Re: Modern Love: Totally Normal, Not hateful At All Edition

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But really, do people go out for the evening and have just two cocktails?

That's very much me. My dad too. Which is fortunate, both my grandfathers drank themselves to death. Made very leery of drinking.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:01 AM
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I don't drink, really. I like some beers and have one about one a season. I like good saki; if I'm feeling particularly indulgent, I've been known to have three small cups of particularly pleasant saki. And good plum wine is really really nice, but it's so sweet and rich that I can't imagine drinking enough of it to get even slightly buzzed. Everything else tastes too strongly of ethanol for me to enjoy.

And, yes, not drinking has led me to the pleasant state of having no idea what a hangover is like. Descriptions make it sound like I'm not really missing anything. Also, I'm terrified that I'd be a really really mean drunk, though my friends say that they suspect that I would just get really giggly and very flirty.


Posted by: Nbarnes | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:28 AM
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I just want to say I was cheering on the baby all the way through that story. It was really shocking to me that the husband would treat abortion as a form of birth control like that.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:37 AM
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Bah, although I don't go out boozing very often, if I am going out drinking, I'll start drinking when I get there and keep drinking till the place closes or we leave.* All those 'two drinks and that's enough' people are freaks. Luckily I have a high tolerance for alcohol. Generally, a whole evening's drinking leaves me with a moderate buzz on, rather than falling about smashed.* I can't remember that last time I got quite drunk. Hogmanay, maybe.

* although every now and again it sneaks up on me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:41 AM
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I get drunk once in a while, but not in public. If I'm at a friends house I might have a few and get buzzed, but that's it. I've never been comfortable getting really hammered outside my own home.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:50 AM
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But Barnes is saying that he doesn't much like the taste of the drink, which, though weird to me, makes perfect sense and is the only rational explanation for "two drinks" I've ever come across. Though I'd have thought no drinks would have been even better.

I think most regular drinkers actually enjoy the taste of ethanol in their wine/beer/gin. I wouldn't spend an evening supping nasty medicine just to get high, and I doubt many others would either.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:51 AM
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I just started drinking for the first time since I was 16. Long story short, went to The Philippines on vacation 2 months ago, got a bit sloshed on a beach with pretty girls, haven't looked back. The previous 12 years I had been completely and 100% sober. Wouldn't even touch church wine. I punched a guy at the university bar once because he wouldn't stop trying to make me drink a beer like A Real Aussie Man™.

All the friends are completely freaked out that Juicy The-Boring-Straight-Guy is droppin scotches 2 at a time on weekends. Hey come to think of it, I had a couple tonight already. Maybe that's why I'm posting comments here all of a sudden.

So yeah. As an inexperienced, yet responsible, adult drinker what should I be aware of before I delve further into the murky hole that is ocassional insobriety?


Posted by: JuicyLurker | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:53 AM
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I started drinking at about 12. Which is fairly typical where I'm from. Not regularly, though, until I was 15 or 16. I drink much less now than 10 years ago. Steadily less ever year since a high point in my mid-20s. Which I suppose is fairly typical if my friend's experiences are normal.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:57 AM
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I started drinking at about 12. Which is fairly typical where I'm from.

Heh. One of my Scottish cousins drank until she passed out at a family reunion. She was 16. It was pretty funny to watch as I was 18, and no way in hell would it have occurred to me to do that.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 6:08 AM
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I wouldn't spend an evening supping nasty medicine just to get high, and I doubt many others would either.

I like the taste of some beers and wines, but hard stuff doesn't taste good to me. If I'm doing shots of tequila or vodka, it's definitely for the effects.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 6:13 AM
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3 -- I don't think that's really all that a fair characterization of the husband's attitude.

Generally -- I'm pretty much a cheap date -- surprisingly so for a large person -- and am usually the one who has to drive, so one or two and out is typical for me. I might drink half a bottle of wine when we have company over, but the hangover and the sleep disturbance makes me almost glad that I'm so unpopular.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:18 AM
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But really, do people go out for the evening and have just two cocktails? That sounds crazy to me.

Well there's a perfectly good reason it sounds crazy to you.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:20 AM
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I wouldn't spend an evening supping nasty medicine just to get high, and I doubt many others would either.

I have spent many an evening supping nasty medicine just to get high. mmmm, vile-licious nyquil. dextromethorphan, if you take enough, can actually make you trip, and not in a good way.

juicy lurker: getting wasted is all good fun as long as you don't drive, or have unprotected sex with strangers, or get into fights. steer clear of those scyllas and you can be sucked down into the intoxicating vortex of charybdis with a light heart. more helpfully: feeling like you really need a drink, thinking that some occasion can't possibly be fun without drinking, or getting genuinely agitated about running out of booze are warning signs. commenting drunk on unfogged, on the other hand, is practically mandatory, and if it's helped you overcome initial shyness to comment, then so much the better for booze. just check in with LB about your handle.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:21 AM
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The key warning sign is waking up in Bakersfield and not remembering how you got there. (Especially if you're supposed to be in Narnia). If that hasn't happened to you yet, you're probably not an alcoholic.

We're getting major sampling error here. What kind of person posts in the US at 6 am Sunday? Probably not the party animals.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:25 AM
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I'm an incompetent drinker -- while I'll have a beer or two or a glass of wine most nights without incident, at a bar with friends or at a party with someone handing me another drink, I have a tendency to just keep going, and I don't have a terribly high tolerance for alcohol. I've come out of a number of Unfogged meetups absolutely hammered, and very glad that it's the cabdriver's job to find my way home. (And with hangovers that would cut glass.)

I blame this on the fact that I used to have a spectacular tolerance for alcohol. In high school, I'd drink all night, and just get to pleasantly tipsy without getting any drunker: at 4 am, I'd be the one with a mop cleaning up spills, and dragging passed out bodies into neat stacks. That changed in my mid-twenties sometime, but I still haven't successfully internalized "The next gimlet is going to leave you staggering drunk."

I suppose I should just work with a self-conscious three-drink limit or something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:26 AM
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I actually gave up drinking for a couple of months last year in order to not have to deal with hangovers every morning, and discovered to my horror that I felt exactly the same, and that the reason that the first few hours of every is a headachey, sluggish hell has nothing to do with my evening scotch consumption but it more to do with the face that I have to go to work at 0530 in the fucking morning.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:27 AM
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2, 6: Nail on the head for me too. Though, Barnes, I don't quite see why you would like sake if you dislike most other alcohol. It's even more bitter and chemical. But de gustibus non disputandum.

In my case, it's a couple kinds of beer I've learned to like, their taste overcoming the alcohol. Much the same, I have little interest in treating this as a problem, given my family history.

Also, drinks at bars are really fucking expensive. Yes, it's a fact of life, but I still wonder at how people with mediocre incomes like me get used to it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:35 AM
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This brings up something people often talk about in AA, which is that normal drinkers really don't drink all that much, for the most part. (Obviously there are also people who are heavy drinkers but aren't alcoholics.)

This is something I find interesting, because my sense is that socially acceptable non-alcoholic drinking has decreased astonishingly since I was a kid. Neither of my parents ever had a drinking problem, but boy, in the '70s we went through a lot of Scotch: one of my first household chores was to 'Mix Daddy a Rusty Nail' when he got home from work. The assumption was that at any grownup social event, pretty much all the grownups would be drunk enough to be goofy.

Now, a lot more perfectly ordinary people don't drink at all, and I don't know a lot of people who have a daily cocktail, rather than something softer. It's just odd -- if I knew someone now who drinks as much as my parents drank, I'd wonder if they had a problem, just on the basis of being out of step with fashion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:37 AM
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I have to go to work at 0530 in the fucking morning.

fuck, that's evil. I assume they're paying through the nose for your matitudinal exertions?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:39 AM
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I don't really drink, partly out of a kind of anti-frat snobbery that we all had in college ("Oh, well, the frat-types need to get drunk to have a good time, but we're smart and creative and fun and can have a good time stone cold sober!") and partly because (as I discovered once I started drinking) I am a total lightweight and I start to feel buzzed after about half a glass of wine. Which is weird, given that I'm both fat and muscular.

I'm also a dangerous lightweight, in that I feel fairly sober and can usually do complex things/cook/bicycle fairly well, but my ability to make good decisions about conversation is completely shot and I tend not to realize it. I've actually lost friends because of rude things I said about their professions while drinking. (Well, there's a little more to it than that, but it was all "rude things I said while drinking"). And in fact, the last time I had people over for drinks, I unwisely had about a glass and a half of wine inside an hour along with some food, and got into a huge argument with someone. I like wine well enough, but more than half a glass isn't a good idea for me.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:39 AM
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Mmm. Disinhibition is a bad thing, if you're sitting on stuff you actually don't want to express. Graduation party from high school, I favored the guy who gave the speech (not the valedictorian in my school) with an indepth analysis of how his speech sucked, and he poured a richly deserved beer on my head. Actually, I said awful things to a whole bunch of people I haven't seen since.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:42 AM
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The thing is--as you may be able to tell from my posts here--I'm not some kind of inhibited little flower who can't tell people what she thinks. I tell people what I think, all right, and most of my friends have a pretty high tolerance. With the drinking, I feel like I say things I don't really think; just a grotesquely simplified version of something I sort of kind of think might be true. Or else I don't know when to shut up--I say something unwise and then can't let it alone, which is already a little challenge when I'm perfectly sober (partly because I prefer to talk everything through to the last little teeny point myself and it's hard to remember that many people don't actually find that neccessary).

Actually, when I was in college some people I knew (pagans! ish!) made me chug a whole huge seventies glass decorative goblet full of port (so icky!) and I managed to walk all the way back from the horribly remote nature location feeling only a little dizzy and keeping my mouth totally shut because I found them all rather annoying. This initially made me think that I could easily drink a lot.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:47 AM
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the reason that the first few hours of every is a headachey, sluggish hell has nothing to do with my evening scotch consumption but it more to do with the face that I have to go to work at 0530 in the fucking morning.

My wife made the same depressing discovery. Then she was signed off with exhaustion and she still doesn't feel any better, so basically, dsquared, you're doomed.

13, 19: alameida, I was getting worried by all the capitals in the main post. Glad to see you're back on track.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:50 AM
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I don't drink much at all anymore, primarily for taste reasons. I'm not sure I was always a great drunk, so it's probably for the best.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:52 AM
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Despite going to see the Dead all the time and being a swimmer, I was essentially a non-drinker in college. My friends drank a lot (as well as drugs), but for some reason, I marked off my territory as basically a non-drinker

Now, I enjoy a glass or two of wine with dinner. I can drink more if the wine is good, but rarely do.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:54 AM
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although after a certain point I would say I was obviously drunk, I actually stayed sober-seeming far longer that you would think possible. I remember I was puking up jack daniels in my dorm bathroom freshman year in college, and also talking to some people outside the stalls, and this one girl said 'al, you're more articulate drunk than I am sober. that's not fair.' I often had the experience that I would have to ask people the next day what all had happened after x o'clock, and the response was always, 'what? that was all your idea and you were giving us directions to drive there? you seemed fine.' I did get irrational and angry, though. and stupidly risk-taking.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:55 AM
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Mmm. I've also blacked out when not visibly all that drunk. Disturbing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:58 AM
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Those seemingly sober people are scary. If you think that they are making consensual decisions regarding sex, then the next morning, they don't remember. I was involved (professionally) in a case where that was the issue.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:00 AM
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I did get irrational and angry, though. and stupidly risk-taking.

Yup. Don't drink angry. It's not going to help.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:00 AM
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With regard to the Modern Love, that story could have been written happily with two entirely different endings. That is the beauty of allowing reproductive freedom.

Despite being very involved in reproductive rights, both of my siblings kept unplanned pregnancies. Now, I have two fabulous nieces. But, they could have been just as happy ending the pregnancies.

There simply isnt a universal happy ending.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:03 AM
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That's what worries me about accepting the 'middle of the road' position -- that an early abortion is a terribly morally weighty decision. That seems to me to lead to reactions like werdnA's upthread, and I strongly disagree with such reactions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:10 AM
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I have the same problem with saying inappropriate things. It's led me to be more cautious in recent years -- for instance, I now have a policy of no hard liquor, ever.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:13 AM
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I had exactly d^2's experience in 16.

I used to get drunk specifically for the purpose of having an occasion to say the wrong thing to the wrong person. Perhaps this helps account for my failure in life. You can prune your networks very effectively that way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:15 AM
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For me, I agree with you LB. But, I guess for some people sex using birth control might be a weighty moral decision. I wouldnt want to minimize their belief any more than I would want them to do it to me.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:15 AM
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As I've mentioned here before, my brother-in-law also wonders why non-alcoholics don't drink more than they do. "If I weren't an alcoholic," he says, "I'd be drunk all the time."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:16 AM
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Thanks for the good advice Alameida. I'm sure this little newbie can stay well clear of all those warning signs.

LB - Your idea that people in the past drank more than they do now is interesting. Now that I think of it, I see more people choosing not to drink at all, especially as I get older.

Conversely though, when I was in college (its "uni" in Oz) I always got the impression that I just couldn't have fun unless I drank like everyone else. I was pretty much excluded by all because I refused to take even one drink. The irony is, if those douchebags back then hadn't pressed it so much I probably would have happily taken to a good drink now and then. The more they pushed, the more I resisted (I've never been one to succumb to peer pressure).

But back to your point. Do you think the "more drinking in the past" thesis holds for the college campus or is it just a social old-fart's thing? If so, holy shit! How can people live drinking so much?


Posted by: JuicyLurker | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:20 AM
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LB's 15 describes me well, except that I didn't drink at all until I was 23, so I never gained any sense of my limits in youth. (I was such an inhibited teenage boy...) If I drink a cocktail at all (unusual), I am a two cocktail drinker, in part because the more I drink, the more self-conscious I become about how much I've drunk. Then I switch to water. My primary exception is wine, which despite having no palate, I adore.


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:21 AM
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36:

That was the opposite for me. People knew I didnt drink. After they realized that they would look like an ass by pressing the issue, my status as a non-drinker was accepted.

Of course, I was also the one organizing the socials.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:26 AM
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The 'people used to drink more thing' is very true. Go back a hundred years and everybody drank frightening amounts.

There are still people alive who used to work in the steel industry in the days when they were ordered by management to drink 4 pints of beer (5 US) during the working day for rehydration purposes ans disciplined if they didn't.

I recently read a biog of William Pitt the younger (UK PM in the late 18th century), who was totally rat-arsed most of the time, including while addressing the House of Commons, but nevetheless ran the country quite efficiently for twenty years. The opposition thought it was an entertaining foible to mock, but they never suggested it was disabling.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:30 AM
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'Al, you're more articulate drunk than I am sober. that's not fair.'

Al is so stuck up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:32 AM
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36: For one thing, I think it's very social-group dependent: I'm talking about NYC professionals, largely from Catholic backgrounds, in the 70's. I think if you looked at rural Protestants in the 70's, you'd probably get something much more in sync with how more people drink now.

For the college crowd, I don't know from college kids in any era before the late '80s early '90s. I'd expect there is now (that is, from my college days up through the present) less total drinking than in past eras, but more or as much getting puking drunk at parties. I remember people thinking it odd of me that I always had a sixpack in the fridge that I'd get through in about a week, while the same people would drink heavily at a party.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:32 AM
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al, you're more articulate drunk than I am sober

God, I have an unpleasant memory of having, years ago, said something similar to a friend with whom I was arguing. At some point he said that the discussion was pointless because I was drunk, and I declared, "I can still argue you under the table shit-faced drunk with you stone-cold sober (you idiot)."

Huh, what an asshole. Gotta watch out for that sort of behavior.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:32 AM
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It used to be much more accepted to drink during business lunches. Now, it is viewed as odd or decadent.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:32 AM
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43: Evidence of the incredible power of the tax code. The three-martini lunch lasted as long as it was deductible. (Dad claims that, as an architect, people knew that technical or mathematical work was only to be done in the morning; post-lunch work hours were reserved for meetings.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:33 AM
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Small-town Minnesota, Lutheran or Catholic, is serious drinking country. Every town with 50 or more people has at least one tavern.

People tend to slow down in their later years, if they're still alive. I have no idea what the contemporary pattern is but except for reborns I doubt it's changed much.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:35 AM
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I think if you looked at rural Protestants in the 70's, you'd probably get something much more in sync with how more people drink now.

Very much doubt it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:41 AM
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People knew I didnt drink. After they realized that they would look like an ass by pressing the issue, my status as a non-drinker was accepted.

Unfortunately, one of the great attractions of alcohol apparently is, once imbibed, looking like an ass is not so much a concern.

Anyway, this was only a problem in college. Those around me now are far more adult about it. Apart from the soft mocking at work and the occasional bemused expression at parties, it is never really an issue. Most of those I know tend to stay away from that whole Aussie-Bogan-Beer-Drinking-Culture thing anyway. It can be a real problem here.


Posted by: JuicyLurker | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:54 AM
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I stopped having anything but a social drink or two when I found out that alcohol can trigger my heart arrhythmia, but from about 20-26, I drank quite a bit. Sometimes I really miss it, because I love everydamnbody when I'm drunk.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:08 AM
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Very hard to imagine a drunk ogged.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:13 AM
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48

Yes, but you dont care as much about your heart problems.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:13 AM
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Those seemingly sober people are scary. If you think that they are making consensual decisions regarding sex, then the next morning, they don't remember.

This has happened to me twice. (I'm the one who doesn't remember.) Both times were with guys I trusted, and nothing bad ultimately came of it, but it's mighty awkward to tell someone the next morning that you have no memory of the night before after point X.

The weird thing with my blacking out is that it's unpredictable. It doesn't necessarily happen on the nights that I've drunk the most.


Posted by: no name | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:20 AM
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I drink occasionally but seldom drink to serious intoxication. Sometimes when I'm seriously drunk I don't seem like I am. I got really drunk at my first ever unfogged meetup and the cab driver on the way home said, "You're much more coherent than most of the people I pick up at the Bohemian Beer Garden."

I used to be able to drink a lot, especially for someone my size -- like five or six pints, or a bottle and a half of wine. Usually that was over a long period of time, though, like starting in the afternoon and stopping at closing time. I'd be hung over the next day, but it would usually disappear in the afternoon.

Recently I've started experiencing an unpleasant side-effect of drinking with groups of people I don't know well -- the next day I will be extremely paranoid about what kind of impression I've made, and I'll go over everything I said the previous night, again and again. Actually, this also happens when I'm sober, but it's exacerbated by drinking.

It's like the exact opposite of that Simpsons where Homer gets trashed at a party, then when asked if he remembers it the next day, he imagines himself to have been really witty, and all the guests are drawn like New Yorker cartoons. You know the episode.


Posted by: alif sikkiin | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:37 AM
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i've heard that the workday beer in England was only 2% alcohol.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:47 AM
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LB -- it didn't seem that early to me, by the time they had finished all their faffing around.

As for the drinking thing -- I know that British journalism went through the most tremendous sobering up period in the Eighties. At the start of that period, more or less; I think maybe 1982 or 3, it was perfectly normal, verging on compulsory, to drink a bottle of wine each at lunch, and then get stuck into the hard stuff afterwards. I went once to see a (hugely productive) friend of Kingsley Amis's, now living in California, and when he poured pre-prandial drinks, there were a couple of inches of neat scotch in the tumbler. Only pure social terror kept me functioning after I had drunk it all.

But by the end, the young men had realised they could get stories their elders missed by staying sober in the afternoons. So they drank all evening instead.

The only person I now know with whom I would expect to order the second bottle even before the food arrives is the former press secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:49 AM
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JE: the Manchester beer was about 3-3.5%, I think. Much less than the stuff they sell today. But an older, alcoholic friend of mine who had worked there in the Fifities said that the average mill worker drank 12 pints a day, at work before the first world war.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:52 AM
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It's called small beer, John.

Al, you're more articulate drunk than I am sober. that's not fair.

I once walked home from a party with a girl who was randomly visiting a friend the floor below, who said that I seemed exactly as I normally did, and indeed I felt mostly fine. We parted ways at the first floor of our dorm, and as soon as she was out sight I could barely stand. Then I puked in the toilet.

Also, organic booze really is a misguided concept, especially organic vodka.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:54 AM
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It's really a testament to the creeping Puritanism* of American society that regularly having, say, a whiskey upon getting home and then a cocktail before dinner strikes me as vaguely problematic. It's nothing of the sort, of course, and I loves me some Maker's Mark, but it strikes me as distinctly out of keeping with what I somehow should be doing, whereas my grandfather wouldn't have batted an eye at it (and probably would have insisted on a Bloody Mary for with, in fact).

* In matters of broadly defined "health" rather than sex.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:56 AM
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I'm not sure it's creeping Puritanism (although it might be) so much as a reaction against what kind of life those drinks represented: quiet desperation and emotional muteness for the men, and extremely quiet extreme desperation for the women. I mean, hell, a drink a day is supposed to be good for you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:59 AM
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Why is "hateful" the only uncapitalized word of the post title?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:00 AM
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58: What a Muslim terrorist would be expected to say. Let's at least not get Ogged started on female modesty, please.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:03 AM
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You think, Ogged? It seems to go hand in hand with the idea that smoking is somehow a moral failing, and with the deeply fucked up American ideas about weight and exercise.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:04 AM
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Quiet desperation is highly underrated. So much better than the loud kind.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:04 AM
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59 - It's translated from "Unhasslich" in Alameida's native German.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:05 AM
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it is a typo. WMYBSALB?

also, good night everybody.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:05 AM
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I'm not sure, snarkout, just speculatin'. But doesn't it seem that if the semiotics of the daily drink changed (make time to loosen up for some emotional connection with your spouse each day!) that drinking could be seen as part of a healthy lifestyle?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:06 AM
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OT, but whenever I see a work described as "seminal" I think of a Kleenex, or maybe a used condom on the sidewalk.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:07 AM
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(blearily) sheesh, alright already, the drinkers are up.

Me, I never say anything embarrassing when drunk.

I drink less than I used to, I think, but I still drink plenty. I am surrounded by an awful lot of spectacularly good beer, lately. One weird thing that's happened to me: I will, in the spirit of unasked for drunken frankness, give people advice I never would when sober, and it'll turn out to be really perceptive and useful to them. The hell?

My maternal grandfather was one of those astonishing drinkers of a previous era: three martini lunches, then back to the law firm, nice big glass of scotch when he got home, then some more after that. Arguably, he had a problem.

It always amazes me when watching movies from the 40s to see how every character immediately makes a stiff drink whenever they arrive at a new location. Midday on a tuesday? Who cares! Let's have 5 fingers of gin before that car chase!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:07 AM
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Goodnight, al!

A glass of wine is already acceptable, no? Only the hard stuff is suspect—and, perhaps, the image of someone arriving home and right that second needing some sweet succor.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:08 AM
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get Ogged started on female modesty

If you do not cover your women, we will cover them for you, in raiments of rubble!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:08 AM
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It's just "raiment", you anile snot. What you wrote is like "clothings of rubble".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:14 AM
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I remember Carson McCullers said something about how you become a drunk when your own thoughts no longer interest you. Lot of truth to that.

The whole idea of organic vodka just astounds me.


Posted by: some drunk | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:15 AM
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I'm channeling a muslim terrorist, my young near-to-hand jew man; authenticity.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:17 AM
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"If you do not cover your women, our hair brown asses will cover them."

At about age 25 a friend of my brother's drank a case of beer before noon. Even around here that's regarded as potentially problematic.

In his defense, he was an early riser. It's not like he drank 8 beers an hour between 9 and 12.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:18 AM
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"American Spirit" cigarettes were supposedly pure organic tar and nicotine with no chemical additives.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:19 AM
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"Anile"?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:20 AM
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What I find amazing about beer drunks is how much damn liquid they can ingest.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:20 AM
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The beer just goes right through you, and it acts as a diuretic. Not so difficult.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:22 AM
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We're the trained athletes of the drinking world. We disdain the high-alcohol crutch drinks that lazy people rely on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:22 AM
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It just means they spend a lot of time draining it off.

I used to work in a kind of timber factory -- we turned sawn lumber into pallettes, and the sawman was an alcoholic: he would drink sixteen to twenty cans of beer in a working day -- and all I ever remember him doing is standing by the door and pissing like a horse.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:23 AM
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79 to 77


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:24 AM
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or 76


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:24 AM
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When I was studying abroad at Oxford, I had this one roommate who was a total wide-eyed, naive "intellectually curious evangelical" type -- for my money, the most obnoxious fucking type of person on earth.

One day when we were studying, he asked to borrow my copy of Dark Side of the Moon. After finishing the first track, he took off his headphones and said, "Pink Floyd said, 'Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.' Is he just saying that, or is that really true?"


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:27 AM
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"Anile"?

From the latin anilis, meaning "anile", itself from latin anus, old woman.

Anile is like senile, but for women.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:28 AM
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That said, I feel very little compulsion to drink for my personal benefit. But the women I date tend to be much nicer to me when they are drunk, which can lead to me really putting it away, frequently on weeknights. The prob


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:30 AM
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It always amazes me when watching movies from the 40s to see how every character immediately makes a stiff drink whenever they arrive at a new location. Midday on a tuesday? Who cares! Let's have 5 fingers of gin before that car chase!

Great moments in one of the Thin Man movies: Nora shows up at a bar where Nick has been drinking for a while, and asks how many he's had. On hearing "four", she immediately orders four martinis to catch up. That's hard core.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:30 AM
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Jake: showing, not telling.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:31 AM
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From the latin anilis, meaning "anile", itself from latin anus, old woman.

Advantage: w-lfs-n!


Posted by: some drunk | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:34 AM
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The prob

lem is that it leads to your passing out in front of the keyboard?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:34 AM
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The drinks in the Thin Man movies are a lot smaller than the gargantuan fishbowls of booze one is likely to get these days.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:35 AM
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I never drank much in HS, despite the fact that many of my friends were older, and happily provided me with alcohol if I asked. I didn't really start drinking until I turned 21, and was working with a bunch of hard-partying twenty- and thirty-something folx from Nordeast (old working-class Polish/Russian/Bohemian neighborhood in Mpls, now given over to yuppies). We'd hit the nearest bar immediately after work, start out with beer, move on to cocktails, then a couple of hours later, someone would suggest that we all drive across town to a different bar, so we would, where the party would continue until 10 or 11 on Fridays (mostly people went home at 8 or so on weeknights). At that time, I could happily put away 14 or 15 drinks over the course of 4 or 5 hours and barely feel it the next morning. Quite often I would have 7 or 8 drinks on a weeknight and not even get a buzz. Now, alas, I am old, and the 9 or 10 drinks I had over 8 hours yesterday at a wedding reception & after-party (with a three hour nap in between bouts) have left me a little bit the worse for wear.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:45 AM
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"Then he launched into pro-choice speak" rather raised my hackles.


Posted by: rilkefan | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:50 AM
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What I find amazing about beer drunks is how much damn liquid they can ingest.

Did you have anybody in particular in mind?


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:50 AM
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85: I once played a drinking game with my girlfriend watching the first of those movies. Every time a character takes a drink, you take a drink.

It's an obvious solution, but elegant.

In college, I barely used to drink at all. Last year, I moved in with a bunch of Episcopalians and had to change my habits quickly to catch up. One thing I realized after a few months is how expensive even moderate social drinking gets, especially at bars. A lot of Prohibition-style rhetoric about bad parents drinking the money away wouldn't have to describe excessive drinking when one beer costs as much as a meal at McDonald's.

Which is to say, maybe drinking has gone down among the American middle class because we can't afford the stuff anymore.


Posted by: Bran Muffin | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:07 AM
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I didn't drink that often in college because I was too busy smoking pot. During our freshman year, however, Froz and I put away truly obscene amounts of Pepe Lopez tequila. Unsurprisingly, neither of us was in school the following year. I drink more these days, but it's almost all wine.

I find as I've gotten older, it's difficult to get really rip-roaring drunk but not that difficult to get drunk enough that the next day is fucking miserable. My hangovers tend to trigger knee-buckling migraines now. I'm a very happy drunk, never aggressive or maudlin, but my already barely functioning appropriateness filter sometimes shuts down altogether ("Hey Reverend, what's the best part about fucking a six-year-old?"). So I've pretty much stopped drinking hard liquor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:18 AM
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52: the next day I will be extremely paranoid about what kind of impression I've made
I started getting this really badly, just in the last year or two. I keep feeling like I probably said or did something really stupid. Even though I can generally remember things quite well and know that nothing like that happened.
It is an odd thing, but I don't let it stop me from carrying out my duty (as a hybrid Brit/Aussie) of drinking too much, too often.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:22 AM
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"American Spirit" cigarettes were supposedly pure organic tar and nicotine with no chemical additives

I once met a person who smoked that brand. The secondhand smoke didn't give me a headache and my clothes actually smelled good when I got home, so something in them must have been different.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:24 AM
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94: on behalf of the congregation, apo -- get in a case of bourbon, now. We'll have a whipround if that's what it takes,


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:24 AM
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54: Werdna, you shouldn't necessarily use Kingsley Amis as a yardstick. He was a serious drinker even for his generation. I had an uncle who used to lunch with him once a week, and they drank spirits solidly from 2 oclock till about 6, when they went to work.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:25 AM
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I get the hyper-selfconsciousness too a bit. Then again, I get it sober, so six of one, half a dozen of the other.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:26 AM
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OFE: I know. I was reading the Zachary Leader bio, and blogged at some stage about his consumption. But I did have lunch with him once at the Spectator, and -- while he must have outdistanced us -- he wasn't all that far ahead of the rest of the table.

Amis, though, only worked in the mornings, once he could afford to do so.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:29 AM
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Ahh, the Great Tequila Shootouts. I remember them, rather unclearly, fondly.

I virtually never get hangovers and have had only a handful of highballs in the last 5 years.


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:29 AM
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85, 89 - The thing is, in the (magnificent) Hammett novel, Nick is very clearly an alcoholic who drinks (and sleeps around, most likely) as a method of dealing with his feelings of uselessness now that he's no longer a Pinkerton. Man, I love that book. Maybe I'll pour myself a stiff drink and read it in the bath.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:37 AM
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snarkout, does Nora exist in the Hammett book?


Posted by: mmf! | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:41 AM
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"snarkout, does Nora exist in the Hammett book?"

Of course she does. Read the book. I think Library of America republished it a couple of years ago.


Posted by: some drunk | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:43 AM
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snarkout, does Nora exist in the Hammett book?

Ayup. Her reasons for drinking (and sleeping around, most likely) are more obscure, partially because she's not a Hammett stand-in.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:43 AM
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And Lillian Hellman was an odious enough specimen in general that I'm reluctant to speculate about the motives of her fictional counterpart. Nora seemed to be having a hell of a good time, though.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:47 AM
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What a lively thread for a Sunday morning. It's like Unfogged church!

I had the benefit, like most Jews I grew up with, of being introduced to sloshedness through the four-glass obligation at Passover and the occasional Manischevitz-scarfing contests at shul. This lead to a relative indifference towards urgent high school sloshing, and I didn't actually drink until regurgitation until my 21st birthday, when some friends made a point of it.

It did occur to me that I got a lot more done in college because I didn't have a drink to unwind, or a nice glass of wine with dinner. It's a pleasant custom, but if I'm ever going to make a dent in the nine library books I ordered after reading this, I may have to ease up on my Trader Joe's shandies (2 parts Oranjeboom beer plus 1 part grapefruit soda). Just a wee bit privileges TV over the printed word. Although I am just about ready to start watching season 4 of the Wire, so who knows?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:47 AM
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92: I once knew an old guy who would drink most of a flat (24 cans) every day as background drinking. By which I mean, the stuff you do on an off after getting up in the morning but before heading out to the bar in the evening.

The guy was thin too, but I hardly ever saw him eat.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:00 PM
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The 'people used to drink more thing' is very true. Go back a hundred years and everybody drank frightening amounts.

Hell, go back 50 years. I can't even imagine a three-martini lunch followed by going back to work. I'm a pretty regular social drinker, and I couldn't handle three martinis even on a Friday night, let alone a work day afternoon. How did people do it? It must be partially genetic, I simply couldn't function with that kind of alcohol.

posting on my own blog while blacked out

The terrible implication is that she would be a more entertaining poster if she resumed destructive levels of drinking. Such an ethical quandry for the casual reader who doesn't know her.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:00 PM
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This conversation is very strange, since most of the academic/intellectual types I know have at least two drinks at the end of the working day ... and they're usually vodka tonics and/or scotch, not beer or wine. Maybe I'm surrounded by alcoholics?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:02 PM
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I was inspired by this thread to break my fast today with pancakes, a peach, and whiskey.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:02 PM
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I really want to read The Last Samurai.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:03 PM
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Also, has anyone ever been part of the community of wealthy wine collecters and tasters? It's kind of a sanctioned functional alcoholism...I don't think many of those guys had any real dysfunction in their lives due to drinking, but man could they pack it away. For some of them, their main hobby and source of social connection was drinking fancy wines. I think there was a general supposition that wine was somehow different than hard liquor, which perhaps it is (for one thing, you always drink it with lots of food and over a long period of time). But they were all very warm and generous with the good stuff though.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:05 PM
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I'm pretty sure I have a copy of Transmission lying around here somewhere.

And look at the end of the list! Ogged for the win!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:06 PM
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I once knew an old guy who would drink most of a flat (24 cans) every day as background drinking.

And yet, he had unparalleled hand-eye coordination.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:08 PM
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Hell, go back 50 years. I can't even imagine a three-martini lunch followed by going back to work.

Yes, the two- or three-Martini lunch was a regular part of my father's work-week, and then there were the social+working dinners at frequent occasions. He used to go completely dry for a fewl months each year and then start over. I never, ever saw him or his buddies out of control at parties tho', nor did any of that group die of liver problems.

IMX one quickly builds up a tolerance for the stuff and then also it becomes boring to be fuzzy. I had the same thing happen with pot. Both the fun and the urge to do them just faded away.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:15 PM
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During our freshman year, however, Froz and I put away truly obscene amounts of Pepe Lopez tequila. Unsurprisingly, neither of us was in school the following year.

Oof. Pepe Lopez put me off tequila for about six years. Boy is that stuff terrible, especially when you work through most of a bottle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:27 PM
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67:

Me, I never say anything embarrassing when drunk.

Sifu, you're interesting. I'd never read any of your Poor Man stuff. Frankly, I haven't made it through more than a few paragraphs of what you've linked, but.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:38 PM
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OK, I'll bite. Why is Ogged David Markson?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:38 PM
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Frankly, I haven't made it through more than a few paragraphs of what you've linked

Good lord, I would hope not. It's nigh-insensate rambling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:48 PM
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Good lord, I would hope not. It's nigh-insensate rambling.

Black music GOOD! White music BAD! Except for KRAFTWERK! And maybe RUSH! Other liberal bloggers: DORKS!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:51 PM
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Marcus you forgot OVERPLAYED WEDDING DJ STANDARD = BEST SONG OF ALL TIME!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:53 PM
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Her reasons for drinking (and sleeping around, most likely) are more obscure, partially because she's not a Hammett stand-in.

Nora's reason for drinking is that she's an alcoholic's fantasy of the perfect woman.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:56 PM
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I have a lot of friends between 80 and 90 years old. According to them all that drinking that goes on in 1930's films and plays is realism.
Most of these guys kept a bottle in their dressing room until the Health and Safety committees started up in the 1990's. Actors' Equity still implies you can't get fired for showing up to work drunk, only too drunk to play the role.
They think my generation are pansies (even the pansies think we're pansies) and they Do Not Get this going to the gym thing we do.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:56 PM
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Good lord, I would hope not. It's nigh-insensate rambling.

Good to know that my senses are nigh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:56 PM
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Black music GOOD! White music BAD! Except for KRAFTWERK! And maybe RUSH!

Oh wait. You like Rush?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:58 PM
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123:
Now that I think about it, all the women they played and drank with have been dead for a long, long time.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 12:59 PM
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Drinking: Effexor has made me a lightweight. One drink and I'm tipsy, two and I'm buzzed. All my life I've tended to stop drinking or slow down when I hit a good strong buzz, mostly because while I like being buzzed, I really dislike that sloppy feeling of needing to lie down. When I got pregnant with PK, I was regularly having 4-5 drinks on a Friday night with girlfriends and a drink or two a day after teaching with a friend or Mr. B. That's about the heaviest drinking I've ever done.

Organic booze: It seems weird to me, too, but then I think about it in terms of production and environmental concerns and it seems less weird. Also, non-additive cigarettes are certainly not "healthy," but they do taste and smell better, they burn slower, and they don't contain shit like arsenic and ammonia.

Modern Love: I liked the piece because it seems to me it honestly describes the emotional aspect of pregnancy--she's terrified but it also makes her more aware of the presence of children and the idea of a child as a change, rather than the absolute end of Life as She Knows It. Not everyone is going to have the same emotional trajectory, but it struck me as an honest one.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:00 PM
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126: um, sort of. I used to like Rush, right around the time I first got laid, and I thus can never really let go of them. But do I like Rush in terms of still ever listening to them anymore? Not really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:05 PM
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Maybe move that "ever" someplace else in 129. Maybe move it to a different comment entirely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:06 PM
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Good lord, I would hope not. It's nigh-insensate rambling.

I remember being dead drunk and reading that post when it was new. It struck me at that moment as really smart and funny, and entirely reasonable.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:08 PM
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I'm also pretty sure that post really hurt Atrios' feelings.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:10 PM
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Also, has anyone ever been part of the community of wealthy wine collecters and tasters?

When I had a regular wine-writing gig and was also working at a restaurant with a great wine list, I met these people frequently, and they're as you describe. For the most hardcore among them, I gather that aesthetic appreciation trumps any suggestion that they might be raging alcoholics. Also, substantial numbers of the wine geek population, for all their enthusiasm and generosity, are stupefyingly dull, because they have nothing to talk about other than wine.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:10 PM
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Re drinking: I rarely drink much anymore; wine with dinner, a few beers here and there. I think it has a lot to do with social groupings and subculture, though. In my later teens on an average day I'd probably drink a case of beer and half a bottle of bourbon. On a `drinking' day add up to another bottle and a half, and maybe another case. This was perfectly normal for those around me (and I should note, we tended to go in for the long haul, none of this getting smashed in 2 hours and passing out stuff)


Posted by: Jimmy Carte | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:12 PM
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Also, substantial numbers of the wine geek population, for all their enthusiasm and generosity, are stupefyingly dull, because they have nothing to talk about other than wine.

Yep. I was briefly in a wine-tasting group to which I was invited by a friend of a friend when I was new in Seattle, and everyone in it was lovely and nice, but, well, there just wasn't much to talk about....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:12 PM
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134 wasn't supposed to be presidential. I have no idea what happened there with the browser.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:14 PM
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Also, substantial numbers of the wine geek population, for all their enthusiasm and generosity, are stupefyingly dull, because they have nothing to talk about other than wine.

Not if you're drunk enough, they aren't.

I've noticed that my ability to talk knowledgeably about wine increases linearly with the amount I've lately consumed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:16 PM
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My own tolerance is way down but seems to vary hugely -- sometimes one or two drinks leaves me very fuzzy and other times I can manage three or four without feeling it at all.

I have an allergy to beers and wines -- they make my throat uncomfortably itchy -- so I go straight to the hard stuff.


Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:17 PM
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129:

I used to like Rush, right around the time I first got laid

I don't know if you're apologizing or backpedalling.

It's just funny: my very first ex, from the time I first got laid, was seriously into Rush. He could sing like Geddy Lee! No shit. Impressively so, not an easy task.

So for a few years I listened to them, and eventually realized I did not like it. Give me Yes or King Crimson or Genesis or Pink Floyd if you're going to try to do that.

Now I have a mostly-annoyed, yet respectful stance toward them. Good musicians, bad taste. Is there a space for that in terms of music criticism?

Does that make sense? i.e. it's well-executed but I don't like it? I've been around the block with this topic before: some will say the same about Yes, Crimson, etc. as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:25 PM
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Does that make sense? i.e. it's well-executed but I don't like it?

Good lord, yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:28 PM
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I heard the Bad Plus do a cover of Tom Sawyer on the radio a while back. It put me in the very strange position of liking the song. I didn't just like what The Bad Plus did with it. I suddenly saw how strong the melodies were and how well they fit together. I didn't know how to feel about myself or Rush after that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:37 PM
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I mean, doesn't liking a Rush song put you at risk of contracting Libertarianism?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:40 PM
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Tom Sawyer has a funky, funky beat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:45 PM
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Why is Ogged David Markson?

I just recommend him a lot.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:48 PM
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I said:

Does that make sense? i.e. it's well-executed but I don't like it?

To try to make a little more sense: yes, of course, one can say that, but providing a reason would be helpful. In Rush's case, I'm stymied every few years when it comes up, because I'm not quite willing to go for the standard (lame) "twee" excuse -- a term I don't even really understand -- or with "cliched" or any other of a variety of other limp-wristed dismissals. This is not musically articulate.

No matter in the long run. I don't intend to listen to Rush again in order to sort it out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:51 PM
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145: "wanking" is the proper critical term. Rush is (often) musical wanking.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:53 PM
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stupefyingly dull, because they have nothing to talk about other than wine.

I've definitely noticed an inverse relationship between how much I know about wine and how interesting my dinner table conversation is. It's not so much having nothing else to talk about as the deadly attraction of wine pedantry, which if you let it can displace everything else (especially when drunk). I've noticed this is an increasing affliction among the upper middle class.

On the other hand, people have greater tolerance for boring wine lectures when you open good stuff for them. Perhaps this is the reason why wine collectors are so generous.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 1:56 PM
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147: Definitely. Open an '82 Barolo for me, and I'll nod agreeably at whatever you say.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:02 PM
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"wanking" is the proper critical term. Rush is (often) musical wanking.

Excellent. Thank you.

I will note that there's a difference between music I've criticized as masturbatory, and actual wanking.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:03 PM
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I'm still pretty good at talking when I'm drunk, which is a problem. A week ago, I came home from a disastrous overindulgence after softball and called my mom. Talked to her for two hours. We got along great.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:04 PM
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I should try that -- I don't call mom often enough.


Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:05 PM
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Does that make sense? i.e. it's well-executed but I don't like it?

Wittgenstein on Mahler:

If it is true that Mahler's music is worthless, as I believe to be the case, then the question is what I think he ought to have done with his talent. For quite obviously it took a set of very rare talents to produce this bad music.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:09 PM
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Most of the wine wonks I've been around are in the business, and so their passion is personal and thus tolerable. Last time I went to a banquet at the winery, they seated me with the grower's reps. We were on a terrace, with a good view up the Sonoma valley, and as the clouds blew by, sometime kind of low, the reps knew exactly what was happening on each grower's fields, what the state of the grapes was at that time, and had ideas about the impact the day's weather would have on timing and content. I could listen to that kind of thing all day (with a glass in hand).

On the other hand, my brother-in-law, although very knowledgeable about wine, brings the long winded and thorough attention to detail of a German tax lawyer to his lectures.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:13 PM
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I really enjoyed when my coblogger took me on a wine-tasting trip in Sonoma, but seriously, those pour people? It seems the older and more knowledgeable they are, the more likely it is that they're drunk as shit by 10am.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:17 PM
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152:

Jesus, brilliant, thank you so much.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:21 PM
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154: Wouldn't you be?


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:24 PM
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Most of the wine wonks I've been around are in the business, and so their passion is personal and thus tolerable.

Growers and winemakers I've generally found really interesting. Winemakers especially tend to have this kid-in-a-candy-store excitement when they're showing you all the cool stuff they get to play with at the winery. And, man, do those people eat and drink well.

155: You're welcome, parsimon.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:33 PM
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150: We've already raised the question of whether a coblogger logs cobs, right? Because it struck me that way, but I'm not a very original thinker. And I have four ears of corn from last week's farmer's market what I need to get to.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:38 PM
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whether a coblogger logs cobs

Maybe that's what he's doing these days instead of blogging. Mystery solved!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:45 PM
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159: I'm not sure we've discussed cobloggers, but we have gone thoroughly into the subject of slols and how to ern them.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:52 PM
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It's so unjust that if you ork one cow, everyone starts calling you a coworker.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 2:54 PM
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I go out and have two cocktails. It's weird. Effectively what has happened is that I've developed a taste for alcoholic drinks without really liking being drunk. It's not that drunkenness is a bad feeling, it's just kind of annoying to achieve with what I presume is still a fairly high alcohol tolerance (for someone who doesn't put it to the test much). You order/buy all this expensive stuff and then you have to drink it really quickly for the desired effect and then try and figure out how to top up the drinks so that the effect lasts more than half an hour. But don't go so far in the other direction that I pass out or can't keep water down all the next day.

It doesn't help that I've never learned to like beer, which means that on a night out I'm denied the cheapest way of getting drunk. (And it's too late for this to be a motivator now: all my friends have good jobs and now drink expensive snobby beers.)

Note that with cocktails in particular you can order some quite interesting citrusy stuff, or order sweet milky things at a place that would never do non-alcoholic milkshakes (probably because they couldn't get away with charging $16 for it aside from hipness issues), so there's a reason to drink them aside from the buzz.

But for my social circle I'm a very mild drinker. I wouldn't say that people in my social circle go out and have two drinks. Four to six would be more like the average, and there's certainly many people I know who will drink about as much as the bar staff will let them get away with, and whose nights out are filled with hilarious half-remembered adventures.


Posted by: Mary | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 3:50 PM
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IIRC, Aussies are famous for putting it away, no?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 3:55 PM
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You want serious, professional-drinker-on-a-closed-course-quality imbibing, science fiction writers and fans are the leaders in the clubhouse. I generally have a beer or three over the course of the evening at home, with a night or two every so often off, but at a con, it's fill 'er up, barkeep! And 4-5 hours of sleep, then up to make a panel and I'm fine. And this is all quality product, single malts and microbrews. Somehow the group interaction can keep me drinking way far into the night with few aftereffects. Except for the party where I was serving sake and hadn't had any dinner. Not fun the next day.


Posted by: Dr Paisley | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 4:03 PM
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163: I'm told this is true, but I don't know who the onlookers are who are keeping the fame alive. Most non-Aussies I've been drinking with are there because they like the Aussie way of life and they acclimatise and give us all a probably false impression of the general ability of their countrymen to put it away.


Posted by: Mary | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 4:10 PM
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I think I must be a throwback or survival. My pattern is approximately that of LB's water-buffalo-killing parents. I have never really felt that I have a serious problem, though there's definitely been an opportunity cost, but other people often have thought so. (No arrests since 1968, no lost jobs, no health problems, one divorce from a multiple divorcee.) Standards have changed.

My father's medical judgement was "No health problem, no job problem, no legal problem, no family problem: no problem". Of course, he was an alcoholic by most standards, buut not by his.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 4:12 PM
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You there, Jesus? 11 hits, only 1 run? Drives ya to drink.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 4:55 PM
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Fucking hell. Sending Ortiz home on that hit? Yes, I'm drinking.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:02 PM
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167: poor Beckett.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:03 PM
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Twins four straight against Oakland. :-)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:06 PM
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Emoticon foul. Emerson is banned.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:08 PM
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Y'all with the baseball talk better hope there's some kind of amnesty in effect today.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:09 PM
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Look, right now it's baseball or revolution. Take your pick.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:21 PM
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Fuck the rich, let's revolt against the government. Even Mr. Burke is getting shrill these days.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:26 PM
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Screw the emoticon-banning fascists. :-p


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:30 PM
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Baseball? What? Samuel Beckett didn't play baseball.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:30 PM
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Ah, now that I've read (part of) the linked article in 173, yeah: that's grounds for revolution too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:31 PM
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Beckett was a pretty good soccer player and is listed in the master list of top-level Irish soccer players.

Or maybe rugby or cricket or field hockey or one of them other Brit-type of games.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:36 PM
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or field hockey

As accepting as I generally am of your crackpot notions, John, I don't believe that Samuel Beckett was a lesbian.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:44 PM
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The designated crackpot notion in my post was the implicit assumption that the Irish are Brits.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 5:59 PM
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Hurling, gentlemen.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 6:59 PM
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Dammit again!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 6:59 PM
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And doesn't the Manx version -- cammag -- sound like a total hoot: It involves a stick (cammag) and a ball (crick) with anything between four and hundreds of players.

Bet we'd've beat those damn Canadians with hundreds of players.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 7:06 PM
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It's cricket, which he played at Dublin University and has official stats for. ("First-class cricket" doesn't seem to really have an American counterpart, but it seems to be somewhere between Division I and national-level play.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:44 PM
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And with hurling, we come full circle to over-imbibing. Nicely done, CharleyC.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 8:45 PM
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But really, do people go out for the evening and have just two cocktails? That sounds crazy to me.

That sounds crazy to me, too. Crazy like eating one pancake or a single potato chip.

I did once bike about 6 miles back from a party so drunk that I didn't clearly remember how I got home the next morning. Fortunately, these days I live within walking distance of any bar where I want to drink.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:02 PM
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174: B., yes, when Timothy turns intemperate, things have gone decidedly downhill.

And what's with the ban on béisbol? It is the sport of scribblers, writers, good writers, and the odd great one. What, should we talk more about swimming?

Pffft.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:14 PM
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It seems to me that much of the decline in American public drinking could be blamed on progressively tougher crackdowns on drunk driving. Americans drive everywhere, and if the law and the police make them choose between drinking and driving they'll give up drinking.

I only have one or two drinks (usually beer or wine--I never became fond of hard liquor or mixed drinks) when I drink alcohol at all. I like feeling a little disinhibition once in a while, but I don't like being really or even somewhat drunk, and I'm such a lightweight drinker that I feel the effects pretty rapidly; it's as simple as that. I know there are a lot of people who don't feel the effect of a couple of cocktails at all, but I'm not one of them.


Posted by: Matt McIrvin | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:52 PM
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We are not allowed to have any more Matts, and certainly none whose surnames begin with "Mc" or "Mac." Sorry.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:57 PM
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Although I do think that the drunk driving thing nails it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 9:58 PM
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I will agitate for more McIrvin on unfogged until THE END OF DAYS!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:09 PM
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Few realize that the solution of the dilemma is "Don't drive!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:13 PM
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Total lightweight here. I usually won't have more than two drinks with a meal, and on a drinking excursion I'll pace myself at maybe a drink every hour and a half, along with an equal volume of water, unless I'm deliberately seeking to get sloshed. I'm generally a pretty happy drunk, but if I'm in an iffy mood I won't touch alcohol because I can turn maudlin.

Wine geeks are excellent friends to have, especially when they share the good stuff. I just show up at the parties and drink what I'm told.

Also: baseball good, rooting against the A's bad.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:48 PM
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192: that's why I only drink at home. I also never invite anyone over, as they might have to drive someplace at some point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 12:18 AM
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re: 192

This is yet another reason for city-dwelling.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 12:21 AM
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195: in some countries.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 12:23 AM
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194: That's a good plan, but you still run the risk of someone else getting drunk outside of their own home, attempting to drive home, and accidentally crashing into yours. In order to avoid this, you should probably drink exclusively in the middle of the ocean.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 12:24 AM
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197: as I would live aboveground.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 12:27 AM
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197: you should probably drink exclusively in the middle of the ocean
That won't save you.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 3:27 AM
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I find as I've gotten older, it's difficult to get really rip-roaring drunk but not that difficult to get drunk enough that the next day is fucking miserable.

Amen to that. As I have aged, my tolerance for alcohol (in the sense of how much I can drink while remaining sober) has gone up and up, while my tolerance in the sense of how much I can drink without getting a hangover has steadily decreased. Those two curves intersected a long time ago. My enjoyment of a rip-roaring drunk is always tempered by the foreknowledge of the wicked hangover that will assuredly come the next day.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 7:15 AM
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KR, in a few years you'll encounter the joy that is the hangover starting while you're still in the bar with a drink in front of you.

That is the point at which to reconsider your values.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 7:35 AM
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I'm a very happy drunk, never aggressive or maudlin, but my already barely functioning appropriateness filter sometimes shuts down altogether ("Hey Reverend, what's the best part about fucking a six-year-old?").

That sort of remark is completely wrong.

Catholic priests should be addressed as "Father", not "Reverend".


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:47 AM
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128: It definatly had that effect on me. I had been drinking 4-5 drinks 2-3 times a week and not really feeling it, but that was mostly at home. This weekend i started with that amount with some bud and i was absolutely off the wrecckt. Plus the effect of parties making you have a few more at the end of the night.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:35 AM
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