What’s Up? (3/5/2015)

The Jinx
This week I’ve been largely obsessed with a new miniseries on HBO called The Jinx. It’s like a true-crime documentary/interview/creative non-fiction project. The show’s full name is, I suppose, “The Jinx: The Lifes and Deaths of Robert Durst.” Does that name sound familiar? It may–it seems the murders associated with Robert Durst garnered a lot of media attention in the not-so-distant past. The show is a lot of fun to watch, for a grisly and ghoulish as it is, thanks to editors who understand how to craft drama. Interviews end at the right time, cut to dramatic music, a reinactment of a crime, then return to the interview. Like all good true-crime novels, certain things are amplified to make reality extra-exciting for viewers of The Jinx, but reality itself is the most exciting part to watch thanks to the center of attention: Robert Durst. The things the man does outside of possible murders, are fascinating and strange. I mean, when he was on the run from Galveston, Texas for murder, he risked it all to shoplift a hoagie from a Wegmans in Pennslyvania… so I remain glued to the TV, wanting more and more from this guy… what will he say next?

Spring Break
So I’m flying tomorrow, that’s crazy. I hope things aren’t as… slushy, as they are here in Pittsburgh. I’ll be gone for almost ten days but it’ll be good. I feel like I have nothing but city plans, like everything I want to do over break is: go to the city for a concert, go to a museum in the city, meet a colleague in the city, city, city, city. Not so surprising I guess, I mean there are places and people I love on Long Island but… you have to drive. And the thought of driving just does not go super smoothly for me, like I can feel a bit of the driving anxiety just writing about it now. I think I was born for walking and mass transit.

Writing about Alcohol
Today I spent an hour in the library just looking at, and looking for, books on alcohol–the history of it, the drinking of it–and specifically gin and vodka. I found a half-dozen pleasant books with Martini glasses on them, but I checked out the three I liked best; “Everyday Drinking” by Kingsley Amis, “A History of Vodka” by William Pokhlebkin, and “The Book of Gin” by Richard Barnett. “Everyday Drinking” is going to be the most enjoyable, since it seems to come from a humorous and witty author, Sir Kingsley Amis. I am unfamiliar with the man, yet he comes strongly recommended by Christopher Hitchens. “He was what the Irish call “your man” when it came to the subject of drink.” And later from Hitchens: “It has been said that alcohol is a good servant and a bad master. Nice try. The plain fact is that it makes other people, and indeed life itself, a good deal less boring.”

I left the library with a pretty solid idea of what I have to write about. Histories of alcohols have been written, stories about alcohol, celebrations and warnings, so I need to cut myself a new space to claim as my own. Taste, and the social identity of the drinker. If we have “all-natural,” “old school,” “modern,” “trashy,” “classy,” and “apathetic,” then where do these identities and practices come from? Is it the drinker’s intent that determines how they drink? At this moment I tend to think that if you don’t care about what you drink, then you drink to get drunk, or drink to be social. Me personally? I think I’d refuse to just drink beers, and if there weren’t any cocktails available, or wines and sherries, then I wouldn’t drink, even if that had social consequences. Comedian Jim Jefferies has this joke where somebody who doesn’t drink says they don’t drink “because they don’t like the taste.” Jim then shouts “Nobody does! We drink because we have to!” And it’s funny and everything, sure, but I’m not in that place. I drink because I can make really good drinks, and, AND, because of the social perks involved. And there are social perks to being a cocktail-maker, to showing up to a house party with a Martini glass, a shaker, ice, and your own ingredients. There are social perks to being a little classy!

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What’s Up? (2/14/15)

Friday the Thirteenth, Twenty-Fifteen, may be up there for top five best days of life ever.” – 3:36 AM, 14, February, 2015.

The Vagina Monologues
Last night was epic, a word I seldom use without cringing afterwards. When we filled 360-ish chairs for the Thursday night showing of The Vagina Monologues, I was impressed, shocked, and proud…

Then we filled 500+ chairs for the Friday night performance. Then we had to turn away another 100 people who wanted to get in. Then we raised over $2,000. I was ecstatic, hard to contain. Triumphant, face-distorting smiles, and shouts of joy. I was so happy to be a part of this, and I’m glad the show ended with smiles on my friends’ faces. If anything stressed me out about the show the last few days, and the last few weeks, it was so far away in the rear view mirror–that, that… I don’t know! We were flying down this road and the white dashes mixed with the blacktop and became a gray blur.

So I packed my tote bag, Skyy Vodka, lime juice, shaker, ice, and martini glass, and arrived at an after party. And the drinks were good and the conversation kicked ass–“Come on Eileen” was played–and I struggle to finds the words to describe this moment but I must…Because well, there was a moment where most of my friends and acquaintances were just topless and free and I realized this is me. This energy, what it stands for, I love it, and I love them.

What’s Up? (7/21/14)

I just realized I had a finished song that I was sitting on for easily, a month, and hadn’t released. I was going to play it at June’s Pulsewave, but it was a secret location and I opted to hang with the Xanax Cats instead, I think. It’s really good though… I’ll post it this week for certain.

That discovery, and more! There’s a lot of positive brain-storming happening right now. Ideas like, how will I celebrate being back in Pittsburgh? Who will I see first, and when? What outfits can I put together? Can I achieve my vision of complete color coordination? Pants match the t-shirts, which match the scarves, and maybe even the watches. Will I learn to make coffee from grind? Maybe French Press, or my own single-serve machine. Should I pull the trigger on a piece of exercise equipment? A part of me thinks it would be excellent to have a tiny stationary bike in the room. Could get some exercise while I’m going some readings for English or watching Netflix or something.

As my internship goes into its final four days, and my time on Long Island into their final sixteen, it’s only normal for me to be this excited about Pittsburgh again. There are some things I’m still itching to do before that happens though. 1) A drink with the Interns. 2) Another pool & beach session with the Xanax Cats. 3) Drawing my Summer Passport entries. 4) Maybe see Nine Inch Nails a fourth time. 5) Hang out with a Slimeball. 6) Having more Vodka.

What’s Up? (9/8/13)

I’m a little hungover right now. It’s Sunday, and there’s really no time to screw around on Sunday – and so I’m awake. I don’t feel great but if I’m going to start a productive day I might as well start by writing something.

I try to avoid being open about drinking on social media sites, you might notice that there are no pictures of  me holding any alcoholic beverages or anything on Facebook – though I have taken and shared some pretty artsy photos of Vodka bottles. Some of that “Your employers will see you drinking and not hire you” stuff has definitely gotten to me but man – as soon as I’m 21… well nothing might change because I don’t want to seem like a jack-ass that posts pictures of himself drinking all the time. I was open about drinking in an English writing course here at Pitt, describing in short detail how being drunk makes me feel (great). And so I figure if I’m open about drinking for academic purposes then future employers might understand or even appreciate that sort of honesty. I might have set this up with too much pretense, as the only thing I have to say about drinking today is that I’ve made a very good drink this weekend. The recipe comes from a set of Bioshock Infinite inspired “vigor” mixes and it’s called “Possession.” Three fl.oz of Midori, three fl.oz of Blue Curacao, and the rest is just how much lemonade fits in the glass. It’s tasty, and it’s really too sweet – but I don’t exactly have a problem with “too sweet” when it comes to drinks. In any case, since I’ve been making “Possessions” you could say I’ve gotten a little possessed this weekend, and the terminology has been catching onto my roommates.