Retro Relapse: The 25 Lessons of New Orleans

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

I did a similar list to this for Las Vegas a few years back after my first trip there. You can see that list here. I wrote that for another blog I used to run.

However, after my recent trip to New Orleans, which was my third, I figured that I could produce a list of the twenty-five lessons I learned while there. I have had experiences with this town before but having seen a lot of this neon glowing urban bayou, I knew that I still hadn’t seen shit and had to delve even deeper. I’ve never experienced New Orleans and not walked away with something new each time.

So let me get right fucking to it!

1. Walking places is always an adventure and you will always find a dozen or so things to pleasantly distract you on the way to wherever you are going. Never go by a clock (unless you have dinner reservations), just do your thing at your own pace and soak up everything around you. Besides, the city truly never sleeps. Well, maybe from like 6 a.m to 8 a.m.

2. The muffaletta is the greatest sandwich ever concocted. The best one I had was from the Cochon Butcher, which is right next to Cochon in the warehouse district. I was told about the legendary muffaletta at Central Grocery but they were closed the two times I went by.

3. If a person walks up to you with some sort of riddle, it is a scam. A large man walked up to me trying to display his psychic prowess regarding where I got my shoes. He told me that I got them on my feet and then sprayed a bunch of dish soap on them in an effort to hustle me for ten bucks. Fuck that guy. This is the New Orleans version of the New York City hobo who spritzes windshields with soapy water. If a motherfucker has a riddle, keep on walking – it isn’t worth the hassle of trying to be a good person and giving them the benefit of the doubt.

4. The craft beer scene in New Orleans is alive and well. My most notable stop was the Courtyard Brewery. There are a lot of other local Louisiana beers on tap all over the city as well. The Bulldog on Magazine Street and d.b.a. on Frenchman Street both have stellar selections.

5. Local girls are usually a lot of fun but some are too trusting with strangers. They need to be a bit more discriminatory with people they haven’t known for more than a few hours in a bar. I’m also assuming that the ones passing out in bars on Bourbon Street are new to town.

6. You have to look hard to find a bad meal in New Orleans. In ten days, I never had a bad meal. Well, except for hotel breakfast and that was only on one of the ten days.

7. Street musicians will heckle you. If you tip them, they will call you out for being cheap because apparently that is a way to shame people into giving out more money. White people are especially gullible.

8. Harrah’s built a giant casino in the middle of town and it seems like the most boring thing in New Orleans because the city’s nightlife and culture is so much greater than staring at cherries spinning on a slot machine.

9. Strippers go way out of their way to pull you into their sultry lair and then try to hustle you. It would almost work if their aggressiveness wasn’t so off-putting and their prices weren’t so astronomically high. Although a blind eye is turned to just about every activity in these sultry lairs.

10. The best oysters in the entire world are in New Orleans. Go to Drago’s and order the chargrilled oysters. Just don’t murder the chef afterwards like Johnny Depp from that Mexican movie. Also, every other restaurant claims they have better oysters than Drago’s. Motherfuckers are full of shit.

11. New Orleans has horrible cosplayers. Well, at least at the anime convention that was in town. I couldn’t tell what 90 percent of the people were. Although I should give props to that guy that was Jubei from Ninja Scroll because he looked like a total fucking boss. He was the only one though.

12. Fried chicken has not been experienced until it is experienced in New Orleans. In fact, experience as much of it as you can. And yes, Popeye’s even tastes better in New Orleans.

13. Cab drivers will sometimes just drive by, even if they are on duty and empty. They will also have a bloody duel with one another if they think one cut them in line while picking people up at a cab stand. Uber works great in New Orleans, however certain parishes have banned them from picking you up. Although you can be dropped off anywhere once in an Uber car.

14. Not as many people scream “Who dat!” as you would think. Also, it wasn’t football season, so my beloved Saints weren’t playing yet.

15. It is the most spontaneous city I have ever been too. At one point, a small brass band was playing on a street corner and out of the blue, the intersection became an impromptu block party and one of the greatest live musical experiences I ever encountered. There is a raw musical energy in New Orleans and it is beyond infectious.

16. Lots of people try to panhandle random shit. I bought a Miami Vice soundtrack on tape for five bucks from a crackhead, who then handed me his entire tape collection and then bolted down the street with my five dollar bill, never to be seen again.

17. Voodoo is alive and well and it is awesome.

18. Kermit Ruffins is an American icon and a true master of the trumpet. “The Sleeping Giant” James Winfield is a hidden gem. If you haven’t seen either of them live, you haven’t lived. To see them both together, on the same stage, is a life-altering experience.

19. Only assholes and tourists throw beads off of balconies when it isn’t Mardi Gras.

20. The New Orleans Pelicans have an alternate part-time mascot that is a giant king cake baby. It is the most frightening mascot in sports history. Seriously, Google it.

21. Frenchman Street may be my favorite street in the world. It has the entirety of New Orleans culture packed in tight on just a few blocks. Bourbon Street is really just for tourists and less authentic. Although Bourbon Street is still pretty damn fun.

22. A drag show in New Orleans is way more fabulous than anywhere else I have been.

23. The people of New Orleans love their city like no other local people I have encountered anywhere else. Good times or bad, they have unrelenting pride in their city and community.

24. Jazz and blues aren’t just music genres in New Orleans, they are a way of life. You can’t walk ten yards in New Orleans without passing a place billowing out amazing music. And every musician is talented. It is amazing how musically versed the people of New Orleans are.

25. I had a long talk with a Mardi Gras Indian over whiskey. He shared some awesome stories about what they do and why. He then talked about adjusting to life post-Katrina. I learned that Mardi Gras Indians are probably the coolest motherfuckers in town.

Retro Relapse: The 25 Lessons of Las Vegas

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2011.

I recently got back from Las Vegas. In fact, this time last week I was still partying pretty hard in that damn town. I was there for work but it didn’t mean that I didn’t party like a raging mastodon. I entered the neon desert as a man and left as a more educated man. What knowledge did I gain during my exploits in this once mafia ruled party town? Well, here are twenty-five things, in no particular order, that I walked away with.

1. Japanese tourists cannot walk by snow globes without shaking them. When I went to the Walgreens attached to the Venetian, it was like walking into a foreign land. It was confusing; I wasn’t sure if I was in a Walgreens in Baghdad or Tokyo. It was a mixture of primarily Iraqi and Japanese tourists. I know the people in Muslim garb were Iraqi because one of them said, “There are a lot of us Iraqi in here, huh?” The Iraqis were pretty much grabbing knick knacks and slushies while the Japanese were thumbing through Vegas calendars and shaking literally every damn snow globe in the store. These snow globes were like crack to the Japanese tourists. I watched one walk by the display and he tried to fight the urge but ultimately gave in to his bullshit temptation and frantically shook three or four of them within a five second span! I swear I heard homeboy laugh maniacally when he did it too. Dude sounded like an anime villain after sniffing video head cleaner!

2. Birth control pills are often taken with alcohol. This came as a surprise to me but it probably shouldn’t have. I can’t tell you how many times I was at one of the many casino bars just hitting on some random chick and the girl got titillated enough to pop a birth control pill right in front of me. I have to admit, when they took a big sip of their cosmopolitan right after, I thought it was quite hot. In some cases it was hard for me to properly articulate my lustful feelings because in Vegas, my speech was ridiculously slurred.

3. There is never a free bench! This really pissed me off because I had to do a lot of walking from casino to casino. Just to give you an idea, if you’re familiar with the layout of Las Vegas, I had to walk from Treasure Island, across the Strip through the Venetian and all the way to the Sands Expo Center multiple times a day. My damn feet hurt! So all I wanted to do every now and again was to take a seat on a bench. However, no matter where I was, inside or outside, inconsiderate people were just sitting on benches with big ass “F.U.” smirks on their faces.

4. Strippers try and follow you home. Man, all I did with a few of my boys was walk by a strip club. Suddenly this half-dressed porn star wannabe was following us. I thought nothing of it as there are lots a big ass titties and people walking around in Vegas. Man, we went for blocks and blocks and split off in different directions. The last friend I was with wanted to go into the Venetian. We walked inside, went to the bar and this stripper sat next to us. The overly sultry lady was asking us if we wanted to bring her up to the room. We were hesitant as I didn’t need some pushy and shady trick jacking my MacBook Pro and my dirty underwear. After leaving the bar, she followed us for another twenty minutes and finally gave up. She caught an attitude when we refused to buy her a drink when she requested one. Buy me a drink bee-otch, I’m the one getting macked on!

5. Why buy a hooker when there are plenty of hot non-hookers willing to have sex with anything free of charge? Now I personally didn’t purchase a woman of the night but a few of my homies were game and were willing to spend some serious cheese. I thought to myself, “Man, there has to be an easier and cheaper way.” Well, there is. What I learned is that a lot of the people in Vegas on vacation just want to get their sex on and I mean hard – I’m talking about women too. I can’t tell you how many wanted to get pregnant with my seed every time I sat at any random bar and shot the shit. What I realized through this experience of aggressive flirtation and over-the-clothes genital rubs is that I need to move to Vegas and open up a condom store!

6. Gambling is the lamest thing to do (besides going to see the Blue Man Group). That’s about all I have to say on that.

7. Rita Rudner is never funny. This is a fact. I’m sure she is a nice lady but every time I walked by that theatre in the Venetian where they have the comedy shows, I was bombarded by videos of Rita Rudner telling her jokes. I’m assuming the two clips they run are her funniest moments, why promote her with her worst moments, right? Well, the clips weren’t funny. They were pretty awful actually. For a fifty-something chick, I’d hit it, but damn, she needs to not call her show “Now Funny”.

8. “Jackpot” isn’t just a gambling term. It is also slang for something involving a person’s head and man’s genitals. Well, at least according to this gay dude I met at Binion’s named Chip.

9. One’s comedic timing is enhanced (except Rita Rudner’s apparently). I noticed that, for whatever reason, my hilarity was at an all time high. My comebacks, insults, wittiness, general joking and tomfoolery were all at peak levels. I had myself in hysterics pretty much the entire trip. Some of this has to be attributed to the fact that I was drunk for nine straight days and I was feeling some elation from the oxygen being pumped into my room every night but goddamn! I was like Chris Rock buttfucking Carrot Top with Richard Pryor filming it and George Carlin holding the boom mic while Denis Leary was handing out disposable cameras and snacks.

10. Downtown trumps the Strip. I can’t really explain it but Downtown Vegas felt real while the Strip just felt like touristy bullshit. The style and the atmosphere were legit and I enjoyed walking around this area even though peeps kept hitting me up for change to buy beer or to have one more shot at winning it all back. Plus it was like ’80s night when I was there, not sure if it’s ’80s themed all the time but the DeLorean in front of one of the casinos mixed with the sounds of the Talking Heads gave me a serious boner.

11. Friends don’t let friends drink and pick prostitutes. I’m not getting into the details on the fiasco that taught me this lesson. You’re just going to have to trust your boy on this one and be thankful that none of us got cut by a crazy bitch lactating all over the goddamned casino. My stomach churns even thinking about it but I’m alive, no thanks to my friend’s stupidity and bad choice in seedy women. He actually, at one point, handed her his black AMEX to buy drinks.

12. Dennis Rodman digs my artwork. I found this to be a great honor because Rodman is the most stylistic cat in the history of the NBA. For him to give props on something I created was pretty badass.

13. C+ level food can be sold at A+ level prices if it is covered in enough B level sauce. Man, the food in Vegas is expensive but it isn’t as good as it looks and especially isn’t worth the price range, except for a few places. Out of all the meals I had in the nine days I was there, only two meals were all that memorable. Most of the food is mediocre and smeared in good sauces to cover up the lack of anything spectacular. Trevi in Caesars Palace provided the best meal I had in the neon desert.

14. Frankie’s Tiki Room is as good as it’ll ever get for anyone. I have to go on record and state that this is quite possibly the greatest bar or lounge I have ever been in. The place feels authentic as fuck. It’s like it has been sitting on some Vegas side street for 50 years, undiscovered. The truth is, the place was established in 2008! The music, the drinks, the atmosphere, everything is perfect. The bartender was cool as hell. I was so blown away by the awesomeness of this majestic place that I vowed to return home and open up a place as close to this as possible, except my Tiki Room will serve burgers and tots. I left this bar with a huge list of new bands to check out off of their jukebox. It was a surf rock and Tiki bar fan’s heavenly haven.

15. You can get a draft beer and a blowjob at Ellis Island for $41! I didn’t get to go to Ellis Island, which is one of my biggest regrets on this trip, but I did learn from multiple people that they have dollar drafts and one can easily get a blowjob for forty bucks behind the dumpster out back. Granted I wouldn’t want a blowjob from a forty dollar hoochie but I know a lot of people that would, so I am sharing this with you. Go get some sucky sucky, boys!

16. Supply and demand is a MFer in Las Vegas. I first realized this on my first day when I was thirsty as shit walking around the desert atmosphere. I went into a pizza place and grabbed two bottles of Aquafina. The cashier charged me $8.11! Talk about no condom shit-pushed-in prison rape! Then one of the more popular bars charged me $32 for two shots of Jameson! I quickly learned where not to buy stuff in Vegas.

17. People in Vegas believe that pirate ships had DJs. Well, at least the people who run the attractions and shows at Treasure Island believe this. I watched their pirate show and I was a bit perplexed at how they had a DJ on the pirate ship not to mention the fact that there is nowhere at sea to plug in an amp. Also, half the pirates were women which was against pirate code. Plus, these women obviously shop at Rave, which wasn’t around back then, and they danced and sung Pussycat Dolls sounding pop tunes. I guess historical accuracy isn’t important in Las Vegas.

18. The Bellagio and the Cosmopolitan are the only casinos with any real style. I stick by this statement, although the Tropicana, Bill’s and the Imperial Palace all had some unique shit. Everywhere else is exactly the same. I couldn’t tell which casino was which if I wasn’t in any of the ones already mentioned. The Bellagio is just off the charts and absolutely beautiful. The Cosmopolitan is on some next level shit. The lounge Bond in the front of the building was one of the coolest places I ever sat in while drinking a Pabst (although it was $7!). I also had a Tom Collins and a bourbon sour. The best part about Bond was that there were multiple go-go girls dancing over my head! Needless to say, I fell in love with both of these awesome casinos.

19. Celebrities are much cooler in Vegas. Well, at least the handful that I met were cool as balls. I won’t name them because I ain’t out to give free publicity and I’m not trying to wow anyone with a list of people who’s hands I shook. In any event, every celeb I saw was mad cordial and cool with shooting the shit for a few minutes. One celeb I got to hang out with at the casino bar for a good hour. He was a dope ass cat.

20. Cab drivers are the coolest dudes in town. That may sound crazy and you may think that they are all foreign dudes with little to no knowledge of the English language. In some cases this is true but the few who I really talked to were badass. One guy I met used to fight off elephant poachers in Africa. He was like the African Teddy Roosevelt. I should have got his autograph because my time with him trumped any of the celebrity bullshit. The conversation was well worth him “getting lost” and sticking me with a $78 cab bill.

21. Casino security won’t stop a pimp from hunting you down. This is a scary thing because when a friend of mine dissed a hoe, the pimp came hunting. When the pimp tried to follow him, security didn’t even attempt to stop the brute. Luckily for my friend, he got away safe. The lesson learned here though, is that pissing off a pimp in Vegas is a bad idea, especially when security isn’t going to protect you from getting a brick bounced off of your eye.

22. After 4 am, most high class prostitutes run 2-for-1 specials, as in you can get two hoes for the price of one hoe! Just don’t get swindled and make sure your important shit is in the safe before bringing these pro-sluts up to your room. Then again, you’re probably not getting sloppy seconds or treacherous thirds, you’re getting frothy fourths or filet-o-fish fifths (and we’re talking extra tarter sauce if ya feel me). So play it safe!

23. Blueberry pancakes and Mai Thais compliment each other like “whoa!” That is all. Just go try it! But you better have a hell of a sweet tooth and be inebriated beyond comprehension.

24. If a girl tells you that she has been drugged and that the couple who are buying her drinks are trying to have a threesome, she is probably trying to recruit you for an orgy full of old fat Canadians. I started to think this girl needed to be protected from these vile creatures but then instincts prevailed and I realized that it was a ploy to get my seed. Nope, not happening trollop!

25. Nine days in Las Vegas is probably too long because then you start seeing things you can’t unsee. Just a word to the wise.

Retro Relapse: You’re Not a God, You’re a Fucking Bartender

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

You’re a bartender, dude – a bartender. You’re not a god, you’re not something special and you certainly aren’t Ryan Gosling with Ron Jeremy’s cock. On the flipside, hey female. You’re also just a bartender. You’re not some hardcore porn star, you’re not a badass like Ronda Rousey and we’re not all crowded around you because of your dynamite personality; it just so happens that we’re drunk and your tits are in our face. They’re nice tits, by the way.

Bars are a great place; they are where we go to unwind, have a good time, chill with our friends, meet new people and often times get inebriated. It’s not a place we go to, to have some smarmy fuck of a douchenugget look down upon us because he/she holds the bottle and is god over his/her asinine little kingdom. There’s a whole street full of other kingdoms and they go on for blocks and cities and states and countries. You’re worth significantly less than a dime a dozen, my lord.

You know the bartender I’m talking about. They think they’re cooler than a dead penguin’s dick, they judge you by everything you order, they ignore you for twenty minutes even though they’ve made eye contact with you multiple times, they turn their back from a busy bar because they got a text, they act pissed off when you’re handing them money, they blow Pall Mall smoke in your face while dropping ashes into your shots, they act like they’re some sort of highly desired sex god/goddess, they parade around like the kings and queens of high fashion yet many of them are wearing a generic uniform, they react to a drink order like a Rottweiler getting a steak torn away and usually they are fucking around with their co-workers when money is being waved around at the bar from all angles.

Sorry, I just like money. It is a necessary and awesome evil that the world revolves around. Apparently, many bartenders are allergic to it or something. How dare they be inconvenienced by you trying to help them pay for their kids’ care, their rent and their car. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard some chick bartender bitching about being broke to some guy staring at her tits that she has no intention of fucking, only to have her roll her eyes when I ask for a drink – handing her money and usually, even if the service is bad, a pretty decent tip. Yeah, I’m that kind of nice guy that usually tips more than I should, even if the person I’m tipping is a total asshole. I get it, people have bad days but a customer doesn’t pay for you to add your shit on top of their shit of a day. We go to bars to forget about the bullshit, not get shitted on by some self-absorbed dickhead that looks at us as some sort of cancer.

Also, I don’t care how hot you are. Yes, you may be more than pleasant to look at but your hotness doesn’t excuse shitty service. The fact of the matter is, if I just wanted hotness in my face, I’d go to a strip club and stare at girls who are actually naked and get drinks from bartenders who are actually more competent and have a much better attitude. At least strippers, for the most part fake sincerity and act like they want your money, even if they’ve had a bad day or are pissed about something. Comparatively, shitty, bitchy, scantily clad bartenders are pretty much prude strippers with a bad attitude. No thanks, I’ll go elsewhere.

The dudes that think they’re Jesus Christ Superbartender are usually just grumpy fucks who can’t do anything else for a living. They may make decent money but as time goes on, those cute college chicks flirting with you for free shots and discounts are going to stop hitting on you and either move to another bartender or another bar. Your game of bringing drunk sluts home for a game of the old “in-out in-out” will be thwarted by the oppressive hands of time. You’ll be left aged and tired, a dude who never really settled down, figuring out that it is most likely too late to change that. I’ve seen it happen.

To those self-important motherfuckers calling themselves “mixologists”, you are the bar industry’s version of the Subway “sandwich artist”. No one takes you or your bullshit title seriously. You are a bartender. So what, you know how to make a few signature cocktails. That shit isn’t hard, I’ve invented about six dozen just making mistakes while mixing shit throughout the years. Do I call myself a “mixologist”? Fuck no, I call myself “Rob” because that’s my fucking name. I’m not even a bartender anymore but even when I had that title, it wasn’t something I pronounced to others like I’m some sort of miraculous motherfucker. “I’m a bartender!” Cool, go wash those glasses.

There are some fantastic bartenders out there with amazing personalities, many of whom are good friends of mine. There is a lot of money and I mean a lot of money to be made for those who ply their craft the right way. A friend of mine, who was an awesome bartender, with awesome personality, made over $80,000 in a year. Who’s going to argue that that isn’t a pretty fucking lucrative position to be in. If one were to save and manage their money at that level, they could retire at a decent age and potentially even leave the bar industry behind to start their own business, which is what she is working towards.

Unfortunately, most of these entitled “world owes me something” ass clowns will never turn their shit into anything close to lucrative or respectable. They’ll continue scraping by their entire lives like they’re still 20 year-olds trying to earn their way through community college. They’re in a pit that there is no way out of because they don’t even seem to care. Some of them are expecting someone to walk into their bar one day and pull them out. Well, for the most part, no one just hands you shit in life, you’ve got to earn it.

If those of you who are struggling – that have worked in the bar industry for a long time – would just get your shit together and be more focused on your job, you’d make more money, probably get some recognition from better bars in the area and in turn, get a better paying gig. There is nothing wrong with having fun at work but many bartenders see their job as a constant party and not a job. You don’t get paid to party, you get paid to pour liquor. If you can party while you do it, fine. Just know why you’re supposed to be there. And if this “paid to party” bartender is you, don’t bitch and complain about how you can’t pay your rent. The world belongs to those who hustle.

Retro Relapse: Men Who Drink Mic Ultra Are Missing the Point

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

There is a class of male out there that is far and away the most emasculated and douchebaggy of all others you will find at your local watering hole. They are the Mic Ultra drinker. Granted, there are other beers that fit this template but Mic Ultra is the most popular. Bud 66 is probably the second most popular of these bottles full of ass swill. Really though, any light beer or mega light beer should be included here. If you drink beer infused with lime or some other bullshit, you might as well make an appointment with the vet to finalize your neutering and go to the surgeon and have your taste buds removed because you aren’t deserving of them.

Beer is something to be enjoyed, something to savor, something to remind us of our manly passions and reinvigorate our masculinity. It’s not something a man should drink just for a quick buzz while trying to cut back on calories and carbohydrates. Beer is calories and carbohydrates. Calories and carbohydrates are energy. Beer is the essential energy we need to build massive warehouses to hold more beer! It is a divine cycle, one that powers us, empowers us and makes our taste buds and stomachs reach monolithic levels of ecstasy and heavenly bliss! Beer is the most romantic thing in our lives. Well, ribeye, whiskey and camping are pretty romantic too.

The guy who drinks Michelob Ultra is one of these seven things:

Number One: He is a guy who doesn’t make his own decisions because the love of his life is a dictator and he’s too afraid to man up. Reason being, he really enjoys the privilege of going down on her once a year on her birthday and the rare times she schedules for him to look at the closest thing to porn he is allowed to see, the underwear section of her Spiegel catalog.

Number Two: He is a trendy fuck and has no idea what tastes good and follows the crowd. Since he’s trying to socialize with boring one-dimensional women at the bar, he unknowingly mimics them and walks around sipping Mic Ultras like a twat. This guy drank Zima in high school and Smirnoff Ice in college. He has a collection of Hpnotiq bottles on his fridge at home. He is also a really shitty tipper but portrays himself as a baller.

Number Three: He is actually worried about his caloric intake. Yet he ate a triple bacon cheeseburger for lunch, had a monstrous breakfast burrito before work and is probably going to hit the drive-thru on the way home from the bar or gorge on some Entenmann’s in bed while watching The Colbert Report. He is the guy that orders a Biggie-sized number two and a large Frosty but asks for a Diet Coke to drink. He thinks that the five minutes he spent on the elliptical last week accomplished something.

Number Four: He is a guy who is completely susceptible. He sees the Mic Ultra billboards and trucks everywhere, so he just mindlessly orders one because his environment tells him to. He probably wears khakis for every occasion and owns a “man bag”. He also can’t figure out why he’s held an entry level position going on five years. He participates in “Movember” and hopes no one notices his shit mustache and can’t wait to shave it. He has a closet at home full of “As Seen On TV” products that he has never opened.

Number Five: He is a man that is completely lost. I use the word “man” very loosely. He could be a man, deep down inside. However, he needs to find a respectable beer or a good whiskey, pound it and let his nuts drop like a Dutch oven! He tries really hard to be one of the guys but finds that “harder” beer to be unpalatable. He doesn’t realize that a guy drinking Mic Ultra doesn’t have the right to his opinion about palatability. He’s the type of guy that asks others if they want to split a dessert at a nice restaurant.

Number Six: He is just a total fucking douche. He thinks he is the king of the bar, the grand puba of style and usually hits on women with insults. He subscribes to Maxim and heeds the advice of the headlines at face value because he doesn’t actually read the magazine. He argues with bouncers for no reason, pushes his way through a crowd to cop feels and usually has an entourage of just as douchey males. He buys Mic Ultra because it’s cheap and he’s used to stealing it from his older sister when she’s at work because he is unemployed and doesn’t have his own place.

Number Seven: He is actually a real manly motherfucker and he likes Mic Ultra, embraces its shittiness and doesn’t give a shit what you or I think about it. He drinks it like a champion and scans the bar ready to throw a tomahawk at anyone challenging his awful taste for ultra-light piss lager. He knows it’s bad, he doesn’t care, he drinks it, he likes it and fuck guys like me with our pretentious beverages and lifelong journeys to expand and mature our palates. There is nothing you can say to this savage wildebeest that will get him to try something else. I actually respect him for this. Although, I’d respect him more if he chugged 10W-30.

What all seven of these types of guys have in common, is the fact that they don’t know anything better than the absolute worst. They are like soldiers who get home from war and don’t stop eating crappy MREs. They’re an adult who grew to full maturity physically but still has a diet of just Gerber baby food. They’re like an adult that chooses to stay seated at the kiddie table, eating Spaghetti-Os over prime rib. There is a whole world full of options and to not exercise that and take a leap and develop a sense of adventure is the antithesis of manliness.

Life is about new experiences, new adventures and seeking out the best this world has to offer. To the dudes drinking Michelob Ultra, come out of your fucking shell! Grasp the best that this world has to offer and enjoy the fuck out of it. Stop tip-toeing through life like a bitch and start stomping your feet like a beastly fucking orc! Or keep drinking your sad excuse for a beer and wonder why everyone else’s lives seem so much more awesome than yours.

I can’t tell you what beers to try, as everyone has different tastes and a palate grows and changes with time and experience. But you can’t expand your palate sucking on sand and shit.

Book Review: ‘The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution’ by Tom Acitelli

History is awesome. Beer is awesomer. America is awesomest.

Put all three of those together and you get this: a triple awesome badass epic that goes through the history of craft brewing in the United States of America.

Tom Acitelli has put together a great book for craft beer lovers. It doesn’t matter if you are in America or not, this book tells the interesting tales of some of the most interesting breweries there are. It examines how the craft brewing industry came to be such a juggernaut in the U.S. and how it has fought against the bigger corporate megabreweries (still a much, much bigger juggernaut).

The book helped to solidify and enrich my love of beer, its creation process and just about everything else surrounding it.

Acitelli’s words are well-written, the tales he tells are well presented and there is a lot of new knowledge to walk away with even for the most hardcore beer aficionado.

I cannot recommend this book to beer lovers and/or history buffs enough.

Rating: 8.5/10
Pairs well with: The books Tasting BeerBeyond the Pale and Asheville Beer.

TV Review: Brew Masters (2010)

Original Run: November 21st, 2010 – December 16th, 2010
Directed by: Bengt Anderson
Music by: Sarah Schachner
Cast: Sam Calagione

Zero Point Zero Production Inc., String and Can, Discovery Channel, 6 Episodes, 42 Minutes (per episode)

Review:

*Written in 2014.

Brew Masters is a Discovery Channel reality show that follows Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, as he and his staff search the world high and low for new inspirations to craft new beers.

The show is entertaining and it is interesting for anyone who wants to know more about the beer making process. With each episode focusing on a new project, there is a lot of variety and styles covered over just the few episodes that were made.

And I guess that’s the somewhat crappy part about the show, is that there are only five episodes that aired before it was cancelled. It would’ve been really interesting to see what they could have come up with in future episodes as some of the projects in its only season would be hard to top.

One thing I like about the show, is that it isn’t drama filled reality television bullshit. Everyone seemingly works well together, everyone is positive and people genuinely enjoy their jobs. Dogfish Head seems like an awesome company to work for and truthfully, I hope at some point I find something that exciting, rewarding and fun in my professional career.

Speaking of which, I come from the marketing and product development side of the cigar industry and have always wanted to venture into beer. I guess that is why I found this to be such an enjoyable show because it gave more transparency to the behind the scenes operations of a badass brewery. While the cigar industry is very similar, especially with creating new blends, the beer industry, at this level, is even more complex and there is just so much more they can do with ingredients. You can’t not respect the craft and Dogfish Head is one of the best, which is what made this show a pretty enriching experience.

You can currently watch it streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 8/10
Pairs well with: Brew DogsChug, Dark Horse Nation and Booze Traveler.

Book Review: ‘Drink More Whiskey: Everything You Need to Know About Your New Favorite Drink’ by Daniel Yaffe

I like whiskey.

In fact, I drink it all the time.

It is my go to spirit of choice. While I primarily drink bourbon and often times Scotch, I do also find myself enjoying Irish, Canadian and Japanese whiskeys.

I have read several different books and articles on whiskey throughout the years. This book however is what I would point people towards if they want a real good primer on just about everything. It does a fantastic job of going through each type of whiskey, explaining the process, what makes it different and some of the history behind it.

This book is well organized, well orchestrated and actually, for all the information it provides, a pretty quick and concise read. I relished in it more than any other book I have come across on the subject.

This review may seem a bit short but there isn’t much else I can say other than this is a fine, thoroughly enjoyable and informative read for whiskey aficionados.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: Whiskey Women by Fred Minnick, Tasting Whiskey by Lew Bryson and Bourbon Empire by Reid Mitenbuler