Monday, October 26, 2009

Dispatches from the Weekend: Boxers, Making Margaritas, and the Pop Overs

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I have 21 pairs of boxers. I should clarify. I have 21 pairs of good boxers with a six-pack of "less than good" buried in the bottom of a drawer somewhere in LA. They "missed the cut" and I only wear those when I'm desperate and too lazy to do laundry.

I counted 20 when I did laundry on Sunday morning. I counted 20 as I folded. The pair on my body were #21. That made sense. The last time I did laundry was about three weeks ago. I can go three solid weeks (and push it to a fourth) if I want to wear fresh underwear everyday.

As a frequent traveler, underwear is the one thing that I cherish the most on the road. I also learned four different ways to extend a pair of unwashed underwear. An Aussie colleague (who travels more than anyone I know) gave me the tip. He once had his luggage and money stolen while on holiday in Bali and had to make due with a mere pair of skivvies. Front. Back. Inside-out front. Inside-out back. You learn valuable information from travelers that come in handy when you're totally fucked... like using your belt as a weapon if you get cornered by a bunch of drunken Brits at a night bus stop at 3am.

21 pairs. I have at least 14 in a drawer in New York City. I'm a wealthy man not because of my net worth. I'm a wealthy man because I can live for 5 weeks on both coasts without having to do laundry. And If I employ the methods of the Aussie 4-ways to wear underwear without washing, then I can go almost a half a year without doing laundry.

* * * * *

We have a few bottles of tequila in the apartment that were collecting dust. I'm not a boozer anymore. Despite the thick cloud of smoke constantly hovering in the apartment, the last five or six weeks have been a model for clean living. I drank one beer at the Thom Yorke show a few weeks back and aside from that overpriced Stella, I consumed the same amount of booze as a devout Mormon.

CherrieBomb gifted me a bottle of Patron at the WSOP this summer that has been calling my name. Nicky had a bottle of pricey tequila that her mentor in Hollywood gave her. The bottle was a "I'm sorry for fucking you in the ass" gift that Hollywood exec types send each other after they stab them in the back. It's there way of saying, "Nothing personal. Business is business. Here's an expensive bottle of booze to numb the pain."

I have some friends coming into town from Colorado and Florida next weekend for Phish's Halloween festival so I wanted to put the tequila to good use. I shook off the cobwebs from my old bartending days and had a goal to make the perfect Margarita. We had plenty of tequila, but there was one problem... the mix.

All the Margaritas I had previously concocted behind the bar utilized a special bulk Margarita mix or some sort of sour mix. It was cheaper and faster instead of using fresh lime juice. Most of those pre-fab mixes are loaded with high fructose corn syrup which gives the cocktail a sweet taste, yet over the long term it's bad for you. I'm a purist of sorts and went the natural route to generate the mix. After all, my friends are neo-hippies. They dig that sort of shit.

Limes. I went to the store and bought a shit load of limes. The locally grown organic limes were pricey compared to the ominous gigantic pyramid of limes (from Mexico) that intimidated the rest of the fruits and vegetables.

I wanted to use freshly squeeze lime juice as a major ingredient. My next step was to acquire the right liquor. In the bars, they used triple sec. High end joints use Cointreau. That stuff isn't cheap which is why bars use triple sec in bulk.

With the Cointreau and locally grown limes in hand, I was ready. Nicky was my test subject. I whipped up four batches using different variations in the ingredients. I'm a 3-2-1 Margarita guy.
3 parts tequila
2 parts Cointreau
1 part lime juice
Dash of sugar
Pretty simple. You chuck all the ingredients into a mixing cup with ice. A half of a lime is good per one drink. Squeeze out the juice without straining so you get little bits of pulp involved during the mixing process. If you don't like pulp, the bigger pieces get strained during the pour. I also add a dash of sugar for sweetness. Organic sugar to please the hippies. If you like Margaritas very sweet, then add more sugar to the mixing cup. The Cointreau is a much sweeter liqueur that generic triple sec so you don't need as much sugar.

Salting the glass is important. I only salt half the glass unless otherwise instructed by customers. Old trick I learned... first, rub a lime wedge over half the rim and turn the glass upside down. Use a spoon sprinkle the sides of the glass with salt. When you shove a glass into salt dish, you'll get too much salt on the inside of the glass. The spoon trick keeps the salt on the outside.

Shake. Shake. Shake. Add ice to the glass if it's on the rocks. Then pour. Add lime wedge to the side and serve.

I had never made a Margarita from scratch before (not using the pre-fab mixes). I whipped up four (two on the rocks) varying the ratio of ingredients. Nicky mentioned that the first one I made was the most tasty and that's because I stuck to the recipe.

Nicky got sloppy and saucy. She started singing Glee songs. The Margaritas obviously worked. Nicky nicknamed my cocktail... The McGarita.

You can see the video below in yesterday's post...

* * * * *

We don't have many guests at our place in the Slums of Beverly Hills. I have wanted to hosted a poker night for almost three years but there's simply no parking in the area which puts a damper on things and killed any notion of a regular game.

For the most part, our home is both of our offices so it's more of a place of business than anything else which is why we rarely entertain guests. It's not as exciting at our digs as you think. I'm usually locked in my office and when I'm not, we're ripping bingers on the couch.

When I heard the Rooster was going to be in L.A. I was skeptical. The Rooster is a cagey mofo and a bit mysterious. No one really knows what is going on. My friends and I have theories which we joke about but no one has figured out his murky past for sure. So when he said he was going to be in town, I was excited. When he and JoeSpeaker said they were heading to Commerce to play poker, I was less than thrilled.

Poker is my day job and I spend a significant amount of time during the week immersed in poker. When I'm not writing about poker, I'm playing online poker. When I'm not doing that, I'm discussing poker politics, industry news, and gossip among my peers. Poker. Poker. Poker. Sundays is my non-poker day when I shut out that world and watch football. A trip to Commerce would have put a damper on my day of rest. Luckily, the Yankees game was on after 5pm. I invited them to pop on over to watch the game as they closed out the ALCS and continued their march towards the World Series.

After playing poker for a few hours where Speaker got tilted by an old guy with a hearing aid, they showed up on time and brought beer. The Rooster also brought a date. Yep, he brought a lovely woman to his "pop over" and she was very cute and very cool. She didn't mind the fact that I consume copious amounts of ganja while watching baseball, nor was she freaked out that I pace a lot and blurt out disparaging remarks directed at the umpires, opposing team, the Yankees coach, and of course the announcers.

The gang hung out for a few hours. Nicky ordered food from the deli and we all caught up on the latest musings in our lives. Even though Joe Speaker lives in Southern California, he might as well live in Montana since the Inland Empire is not a place we hang out much. He convinced us to embark on a dive bar pub crawl in the Valley, which mortified Nicky. She loathes he Valley. She only drives over the lush hills of Hollywood in order to pick my ass up Burbank Airport or to pick up "medicine" in bulk quantities. I'm going to have to convince her to check out the local pubs in Speaker's neck of the woods.

The Rooster said he'll be in SoCal for a few weeks. So who knows if we'll cross paths again...

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