Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Quick Restaurant Review - Steel Rest. & Lounge

We had reservations at seven on a Wednesday for the new hotspot Steel Restaurant and Lounge down in Midtown on West Peachtree just below 10th street. Despite a growing chorus of logic and reason, I continue to confound myself by hanging out with Sporty. I never said I was bright.

Now from 5 to 7 on Wednesdays it's Martini's and free sushi, so when we got there they had patrons spilling out onto the street and I was glad we'd made reservations. Only everybody else was there for the aforementioned promotion and so only the bar was shoulder to shoulder, the dining room behind the string stranded water fixture was blissfully free.

It's a nice place, very well laid out with exception of one support post by the sushi bar in the main dining room. It's got a very nice vibe and Sporty kept commenting on how cool the whole place looked.

The service was swift and professional. I mean they unfolded our napkins and spread them on our laps, they made quiet suggestions when we hesitated, they brought out the hot towels before the meal so that we could clean our hands, the waiter made the simple syrup himself at the bar for my sweet tea, they were quiet, unobtrusive and dropped off and picked up things without being asked or making us feel rushed. The owner came over when we were done and checked on us. As far at service goes, this is one of the best in Atlanta. Kudos.

Oh yeah, the food.

Did I mention that they were swift, the food came quickly, the bathrooms were easy to find and the dining room laid out well?

The small plate crabmeat and mango spring roll was nice. Good mango. Crisp lettuce. Hmmmm.

Our server, man was he friendly. Great guy. And the bar cleared out as soon as they cut off the free sushi. Like whoosh. By the time we were ready to leave the bar area was a ghost town. So the promotion worked...kinda sorta.

Okay, fine. It was such a nice place too. Sporty had the Orange Chicken and I had the Korean Beef. Or the "Shaken Beef". It was hard to tell. It was just food. I mean there was little zing. Nada. Maybe I caught the chef on a bad night. Cause the service was excellent!

Drink, appeitizer and dinner might have been thirty minutes. Seriously. They were quick..and since it wasn't that good we kinda picked over it. Sporty put some of her chicken on my plate, which used to be a sign I had to eat it, but even she was forgiving this time when I just looked at it. The rest of the time we just sat and talked. House stuff, family stuff, jokes and whatnot. Felt like old times. That was worth the bland food, that other forty five or so minutes we sat talking.

Then the owner showed up asking how it was...and for the first time in like ever, Sporty didn't speak up! I had to tell him the food was par average. She kept trying to be tactful. What was up with that?

So Steel is lovely, the service is par excellence...I mean like Seegar's good. The food is...well, don't go all starving like hungry.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bracketology 101 - the first weekend.

Okay, last year I said it...I didn't like Duke. Coach K and and boys wear their confidence like a smug sport jacket, in Duke blue no less, and that along with the unbridled smugness of their fans make watching them go out all the more sweet. I'm almost certain most of the country, no, most of the basketball playing world, feels that same way.

Unless you picked them into the Sweet 16.

Okay, first they get worn out by Belmont, who showed up like a team who didn't read the program and thought they were playing the West Washington High Blue Devils. Duke is supposed to be stocked, and I mean stocked with McDonald's (argh!) All-Americans and they got run up and down the court. But I wasn't worried. This was a first round scare, they get their legs back, talk it over and Coach K will have them back in form on Sunday. Then they played West Virginia...who played them like the West Washington High Blue Devils Junior Squad. One has to believe that whoever ranks these teams sleeps in Duke PJs with footies. And there they go...again.

Then low and behold, out of nowhere Davidson beats Georgetown. Who saw this coming? Each year the ESPN tourney brackets boasts some fool who accidentally picked what happens to 99% accuracy or better. I have a bracket there (which has got to be the hardest damn thing to find on the screen, I mean jeez!) and let me tell you, I'm not even close. Not even. Who picks two 12 seeds, a 10 seeds and 7? Who? Come on! Not even someone who had chosen the winners based on how they might have liked the unis wouldn't have come up with this combination.

At least Kansas, UCLA and Tennessee are still hanging on, the last one by it's teeth. When did college basketball get parity? So I got a wobbly bracket, but no busts.

While all this was going on Easter happened. Normally, I spend that gift-less holiday with family - my brother - but this year I got a call from Shade who'd popped into town (outta nowhere) and kicked off a round robin of events that started with me explaining to her the pretty mirror theory and ended up us playing Midwest rules double chicken Uno somewhere off Cascade. Suffice it to say that meant I was unable to focus on the games.

Oh well, more there is to life say but me and God.

Barkeep...Sparkling Grape Juice with a slice of Orange.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Odd Quotes

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."

- Somebody unfamiliar with endings

Friday, March 21, 2008

10 Days till Happy Hour

In ten more days, my self imposed drinking hiatus will end, and if I so desire I can saunter into the nearest drinking establishment, saddle up to the bar and enjoy the feel of an inherently warm, almost caramel sweet flavor of Maker's Mark sipping whiskey, accompanied with just the slightest splash of a bubbly carbonated companion.

But I don't think I'm gonna be doing that.

The rules say "no drinking when depressed" and I've found, much like your average intuitive psychology researcher, that depression takes on many forms. It's not always how it looks. And that I've learned to fake it till I make it a lot better than I realize.

Sporty depresses me. Or rather, the idea of her and him.

It's so bad, I can't even enjoy porn.

I'm going to say it, because it's true: I love her. And I missed my chance. I'm not sure how I missed it (but I have a good idea), I'm not sure when I missed it, I'm not even sure there was ever a chance for me to miss...but I know I don't have a chance now. Even worse, she's morphed into what happened with someone else I know, in her case due to the travel situation the relationship has consumed her.

For the record, I subscribe to the the love is forever theory of affection, ie - if you love somebody you love them forever. NO. MATTER. WHAT. You might fight, argue or eventually decide not to be together, but you always love them. Forever. I haven't learned that neat trick so many appear to have mastered of just turning off their feelings for someone. I'm too transparent for that. And I'm not going to tell her this, because no good can come of it.

So that would make me kinda screwed. Or not screwed...whatever.

And drinking damn sure won't help this.

Barkeep...cold ice water and run me a tab.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Odd Quotes

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

- Ingio Montoya

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


There was an old woman who lived in a house in the woods way out in the country. She'd been there most of her life, she'd raised her children there, watched her husband die there, and lived. A devout woman, she had taken great care to give the glories to the lord her whole life, and instill it in her children and people around her.

As bad weather approached, one afternoon a truck drives into her yard. A young man gets out and approaches her as she sits on her porch.

"Ma'am, the weather is looking bad, and your house is in the middle of the flood plain. We've come down to help. We'll load up all your stuff and take it to higher ground for you so it will be safe."

"No, no need. I've lived here a long time. I'm not worried. The lord will take care of me." She answered

The young man begged and pleaded for an hour, but the old woman refused to go. Finally, he got back in the truck and left.

A few days later the rains came. The sky opened up and water seemed to pour from the sky in great sheets. The walls on the old woman's house shook with the force of it. She sat in her parlor and by candlelight read the bible.

Sitting on a flood plain, the waters came. First puddles, then a even sheet, until finally it was lapping at the last step to the porch. The old woman sat on the porch watching the droplets when a boat came into view and headed over to her. A man called out from the bow.

"Ma'am, the weather is getting worse, and the water is going to keep rising. Get your valuables together, put them in a suitcase and we'll take you to safety."

"No need, I'm not worried. The lord will take care of me." She called out.

The man on the boat begged her to come, but she refused. Finally, afraid the boat would get waterlogged they left.

And more rains came. The old woman read the bible and prayed. And soon the house flooded, and the water still came. And the waters rose and rose until finally, the old woman sat in a raincoat on her roof, a bible and book of memories clutched to her chest. She prayed.

Out of the rainclouds she heard a noise. She looked up and descending from above was a helicopter. It lowered a harness on a cable and on a loudspeaker a man shouted down to her.

"Ma'am, we've come to rescue you. You can't take anything with you, but you climb into the harness, we'll take you to safety."

"No need, the lord will take care of me!" She shouted back in the din.

Running low on fuel, the helicopter waited a few minutes, then the wheeled away and disappeared into the clouds.

The rains continued to fall, the water continued to rise and until, soaked and cold, the old woman died.

She arrived in heaven upset. She asked to speak to God personally, and the lord was only to swift to listen. She approached him hot, and let her feelings be known. "God, I believed in you, I trusted you, and yet you failed me. You let me die in the cold waters of the flood. I devoted my life to you, not just every Sunday but everyday. Instilled your word in my children and lived by your teachings. How could leave me lord?"

God looked at her puzzled. "But I sent a truck, a boat and a helicopter. Why didn't you take one?"

So, the question we need to ask is: when the lord sends you help, sends your blessing...will you recognize it?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The McDonalds Saga - A True Story

I do not eat at the most popular fast food restaurant franchise in world. Or at McDonald's either. (Ha!)

I have boycotted the chain for almost 20 years now. I don't eat the burgers, the fries, the shakes, apple pies or even drink water out of McDonald's cooler that sprayed it into a McDonald's cup. If you insist on something from there, I'll stop and do you the favor, but nothing of theirs crosses my lips. A coworker brought me a shake from there once and I'll admit it tasted good..till I saw the McD on the label. I stopped instantly and dropped the rest in the trash, and cussed him out in anger. So why you ask...why the animosity against this corporate monster who brought such lovable processed food pitchmen as Ronald and the Hamburgler.

Yeah, this too is a college story.

I was a broke college student in the summer of 1988 in Tallahassee, Florida. I was taking summer classes, and living low as it were. Very very low. Ramen noodles low. But I'd run into a spot of luck, and in the Olympic Medal Game run by McDonalds that summer, I had scratched off Women's 100m, in which the venerable Florence Griffith Joyner - Flojo - was running on a track somewhere in Seoul, Korea. The world record holder. With the hot pink one legged tights. And if America won the event...then I got a free Big Mac.

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun. cheese, but food. For a brother living off ramen noodles and jiffy cake, this would be the highlight of the week. I dreamed about that Big Mac.

It was the McDonalds on North Monroe - 1944 North Monroe...just up the street from Barnacle Bills.

I hadn't eaten all. Day. Long.

I pulled into the drive thru - ordered a my free sammich and a water.

And do you know that trick told me that the US did not win the gold, but the silver and all I could get for my gamepiece was some fries? I'm like WTF? (I think I actually said it into the microphone, but for decorum's sake I won't repeat fuck here)

So I went inside to discuss this with someone who knew something. I was very hungry.

I don't normally do confrontation (it's not my thing) but I had to talk to the shift supervisor.

The shift supervisor reiterated that per their information the US had won the Silver in that event and thus only fries were offered as the prize. I informed them that I knew FloJo was running, had taken the gold and was still running for all we knew.

The manager then informed they got their information direct from Seoul. I told them I got my information from the local newspapers and ESPN.

At that point, fed up...I told the manager right then and there, that if I didn't get my Big Mac, that I would NEVER EAT AT A MCDONALDS AGAIN!

And as I haven't eaten there for almost twenty can kinda guess how that conversation ended.

In retrospect, it turns out the US won both gold and silver in the women's 100m that year (isn't that funny) and the company may have been trying to cheap it's way out of paying off in sandwiches. Over time, McDonald's has got the worst end of the deal. In high school, McDonald's had been a regular hangout. In college it might have become as well. As it turned out, when we all piled in the car to get food after that incidient, everybody knew what restaurant wasn't on the list of potential stops. And over time it may have cost that corporation as much, I don't know, $5000...

...guess who's laughing now McDonalds. ha!

Barkeep...let me get one of them Wendy's frostys.

Odd Quotes

"A friend is someone who doesn't want anything from you, they just want to hang"

- Jack Black

Friday, March 14, 2008

War is....romantic?

I must say, I'm a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed. It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks.

- President Bush 3/13/08 - via teleconference to US Military in Afghanistan

This is actually a very funny statement. Considering when he was younger he took great pains to miss his opportunity to have the fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping a young democracy in Southeast Asia. I doubt very seriously that if he had asked to go they would have turned him down. Okay, it's funny only if you've got Eric Cartman's sense of humor.

Very few people that have loped off to war would call it fantastic or romantic. All exciting, you know, confronting danger. Just like Rambo or Team America. The sad part was he was serious.

And this man half the country thought he would make a great Commander-in-Chief. Twice.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Quick Restaurant Review - J. Christopher's

I looked back over my past few entries, and damned if I omitted...or include my write up for J. Christopher's. I breezed through a Saturday ago with Schmoopy, one of my older buddies. I don't want to give the impression I eat out a lot, but as much as I love cooking, I cannot stand the clean up. So to avoid the clean up I don't cook as much as I want to. That and my hours right now really ain't conducive to firing up the stove that often. That said, I bake a mean biscuit.

J. Christopher's for those who don't know is one of Atlanta's quirky little breakfast spots (we have a lot of those now that I think about it) that the locals fall into and eat up, then don't tell a soul, because they don't want it get so big they end up standing outside for an hour like at another little Atlanta eatery I know. The waitstaff is friendly (I once gave them one of my pens), the restaurants have some great art and the food is usually smoking.

I hadn't seen Schmoopy (who reads this blog, hey girl!) in like forever, and since then she's gotten married and everything. We were going to sit down, have a meal and just catch up.

We popped into JC's in Marietta, although I love the one on Ponce, and only had to wait five minutes for a table. The whole chain only serves breakfast, brunch and lunch. That's it. No dinner. But I've yet to walk into one that wasn't crowded, so it might be worth waking up at a decent hour on Saturday to trek down to.

She got one of their omelets, I got a pancakes with eggs and bacon and a side of bacon. I would have a much more detailed description, but it's been a few days, and don't want to lie. I will say this however....they make real good sweet tea. Yeah.

I've known Schmoopy for seven years now, we've worked together and she's one of the women who asked me to marry her. As I told her last Saturday, I probably should have taken her up on it. But that's past now, and so we talked about her business ventures (she's very ambitious) and my current dilemmas. She has joined the growing ranks of friends who believe I need to either cut back or cut out Sporty all together. Looking from the outside must be a vastly different view.

The food was great that I remember. The pancakes a little more bready than I like, but good. The eggs and potatoes cooked just about right. Schmoopy told me she was full, but couldn't stop eating the omelet. We laughed and talked and chatted and basically caught up. And although I had three other things to do that day...Walmart (ugh!), auto body shop, and Home Depot, after that meal I went home sprawled on my couch into a deep ass sleep.

This would be a sign of a good meal.

Barkeep - man, let me tell you 'bout this breakfast I had...gimme an OJ

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Quick Restaurant Review - Rose of India

It's a Monday night in Atlanta, so what do you want to do? Well Sporty claims she feels bad because we don't hang out as much as we used to and so she made it a point for us to hang out this week. She had a sport to go play (hence "sporty") but would be done around dark - don't you just love daylight savings time? - and we'd get together after that. We hadn't done Indian in a while, so I looked up spots in the area and found up on Peachtree the Rose of India.

Now, Sporty and I have been hanging out for a minute...more than a minute really. And we've eaten a lot of places. Occasionally, as we explored the cuisines that the city has the offer, we've found places that were having a slow spell. One place closed up as soon as we paid the bill. Another we thought was closed until we opened the door. And most of the Indian spots we've been to have been sparsely populated. But I don't think anyplace we've ever eaten was as empty as Rose of India on a Monday night. Us and the waitstaff. I could hear the kitchen staff playing backgammon. Us, the waitstaff and what sounded like a blend of Country and Indian music that was oddly calming.

But no matter, we came for the food and to enjoy each other's company. I'd read a good review or two, so we got the appetizers for two, she got the chicken vindaloos and me the beef buhuna. I always find Indian restaurants that serve beef a little funny. Common mis-perception. We tore into the Naan and sauces and settled in. You can say service was attentive, but when you think about it, he really didn't have anything else to do.

Sporty thought the vindaloos was good, but not hot enough (she loves the spicy). After the great reviews I was slightly disappointed that the flavor didn't zing me more as well. It was good, the appetizers and sauces especially, but not raving "you have got to eat there" good. They also had no sweet tea. Which always irks me.

After we'd eaten and paid the's not like folks were waiting for the table...we just hung out and talked about family, politics, how Indian places stay in business since they all appear empty and whatnot. She also took care not to mention him to me. Which makes me wonder, as we're supposed to be "friends", and with a "friend" you'd talk about things like that. We also made plans of what cuisines we still hadn't eaten - Korean(like where they don't even speak English), Ethiopian, and others.

Then she started doing something she doesn't do: reminisce.

As we left a car pulled up in the parking lot and for a second I just knew that these were other customers. Sporty didn't think so. It took all of ten seconds to prove Sporty was right. Awww. Quiet night for a nice spot, and that's sad. They were so nice.

Barkeep. That unsweet tea and bowl of sugar for me, mango juice for the lady.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Crunchy Cheez Doodle Affair

As a kid, I never really liked cheese. If the family went out for pizza, we would have to stop at McDonald's (a whole other story, whoo boy) and get me a burger. Cheese looked nasty and I wanted no parts of it. It messed up the taste of hamburger, made a pizza look like someone with a cold had blew their nose on it, and on cracker did something to my mouth that made swallowing it impossible. And I love Ritz.

But sometime in high school, I discovered of all things - a cheese flavored snack I liked. Don't ask me how.

I ate Cheetos on Friday nights when my brother I watched the Dukes of Hazzard (which is another amazing story in retrospect) and we'd go through a whole bag in an hour. It's one of those moments you look back on think how great childhood was, forgetting now that bedtime was 9:30pm, dinner was what was put in front of you and your mother picked your clothes. Let's just say my mother and I don't share the same style.

Then sometime either in high school or right when I got to college, I switched to Wise brand Crunchy Cheez Doodle. An air puffed crunchy confection that saw me through the best and worst of times.

If I only had five dollars with which to buy groceries for the week, I would waste a buck and change on a bag.
If I only had two dollars for lunch, they sold a snack bag for fifty cents at the union.
If I had more than few dollars, I'd buy two or three bags.

After I graduated, I kept up the habit. And when I moved to Atlanta I can say I honestly based my shopping habits around if the store carried them or not. Kroger didn't carry them but Publix did. I became a Publix shopper. There were days I'd pop in after work and in an aisle chock full of chips and dip, pretzels and the like, that blue bagged cheez-like crack would be the only thing they would sell out of. I had discussions with management over why they didn't keep more on hand. That and why Publix doesn't sell Orange kool-aid, which is still a mystery (I can however, order it according the manager.)

When the Internet start up only paid me in their tissue paper like stock, I ate the CCD.
When I was on a diet and could eat no carbs, I snuck the CCD.
When I had no other snack food in my house, a bowl of CCD and tall glass of koolaid were enough.

Then, somebody real bright decided to change the forumla. Make it MORE cheezy.

Look, if I wanted a real cheese flavor, I would I cheese?

So I tried it. And for the first time in my life, I wrote a company to complain about their product. Okay, I wrote them on the internet, but I still wrote. I expressed digust and dismay. I told them this story (not verbatim, but close) and they sent me back a lovely thank you for writing email. In other words, they brushed me off.

I would wander up the chip aisle at the grocery store, hungry for a chip...but nothing caught my eye.

Or rather, something did catch my eye. Wise brand Crunchy Cheez Doodles. Where I used to have to search for a bag, hoping for one last one in among the potato chips, there now were ten or twelve bags of the new stuff just sitting there. In the past they sold out regularly, now... apparently I wasn't the only one! There was hope!

So I waited, checking periodically, hoping somebody's brain would finally kick in and say "Hey, the new stuff isn't selling, let's go back to old stuff before we run off our market!" But apparently they need to hire someone with a MBA in common sense at whoever owns the Wise Brand...I forget who it is. This maybe two years ago.

Last week I went in Publix and there were NO Crunchy Cheez Doodles of any kind. It looked like there wasn't even a space for them in the chip racks. It made me sad. Oh what I would give to taste that semi cheezy like flavor once again...alas.

Barkeep...Orange koolaid. To keep the memory fresh.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Not Drinking...The Rules.

I've been reading back through my own posts...smelling my own shit as it were... and I realize now that a blog about life stories, witty bon mots, philosophy and drinking where the author is temporarily (and it's only temporary for real) not drinking has turned this into a series in which I am apparently wallowing in perceived personal failure. Oh woe is me, boo hoo hoo. One might ask as I lay my cards out on the table, why not just speak to her. But there is no need for two to be miserable...or in an even a worse possibility, at the end of that talk there still only be one of us not feeling good. That would be very bad.

I would say I need a drink to clear my head, but in reality I need to drink to blur my vision. I am amazingly self aware and self conscious.

I used to drink a lot. A whole whole lot.

One morning drinking in the shower I realized that I might have an issue. Okay, this story starts when I was still in college, where pizza is a breakfast food and prices a usually quoted in six pack denominations of your favorite inebriant, but I recognized that maybe waking up and having a drink might indicate a growing dependency. Or that I needed to keep juice in the mini-fridge. Either way, I decided what I needed were some rules. Fairly basic rules.

The first rule was "No drinking before noon."

This was easily doable, or so I thought. It wasn't too long before I was on vacation...okay, I was still in college, we were on a "road trip", which to the uninitiated is like a vacation but costs way way way less, sometimes as little as $25 round trip if you can find a dollar menu and drink whatever is offered...but anyway, I was on "vacation" and realized that since I wasn't doing anything why not have a drink. Well it was only 9:30ish, so I had a problem.

So the first rule was amended to read "No drinking before noon, unless you're on vacation."

Which worked out pretty smooth. Until I attended one of those "All University Study Sessions", er, bring your own cup, which allow students of diverse backgrounds, majors and relative flexible morality to associate in the time honored tradition of educational institutions everywhere. Sometimes we'd break off and "study" in a more private setting with other like minded students, or wander out and end up "studying" with like minded coeds if we were lucky.

So final adjustment read "No drinking before noon, unless you're on vacation OR it is a continuation of the night before."

Now, as your average college male with roommates, drinking implements were kept at the apartment at all times, and thus after a grueling three or four hour day of classes and hanging out talking about classes, it had become habit to wander into my abode and help myself to a nice cold one. My apartment was also reminiscent of Grand Central Station, three people paid rent, only god knew how many slept there. But still I would occasionally find the spot empty and still get that beer. Which felt creepy. And by the time the inevitable other people showed up and you were already tipsy...and by looked even worse.

So the second rule became "No drinking alone."

In my humble opinion, I now view drinking alone for guy as kinda pathetic. For a woman it's okay, don't ask me why it just is. A young lady at home sipping on Cosmos or Martini's watching Sex and the City or chatting on the phone with a girlfriend seems saucy and sexy. A man drinking by himself at home indicates he had no friends and may have a drinkie drink problem. Maybe one drink is okay if you've had a hard day at work, but if that's the case James Bond and Jason Bourne better be your office buddies, cause your day better have pretty damned hard. Saving the world, blowing up shit kinda hard. Or raising a kid, same thing. It's a gender thing. And yes, in a pinch, the bartender counts.

That settled I thought about it and I realized that drinking has never been the way to solve a problem. Any problem. Unless the problem was that you were sober, in which case drinking would in fact be the only fix...and this has happened a number of times so I'm not crazy, but in the grand scheme of things, the reality is drinking doesn't fix anything. Except the aforementioned being sober. It especially does not help feeling sad, which is when you're mostly likely in want of drink. And if you've ever been a sad drunk...well...I'm a fairly talkative, er, ...inbrientee and ones I do remember...ouch.

And so the third rule is "No drinking when depressed."

If you thought you were unhappy before, trust me there is a whole lot you've repressed that you can be much more sad about after five or ten drinks. And with luck everybody else will be too drunk to remember any of this, but that's now how it works. Somebody will remember. There will will pictures. Your peoples will never let you live it down. Now I've found that I'm a horrible sad drunk. And as a sad drunk is sad sad person indeed, well, you kinda see where this is going. So that's like a double rule with cheese.

The fourth rule is "Drink because you WANT to drink, not because of peer pressure."

Why is it the day you're not drinking, everybody is buying? Or that's the one day they pouring top shelf at half price because the manager is feeling good for the first time in 15 years? Or your friends are drinking so you figure how much harm can one do? Looking back I didn't want to drink anyway and it sure would have been cool if the officer had at least one sober person to reassure him that we weren't all gonna die of alcohol poisoning. Why drink on a Tuesday when you know you've got that big meeting on Wednesday at eight am? Trust me, not a good idea. I wouldn't do it. Again.

I came up one last rule, primarily because more than five is hard to remember - which makes you wonder which of the Ten commandments you're breaking now, don't it?

The last rule is "if you don't know what's in it, don't drink it."

This is much more an operational rule than the others, most of which come into play as you're considering that first drink and not four or five drinks in. It's a handy rule to have, and probably would have saved me and Chuck that night we accidentally drank that rubbing alcohol...which doesn't burn as much going down as one would think - this being after we had already pre-burned them earlier that evening. This rule is one you should pass on to Bungee Drinkers...those folks who want to "try" that new drink at the club. I do all my drink experimenting at home, so I can tell the barkeep what to put in the glass. In the bar is not the place to discover that tequila thinks you're great dancer, or that gin thinks you're a great comedian. Trust me, gin is lying.

So those are the rules. I've lived by them since 310 Westwood (a way way inside joke) and with luck someone else can use them. And if I'm really lucky...this chapter of my life will be a scant few pages that get stuck together when I read back through years from now.

Barkeep...Grape Koolaid please.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Brief History of Sport(y)

Looking back at it, as my ramblings from the dark end of the bar continue, I don't think I've covered the whole Sporty saga. So I've put together a little history lesson to put it all in context. It's all true, although I'm certain other vantage points would give other truths. To wit.. a history of sport(y)....

Sporty and I met on the job.

Okay, I got hired out of bad situation into what I thought was a better situation, certainly for more money and ended up where I'm at now. There I spot this girl, who I took an immediate liking to. Awww...Only I'm too chickenshit to talk to her. I do that with women I really's psychological. Most women I have no issue being semi-evil around, but occasionally, I'm just paralyzed. I kinda know where it comes from, long story. Anyway, the job starts getting bad, and I'm contemplating quitting, cause I just went through this same shit. Only I know if I quit, I'll never meet this chick, and I really want to meet her. Just something about her. So even though I get the opportunity to leave, I don't. I figure that I'll get it together at some point.

Sporty introduced herself to me.

So one day...out of the blue...she hits me up on the company instant messenger. Why? Seriously I don't know. At the time I was more than a little out of shape, work and life were running me ragged and even I wouldn't have been that impressed with me. Now this takes from the time I started to then, about a year. Hey, I said I was chickenshit. During this time every weekend I was out and about at house parties and clubs, and four or five nights a week getting my swagger on running the circuit like a rap star (Mon- Justin's/Havana, Tue- Bluepointe, Wed - Brio, etc and so on) but there is something about her that made me pause. So I waste a year being chickenshit.

Sporty and I went out.

So we start chatting on IM. Everyday. Long stretches where we talk about everything: life, hopes, plans, who we are etc and so on. Job is still kicking me in my ass, but I don't care. So one Friday I ask her to lunch the next day. To me lunches were cooling dates, to ask someone to dinner meant something else entirely. So we go, have a great time. And we keep chatting on the job. At the time she's like 23-24, cute as a button, great ass and thighs, even some of the straight women at work are giving her the once over, twice. I'm mid 30's not exactly a male model, so I'm not sure what the deal is. I know she's seeing other guys, one of which looks like a male model, but it's cool.

Sporty and I get in a groove.

But we kept going out. Like every week. For about two and a half years. We ate in Buckhead, Downtown, in Midtown, on the Westside, on the Eastside, in Sandy Springs. We ate at diners, we ate at pubs, we ate in high style and fell through the Waffle House. We went to the movies, we went to concerts, I bought Christmas, birthday, valentine and thinking of you presents. She got upset when I didn't show up at her events. She called when I was late to work. I took her medicine when she was sick. She encouraged me to exercise. She made me go the doctor. She made me buy better shoes. I made her Thanksgiving dinner, bought her plane tickets and watched her dog. I even thought about breaking a rule.

I spent a whole lot of time and not a second of it wasted. Let me make that clear (in case she ever sees this she needs to know) that if I had to do it all over again I would.

Love or stupidity? Don't know, don't care.

But, in the end, it seems that Sporty and I are just friends.

And that's where we are today. Sometimes God is funny. Man I wish I could get the joke.

Barkeep. You have Absinthe? Yeah, I know I'm not drinking but I'd like to forget.