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December 28, 2011

Bar Belle: Misty bourbon-colored memories

It’s the day after Christmas. My column is four days late. I’m emotionally drained and eternally hungover. Joe Manning (the hipster dude in the front section of this LEO) says respectable columnists should avoid writing about clichéd subjects like New Year’s resolutions. But when have I ever been a respectable columnist?

I want to take a look back on the resolutions I made last year to see how many I accomplished. You can’t fondle the future without manhandling the past, right? So last year I said I was going to give in to reckless abandon … because 2011 may be our last year here. Did I succeed? I’d say a solid yes … and no. While battling the ever-present demons of self-doubt and insecurity, I managed to publish a book and get two drinks named after me (thank you, Flanagan’s and Varanese). That checks off two resolutions from my list of 43.

I managed to avoid listening to a Sugar Ray song — score! — and I never turned down a free Jagerbomb — booyah! I drank more local craft beer, bought at least one round, made friends with more bartenders, ate more Dundee Dip and visited new bars. Mom would be proud … if she read this column. I wrote more poetry … although I’ll never show it to anyone. I was nicer to nice people and meaner to douchebags. I bid Oprah a sad farewell, hugged people with my own arms, believed in unicorns and was able to touch my toes.

If this were a graded test, I think I would have fared well. It looks like I got a 37/43 … which is an 86%, right? Luckily, excelling at math was not on the list. So what six did I fail to do? I did not get my face painted on another barroom wall, unfortunately … bathroom stalls don’t count. I did not return the keys to the Back Door … I kinda like having my own speakeasy after the crazies are swept into the parking lot. I did not finish the Urban Bourbon Trail … the passport is in my car, but they keep adding more stops! I did not learn how to survive a nuclear attack, and I did not put myself down less … actually it was probably more, jackass. And lastly, I failed to dance every chance I got. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I made it to The Connection. Unfortunately, falling off bar stools doesn’t count as dancing.

So what about this year? What dragons do I need to slay? Every wall is a door, they say. And this year I’ve opened and closed many doors. I vow to seek happiness. I want to lose weight but grow thicker skin. I want to drink fine bourbon with fine friends during a spontaneous night of fine debauchery. I want to live without worry or regret. And I want to finish that damn Urban Bourbon Trail.

The Year That Was
Every year since I turned 21, I look back on the previous 365 days and see a blur. But when I sort through old ticket stubs and credit card bills, the memories jolt my system like Jim Beam on an empty stomach. This was a great year. I cheered on Lady Gaga as one of her little monsters. I survived three days of Bonnaroo hell. I dipped my feet in the Atlantic twice — once in Provincetown, Mass., and once in the Bahamas. I sported a fancy dress for the Bourbon Festival Gala and filled up my fancy purse with fancy rocks glasses. I got a dog who likes to take his time going pee and already has a girlfriend. I helped pop the cherry of several new bars and poured out some liquor for our dead watering holes. I went on a book tour. I found a theme song (Ladybirds’ “Whiskey & Wine”). And I’m on the brink of starting a movement — Binge Local! Peace, love and shots.

Drunk Texts of the Week
• Think Im gonna loretta lynn it and get back on the pill and back to the bars!
• Scraping. Dignity. Off. Bottom. Of. Shoe.
• Bah hummer
• Who wants to make out with me?? Seriously. Not kidding.
• Santa can suck it.
• What did the dyslexic rooster say? Doodle on my cock.

Send your drunk texts to shavens@leoweekly.com. My blog is at barbelle.leoweekly.com. Word.