Tag Archives: New years’

The Chop’s 2011 New Year’s Resolutions

That’s right Baltimore… we’ve got resolutions.

If you knew the Chop in real life, you’d know that we’re the type that damn well does what we say we’re going to do. One day we woke up at random after 13 or 14 years and said “Gonna quit smoking this month.” Next month will mark 3 years without a cigarette. Another time we said “Okay… gonna read War and Peace this month.” Did that too, and enjoyed it. In the middle of the very worst of the financial crisis we said “Welp, let’s take our credit score from ZERO to over 700 so we can get a mortgage.” No mean feat, but we did that too.

So when we say we’re going to do a thing, the thing will get done.

A visual approximation of the Chop's inner resolve.

Which brings us to 2011. There are a few things we want to do. None of it earth-shattering, mind you. None of it will have a great radical impact or change our life drastically. All of these things will be gradual improvements though. We’ll do them, and on new year’s 2012 we’ll be slightly better off than we are today. That’s the whole idea.

1. Pay more (some) attention to finances. Back in the day we used to hate to count money. Mostly because when we did there was never enough of it. Now we still kind of hate it, but thankfully we never have to do it very often because there is enough of it. We set all our bills to autopay, use the debit card, and stick to our ever-so-humble lifestyle and we’re pretty much okay. No more. Not saying we’re going to make a budget and stick to it or put a certain amount in savings. We’re just resolved to quit guessing what our balance is.

2. Ease up on the booze, just a little. Shocking, right? This is not to say that we’re getting on the wagon or anything, but Jesus… we could stand to lighten up a little. Maybe take a few weeknights off. Drink more wine and less whiskey at home. No more ‘one for the road’. Get Guinness instead of Dogfish Head when we’re out in town. That kind of thing.

3. Do something healthy. Like we mentioned the other day, this will probably mean buying a bicycle. It might mean joining the YMCA. It’s doubtful we’ll ever be the type that goes jogging or anything, but we’re going to have to figure out something. Not getting any younger, you know.

4. Join some sort of organized activity. Maybe a book club. Maybe a softball team. Maybe sailing lessons. Whatever it is, we’d like to get involved with some kind of structured, regular thing. It would be nice to do something we enjoy and be able to meet new people who also enjoy it, and who aren’t boring married people or bar drunks.

5. Do something with the gardens. We’ve got small garden areas in the front and back of the Chophouse. They’re very nice, but when we bought the place they were covered in plastic with a little mulch on top. The rear is mostly just a giant dog-toilet, and the front is given over to dead weeds. We travel far too much to tend a real, legitimate garden, but when we come home in the spring we’re resolved to at least get those tarps up, de-weed as best we can, and throw some fresh mulch down. Maybe we can find some perennials that are low maintenance for the front. One thing at a time.

6. Buy 2 new suits, and re-fit and alter the old ones. The Chop has no call to wear a suit to work, so that’s one part of our wardrobe that gets neglected regularly. Between a trip to the Kentucky Derby and Bourbon trail, and an out- of town wedding in May, we’re going to have call to dress well for most of that month. 2011 Will be the right time for us get properly measured and fitted, suited and booted to last several years.

All this we resolve. So it is written, so it shall be. Come back next year and see if we haven’t done all of it. You can feel free to shamelessly steal any or all of these for yourself, or let us know what you’re resolved to do in the comments.

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New Year’s Eve 2011 in Baltimore

Here we are, Baltimore, at the end of the year. You might expect your Mobbies winner for best nightlife blog to give you some kind of nice little round up about all the fun things that are going on around town tonight. Nope. We say balls. We already went on record last year as coming out against the amateur hours that are drinking holidays, and New Years’ is the worst of the lot.

Our approach to New Years’ has always been that we’ll go out if and only if we can do it cheaply and easily and if we have a reasonable expectation of actually enjoying the evening. This year, there’s not one thing that came to our attention so we’re staying the hell inside. Gonna get some Chinese food, or maybe roll some sushi, crack open some of that good Christmas booze, watch a couple movies and probably fall asleep at 11:30, just in time to be awakened by one of Baltimore’s favorite NYE traditions… random gunfire.

Montreal. Maybe next year.

So instead you get a post about what we’re not doing. We’re not having anyone over for a late-night sit down dinner. That would have been a pretty decent idea if we’d thought of it a month ago. With New Year’s day being on a Saturday, that would have been another good day for entertaining. Meh. We’re still not fully in the habit of entertaining at home. Next time we’re around for the holidays, we’re going to make sure to host dinner.

We’re also not going to hop on a jet. We’ve been mostly pretty bored all month, and we’re anticipating a pretty dull weekend, so we thought why not throw a few shirts in a bag and go some place? Some place not close but not too far, that we’re not sick of yet; maybe Chicago, New Orleans or Toronto. How cool would it be to say bonne année from Montreal?

At a time when most people are expecting big credit card bills in the mail, we’re anticipating a lot of back rent and BGE money due from roommate. We also took most of our Christmas gifts in cash, so what the hell? Turns out New Year’s weekend is not the ideal time to jump on a last-minute-super-saver-William-Shatner type deal. If we wanted to go on Wednesday, it would be feasible, but then again, it would be Wednesday.

One of 2011’s resolutions will definitely be to get better at planning things more than a week in advance. Happy New Year.

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House Rules: Last Call- Part 1

New Year’s Eve is a sacrosanct holiday in Baltimore. It’s the one night of the year when bars are allowed to stay open as long as they damn well please. It’s like every drunk’s birthday at once, where midnight is the starting point and every barstool Baudelaire is bound and determined to drink until they see the windows lighting, stagger out into some epic new dawn of a new year of a new metaphor of a new day of being the Champion, the undisputed Champion of drinking.

When the bar looks that empty and blurry, it's time to go the fuck home anyway.

The Chop, for one, just doesn’t get it. You can go into any bar in this city on any night of the year and every single patron in there will have an opinion about closing time. We don’t suggest you test this theory, because if you do, you’re going to have nitwits falling all over themselves to tell you their own personal stories and opinions on the matter.

“I used to live in New York and up there…”

“Well down in New Orleans…”

“I don’t even get off work until after midnight…”

“I’m a libertarian and blah blah blah…”

Personally, we’re past the point where we even like staying out late. You know the Chop, and we’ll go out five, six nights a week but we’re happiest when we’re getting back home around 12:30 or 1 am. It’s nice to have some time to put your feet up, watch the Daily Show, and decompress a little before the stroke of 3 am. Even on the nights when we want to make it late, we’ve got no problem grabbing a table at the diner or taking it back home for a nightcap. We’ve managed to see the sun come up plenty of times with the liquor laws just the way they are.

We’d also like to humbly suggest to those who would whine about a 2 am closing that it is legal to show up before 11pm. If the place is that great, if drinking is so much fun, if you want to be there longer and drink more, just come earlier. Show up at 9… five hours of bar drinking should be enough for anyone.

Later this week we’ll discuss the actual etiquette of last call. As for today, the comments on this entry are closed. We know you’ve got an opinion on it, but you can go harangue some other drunk about it. We’re too deep into our home bar to listen.

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Predictions for Baltimore in 2011

Chopstradamus has seen the FUTURE, and we predict the following things will happen in Baltimore in the year of Our Lord two thousand eleven…

The Baltimore Charm of the Lingerie Football League will play their final game and no one will care. It might be because they can’t sell tickets, might be because the Arena is on the way out, or maybe the whole league will fold. Who knows?

Get ready to hear a lot about this junkpile in 2011.

Plans to tear down and replace the Civic Center will be the dominant issue in city politics. It will end to the satisfaction of no one. Meanwhile that ugly old Mechanic Theater building will continue to rot for another year.

Gregg Bernstein will start to clean up Pat Jessamy’s mess. Some old dirty laundry will be aired. No one will care much. Crime will drop slightly.

Michael Steele will come back to Maryland unemployed. Maybe Bob Ehrlich Wigs will hire that dumb, bald motherfucker to model their new line of “Urban” “Street” wigs.

Buck will wave bye-bye to BRob this Summer.

The Orioles will win 71 games. Brian Matusz will be the only pitcher, rotation or bullpen, to fully pull his weight. Brian Roberts will be traded near the deadline. Attendance will improve slightly. Showalter will continue to be an old hoss.

Downtown traffic will be for shit because of Baltimore Grand Prix preparations. Charm City Circulator service will expand, but will still not be worth riding.

Honfest will scale down to two days. Not as a direct result of the recent controversy, but possibly as an indirect result. Beehives can only go so goddamn high before they collapse, and 3 days was a bit much before most of the city went up in arms.

Outsiders will get bored of Beach House and catch on to something equally dull.

J Roddy Walston and the Business will supplant Beach House as the most popular Baltimore band outside Baltimore. This blog will probably continue to ignore both those bands.

Painfully slow progress will continue in Downtown’s Westside. Everyman Theater will be a success in the new location. Alewife will survive and accumulate some new regulars during baseball season.

Something will finally happen to the Chesapeake Restaurant building. This prediction is cloudy, but some kind of thing will definitely happen. Something. Around the corner, the new version of Liam’s Pint Size Pub will be very successful.

U2 will play, and it will be way more trouble than it’s worth for everyone involved. It will also be more trouble than it’s worth for those not involved. We predict a bigger crowd than the pope drew last time he was in town. (50k)

What we'll be eating this Summer.

The food trend for 2011 will be sandwiches. Primarily cold sandwiches. People will go nuts about different possible combinations of bread, meat, cheese, veggies. You’ll also see foodies praising the simple, quick, mobile, utilitarian nature of sandwiches and meals like the Ploughman’s Lunch, pushing these things to extremes the same way they did with cupcakes and small plates. Also, by the end of the year you will have an uncontrollable urge to punch anyone who says “sammich” if you don’t already.

Thus spake Chopstradamus. Go forth, ye Choppers, and prosper in yon new year.

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Dispatch from Germany

So the Chop is Spending New Years’ in the Fatherland, for what its worth. We will go on the record as saying “balls.” Herr Chop does not endorse New Years’. Or any drinking holiday for that matter. We view NYE, 5deMayo, St. Pats and the like as being strictly amateur night. Paying double for everything, staying out until 5 am, and fighting with the rabble who are just so determined to party is not our idea of a good time. Besides, this all runs counter to our whole philosophy, which is:

You should be out living the good life every night, and not need an excuse to enjoy yourself.

Besides, New Years’ is such an arbitrary concept. As a true son of Baltimore, we prefer to celebrate the start of our year on the opening day of baseball season. It is only then that the sun shines, the beer is cold, and hope springs eternal.

In other news, the Chop is exactly 3/8 of the way through our european exursion. We’ve had the following brilliant ideas:

1/ Roommate should make a low ball offer on the house next door. He could get rehab financing and continue to live in our house while he oversaw the renovations. in the end, He’s have a custom rehab for a hell of a low price, and get to live next door permanently.

2/ Maybe the Chop ought to go into business. If we opened business A, and ran it according to business plan B, it would probably be just what Baltimore needs.

3/ The Big Idea! We’re going to get to work on the Big Idea as soon as we get home. It will be fully documented in these pages for your reading enjoyment at that time. All we can say now is… its going to be life-changing. And epic. And the greatest thing that ever happened to us.

Stay tuned.

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