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This blog posting is loooooong overdue. Remember way back in 2010 when I went to Ontario for Christmas? Well, one of the many, many awesome things that I did that I totally meant to blog about but then didn’t blog about because I was having way too much fun doing awesome things to be blogging was making chocolate vodka with Dr. Dan and Jeff. Seriously. Chocolate vodka. How does one make chocolate vodka, you ask? Well, basically, you melt 5 Mars bars and mix them with a bottle of vodka. And then you are supposed to chill it for 24 hours, but who can wait 24 hours because OH MY GOD CHOCOLATE VODKA?!!!
The recipe, in the all the intricate details, can be found at: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Chocolate-Vodka.
Here is Dr. Dan, carefully attending to the melting and the mixing:
Close up of the melting and the mixing:
Dr. Dan & Dr. Beth enjoying their chocolate vodka:
For the record, I was coming down with what turned out to be the longest-lasting cold I’d ever had on this night – I could actually feel myself getting sicker and weaker as I made dinner while Dr. Dan and Jeff made the vodka – so I’m actually much more happy about the chocolate vodka than this picture would lead you to believe.
Chocolate and vodka, together at last!
So last night was my big Bethmas celebration. I mean, I celebrated my Bethday in a variety of ways throughout the week – like with cupcakes and Indian buffet dinner on my actual Bethday and by buying myself a wicked pairs of boots. But last night was the big party, what with it being a weekend night and all. Carefully planned to be on a day there wasn’t a Canucks game, I got a group of friends to come out the Nuba, a Lebanese restaurant. I’d never been there before, but a few friends have been raving about it lately, and they were able to take a reservation for a big group on a Saturday night, so Nuba it was. And what a great choice! Because it was a big group, they said we had to do a set menu, so I went with the vegetarian menu – I figured that (a) it’s my birthday, so I can be selfish, (b) about a third of my guests were vegetarians anyway, and (c) it’s my birthday, so I can be selfish. The food was outstanding and really reasonably priced – it was only $15 a head and they gave us SO. MUCH. FOOD1! And the service was great too. I’ll definitely be going back there!
Doing a birthday dinner in a big group like that is always hard, because no matter who you are talking to, you always feel like you are neglecting everyone you aren’t talking to at that moment. For me this is compounded by the fact that most of my friends don’t know most of my other friends2, so I feel like I should be making sure that I’m paying attention to everyone who doesn’t know anyone else. Thankfully, all my friends are super awesome (if I do say so myself), so it seemed like everyone had some good conversations going even if they didn’t know the people they were sitting near when they first got there!
After dinner, a select few3 of us went dancing at Canvas. My friend Patrice works there and since she was working last night, I decided that it would be a good club to go to. And what a great choice! As with Nuba, I’ve been to Canvas before, but it was awesome. The music was awesome and the dance floor was filled with oh so many hotties! Once we got up on the dance floor, we danced and danced and danced until it was late late late. And then we went for pizza. And then I slept the sleep of the just in the hotel room I’d booked downtown so I could not drink because I didn’t need to drive home. Happy Bethday to me!
Thanks to all my friends who came out to celebrate with me – I have the best friends in the whole world4 And special thanks to Shalu, Deepak, and Raul for buying me drinks and dinner and to Patrice for cover/drink at Canvas. And Cath, my Aquarius friend who bears alcohol instead of water! I managed to get sufficiently fed and sufficiently drunk5 and at the end of the night I realized I hadn’t spent a penny! So. Spoiled!
- as usual, I’m going to point out that I have no relationship with Nuba – I’m truly just raving about it ‘cuz it was awesome [↩]
- a few friends do know each other – like my grad school friends know each other and my science outreach friends know each other, etc., but I only had a few friends from each “group,” so that translated into not many people knowing each other [↩]
- and by “select few,” I mean the four of us who selected ourselves to go out dancing! [↩]
- and thanks to those who wanted to celebrate with me but couldn’t make it due to sick pets, personal issues, previous engagements and vast geographical distances. I love you all too! [↩]
- but not nearly the 12 Bars level of drunk, thank the FSM [↩]
Or should I say, the 11 bars and *barf*. Being that this was my 5th years of 12 Bars, I decided to do something special. Like puking at Coppertank. Because I’m classy like that. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
The very first year that I went to 12 Bars, I managed to drink a drink at every bar. We are talking 12 drinks in 6.5 hours. Remember that I’m 5 ft tall – it’s pretty much inhuman that I managed to do that. And I’ve never been able to repeat that feat. Usually by around bar #7, I’m done. I drink water at the remaining bars and thus enjoy a nice time at the remaining bars, including the unofficial 13th bar we go to after the 12 bars are completed. But I always feel like such a failure, because I know that I did it that one time1! This year, however, I was feeling fine at bar #7. I even remembering saying to someone2, “I’m usually so done by Nevermind! But I’m feeling fine.” Fast forward four bars, however, and it all went downhill fast! I went to the bathroom, thinking that I just had pee, but as soon as I walked in the door, I realized that it was another bodily function that I needed to do – puke. And puke I did, right into the (very well-placed) garbage can. Some lovely people3 brought me some water and a chair to sit on. And then apparently, though I do not remember this, I went back to the table where other merry 12 Bars-ers were… and proceeded to puke in a cup. Because I am just that awesome. And then Erika kindly put me in a cab to Linda’s4. I managed to get to Linda’s without puking again, for which the cabby was very grateful5, but then I puked again when I got there. This whole thing becomes even more pathetic when you realize that we start 12 Bars at 3 pm, so it was all of 9:30 at this point! Fortunatley, I had a very good long sleep at Linda’s, waking up briefly to have some water which I immediately puked up6, but other than that sleeping straight through ’til about 10 a.m.
I took some photos, but mostly just of my drinks and honestly even looking at the photos of the drinks as I uploaded them made me a little queasy, so you’ll have to just check them out over on Flickr if you want to see them. But I do want to show you this one photo:
These guys walked into
Elwood’s Gargoyles7 while we were there. Naturally, I took their photo and then ran over and asked “Why are you dressed like a beaver?” ”Because I just got my Canadian citizenship,” he said, in his British account. So I turned to the other guy and asked, “And why are you dressed as a ninja?” ”I’m not a ninja, I’m supposed to be GSP.” My blank stare then elicited, “He’s a fighter. A Canadian fighter.” I think I’ll have to take the ninja’s word on that one. Later another guy, dressed in a track suit and black face joined then. Seriously, black face. “Who are you supposed to be?” I asked. To which he replied, “Ben Johnson.” Seriously, I couldn’t even make this shit up.
- Yes, I do realize that it’s very silly to think of consuming 12 drinks as anything akin to “success” [↩]
- though I have no idea who I was talking to [↩]
- again, I don’t know who most of them were, but thank you guys for looking after me! [↩]
- where I was staying for the night [↩]
- “It costs me $200 if you puke in my cab!”" he said, repeatedly [↩]
- puking up pure water is a very weird sensation [↩]
at least, I think it was Elwood’s[↩]
Just got in from Vegas. Typed up the following on the plane, posting it and now going to fall into my bed:
Typing this out on my Palm Treo 1on the plane home from my hockey tournament in Vegas. Yup, that’s where I disappeared to. Figured the blogosphere could survive a few days without me. Also, wasn’t organized enough to be ready to leave on Thursday with enough time to write a blog posting before I left. Hope no one was *too* worried about me.
We were about a half an hour late leaving Vegas because, according to the captain, they “didn’t expect all this sports equipment and now the centre of gravity is off, so we need to fix it.” At first they said they were going to move the luggage around2, but then they decided to load an extra 1000 lbs of fuel into the auxillary tank to balance out the plane3. They said that was easier than moving luggage4 and passengers around. Also, the flight attendant is drunk5.
I’d love to tell you about the hockey tournament itself, but you know the rule: hockey scores that happen in Vegas, stay in Vegas. Let’s just say we had a perfect record in our 3 games. On a totally unrelated topic, if you would like to win hockey games, I don’t recommend passing a 40 around the dressing room immediately before the game, especially if half your team didn’t go to bed the night before. Likewise, sitting in a parking lot drinking in the desert sun for 5 hours between games, also not a good strategy. I’m just sayin’.
OK, my thumbs are getting sore from typing this out on my tiny Treo keyboard and I’m missing out on some prime napping time here, so I’ll have to regale you with further tales of a hockey team in Sin City tomorrow when I’m home.
1Note to self: buy full-sized keyboard that attaches to Treo for typing anything longer than 140 characters.
2Um, didn’t they see the 10 hockey bags *before* they loaded the luggage? Did it not occur to them that perhaps they should have loaded them on in balanced fashion *when* they were loading them onto the plane?
3Because, you know, who doesn’t love flying around with an extra 1000 lbs of highly flammable and explosive jet fuel?
4Not sure how they would move passengers around when the plane is full. What are they going to say “Skinny passengers to the right, fat people to the left”?
5We don’t know for sure that she’s drunk, but she sounds like she is. I’m pretty sure she just told us that the cabin air had been pasteurized.
So, I have a confession to make. I did not successfully complete the 12 Bars of Christmas this year! *hangs head in shame*. I made it to all the bars. I sang all the verses of the 12 Days of Christmas at the appropriate times and in the appropriate locations, as per the rules of the 12 Bars. But I was not able to drink a drink at every bar! Well, I suppose I would have been able to, so I probably should say I was unwilling to given that my body was telling me that I needed a break after 8 drinks1.
I think part of the problem as that I couldn’t stick to the same game plan I had last year – which was to stick with a specific drink2 for most bars, with the occasional shot when we got behind schedule and needed to get in and out of a bar really fast. Why couldn’t I stick to that game plan, you ask? Because the 12 Bars got waaaaay too popular! Last year, we started out at Erika & Paul’s place with something like 7 people and then ended up with about 30 by the last bar, as people joined us along the way. This year, we had somewhere around 30 people at the first bar!! By the end, we have no accurate count of participants as friends of friends had joined up and no one really knew who was with us and who were just randoms in the bar. But there had to be over 50 of us by the end. This resulted in two things: (a) we didn’t get to meet as many new people, as you sort of had to stick with your little group in order to not get totally lost in the crowd, and (b) it’s really hard to get a drink at a bar when 30-50 others are also all trying to get a drink in 30 mins3 – somehow always seemed to be the last people served and so had to take a few shots off the start because there wasn’t enough time to drink an actual drink. I think this set a poor tone for the evening!
My night went something like this.
Bar #0 – Erika & Paul’s place (UNOFFICIAL START) – Vodka & Sprite. I agreed to have a drink here. This was my first mistake!
Bar #1 – Las Margarita’s – OFFICIAL START – Jolly Rancher shot. I wanted a margarita here, but by the time we got to the bartender, it was pretty much time to leave, so we had to do a shot.
Bar #2 – Room 18 – Polar bear shot. Bar #2 was supposed to be Hell’s Kitchen5, makers of the best Amaretto sour at last year’s 12 Bars. When Hell’s Kitchen was called early in the day and asked if they would be open at 4 p.m., they replied “yes.” Apparently “yes” means “no” at Hell’s Kitchen, because when we go there, they weren’t open. So we improvised and went to Room 18 instead. They didn’t want to let us in at first, saying they couldn’t handle 34 people with just one bartender. So we promised that we’d all get the exact same shot and be out in her hair in life 15 minutes, probably the fasted $300 that bar will ever make. So another unplanned shot for me, but a great photo opp!
Bar #3 – Brown’s – Amaretto sour. Finally! Although this one wasn’t like any Amaretto sour I’d had before – it was brown rather than green. Weird.
Bar #4 – Kitsilano Restaurant – White wine. This is the place where we stop to eat. But it counts as a bar, so we have to drink their too. So I enjoyed a much too full glass of wine with my yam rolls, veggie tempura and teriyaki tofu. About halfway through the wine was when my brain took notice of the unnecessary amount of alcohol to which it was being subjected.
Bar #5 – Tatlow’s – Spiced rum & diet Coke6 – I don’t think I have anything special to report about this bar.
Bar #6 – Darby’s – Amaretto sour! Yay! Darby’s makes a tasty A.S. And it was green. Making for a very Christmasy photo of red and green drinks.
Vodka cran + Amaretto sour.
Bar #7 – Nevermind - Spiced rum & diet Coke6 – Unlike it’s sister restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, Nevermind was open. Unlike last year, where we convinced a #84 Express bus to pick us up and drive us to Nevermind despite the fact that Nevermind is not where the #84 bus is supposed to stop, this year we had to walk all the way to Nevermind. Which, by my calculations, is 872 blocks from Darby’s.
Between bars #7 and #8 is where I officially decided to wuss out. My tummy was telling me that it was sufficiently stocked with alcoholic beverages at the moment and any further deliveries would be returned to sender. So, in the interest of not puking, I decided to skip the drinks at the next two bars.
Bar #8 – Gargoyles - No drink!
Bar #9 – The Fringe – No drink again!
Bar #10 & #11 – Coppertank - Spiced rum & diet Coke. We were supposed to go to Elwood’s for Bar #10, but they told us that brinigng 50ish people would put them over capacity, so they wouldn’t let us in. So we decided that Coppertank could have more of our money and decided to stay there for an hour instead of the usual 30 mins, having two drinks (and sing two verses of the 12 Days of Christmas) instead of the usual 1. I felt better enough to have one drink, but decided that I didn’t really need two.
Unfortunately, Coppertank counted as 2 bars, I forgot to take a “Bar #11″ pic.
Bar #12 – Regal Beagle – Spiced rum and diet Coke. And thus ended the 12 Bar
Bar #13 – Lola’s – Spiced rum and diet Coke – In celebration of not having died, we went next door to Lola’s to dance, and make fun of the other patrons fashion choices behind their backs.
You can view all the photos here.
1In my defence, I would like to remind everyone that I’m somewhat on the small size. I don’t think 115 lb people are meant to drink 13 drinks!
2In my case, Amaretto sour.
3And the 30 minutes includes travel time between bars. And, given that we were having a blizzard4, travel time was somewhat slower going than one would like.
4To my readers out east: “blizzard” in Vancouver vernacular means “it was snowing out.”
5You may recall Hell’s Kitchen as the location of my brief but celebrated career as a coat check girl.
6I think. If memory serves me, they didn’t have Amaretto here so I had to improvise. But I could be misremembering – memory started to fuzzy for some unidentifiable reason.
The 12 Bars of Christmas is back!
Next Saturday be on the lookout for a merry band of pub crawlers, singing, drinking and, well, being merry.
So, speaking of Vegas, want to support my hockey team to play in a tournament there? We are trying to raise enough funds to go to the Lady Luck Cup tournament in Las Vegas in April.
We are doing a fund raising raffle and I need to sell at least $50 worth of tickets (preferably many more than that).
Here’s the 411:
- Tickets are 1 for $2 or 3 for $5
- First Prize: a beer fridge full of beer
- Second Prize: two tickets to a Canucks game
- Third Prize: a trio of 26ers (probably like rum, vodka and gin, or something like that)
We will be doing the draw at our fundraising pub night on January 19th and you don’t have to be at the pub night to win. I know the prizes aren’t very portable, so for my long distance readers, if you want to buy a ticket or seven and then you win, I could sell the prize and send you the cash!
Wanna buy some raffle tickets? You know you do! Email me: apo_b100 AT hotmail DOT com
P.S. If we raise enough money, I’m sure that my team will get up to all kinds of hijinks in Vegas and I promise to blog said hijinks. I would expect it would be something along the lines of this type of thing. So you could consider buying a raffle ticket to be an investment in your future blog reading enjoyment.
P.P.S. Another fundraiser possibility that we considered, but didn’t have enough time to do this year was a calendar. Sort of the “girls of hockey” kind of thing. Would you buy a calendar of me and my teammates like, for example, wearing our hockey jerseys and looking all cute and suchlike? Just doing a little market research for next year….
Yeah, so, Vegas. It’s a place I went1. And I heard that all y’all wanted to hear about it. So here goes – everything you’ve ever heard about Vegas is true. Overwhelming sights and sounds – check. Oxygen and delightful scents and free drinks pumped into casinos, where there are no clocks/windows/any way of telling how long you’ve been there, to keep you gambling as long as possible – check. People walking the streets with foot tall tubes of booze – check. Guy at the slot machine next to you getting “comped”2 because he lost so much money that the casino is willing to give him a free hotel room so he’ll stay and lose more – check. Giant pyramid with a light shooting off the top that can be seen from outer space – check. People standing on street corners flicking business cards of prostitutes – check.
The one thing that you hear about Vegas that isn’t true – people carrying buckets of coins around. All the slot machines have been changed to run on paper money and when you cash out, they print a ticket that you have to redeem at a cashier’s desk. No coins comes falling down when you win – it’s just credits on the screen – and when the slot machine prints out your little ticket, it makes this lame noise that is supposed to sound like coins falling jdown into the little now-vestigial metal tray at the bottom of the machine. Lame city!! Maybe next time I go to Vegas, I’ll bring my own bucket and put my little paper ticket into my bucket, just to screw with everyone’s head.
Stuff seen in Vegas:
- Magician comedian who was filling in for Mac King at Harrah’s and whose name escapes me at the moment. Had a pretty funny schtick where he made it look like he’d screwed up the trick and then it would turn out to be a fairly neat trick after all.3
- Dead bodies.
- Mamma Mia – the musical based on ABBA songs. I swear, you’d think ABBA wrote their songs for that plot – it’s soooo well constructed.
- The Blue Man Group. This blew my fucking mind. Like nothing I’ve EVER seen before. OMG, you need to see this. NEED TO!
The fact that I wore a blue dress this day is merely coincidental.
Most nauseating thing seen in Vegas:
- Picture this: You are playing your little $1 chips at the roulette table, mumbling under your breath that the $15 minimum really is too rich for your blood. A man walks up and lays 10 $100 bills on the table and asks for one chip. The dealer carefully counts the money out and hands over a $1000 chip. He lays the chip on black and walks away, doesn’t even watch the little ball spinning around the roulette wheel. The little ball lands on red. Bye-bye $1000! Then he does the same thing again – another 10 $100 bills, another $1000 chip on black and another loss. Then, just for good measure, he plays $100 on splitting the zeros and loses again. It seriously made me feel sick. If someone is willing to part with $2100 in like 45 seconds, why not just give it to charity??
Things learned in Vegas:
- Tony Danza, Barry Manilow, Toni Braxton, all the people you thought were dead are, in fact, performing in Vegas. I think this means (a) they are not dead after all, or (b) Vegas is the afterlife for third rate celebs.
- When playing roulette, you may be tempted to play Canucks jersey numbers… 22 – Daniel Sedin, 33 – Henrik Sedin, 16 – Linden, 9 – Pyatt, 7 – Morrison, etc. Don’t. Just don’t.
- Waitresses will only come by to bring you free drinks when either (a) your down to your last dollar on the slot machine or (b) you say, “I’m cashing out if I don’t win on the next spin!” So that you’ll have to stay around waiting that free drink and will put more money in the machine. They have it down to a freakin’ science, I swear.
- Vegas waitresses are not as hot as I have been led to believe. I’m willing to bet, though, that they make more money than I do.
- If you walk around Vegas dressed as a bat, even on Halloween, you will get a lot of looks.
- Everything in the Venetian is made of gold… including the toilets4.
- The red carpets you see celebrities photographed on showing them going into Vegas nightclubs…. they don’t actually go anywhere! It’s just a bit of red carpet and a backdrop set up in the hallway for photo ops. As is my habit when I see ropes blocking things off or signs telling you not to go somewhere, I hopped over the ropes to get this paparazzi shot:
And speaking of photos, I took these pics for Sarah & Dave:
So that, in a nutshell, was my trip to Vegas.
1Tip o’the hat to David T. McLean, Esq.
2comped = getting free stuff (like a free buffet, a free hotel room) when you lose lots of cash at a casino.
3Wow. My description makes it sound really lame, but it wasn’t – it was quite good!
4Yes, I took a picture of the toilet. See, there is nothing I won’t do for you, gentle blog reader. Nothing!
5OK, so we didn’t actually go to any daycares in Calgary, but I’m willing to put money on them all having Big Buck Hunter.
I’m back from my gallivanting. Too tired to write about it all now1, but since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s 2K worth of words for ya…
1Perhaps I’ll pull a Dave and write about *my* trip to Vegas 472 days after said trip.
2 I have to admit that I have trouble remembering which hotel/casino was which because (a) I saw one hell of a lot of hotels/casinos on this trip, (b) each hotel/casino was more ornate than anything I’d *ever* seen in my life, (c) the hotels/casinos were so friggin’ big you could be walking for like half an hour and still be in the same friggin’ hotel/casino, meaning that I often didn’t know which hotel I was in at any given point in time. Also, (d) they give you free drinks.
Well, jaw is still a bit achy. The ache seems to travel – Friday it was in the right lower jaw, Saturday in the left lower jaw and today it seems to be where the top wisdom teeth were that ache the most. The swelling in my mouth has gone down enough that I can now reach the wounds with my tongue… I can feel the stitches in the bottom, but the top just feel like holes – I don’t feel any stitches there. It’s weird, and I’m really trying not to always tongue the holes in my gums, because that just seems like a great way to cause an infection. But, of course, it also seems impossible to keep myself from doing!
I’m still afraid to try anything more solid that scrambled eggs, because it does hurt to open my mouth wide enough and I’m sure it would hurt to chew. Which resulted in my paying $7.50 for a bowl of mashed potatoes at dinner last night (stupid Cactus Club, what a rip off). They charged me $7.50 for a bowl of mashed potatoes, but only $6 for a double Margarita. Go figure.
After dinner last night, I went to see Five Alarm Funk at the Commodore. According to their website:
Five Alarm Funk is a Vancouver-based, 12-piece rhythm machine that delivers a delirium-inducing live show fuelled by original funk and afro-beat grooves.
I have to say that they were pretty awesome. I’d never seen them before and knew absolutely nothing about them going into it (and neither did the people I was with), so it wasn’t until a few songs in that we even found out that the band that was playing at first wasn’t Five Alarm Funk. They were an opening band, whose name I never caught, and they were quite good. And then FAF came on and they were even more awesome! The show went on and on, some of the band members even came out in to the crowd and stuff… the crowd was full of all the Vancouver hippies that Dave couldn’t find when he came here to visit, which explains why some guy who could barely speak English, but seemed to keep speaking to me in Spanish as if I was supposed to know what he was saying, at the bar I ended up in at the end of the night, kept saying to me “You’re hair smell like weed. Marijuana. You have? Marijuana? I like smoke marijuana.” Ya, ‘cuz after the show I met up with my friend Rachel and she and I both wanted to go dancing, whereas the people we’d both been out with weren’t up for dancing. So Rachel and I had a drink at the Granville Room with Lianna before she headed home to check on her dog, who’d just been neutered, then headed to Ceili’s. Oddly, there was no line, no cover and no ID’ing at the GR or C’s, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in Vancouver before. The music was good and Rachel and I had a great time dancing, which we haven’t had a chance to do in far too long! In addition to the guy who kept telling me that I smelled like weed (and I think, but am not sure because his English was pretty choppy, asked me to be his girlfriend), I was also amused by the guy that hit on me that I think I may have insulted by saying “Are you old enough to be in here?” and the charming Brit, who was saying all the charming things that Brits say (and, to be quite honest, I didn’t care if he actually meant a word of it, it was just nice to hear).
Long story short, I stayed up much too late and was totally exhausted today, so I figured that I could justifying doing pretty much nothing all day as “recovery from surgery.” And now I’m going to go to sleep because I have a tonne of work to get done for September and isn’t September like really, really soon?