$Texas, It's in the vault, Me Myself and Ty

Just go out.

Beer just tastes better out of a glass to me.

I’m not pretending to have just discovered this, as I’m sure many of you are aware of the aromatic properties of certain glasses (see the Sam Adam’s glass for such an example) but it has been impressed upon me to use glasses as much as possible.

This has grown increasingly common now that I have a dishwasher that seems capable of ONLY correctly cleaning glasses (and somehow never getting that one pot lid clean) and I have taken to drinking even canned light beers out of a glass.

Yes, in those cases it is a 32-ounce mug that’s heavy enough to count as a weapon in certain cases, but it’s still an example of me always preferring a glass, even when the beer contained therein isn’t the greatest.

Of course this all has its roots in my preference for draft beer over bottled beer, which is truly what this post is about.

I live within walking distance of a handful of bars dotted along one of the main roads here that is marked by urban sprawl. Continue reading

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It's in the vault, Me Myself and Ty

Buck the condomnation

In one of Seinfeld’s cold openings, when Jerry is doing standup, he talks about how purchasing condoms should be done through giving a knowing look with the pharmacist, who then places the goods into an opaque bag and rings you up.

It’s a clever solution to one of the most commonplace of problems.

At times, even buying tampons at a store has seemed easier because the narrative isn’t as interesting.
The cashier or other shoppers see you with the feminine products and make one of only a handful of essentially domestic conclusions: picking them up for your significant other because you’re whipped or picking them up for your significant other/sister/mother because you’re a good person.

Regardless, the unspoken question is “Why are you here buying these?” With condoms, it’s “What are you going to do with these?”

One of my friends at work was telling about how she was behind a man who was buying a pack of condoms and the cashier couldn’t get them out of the plastic box they were in. He made the most of it, though, making a few jokes about it before a supervisor finally came over to help.

It was then that it occurred to me that the condom purchase is one of those obligatory moments in life where anecdotes are plentiful. Continue reading

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Eh?, It's in the vault, Me Myself and Ty

The best barbecue pork in North America, eh?

A lot of people would take their word for it. Not me.

It wasn’t like it was totally an impulse that led us to eat Chinese food while we were in Toronto.

We were tired. We were hungry. And Chinese food sounded great, especially since we were in Toronto’s Chinatown. We had been planning it for a while, actually, so when I saw the sign, it became obvious that our quest for food was over.

The daylight was fading, but the challenge beckoned. “Best B.B.Q Pork in North America,” it said.

Well that’s interesting, I thought. Here I am from a county in Eastern North Carolina where people can’t decide which of our legendary barbecue joints is the best, across the county line from the barbecue my family and friends have always thought was the best and less than three hours away from a city that (falsely) calls itself the Barbecue Capital of North Carolina — but these nice Chinese restaurateurs have canvassed not only Wayne County, not just North Carolina, but the entire effing continent and have decided they have the best in North America.

Great, I thought, this saves me from having to continue trying barbecue everywhere I go in the United States.

So I dragged Jessica in the cramped store and we ordered and left to eat on a park bench. I rushed inside a gas station for a Coke because what’s barbecue without Coke, but it seems that it didn’t matter.

Yes, it was pork, but — well, actually I guess that’s the thing I’m least sure about — anyway, at least it tasted OK. And there was plenty of rice beneath it and no Chinese restaurant can screw up rice.

By the time we labored through our meal, it was dark and we both decided that the 14-hour drive followed by only four hours of sleep had caught up with us, especially since we stayed up drinking and had been walking seemingly the entire day. And drinking more, but that’s just understood.

If we were going to make a go of it that night, we were going to need to take a nap, we decided, so we returned to the hostel.

Our room in the hostel was essentially a dorm room with two double bunk beds. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to visit Toronto and will definitely be staying there again if I ever find my way back there. A good traveler spends most of the stay exploring the city, so all that’s really needed is a bed and then strangers sharing the room doesn’t seem like a big deal.

Except for this guy who moved in mid-morning.

He replaced a nice European girl who was finishing up her Trans-Canadian trip on a separate bunk. He was nice enough, but he didn’t care for using the lounge downstairs — he had spread his stuff across the tiny room and was surfing the internet when we showed up.

It was a bit annoying because the light was on, but the real issue with our roommate was the smell. This was BBO. The towel I used to shower that day had acclimated to his smell to the point that I felt like my shower had served only to turn me into one of his body odor-carrying disciples.

I took one look (and whiff) of the room and decided I couldn’t handle it. Jessica climbed into her top bunk and I went downstairs to have another beer.

The Chinese “barbecue” was not settling well. Jessica’s food wasn’t either, so I didn’t anticipate seeing her for a few hours. While it wasn’t the best choice I could have made for dinner, however, you can’t argue with results… Continue reading

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Don't Call it a Farewell, DRIVEN, Journalism, Uncategorized

It’s in the Vault: Tall tale

My long-term absence will be explained in a future post.

When I got started in journalism, it wasn’t because I wanted to be a journalist.

It was because I wasn’t good enough to play sports at school anymore, so I sought a way to stay connected to them any way I could. Daniel Ellis invited me to attend a sports section meeting with him, and from then, I was sold.

Which is surprising, since I started out in the undesirable beats – for instance, covering our volleyball team which was riding a conference losing streak of more than 30 games.

Of course, I love volleyball, so it wasn’t really a stretch to stay interested, but there was also the spandex and the tall females I got to talk to on a weekly basis…

Maybe it wasn’t surprising, but regardless, I wouldn’t allow myself to date any of them.

I say that now and pretend like I was being an objective journalist with integrity, but it’s only because I was too afraid of them rejecting me to even ask. Continue reading

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