Someone asked about the incident with the gin when I was 19. It’s not much of a story — just one of those afternoons where G&Ts were the perfect drink, until they weren’t. I recall the sun dazzling off the water. I felt like I believe the British must have felt in the last days of empire, and then there was that foghorn of nausea and oh, well.
I’ve mentioned this before about a million times, but Atul Gawande’s long New Yorker essay on nausea changed my whole way of thinking about it. He noted that a person who gets sick tonight on tequila or gin or whatever might never touch it again for the rest of his or her life. Yes and no, in my case. Yes to gin, but I’ve been beer-sick and wine-sick many times, and lived to drink both another day.
I drink less these days than I have in my entire adult life, but I enjoy it far more. Good wine is cheaper than ever, small-batch whiskey is the new vodka, craft beer has advanced past its silly phase — sorry, but I don’t think anyone appreciates raspberry flavors in a lager — and is now hitting its stride with good, deeply flavored brews of all sorts and for all seasons. It’s a good time to be a social drinker.
Oh, sorry: TRIGGER WARNING FOR ALCOHOLICS. Too late, I know.
I guess I’m the last person to have anything to say about the Sarah Palin speech in Indianapolis last weekend, but honestly, what is there to say? I actually found it embarrassing to watch, what little of it I could stand. She’s truly gone down the tunnel of narcissism into some strange reality on the other side. Her hair is messy, her face looks…like she’s been having some work done and her voice? Crazytown. Better to contemplate who I was embarrassed for. Palin? No, she’s incapable of it. The country? Sure, but too vague. And then I thought of people I’d known in 2008 who thought of her as the bee’s freakin’ knees. I don’t really know them well, but if I saw one today? I think I’d have to avert my eyes.
So, the world took Bob Hoskins away yesterday. Y’all know I’m a big “The Long Good Friday” fan, and I watched the last two minutes twice after I heard the news. I’ve seen it a dozen times at least, and it never loses its power. George Clooney did it in “Michael Clayton,” and I hope he had the good grace to admit it was an homage.
A nice quote here from the man, a few years back:
He learned about acting, he says, not from watching other actors but from studying women. ‘Men are completely emotionally dishonest, whereas women have an emotional honesty which is extraordinary. And drama is about private moments, it’s about the things you don’t see in the street, and men don’t show that. So I decided to watch women. I became a stalker, I suppose! It’s got nothing to do with femininity, it’s to do with emotional honesty. If you go home one night and there’s champagne on the table with your dinner and she’s done up but she’s pissed off, you know it. You know where you are with a woman. You don’t know with blokes. And that’s basically how I learned to act – just watching women.’
Oversimplified, but a sharp observation.
Finally, a nice essay by Mark Bittman on the power of comfort food. In his case, lox and bagels. Hello, Thursday, and we are over the hump.