Drinking Liberally Columbia Chapter Blog

DL: Why we matter

Listen, I'm willing to take full responsibility for the decline in attendance at Columbia Drinking Liberally in recent years. I'm the host and I'm not a fabulously good one. I'm not very outgoing, I'm not good at promotion and I'm sometimes a flaming a-hole. You certainly have my humble apologies for the areas in which I've fallen short as DL host.

But sometimes I'm reminded why Drinking Liberally matters. These times often come when people I went to high school with decide to air their political views on Facebook. Like when it was announced that THE Vice President of THE United States is giving the commencement address at THE University of South Carolina. You know, if Cheney had come and given the same speech (if he did, just don't tell me; I wouldn't like to think I was ever that unplugged), I like to think I would have been in the Free Speech Zone with my little protest sign, but at least I would have grasped that it's THE VP. The Facebookians were outraged. Outraged! This isn't Noam Chomsky; this is the former senator from MBNA. But apparently it's an outrage!

My point is that we still live in the state that's too small to be a sovereign nation but too large to be an insane asylum. And it's an election year, so the craziness is likely to get worse. We need DL, if for nothing else, than for a place where we might disagree, but not like we would with people who seem to be from another planet, as the majority of voters in this state often do. Also I have really good cookies.

So we're meeting one more time at the Good Life Cafe, mainly to mollify me and the other person who wants to meet there. We'll probably be back at the Publick House, and for good, next week. I had been uneasy with meeting there because in past years when weather starts getting nicer they would open up the front and then the cigarette smoke would blow in. Frankly, if that happens again, we'll either be moving tout de suite or you'll be needing a new host. But thus far, with very nice weather, the front hasn't opened. And last week, they had no music playing and we could actually hear ourselves. So as of this moment, I'm happier with the Publick House than I have been in ages, and we'll probably be there next week.

But this is this week, and you really really really should turn your taxes in early and then come to celebrate with us at the Good Life Cafe, which is a crazy delightful place, too. Come on down!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, April 15, 7:15ish
Where: The Good Life Cafe, 1614A Main St., Columbia, 726-2310

DL: Back to the Publick House

Hi there.
I am very pleased to say that our pal Joe is back for one week from freezing in Erie for one week. Partly in his honor, we are returning DL to the Publick House this week. (Very hard to get chicken wings at a vegan place.) Aaaaaand then we'll play it by ear.

My plan, if I can be said to have one, is to return to Good Life Cafe next week, and then have a hiatus the next week. Good Life Cafe is a really fabulous place and you should definitely go even if not as part of DL. However, the prices, though not out of line with other Main St. establishments, are probably a little too high to be appropriate for a DL venue. Personally, I'd rather stay there permanently anyway because it's so wonderful having a place where I can order anything on the menu, but the name of the club is Drinking Liberally, not Making John Comfortable, so I will go with the will of the people.

That said, if you want the club to keep meeting at the Publick House, it would be a good idea to turn out this Tuesday night (and see Joe!) or induce others to do so. If you want the club to keep meeting at Good Life Cafe, it would be a good idea to turn out next Tuesday or induce others to do so. The Tuesday after that (assuming y'all have not turned out in your millions on the 8th or 15th), I intend to do a sort of dry pub crawl of as many potential Columbia venues as I can think of at roughly 7 on a Tuesday. If anybody wants to get in on this, just holler, or do your own pub crawl and get back to me with suggestions. It'll be fun!

A place I'd considered for years is Southern Belly, formerly the Rolling Stone, by the train trestle on Rosewood. Fortunately for them, they just got a writeup in The State. Good Life Cafe also got a writeup, although it was less about them per se than about vegan places in SC generally. Still, hopefully both places will get a bounce from the good press (somebody under 100 must still read The State, right?). Though I guess then they might not have room for DL. Ah well, we'll see.

But in the meantime, please come out Tuesday for Drinking Liberally at the Publick House and see Joe and us and everybody. C'mon!
--John
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, April 8, 7:15ish
Where: The Publick House, 2305 Devine St., Columbia, 256-2207

DL: Good Life Cafe, 1614A Main St, Columbia, Tues., 4/1/14, 7:15ish

I am pouting. Out loud. That's because we have a meeting on April Fools' Day but I can't SAY we're having an April Fools' meeting because A) it would sound like I'm suggesting that this is a club of fools (instead of just me) and B) if you say "April Fools'" it means the opposite so I can't SAY we're having an April Fools' meeting because we ARE having an April Fools' meeting except as I say that I'm the only fool.

Thus, we are having a meeting on Tuesday, 4/1/14, which admittedly is a pretty delightful date even apart from its April foolishness. You should come. Good Life Cafe is delightful, though the menu is indeed unusual; however, it's entirely in the good way. If it says something's a sandwich, on bread, apparently this is a figure of speech. (None of us ordered sandwiches, so we didn't actually find out what a sandwich means there, but when we asked about it, the waitress did tell us it isn't really bread. Not surprising in a raw-food establishment.) We can say definitively that the manicotti tube is a ribbon of zucchini and that the manicotti is to die for. Also the chips and queso are excellent and they are actual chips. Though they're probably dried rather than cooked.

So in short, the food is great. The prices are maybe a little high, but not prohibitive. The way they deal with beer in a raw food context is that they throw some hops at you, then pour water over your head. (Just kidding! It's real beer.) Everybody present seemed to enjoy it. Also I'm told that parking in the city garage at Taylor and Assembly is free after 6, which ought to help. So maybe we've got a new venue; maybe not. I'm treating this as the second week of the trial period; I'd be happy to hear people's opinions, particularly as regards your likelihood of attending meetings here as compared to The Publick House (or anywhere else, really).

Meanwhile, tonight (Monday, aka Death Panel Deadline Day), our friend Ross is putting on another excellent show at Conundrum. Ballister, from Chicago and Oslo (you heard me), are playing at 9. $8. You should go! https://www.facebook.com/events/683881208317743/

So come out Tuesday and try the Good Life Cafe on Main St. Will it be our last meeting there? Or will it be our first meeting there as the permanent DL venue? You decide!
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, April Fools' Day FFS, 7:15ish
Where: The Good Life Cafe, 1614A Main St., Columbia, 726-2310

DL: Good Life Cafe, 1614A Main St, Columbia, Tues., 3/25/14, 7:15ish

Mesdames, messieurs:
Let's try a new place. Good Life Cafe has been in Oak Grove for a while now but has just come to Main Street. As I mentioned last week, the difference between the old location and the new one is that the new one has a BAR. And a pretty happ'nin' one, too! Good Life Cafe serves vegan food, mostly (but not all) raw. Everything is gluten-free, dairy-free of course, and I think they said soy-free, too. They also have gluten-free beer (but only one) and sulfite-free wine. So I personally will be moving in. But the rest of you should definitely come down and visit Tuesday night!

I dropped by Wednesday at 7 to get the best approximation of what Tuesday at 7 is like. The crowd was lively but not deafening. Parking was a little difficult; this may be the downfall of Good Life as a venue, it being right across from the Nick. I figure we give them at least a two-week trial run. If acoustics or parking make it not an appropriate venue, we can always head back to Publick House. It's not like there's anything wrong with them. It's just that this place is so cool!

Their menu is online at GoodLifeCafe.net and also I think on their Facebook page. It's not at all weird freaky stuff (says the boy who puts kale in his chili). Prices are a bit higher than what we're used to, but there are cheaper items, too. In their honor, I'm bringing vegan cookies, which are also good. I barely put in any poison at all. So come on and see us Tuesday at the Good Life Cafe on Main Street for Drinking Liberally. We really hope to see you!
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, March 25, 7:15ish
Where: The Good Life Cafe, 1614A Main St., Columbia, 726-2310

DL: Oh stop working on that ark

Hi,
Guess what! There's a Good Life Cafe on Main St. now. This is a vegan/ raw foods outfit previously only known in Oak Grove. Which is nice and all, but what brings them into this email is that the Main St. location has a bar! Now, I don't know how comfortable or compatible we all are with raw or vegan food, nor what the parking situation is on Main on a Tuesday night, but it might be a good meeting place. Do not be too surprised if we have a meeting there in the near future as a try out. I think it might be very cool, and I also think it's important to support the return of retail to Main St. If you think so, too, do holler.

Stuff is happening this week. Tonight (Monday) at Conundrum, Choro da Manha perform. I have a conflict so I won't be going, but saw them last year. They are certainly virtuoso (or -i, or -ic, as you prefer). Your enjoyment will be heightened depending on how curious you are about the roots of bossa nova and samba music. https://www.facebook.com/events/1415286265390498/

Tomorrow night (Tuesday), not to suggest that anyone on Earth would want to do anything other than come to DL, there is a Downtown Church open mic night at Conundrum starting at 7, and it's free. Friends of ours is playing. https://www.facebook.com/events/1517435525149292/

And Thursday! Thursday is Brazil! (The movie, not the country.) Bradley and P.O.V. are presenting Terry Gilliam's Brazil. It's from before Jonathan Pryce started playing heavies yet, which is probably why I love it so. $5, 7 pm, Tapp's Arts Center. https://www.facebook.com/events/275553045940462/ Also Tapp's is on the same block as the Good Life Cafe. Did I mention that they have a bar?

Oh, on my most recent visit (Saturday), the 12K Or So Year Park (aka the Timmerman Trail) was less complete than it had been the previous week, in that bridges that had been open were now taped off. So maybe I spoke too soon last week suggesting that it's ready for prime time. Tip: Don't go on Saturday, as it's another work day for the construction people. Sundays are best.

If anyone is interested, I have a copy of "Front Row at the White House" by Helen Thomas that you can have. It is fascinating, but I'm fairly unlikely to reread it. It's also signed by the author, though not to me. If you're named Debbie, though, what a keepsake it would be!

So, if you'll be so kind, I'd love to see you at DL at the Publick House Tuesday night. Really, you don't need to build the ark yet. Let Russell Crowe do it and come drink liberally instead!
--John
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, March 18, 7:15ish
Where: The Publick House, 2305 Devine St., Columbia, 256-2207

DL: Maybe if we make it Hiking Liberally

Hi,
I'm really really really really charged about the new or perhaps forthcoming 12,000 Year Park in Cayce. It's supposed to be National Park quality someday, although at the moment it's just a very nice (granted concrete) trail. The reason I'm telling you about it (besides all those really reallys up there) is because the trail has been completed and now makes a loop, and thus a gazillion people are probably about to show up and hike, bike, jog, blade or skateboard on it. It's still a construction site, so it's best to go weekends, particularly Sundays, before the gazillion get there. Your phone can probably tell you where 12th Street Extension (SC 35) and SCANA Parkway are; go the only way you can go on the latter, which is west (for those with as little sense of direction as me, that would be away from Columbia) and then turn right immediately (well, wait for the driveway) and park in the parking lot. This is the Timmerman Trail, which connects to the 12K Park trails. It's legal and everything; the no trespassing signs are all down, at least on Sunday. Just don't stare at the laser.

Really, it's an awesome trail once you get to Congaree Creek (the parking area is at Six Mile Creek) and gets better and better. Also the pedestrian bridges are very cool. Also it's kind of a trip to walk under 12th St. Extension. Also if you get tired of the concrete, you can just traipse down Old State Road and go to Charleston. OK, that won't really work, but it's truly excellent itself. Hope you make it before the gazillions get there; you'll thank me.

Meanwhile at the Publick House, the larger crowds were probably mostly due to people who would have been sitting outside but were inside due to the stinky weather. Also the Midlands Dart Club meets at 6:30 on Tuesdays. Sooo we'll see how it goes. My instinct is that this week, what with spring break and better weather, the crowds will abate. We'll see.

I note also that Cantina 76 now has a location on Main St. Six of one, half dozen the other which has better parking between their Devine St. original location and the new one. It might be a place to think about, though.

New cookies have everything in them. Literally! (It was tough fitting the kitchen sink in and I don't know how I'm going to do dishes now, but we all have to make sacrifices.) Even allspice, because I'm insane. And the mongoose nuts were expensive and difficult to find, but I'm just that committed! Cookies turned out nicely. Anyway I can't stop eating them, which is probably an endorsement. I hope you'll come out to DL Tuesday and save me from them and set and stay a while. C'mon!

PS: Everybody but me knew what SCANA stands for, right? Well, if not you'll have to come out Tuesday to find out! (Or, ya know, look it up in Wikipedia like I did.:))
--John
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, March 11, 7:15ish
Where: The Publick House, 2305 Devine St., Columbia, 256-2207

DL is JUST about fed up with that dang groundhog

Hello beautiful people,
At least it isn't supposed to snow, so there's that. And we had a gorgeous weekend. So yay!

Only Jim H. and I showed up last week, which was fine and we had a great meeting. Funny thing was that there was barely room even for just us. This may mean that Publick House is having a renaissance, or it may mean that they just happened to be busy that particular Tuesday. But if it keeps being crowded, DL might have to move on again.

Relatedly, I don't know how everybody else feels, but I would be more comfortable in a place with a "No concealed weapons" notice. So far, I only see that at Kildare's at Five Points. Granted, I'd be happier with a slightly less prominent one than theirs. Anyway, something to think about.

I note further that we have a member, or anyway a friendly visitor, who is a Google Glass user. If anybody is curious about Glass, I think I can twist his arm to come out and demonstrate its magic. Or if you just have questions, put them in a reply and I can relay them.

Regarding the DL Facebook page and the ability to see which admin is posting what, it turns out that only admins can see this. So that's a bit pointless. But if anyone wants to be an admin, you're still welcome. Just holler.

I hope everybody makes it out to DL Tuesday night. No snow, and I look forward to seeing you. Also it's Mardi Gras; laissez les bons temps rouler!
--John
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, March 4, 7:15ish
Where: The Publick House, 2305 Devine St., Columbia, 256-2207

DL says What ya gotta do to get an apocalypse up in here?

Ragnarok was predicted for just this past Saturday. Did it happen? No! Mayan apocalypse in 2012? No! Y2K? No! And that Jesus guy has been coming back ANY MINUTE NOW for almost 2,000 years now! It's getting so you can hardly trust the Four Horsemen anymore! (Note to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: just kidding!)

Hi. We do have a fairly dramatic, if not apocalyptic, calendar though, as the shortest month tries to make up for its limited days with a plethora of events. Tuesday night those who are willing to forego the joy of DL (or go to the show late) may want to investigate The Nakatani Gong Orchestra, playing at the Columbia Museum of Art at 8 for $10 ($8 for museum members, $5 for students). https://www.facebook.com/events/658613257514090/

But wait, there's more! Thursday, Bradley and POV will screen the postponed Valentine's presentation "Make Way For Tomorrow," which still stars radio legends Beulah Bondi and Victor Moore, and still promises to tug at your heartstrings. $5 at Tapp's Arts Center at 7 pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/672434876133680/ Also Thursday, Jason Ajemian will tug at his bass strings as he and the High Life play Conundrum for the first time in it seems like forever. At 9, so you can make it to both. $8. https://www.facebook.com/events/690257187693159/

But be sure to come out to the Publick House for Drinking Liberally and we can tank up for the next apocalypse, which no doubt is coming momentarily. Or should I say the next predicted one? Regardless, hope to see you there!
--John
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, February 25, 7:15ish
Where: The Publick House, 2305 Devine St., Columbia, 256-2207

Absolute proof! Canceling DL leads to earthquakes!

Hello beautiful cabin fever recoverers,
Can I just say, apropos of practically nothing, that today (Monday) is my dad's 93d birthday? Dang impressive that, don't you think? Well I do!

As to the earthquake, I'll try not to cancel any more meetings in order to make sure we aren't hit by earthquakes in the future. Although I've got to admit, the ones that don't cause any damage are kind of fun. But let's not take any chances. (Also, let's not have any more snow.)

I will repeat myself, probably more than once, about the Columbia DL Facebook page and the fact that after the 20th, admins (or whatever we're called) will be identified by name. I still think this could be very cool and if anyone else wants to be an admin (and promises to behave-- there's the rub), holler.

So absent additional indicators of the apocalypse occurring between now and then, I look forward to seeing you Tuesday evening at the Publick House for Drinking Liberally. Also, my famous German chocolate mini-muffins are being reborn as cookies, which should be delicious or at least interesting. Come on down!
--John
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, February 18, 7:15ish
Where: The Publick House, 2305 Devine St., Columbia, 256-2207

DL is going to punch that groundhog so hard.

Hello romantical people,
We are looking at unfriendly, inclement weather forecasts again. As we do not live in a place with snow plows or even salt, risking driving under snowy or sleety conditions is never a good idea. However, whether or when there might be snow is an open question, with the when part a highly moving target.

Thus, I think we can say that if it's snowing or sleeting or if rain is freezing Tuesday evening, or if there's a high probability of any of those developing soon, you can go ahead and consider DL to be canceled. If it isn't, consider it on. I will try to say something more definitive on the Facebook Columbia DL page as Tuesday wears on. And I'll definitely check to see if the Publick House is open. If you want to check with me, my cell is still 445-8497.

Much more romantical is the movie to be presented by POV Cineclub (cofounded and curated by our friend Bradley Powell) Thursday night. Hopefully, weather won't impinge on this event. Featuring radio stars Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi, "Make Way for Tomorrow" (1937) should touch your heart most valentinistically. 7 pm, Tapp's Arts Center, $5. https://www.facebook.com/events/455821657880228/

Also Thursday, our friend Ross Taylor is putting on a show at Conundrum featuring Mikolaj Trzaska and Tim Daisy. Cover is likely to be c. $8; unfortunately they left this out of the FB posting. Show starts at 8:30, weather and Jazz Standard Time willing. https://www.facebook.com/events/348818208589732/

To return for a moment to our ever-electrifying Facebook page, the Zuckerbergese say that as of the 20th, pages like ours will identify which admin says what. In other words, instead of identifying status updates as being by a godlike Drinking Liberally (Columbia SC), it will instead say something like Drinking Liberally (Columbia SC) John M. Dantzler. Or you. If anybody would like to be an admin on the DL Cola FB page, just holler. No rules to speak of except you can't endorse any person or party and spouting Fox News talking points is likely to be unpopular. Heck, it's fun!

So let's hope again that all the bad weather forecasts are wrong and DL can proceed with no hindrance or letup. I will hope for same and will hope to see you at the Publick House Tuesday. Regardless, I hope everyone has a safe week, a joyous Valentine's and is as little troubled by the weather as can be. Look forward to seeing you when next I do.
--John (Should I put question marks at the end of the three lines following?)
What: Drinking Liberally
When: Tuesday, February 11, 7:15ish
Where: The Publick House, 2305 Devine St., Columbia, 256-2207