Tag Archives: alcohol

The Just-Before-Midnight New-Year’s-Eve Post

It’s one hour from 2012. It’s probably one of the last lazy, easy-to-schedule hangings with my best friend, whom I’ve lived within 10 blocks of for 12 years now, and called a friend for 20+.

It’s unsettling, the few “bad” things about moving. I’ll miss being close to my friend. The stupid small-talk bitching sessions are sometimes among the most cathartic to share with someone. POP! There’s a bitching session! Unleash! Unwind! Let go! Move on. There. Feels better, no?

My friend whining about work has been old for a while, but all night tonight it made me smile as he put out fires with over some asshat who kicked in a window at his coffee shop that his staff didn’t know how to deal with. Tonight, I was chill and mellow as he texted and chatted away, trying to solve the impending insurance emergency.

That’s New Year’s Eve for you. The winds of change…  if any are headed your way, this is when you hear them.

Three months from now, when I want to see someone, it’ll be people I barely know who fill the gaps. Hopefully they’ll become the people I want to see.

Three months from now, when I feel like grabbing breakfast, it’ll be completely different places. In fact, nothing I do now will be the same in three months.

It’s nerve-wracking at times because I know how much I’m invested in this choice to move and be living a different lifestyle.

But when I tried to tell my friend tonight how much I’d miss him, all he would say was, “You need to do this.”

And he’s right.

It’s funny, the people who knew me best, when I said “I want to move to Victoria and work from home,” all of them said “That’d be GREAT for you.”

It was work and people who only know me on the surface who said, “I dunno. Are you sure?”

But apparently friends and family I’d leave my life with, they think I “need to do this.”

One — a father with a couple toddlers and a great wife — is taking vacation days to help me move. I’m a lucky kid.

In ways, I’ve never let more than a few people prove their loyalty to me. I’m good at putting up walls. Dad owned a construction company. It’s in the blood.

Now, it feels weird. Who’s what to me now? I’m not really sure. Here’s where I find out.

It’s a good thing I’m not moving far from home. There’s a lot to not want to leave permanently…  people included.

Meanwhile: Happy New Year.

Change is afoot… if you want it. (Apologies to John Lennon.)

Summertime Booze Recipes: Dish’n’Dazzle

The "Staves & Stones" drink. That sage is amazing in this bevvy. Picture by Cathy Browne! Thanks, Cathy.

Here we go, yo! Just in time for the long weekend. These are recipes for some amazing drinks we got to taste from some of the city’s best bartenders, at the the really great BC Hospitality Foundation’s Dish’n’Dazzle last Friday.

The restaurant’s food choices may have had too much seafood for this landlubber, but they knocked me out with the tasty beverages.

Thank you to Dana for giving me the permission to share these recipes with you. The sponsors of this portion of D’n’D event were Skyy Vodka & Gibson’s Finest Whiskey, so it was nice to attend a wine event with a little kick on the side. Whoo!

What’s neat about these cocktails is that they all include something South American — Chile, or its neighbouring countries. It’s nice to see how traditional bitters/ingredients like Amargo Chuncho can really pack a different wow.

My favourite two were the Afternoon Delight and the Staves and Stones, oh, and the Sangria Blanco. Heck, they were all super-good.

I was put off making one of these drinks because the mixologist was being so fancy when putting it together that it looks like crazy hard work. Now the recipe makes it sound ridiculously easy. I wonder if mixologists learn all the tricks to making drinks look like rocket science and serious work. But, hey, now, the recipe’s reduced to 2 lines. How hard can this be? You know?

Hey, I know: Party at your place, Saturday at 5. Bring the mix! We’ll find out!

Want to make a larger “punch” size of these? Go for it. Multiply! MmMm! Bottoms up, kids!

Afternoon Delight
by Evelyn Chick of UVA Wine Bar

*Steff’s favourite! Nummy-nummy-mm!

Featuring: Cointreau, Chilean Chardonnay, Lemon, Black Pepper, Coriander, Thai Basil, Ginger, Celery Bitters.

  • 1.5 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Chilean Chardonnay
  • 5 oz Fresh Lemon
  • 5 oz Black Pepper and Coriander Syrup
  • 1 leaf Thai Basil
  • 2 slices Fresh Ginger
  • 3 dashes Celery Bitters

Place ginger in a Collins glass and muddle gently. Dice basil and place in glass. Add all other ingredients and top with ice. Stir thoroughly.

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FILE UNDER “OBVIOUS”: Alcohol+Speed=Death

TV star Ryan Dunn is dead because he was a jackass.

Oh, sure, people are mourning his death, but not me. I’m mourning his incredible stupidity.

You see, he was legally drunk. He had twice the legal limit of booze in his system. Then he went driving at speeds up to 140mph. Tell me: How was he supposed to survive such stupidity? The odds were low the moment his keys hit the ignition.

All this “oh, it’s so sad” shit just pisses me off. Sorry, kids. Not me. He’s dead and we’re lucky it happened before he could kill many others.

Because that’s the reality of drinking and driving.

Your Choices Don’t Just Hurt You

25 years ago, when I was about 12, my mother got a phone call. “Did you see the news?” she was asked.

It was Mother’s Day. Her friend’s twin boys, 18 years old, were over and teasing their mom, having a great time for her special day. But she realized she’d never bought cream for the dessert coffee. She asked the boys to go to the store and pick up some cream.

Then she never saw them again.

That Mother’s Day eve, a drunk ran a light, T-boned her sons’ car at super-high speeds, killing both good-looking, star-athlete 18-year-old identical twin boys on impact before they’d ever cash in on their university scholarships.

She was never the same. She went from being a great community member and artist to someone who left town to live a reclusive artist’s life on the waterfront up coast. The last couple times I saw her, years after her sons’ death, you could read the tragedy in her face. She never left that sadness behind.

Friends Don’t Drive with Drunk Friends

That’s what excessive alcohol does behind the wheel.

I see friends drinking to excess and driving. I don’t ride with them. I worry about them, but I can’t change their choices.

They’re not drinking double the legal limit and driving 140mph in a Porsche, but it’s bad enough when it’s a big city like this and veering off a road at 80 k/hr can kill a crowd.

Ryan Dunn didn’t just kill himself, he killed a friend.

If you ride with drunk friends, you’re taking your life in your hands. Or, rather, you’re giving your life to someone who was probably too drunk to get the keys in the ignition correctly before starting the car.

Talk them out of driving. Tell them you won’t ride with them.

And if they choose to drive despite you saying you won’t ride with them, don’t change your mind. Your being in the car is even more of a distraction to an already-unfocused drunk.

Trusting your friend not to “hurt” you doesn’t mean you can trust them if they’re drinking and driving. Alcohol impairs judgment. It doesn’t only impair judgment if there’s no good friends involved.

After all, Dunn’s friend is just as dead as he is.

They died immediately of “crash and thermal trauma.” Thermal trauma means they burned to death.

Want to go that way?

Don’t drive with drunk friends.

My Anger is Justified, and I Don’t Apologize

No, Ryan Dunn’s death isn’t a tragedy, it’s stupidity. It was entirely preventable. If you can afford a Porsche, you can afford a cab.

Ryan Dunn's car. No, your car isn't indestructible. Think you can survive this? Don't drink and drive.

I get angry when I hear people die for stupid reasons. I get angry at the pain and loss that those left behind will endure.

If my anger and lack of boo-hoo about Dunn’s death, my story about my mom’s friend’s tragic Mother’s Day that made her childless, and my harsh words affect just one person’s future decisions, then that’s awesome.

Meanwhile, if you want to be pissed at me for calling it like it is, so “soon” after his death, then you’re a goof.

The fact is, if we wait until a “respectable” time has passed to call Ryan Dunn an idiot for dying an unnecessary death, then we lose the emotional impact his death can have on those who need a wake-up call.

So.

Ryan Dunn was a good-hearted, great-souled, wonderful man who was a jackass. He died needlessly.

Don’t be a jackass.

Motherless on Mother’s Day

I’m a daughter without a mother, and anyone who’s read me awhile knows that it’s not only what you would read on the back of my collectible Bloggers-of-Now baseball card, but it’s a fact that absolutely defines me to my core.

My mother dying destroyed me – utterly, brutally, without a doubt, destroyed me. Every now and then, someone comes along and gushes, “Gee, Steff, how’d you get so darn smart?”

I couldn’t tell ya, honestly, other than those three or so years after my mother’s death left me swimming in alcohol and as fucked up as any person’s ever been. I was a wise, smart girl before she died, and I’ve come back to who I was, but when I was shaken off-course, I’ll tell you, I fell hard and I fell far.

Climbing out of oblivion can take a hella long time, kiddies. There just ain’t no compass for that climb. I did much of my ascent over the course of five years. It’s been nearly seven since my mother left for the great gig in the sky, but over those years I’ve come to decide that the woman I am now was worth the price I paid through my mother’s horrid cancer death. It’s unfortunate, this not-having-my-cake-and-eating-it-too thing, but if her dying is the only way I’d have learned to be this person, well, so be it. Like I have a fucking choice?

I’m not writing about sex today, because I don’t care about sex today. Today’s a mental health day. My loverman’s off to see his granny, since his mother’s dead as well, and maybe we’ll hook up tonight for a couple hours, and maybe we won’t; it depends on how much the alien mind probe (aka 20 hours OT) has messed with him. My day’s plans include being a rebel and barbecuing burgers for breakfast with my brother before we head out on a grueling mountain bike ride around the city and through Vancouver’s legendary UBC Endowment Lands, home to some 70+ kilometres of primo cycling and hiking trail within city limits. And THAT is why I live in the coolest fucking city in the world.

Y’know, probably the most important lesson I’ve ever learned is that of knowing when to say “fuck you” to the world, when to unplug and go your own way. I don’t take calls from relatives on Mother’s Day, because as much as I know they’re thinking of me, they’ll never understand what I lost, nor what haunts me still. And that’s loss, pure and simple. It’s different, depending who the person was to you, and I think probably few deaths equal the impact of our mothers’. There comes a point when you just have to accept that other people care, but they just don’t know jack about what’s going on for you. Turn off the phones, ignore the emails, and do your own damned thang, baby.

We want to think we move past lost, but we don’t. We learn to assimilate it into who we are. It becomes ever-present in the back of our mindscape, like a shadow, or something we always know and need but seldom refer to, like a social insurance number.

Some days it hurts to realize who it is we’ve become in the face of such things, but some days it’s worth celebrating. I think burgers off the barbecue for breakfast with my big brother before a bitchin’ bike ride around this far is exactly what I’ve needed.

For those who can’t fathom the loss of their mothers, or for those who understand it all too well, it’s probably a good time to point out that one of the best things I’ve ever written, IMHO, is what I wrote about my mother last August on the sixth anniversary of her death. It’s on my other blog, and it’ll probably help you get to know me a little better, too.

Meanwhile, I’ll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled smut. Sometime Monday will be bondage, baby. Until then, restrain yourself. ;)

Happy Motherless Day, folks. Gimme my burgah! (Oh, right… I’m the grillmaster.)