The End. (Part II)

#348. Logan Bar & Grill – 2230 N. California
#349. The Rocking Horse – 2535 N. Milwaukee
#350. Bob Inn – 2609 W. Fullerton
#351. The Chicago Diner – 3411 N. Halsted
#352. Revolution Brewing – 2323 N. Milwaukee
#353. Cole’s Chicago – 2338 N. Milwaukee
#354. The Whistler – 2421 N. Milwaukee
#355. Billy Sunday – 3143 W. Logan
#356. Whirlaway Lounge – 3224 W. Fullerton
#357. The Double: An Urban Tavern – 3545 W. Fullerton
#358. Black Sheep – 3441 N. Sheffield
#359. Clark St. Beach – 3419 N. Clark
#360. Salt & Pepper Diner – 3537 N. Clark
#361. Redmond’s Ale House – 3358 N. Sheffield
#362. Beer on Clark – 3415 N. Clark
#363. Mullen’s Bar & Grill – 3527 N. Clark
#364. Tarantino’s – 1112 W. Armitage
#365. Hangge-Uppe – 14 W. Elm

I know Jay already made our apology but I would like to echo it: we should have wrapped this up earlier. Though we finished our drinking on-time, we did not keep up well with the blogging. That is largely my fault but here we go with the last post.*

After we drank the last bar dry, a huge weight was taken off our shoulders. Down the final stretch, we racked up a lot of bars in a short time but we made it!

TBD

Two accomplished men.

Now that I’ve had time to reflect on the yearlong challenge, it was a hell of a year. Not many people can say that they’ve drank at over 365 unique bars in a year, let alone their entire life. What started out as wanting to find the best bars in Chicago for a happy hour, to watch football, to take a date, and have a bro-night out, turned into an opportunity to spend a year with my best friend doing what we did best.

Beyond the fact that I can drink an exuberant amount of beer, the lesson I learned completing the the 365 challenge was the importance to do something for yourself. Our 20s are an exciting but often apprehensive time. We’ve all heard the cliche that we should “work to live” rather than “live to work” but too easily we find ourselves doing the latter. It’s very easy to get lost in the demands of our day-to-day lives and careers; too often finding ourselves saying we are too “busy” and continue to put certain things off (see: this blog post). I, as much as anyone, know now is the time to put in the extra hour at work and to be planning for the future but as you start 2014 I ask you to make sure you take time to do something for the joy of it. Travel to a city you’ve never been. Give back and volunteer. Move to a new city. Meet new people. Do something for the joy it.

Last year, the 365 challenge was a blast and an experience I’ll always remember. It didn’t hurt that it included booze, sporting events (turtle races and roller derby are sports, right?), and great friends. The year was spent consuming over a thousand drinks, sitting in hundreds of barstools, competing in several trivia nights, drinking our way through a few bar crawls and one food challenge gone terribly wrong. We had triumphs (14 bars in one day during the Great Bucktown Barcrawl!) and some defeats (e.g., Tuesday morning after this Monday Night…it was rough). We drank in dress pants and sweatpants, alike, while enjoying many great Chicago craft beers and cringing at the taste of Jeppson’s Malort. We found some gems (e.g., Danny’s Tavern) and some just awfully managed dumps (e.g., Yak-Zies). All the while, somewhere deep in our hearts we still know we should totally open a bar!

Many asked, “What do you two talk about during those long hours drinking together?” With a friend, it doesn’t matter what we are talking about. Whether we were chatting about the game on TV, discussing one of my crazy theories, or getting some life advice, I enjoyed every sip. While we may be able to burn away the calories from all the beers we drank, the memories made during this year living drunkly will never be forgotten.

No matter what Jay tells you, he still loves me!

No matter what Jay tells you, he still loves me!

Now to wrap it all up, I thought I’d give everyone some great bars to visit. While my favorite bar still might be the Full Shilling, here’s my list of top can’t miss bars in Chicago:

  • Favorite go-to bar: Sheffield’s
  • Great bars any night of the week: Three Ace’s (great food and atmosphere), Guthrie’s Tavern (board games!), Racine Plumbing Co. Bar & Grill, Bub City (great BBQ and live music)
  • Best dive bars: Higgins Tavern (free popcorn), Bob Inn (free Golden Tee), Happy Village (free ping pong), Gingerman Tavern (free pool, Sunday-Tuesday)
Insert Caption

Most of my favorite places have popcorn.

  • Best date places: Uncommon Ground (delicious food), The Barrelhouse Flat (refreshing cocktails)
So many man dates....

So many man dates….

  • Best sports bars: Derby Bar & Grill, The Bird’s Nest (best wings in the city), State Restaurant
  • Best surprises of the year: Danny’s Tavern, Shoe’s Pub, 25 Degrees
  • Bars to remind you of college: Big Joe’s, Friar Tuck, Wellington’s Tavern
Friar Tuck regulars' favorite inflatable sheep shot.

The Friar Tuck regulars’ favorite inflatable sheep shot.

  • Bars that scream Chicago: The Hangge Uppe, Boiler Room
Women's bathroom at the Boiler Room.

The CTA themed bathrooms at the Boiler Room are just a small part of what makes this bar great!

*As I sit here a little teary-eyed, writing the final AYearLivingDrunkly post, I can’t help but think about how fun a 20th anniversary reunion tour would be! How’s 2022 looking for you, Jay?!

The End. (Part I)

#348. Logan Bar & Grill – 2230 N. California
#349. The Rocking Horse – 2535 N. Milwaukee
#350. Bob Inn – 2609 W. Fullerton
#351. The Chicago Diner – 3411 N. Halsted
#352. Revolution Brewing – 2323 N. Milwaukee
#353. Cole’s Chicago – 2338 N. Milwaukee
#354. The Whistler – 2421 N. Milwaukee
#355. Billy Sunday – 3143 W. Logan
#356. Whirlaway Lounge – 3224 W. Fullerton
#357. The Double: An Urban Tavern – 3545 W. Fullerton
#358. Black Sheep – 3441 N. Sheffield
#359. Clark St. Beach – 3419 N. Clark
#360. Salt & Pepper Diner – 3537 N. Clark
#361. Redmond’s Ale House – 3358 N. Sheffield
#362. Beer on Clark – 3415 N. Clark
#363. Mullen’s Bar & Grill – 3527 N. Clark
#364. Tarantino’s – 1112 W. Armitage
#365. Hangge-Uppe – 14 W. Elm

Let me first begin with our last and most effusive apology: I’m sooooooo sorry. Specifically, I’m sorry that this post has taken forever. Obviously. Everyone has probably been dying to hear the exciting conclusion of the 365 challenge and have been kept waiting for nearly 6 months. (Spoiler alert: We did it!) But let me elucidate why there was such delay. Mostly, we lost a bar or two. To use an accounting metaphor (not that I’m qualified to do so, or really even to handle money or use numbers), we had some incomplete ledgers and so some money was lost. Miraculously, after months of searching we were able to come up with a couple places we missed, and determined that we repeated a number on our list. Detail-oriented, we are not. Let me also apologize for the number of bars in this post. It was very clearly supposed to be a Logan Square bar crawl post and a final wrap up post, but after all this time I figured it was better to just get it all out there and finish off this baby. Plus, our night out in Logan Park was hazy 7 months ago, it’s just a smear of drunken color in my subconscious today. That bar crawl will go down in history alongside what happened to Jimmy Hoffa and how they get the cream into Twinkies as one of the great mysteries of our age.

WHY IS THERE A DOG IN THE BAR! TOTAL ANARCHY!

For instance, WHY IS THERE A DOG IN THE BAR!?  WHAT IS GOING ON?! THERE ARE NO RULES! AHHH!

Last confession, I started writing this post numerous times but was never able to get past the introduction.* I think I was overwhelmed with how to make sense of finally overcoming this daunting challenge, and encapsulate an experience so rich and fraught with emotions. So instead, I had a beer. And then another. And then a couple more. And then probably some shots. And then more than likely a huge slice of pizza I would later regret. And this happened probably a dozen or so times. But after a few months, some deep breaths, and a little context, I think I can boil this whole thing down to one inalienable truth. Ok, here I go: This was a fun year.

And were celebrities!

That nearly made us local celebrities!

1 year, 365 bars. For shits and giggles, let’s imagine we spent just an hour in each bar. That’s over 15 entire days I spent this year exploring new corners of the city I love, meeting new people, and shooting the shit the with one of my best friends. When is the last time you spent all day–eight, ten, twelve hours– with just a friend and some beers? It’s only been a few months since the challenge ended, and already it’s almost unimaginable. Obligations grow and swell, and then split into ten more, until life is so crowded it can seem like there’s no space for even just an hour with friends. So mostly, I’m grateful I had this time where I had to do so little, so that I could experience so much, with some of my favorite people.

Think so little, and drink so much.

Including exotic locales like the Hangge-Uppe, filled with brilliantly plumaged bachelorette parties as far as the eye can see.

And even though I pretty much just determined the bars were completely secondary to the experience, it’s time for some requisite and totally irrelevant bar rankings. I thought long and hard (hehe) about which bars I liked best during this challenge and what criteria I could possibly apply to pare down the list. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that due to the vast variety of bars we’ve been to and the complete subjectivity of my own tastes, impressions, and half formed recollections, it was basically impossible to apply any kind of standard set of criteria. Not to mention everyone’s got their own opinion and I’m sure I’ll be skewered for my picks no matter what I do. So instead, I’ve decided to just throw out a few places I would most like to have a beer at on any given night and you can all just go to hell. Also, just to be fair Full Shilling has been disqualified due to its innate awesomeness and proximity to home. Here are some of my favorites (mind you, not necessarily best**):

Marge’s Still/Patsy’s Place: Small, cozy, neighborhood bars. Marge’s is a welcome respite from the usual Old Town jagbaggery (I still can’t figure out why people pack themselves into Fireplace Inn or wait an hour to get into Benchmark), with a neighborhoody and comfortable feel, as if Marge herself is working the bar. Patsy’s is an even tinier bar on Lincoln, with a friendly bartender, Leinenkugel’s Red on tap (which I love but almost never see on tap), and always an open bar stool. I guess I would call these your comfort bars.

trfsd

Doesn’t this just look like a place where everybody knows your name?

Sheffield’s/Derby/Easy Bar: The best way I can put this is that they are good at being bars. They’re nice, but unpretentious. They get crowded, but are rarely overwhelming. I would take anyone there for a beer or a meal almost regardless of the occasion: to watch a game, for a birthday, on a Tuesday, whatever. And they all do whatever they’re trying to do really well. Sheffield’s has one of my favorite outdoor seating areas in the city. Derby absolutely crushes it on their horse racing theme and food. Small Bar does a back bar lounge almost perfectly. Just well executed all around.

dfsdfs

Also, I’ll take any excuse to make the joke that Sam is easy.

Zed 451/Boiler Room/Three Aces: Admittedly, these are my flyers. I’ve only been to each of these once, and all on exhausting bar crawls, but I really enjoyed them and thought they were pretty unique. Zed 451 has a gorgeous rooftop and really distinctive inside-out wood decor, but still seemed approachable to a couple dudes having a beer after work. Boiler Room has a super unique look, including a bathroom designed like a CTA train, cool specials like the PBJ (PBR, pizza, and a Jamo shot) special, and just a touch of weird–playing Chuck Norris movies on a loop is strange but awesome. A neat bar, and I really don’t like using that word. Three Aces was my favorite of our West Loop barcrawl, which had what some would call a hipster vibe, but I thought it was great. It was a pretty big place with kind of an upscale punkish decor, a pool table, a photo booth, and big beer selection.

"Douchey microbrew bar," says the man drinking vodka on the rocks.

Or “douchey microbrew bar” to use Steve’s words.

At this point we’ve basically made it to Thanksgiving, so what the hell, let me say once again I am thankful for this year. We did it. It was a blast. I won’t forget it. And as always…

Fotor1126111121

Cheers!

*Here is where I gotta call out my partner for dogging it. This post was actually done 3 months ago, but I was waiting for Tj’s two cents. Ultimately, I’m just going ahead and let him have the last word in his own post if he must. He’s like a woman! Ammaright!?

**Honorable mentions: Danny’s Tavern, Shoe’s Pub, Blokes & Birds, Pepper Canister, Rocks, Schuba’s, Quenchers, Twin Anchors, Holiday Club, Guthries, Hopleaf, The Whistler, Friar Tuck, Stocks & Blondes, Racine Plumbing, Reservoir

South Loop Lows, Roof Top Highs.

#334. Kasey’s Tavern – 701 S. Dearborn
#335. Hackney’s – 733 S. Dearborn
#336. Bar Louie – 47 W. Polk
#337. Jimmy Greens – 825 S. State
#338. South Loop Club – 701 S. State
#339. George’s Cocktail Lounge – 646 S. Wabash
#340. Plymouth Restaurant – 327 S. Plymouth
#341. ROOF on the Wit – 201 N. State
#342. Tortoise Club – 350 N. State
#343. Public House – 400 N. State
#344. Cantina Laredo – 508 N. State
#345. Vertigo Sky Lounge – 2 W. Erie
#346. Zed451 – 739 N. Clark
#347. Shanghai Terrance @ The Peninsula – 108 E. Superior

It’s official. It took 300-plus bars, but we have found the diviest dive in Chicago. More divey than Rose’s, Mickey’s Tavern, and even W Cut Rate Liquors. Calling it a dive almost sullies the good name of dives everywhere.* It’s pretty much just crappy from top to bottom, completely devoid of charm, with a rough and gruff staff and the clientele to match. Feast your eyes on George’s Cocktail Lounge in scenic South Loop:

gfdgd

Bar? Pawn shop? Gun store? Whatever it is you know they need a license and they probably don’t have one.

The bar’s adorned with torn-up leather bar stools, a completely burned out tube TV, and a register that’s 30 years older than me. The bathroom has no door knob or lock, no paper towels, and a toilet literally held together by duct tape. When we arrived, the lone patron at the bar walked that fine line between grizzled local and possible vagrant, served by two frumpy women with thick accents of unclear origins. We were soon followed in by a group of young college students that were almost certainly using fake IDs. Oh and I forgot to mention, it’s a makeshift liquor store:

fsdfs

With prices so inflated they couldn’t possibly be in US currency. 750 ml of Jim Beam: fifty… Yen?**

George’s was really the crown jewel in what is generally par for the course around the South Loop and parts of the Loop. All in all it felt like a great place to get a fifth in a brown paper bag, make some homeless friends, and probably get stabbed on the way out. And on the other side of the spectrum, we have our exquisite rooftop bar crawl stretching from the Loop to River North, replete with:

fadfiljadf

Silk pillows!

jkgkhkh

Pyrotechnics!

A king's view from the urinal.

And slightly more pleasing bathroom views.

We took a night to enjoy the finer things and some of the best views in the city. We didn’t quite make it all the way to the Hancock Tower’s Signature Room, but all in all our rooftop tour was a success. The Wit’s ROOF was head and shoulders above everywhere else in terms of trendiness with a cool inside/outside setup (it felt very New Yorkish), but I liked Zed451′s rooftop space the best in terms of a place to get a beer and a meal.

Roof on the Wit, which is as difficult to photograph as it is to describe.

ROOF on the Wit, which is as difficult to photograph as it is to describe.

And the all-important award for the place that looked the least excited about two drunks showing up on a weekday just before they closed goes to… Shanghai Terrace. Sorry dudes, and thanks for the wasabi peas.

Also, best decorators.

Also, the award for best decorators.

Cheers.

Days Remaining: 21

Bars Remaining: 18

*The bar that actually sullies the name of dives everywhere: Dram Shop. The only bar that’s ever driven us out by sheer odor.

**I’m going to admit this photo is taken straight off Yelp. I didn’t have the heart to blatantly take ironic photos in a mostly empty bar with such scary looking people around me. Sue me. But here’s Tj’s picture of their sh*thole bathroom, if you didn’t believe me when I said the toilet is held together with duct tape.

Does anyone else picture this toilet evil and talking like the scary furnace in home alone? Just me? Alright then, something for the shrink.

Anybody reminded of that terrifying scene from Look Who’s Talking Too? Also, is that Mel Brooks voicing a toilet?

Speech! Speech! Speech!

#318. Konak Pizza & Grill – 5150 N. Clark
#319. Simon’s Tavern – 5210 N. Clark
#320. Farraguts on Clark – 5240 N. Clark
#321. Lady Gregory – 5260 N. Clark
#322. Acre – 5308 N. Clark
#323. Bar Ombra – 5310 N. Clark
#324. @mosphere – 5355 N. Clark St
#325. Jerry’s – 5419 N. Clark
#326. Marty’s – 1511 W. Balmoral
#327. Hopleaf -5148 N. Clark
#328. Suite Lounge – 1446 N. Wells
#329. Rocco Ranalli’s Pizza – 1925 N. Lincoln
#330. George Street Pub – 2858 N. Halsted
#331. Sweet Baby Ray’s – 3478 N. Clark
#332. Cubby Bear – 1059 W. Addison
#333. Renaldi’s Pizza Pub – 2827 N. Broadway

To Ships:*
There are good ships, and wood ships,
And ships that sail the sea.
But most important are the friend-ships,
Between you and me.
And this guy!

And this guy!

So here’s to those friends, whom always attends.
To the High school bud,
and the family blood,
out even in torrential flood.
Difficult to capture on film.

Alright, it’s raining. Let’s have another.

To the hangover fighters,
and the up-all-nighters,
Always there with support, even lighters.
Though I’ll admit Steve Clow is no gem.
Listen to this poem**, we’d be lost without ’em.
This ain't news.

This ain’t news.

To the British conventioneer,
and the Chicago sight-seer,
who made our sabbatical year.
The soccer moms, and brewmaster Tom,
Thanks, this years been the bomb.

Soccer moms have the best treats.

Soccer moms have the best treats.

Cheers.***

Days Remaining: 36

Bars Remaining: 32

*This first verse is actually an existing toast, and the only one I know that is appropriate for print of any kind. Yes, even blogs.
**In the loosest sense of the word. I’m free rhyming my ass off here, and I know it’s dicey at best.

***I’d like to credit the last barman poet, Tom Cruise in Cocktail, as the inspiration for this half-assed post.

An Open (and Belated) Mother’s Day Apology.

#308. Wrigleyville North – 3900 N. Sheridan
#309. Holiday Club – 4000 N. Sheridan
#310. Nick’s Uptown – 4015 N. Sheridan
#311. Driftwood – 1021 W. Montrose
#312. The Reservoir – 844 W. Montrose
#313. The Spot – 4437 N. Broadway
#314. Fat Cat – 4840 N. Broadway
#315. The Annoyance Theatre & Bar – 4830 N. Broadway
#316. Crew – 4804 N. Broadway
#317. Uptown Lounge – 1136 W. Lawrence

Dear Mom,*

First off, let me say: you did good.** This Mother’s Day I couldn’t help thinking how you managed to do everything for us, always watched out for us, loved us even when we didn’t deserve it and how, even now, you are the unshakable rock of our family. You’ll never meet three full grown boys that have more respect for, or are more uniformly terrified of, their five foot tall mother. And because you did so good, it’s hard not to think that I haven’t quite lived up to what you probably deserve in a progeny.

Whaaaaat?

I know what you’re thinking, “Whaaaaat? That guy?” Yes, that guy.

When the Christmas cards come each year from friends and family, there are always sons climbing Kilimanjaro, sons hiking the Appalachian trail, sons working on the Hill, sons getting married, sons “blessing” their mother with grandkids***, and so on and so forth. So Mom, I think I owe you an apology for this ridiculous 365 challenge. Well not for the challenge itself, (which I think we can all agree is pretty bitchin’, ammiright?) but at least for the fact that this challenge is probably the most committed I’ve ever been to anything in my life, and this blog is probably the most creative thing I’ve ever spent any time on****, and all I will have to show for it is likely liver damage. Not one of your sons could be bothered to take a single piano lesson, but donate a year of my life to alcohol? No problem. It was decided casually over a burger and a beer.

You're goddamn right.

You’re goddamn right.

So you might think I’m just spinning my wheels this year. Not to say you do think that (you have always supported me), but if you did, you’d be justified. But I promise, this challenge—it’s not my Kilimanjaro. I intend on doing bigger things in life than just exist in 365 places and swill beer. I don’t know what that will be just yet, but I hope you’ll forgive some wheel spinning and beer swilling while I find out. I wouldn’t hold your breath for me conquering the actual Kilimanjaro though.

Or the piano. Tj's learning though, one hotel bar at a time.

Or the piano. But Tj’s learning. One hotel bar at a time.

I love you, Mom.

J

Cheers.

Days Remaining: 48

Bars Remaining: 48

*I know the last few posts have been pretty off subject and I was anticipating bringing it back the bars, but honestly Uptown had me at a loss. The stretch of bars we hit were all over the spectrum: Driftwood was a dive, Crew a gay sports bar, Uptown Lounge a late night clubby place, and so on. The Reservoir was actually very nice and had a good upscale bar menu, and I enjoyed the Ratpack vibe at the Holiday Club, but other than those bright spots I wouldn’t return to any of the other Uptown places we visited. A few places even had a crowd that seemed a little seedy to me in a way I haven’t experienced too often this year. Fat Cat specifically jumps to mind. Uptown: B-

Respect, Crew. Respect.

Respect, Crew. Respect.

**“Don’t you mean well?”  Hold on. I’m tearing up. *sniff* Damn you, Feeny.

***Lately, the running joke in our family has been, “You want grandkids, Mom? We can be a whole lot more reckless.” She did not think it was as funny as we did.

****Arguably. I’ve been known to make some pretty bitchin’ video power hours too. Not that those are any better in terms of wastes of time. But if you wanna pregame to clips of movies/music videos/ESPN spots and you only have an hour, I’m your guy. Also, I’m taking back the word bitchin’. So there’s that.

Pretty Soon Everything is Different.

#296. United Center – 1901 W. Madison
#297.  Revolucion Steak House – 3443 N. Broadway
#298. Jacqueline’s – 3420 N. Broadway
#299. Primebar – 155 N. Wacker
#300. Stanley’s Kitchen – 1970 N. Lincoln
#301. Sedgwicks Bar & Grill – 1935 N. Sedgwick
#302. Gamekeepers Tavern & Grill – 1971 N. Lincoln
#303. River Shannon – 425 W. Armitage
#304. Four Farthings – 2060 N. Cleveland
#305. Twisted Shamrock II – 2238 N. Lincoln
#306. Kendall’s Food & Spirits 2263 N. Lincoln
#307. Kelsey’s – 2265 N. Lincoln

When Jay and I set out for this challenge, 365 bars in 365 days, we figured it was a great way to see the city. Get an understanding of the lay of the land. Discover what Chicago neighborhoods and bars we liked. We just knew there had to be more outside of the friendly confines of Wrigley(ville). Ultimately, it was a way for two friends to spend time together exploring the city we love and doing what college taught us best, drink beer. When we explained our lofty goal for the next year to friends and family, we got lots of positive feedback, some friends exuberant to join in for parts of the adventure, and we also had a few naysayers. I’m not going to name any names and will let the Where We’ve Been page do all the talking as we near number 365.*

Yes Jay, we are covering a lot of ground!

Yes good sir, we are covering a lot of ground!

As I start to reflect on the past year, it first seems like not much has changed. I’ve had great health all along; I have a loving family; I am still dating the most intelligent and beautiful woman I know; I have the same job; I live in the same apartment; and I still stay out a little too late with my friends.** But is that all I really have to show for this last year? A dependable routine? A predictable life? When I dig deeper I find out there’s much more to it.

1) Not only do I have great health but now I’m much more conscious of what I eat and drink. While I’m aware of all the nutritional facts of a Budweiser tall boy, I keep drinking beers for you, our readers.

mb,mv

Part of a balanced diet.

2) This year will mark the first time my entire family will be together in over a decade and my baby sister just graduated college!

sdfsdfds

Pretty handsome bunch.

3) I’ve had amazing experiences traveling to new locations around the world, tasting some of the best food Chicago has to offer, visiting museums, attending sporting events***, street festivals and concerts, but most importantly learned so much from her that I couldn’t imagine being without my incredible girlfriend.

California's full of whiskey, women and gold.

California’s full of whiskey, women and gold.

4) My company was acquired, we moved office buildings and I was lucky enough earn a promotion.

5) Jay redecorated the living room to be more spacious. I think he may have a new calling on Martha Stuart’s television show.

And

6) I’m tucked into bed every night, Fridays and Saturdays included, by 10 PM to guarantee I get my Dr. Cummings recommended 8 hours of sleep.****

Pictured: A sick, yet funky fresh, Tj.

As you already know, I sleep with STYLE.

At our young age, we should be enjoying life to the fullest. Habits we form now will be with us the rest of our lives. So eat a balanced diet and stay physically active. Call you’re grandparents just to see how the weather has been. Travel the world. Show up 20 minutes early to work. Move to a new city. And for God’s sake, have another beer!

Have to love Calvin & Hobbs!

“Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.” – C&H

I’m a strong believer that if you simply do what gives you the most joy, life will turn out pretty damn well. All of this change occurred in my life while on a seemingly never ending bar crawl and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Cheers.

Days Remaining: 59

Bars Remaining: 59

*I mean seriously, Google Maps couldn’t even contain the sheer numbers of bars we have visited on one page! To those of you that thought this would be so darn easy, it’s simply not if you want to have a life outside of drinking.

**I almost included the fact that the Cubs aren’t any closer to winning that seemingly unattainable World Series. But I couldn’t include it in this post about change because this is one thing that simply may never change in my lifetime. There’s always next year…I suppose.

***She will even fight the elements of a cold and windy Chicago spring for me.

Sam out enjoying an early Spring game at Wrigley!

****Alright, you caught me here. I still stay out plenty late with my friends but hell I’m 5-for-6. Not too shabby.

Here We Go Again.

#287. Big Bricks – 3830 N. Lincoln
#288. Goldies Bar – 3839 N. Lincoln
#289.  Save More Lounge – 4060 N. Lincoln
#290. Corner 41 – 4138 N. Lincoln
#291. The Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro – 4257 N. Lincoln
#292. The Wild Goose Bar & Grill – 4265 N. Lincoln
#293. Gannon’s Pub – 4264 N. Lincoln
#294. Bad Apple – 4300 N. Lincoln
#295. Guthrie’s Tavern – 1300 W. Addison

Ok, this post is mostly just an excuse to discuss what is either the coolest thing ever or the greatest troll ever. Or both. I can’t decide. But there will be a point, I promise. Anyway, we were at Guthrie’s Tavern recently and I discovered this scrawled in the bathroom above the door:

Why would they lie?

For those without eagle eyes: “Luv This Bar Great Staff Great Vibe David Coverdale Feb 2013 Whitesnake”

Ok now Wikipedia David Coverdale:

Here I Go Again.

“Here I go again. On my own. Going down the only road. I’ve ever known….” I’m sorry, I’ve gotta stop, I’m tearing up.

That’s right, David Coverdale was/is* the lead singer of  Deep Purple, and of course, Whitesnake. Ok, so I can’t even wrap my head around this. Either, A. the former frontman from Whitesnake was on vacation in Chicago (he lives in Lake Tahoe, thanks Wikipedia!), took a tour of Wrigley (it was February, no games) and stopped off at Guthrie’s Tavern for a drink and was so impressed with the place that he had to give it a world class endorsement in the men’s room** or B. someone purposefully chose to vandalize a bar bathroom and attribute their love of the bar to someone as obscure and awesome as the former frontman from Whitesnake.

Which of these is more likely? I honestly can’t decide. Most drunk people write things in the bathroom that are more like this:

Modern poetry.

Modern poetry.

And if someone was just doing this as a joke, who chooses David Coverdale as their alias? If it was attributed to Michael Jordan or Mick Jagger I could just disregard it as stupidity. But David Coverdale?! Is this guy the president of the Whitesnake fan club? Was David Coverdale an answer on Jeopardy last night? It’s too random for me to totally reject it as an impossibility. And frankly, that’s the shear genius of it. He could have been there! Why not? He’s too busy with a Whitesnake comeback tour?*** I doubt it.

And now to the point of that discursive breakdown of bathroom graffiti. You might wonder what keeps us occupied in the countless hours we spend at bars with naught but each other’s company. The short answer: this kind of crap. How long do you think we discussed the likelihood of David Coverdale’s being in Chicago? We’re roommates and old friends, but there is only so much substantive conversation to be mined from our day to day lives. When we spend multiple weeknights sitting at bars we would suffer through some painful silences if not for three things 1. Sports**** 2. Arguments***** 3. A 13 year old’s sense of humor.

hehehe

Hehehe. Butt.

I call it the barfly conversational toolbox. Anybody who has ever been cornered by the lone guy at the bar has probably seen it action. Uh oh. Are we those guys?

"Tom Brady would absolutely beat Hitler in Indian wrestling!"

“No! Tom Brady would absolutely beat Hitler in Indian wrestling!”

Cheers.

Days Remaining: 63

Bars Remaining: 70

*Was/is because he’s still alive, but those bands no longer are. What is the proper use of tense there? Are you forever the lead singer of Deep Purple or were you? Did they have a lead singer after him? That might be the decider.

**I’m filing this under totally plausible. He’s a Brit. Guthrie’s is a nice little English pub with board games. Maybe he just loves  Guinness and a good game of Risk.

***CORRECTION: WHITESNAKE REFORMED IN 2002, RELEASED AN ALBUM IN 2011, AND HAS BEEN TOURING. WHY DO I NOT KNOW THIS?!

****There’s nothing better to encourage weeknight drinking than a Bulls or Hawks playoff game, but thank God this challenge is ending soon, I cannot sit around and watch the Cubs. There’s more excitement watching the bar backs wash glasses than watching a Cubs game on TV.

*****Usually about sports. To that point, I disagree with Tj’s previous post. Rose should sit the rest of the season. I totally agree it’s in his head but if he comes out and is anything short of a messiah that brings us to the finals, it will be discussed negatively by the media and it will be further detrimental to his confidence. Let him start fresh next season and we can all feel good and get behind him and the team. Ok, I’m done.