Last Thursday I went to Halo for a Hitachino Nest Beer tasting. The boutique beer really is one of my favorite ales of late, ever since I tasted it during an HK Live! punk mess at the Fringe. It’s a Japanese-produced Belgian-style white ale, and it wasn’t just the taste of orange peel with that delicate whiff of coriander and hint of nutmeg that got me. It was that damn kakko kawaii orange owl logo that got me sold. Belgium is a cold, cold place, too cold for grapes to grow, but their culinary habits are distinctly Gallic. French, that is. So in this nation of Francophone and Flemish-speaking gourmands, a thrillingly diverse beer culture (over 500 varieties) has been created to match the food culture. Like wine, Belgian-style ales are to be sipped rather than gulped down, we’re human beings, not trolls. Of course I sipped my beer at the event, but I scoffed down as many of the fat fries I could stuff in my mouth. I forgot to mention to the distributors that they really need to introduce the product to the gay market. Can you imagine Halo boys sipping on boutique beer that has a picture of a cute chubby owl on it? And Halo girls won’t go for ale. Fattening! They all just went for the lychee saketinis on offer, and that got the party going. Which brings me to the music. The mash up shit at some clubs is getting out of hand. It’s like a rabid radio DJ playing half of any tune, cutting the bridge out, then slapping on another random song, the more radically random and different the genre, the better. Like, old-school 90s hip-hop, then throw in some Gaga, then some New Wave, then contemporary Mariah Scary, then 80s rock anthem, and then a 50s scratched-up blues track. Artistic? FAIL. Over the weekend, I had all my early Aries birthday parties. First was Alison’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Pier Seven. Nikki, the manager, really made an effort and put up a still from Disney’s classic Alice in Wonderland up on the walls of the venue, and then brought out a Cheshire Cat cake. Alison dressed up as Alice, of course. Well, a very subtle postmodern Alice, with hints of Wonderland (rabbit’s foot, looking glass necklace). Nikki was Alice in Wan Chai, a slutty Germanic version. I suppose I was a postmodern Mad Hatter, but I really didn’t have a costume on, it’s just what I would normally wear sometimes—a cerulean jacket with a white collar piping. I even drew a “10/6” card, but it wouldn’t stick onto my hat. And then we had Antonio as a flamingo, prancing about and squawking, so happy and carefree in its pink hideousness. I was disappointed that there wasn’t any walrus, Queen of Hearts, caterpillar or Jabberwocky. We stopped by Cliq to hear DJ Kentaro, one of the best turntablist from Tokyo. His “soredwa, mairimashouka” loop drove me crazy. And then Alison Wonderland, a Mad Hatter and a fierce flamingo got down venomously on the floor. And hello, all you little boys and girls, y’all dress hip-hop but you can’t even dance hip-hop. Once again, my desire to entertain sabotaged my responsibility to report. At Uno Más the next evening for Esther’s birthday dinner, I bumped into Phil, who informed me that I paraphrased him incorrectly in my column last week. Apparently he said the Mai Tais tasted like “crap” instead of “shit” because he never uses the word “shit.” After loads of Cava and Sangría, I headed to J-Sound in CWB for Jacqui’s birthday karaoke hoedown. Jacqui and I won, naturally. Of course.