Tag Archives: Junk Drawer

Rules of Drinking

Time For a Pint!

The following are a variety of rules I try to stick to when I’m drinking. Most of them have come from conversations and experiences with friends, some from chatting with servers, others from signs posted in bars.

  • If you have to work in the morning, never go drinking with people who don’t.
  • Shots are for beginning-of-the-evening enjoyment only and serve with appetizers, but not as a nightcap. Any shot provided after the third round should be ignored.
  • Always toast before shots. Whoever purchased said round of shots gets first dibs on the toast.
  • Tip early, tip often.
  • Beer is your friend. Stick with beer and you’ll be cool. A little wine is acceptable too; or perhaps a cocktail or two. But not beer, wine and cocktails. No more than two types of drink should be consumed in an evening.
  • Find out your server’s name. Check their nametag or better yet, ask. Also, treat them with respect. Aside from being a common courtesy, this will pay off the longer you’re at the bar.
  • When the bartender is slammed, the more complex your drink, the more they will hate you. Limit orders to beer, straight shots and two-part cocktails.
  • Get the bartender’s attention with eye contact. NEVER yell out to them.
  • Use your head. If you’ve been drinking beer all night and a scotch on the rocks sounds good, keep in mind that your numb tastebuds have their gears set to “beer pace.” Beer is your friend.
  • Don’t drink any cocktail prepared by an amateur bartender. This is about the most important rule, especially if it’s a drink they “made up in college.” If Kool-Aid is an ingredient: WARNING.
  • If you’re pouring, measure. I cannot stress this enough. Always put the same amount in your cocktails. If you like them strong, fine. Pour a double. But be consistent and use a shotglass.
  • Be cautious of how you plug the jukebox. We all love Guns-N-Roses, but not their entire anthology back-to-back. Remember you’re playing music for everybody — not just you.
  • If it looks like a happy hour is gonna slip into a bar night, EAT. And eat well. The low-fat side caesar is no match for those six Screaming Purple Gut-Reamers. They make fried cheese-sticks for a reason.
  • With *very* few exceptions among the scotches and elsewhere, there is no liquor over 80 proof that is worth dealing with. 100-proof does not equal “fun.”
  • Never call in sick to work because you have a hangover. You got yourself into this one, so live with it.  This is especially true if it was co-workers you got hammered with.
  • That reminds me:  Go to the bar with your co-workers. Even if you don’t like to drink. For lots of people, the conversation takes a very different turn as soon as the saloon doors swing open. And there’s no better respect a boss can get than that which derives from an atonal rendition of “Mack the Knife” at Karaoke Hut. Have a Coke.
  • Never turn down a drink on the house.
  • Find a place you like and become a regular. Not to the point of being a lush, but to the point of the bartenders and wait staff knowing you by name.
  • If at all possible, avoid drinking beer out of a plastic cup.
  • If there’s a DJ, never say “I’ll give you $5 if  you play…”.  Tip up front or just don’t bring it up. He won’t believe you. The same goes with servers; never promise a tip “…if…” they do something. Pay up, THEN ask. Again again, tip your servers early and often.
  • If someone in your group buys a round of drinks, buy a reciprocal round or pay the tip (or at least offer).

If your drinking nights usually end with kisses on the cheek and “Have a great weekend, everybody,” you’re doing it right.  If your drinking nights usually end with split lips and “You have the right to remain silent,” you’re doing it wrong.

(0453) 0911.

Posted in Lifestyle

Cork Heart

Cork Heart

Wine corks shaped like a heart in honor of Valentine’s Day.

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Posted in Lifestyle

Window Frost

Window Frost

Last week we received over a foot of snow in Chicago (fourteen inches of snow at our house). It was nice to have the time at home with my wife, whereas the last time we were pummeled I was out of town. While I’m a fan of the seasons and its varied temperatures, I could do without the arctic blast we get on occasion. Several years ago Chicago had a high of nine degrees below zero. Since I had a really, really old car at the time, I took the opportunity to run some errands and keep the engine warm (to avoid it freezing up).

This time, with the temperature being twelve degrees below zero outside, I have no problems staying in the house bundled up warm and cozy. My wife or I may open the door on occasion to let the dog out, but even with these temps, puppy has no desire to go outside either.

Given the weather being what it currently is, I wanted to take pictures but didn’t want to venture outside (one part lazy and part safety, I guess). So I compromised. From inside the garage looking out, the above picture is a close up of the frost which formed on the window. Puttering around the house and garage with my camera is a good way to keep cabin fever at bay without freezing my butt off.

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Posted in Nature


I love this time of year when strawberries and everything else start to take shape in the backyard. Our garden is coming along nicely, so hopefully we’ll also be enjoying some tomatoes before too long.

That being said, these are a bunch of strawberries from the farmers market. After washing them in the colander, I thought, “Damn, that’s pretty right there.”

And tasty.

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Posted in Lifestyle

Wine Corks

A few years back I poured out the wine corks I had collected throughout the years. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but I arranged them into various piles and shot an afternoon’s worth of photographs.

It’s always interesting to me to take pictures like this. Well after I clean up everything and go through the pictures, do I realize I could have done something different. Each time, I say something like “Next time…” and then two years go by and I haven’t done it since.

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Posted in Lifestyle

Happy Birthday Golf Balls

I guess I could post this picture on the anniversary of me starting my photoblog, but today is as good as any other day. As you can probably tell, there isn’t much behind this picture as it’s just some golf balls spelling out “Happy Birthday” under a bright, blue sky.

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Posted in Sports

Major League Baseball

Over the weekend I worked a major league baseball game, which is where the pictured baseball came from.  I had been wandering around the house last night and today, essentially, playing catch with myself as I moved from room to room. With the desire to take some pictures, but the pouring rain making it difficult to leave the house, I sat down and shot my new baseball.

I didn’t like how it looked with the hardwood floor in background, so in between rain showers, I headed outside.  The extremely overcast sky made the lighting near perfect, as there weren’t any shadows to be found.  I tossed the ball into the grass and proceeded to shoot a bunch of images, before turning to nearby plants and the water droplets collected on their leaves.

Eventually the rains came back and I scrambled back into the house, but shooting things around the backyard certainly have their perks.

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Posted in Sports

Assorted Candy Hearts

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

I never really realized how many random and sometimes strange phrases are on candy hearts.  I always thought they were short and cute simple phrases (Love You, Miss You, etc.), but just looking at the picture above, Get Real doesn’t seem sweet and romantic.

February 2007. (1985)

Posted in Lifestyle

Candy Canes

We’re plunging towards the holidays at a break-neck speed.  Next week Tuesday is Hanukkuh and then Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years and so on.

A few years back this image was my yearly Christmas card.  Next week I’ll probably head out to buy more candy canes to give this picture another try, and to photograph some other ideas I’ve since come up with.

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Posted in Lifestyle

Airplane Wing

The other picture in every photographer’s pile of pictures? Looking out at an airplane wing.

July 2009. (0001)

Posted in Travel

Birthday Candles

Every so often I get antsy sitting around the housing and want to go out and take pictures.  Most of the time I do head out, however sometimes the weather is foul and leaving the house at that time is a terrible idea.

That’s usually when I scour the house looking for things to photograph.  My collection of wine corks is well-documented in this space, as is my pile of foreign currency.

On this particular day, I don’t recall the exact circumstance, but I found all of the birthday candles I could dig up.  I piled them up and started to photograph.  This image was created early in my photography days, so I already have a list of things to do differently, and to play with the macro lens doing other stuff.

Perhaps one day this winter I’ll find the candles again and give it another go.

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Posted in Lifestyle

Single White Rose

There isn’t much thought behind this picture.

I sell greeting cards at a few local stores and wanted something simple for a sympathy card. Nothing in the handful of sunset pictures I have felt right, so I went out and bought a simple white rose. It’s not a picture that has seen the light of day (except as a greeting card), but it’s one of my biggest sellers.

Most sympathy cards have a deeply religious statement inside or some profound poem that makes one reflect on life. I don’t need either of those. For me, and I’m not making this up, I’ve written “Sorry about your dad. That sucks.” in a card. I’ve been told it was the best card they’ve received. Point being, I think this card is one of my biggest sellers because it’s simple.

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Posted in Nature

Money, That’s What I Want

I have a collection of foreign currency that started with a couple of extra bucks in my pocket upon returning home from international trips, and has since turned into intentionally keeping some money tucked away.

On another day this summer when it’s cloudy and raining I’ll take this picture again, but without the image being so flat and one-dimensional.

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Posted in Travel

Eat me.

My friend Ben manages a local bar and needed a few food pictures for the newspaper.  Some of the pictures turned out really well, but it was even better when, after the shoot, we sat around the table devouring our “models.”

Personally, I think the pretzel roll is highly underrated.

(3705) 0910.

Posted in Lifestyle