19 March 2009

Gin? Goooood. Jam? Goooood.

This weekend, I found out that I live in a world where toddlers are indie rock savants, where bouncers at Irish pubs kick Guinness-guzzling patrons out for being dainty, and where jam goes with EVERYTHING (ok, everyone lives in that world).

Let me start from the beginning, the beginning being about 8pm on Friday night, when I met the Dells (Mike and Sarah) in the West Village for a drink. Earlier that day, I had e-mailed Mike his birthday present: a list of random "NOUN" pairings for him to wiki-link in 6 moves or less. Here is the list:

• Ki-Jana Carter to The Theory of Relativity
• The Ptolemaic dynasty to Norm Macdonald (comedian)
• Jean-Michel Basquiat to Tupperware
• Stonehenge to Charles in Charge
• Post-Keynesian economics to Maple Syrup
• State College, PA to Camouflage

By the end of the day, Mike had turned in the following:

• Ki-Jana Carter -> Penn State Alumni -> Douglas Comer -> Physics -> Special Theory of Relativity [4 MOVES]

• Ptolemaic Dynasty -> Alexander the Great -> Disambiguation -> Alexander (film) -> Rosario Dawson -> SNL -> Norm MacDonald [6 moves]

• Jean-Michel Basquiat -> Andy Warhol -> Advertising -> Direct Marketing -> Tupperware [4 moves]

Impressive progress for just a half day of wiki-surfing between work.

While we all walked together to The Slaughtered Lamb, a bar at the corner of West 4th and Jones Street decorated in the "pirate dungeon" motif, the wiki-challenge Mike claimed he was struggling most with was connecting Stonehenge to Charles in Charge.

After he shared with us the various routes he'd tried linking them through and all of the roadblocks encountered along the way, he finally yelled out, exasperated, probably one of the top 3 most profound things I’ve ever heard another human being speak: “The answer HAS to lie in Scott Baio! If it' not in Scott Baio, it must be in someone else!”

God, I hope someone overheard ONLY that part of the conversation.

Once we made it to the bar, we were delighted to hear that the music in the dungeon wasn’t old drunken sea chants, but primarily consisted of Early-90's to Early 2000's rock. Weezer, Harvey Danger, a punk cover of Rhianna's "Umbrella," and I would assume a song by The White Stripes, since our conversation navigated to Jack White and the fact that he’s in a new band.

Oh YES! I had this covered. Hadn't heard the song, didn't know what the new band was called, hadn't read any reviews online or otherwise.

What I did have, was the advice of a toddler (Tim Jacklepappy reference if anyone got that).

3 toddlers in fact.

Not two days prior, Charlotte had her kids record a video commentary on the new Jack White song and posted in on Facebook.

If you get into a conversation about the relevancy/merits of the new Jack White song, this is all you need to know:

1. It is not better than The Wizard of Oz.
2. Depending on who you ask, it may or may not be cooler than a toy helicopter.
3. The DRUMS are f*cking AMAZING.

Drop those 3 tidbits and no one will question you.

Later in the evening, we made our way over to the East Village to meet up with Joe Dell and I’m making the editorial decision not to post the details of the conversation that ensued on that side of the island. But for anyone who was there, I am doing the "hook and pull" sign language gesture...now.

Whereas Friday night started out on an awesome, Scott-Baio-referencing note, Saturday night included no Scott Baio references and therefore began on an inferior note. Actually, to be honest, Baio or no-Baio, it started out terribly.

Sarah B. and I had planned on starting the night out on the Lower East Side, but 1 lost priceless Russian hat (Sarah's), 3 changes in planned meet-up locations, and a wild text message goose chase later, we wound up at a sports bar at 33rd and Broadway. A veritable cesspool of Penn Station transferees, tourists, and New Jerseyans frolicking in all their March Madness glory, I might as well have been at a St. Patrick's Day all-you-can-drink bonanza at the Holiday Inn Paramus.

In our defense, we didn't pick this spot. It was the location of Sarah's co-worker's birthday party. The "party" showed up about a half hour after we got there. We stayed for another 45 minutes to be polite and got the heck out of dodge and headed downtown.

We ended up at Double Crown. Sarah’s new gentleman suitor had taken her there the week before and she knew I’d be interested in the fact that they serve a special drink there: GIN AND JAM. So of course as we passed it, I insisted we stop in to taste test a G.J.

You can only get G.J.’s in the secret DoubleCrown lounge, a dark, speakeasy-type situation (there’s even a trick door to get in!) that they have goin’ on in the back. Officially dubbed “Madam’s Preserves and Gin,” G.J. orderers are served a glass of Beefeater Gin over crushed ice and a teaspoon full of the jam of your choice. Saturday night, the “J” options were Blood Orange-Cardamon, Mango-Chili or Quince and Clove Marmalade. I went Blood Orange, even though it’s hard for me to pass up anything with “chili” in the name.

In one word, Gin and Jam is BRILLIANT. In 2? BLOODY BRILLIANT.

I have a mind to mix jam with everything now. What could go wrong?

As I polished off my jam, and began chewing on the crushed ice (yeah, I’m an ice chewer), Sarah noticed her new gentleman suitor had texted her from a bar a few blocks from our current locale; an Irish Bar, called “Phebe’s,” which he described as “Frat-tastic.” Oh God.

Here is what happened no less than 3 minutes after we arrived: Sarah’s suitor, gentleman that he is, went to the bar to buy us drinks. At the bar, a fistfight of sorts broke out, Sarah’s dude and his friends were guilty by location (I think, although one might have been involved), and they were kicked out of the bar.

Being St Patrick’s Day weekend, we naturally went to another Irish bar. As I sat down at a table full of derisory drunkards, or to coin the previously mentioned term “Frat-tastic” guys, I was none too pleased with the turn the night was taking. A turn for the worse, after after the G.J. had erased all of my Midtown bridge-and-tunnel-crowd memories.

To add salt to the wound, I received no less than 4 text messages related to Brian Fellow’s Safari Plant, which meant that my worst nightmare was coming true: Former-cast member-returning-as-host Tracy Morgan was reviving my favorite SNL character of all time and I WAS MISSING IT! For what?! For some guy sitting next to me loudly slurring “This is the part of the night when I take over! I AM THE MICHAEL JORDAN OF NIGHT!”!

I made eyes at Sarah that this was seriously the biggest wash of a night ever. But that all ended when one of the guys in our new group bought a round of Irish Car Bombs for everyone.

And I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but beep beep: I was the only girl besides Sarah at a table full of guys pounding car bombs and I beat every single one of them. A guy at another table even commented that he’d never seen anyone do it with such speed and grace. I might as well have patted my lips with a doily when I was done.

I was in very good form that night. Good thing, too. Because 5 minutes later, another round of car bombs appeared. Another 10 minutes later and the third round had arrived.

I think that was about the time I had a change of heart, as evidenced by my semi-shouting “BEST NIGHT EVER!”

Moral of the story, if you’re having a terrible night, a hat trick of Irish Car Bombs makes it all better. (SUB-moral: You can watch Brian Fellow’s Safari Planet on Hulu as many times as you want the next morning).

If the guys sitting next to me were absurd BEFORE the three car bombs, imagine the scene after. It did not take long for security to remove them from the premises. That was also about the time that Sarah and I also decided it was time to go, but apparently I was not moving quickly enough for the bouncers. While I was still seated at our table, security tapped me on the shoulder, said “Have a good night,” and pointed to the door. I was flummoxed. I exited, not quite understanding what had just happened. I explained the situation to Sarah and posed the question: “Did I just get kicked out?”

The bouncer stationed at the door smirked at me and nodded his head yes. Somehow, we’d been kicked out of 100% of the Irish bars we’d entered that night. IRISH bars. Do you know what that takes?

The following Monday, I sat down in my cube with a cuppa coffee and an English muffin. I perused my g-mail and found a reply from Mike to Friday’s chain:

Stonehenge -> Disambiguation -> This Is Spinal Tap -> Ed Begley Jr -> Arrested Development -> Scott Baio -> Charles in Charge [6 moves].

Turns out, the answer DID lie in Scott Baio.

And so I leave you, with this:

Charles in Charge Of our days and our nights…Charles in Charge
Of our wrongs and our rights… And I sing, I want, I want Charles in Charge of me.


Rachel said...

haha peter and i were gonna text you about SNL that night too but we were like "nah, she HAS to be watching it"

LJ said...

So want to try DoubleCrown! Gin and jam? Sounds amazing. And wow, that's quite a night...

Crisstionary said...

I missed all of this because I was in Europe. And, on St. Patrick's Day (night) I texted you from a subway to Montmarte about fashion graffiti. You were getting kicked out of Irish bars. I was in Paris. It's like Freaky Friday. (The good one, with Jodi Foster - no Lohan bulshit.) And I STILL haven't caught up on Safari Planet. But I did catch up on The Office and

Stringer Motherf*cking Bell

was the guest star. Please tell me you saw that. Oh my God. My heart grew wings.

Oh, and the Criss Kids are radical.

LG said...

RE: The Office. I definitely yelled "OMG STRINGER BELL!" loud enough for the neighbors to hear. I actually missed 30 Rock, so I need to watch that sometime this week.

Europe is awesome and all, but it is nice to have you back in the same time zone :)