Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Chop Goes to the Middle East

Well, Baltimore, we had a good Spring. We’ve had a lot of fun together over the last few months; going to shows, talking politics, watching baseball and barhopping. Sad to say though, not even the Chop can sleep until noon and screw around on the internet every day of our life. It’s time for us to go back into the great wide world of adventure. We’ll be leaving very, very early Tuesday morning.

Don’t worry Baltimore, we’ve gone away before, and come back with wonderful stories of exotic lands. The same applies now. We don’t expect we’ll be spending much time with easy access to the internet, so we’re going to put the blog on hiatus for a while. When we return, just as suddenly as we’re leaving, we’ll pick up right where we left off. Promise.

The last time we left we spent the coldest Winter ever in Northern Europe. This time we’re expecting the hottest of hot Summers in our travels around the Middle East.

If you just can’t go without your Chop fix this Summer, and want to hear someone anonymous describe life in the desert, we suggest you pick up a copy of the Thousand and One Nights, which we’ll be re-reading overseas, and which will serve as a daily reminder that while the lands of crescents and spires are indeed magical and enchanted, they’re also bloody, diabolical, and very, very hot.

The Chop is by turns a man of the world, and a man of leisure. Upon our return from a quest for fortune, we shall resume our quest for pleasure and enjoyment with a redoubled fervor. Of that you can rest assured.

Is it not just, that after so many troubles I should enjoy an agreeable and quiet life?”

-Sindbad the Sailor, from the Arabian Nights.

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Fishing on the Chesapeake

“Ah yes, here I am, far away from everyone
And the only fish I smell
Is on the deck of my boat.

I’ll steal some gas, fix my motor
Put on my Doors tape
And get you out of my head!”

If you’re looking for the Chop in town today, don’t bother. We chartered a boat and we’re spending the whole day on the bay with a dozen friends. We’re not coming ashore until we’ve drained 12 cans of High Life from the cooler and replaced it with a giant rockfish.

It’s the perfect way to spend our last Saturday at home before we go back overseas.

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Chop on the Spot: iBar

We probably shouldn’t tell you about iBar. We should probably keep our big mouth shut for once and leave well enough alone. Or maybe we should use some reverse psychology. Don’t go to iBar. It’s not very cool.

There. That ought to insure that iBar remains one of the best kept open secrets in Baltimore. If you’re anything like us, you’ve driven by iBar 10,000 times and always meant to go in, but never quite did. When you say to your friend ‘Where do you want to go?’ they probably never told you iBar. We were guilty of this for quite a long time. It’s so close to Club Charles, Joe Squared, Ottobar, etc that it’s always just been easier to go with the familiar.

Photo from the iBar Website.

Of course, sometimes you just don’t feel like dealing with the Club Charles. Sometimes you just want to have a cheap beer and watch a few innings of baseball and chitchat with people who are cool, but yet don’t know or care about design aesthetics, electronic music, or bicycles. That’s when you go to iBar.

True to the name they offer free wi-fi, as well as a public internet connected PC at the end of the bar. That’s where the technology connection ends though. The rest of iBar is just a good old fashioned corner place (although it’s not on a corner) with cheap cold beer, pretty and nice bartenders, an awesome pub grub menu, and a decent jukebox well stocked with solid un-ironic 80’s pop. There’s also one nice sized flatscreen which has been tuned to baseball every time we’ve been in.

Next time you’re driving by and idly wondering about the place, do yourself a favor and stop in. You’ll be glad you did.

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iBar is at 2118 Maryland Ave in Old Goucher/Charles North/Charles Village South/Whatever the hell you want to call it.

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Booze of the Future! The Chop’s Slurm Drink Recipe

Good news, everyone! We’re not going out tonight. There is not a club, party, or event that could possibly bring us one billionth of an iota of the joy we’re about to experience tonight when we tune into the RE-Premiere of Futurama on Comedy Central. It’s going to be the greatest hour of television since the last hour of television.

In celebration of the arrival of the distant future, and of the fact that we’re not driving anywhere, we’ve decided to turn our home bar into a miniature Slurm Factory with this recipe that we pulled out of the Slurm Queen’s cloaca.

The Chop’s Slurm Recipe

2 oz. light rum
1 oz. sour apple schnapps
2 oz. pineapple juice
3 oz. 7 up.

Build it in a Collins glass over ice and you can give yourself a bunch of cavities and a nasty hangover at the same time. Please don’t write in and tell us this drink is gross. We know it’s gross. That’s the point. It’s the future. Stuff is gross now. Anyway, it’s probably not as gross as the product actually branded as slurm, which may or may not still be available somewhere in the universe.

Next summer it’s all about bros slurming bros. Bite my shiny metal ass, Chump.

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The one-hour season premiere of Futurama airs on Comedy Central tonight at 10 pm.

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Bi-Weekly Political Roundup: Mega-Rich Cartoonish Super-Villain Edition

This week was the Solstice, which marked the longest day of the year. Today is the fourth Wednesday of the month, which marks the regular meeting of the Baltimore chapter of Drinking Liberally, an informal, open group of mostly 20- and 30- something Baltimoreans who gather twice a month to share pitchers of beer and talk politics at Joe Squared.

Joe Squared has always had several shelves stocked with more varieties of rum than you would ever expect from a pizza joint, but they’ve also recently rolled out a brand new rum cocktail menu for your enjoyment. While today might not be the longest day of the year, it is the third longest (we guess), so that means there will be plenty of bright warm daylight by which to drink rum on their outstanding patio.

Baltimore Drinking Liberally meets at Joe Squared tonight. 7 pm - ???

One’s got to be careful with rum though… unless you’re a seasoned British sailor it can really turn your stomach. Speaking of British sailors who turn our stomach, Tony Hayward simpered his way through an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Friday, abdicated all his responsibility (but not his job, title, or paycheck) on Saturday, and sailed his giant luxury racing yacht in a hoity-toity British yacht race on Sunday.

Were we the Admiralty, we’d have him hung from the gallows at low tide on the Thames. Seriously. We’d like to see him dead.

Equally galling in his cartoonish ultra-rich supervillain-ness is Rush Limbaugh, who (one week after paying Elton John $1,000,000 to sing at his wedding) said with a straight face that American children should eat out of dumpsters rather than receive free or reduced price meals at school.

We don’t know what Rush feeds faster… his fat ass or his drug habit. Either way, we’d like to see him choke on it. Rush is number two on the list of people we really, truly, honestly, swear-to-fucking-God want to see dead. Soon.

Since all good lists come in threes (or fives), we’re going to go ahead and say that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff can drop dead as well. Shurtleff relished the chance to approve an execution by firing squad this week, and then saw fit to tweet about it immediately. What were his follow up tweets? A potshot calling death penalty opponents “whiners” and some cheerleading about college football. He can die and go straight to hell any time now.

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In a rare bit of good news, we’re pleased to announce a grand discovery. The Chop is a great fan of snarky political blogging, and this week we got our first look at UNAMERICANA, which is a love letter to America. With Pictures. And Swearing. This new blog brings you all the dumbness of beltway politics you can handle with several posts a day. We suggest you do like we did; bookmark their site and follow them on Twitter.

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Drinking Liberally meets the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 pm. Joe Squared is located at 133 w. North Ave. All the above opinions are that of the Baltimore Chop Blog, and not of Drinking Liberally, it’s Baltimore Chapter, Chapter members or Joe Squared.

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Vuvuzela Giveaway Night @ Camden Yards: Make it Happen, Baltimore!

Tonight the Chop and all of Baltimore welcome back the Orioles to our fair city after a long and disgraceful road trip. Well, it wasn’t that long, but it was plenty disgraceful. The Birds played horribly and continued to look like a collection of amateurs who not only are not a team in any proper sense of the word, but who look as though they’ve never actually met each other before.

Leadership is entirely non-existent. Most of the pitching staff is being abused to ruination, with guys like Brad Bergesen basically living out of their suitcases between here and Norfolk and no one seems to actually have or know how to play a position on the field, let alone a place in the batting order. One has the feeling that if they could possibly just stop showing up at the ballpark, they would.

The vuvuzela: now available in Oriole orange!

But they can’t. When they show up at the park tonight, the Florida Marlins will be there to greet them. In case you missed it, the Marlins were involved in one of the GREATEST MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAMES OF ALL TIME on Saturday when they GAVE AWAY 15,000 VUVUZELAS to the Fish Faithful.

According to reports throughout the baseball world it was one of the most wonderfully absurd, annoyingly horrible, and drunkenly awesome baseball promotions ever undertaken, ranking right up there with Disco Demolition Night or Ten Cent Beer Night. The Marlins, who are last in the majors in attendance numbers drew 7,000 fans over their season average on Saturday on the strength of the Vuvuzela horn, and those fans made a glorious noise.

“I really believe the horns should be banned from Major League Baseball. They’re annoying. There’s cool things and there’s very non-cool things. That’s a non-cool thing.”

That’s what Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon had to say about the vuvuzelas, but you know what? Fuck him. Seriously… fuck that guy! He doesn’t seem to have a problem when all 4000 of the Rays fans who bother to show up at the Trop keep ringing fucking cowbells constantly at every game for the last 10 goddamn years. They even bring those things to Camden Yards sometimes and you can hear them in field boxes all the way from the centerfield bleachers. So Joe Maddon can shove a vuvuzela up his ass as far as we’re concerned.

The Orioles should start giving away vuvuzelas immediately! At every game! It works! It boosts attendance! The Fans love it! It annoys players! And you know what? Those guys deserve some annoyance right about now. We would love to be able to personally contribute to giving Luke Scott, Julio Lugo and Juan Samuel splitting headaches.

If the Orioles are going to play as badly as the 1962 Mets, we feel that their fans should be just as rowdy as those early Mets fans, who would often bring air horns, giant banners and bullhorns to games, get as absolutely shitfaced drunk as it is possible to get, and yell their heads off well into the late innings, even when the Mets were on the down side of a laugher, which was often.

As it is though, we’ve got to settle for Ollie’s Tuesday bargain nights- which is tonight. See you at the Yard.

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The Orioles play the Florida Marlins tonight at Camden Yards. 7:05 first pitch. Jeremy Guthrie and Anibal Sanchez are probable Starters. Good seats still available.

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House Rules: Puking in Public

None of us want to admit it, but we’ve all been there. Even your own humble Chop has, on a certain few occasions chundered mightily in the most inappropriate of places (mostly when some asshole friend insists on buying rounds of Jagermeister). We know better now, and thanks to our ironclad moral code and vast knowledge of social etiquette, we are proud to report that we can still show our face in most of Baltimore’s finest dive bars.

Of course, there is only one right and proper place to retch, and that’s in the privacy of your own home in your own miserable commode that you really meant to scrub out really well this week and now really wish you had.

Failing that, the best you can hope for is the side of a road far from the bar(s) where you spent your evening. You’d better also hope for a compassionate and understanding designated driver. While the shoulder of a highway is possibly the best place to puke publicly, the inside of someone else’s car is possibly the worst. And God help you if you ever get retarded enough to sick up in a cab. Not even the Chop can help you out of that one.

At any rate, you should at least be able to get yourself out of the bar. Once you’re outside though, you’re not in the clear just yet. A good rule of thumb is to avoid vomiting in any place where you’d think twice about peeing in broad daylight. Behind a dumpster is cool, a parking meter on Aliceanna Street is not. Behind a tall bush is acceptable, a bus stop on North Avenue is not.

But supposing, just supposing that you’ve imbibed so well that you can’t possibly effect egress in a timely fashion. All hope is not lost.

Listen closely Baltimore: You must make it to the toilets. Run if you have to. Scream as loud as you can if that’s what it takes. Don’t worry- when people realize what you’re about they will get out of your way, even if they have to stop mid-stream to do it. Don’t worry about making a scene, because you’re making a scene anyway.

But here’s the most important thing… whether you make it to the lavatory or whether you ‘stand and deliver’ right in the middle of a crowded tavern, you’re on the hook… and certain things are expected of you.

You have to own up to it. This is best done by approaching the nearest bartender and making a sincerely contrite apology. Apologize profusely. To everyone in sight. The Bartender-Customer relationship is an ancient and sacred trust. Your doctor can’t treat you if you’re not forthcoming. Your priest can’t absolve you if you don’t confess, and your bartender can’t help you if you try to weasel out. Bartenders are professionals, and have seen much worse than you in their day. Never approach a barback, waiter, or other staffer. You are the province of the bartender, and he is your point-man in this situation.

Get your check. It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking alone or a party of twelve. You’re not going to be served anymore, so you might as well leave. Hastily.

Play the victim. You know that routine you break out when you’re calling in sick to work on a Monday? Don’t be afraid to break that out at the bar after you’ve tossed it all. Don’t look at it as ‘this horribly embarrassing thing that I did.‘ Instead look at it as ‘this terrible thing that happened to me.’ Preserve your dignity at all costs.

Tip Lavishly. We really can’t stress this enough. If you’re nauseated in a bar, you need to tip ridiculously well. If your tab is double digits, a 100% tip is in order. If you’re in the triple digits, 50% is your starting point. These are minimum standards. There is no ceiling in this situation.

Get the hell out of Dodge. Don’t try to say goodbye to that college classmate you bumped into. Don’t wait for everyone else to finish their drinks… just GO. Drunken hookup rules apply here. Gather your things and GTFO. If there’s unsettled business or a guilty conscience, you can stop by 3-4 days later during happy hour to discuss things in the light of day.

Don’t do it again! Impeccable behavior is expected from this point on. If you show up the next Friday and perform an encore, you’re sunk. When you heave in a bar, you had better be a perfect gentleman or a proper lady from that point onward.

Now who wants some Jager bombs? We’re buying!!!

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Note: The Chop does not endorse or condone the buying or drinking of Jagermeister. If we see you do it in public, we will walk the other way. Fast.

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