noideadog: (booze)
Oh yeah, something else interesting I learned, and then sleeping:

In New Mexico, it's illegal to hold more than two alcoholic beverages in your hands at a time. You can order as many as you want, so you can still buy a round, but you have to carry them back to the table in twos. It's because you're not allowed have more than two drinks in your possession at a time; while you're carrying them, they're yours.

The state also prohibits drinks promotions, two for one deals, etc, but specifically allows a publican to give a drink as a gesture of goodwill so long as the customer can't predict that it's coming.
noideadog: (booze)

From Powells Bookshop, Portland
Originally uploaded by xymb.
Tanya: "All we did today was go to a bookshop and then drink good beer"
Joel: "That's not at all true! I had two cocktails."

So, yeah, Portland, that's working out for us. From the outside, I thought that Powell's bookshop didn't look like such a big deal, but the inside is somehow bigger than the outside, and it is, actually, all that and more. They have so many books that their categories get cute and funny: not just fiction, but romantic fiction, and romantic holiday fiction, and (I swear) romantic vampire holiday fiction. I was entertained that there exists "nautical fiction" and Joel was amused by "paranormal romances" and all of that was just in the first ten minutes before we headed off in different directions for two hours.

The comics section seemed weird and unbalanced -- a ridiculously complete selection of indie/small press comics, but missing some obvious things -- until I realised there was a whole separate superhero section, and a whole separate manga section, and, by the way, that in turn had whole separate "young adult" and "yaoi" sections neatly separated out. Lots and lots of books. Tons of them. Powells is worth coming to Portland for.

Since we're not in the final city of our trip, since books are heavy, since I vowed not to get carried away, I restricted myself to only books that aren't available on Kindle and books that I wouldn't run into at Cosmic Comics or The Strand; I had to stop anyway because my arms were aching.

Later we drank some beers, then came back to the hotel for a nap, then drank more beers. For posterity:

  • Deschutes Brewery Obsidian Stout: Beer Advocate gets all excited about this, but I didn't think it was very interesting. It's a decent stout, but it's lacking enough individual personality to stop me comparing it to other stouts I have known. And I grew up, as it were, on Guinness. It's fine, but not worth the 6.8%. If you're going to make a strong beer, it has to give something in return.

  • Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter: This, on the other hand, was delicious. Really rounded, maybe a bit thin, but full of taste and character. It's sort of burnt and chocolatey, but without trying too hard to make a burnt and chocolatey statement. You get excellent beerness with this undercurrent of sweetness that's not overpowering at all, but rather makes a perfect balance to the hops. This is a fantastic beer. A++ would seek out again.

  • Stone Brewery Smoked Porter: Although it sounds like damning with faint praise, this was a perfectly adequate, perfectly drinkable beer. It wasn't the sort of thing that would make you want to sit down and write to the brewer, but if it was on tap at a bar, I would happily down one any time. It's full and rounded and it's very tasty. The sort of thing you would put in your fridge. I had a second one; what more compliment does it need?

So, books and beers and that's what we saw of Portland today. As I put on twitter today, we're not exactly touristic overachievers.
noideadog: (booze)
Has anyone tried Boru vodka? Is it ok?
noideadog: (coffee)
I groomed the cat, and now we have a noticeably smaller cat. Seriously, it's not natural the amount of hair and dust and fluff that comes off her every time she brushes against any surface. I had to hoover the walls.

Stu and his friend Andy are here, and we celebrated that with mediocre Italian food and too much to drink, ending up sitting on high stools at the gay bar across from my apartment, chatting up the barman. Deadly fun it was, until this morning when I broke my lifelong winning streak of never having upchucked for alcohol-based reasons. This morning was a very unhappy time for me, as was a large portion of the afternoon. I was glad I'd brought Andrews Liver Salts with me. You can't buy that stuff here, apart from in speciality Barry's-Tea-And-HulaHoops shops like this or this, and I've never found anything as effective for curing what the label politely calls "the symptoms of overindulgence". I don't know what Americans use for making their stomach a bit fizzy and happier. Americans, what do you use for making your stomach a bit fizzy and happier?

Lest you think my life is all dull, I should tell you that today I also paid our electricity bill. We got a letter explaining that we were due to be disconnected in six days, and I realised with some alarm that those bills I've been ignoring haven't been paid automatically from my bank account. I phoned up to pay, and the electricity company man said that it wouldn't affect my credit rating. I do hope that's true. I've only recently got a credit rating of any kind; I'd like it to stay pristine.

[livejournal.com profile] the_antichris was here earlier in the week, and road-tested our guest bedroom. It was jolly nice to have a visitor, and even nicer that it was Chris who is, as several studies have shown, a very cool person. We went to see Boeing Boeing, an adapted french farce about Josh-from-WestWing living in Paris and being engaged to three women at once. It took me most of the first act to warm to it -- it's not a subtle play, and the characters are one-dimensional and stereotyped -- but I suddenly realised that I was watching it with the wrong expectations; once I switched over to thinking of it as something like an Abbot and Costello sketch, I loved it. It's over-the-top because it's supposed to be, and that makes a big difference.

I saw a poster for "http://www.princessbridegame.com". Someone with a windows box have a look at the trial version and tell me if it's any good?
noideadog: (natural dancer)
Things that I don't like today:
- getting accidentally injected with a shot meant for someone else. The nurse was supposed to be taking blood for a test, and, sure, it crossed my mind to wonder why it was going into muscle, not vein, and why it hurt so much, but I (rather stupidly) decided they probably knew what they were doing. Luckily, it's just Gardasil, part one of a three-part vaccination for HPV. But, boy, that could have been a bad thing, and I've learned a probably valuable lesson about questioning medical professionals. (I assured the petrified nurse that I wasn't a litigious person.)
- ticketmaster's "convenience" "charge". $10 charges on $25 tickets is insane.
- still not having my bank card back. The bank lady put it somewhere safe, and can't remember where. They'll post it to me when they figure it out. Quite, quite mad.
- those little sticky labels they put on fruit. Having to scrabble at them to take them off is only barely less annoying than eating the tiny bits of paper.

Things that I do like today:
- having had a physical. Bogus vaccinations aside, I feel reassured by the little vials of blood and pee going off to a lab to make sure I'm not riddled with anything. And everything they could test on site (blood pressure and breathing and such) was fine.
- the heat wave being over. The radio announcer on the jazz station this morning seemed as pleased about it as I am. "The heat wave is over.", he'd say, between every song. "The heat wave is over!"
- buying tickets for a 4th of July fireworks-watching cruise.. I don't care if it's hokey; I love this stuff.
- two little awesome games I've been sent in the last few days. From Gliceas: Traveller IQ Test, a geographical knowledge test (I got to level 10, but I really only know the top of Africa, and bar the biggest four countries, I don't know South America at all.) From Matt: a wonderful blast from the past: Pass the Pigs. Double Leaning Jowler ftw!
- the XO Tasting Tray at The Brandy Library last night. After several La Chouffes earlier in the evening, my comrades and I were concerned that expensive brandy would be wasted on us, but taste buds worked overtime and it was a properly educational experience. Yummy, too. Mmm.. brandy.
noideadog: (monkey!)
It's not exactly the same angle, because I couldn't resist including my boy in the picture, but here's another shoddy blackberry photograph from the windowsill of the new place, 46 hours after the first. We.. uhh.. moved in, I guess.

There's a bunch of things left to do -- the random-tools-and-crap cupboard closet is barely breached, and we need to rehang three interior doors, polyfilla spackle where the spice rack used to be, and unhang the curtains, but we're pretty much out of the old place. It was hard work. Harder than I expected, certainly, with the aforementioned burly gentlemen on the payroll, but once they were gone we were still left with the small but difficult things: bins garbage cans, the hoover vacuum cleaner, a couple of chairs, computers, an ice cream maker.. things that aren't very heavy, but that each take most of one person's carrying ability for a single trip. And a single trip involves going down three flights of stairs, through two locked doors, crossing the street, through another two locked doors, and up two flights of stairs. We worked hard today. We sweated and swore a lot today.

Lucy's still exploring. She's not -entirely- impressed so far. Some things she likes: the skirting board baseboard is a sort of three dimensional thing that can be removed from the wall and turned into a cat-sized tunnel; the boxes make for good climbing. Some things she doesn't like: the windowsill isn't as securely attached as it could be; we didn't like that lamp anyway.

Check out that brickwork!
This evening, we celebrated, glugging fizzily from the bottle, because we didn't know where the glassware was buried. I'm impressed that the Chinese dude in the offie liquor store, whose utterances are usually incomprehensible to me, has far better French pronunciation than I do.
noideadog: (booze)
If you're ever considering giving up booze for a longer or shorter period of time, I'd recommend you don't time it with the start of summer evenings. The sun is making the grass seem like such an attractive place to sit and drink beer. However, I've observed that non-alcoholic beer is quite good at killing the beer-in-the-sun cravings. Which lends some credence to alcohol being a learned addictive-habit, triggered by situations and advertising and people saying to just go for one-which-means-three. Non-alcoholic beer's nice, actually.

I've been a booze-free human for four weeks, apart from when we went to Patrick Guilbaud's where I had champagne, because when will I have champagne in Patrick Guilbaud's ever? If you don't know, it's approximately the most expensive restaurant in Dublin, -and- I didn't have to pay. It was so good. I keep meaning to write about it, but then I don't get 'round to it. Maybe this weekend.

Tomorrow's my parents' 30th wedding anniversary family dinner, and what I like to think of as the celebration of my conception. Feel free to bring me presents.
noideadog: (booze)
Brain asplode. Alcohol maybe bad.
noideadog: (booze)

Breakfast
Originally uploaded by xymb.
Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. This can't possibly be a bad idea.
noideadog: (booze)
Remember the start of Four Weddings And A Funeral? That was my morning. I was wakened from a deep deep sleep by my taxi driver calling from outside. Fuck! And I couldn't find my wallet. Fuck! And I couldn't remember if I'd packed enough (any) clothes. Fuck! And had I written down the flight number? Fuck! And where's my taxi voucher? Fuck! And so on.

Improbably, I've checked in in plenty of time. I don't deserve to have. Seven hours ago, [livejournal.com profile] olethros and Victoria were explaining how I should leave the party and get some sleep, and I was reassuring them that It Would Be Fine. "I never miss flights!", I was explaining in confident tones. And several hours later I was outside [livejournal.com profile] natural20's apartment block, looking at my watch and saying "Oof". And an hour after that I was most of the way home, walking an unsteady drinkywalk and wishing for a taxi. And after that the rains came and I sheltered under a tree outside the Burlington, and then I was sharing a cab with some dude, it being tacitly agreed that getting out of the maelstrom was more important than whether we were even going in the same direction.

And then.. I fed the rabbits. The past is hazy, but I remember feeding the rabbits. There was a trek out to the washing machine too, so I may have put clothes into my bag, but that's a lovely surprise for when I arrive.

The taxi driver was a friendly, chatty man. I can't say that I held up my end of the conversation other than an unhappy "I think beer might not be good for you". "I've heard that", he said, "but I'll have to have some more before I can be sure."
noideadog: (booze)
Let there be Internet. Let there be Internet. Look, there's Internet! I do love the Internet.

So there we were last night in the cellar of a pub, celebrating my last day in Switzerland, Alexei's birthday, Marc's impending holiday and anything else we could think of to celebrate. Not a beer cellar, or a wine cellar, you understand, just a storeroom that the pub lady said we could sit in while drinking too much wine. Thanks, pub lady! So there we were: two Ukrainians, a Swede, a Swiss, a Brazilian, a German and your Irish correspondant here, singing the A Team theme tune (unknown in the Ukraine), reliving Captain Future episodes (unknown in Ireland), arguing about operating systems, being delighted by linguistic oddities of each other's speech, and expressing fervent desire not to be eaten by piranas, which are pronounced piranya in Portugese. I looked around at this table of intelligent, enthusiastic people, swilling wine and liking fun and I thought "God, I love my life."

That's all really. Flight in an hour. See you in Dublin.
noideadog: (aimlessly)
Is there anything actually medicinal about medicinal hot whiskeys? Is it like medicinal mashed potatoes which is where I have a cold and therefore decree that the normal laws of nutrition are suspended and I get to eat enormous bowls of mashed potatoes with a spoon because I'm not well and I deserve it? I'm fine with whiskey being the same sort of medicinal, but it'd be good to know for sure.

I played Age of Mythology this evening for the first time in many months, but -on my powerbook-. "Right click to gather food from this deer.", it said. Well, control-click works fine, but it's very clearly a game that was half-assedly ported at the last minute. It doesn't feel like the game's really comfortable on the mac. It stalls and it acts unpredictably, and the win condition seems to be to get the other guy to surrender and then crash the game, trying to feel glad that you've won, but really wishing for some sort of end sequence or even a 'quit' button. Overall there's a strong impression of "Why are we going through with this charade? Go do something real instead". My mac's so judgemental.

[livejournal.com profile] the_antichris: I just finished Attic Term, and now I'm troubled and confused. And I'm not sure if it's just because it's the seventies already. I wasn't prepared for them to grow up, I think. And I don't know at all what to think about Patrick. Guide me! Do other people also find Attic Term a bit.. wrong?
noideadog: (booze)
One of the best things about the Internet is the way that you open your laptop to look up the lyrics to The Irish Rover and twenty minutes later you're on the official website of the Child of Prague.

It's 9am and I've been awake for three hours. Oh the evils of drink! Oh the perils of the early morning hangover! Still, it means I get to see Saturday morning for the first time in a long while. (And it was a good night out. Well worth it.)

Tina's visiting today. I'm also on call. We're going to have a subdued and movie-watching weekend. Actually, don't suppose anyone has a copy of Risk they'd like to lend me?
noideadog: (hair)
Did you know that in America on St Patrick's Day, you're allowed pinch anyone who's not wearing green? Legally, I think.


Sarah and Andrew saved me from a potentially traumatic pinching experience by presenting me with a bright green t-shirt. "Everyone loves an Irish girl", it says. Although I was bound to be the tackiest and Oirishiest thing the Company canteen had ever seen, I wore it to lunch.


One doesn't want to be pinched, after all.


And, oh. My. God. [livejournal.com profile] yellowpigs waited patiently for me to pick my jaw back up off the floor and finish a flow of bewildered and exclamatory swearing before we went to check out the food. On the menu today: Guinness Stew. Colcannon. Bacon and Cabbage. Oysters in Green Guinness. (Which was actually stubbornly black Guinness. I don't know whether they tried hard to make it green.) Baileys Chocolate Desserts. Potato and Leek Soup Balls. Green Eggs and Ham. I swear, green eggs and ..actually, regular-coloured ham, I think, despite the sign. On recommendation, I used a green plate and a green tray. It was a green sort of place.


There was green beer at TGIF too. About seventeen different people during the day mentioned green beer in conjunction with Irishness and I said "We don't do that" so many times that it lost all meaning. Green milkshakes? In McDonalds, I think. Dyeing rivers green? Now you're just being silly.

I brought in a bottle of Jameson as my contribution to the Spirit of St Patrick's Day, tied it to a "Happy Shamrock Day" balloon, and made my usual sterling effort to reduce productivity. And did not partake, because of the Lent. God, whiskey smells nice.


noideadog: (booze)
28.9 kilograms. "It's not that much", the check in guy protested when I reacted with horror and defensiveness. Man, that's pretty heavy. I consider it a point of misguided pride that my bag is always really light when travelling. I think it makes me a better person somehow. (I can't explain. Just humour me.) Besides, it was 10.3kg on the way over. "Did you pack this bag yourself?", he asked. "Well, mostly", I didn't say, because I am not stupid, "but a miner asked me if I had any extra space and I guess I have some of his ..ehh.. strontium, or something." (Cliph said "strontium" so many times that now it's funny in my head. Also, may be mildly intoxicated.)

Home tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon.
noideadog: (meerkat)
I have heard rumours that beer is bad for you. Although I know in my heart and in my liver that I can't drink pints any more, I still do.

Sax exam yesterday. It wasn't great really, but it was ok. I had to restart one of the pieces because I completely lost the rhythm, and my sight reading was imaginative to say the least, but the scales were ok and all of my low notes came out beautifully, even the lengthy low Bb that I'd failed to get out for a week. There's a really fun bit where the examiner plays something on the piano, and you have to talk about the texture of the music, and make a guess at the time period. When in doubt I always say 19th century, and "I think it was a dance", but the one yesterday was lovely jazz, so I was able to talk about it. I'd say I probably passed.

It was dark when I left, and raining horribly, the sort of evening where you see better without your glasses. Rather than trusting that buses where scheduled, I reckoned I'd walk in the direction of Malahide and pick up a taxi to the DART station. Really bad idea. 4k later, soaked through, unable to see and cursing the taxi-driving community, I arrived at the station to find that the next train wouldn't be for 29 minutes. Man.

Headed into work to find a dry tshirt and some people to drink beer with. Kind of regretting that today.

And then I got home, a bit later than expected, and [livejournal.com profile] mr_wombat had bought me saxophone cake and made me a saxophone burger. It was the best thing in the world ever.

noideadog: (booze)
Dear Livejournal

Glen says not to ask you this because you're populated by idiots like us, but I believe in you. You know many things. Please advise me. If I use lemsip as the lemon portion of a hot whiskey, will it really be "the worst thing you ever do. And probably the last", as Glen so negatively forbodes. It sounds medicinal to me, sort of. Failing that, what is in an average kitchen that I can use instead of lemons. I have: washing up liquid, tuna, cocoa, strepsils, rabbits.

Love and kisses

Tanya
noideadog: (booze)
Everything is difficult today. Hangovers aren't usually this debilitating. I needed about twenty minutes to drag myself out of bed, and even then I could only stand for ten seconds at a time without the world going black and fainty. It took two pints of water, two tramil and another ten minute nap before I could stand for long enough to shower. Even now with two coffees and a latte inside me, I can't do more than mark all of my mail as 'needs reply' and sit here trying to hold my brain in. And it wasn't even a big occasion. I just can't hold my beer any more. I am old I am old I am unable to form long sentences.

It's rainy. People always say 'Nice weather for ducks' but the ducks on the canal today looked cold and sad.
noideadog: (Default)
I made my last post specifically to say this, but then I forgot:

Drinking tonight in The Bank on College Green to celebrate the end of an eircom era. You are most welcome to come along.
noideadog: (booze)
I'm not saying that I didn't deserve today's.. significant hangover, but green's just not my colour, especially for skin. Delightfully, Conor chose this morning for a quiz on the more fiddly and interesting aspects of grammar and comma usage. It was well after lunchtime before I was recalled to life.

Wonderful night last night. [livejournal.com profile] trjh got me a pony :-D



(Note the hair braiding. It was inevitable really.)

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