I know I’ve been long in threatening you with the details: I was in Racine for Christmas. It was the first time in a while that either my mother or sister had invited me back. I had no particular reason to want to go, but I had one particular reason to do it anyway: it was a good excuse to avoid the holidays with Erica, which she seemed to be hinting at, but which seemed too intense for me right at the moment. I pretended not to pick up on it, and god knows where she went for Christmas.
Not that life, on another hand, was carefree with the old family. After getting settled in my mother’s guest room, I conned the car keys out of her, just like the old days, under pretense of picking up her groceries. So it was only an hour or two in the familial glow before I was out on the road again.
The end of the world with symposium to follow
I stopped into the bar last night for a few dozen quick ones. That is the nature of agency. After I had been served a couple drinks in a natural way, the bartender said, “I’m going out for a smoke. Come out for a smoke.” I had quit smoking once you could no longer do it in bars, but only outside. I spend more time in bars than outside, so it seemed prudent. But I went with him and had a smoke, because when the bartender says something, you ask how high.
Continue reading "The end of the world with symposium to follow"
by Jack, Friday, December 17, 2004 | Link | Comments (8)
While all the real estate agents are worried if a building is “pre-war” or “post-war”, war still rages in my building. Most of the denizens are meek college girls who seem embarrassed not to live in the dorms, and who flatten themselves against the wall, eyes wide, fingers spread, when I say “Excuse me”. There is a whole floor which always smells like pot. I’m not sure if they all smoke, or if one guy just smokes a lot. There is never any sound on that floor. You’d think you’d hear Phish or somebody eating chips. Elsewhere, there are a few struggling actors and models. One girl told me she was a “supermodel”, although on closer questioning she turned out to be a “superwaitress”.
We all lived in harmony and ignorance of one another until somebody parked a bus out front.
MADD crazy yo
Speaking of terrible things, am I the only person who has thought this was an ill-named program for all of its years? I’m referring to “Tie One On For Safety”. I mean, if I said something like that, it’d be a bad joke, but this is a nationally-recognized program. But people, people, people. Don’t call your drunk-driving awareness project that involves attaching ribbons to your antennae “tying one on.” That’s like “The Slut Was Just Asking for Rape Prevention.”
Do they think this is cute?
Oops I fucked Jack
There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I was once married to Britney Spears. I hardly even know her. There, that gets our topical-reference-being-beaten-to-death-in-everyone-else’s-blog out of the way. I’m sort of the Jay Leno of self-loathing, and this, friends, is my monologue.
Welcome to Trouble Sells…2004. Days before the actual event, I was worried about how to begin the new year with you, my public. I walked the streets of New York City — for those of you joining us in our new season, that is the backdrop for my suffering — trying to determine what I would tell you and how much it would hurt. And waiting for something to happen to me worth reporting. I felt we had ended the year on a positive, if lonesome, note. I got These Explosions in under the wire to be considered at the 2003 Oscars (we are hoping for wins in both Best Exploding and Best Supporting Exploding). I had sex with people who didn’t like me. And I was prepared to do all that and more in the new year. And that’s just what I’ve done.
Hear me, now.
The lives they led
As one or two of you are probably aware, my archrival The New York Times puts together a whole magazine of unremarkable microessays on selected people who have had the luck to die in the past year. In keeping with my recent entries that mention newspapers and media quite too much, I thought I’d do a bit of my own “tallying up” for 2003, in terms of bar patrons who are no longer with us due to their deaths.
Je ne m'appelais Jacky jamais
Decrepitude and a general European affectation are the prime constituents of a trendy bar, so my prediction for next season’s hot spot is — wait for it — “Pissoir.”
In the meantime, I remain a devotée of my local community cesspool (in French, piscine de ces). What turns a common or garden drunk into that loyal specialist, the “regular”?
A hero's homecoming
Although returned to New York, I was not yet fully returned until I showed up at my local. (Note to non-alcoholics: I am referring to a bar, not a union hall or fire department.) In fact, difficulty getting back on the sleep schedule I was never very much on to begin with prevented me from non-essential activity for a few days. This prompted an actual latenight phone call from the bartender, saying that I was to have been away two weeks, and the two weeks were up, so where was I? This is service. It’s also sort of depressing. So I went down to the bar.
So I have to admit, now that the Laphroaig is mostly gone, I like the stuff. I think I had to get over my natural disinclination toward Scotch, which reasserts itself every time I stop drinking Scotch for a while. And the most recent bottle of Scotch I bought was Teacher’s, which is my usual cheap Scotch, and I don’t really like it very much. I like the non-round bottle, however.
After the initial, “Why does this whiskey taste funny?” problem with Scotches, I can settle in, and I must say to you, I am liking this Islay malt. More peat, please!
The drunk arts
Some artforms lend themselves nicely to drunkenness, and some make it difficult. Painting, writing, and playing music are good drunk arts. Dancing, filmmaking, and photography are not. As a filmmaker, you’re gonna fuck up the film loading, you’re gonna set the lens wrong, you’re gonna drop stuff, and then when you’re editing you’re likely to get your tongue caught in the splicer. This is the real advantage to digital video: not so many moving parts.
“Whiskey and pain Both taste the same During the time they go down” — John Prine
“Whiskey straight can chase those blues away” — any number of blues men
Song and dance man
If you’re in a bar, you’re going to hear “Wild Horses” on the jukebox about a hundred times an hour. Last night a drunk gentleman came in during one of the renditions of this anthem, and began singing along. However, he changed all the lyrics to “I love Jack Daniel’s,” which seemed to suit him better. He ordered some Jack Daniel’s and fell over.