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…there was the House of Hungarian Wines in Budapest.

One year later, it was followed by a night at the Cool Kids Bar in Brussels.

And this year, we hit up the North Shield Pub in Istanbul, where everyone was feeling friendly on their first drink.

The North Shield: Drink #1

By drink number two, Emily was already looking forward to drink number three, Rebecca was politely trying to discourage her from doing so (in an attempt to avoid the debauchery of last year’s events at the Cool Kids Bar), Harry was amusing himself by being sexually suggestive with items from our basket of fried foods, and KB was completely over the whole affair.

The North Shield: Drink #2

Trouble in Coupleville started at drink number three, with Rebecca shooting Harry the stink-eye (also known as the “I think you’ve had enough” face), and Emily making fun of KB’s inability to keep up. Yes, Emily and KB are a couple when they travel together. Hot!

The North Shield: Drink #3

And then came the violence of drink number four. Or at least the violence of Harry, Rebecca, and Emily, while KB tried to flag down our waiter for the check.

The North Shield: Drink #4

Drink number five caused drowsiness… which, apparently, didn’t stop Emily from being able to hold up her beer. KB benefited by enjoying the entire second basket of fried foods all by herself.

The North Shield: Drink #5

When all was said and done though, the love kicked back in with our sixth and final drink of the night. So much, in fact, that Harry felt comfortable placing his hand on his wife’s chest for the photo, thus proving that Rebecca was also drunk enough to be okay with it.

And then Emily and KB made out… but we’ll save those photos for another time.

The North Shield: Drink #6

Can’t wait for next year’s rounds,


KB's cousin Chris visits!

…and I drank a whole lot of beer while he was here.

Still trying to get back to pre-Disney weight,


…to Wirtshaus last week to help celebrate my birthday (and watch me drink two liters of free beer out of a gigantic glass boot in the process)!

Beth and I posed for a nice sibling photo at the bar…

Sweet siblings!

…followed by a more accurate sibling photo.

Sparring siblings!

The glass boot ended in an empty success!


But the two liters of free beer pales in comparison to this group of human beings whom I love with all of my 38-year-old heart.

You're all the best!

On to 39,


Open beer...

…for this sweet little surprise that came in the mail today!

Not only does it open a beer, but it also comes with a little reminder of home.

...with a little love from home.

Thanks, Du and Jade! Youse guys are the best!

Already used it three times today,


Backpacking beer buddies!

That’s a whole lot of Bs,


She was visiting from Singapore along with her friend Sally, who is from Taiwan.

I was sitting at a table working (i.e. drinking) alone; Eve and Sally were sitting at the table beside me. I remember being impressed with them because, even though they are both very petite women, they were chugging down one-liter beers like pros.

We struck up a conversation, and I soon ditched my table to join theirs. Shortly after that, our waiter took a seat with us and joined in the conversation. Our table was the United Nations of beer-drinking! We were four strangers from four different countries, quickly becoming friends over two things almost everyone can agree on: beer and sausage.

I shot this photo of our unlikely group of new friends:

Hofbräuhaus friends!

Eventually, Eve and Sally had to leave (they were leaving for Paris the next day), and our waiter had to get back to work (or go drink with some other customers), but before we went our separate ways I gave my info to each of them and said, “If you’re ever in L.A. let’s get a drink.”

Last week, Eve came to Los Angeles! We quickly picked up where we had left off two months earlier: at a bar over beers.

Eve! In Los Angeles!

It was great seeing her again, and I look forward to drinking with her in a new country soon. As long as Eve is there, any country/beer will do.

Got a place to stay in Singapore now,


Last February, after the Berlinale, KB and I took a side trip to Budapest with our good friend Emily. While there, we visited the House of Hungarian Wines, where this happened.

On this year’s post-Berlinale adventure, KB, Emily, and I were joined by our good friend Rebecca. The four of us decided to drive to Brussels for a quick three-night/four-day Belgian trip.

We hit up a ton of bars during our short stay, but there was one bar in particular that we really wanted to get into. We dubbed it “The Cool Kids Bar,” not because that’s what it was called, but because every time we’d try and go it would be packed with people who would just stare out the windows at us, as if to say, “Not for you, Americans. You are neither cool nor kids.”

But on our last night there we tried one last time… and found an open table!

We went in and toasted our first beers of the evening to the Cool Kids Bar.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink One.

By the second round, Emily was already getting bored with the conversation.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Two.

By the third beer, KB was falling asleep at the table. I know, big shock.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Three.

By beer number four, KB was down for the count, which encouraged some bribery and pranks between Emily and Rebecca.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Four.

By our fifth beer, KB exploded from her sleep coma with fisticuffs!

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Five.

But by our sixth and final round, the girls were friends again.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Six.

And then they made out.

I’m not sharing those photos,


PS: If you ever find yourself in Brussels, the bar is actually called Au Daringman.

…which is why “The Blarg” has been silent for so long.

But now I’m (and my computer is) back!

Stay tuned,


For the final three months of our wedding gift from Bill and Sarah, we got a shitload of delicious beer!

The gift included a six-pack of Goose Island’s Honker’s Ale, a six-pack of Paulaner’s Salvator, and a twelve-bottle variety pack from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers.

Liquor of the Month: July, August and September = A SHITLOAD OF BEER!

Thanks to Bill and Sarah for a gift that kept on giving… and killing my liver.

The ninth one,


Ron Monster Beer

…like beer-making father.

Can’t wait to taste his first batch,



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