Drink as Little as Possible

Around my birthday, last year, I realized I had been drinking for 30 years. Since I was 18. Whew.

The broken bottle and the damage done, eh?

Since this realization, off and on, I’ve been trying to drink as little as possible.

Generally, this hasn’t worked well.

Started the less drinking project October-ish, then there was my birthday and Portland Cocktail Week. I was cut a break when Heaven’s Dog closed in Oct/Nov, and peer pressure was reduced to drink on a semi-weekly basis. Re-started the project, and then there were the holidays. In January, I finally got around to drying out for a few weeks, then I got invited to England to visit the Savoy Hotel. In February, to Boston for a cocktail event.

Then started working behind the bar regularly at South in the SF Jazz center.

Even leaving aside peer pressure from fellow bar staff, there is always an excuse to drink.

I was reading Roger Ebert’s memoir, not to put any spoilers out there, but in his 20s and 30s he drank to excess with the rest of the Chicago newspaper scene at The Goat and O’Rourke’s. Eventually, he decided he was an alcoholic and joined AA. When he joined AA, his sponsor gave him a drug that would make drinking very unpleasant, “If you are able to drink, it is only your will, and will always fails,” or words to that effect.

Without drink, he went on to live a fairly productive late life, with adopted children and a wonderful, supportive wife. Film festivals, TV show, etc.

For most of my life, I feel like, and this is my perception, that I’ve managed to keep drinking in its box. It has never cost me a job or a relationship. I’ve never lost a weekend, or a week, to a bender.

On the other hand, I’ve always been lucky to have friends or loved ones to bail me out from periodic lost nights. Shove me in a cab with some money, or help me get into my pajamas.

When you’re young, binge drinking seems fun. However, at some point, you just become a drunk old guy, instead of an enthusiastic, youthful, partier.

I was looking at a photos of older men, who still try to sport the stubble look. It’s like that. At some point, you just look like a rumpled old man who didn’t have time to shave, instead of a youthful bon vivant.

I feel like that now, I’m old enough I should have learned to drink well, like the quintessential Italian man. To drink enough to enjoy life, but not enough to be drunk in public.

But, I haven’t, and I still manage to occasionally get embarrassingly drunk.

Maybe 30 years of drinking is enough.

Sleep Dirt

The debris left over from night, which I encounter on my morning dog walks.

Candy wrappers, drug baggies, liquor mini bottles, half pints, chip bags, cigarette butts, used condoms, hypodermics, dog shit.

The Sleep Dirt of an insomniac San Francisco.

Rustling, wrestling, and night sweating.

Day dreaming away the night.

Analog Blues

It’s not the sharpness of digital images and movie projection that bothers me, it’s the way the technology handles the out of focus areas of the screen.

For me, the artifacting, ugly squares, and other pukey patterns formed in the indistinct areas of the projected image distracts me from what is being projected.

Like the compact disc, there is an arbitrary level, after which detail is discarded, and that sudden dropoff can be disconcerting.

Hello world!

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21 Fizz Salute

It must be happy hour, I’m alone behind the bar and a long order comes in.

“21 Gin Fizz Tropicals for the Lounge?”

“Everyone in that group wants the same cocktail?”

The server assures me this is the case.

“Well, that will be a while, Egg White drinks and all. I can only make 4 at a time.”

I set about making them…

“What the!?”

Someone seems to have swapped out my measuring jiggers for others I don’t recognize.

Ack! I fumble around, trying to make sense out of the equipment.

Suddenly, for some reason, I’m also having a hard time remembering the recipe… Is it apricot liqeuer? How much Gin?

I awake with a start and quickly run through the Gin Fizz Tropical in my head, 2oz Plymouth Gin, 1oz Lime, 1/2 oz Orgeat, 1/2 oz Pineapple Gum, 1/2 oz Egg White. Dry shake, shake with ice. Soda.

Whew.

Social Media Blues

What? Facebook bought Instagram?

Oh fer craps sake, I got to enjoy Instagram on my Android phone for how long before that ugly, mean, gorilla takes it over? Like, A DAY!

Well, good on the Instagram folks, I hope they enjoy their condos in the tropics.

I guess that is OK, as long as Facebook doesn’t mess with Instagram. I mean, they wouldn’t spend that much just for a few engineers, some tech, and IP, just to kill it, would they? We’re talking about 1 Billion Dollars!

On Monday, the Facebook-owned app updated its terms of service to say companies could pay Instagram to use members’ images in ads without compensating the photographers. Instagram claimed the update was to allow the company to experiment with possible future advertising options, and was not part of any current plan to sell images.

Oh, right, this is Facebook, we’re talking about. Isn’t their motto, “Be as evil as we can be without alienating too many of the suckers who use our services”?

Sigh. And Mrs Flannestad has a good point, “Do you really think you own anything you post on social media?”

Well, why am I posting photos to Instagram anyway? Why not just put them on MY website? Why not put the energy I’m putting into someone else’s site into my own?

So there you go.

A bit of an experiment, but the daily photo posts I’ve been putting on Instagram will now be on savoystomp.com.

Let me know what you think.