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Bar #22 – O’Sullivan’s – Post-Mortem

Arlington, VA

A much needed, yet unscheduled, off day on Thursday gave me time to catch up on some quality drinking.  Yeah, sure, I've been drinking every single day for the last month or so, but on tour it's mostly been crappy macro lagers and the like.  Thursday was a chance to revisit my craft beer roots with some high-quality shit.  I spent the day with my friend DW and we raided his beer cellar, freshly stocked with some new rarities after just returning from a honeymoon in Belgium.

Friday began the first of four days in the DC-Baltimore area, a stop I considered nothing more than "batting practice" before three big boy events Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  I stopped in at O'Sullivan's, a cozy Irish pub in the hopping Clarendon section of Arlington.  The beer was expected, the food surprisingly decent, and the frat band-fueled crowd was an absolute pleasure.  We sold a lot of books and met a ton of cool people and were finished in time to head back to DW's for an epic Belgian quadruple tasting.

O'Sullivan's was hopefully a harbinger to the next three days in the area which should be absolutely epic.


Unable to find a pillow to sleep on at DW's house, he yoinked his dog's pillow, removed the pillow case, and gave it to me.  I sniffed it, and decided I was too drunk to really care.


Dinner at Ray's:  The Steaks.  Completely lacking in decor and ambiance--it gets a fucking "11" for that on Zagat's; even McDonald's can muster like a 12--the meat is second to none and absurdly cheap.


Too many to name, from a group of sours--Lost Abbey's Duck Duck Gooze, Cantillon Fou Foune, Cantilon Cuvee des Champions--to some De Dolle Belgian strong dark ales, to the aforementioned late night quad tasting, the winner of the day was still easily the quote-unquote "best beer in the world":  Westvleteren 12.  Amazing every single time I try it.


Bar #21 – McGlynn’s Pub – Post-Mortem

I did not want to go to Newark, Delaware on Wednesday night.  I wanted to stay in Manhattan, stay in my bed, eat some good non-bar food, not drink.  I really didn't want to return to Delaware, surely have another stinker small-time event with meager sales totals.  And, I didn't want any angry "supremacists" coming after me.

My previous event in Delaware, in Dover just four days prior, had led to a blog post where I wrote about hanging amidst a crowd of "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers."  Never did I bash these "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers," nor even note what exactly they were supremacistic against (Taco Bell Burrito Supremes?!).  I simply passively discussed trying to sell books as they shrieked hardcore music about hate and the like.  It wasn't libel, man, it was like...reporting.

Well, some people out in the world did not take too kindly to my post, taking to my blog, my Facebook page, and my Twitter account and going after me:

*"Wow, your (sic) a real douch (sic).  Delfederate Army is by no means a 'supremacistic' band...I don't know if you noticed the native american (sic) bassist."

*"It was a punk rock show...There was a huge cross section of people in that crowd, none of which are white supremacists...Did you notice that a couple of those bands had black members?"


The thing was, I really had no problem with the "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers" and, in fact, had spoken with many of them who proudly considered themselves "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers."

Or so I thought.

But now I was headed back to Delaware, some 40 miles or so from that Dover event, and I was kinda scared shitless that a group of angry "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers" would be waiting for my arrival, ready to HATE me.  It seemed inevitable.  I hoped, at the least, after I got knifed in the chest, or took a Louisville Slugger to the knees, that the ensuing newspaper article would note "...How to Fail:  The Self-Hurt Guide (available on Amazon!) author Aaron Goldfarb lies in a coma in nearby Christiana Hospital after a brutal attack by enraged supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers..."  You can't buy that kind of press!

Nevertheless, I threw my hood up and trekked into McGlynn's Pub to find just the most nice and homey little local bar.  Already full of people and esprit de corps at happy hour, I could tell this drinking and chatting crowd would be perfect for me and my book.  The great smells of bar food (how am I not sick of it yet?!) and an impressive $2 a pint (a pint!) craft beer list quickly boosted my spirits as well.

And then he walked in.  Rob, the door man at Sunday's Dover hardcore show.  A nice guy back on Sunday when I had spoken to him, why the hell was he now in Newark?!  I braced myself.  And, then, he reached into his pocket...and pulled out fifteen bucks.

He simply wanted a book.  He works nearby McGlynn's and had decided to come by and grab the book he'd forgotten to grab in Dover.  "So I'm a hatemonger?" he joked, now no longer clad in the typical black attire of hardcore hatemongering he'd sported on Sunday, instead dressed neatly in a button-down shirt and slacks.  Indeed he wasn't.  He was a masters degree'ed chemical engineer (with a culinary arts associates to boot!) and one of the nicest guys I've met on tour.

Yet, even after a book purchase and a nice conversation, when he briefly left the bar to smoke, I was a bit wondering if he was heading out to alert the other hatemongers to come hate.  Luckily, he wasn't.

And, within the hour, other hatemongers came to my defense on my blog, noting stuff like:

*"Not sure who posted that [on your blog], but those of us ive talked to in no way take offense at what was said. The bass player and I had a pretty good laugh about that part of the review. So sorry about all that e-fury up there."

*"Don't mind those monkeys, they think they are people :)"

Nice!  I now had the A-list "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers" on my side, turned against the Z-list "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers" who had been trying to hate on me.  Score one for Goldfarb (NOTE: not a Jewish last name).

And with that major boost of momentum, McGlynn's ended up being one of my favorite stops on tour.  A real Cheers-like place where everyone knows everyone and was glad to now know me too, our Fail-anetics videos slaying them, my books being bought in bulk.  I honestly met some of the most interesting people I've met the whole tour and I'll never forget Big Frank, Dave the biker, Marc the manager, and countless others.


Fucking New Jersey roads.  Jesus Christ, what is with all the jug handle turns and no left turns and poor exits and the like?  My manager and I missed a turn running an errand nearby Cherry Hill and then spent about 45 extra minutes just trying to get turned around and back on track.


This savvy Jew getting "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers" on his side.  Great success!


Twin Lakes Taylor's Grog.  This Delaware local micro (nano?) brewery I'd never heard of produces this special house beer for McGlynn's and, unlike most house beers, this one is actually good.  A nice IPA in the mold of another Delaware local, Dogfish Head's 60 Minute.

SPECIAL NOTE:  The post on Bar #20, Stout NYC in Manhattan, is currently still embaragoed, pending several people giving me the A-OK to absolutely bash certain peoples and places.


“How to Fail” Errors and Corrections

It seems remarkable if not virtually impossible that typos and flat-out errors can make it into a widely published book.  By my own estimation, I've read "How to Fail" over one hundred times.  My manager, readers, publishers, and editor have probably read it a combined two-hundred times more.  Yet we all missed stuff.

I greatly admired what Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy, did with his recent release "The Book of Basketball" in listing all the errors fans found.  I mean, he's a celebrity author with a much larger publisher and a much larger team of readers and editors than me.  And if he still had errors slip through the cracks, what chance did I have?

An a-hole friend of mine said he bought my book simply to find as many typos as possible in order to goof on me.  I told him, "You won't find any and if you do, I'll buy you a beer for every single one."  FUCK.

(May contain spoilers I suppose)

[UPDATED:  12/02/2010]

Page / Error / Correction

MISSED PERIOD ....and have no idea where to buy a hangman's rope (Bed, Bath, and Beyond?).
MISSED QUESTION MARK.....instead of going to Bed, Bath, & Beyond with your fiancee ("You can speak at the wedding, Stu, so long as you promise to not drink beforehand, and absolutely swear you'll not say anything offensive.  My eighty-nine-year-old grandma's gonna be there, dude.")?
TYPO What time it is?
12  UNNECESSARY APOSTROPHES "Show's what I know!" Jack chortled.  "Show's what he knows!" Kirsten guffawed.
26  TYPO To my left, a women in a power suit...
38  TYPO...though without Robin William's sappy...
43  TYPO (unless you're a pirate)...but they provided me sister and I with an...
45  MISSING COMMA A public school math teacher, she always wore sweatshirts that alerted everyone in the room she was a public school math teacher.
48  MISSING COMMA He lipped, "Drink up, ASAP" and I did as told...
51  TYPO "Cats have this amazing way of..."
53  MISSED WORD ....had to have a Hollywood dreamer of a son as their son, they'd wish for it to be Wesley.
56  GRAMMAR ...had quit her promising career as a CPA to raise my sister and I.
56  GRAMMAR ...was happy to be the bus driver to my sister and I.
57  GRAMMAR If you or I was forced
59  MISSING COMMA ...before their kids could say, "Mama, pwease don't..."
68  MISSED PERIOD pretend these animated pictures are truly deep ("The humor was going right over little Anna's head!").
69  CONSISTENCY Unlikeable characters - In commercial movies, even the bad guys are likable in that...    they're both correct, but you should probably either use the e in both or in neither
81  TYPO ...don't hear much for him after that...
88  GRAMMAR all of a sudden
99  TYPO...shape the conversation to you own perverse needs
100  MISSED PERIOD enjoying the day's newest Blondie (you enjoy that sandwich, Dagwood!).
117  GRAMMAR Randy, the landlord of Christian and I
140  TYPO I couldn't imagine a worst fate    I couldn't imagine a worse fate
140  GRAMMAR There was so many arguments
144  TYPO Country's have necks
158  GRAMMAR she was annoying me as her and her coterie
158  TYPO calender
158  TYPO What's your number
167  TYPO this women was crazy.
168  TYPO These modern insights into sex hadn't help us
168  MISSED PERIOD whether Adam felt inadequate ("He who worries about how well her last boyfriend fucked her will be smote by his own screwy emotions." -- Ecclesiastes 25:82).
174  TYPO any more (anymore)
183  TYPO you just come here ever day
186  SPELLING sleaves
186  SPELLING croque monsiers
198  INCORRECT REFERENCE (please see Footchapter 8-B...)
211  SPELLING dungenous
221  GRAMMAR cares about the women's pleasure
221  DESIGN ERROR "Calculus is Sexy"
222  TYPO A women with an SUV
240  INCORRECT REFERENCE (please see Footchapter 10-C...)
263  TYPO you're a renaissance women
268  GRAMMAR a decade-old picture of Wesley and I.
287  GRAMMAR Her and Brandi had gotten engaged
305  CONSISTENCY (please see: Footchapter...)
311  TYPO not worn since they day
313  TYPO did remind me off his bed
314  TYPO I'd surely begun life
323  GRAMMAR a stranger's call
348  GRAMMAR a 85" screen
350  TYPO call me cruel, call my rude
352  TYPO suberb-model    superb-model?
354  TYPO Whole Food's produce section
359  MISSED COMMA Fitzgerald said, "There are no second acts in American lives," but he was wrong.


11  La Enfants Magnifique    Correct versions would be either L'Enfant Magnifique or Les Enfants Magnifiques. (AG note:  the malaprop naming was intentional)
18  Whoppers Junior  (AG note:  intentional, inside joke, please see this)
26  one week previous (prior?)
28  left-skewed median of 723    wouldn't that be right skewed? (AG note:  nope)
60  GRAMMAR "...Instead of your mother and I loving you..."    (AG note: debatable since it's a character speaking)
67  I don't give a motherfuck"?    I don't give a motherfuck?"
79  He has a perpetual look of pedophiliac (AG note:  play on words)
89  previous to happy hour (prior?)
91  I'd never awoken in a Murphy bed    I'd never awoken in a Murphy bed
158  who was my girlfriend a few hours previous (prior?)
163  been born a decade point five previous (previously?  prior?)
241  there doesn't seem to be any good songs    (there don't seem to be any good song or there doesn't seem to be any good song)
255  all the more creepier (all the creepier/all the more creepy)

Please add your own to the comments below and, if I agree, I'll add them to the master list and each new addition edition (ha! a typo in a post about typos!) of the book.


Bar #19 – The Note – Post-Mortem

West Chester, PA

I remember standing naked in front of the bathroom mirror at midnight right before "How to Fail" released and my book tour began.  I remember ogling myself and thinking, "You've never looked better, Goldfarb."  I was trim, toned, defined.  Yet, I knew this would only last for about 24 hours.

Now, two-thirds of the way through the book tour, that man that stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror is a distant memory.  I am becoming like the slothful failure and protagonist of my book, Stu Fish, who notes in Chapter 1:

In the decade since college...My body has morphed from a taut athletic figure into one of decadence and sloth.  Cheap one dollar drafts “decadence” and ten cent wings from four-to-seven “sloth.”

Back in my normal life, back before this damn book tour, I used to be healthy.  I used to eat a diet of salads, hummus, fruits, veggies and the like during the day.  And though I'm a bit of an overindulgent foodie, I still maintained a healthy balance.  I loved loved loved my craft beer, but I still only drank a few bottles a week, a few more over the weekends.  I used to run 5-7 miles 5-7 days per week.  Push-ups, sit-ups, and weights every 2-3.  I was INTO it man.

But now, now I drink every night from happy hour til close.  I eat bar food every night--nachos, french fries, sliders, pizza, and anything and everything covered in buffalo sauce--for the last nineteen nights.  I've been running a little, surprisingly 12 of the 19 mornings on tour so far, but shorter runs, just trying to shake the cobwebs off, make sure my heart and lungs still function.  My body is doughy and jiggly.  I can't believe how fast I've degraded.

My face too.  True, I've been almost too busy to do the standard things one does in life to maintain themselves, but my manager Craig also thought it a swell idea to grow "tour beards" and, well, I'm into being peer pressured.  So now my face is again, just like Stu Fish's, who notes in Chapter Two:

Start small and quit shaving.  Who decided:  clean shaven = responsible member of society?  Removing hairs from one’s face is one of the silliest things man has ever made ritualistic (that doesn't involve God).  Plus, razor blades and creams are expensive.

You can justify quitting shaving by reasoning that it will make you into a sexy bad boy.  And, truthfully, it will.  Briefly.  In that three to seven days scruff range.  Women will dig you then, so you best get mad pussy during those four days.

After seven days, assuming you’re not in the top one percentile that can grow luxurious beards (Kenny Rogers, Ice Cube, Sean Connery, Rutherford B. Hayes, et al), the hair on your face will look repellent—uneven, thatchy, and prickly—bringing oils that will make your skin break out, becoming shiny and greasy.  The fuzz on your mug will be like Velcro to foreign objects.  Lint, pizza sauce, and shreds of paper will attach like filings to a magnet.

After ten days without shaving, people will begin noticing.  Your friends will passive-aggressively dance around the subject.  “Soooooo, trying to grow a beard?”  Nope.  Just checking out on life.

Nope.  Just on the most ludicrous book tour ever.

Monday brought me to lovely West Chester, PA for a special event at Bam Magera's rock club The Note.  The kind of event surely no other author and no other book has ever been a part of.  Two bands, Hay Market Riot & The Goodnight Lights, OPENED for me.  An author.  Who has ever heard of such a thing?!  What does opening for a book even look like?  Well, it looked like me MCing the evening, introing the bands, doing some drunken schtick between sets, even sitting in with the Lights for the spoken word portion of Lou Reed's "The Gift," reading a bit of Footchapter 4-B "How to Masturbate at Work."

It was a spectacular event and a night I'll never forget.  But I'm never gonna forget any of these 30 nights on this book tour I'm starting to realize.


Hay Market Riot guitarist Jesse Riddle twice popping a string on stage before later slicing his hand into a bloody mess.  Is he stringing his instrument with razor wire?!


A late night jaunt into Philadelphia to grab some cheesesteaks.  Trite, but delish.


Major props to The Note for a stellar beer list.  It would be easy for them to do what most always-packed hip rock clubs do and simply sell macro swill and cheap cans of PBR--which, don't get me wrong, are also available--but The Note also packed a punch with taps and bottles from Victory, Sixpoint, Great Lakes, Lost Abbey (!), a some super fresh Sierra Nevada Celebration on tap.  An iconic beer I never get sick of, although I got perhaps a little sick from it, polishing off far too many delicious, enamel-peeling pints.