Bar Belle: To all the parties I’ve loved before

It was a cruel joke that Cinco de Mayo fell on the day after Derby. No rest for the weary liver, I suppose. And that makes Monday the official detox day — a day replete with shaky anxiety, a pinch of depression and perhaps an ounce of regret as we dig out the receipts from our pockets. We tell ourselves that we’ve only been on the party platform since Thunder, but we all know we never really came down from March Madness. Now it’s Monday, May 6, and the rain clouds are rolling in as the thousands of tourists are leaving us behind like a tattered and torn infield Derby hat.

No worries, my friends. The sun will shine, the temperature will rise, and there will be many things to look forward to — deck parties, golf scrambles, Waterfront Wednesdays, concerts at Iroquois, Forecastle Fest, etc. Hell, you can keep a smile on my face with a cheap bucket of beer at happy hour — but I’m easy. Easy like Sunday morning mimosas.

Derby might be one of the craziest weeks in my life now, but it got me thinking of all the major parties I’ve been a part of — excluding the Republican one. It’s like that weak moment when you’re smiling about something goofy or sexy you did with an ex. Here’s my list of past romps and a few of my favorite memories surrounding them.

Pub Crawling through Ireland — It was only a five-day trip, but the time I spent in Galway and Dublin is among my fondest. The Guinness Factory, the neon spray-painted goats, the car sickness and Journey debacle, and the friendly Irish boys who helped us recall all 50 U.S. states were highlights. Oh, and falling out of a shower. That happened.

Earning beads at Mardi Gras — Let’s get this straight: I would never do Mardi Gras again. Once is enough. I can do New Orleans only on normal weekends. I prefer elbow room over a champagne room, but I’ll never regret trying it just once. I had so many beads, I got rug burn on my neck. There was an unfortunate incident in a taxi involving an already digested Hand Grenade and white leather seats. There were parades and boobies and 3-for-1s. There was Jager on the plane!

Chasing free beer in Vegas — Proof that the economy has tanked, Vegas is not my vacation of choice anymore. In the early 2000s, you could stick a dollar in a nickel slot as the waitress walked by and order whatever you wanted. Maker’s, Corona, piña colada — the sky was the limit. I remember frolicking in a casino so long one night that when we walked out, the sun was coming up. And somehow, we slept for two hours and did it all over again. I don’t pack hangovers on vacations. Nowadays, you put $20 in a machine and nobody comes by. Unless you have lots of dough to blow, go somewhere else.

Moonwalking in Athens (Ohio) — Halloween at Ohio University — what can I say? It made me who I am today, and I’ve never experienced anything like it since. Kinda like strawberry Magic Shell. Our small college town of 20,000 literally doubled its numbers that weekend, and everyone flocked down Court Street to show off their politically incorrect costumes. The last two years of my college internment, I lived on Court Street and dressed as Michael Jackson. Trying to moonwalk on a brick road will get you many laughs and only one sprained ankle. Annie’s not OK.

Other Memorable Moments:

Bidding adieu to the ’90s in NYC — Stupid Y2K bullshit and no-drinking rules forced us to spend NYE at the Hard Rock Café;

Pub Crawling in Key West — It began at 10 a.m. and only lasted a few hours (it was a short cruise-ship excursion), but I’ve vowed to return;

Keeping my mouth shut in the pubs of London — My trip to London was marked by the start of the War on Terror, so we learned quickly that most Brits believed all Americans voted for Bush. Highlights included finding Maker’s Mark in Notting Hill and experimenting with absinthe.


Apocalypse turns 1
Apocalypse Brew Works turns 1 on Saturday, and they’re celebrating all day with bands Double Dog Dare and Uncommon Houseflies, food trucks and beer — lots of beer (and the Watermelon Crack is back!). It all starts at 3 p.m. Check out for more.


Drunk Texts of the Week
• My sobriety was banned from Left Field Lounge
• Park by the buses, baby dolls!
• My liver hates Derby
• I just got to 3rd base at the 2nd turn!

Send your drunk texts to [email protected]. My blog is at Word.