Friday, September 26, 2014

Storytelling, Sobriety and The Sixth Sense

                After my last couple of posts about my drunken shenanigans in Memphis (and before I post any future stories about drunken shenanigans), I feel like I need to make a post detailing the fact that I am not, in fact, a raging alcoholic.

                People are always surprised to hear that I didn’t drink until I was 21.  Like most things in life, I didn’t have a good reason for this decision.  I had ample opportunities to drink before my 21st birthday, but for whatever reason I just always thought “Eh, I’ll wait,” (this is my attitude towards a lot of things, which is why I still haven’t seen The Sixth Sense, no spoilers please).  Naturally, by the time I was 21 I had a lot of lost time to make up for, and boy did I ever make up for that time.  I’ll get to some more of those stories some other time because that’s not the point of this post (and because I don’t feel like writing a novel).  Eventually, my days of nonstop partying were fulfilled and the drinking slowed down to where I now only binge drink on weekends and holidays like a true, responsible adult.  That being said, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me that I drink too much.

                I’m not exactly working on a cure for cancer, but I have a steady 40+ hour a week job (that I’m always mostly on time for!), a fulfilling social life and many hobbies to keep me busy (such as this incredible blog *wink wink*).  Realistically, the only damage alcohol has done to my life has been in my wallet, because even going out to a bar once a week requires a small loan (is it appropriate to bring a flask to a bar?).  In fact, there are plenty of things that I do far more frequently than drinking, such as binge-watching Netflix, playing video games, going to the gym, getting rejected by women (I’m single, ladies!), etc.  But nobody ever says “You need to cut back on your Netflix,” or “You have a gym problem,” (which I probably do because I have no idea what I’m doing, but I bought these workout cloths and I’m determined to wear them).

                I guess maybe the biggest part of the problem has to do with many of the stories that I tell.  Obviously, they only make up a fraction of the posts I’ve made so far (for instance, I can sink a boat while entirely sober), but I do have some pretty fantastic stories about nights out drinking.  There are, however, a few problems with assuming that these stories mean that I drink too much.  First off, anyone who has had a good night on the town knows that one night of drinking can spawn several awesome stories, confused questions and embarrassing pictures (also, sometimes hospital bills).  Another issue is that I’m probably not gonna have too many interesting stories about the other activities I do (that’s not true, everything I do is hilarious and you should keep reading this blog indefinitely for more funny stories). And even if I think something funny or interesting happened, that doesn’t mean you’ll agree or want to hear (read) about it.  I might think it’s hilarious that the last time I played Dungeons & Dragons my wizard was so incompetent that even his magic missile missed it’s target, but that doesn’t mean you will (ladies, I do not play D&D…unless you like that kind of guy, then I totally do…D&D players, I’m actually not that bad, my wizard was pretty badass…everyone else that doesn’t get that joke, carry on).

                So, maybe what I’m really trying to say is, don’t judge me if (when) you see future stories about drunken shenanigans.  But also realize that there are (probably) just as many stories that I’m not posting about.  In fact, for any post you read on here, there’s a probably a pretty good chance that I wrote it while binge-watching Netflix (or I likely just scrolled through the Netflix menu screen for hours on end).

                But all this writing has made me thirsty.  I’m gonna grab a beer. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Memphis Revisited

Because I am all about giving (and don’t have enough to keep me busy), I decided to do a little bit of extra homework for my Memphis post from yesterday and revisit it with some exact locations, coordinates and satellite imagery so that you, my readers (all 14 of you), can see exactly where I took my parking garage nap at and where the car actually was.  It's like supplemental reading! And, because I’m so awesome (trust me, I’ll tell you), I’m going to give you the coordinates to look up in Google maps so that you can play along at home.

First up, if you look at the coordinates 35.141330,-90.051212 you will see the parking garage I kept finding countless times.  And, if you zoom in, it’s pointing out the exact corner of the roof that I curled up in to take my nap.  Please, use this information responsibly if you find yourself lost in Memphis in dire need of some shut-eye.   If you look around, you can even find the skywalks I mentioned that led me back into the garage from across the street.  Here is the aerial view:

Now, let’s take a look at the parking garage where the car was parked.  You can find that parking garage at coordinates 35.143341, -90.052682.  Here is the aerial view of that parking garage:

Now, let’s take a look at where those 2 garages are in relation to one another.  You’ll find my nap garage at point A and the well-hidden (possibly in Narnia) garage at point B.  And you can also see their relation to Beale Street, which runs along the bottom of the image:

As you can see, I wasn't terribly far off, and if I had the energy to wander around for another 4 hours or so, I’m sure I would have eventually stumbled across the correct parking garage.  But I stand by my decision to nap in public because it made a great story.

Seriously though, don't do the things that I do.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014


                I've been to Memphis 3 times.  Since it’s only about 5 hours from where I live and has great barbecue, it seems like a no brainer for me to go there on a weekend trip.  And speaking of having no brain, let me tell you a little story of the last time I went to Memphis.

                My sister (Sis), her boyfriend (D-Town) and myself were heading down to Memphis to spend the weekend there and check out the annual Memphis in May BBQ Contest.  They invited me along because I’m a lot of fun and also a well-documented third wheel.   For those of you that don’t know, in much of Missouri it is legal to consume alcohol in a vehicle as long as you’re not the one driving.  So, naturally, D-Town and I took full advantage of this while my sister drove.  We started off down the road at about 8:00 in the morning with a few breakfast sandwiches and a 6-pack of tall-boys (because you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning). 

The first problem we encountered was my near constant need to use the bathroom.  For those of you that don’t know: I pee frequently.   I have a tiny bladder and as soon as I feel a little discomfort, I feel obligated to relieve myself.  This issue completely flies in the face of my usual rugged manliness (take note, ladies).  So, by the time we got near the Missouri/Arkansas state line, I was feeling compelled to stop and relieve myself about every 30-45 minutes.  My sister was not happy with this.  D-town used one of these numerous pit stops to buy the two of us more beer.  And I, not being one to turn down this sort of hospitality, drank the beer and subsequently had to pee more.   Needless to say, I believe that Sis and I both agreed that we could not get to Memphis fast enough at that point.

Once we arrived in Memphis, the first thing on the agenda was to eat lunch at the famous Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous.   D-Town and I had a couple of pitchers of beer and I proceeded to shove pork ribs into my mouth with the same level of class that you would expect from a caveman.   After getting sauce everywhere and using somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 rolls paper towels to clean up after myself, we headed out to another bar on Beale Street.  As we sat in this bar drinking enormous beers and watching the NHL playoffs (because priorities), I happened upon some random guy who said it was his birthday and then proceeded to buy me a shot (because you buy other people shots on your birthday?).  The hockey game finished up and we left to check out the BBQ competition and consume more beverages.

After wandering around the BBQ competition, it was time to head back to Beale Street for more shenanigans.  This included buying a 100oz Hurricane drink (a Memphis tradition!) and making sure to try on every hat I found in the various souvenir shops. 

Pictured here: Poor decisions

I also managed to find a solid 20 minutes to make small talk with a girl working in one of the shops who I thought was cute (I was presumably still wearing that stupid hat).  This conversation abruptly ended when I realized I had no idea where Sis and D-Town were, panicked, and ran out of the store (I’m super smooth).  After finding them and wandering around in the hot, Memphis sun for a while longer, I decided that I was in dire need of a power nap and insisted that my sister give me the car keys so that I could go recharge my batteries.   This is where the story gets extra fun, because she refused and I felt that this was an injustice, so I charged off on my own to find the car (and presumably take a nap on the ground next to it?).

The first problem that I ran into was the fact that all the intersections and sidewalks leading away from Beale Street and patrolled by police officers who make sure that nobody takes alcohol off the street.  This was a problem for me, as I still had half of my Hurricane and was in no way willing to dump it out.  I solved this problem by waiting for a distraction and using my advanced drunken ninja skills to slip past the officers.

The next problem that I encountered was trying to find the parking garage where our car was parked.  I started off entirely confident that I would be able to find it and set off in the general direction where I believed it to be.  This ultimately proved to be a terrible decision on my part because, try as I might, I could not find this damn parking garage.   I did, however, find a different parking garage.  And I managed to find this incorrect garage about 7 different times.  The first time I stumbled upon it, I thought it was the correct garage so I scoured the entire thing looking for the car before leaving.  I thought I had properly left that garage behind me, but somehow I got myself turned around and ended up right back there, 6 more times.  At one point I even went inside a building across the street, went up several stairs and across a skywalk only to end up back in the same damn parking garage.

By this point, I was extremely intoxicated, exhausted and had a pounding headache.  And upon entering the same, incorrect parking garage for what seemed like the hundredth time, my impaired brain rationalized that this was my destiny, to end up in this garage.  With this stark realization, I knew that the only thing I could do would be to make the best of it, so I walked all the way to the roof of the garage, found a corner where I thought I wouldn't be bothered and sat down with my giant Hurricane to enjoy the sunset and finally get my nap.

Let me pause for a moment and just add in that I absolutely do not advocate napping in the corner of a public parking garage in a strange city.  While I happened to get away with it, all in all it is a pretty terrible idea.  Best case scenario, you’re probably sleeping in something disgusting and worst case scenario you’ll probably get mugged and/or murdered (which both seem pretty bad).  Seriously, don’t do the things I do (even though I do make them seem REALLY cool).

About 45 minutes after I sat down for a nap, I was awakened by my phone ringing.  It was a call from Sis, panicking because she had made it to the car and I was nowhere to be found.  First, I questioned her as to how the hell she managed to find the parking garage, because it was clearly hidden from me by some sort of sorcery.  Then, I assured her I was both perfectly okay and still in possession of half of my Hurricane (my priorities were apparently different from hers).  And finally, I forced her to stay on the phone with me and guide me to whatever wormhole I needed to pass through to find the correct parking garage.

Upon arriving at the car (which I can only assume was located in Narnia), I apparently had underestimated my level of drunkenness and also how helpful that nap would be, because I took a sip of my Hurricane and flopped down into the car, ready for more sleep.  Once at the hotel, I set my Hurricane down in the bathroom (for safe-keeping) and immediately collapsed onto the bed into a useless pile of Ryan, quickly passing out.

Now, I’m not one for wasting alcohol (I was raised better than that), so as soon as I woke up the next morning I made a trip to the ice machine so I could chill what remained of my Hurricane and finish it.  To my sister, this was absurd.  To D-Town, this was awesome.  I chose to side with the latter and happily placed myself and my drink in the backseat for the long ride home (with several more pit stops).

I do not think I will be invited on any more road trips with them.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Sucks

                So, it’s September now.  Summer is coming to a close soon.  It’s going to be fall.  I've been seeing a lot of people getting excited about the end of summer and the start of fall and honestly, this makes no sense to me.  In fact, I’ll just say that I think it’s stupid.  To me, that’s like saying “I hate warm weather and fun.  I like when everything is cold and dead because I have a severe personality disorder.”  So today, I’m just going to list my Top 5 Reasons Why Fall Sucks and You’re Wrong if You Like It

1)      Colder weather
Let’s start off with the obvious one.  It’s going to start getting cold.   Why is this a good thing to anyone?   You can’t do any activity that involves water like swimming, float trips, water parks, etc. (not water sports, that is an entirely different and much grosser thing).   I guess if you’re into bobsledding you’d be excited about colder weather, but even Jamaica has a bobsled team and they're warm.  It’s not like in the summer when you can have nice warm, sunny days.  Hell, even warm rain showers.  No, now you’re getting cold, dark, depressing rain to match all the dead leaves and shattered dreams of autumn.

2)      Heavier Clothes
Going hand in hand with the colder weather, you have to start wearing heavier, less comfortable clothes.  I hear people saying “I can’t wait to wear jeans and a hoodie, it’s so comfortable!”  First of all, you can wear jeans in the summer, too, a lot of people do.  And you can’t tell me that jeans and a hoodie is more comfortable than shorts, a t-shirt and most importantly, flip flops because you’re just wrong.   There is no argument, you're just wrong. You have to wear more layers, which is more layers to take off when you get to work, home, the bar etc.   And then that’s more layers to babysit, too.  You go to the bar when it’s cold and you wear a coat, all of a sudden you’re forced to make the decision of wearing the coat the whole time and getting overly warm, or taking it off but having to babysit it all night when all you really want to do is show off your sweet dance moves set to a soundtrack of all the greatest pop hits of the 80s.

3)      Less Daylight
In addition to the colder temperatures and the extra layers of clothes you’re forced to accept, there’s also less hours of daylight to enjoy.  So, not only do you have fewer hours to be outside and enjoy the sunlight on your days off, but you also get the pleasure of going to work in the dark and then coming home in the dark (just in case you weren't already horribly depressed about going to work).  I would also tell you how terrible it is to be stuck inside at work just watching the only sunlit hours of the day pass you by, but I don’t know what that’s like because the only window near me is just frosted glass between me and the office next door.  But I’m sure that would really suck too.

4)      Pumpkin Everything
As soon as the season starts changing, suddenly anything and everything comes in pumpkin flavor.  Now, I like pumpkin as much as the next person (actually, maybe I don’t since I’m complaining about it), but why are we going wild about pumpkin flavored everything?  If everyone likes pumpkin so much, why aren't these pumpkin flavored items available the rest of the year?  People go crazy about pumpkin pie, yet for some reason they’re only having it for Thanksgiving, when pumpkin pie filling is sold the entire year (trust me, I worked it a grocery store and only ever had to stock it in November).  And Pumpkin Spice was never even good enough to be a part of the Spice Girls.   I actually like pumpkin myself,  but I don’t think we need to go crazy every year with pumpkin flavored coffee, candles, soaps, condoms and whatever else we decide it’s necessary to add pumpkin flavor to  At this point, I’m terrified that McDonald’s will release a Pumpkin Spice McRib and the collective pumpkin flavored orgasm will destroy the earth.

5)     The Inevitable Winter
Finally, the worst thing about fall is that it’s basically just the opening act for an even worse show: winter.   Fall is basically just Winter Lite.  It’s just a warm up (cool down?) for the terrible times ahead.  Cold weather, snow, ice, miserable driving conditions; if you like things that suck then winter is right up your alley.  I don’t think I need to make a very long explanation for why winter sucks and I don’t know how much more I can say about winter without getting angry and just using a string of expletives, so I’m probably going to have to cut this one off there, but seriously, fuck winter.

About the only good thing I can even say about fall is that hockey season will be starting and I am extremely excited about that.  But really, it’s 2014 and hockey is played indoors now (it’s even played in Florida!) so we could realistically just move hockey season and then Fall/Winter would have absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Also, before I go, I Googled “Pumpkin Spice Girl” and found this absolutely terrifying picture:

No wonder she never made it into the movie Spice World.