June 27th, 2005

flavored with age

Boozeblog

Over at Lileks, he talks in the Bleat about how when his wife and kids aren't around, he becomes a depressive, mopey loser who watches Star Wars cranked up to eleven at 2AM, breaks down crying in antique stores at the thought of all the lost innocence represented by the old children's books, and wishes he could go to sleazebag dive bars with no ladies' room. Then he talks in the Screed about how he hates Woody Allen because the Woodman is a depressive, mopey loser.

Instead, let's talk about liquor.

It's a fact that I can't drink the way I used to. Age has turned the dial of my tolerance down from "heroic Irish drunkard" to "happy fat guy", and with ever more to do and a near-absolute unwillingness to drink more than a beer or two if I have to get in the car anytime in the following eight hours, my intake simply isn't very impressive. Not that it's a bad thing; drinking costs me money, makes me gain weight, and exacerbates my sleep apnea, and it's not like I have anything to prove to anyone anymore: I'm not 22 years old anymore, and neither are my friends (well, not most of them anyway), and cranking back two dozen Points of an evening now makes for a story more pathetic than awesome. I can still put a silver bullet between my eyes when I need to: at ninafarina's sister's wedding, I was nervous and fidgety (it happens, when I'm surrounded by people I don't know and am trying to impress: see also job interviews, readings, parole hearings), and lacking access to my normal social calmative of Sweet Lord Buddha, I downed about ten gin-rocks in two hours time and still managed not to punch any of her relatives, leave her child in the path of an oncoming steamroller, or vomit in any of the hotel's six dozen swimming pools. But despite all this, despite my tendency to get hammered at my own dinner parties, despite a house more full of liquor than most bars, I'm just not a big drinker.

That's not to say I don't have my strong opinions about the stuff. I still think most mass-produced American beers are the equivalent of frosty wheat-flavored soda water; I still think Bombay Sapphire on the rocks and vodka lemonade are two of the best ways to pass a hot summer day; I still believe that top-shelf whiskey and bourbon provide as good an answer as any to the question "what's the meaning of life?"; I still intend to try my hand at homebrewing one of these days, and to continue the very fine practice of curling up on the couch with my girl, a beer, and a good movie; and I still can think of a lot worse places to get married than St. James' Gate.

Maybe it's that I'm more hangover-prone than most people; even if I don't drink that much, I tend to be wiped out for a good half a day afterwards. I don't think it has anything to do with my dad's severe alcoholism; there can't be a genetic factor at play, since I'm adopted, and I've more than learned not to follow in his wobbly footsteps in terms of overdoing it. Or maybe it's just ol' Papa Zeit, who annually ups my belief that very few things are more interesting than sleeping.

Don't get me wrong: I still buy a lot of beer, questing ever as I am for just the right bullets of sweat coming off the chilly bottle of something special. Hell, I have a piece next week in one of the local rags about the many brewery tours you can take here in the upper midwest, and best believe I loaded up on samples at the end of each leg of my research. Certainly I don't judge for a second anyone who drinks more than I do. And I'd be happy to hoist a glass of your pick of poison with each and every one of you, my dear friends, I surely would. But at day's end, when faced with fitful sleep, an empty wallet, and six hours of headaches come morning, I am forced to make this terrible confession:

My name is Leonard Allen Pierce, Jr. I am a writer. And I'm not an alcoholic.
flavored with age

All the good ones

All the good ones are either married or gay.
All the good ones are both married and gay.
All the good ones are neither married nor gay.

All the good ones are either Mary or Jay.
All the good ones are either faerie or fey.

All the good ones are dead ones.

All the Goodwins are either Archies or lakes.
flavored with age

No TV and no beer make Homer something something

"Deadwood" has inexplicably vanished from our HBO on-demand menu. Which is extremely irritating, because the only reason we got (and are paying for) HBO in the first place is so we could watch "Deadwood". This will necessitate a phone call to the cable company to ask them why it's happening, and incidentally how come we get no picture on Trio, E!, and ESPN among others, but I don't anticipate it ending well; almost invariable, any phone call I make to a utility company ends with my death from a brain tumor.

Comic book roundup: the latest batch of SSoV books are pretty good, but I fear, having read #0, that Morrison is going to lose focus once he has to throw all these goofballs together; Concrete: The Human Dilemma is mighty fine, though Chadwick's middle-aged sex obsession is starting to show; the Giffen/DeMatteis JLA Classified a.k.a. I Can't Believe It's Not the JLA) stuff is two tons o' fun (and Giffen can handle the serious stuff better than most so-called serious writers; the latest Powers gives a bit of insight into why Bendis is so damn prolific (he's really mastered the art of padding out a story); Jim Mahfood's Felt: True Tales of Underground Hip-Hop, starring Murs and Slug, is fun and gorgeously drawn, if a tad confusing; the first Invincible TPB, "Family Matters", did nothing for me, though the Comic Book Shop Guy swears I should stick it out (which, by a happy coincidence, means more $ for him); and the new collection of James Sturm's stuff, Above & Below: Two Stories of the American Frontier, while not quite up to the level of the amazing Golem's Mighty Swing, is terrific (especially the first story, "The Revival"). I still don't have a clue as to what, if any, Marvel books are worth reading, and I'm thinking about immersing myself in the latest iteration of DC continuity once this ridiculous Ultimate Infinite Crisis on Identity Earth Time Zero is over, but I'm also wondering if it will be worth it considering they'll just do it again in a year. I hate comics, have I ever mentioned that?

And now, to work, then home to write and pack. A sailor's life for me! But without the sailing and the water. Just the nautical lingo and the free uniforms.
flavored with age

A clarification

In response to comments/questions by slammerkinbabe and roseyv, among others:

In the "Philip Philip Philip Philip Glass Glass Glass Glass" joke, there is no actual joke or punchline. The joke consists in its entirety of saying "Philip Philip Philip Philip Glass Glass Glass Glass" -- that is, naming the composer in a way that parodically invokes his hypnotically repetitive minimalist style. That's part of why I like the joke: merely saying it contains its entire content and value.

Note that I don't remember where I first encountered this joke, only that I'm sure I didn't come up with it myself.

The end.
flavored with age

And now, Adventures in Ironic News

From an AP article on those darn lazy twenty-somethings who just don't want to work:

CHICAGO - Evan Wayne thought he was prepared for anything during a recent interview for a job in radio sales. Then the interviewer hit the 24-year-old Chicagoan with this: "So, we call you guys the 'Entitlement Generation,'" the baby boomer executive said, expressing an oft-heard view of today's young work force. "You think you're entitled to everything."

Okay, first of all, how does anyone ever think it’s appropriate to say something like this during a job interview? What the fuck kind of business etiquette is that? And second, let me get this straight: BABY BOOMERS are complaining that TWENTY-SOMETHINGS think they’re entitled to everything? Baby boomers are the most self-centered, egomaniacal, entitlement-crazed, greedy, privileged human beings in the history of humankind. And they’re complaining that their CHILDREN are too pampered?

Now, deserved or not, this latest generation is being pegged, too — as one with shockingly high expectations for salary, job flexibility and duties but little willingness to take on grunt work or remain loyal to a company.

Gosh, why in the world would today’s workers possibly show a lack of loyalty to a company? It couldn’t be because of the systematic destruction (by Boomer-age politicians, for the most part) of unions, pensions, social safety nets, regulation, and anything else that might possibly make a COMPANY be loyal to an EMPLOYEE, could it? Loyalty is a two-way street, jackasses.
flavored with age

THIS POLL IS CHILDISH AND EMBARRASSING

No, wait, that's religion.

ANSWER! OR GOD WILL KICK YOU!

Poll #521242 Gee, oh, double-dee bang! G-O-D spells God again!

Do you believe in God?

Yes, I am an adherent of a particular religion.
4(6.6%)
Yes, I am not loyal to any one faith, but I believe there is a God.
6(9.8%)
Yes, but I define God in a different way that most monotheistic religions.
3(4.9%)
Yes, and in fact, I believe in all sorts of crazy gods.
3(4.9%)
Yes, in a "spiritual" way or as a metaphor or somethin'.
5(8.2%)
That depends on what you mean by "God".
4(6.6%)
That depends on what you mean by "you", "believe", "God", and possibly "do".
4(6.6%)
I am a pussy-ass agnostic.
9(14.8%)
No, I am an atheist.
15(24.6%)
No, I am just a jerk.
4(6.6%)
Yes, but I don't worship him: I'm a Satanist, or I have a death wish or something.
0(0.0%)
I believe in whatever load of shit you're shoveling, brother.
0(0.0%)
Yes, but I mean it in a snotty way I think is funny, like my pet parrot is named God.
0(0.0%)
I'm not sure what I believe, even though I'm a grown-ass person.
4(6.6%)
No speak Engliss.
0(0.0%)

If you self-identify as religious, what is your faith?

Catholic
1(5.3%)
Protestant
2(10.5%)
Mormon
1(5.3%)
Christian, non-denominational
4(21.1%)
Jewish
3(15.8%)
Muslim
0(0.0%)
Buddhist
1(5.3%)
Hindu
0(0.0%)
Jain
0(0.0%)
Shintoist
0(0.0%)
Tribal religion
1(5.3%)
Pagan/Wiccan/some crazy hippie religion
1(5.3%)
Jedi
2(10.5%)
New Age
0(0.0%)
Some other kind of dipshit religion
2(10.5%)

If you self-identify as "spiritual but not religious", what does that mean?

Were you raised to be religious?

Yes, I was raised Catholic
15(26.3%)
Yes, I was raised Protestant
12(21.1%)
Yes, I was raised some other kind of Christian
8(14.0%)
Yes, I was raised Jewish
2(3.5%)
Yes, I was raised Muslim
0(0.0%)
Yes, I was raised Hindu
0(0.0%)
Yes, I was raised some kinda crazy hippie religion with leg hair and fucking
0(0.0%)
Yes, I was raised Buddhist
0(0.0%)
Yes, I was raised by fatuous New Age ding-dongs (I love you, mom and dad!)
0(0.0%)
Yes, I was raised in some other faith which I will yell at you in the Comments section for forgetting
0(0.0%)
Yes, I was raised Satanist
0(0.0%)
No, my parents were dirty stinking hellbound atheists
4(7.0%)
No, my parents "let me decide" and that's why I'm going to hell to burn forever
5(8.8%)
No, my parents forgot to tell me what our religion was
4(7.0%)
No, I was raised by animals
0(0.0%)

Is this poll super-offensive?

Yes
1(1.8%)
Yes, and you're fat
4(7.0%)
Yes, you hellbound sinner, I hope it brings you lots of laughs when you're wrapped in a sheet of burning flame
3(5.3%)
Yes, but God bless you anyway
7(12.3%)
Maybe if you threw in a joke about diddling the Pope
42(73.7%)

Do you ever go to church/synagoge/mosque/religious service of your preference?

God, no
4(6.6%)
Hell, no
17(27.9%)
Just regular no
10(16.4%)
Only if my parents beg me
3(4.9%)
Only if someone gets married or dies
15(24.6%)
Sometimes, like on holidays or if there's a rummage sale
10(16.4%)
Yes, but not weekly
1(1.6%)
Yes, weekly
0(0.0%)
Yes, more than weekly
0(0.0%)
I'm at church right now
1(1.6%)

Has your faith or lack thereof ever cause conflicts with your family, friends or significant whatnots?

No, we're all silky smooth 'bout it
6(10.0%)
No, we live and let live
16(26.7%)
No, because we all believe or fail to believe the same thing, things, or lack of things
6(10.0%)
No, because I have no family, friends or significant whatnots
1(1.7%)
No, because we solve all of our problems by fistfighting
1(1.7%)
Yes, I believe in [God configuration/definition/concept] and they don't
0(0.0%)
Yes, they believe in [God configuration/definition/concept] and I don't
8(13.3%)
Yes, we have the same faith but I am not as devout as they are
2(3.3%)
Yes, we have the same faith but they are not as devout as I am
0(0.0%)
Yes, 'cause they switched religions on me
1(1.7%)
Yes, 'cause I switched religions on them
0(0.0%)
We just never mention it ever to avoid screaming matches
5(8.3%)
Yes, because they are all dirty filthy hellbound sinners
0(0.0%)
Yes, because I am God and they refuse to worship me
0(0.0%)
We yell at each other so much, it's often hard to tell what the specific reason is
2(3.3%)