Home     About Me    Most Beer Blogs SUCK     Top 10 Most Wanted     Very Best of the Vice Blog    

Archive for November, 2008

Victory Variety

November 22nd, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 11 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Victory, Country: America, Grade: A-, Grade: B plus, Grade: C plus, Grade: C regular, Style: IPA, Style: Lager, Style: Pilsner, Style: Tripel

I don’t sleep well after a night of boozing which is fine because I like to get up fairly early on Saturdays and/or Sundays and hit the movies.  I’m a huge film buff and see several back-to-back-to-back every single weekend, starting early so I’m done with my double or triple feature in time to get home for sports.  I typically go alone because I both see oddball movies that no one else wants to see and because I like the solitude.  Sitting in the dark gorging on soda and candy, feeling my hangover dissipate as I drift away into a hopefully good film.  I also go to very early shows because I hate today’s cinema crowds.  Loud boobs that seem to enjoy spending $12 so that they can have a dark room to text in and gab with their friends.

I always sit in the same seat, the absolute back row, right underneath the projector.  I hate having any people behind me and I like hearing the whirl of the film reels, the flickering of light catching the dust in the air.  Today I went to see a double feature and upon getting to my theater I found a women sitting in “my” seat.  Though this doesn’t happen often as most people reject sitting in the back row it was still unusual for another reason:  it was another solo film goer, and one who appeared to be a smoking hot women too.  Flowing Playboy blonde locks and nicely dressed in a turtleneck sweater, a bubble skirt, and with black tights.   An undoubtedly fetching yet classy look.  Though I was surprised that she was never joined by a boyfriend or husband fetching the popcorn, I paid her no mind.

After the first film I headed across the hall to see my second movie of the day “Slumdog Millionaire.”  This time, I was first in the theater and got my coveted back row seat.  Then, not two minutes later, who should enter the theater and head straight for the backrow but the fetching blonde!  With me in “her” seat she was forced to sit two seats over.  With such kismet I wanted to talk to her and the gods quickly conspired in my favor.  With “Slumdog” being one of the hottest flicks in town right now the theater quickly filled and after several “Is that seat taken?” and “Could you scoot over?” negotiations, the blonde was forced to hop one over and was soon sitting right beside.

I made light of the rudeness of people, arriving seconds before the film and then expecting us early-arrivers to move for their every whim.  She agreed that it was indeed rude.  I goofed on all the old people at the screening, loudly chomping on food and talking about their bone density depletion.  We began chatting.  It was quite dark so I could barely see her, just the glamor lighting corona of light surrounding her mass of blonde hair.  She was so sweet and had a tender accent.

I wondered if she was a tourist.

“Not exactly.  But I just moved here last year.”

“Yet you already hate tourists, correct?” I remarked.

She embarrassingly admitted that she did.  Once you’re a Manhattanite it’s impossible not to.

And where was she originally from I wondered.

Kentucky.

My heart melted.  I love blonde Kentucky women with an ever-so-slight accent.  Neil Diamond was surely right and I made her know this fact.

She explained that she had gotten her undergrad degree at the University of Kentucky and her doctorate at Northwestern.  She was a child psychologist and helped orphans with coping.  On weekends, always alone, she liked to spend either the whole day watching movies or at Barnes & Noble reading historical biographies.

I was fucking smitten.

As the lights dimmed, I had no choice but to go for it:

“My name is Aaron Goldfarb.  After this movie, would you like to join me for coffee?  Or, if you’re in the mood, perhaps something stronger.”

She smiled at me.  “We’ll see.”

You would think it would be hard to focus for the next two hours, wondering about my future, but “Slumdog Millionaire” was so goddamn good that I was instantly drawn in.  You know how blurb whores–lackluster film critics that LOVE ever movie just so they can get their name on the advertising–will sometimes say, “People were cheering in the aisles!” in order to note how great a movie was?  Well, I certainly had never seen that literally happen until today.  “Slumdog” is so life-affirming, so touching, that, yes, I saw several people actually pump their fists, actually stand up and celebrate in the aisles.

Once the credits began to roll she turned toward me.

“I loved it!”

I remarked that I did too.  Perhaps the best film I’d seen in ‘08 in fact.

“I think I will take you up on that drink offer.  Let’s go have some bourbon,” she said as she anxiously grabbed my forearm.

We headed across the dark aisle and down the dark stairs to exit the theater.  Once we got into the light we turned to each other and our giddy smiles instantly became shock.  She was tons older than I thought she was and I was tons younger than she thought I was.  Damn the darkness!

“What are you?!  Like 30?”

“Close.  29.  You?!”

“Remember those ‘old people’ you were making fun of earlier?  I’m one of them.  Just turned 50 last week!”

I have to say, she was twenty to twenty-five years older than I thought she was in the dark, but she was a fantastic-looking 50-year-old.  Glowing and lustrous blonde hair, minimal wrinkles, a damn good-looking gal.  Why…she could easily convince people she was…43.

“You still want that drink?,” she chuckled, clearly expecting me to say no.

Well, you’d certainly be my record, I most certainly DID NOT say.  But I did surprise her by saying, what the heck, and accepting the date.  Variety is definitely the spice of life.

We headed to a nearby hotel bar and each had a $15 Blanton’s Old-Fashioned.  I wish I had a funny, surprising, unexpected ending to this story, but when you write about true life, you sometimes don’t get those endings.  After our drinks we laughed about the weird events of the day and parted ways.

“Maybe I’ll run into you again on the back row,” she said as she sweetly kissed me on the cheek.

As I said earlier, variety is the spice of life, so I was quite excited when I arrived at my friend’s house in Philadelphia last weekend and his wife had picked up a variety case of Victory brews for me to drink.  What a sweetheart she is.  Almost enough to make me consider marriage.

Victory HopDevil Ale

6.7% ABV

In this author’s opinion one of the most underrated IPAs around.  Why does this beer get so little credit?  It’s damn good.  Nice balance of hops and malts and very drinkable.  I plowed through the six in the variety pack.

B+

Victory Golden Monkey

9.5% ABV

A very respectable American version of a Belgian tripel.  Creamy and sweet with some great yeastiness.  The spices tingle as they go down your throat.  Pretty drinkable too for the ABV.  I finished all six of these too.

A-

Victory Lager

5.2% ABV

Lagers are a most lackluster style of beer, so you can’t expect much better than a C or so.  And that’s about what this is.  More interesting than a macro lager but nothing special.  I only handled these after 2:00 AM when the Philadelphia bars closed and I was already loaded.

C+

Victory Prima Pils

5.3% ABV

One of Victory’s most highly-regarded beers which is weird because next-to-nobody regards pilseners as anything special.  They’re the dumb twin brother of the lager.  I don’t see what the fuss is about, I found this to be just a typically boring pilsener.  Far too skunky and bitter.  I certainly wasn’t dancing in the aisles drinking it.

C

Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury Ale

November 21st, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 5 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Bell's, Country: America, Grade: A-/B+, Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

7.7% ABV bottled

“Get up, Aaron! Get up!”

I was being shaken awake courtesy of a whispered yell from a female voice I did not recognize. I could barely open my eyes, a wicked hangover permeating my skull. I squinted trying to read the alarm clock. 6:00 AM.

I rose my head from the pillow. I was naked under the covers. Standing beside me, shaking me, was a girl freshly showered, hairdo done, makeup made up, and in a nice but woefully unfashionable dress. She was either going to a funeral, a wedding, or Reagan’s first term presidential inauguration. Around me, on the floor of the swank hotel room were six other young women, sleeping wherever they could.

“It’s 6 AM…” I’d forgotten her name, “What’s the problem?”

“Don’tchoo remember what I told you last night?”

Of course I didn’t. I was visiting friends in Boston and we’d gone out drinking near Fenway. There were six of us and we played a game with the waitress called “Bring-us-two-pitchers-of-beer-every-five-minutes.” We were tired of flagging her down and asking. She was seemingly impressed by our machismo and Beerculean drinking abilities and told us if we could keep that up for an entire hour she’d give us a free pitcher. Only days later did I realize, “Huh…she pretty much just convinced us to drink $200 of shitty beer in sixty minutes in order to get a free $10 pitcher.” Smart girl. Er, dumb boys.

Blotto by 10:00 we headed to a dance club slash lounge for God knows what reason. Oh, wait, I remember. It’s because in Boston the only girls in taverns, pubs, and normal watering holes are hooded-sweatshirted fatties that can easily drink you under the table despite the fact that they’re spending twenty minutes out of every hour outside smoking and purchasing sidewalk sausage.

I typically avoid dance clubs at all costs because dancing is stupid and my seduction skills need a little bit of quiet so I can actually speak, but when in Rome….

At the dance club I was bored with the long lines to get an overpriced and watered down cocktail and by the terrible club music. Then, I noticed one of my favorite drinking sites: a tiarred women leading a group of girls in matching t-shirts into the bar and onto the dance floor. Yes, it was a bachelorette party.

I always feel sorry for bachelorette parties. It’s like, if your ceremonial final night as a single woman is in the same bar where I’m drinking, well that’s just pathetic. If she only knew what her soon-to-be-better-half was doing at the same moment. Come to think of it, he was probably just sitting in a piece of shit Chinatown strip club, doing Kamikaze shots, and trying to muster the courage to tip a dancer’s snatch with his teeth while his douchebag Southie friends cheer him on. OK, that’s not so cool either.

My always supplicating friend had just been approached by two of the more raucous and boisterous members of the bachelorette party (read: two fatties) who had revealed that during the night of drinking they were simultaneously taking part in a scavenger hunt of sorts and could they have his underpants in order to check another box off their list? As he pathetically retreated to the bathroom for underpants removal, I studied the girls in the group, all loud, all drunk, all ugly, except one. She was decent looking, downright hot for Boston, and stood off to the side sipping on her Cape Codder with a look of mild disdain, mild shyness.

I approached her, “You part of this group?” I said, overly stressing “this” to denote that I had little respect for them. She confirmed that she was though revealed that she was a high school friend of the would-be bride while the rest of the girls were college friends. Thus, she knew none of them and had been excluded all evening from their reindeer games. I told her big deal, those girls were annoying and ugly any how. She agreed and I whisked her away from the group and to a side bar.

Remember fellas, in big groups of women there’s always at least one that pretty much hates the rest of the group. Find that woman and use that fact as a fulcrum to pull her away from the group and into your arms.

So for the next few hours we got drunker and drunker and more and more insulting toward the rest of the bachelorette party. By closing time, it was evident we were going to hook up. And, as I had lost my friends I had no choice but to go home with her.

Women are quite different from men. My friends upon departure most likely saw me in the corner, huddled up with each other for about five seconds (”Should we tell him we’re going?” “Leave him alone.” “Fuck it.”), before leaving me. And that’s fine. Men know that other men want to seize the night and may the morning be damned. We’ll all deal with finding a way home when we need to deal with it. Women on the other hand will all but drag their friends away, both hating the thought of their friend scoring while they are going home empty-handed…and, well that’s about it. All women are like the Gore Vidal quote: “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.”

Women will literally remove their friends from a guy’s face and arms, refusing to allowing her to make her own decision like a grown-up. I usually just sit back and watch, trying to intervene only exacerbates the friends’ furor. While acting aloof only makes your pick-up desire you more.

Should a women finally convince her friends to let her be, to let her go home with the guy, at the least they will give her all sorts of warnings and instructions, “Call me when you get to his place so I know you’re safe,” “Text me every hour so I know you’re well,” “Here’s ten condoms,” “Here’s an on-the-spot STD test be sure and gets a cheek swab for later analysis,” “Here’s a google map I’ve printed out and safety-pinned into your underwear so you can find your way home afterwards,” “Here’s some emergency cash in five different currencies…”

But guys aren’t like that. And though that’s usually a good thing, it wasn’t this time.

As Laura shook me awake and began dressing me as I struggled to orientate myself, she re-explained the circumstance. She was from Albany–this now made a lot of sense in light of her bad bangs of a hairdo, her accent, and her promiscuity–and had to be back in town to attend her sister’s baby shower brunch–and this made sense in light of her garb–by 10:00 AM.

We went to the hotel parking garage to retrieve her car, my head ringing, and she confirmed that I knew how to get back to my friend’s place so she could drop me off en route out of town. “I sure do, ” I told her, though I didn’t even know my “friend”’s full name, much less where he lived. You see, I am a rare man that is terrible with directions. I can never remember street names, I can never orientate myself north/south, east/west, I never take the correct highways, I’m just an absolute train wreck when it comes to directions. And that’s why I’m usually taking trains and never driving and why I live in New York City. You’d have to be a retard to get lost in Manhattan, what with its beautifully designed grid and near exclusively numbered streets. I rarely even venture below Houston lest I get lost on some “name” street. When I do, I’m forced to hail a cab to bail me out of my jam and drive me back to numbered street civilization.

But this time I wasn’t lying. Though I didn’t know the street where my friend lived, I was pretty sure I knew from memory how to get back there. The drive from his apartment post-pre-gaming to the bar had seemed so simple. We backed out of the driveway, a right turn there, a left turn onto that major street, drive past that big building, and park. Surely I could reverse the directions and get us home–despite being simultaneously drunk and hungover, a most horrific state of existence–I was certain of it.

We left the garage and there was that turn, ah yes, and that turn, everything seems swell, and, here we go, I recall that long road, and, I’m positive the turn will be on the right in any second now, Laura, where is it, OK, now it should be coming up…

But that turn never came. I had surely forgotten something. We were lost. It was 6:30 AM and we were lost. I was tired, I was drunk, I was hungover, we were lost, and Laura was quietly seething. At least I thought she was. She was indeed very shy.

We aimlessly drove around the “area” where I thought he lived for the next half-hour. Everything looked so familiar yet so unfamiliar.

“Let’s go get breakfast.  I could go for some hash browns.”

She glared at me.

“Well what town does he live in?” she asked.

“Town? He lives in Boston.”

I was a 23-year-old yutz back then and Laura had to explain that pretty much no one actually lives in Boston. It was a city of only about half-a-million. Most everyone in the metro area lives in small towns surrounding Boston proper. After the quick geography lesson, I had to admit I didn’t know what town my friend lived in.

“Can we call you friend?” she used the royal we like a condescending grammar school teacher.

“I don’t have his number.”

She was incredulous. “You don’t have your friend’s number?”

“He’s a friend of a friend.”

She was looking angrier as she pulled into a gas station and parked at a pay phone booth. “There’s a phone book, go look him up.”

“I don’t know his name.”

“You don’t know his name?!”

“Everyone just calls him by a nickname.”

She wasn’t as mad as I would be in dealing with such buffoonery. “Well do you know any one in town you can call?”

Yes, I did, but that guy was a world-class alcoholic and he wasn’t picking his phone up after some fifty calls. He was probably sleeping it off in an alley somewhere.

At this point, I was absolutely certain that Laura was just going to drop me off in the middle of an Arby’s parking lot and speed away. Luckily, women can be so much nicer than men. I would have surely dropped her ass off on the side of the road if I had somewhere important to be.

And then my cell phone died and I could no longer even call my one friend.

We drove around in concentric and ever-larger circles for the next four hours before finally I saw something I recognized and led us back to my friend’s home.

It was 11:00 AM. Laura had already missed the baby shower.  She had said about three words to me in the previous three hours. It was kinda remarkable.  A quiet woman can be quite frightening.

As we sat in the driveway of my friend’s house, I didn’t know how to end things. A kiss on the cheek was quite inappropriate after the morning’s events. A handshake was too formal, as if we’d just played a round of golf. So I was simply honest:

“You really are the sweetest girl I’ve ever met,” I said as I got out of the car, slammed her door, and never looked back.

She peeled rubber out of the driveway, loud enough that my besotted friends finally awoke.

“Why are you hanging on the porch, Aaron?” they wondered, Laura’s car long gone by now.

I just smiled and went inside to sleep.

I still think about Laura. That was truly one of the nicest things things a stranger has ever done for me.

Something about the name Hell Hath No Fury reminded me of the Laura events.  Maybe because I had some selfishly scorned her.  My friend had gotten me a bottle of the ale as we don’t get Bell’s beers in New York.  I was excited to try it but it has one of the worst labels I have ever seen.  It’s almost so bad it’s good, like the cover to a goofy Hallmark card some lame adult is so proud they got you.  (”Isn’t it great?!”  “Yeah, real impressed you spent two minutes instead of thirty seconds sifting through the trite cards on display.”)

Luckily, the beer is quite good.  Roasted with the typical line-up of dark fruits:  plum, cherries, and raisins.  I really enjoyed it and though only 7.7% it seemed to pack a bit of a punch.  A nice tingly mouthfeel and went down smooth.  I would definitely look forward to having it again.

I’m almost positive Laura hasn’t forgotten me.

A-/B+

Old Grand-Dad

November 20th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 1 Comment | Filed in Bourbon, Country: America, Grade: A-

100 proof bonded

There was me, that is Aaron, and my two droogs, that is Batch and Wallace, and we sat in the suburban Philadelphia dive bar trying to make up our rassodocks what to do with the evening. The suburban dive bar sold OGD which is Old Grand-Dad 100-proof “bonded” bourbon whiskey, which is what we were drinking, full pint glass “triples” for only $4.50. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence. Or just get you drunk and belligerent and hitting on women.

My droog Derek had introduced me to the elixir back a couple of years ago. A bourbon connoisseur as much as a beer one, I’d never once considered plucking the gaudy orange bottle with a plastic cap (retail: $19.99 per fifth) off the shelves for a little sippy sip. But he insisted in a blind taste test I would find it as good as stuff that cost twice if not thrice as much.

I tried some neat and I had to agree it was viddy good, my brother, viddy good. An Ode to Joy! Some solid ass-kicking bourbon. Not overly complex, but flawlessly made. Potent rye with a nice little vanilla and caramel sweetness. Not for the faint of heart, but eminently drinkable for a man like me. OGD is so good it will never give you whiskey disk and its low hangover effects mean you’ll never awake the next day with a pain in the gulliver.

OGD instantly became Derek and my little secret. We’d patronize bars that stocked it, trumpeting their greatness to the Gods, while lambasting watering holes without the courage to shelve it. At the suburban dive bar, I spied a glowing construction cone-orange bottle on the bottom shelf. No, not the bottom shelf even, but rather the annex shelves all the way at floor level. What the bar considers the absolute dregs of the spirit world. I asked the barkeep for some and he reached for it, but it had been used so rarely, had not been poured from in who knows how many years, that some spillages had adhered it to the wood. Having to use his leg to brace himself, he grasped the neck of the bottle like it was the Sword in the fuckin’ Stone and pulled. After a few heaves he got the bottle up, it still connected to a slab of wood underneath.

After pouring our triples the bartender didn’t know what to charge us. No one had ever ordered one before and it wasn’t even on the computerized register. He had to go to the backroom and locate some dusty old book that had the bar’s drink prices handwritten up in it. I did a spit take when he told us $4.50, cheaper than even a bottle of the abhorrent Landshark Lager.

It was great as per usual and we killed the entire bottle, which gave us the gusto and gumption to push through the white trash Yuengling imbibers to go hit on the rare hot chicks at the Bose digital juke box:

“What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle Vice Blogger and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You. Are. Invited.”

*WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE*

A-

Landshark Lager

November 19th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 27 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Margaritaville, Country: America, Grade: F regular, Style: Macro!

4.7% ABV from a urinal

“How’s that Landshark Lager?”

“Terrible.”

“T’is what I heard.  Get me a bottle.”

“Wait.  You want a bottle of it?”

“Yep.”

“Why?”

I have that conversation a lot with bartenders.  As much as I love great beers, I also have a perverse fascination with trying the worst of the worst.  Kinda like one of those guys that likes to go whaling, likes to play a little “stick a pig” at the bars.  Thus, I was insanely jealous when my friend was clever enough to try this beer before me.  Despite the clear bottle, despite the terrible name, the ugly packaging, and the Jimmy Buffett pedigree (I mean, seriously?!), I’d never once thought to try it.

But on a recent trip to the bar I saw it on the menu and had to seize on it.  I was too embarrassed to have other bar patrons, other potential-one-night-stands-for-the-evening, seeing me drinking such a piece of shit beer so I went into the little boy’s room for a private tasting.  Locking myself in a filthy public bathroom stall was a fitting place to drink Landshark.  This beer is so bad that we are all the worse for its existence.  My blog will never be the same now that this garbage has sullied my system and my generally regard for the world.  I can’t imagine what kind of person drinks this beer.  Those that find Corona too aggressive?!  The kinda asshole who is old, fat, and wears a Hawaiian shirt literally ever day but still thinks he has a “License to Chill“?  I pondered all these questions as I struggled to get the bottle down.  I never walk out of a terrible movie and I never don’t finish an entire beer.  However, this one I could handle only about half of.  A startling indictment of its quality.

I left the bathroom, returned to the bar, and ordered a Old Grand-Dad triple to cleanse my palate.

F

Pabst Blue Ribbon

November 18th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 10 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Pabst, Country: America, Grade: B-, Style: Macro!

4.74% ABV canned

Yesterday’s post reminded of an even more interesting tale of Super Bowls past. May I present…

The Hooker Lottery

In Super Bowl XXXVII the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored early and often on Bill Callahan’s pathetic Raiders’ defense and the game was rendered quite boring quite quickly. Likewise boring were the commercials, finger foods, and lite macro beers we consumed. Our beer of choice at the time was canned PBR, which I still think is the best macro on the market by an order of magnitude. It was just a bunch of slovenly guys, not a single member of the fairer sex in the tiny UES apartment where we watched the game. JT, despite being a major league deviant was also a helluva classy guy, even from an early age. Wanting to spice things up, with a thought he went to his kitchen, returning a few minutes later with a nice sterling silver serving tray heavy with a few decanters of booze: Scotch, bourbon, gin, vodka, maybe something else.

As we got loaded on liquor, we did as men are want to do and the conversation became ribald if not downright sleazy. Tales of conquests past beget tales of scandalous sex beget tales of downright sordidness. Eventually, the conversation turned to a discussion of prostitutes. It was not unknown that JT had had numerous in his life, but we quickly learned a few of the other fellas had as well. Even more guys had gone as far as semi-prostitution in visiting an Asian rub ‘n’ tug. About half the room, me included, had never paid to ejaculate.

Regardless of our level of hooker expertise, JT was the connoisseur and we pelted him with questions:

“Where do you find one?”

Village Voice. Back pages.

“Are they attractive?”

Sometimes. Sometimes not.

“Do they look like their pictures?”

Again, sometimes. Sometimes not.

“How long do you get?”

Depends. Usually an hour. Or til you come.

“Diseases?”

Believe me, they are just as interested in not getting a disease as you.

“And the cost?”

$200 on average.

Upon hearing that, every guy in the room had the same thought. We all looked around, silently counting the attendance in our heads. The tally ended up coming to twenty of us. $200, twenty guys, that’s ten bucks a head. Highly doable.

I’m not sure who came up with the stroke of obvious genius, but in the future we would all take credit for it, all co-creators of the idea: the hooker lottery.

Each man pulled a $10 bill from his pocket, a Sharpie was passed around for us to put our John Hancock on Alexander Hamilton, and then the bills were thrown into a hat.

First, though, we had to pick out the girl and come up with some stipulations. Jonathan sprinted down to the lobby to grab a Village Voice while the rest of us debated the logistics. Blond or brunette? Asian or Eastern Bloc? Lithe or voluptuous? Fake tits or real? And what would the nineteen losers get as a consolation prize for their efforts?

Ultimately, we decided on a fake-chested Ukraine beauty and the rule that the lottery winner would have to convince said escort to do ten (10) naked jumping jacks for the entire room before he fucked her.

Girl picked, rules set, we drew from the hat: Fred.

Looking around the room, you quickly could tell for what reason each man entered the lottery. Upon Fred’s name being drawn about 33% of the room gritted their teeth in anger, while the other two-thirds discreetly breathed a sigh of relief, they wouldn’t have to puss out, wouldn’t have to admit to their friends that they didn’t want to, that they were scared of having a hooker and were just paying $10 for the proxy thrill of saying they had entered a hooker lottery.

Fred had no such qualms though, turning his victory down briskly, and with no prejudice. The hat was shook again and JT’s brother Terrence won, gladly accepting his prize, dancing around the room like Warren Sapp.

Thirty minutes later, we buzzed in our hooker and Terrence answered the door. We couldn’t see the apartment’s entryway from the living room, but we could hear some negotiation, some haggling, going on in the foyer between Terrence and the prostitute.

After a few minutes, a pencil thin Asian hooker with a pageboy haircut came into the room and did a truncated set of ten naked jumping jacks. “You see me nekkid now, OK?” she said in a heavy accent as she sprinted back to the bedroom.

Giggling like children, we then listened for the next ten minutes as Terrence loudly railed the hooker, intentionally slamming the headboard into the adjacent wall so that we were forced to hear all the gory details.

As the wall reverberated like a metronome, I think all twenty of us realized that a new tradition had just begun…

B-

Mahogany on Walnut

November 17th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 2 Comments | Filed in Cigars

Arturo Fuente Cubanitos (Mini)
Padron Anniversary 1964 Maduro (Exclusivo)
Carlos Torano Exodus Silver (Corona Grande)

VICE RESUME

Submitted for your approval, a few entries from my vice resume:

The first person amongst my friends to turn 21, we decided to throw a party for me and to make it a “classy” affair at that, a wine party, strictly vino to be drunk. Early in the afternoon we went to the liquor store and, not knowing much about wine but knowing a lot about movies, we purchased several bottles from Francis Ford Coppola’s winery. Likewise, I didn’t know the correct method to drink wine, having only drunk the Manischewitz at Jewish ceremonies, and thus threw it back with the same gusto and pace as one would drink beer. After two-and-a-half bottles, I was projectile vomiting* throughout the entire apartment, clearing out my own party before the midnight hour and the calendar roll-over to age 21.

My first year out of college my roommate and I were, let’s just say, “underemployed.” To get drunk we were forced to find the best deals in town regardless the circumstance, that town being Hoboken, New Jersey. One such deal was a Tuesday night 2-for-1 martini offer. Presumably this was a de facto Ladies Night as the twelve martinis on the list had such names as the Yummy Gummy Bear, the Key Limetini, the DePeach Mode, etc. And, indeed the bar was packed on Tuesdays with Jersey’s finest female quasi-sophistacates who swilled the colorful concoctions — and two schlubbily-dressed on-Unemployment losers who quietly sat in the corner getting loaded. Though the martinis may have had gummy bears in the bottom of the glass, may have been fluorescent green, may have used Amaretto as an ingredient, they packed a wallop, causing one to be reminded of the famous Dorothy Parker poem (”I’ll have one martini/Two at the most/Three and I’m under the table/Four and I’m under the host.”) We had never had more than four each in a single sitting, but on one particularly self-loathing night, we tried to conquer the whole menu. I’ll admit that I gave up after 9, but my friend made it through all 12. He didn’t recall anything after martini 7 which is probably good because that night he literally smoked crack in an alley.

That same year my three roommates and I were invited to a friend’s rooftop party at his phat pad right on Bleeker Street. I was feeling great as I donned for the first time a gorgeous white linen shirt I had just bought. En route we stopped at a liquor store to pick up the customary party-entry ticket, a six-pack. Always an outside-the-box thinker, I told my roommates that we would be party legends if we got a bottle of Jaegermeister instead. I painted a picture of us walking through the shindig, Jaegar in hand, suavely dispensing straight-from-the-bottle shots to willing women. We would be a hit! They agreed to play along but once at the party, neither my friends nor any other guests wanted to drink from my syrupy bottle and I was left alone to be the creepy guy in the corner swigging a German digestif. The next day I awoke at the crack of 4 PM. I was confused. I didn’t feel hungover but I totally could not recall how the party progressed, certainly how it ended, and without question how we had gotten home. I walked into the living room and immediately my roommates burst into hearty laughter. They quickly spun a repellent tale of the Jaeger-drunk guy who had made a fool of himself at the party before passing out on the roof and then having to be carried from Manhattan to Hoboken by his friends. Tasting my surprisingly clean breath I remarked, “Well, at least I didn’t throw up.” Again, laughter. “Go check your shirt.” I went to my room to find my precious shirt balled up in the corner, now completely purple.**

I recall playing beer pong with my friends, a game I am quite skilled at due to my Reggie Miller dead-eye and the icewater in my veins. I had dominated an impromptu tournament, going so far as to “prove” my championship against the #2 seed in a few additional exhibition matches. With my typical brashness I challenged him to one final game: he getting to use Miller Lite in his Solo cups, while I would be playing with 7.5% Arrogant Bastard. I won that game, but I would awaken the next day to a hangover that lasted for the rest of the week, far and away the worst of my life.

Then there was the bachelor party in Boston where my friend Derek first introduced me to the glory that is Old Grand-Dad 100 proof “bonded” bourbon. Whiskey connoisseurs the both of us, he had discovered the amazing secret that this plastic-capped $19-a-bottle bourbon was surprisingly world-class. Pre-barring in the hotel room before heading out to dinner, as the other guys drank beers, Derek and I decided to see how fast we could doubles-team chug a bottle of OGD. Shockingly, we killed the entire fifth in about five minutes. Later that evening, seeing a tuxedoed thirtysomething man in the lobby, I smirkingly asked him how the prom had been. Not the cleverest joke but my besotted friends laughed. The man followed me into the bathroom and attacked, pinning me to a urinal, telling me he was a Green Beret who was attending a wedding in the ballroom and if he wanted to he could easily kill me. “And what did I have to say for myself, smartass?” he wondered. My life in his hands, my jugular pinched between his forefinger and thumb, all I could think to say was to quote my favorite television show at the time “Extras” and its lead character Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais): “Are you havin’ a laff?

Several years ago, with no other choice, I moved in with some strangers I met on Craig’s List, two women to be exact. The Sunday I moved in we tersely interacted, both nervous and feeling each other out, wondering how our futures together would “work.” By evening, the girls suggested we have a nice “Getting to Know Each Other” dinner and I agreed. I went so far as to suggest we go to a Mexican restaurant I’d noticed around the corner that had $2 margaritas on Sundays. Upon getting there and seeing that they had 12 different flavors, I suggested we drink them all, making a scorecard we could compare afterward. By the end of the evening, pineapple had pulled the upset over strawberry and lime, the three of us were in Rudy’s throwing up all over the place*** leading to us getting 86ed, and we had become instant besties. Alcohol always speeds up a relationship to its intended point of stasis.

Finally, I can’t forgot the night of Super Bowl XXXVIII. This was back during that weird period where I literally had no friends. Actually, at this point, I still had one friend, a deviant of the highest order who I had invited over to “quietly” watch the game with me, order some pizza, perhaps have a beer or two. I hadn’t even showered that Sunday as JT knocked on my door. I opened it to find him snickering like a little kid, a case of Rolling Rock bottles under each of his arms. “You ready? We’re putting down all of these.” And, indeed we did both polish off our allotted twenty-four bottles, only stopping to order 100 chicken wings of which we forgot to even touch. I was so shit-faced by halftime that though I did see Janet’s breast during live-action, I was certain that I was just hallucinating and didn’t even offer a comment to JT. Once the game was over JT wanted to move the drinking to the bars. There was not a single good reason to head to the bar and countless bad ones: it was 11:00 PM on a Sunday, we had each drank twenty-four beers, I was unshowered and wearing a dirty sweatsuit, oh, and worst of all, at the time I was in a beard-growing contest which was now at a scraggly day 35. Of course, mere seconds after getting to the bar, JT Irish Goodbyes me and I’m left to my own devices. I met a girl who despite my despicable appearance really seemed to dig me in a most carnal way. Not wanting to waste any time, I invited her back to my apartment. Though she claimed to want to, she had to decline because “I can’t leave my friend.” I looked toward the end of the bar and noticed her more-attractive pal shyly drinking by herself. The world became clear to me, a lucidity flooded my brain that had never occurred before, I had one of those rare Eureka moments that we so rarely experience, and a stratagem was learned that would serve me well for the rest of my life. “Fine with me, she came come too,” I said as I grabbed the girls’ hands and marched them out of the bar. After my first ever threesome, the three of us sat in my bed and finished off the 100 untouched buffalo wings. The next day I shaved.

This weekend I added a new entry to my vice resume: I smoked three cigars in one evening.

Now I know that may not seem like a lot to you. On the otherhand it may seem like a ton to you. I’m a regular cigar smoker–let’s say on average one per week in the summer, perhaps one per month during the cold weather season when nanny states law prevent me from smoking indoors and my pussiness prevents me from smoking in the chilliness–but I’m no George Burns. I’ve smoked less than ten cigarettes in my life and rarely smoke on the drugs, so even nowadays, just a single cigar stones the heck out of me, often knocking me down and forcing me into a ball wailing for my teddy bear.

I was in Philadelphia where my friend was hosting a swank party at one of the better cigar bars I’ve ever been to, Mahogany on Walnut. Brian and I arrived earlier than the rest of the party and took a seat at the bar, slugging Manhattans and flirting with the perfect 10 of a bartender who was either genuinely charmed by us or was remarkable at feigning being beguiled for a potentially bloated gratuity.

Brian was getting antsy to smoke as we waited for the party to begin. He suggested we have a little starter smoke to begin the festivities. Already planning on sucking down two cigars during the party, I didn’t think I could or should bump that number to three. So he said the magic words: “It’s on me.”

I jokingly asked the waitress to pick us out a good “appetizer” of a cigar. “You know, like a plate of jalapeno poppers.”

Not getting my food analogy she asked if I meant I wanted a spicy cigar.

“Yeah, and a bowl of ranch dressing to dip it in please.”

After the daft drink slinger had conquered our sarcasm, she brought us a couple of mini Arturo Fuente Cubanitos. A splendid suggestion, it was the perfect way to start off the evening, both in taste and in the fact that it’s small size made me feel like I had the hands of Wilt Chamberlain.

The other fellas began to arrive and the party broke into full swing. For my next smoke, I went with the Padron Anniversary 1964 Maduro. An absolutely flawless smoke, this box-pressed squared-off cigar is one of the best I’ve ever had. Its tastes of coffee and chocolate paired perfect with the Brooklyn Black I drank. I can’t recommend the Anniversary more wholeheartedly and was just about weeping as I came to the final inch of my smoke.

Remarkably, I still felt amazing after the two cigars, which were in addition to the ten hours of drinking I’d already done during the day, and thought myself well capable of completely the trifecta. Earlier that day, Brian and I had stumbled upon a most fascinating documentary on Sir Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond series. I had known he was one bad motherfucker, but I didn’t quite know the extent of his awesomeness, his life essentially that of James Bond when it came to intrigue, women, luxury, drinking, and smoking. What Brian and I most marveled at though, was how cool Fleming looked in literally every single picture seemingly ever snapped of him, always a tipped cigarette rakishly held between his fingers as a plume of smoke billowed around him. We decided, yes!, we too needed cool smoking pictures for when documentaries would eventually be made of us.

Thus, as I lit up my final cigar of the evening, Carlos Torano Exodus Silver, Brian and I said nuts to hitting on women and screw mingling with the other party guests as we tried to get a perfect “Ian Fleming” picture of ourselves. With people in earshot clearly mocking us, we tested the limits of Brian’s digital camera’s memory card, trying pose after pose to out-cool Fleming.

Unfortunately, we were soon to learn that no one, certainly not us, is as cool as Fleming, and the Torano I found to be a lackluster end to my smoking evening. Decent, but it paled in comparison to the preceding Padron.

Luckily, the evening was not to end here and much more excitement was to follow…

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

So what’s the best entry from your vice resume? I want to know.

*I never throw up. Like never. It is more a curse than a blessing. I’ve only yakked probably 5 times in my life. And never from drinking beer or spirits. All my emesis incidents have been related to tropical drinks, wine, or other weird-flavored concoctions.

**Ibid.

***Ibid.

The Captain’s Oatmeal Coffee Stout (Homebrew)

November 12th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 2 Comments | Filed in Brewer: The Captain's Chair, Country: America, Grade: B regular, Style: Stout

~5.5% ABV bottled

I heard all sorts of negativity and skepticism from my friends.

“You’re really going to do it?!”

“Heh, you got bigger balls than me, pal.”

“That’s disgusting! I can’t believe you.”

“Seriously–DON’T. You’ll only regret it.”

And what was this scorn and derision directed at? My goal to one day take down a fifteen pound cheeseburger? Maybe a newfound sploshing curiosity? Perhaps my belief that should I ever get married I would like to sport a tailed tuxedo?!

Nope.

I was simply going to drink a homebrewed beer mailed to me from a Minnesotan semi-stranger.

It’s odd, we aren’t amazed when a normal person, a so-called “layman,” cooks a halfway decent meal. We aren’t floored by an average Joe that can fix their own car, paint their own house, write their own hilarious and informative vice blog. But brew their own beer?! Good lord! Why that’s impossible!

You’d need a giant facility, a label-making machine, probably a forklift or two, tons of weird ingredients, and all sorts of beefy bearded guys like in those Sam Adams commercials to stir giant vats.

I will admit, even to me, it’s an impressive feat, almost bordering on alchemy. Why does it seem so impossible to believe that some normal dude, with some normal job, can, as a hobbyist, just for kicks, in the evenings and weekends, make a fermented liquid that is drinkable, enjoyable, and gets one drunkable?

I suppose because we simply don’t understand the concept of beermaking. We don’t come home from elementary school to find our mother pitching some yeast. We don’t know any kids whose dads can make a mash. We don’t know what hops look like or what terms like “carboy” and “original gravity” mean.

It seems so much like prohibition-era bootlegging to just make your own beer. It reminds people of their alcoholic uncle that had to whip up moonshine in the garage washing machine while his wife was at bingo. But that isn’t what modern homebrewing is like in the least. There are plenty of skilled craftsman making beer every bit as good as what is sold commercially, better in most cases. You aren’t surprised by an amateur chef that makes brilliant meals, nor should you be surprised by an amateur brewer that does likewise*. Remember, they aren’t necessarily amateur cause they don’t have the skills. They’re amateur only because they don’t get paid.

Nevertheless, my friends were still leery. Still somewhat skeptical. Still thinking it possible I’d get a tainted–if not poisoned!–batch of beer.

Seriously, I have to say, if The Captain was going to poison me, it was a genius and highly disciplined stroke on his part. Begin reading my blog months ago, befriend me over e-mail and Facebook, frequently comment on my blog, create his own beer blog which I enjoy reading and commenting on, orchestrate several successful beer trades with me, pretend to be a homebrewer, and then finally send me his “prized” homebrew (dum, dum, dum!) in order to kill me! Diabolical!!!

Sadly, the fact is, I’m just not important enough to be assassinated. Any how, after my foodtaster Stevie sipped the stout and didn’t die, I dug in.

The Captain’s Oatmeal Coffee Stout opened with an impressive pop from his own bottling job. It smelled fantastic. Like a Guinness Extra Stout. Poured dark like a Coca Cola with a decent half-finger creamy head. Taste is nice. No hops I can detect, just clean and very drinkable. Using mathematical homebrewing equations I still don’t understand, The Captain estimated the ABV to be around 5.5%. But I got drunk at about an 8% level. Perhaps it was because I had a light dinner or it might have been due to a yeast starter which had been super efficient in consuming all the sugars and therefore upping the ante.

I think this would be a stout that your typical non-stout drinker would love. As it warmed almost to room temperature, the Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee inside popped and I really begun to enjoy the booziness of the brew. It has a thinner mouthfeel than I’m used to, but that’s probably my problem. I rarely drink stouts, usually only going with bigger, badder, bolder imperial stouts. Likewise, The Captain mentioned the thin mouthfeel could be due to his having topped off his primary with a half gallon or so of water.

That’s the thing about homebrewing, it’s an inexact science one must constantly tweak. I get it. And I bet his next attempt at this will be even better, though this one is quite good. I’d even pay money for it.

So read his blog and if you’re a rich venture capitalist send him some money to start a brewery. It’ll benefit us all. Or at least him. And probably me too, since I would no doubt beg him to let me do something at the brewery. Or at least give me free beer for life.

B

*I’d love to homebrew too, only problem is I live in an apartment as big as a Piercing Pagoda kiosk at the mall. Plus, I got a lot of other stuff on my plate. And by “plate” I mean DVR and by “stuff” I mean “Pushing Daisies” episodes I’m behind on. I’ll get into homebrewing in my twilight years, when I live on a golf course with my 25-year-old trophy wife who I married while wearing tails.

Southern Tier Harvest Ale

November 11th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Southern Tier, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Style: ESB

5.2% ABV on draught

Drink Your Way to Happiness!!!

I have a generally happy, positive disposition. I am rarely down, my demeanor is always at an even keel, celebrating the great pleasures in life, while ignoring the agony, most of which is pretty minor, truth be told. As my idol Marcus Aurelius said, something can only hurt you if you let it: “If you do not think you are hurt, you are not hurt.” I subscribe to this belief–the mind is an awesomely powerful thing–and though, yes, I was lucky enough to be naturally born with a happy demeanor, years of experience and stoic study have allowed me to become near-fully incapable of sadness. Save for a bad Syracuse basketball loss.

However, though I would like to build myself into a completely unfeeling robot, I am not one, yet, and sometimes random agony is able to penetrate my system and get me down. A few weeks ago I was hit with a perfect storm of wretchedness in a mere matter of afternoon hours: a potentially lucrative deal fell through, girl problems unexpectedly bubbled to the surface, I was dead lonely and lacking in companionship or friendship for the evening, and, even worse, there was nothing decent on television.

Lying in bed was not going to extinguish my doom, so I was forced to try other things. I ate one of my favorite comfort meals, an epically large chicken salad hero. It was good, but, nope, I still felt like shit. I threw a film on the DVD player. A huge movie buff, cinema can almost always cheer me up. An old classic revisited, or a new masterpiece as yet unseen which pulls me into its own domain, making me forget my real-world troubles. However, after a few false starts, a couple of DVD switcheroos, I flung a Netflix of “The Orphanage” across the room like a frisbee, movies would not be my antidote for the evening either.

I tried to do my beloved writing. Like a goth, emo fifteen-year-old Sylvia Plath-loving schoolgirl who is only happy when “journaling,” writing too can salve my mental wounds. But, alas, that didn’t work either and I just wrote the first few pages of a dumb and never unusable movie script about baby snatchers, the lame plot of which I will not lay out for you here.

Trying to change my clearly negative body chemistry, I set off for a long run. Jogs are usually the place I meditate, examine my life, strategize, create ideas, stare at hot scantily and spandex-clad women, and before you know it, seven miles have been trotted and both the body and mind are healthier. But on this occasion, the dark silence as I ran through a deserted Riverside Park just gave me more time to stew in anguish. And wonder if I was about to get bum raped.

At home and showered, I realized I had only two choices*: to go to bed right then and there at 8:00 PM or head to a bar and drink my way to happiness. Hating to waste time sleeping and loving to waste away my bank account, I opted for the latter.

It may be surprising that a guy who has a vice blog does not condone or usually partake in drinking for the pure outcome of becoming happier. But it is indeed true, I only use alcohol as a mood-alterer in case of emergencies. They call alcohol a depressant, but goddamn it is great at rescuing me from mild depression a few times a year. Would it be so were I to sip at home drinking by myself? Not hardly. I need to head to a packed bar.

There, I’m not looking to do anything but anonymously solo tipple. I only mumble the necessary formalities to the bartender, I don’t chat up any fellow drinkers nearby, I don’t hit on any girls, I barely even watch the NHL and NBA games on the TV, I just sit and drink. And think.

This time I sat polishing off one Harvest Ale after another. Actually, polish might be the wrong word. I drank slowly, casually, relaxed. The kindly dope of a bartender had told me this was Southern Tier’s Oktoberfest style but from the first sip I could tell he was quite wrong. It’s clearly an Extra Special Bitter and a very good one at that. A fragrant, clean and hoppy smell. The taste is nice and crisp, tons of citrus flavors, sweet malts, a good amount of carbonation. An incredibly drinkable brew which I think suffers from such a bland if not awful name. This was a great session beer, fella.

After one or two I was already feeling better and by four or five my depression was gone and I could head home. On the walk back to my apartment, with a smile on my face, I came to realize that it wasn’t the drinking that cheered me up, it was simply being around people. More specifically happy, social people. Couples fraternizing, men raucously cheering on the Knickerbockers and Rangers, a co-ed softball team celebrating after a win, two fat slobs throwing back chicken wings with blatant disregard for the bones. I would be one of those people again, probably by the next day and in 99% of the following ones. I was happy now.  Being around people and life was the cure, not the beer.

B+

*OK, actually three, but after a few minutes of NSFW web-surfing I learned another outlet that would not be my salvation for the night.

Allagash Black

November 10th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 8 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Allagash, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

7.5% ABV from a bomber (BATCH 4)

My Drunken Amateur Haircut

Now I understand why smalltown hicks use crystal meth and are always impregnating each other. When you’re drunk and there’s nothing to do, bad shit happens. Friday was dreary and I wasn’t in the mood for going out. Decided to make it a chill night in with a friend. We were quickly bored. There was nothing to do and Friday night television nowadays is less than stellar. Where have you gone Jaleel White, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Thus, we began drinking. Steph went with dry Tanqueray martinis which I gladly stirred up*, while I was thrilled to pop the cork on a bottle of Allagash Black my friend Derek had procured for me. One of his all-time favorites. It poured a dark, dark nearly-black purple with the gorgeous smell of a flawless strong ale. I had thought this beer was a stout for the longest time, what with the name and all, and despite the fact that the bottle calls it a “Belgian stout,” most beer sites regard it as a strong dark and that is indeed what it is. In fact, it both smells and tastes a little like America’s most famous strong ale, perhaps, Arrogant Bastard.

I drank the first glass a little too warm, more befitting an imperial stout. It was quite boozy, just like I like ‘em. And you know what, it does actually have a bit of stout characteristics. Slight roasted coffee tastes most prominently. With a little chill added, Black became much superior, and the Belgian yeasts and hops started to shine through. Somewhat of a hybrid, this beer tastes a bit stoutish while being a thinner strong ale on the mouthfeel. I really dug it. It’s quite drinkable. With a few more sweetness characteristics, we might have had a masterpiece on our hands.

As we got drunker and drunker, more and more bored, we tried to find ways to entertain ourselves. Heckling teenage nerds on the Facebook Scramble chat was pretty fun, in a childish way, but that didn’t last long as we grew bored with their abominable grammar and e-speak (lol). We ordered “Love Guru” On Demand and after about ten minutes had to turn it off, it was torture, and I say that as a Mike Myers fan. Were we really going to have to go out that night to find any sort of fun? No, it was just too rainy and we were just too lazy.

As we continued drunkenly brainstorming, I casually remarked that I was tired of my long hair. It was making my head hot and kept falling into my eyes and over my ears.

“I’ll cut it right now,” said Steph.

Really?! An interesting proposition.

“Do you have scissors?”

“Yep, right in that top drawer over there.”

I went to investigate. She had a nice pair, they looked very sharp. Professional.

“Do you know how to give a haircut?”

She gave me a you-must-be-kidding look. “How hard can it be? It’s an industry dominated by junior high dropouts.”

I couldn’t argue with that. She was right. How hard could it be? Actually I knew. I had twice given drunken amateur haircuts myself. Our first year out of college, my roommates and I were underemployed and overly cheap. Why waste a drinking money twenty on a snip when you have a perfectly willing roommate to handle it? And, handle it I did.

My first drunken amateur haircut I gave to Tim, using nothing more than a poorly charged battery-powered beard trimmer. Amazingly, I did a remarkable job. He had never looked so handsome. It was such a good cut that for literally the next ten days, everywhere we went, strangers would comment on how sublime his trim was. I even credit myself with landing him a one-night stand or two.

I was riding high after that one but my second drunken haircut would bring me back down to earth. I did my friend John, this time using slightly better tools. However, that time I was a lot more drunk, doing the trim at 1:00 AM after an evening of vodka tonic drinking. We thought I did a good job, but the next day at his sister’s wedding, the entire family roundly mocked him for the length of the day, calling it one of the worst haircuts in the history of mankind. Oh well. Suffice to say, I was never asked to do any tonsorial work again. My reputation ruined.

But this was different. Somewhat. This was a mature woman, an artistically skilled woman, who had only had a single martini. Surely she could do a stellar job. And if she didn’t, so what? Big deal. I was tired of paying $40 for haircuts at my gay and fancy midtown salon any how. And it’s not like I even care that much what I look like. True, I try to stay thin and in shape but I rarely shave and all I wear are cheap black t-shirts. My goal is simply to look fuckable enough that my quick wit can carry me the rest of the way with a lady.

It was settled then, I would let Steph cut my hair. I went to the bathroom to shampoo up while she googled “how to cut men’s hair,” leading her to a ten minute instructional video she watched carefully.

After my shampooing, I returned to the living room finding newspapers laid down to catch my hair droppings. I sat in a rolling desk chair and handed her the scissors. Later, I would learn that she had neglected to tell me that these were actually poultry scissors. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. She actually cut my hair with fucking poultry scissors! I probably got a case of salmonella through my follicles. Likewise, the next time she serves Cornish game hen it will probably be covered in festering Hebrew head lice.

As she cut my hair I tried not to pay attention, listening to the stereo and continuing to imbibe. I had longish locks for as long as I could recall. This was due to the fact that from an early age I was certain I would be prematurely bald. My father was bald at like age eighteen, a huge hole in the middle of his stylish Jewfro. Every other male in my family, whether mother or father’s side was likewise bald. Thus, I figured I had no chance and from an early age learned to appreciate my tresses, to love, cherish, and honor them. I rarely cut my hair, always wearing it long in case I one day no longer had that ability.

But now, I was nearly thirty, finally old and mature enough to realize that hair doesn’t make the man. That even if I was as bald as Larry David I would be no different of person and would still be able to attract or not attract women just the same. At least that’s what I tell myself. Then again, that’s probably what all men with hair tell themselves, while the baldies of the world know otherwise.

The worst thing about a drunken amateur haircut is that it takes forever. Usually, my beautiful Ukrainian hairdresser Nelli takes fifteen to twenty minutes tops to service me, but Steph’s drunken amateur haircut took over an hour. When she was finished, I anxiously sprinted to the mirror. It looked…pretty good. I was impressed. She’d cut a ton off, but that’s what I had wanted. I even used a two-mirror system to check the back, sides, and crown. Everything seemed to be in order and it was refreshing and nice to no longer be so shaggy. I thanked her accordingly.

The next day I arose and zombied it to the bathroom for a morning beer piss. Afterward, leaving to go back to bed I casually glanced in the mirror. Did I have bedhead or was I staring at the worst fucking haircut in the history of the world?! You can never tell with a dry head so I quickly hopped in the shower, shampooed, came out, dried, and tried to style my hair into a nice, sexy do. But I couldn’t because it was so lopsided, so mangled, so fucking ridiculous looking, that I was screwed.

I wore a hat the rest of the weekend and today marched down to my gay and fancy midtown salon. I explained my situation to Nelli who, though she only typically seems to understand 10% of what I say to her, this time understood every single word. She laughed uproariously and soon the entire staff–the big fat gay shampoo boy who gives scalp massages that make me question my sexuality, the Dominican desk girl who always screws up my debit card billing, the fellow Latvian, Vietnamese, and Jersey hair stylists–were laughing at me, recounting the story to each new customer that entered the salon.

It wasn’t that difficult of fix for Nelli and within minutes I had a normal haircut again. The shortest I’ve had it in over a decade, but it looked normal, professionally done, sheared with something other than poultry scissors. I didn’t like its length, but I made my bed and would have to sleep in it for a few weeks until it grew back out.

Afterward, still embarrassed, I reached for my wallet to pay Nelli. She refused.

“Thissa one is a free. So-a long as you promise to only let professionals cut your hair in the future.”

Deal.

A

*I never understood why Bond wanted his martinis shaken. Only an asshole who doesn’t understand mixology would ask for that. Shaking bruises the gin and allows too many ice particles to water down the cocktail. But I won’t insult 007.

THE FOUR STAGES OF A BAD HAIRCUT (Shock, Grief, Anguish, Acceptance):

Weihenstephaner Original Premium (Malt Liquor)

November 10th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 8 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Brauerei Weihenstephan, Country: Germany, Grade: C plus, Style: Lager

5.1% 500 mL bottle

Procrastination is.  Procrastination is.  Procrastination is…Oh, fuck it.

I wasted Saturday but what’s the big deal, that’s what Saturday’s for.  And is viewing movies all morning, watching college football all day, drinking all night, and canoodling into the wee hours really that big of “waste”?!  What purpose is life if not to occasionally give me mindless pleasure?  OK, then let’s not say I wasted Saturday, let’s say I was just less-than-productive Saturday.  But, today, today will not be a waste.  Today you will be productive, Aaron.

Alarm set for 8:00.  Only 4 hours of sleep, that’s fine, remember I’m getting stuff done today.  But first, I’m going to lay in bed for a bit.  It is really early.  I won’t sleep though, I’ll use this time to casually plan my day out.  What would I like to do, today?  Hmmmm…gotta write.  That’s number one.  Real writing though, not my blog, not any of my scripts, but my novel.  I figured I’d already be done with it by November.  So I’ll do that.  At least five solid pages.  No, ten, I can do ten.  Ten if I’m really cooking.  What else?  I should market my blog better.  The visitor numbers are getting way up there, but they could be stronger.  And it’s fun to do any how.  But I gotta promise myself that once I get online, I can’t dick around.  No reading sports message boards.  No reading beer reviews, favorite personal blogs, movie buzz websites, ordering shit on amazon, Facebooking, porn.  None of that.  I’ll only go online to do legit work.  And, check my e-mail.  Need to do that too.  NFL’s allowed to be on while I work, but muted, in the background, and I can’t really pay attention.  If I work real hard I’ll day, if I’m productive, my reward will be to watch the 2nd half of Eagle/Giants at night.  I’m gonna eat healthy today too.  Had a gluttonous weekend.  Better jog as well.  The rain yesterday prevented me.  Quit bullshitting.  Yes, it did prevent you, indeed, but it was more of a bail-out.  You weren’t going to run even if the weather was pristine.  You just didn’t have it in you.  The weather looks nice out today, better go for at least five solid miles.  No, ten, I can do ten.

Ah, I drifted off.  9:30 now.  Not bad.  That’s hours before I usually arise on Sunday.  Better get some coffee down my gullet to jump start me.  Turn my engine over.  Fuck, the line at Dunkin is long.  That Indian bitch is so slow on the register.  Why must she ask instead of being told?  The guy said an onion bagel and a large coffee.  How fucking simply is that?!  And she says, “Toasted?  Butter?  Cream cheese?  Cut in half?  Iced or hot?  With milk?  Cream?  Skim?  Sugar?  Equal?  Splenda?”  Such a time waster.  Just use what he directly tells you.  Just use the popular defaults.  Actually, a bagel does sound pretty good.  That’s not that unhealthy.  I’ll get lite cream cheese.  And those 99 cent mini-hash browns look pretty hot too.  Ouch, 180 calories.  I hate how calories now must be advertised.  Whatever, it’s Sunday, I’m allowed a little decadence.  My turn, that only wasted five minutes.  Here’s how you order, bitch, “Multigrain bagel, untoasted, lite cream cheese, cut in half, mini-hash browns, large coffee black, bag it, swipe my card, that.  is.  IT.”  Breathe.  “Any additional muffins or donut holes, sir?”  Fucking bitch.

I’ll multitask, drink my coffee and eat my breakfast while I check my overnight e-mails, my blog traffic, my other business.  Oh, hey, look who friended me on Facebook, haven’t thought of her in a decade at least.  Man, she used to be so attrac—YOW!  What happened?!   Good lord!  She was once so pretty and now she looks like she’s Eddie Murphy in latex playing a fat caricature of herself in a movie no one will ever watch but everyone will mock purely on the basis of its incredibly lame trailer.  So sad.  Oh, hey, she’s friends with that person too?!  Didn’t even know he was on Facebook.  Shit, he’s friends with like forty people I know that aren’t friends with me.   What the fuck?!  I’m starting to think I wasn’t as well-liked in high school as I believed.  Whatever, they all can suck my dick.  I prefer NETWORK:  NEW YORK,  RELIGION:  ATHEIST,  RELATIONSHIP STATUS:  SINGLE over…whatever the absolute opposite is of that, plus countless pictures of your ugly and fat kids in your photo section.

It’s too quiet, better put the TV on.  But just as background noise.  Find something at least halfway decent.  Boy, they really do not put anything interesting on Sunday morning.  Retarded and retired football players yelling at each other and laughing at non-jokes, retarded and worthless politicos yelling at each other and laughing at non-jokes, and…here we go, “Groundhog Day.”  But, on TNT.  Ugh, I hate watching movies with commercials.  But, goddamn is “Groundhog Day” such a classic.  I still remember going on a “date” to see it back at the mall when I was an 8th grader.  I loved it then and I still love it today.  Bill Murray’s best work.  Yep, even better than “Rushmore,” “Royal Tennenbaums,” “Lost and Translation.”  Or is it?  Ooh, I’m gonna try to figure out my rankings for all-time Bill Murray performances, that’ll be fun.  Ha, my favorite scene, the one where Bill Murray dupes Andie MacDowell by ordering the same drink as her.  I’ll never forget her drink order:  “sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist.”  How fucking weird.  Who in the world drinks sweet vermouth as the only component of a cocktail?  For a complimentary ingredient in a Manhattan, sure, of course.  But as the main ingredient, fucking weird.

God I never get sick of “Groundhog Day.”  I think that’s like the fiftieth time I’ve seen it.  I should just admit it’s one of my favorite movies of all-time.  What’s the big deal if it’s directed by Harold Ramis?  What’s the big deal if it was a big budget studio movie?  Sometimes they get it right.  And this time they made a fucking unadulterated classic that will live on forever.  That’s it, I’ll quit being a snobby cineaste.  I’m changing the favorite movie section on my Facebook page, moving “Groundhog Day” into my Top 25 All-Time list.  Hmmm…where should I slot it?  Let’s think real hard about this.  Yes.  22nd, between Woody’s “Manhattan” and Ingmar’s “Cries and Whispers” seems perfect.  Nice.  I see a few other changes I should make too.  Why do I have “Clockwork Orange” so low?  Better move that into my top 10.  There, that works.  In fact, that works vidi well, little brothers.

Shit, how’d it already become 1:00?  The first games are about to start.  I’m hungry too, that bagel wasn’t enough.  Need some energy.  Better order in.   Save some time.  I’ll relax, enjoy my food, watch the first half of the games, when they start boring me as NFL games are want to do, I’ll begin work on my novel.  And, after the first game I’ll go jogging.  First food.  Seamless Web.  Let’s see…I’d really like a club sandwich.  Really got a hankering.  Every since I saw Don get one last weekend at that “classy” sports bar, damn it looked tasty.  One of those big motherfuckers.  Triple decker they call it.  Finger-sized white toast, lettuce, tomato, crisp bacon, turkey, slather of mayo, bread, repeat the aforementioned, bread, and a toothpick with a cellophane flag on it.

Seriously?!  What the fuck?  Not a single place in midtown has one of these to deliver to me?!!  Unreal.  When did I start living in Tulsa?!  I could just order a turkey sandwich on toast, add bacon, and ask them to throw some toothpicks into the bag.  Make it myself.  Nope, it won’t be the same.  I’ll just get a cheeseburger and some fries instead.  Better make it a turkey burger, that’s healthier.  Or, at least every one tells me it is, never really confirmed that.

Jesus, did that delivery guy take long enough.  And he didn’t have a pen either.  Goddamn idiot.  The way I see it, a New York City deliveryman needs three things:  a pen, an arm or hook to carry my food bag with, and something to locomote with.  Sadly, they usually only have two of those three.  Plus, an inability to figure out how to use a buzzer system correctly while also being bereft of the most basic ESL skills.

Food is soggy and gross.   Totally unsatisfying and totally overpriced.  And the 1:00 PM games suck too.  That’s a good thing, though, I can start writing.  But, I’m so tired, I’ve been up forever.  I can’t stop yawning, I’m sluggish.  Do some push-ups, get the blood flowing.  One, two…OW.  My shoulder is still sore from last night.  Did I injure myself somehow?  Drinking injury?  I really can’t recall. I think I was doing too much hugging.  Constantly putting your arm above some other man’s shoulder can give you muscle problems.  Why do I get so huggy when I’m drunk?

I’ll chug some Diet Mountain Dew.  That’ll give me energy to write.  It worked!  Feel like I just took a bump.  Open my novel file on my laptop and here we…phone just vibrated.  Don’t answer.  You finally got energy to write, no need to get derailed.  Oh, it’s a text.  Can’t hurt to check:

“why is andy not playing?”

FUCK.  I forgot Syracuse has an exhibition game today.  Shit, get the game on.  Phew, didn’t miss opening tip.  It’s only an exhibition, I should try to do work during the game.  Alas, I can’t.  I’m too transfixed, even by sloppy, exhibition basketball.

Game over, it’s 4:00.  Feels like 9:00 PM but it’s only 4:00.  Shit that’s early.  Still some daylight.  Now, I’ll go running.  And afterward, a quick shower, then time to write.  Where the fuck are my running shoes?  Dammit, I left them at Elisabeth’s place the other day.  That’s fine, I’ll wear my back-ups, no excuses.  Ipod isn’t charged, either.  Again, no excuses.  Ten miles.  Ten fucking miles.  I feel good, I feel good, I feel good, good lord!, it’s freezing out.  It looks so nice from inside, sky blue and clear, but motherfuck is it chilly!  I’ll just warm up for a second in the foyer, check my mail, forgot to check it yesterday.  Nice!  New Netflix.  Can’t recall what was on my queue.  Yes!  I’ve been waiting for that one.  You know, fuck running.  It’s too cold.  I’ll go watch this movie.  But I’ll do sit-ups and push-ups while watching.  Two hours straight of sit-ups and push-ups, now that’s a workout.

Musta dozed off.  That movie was a lot more boring that I expected.  Actually, no, I did expect it to suck.  That’s why I didn’t see it in theaters.  How come movies I avoid in theaters due to bad reviews I excitely order on Netflix and then–surprise, surprise–come to find out they suck just like I knew they did months previous?  I’m such a sucker.  Whatever the case, now it’s 6:00.  And, I’m hungry again.  What’s my problem?  Why do I need to eat so much today?  I’m not even burning calories that need to be replaced.  I’ve barely sat erect today!  I’m a glutton.  A sloth.  But I can’t deny I’m starving.  I can’t order delivery two meals in a row, that’s pathetic.  That’s just a few more delivery orders away from Lifetime doing a special on me, the fat guy that hasn’t left his house in a decade and needs a fire team and a crane to remove him from the premises.  It’s times like these I wish I kept food in the house.  Unfortunately, I don’t.  Just beer.

I don’t really feel like putting on clothes but I’m starving. I smell bad too.  I should probably shower.  Fuck it, no gumption to even do that.  At this late hour I’d even count that as having done something productive.  I’ll just put out sweats.  I look like such an asshole.  Then again, everyone in my neighborhood looks like an asshole.  I’m hungry but what do I want?  Whatever’s closest, doesn’t matter, too cold to walk far.  Thus, that would lead me to the prepared food counter at the D’Agostino’s across the street.  And…it looks as if, by 7:30 on Sunday night, all they have left is one half rotisserie chicken.  Good enough.  It’s just sustenance.  I’ll get some Golden Oreos too.  Cannot stop eating those motherfuckers.  I don’t even like cookies.  Especially lard-ass Oreos.  But the Golden boys are unbelievable.  Why did it take a century for Nabisco to realize that simply reversing the chocolate and vanilla component of the iconic cookie would make it vastly superior?  It was right under all of our noses, quite frankly.  Genius.

Giants game’s about to start.  I’ll only watch til my beloved GMen start to blow the Eagles out.  Sure to happen.  I hate to see my man, my former classmate, Donovan get whipped, but the Giants need to keep rolling.  Motherfuck, three point game at half.  Alright, a lot closer than I expected.  NFC East bouts always are.  I’ll just watch the game til it’s over.  Actually, now I feel like a beer.  Football and brews go hand in hand.  What’s in my fridge?

Weihenstephaner Original Premium?  Don’t even recall buying this one.  Absolutely adored their hefeweizen, did I screw up and buy their lager?   It should be good, still, I’d imagine.  Yuck.  Putrid stench.  Smells like a Heiny.  Skunky and macro.  Tastes somewhat better though.  Gotta say, it’s pretty solid for a boring lager, pretty solid compared to an American macro lager, but as a beer it’s pretty lackluster.  I can only think the overwhelmingly good reviews online have to do with the famed country of origin and esteemed brewery of creation cause this one is nuttin’ special.  Shit, even my beer was a waste today.  Fuck.  Am I gonna get anything out of my Sunday?  Should I start going to church?!

Well, at least the Giants won.  Another nice victory.  But that doesn’t really benefit me.  Doesn’t really make my day any more “productive.”  And now it’s midnight.  Sports take too long to watch.  DVR hasn’t figured out a way to speed up our sports watching capabilities.

I guess I should just admit that after sixteen hours of anxiety, sixteen hours of determination, sixteen hours of goals, dreams, and wishes, I really didn’t do shit.  Where did the time go?  Unbelievable.  Don’t beat yourself up.  So, you didn’t seize the day.  Big deal.  I’ll get more work done tomorrow.  I know it.  Mondays have less distractions.  Now I’m kinda buzzed.  I want another beer, a nightcap, and then I’m gonna watch the abominable “Entourage” on HBO On-Demand.

It is absolutely breathtaking how you wasted an entire day, Aaron.  At least you managed to write this.

C+