“When you pop champagne, man, a guy holding a 40 can’t stand next to you. Our whole shit was, We drinking champagne because we deserve this shit.”
Part of my drinking was so much about trying not to feel things, to not feel how I actually felt, and the terrible thing about being so hidden is if people tell you they love you… it kinda doesn’t sink in. You always think, if you’re hiding things, How could you know who I am? You don’t know who I am, so how could you love me? Saying who I am, and trying to be as candid as possible as part of practicing the principles, has permitted me to actually connect with people for the first time in my life.
I got married and I had a family and my entire day was not free for social interaction. And eating is annoying and difficult to arrange, [and it’s] hard to choose places. And meeting someone for coffee suddenly seemed like a wonderful, compact, accessible and portable social interaction. You don’t even really need a place. But you feel like you’re doing something. That is what coffee is. And that is one of the geniuses of the new coffee culture.
Shortly before reading this, I invited a friend to meet for coffee and not talking:
ELAINE: Come on, let’s go do something. I don’t want to just sit around here.
ELAINE: Want to go get something to eat?
JERRY: Where do you want to go?
ELAINE: I don’t care, I’m not hungry.
JERRY: We could go to one of those cappuccino places. They let you just sit there.
ELAINE: What are we gonna do there? Talk?
JERRY: We can talk.
ELAINE: I’ll go if I don’t have to talk.
This is partly our fault. We, the bourbon drinking collective, have been doing it for years now — haughtily referencing some tiny boutique bourbon we’ve recently tried. They snobbed up the beer and we said nothing. They snobbed up pub food and we said nothing. This was inevitable, and we ushered it in.
10 years ago: “Oh you like Jim Beam? You should try Maker’s Mark.”
Five years ago: “Maker’s, huh? Check out Bulleit next time.”
Two years ago: “Bulleit’s a solid starter bourbon, but next time try for a Jefferson’s Reserve. I had it at a tasting recently. You’ll hear about it soon.”
And so on. Before I knew the impact of my own pretentiousness, I’d contributed to the mania.
A classic that can be destroyed, perfected, perverted. It can also reveal the depths of your character.
The One True Drink. Great, funny read.
Fermented spirits please our common people, because they banish care, and all consideration of future or present evils.
The important thing is that we make a great drink. And vodka is capable of that. But it is the chicken breast of cocktails. It is the most boring, least thoughtful, sort of one that you can mix with.
Case Study | Building a Better Mixer – NYTimes.com. I spent an embarrassing number of hours peeling and juicing limes to start this cordial last night. This better pay off big. Early samples tell me I’m on the right track…
The Magician (Self-Portrait with Four Arms) by René Magritte, 1952. Sometimes I wish I could do this.
“Graphite. Black currant. Incense. And camphor?” This is a great read. You’ve probably read something similar about wine bullshit before, but this is probably better. Interesting that more expensive wines are described with more specific words.
When it comes to invoking elegance, foreign and complex words have a natural advantage. Cigars and truffle conjure up prestige and luxury. Meanwhile, a little-known berry or spice conveys the worldly sophistication of the critic, which the drinker can share. For a price.
I can walk to #4 and drive to #7 in like 8 minutes. We’ve also got the #12 retailer. I love Atlanta.
An alcoholic writes about AA and recovery. This is a fantastic essay. [$]
My own view-in-progress is that there is no such thing as alcoholism as a disease or an allergy or a condition, but that alcohol is a very effective and potentially addictive medication for a whole host of psychological and neurobiological problems. […]The problem with alcohol is not so much that it is an addictive medication; rather, it’s that, unlike other addictive medications–to which people will also grow or not grow addicted at varying speeds and in unpredictable ways–alcohol’s social function and accessibility obfuscate this reality. If you’re prone to overdoing it, the fact that you’re self-prescribing (and choosing your own dosage) doesn’t help.
Like most alcoholics I prefer to be the center of attention. That’s one of the reasons drinking was fun. You’re the hero of every story.
When you keep hearing “Relapse is part of recovery, relapse is part of recovery” each night from a different person, sometimes two or three, and then you leave the meeting and see the neon beer signs of the bar on the other side of Main, well, those lights get a little sparklier. Elbows on the bar, squeezed in, the bartender smiles; that smell of the bar, the smell of self-acceptance, joy, and fellowship.
Help is out there, folks.
DP: Finally, if you could give one bit of advice to NC State students, what would it be?
ZG: There is more to life than college. Use your time in college and grow. There are some people who are still playing beer pong in their late 20s. Do not do that.
I will have to try this. (via)
Not everyone agrees with my No Rules Rule. Siiiiiiigh. Naturally. After all, this is America, where the only art more popular than the art itself is the art of being a dick about the art. Same as baseball, jazz, porn, and every other invented-for-fun pastime, drinking is rife with fundamentalist nutjobs (see “purists”) who have one way of doing things–by the book. And not that book either. This book, with the leather binding and 6pt Century Gothic. The old one.
Helen DeWitt, Chart 2008
The things that drive us crazy don’t do so once a month, or once a week, or even once a day: we have to fight them minute by minute, hour by hour.
In a fascinating piece over at Incongruous Quarterly, DeWitt recalls charting her year. The red blocks signify days she didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, or went to the gym. Very Lodwickian.