Drunken Recollection… Concrete Jungle Where Drinks Are Made Of

Now that I’m clean-shaven and no longer look like this:

The bird is the word.

Or this:

I must admit, I missed my face.  I went through one day of phantom beard, but that was it.  I should mention my regret for removing the season-long Red Wings hockey beard on the first day of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but in order to fly to NYC without hassle, it seemed worth the hassle.  (Thank goatee they’re advancing to Round 2!)

Anysubway, I won’t bore you with the details.  All the details.  Just some of them.

Jay was Hitting One Liners Out of the Park

"Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd that wanted to beat up a guy for wearing a Mets' cap..."

On Friday, we headed to Yankee Stadium to see two of our beloved ex-Tigers play (Curtis Granderson and, um, Marcus Thames), and all day, my buddy Jay was calling ’em like he saw ’em.

Some of things he said that were actually documented:

I need to stop calling these trips vacations and start calling them work out retreats.

If I owned that shirt it’d be my third favorite shirt.

Hey I’m paying twenty bucks to look at empty stages tomorrow.

Steve: Who sings ‘I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone?’
Jay: Ke$ha.

What are you? A garbophobe?

It’s getting all Wendy’s up in here! [This one was mine. – Ed.]

“It’s Getting All Wendy’s Up in Here!”

I wish I had photos as proof, but Wendy’s in Midtown is, simply put, insane.  I don’t think it was an isolated incident either.  The show Ugly Americans even gave a shout out to it.

At any rate, the breakdown of events (this all happened within fifteen minutes):

  • Some one threw their filled drink in the air.
  • A sober girl was trying to get a trashed girl up the stairs.
  • Steve slipped on the spilled drink and dropped everything but his drink.
  • Chris tripped down some stairs while holding only the top bun covered in its toppings.  (He wanted a plain one.)
  • Somebody left a strange package on one of the tables.  (I checked what it was, damned if I remember.)
  • A person kept screaming about how he wanted to kill everyone, and no one reacted.

I don’t know.  It seemed much crazier when I was trashed.

I’m So Proud of Myself for Something Not Proud

This photo's fuzziness doesn't even come close to my eyes' fuzziness that night.

On Saturday, we found a bar called No Idea and like the bar’s name, we had no idea what was in store (hee!).  We stopped here after not getting to play ping-pong at Susan Sarandon’s Spin because they were closing for a private party.

BONUS JAY QUOTE!

Here I was under the impression none of us played ping-pong.

The plan was this: kick back a few cheap drinks, make our way to bar hop in East Village, and finally check out P.D.T.’s in Crif Dogs (our missed mission from last year).  Let’s just say that plan’s quickly becoming an annual tradition.

As soon as the drinks kept flowing (courtesy of an all-you-can-drink party), the remainder of the night became a blur.

Oh yeah – my proud moment… I threw up and quickly returned to drink more.  I never knew I had it in me to do that!

The Drunk Idea of the Trip

Andrew Dice Clay’s reality show should have been called Rollin’ with Dice.  I was going to make a graphic, but fuck it (heehee!).

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In My Brain While Sleeping… You’re Looking At The Creator Of “Ilusión Óptica Mexicana Brillante”

I’ve been on a bit of a drought in regard to dreams lately.  I’ve had a few false starts, such as:

  • A dream about a movie starring The Two Coreys (Haim and Feldman, back in the day in their prime) and they were trying to get their parents to marry each other à la the Parent Trap.
  • A dream where I went on a Muppet hunting safari but didn’t know it.
  • A dream where I realized how funny it is to put “The” in front of various subjects, like The Fonz, The Hamburger, The State, and The Sex.

But last night, I had a vision about a vision like no other… I had inadvertently developed a new art form dubbed:

Ilusión Óptica Mexicana Brillante

Okay, I’ll admit that I don’t know Spanish, and I don’t exactly remember the hack job that went on in my subconscious (although it was kinda close to the above Babel Fish translation), but for you gringos it means:

Shiny Mexican Optical Illusion

Turned out I wasn’t the one that originated the name.  There once was a Mexican artist/philosopher that initially proposed the possibility of what I accomplished.  His theory:

Two images can be created on top of each other.  One will be visible in reflective light, and one will be visible in non-reflective light. – a Mexican artist/philosopher

So in some alcoholic stupor reeking of brilliance, I drew a picture that looked like this in “reflective light” (whatever that means):

yellowcar

And in “non-reflective light” (again, whatever that means), the artwork looked like this:

3dmap

I drew it as a doodle.  A throw away scribble on crinkled scrap paper.  But someone – the right someone – saw it, and heralded me as a mathematical genius for pulling off the Ilusión Óptica Mexicana Brillante manually. 

In fact, it was a forgotten art theory, and I was thrust into the limelight, not unlike Andy Warhol.  My fifteen minutes were beginning after my scribble was purchased  for $500,000 by an unknown collector.  Duplicates of my work were sold in bulk at mall stores built just for my Shiny Mexican Optical Illusion.  The hype was similar to the interest over those pictures you stared at to see sunken treasure ships and sharks.

But I couldn’t live up to the expectations and failed to duplicate my success.  14:58, 14:59, 15:00 minutes hit, and I woke up.

Here’s the thing… I feel I could duplicate the Ilusión Óptica Mexicana Brillante  in real life.  I only need to figure out to create “non-reflective light.”

INGREDIENTS: Two cold pieces of pizza and a couple pitchers of Blue Moon.

Musical Musings… Maybe It’s Regina Spektor (Sing It Like The Maybelline Jingle)

To start off… I know, I know, the last two posts have been kind of lady-centric (which literally meant something way different back in the Old West… say it slowly), so why stop now on this Memorial Day.  In addition to the current state of this blog, my last Musical Musings was about songs sounding the same that may or may not have sounded the same.  Don’t hold that one against my credibility.  Heck, don’t even believe that I have any credibility.  But this time – I think I’m onto something.

Listen to the background music in this Maybelline commercial featuring Adriana Lima (hey guys, at least it’s featuring a Victoria’s Secret model… and a golf ball for some reason):

Now take a listen to Regina Spektor’s On the Radio:

(For the record I was at that Lollapalooza concert performance.  I think you can see me in the crowd at the end. I’m the guy in a striped shirt, clapping. My face was a little blurry that day, so I kind of blend in.)

Now I dare you to go back and listen to the Maybelline commercial and see how they ripped her song off.  (Maybe I should have put them on this page in the opposite order… oh well, deal with it.)

The song is definitely not the original, and amazingly, it’s coincidentally similar.  Kind of like these posters:

OneSheet (Page 1)

sweet_home_alabama

Okay, it’s even closer than these two posters… but still.

Coast-To-Coast Snug Job A No-Go

How’s that for a headline?  Can’t you just hear the newsies singing screaming that one?  As it turns out, two weekends ago I went to NYC for a Snuggie Pub Crawl (and also met a friend).  This weekend, I went to Seattle to visit a friend… and almost went on a Snuggie Pub Crawl! 

snugpubnogo1

"Pub Crawl or Bust!" - soon to be printed on the front of my Snuggie

Alas, my travelling compadres on this latest sojourn weren’t too keen on picking up some “Slankets” (as they were referred to on last week’s 30 Rock), and we opted for traditional bar hopping, which was just as well.  Albeit Seattle was a tad cooler than New York the week prior (making “blankets with sleeves” more comfy), which is ironic, because NYC is simply ‘cooler.’  No offense, Seattle, but no other city can compete.

SIDENOTE: Whenever I use the word ironic, I’m always afraid I’ll pull an Alanis.  Am I alone in regard to this ‘worry?’

BONUS SIDENOTE: I’d say the biggest difference between the East and West Coasts (or at least New York and Seattle) is what follows the prefix hip-… Do you prefer –sters or –pies?

Anywashington, the trip was a great time.  To conserve my energy, which is a euphemism for I’m feeling lazy today, here are some pics I took with explanatory captions.

The NYC Saga Prequels

The NYC highlights are finito, so now I shall present the problems that almost made the trip impossible.  And to keep up the nerdery spirit, I present them as… the Star Wars prequels, because they’re just as shitty.

EPISODE I
THE FENDER MENACE

To keep it short – I was going to drive my car to New York.  It’s a bit newer than Steve’s car, and it gets better mileage.  On the why to get its brakes checked, an accident occurred that smashed my radiator (and my front fender and headlights).  So much for that…

EPISODE II
ATTACK OF THE PLANS

I’m not sure on all the details, but Steve was on a business trip for the first half of the week.  He was supposed to get back Wednesday (we were leaving Thursday).  Then his job needed him to stay a bit longer.  Then his flights were delayed.  Then his layovers were lengthened.  He made it back barely in time for our night soccer game.  He didn’t get to get the oil and tires on his car checked, like he hoped.  So much for that…

Oh yeah, so that, plus I woke up at 6am on Thursday, hoping to get home early from work in order to nap before soccer.  But instead, a client’s computer blew up on me and it consumed – no, devoured – my day.  I was at the office until 8pm trying to fix it, and to print out all the maps and instructions for our trip.  So much for that…

EPISODE III
REVENGE OF THE SPECTRAL FOX

On the drive to the Big Apple from the Motor City, I was wired.  Steve slept a bit for the first part.  Around 5am, I drank one of those 5-hour energy boosters, and Steve woke up to talk.  All of the sudden, I hit the breaks.  I thought an animal ran in front of the car.  It wasn’t until the shock of it all settled in that I could describe it.

A small red shadowy smokey spectral creature, like a fox, rushed into the road, looked at me, then darted back to the brush.

Needless to say, at the next exit, we switched.  So much for that…

(Not So) Artisitic Representation

(Not So) Artistic Representation

So what’s next?  Perhaps this:

Drunken Recollection… Return Of The Hangover

On the taxi ride from Tom’s Restaurant back to East Village, Steve passed out quickly, and not soon after, I followed suit.  Tim bid us farewell, and I remained awake for our ride back to Midtown.  The taxi that narrowly missed crashing into the backseat where I was sitting probably helped…

EPISODE VI
RETURN OF THE HANGOVER

Upon reaching our final destination without reaching the final destination, Steve decided he wanted some more food.  I think I agreed.  We remembered seeing a Taco Bell on our way to the pizzeria the day before, so we ambled forth in search of late night seasoned beef and cheese and tortillas and rice…

The next morning, after awakening in our dirty Snuggies, we tried recalling the run for the border.  We remembered that it was more like a regular deli that had a Taco Bell in the back.  The Taco Bell was closed, yet the front remained in business.  Weird.  Steve didn’t think he purchased any food, and I cannot confirm or deny that fact, but I do know he inquired about it.

Steve – “How much for pizza?”

Worker – “$3.50 a slice.”

Steve – “I’ll give you three for a half.”

The rest is fuzzy, and so was Steve.  He wasn’t feeling too hot on the morning of our ride home, whereas this time, I felt fine.  Upon learning of my faux pas regarding the hot dog joint/secret bar, we made the decision to seek it out properly before leaving.  We had to know if it truly did exist.

So on the way to the subway station at Times Square, we stopped at this place to get cupcakes:

"No doubt that bakery’s got all da bomb frostins/ I love those cupcakes like McAdams loves Gosling." RIP "The Notebook" Love

"No doubt that bakery’s got all da bomb frostins/ I love those cupcakes like McAdams loves Gosling." RIP "The Notebook" Love

While outside enjoying “da bomb frostins,” we bore witness to a scene straight out of Police Academy.  A short cop was surrounded by tall European women,  in their late teens to mid-twenties (with an elder or two over-seeing them), and he was posing for pictures with them. 

There were well over a dozen of them (a baker’s dozen?), and he had to make sure there was variety in his stylings.  When Steve and I walked into Magnolia, he was letting them put on his hat and hold his night stick.  When we were eating, he was fastening handcuffs on one of the girls.  I just imagined that if he was called for an emergency, he’d leave her behind locked up.

From there, we took the subway to Union Square, and met up with Tim and Mike again.  Tim was excited and had this to say:

I’ve finally made a union with someone at Union Square.

Anyhotdog, our final mission before leaving NYC was to locate this secret bar.  It was not far from our point of departure the night before, and here’s what we found:

Not too be confused with Mark's Place.

Not too be confused with Mark's Place.

Once inside, I stared at the counter of the narrow establishment seeking out the phone booth that would lead us to the bar called P.D.T. (Please Don’t Tell).  I turned left, and there it was:

Get Smart... or Superman?

Get Smart... or Superman?

I pushed open the door, and the guy behind the counter told me it didn’t open until six.  Bummer city.

Lift the receiver and wait for approval to enter the secret bar.

Lift the receiver and wait for approval to enter the secret bar.

We ordered some dogs.  I had mine made Seattle-style, in honor of this upcoming weekend’s trip.  (It’s cream cheese on a hot dog in a bun.)  From there, we made our way back to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station.  And from there back to Newark, and then back

toward 

home.

*sniff*

Drunken Recollection… The Empire Snuggies Back

In the middle of the night, a strange cough – that sounded distinctly male – startled me awake.  I was passed out in a queen-size bed with my cousin Steve.  We were in a hotel in New York City recovering from a long day of travelling and a longer night of drinking. 

…And we were each wearing a Snuggie.

 

EPISODE V
THE EMPIRE SNUGGIES BACK

The pub crawl on which the trip was focused was starting at noon.  It was ten when we started moving.  Steve kept mentioning how well he felt; I kept quiet about how much I was not.  We had set our sights on getting back to East Village by noon, but our first mission was to stop at the store to buy a vital item.

Steve called them safety pins; I referred to them as diaper pins.  Steve thought we could find them at Staples; I thought that was funny.  To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if they were still made.  Was there a need for diaper pins anymore?  (Safety pins?  Maybe.)  And why did we need them?  We each had grown fond of our Snuggies and didn’t want to ruin them.  (Oh, and we ended up finding some at Walgreen’s.  They weren’t by the baby supplies, but amazingly, condoms were.  Hmm.)

We had a plan to carry the three Snuggies we possessed in a backpack, and to don them as required (the third was Mike’s – another friend that was coming in from DC for his birthday).  It was New York though, and we probably could have worn them the entire way from Midtown, but… well, I don’t have a clever excuse.  I guess we weren’t 100% convinced the Snuggie Pub Crawl was real, and didn’t want to be left out in the cold heat (it was such a nice day… 70+ degrees).

Our first stop was the sign-up location.  We had purchased four tickets in advance (even though we thought it might not be real we used credit card information on the web… go figure), and on the train ride over, Steve verified the first bar stop on those four tickets.  When we arrived at the sign-up, Steve checked his pockets.

“I have some bad news.”  Apparently, somewhere between checking them on the subway and walking to this bar, the printed up sheets fell out and blew away.  We weighed our options.  We thought of alternatives.  They guy told us we needed tickets, and we didn’t want to have to purchase them again.  Luckily, he accepted viewing the receipts on my iPhone, gave us four tickets and four cups (Tim from Episode IV would be also joining us), and we arrived at our first official spot:

Bar None: The Fun Begins

Bar None: The Fun Begins

Now properly attired in our blankets with sleeves and with full crew in tow, the drinking began.  The three of them were off in a mad dash, but I was limping.  Mike put it best:

The days that start off slow very often end in a hurry.

Now I’ll let some pictures do the talking.

img_0056img_0057img_0061img_0063img_0065

Needless to say – some drinks were poured, some drinks were spilled, some conversation was had, and the Yankees got blown out by the Indians!  All-in-all, the crawl was a success.  But the night was not yet finished…

———————————————————————–

Over the course of the day, I had received information about a secret place.  The specifications were these:

  • It was a hot dog joint in Manhattan.
  • This hot dog joint had a “secret bar” located within it.
  • To access this “secret bar” you had to enter a phone booth and pick up the receiver to enter.
  • The location I was texted stated: 113 St Marks Pl

Here’s where my hubris caused an issue (and maybe drinking… maybe).  I thought I understood the lay the island, and I took the location to mean “113 St. @ Marks Place”… not what it said.  And the little torn brochure map I carried with me cut off around 110 St. at the the top, so how could I be wrong?  Birthday boy Mike passed out at Tim’s place (near East Village), and Steve, Tim, and I made our drunken way out to the fictional 113 St. and Marks Place.

The taxi driver didn’t even correct us, and brought us to 113 St. and Broadway, way up on the west end.  As I approached the waterfront, I stumbled into a closing bakery.

“Excuse me, do you know where Marks Place is?”

The confused baker answered, “He probably lives down by the river.”

As we brewed and stewed and reviewed my mistake, something caught my eye down the road.  It wasn’t a wasted trip after all!  This is where we had a late night burger before returning to home base (to pass out in our dirty Snuggies in a queen-size bed):

img_0068

"Doo doo doo doo, doo doo-doo-doo..." - Suzanne Vega / "Tippy toes, tippy toes, tippy toes!" - George Costanza