Archive for the ‘drinks’ Category

feeling soapy

December 8, 2008


I’m trying hard to get into the mood for Christmas. It’s a gay old holiday and all, but it seems that it’s falling fast on the heels of Thanksgiving, which I didn’t quite adequately embrace, either. Our economy is in a tailspin. Buying loads of items feels like playing into the hands of Government. Argh. I’m not really down with that right now.  Not just because of the economy or the wars. I know that I have always fallen into the ‘haves’ category of American Life. I grew up wanting, yes, but never needing (I’m addressing the material, not emotional needs right now). And I’ve been able to manage all right as I’ve turned into an adult. I’ve had jobs that treat me poorly and pay  me less; I’ve lived off of the apples that serve as decor in fancy hotels; but those were experiences that have served the purpose of storytelling and a mild understanding of what it is to truly need. I’m very aware that my job could disappear at any moment. That’s just where we are right now as a nation. Globally.  I’m on the verge (I haven’t yet hired a hitman to slay me a lamb, but I think I’m still on the verge) of building my first home. I should be squirreling away money under my mattress, in the cookie jar, swallowed in a balloon to come out only when I need to put the down payment on my beloved ABC Carpet & Home sofa. Instead, I find myself going out to dinner with my sister and drinking a bottle of wine and connecting the way one hopes to connect with a sibling. Purchasing good vodka to infuse it with figs for Christmas presents. Giving all loose change and dollar bills to the guy ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Figuring out a way to help pay for the orthodontia treatment of a kid horribly in need in my neck-of-the-woods. Let me state here and now that I do NOT believe in altruism. It’s something that I have studied deeply and have tried hard to understand. Can one give unselfishly? Me telling this small Internet audience that I’ve given a man standing on the corner holding a “Homeless” sign a sandwich and a buck seems drippy and unimportant. I’m doing it for myself.  Trying desperately to eek out some happiness in a world full of dark clouds. My own personal dark clouds. But, maybe, if we all try and be selfish and eek out some happiness by giving to and loving others, well, maybe the dark clouds will part. If  not for us, then maybe for those with weirdly crooked teeth who have no desire to smile. Or for someone who’s a little hungry. Or for a friend who wants talk and your time is everything. Barf. I strung up some lights tonight on my fireplace mantel. Hung some ornaments on the elk antlers that I bought from a crusty old farmer at the farmer’s market. I might just now be in the mood. Might.


too early to be thinking about it??

December 3, 2008

As promised, a perfect Bloody Mary recipe provided by A.J. Rathbun from his book, GOOD SPIRITS.


Ice cubes

4 ounces tomato juice

3 ounces vodka

1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 dash Louisiana-style hot sauce (Tabasco or Red Hot works well)

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Celery stalk, dill pickle, or pickled green bean for garnish


1. Fill a pint glass three quarters-full with ice cubes. Add the tomato juice, vodka, lemon juices hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, and salt and pepper. Stir well.

2. Add your choice of garnish (the pickled green bean is my favorite).

Mmmm. This sounds right. Makes me almost wish that I was needing the Hair of the Dog. . . But, I think even more, it makes me want to plan a brunch with friends this weekend. Casual and plunked down right in front of the fireplace. I didn’t do as much cooking as I would have liked over the holiday weekend. Things got complicated, what with my sister’s appendix taking a permanent leave of absence and all. So, maybe Sunday I will mix up a pitcher of A.J.’s Bloody Mary’s, make a spanish tortilla and build a big ol’ fire. I’ll be garnishing my Bloodies with Smokra and Mean Beans from my old place of employment, Rick’s Picks.

happy birthday!

December 2, 2008


This morning NPR’s Morning Edition informed me that the Bloody Mary cocktail turned 75 years old! I for one am very thankful for its existence. I’m going to email my drinks guru friend A.J. and ask him what he thinks is the perfect Bloody Mary recipe. I will post his response as soon as I get it.

tulle + booziness = fun

November 29, 2008



You may recall that I undeclared 2008 the Year of the Turban, but there seems to be a growing body of evidence that leads me to think that, if not the Year of the Turban, then it is certainly the Year of Drapey Fabrics. What Year is it for you?

hey mr. d.j. put a record on

November 24, 2008

shehitpauseAfter an art-filled, boozey evening this is all I can imagine doing right now. An afternoon in the grass listening to records. Even though I only have, like, 4 records. That’s not entirely true. A friend gave me a dozen or so. They just happen to all be the same artist. . . But I’m not complaining. Listen, friends, if you get the chance, I really must INSIST that you head straightaway to the Pig. The art opening was spectacular. The crowd was alive and enthusiastic and Kendra and Aaron’s art positively glowed.

art opening tonight!

November 23, 2008




This evening my friends Kendra & Aaron are having a show at the Bourgeois Pig on 9th Street between Mass. and New Hampshire in downtown Lawrence. 6 – 9pm.  I got a sneak peek of their work last Sunday when I dashed up to their studios and had a sip of Aaron’s poblano-infused vodka. I think everyone who is around this evening should stop in. The work is a huge departure from what we’ve seen at their other shows and I think everyone will be surprised and feel tickles of joy behind their kneecaps. It’s fun, pure, and kind-hearted. Just like them. Hope to see you all there! By the by, there is sure to be some kickass Kendra catering.

teaspoon of dirty

November 17, 2008

LetThemEatTwinkiesMost Sundays I spend the day fartin’ around and roasting or stewing things to bring for lunch for the upcoming week. I might get a little fancy and make myself a decadent breakfast (yesterday was french toast dipped in vanilla-infused brandy that I read about here), but usually Sundays are just filled with routine. A way to quietly roll forward into the work week. Yesterday, though, three of my girlfriends threw a mini LOLA art and craft sale which I happily attended. I bought several necklaces from Kylie for Christmas gifts. I’m wearing them all now and I’m really not sure if I can let them go. My neck seems rather pleased with them — buying early has its disadvantages. From there Kendra’s husband and I drove back towards Lawrence Village Proper (downtown). We both had a hankering for a cocktail and tried to conjure up a place that neither of us had been and that was potentially really cool. It was an unlikely possibility and one that we dismissed as soon as we had aired it. We decided upon Teller’s, which is a fine alternative. Feeling a bit peckish, I ordered a dirty martini. Olives! It’s rare that I order a martini, and, when I do, I feel like a grown-up. I feel like I should be wearing pumps and have kohl-rimmed eyes. Our conversation flowed from Julian Schnabel (we are both fans) to taco trucks (even greater fans). Martinis and a free-flowing exchange can make  you feel like you’re somewhere you haven’t been before.  Something unexpected. When I dropped Aaron off I ran up to their home so that I could say hello to their pup and have a small taste of the poblano-infused vodka that Aaron had made. Seriously spicy and perfect for a cold night. While dashing home I got a call from Kylie saying that she would be over in 10 minutes and would I mind going to Teller’s for dinner. Why not? It might prove to be some place new, again, with the passage of 37 minutes.


I felt the need for something hearty, as martini olives were thus far not enough to counter all the aforementioned vodka. I ordered the goat cheese and parsnip ravioli topped with slow-roasted pulled rabbit. It definitely pulled me outside of Kansas and transported me to a small village in Italy where men wearing wellies and tweeds walk right through the middle of a small cafe holding a bundle of dead bunnies. Maybe that’s not such a good vision. But again I experienced the feeling that I was wanting earlier. Being somewhere unexpected. I think it’s possible when your mood is right and you’re willing to let you mind wander.