Thursday, April 17, 2008

21, 22

Well, I've had one of the more extreme middles of the week. A friend of mine turned 21 on Tuesday, and another friend turned 22 on Wednesday. I got invited to a house party tonight, and another friend is turning 22 on Friday. I don't know if I'm going to be drinking much for a while.

Anyhow, Chantay's 21er kicked off at Clodfelter's, which is Oregon State's mascot pub, more or less. We were gifted with a free pitcher of Broken Halo IPA, which is a great beer. I love a good IPA, but only if I have something to eat along with it. Therein lies the problem. I can't eat food from a place I think of as a bar. I've heard nothing but good things about the food at Clod's, but I always think of it as a bar. Don't ask me why, it's just how I work. So we hung out at Clod's for about an hour. After about 30 minutes, someone dumber an absurd amount of money into the jukebox, and an evil amount of country onto the play list. I've lived in Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. I've done my tour of duty in the land of country music. It just irks me now. So, I began lobbying the birthday girl for the party to make an exodus to McMenamin's.

I have a real soft spot for McMenamin's. I love the atmosphere, their beer is like ambrosia, and the music is much, much better. We occupied a table upstairs, and placed a few orders. I ordered a pint of Porter, and an order of tots. I think of McMenamin's as an eatery with good drinks, so I can have food there. While we were waiting, Jimmy and I went downstairs to get a set of pool balls. We got down to the bar, and the bartender informed me that the pool balls were all being used, and all she had left were snooker balls. Whatever, we took the snooker balls, and made some bastardized game of pool. They had the rules of snooker posted on the wall by the table, but it looked like one of my textbooks. Maybe someday I'll learn to play, and them me and the other 2 people who know the rules in the western hemisphere can get together and have a game.

Anyways, as we got the game going, Sara, Ariel, and Marcus showed up. They weren't here for Chantay's party, they just felt like coming for happy hour. But it was nice to see them. The snooker game was an unmitigated disaster. There's just enough of a difference between snooker balls and pool balls that it fucks up all your shot. I couldn't sink a ball to save my life, and Jimmy was scratching left and right. The server finally showed up with our food and drinks. But my porter wasn't there. I thought he just had his hands full, and was going to bring it out in the second run. I thought wrong. I played for another few minutes, and forgot about the beer. Until I saw the server bring Sara and Ariel their beers. So I checked back at the table if he had left it with the party. Nope. So I pulled him aside when he walked by the pool table and asked him where it was. He stammered out something about not being able to get it because the bartender was busy. I just stared at him incredulously. I couldn't believe that he had just tried to blame a pint of beer on the bartender. He brought the beer quickly thereafter, but the damage had been done. I finished the Porter, and snaked a pint of Hef from Chuck's pitcher.

The night went on, and we finished off the game. After listening to Kristen complain about how the server wouldn't let her buy another drink until she had finished he cosmo, I decided to buy the birthday girl a shot, So I flag down the server and order a Caipirinha and a chocolate cake shot. The server got a glassy look in his eyes as I tried to explain how to make a caipirinha. Fuck it, I decided, and changed the order to a Vodka Martini. While the server wandered off, I went back downstairs, and returned the snooker balls. While I was down at the bar, I chatted with the bartender for a sec, and saw a nice fresh lime sitting in a bowl on the bar. That's one of the reasons why I love McMenamen's, they've got the freshest ingredients for their drinks. So I ordered a Caipirinha, and walked the bartender through how to make the drink. I took my drink back up to the table, right as the server brought me my martini. I set it down next to my Caipirinha and my pint of Hef. Kristen stared for a sec, then applauded me for "working the system". I had just become a hero of alcoholism in her eyes, and from Kristen, that's a big compliment.

I handed Chantay her Chocolate Cake shot. It came in one of McMenamin's double shot glasses, which are almost an old fashioned glasses, and Chantay immediately insisted that she couldn't drink that, and made me pare it down halfway. The thing about the chocolate cake shot is that with the lemon wedge, it's probably the tastiest thing ever, but without the lemon, it tastes like ass. But it's her birthday, so I choked it down, and immediately chased it with my hef. Chantay knocked back her shot, Bit into her lemon, and declared it delicious. Mission Accomplished! Chantay, and most of the rest of the group decided to migrate back to Clod's. However, Alexa was still waiting on a pizza, and I had a martini and caipirinha still sitting in front of me. So Kristen, Alexa, and I stayed behind for a little while.

True to form, our server had somehow lost Alexa's pizza in the ether somewhere between our table and the kitchen, 200 ft away. So we would up waiting for that order for about 40 minutes. I took a sip of my martini. ugh. Apparently our server cooked up a martini with well vodka, HRD or some other terrible shit. I gulped it down, and immediately proceeded to my caipirinha, which, on the other hand, was amazing. The fresh lime really set it off. While waiting for the pizza, Alexa and I discussed our travels. She's very well traveled, having gone throughout Europe and North Africa. She is also about to get her Light Aircraft licence. She also eventually got her pizza. But it took entirely too long. So we divided up the bill, somehow Jimmy had left the 7 dollar Apple Breeze he had bought Chantay on the bill. So I covered that, I'll make him pay for it later. As we walked back to Clod's to link up with the main body of the group, we discussed the harshest ways to tip bad service. I prefer simply not leaving a tip, rather than spitefully leaving a penny. The server really fucked up. Our group spent about $250, and he earned about $4 in tips. He was that bad.

Back in Clod's Alexa and Chantay successfully lobbied for us to relocate to Tailgater's. Over there, I ran into my friend Steffan, who I hadn't seen in a while, and who was thoroughly trashed. His friend, whom I've never met before, was similarly sloshed, and a little belligerent. He demanded that I slap Steffan. I demurred, but he pressed the issue, and I was pretty drunk at this point, so I hauled off and pimp slapped Steffan's friend. He froze up for a second, then something really weird happened. "Do you want a beer?" he offered. Meh, I'm never one to turn down a free drink. so we went over to the bar. "How about a shot, you drink Jaeger?". What the fuck? Not the reaction I was expecting. I never thought that striking someone would get me two free drinks. Meh, it takes all kinds.

At about 1 AM, the group all drifted home, so I walked back to my apartment. On my way, I passed the outdoor basketball courts by Wilson Hall. There was some guy shooting hoops, on a dark court, in the cold, at 1:15. Odd. I walked over and talked with him a little, he didn't seem crazy. But there's just something about shooting hoops in the dark that just seems so... unwholesome. I picked up the ball from one of his errant shots, dunked it, and went home to sleep.

The next night, Laurel had invited me to her 22nd birthday party. I ran up a pretty big tab at Chantay's party, and I was feeling a little nostalgic, so I made some Leite de Onça, botted it up, and went off to Clod's. Laurel's party was much less extreme that Chantay's. Incidently, Chantay was there, and drinking. I was amazed, after my 21st birthday, I didn't want to drink for a week. Chantay was back on the horse in 18 hours. The girl's a trooper. I bought Laurel a choclate cake shot at Chantay's recomendation, and Laurel wimped out of half the shot in the same way, except she made someone else drink it. Thank God. I had made 650 cc of Leite de Onça, and had forgotten how strong that stuff is. I really don't remember a whole lot of the specifics of the night, and staggered home at midnight. But it was a lot of fun.

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