I've fallen a couple of months behind in my series of roundups of my best moments from a year ago. I just got around to a catch-up over on Froogville last week; now it's The Barstool's turn.
Guided Tour - recommended posts from the 3rd quarter of 2010
1) A topical bon mot - 5th July 2010
One of my wiser insights - on why the English may be especially addicted to supporting underdogs.
2) Fighting Beer - 9th July 2010
A great little skit from English comedian Harry Enfield, imagining what a Nelson Mandela TV ad might be like.
3) The gloatiol to end them all - 10th July 2010
Comment verification fortuitously invents a new word we can use to describe the sort of protracted goal celebration favoured by hyper-enthusiastic South American TV commentators. I am reminded of one of the most creative - and historically wide-ranging - of such war-whoops (unfortunately, England were on the receiving end of it; but it's funny, anyway).
4) Top Five reasons for not going out with me - 15th July 2010
An anguished review of why it's so hard to get a date in this town. Although, as it turns out, some of these complaints apply equally to trying to arrange a rendezvous with friends, particularly my delinquent male drinking buddies (as I bitched again here).
5) The best barman in the world? - 20th July 2010
An appreciation of my Aussie pal Nigel Murphy, who took care of my favourite 12 Square Metres bar on Mondays for several months - providing one of the highlights of my year (not least for his wonderful music selections!).
6) Game of the names - 22nd July 2010
I try to revive my 2008 'collecting box' for possible names for a bar or restaurant by offering some more suggestions of my own.
7) Mojito trough - 27th July 2010
One of my most inventive drink-related ideas! Still seeking some VC interest for this one...
8) Trajectory - 5th August 2010
One of my favourite posts on either blog in the whole of last year: a humorous analysis of the typical life-cycle of a small Beijing bar. (I followed up a week or two later with some examples of the kind of bars that had inspired this frippery.)
9) The bar scene goes BANANAS!! - 7th August 2010
I happen to catch a comically awful documentary on the evolution of China's nightlife scene on CCTV-9, the country's reliably dire 'English language' channel.
10) Great Dating Disasters (8) - 10th August 2010
I think this is probably the worst dating experience I've ever had (although my US-based buddy The British Cowboy claims he can top it!).
11) The phantom comb (and other analogies) - 12th August 2010
I draw a telling parallel between shaving one's head and giving up booze (both of which I did last August!).
12) Great Love Songs (20) - 15th August 2010
Versions of These Foolish Things from Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Jane Birkin (from Bertrand Tavernier's exquisitely melancholy film of the same name).
13) Top Five Foolish Things (favourite memories of an old friend) - 17th August 2010
The weekend's musical post gets me to thinking about the things that most remind me of my dearest, most missed friend, The Arts Entrepreneur.
14) Bon voyage, Pierre! - 20th August 2010
A brief tribute to a departing foreign musician prompts some gloomy reflections of the precariousness of our existence here in police-state China.
15) Glowing Ember - 23rd August 2010
I pen a nicely balanced review of a recent show by Canadian singer-songwriter Ember Swift (70% marvellous, 30% not quite there); whereupon she unleashes her demented online fan club on me!! So, that's what a lynch mob is like...
16) Something for the ladies.... - 27th August 2010
The very funny Ladies of the World, from Kiwi comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords.
17) How much or in what manner? - 29th August 2010
One of my most pithily devastating put-downs - of my least-favourite Chinese rock star.
18) A dangerous combination - 31st August 2010
A particularly intense birthday celebration for best bud The Choirboy gives him the idea for a great name for a cocktail.
19) A taste of Xinjiang, in a glass - 1st September 2010
I invent a new cocktail inspired by lao hu cai - that spicy cucumber salad that goes so well with barbecued mutton-sticks.
20) It shouldn't happen to a pretzel - 6th September 2010
I discover Mark Zable, proud inventor of 'deep fried beer' pretzel-dough pockets. Apparently, this is but the tip of a frying-stuff-that-shouldn't-be-fried creative iceberg in America. (This led me in turn to the ultimate in artery-clogging bar snacks.)
21) Free is not necessarily good - 8th September 2010
Perhaps surprisingly, I come out against all-you-can-drink promotions.
22) A moment on the pool table - 14th September 2010
Perhaps the greatest shot I have ever played.... (though only a week or so later I would suffer one of the very worst evenings of my life on the pool table - it's a fickle game!).
23) All typos mean something... - 20th September 2010
Yes, they do.
24) HBH 201 - 24th September 2010
One of my better efforts: heavy on the pith, with a dash of Bukowski.
25) DANGER, Will Robinson! - 28th September 2010
Sometimes, when that customer comes into the bar, you know it's best to beat a hasty retreat.