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Skinny Dipping Into Books

I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea.  and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.


I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,

Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.

time spent in that before bed reading slot:

5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago  2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.

How are common themes handled?

5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power  4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates  1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.

Where would you keep it post-reading?

5-Next to my bed.  4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.

Emotional response-

5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry.
3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 
2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.

Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):

5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy

Currently reading

The Complete Stories
Flannery O'Connor
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting, Alissa Nutting

Drink up, Lads

The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore - Robert Simonson


When it comes to Irish Whisky I prefer Powers or Paddy to the overly marketed Jameson. When it comes to Rye hands down the only option is Bulleit rye—at least in the states. There are a whole myriad of reasons I prefer Whisky to Rye in a public  forum, ranging from cost, to the blatant abuse of the Old-Fashioned by young, 20-something-scholarship-toddler-bartenders, to availability; though powers is really difficult to find in Boston bars. Because my tightly held opinion over the composition of the Old-Fashioned is unwavering, this is often a drink I make in the comfort of my own apartment. I am really controlling, as you may have noticed. My public drinking habits have infiltrated casual home drinking, and thus my Old-fashioneds always contain Powers.

I can’t tell you how I developed this pattern of Old-Fashioned drinking, however, I can say with certainty that it was my transition from a college wasteland of vodka —crap vodka—and trendy drinks. I then ventured to Scotch without even realizing it. I ordered it in excess in Canada and fell into the arms of Johnnie Black—apparently some strangers as well, however I was told they were all very fit lads—throughout an entire weekend, and then if I recall fell into a tub in my flat, lost my pants somehow and my underwear, and eh, maybe a bit of pride (not likely). And, Scotch makes its exit.

A few years later I started with whisky, and fell IN LOVE with Powers! Oh, but wait, America, you don’t have Powers anywhere? And you think that Jameson is some sort of god? I tossed around the idea of Rye but it was too harsh as a stand-alone. Somewhere around here I started making Old-Fashioneds. I started with the basics without even knowing I was:

2 ounce Whisky (at this point it’s always Powers at home)
1 sugar cube
2 dash bitters
and one small orange twist

Following the simple directions of muddling bitters and cube, NO WATER EVER! I was told to then put a hunk of ice in it and give it a around about in the glass, pour in the liquor, twist the orange, drop and savor.

The brilliance of this book is its approachability. The point of me telling you the lengthy bla bla bla of my drinking escapades is to emphasize that I too, after years of perfecting my own old-fashioned recipe—and a side of prudishness—can suspend my drinking pride and get into this book.

The book establishes a strong hold on the history of the drink. This portion is extensive and impressive in the amount of knowledge dispersed in such a limited amount of pages. Let’s see…

An explanation of the various forms the drink has taken over a century

The historical relevance of the drink, and the ways historical events altered the drink

Controversy over the person/people responsible for its creation (no one leaves Unscathed here)

The reasons, many of historical significance, regarding that horrible muddled fruit salad

The various liquors used in the drink, and the who, what, where, how, when involved in their introduction, and sometimes exit

An amazing amount of data regarding origin and what drink birthed the Old-Fashioned

Oh and sooo sooo much more.

This Book reads like a Mary Roach novel. It is clever, maybe not as funny in the traditional sense but will still instigate a few laughs, and the facts are endless and incredibly insightful.

Unlike your traditional and recklessly put together liquor recipe book, this one offers the recipes, along side a fairly lengthy explanation of its origin or the selection of liquor, and often both. What’s helpful here is that it offers a myriad of options, even in terms of the new recipes that the opinionated drinker will have a tizzy over—like myself.

I highly recommend this book to those who cherish this simple and delightful drink, but ALSO those who just want a quick, comprehensive outline of the history of the cocktail, its origin, and why the Old-Fashioned reigns supreme; and there we have the cockiness.

A printed version will make a confortable brother to ‘ Mr. Boston”; the recipe book, not me, though I have a feeling I will be having a nice, healthy relationship with this book.