Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Story of My Sordid Affair with Alcohol as Remembered by Someone Whose Memory is Probably Not Entirely Trustworthy

I hate that it's called Hump Day, cause the last thing I ever want to do on Wednesdays is hump. I haven't even gotten a shower in today, and I had to take off my sweater because I was afraid I would make it smell, since I also didn't want to apply more deodorant before I did take a shower. Which I swear I'm going to do before I go to bed. But, other than work, eating noodles, and doing some dishes, the only productive thing I've done all day is invent a new drink.

I call it the PUP, which is some bastard interpretation of an acronym that might stand for Penny's Perfect Pick Me Up, because when I was in middle school, my fantasy name was Penny. I think I got that from The Rescuers. It is basically a rootbeer float, only instead of rootbeer I used Dr. Pepper, instead of vanilla ice cream I used Starbucks Java Chip, and instead of boring I used vodka. There is no picture, because sadly this was a one drink venture, using up the rest of the soda. Did you know I can keep a 2 liter of pop around for like weeks? I so prefer water unless it's being mixed with something that doesn't go with water, which is like everything. Gosh Mom, you really got me on that boat. Ugh. Boat. Water.

So I was thinking today about other drinks that have been near and dear to me, or really really abusive.

I didn't really drink that much in high school, and I never had to buy it for myself (sorry Mom and Dad. In fact, sorry pretty much for this whole post). So when I got to college, and made friends with the girl power pothead group on a dorm floor that was otherwise populated by members of the Kent State Dance Team (who would do fucking group aerobics in the common area, I shit you not), I found myself having to afford my own alcohol. I did spend a year before college living in Tremont with my friend, in a studio apartment, which you would think would teach you how to live frugally. But the thing about Tremont was and will always be, if you are an 18 yr old, you never buy your own drinks. It's a community law. They make you pick dog poop off the sidewalks if you violate it.

So the girls and I had two standbys. If we had some money, it was boxed wine and sprite spritzers. If we had no money, then we walked to the corner store and bought forties. I always bought Colt 45.

The worst college drinking experience I had was when someone gave me a mostly full bottle of Southern Comfort for the night, which I drank fast since I hated the taste. Peaches. SO GROSS. It's like liquefied burnt thin peach pie. It tastes like the inside of a pink glittery cowboy hat covered in kudzu and flies. I was pretty much okay walking from the dorms all the way downtown, but then as soon as I hit the doorway of the club, I fell flat on my face. It was a terrible walk home, but I guess all things considered could have been worse. I didn't puke, because I use to never puke at all ever. My body could just absorb poisons and make new cells out of them. It's why I had such clear skin, I was recycling the toxins and growing plastic membranes.

There are two times puking from alcohol that I remember quite clearly. One was St. Patricks Day weekend, and I was hanging out with some kids I knew in Ohio City. I don't know, was I 18? 19? Anyway, I bought my drink for the day from the corner store, which happened to be two bottles of premixed Long Island Ice Tea. That really didn't go well. It was really hot. The bottles got really warm. I still can't drink Long Islands made with coke, they have to have some silly twist to mask that flavor, pomegranate or cherry or something. Rum and cokes are the same way, I just hate the taste of the rum against the sugary flatness of the soda.

The second time was when I first met what would become a complicated relationship in my life, me and the chocolate martini.

I was with Krista and PJ. Krista wanted to go dancing, so we went downtown to the Funky Buddha, a jackass of a place, full of pillows and jackasses. Anyway, it was when the whole fake martini thing was really starting to take off, and I had my first chocolate martini. And then I had 7 more. Because no one remembered to tell me this wasn't some fucking one shot drink. I did make it to close, and then was fine on the road home, but threw up as soon as I made it to the bathroom. At least I can be counted on to throw up in appropriate places. Also, I'm immune to the effects of alcohol until you tell me the night is over and I have to lie down.

But unlike with Long Islands, I never lost my taste for them. Probably cause they don't mix in the same disgusting way with bile. One time, S. actually made me a carry along pitcher of them for a date. Chocolate martinis I mean, not bile. Marty used to make them for me from his always well stocked kitchen. It was my reliable standard, since almost every bar that has martinis, has a chocolate one. But they are expensive. As I got older, and started hanging out at Trinkas too much because of their jukebox, I downsized to shots of Yeager masked with Rolling Rock. One time the owner of Trinkas, Joe, brought out this gallon jug in which he had been collecting all the dregs of every bottle. It was bright orange. I totally had some of that. Joe was cool. I miss that place.

Next came coffee and alcohol. I still love this, obviously. I love coffee so much sometimes it hurts. I mean, coke's illegal (also expensive, and usually involves waiting around with unsavory old guys who bum cigarettes from you), they took away my yellow jackets, and I know what meth does to your teeth. So coffee is it. I can take so much caffeine, it's fucking sick. When I was working at Gamestop and David was working at Starbucks, I would get six shots of espresso over ice, and add milk and sugar at the condiments stand. Do you call it a condiments stand? It's not accessories, but that feels like it would be more accurate.

But I've been trying to drink less coffee, only on special occasions. It's no fun to have a high tolerance for caffeine, it costs more money and is actually no really less fun. Especially since I can't make espresso at home anymore, and light myself up like a toaster oven on however much I want. So now I only drink it every couple of weeks, when I'm really hurting, so it's slightly more effective.

Also coffee drinks make you have to piss like ten times more often. The caffeine shrinks your bladder, and the alcohol punches you in the side a few times. Waiting for the bathroom sucks. Driving home sucks.

That brings us to now. I've ditched the martinis except sometimes. I drink more wine, and have finally graduated to liking reds, which took fucking forever my god. You know, everyone makes that interminable trek from Boones Farm to Riesling to Shiraz to Malbec. But if I sit down at a bar with you, and I'm not there for something specific (like a shot of cafe patron with those awesome little orange slices coated in cinnamon at Momocho) then I'm ordering a pineapple and vodka. Better at hiding the taste than soda. Not as likely to fuck me up as coffee. Simple and reliable. I am not an orange and cranberry girl, or even a cranberry girl. With this gem I avoid the acidity and sourness of those common plebian mixers, while maintaining the one liner order for the bartender. It's perfect. Or at least it was. Until I had that fresh pineapple juice at Geneva. I don't know if I can ever watch them open up that little can again. Oh Vegas on the Lake, you may have spoiled me. I may have to move on to Brandy Alexanders.


  1. if you can't trust Lando for your drinking who can you trust?

  2. This whole post makes me want to hang out with you immediately. And also go mix myself a pineapple-and-vodka, because it sounds awesome.

    And also give you another sweet, one-line drink that works better in the winter. Amaretto-and-coke. Sounds weird, is good.

    Fucking coffee and Bailey's will kill me, I'm sure of it.

  3. I'm a big vodka tonic/gin and tonic girl. I have to watch my ass with gin though, things get ugly quickly.

    Everyone has that liquor they can't hang with anymore...mine is disgusting Blackhaus. Once at a Halloween party I drank too much of it and fell down a hill; once downtown at Wish I followed four fingers of Glenlivet and a glass of merlot with a shot of Blackhaus and (quite unsurprisingly) puked. In the car. On the coat I borrowed from my roommate.

    So yeah no more Blackhaus.

  4. CP - I'm not sure I get it, but I feel pretty sure I get it, so lets just pretend I got it.

    Sarah - it's juice, so it's good for you! I really can't stand amaretto unless it's baked into cookies. Too sweet too sweet mon cherie!

    MWG - Gin makes at least two other people I know into smarmy assholes. I think it's the souls of British soldiers possessing you.
    I could never do Blackhaus. We also did Goldschlager instead. Cause we loved shitting gold the next day.

  5. I promise I will read this all tomorrow when I am sober LOL

  6. Hmm Goldschlager. I had that for the first time at my friend's wedding. Her grandma handed me the bottle and said, "Drink up, honey, it's a wedding." From what I remember, it tasted like cinnamon gum dissolved in gasoline.

  7. With a touch of the tears from under the pool table in the basement of the old Grid.

  8. There is an award waiting for you on my blog

  9. OMG, *MY* worst college drinking experience involved a bottle of Southern Comfort, and me passing out in a snowbank.

  10. Southern Comfort should never be given to young girls ever. We should start a rumour of infertility, or parasites, or something. For the greater good.

  11. haha Billy Dee Williams played the smooth Lando Calrissian in Star Wars.


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