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The third annual Bartender Olympics is Thursday at 7 p.m.!
The third annual Bartender Olympics is Thursday at 7 p.m.!

Bartender Olympics: No training required

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs -- including guides, the latest trends, bartender profiles and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

For the third year, OnMilwaukee.com will host the Bartender Olympics, but this year it’s happening at the Whiskey Bar, 778 N. Jefferson St.

The free event is set for Thursday, Feb. 24, starting at 7 p.m. and wrapping up around 10 p.m.

Ten Milwaukee bartenders will compete in four categories: the Pabst can stack, the talent competition, a timed drink order competition and a recipe contest.

Bartenders include Pete Marshall (Milwaukee Brat House), Alisha Olson (Jo Cats), Danny Benavante (Bel Air Cantina), Nikki Fountaine (Brewski’s), Shenna Barrette (Blackthorn Pib), Nicky Rev (Cafe Lulu), Spencer Kronz (Vitucci’s), Joe Vella (Paulie’s Pub), Scott Sloan (Kenadee’s) and returning champ Matty Gonzales (Sabbatic).

Special guests include Kramp and Adler from FM 102.1 and Jen Lada from FOX6 News. Plus, there will be a Shutterbox photo booth, pizza from Street-za and drink specials.

I'm going to be "score keeper" instead of a judge this year.

OnMilwaukee.com publisher Andy Tarnoff will be a judge, however. And, just added to the judge panel is Cecilia Gilbert from the City of Milwaukee. Many know her simply as "Queen."  She's a Downtown bar expert.

Me? I’m a little nervous about my new position simply because accessing even simple math skills and drinking even small amounts of alcohol don’t seem like a good mix for me, but I’ll give it a whirl.

Beer is not food. And, sadly, there is not a sandwich in every beer even though someone once told me there was.
Beer is not food. And, sadly, there is not a sandwich in every beer even though someone once told me there was.

"Drunkorexia"

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs -- including guides, the latest trends, bartender profiles and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Recently, I read a couple of articles about this non-medical term "drunkorexia" that defines people who skip meals to save calories so they can binge drink later in the day. Apparently, some folks take it even further than this, and some fast for the entire day or throw up before going out.

I'm no drunkorexic, but I can relate to this. Occasionally, I have been offered a dessert or a second slice of pizza and I said, only half jokingly, "Thanks, but I am saving my caloric intake for beer."

But today, after reading this latest article that talks about how this disorder affects young men as well as women, I decided not to make jokes or comments like this anymore. I don't want my kids, or my friends' kids, to hear this and somehow get the idea calories are all the same -- empty or not -- and that they are all the enemy.

I am so sick of constant collective body loathing and yet, when it comes down to it, I just want to drink beer and not look like it. Stupid human.

Social smokers are sometimes annoying to regular smokers. Especially because we rarely have our own cigs.
Social smokers are sometimes annoying to regular smokers. Especially because we rarely have our own cigs.

Did the smoking ban snuff out the social smoker?

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs -- including guides, the latest trends, bartender profiles and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Recently, a friend asked me when was the last time I smoked a cigarette and I couldn’t remember. I found this interesting because, although I was not a pack-a-day smoker, I did like to suck down a few grits when drinking alcohol.

However, most of my alcohol consumption takes place at home -- where I do not smoke -- or in bars -- where I can no longer smoke. And so, guess what? I don’t really smoke anymore. And it didn't require anything. Not a patch, not gum, not pills. Just one law.

I’ve discussed this with fellow former social smokers and decided that because we’re not hardcore smokers, we’re unwilling to stand in outside in frigid temps. Plus, most social smokers do not have a nicotine addiction. Sure, we might have an emotional addiction to cigs or some other unhealthy relationship with them but it makes simply stopping way less of a physically painful process.

I can’t decide if I should just go purist and say "I no longer smoke." The older I get, the more I realize I don’t care for labels. I’d rather not be a "smoker" or a "non-smoker," and even though I have not eaten meat since September, I refuse to call myself a "vegetarian." It’s funny, when I was younger, I was all about asserting myself as this or that, but these days, I like the freedom to shamelessly be my undefined, sometimes hypocritical self is an integral aspect of my self-acceptance.

But enough about that.

From a health perspective, the death of social smoking is a good thing. Even though I can’t say I feel much healthier on a day-to-day basis, I know I probably am. Plus, I don’t get smoke hangovers anymore from either my own cigs or the dozens that burned around me at bars.

But on the other hand, I miss social sm…

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Dorothy Parker could probably drink me under the round table, but it would still be a hoot.
Dorothy Parker could probably drink me under the round table, but it would still be a hoot.

What dead person would you drink with?

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs -- including guides, the latest trends, bartender profiles and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

My kids are at the age where they ask a lot of "what if" questions. I like it. It makes me think about random topics I wouldn’t normally mull over. Not surprisingly, I just had a "what if" question pop into my head, and I thought I’d toss it out to the Milwaukee masses.

What if you could have a beer or a cocktail with any dead person? Who would it be?

Given the chance to booze with the deceased, I would choose my grandfather -- who loved his Schlitz -- and then Milwaukee founder Solomon Juneau and / or the dark and witty writer Dorothy Parker.

Although with Parker, I would probably wind up having quite a few more than one, but that would be OK, too. As she would say, "Might as well live."

How about you?