Tag Archives: whiskey

Tray Table

There is a plastic placemat suspended
from the seat in front of me, now kindly
supporting the weight of my near-sleeping
brain. I had every intention of
using the molded-in cup holder to
keep a whiskey drink from tumbling during
the bumpier portions of this flight, the
hitting-more-air times, but I’m much too tired.
I’ve been listening to Beethoven or
whatever else this airline deems to be
culturally significant enough
to stuff into their perfectly timed seat
radio—a concerto here, a slow
symphony there—and now I am falling.

An Official Message From the Boston Police Department: If You Got Arrested at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade – You Probably Did Something to Deserve It

“Congratulations. You’re our first customers today who haven’t come straight to the bar to order Irish car bombs.”

“But…it’s only 12:02.”

“…”

“And you guys don’t open til noon.”

“Yeah.”

“So you’ve only been open for 2 minutes.”

“…”

“And there’s no one else here.”

Yeah.

“…”

“…”

“…Oh.

“Yeah.”

Haiku Beer Review #3: Winter Beer Summit 2012

6:10pm

Trinity Brewing Company Flo IPA
There’s not too much “I”
But a whole lot of “PA.”
A crisp, simple brew.

6:13pm 

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale (8.4% ABV)
Pale, light body, with
all the taste of a bourbon…
but without the burn?

Crispin Cho-Tokkyu Cider (6.5% ABV)
Made with sake yeast
and rice syrup; so Bud Lite
mixed with apple juice.

Lagunitas Our Own Bavarian-Styled Dopple Weizen (9% ABV)
Rich, full-bodied wheat
beer. Slight clove/banana notes;
not cloying like most.

6:31

Paper City Brewing Blonde Hop Monster (8.5% ABV)
Light, crisp malt flavor
with a strong presence of dry,
bitter hops. Not bad!

Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project Our Finest Regards Barleywine (13.5% ABV)
Is it *their* finest
regards, or *mine*, now that I’m
drinking it? Syntax!

6:45pm

Cody Brewing Company Honey Ginger Ale
It’s like…ginger ale
(the soft drink), but a beer (but
not like Ginger Beer) .

Cody Brewing Company SOS Belgian IPA (5.7% ABV)
I didn’t really
pay attention to this one;
but I enjoyed it!

6:58pm

Ommegang Adoration Winter Ale (10% ABV)
Too tart, too funky,
too malty, way too spicy;
it’s all just too much.

Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout (10% ABV)
Chocolate taste up front
that swiftly fades to tart, malty
notes. I’ve had better.

Staropramen Lager
My German friend says
it doesn’t taste this sweet back
in the Vaterland.

Bay State Beer Company Time Traveller Maibock (7.5% ABV)
A big, golden malt
taste, but still temporally
linear; ah well.

7:13pm

Sam Adams Whitewater IPA (5.8% ABV)
Crisp, fresh citrus hops
up front, with a lingering
bitterness. Awesome!

7:25pm

Paper City Brewing Imperial Coffee Stout
Tastes artificial,
but without that sweetness; too
much roasty coffee.

7:34pm

Kennebec River Brewery IPA (5.9% ABV)
Much more bitter than
the body or aroma
let on; grapefruit-y.

B. Nektar Zombie Killer Cherry Ciser (5.5% ABV)
Dude! It’s called fucking
ZOMBIE KILLER! That’s awesome!
Light, sweet, and deadly!

8:01pm

Old Burnside Brewery Ten Penny Ale Reserve (9.6% ABV)
Big-bodied Scotch Ale;
caramel/toffee flavors
with a smooth finish.

Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale (7.7% ABV)
Both full-bodied and
full-flavored. A perfect brew
to warm your winter.

Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale (7.5% ABV)
Fantastic blend of
rich, aromatic hops and
tasty malt. Pirates!

Heavy Seas Peg Leg Imperial Stout (8% ABV)
A strong, savory
stout that goes down smooth. Also,
Pirates Oh Em Gee!

8:35pm

Jack’s Abbey Hoponius Union India Pale Lager (6.7% ABV)
Crisp, easy lager
balanced by grapefruit hops notes;
now I have to pee.

8:54pm

Woodchuck Crisp Hard Cider
Well. Okay then. That is
most certainly crisp. Pretty
much just apple juice!

Baxter Brewing Stowaway IPA (6.9% ABV)
Almost all bitter
hops; very assertive, but
still enjoyable.

What is Expected

There are certain things to be expected after your father kills himself. It’s normal to cry all through the afternoon and evening of the day your mother calls you with the news. It’s socially acceptable to sit up most nights of the month following trying to articulate to your very understanding boyfriend, who has to work in the morning, how you can hear in your mom’s voice that she’d seen her husband hanging from a rope in their garage. After that first month, it’s part of the passage of time for that same understanding and patient boyfriend to be a little less understanding and patient, and in order to save the relationship and his sanity, you, like most people put in a similar situation, reach out to other friends. (He does not use the phrase “driving me crazy,” but you do, to your friends on the phone in the downstairs bathroom.) You reach out to friends from college and upon rehashing the time between the present and the last you heard from them, you realize just how long it’s been since graduation.

At this point, about two and a half months after your father stepped off the roof of his car and allowed his feet to dangle in the confines of the open sunroof, it’s normal to reassess where your life is currently and where it’s headed. Given your sudden and recent realization of how long it’s been since graduation (it hasn’t been that long, by average standards, but your father’s recent passing has altered your understanding and respect for time) and the shamble-like state of your relationship with your boyfriend and your recently acquired habit of drinking whiskey late at night to fall asleep, no one would blame you for wanting to pack up the essentials, clean out your bank account and drive until you feel like you can begin again.

Your boyfriend, at first devastated, angry and confused (as would be expected after three years of living together), would initially adopt your tradition of late-night whiskey as though he were trying to preserve your ghost. Eventually though, he’d allow the subconscious relief to rise to the surface. It would be admissible, even respectable, that he would begin to date again until there was a woman sleeping on your side of the bed, through the night and whiskey-free.

By this time, one year and three months will have passed since the afternoon of your father’s funeral, after which your mother – with you and the aforementioned boyfriend in tow – pulled her SUV into the garage. Upon realizing that she’d parked her car in the same garage she’d considered setting on fire hours before, she slammed her finger on the door’s remote in a frantic repetition, forgetting that each application of pressure caused the door to begin its painstaking journey opposite the direction it was already going. The door, accompanied by its lethargic motorized sound, rose and fell by inches, back and forth until the boyfriend – usually not prone to sudden movements or heroic antics – snatched the clicker from your mother’s hands and commanded the door to finally open and release you.

At this juncture, no one would think you abnormal, even without your father’s suicide as a factor, to feel that you made an impulsive and ill-advised move from home and familiarity, opting instead for something even more jarring and disorienting. It is the thing of parables for you to reconsider, to repack your things, return home.

Life Support System : : Please Reboot

She jabs a thumb drive to her neck, feels the motherboard whir and warm as the OS takes control.

RUN PROGRAM = ATION//CELEBR:SENS:ELA://.

//INSERT: libation = drive-D

160,000 nanobots in every ounce of syrup. Consistency like motor oil; never quite as sweet but she drinks it all the same. Oozing over tongues, the nanobots release a shock at the back of the throat, electrical impulses cued when the horizontal journey comes to an end, jolting user

warning

before the vertical descent into Central Processing Unit. When it hits, they release inhibitors inside her, consuming RAM, slowing syntax functions as they integrate her motherboard and stimulate her light-emitting diodes, obstructing image render full pixel view. Corrupting, arousing them just enough to crash.

Runtime error: motor function impaired.

Force Quit?// yes : : no

System reboot imminent.

flatline


// systemcheck = please press C//

12% . . . 34% . . . 67% . . . 84% . . . 90% . . . 97% . . .

Data loss :: 16%. Processing image — input :: pupil. Render:

Everything is pixelated, unclear. Oversaturated, or at least too much to process.

This system was not properly shut down. Run Diagnostic check?
//y//

Warning: spinning disks. Do not move

and the system struggles like a chain ungreased. Oxidized, slow and clumsy, a rocky ride with quick fumbles forward, tripping over stubborn links and failing again.

Warning: Too many connections. Audio input: none.

Warning Not enough space on hard disk. Unable to complete function.

Additional 3 GB required.

function :: MOVE files=ALL -> f::// toilet

Are you sure you wish to delete all items in folder?// yes :: no

//Eject: liquid//drive-D

Recalibrating balance . . .

Calculating gravity . . .

Please quit all other applications during this process

ERROR::drive override//ignore

//Re-routing RAM to CPU//

disk check complete

WELCOME BACK

The Truth is In The Bottle

Alan shifted groggily as the first ray of sunlight slipped through the cracks in his blinds, its luminescence clawing at his eyes. A threat to face the day. As with any afternoon like this, he thought he would roll from his left side to his right, his body a sodden, rotting log, curved like an “S” that somehow insinuates cutlery, but when his left arm tried to lead him there and shield him from the sun, it was faced with some resistance. Not much, but still enough to startle his body to a slightly higher form of consciousness than that booze-induced coma he was in. He aware of his flesh, and his flesh now aware of its surroundings, Alan felt something sleek and smooth, cold and curved, held tightly against his body like that terrifying clown he used to cuddle with as a child. What was his mother thinking when she gave that to him, anyway?

The crack of dried saline and gunk compounded with the thudding in his head as he peeled his eyelids up, opened just enough for him to make out the shape of things beside him: an empty handle of Evan Williams bourbon. He’d crammed enough forensics knowledge into his head during that semester that even despite the horrific hangover he was still able to deduce that said hangover was likely due to the presence of said bourbon absent from said bottle and even more likely being processed somewhere between his liver and soul. Content with solving the mystery of the missing bourbon, and discovering the identity of the mysterious shape asleep beside him, Alan felt accomplished enough to complete his turn away from the window and fall back to sleep.

He closed his eyes before his bourbon-slowed mind could fully comprehend the significance—or even the presence—of the used condom sprawled on his hardwood floor like the sad and lonely shreds of the balloon that Jesse Hird popped at his 6th birthday party. Not that Alan was bitter or anything. The thought of this childhood trauma was finally enough to shake him from his slumber, and Alan sat up more abruptly than he likely should have. Blood rushed to his head with the thud of an angry fist against an oak door. Or maybe a baseball bat.

Once he was able to think again, Alan realized that perhaps the night’s conspiracy reached deeper than he previously thought. Especially since he was still wearing pants. Was he living in an episode of Californication? Alan had always idolized David Duchovny, but more for Fox Mulder than Hank Moody. The X-Files was his inspiration for moving to Washington, D.C., and pursuing a Forensics degree, in hopes of one day becoming an FBI Agent, and discovering for himself if the true was really out there after all. But if life should imitate art, he wondered, then perhaps his life was changing along with the career of the artist whom he imitated.

This threw him into a panic. A crisis of faith. What had he been doing with his life? He had only ever seen the Series Premiere. He would have to catch up on all the seasons on DVD. How many seasons had there been so far? The X-Files had nine! How many more would they have by the time he caught up? And when would he find the time, now that he had to leave George Washington and transfer to some school in California to pursue an English degree. What the hell was he going to do with an English degree?

For a moment, he wished there was still bourbon to drink, but the mere thought of it made his stomach churn and sent him hurtling towards the bathroom. Perhaps Californication would have to wait.

Turning to the Turntable

Hendrix would sit his girlfriend down and have her — almost make her — listen to Dylan songs. Pointing out the poetic phrasings of the lyrics, begging her to feel what he felt whenever he heard it. It was never hard to see where his inspiration came from. Give any musician a few drinks and access to his music collection and the truth will come out. You watch the eyes close, fist clench, eyes widen, the desperate struggle to find the right pitch, note, strain, grunt, etcetera. To this person, at this moment in time, even God cannot match that which mere mortals have created. What is life without pain metastasized through the psyche via flowing poetry over 2 octaves of fingers and hammers on wound strings, dressed in reverb and delivered through overdriven tube amps? Not everyone relates to music this way; the select few, the people who equate living life not only to feeling joy and love, but to feeling pain and torment can say that music touches them to their very core. Only in this sense can sorrow cure sorrow, madness cure madness. This runs against anything we are taught. You can’t fix a fracture with stress, you can’t treat a burn with fire, but in music, sometimes the cure can be more of the disease.

I decided to write for 5×500 after the acquisition of my father’s record collection. My fondest memories of him all involve music in some shape or form. Whether he was behind his drums, cigarette with a steady 2 inches of ash hanging out of his mouth, a bobbing head creating some of the oddest faces known to man, or sitting on the couch with headphones on listening to Frank Zappa. This man loved music, plain and simple.

I will choose an album from this collection to listen to and write about each week. They won’t necessarily be albums I’ve listened to before, but ones I know he particularly enjoyed. I have a pair of studio headphones, a record player complete with a brand new needle, close to 200 pounds of grooved vinyl tucked between colorful cardboard sleeves and a bottle of whiskey to aid me in this journey each week. I should be able to gain some inspiration to write, or at the very least perhaps some insight into how my father went about living his daily life. Although I am not a writer in the purest sense of the word, I am a reader. I equate that to the mantra of a rock journalist whom spends his life writing of what he cannot do. While perhaps I don’t have the skills to produce a piece of work like the kind that Kerouac or Vonnegut would sit and write, I know what sounds good and what sounds terrible. I look forward to writing again and find it quite exhilarating to have my work read by three or four people a week. See you in a bit for album one.