Thursday, December 21, 2006

Free Booze: The reason for the season

Who else is excited about Christmas? Anyone? Okay, who else is excited about having the next five (or more) days off and getting embarrassingly drunk for most of that duration? Alright, that’s better. As it is for many of you out there, today is my last day of work. I have to work for a couple of days late next week too, but those days won’t be much other than an exercise in some early morning drunk driving. Hey, I don’t want to break the law but I’m a dedicated employee who’s willing to do whatever’s necessary to make sure the glue stick factory I work at maintains maximum efficiency during the holidays. I mean, these horses aren’t going to slaughter themselves now, are they?

With all that said, I’m going to limit today’s post to some minor items that have been on my mind lately, as well as a short discussion on the beauty of Xmas parties.

Xmas parties are awesome. Sure, they can get awkward and most of us would much rather be drinking by ourselves, I mean, with friends but can you really get too bent out of shape about free booze and food? I hope not. Like many of you, I’ve had to attend a number of Xmas parties in the last couple of weeks. While I won’t get into a discussion of the dynamic of Xmas parties or specific details about all the parties I’ve attended, I’d like to draw special attention to a couple of the more stellar parties I’ve been to during this blessed season. First, special thanks go out to my girlfriend’s family for inviting me to their restaurant’s Xmas party this past Sunday. It was…awesome. It was a pretty low key atmosphere with no more than about a dozen people in attendance. Which worked out well since the party basically consisted of free beer, wine, booze and lobster. Boatloads of lobster. I’d say that I ate approximately 5 lobsters on Sunday night. I could’ve eaten more, but I didn’t want to be rude…to the eggplant rollatini that was sitting right next to the lobster. So, I also knocked back about three servings of that as well. I can’t really describe how fantastic it is to eat that kind of food for free but trust me, its really fucking spectacular. I highly recommend dating Italian girls whose parents own fine dining establishments.

While that party was fantastic, it still pales in comparison to my friend Dave’s parents’ party. Well, not the party as much as the after party. Dave’s parents’ party is always an event. His parents are booze hounds of the highest order so it goes without saying that there is always an open bar at their Xmas party. As if that weren’t enough, his parents also happen to be swingers. Yes, you read that right. As you can imagine, this generally leads to some high quality people watching at said party. This year was no different. In fact, it was one of the better years for scoping the ridiculous antics of drunken 40-50 year olds. However, it was all merely a prelude to what awaited us later in the evening.

I like to call Dave the “King of Bullshit”. He’s not so much a liar as he is a chronic embellisher. Everything Dave says is usually at least 25% grander than the reality. So, when Dave informed us he had rented a limo and secured us the VIP section of a local gentleman’s club (for free!), I was skeptical to say the least. However, when 10:30 rolled around on Saturday night, I walked out of Dave’s parents’ house to see a stretch Excursion pulling up in the driveway. Before I knew it, 10 of us were on the road and heading toward a night that can best be summed up by the words of our friend Carl, “Somebody’s going to jail.” Luckily nobody went to jail, though a few guys came close at one point. Within minutes we were walking into the club to see a VIP section reserved for us and three bottles of Grey Goose with our name on it. The rest of the night is quite a blur. I do know that I insisted on buying numerous shots of Jager despite the presence of free booze for all in our party. I also remember telling the girl that our friend Kurt brought with him (What?) to the club that she was a slut, but that I meant that in a good way. I have no idea what that meant but it seemed to go over much better than you’d expect. After that, it’s all one big black and white montage (I become color blind when drunk) of clear heels, bad music, liquor, meatheads and my friends doing enough lindo coffee to kill a water buffalo. Which is probably why Kurt told me I “bailed early” despite the fact that I didn’t go to bed until nearly 3:30 am. You can say a lot of things about my friends but you can’t say they aren’t in the Xmas spirit. I mean, just think how many toys they bought for all the children of those good young mothers that night. So, after all this rambling you’re probably wondering why I told you all of this. Well, because I have my office Xmas party today and I guarantee you it won’t be half as fun as either of these. Not even close.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a smattering of other random things that I wanted to touch on:

- If you don’t know who Jake Scott is (I didn’t either) then take 15-20 minutes to read this article by David Hyde that ran last week in the South-Florida Sun Sentinel. It’s a great article on an extremely interesting and unique former athlete.

- I don’t generally watch BET, not since they stopped using that computer animated girl named Cita to introduce videos. However, my new favorite show is on the channel that I’m not supposed to and you ought to give it a look see over the holidays. If you love stories about crime, drugs and murder (my personal holy trinity) then you’ll really enjoy American Gangsta.

- I’ll be the first to say that Pacman Jones is an awful, awful human being. However, he also happens to be a damn fine corner and return man. He’s as responsible for the Titans late season surge as Vince Young is. So can somebody tell me how he doesn’t make the Pro Bowl in any capacity? Please? Anybody? I defy you to find me five better corners in the AFC.

- I’ve made it clear in this space over the last few months how much I enjoy Marcus Thomas’ ability to play football. I’ve even said that I hold no ill will toward him for his dismissal from the Florida football team. I’m not quite sure what I think about him now but I know that he comes off as immature and petty in this article.

- Speaking of the University of Florida football team, they secured a commitment from the nations #1 QB, John Brantley, yesterday. Brantley’s father and uncle (now a Gator broadcaster) played for UF in the 70s and Brantley was coached in high school by former Gator QB Kerwin Bell. Despite these strong connections to Gainesville, Brantley originally committed to Texas this summer. Well, after months of speculation, Brantley finally changed his mind yesterday and committed to Urban Meyer and Florida. Brantley has been named the Gatorade Player of the Year and dominated the annual Elite 11 camp this summer, bringing home numerous awards, including the Leadership award, Most likely to be successful at the next level and Most likely to win a National Championship as well as camp MVP. Interestingly enough, Texas stole a QB commit from Florida last year when Jevan Snead (who’s now transferring to Ole Miss) broke his pledge to the Gators in favor of his home state Longhorns.

Finally, Florida takes on Ohio State on Saturday in basketball in what will be Greg Oden’s first exposure to high level competition at the collegiate level. I have no idea what to expect from his game (other than Dick Vitale, uggh). It should be extremely interesting to watch the interior matchup of Oden vs. Noah & Horford throughout the game. Its definitely the highest profile big man matchup that the college game has seen in 15+ years. However, I think the game will be decided by the guard play. Both Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey have been up and down this year while Mike Conley, Jr. is possibly the nations most underrated freshman. If the Gators pressure D can force Conley to play at a faster pace than he wants and force some turnovers then Florida will win on Saturday. If not, OSU will end up pulling away late and winning by, possibly, double digits.


TJ said...

I watched the Nicky Barnes epsiode last night, and it was fantastic.

Mark said...

Good to hear. I tivo'd that one and plan to watch it tonight. The "Freeway" Ricky Ross and "Fat Cat" Nichols episodes were both great as well.

CFunk28 said...

Three words that make for a shitty Xmas party: Singing, Fishing Bears (yes that awful statue is still sitting on my desk at work).

Tell Dave that I hope Chris Henry steals his car for Xmas. And that he's a dirt ball Bengals fan. And I hope that Henry strangles him for good measure.

And I saw that Horford's out for Saturday. That sucks. I really wanted to see Oden against UF at full strength.

Mark said...

Yeah, his ankle is worse off than originally suspected. UF is really gonna miss the physical play that he brings them in this game on defense and his passing on offense.

Funny that you mention the bears, I was thinking about your reaction to that gift when I opened up a Walmart gift card at a party recently. Good to see you're holding on to your bitterness.

I'll tell Dave you miss him.

joe said...

I too was thinking of the great reaction to the fishing, singing bears. I actually told everyone I could about it at our XMas party. I just wish we knew which poor lady's spirit you broke that night.

Mark said...

That's a great point. Calvin was so obviously dismayed that some poor lady probably cried herself to sleep that night. By the way, how are you holding up in the Montana winter Duper?

If I ever see a ceramic bear fishing or singing again it's immediately being purchased and mailed to Calvin.

joe said...

I'm cold. Just got back from NY after about a 10 day vacation.. good times but that place is boring as hell. Also good to rattle my parents by sleeping in till 3.. I think it affected them more then if I stomped on my nieces head in front of them. Montanas still good though, going to Yosemite in CA this Sunday for a week so I'll warm up a bit.

Are we doing anything for the draft this year?

Best game ever last night? Disregarding games involving my teams I would say it was the most enjoyable I've ever seen. The statue of liberty was pure genius.

Mark said...

I'm so bitter about missing the end of that game its indescribable. I (incorrectly) thought I'd regret staying up all night to watch the 4th quarter when I had to return to work this morning so I went to bed. I awoke this morning to a text message form my sister that simply read "WOW". I'm so fucking pissed.

CFunk28 said...

I hear that Yosemite Park has bears that sing as they fish.

I really hope that idiot that bought that statue cried for days. I hope it was Blabs.

I forgot to tell you that I ran into that disgusting, stinky bastard Ron (the official scorer) in Orlando. He said that Jack Masson is pretty much Buck's boss now and how he thought it was hilarious b/c Jack's son, Mark, was an intern last summer and quit b/c its such an awful operation.

The Fiesta Bowl was the greatest game I've ever seen (personal teams excluded). Hughes, you're an idiot. The way OU was storming back how could you go to bed. I guess I got lucky that the Rose Bowl was such a snoozer, I took a nap during the 4th quarter of that game.

By the way, my 2nd annual winter beard is in full effect. Its money.

Mark said...

Lots of stuff to get too:

I don't know, are we doing anythign for the draft? I'm down for something. I'd prefer not to go out west though sicne I'll be in Diego and Vegas in Feb. Handle it Calvin.

You're right. I am an idiot. I tried to stay up but OU hadn't scored in a while and I was dead tired from the past few days. No excuse, I know, just getting old.

I saw Jack when I went to meet with Babs. He's the director of stadium ops for ST (Nats employee). I'm sure he bosses Buck around plenty this time of year. Which is...awesome.

As for beards, I've been growing one since early November. It's both fantastic and completely out of control. My beard challenges your beard to a duel.

Joe: You're a dirty stinking hippy.

joe said...

Glad to see the Irish performed as expected. While it's never fun to be routinely trounced in every big game I'm not that discouraged. Weis is a victim of his own success. I don't think anyone expected him to 'turn around' this team so soon but now that he has they're expected to win it all. Sure they're overhyped but thats not their fault. Hopefully with his recruiting classes we can start to keep up with these guys.

John and I both expected to have to head east this time. Wouldn't mind some Beef o' Brady wings.

I can only hope the bears wont be able to sing after they eat me. And I realize it looks like I'm a dirty hippy but in my defense it was all expense paid plus being paid as if I was at work all week. Otherwise Yosemite would fall somewhere between Dover and Edmonton for places I'd like to spend a week.

Mark said...

Good to hear that you and John are ok with being me and Calvin's bitches. I'd always prefer to not leave home but I'm (somewhat)willing to go up to Calvin's area.

The Yosemite trip sounds pretty sweet when you put it like that. hell, I hate nature and I'd be psyched for that.

As for ND, its not theiur fault that their overhyped and gain undeseving BCS entries. However, I feel as though this latest loss (in conjunction with numerous embarrassing losses against highly ranked teams) should at least serve to temper some of the media's love affair with Fat Charlei and the Boys. Of course, We all know beter than that.

ND is lining up their secnd consecutive highly ranked class. If they continue to recruit well and increase overall team speed, they should be a legit contender within another 2-3 years. Some may say this is too long but I think they have some MAJOR holes in their back 7 that will require a few classes worth of athletes in order to establish depth and compete with elite programs.