I have got it! There is nothing like the meaning of life to pull you out of a crummy morning. I wasn't so smart this week, on several unrelated occasions, and when that is the first thought in your head it is hard to get on up out of bed.
I did however. (First victory!) Then got coffee. (2nd victory!) And then in a turn of good luck found http://emotionalbagcheck.com. Which I highly recommend using, both as someone checking baggage and taking someone else's baggage, because what do you know, the stranger's baggage I took was very similar to my own! Funny how that works.
Then I found this:
Then I started remembering my own favorite memories. And you know what? Many, many of them involved me screwing up as a stage setter for the favorite memory. Falling in a pond, peeing my pants, eating food that was not mine to eat. Some involved just plain unearned good luck. But none of them involved me being a very effective adult-like person who made it through my to do list.
So it looks as though I will continue wandering through life being spacey, sleeping through things, wasting money, being a general dumbass. And yet, I will still get handed wonderful times with people. In fact, the more I screw up the more very wonderful times it looks like I will get.
Good deal life. I accept. Bad decisions, here I come!
I've been holding off writing this post because it feels like a real "should." I did make an old-fashioned, it was pretty good, that was monday and since then this has been on my to do list. Otherwise known as my "EFF YOU I WON'T I WON'T I WON'T" list.
I got some other things I want to write about, my more normal repertoire of nostalgia for recent eras. Also I've wanted to post youtube of sort of recent pop songs.
This teaches you nothing.
But then there's THE GIMMICK. NOSTALGIA. THE OLD-FASHIONED. Could the theme gods have handed down a golden-er apple?
The Old-Fashioned was invented in a gentleman's club in Louisville in the 1890's. There's a description of a drink like it in "Huckleberry Finn." Sugar, fruit, ice- there was a time in this country where it was easier to get your mitts on some cherries than a Coca-cola.
Here's what you need:
2 cherries (I used maraschino. Any self-respecting mixologist will tell you to make your own brandy soaked cherries.)
2 orange slices
2 sugar packets
3 dashes angostura bitters
4 oz bourbon (I used Maker's Mark)
Put the cherries, the orange slices, and the sugar in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add those 3 dashes of bitters. Muddle, but don't go nuts, because you don't want the orange peel going bitter. Pack with ice. Pour in bourbon. Stir, bringing the crushed fruit up from the bottom of the glass, so the drink turns a little cloudy.
What does it taste like? It tastes great. It doesn't particularly taste nostalgic though. Doesn't remind me of any particularly great parties.
WHO WERE MY COCKTAIL GUESTS?! I had none. That must be why I'm so apathetic about this drink. I made this at work. It was a bartender training we had, and I'm so glad we had it, and I love my coworkers. But I only drank half of this before I stopped because there was maybe some driving that was gonna happen.
What would be in my nostalgia drink?
- Naty Ice
- Jungle Juice
- a jug of Carlo Rossi red wine
- apple pucker
- mint schnapps and chocolate syrup
Those are all things I have vivid memories of throwing up in college. But before the puking, before the terrible, humiliating, painful puking, I think I had a good time. I have a rosy, vague impression of the time before the puking.
So I would feel nostalgic and nauseous if you served me any of those.
I have been in Cleveland for a year now, and things have changed. For example, I no longer rock myself to sleep. I don't avoid places where people I might know are. And I'm out out out, out to everyone within shouting distance. Out to everyone who can suss out my rat tail. So out the chef at my work gives me dating advice.
Being out has dramatically reduced my daily opportunities to feel anxiety. And that's real nice. It's nice to get to be out in the same town I grew up in. It was harder to do than being out in Chicago. Being out around people who knew you as a little kid and teenager is just different. It's scarier. No one in Chicago was gonna be like, "You sure bought a lot of David Duchovny posters in 8th grade for someone who supposedly is GAY!" or "You sure used to talk a lot about your live in boyfriend for someone who supposedly is GAY!" or "Jesus christ, stop talking about being gay, this is like your horse phase."
(In my defense, horses were NOT A PHASE.)
To connect this back to the old-fashioned, it turns out people love crushed fruits.
Esquire.com provides a compelling little story about our founding fathers drinking this punch while writing the Constitution. So now you know where we went wrong, why we needed the Civil War and suffragettes and why we did what we did to Central and South America. And the Middle East. And Africa. And....
Point being- give up your childish beliefs in the Illuminati. Give up fears about the woods near San Francisco. The problem isn't that the richest of the rich have secret clubs. It's that at these clubs they drink Fish House Punch.
1.5 cups superfine sugar
1 quart lemon juice
2 quarts water
2 quarts dark rum
1 quart cognac
4 oz peach brandy
A couple of explanations before we get into the instructions. 1) super fine sugar is a fantasy food made up to make you spend more time in supermarkets. 2) A quart means a bottle. Even though liquor bottles come with a "750 ml" label on them, this is yet another trick. Once you get home, google it, break out the measuring cup, you'll discover all these bottles are quart bottles. 3) Cognacs are the top shelf brandys. They come from France. They're all at least 20 bucks. Thus you will not buy something labeled 'Cognac' you will instead buy a 'Brandy.'
Carrie! You only put a half a quart of water in the punch!
Hold your horses, bossy. Later I bought a bag of ice and dumped it in the lukewarm punch, which released even more than the recommended 1.5 quarts of water into the punch.
This tasted like lemonade. But you could tell it was strong. Guess what? IT WAS STRONGER THAN IT TASTED. After about three sips I was wasted.
All through the bike rides the ladies had been so well mannered. Thanking motorists held up by our ride, pointing out the beautiful sunset, real genteel stuff. Then at Joy Machines, while Lindsey was teaching us how to take our tire off, things changed for the worse. The ladies started heckling Lindsey.
And of course, when one person heckles, I also need to start heckling. Any teacher of mine will tell you, I'm only one abused substance away from heckling in any situation.
Lindsey had to tell us to simmer down. We finished the lesson, then went to ABC, where I started suggesting threesomes to people. Why, oh why, would I do this?
BECAUSE THE HORNED GOD HAD ME IN HIS HOOVED GRIP. The punch, the punch, the punch.
Breanna very nicely said if she was having a party she would ask me for the recipe. But you know what folks? Only serve this at your party if it's an orgy/ massacre party. If you're Nero and it's your fiddle recital, sure, fish house punch is appropriate.
So then I drank a screwdriver (the punch was gone), bought another one and spilled most of it, and wandered farther and farther away from the front patio of the bar, until a friend had to rein me back in. Then I biked home, and vowed, I will not go to sleep drunk. I will sober up before falling asleep. Instead I ate a burrito, told facebook how drunk I was, and fell asleep.
How did I feel today? Like life was random chaos filled with pain and devoid of meaning. Like I had within me a core of darkness which was throttling my stomach. Like the human experience was confronting our essential alone-ness. Like my body was rushing towards the oblivion of death. Or at least rushing to the bathroom, over and over.
How many people does this punch serve? I have no clue. You only need a fourth of a cup of it to get drunk. Probably about 30 people drank it last night.
So I'm telling you- DO NOT SERVE THIS PUNCH. Hug your mother, serve soup to the homeless, salute the flag, wear clean undies- DO NOT SERVE THIS PUNCH. Talk to a priest, go for a run, eat a salad, smile at a stranger- DO NOT SERVE THIS PUNCH.