Tag Archives: beer

April 19, 2010 – Being A Cubs Fan Sucks

19 Apr

Like This!

1 small cup of coffee

1 pm

Robeks

24 oz. strawnana berry smoothie

7 pm

hash browns

3 cans of Simpler Time beer

As I mentioned in last week’s post, Simpler Times beer from Trader Joe’s has a slightly higher alcohol content than most beers. I’m also a die-hard Cubs fan. As you can imagine, depressing Cubs baseball and a depressant like beer are forever intertwined in my life. I can’t follow the Cubs numbing the pain with alcohol. Conversely, when I drink beer, I like to relax and watch a sporting event like baseball. It’s a vicious cycle of futility, and it perpetrated itself again on Monday, when I settled into my couch to watch the Cubs take on Mets. My sustenance for this game was a six-pack of beer and a plate of hash browns, which was easy to make while drunk.

I blame my parents for me being a Cubs fan. Of all the places in America where they could’ve immigrated to, they had to settle in the North Side of Chicago, exactly 5.25 miles from Wrigley Field. If we didn’t actually make it into the games, my brother and I would hang out by the players’ parking lot. Shawon Dunston would borrow a Sharpie from us. We’d fight fort Ryne Sandberg’s attention, only to settle for future Yankee manager Joe Girardi’s autograph. I even got to hold backup catcher’s Hector Villanueva’s newborn son for a second, much to the horror of his wife and confusion of a ball player who got ambushed by two kids after a 13-inning loss. Meanwhile, my mom developed a crush on Mark Grace, who occasionally visited her dry cleaner. All women in Chicago had a crush on him then. He was dreamy.

So it was inevitable that I grew up a Cubs fan, and for most of my life, baseball success was a pleasant daydream if anything. Sure the Cubs won the National League East Pennant in 1989, but that was a happy anomaly. In 1998 though, that all changed. Led by fluent English-speaking outfielder Sammy Sosa, who dueled with Mark McGwire for Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record, the Cubs somehow made the playoffs as a wild card team. The team finished last for several seasons after, but the Tribune Company, started spending more money on players, and they had another winning season in 2001. With this newfound commitment to winning, us Cubs fans changed as well. We no longer accepted losing. We saw a team good enough to win. In other words, we had hope. And having hope can be a crushing thing sometimes.

And this leads us to the events of 2003. The Cubs finished the season 88-74 and won only their second pennant since 1945. Unlike 1989, we weren’t just happy to be there. We truly expected that this was the year for the team to break their 95-year title and 58-year World Series drought. We had Sosa, a healthy Kerry Woods, and two important players, Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton, who the Cubs fleeced from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Finally, we had Mark Prior, the phenom who was considered the greatest pitcher in college baseball history and was supposed to be the next baseball great. In 2003, he delivered on his promise with a special season. More importantly for me, he was a USC grad AND a Cub. He brought greatness to the two sports entity I cherish the most, and for that I was ready to worship Prior in the unreasonable way non-athletes worship athletes. I even had my argument mapped out to convince my future wife to name our future son after him. His name would’ve been Prior Boo, and he would’ve been like Dylan McKay at whatever high school I sent him too.

There was no way the Florida Marlins, a team that only existed for 14 years and were cobbled together from spare parts, could stop my Cubs from reaching the World Series. It was destiny. And sure enough, the Cubs won three of the first four games. All they had to do was win one more game to reach their first Series since 1945. When the day of the fifth and possible clinching game came, I decided that I couldn’t watch by myself at home. I had to share the experience with fellow Cubs fan. So I walked to the nearest sports bar to my apartment at the time, Hollywood Billiards, and found all of three Cubs fans there. One looked like BJ Novak and barely acknowledged me, and the other two were much older and talked to themselves. They weren’t the friendliest of bunch, but whatever, they were Cubs fans. Right before the game started, I decided to make one last trip to the bathroom. Cutting through another section of the bar, I spotted the back of a thin, blond woman sitting by herself at the bar. She was wearing a royal blue cap that could only be a Cubs hat that day. Figuring that I should gather all Cubs fan in one place, I tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned around, I saw a 30-something-year-old women who was obviously a recent transplant. Like a displaced Midwesterner, she thought a stone-washed jean jacket and stone-washed jean pants made a good match. And just like someone who was new to LA, her skin was burnt red from spending too much time in the California, exasperating an already splotchy complexion. And just like a small-town Midwest transplant, she rolled every other syllable when she spoke. Needless to say, I was not attracted to her, except for the fact that she had a Cubs hat. “A bunch of us Cubs fans are in the other room. You should join us,” I told her. “Oh yeah? OK!” So she came to the other room, saw a sad-sack bunch of Cubs fans and joined me and BJ Novak at our table. The three of us watched in relative silence, and the Cubs eventually lost. 95-year-old doubt started rising up, but I quickly shot it down. “There’s no way we’re losing game six. Prior’s pitching. We’re back at Wrigley. We’ll win.”

So the three of us, without coordinating with each other, ended up at the same table for Game 6. The bar drew more Cubs fans and it was actually boisterous. And just like I thought, Prior dominated the Marlins, shutting them down for 7 1/3 innings. In the eighth, he got into a little trouble and allowed a double to Juan Pierre. I still had faith in Prior to get us out of the jam. And sure enough, he induced a pop-up from Luis Castillo down the third base line that leftfielder Moises Alou slowly tracked down. The ball was curving to the stands, but it should be an easy out.

Then this happened.

What.

The.

Fuck.

There was stunned silence. I remember being aware of the room, and the fact that people were there. But it didn’t feel like I existed. My conscious completely separated itself from my physical body, to escape the torturous pain that was about to come. The Cubs still had a chance to get out of the inning. But Prior inexplicably walked Castillo. Ivan Rodriguez singled to drive in a run and cut the lead to 3-2. The lead was now tenuous. But Miguel Cabrera hit a chopper to shortstop Alex Gonzalez, one of the best fielding players in baseball. It was an easy double play and the Cubs could get out of the inning with a one-run lead. Instead, Gonzalez, who only made one error that year, dropped the ball.

More stunned silence.

That was then punctured by the sound of crying. It was the blond I invited to join us the other day. She couldn’t help it, and she started bawling into my shoulder. Soon, other Cubs fans started crying. I started crying. The Marlins eventually scored eight runs that inning, and the Cubs lost 8-3. Once again, I yelled to the bar to rally the troops. “We’re still one win away from the World Series. We just have to win one game!” That was technically true, but we knew in our hearts that the Cubs would not win.

We met again for game seven at Hollywood Billiards, and I don’t know why. We knew we’d be in for a world of hurt. Sure enough, the Cubs gave us brief hope by taking a 5-3 lead before losing, 9-6, to drop their third game in a row and a chance to undo their cursed history. After that game, I walked the blond back to her apartment. We didn’t say a word to each other, but she would not let go of my hand. She eventually brought me upstairs and we tried to heal each other’s pain. Normally, I would not have gone up. She was probably the least attractive girl I’ve ever slept with. In retrospect though, it was a very good fuck. We went at it for hours. But at the time, we did not enjoy ourselves. We barely said a word to each other, and I don’t think either of us ever smiled. No matter how hard we went at it, we could not displace the image of Steve Bartman from our mind. But the alternate reality, going home and watching highlights on Sportscenter, was infinitely worse. Normally, the thought of brushing her pockmarked skin with my hand as if I was reading Braille would be grossly unappealing. But that night, it was the most comforting thing possible.

I snuck out early in the morning, went home, and took a long shower that was 80% “Silkwood,” 20% “Leaving Las Vegas.” I was not affected by my overnight stay, I just wanted to wash the depression of the previous night’s game away. Off course that didn’t work, and I eventually turned to beer to help ease the pain. That was the closest the Cubs came to the World Series. Prior blew out his elbow and he is now out of baseball after being cut by the San Diego Padres last year.

So what was the point of this LONG story? Oh yeah, it sucks to be a Cubs fan. They lost on Monday to the Mets, 6-1. Of course they did.

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April 10, 2010 – An Ode to Simpler Times Beer

10 Apr

2 pm

2 strawberry Pop Tarts

8:30 pm

Cafe Metropol

1/2 order of truffled mac n’ cheese

1/2 pound sirloin burger

side of fries

1 Diet Coke

Wurstkuche, the sausage (I’m talking about food here) emporium in downtown LA, now has an unbearable line every night. After waiting for 20 minutes, we gave up and walked a block to Cafe Metropol. I did take pictures of this place but it didn’t come out at all. Lighting here is primarily by candlelight, and unless you have a lens from NASA, a la Stanley Kubrick, who used such equipment to film candlelit scenes in “Barry Lyndon,” getting visuals is pointless. Still, the dark lighting, relaxed vibe and an actual live jazz band makes this a pretty decent casual date place. I wish the food was better though. All the dishes tended to be overly heavy, and my burger while tasty enough, had an odd texture. They do have a couple of interesting beer choices, so it’s good to duck in for a drink when you eventually tire of waiting outside Wurstkuche.

10 pm

8 cans of Simpler Time beer

handful of Trader Joe kettle corn

2 funfetti cupcakes

Ah, Simpler Times, aka Trader Joe’s cheap-ass beer. $3 for a six-pack. A slightly higher alcohol content than normal beers. This is beer tailor-made to get you shit-face ASAP. There’s barely any flavor in Simpler Times, so it’s very easy to down 6-8 cans before you have to piss. But it also doesn’t have the horrible aftertaste or godawful packaging that a truly cheap beer like, let’s say Blue Diamond, would have. No, Simpler Times is a semi-classier affair. I mean, it’s only sold at Trader Joe’s! Urban hipsters drink it. Although urban hipsters also wore trucker hats back in 2004, and that’s a dark moment in history America should try to bury. I think Simpler Times will have a little longer staying power than trucker hats though. My friend texted me the next day and wrote, “I got so drunk from that beer… I love it!” If that’s not an endorsement, then I don’t know what is.

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March 17, 2010 (St. Patrick’s Day)

17 Mar

Dillon’s Irish Pub

I am so hungover. I feel sick. Need, water, and, sustenance. Must watch college basketball… hgnkfbfeb…

I found this picture on my phone, so I must have ate chicken strips last night. I don’t think Dillon’s, a supposed Irish pub that recently sprang up on Hollywood and Vine, actually serves Irish food. They had corned beef and hash, and that was the closest thing they had to traditional St. Patrick’s Day fare. But they did have nachos. And chicken strips as well. Those are fine examples of traditional Irish cuisine. I asked the waitress if they’re Irish nachos, and she gave me a weird look and said, “um, I’m going to come back later.” Hey, it’s an Irish bar! I think my request for an Irish version of Mexican food is perfectly reasonable. They also have fish n’ chips and bangers n’ mash, which are actually British. I guess it’s close enough, even if one country did bitterly rule over the other country for many years. They do have Smithwick’s, an Irish ale that’s somewhat hard to find. And, beer is only $3. TIME TO GET BLOTTO.

Not only did they not have Irish food, some of their TV’s were tuned to a Korean news channel, for some reason, which confused my post-racial identity even more. (Am I Korean? Irish? Drunk??) After a while, this made some sense because both Irish people and Koreans like to drink whiskey and punch people they mistaken for leprechauns. GIVE ME THAT POT O’ GOLD! Oh wait, you’re a paid promotional guy handing out free St. Patrick’s day trinkets? My mistake.

This girl was kind enough to let me take a pick of her green beer. Thank you, cute redhead who’s name I don’t remember. FYI, green beer is shitty. Even on St. Patrick’s day.

On a serious note…

Alex Chilton passed away yesterday. He was a huge influence on many of my favorite bands (R.E.M., The Replacements, Wilco) and his band, Big Star was a vital soundtrack to my high school years. It’s weird that I’m going to miss someone whom I’ve never met, but his music meant enough for me to feel his absence. RIP, Mr. Chilton.

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Feb. 6, 2010

6 Feb

12:30 pm

8 piece chicken nuggets

1 can of Diet Pepsi

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I ate chicken nuggets and watched “The Blind Side.” What I didn’t mention was that those nuggets were in the shape of DINOSAURS! The kings of the jurassic era. Terrible lizards in Latin. All around ass kickers. I can’t stress how bad ass it is to eat food in the shape of dinosaurs. If broccoli looked like a pteradactyl, I’d devour it every day. As kids, we hated eating vitamins. And yet, we loved Flintstones vitamins. Why? Because of the shapes, and one of them was Dino, the Flintstones’ pet brontosaurus. He was grape and that’s the best flavor. Fuck orange.

The only time I wasn’t enamored with dinosaurs was when Transformers unveiled the Dinobots. You know how the giant robots transformed into vehicles to remain inconspicuous except when fighting each other? HOW IS A 30-FOOT ROBOT DINOSAUR INCONSPICUOUS?! And they made them all idiots too. Watching them in the cartoons was only slightly less aggravating then watching the Kardashians. And yet, if they appear in Michael Bay’s next “Transformers” movie, I wouldn’t bat an eye, because he turns out shitty movies.

Anyway, I ate dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, so of course I’m going to play with my food. And since I watched “The Blind Side,” I might as well re-create some memorable scenes with said nuggets. This will make a lot more sense if you’ve actually seen the movie.

Lawrence Taylor (stegasaurus): I’m going to break your leg!

Joe Theisman (tyrannosaurus): OWWWWWW!!!!!!

Michael Oher (stegasaurus): This is the first time I’ve had this.

Sandra Bullock (tyrannosaurus): What? A bedroom?

Michael Oher: No, a bed.

Sandra Bullock (tyrannosaurus): I’m happy. Do you think we should adopt Michael?

Husband (stegasaurus): I thought we were going to have sex.

Sandra Bullock: What did I say when I married you? I can multi-task. So I can give you a blowjob and adopt a large black teenager at the same time.

Excessive blocking!

Sandra Bullock (tyrannosaurus): That Nick Saban sure is handsome.

Husband (stegasaurus): Uh honey, I’m standing right here.

Nick Saban (other tyrannousaurus): I’M GOING TO SACRIFICE YOUR CHILDREN AND DRINK THEIR BLOOD! HAIL SATAN!

Ed Orgeron (stegasaurus): If you commit to Ole Miss, I can promise that’ll I’ll get fired in a year, join forces with that douchebag Lane Kiffin at Tennessee, then screw the entire state over by sneaking off to USC after less than a year. I will try to rape and pillage the Volunteers as much as possible by stealing as many recruits and coaches from them as possible via clandestine phone calls before I set focus on bringing a 13-year-old quarterback to USC.

Jonathan Lipnicki (the half-eaten stegasaurus): But what can you do for me?

Ed Orgeron: Well, when I’m at Tennessee, we will send young attractive girls called VOL girls to your school, and you can have your ways with them.

Jonathan Lipnicki: Awesome!

Michael Oher (tyrannousaurus): Mickey’s! Fuck Mickeys! Colt! 45! Double Malt!

(Inhales from a canister of nitrous oxide, proceeds to destroy drug den, rape Isabella Rossellini as Kyle Machlachlin watches from a closet.)

1:30 pm

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

1 small mocha latte

6:30 pm

spaghetti

1 can of Diet Pepsi

8:30 pm

Little Bar

1 pint of Great White Ale

My new favorite beer.

10:30

4 cups of beer

1 cup of jungle juice

2 slices of pizza

3 pieces of blondues

That’s right, I went to a kegger. Considering that I also drank a cup of jungle juice and you’d thought that I crashed a TKE party. That’d be a fine guess, but you’d be wrong. This party featured a bunch of young, upwardly mobile professionals (ie, yuppies) who threw a kegger for ironic reasons. Think the Gossip Girl characters in 10 years meets one of those straight to DVD “Amerian Pie” sequel, and get annoyed at that concept.

This brings me to my advice for my younger readers: drink as much as you can from a keg while you can. Eventually, you’ll outgrow that keg, start going to bars with $10 cocktails, then dinner parties with canapes. And that day will suck. As you get older, it will be harder to to find time and meet friends who’ll hoist you upside-down by the ankles as your head gets injected with beer. Once you get married, your wife will toss your double beer funnel to find room for Crate and Barrel dishes, and you will slowly build up a resentment toward her. So savor your keg-party days. Get hammered, be like Pauly D and “smoosh” an equally drunk co-ed. Press your genitals against hers and hope that the 3% chance of penetration takes place, even though both of you still have your jeans on and are too drunk to take them off. Then tell your buddies the next morning that you totally hit that and give yourself high fives. You’ll eventually think back to those moments after the 800th morning of waking up next to the same woman that is your wife. Once you’re an adult, beer becomes less a conduit for drunken hijinks and more a reason to escape your soul-crushing job and asshole boss. Yes, keg stands will probably kill a lot of brain cells quickly. But when you eventually use those brain cells to juggle mortgage payments while trying to stash enough for junior’s college tuition that skyrockets faster than you can save, you will get depressed. Life is short, embrace the keg and use it to fuel your 64-team beer pong tournament. C’est la vie!

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Jan 16, 2010

16 Jan

9:30 am

Oaks Gourmet

raspberry-polenta scone

1 medium coffee

2 pm

whole 8″ inch pizza with pepperonis, mushroom and onions

4 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon

3 cans of Bud Light

handful of Ruffles potato chip with sour cream dip

DEAR GOD, THAT’S A LOT OF FOOD. Granted, all the food and alcohol listed above was consumed over a six-hour period. That’s not too inhuman, I guess. But I still felt like I was being force-fed for my fatty foie gras liver or something. My friend Adam got a pizza stone as a gift from his wife, and he therefore made each of his guests an individual 8″ pizza, complete with homemade crust. Fuck Domino’s new pizza recipe (Oh, you brushed garlic butter on your cardboard crust? I can lick an empty Papa John’s pizza box and get the same horrible taste) It’s a lot better to have a friend who can make a pizza from scratch.

We ate a copious amount of food while watching the NFL Divisional Playoff games on Saturday. You know why we ate and drank so much? Because all the games sucked. You’d think God would love Kurt Warner enough to make his team somewhat competitive against the Saints to keep us somewhat entertained. Instead, he gets knocked on his ass and out of the game en route to a 45-14 ass-whomping. It was just like that upcoming movie, “Legion.” Both the Cardinals-Saints game and that movie involve pious gentleman. And I’d rather shove an epee in my eye socket than watch either of them. Your God made me drink seven cans of cheep beer, Kurt Warner!

7 pm

2 chicken nuggets

handful of french fries

Adam also owns a deep fryer. Where did he register for his wedding gifts? Shakey’s Pizza?

10 pm

Joxer Daly’s

3 bottles of Bud Light

I’m going to post this Band of Horses song, which sums up the day, I guess.

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