Spending a few days in Sunriver, a resort in Bend, Oregon (or somewheres nearby). Drinking fair to middlingly at the moment. Awaiting the new year. Drove past the mountain (Hood) then the desert. Saw plateaus. You know, like in the roadrunner cartoons. One of the roads in Sunriver resort is called "Ponderosa." Started quoting "Diner" to Urn: "The Ponderosa looked fake. Hardly recognized Little Joe."
Almost went ice skating today. Maybe tomorrow. The other celebrants went snowboarding. I thought they only did that kind of stuff on TV.
Meanwhile I heard Saddam Hussein's dead. Let Freedom Ring!
Ah, Guinness gives you strength. And as the Irish always said, "Yeah and it turns your shite black."
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
The following article was banned from at the 11th hour from the Holiday Pull-out Guide scheduled for insert in this Thursday's local papers. Last Friday morning, press day, the editor emailed me with praise for the article; being a very talented writer himself, I was indeed honored. By the end of the day, he wrote to alert me the article had been pulled by the publisher. Supposedly our papers are "family newspapers", one of the more asinine phrases in the american lexicon. What they really mean is "children's" newspaper, because he found the content inappropriate for children, I suppose. And you know how much kids love to read the local paper, what with all the discussion about city councils and annexing, etc! But families do tend to include adults, and certainly the article couldn't be offensive to an adult reader, could it? There mayhaps be a "christian" angle here as well, seeing as how the owner of this newspaper conglomerate is a doctor of divinity or something. And someone decided some time ago that those of a christian bent must be protected at all times from material that might test one's moral fiber or shake one's faith (being of such tender moral fiber and fragile faith, arguably).
Anyway, it's just an article about getting loaded at Christmas.
Hammered for the Holidays
I am, by all accounts, a very smart man. My forte is trivia. If there exists information that is of no use to anyone, I most likely hold its components on the tip of my tongue, sealed behind my lips, ready to spring into the ears of a most uninterested crowd. However, a man can only catalog so much nonsense before he starts misfiling. Case in point: I always confuse the 12 Days of Christmas with the 7 Deadly Sins. As such, rather than avoiding Gluttony, I meld it with the 5 Golden Rings, resulting in what my local Fire Department has dubbed “O’Shaughnessy’s Fifth Day of Bourbon.” They’re always very nice about getting me out of the tree, but despite our long history, I wouldn’t say we’re “close.”
Somehow “Cheer” and “Booze” became interchangeable terms during the holidays. Maybe because it sounds a lot like “Choose” and “Beer.” For whatever reason, a couple of extra drinks during this time of year is less frowned upon than, say, on Good Friday.
Lots of folks have a favorite holiday drink. Eggnog comes to mind. I’m not a fan. Actually, I don’t mind plain eggnog, nor do I sneer at rum. But together? Not so much.
I’m always a bit put off by mulled wine. More the name, than the taste. “Mulled” is too close to “mold”. And “mule.” Mules give off an awful stink. Especially after they’ve been drinking wine.
Bailey’s, while certainly an all-year-long treat, shines during the winter holidays. It’s very popular as served in small chocolate liqueur cups. Available for purchase from your finer chocolatiers or liquor store merchant, these velvety-smooth vessels can also be made at home. That’s what I do. I melt a combination of dark and milk chocolates into a double-boiler. The recipe I use yields 24 chocolate cups. But I stray. I make one cup. It’s the size of a flower pot. And takes three days to chill. And four bottles of Bailey’s to fill. I usually make two. I’ll drink the first one on my own. Then a few hours later, I’ll split the other one with my downstairs neighbor at lunch. As a bribe, so he won’t call the police. (I didn’t really mean those things I said to his grandmother. It’s just I was watching “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” the night before and recalled how she bore a striking resemblance to Burl Ives. What’s the big deal really? He was a lovely man with delicate hands.)
Actually, I’m a relatively weak soldier in the hooch army. My tolerance is only slightly higher than a two-year old’s. Most babies I’ve met can’t hold their liquor. Except the ones I bump into at bars. Real sloppy drunks, they are! Throwing up on themselves. Wetting their pants. Oh wait a minute, those weren’t babies – those were pathetic middle-aged businessmen trying to recapture the old glory by sucking back shots of peppermint schnapps!
Ah, peppermint schnapps! Like drinking a candy cane. (Though I don’t ever recall taking my pants off at a karaoke bar and massacring “Santa Baby” after eating a candy cane.) Peppermint schnapps is a liqueur only to be utilized when no other forms of alcohol are available. When the robotussin and vanilla extract are gone, then and only then is schnapps suggested (though never recommended). One should, in such situations, remain sober and instead empty a tin full of butter cookies while watching a poorly-recorded copy of “Amy Grant’s Christmas Special.” Ed Begley, Jr.’s performance is so bizarre you’ll feel tipsy!
My old friend Harry Carbohydrate’s wife, Mama Pajama, offers up a delightful family recipe at their annual Christmas party (although I think she whipped up a batch in July as well). Whiskey Slushies. Mmmm…let me write that again: Whisky Slushies. That’s good billy. I’m not certain of all the ingredients, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them is a pint of Otis the Drunk’s plasma. There’s tea, a brand of lemon-lime soda, whiskey, ice, whiskey, and some whiskey. She makes it in a big pickle bucket (which is what you’ll be in if you drink too many). It’s cold and smooth. You wouldn’t even know there was booze in it until you began telling the other guests what you really thought of them.
Now, I’m not going to ask you to drink responsibly. Drinking alcohol is irresponsible (if you’re doing it right). But stay out of your car. And anyone else’s car. I would also avoid bicycles, horses, caribou and any other form of conveyance that ostensibly puts you in control. As the old joke goes, “You might spill your drink.”
Jack Kerouac said, “Try never get drunk outside yr own house.” I think that’s a wonderful message for the holidays. I think you shouldn’t even get drunk outside your bedroom. That’s why I’ll be curled up in bed on Christmas Eve, stocking at my feet; the sounds of Christmas Mass at the Vatican murmuring from the TV, as its warm blue glow blankets my bourbon-soaked flannels; the window frost diffusing the cuticle moon’s light.
Are those sleighbells I hear? No, just the wreath I knocked off the bathroom door in my dizzy rush to deck the walls with figgy pudding!
Merry Christmas to all! And like a stocking by the chimney, may you be hungover with care!
Monday, December 11, 2006
In my capacity as whatever it is I do at the newspaper (where I am highly regarded, and slavishly compensated), I am the recipient, then distributor, of a lot of press releases from all over the country (fervent op ed writers don't give a rat's ass where they're published). So I got one today from some "institution" or something concerning the "war on Christmas." The article was so poorly executed, I felt the need to comment.
What kind of asshole pseudo-intellectual "christian" babbles on and on about a "War on Christmas?" It's not a war. Iraq is a war. Bosnia was a war. Vietnam was a war. A city council calling a Christmas Tree a "holiday tree" isn't a war. If you want to call the tree a Christmas tree, call it a fucking Christmas tree! So if I call you a can opener, do you go around all day crying that you're a can opener now?
Jesus would certainly love your belittling of this continuing human tragedy by your extending its blanket to cover fretting over caroling and decorations.
The only time "war" should ever be mentioned in the same breath as "Christmas" is in the "Pipes of Peace" video. And the Plastic Ono Band song. And some other stuff, too, probably. But it should be an actual war, one of those things waged over gods, monies and territories.
And how that spark of humanity and love for the brotherhood of humanity can be fanned during this time of year.
"War on Christmas." You're such an asshole.