Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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12 Bars of Christmas 2010

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!

Day 167 - 12 Bars of Christmas Outfit

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:

Guy in a beaver suit and someone who is apparently supposed to be GSP

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.

  1. Yes, I do realize that it’s very silly to think of consuming 12 drinks as anything akin to “success” []
  2. though I have no idea who I was talking to []
  3. again, I don’t know who most of them were, but thank you guys for looking after me! []
  4. where I was staying for the night []
  5. “It costs me $200 if you puke in my cab!”” he said, repeatedly []
  6. puking up pure water is a very weird sensation []
  7. at least, I think it was Elwood’s []

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On my way to the 12 Bars on Christmas!

I’m all dressed up in my Christmas finest1, have stowed my car safely at Linda’s place2, and am now waiting for the bus to take me to bar #1.

Expect some festive drunk tweets tonight, people.

  1. which I would totally post a photo of if I could only figure out how to add a photo to my blog posting through the WordPress app on my iPhone []
  2. where I’m staying tonight, as I figured that after 12 bars I just might be a wee bit over the 0.05 drunk driving limit and I didn’t relish the idea of paying for a cab ride to Surrey! []

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12 Bars 2010 – Two Week Warning!


This afternoon as I was dutifully sitting at home marking papers, I received the email that one waits all year for – my invitation to the 12 Bars of Christmas!  Clearly, this was a reward for me being so responsible and staying home and marking papers all weekend, right? Of course, excitement about the impending 12 Bars distracted me from my marking and now it’s 7 p.m. and I still have 12 papers left to mark! But I digress. 12 Bars. So. Excited.

This year, instead of our usual $10/head1 donation to the Canadian Liver Foundation, our $10 per person charitable donations will go towards Paul’s Movember fundraiser.  Now, this goes strictly against my refusal-to-support-the-growing-of-facial-hair-even-if-it-for-a-good-cause policy, but… but it’s the 12 Bars!  I think maybe that is more of a “guideline” than a policy, really.

To remind you why I’m so excited, why don’t you peruse my blog postings on the 12 Bars of Christmases Past?

  1. er, $10 per liver []

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12* Bars of Christmas 2009

The alternate title for this blog posting: UFC1  is the Grinch who stole three of the bars of Christmas.

So now that my liver is functioning again, it’s time to blog about the 12 Bars of Christmas ’092!  As always, I took pictures throughout the night to capture this epic event for posterity3.  In previous years, I’ve used the antiquated method of having partygoers indicate the bar number with their fingers, like so:

These two fellas are showing that we were at bar #12 (from last year).

But this year I’ve technologized4, so bar numbers are indicated on my beloved Bellatrix the iPhone!  Plus I checked in on Foursquare at all the bars along the way – which I figured would make me look a lot less lame than my usual check-ins at grocery stores and libraries.

Traditionally, Bar 1 has been Erika & Paul’s house, but they live in Seattle now and we figured that the walk from there to 4th Ave in Vancouver would be a bit much.  Fortunately, E & P’s friends Lian & Jon moved into E & P’s old place, so we didn’t have to change locations!

Bar #1 – Lian & Jon’s Place

Jon & Lian, hosts of Bar #1.

My Drink: hot chocolate & Bailey’s.

Bar #2 – Los Margarita’s

Casey & Linda (who is holding my drink for the photo) at Bar #2.

My Drink: strawberry margarita.

Bar #3 – Hell’s Kitchen

Iain, with whom I waited *forever* to pay our bills at the bar, shows off the number 3.

My Drink: Amaretto sour.  HK has the best Amaretto sour in town!

Bar #4 – Room Eighteen

Tanis, my hockey buddy, smiling at bar #4.

My Drink: Amaretto sour.

Bar #5 – Mandala Restaurant

Matt appears to be very happy to be at bar #5.

My Drink: Wine.

Manadala’s is the dinner stop.  I had spring rolls, gyoza and yam & avocado maki.  I also realized during dinner that I’d forgotten to stop at the credit union on the block before the restaurant (and credit cards are just too darned slow when you are on a tight schedule like this!), so I doubled back there after dinner and then met up with everyone at the next bar.  Also, on the way I stopped and bought a hat.

Bar #6 – Darby’s

A whole bunch o’ people, all of whose names escape me except for Zoey on the left, showing off that we are at the halfway point – bar #6.

My Drink: Amaretto sour.

Bar #7 – Nevermind

Me & Zoey, two shorties, at Nevermind, showing off the number 7.

My Drink: Diet Coke & Amaretto5.

After Nevermind, however, things went a little sideways.  We all went to the scheduled bar, Gargoyle’s, and I headed right to the bathroom.  When I came out, however, everyone was gone!  It turns out that they wouldn’t let us stay because the place was packed with people watching UFC and they aren’t allowed to have more people that seats.  So I figured that everyone went on to the next scheduled bar, The Shack, so I went there, but it was also packed with people watching UFC and the same thing happened at the following bar, Elwood’s.  At that point I tried calling a few of the people from the group to figure out where the heck everyone was, but no one was answering their phones!  And then, mercifully, I saw a few people that I knew coming up the street!  As it turned out, most people went to Swiss Chalet6 when they couldn’t get into Gargoyle’s, but these few people decided to just get to the next bar.  I told them there would be no getting into The Shack or Elwood’s, so we decided to head to the following scheduled bar, Coppertank, where we’d just get a few drinks and wait for the others to catch up.  So, for me and a couple of other people at least:

Bar #8-11 – Coppertank

Dennis shows us that Coopertank represents the next four bars!

My drink: Wine.

As we spent a fair bit of time at this place, I got a few extra photos with alternative “elevens”:

Christine’s two straws = 11!

Linda’s two sticks of gum also = 11!

After everyone caught up, Erika came around and said that we’d just stay there as bar 12, so I took this photo:

Me at bar #12, but it’s not really 12 ‘cuz we ended up going to Regal Beagle after all! 7

And thus ended the 12* Bars of Christmas!

Also, for the record I unlocked the “Crunked” Badge on on FourSquare, for the illustrious accomplishment of checking in to four or more places in one night. Because I’m awesome like that.

But then the next day I received the “Bender” badge on FourSquare, for checking in to places four nights in a row!

Go party animal go!  Note that it was my checking into SAFEWAY – that’s right, Safeway the GROCERY STORE – that prompted this.  I am so awesome.

  1. Ultimate Fighting Championship []
  2. yes, I do realize that it’s been more than a week since 12* Bars, but hey, I’ve been busy! []
  3. and not, as some might tell you, so that I can reconstruct what happened during the evening at a later date.  I don’t know where you would even get such an idea!! []
  4. is so a word []
  5. I was soured out at this point []
  6. and then went somewhere else for a shot, although I came remember where they said they went []
  7. Also, notice my awesome hat, that I bought to replace the exact same hat that I’ve lost TWICE!! []

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Quick Assortment of Random Stuff, bulleted list style.

In case you were wondering, I did not, in fact, die before, during or after the 12 Bars of Christmas.  I’ve just been too busy1 since then to blog it2. Or anything else.  And really I’m too busy to blog this, but I’m doing it anyway.  And you know what too busy to blog means, right?  A bulleted list!

  • I work all day and mark all night.  I’m in the home stretch of marking for the course I taught this term and have marked one of my two Directed Studies students’ papers.
  • I called my hair dresser to make an appointment for a cut and to fix my atrocious roots and was told that she retired!  She’s only 24 years old, so she’s actually just retired from hair dressing; the last time I saw her, she’d started a new job as a medical assistant of some sort3, but she was still doing hair one day a week.  So I knew this was coming, but I’m still bummed out by it.  She was really good.  I’m going to give one of the other stylists at the same salon a try – keep your fingers crossed for me.
  • I don’t think I blogged about this, but my grampa had a small stroke.  He’s OK – he’s back at home and feeling a lot better.  The doctor said that this was just a “little stroke.  A warning.”  And since bad things happen in threes4, my great Uncle Iky5 passed away and my Uncle George6 is in hospital with a blood clot in his lung.  But that’s three, so no more bad things are allowed to happen.
  • The other day I mentioned the second reason why my Dad is the Brett Favre of the brake parts industry, noting that Brett Favre has “perfect attendance” since 1992 and my dad’s perfect attendance record at work stretches back at least as long as that.  So I was talking to him on the phone today7 and asked him when the last time he missed work.  As it turns out, it was a wee bit before 1992.  Like seven years before.  The last day my dad missed some work when he took off half a day to go to his friend’s funeral.  That was 24 years ago.  As in 1985.  As in when I was 8 years old.

OK, a few papers marked this evening – check! Dishes done, last load of laundry in the dryer, and dinner made and eaten – check! Half-assed blog posting written – check!   Now I’m going to bake some cookies and listen to the 3rd period of the Canucks game!

  1. seriously. I have three laundry buckets overflowing with clean laundry as I haven’t had time to fold laundry the last three times I’ve done laundry.  And I’ve only done the laundry because I’ve made time, as it’s not socially acceptable to go to work without clothes on []
  2. at my current rate, I’ll get around to blogging 12 Bars in time for 12 Bars 2012 []
  3. like a phlebotomist or something []
  4. or so they say []
  5. my late Granny‘s brother []
  6. my mom’s brother-in-law []
  7. my Dad, not Brett Favre []

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T minus 24 hours

…’til the start of the 12 Bars of Christmas ’09.  My liver hurts already.

I was just flipping through my blog postings from the previous 12 Barses1 and realized that this is my 4th year of 12 Barring, not my 3rd as I was thinking it was.  Not sure how I could have made that mistake, given that the emails keep saying it’s the 5th time that Erika & Paul have run this event and I know that I only missed the first year of it2.  Tomorrow’s forecast calls for snow, as seems to always happen for 12 Bars, but on the plus side I’m going to get some kickass Foursquare points, let me tell you.

Anyhoo, wish me luck on my latest attempt to consume far more alcohol than is reasonable even for a person of normal size, let alone for a shrimp like me – and keep your fingers crossed that the coming snowstorm doesn’t result in me having to walk home like I did last year.

  1. Barses is the plural of Bars, right? []
  2. perhaps this annual drinking at 12 bars in 6 hours isn’t good for the old brainarino? []

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T minus 3 hours…

IMG_4383

…until the 2008 installment of the 12 Bars of Christmas.

I’ve decided to wear my most appropriate T-shirt, seen here.  Also seen here, my $10 donation to the Canadian Liver Foundation, which is the required entrance fee for this year’s 12 Bars.

Little known fact: the Canadian Liver Foundation was created as a direct result of Erika & Paul’s first 12 Bars event. (This may or may not be true).

Anyway. Wish me luck.

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‘Tis The Season

I’m actually amazed I made it this long before hitting the hard core holiday party season.  I mean, it’s Dec 10th already and I’ve only had one holiday event!  So, for the record, because I know you are all dying to hear about my plans, my holiday parties this year consist of:

  • dinner with a bunch of my trainees after our seminar this past Monday
  • drinks with a bunch of my friends from school (current and former students in my PhD program) tomorrow night1
  • my friend Erika’s annual 12 Bars of Christmas on Saturday.  This will be my third year attending this illustrious event.  Due to last year’s severe overcrowding, the guest list has been scaled back to only those people who attended the year before. Also new this year: everyone participating has to make a donation to the most appropriate charity: the Canadian Liver Foundation.
  • holiday party of my old lab group on Sunday.  Despite the fact that it has been over two years since I worked in that lab and the fact that I didn’t officially work in that lab2, I still get invited to the parties. Which is super nice, because they are a lot of fun.
  • office lunch at Sandbar on Granville Island on Monday
  • lunch with the Dean of one of the Faculties that I teach in on Wednesday
  • Blogger Meetup at Ceili’s on Wednesday as well

Man, just looking at that list makes me tired.  Thankfully, I’ll have lots of time to recuperate over Christmas while lying on the beach in Los Cabos for an entire week.  You know you are jealous.

1Depending on how late that goes, I may also try to swing by the Best of 604 par-tay afterwards
2My lab, which only consisted of three people, just kinda hung around their lab and used their stuff.

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The 12 Bars of Christmas

The date: Saturday, December 16th, 2006.

The premise: It’s Erika’s birthday. We celebrate by going to 12 bars in one night.

The rules: You must consume at least one drink per bar. You must finish your drink on time to get to the next bar on schedule, lest you get yelled at by the Pub Crawl Nazis (read: Erika, Paul and, eventually, Linda). Five, three and/or two minute warnings will be given, depending upon the time at which a Pub Crawl Nazi looks at their watch. You must sing the appropriate verse of “The 12 Days of Christmas” before leaving each bar.

The participants: Anyone crazy enough to join in. While some people did join us along the way at various bars (the schedule having been emailed out the week previous), only those who started at Bar 1 were truly cool.

The photographic evidence: First, a confession. I have shamelessly ripped off my photo idea from paid homage to Dave’s Movie Marathon 2006 photography – at each bar, I had someone hold up the appropriate number of fingers to represent the bar in question. Or at least I attempted to. It was necessary, because I knew I was going to be in no state to remember where the hell we were in these photos by the next day. Unfortunately, I am not as skilled a technical wizard as Jorge (read: I can’t figure out where on my computer my animated GIF program has run off to) so my photos are not in cool slideshow format like Dave’s are.

3 pm* – Bar 1 (E & P’s place). Of course, two people are showing number 1, which may lead you to believe that this is bar 2, which it is not. Clearly, the drinking has begun:

3:30 pm – Bar 2 (Bimini’s). Beth shows off a festive (and highly overpriced) Amaretto Sour*:

4 pm – Erika tells us it is Bar 3, as does Linda (again, making it look like it is bar 6, rather than Bar 3). Dave K. (who was only at bar 3) shows us his two beer, further confusing our numbering system. Oh ya, this is Hell’s Kitchen, which had by far the best Amaretto Sour:

4:30 pm – Showing that we are now at Bar 4 (Kitsilano Restaurant), with glass of House Red in hand.

We had the luxury of a whole hour scheduled at Kitsilano Restaurant, as we also had dinner there. And although we were surprised by how fast they could make 21 orders of chow mein, it did take slightly more than one hour. Which meant we needed to spend less than our 1/2 hr at the next bar in order to get back on schedule.

5 pm – Hence this photo:

The first few of us into Bar 5, Tatlows, started negotiate with the bartender: “We need 23 shots of something – what kind of deal can you offer us?” She agreed to make 23 Crispy Crunch shots. Which were then paid for by a total random sitting at the bar, with whom Leanne had been chatting. Said he was missing out on a holiday party that day, so he’d buy our shots and “Merry Christmas!” Merry Christmas indeed!!

And now we start to get creative! 5 shot glasses to represent Bar 5!

6 pm – Bar 6 was Darby’s.

Our fearless leaders, Erika & Paul, lead us in song. “On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, six geese a-laying!” at Darby’s.

6: 30 pm – Bar 7 is one of my favourite bars – Nevermind!

7 pm – Bar 8 Lou’s. Christine is holding up 3 fingers, I swear! We may be on our 8th drink (shots of Jäger, ‘cuz they were on special), but we can still count!

I would also like to point out that I chatted up a hot boy, who took this photo for us:


7:30 pm – Bar 9
The Fringe Cafe. Nick is trying to look sexy. Linda seems to find her hand amusing!


Getting a bit behind schedule, and because The Fringe Cafe really can’t fit all 23 of us very comfortably, we opted for shots. Inexplicably, we chose shots of Jäger again:


8 pm – Linda’s sister, Krista*** joined us at Coppertank, and was thus our model for Bar 10:

8:30 pm – Bar 11Mark’s Fiasco – Apparently my photography skills are getting a bit fuzzy by my 11th drink, as I cut Erika’s hand out of the photo. =(


9 pm – Bar 12
and we can still do math! wOOt! Good times at the Reagle Beagle:


9:30 pm ’til late: After Bar 12, we decided to celebrate having survived this insanity by going to another bar – Lola’s. Where we played pool, danced and, unbelievably, drank some more.

Summary: I got the bright idea at some point during the night that I should figure out how many alcohol calories I actually consumed during thidebaucheryry. This morning, I still thought that would be a good, albeit frightening, prospect. And so, as best I can remember (using the photos as help!), I believe I consumed: a beer, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, white wine, Crispy Crunch shot, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, shot of Jäger, shot of Jäger, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, shot of Jäger, an Amaretto Sour. Using my diet analysis software and the wonders of the internets for research, I estimate this to be a whopping 1898 Calories!! Considering that my average caloric expenditure for a day is only 1748 Calories and I did actually eat food that day, I also estimate that I now weigh 500 lbs.

For those of you who prefer graphics to all this text, www.intox.com estimates my blood alcohol to have been:

To put that in context, drunk driving in most of Canada and the US is 80 mg/dL. Also from www.intox.com:

300 mg/100 ml of blood – At this level most people will lose conciousness.

Now, in my own defence, I don’t believe my blood alcohol was this high. I didn’t feel nearly that drunk****. I didn’t puke, or even come close to puking. Nor did I pass out, or even fall over. I only sunk 1 ball in 2 whole games of pool, but I suck at pool, so I could easily have done that stone cold sober. Similarly, I may have knocked over the drinks of two of the three people who bought me drinks at Lola’s, but I am a generally clumsy person anyway. Jesus, do I sound like I’m justifying things here or what?

Best lines of the night:

I need your fingers” – in reference to the photos!

If you don’t look the other person in the eye during a toast, you will have 7 years of bad sex.” Response: “Oh my god, is that consecutive??”

E: “Hookups trump relationships” This was in reference to the priority list for who, of all the people crashing at E & P’s, would get the spare bedroom (a hookup couple would get priority over a relationship couple, which would get priority over a single person). My response to this: “I agree with that statement in every possible connotation*****

Conclusion: A fun time was had by all, even though it will take me at least 17 weeks of running to burn off all those calories. Anyone who didn’t do all 12 bars is a wimp. Better luck next year!

*Times are approximate… we pretty much stuck to the schedule, so the times are basically correct, ± 15 minutes.

**I was drinking Amaretto Sours for a very good reason – I wanted a drink that I could consume most of the night without getting alcohol poisoning. I thought that was reasonable.

***At least I think her name was Krista… I’m not good with names at the best of times!

****And clearly I was in the proper state to judge such a thing.

*****For the record, there were no hookups. Sorry to disappoint!