Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

DT #308, 4 November 2014 (Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet)   Leave a comment

Jacob's Creek Shiraz Cabernet

Like being back in Athens, GA: a bottle of wine, a foreign Sunday paper half read, a box of Goody’s, and Car Talk blaring on the radio

 

“Our Humility”
Say Tom and Ray Magliozzi
“Is what makes us great.”

Name: Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet
Type: red wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: Off early to get stitches removed I picked up the bottles on the way home from the GP.  The lurgy lingers, so I didn’t run back to the house and, instead, thought about our dear, departed Tappet brother and all his lunacy.  Arriving home, I downloaded the most recent episode of Car Talk (they stopped making new ones in 2012, but continue to put old episodes on each week, such is their popularity).  The topics ranged from nose picking to the merits of buying a limousine to replacing a clutch unsuccessfully and what noise cancelling methods can disguise your shoddy work (hint: get a louder stereo).  One woman wanted to, rather than go in to get a repair redone, try a more ‘holistic’ approach; “oh, you want a pressure point…take your finger and poke it in the mechanic’s chest while chanting ‘I’m not paying for this twice.'”

Next week, Ray is putting out his personal favourite clips…I’m looking forward to ‘The Best of Tommy.’ Oh, the haiku fit the format better but I really tried to fit the great man’s personal motto in: Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #266, 23 September 2014 (Palm)   1 comment

Palm at the Hop Inn Swindon

 

If I had faith, Mom
Rotting in hell this birthday
Would be a comfort.

Name: Palm
Type: Belgian ale
Venue: The Hop Inn, Swindon

Review/notes: Walking with Jackie to her job, she asked what the date was.  “23rd,” I replied.  Then, after a shudder, “oh, right, it’s mom’s birthday.”

After her own brief shudder, Jax asked, “How old would the old bitch be, now? It must be in her 90’s.”
“No, only 87, but there’s a LOT more fire than that many candles could provide where she’s sitting.”
“Yeah, and it’s always 5 minutes till 5.”
“And, she’s destined to carry a massive ice cube that always melts just as she reaches the glass.”
“Liquor stores are all closed.”
“The tabs for the childproof lids on the pharmaceuticals have all broken off.”
“It’s ‘No Smoking.'”

Ahh, how we laughed. I could tell lots of fun stories about mom (she shot me in the face–by accident–while firing on the television in my room because I “don’t spend enough time with family”), but here’s the one we referred to in our little riff, above.

We made an obligatory visit not long before moving to Holland because my dad wanted to sort his estate and my sister, who had systematically and repeatedly stolen from them (granted, he sired a child with her, as well…this could get really complicated if I go on), wasn’t deemed the best Executor of our parents’ final wishes. Jackie only went every other trip like this so only saw them every three-to-four years but we consoled ourselves that Mom’s giant bag of drugs would be worth exploring.

Mom generally worked three or four GP’s at a time for prescriptions and had pharmacists up and down the Georgia coast filling them. Prone to migraines, I would occasionally be struck with a bit of a tension headache (imagine that) which would prompt her to toss the Giant Bag generally my way and say, “there’s something in there for what ails you.” She often would follow this by lobbing a gigantic copy of the Physicians’ Desk Reference a few feet my way. [The PDR is the Bible of the scrip-head.] For reference sake, you can’t have a drug problem if your Doctor prescribed it for you.

So, Mom sat around this particular afternoon and Jackie was mixing us a couple of beverages at a normal-to-quite-strong pour when she asked if Jane wanted one. “No, thank you darling. I’m waiting till 5.” Five. FIVE? When that sank in, I looked at Jackie whose mouth was agape; she felt my gaze and shook it off and brought me mine. Turns out, Ma got it in her head that even if you drink a bottle and a half of bourbon everyday, your can’t be an alcoholic if you wait till five pm to start.

It was a quarter past two.

Mom started chain smoking, lighting one off its predecessor (yes, even faster than the 60-a-day habit normally dictated). Her watch became unbearable, sliding on and off her wrist then suddenly was slammed on the table next to her chair as her foot tapped away at a disco cadence. We made trips out to my dad’s workshop where he was pounding rum and not pretending 5 makes any difference. When he or the south Georgia heat became a nuisance, we would go back in the house to hang with Mom.

At about 4:55 pm, Mom creaked out of her chair and started lining up her drinking tools: a glass that would hold close to a fluid quart, a shot glass (that wouldn’t be used, seeing as the standard measure is third of a glassful–it was just there for show), a bunch of ice trays, a 1.75 liter bottle of Early Times, and a half empty bottle of club soda (which would last until the Early Times was just vapour). Then, she put both hands on the countertop, exhausted. And, watched the clock till 5.  Victory.  One 5 o’clock at a time.

So, today’s tipple is in Jane’s honour. I got a Palm, an old favourite from my time in the Netherlands, the last day of which tenure I received notice that mom died. Actually, that’s been in dispute since the 70’s when a friend posited that maybe she died in the 1950’s but all the chemicals provided an illusion of animation. We wondered if switching out some of our favourites from the Giant Bag for placebos might be a worthy experiment to test this theory but the delicate balance of pharmaceuticals, nicotine, and grain neutral spirits might result in a conflagration of Biblical proportions should it be upset too dramatically. It was simply too big a risk.  Besides, the bitch was armed.

Anyway, I got a Palm: because in the Deep South until the 1980’s, anything you did with an open Palm couldn’t be considered child abuse.  Happy Birthday, Mom.  Say, “hi,” to Dad.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #216, 4 August 2014 (Fronton Negrette)   1 comment

Fronton Negrette

 

I have missed you, so:
You were my young adulthood
Folded in paper.

Name: Fronton Negrette
Type: rosé wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: This wine has an oily back note like cod liver or really cheap tequila (neither of which I’m averse to) and I don’t know what I would intentionally pair this with.  Fortunately, one of the professors I support brought me some Goody powders from the States and these go with everything.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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Posted 2014/08/04 by Drunken Bunny in Daily Haiku, Daily Tipple, pubs, USA

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DT #199, 18 July 2014 (Enraptured)   1 comment

Enraptured Four Candles Oxford

Illegal downloads:
Daily Show, The Leftovers.
My America.

Name: Enraptured
Type: bitter
Venue: Four Candles, Oxford

Review/notes: Arriving early to survey the sudden departure of the blessed and to prepare for the Tribulation to come, I found myself free from the earthly bonds of work by 10am.  A transformer that serves the labs is down until at least Monday and I just had to make things safe for those Left Behind.

Enraptured is powerfully hopped and has the burnt flavour of heavily toasted malt–as though from the depths of the fiery furnace.

The Leftovers has really captured my attention and I look forward to it every week.  I think Sky Atlantic is picking it up this Autumn for those not into bootleg vids.

 

Enraptured Four Candles Oxford pump clip

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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Turf Tavern, Oxford, Chippy Challenge #73   1 comment

Fish and Chips Turf Tavern

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: perhaps cod, but seemed a bit fishy for that
Sides: chips and minted mushy peas
Evaluation: Looks horrible but was actually quite tasty. The minted mushy peas would be splendid with lamb but were an atrocity with fish and chips.  Until today, I’ve always been disappointed with the food at the Turf Tavern but then I’ve only eaten here outside of tourist season when the kitchen is quite a bit slower.

The house is awesome without all the tourist trappings and caricatures incorporated into the Ripley’s-Believe-It-Or-Not-style signs lining the walls of the semi-enclosed beer garden.  But facts like, as one of these proclaims, this was where ‘Bill Clinton didn’t inhale’ while studying at Oxford keep drawing in the rubes.

You forget how grating the American accent is until you are in a crowd where they are the majority.  It makes me want to apologise every time I inflict it on someone.

You also forget just how fat Americans are until the tourist season strikes.  At a table suitable for four, an American couple spread out such that they partially blocked the adjacent passage AND access to the NEXT four-seater.  At one point, they were blathering on about trespass warnings on the Colleges and she said, “I don’t see those signs,” with a degree of defiance and pride so typical of my people.  “Nor the signs of early onset diabetes,” I thought to myself…USA…USA…USA!
Days since last: 6 (Lemon Plaice, Swindon)
Map link.

Turf Tavern from Chippy Challenge Map

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Independence Day/World Cup 2014   Leave a comment

France v Germany WC2014

In the World Cub Quarters on the Fourth of July it was the Hessians vs LaFayette en Co, but despite the great American Revolutionary War synchronicity, I had to back (successfully) George III’s motherland.  Expecting the ‘Boys from Brazil’ semifinal along with the Flodder grudge match.

DT #080, 21 Mar 2014 (Blaxland Shiraz)   Leave a comment

Blaxland Shiraz

Who’s the black private
Dick who is a sex machine
With all the chicks? Shaft.

Name: Blaxland Shiraz
Type: red wine
Venue: house

Review/notes:

Blaxland wine is okay, not worth seeking out but not too bad either. It should be cheaper, on about a par with American industrial plonk like Gallo (but good enough for us).

We moved to Georgia in 1970 just as Supreme Court rulings finally enforced desegregation in the schools there (and, in a much messier fashion, in the northern States). Many businesses were still de facto segregated unless you were bold enough to cross colour lines; one of these was the Imperial Theater in Griffin, GA, where I saw many gems of Blaxploitation Cinema like Blacula and other Z-list treasures like Vanishing Point. It was during the trailers before Vanishing Point I saw the teaser for Shaft with the line: “This film is rated R so if you want to see Shaft, ask yo’ mama.”  Right on.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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