Saturday, January 31, 2015

Drunks Say the Darndest Things 7

Do you really need the intro? Can’t we just skip the foreplay, like adults? Okay, not like, you know, adults who still care about things. I mean: like married people.

Look, you’re smart people. You know what this is all about. It’s the end of January—the truly savvy amongst you have probably been wondering how much longer they’d have to wait for this to be posted.

Each year I record the best drunken quotes—that I can remember—that my friends and I have slurred, and package up the crème de la blotto crème for the readers. And I usually throw in one or two that are from years past, that I hadn’t written about—or hadn’t remembered—before that posting. Because there’s nothing better than someone thinking the dumb shit they said is dead and buried, only to have it brought back up several years later and enjoyed by all.

  • The Saturday dedicated to Swag’s birthday celebration in ’13 had gone pretty much how everyone had expected: Everyone got drunk, except for the man of honor, who got really drunk, and had to be taken home by his girlfriend before midnight. He had piled on multiple gin & tonics and shots at the bar, after multiple beers and shots while we all pregamed at his place. “Slow and steady” was not in his skill set that weekend. He was out to sprint the marathon.

    The next morning, the few of us who had crashed at his place sat around his living room, trying to steady ourselves. Swag leapt up from the couch and casually announced, “I’m getting a shot of Fireball.” JL, being the best friend that his hungover state would allow him to be in that moment, called out behind him, “Swag! Water is acceptable, too.”

  • As I’ve stated before, the wild Raleigh weekend that I took part in last March involved five guys in very different places in their social lives. And the one married guy on hand wasn’t making his place look like a place the rest of us really wanted to be in. We were driving back to Raleigh from Chapel Hill, when Trip admitted that his fiancée’s sexual appetite was more than he could handle at times. T.C.’s jealousy boiled over. “Hey,” he cut in from the backseat, “I had to buy a pair of Uggs to get sex the last time!”

  • Later that night, after we’d gotten rid of the two random chicks who tried trolling for out-of-town dick, we all settled in for the night. With five grown men and only two beds, MoFo was the odd man out, and forced to set up camp on the floor. Feeling bad for him, Hurley pulled the comforter off the bed he and Trip were splitting, and tossed it down to MoFo. When Trip protested because he didn’t want to be cold, Hurley countered with impassioned logic. “Trip, we have the sheet!”

  • Christmas Eve, as has become our tradition, saw TD, Boy Toy, and TJ join my cousin, her husband, and I at my mom’s house for dinner, gifts, and lots of wine. While we warmed up with hors d'oeuvres—and lots of wine—in the kitchen, we somehow got onto the topic of pain meds. My mom mentioned that, after all of the cleaning and cooking that she’d done that day, she took a Vicodin to help with her back pain. TD couldn’t hold back her stream of consciousness. “You’re drinking wine and taking Vicodin? You’re a hardass bitch!”

  • In case you were questioning my pedigree, my dear mother got hers later in the night. TD said she was too full to eat dessert, and with a twinkle in her eye Mom replied, “Yeah, ‘cause you’re a skinny little bitch.”

  • Last week, Armo, TJ, one of TJ’s buddies from work, and I were at the Penguins/Blackhawks game, having a drink between periods. A stunning blonde standing at the bar quickly became the subject of our conversation, as she talked to her girlfriend and scrolled through her iPhone. When Armo offered, “She looks healthy,” I countered, “She looks…like she takes dicks to the face.”

  • I missed the first night of Trip’s bachelor party, but from all accounts it was a night of drunken stupidity befitting a party thrown in Trip’s honor. At dinner that night, some of the bridegroom’s closest friends took turns standing in front of the room to tell a few stories about him and sing his praises. Then his old man stood up. “I went out one Saturday, got drunk while playing 36 holes, and then went home. Nine months later, this little bastard was born. The moral of the story: Play 54.”

  • My Lil Sis, TD, has more game than an Xbox. One night, during a recent trip to New York City, she fell in lust with a cute brunette bartender. While telling me about it over text messages the next day, she reported, “I just texted her and said I have Molly in my tits to motorboat.”

  • Under The Porch (UTP) and Four-Foot-D’s (FFDs) hit it off swimmingly at the Fourth of July party, and were all over each other at the end of the night. I was standing on the porch, doing keg stands with some guys, when we looked over and saw the lovebirds making out in a chair. “Haha,” one of the guys—who was one of FFDs’ friends—blurted at UTP, “You’ve got Chlamydia on your face now!”

  • One night during my oft-referenced beach trip to OCMD in 2003, we watched as one girl’s bad decision-making imploded her vacation.

    A group of us had gone to Brass Balls Saloon for their beer pong night. After Armo and I finally got knocked off a table, we sat down at the bar and watched a pretty redhead flirt with our buddy as he played on his table. She was in her early 20s, like us, and she was pleasantly hammered. And she was making it very clear she wanted there to be further hammering.

    After 20 minutes or so of her shameless sloring, a guy in his mid-30s appeared in front of her. Without saying a word, he yanked her purse out of her hand, rifled through it, pulled out a room key, and then threw the purse back at her. Muttering, “Have fun,” he stormed off.

    Our friend and Little Red Riding Slore left the bar together. When the rest of us got back to the house we’d all rented, one of the bedroom doors was shut and familiar noises were coming from the other side. Uncle Paulie had been at another bar that night, and when he got back we filled him in on the story. Giggling like a schoolboy, he ripped his shirt off, flung open the bedroom door, and ran in announcing, “I’m here for the gangbang!
[A bonus postscript: A couple of nights later, a few of us were in line for calzones at the pizza place around the corner from the house. We soon noticed a familiar face behind us in line, a few people back: Little Red Riding Slore. And she was with the older guy from Brass Balls. Seeing us, and the shit-eating grins on our faces that made it obvious we recognized them, they left the line and the pizza place without placing an order. I can only imagine the rest of their trip went just as well.]

Saturday, January 24, 2015

We're Not For Everyone (Day 2)

[Click here for Day 1, Pt. 2]

Saturday, March 22nd
I hate sunlight.

When I awoke, there were only four of us still in the room. MoFo had left, and I struggled for a moment to remember if he’d followed the annoying chicks out the door before I’d passed out. Before long he returned—showered, shaved, and carrying two extra large pizzas. Game. The fuck. On.

As we worked through the shower rotation, the first three of us were cleaned and dressed by the time Trip had even gone into the bathroom. To show our displeasure with his holding us up (we wanted to get to a bar to watch Pitt’s tourney game), we employed a tactic that both avenged our suffering and tidied up the room a bit.

After grabbing every open beer bottle we could find in the room—and trust me, there were plenty—one-by-one we walked into the bathroom, announced, “Sorry Trip, gotta get rid of these” and poured the stale brews into the tub as he showered. Have you ever been engulfed by rotten, flat beer fumes heated and carried on the wings of choking plumes of steam? The sounds of cursing and gagging streamed out from behind the shower curtain and echoed through the hotel room, where four assholes laughed hysterically.

Still, that didn’t make Trip move any faster. Hurley volunteered to stay behind with him, so MoFo, T.C., and I marched through the downtown streets to The Raleigh Times. We made our homes on three barstools, and were introduced to one of the true natural wonders of this world: Cass, a brunette bartending angel with beautiful, piercing eyes.

As I charged myself up with a Vodka Red Bull and perused a menu, I made the mistake of speculating loud enough for MoFo and T.C. to hear me. “I’m not real hungry, but I should eat…maybe I’ll just have a salad.” This gave my friends the opening they didn’t need to begin disparaging my manhood, and Cass effortlessly joined in. For an angel, she really knows how to shove a pitchfork up your ass.

In an effort to redeem myself in her eyes, I switched my lunch order to a big sandwich, and my drink order to a whiskey soda. In all honesty, it was partly a plea for Cass’ respect, and partly a coping mechanism to handle Pitt’s thrashing at the hands of Florida. Hurley and Trip had finally joined us, and being ahead in our betting—and drinking—was all that brought us any solace. Well, Cass helped too. Especially her Wet Pussy.

…okay, I may need to explain that.

After a few rounds, Hurley was in search of something new to try. Cass offered up a specialty cocktail she had created. It was sweet and frothy, with a hint of peach, and guaranteed to satisfy. She called it a…okay, I think you’re caught up now.

We all took turns tasting Cass’ Wet Pussy…*pauses…thinking*…as we learned more about her. She was originally from New Jersey. She had a dog. She also worked at Cornerstone. She’d be slangin’ drinks down there that night, in fact. We stored that last tidbit in the back of our minds for future use, and thanked her for her…as we headed out the door.

Next up was Flying Saucer. Between the lively Saturday afternoon crowds, line of taps that stretched across the room, ceiling covered with plates featuring witty comments, and busty bartender whose neighborhood had been robbed of all bras that morning, we found plenty to keep our attention.

I started with a draught, and settled in at the bar. But Saucer was running a special on Moscow Mules, which led to T.C. babbling about them like a vacationing soccer mom. Expert mixology connoisseur that I am (shut up!), I schooled him on the “so yesterday-ness” of the latest drinking trend to hit your local T.G.I.Friday’s. And to give him a tangible example of how passé the Moscow Mule is, I asked Tits McGee to make me its Latin cousin.

The Mexican Mule is basically the same recipe as a Moscow Mule, but the tasteless vodka is replaced with flavorful, full-bodied tequila. The exquisite mixture dazzled my taste buds, but when I let T.C. try a grown man’s drink, he balked at tasting alcohol for the first time in his life. Whatever. I enjoyed the best drink in the house while I watched Hurley try to sneak a creep shot of Tits McGee, who remained so elusive that I’m convinced she knew what he was up to.

Trip had ended up seated at the bar next to a nice—albeit lonely—guy in his late 20s from Montana, named Derrick. And so, for the third time in 24 hours, Trip + booze + talking to strangers = “We are faaammmily…” When we decided to find another bar—which became a 10 minute walk across town—Derrick was along for the ride. Still, he was a lot more fun to talk to than the Clinger Sisters from Hibernian.

We parked ourselves at Big Mike’s BBQ next. A cute brunette named Jacqui came by to take our table’s drink orders, and immediately won our support with her smile and chill attitude. I pounded a few whiskey sodas and MoFo pounded some mouthwatering barbecue, while we held court and watched the comings and goings of this little bar/restaurant just down the street from Cornerstone.

…Why were we near Cornerstone, you ask? Oh, no reason. We weren’t, like, waiting for Cass’ shift to start or anything. *cough*

Besides, who needed Cass, when we had Jacqui taking care of us? A little firecracker, she entertained us with amusing remarks and made sure our glasses stayed full. And when my phone battery had neared its bottom, she took me up to the waitress’ station to plug it in. She was just an all-around cool chick.

Later, while checking my charging phone, I noticed Jacqui was visibly irritated as she totaled up the bill from another table. She said the bartenders and her boss were getting on her nerves. While I may not be a doctor, I do know of one surefire cure for stress. (Well, two, but…) When I offered her a shot…well, she didn’t say no.

The one caveat, she told us, was that waitresses weren’t allowed to drink while on duty. They still did, of course. But when they did shots, they snuck into the DJ booth in the corner, ducked down where the security camera couldn’t see them, and tossed it back. After she came back with a round of shots, we laughingly toasted to our “absent” waitress as we watched her crouch in the booth, several feet away. We did another round or two with her, even bringing in another cute waitress on duty for one; each time the people punching timecards hid in the DJ booth and then emerged looking more relaxed than they had when they walked in.

When we rolled out of there, quite a few hours after we’d rolled in, MoFo had Jacqui’s number saved in his phone and a promise from her that she’d catch up with us once her shift was over.

We piled into Cornerstone—minus Derrick, who had reached his full capacity for alcohol and high jinks in only a few hours of hanging with us (shocking). It didn’t take long to find Cass, who was hunkered down behind the bar on the deck, with thirsty frat bros yelling drink orders at her. My boys felt a little disrespected that she didn’t run up and embrace us. I’m not sure what they expected; personally, I was just happy that she seemed to recognize us, and gave us a quick smile before turning back to the frat bros.

Not that I would have been capable of understanding who was recognizing me at that time. I remember seeing Jacqui, briefly, when she caught up with us. But aside from that, I was browning out badly. By some unsubstantiated accounts (it takes more than four people to substantiate, dammit), yours truly was sleeping on his feet while standing at the bar. I could point to the sleep deprivation to which I’d exposed myself in the previous 48 hours, the six or so hours of sleep I’d countered it with the night before, and the copious amounts of alcohol that Cass, Jacqui, and others had poured for me that day as justification for catching a little shuteye (while not falling over or spilling any drinks, by the way), but I’ll politely digress.

What I do remember is feeling one of those “I need to strike out on my own” moments, and heading out into the North Carolina night. My goal was finding the hotel, but it was going to take the help of Google Maps before I would reach my destination. I think I found every junkyard in Raleigh along the way. I was so lost, in fact, that Hurley left 15 to 20 minutes later than me and was texting me from outside of our hotel room while I worked my way home. Seems I had a room key and he didn’t. Sucks to be him. I had Raleigh junkyards to tour!

At some point I found my way back to the main strip, where our hotel was. When Hurley sent me another text asking where I was, I snapped a picture of a kabob stand and sent it to him. He responded by saying that he’d just eaten the remains of the burger someone had left on their room service tray, outside of their room. Check, and mate.

[To be continued...]

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bombs Away


Of course,considering that I don't have a girlfriend right now, and don't get out most nights of the week, my neighbors would probably be dialing up the FBI before I got this thing from my car to my front door. But it might just be worth the risk.

From Supercompressor:
If you're willing to invest in a top-shelf selection of booze for your house, it's worth showcasing it properly. For instance, inside this eight-foot tall 600 pound cluster bomb from the 1970s.

It's a behemoth of a conversation piece, and there's no reason to freak out about keeping it at home since It's been completely deactivated. It is, however, completely capable of getting you bombed in a different sense altogether.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What I Learned This Summer (2014)

“It’s all up in the air, and we stand still, to see what comes down.”

Yes, there’s a good reason why I’m quoting The Fray lyrics. It’s because they speak of hope. They bound across a field of flowers with the enthusiastic hope that we embrace at the start of each new summer. …Or maybe that’s just me. And maybe I just like The Fray. Temecula. [for those who don't get the reference]

To know me is to know that I hold the summer in high regard. Those months of sun-drenched weather are my best of the year. Maybe I’ve never gotten over the anticipation that permeated every last-day-of-school I’ve lived. Maybe it calls me back to the majority of those early years, when summer meant going back to Los Angeles to live with my dad until the school year was ready to begin again. Or maybe the warm weather just reconnects me with that SoCal heritage. Whatever the reason, late-May through early-September is my spiritual center.

As with the previous four editions, this write serves as my lessons-learned report on the summer that was. The idea was originally borne from a need to cope with love lost, but has since grown into a way to find closure with one June solstice and move onto my inevitable love affair with the next.

And in retrospect, the Summer of 2014 was, on the whole, rather mild compared to its predecessors. Old age is mellowing me, and I’ve found my dial is more often set to “turn down” than “turn up”. But there’s still fun to be had—and lessons to be instilled—in a summer, even in limited run. After all, if we as human beings aren’t constantly learning and evolving, then we’re sinking.

Sometimes the lessons are obvious, sometimes they’re gut-wrenching. But each one is important, and improves the man or woman who learns it.

  • There’s no way to casually visit a bartender at work. Driving back to my apartment late on a Saturday in July, I decided to stop by Shady Grove to see my boy Jed. He’d just come home from Tales of the Cocktail, and I was eager to hear all about the trouble and drinks he’d gotten himself into. Just one beer, while living vicariously through his stories. That’s it. That was all I’d have, before continuing on my way home. Heck, I might even be in bed before midnight!

    Around 3:30 a.m., I dragged myself through my front door. About 11 hours later, my face was in my toilet, vomiting like it was put on this planet to do just that.

  • There’s no way to casually visit Alex at happy hour. On the previous Monday, my company held a happy hour at Eddie Merlot’s downtown. Not long after I’d arrived, my wine loving homegirl texted to tell me she was doing happy hour at Harris Grill. So after I’d tipped back a couple of free Negronis and bs’ed with coworkers, I headed home with the intention of making a quick stop at Harris along the way, to have a drink and say “hi.” Heck, I’d be home before the sun even went down!

    Around 11:30 p.m., I dragged myself through my front door. About 11 hours later, my head was on my desk at the office, swilling coffee and aspirin like my bosses paid it to do just that.

  • All good things come to an end. Shannon moved into her Mt. Washington apartment pimp pad in 2006. In the time since, she’s hosted countless days and nights of shenanigans: New Years Eves, summer night house parties, her sister’s pre-wedding activities, rainy-night drinking games, and the best St. Patrick’s Day parties in the city. And, sadly, that all came to an end this past August, when she closed the front door behind her for the final time.

    If there had been a camera crew there that day to put together a Real World-final-episode-moving-out montage, every flashback would’ve featured our circle of friends living a fabled moment of our early adulthood. Life goes on, things change. But sometimes memories feel like old friends you’re leaving behind.

  • Jams are international incidents. The summer’s World Cup brought a little bit of the outside world to Shadyside. Standing on the street with Pakistanimal during June’s Jam on Walnut, a flash of bright yellow caught my eye. A crowd of seven or eight Colombians, men and women, were dancing in front of the stage, wearing the soccer jerseys of their nation’s heroes and waving the flag of their homeland.

  • “Schlammered” is the same in every language. Later, as we sat drinking in Shady Grove, one of the Colombianas stumbled upon Pak and me. When the homie raised his glass to Colombia, the wobbly mami happily raised hers as well. When I said I was cheering for Colombia when I wasn’t cheering for the US, she tried to square off with me.

    Crazy, drunk, Latina, and cute. I politely erased her number from my phone the next morning. I’ve already been down that road enough for this lifetime.

  • Furries and supercars aren’t mutually exclusive. While basking in the glory that is our annual Furry Safari in July, the men in our crowd of 20+ were soon distracted by the sight of two new fearsome beasts posted up on the block: A Ferrari 458 and drop-top Lamborghini Aventador parked curbside directly in front of our sidewalk seating. I saw a furry pull out his smartphone and take a picture of the cars, in one of the more ironic moments of my lifetime.

  • Whiskey doesn’t judge you when you cry. When I lost my homie Otis in September, I was broken. It’s been a while since I’ve cried that hard. Or that often. Every day for a week or so, as quickly as I felt like no one could see me at my desk, in my car, in my kitchen, wherever, my eyes would instantly well up with memories. Memories of youth. Memories of promise. Memories of a group of friends ready to take the world by storm, and scheming every minute on how we’d make it happen. I’d frequently find myself reciting old R&B songs as I washed dishes (O loved him some R&B, like any child of the 80s and 90s who grew up singing in a church choir), and choked with tears by the time I reached the chorus.

    Miss you, O.

  • Murica is the land of the free. The Fourth of July was, as usual, a star-spangled orgy of red, white, blue, and alcohol. Participating in the bacchanalia was TD’s friend from work, a pretty, petite brown-haired chick from Philadelphia. And Philly Brown was expertly filling out a patriotic pair of Budweiser leggings. About 10 minutes after meeting us on Swag and Canada’s back porch, she decided to pose for a picture between TJ and I. Doing a handstand. Budweiser-booty shimmering in the sunlight. Yeah, she fit into our crew almost as well as she fit into those leggings.

  • I mean, REALLY free. The festivities hit their highpoint at Bang’s place overlooking the Pittsburgh skyline. While the cool people—and those we allow in our presence—were floating in and out of Bang’s house in particular, every household on the block seemed to be teeming with revelers. And freedom.

    One reveler was a tiny, sandy-haired gal with a bountiful bosom. Swag introduced us to Four-Foot-D’s (no really, that’s his nickname for her), who quickly found a new fan. TD is my Lil Sis from another mother, and we’re a family that appreciates boobs. And shortly after meeting her, Sis looked FFDs in the eye (let’s just pretend she made eye contact) and said, “Can I motorboat you?” The sequence of 20 action shots I still have on my phone tells me that FFDs isn’t afraid to party.

  • I’m 35. I mentioned that I’ve slowed down this year, compared to last year. And last year I’d slowed down compared to the year before it. One weekend in August reminded me why that regression is necessary.

    Over the course of 30 hours, I barhopped, I stalked, I drank afterhours at a bar with the staff, I did lots of shots, I escorted a buddy who’d drank too much, I ducked police, I attended a 40th birthday party, I watched a woman take a selfie while oblivious to everything else around her, I met my wife (pending), I spilled tequila all over Alex, I gave love advice, I followed the party to William Penn Tavern, I worked the door, I did lots of shots, I met a cute girl, I forgot a cute girl’s name, I ditched a cute girl while she was in the bathroom, I walked into a bar solo, I drank afterhours at a bar with the staff (again), I did lots of shots (again), and I—I still don’t know how—came home in one piece.

    I purposely stayed home the next weekend. I’m 35.

  • Pay it forward. I spent the second week of July in Chattanooga, visiting my dad (The Admiral) and stepmother, as well as Sis C, who was stateside for the first time in years. It was probably the driest week of my summer. I expected that, since my stepmother is 23-years-sober, and my pops is diabetic. What I didn’t expect, though, was a bottle of Four Roses waiting for me on their kitchen counter—a gift from Step Bro, who had been there the previous weekend. Nothing takes the edge off Chattanooga like a finger of bourbon after dinner.

  • The party doesn’t stop for the weather. At the summer’s second Jam on Walnut, Tony, FGT, and I were posted up at the bar in Shady Grove, when our resident southern belle decided we should walk to The Ave. Never mind that we were holding prime real estate near the epicenter of the night’s action, or that The Ave was a 10-minute walk to the other side of the neighborhood, or that it was pouring rain outside. Yayy…

    On the other hand, standing at the bar in soaking wet clothing, drinking beers and not giving a fuck does allow you to accurately measure your drunkenness.

  • “I’ve gotta stop hanging out with white girls.” That’s a direct quote from the following Saturday, when I found myself jogging down a sidewalk behind Alex, through a torrential downpour.

  • There’s no gift like the gift of blackouts sir bourbon. Swag’s birthday was in August, and his girlfriend, Skeets, hosted our crowd of loud and boisterous drunks. I handed the birthday boy a bottle of Woodford Reserve, which he once christened “Sir Bourbon” when finding it in my liquor cabinet (a bottle of bourbon being sealed with a cork was a radical concept to him at the time). Things rapidly deteriorated from there, but I do know I woke up back in my own bed the next morning, confused.

Here’s to the next love affair being as memorable as the last. See you in June, summer.