Thursday, July 29, 2010

An In With Bacchus Guide On: How to Function at a Bar

I've had enough of this horseshit. Somewhere along the way from the 50's, people have become completely inept at functioning in bars. I'm not sure what the hell happened but I'm chalking this up to the drinking age going from 18 to 21. Bar etiquette is a thing of the past. Ordering has devolved to shouting as loud as you can and/or waving the largest monetary bill you have like some sort of flag of sober desperation.

I'm fucking tired of it.

So, in a vague attempt to teach at least some of you how not to be assholes in a bar, I've decided to craft a post on "How to Function at a Bar" because, frankly, you're miserable at it. Don't worry. Let a seasoned drinking vet guide you through this. So, let's begin, shall we?

The In With Bacchus Guide On How To Function At A Bar (Because So Many People Are Terrible At It):

Part 1: Where to order
The most important step in this is CHOOSING YOUR BAR. In today's onslaught of T.G.I Friday and Applebee's "bars", people have come to the conclusion that every bar is the same and they can get whatever they want in any bar they please.

You're fucking wrong.

In order to not be a complete douchebag, you need to choose a bar carefully. Think of it like choosing a first home for your family. Does it have the right neighborhood? Enough space? Is the price right? It's that important. First, let's take a short test. Time to step up to B.A.T, or the Bar Aptitude Test. Let's begin, shall we?

Question 1: You come off the street and find yourself at this bar:

You order:
A) A double martini, straight up with a twist. Extra dry. Stirred. Two olives, one onion.
B) Shot of Wild Turkey with a beer back.
C) Chocolate martini
D) Sazarac

Alright, time's up. If you answered A or C, we light Chuck Norris' legs on fire and he roundhouses you in the face so hard your nose turns to diamond. B is perfectly acceptable for that kind of situation. D is a potential.

Question 2: You come off the street and find yourself at this bar:

Courtesy of The Brandy Library
You order:
A) Whisk(e)y, neat or on the rocks.
B) A Red Headed Slut
C) A double martini, straight up with a twist. Extra dry. Stirred. Two olives, one onion.
D) A Manhattan.

Time's up. If you answered B or C, we stop feeding Joe Pesci for a few days then lock him in a room with you and a butter knife. A and D are excellent choices. B makes me wish it was possible to punch your soul. C makes me angry but for reasons I'll explain later.

The key here is to attend a bar based on what you have in mind. If you've had a bad day and you just want to drink Boilermaker's until you pass out in a urinal, Snakes and Jakes is your friend. You want a nice glass of something special, maybe a well made cocktail, and some good conversation? Go to the Brandy Library. I recommend looking up bars ahead of time in the area you'll be in (the internet is a wonderful thing). This is extremely nerdy but it prevents you from getting either beaten up by the locals when you order a Fuzzy Navel at a shot-and-beer joint and it keeps you from looking like an inbred fool when you order PBR at a high-end bar. However, if you decide to pick at will, look for the key sign: how well is the place kept? Is the outside dingy and dirty? Poorly lit or broken neon sign? No outside lighting except for a lone bulb in a broken light fixture? It's probably a dive bar. Is it well lit and nicely kept? Is the sign prominent (perhaps on an awning) and tastefully done? It's probably a nicer bar. Use damn common sense, really. Occasionally you'll get that middle-ground bar by accident. Not quite dive, not quite hoity-toity. If so, stick to liquor and one mixer drinks, like gin and tonics. You'd be surprised how far they go outside of the realm of liquor and coke. Try maybe a Dark and Stormy if they have ginger beer (dark rum and ginger beer) or maybe a 7 and 7 (Seagrams 7 and 7-Up). If not, go for a glass of wine or a draft beer. If you see bartenders slinging around Boston shakers like rice at a wedding, then it's probably safe to go far more adventurous. But if you can't visibly see a shaker anywhere near the bar, stick to simple stuff.

Addendum: Hipsters

Dear Hipsters,
If you're reading this, congratulations on doing what you like to do. While I hate to sound discriminatory, if you want to be a bold hipster, stay at hipster bars. What I mean by "bold" is that you're loud and proud in a metaphorical sense. You like discussing obscure bands. You tinker with guitars in bars. You decide to be emo and wistfully stare at the opposite sex in a corner seat. Yeah, you don't think I notice you but generally...I'm about two steps away from throwing you out the door.

Listen, I give you mad props that you're doing what you love despite how people feel about it. Right on. However, like pushy vegans, just because I'm near you doesn't mean I want to do what you do. Or even experience a smidge of it. If you want to sulk at the fact that you're just too misunderstood to find a mate that likes you, fine. Join the goddamn club. We meet every day at a place called "a bar". Just keep it on the down-low like the rest of us. We don't need you puppy-dog eyeing and sighing into your beer. Also, unless people are actively using instruments in a bar, don't think that it's cool to sit in a bar and belt out really shitty covers or even shittier self-written songs. I applaud the fact that you are engaged in trying to get me to drink faster but I really don't need more grease on the runners as I slide down this particular slope.

"But I.W.B!" they say! "You wear those hipster glasses and listen to obscure blues songs! It's a very large pot calling a very small kettle black!". First off, go fuck yourself. We're going to play a game here called "Look At My Glasses":

See my glasses? Do you see the lenses? They're HUGE. While I enjoy the style of these glasses I mainly use them because they're the only ones that'll hold my lenses in. If I didn't have lenses thicker than Beyonce's ass, I'd be wearing wire-frames. Also, good music stopped coming out with the death of prog. rock and old school rap. There, I said it. And I'm not taking it back.

Suffice to say: you want to be a vocal hipster? Do it at a hipster bar. Otherwise, shut up and drink.

Part 2: What to order
You've picked your place. Congrats. You're one step closer to being an American of old. An American who knew how to drink and when/where to drink it. Read: anything and everywhere. Now to figure out what you're gonna let rip-roar down your throat like the Colorado River. Let's delve, shall we?

First off, I'd like to discuss the martini choice above. I said that I didn't like it and it's true. Let me explain. Let's say that I go to the garage with my car. I pull the car in and talk to the mechanic. I tell him: "Yeah, the tires need a balance and a rotation. Can you balance it while the car's facing north and there's a bobblehead Jesus on the dash. Also, can you rotate the front tires half a spin counterclockwise and the rear tires a quarter spin clockwise?" If you were the mechanic, you would look at me like I was crazier than a shithouse rat. You're doing essentially the same thing at a bar. It is to be expected that you like your drink. That's fine. If it's too strong, tip well. If it's too weak, order a double next time. Extreme customization of a drink means you probably should have just made it at home or stuck to something else. You're not "customizing", you're just being a picky asshole.

Also, stop being a bar-top chemist every time you belly up. There are people out there that see that wall of booze and just want it all. They start greedily telling the bartender to mix a whole shit-ton of beverages into one glass like a fat guy assembling a plate at a buffet. But for the love of all things holy people, stop pretending you just got your "My First Mixology Set" every time you sit at a bar-stool. Leave the mixology to the bartender. If you're going to a bar for a mixed drink like that, you damn well better have chosen a mixologists bar. They're a growing (and blissful) trend these days so go there if you feel like playing mad scientist with your hooch. The part about this that pisses me off the most is I've been with/over heard people at bars that do this. Once that golden chalice of ominous concoction is placed in front of them and they take an oblivion-seeking slurp...they don't like it. Actually, that's too mild. I've seen some scrunch up their face like someone just killed their loved one while they were eating a lime. I've seen some go wide-eyed like a deer in the alcoholic headlights. A few I've seen retch. And then they complained to the bartender and got the drink taken off their tab.

Go fuck yourselves.

You decided to play Cocktail Roulette, you pay for the damn thing. Its not the bartender's fault / bar's fault that you suck at making drinks even when you're not actually making them yourself. That's how bad you are at it. That's how much you fail. But no, little miss/mister Bitchface McGee decides its the bar's fault. So that cocktail made of 25 year old scotch and sour apple pucker? The bar eats that cost. It may even come out of the bartender's wages. So fuck you. You play the game, you face the consequences if you lose. If someone plays Russian Roulette and they know they got the bullet, they can't just give the gun back to the person in charge and say "I got the bullet, spin it again". You play the game, you follow the rules.

Step 3: How To Order
The most insulting thing these days is the fact that people no longer have patience. They want their drink in their mouth three minutes before they order it. Any longer than that they get pissed and tip poorly. First off, slow down Speedy Gonzalez. Even the shittiest cocktail takes time to make. Let them make it and maybe it won't suck. A properly poured beer takes time. When I went to Ireland, you could always tell who was a tourist and who wasn't by watching them order a Guinness. They'd order a "Guinness", not a "pint". The worst part is they weren't patient. If you know anything about Guinness, it should be that it takes 119.53 seconds to pour a decent pint. It takes place typically in two stages: the primary pour for volume and the secondary pour for the head. See this video for how to pour:

A tourist would always grab it either a) right after the bartender does the first pour but before the second pour or b) TOO EARLY AFTER THE SECOND POUR. You have to let the beer sit to develop the thick, white head to it. But no, Tourist Bob wanted it NOW. So he'd grab it while it was doing this:

Whoops. Way to fuck up a respectable pint by being impatient. So yeah, patience is kinda important. Just saying though.

Now that we've got patience down, let's move on to how to order. Approach the bar confidently. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU GET TO THE BAR. No one likes the person that doesn't know what they want when the bartender gets to them. Figure it out beforehand. If you get nervous (it's fine, drinking at a bar is an intimidating thing to some), just repeat it either under your breath or in your head a few times to get it down. Make sure you have CASH. CASH is important because not all bars have credit cards or an ATM close. If you're going out to drink, make sure you have the cash to cover what you drink in case they don't accept plastic. Besides, you're going to want to tip in cash anyway. Cash has a delicious fluidity when it comes to taxes. Not that I'd know.

So, you're at the bar. You know what you want. You have your cash out, in your hand, but not waving it like you're trying to surrender to the bartender. Catch their eye and smile. Be relaxed and polite. Being impolite gets you nowhere. Being polite and tipping well means that you'll get stronger drinks, more frequent buybacks (more on this later), and faster service. The quicker you become a regular, the better. At this point, just wait for them to get around to you. If it takes them awhile, be patient. The drink will taste sweeter.

Buybacks - Always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS tip on a buyback. A buyback is the bartender saying "Thanks for being a boozehound at MY bar. Keep drinking." And you should honor that. That's a free drink to put down your gullet. Reward it with some bread. The bartender deserves it. But, don't expect buybacks. Some bars are more stingy about their booze and buybacks are frowned upon (read: you get fired). Don't go to a bar expecting a buyback. If one comes your way, be happy and tip well.

So yeah. Follow these basic rules and you should be alright. If you need any more help, just let me know and I'll expound more. I'm good at that.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Harvest Spirits Revisited - Sunday, July 25th

There is nothing like experiencing a true "welcome sight". For some it is that first glimpse of family or a loved one after an extended time away from them. From others, it's that particular gleam that haunts the eyes upon seeing something that you've always wanted end up in your hands. For others, the birth of a child and watching them grow up all around you. Maybe it's getting home after a long vacation; the promise of snuggling in to a cozy cup of tea and a book. These, for many, are the definition of welcome sights.

They are, however, typically not mine.

Nothing gets me more giddy than this sight:

The art and craft of distillation gets me more riled up than a fox in a chicken coop. Many can attest to the nigh supernatural euphoria that overtakes me upon venturing into either a distillery or place of veritable and distinct distillate wonders. Thus, entering into the world of Harvest Spirits in Valatie, NY is a transcendental, soul changing place for me. Everything in it just makes me feel at home. The fact that it's housed in an old cold-house for apples. The warm wood used everywhere in a variety of ages. The gleaming copper and glistening glass of her pot and rectifying stills. The smooth, cool-white look of the food-grade plastic fermentation tanks. The nooks and crannies filled with bric-a-brack, Mason jars, and fermentation carboys; all a testament to the art of distilling. This, is a welcome sight.

As you may have guessed, a great deal of time Saturday was spent to revisiting Harvest Spirits. As I noted in my Indy Spirits Expo post, Harvest Spirits (spearheaded by Collin McConville) was pouring their wares. I'd been in contact with Collin about some of their forthcoming grappa and when I ran into him there, he...enlightened me on a few other experimental projects they had going. Remember how I said, and I quote, "a special applejack that I will greedily chug like a pig". This was a subtle dig at what they had in store. First, let me show you something.

Above is a picture of their on-site rack-house. When I first went they had, maybe, 8-10 unadorned barrels. Now look at it. They had to be stacked at least 15 feet high and there were more on trellises to the left. They also took the liberty of fancying up the barrel heads. Let me illustrate:

Its funny because he's in stripes and there's a hole in the floor. Also because I'd do the same.
I would like to do "dueling shots" with whatever is in this barrel.
Rip Van Hammered. Or a really drunk garden gnome.
Wait. Monkies? I don'...OH. Barrel of monkies. I gotcha.

But lo, there is one last barrel that I have to show you. Let me emphasize the PIG part of my quote above. Why? Because....

Barreled brilliance.
Yes. Yes it is. That is bacon applejack. No fooling. That barrel head is not a lie. Collin told me at the Indy Spirits Expo about it and I've been frothing at the bit to try it since then. Created by half-loading their pot still with cider and then dumping in raw bacon (using cooked bacon was attempted but according to Collin it "tasted like rotted meat") and then ran the run. He pulled a barrel sample for us (my photographer from the Indy Spirits Expo came along, even though he just mooched and didn't take one damn photo) and we sampled. Here's the sample:

Now, in order to fully do this justice, I have to describe how hot it was out. The outside temperature had to be bordering 95 with 100% humidity. The barn it was in, thanks to the lack of large windows, was cooler but still about 89-90. It was hot. I was hot. Everyone was hot and the huge industrial fan just blew the soggy, swamp-like air around without doing anything. But, even though it was stupid hot made the beverage better. Because of the fact it was barrel proof and the fact that both I and the ambient temperature were so hot...upon drinking the alcohol evaporated almost instantly. Thus, you took a sip of this potent mixture and it instantly turned into an smoky, slightly meaty apple vapor. The nose on it was strong apple and oak from the barrel aging but it hid this deep, murky smoked meat flavor deep within its confines. Upon inhaling this witch's brew, you got straight pork and apples into the lungs and all over the tongue.

It was godlike. That's really all I can say about it. No other words do it justice. If you inhale 55% apple/pork vapor, you'd understand. It's like smelling God's breath.

Unfortunately, there's only one barrel. According to Collin, Project Wilbur (which, despite what they call it on the bottle, I am crossing out with Sharpie and rewriting that on it) isn't suffering too badly from the angel's share but rather heavily from the devil's share: they keep pulling off "test samples" to "reevaluate the project's viability". Which means the bastards are drinking it all before I can get a damn bottle. Hopefully they'll bottle it at cask strength because I think adding water to it will mute the delicate smoke/meat flavors to it. But we'll see.

Another I got to try was their grappa. In Italy, some grappas are made by giving the pomace a boost with sugar water. The Harvest Spirits grappa is washed with apple cider, which gives a delicious duo of faint apple and grape flavors to the final distillate. They want to call it Grapple but due to copyright laws, they can't. I suggest Grapeple. Close enough to get the idea across without them getting sued.

I also got to try Collin's brainchild; a spiced apple port. He pulled some of their fermented cider off of the tanks, added spices, and then halted the fermentation with apple brandy (unaged applejack). The result is, what caused Collin to burst out in a wry smile, pure Christmas. It tastes exactly like a spiced cider but with a significantly higher proof (think 15-20%). It was delicious. I could see it being drank chilled or on the rocks, or as a killer liqueur in drinks. Apparently he's petitioning to see it reach production so if you're thrilled by this idea, I suggest contacting them at

Finally, on the even more exciting, wallet-destroying, alcoholic-fire-stoking front, they're thinking about selling growlers, yes GROWLERS of their cider. Collin was gracious enough to pull some of the cider out of the tanks for us to try and it was quite delicious. We tasted it at about 2-3 days of fermentation so it was still very sweet with a growing carbonation (and an ABV of 2~ish) but it had significant promise. They said that if they were going to sell it they'd sell it as an English scrumpy, which means they'd let the fermentation go as long as possible so they'd end up with a dry, higher ABV cider. A quoted price for a half-gallon growler was $7. I wept fat, beading tears of joy.

So that was our day. After our sojourn to Harvest Spirits, my photographer and I decided to stop and browse at Habana Premium Cigar Shop on Central Ave. Here are pics of their ginormous humidor:

I ended up picking up some pretty interesting stuff including this beauty, the La Aurora 107 Robusto:

 While I won't put a review up of it (I spent its entire lifetime playing chess in which I put up a valiant effort but ultimately lost), I can say it was deliciously spicy and toasty. Kind of like jalapeno pepper jam on buttered toast. Yum.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Illusione 68 (Bombone) - Wednesday, July 21st

By some miracle of the gods above (I'm looking at you, Bacchus) the heat and humidity decided to ebb yesterday. Someone up there wanted me to smoke something good. And I definitely did.

I've been chatting/sharing music with Dion Giolito on Twitter (he's Vudu9) for awhile now. It was, however, slightly embarassing that I'd talked with him for so long but never had his cigars. For the longest time, it was pretty hard to find his cigars in the Rhinebeck or Rochester area (with the closest store I was sure of being Albany for both places). I finally made a sojourn to Habana Premium in Albany and picked up a handful of Illusiones to try. I smoked a few at a Herf in Rochester but I didn't take notes. I smoked another at the Uptown Cigar's Cigar-B-Q but I wasn't paying attention. I was busy chatting with Marvin. So yesterday I put in my dues and sat down with an Illusione 68 and the latest copy of Whisky Magazine, my preferred way to review cigars. I do this because, if I just sit there with the cigar, I tend to puff constantly and that makes the cigar burn hot and taste like crap. The magazine actually slows me down and I never really have a problem keeping track of the flavors. So it's a win win. Here's a picture of it:

I decided just to launch into this bad boy so I cut it with the Xikar and lit it up straight off. Here be some notes:

First quarter: Woody, earthy, nutty, and a slightly cayenne-like undertone. Definitely strong on oak with touches of cedar every once and awhile. For a short cigar, it smoked cool and fragrant. A nice beginning.

Half-way: The spice picked up at this point. Not an undertone anymore, it really balanced with the oak. It was almost like a good spicy rye whiskey. A slight touch of new leather came into the fold as well. Definitely a medium-full cigar at this point. 

Third quarter: Oak and spice tempered by a nutty sweetness. Hadn't changed much from the half-way point but the balance evened out somewhat. Not too spicy/woody, not too sweet/nutty. This is a cigar that Goldilocks would appreciate. Scratch that; SHOULD appreciate. Screw porridge. Raid Papa Bear's humidor, woman!

All in all, a very nicely balanced cigar with a great burn and some delicious flavors. As far as price point, I think it's a touch expensive in NY but anywhere else it would be a great deal. I blame NY for that. I think I paid about $7 or $8 for it but you can get it for about $5 everywhere else.

Note: Yeah, I know the last two photos aren't stellar. Blame my Kodak Easyshare.  For normal pictures it's ok, but for macro it's so terribly fickle it's embarrassing. I want to upgrade to a Canon or a Nikon so I can take better pictures but that's going to have to wait until the future. So bear with.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tabacos Baez Serie SF - Monday, July 19th

Last night, for the first time in almost three weeks, it wasn't UNBEARABLY hot. It was still hot (about 85) but the humidity dropped to about 20% and 85 degrees F is a lot better than the mid to low 90s it's been. It was time to have a cigar. As I pawed through the humidor(s), I came across a Tabacos Baez I bought awhile back from Isy at Uptown Cigar.

I feel as if I don't properly respect the Don Pepin Garcia stuff. Everything I've had of his has been, to me, nothing too special. I did like the Blue Label lancero but of the other cigars of his I've had, only the Vegas Cubanas have really struck a chord with me at all. They may just not be my thing but with so many people really loving them...maybe I was just missing something. So this Tabacos Baez sat in the humidor for awhile. I felt it was time to give it some fiery lovin, so to the porch I went.

Pre-light draw was a nice tobacco flavor. Startling not complex but, let's be honest, this cigar has a price tag of $5. See?

That's in New York money. Thanks to our taxes, that's about $.37 everywhere else. I'm not expecting a Dirty Rat for $5.

First quarter: Starts off with a touch of chipotle-like flavor. Definitely spicy, definitely smokey. Little bit of chocolate too. Kinda tastes like that Aztec hot chocolate you can buy but not as strong as that. Woody too, but not overbearingly so. At this point I'd put it at a medium-full~ish.

Half-way. Chocolate and spice bailed. It's really...oaky. Almost like smoking a bourbon but not sweet. Starting to get kinda creamy (both in flavor and smoke viscosity). It's pretty good. Definitely settled back down into a medium smoke.

Third quarter: Pretty consistent with the half-way mark. Still slightly creamy, woody/oaky. Touch of spice comes back. Apparently it left it's wallet. I put it down after this because it started getting bitter. Oh, and it was almost dark out and I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

This finally made me realize why people love Pepin. Aside from the fact that he looks like he'd be the greatest grandpa ever, he makes a damn good cigar. I guess I had to go cheap to figure this out. But I'm Scottish, so I was headed there anyway. I mean, us Scots did invent copper wire. Two of us were fighting over a penny.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Woodchuck Oak Aged and Spring Ciders - Thursday, July 15th

*Insert me going on, at length, whether you want me to or not, about my love of cider here*

I'm a fan of Woodchuck ciders. They're widely available and, for the most part, quite drinkable. While some of them I'm not too keen on (I'm looking at you, Pear) the Dark and Dry/Amber are classic cider stand-bys when I want cider and I go to the store. The coolest thing is they put out seasonal offerings which tend to tickle my palate. This is a comparison between the Winter and the Spring offerings. Here we go!

Woodchuck Oak Aged (Woodchuck Winter) - Nose is just plain apples. I think there's a predominance of Granny Smith or such because it has that tart, crisp apple smell to it. No oak smell to it at all, which saddens me. I want it to be an oaky bastard. Taste is quite nice though. Woodchuck is a rather sweet cider in its own right (I typically go for the Dark and Dry and even that's a touch sweet for a cider). The oak on this is definitely prominent in the taste and it provides balance to the sweetness. Mmm, this is a nice cider. Pleasantly sweet with a medium bodied oak profile on the finish. The color on it is gorgeous too. It's like an amber ale.

This would be a perfect cider to try out something I've always wanted to try...

The Stonewall Jackson.

The Stonewall Jackson is elegant in its simplicity. It's just cider and bourbon. Reputed to be what the old hard-nosed old bastard of T.J. Stonewall (Thomas Johnathan) used to drink in excess. If it's good enough for a Southern boy then well, shit, I want to try it. Add a touch of Elmer T. Lee here...

Oh...oh gods. Oh man. Oh man...It tastes like victory. Victory, success, and admiration. This must be what they serve to people upon entering Heaven. There's no huge gates up there. It's just St. Peter behind a bar called "The Pearly Gates". When you come in, he checks your mortal tab. If it's not too high, you just start drinking and this is always on special. I...I just want to fill a bathtub with it and wallow in it like a drunken pig. I may wean my future children on this stuff. It's terrific. I have not lauded something this hard ever on this blog. You know it's gotta be good. This Oak Aged NEEDS to be a regular release. It's too good not to be.

Woodchuck Spring Cider: Alright, I don't know what they did to it...but it smells like flowers. I can't remember exactly what flower smells like what but I think it smells like lilly. It's scaring me. It smells like my mom's flower garden. No sign of apples in there, just fresh flowers. Taste is...odd. Flowery and sweet, it kinda tastes like a flower-fordward wildflower honey. It has a buttery component to it and...weirdly enough, kinda tastes like crushed Sweet-Tarts. Jeez, it tastes like flowers too. I dunno about this one.  It doesn't taste like cider but rather chewing on flowers drenched in honey after a spring rain.

If that's your bag, go for it but...damn....I don't think I like it. This gets shelved with the Woodchuck Pear for me. I'm not gonna add bourbon to it because in order to make a Stonewall Jackson, you have to start first with cider, not fresh pressed daffodils.

Still <3 you though, Woodchuck.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dice In The Mirror

If you will suffer me for a second, I would like to take a page out of Will Smith's book. It won't take long and it won't be too painful. If you're not a fan of Fresh Prince, just bear with because it's some pretty sweet news in the end. So, uh, ok:

"This is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.
  And I'd like to take a minute, just stay where you are.
  I'll tell you how I GET TO GO TO IPCPR."

So, in case you decided to skip that slightly parodic jaunt into 90s sitcom theme songs (probably for the sake of your mental stability), here's the crux of my little ditty (which was not about Jack and Diane):

I'm going to the IPCPR 2010 show. And I will be covering it on my blog.

Currently, I'm debating whether or not I want to cover it live and do reports at the end of the day, every day. This would involve bringing my laptop along which is only "laptop" in the sense that it, in theory, could be placed and operated in a lap without technically killing the user. It's a 17" Dell Inspiron that was built as a desktop replacement so it's rather heavy and awkward to bring places. Much like myself. It weighs about 10 lbs and it's rather ungainly so getting it to New Orleans in one piece without killing several people with it or having to buy it an extra seat on the plane will be a challenge. But, if I do decide to do it, you will be rewarded with sweet, sweet live coverage (as best I can, damn it, I'm footin' the bill here) every night that I'm there.

Also, I will (hopefully) bringing my photographer, which is good. One of the things that I love doing is checking out the photos of the IPCPR. Since I couldn't go, I would leisurely browse the photo banks and dreaming. However, it is damn hard to find IPCPR pictures, so I will make sure as shit to get a lot of them and post them in an easy to find Photobucket album.

As for how this fortuitous chance happened, I simply bow my head gracefully in Marvin Samel's direction and pray that, in exchange, he doesn't have me do his taxes or something. So yes, technically, I will be there under the Drew Estate docket. But fear not! I shall remain as impartial as possible. Even though the Ligas are so damn good. So damn good! Not fair at all.

Yup. I'm IPCPR bound. If you have any suggestions of what to check out, who to talk to, what to see in New Orleans (never been to the Big Easy even though I'm Big and like to take it Easy), or anything else, just drop me a line on my email (check the Contact tab) or post it in the comments below. And maybe I'll see you there. Just look for the short fat kid with the shellshocked look on his face. If I start giggling like an idiot, either smack me or get me a rag soaked in bourbon. Your choice.