care of your home while you were gone" demeanor. It's submissive, sure. But...yeah.

Monday, June 10, 2013

MDW 13

“[Jay Swag] was obliterated. [Boy Toy] only had one beer. [MoPaddle] and [“J-Cray”] were hurting. Alex’s parents are pretty cool.”

And with that, TJ summed up his Memorial Day barbecue.

I could turn this into a lecture as to why you don’t plan parties on the Monday of Memorial Day Weekend when everyone there has to be at work on Tuesday morning, but I think the lesson’s pretty clear. The very fact that he had to tell me about the party via email on Tuesday says it all. I was involved in a deep catch-up nap on my couch for much of Monday afternoon, after 60+ hours spent alternating between inebriated and hungover states.


We gathered at TD and Boy Toy’s home in Mt. Washington for the Penguins’ playoff game. TD and her crew had been drinking for most of the day, so by the time I walked through the door with two six-packs of Goose Island, drunk people were rolling back and forth between the kitchen and living room like a wave motion machine. When you add in that the day was also Alex’s birthday, you have a recipe for reckless boozing—and my crew is Gordon Ramsey when handed that recipe.

  • I could barely fit my six-packs into the fridge, which was packed with Miller Lite, Miller High Life, and other various beers of low pedigree. And then Tony rolled in around the start of the second period with a case of Hoegaarden. Almost all of that beer was gone by the next morning.
  • It occurred to me that Tony and I were the two most sophisticated drinkers at that party. And that is a thought I never thought I’d think.
  • Under The Porch” (UTP) christened Tyler Kennedy “Sniper Pig.” Which means nothing to you if you’re not a hockey fan, and everything to you if you are a hockey fan.
  • Swag insisted on feeding people shots of Jacquin’s Blackberry Brandy. The crowd was underwhelmed.
  • Alex once again proved herself to be a woman who isn’t afraid to try new things.
  • Shots, shots, and more shots. Holy shit was there a lot of shots being done. And TD was the ringleader, using them as a cure-all. It’s your birthday today? Let’s do a shot! Your birthday falls sometime in 2013? Shot? Oh, you’re feeling tired? Wanna do a shot? Pens just won the series! Do a shot bitches! Feel like calling it a night? How about a shot? Everyone thinks you’re racist? A shot’ll make you feel better!
  • I was only half kidding about that last one. While some of us watched a Kevin Hart clip, MoPaddle leaned over to me and whispered, “I just don’t get Black comedy!” Of course, in her hammered state, her whisper was actually a normal-decibel’d exclamation, and UTP picked up on it right away, nearly spitting out beer and stammering, “Whaaa?!?”
  • In her defense, though, MoPaddle prefers the comic stylings of Kevin Nealon.
  • …That wasn’t a joke.
  • I passed out on an air mattress in the freezing spare bedroom next to our friend “Marty”. I can feel 100% secure in his and my heterosexuality, since we didn’t wake up snuggling for warmth.
  • …Instead I used a bath towel I found in a bathroom closet.


I awoke on an air mattress, shivering under a bath towel with a throbbing headache. A great start to any day, really.

Saturday was actually the day I’d been looking forward to all week. Alex and I had made plans to have a Shadyside night. Perfect temps, my homegirl and her sis, dozens more friends, and my home turf on the Saturday night of MDW—what could go wrong?
  • …Oh yeah, hangovers from getting ridiculously wasted on Friday night, that’s what. Saturday was a 10-year war with my hangover. We each won battles, but I won the war by still making it out that night. Tony, TD, and others weren’t so lucky.
  • I dragged myself to Shady Grove to meet up with Alex, her little sister (“Bedazzle”), Alex’s girl Em, and Shannon.
  • …And Shan eventually checked out early. My favorite Irish lass, victimized. Friday night was a mother.
  • I drank a gin & tonic, and realized it wasn’t going to fix me. Gin & Silver Edition Red Bull doubles are now a thing. You’re welcome.
  • We learned that Bedazzle has a wild crew of her own in West Virginia. Including one friend who unabashedly turned an “I’m drunk and going to piss on your deck in front of you,” into an “I’m drunk and going to go ahead and follow through with a deuce. On your deck. IN. FRONT. OF. YOU.”
  • …that friend was a female.
  • This line from Bedazzle: “I guess some people think it’s a big deal to take a shit on a deck…”
  • A sexy blonde girl with multiple visible tattoos began dancing—still seated on her barstool—when “Crank That” started playing. Yeah, I don’t know either why that sentence didn’t start, “My new bride began dancing…”
  • I taught the bartender, our boy Greg, how to make a Fitzgerald. You’d think that would’ve qualified me for free drinks the rest of the night, but nnooooooo


My alarm went off at 9:30 a.m.; I chucked a pillow at it.

TD and Boy Toy picked this fine morning to move most of their belongings to their new townhouse, and several of us kindly lent a helping hand, out of the goodness of our hearts. And for beer. …And pizza.

At least the beer was Victory Hop Devil. That was just the day’s warm up activity, though—something to get the blood pumping. The second half of Sunday was earmarked for drinking faces off in the South Side on a bar crawl that would celebrate the start of Skeets’ 29th year. When I left everyone at the old Casa de T-Toy around 3:30 p.m., my immediate plans were getting cleaned up and navigating my way to my mother’s for dinner. Their immediate plans: BOOZE. (Don’t get ahead of me here…)

  • I caught up with everyone at OTB in the sidewalk seating area around 9 p.m. The scene I walked into: Skeets was wobbly, but standing; TD, MoPaddle, and J-Cray were crushed; Swag was nearing Swag Montana territory, and was so invested in a conversation with some guy I’d never met before that he barely noticed my arrival; our girl “Special K”, Mitch Canada, Tony, Marty, and UTP were in varying degrees of “functional”, and were herders keeping the cattle on the ranch.
  • Missing-in-action was TD’s significant other. Tony explained that Boy Toy had been playing beer pong at Belle and Finger Bang’s house, and arrived at the birthday crawl’s first stop completely shitfaced. So much so, in fact, that he had to be driven back home shortly thereafter, and threw up all over the car of the friend taking him there.
  • J-Cray was so wound up that she was in full-on molester mode, smacking my ass and dancing her booty on me anytime I turned my head. I felt so cheap.
  • TD was on a mission—a mission to remove panties. It’s well known that my little sister from another mother isn’t a fan of wearing skivvies, and something inspired her that night to crusade against any other woman who didn’t adhere to her religion. One-by-one she led Skeets, MoPaddle, and J-Cray to the women’s room and ordered them to remove their drawers. After Cray surrendered her panties, the little blonde pantyjacker threw the captured underwear straight into the garbage.
  • Her crusade ended, however, with Special K, who fought to keep her panties on no matter how much I loudly TD protested.
  • We moved on to Cupka's…with a quick stop to take pictures in front of Chinese So Relax Massage, first. Because why not?
  • By now the mystery guy to whom Swag had been talking had been revealed to be Belle and Bang’s neighbor. And homie was going through some things. Tony happened to make a trip to the men’s room at the same time as “Neighbor”; while finishing up at the urinal, Tony said to him, “You know, there’s nothing quite like taking a piss when you really have to go.” Neighbor, who was at the sink washing his hands, paused in thought for a moment. “Yeah,” he replied, “…This definitely isn’t where I pictured myself being at this point in my life,” and walked out.
  • This being the height of the NHL postseason, some of the guys—myself included—had been growing playoff beards. TD informed me that J-Cray and MoPaddle, wanting to participate as well, had been growing “playoff bushes.”
  • Yes, I gagged a little, too.
  • TD’s buddy Tom stopped by. She told him that she’d made three girls remove their underwear that night. Tom’s response: “Teach me your ways…”
  • While sitting on the patio talking, I heard a crash and looked up to see Neighbor rolling on the ground next to an overturned chair. He was helped to his feet, and advised to cab it home while we walked off down Carson St. Rumor has it Bang came and got him—that has yet to be substantiated, but may very well have happened. There’s also a rumor that she took advantage of him in his physically-and-emotionally-weakened state. That also has yet to be substantiated, but is just as believable.
  • When Tom went in to pay his tab, he was told that Neighbor had taken a similar tumble inside Cupkas, prior to doing so on the patio.
  • We were headed towards Rumshakers, but given the distance, we stopped at Mullen's On Carson along the way. A regular seated across the bar thought I was pimping, because I had Cray, TD, MoPaddle, and Skeets all around me at the bar. I was tempted to yell back, “…And none of ‘em got drawers on, homie!”
  • We finally made it to Rumshakers. Shots and beers, shots and beers, shots and beers. And dancing. Then more shots and beers.
  • Our buddy Joe, a bartender at Rumshakers, took a shining to J-Cray’s drunk behind. We then killed his designs on the night when we told him she’s married.
  • Swag Montana was shlammered, and it was time to say goodnight to the bad guy. Canada, Tony, and I bought six packs and got everyone into cabs.


For the third morning in a row…“Ouch.”

  • I awoke on the floor of Canada’s bedroom, clutching a large Clifford stuffed toy that I’d used as a pillow.
  • TD was still smashed. Swag slightly less so, but he wasted no time in cracking a beer from the fridge to start anew.
  • The three of us, Skeets, and Canada went to DeLuca’s in the Strip District for breakfast. While we waited in a line that extended out the door of the restaurant and down the street, it quickly became apparent that having my little sis out in public was both a bad idea and incredibly entertaining. She was like a puppy sister.
  • It was my first time eating at DeLuca’s, but not my last. D-to-the-lish. Just typing about it is making my mouth water.
  • The Pirate Parrot, without warning and completely at random, rode past on a moped, tooling down Penn Avenue.
  • As we walked back to Canada’s truck after eating, we happened upon two women getting into a parked car. TD yelled “High five!” and put her hand up for the woman getting into the passenger side door. The stranger looked back at her with a shocked, nervous smile; TD reacted by yelling “Hunnnnhhhh!” and running away.
  • Everyone planned to hit TJ’s party that afternoon, and Swag saw no reason to half-ass it. He asked that we drop him off at Redbeard’s. We stopped, he and TD hopped out, and we pulled off. “So,” I surmised, “They’re actually going to be worse by the time the cookout starts?”
  • I got back to my car, got back home, grabbed a bottle of Gatorade, hit my couch, and slept through the cookout.
For the first time all weekend, I woke up without a hangover. And yet, I still felt like a champion. Who knew it was possible?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Scared Straight

Yeah, I know the feeling. What's it called when you're afraid of running out of St. Germain? Because I've got that one, too.

From Buzzfeed