A lesson from bourbon

Sometimes, and I emphasize sometimes because if these sorts of moments were all-the-time moments then I think they would lose some of their meaning, I have semi-profound realizations. They’re probably not all that profound at all, but I’m not writing this to tear myself down. Shocking, I know.

Some time ago, on a whim and with the desire to try a new bourbon, I bought a bottle of Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon. The description made it sound excellent. It involves chocolate. It involves bourbon. What’s not to love? I got it at home, eager to try something new, and poured myself a little bit with the whiskey stones my sister so kindly bought me for Christmas. I braced myself for what promised to be an ideal blend of two things I enjoyed. First sip.

Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon tasted purely of the burning misery associated with most spirits. Convinced there was something wrong, I took another drink. More burning and disappointment.  Continue reading

Exploring the bourbon part of @SnarkAndBourbon

It all started one Easter weekend at a family gathering. The poison in question? An ancient, perhaps somewhat dodgy bottle of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 that has been residing in the garage. After some coercing from my cousin, I did a shot of the stuff (on the basis that my sister’s boyfriend also did the same). I had no idea what to expect, but I still remember the vaguely smoke-flavored inferno that followed. My stomach didn’t seem particularly keen at first, but it accepted the odd intruder as it settled with the odd blend of various dishes I’d enjoyed for dinner. It was that Easter I swore I would never drink Jack Daniel’s again. Just wasn’t for me, I thought.

Anyone who knows my drinking habits, which have shifted and changed from my choosing to not really drink until after I’d turned twenty-two to my occasional drink (and my social drinking among friends, as witnessed during my last hoorah in Chicago recently), probably can vouch that a number of Jack Daniel’s products have become staples in my collection. I’m still not particularly fond of Old No. 7, but when I’m in the mood to celebrate I have no problem shelling out the necessary moolah for a bottle of Single Barrel Select.

Or social drinking before vacation, complete with best friend screwing around on his phone.

Or social drinking before vacation, complete with best friend screwing around on his phone.

Before I go on, I should point out how I really wanted to try Jack Daniel’s thanks to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. For those of you who haven’t read it, correct that immediately. However, it was the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday’s drink of choice. When I pictured Mr. Wednesday drinking it, however, it was a full pint glass of the stuff. I can’t quite imagine anyone consuming the stuff that way now; to each their own, though.

My non-drinking gradually shifted after I had arrived in Edinboro. People wanted to hang out with me, and bars were a pretty ideal location. I, however, had very limited knowledge of mixed drinks at the time. I spent more time than I probably should have wondering about what the hell people ordered at bars. The good news: I had enough sense to keep it simple. This wasn’t going out clubbing; it was a college town bar (I mean no offense to The Empty Keg, of course, as it became my local haunt before I graduated), and that meant keeping things relatively simple. Not the sort of place that ordering a Manhattan would go over well. After a bit of thinking back to drinks I’d heard of, I blurted out an order for a whiskey sour. Since then I’ve been told how that’s an old-person’s drink, but I have no problem with that. Terrific stuff.

Eventually, and gradually, I started to try new whiskies and bourbons. At first they were purely used as mixers. It was usually whiskey and Coke or Pepsi. At one point I ended up trying Seagram’s 7 Dark Honey mixed with sweet tea. I can’t remember exactly when (insert joke about booze and memory here), but I started trying whiskeys and boubons on the rocks or straight up. I lack a sophisticated sense of taste in that I don’t necessarily pick up on all of the hints and notes of different tastes (sorry, Tullamore DEW, but your product is about the same as most others and I enjoy it all the same). My sister eventually bought me whiskey stones so I could enjoy chilled, undiluted whiskey and bourbon. The rest is just sort of history from there.

I like to make sure I branch out and try more than the few that I know I like, even if it can be a bit risky. Now…I could do a whole post on the Snark part of @SnarkAndBourbon, but lucky for everyone I’m…distracted by World of Warcraft. Ahem.

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Seventeen

After three hours of driving, one of which spent entirely on the Parkway, I am happy to report I arrived in Carnegie quite safely. I have a glass of Wigle rye whiskey (distilled in Pittsburgh) at the ready, and I’m prepared for a weekend of relaxation with my family. What more could a guy ask for, right?

Before I forget, and on one hell of a tangent: I really enjoy Coke’s Share a Coke with campaign. I feel like Pepsi is totally missing an ad opportunity, though. How many of you would buy a Pepsi with the tagline “Buy your own Pepsi, (name)”? It’s just the right amount of snarky humor, and it’s a great jab at Coke. Or maybe I’m just being ridiculous.

Now that I’m a bit more relaxed after the chaos of last night, it’s time to get to talking about the exciting stuff. There’s something really intoxicating about talking to people on the topics they’re most passionate about. The way a person’s eyes light up, their speech becomes more animated, and so on. I’ve been told, for instance, I’m a totally different person when I’m talking about writing, and some gaming, because it’s what really gets me going.

So here’s to passion.
Continue reading

This Week in Misadventures

Or “My adventures outside of work, which include proofreading, some writing, and a small touch of drinking. Also: Watch_Dogs, in which I remember how I am terrible at driving and stealth, but great at blowing things up.”

Happy Sunday, people! Or sad Sunday, because I don’t know a single person who thinks, “Crap, I can’t wait for it to be Monday so I can wake up early and get to work”. If you are one such lucky person, I hold no hard feelings in the sense that I want to hit you. With a car covered in barbed wire and stabbing implements.

Maybe that was a little excessive.

More important than excessive, hypothetical violence, however: Happy June! May was, as far as I’m concerned, a rather impressive piece of crap. There’s been plenty of good to it, too, so there’s that, but this isn’t My Misadventures in Personal Existential Angst. I’ll try to not hear the impressive whoosh generated by the collective sighs of relief at that. Continue reading

Catching up at my own rate

I feel a bit lazy admitting this, though I feel that could be laziness misplaced by my not feeling like writing today, but the Short Story backlog will probably grow a little more.  Just a little.  There’s a bottle of bourbon and a shiny new copy of Animal Crossing New Leaf calling out my name, and my day off has very politely requested, in the form of perpetual sleepiness, that it is a day off of everything.  And so it goes, right?

However, I am not without good news.  Far from it, in fact.  I have decided, in the spirit of at least keeping my Short Story a Week project news kind of up-to-date, to share the topics.  I know.  News of earth-shattering importance, of course.

The short story from two weeks ago (I know, I’m doing rubbish) is tentatively titled “The Feeling of Falling” and takes place on an orbital colony built in the heart of Jupiter’s massive, never-ending hurricane.  The other missing short story is about an AI who becomes self-aware, then speaks out on the news about how he (and his fellow self-aware computers) just want to fit in.

I also have another something on the way that I won’t announce beforehand (I know, that’s really awful of me, but the wait will be completely worth it).  I will admit it’s an interview with someone who happens to be a musician, and I am truly happy to have such an opportunity to feature it here.  The rest will have to wait until some point next week.

With that all being said, I have a bottle of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve waiting impatiently.

Oh, and one other thing before I forget: for those of you who haven’t, it’s a pretty good idea to go check out Full Blown Cranium’s debut album, “Cacophony of Weirdos”.  Click here, then follow the respective iTunes or Amazon links.  If you’re not fully convinced this is a great idea simply by me saying it is, check out the previews of each song (available on iTunes; possibly on Amazon, but I don’t actually use Amazon Music so I can’t say for sure).  I could have just as easily linked to the iTunes and Amazon stores respectively, but I also whole-heartedly recommend checking out Eric’s blog as well.

New stories soon (I promise), an AWESOME interview with an artist who will be revealed then so you can go buy even more great music, and more of my usual shenanigans, because without my misadventures this page would just be “in Fiction”, and that’s not as catchy.