Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Shots and Tots

Last weekend was Drew’s birthday. Zorgo turned 24! So us guys met up at The Blue Moon, a McMenamin’s establishment on NW 21st to celebrate. The night consisted of our standard joking, BSing, trying to get ladies phone numbers, and eating some fabulous food.

I got there a little late, so while I was eating my food, Lighthouse was ordering some drinks for he and Drew. I had my “usual” at McMenamin’s— cheeseburger with a side of tator tots. As I was eating my “tots,” John ordered some “shots.” And my mind went to work: "Hey, these words rhyme. Both are being consumed here at this table. Maybe these two items should be introduced to each other." And that is how I invented the newest and coolest bar drink:


Left hand: Shot of your favorite liquor.
Right hand: Shot glass with a single tator tot, dipped in a small amount of a condiment.

Step One: Pound the shot.
Step Two: Pound the tot.
(Step Three: Chew. Do not attempt to swallow the tot whole.)

1. The tot makes an awesome chaser. It’s a potato, a starch, which absorbs the bad taste.
2. It a fun group event at the bar.
3. It fun to order. Try explaining it to the waiter.
4. It attracts attention. You can talk to all the people at the tables around you about this awesome drink that your friend, Giraffe, invented.

The combinations are endless. We started with a Nate Jolly Special: Jagermeister and a tot in ketchup. Then we moved to a Tim Messa Surprise: Whiskey and a tot in ranch. Y’all need to try this at your local pub and start naming some new combinations.

This is gonna be big.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

0 in 4 is a Winner!!!

While strolling down the refridgerator (beer) isle at Fred Meyer, I viewed a rookie item hanging with the big boys. New Black Cherry Vanilla Coke. You might remember my post from last year commenting on the discontinuation of Vanilla Coke.

Well New Black Cherry Vanilla Coke has arrived, and I was forced to try it. I have to say, it's not that bad. It's actually kinda good. You have to understand that I have always liked Cherry Coke. It is Coke with a sugary-sweet, syrupy cherry aftertaste that is amazing. And I liked Vanilla Coke for it's smooth entrytaste and its slight "bite." So I didn't know what to expect when these two tastes combine.

My initial reaction was that this new Coke tasted okay, but not great. The flavor was a consistant solid flavor from beginning to end. It lacked the great aftertastes that I liked from the others--the sweet cherry taste that lasted and the smooth bite of vanilla. Unlike Captain Planet, their individual powers did not combine to make a greater flavor.

Now understand that I've only had one bottle. Maybe I'll be converted, and I'll later sing the praises of this drink from the highest hills in Oregon. Maybe not.

Three observations:

1. I think that "Black Cherry Vanilla Coke" is too long of a title. Especially when you throw in a "Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke" in the mix. Or what about "Black Cherry Vanilla Coke Zero." Or "Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke with Lemon." Even "Coca-Cola" got shortened to "Coke." Maybe they'll shorten it to BCV Coke. Or BCVC. Or DBVCw/L. Who knows.

2. Where is the contest? This is bullshit. When they introduce a new flavor, there should be one of those "1 in 4 wins a 1-Liter" contests. Even though I don't want a 1-Liter, I still want the satisfaction of winning every now and then. And the contest gives me slight justification for buying a pop that I don't need.

3. Lastly, I don't understand Coke's math. Cherry Coke + Vanilla Coke = Black Cherry Vanilla Coke? WTF is the "Black" cherry? Where did that come from? Why do they have to get all racial over a drink? It's just a f-ing drink. All I can guess is that they're trying to increase Coke's street cred.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

True Giraffe Stories: Snoop-a-Loop

My life is so colorful, so full of exciting tales and adventurous stories, that I often forget some of these events. Today, I had a flashback. I remembered a crazy night from college. I thought I'd share it with you and also forever document it into the internet.

This crazy night took place near the end of my freshman year of college. Be warned—this story does not involve nudity or promiscuousness, but it does involve underage drinking, Mini Snoop Doggy Dog, getting kicked out of three house parties, and two handguns.

This story begins at the U of O Delta Tau Delta (DTD) fraternity house on a Friday night, February 2001. My friend and dorm neighbor, Tyler, belongs to this frat. Think of Tyler as Fred Durst’s beefy twin brother, except with way too many visible tattoos—arms, shoulders, flaming monk on one calf muscle, giant spider on the other. So I’m with Tyler and a couple of his DTD brothers shooting pool, drinking, talking about chicks—what every college freshman does.

Tyler’s DTD brothers are a seedy bunch. Now, I partially associate this with the fact that they occasionally do drugs. And I don’t, never have. Maybe they just smoked pot, maybe more, I don’t know. But the reason I tell you that they did drugs is because I need to explain how we met this next group of fellas.

El (short for Elliot) was a middle school advisor. He helped 6th to 8th graders not only with school problems, but with family and social problems, too. He seemed like a cool guy. Relaxed clothing, dreadlocks. He was in his thirties, but that’s okay. He was a smooth speaker. Got along with everyone. Told stories. Told jokes. He was the social leader of his group of friends. Seemed like a good guy.

He brought two friends with him. One was a tall guy, Ben Wallace-ish, but no ‘fro. I don’t remember much about him. Maybe because I drank too much that night, and he didn’t do anything memorable enough to stick out. The second friend looked EXACTLY like Snoop Dogg, if Snoop Dogg was four-foot-eleven and resided in Eugene. Both were pretty much quiet, but chimed in during laughing and giving someone shit.

Let me just say that these three guys were black and looked borderline normal-borderline thuggish, like they could “turn it on” if they wanted too. I am not racist. I am just explaining a visual observation. We were judged multiple times that night. We crashed a lot of predominantly white, preppy, Eugene parties.

So now you ask, “How did these DTD guys know El and his crew?” Oh, I didn’t mention? El was a drug dealer, and sold pot to these guys. That’s right, advisor to your youngest child by day, selling pot to your oldest child at night. This guy was one heck of a role model.

So we decide to go to some house party up in the hills. We don’t know anyone there, but heard of it though a friend of a friend… We a rolling in one of the DTD’s black BMW sedan, and El’s old school VW van. Cause that’s how WE roll. We finally find this place. Looks small from the street. Looks too quiet to be the bumping party it was hyped to be.

The note on the door reads “Party is downstairs. Come on in, unless you’re the cops.” Alright. Nice. This is the place. Now this house was built on some kind of a vortex on a hill, because it looked like a peaceful 500 sq ft house on the street level, but led into a 1500 sq ft party basement, with a full bar. I mean 360 degree bar. There were more than 100 people. Music turned up loud. Good times. I ran into an architecture friend, Andres, and also Jones. I don’t know what I said, but I remember thinking that I made a fool of myself. I remember Andres motioning the “he’s been drinking” hand signal to Jones.

(Sidenote—earlier on this Friday, I went off on a verbal tirade to these student representatives of this summer “internship” company that had set up shop in the atrium in the EMU. Their “internship” was a semi-pyramid scheme/cult involving selling educational teaching books door-to-door in a city across the country. Also, it’s paid on commission. They wind you in their web, and I’m glad I didn’t get sucked in. Long story short, guess who was hosting this party? One of the two people at the cult that I bitched out, of course.)

So the party is going along fine. People are dancing, drinking, socializing. So Mini-Snoop starts impressing the ladies with his dancing skills. So he’s doing the “Crip Walk” (A dance that you shouldn’t try, Nate. I know you saw them doing it on BET, but seriously, don’t.) And while he’s crip walking, not one, but BOTH of Mini-Snoop’s handguns fall out of his track-jacket pockets!!! (Note—I do not, nor did I at the time, believe these concealed weapons to be registered. They were most likely being carried illegally.)

We left the party. (Got kicked out.)

So where to next? Another friend of a friend’s party. Let’s roll. We hopped in the pimpmobiles and we were off.

Of the next two parties we got kicked out of, I really only remember one of them. It was a snazzy appletini cocktail party, maybe 20 people. Maybe. And we roll in. Fred Durst. Mini-Snoop. Dreadlocks. Ben Wallace. And three or four white guys (me and the other DTDs). One of the DTDs knows ONE of the preppy people.

Now some of these people looked scared of us. We did not fit in. We left the party shortly. (Got kicked out.)

So now it’s been three parties we’ve gotten kicked out, only one for gun possession, although he still concealed the guns the whole night. Three and out, what are we to do at 1am on a Friday night? Beer run at Safeway!!! How logical. We roll. Now the only people of legal age are El, Snoop, and Ben Wallace, so they’ll have to buy.

Progressively through the night, my judgment returned slowly:

“Where are we going with these sketchy white guys AND sketchy black guys?...”
“Oh shit, that’s a gun! What should I do? If I leave, how will I get home? Well, at least it didn’t go off when he dropped the gun, or the other gun…”
“Hmm, we keep getting kicked out of parties. And I NEVER get kicked out of parties. I wonder why tonight is so different…”
“How sober is the guy driving this old VW van? And when the buckle doesn’t work, does wrapping around and sitting on the belt really work…”
“I need to get out of this car and away from these sketchy guys before we all get arrested! NOW!”

So when we stopped at Safeway, I waited for El’s crew to go inside, and then I made up some “tired” or “too drunk” excuse. They offered to drop me off, but I didn’t even respond. I just walked out of the parking lot, at least a mile, to get home. What a sobering walk…

So… Lessons learned?
1. Stop hanging out with Delta Tau Delta brothers, even if they are Tyler’s friends.
2. Stop hanging out with dreadlocked drug dealers, even if they are nice and their friends are miniaturized versions of famous rappers and basketball players.
3. Don’t drink and drive or be a passenger in a similar situation.
4. Don’t drop your gun while crip walking, or any other dance for that matter.
5. When your child is in school, pay for private therapy; do not use the school’s counselor.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Componé Mi Coche

So I'm sitting here, getting ready to go out for a drink, and I'm flipping channels. I come to a show on CMT, called "Trick My Truck." It's literally Pimp My Ride for Semis...or in the auto fabrication world "4 Semiz." The first show's truck had a propane bbq, a queen pillowtop bed (for the guy and his wife), and fireplace. This second truck (for a retired marine) has an eagles and ripped waving flag paint job, neon underneath, a boot knife stick shift, and a webcam. I don't know how I feel about shows stealing another shows premise (ie Meet Your New Mommy on Fox). But if this trend continues, soon we'll se on the Spike Channel: "Bling My Bus," on the Lifetime Network: "Makeover My Minivan," and on Univision: "Componé Mi Coche."

Did I mention that while I wait to go out and get a drink, that I'm drinking a beer. It's been a long week. I couldn't wait.

Coming soon to the Giraffe blog... True Giraffe Stories. I was watching the special episode of Chappelle dedicated to Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Stories and thought I need to document what happens to me before I lose my memory. My stories don't involve Rick James or Prince, but I will try to make them entertaining, at the least. First up will be the time I hung with gun-toting, drug-dealing Snoop look-alike.