October 15 – Subway Rumbles

Transit Troubles

Recently, the Sip Advisor received a little promotion at work (mild-mannered desk jockey by day, notorious boozehound by night), which required the move to a new office. I went from a five-minute walk to work to a half hour transit trip and I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I hate taking public transit with all the other weirdoes (like Mrs. Sip!). These are the things I deplore most about commuting:

Public Transport Complaints

Well, SpongeBob, I’m going to try anyway!

People who don’t clear a path for exiting passengers

I won’t hesitate to throw a shoulder tackle or roaring elbow at anyone, male or female, who blocks my path from exiting a vehicle. I’ve always operated that when you are boarding a vessel, you stand to the side and let people exit before rushing on. That doesn’t seem to happen anymore and I sadly get off at a very busy station when people will feel my wrath.

Cars that fill up and you can’t get out at your stop

As if the tension of exiting a vehicle into a crowd wasn’t bad enough, some days it’s a struggle to even get to the exit at all. People don’t seem to respond to me saying excuse me, which I have to start to do before the train has even come to a full stop. Wading my way through the unintelligent humanity is often difficult and my reward is to be greeted by more as the doors open.

Metrosexual

People who have loud, annoying conversations

Young people today (now that I’ve hit 30 and ‘old age’, I can really bash the younger generations) don’t seem to have a buffer between their brains and their mouths. They’re sharing the intimate details of their life for the world to hear, as they yap loudly into phones and to their travelling buddies. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a little too much information.

People who listen to their music at ear-blistering levels

I hate most people’s choice in music, but if they keep it to themselves, we have no issue. Unfortunately, there are those commuters that think their artist selection abilities are so epicly awesome they feel the need to share their tunes with every single person they encounter. The volume will only go up as they continue to erode their hearing with the horribly brash music.

Public Transport Spooning

People who smell awful

There are some funky-smelling people riding public transport! Luckily I only have to go two stops on my more constricted form of transportation. You can’t really blame someone who’s been out working all day for their body odor, but there are ways of masking that. If you don’t have time to put on some deodorant before rushing home, at least hang a couple air fresheners from yourself.

Delays due to incidents

I have my route to work perfectly timed. Unfortunately, all the nut cases out there in transit land seem to want to work against me and cause issues that delay my trips to the office. Unfortunately, you never really know the status of your commute until you board the system and then, you’re taking your life into your own hands with all the concerns I outlined above.

Drink #288: Subway Rumbles

Subway Rumbles Cocktail

  • 1 oz Scotch (I used Glenfiddich)
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Dash of Egg Whites
  • Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Garnish with Orange Zest

October was a good month to do this post in because public transit can be more nightmarish than a haunted house. Tell me your worst commuter stories below… come on, vent a little!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this cocktail. The Scotch adds a strong finish to each sip, but not so strong that you don’t like the drink. The other flavours all come together quite nicely and the drink is neither too bitter nor too sweet. It falls right in the middle for a great recipe.

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July 17 – Gambon’s Corner

Are You Being Served?

Perhaps it’s my old age, but I’ve found myself increasingly becoming a bit of a stickler for high standards… providing I’m not expected to deliver them! With that in mind, here are the most annoying things about bars:

Troubles Waiting to be Served

It absolutely sucks when you feel that you’re constantly being passed over by the bar staff, in favour of girls who are falling out of their tops and douche bags that are pushy and demanding to be helped. I understand that the bar can get busy, but that’s why queues of any sort should be established. I like the bars where servers work one general area, allowing orders to be processed in a logistical fashion.

funny-dog-picture-hey-barkeep

Nowhere for Coats

Obviously, this isn’t a big deal during the summer, but I don’t discriminate over seasonal drinking, so it sucks to walk into a bar that only features stools so that you have to throw your coat over your lap or sit on it. I’ve noticed that some joints actually have hooks underneath tables and ledges, allowing you to discard your jacket or other layered paraphernalia.

Lineup outside, Empty Inside

This is a dirty little trick businesses use to drum up business, making it appear like their place is so rocking that people are lining up around the block for the privilege of getting inside. Then, when you do get in, you find the bar, dance floor, etc. to be deserted and you wonder why you ever had to wait to get in at all. Luckily I refuse to wait in line to drink. Why overpay for cocktails I can make myself and waste my time in line when my personal bar is so much better?

Bars that Don’t Announce Last Call

Ever go up to purchase what you think will be your last drink of the evening (at least at the bar… night caps at home are always on the agenda!) and the barkeep informs you that last call has already passed? Well, excuse me… oh no he didn’t… you see, the announcement of last call must be audible to all in attendance and if your establishment is too loud for that (more on that subject later), you should have some sort of bell to impart that wisdom. Otherwise, serve me my god damn drink!

Last Call 2

Sticky Floors

When you walk around a bar and you constantly have to pry your feet from the floor, it makes you start to wonder if the hygiene behind the bar matches. How clean is the glassware, the garnishes, the taps, everything? I’m not complaining about a small patch where some jackass just spilled his entire Jager Bomb, but the kind of pub where every step is like Velcro being pulled apart.

People Taking Large Tables for Small Groups

As much as it sucks to walk into a bar and not be able to find a seat, I can live with that (after all, first come, first served), providing people are at tables fit for their party. I understand that grabbing any table that opens up is a huge score, especially if you’ve been waiting a while, but to see two people occupying a table meant for six or eight customers can really be heartbreaking.

Loud/Bad Music

I hate going to places where I can’t converse with Mrs. Sip or any of the friends we may be out with. What’s the point! If we wanted to sit there and listen to music we have no control over, yelling at each other to be heard, and paying for expensive drinks, we should just go to my house. You can donate to the Sip Foundation, while I blast a random iPod, and yell at people about my grievances!

Loud Music

Gross Bathrooms

Given most bars are trying to encourage your appetite for either food, booze, or both, it’s amazing how many places have disgusting bathrooms. Granted, the people drinking in the establishment are really to blame for the mess, but a little regular upkeep will have customers returning to their tables still in the mood for beer and poutine. Mmmm, beer and poutine!

Unisex Bathrooms

Sticking with washroom issues (no, not that kind of issue), whoever dreamt up this idea was a total fool. Guys go the bathroom to get away from the ladies. Otherwise we’d be as rude as we wanted in their presence. And no girl wants to share a bathroom with a dude. They want to keep all their secrets to themselves. Plus, guys love that they never have to wait in line and laugh at the winding queue that usually builds outside the ladies room.

Obnoxious Drunks

We’ve all been there and it’s not a bar’s fault, unless they haven’t done their job to stop serving some twerp, but an obnoxious drunk can be the last straw on whether you stay at a pub or move on to another place. It’s bad when that obnoxious drunk is in your group and they follow you around to every joint you try to hit. Worst yet, if that obnoxious drunk is you, you’ll never be able to escape…

Drink #198: Gambon’s Corner

Gambon's Corner Martini

  • 1.5 oz Tequila (I used 1800 Reposado)
  • Top with Watermelon Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dashes of Orange Bitters

This drink comes from the Be At One menu I liberated, while on vacation in London recently. It was in this wonderful bar where I first concocted the idea for this post, noting that many other pubs I had visited just couldn’t compare. What draws you ire when you’re out and about town looking for the love of your life, sweet lady liquor!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I wasn’t sure where to rank this drink. Then I added a little Simple Syrup to the mix to combat how strong the Tequila and Lemon Juice were and we had a hit. For those wondering where the name for this cocktail comes from, that mystery has now been solved thanks to a little research. It is named after Sir Michael Gambon, who completed a Top Gear test track corner (now named in his honour) on only two wheels!