Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guinness is good for you

Now that I've got dry socks on for the first time in days, I can finally think about something besides water and where to put it. And that brings us to tomorrow: I'll be playing a Saint Patrick's Day show from 4-8pm at the Sweetwater Cafe downtown (view map).

With a sunny forecast in store, what better way to welcome this annual rite of spring? Come by after work, say hello and have a pint, and just make sure to head home before the combination of Guinness and rebel songs gets you feeling too plucky.

Let me address some Frequently Asked Questions:

You realize it's a Wednesday night, right? I'm not 25 anymore!
I realize that in the past I've dragged you out for 11pm sets on school nights, for which I'm sorry. This is why I requested a happy hour gig. Stop in after work, take off by 6pm, and you could still be in bed by sundown, old-timer! (Or you could stay out 'til all hours, carousing and fighting and whatnot. I'm not your babysitter.)

Wait, the Sweetwater Cafe? That's not even a real Irish pub!
Precisely! As someone who truly enjoys a good public house, and has spent many a St. Paddy's Day in Irish pubs around the city... they are much more enjoyable on March 7 than March 17. The Sweetwater has several key pub qualities — cozy feel, comfort food, a decent pour — and it'll be busy as well. But busy like a Saturday night downtown, not like New Year's Eve in Times Square. This also means that instead of hearing "The Wild Rover" six times in 3 hours you'll only hear it twice.

You're not even Irish!
Shhhh... don't blow this for me.

Is Guinness really good for you?
In as much as drinking it makes you feel good, certainly (that's where the old ad campaign derives from). But it also has fewer calories per 12 oz. than a Budweiser (125 cal. vs. 145 cal.), and has been found to contain antioxidant flavonoids that help prevent blood clots, as compared to lighter beers. This might be the right point to remind you that I'm a musician, not a doctor.

When are you playing again?
How did you pass the reading comprehension section of the SATs? Anyway, here's the recap:

  • Tomorrow — a.k.a. Wednesday, a.k.a St. Patrick's Day — March 17
  • From 4-8pm, at the Sweetwater Cafe. 
  • Take the T to Park Street (Red/Green lines) or Boylston (Green line), park at a metered spot along the Public Garden, or pay to park underground at the (reasonable) Boston Common garage.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Otto has always been #1 in my book

Check that out, right there. For the time being, my alma mater Syracuse is #1 in both college basketball polls. They've been surging all season (27-2! insane), and even in the past few weeks, with their best player banged up, they managed to beat Georgetown (ranked like #10 at the time) and Villanova (#7). Oh, and Providence, which was especially awesome, because a few of us took the 3:30pm Amtrak Miller Lite Express down to Rhode Island to catch the game.

(Wait, it's not called the Miller Lite Express? It should be. You really have to pound them, it's only a half-hour ride!)

I'd been loosely following the 'Cuse on their season-long ascent, catching a half here and a highlight there. But seeing them play live made it clear: this team is really, really good. I'll be picking them to win the tourney — wait, I mean I would pick them, if I participated in such mischief — and not just out of wistful nostalgia for my college years. I attended two basketball games last week: SU at Providence and the Celtics vs. the woeful NJ Nets, at home. This Syracuse team could have wiped the floor with the Celts that day.

I will now knock on various wooden objects.

Other lessons learned from last Tuesday's adventure:

1. The train is the way to go. I love trains anyway — I mean, I really miss taking the subway to work, and that's just a standing-room-only cattle car hurtling through blackness underground. When you add comfortable seats, scenic vistas, the gentle rocking, and booze car? There's really no comparison... driving is for chumps. Also, we got there in record time, and the kindly MBTA commuter rail (a longer but cheaper trip than Amtrak) got us all home safely after the game.

2. Behaving like you're 23 years old will not actually make you 23 again. In fact, the next day you will feel like you're 83.

3. College basketball road trips are the best (if you didn't go to a big sports school, well, sorry I guess. You're welcome to root for SU). This was on par with our early 2000's trip to New York for the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. That year, we still had our college IDs and managed to score $9 student tickets — on the floor! — to the sold out night games. Three of us crammed into a 100-square-foot hotel room but we spent most of the night at a diner anyway. (At one point, I believe I leapt into a pile of curbside Manhattan garbage for $5... learning from bad decisions is essential to personal growth, right?) Awesome times, just a few hours away. We should have taken the train!

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