Boston Bungle: Why I Hate Leaving My House

For my friend’s birthday, we decided to do something different for a change and go to Boston for a night out. It went poorly. The journey in was a nighmare, but I thought it was just a momentary road block. Turns out, it was just the first thing to go wrong.

The Game Plan

We had a decent game plan: my friend Caleb and I would drive into the city early, get a parking spot that was affordable (not easy to do in Boston on a Friday night), and wait for my other friend Sherman to take the train to North Station. Easy peasy right? Wrong.

To The City

After arriving at Caleb’s house, we begin our trek into the city. Since Caleb used to drive into the city every day for work, he drives in, since I’m a very bad city driver, and would like to survive the night. It turns out this would be one of the better choices I made that night. Driving into the city on a Friday is one thing, but it was also Halloweekend, and there was a Celtics game that night, so we couldn’tve had worse timing. Cars littered the Mass Pike like some post-apocalyptic wasteland, none of them moving for minutes at a time. Wonderful. 20 minutes later, we were finally in Boston. Our next challenge was dealing with Boston drivers, who are a whole different species than regular drivers. Our welcome into the city was performed by a Silver Honda who had blocked both lanes.

A regular day in Boston

Now, I’m pretty tolerant of stupid people, but this guy was too much, not only did he block both lanes, preventing anyone else from passing, but it turned out he was waiting to pick someone up. After almost getting hit by 3 additional morons, we arrive to the parking garage had in mind. I knew the night had taken a turn when I saw the two worst words you can see on a parking garage: “Lot Full” Great, now we have to find another one that’s not too far away, and isn’t going to scalp my wallet. After driving a additional 10 minutes around the Seaport, we got lucky: a lot for only 7 dollars an hour, an oasis in a sea of 50 dollar parking. I get my ticket, and put it straight in my wallet as I always do. Thank God I did.

Finding Sherman

Now for the fun part: finding one person in a sea of thousands leaving the TD Garden after a Celtics win.

Imagine 3,000 of these people, but drunker

After walking a mile and a half in the blistering Boston wind, Caleb and I arrive at the Garden. We looked for Sherman for around 10 minutes before calling him, apparently he was waiting on the other side of the street, which explains why we couldn’t find him. We eventually pick him out of a crowd of drunk basketball fans who were singing a barely-recognizable version of Don’t Stop Believing. After finally meeting up, we decide to nix our plan and go straight for the nearest bar that didn’t look crazy packed.

Bar Experience

Now, I’m not a big “crowds” guy, so I usually avoid crowded bars and places where I have to yell to talk, but I’m trying to get out and be more outgoing and such, so I thought it would be good for me to go to a more populated place. Within 45 seconds of arriving, I reconsidered my decision. The bar that had looked so empty and quiet on the outside was actually packed to the rafters with Finance bros in their Brooks Brothers suits and Patagonia vests. The only upside of this location was how quickly I was served a beer, the bartender was on top of her game, and I appreciated how quickly I had a beer in my hand. After learning that thevbar had a second floor, we mosey on over, taking an elevator up. I’d never drank beer in an elevator before, it was pretty cool. After reaching the second floor, we see that while it is less packed than downstairs, this part of the bar is still overpopulated with Patagonias. Surprisingly, we find a table and sit down. As I sip my overpriced beer, I start to be immersed in the conversations around me, none of them very interesting, most about basketball, the rest about how much working in Finance rocks, and how laid they’re going to get. Way to break stereotypes there guys. We finish our drinks and decide not to stay at this expensive post-graduation frat house. As we leave, Caleb suggests we stop at Pizzeria Regina, an amazing pizza place that’s open until the wee hours of the night. It’s half a mile away.

Rejuvenation at Regina’s

As we walk to Regina’s, I notice that we are very far away from our parking lot, and that we have quite a trek ahead of us on our way back. That didn’t matter, I was fixated on having a couple slices of amazing pizza and a beer or two, everything else was unimportant at the time. Just as we’re starting to have second thoughts, we see it: the giant neon sign for Regina.

Hello, you beautiful bastard

We made it. After a brief wait, the server seats us and takes our order. Now, my pizza taste is a little odd, I’ve been in this pesto sauce mood lately, so I’ve been experimenting with different toppings. Tonight, I ordered a bacon pizza with pesto sauce. 5 minutes later, the server comes back with a chicken and pesto pizza, which isn’t a problem for me, but our server felt so bad that she offered to put extra bacon on it for no extra charge. How nice of her. After another couple minutes, she drops off this monster of a pizza with more toppings than cheese, and we all dig in like it’s our last meal on Earth. After we finish our beers and pizza, we begin the long walk back to the parking lot.

Finding the Car

By this point, it’s 12:30, and I’m starting to get tired, but we have a 3 mile hike before I can sit down and relax, so I figured the only way through it is to do it. We made it about a mile before I realize that the address on the parking ticket is for the wrong garage, and we’d been walking in the wrong direction for 20 minutes. Shit. Usually, every parking ticket I’ve ever gotten has the address and name of the garage, making it easy to find where you parked. Not this one. After having a mini panic attack at the thought of losing my car in Boston at 1 in the morning, my mind starts working. I check the GPS tracking app on my phone to see where we had stopped, and after double-checking with Google that it was indeed the place, we resume our journey. Around 30 minutes later, we arrive at where my GPS says my car is. There’s just one problem: it’s not the right lot. Now I really start freaking out, Caleb’s got work at 730, I’ve got to come in early myself, it’s going to be at least an hour and a half before I get home, and I can’t find my car. Things are looking bleak. After pacing around the area thinking of a plan, I see it, the most beautiful sight I’d seen all night: my car. After letting out a scream of joy, we rush over to the car, pay the 18 dollars for our parking, and get the Hell out of Boston. It’s 1:30.

The Journey Home

Now, I’d say Caleb drove like a bat out of Hell, but that wouldn’t accurately describe how fast this man left the city. I’d liken it to how a husband drives his wife to the hospital when she’s in labor. What’s usually a 45 minute drive took us 32, which I was thankful for. As we near Sherman’s car, Caleb starts looking tired, and his driving skills start to suffer. Seeing ad he had to get up in 4 hours, I decide to take over and let him rest a bit. As I sped home, I thought about how we’d laugh at how terrible this night was later. When I finally arrived back at my house, it was 3:15am. I set my alarm clock for 8:30, cringing when I saw how much time I had before I had to wake up.

I could’ve stayed home, watched Mad Men, and been asleep by 11:30. This is why I don’t like to leave my house.

Dumbasses at Dunkin: Part One

So, it’s super rainy and slow today, so I’ve got some time on my hands, and I know how many people enjoy my Dunkin disasters, so I figured I’d write another one while still at work.

Right out of the gate, we lost power, which, in addition to killing my tunes, killed the walk-in and our Point of Sale system. Fantastic. I called my district manager, and she came in to see what she could do, because apparantly resetting the router didn’t work. When she arrived, she asked what I had done, as if I had somehow killed the power myself. She then proceeded to reset the router, and when that didn’t work, she called my manager and yelled at her. Apparently she should’ve predicted that we’d lose power. After the yelling was complete, the district manager decided the best course of action was to hit buttons until something changed. After around 20 minutes of this madness, she had run out of ideas, and left.

Now, I figured that this would be my excitement for the day, but I was wrong. So, if you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that my Dunkin is attached to a gas station, and this is the source of much confusion, as people apparently can’t figure out why a coffee shop doesn’t sell gas. After informing a group of people that I couldn’t pump their gas, I look outside and I see it; a man trying to light a cigarette while pumping gas. Usually, I would let nature take its course, but I really didn’t want to have to clean up after he met his fiery demise. Luckily, a large construction worker beat me to it, smacking the cigarette out of his mouth and asking him “The fuck’s wrong with you? You tryna blow us all up?” Well put, Construction Guy.

It’s around 2:30 now, and things are still slow. A customer comes in and asks for a bagel, no big deal, but after I give him said bagel, he remains at the counter. Apparently, he has an issue being given a bag for his bagel. After looking at him for a second, I ask why he’s got a problem. He responds with a rant about how we could be recycling the bags, and using the bags more than once. Now, I do my best to recycle and go green and all that, but I’m not about to reuse bags that have had food in them. After informing the gentleman of our food safety guidelines, he stares at me for a second, and laughs to himself like he can’t comprehend how someone could think he was wrong. As he walks out, the girl behind him barely contains a laugh, confirming that I’m not just an asshole.

I thought that my fun was over for the day, but I was wrong again. Our bathroom is a bit of a wildcard: some days it works,some days it doesn’t flush, and some days it pushes water up. Today was a “push water up” type of day. Usually, people are understanding when I tell them that the bathroom’s broken, but every once in a while, we have some issues. Today, I was accosted by a woman who apparently decided that the water leaking out from under the bathroom door was insufficient evidence that it was broken. She then demanded to use the “employee bathroom” because apparently we have one, which is news to me. After informing her that I have been using a spot behind the dumpster, she flew into a rage, and demanded that we give her access to the broken bathroom. Seeing as this woman looks like she doesn’t have the healthiest diet and would further agitate the plumbing, I directed her to my spot behind the dumpster. As she stormed out, the woman informed us she would be leaving us a bad review on Yelp.

Other than that, my day has been pretty quiet, the network is down, so my workload has been cut in half for the day, leaving me ample time to make fun of morons who can’t behave in public. Hopefully, I’m not here much longer, these people are starting to get to me.

I Had a Cliche Fall Day

I don’t know about you, but living in a small orchard town in Massachusetts, fall is a pretty big deal. It starts in September, with the Instagram pictures of girls going apple picking and drinking pumpkin lattes and pumpkin beer while eating pumpkin muffins.This goes on until the 3rd week of September.

Next, you start seeing Tweets about how people “Can’t wait for spooky season!” This is when you know you’re in too deep. By this point, stores start putting out Thanksgiving decorations and begin to spray cinnamon inside to spark the whole “Fall” experience off. Now, if you haven’t read my posts before, you should know that I’m not really a festive person, and all the corny fall things make me angry. Or so I thought.

Image result for apple picking
Look at all that Vitamin C

The transition started off with a wimper; one of my friends has been wanting to go apple picking for weeks, and since I already went for my annual trip with my mother, my quota for apple picking excursions was filled, but I figured it’d be nice to get out of the house, so I told her I’d go. We’re driving past, and it’s a madhouse, (on a holiday, no surprise), so we decide to meet some more of our friends at a nearby winery. This brings me to Basic Fall Activity #2: Wine Tastings.

Now, I like wine, but I’m not a connoisseur, I don’t understand where people get flavors like “burnt toffee and citrus” I just taste white wine. With that in mind, I went into this wine tasting with low expectations. Boy, was I wrong. We get there, and for 10 dollars, not only do I get 5 glasses of wine to try, I also get a fancy wine glass. Things are starting to click with me. I get why people like this now.

Image result for wine tasting
It’s not alcoholism, it’s a hobby

5 glasses of wine later, I’m starting to enjoy myself. I start to look around the winery, and I notice it’s got an amazing view of the changing leaves. I spent way too much time looking at the leaves, I have a new appreciation for foliage, and for malbecs.

After buying a bottle, we leave the winery, while debating on what to do next. I have a sudden craving for apple cider donuts, and by this point all the families at the orchard should be gone, so we swing back over to the orchard for some hot and ready donuts. Upon arrival, I find that the donut prices have gone down, and that I can get 6 donuts for a lot less than the 3 I had originally planned on devouring. There’s nothing like a hot, sugary donut 5 seconds off the donut machine. After consuming 3 donuts in half the time it probably took to make them, I decided that I needed to walk around and burn off some of these calories, because that’s something I care about sometimes.

My fall stroll was a lot nicer than I expected; the air was cool, but not cold, and there was a slight breeze that kept the bugs off me. I should’ve taken pictures, maybe I’ll upload some next time I’m in the mood for a stroll, because the orchard provided a spectacular view of the changing leaves. I totally understand why boring New York people drive hours at a time to come see them, they really are cool.

It started to get dark out, so naturally I ended my stroll. Conveniently, the apple orchard is within walking distance of my house, so I mosey on home and make myself some dinner. About an hour after I finish eating, another one of my friends texts me “Do you wanna drink beer and chop down trees for a fire?” Usually, the answer to that question would be “Hell no, I’m not messing with a chainsaw after a day of drinking.” Not today. Said friend, knowing my penchant for hating Fall activities, followed up with “The Packers game is on”, knowing that I love to see Aaron Rogers lose.

When I get to my buddy’s house, and the first thing I see is a veritable graveyard of Bud Lite cans and Skol Wintergreen laying on the deck. Shocker. In the distance, a voice rang out: “Caleb, you lil’ tit-fucker, grab my ax, I’ll show you howta split wood like you’ve still got some fuckin’ balls!” Well, that’s not what I imagined I’d walk into, but I dig it. I sit back and watch my two redneck friends argue about woodcutting techniques while I sit back and sip a beer. This whole “fall” thing isn’t actually that bad after all.

5 Beers That Will Spice Up Your Fall

Fall is here, and with it come a whole slew of different beers. Personally, Fall doesn’t really feel like it’s here untl the seasonal beers come out. Here are some of my favorites, some of them might be hard to find outside New England.

5. Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee

I know, I know, PBR is for broke college kids and hipsters, but hear me out. Pabst Hard Coffee is remarkable; Pabst combined a Stout beer with coffee, and made an incredibly drinkable beer that isn’t too heavy, and isn’t too watery. This beer is like aa White Russian had a baby with coffee milk, it’s creamy and indulgent, with notes of dark roast coffee and vanilla. It’s perfect for those crisp fall afternoons when you finish raking up leaves and want to sit back and relax, but you also want a little boost of caffeine to keep your day moving smoothly.

4. Newcastle Brown Ale

This used to be my overall favorite beer, but it’s fallen down from the top. Newcastle Brown was one of the first beers I ever had, and from then until about a year ago we were inseparable. One day however, the taste changed. It’s not a bad beer by any means, but it’s not the dark brown liquid magic that it used to be. Regardless, Newcastle is a nice entryway into the world of brown ales: it’s malty, its crisp, its got notes of caramel that make it incredibly drinkable. This is the only beer on this list that I’m absolutely sure you can find anywhere, so there’s no reason not to give it a try, you won’t regret it.

3. Leinenkugal Harvest Pumpkin Shandy

If you don’t like the whole “pumpkin” thing, skip on to the next one, you won’t like this. For the rest of you, this is the beer for you. Leinenkugal makes a whole range of shandies (half beer, half fruit juice), but the Harvest Pumpkin is the best one. It’s light in alcohol, only 4.2%, but what it lacks in punch, it makes up for in flavor. This beer tastes like an oatmeal cookie was made with pumpkin spice, then brewed into a wheat ale, with an added pinch of nutmeg and allspice. The nose is reminiscent of pumpkin pie, and it pours to a nice hazy amber color. I love this beer so much, it’s one of my overall favorites, and I’m super excited that it’s back, go try one right now.

2. Sam Adam’s Oktoberfest

This is Dad Beer at it’s finest: it’s bold, it’s brash, it’s dark, it’s just what your old man would order. Oktoberfest is one of the few beers from Sam Adams that I still enjoy, so whenever I’m in a heavy beer mood, I try to pick up a 6er and remember why I like it. It’s not the best beer in the world, but it sure as hell isn’t the worst. Oktoberfest has a really pretty golden-brown color to it, with a light white head that goes away in seconds. The caramel flavor is upfront and strong, but theres a slight spicy malt after taste that really makes this beer shine, in fact, it’s my favorite part of the whole experience. Perfect for sitting down and watching football or hockey with your kids/parents, or for sitting by the fire contemplating life.

1. Shipyard Pumpkinhead

Here we are, the signature Fall beer, the one we’ve all been waiting for. Pumpkinheads are universally loved by all my friends and family, even the ones who don’t like beer. For those of you unfortunate enough to have never had it before, Pumpkinheads are wheat ales flavored with real pumpkin spice, making a smooth, drinkable beer that doesn’t overdo the pumpkin flavor. For extra enjoyment, try pouring your Pumpkinhead into a chilled glass and add maple syrup and cinnamon along the rim for the best possible Fall experience.