Ninja!

Rochelle is closing in on her Ninja degree in tequila, which is the optional degree that comes after the Ph.D. The Ninja degree is when you (a) have your Ph.D., and then (b) drink (yet another) 35 tequilas, neat — i.e., in a snifter, straight, not in a margarita or other cocktail. You don’t need a Ninja to become a Demigod, and indeed, fewer than a dozen people have achieved all four levels.

Rochelle is closing in on her Ninja degree in tequila, which is the optional degree that comes after the Ph.D. The Ninja degree is when you (a) have your Ph.D., and then (b) drink (yet another) 35 tequilas, neat — i.e., in a snifter, straight, not in a margarita or other cocktail. You don’t need to be a Ninja to become a Demigod, and indeed, fewer than a dozen people have achieved all four levels.

While we both got our Ph.D.s at the same time, Rochelle’s Ninja degree is coming about a year before mine will, as I just can’t drink more than one in a sitting. I have bad memories of bad tequila from my early 20s, that there’s just no doing away with.

At any rate, Rochelle will be graduating this Sunday. With our planned trip to Tequila, Mexico in late October, Rochelle is slated to become the latest person to achieve all four levels in the Tommy’s Blue Agave Club.

Woohoo! I’m proud of my baby!

Ph.D. Exams Completed With Flying Colors

As I described prior to our vacation, Rochelle and I have been working hard on our Ph.D. (in tequila), and had planned to take our final exam this past Sunday (June 1st). I’m pleased to report that we passed with flying colors, in spite of a serious handicap.

As I described prior to our vacation, Rochelle and I have been working hard on our Ph.D. (in tequila), and had planned to take our final exam this past Sunday (June 1st). I’m pleased to report that we passed with flying colors.

The exam is a serious one — maybe not as tough as a real Ph.D. orals exam, but certainly equivalent of a college undergraduate final exam. 70 questions, multiple choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank; you must finish in 20 minutes, taking it at the bar, with the other patrons chanting at you.

Many of the questions are trick questions, and require you to know, for example, the difference between Herradura Silver and Herradura Blanco (at most distilleries, they are one and the same). No one has ever scored a 100% on the exam, and only one person has missed only one question. I missed two questions, and Rochelle missed three.

We studied hard for this exam. We bought two very good books on tequila, and read both (and you should see Rochelle’s color-coded page tabs!). Julio provides study material, and Rochelle and I each created a set of flash cards to study it. Although we didn’t do as much studying while we were on vacation as we had planned, it was basically all we did on Saturday and Sunday prior to taking the exam. We knew our flash cards cold, and the couple of the questions that were not in the study materials were either in the book, or had so annoyed our friend David (who took the text a couple months ago) that he kept repeating them, over and over, whenever he talked about his Ph.D. (Quick, what was the original logo for Patrón tequila?)

We did end up taking the exam with a handicap. You only qualify to take the exam when you’ve completed your Ph.D. tasting card, which requires you to sample 35 100% blue agave tequilas while at Tommy’s (and you cannot sample more than three in a single visit). Before our vacation I was two visits away from finishing, and Rochelle was one. We had intended to go once before our trip, so that Rochelle could be done, and I would only have to have two tequilas before taking the test.

Well, we never made it there, and an hour before we headed to Tommy’s for the exam, we realized that Rochelle needed to drink two cocktails before taking her exam — and I had to drink five. That’s 10 ounces of tequila, folks.

Fortunately, we had three hours at the bar before we took the test, and Julio let me start the exam once my fifth cocktail was poured (so I had only drunk four), but even so, I was not even close to sober. So I suppose the fact that I didn’t remember the town where Chinaco tequila is made can be excused.

Graduate Education

As many of you know, Rochelle and I have been involved in graduate studies for a couple years now, and we’re finally coming to the end of the program. We’ve been doing a lot of coursework, including extended exercises at home that are not required to graduate, but are required for complete mastery. Rochelle has just one class session left, while I have two, and then it’s just final exams for us.

As many of you know, Rochelle and I have been involved in graduate studies for a couple years now, and we’re finally coming to the end of the program. We’ve been doing a lot of coursework, including extended exercises at home that are not required to graduate, but are required for complete mastery. Rochelle has just one class session left, while I have two, and then it’s just final exams for us.

We’re about to go on a short vacation, and are taking all our study materials with us. We’ll get home, and two days later take exams. Then we’ll get our Ph.D.s, and become eligible for field work with our favorite professor! If you can believe it, there’s actually a waiting list for volunteers for his trips, so it’ll probably be next year before we can head down to Mexico with him and do some original research.

There’s a short description of our program available online, if you’re interested in more details. Yes, it’s a Ph.D. in booze. What did you think we would be studying???

Make Margaritas, Not War

I’ll spare you the politics, and just say once again that we’re huuuuge fans of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, on Geary between 23rd and 24th. They have, hands down, game over, the best margaritas in the Bay Area, and probably in the United States. There’s more than 200 premium tequilas available, and a deep and abiding love for the spirit that makes you love it too.

I’ll spare you the politics, and just say once again that we’re huuuuge fans of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, on Geary between 23rd and 24th. They have, hands down, game over, the best margaritas in the Bay Area, and probably in the United States. There’s more than 200 premium tequilas available, and a deep and abiding love for the spirit that makes you love it too.

Rochelle and I are spending most of our Sunday afternoons there between now and the end of May, working on our Ph. D. in tequila, timed for completion with Rochelle’s birthday. Come by and drink with us!