Monday, August 24, 2009

The Rocky Mountain Project

The Rocky Mountain Project:
(AKA The Hunter S. Thompson Experiment)

To catalog an entire day of drinking on one's own. The experiment will end as soon as I am actually joined by another person and ,therefore, not left to my own devices...most likely when my wife gets off work at 11:00.

The start of each beer will be recorded and (situation permitting) an observation will be recorded. Any supplemental liquor will be recorded as well.

1st beer, 3:27 pm:
I'm calling this “The Rocky Mountain Project” because this idea has been on my mind of late, but mainly because Coors was on sale at Rite Aid for $10.99 for an 18 pack. It seemed like a sign from the gods. I'm starting the experiment on a fairly empty stomach, so the results could well be disastrous. I'm also planning on watching the Red Sox/Yankees game today and maybe going to Seven Grand. If so, the experiment will be conducted via mobile device. I should call my mother before I get too deep into the experiment...

Mid-beer, 3:54 pm:
The call to my mother was fairly unsuccessful. Going to the store to get food so the project isn't terminated prematurely...

2nd beer, 4:38 pm:
There's something in the air already, like the stink of an animal rotting on the side of the road, or maybe the sweet, sickly smell of serendipity. On my way to secure junk food at the local Ralph's, I was almost hit by some dumb girl driving a white Benz. Ralph's had an extra supernatural sense about it, as more and more troglodytes from USC begin filling the area. Resisted the urge to both buy more booze and school an early 20-something's urge for Jack Daniel's...but I'm no Evangelical Bartender today...this is the Lord's day of rest.
Serendipity smelled even more like rotting fruit as I walked back from the store and saw the same Benz that almost hit me on my way out...

5:10pm, mid-beer:
Fucking Derek Jeter just hit a home run off Beckett's first pitch... my day is in peril...

3rd beer, 5:17 pm:
Not much left to say. I have a feeling today's experiment will be overshadowed by the game...a tragedy waiting to happen. I'm amazed by the amount of lazy, junk-food-style products that are being advertised during baseball games. Be fat, be lazy, wish you were an athlete...
These gnats are driving me fucking nuts...

4th beer, 6:02 pm:
Hitting the backspace more than usual. Ignored a call for fear it might disrupt the experiment (sorry Lee).

Mid beer. 6:20 pm:
All this structure is beginning to ruin the experiment. I'm going to need to seek solace outside the confines of the domicile. I can't almost get hit by a car sitting on the couch. The dogs are sitting behind me on the couch...looking at me with hungry eyes...what's for dinner? My guts still hurt from a few nights ago.

5th beer. 6:48 pm:
“There's something coming this way.” I couldn't agree more. I need to read more fiction, as an interpretation of life in baseball analogies...immerse myself in prayer and the smell of my baseball glove and the pages of anthologies. (The Red Sox are getting swept by the Yankees in this series. Hard liquor is evident.)

*just a taste of bulleit*
The dogs are hungry...agitated. They should be fed. My wife is coming over on her break from work with food. A mild repreave that won't disrupt the experiment. I'm hoping I'll see the Sarge tonight if I go to the Grand...but that might make the experiment less viable...

6th beer. 7:43 pm:
To open the 6th run in this series... a quote from Ursula K. Le Guin:
There was a change. It must have been the pressure that changed first, although we did not know it. The eyelids are sensitive to touch. They must have been weary of being shut. When the pressure upon them weakened a little, they opened. But there was no way for us to know that. It was too cold for us to feel anything.

Mid beer. 8:15pm:
I'm having a conversation via online messaging with an old classmate. Strange...

7th beer. 9:13 pm:
After a quick diversion...and sobering up... I'm in the mood for some music...maybe the bar in an hour...

9:45pm mid-beer:
I'm caring less about grammatical and spelling mistakes. Drunk enough to be singing along to “Rocket Man” loud enough to piss off the neighbors... if they can hear me... I remember when I did karaoke with Yoshi in his hospital room. I miss that guy and should play music with him more often... I love Elton John and I don't care what anyone says. Tom Wait's “Kentucky Avenue” makes me cry every time I hear it... there...I said it.

Mid-beer 10:08 pm:
one more song and i'm off to the bar. Audry's barking in her sleep. Adorable. The experiment is almost over... it's time to go to the bar... conclusion to follow...

Conclusions from the Morning After:
A brief panic struck me as I turned on my computer, for I thought that all my data was lost. The pain of the hangover that accompanied this body of research is too overwhelming to be considering another attempt any time soon. From my best estimations, the bar went as follows...
Two beers and maybe two shots were had at the bar. Casual observers seemed to back the project and I should start presenting these ideas to people with money in an attempt to secure financial backing. I ran into Victor Delgado. He was more than happy to join in the public drunkenness. However, trying to convince a man that he's had too much to drink and shouldn't drive is like trying to convince a bear not to fish for salmon. At least half an hour was lost to drunken negotiations on how to deal with both a drunken comrade and his car, parked on the wrong side of the road.

A quote from the note I left on my phone, “Last beer and last shot...unknown time. The project seems to be a success among most obaservers (sic). Much information will be lost away from the main.frame...things are looking up...”

CDs left out due to the surprise that the music within wasn't already on my computer:
Hot Water Music, “Caution” and “A Flight and a Crash.”
Alkaline Trio, “Maybe I'll Catch Fire.”

All in all, The Project was a minimal success. Next time I should consider video, in order to catch myself in all kinds of embarrassment. I have learned one thing; drunken projects are much more rewarding when shared. That way, people can see what kind of a drunk you really are.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Roar of the Flies

When he first made his way to his seat from the back of the bar, I thought I had been blessed with a caricature. The Marine drill instructor hat, the track jacket, the missing front teeth. But the aviator sunglasses covering the eye patch and another, almost useless, eye almost made me believe that I was the butt of some "Scent of a Woman" style joke. But no, this was real. I had finally gotten to meet the Sarge.

We came to the conclusion at the end of the night that the Sarge must have taken a liking to the cut of my jib, (maybe because I used the word "sonuhbitch" instead of enunciating) because neither of the Sunday regular staff had ever seen him like that, a visual interpretation of the word drunk. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I asked him what I could get him:

"I hear you have a Mr. Dickel behind the bar...I'm comparison shopping tonight," was how it all began.

Glass of George Dickel and a water with lemon.

"I'm from Tullamook, Oregon."

"Oh, like the cheese." That response also earned me some points with the Sarge. Boot camp was going particularly well. We made jokes. He made my patrons feel uncomfortable, like a reminder that they too will succumb to age and drunkenness. Boot camp was still going well.

Old Crow (after the Sarge made friends with Cowboy George, who deserves his own explanation).
Old Grand Dad (no, I wasn't presenting the Sarge with a theme. He was too clever for that).
Three rounds of Henry McKenna table whisky. (Where I earned particular favor when I explained that it was called table whisky because if you drink too much of it, you end up under the table.)

Then, like a dog that's been beaten for too long, he finally snapped under the strain of too much roughhousing...

Will finish this when my wife stops complaining about her hangover...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grand to throw a party

An injured typing finger is keeping me from recalling the entirty of last night's Grand Marnier, but here are the highlights:

Steve Olson and I bonded over tequila and being from Iowa.
Andy Seymour has as bad a mouth as I do.
LA bartenders know how to party (listen to Biggy Smalls if you don't understand).
Impressing Steve felt good...sneaking behind the bar at The Varnish felt even better.
Carlos, the barback, is not a man to be fucked with.

Whoever says the French don't know how to party is lying...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

London Bobbies, Thug Life, and Tootsie Rolls

I met Glen and Bob on a particularly uneventful Sunday behind the mahogany, which is probably the reason why I got to know them over the course of the evening. My wife, Noelle, had cozied up to these two gents from across the pond and we came to find some interesting things:

Both are cops back in London.
Bobs parents were from Jamaica.
Glen plays rugby and has a nine year-old daughter named Caitlin.
Glen likes Vodka/Red Bull (which he never heard the end about...and neither did I), while Bob drinks nothing but Guinness.
Both men are here in Los Angeles studying gangs, (Oh City! How you do me proud!)

We spent most of that Sunday night trying to get the Bobbies to, as my wife put it, "Taste America!!" through shots of Rye and a rather astute old-fashioned, both of which elicited almost girlish whimpers from men that could pick me up with one hand. After closing the doors, I gave them a tour of the Brock & Company building and my number. We agreed to meet up for drinks on Wednesday.

With Noelle's morning shift looming ever closer, I left alone to meet the Bobbies at Cole's around 9:30. I found the two outside, chatting with a girl who looked like some one I should've known, but fortunately, did not. The first half-hour was spent with me looking like the mayor of Drinkytown, greeting about half the people at the bar. Bob drank nothing but Guinness while Glen and I marveled over the taste of a can of Schlitz, (which may be the pride of Milwaukee, but it was I who was proud of my new friend's love for American Malt Liquor). We listened (begrudgingly) to our new recruit's incessant ramblings for the better part of an hour, each of us scowling at the others when left alone with her for too long. After cleaning Glen out of almost a half a pack of cigarettes, she moved on, and with the bar closing early at 11:00, we were glad to beat a hasty retreat.

As we walked to the Golden Gopher in search of more lively a time, I found out more about the Bobbies:

Bob's wife did a student exchange in Maine and has since been afflicted with a love for Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese, which apparently, doesn't exist in the UK. Now every time some one she knows comes over to the States, she asks for at least one box. (Powdered cheese makes me proud to be an American)
Apparently, Tootsie Rolls are not available in the UK as well, and according to the Bobbies, impossible to find in Los Angeles as well.

At the Gopher, we ran into two of the girls from Casey's, assuring a good time would be had by all. The five of us drank, compared legal, cultural, and linguistic differences along with discussions about our two cities. I regaled Glen with drunken stories about bar fights, legal run-ins, while he described working the beat as a cop in London...Bob chatted with the ladies.

We left, hoping for the Kogi truck, but ending up in a 7-11. The hunt for Tootsie Rolls proved futile there as well. I guess a Tootsie Roll is like a cop...never around when you need one. I walked with the Bobbies up to my street and we said our good-byes. I felt a bit of a light weight in my heart, as if I was parting with two good friends; two good friends I knew I would never see again.

My city seemed stranger last night, with the help of foreign eyes, but it also never felt more like home.

Introduction to Some Liquid Reflections

I figure since everyone else in the spirits industry has a blog, I should too. One of those things where you know your mom would say something like, "If everyone else jumped off a cliff..." but with a larger agenda.

This here "blog" as the kids are calling it, is nothing more than a celebration of booze, pure and simple. I'm starting this up as a way to remember nights and ponderings that seem exceptionally meaningful and profound, but in the end just come out as hilarious or embarrassing as the hangover nagging you in reminder of your ridiculous state the night before.

So let's crawl into a bottle together; it looks better from in here...