THIS IS THE BORING BIT EXPLAINING THE RATIONALE: TODAY’S POST IS THE NEXT ONE DOWN.
A year ago (May 2016) when I started my daily rant about stuff ( an excuse to invent random reasons to get drunk) – my idea was to celebrate the Zen like qualities of wine. It’s a drink of the moment. It’s something to stop time when time goes too slowly or too quickly.
It’s all about enjoying the here and now. And I wanted the site to reflect that – to post something funny, moving or just me going on about some stuff and then delete it the next day. All of that is gone; move on. This, after all is the ethos of fine wine and fine company. We all fuck up, we all occasionally get it magically right. And then the sun sets and rises and off we go again.
But, it didn’t work. Occasionally I’d get comments (from my solid readership of four) and not be able to reply. Or people would look for the link from Twitter days later and it was no more. So I’m changing it.
So, this year, I’M GOING TO LEAVE THE FUCKING POSTS ON HERE FOR EVER LIKE A NORMAL BLOG!!!!!! (It might double my readership, who knows….)
Anyway we’ll see.
But, just to be different, I’m giving the site a theme tune to be played whilst reading the posts. ‘All the wine’ by TheNational. I’ll post it at the top of all the posts. Click it, it’ll open in a different tab and then read the post. Even if what I write is shit, the song is genius.
We are, after all, festivals, parades: we are drinkers of wine.
Yesterday was International Wine Day but we decided to go with Towel Day instead because we liked the idea of drinking wine to celebrate the life of Douglas Adams rather than to line the coffers of some generic wine brand like Hardy’s . We’re odd like that.
Take today – whilst the rest of the world no doubt celebrates some celebrity shite like Beyonce having her hair cut – (it’ll be an Illuminati plot) – we’re going to have a delicious drink to commemorate a mysterious feral child, Kaspar Hauser who was discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg today in 1828. (Maybe the world will surprise me and #MysteriousFeralChild is trending on Twitter right now.) (It’s not, I’ve just looked ….)
The story of Kaspar is, indeed, a strange one involving mysterious letters, black bread and an attraction to shiny objects. A fuller version than I can be bothered to write – Mrs Drink Wine currently being stood alluringly in a doorways seductively waving her Merlot – can be read HERE.
The important bit for us being the telling words “and walking strangely as if drunk.” To commemorate this chilling, and almost forgotten event, we should aspire to consume just enough wine to walk in a similar manner and be captivated by shiny things. (This is normally around 11:13 for me. morning or evening – I’m not fussy. )
If none of this appeals you could, of course, drink wine to celebrate Ireland finally deciding that women should have a say over what happens to their own bodies or, simply because it’s The Day After Drink Wine Day. The important thing – as regular readers know – is to have some cover story ready for when the fuckwits arrive and accuse you of drinking too much.
And this – should you have stayed so far – is the entire moral of this year long day to day homage to wine and gentle drunkenness. Wine probably doesn’t do you that much good but it’s unlikely it does the damage that the so called experts ascribe to it. And, like many of the quotes I tag on at the end have said, gripping that tiny glass of fermented grape juice in your hands at the end of the day, is actually gripping a little bit of human history infused with stories, friendships and nature. And it intensifies little segments of life – be they meals, events, tragedies, friendships. If these panels of medical government chosen killjoys ARE right – then so what? As LCD Soundsystem say in “All My Friends” : “I wouldn’t trade one stupid decision for another five years of life.”
You can call me selfish but I want my risottos to score a 10 on taste rather than a perfectly passable 7, I want dancing in the dark to music to be sublime with a glass in my hand rather than okay, I want love to be the brightest shiny thing in the whole world with conversation littered by quotes from Rumi and Neruda and the taste of tannin on my lips. I’ll take my chances. You should too.
And so, finally, 365 days and 120, 000 words later it’s over. Thank you to all my regular readership of four (occasionally five.) In the words of this site’s soundtrack by the National, always remember: “You are a festival, you are a parade, your wingspan: unbelievable.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7Uz-oz9okA)
A quote: “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” Benjamin Franklin.
Two great reasons to get drunk today. One – if you’re a geek, know a geek or feel some general affinity to geeks , is Geek Pride Day. Why not buy a bottle with some particularly geeky name or a weird grape you’ve never heard of.
And, best of all, it’s Towel Day to commemorate the life and work of the writer Douglas Adams. As you know I generally rant on a bit about some rubbish at this point but today I can’t do better than quote the post that started it all:
“Towel Day: A Tribute to Douglas Adams Monday 14 May 2001 06:00am PDT
Clyde ponders the passing of an incredible mind and proposes a “Towel Day” in tribute.
Friday morning I went to breakfast at Big Boy’s (mmmm, Breakfast Bar); oddly enough, we sat in booth “42” and had a good laugh about it being the answer to “Life, The Universe and Everything”. Later that day, headlines flashed the news that Douglas Adams, creator of the longest trilogy in history, had died. I was stunned; it was remnicient of the loss I felt when Jim Henson died.
Douglas Adams will be missed by his fans worldwide. So that all his fans everywhere can pay tribute to this genius, I propose that two weeks after his passing (May 25, 2001) be marked as “Towel Day”. All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.
Make sure that the towel is conspicuous- use it as a talking point to encourage those who have never read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to go pick up a copy. Wrap it around your head, use it as a weapon, soak it in nutrients- whatever you want!
Most minds in the universe are constrained to the laws of Physics; let us remember those that broke the law and got away with it.
So long Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!”
And that started it all, so grab a towel (and a bottle of wine)and remember a great and unique spirit. Wrap it around your bottle to protect it as you come home. Use it to mop up spills.
Today in 1626 – in what must go down as one of the best buys ever – Peter Minuit, a Walloon from present day Germany, bought Manhattan. This type of purchase sort of puts all those carboot/yard sale finds in perspective.
“Hi dear, I just bought Manhattan,” being a far better line than “Hi dear I just bought some more worthless junk.”
It will come as no surprise that I have no story to rival buying such a prime piece of real estate or, indeed, being a Walloon. The best I can do is the time I went to the local shop to buy wine (obviously), some bread and some cheese – the holy trinity of nutrition and the guy at the check out scanned the bread and wine but seemed to be totally oblivious to the cheese. So, I paid, left and ran home laughing with my hands full of the most glorious slab of semi stolen cheese which we devoured in a wine fuelled frenzy as soon as I arrived home.
Stolen cheese – like stolen anything – is truly the tastiest thing in the whole wide world. Thankfully a little “creative” scanning at those self scan checkouts make these moments more and more regular. I wonder if you’d get away with putting “Manhattan” through as “Carrots”?
Maybe not but it works with wine. Let’s drink that red coloured carrot juice.
“Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin”. ~P.G. Wodehouse
Prague – as discussed previously in this blog – is a fantastic city for numerous reasons – architecture, history, absinthe and, lesser known, the strange habit of their citizens throughout history of throwing themselves (or others) out of windows when they’re upset or angry about stuff. The technical term is Defenestration.
And today in 1618 marked the Second Defenestration of Prague that kicked off the Thirty Years War. The two regents thrown out of the window actually survived and the were thought to have done so because they were either 1) saved by angels or 2) because they fell in a dung heap. (As a site which champions drunkenness and reason we are heavily inclined to think it was number 2.)
But all this of course is coincidental: the important thing here is that it happened and can be used as an excuse to get drunk and /or throw someone out of a window, (Members of management are generally good choices.) Such concrete historical references (and use of specialist wording) will enable you to slip under The Pisshead Radar and appear to be some cultured historian.
So let’s make the most of it …..
A quote: “The harsh, useful things of the world, from pulling teeth to digging potatoes, are best done by men who are as starkly sober as so many convicts in the death-house, but the lovely and useless things, the charming and exhilarating things, are best done by men with, as the phrase is, a few sheets in the wind. ” ~H.L. Mencken,Prejudices, Fourth Series, 1924
It’s Goth day! Which gives me an opportunity to post one of my favourite all time photos:
True to type this unhappy goth boy is so pale he could be mistaken for a corpse and rocking the “too much eye make up” look. His theatrical knife resting on tormented wrist only adds to the overall quality of the image. (I’d love to know where he is now and what he’s doing and how he lives with the constant fear of some of his colleagues discovering this on a Google image search. I suspect he’s some company big wig by now who’s probably paid to have the image removed in one of those Google data protection things and thinks his past is obliterated. Little does he know that I saved a copy on discovery to periodically use as my Facebook profile photo “for the bants” as my teenage son would say. Mostly though – I hope he’s okay…..)
Of course the greatest irony of being this unhappy with everything, keeping black cats and constantly talking about possible suicide is that all this angst disappears after a few glasses of wine and you can dress normal, get on with girls and listen to proper music.
Speaking of which – the incredible Mountain Goats have released an entire album called Goths and today is a perfect excuse to listen to their song about Andrew Eldritch, the lead singer of The Sisters of Mercy whilst you get drunk. It has the phenomenal title of “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds.”
Enjoy. (After all we’re all going to die soon.)
A quote: “I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy.”~W.C. Fields
Jazz and wine. It’s ace! It’s like olives and wine. Risotto and wine. Pizza and wine. Cheese and wine. Wine and wine. It makes all the shit and the detritus of the day just slip away and get washed away down the drain like after an almighty rain storm.
And today is Fats Waller’s birthday. He was born in 1904 and his innovations in the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano. In other words he was – like whoever first had the idea of fermenting grape juice – an absolute genius.
Listen to him play (and sing) It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie here and, as you feel all the day’s stress begin to slip away, slowly open a bottle of wine and imagine yourself in some speakeasy looking sophisticated and cool. (In reality you’ll probably just look slightly drunk but – as I’ve no time for sin (or the truth) if it gets in the way of a better self image – let’s not give it too much thought.)
Waller was once kidnapped to be the surprise guest at Al Capone’s birthday bash and, allegedly, left three days later extremely drunk with his pockets stuffed with tips. Even this intoxicated, he was no doubt still playing the coolest stuff imaginable when the rest of us would struggle to string three words together – let alone see the piano keys.
Anyway, too much talk – let’s boogie, let’s drink …..
A quote: ” Here’s to our guest — Don’t let him rest, But keep his elbow bending. ‘Tis time to drink — Full time to think Tomorrow — when you’re mending.” ~”To Our Guest,”Toasts for the Times in Pictures and Rhymesby John William Sargent, 1904
James Stewart was born today in 1908. A truly iconic actor and, on the whole, maker of great films – think Harvey, think It’s a Wonderful Life. Thankfully – as yet – no one has had the “great” idea of remaking them. (They did remake Rear Window though for some bizarre reason. Thankfully it flopped and can be pretty much forgotten about alongside remakes of things like Psycho, Sergeant Bilko and the Lady Killers.)
I watched these kind of films with my nan on a Sunday afternoon in her council flat when I was a young lad. She sort of fancied Gregory Peck – but that’s a different story. Some of these old films were total shite but others – like the ones mentioned – just took my breath away. Think seeing North by Northwest aged about ten and suddenly understanding what suspense was.
And I remember seeing Harvey really clearly. It’s a classic. And rightly so. (My kids don’t like it – it doesn’t go flash, bang, wallop enough or have frequent recaps in case your goldfish brain forgot what it was about and no one like Beyonce pops up in the middle of it to sell you Coca Cola. Oh well, it’s there loss…..)
Stewart’s character is a man who frequents bars and appreciates the joy of slowly watching the world go by accompanied by his imaginary rabbit Harvey (a pooka) – everyone else thinks he’s a nutter when, actually, he’s the only sane one among them. (you can watch James – and Harvey – in tip top form (and in a bar) HERE.
This is a state familiar to wine drinkers who are frequently the only voice of truth and reason in the room. So, in honour of James, his super films and all of our imaginary friends (and my long gone nan), lets get stupidly drunk and watch some old black and white movies.
A quote: “There are two reasons for drinking: one is, when you are thirsty, to cure it; the other, when you are not thirsty, to prevent it…. Prevention is better than cure.” ~Thomas Love Peacock,Melincourt, 1817
Today in 1962 Marilyn Monroe sang her iconic rendition of Happy Birthday to John F Kennedy.
As a man who’s tried (and failed) to get similar super hot birthday wishes sung to myself on regular occasions – not always my birthday – but who has so far failed dismally can i just pass on some posthumous congratulations to JFK.
To be fair it probably only happened because he was banging her brains out (and she his) but, even so, these things don’t happen like clockwise; they take work and commitment. Mrs Drink Wine Today – despite my being her “Go To” Love Machine – has stunningly failed to wear a sheer, tight fitting dress, lean on a lectern in a crowded room and sing a popular tune to me in a way that made me think about sinful passion in a hotel room. (She’s good at other stuff though so let’s not lose the plot.)
But hey ho – you can’t have everything in life so tonight I’ll watch the iconic clip and then drown my sorrows with fantastic glass after glass of vino. Hopefully Mrs Drink Wine will suddenly burst in and sing me Humpty Dumpty dressed as an egg. (Or something like that.)
Oh, and its the royal wedding if you like that kind of stuff…..
A quote: “Don’t trust a brilliant idea unless it survives the hangover.” Jimmy Breslin.
Who – besides from us committed wine drinkers – gets a bit agitated if they don’t get a regular shot of their favourite red coloured beverage? That’s right, Dracula! And, funnily enough, today in 1897 Bram Stoker’s vampire classic was published by Archibald Constable and Company in London.
It must be a sign to drink, stay up all night and then drink some more. Oh and to eat something super rich that is full to the brim of garlic. And to act all super confident, seductive and immortal as if you’ve got an eternity to make your dreams come true. Maybe seduce someone. Maybe wear a big cloak and talk about hearing wolves – the children of the night – to your inept fuckwit boss.
It’s a perfect wine day in other words.
A quote: “Here’s to a temperance supper, With water in glasses tall, And coffee and tea to end with— And me not there at all.” ~A Plate of Toasts, collected and passed along by Edwin Osgood Grover, 1916
Once more we use the glory of science as an excuse to celebrate the chemical reactions that lead to grapes fermenting and, in turn, to the body experiencing that delirious giddiness of being ‘slightly drunk on wine.’
Because today in 1967 The Butler Act, a Tennessee statute prohibiting the teaching of evolution, was repealed after 42 years of religion peddling fairy tales to kids. Result!
It always amazes me how people who are ‘anti science’ process the world; it must be like being a role player in a Disney film as magical inexplicable things unravel around you.
I like my world to be based on peer reviewed, concrete facts, thanks, that change the second we find out something new. It’s far more exciting than thinking we were designed on golden paper in Heaven or that fossils are the work of the devil. (Even my friend Jamie The Satanist knows that evolution is true and he worships the devil!) And – just to annoy the religious nut jobs some more – it’s International Day against Homophobia when rational folk – like me and (hopefully) the majority of people who read my online daily rants – say we’re not bothered what gender of people fall in love with what gender and that sexuality probably isn’t something Jesus would have been that bothered about when churches were rolling in money and millions of people were dying in wars and famines everyday. (Just saying …..)
So I’m drinking to support everyone who ever fell in love (or lust) with everyone and everyone who celebrates the glory of blind chance every time they raise a glass to their lips with that really useful (undesigned) opposable thumb. (Interestingly WordPress highlights opposable as an error; who owns this site then? Conspiracy?)
A quote: “Come, landlord, fill a flowing bowl, until it does run over; To-night we all will merry be, to-morrow we’ll get sober.” ~Popular song, c.1700s