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Vintage Outlandish!

This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

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"Working is the curse of the drinking class"

-- Oscar Wilde

Red red wine...
Ahh the freedom of the vine. There's nothing quite as warm as a simple glass of red wine, so slow and glorious.
Mr. Booze, Mr. Booze...

Alcohol was my first drug experience. I was 16, bored, and on spring break. My friend Mark had recently been introduced to beer by his older brother, and he was gung ho to put together some drinking. So we got some people together and shoulder-tapped some older dude into buying us some stuff. I still have the notebook from that night, writing about feeling outside of myself, about the thoughts and images that were coming into my mind and (a first) out of my mouth, about my friends hooking up with girls we were hanging with.

Since then it's been a long strange trip with me and the bottle. About 8 months after that first taste I'd made myself a fake ID (thank you, internet, kinkos, photoshop) and was on my way to becoming a qualified bartender. I'd quickly grown tired of swilling 40s in a field outside of town or spending hours trying to find someone to buy us a jug of wine, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. Around that time I also saw the film "Swingers" and was mightily impressed by the style and pinache of the characters. I figured cocktails and dress shirts were my way out of keg-party mediocrity. It was a wild ride. Some day I'll have to write up those crazy high-school stories.

Let me just put this out there: alcohol is a dangerous, addictive, destructive drug. It's real bad for your body, and it can be a big old trap for your psyche. There's nothing more depressing than an old drunk. So for all you drinkers out there (myself included) make sure you know why you pick up that next glass.

That being said, I love a good drink. I'm sipping from a glass of Knob Creek bourbon on the rocks right now (damn fine whisky). But I don't like getting plastered so much anymore. It seems to lead me dark places, and it's not really exciting after all this time. I still love getting sloppy with old friends, or getting to know new ones over a bottle of wine. Alcohol is a great social lubricant, and it can promote relaxation, openness and intelectual expansion. But all things in moderation, ok kids?

By the way: here are some directions on making martinis.

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Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

...older trips...


Smother Me With
Filthy Lucre