Oh, Bar Book Project. I’ve been neglectful. But the truth is, my life has become a lot of things lately. Healthier, busier, more confusing, more rewarding, you name it. I haven’t been drinking much at all. Big, life-altering changes have been afoot, making themselves known to me all of a sudden. I’m excited about how things are playing out, and I may or may not be returning to this project as the dust settles. As for right now, I’ve got other things to focus on. Maybe once this endless winter actually ends, I’ll be in the mood to play around with gin again. Until then, onward.
A while back on these pages, I said that I had never had whiskey before I embarked on the Bar Book Project. This weekend, upon making my first Manhattan, I remembered that this was incorrect. Last February (almost exactly one year ago in fact) during a weekend visit to a friend’s home in the mountains of Vermont, I had my first whiskey drink. After a day of sledding and luxuriating the way one does on a snowy weekend in Vermont (by fires), our gracious host made us up a round of “Snowhattans” which were, of course, Manhattans made not with ice but with fresh fallen snow. My memory of that drink was that it was tasty, though I remember being very unaccustomed to whiskey at the time. Oh, the difference a year makes.
This February, with another snowy weekend upon me thanks to the ridiculously named blizzard Nemo, I made my own Snowhattan with some bondafide Manhattan snow, gathered carefully from the fire escape outside my bedroom window. As it turns out, making the Manhattan on this weekend was really the only option. It was the most perfect of Manhattan weekends. It’s worth remembering, so if you don’t mind a tangent or two, I’ll tell you about it.
On Friday night, with the weather people and the mayors and the governors all telling everyone in the Northeast and New England to stay home, my good friend, known here as The Best Deal in Town, and I decided to brave the elements in order to grab drinks. We decided on meeting at Grand Central, as it’s convenient for both his and my respective trains. We attempted first to go to the Oyster Bar, but were told they were closing at 8 pm ahead of the storm, and turned away. Instead, we decided to try out the Campbell Apartment, the “secret” upscale bar on an upper level of Grand Central, accessible only by knowing the right elevator to take. (I’m not sure why people insist on calling it “secret” – there is a massive sign carved into the stone of the main atrium of Grand Central that says something like “To Campbell Apartment. But, out-of-the-way elevator, I guess.) TBDIT and I had been wanting to try it out, but hadn’t yet gotten around to it. We located the elevator and made our way up, and were happy to see that it was very much open. We were seated at a table on a balcony level of the bar, which allowed for a really wonderful overview of the place, which is as plush and posh as I had assumed it would be.
The Campbell Apartment is thus called because it once served as the private offices of a tycoon guy called John Campbell, who engaged in some sort of fancy business in the 1920s. They’ve refurbished the space to reflect that era, and they serve cocktails that apparently do the same. The place is equal parts charming and depressing. Charming because you really do feel transported back to a different era; depressing because that era is long-gone. Still, there is an inoffensive mix of jazz standards and crooners playing just loud enough to set a mood, which is exactly how loud bar music should be (and rarely is). Sidebar: I’ve recently started working my way through the first three seasons of Boardwalk Empire, and I will need to return to the Campbell Apartment again just to spend an hour or two pretending I’m the indomitable Margaret Shroeder/Thompson.
TBDIT ordered the Kentucky Ginger, which was outrageously delicious and contained the key ingredients of bourbon, fresh ginger, and rosemary. I was less successful with my order, choosing a rum and grenadine drink called the Roaring Twenties, which was just one or two notches sweeter than I hoped it would be. When I return as Margaret Shroeder/Thompson, I will most definitely be ordering the Kentucky Ginger, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys happiness.
With the impending blizzard, we enjoyed a very low-key Friday night at the Campbell Apartment. It was filled up but not crowded, and we got to enjoy an uncharacteristically unbusy evening there thanks to the snow. By the time we wandered back out into Grand Central a couple of hours later, the place was near deserted. As it turned out, they were closing it at midnight, since there were to be no trains coming in or out during the worst of the blizzard in the early morning hours. Those of us who were inside could stay until then, but once you left, you weren’t allowed back in. Neither of us was in any hurry to get home, so we spent a while wandering around the back corridors of the place, mellowed by our cocktails but a little giddy with the opportunity to have a virtually private audience with one of the busiest transportation hubs in the world, to be inside a closed building that never closes. It was so quiet and calm and deserted. We wandered and slowly made our way back to the subway down below and got onto our trains to be transported back to the real, snowy world. It was lovely and surreal, and I won’t forget it. Thanks, blizzard!
On Saturday morning, Bubba, Dr. Poo and I made it a point to wake up early to get out to Central Park in time to get some good sledding in before things got packed. We made our way out of the apartment by about 8:15 am, which is as reasonably early as any childless twenty-somethings can be expected to. We made it to the big hill near the entrance at East 79th Street (apparently called Cedar Hill) and found that we were far from the first to arrive. But I was delighted not just by the winter wonderland, but also by the realization that we were early enough to witness/experience the magic that is the early morning hours in Central Park – that is, Central Park as Dog Heaven. I’ve experienced this once before, last summer, when my friend K and I camped out in the early morning line for free Shakespeare in the Park tickets the Delacorte Theater. We arrived at around 7 am then, along with a few thousand other fellow queue-ers, and that was when I learned that between dawn and about 9 am, Central Park is filled with leash-free pups and their owners out for a little early morning freedom. For a dog-lover like me, it is Heaven. As we waited in line for our tickets last summer, we were greeted by tons of delighted dogs making their way down the never-ending line of attention.
I was equally as charmed by the early morning dog party happening on this blizzard February Saturday. There were unleashed dogs everywhere, running, tumbling, barking, playing, chasing sleds, and eating snow. There were children sledding and parents pushing and taking photos. It was just all so lovely. Bubba, Dr. Poo and I sledded for a while down Cedar Hill, dodging kids and dogs alike, and eventually made our way around some of the best of Central park by foot. We sledded down snow-covered staircases under bridges, we lobbed giant snowballs into the sludgy-frozen waters of the Conservatory, we sledded down the grand staircase at Bethesda Fountain, and we walked the Mall beneath the great snow-covered canopy of American elm trees. As it turns out, Central Park is a veritable winter wonderland after a blizzard, and I’m so glad that I was treated to the experience this winter, as it will be my last winter in Manhattan, at least for a while.
We made our way back to the apartment with a quick stop at the grocery store. We set about cooking up a feast of a brunch, ate too much, and then spent the rest of the day being as lazy as possible. By late-afternoon, I was ready for a drink, and knew that the Manhattan was clearly the only proper choice for the occasion. So finally, a few words about the Manhattan.
The Manhattan is simple and straightforward. Whiskey, sweet vermouth, dash of bitters. A maraschino cherry, if you want. It’s a strong and aromatically sweet drink. I’ve since tried a dry Manhattan, which you make with dry vermouth instead of sweet, and probably prefer that. Though, all-in-all, the Manhattan is not my drink. There’s a symbolic significance to this, which I’ll expand upon soon, but for now I’ll say that nothing could have rounded out such a lovely weekend like a Manhattan made with Manhattan snow. The clean kind, to be sure.
On tap this weekend is Winter Storm Nemo, the most hilariously named Nor’easter. Like most offices in Manhattan, ours has just made the decision to close at 1 pm, which should mean an exciting afternoon of being lazy, but instead means I finally have a little pocket of time with which to actually do my laundry. Adulthood, ladies and gentlemen. Ain’t it grand?
Life has been pretty dull lately, as life tends to be in the dead of winter. I’ve been settling into the lifestyle of the adult I now apparently am, and a lot has been swirling in my brain lately as far as frustrations I have with my current general situation. In my experience, the times when you become the most unhappy with your life are the times that inspire you to make positive changes, so I’m hoping that my general malaise and restlessness will harness itself into some new things that will result in me living a life that I feel more at peace with. I’m speaking in vagaries for a reason, namely that I’ve been spending the week writing my way through a big change I’ve decided to make, and that writing will appear on the Bar Book Project once I’ve had time to make the classic cocktail that shares, in part, the name of the change I’m making: the Manhattan. That’s a clumsy sentence. Sorry.
For now, I’m hurriedly wrapping up my week early and catching glimpses of the big fat snow flurries and rain drops swirl outside. I’m finding myself daydreaming of spring, which got me thinking back to a rum cocktail I had in Charleston, SC this past November (South Carolina in November = practically spring) that was probably the most delicious treat on earth, hyperbole aside. Even my father, whose drinking habits are limited to, like, maybe one beer every now and then, agreed that it was delicious and made the comment that if all alcohol tasted like that, he’d have a problem.
The drink was called something horrendous, like Requiem for a Daydream (I wasn’t kidding), but it was oh so delicious. Rum, madeira (a Portuguese fortified wine, I learned), applesauce, a clove, and maybe a couple of other things? But you get the idea. It was stupid good. I’ve thought a lot about it in the months since I had it, and the other night, as I was in the mood for an old fashioned, I wondered if I might not find success with the same sort of idea there. I mixed up an old fashioned and added a tablespoon of unsweetened applesauce to it, and a shake of ground cinnamon.
Talk about striking gold. I highly, highly recommend this to anyone and everyone. I’d like to sing it from the rooftops, but that would require access to a rooftop, and my super keeps mine locked. I could honestly do without the cinnamon (I’ve never really been a fan of the cinnamon-apple combo), and I have done without the cinnamon in subsequent versions of this drink that I’ve made, but if you’re a cinnamon-apple lover, by all means sprinkle away. The combination of the mashed apples with the warm sweetness of the Angostura bitters and the whiskey is explosively great. In fact, adding the applesauce means you can eliminate the sugar from the drink entirely, as the applesauce adds more than enough sweetness on its own.
I also love the idea of the appley old fashioned because it mashes up a couple opposing forces. The applesauce evokes childhood to me (I still love it, eat it, bake with it, add it to things all the time!) and blending it with the very, very adult old fashioned creates this sort of whimsically odd pairing. Additionally, the applesauce can be considered a bit of a girlish addition to a drink that has a very manly reputation.
This has been my first stab at “freestyling” with a cocktail and moving away from the strictly-measured recipes of the PH&BB, and I have to say that I feel pretty proud of myself for knowing enough (even though it’s still so little!) about spirits to start to play with ingredients and flavor profiles, even if it means copying the pros!
Long live the appley old fashioned!
The Ward Eight is a pleasant whiskey cocktail. It consists of 2 ounces of Canadian or US whiskey (Canadian Club, in my house), a half ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of sugar, a half teaspoon of grenadine, and a garnish lemon slice. The PH&BB describes it as a “pleasant tall cocktail that survived Prohibition,” which reminds me that I still need to read the book on Prohibition that I bought back in December, but which is menacingly long and factual and keeps getting pushed down the ladder between my monthly book club reading and my current Mad Men reading list priorities. But I will get there, and when I do, I’m sure I will appreciate drinks like the Ward Eight for more than just their tastiness.
Curious about the name, I googled it and this possibly reliable information from Wikipedia explains it:
“The Ward 8 or Ward Eight is a cocktail originating in 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts at the bar of the Gilded Age restaurant Locke-Ober. In 1898 Democratic political czar Martin M. Lomasney hoped to capture a seat in the state’s legislature, the General Court of Massachusetts. Lomasney held considerable power in the city for nearly 50 years. The story goes that the drink was created to honor his election, and the city’s Ward 8 which historically delivered him a winning margin. Competing, but unfounded myths abound in print and on the Internet. One story reports that it originated in New York in an area known for political corruption, another that the cocktail is a traditional drink of the Scottish Guards.”
I think I’ll choose to believe that the brilliant PR move of naming a drink after a political candidate’s election is what clinched the spot for Mr. Lomasney.
The Kir is a delightful little peculiarity. You add crème de cassis to a glass of white wine and you have a Kir. Crème de cassis is a blackcurrant liqueur, and is accordingly a deep violet hue. My family and I enjoyed these sweet little cocktails over a couple of nights surrounding Christmas, alongside the old fashioned(s?). I had never before heard of such a drink, but my aunt has memories of drinking them with her family when she was traveling abroad. I wanted to do a little research into this funny little drink with the unusual name. Wikipedia tells me that the Kir is named after a man named Félix Kir, who was the mayor of Dijon in Burgundy around the time of WWII, and who, “popularized the drink by offering it at receptions to visiting delegations.” The Kir was originally called the more descriptive “blanc-cassis” but was renamed to the Kir after a man who apparently loved them or at least loved to serve them.
I was dubious going in, as the idea of adding anything to wine turns it into a ridiculous (in my mind) wine spritzer, which is reserved for desperate housewives and philistines. But the Kir is surprisingly inoffensive, and while I can’t see myself ever craving blackcurrant liqueur in my white wine, I can see myself turning a bottle of cheap table wine into a an easy, lazy maroon treat at a summer gathering, just because summer is about fun for the sake of fun, and so is the Kir.
To make a Kir, pour yourself a glass of white wine, and add as much or as little crème de cassis as your heart dictates (PH&BB recommends a 7-to-1 wine to cassis ratio, which amounts to about ½ ounce crème de cassis for every 3.5 ounces wine). On an extra hot day, add an ice cube or two and repair to your favorite lounging spot. Don’t worry about the purists who turn their nose up at adding ice to wine; the Kir is too fun for them anyway.
Marjorie Morningstar (1955) by Herman Wouk
I devoured this book, a new favorite of mine, over the last couple of weeks. Each year leading up to the season premiere of Mad Men, I read a couple or a few books from the New York Public Library’s wonderfully-exhaustive Mad Men Reading List. Last year I read Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955) and Rona Jaffe’s The Best of Everything (1958), both of which I enjoyed quite a bit. But Marjorie Morningstar is something else entirely. I love it. I love it like it’s always been a part of me but I’m just now realizing it. I love it even though, as almost all books written in the fifties are, it has its retrograde ideas. If there’s one thing you can count on from a book of this era, it’s a lot of really fabulous drinking. Martinis and highballs and scotch and brandy and…oh, it’s just all so wonderful! My highest recommendation. Read it, why don’t you, and let’s gush about it over cocktails.
Ah, January. Having been on another planet for the duration of the winter months last year, I had forgotten about how this month seems designed to just be gotten through. In college I used to struggle with mild numbish depression and ennui every winter, but now I just find myself bored. So bored. And so uninspired to be productive in any way. This un-inspiration is to blame for the absurd condition that my bedroom is currently in, as well as the reason I’m still not back into the BBP swing. Actually, I can count on one hand the amount of drinks I’ve had in January. I’m not doing it on purpose; I’m just too bored even to want to drink. Which is an incredible level of boredom, if you think about it. But I really need to finally get updated on this here project, which means getting caught up with the cocktails I made with family over Christmas.
The Old Fashioned is like coming home. I first experienced it earlier in the month, when I ordered one at a bar while waiting for a friend to get off work and join me for a cocktail. I had a considerable amount of time at the bar before he arrived, so I decided to spend it reading and sipping on something I’d never had before. Since I’ve been in the midst of a very enjoyable whiskey education, I decided that the time was right to try the father of all whiskey drinks. By coincidence, the book I happened to be reading at the time was a Travis McGee novel from the 1960s. The Travis McGee series, which a male friend turned me onto, is about as male and 60s as possible. He’s this sarcastic anti-hero guy who is all at once lazy, brilliant, and, of course, irresistible to women. And he solves crimes not for the law but for money and because he can. In other words, Travis McGee is the male ego-ideal, and I find him to be both ridiculous and entertaining. So there I was, alone at a bar, drinking an Old Fashioned and reading a guy book. It was kind of wonderful. Spending time alone at a bar is a thing I’m trying to get more comfortable doing. It’s really only in the movies or in books that women seem to sit alone at a bar and drink anymore, and it’s funny how much attention one can attract doing it in real life. If you ever want to feel the eyes of a bunch of men on you all at once, saddle up to a bar by yourself and order a drink.
I’ve digressed. Back to the booze.
I’ve read before that the old fashioned is in fact the original cocktail. The recipe for the Old Fashioned varies, but the foundational ingredients are whiskey, water, sugar, and bitters. I had previously been intimidated anytime I saw the word “bitters” in a cocktail recipe, because frankly I had no idea what they were. As it turns out, bitters are (is?) just concentrated aromatic alcoholic liquid that you use to flavor cocktails. It’s sort of like drinkable potpourri, which, accordingly, attracts some pretty strong reactions on both sides of the spectrum. You buy it in a little bottle that has a tiny little opening, like with vinegar, and you shake a couple of drops of the stuff into your cocktail. A little goes a long, long way. I happened to love my first Old Fashioned, as well as the subsequent few I’ve had since the first. To me it’s the perfect cocktail – simple, strong, distinctive. It’s no surprise to me that I have such an affection for the Old Fashioned. I myself am pretty old fashioned.
I got my shot at making my own Old Fashioned while I was home for Christmas. I was having my childhood best friends over to visit with me and my family and I decided that was a perfect time to try out a big batch of them. They turned out great. We all drank them heartily and played a game of something like Scattegories, and then had a delicious dinner. I made a few rounds of them for everyone, and everyone seemed to agree that they were quite nice. My brother surprised me a few days later by ordering one at a restaurant and then turning his nose up after one sip and declaring, “Yours were way better.” Consider this one an all-around win.
“He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.” - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I had hoped to make my triumphant return to regular posting with something great, but alas, the first drink in my queue is the hot toddy. Let’s just say I’m not a hot toddy lover. I had high hopes that as the cold weather set in, I’d find a charming new winter combatant in the hot toddy. Sadly, the recipe for the hot toddy in the PH&BB is awful. Or maybe it’s wonderful for those with the affinity, but to me it is repulsive. I’m not a huge aromatic hot drink fan to begin with. Let me clarify: I love coffee more than most things in life. I like my coffee like I like my presidents: strong and black. I tolerate tea, and try to ingest green tea on the regular as it is supposedly a good thing to put into your body. My favorite ramen joint here in the city serves a cup of some sort of hot tea after your meal, and I love that tea, whatever it is. But beyond those staples, and aside from the occasional mug of hot chocolate or hot apple cider, I’m not a super game explorer of the hot drink landscape. I was hoping that the hot toddy would be an addition to my repertoire, but no. Just no. I hated it so much that I didn’t even finish it, which is a real testament to my disgust as I am generally waste-not-want-not, especially when it comes to enjoying every last ounce of the booze I buy. But this was too much for me. Something about the unholy combination of cloves, lemons, whiskey, nutmeg, cinnamon, water. It just revolted me and the only thing stronger than my revulsion was my disappointment. I haven’t given up on the hot toddy, but I’m going to be careful about my next attempt, in that I will require someone who really knows what they’re doing to help me understand what there is to like about this drink. Until then, more ice please.
They say whatever you do on the first day of the new year sets the tone for what your year will be like. Considering I spent my January 1st lounging around watching movies and being as useless as possible, which I then followed up by waking up in the middle of the night and puking my guts out as the result of some unfortunate food poisoning, I’d say my 2013 is off to a less-than-promising start. It’s a good thing I’m not superstitious. But actually, ever the optimist despite myself, I have come to the conclusion that the horrible night of vomiting and its aftermath was the penance my body decided I owed the universe after a holiday season filled with excess. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that my entire 2012 was excessive, and I chose to regard my bout with food poisoning as a literal purge of the year and its excess.
I was thinking on New Year’s Eve this time around at how vastly different from the other years of my life the last year has been. My grandmother died on January 1, 2012. My grandmother was one of my best friends, my namesake, a kindred spirit, a second mother, the life of any party, and just generally the source and object of a huge portion of the love in my heart. Her death was sudden and the result of an accident so small and seemingly inconsequential is almost doesn’t even make sense to me still. But her body was old and frail even though her spirit was not, and it took me some time to realize that she went in a great way that spared her from getting to the kind of extreme old age that is heartbreaking and torturous.
So, January 1, 2012. I had just graduated from a masters program that I had been sorely disappointed by, and was planning to spend the month of January realigning and beginning a job search in New York City, where I was determined to stay. Instead, I spent half the month in North Carolina saying goodbye to Betty and helping my mom begin what was to become the year-long process of settling her parents’ estate and selling the house that they had built. When I returned to New York in mid-January, I was a shell of myself, lost in a way that I couldn’t have imagined before. Not only did I not have any idea of where the hell to begin a job search having decided against my intended career pursuits, I also didn’t have the energy to figure that out at the moment. My energy was being monopolized by grief.
In February, I caught a break when my best friend, who works for a digital marketing agency, recommended me for an open freelance copywriting position at her company. I started logging hours doing that from my apartment and paychecks started coming in, which boosted my spirits in the way that being a useful, productive human always has for me. In April, feeling fed up with my apartment and questionable bathing schedule, I hesitantly took up a friend’s offer to be introduced to a staffing agent at a temp agency he had found his job through. He worked at a company in the film/tv content distribution field that sounded appealing to me. It was then that a sort-of-kind-of plan began to take shape in my mind. So I started working with the temping agency with the end game of getting a fulltime job at the film/tv company in mind. I wasn’t necessarily in a hurry to get there, but there was where I intended to end up.
My staffing agent put me at ease and understood my game plan, which was to take on little one and two-week jobs all over the place while I waited for one of the long-term temp positions at the film/tv company to open up. Over the next five months, I temped at various offices in different fields. I was lucky and a good worker, and found that I was rarely out of work for longer than a day or two. I filled in for receptionists who were on their summer vacations, I assisted fancy people, and I generally enjoyed myself. At most places, the work was easy enough that I had tons of free time on my hands and used that free time to do my freelance copywriting, which meant that I was double billing with huge hours and making a really fantastic amount of money. I was paying my bills in full and all-in-all I only had to ask my parents for help with rent once, which made me feel pretty fine about how things were going on a day-to-day basis. I had a fun-filled summer and I started dating again, which was simultaneously nice and not-nice, given a two-month thing I had with an exceptionally nice guy who possessed every single quality I could ever want in a guy except for the minor detail of a personality I was attracted to. I hurt him and hated myself for it, and vowed never to be selfish with my affections again.
The temping lifestyle had its pros and cons, as things do. I loved the freedom; I hated the constant rotation of training and not being able to develop relationships. By the late summer I was beginning to tire of the rotation. In September, an open-ended temp spot finally opened at the film/tv company that was my end-game goal. I interviewed and was hired. I worked with a group of long-term temps there for three months and, when some full-time spots opened up, I jumped at the chance to apply. I interviewed and finally, at 25.5 years old, acquired that holy grail of recession-era early adulthood: the full-time, benefitted job. I started in mid-December, just barely making it under the gun of the one year anniversaries of my grad school graduation and the personal loss that, in conjunction, launched me adrift on a year-long journey of grief, confusion, self-searching, freedom, fun, anxiety, and just about everything in between.
On January 1, 2013, I was thinking about the previous 12 months of my life. As I watched everyone discuss their goals and priorities for the new year on social media, a thought occurred to me that hadn’t previously. I realized that I had missed out on that great optimism of the new year last year. I got the phone call from my dad that shattered all of that sometime in the early evening of January 1st. I hadn’t had time to absorb the collective mood of self-improvement that takes hold of us all in the time surrounding the turn of the new year. Instead, once I was enough out of my grief a few days later to have opinions about the direction of my life, the sentiment that took hold was that of giving myself whatever it was I wanted. Of not saying no to myself. I was hurting and I decided then and continued to decide throughout the year that I was going to live without moderation, without repression of my desires. Apart from a brief kick of healthy eating habits and improved body weight and tone over the summer months, I spent 2012 in a flurry of aggressively hedonist pursuits. The Bar Book Project is, indirectly, a reflection of the onslaught of Dionysian prayers I sent up over the last year as a means for surviving an overwhelming onslaught of sadness and uncertainty in my life.
But this year. This year feels different. I lived through January 1st with a little pain but a lot of measured optimism that this fog I’ve been in for quite some time now is starting to lift so that I might see myself and my life clearly again. I’m ready to say no to myself again. I’m ready to be accountable. Though I have always approached New Year’s resolutions with at least a slight eye roll, this year I’m venturing to make some if for no other reason than I feel lucky to have the opportunity to do so given that I have no fresh grief to be buried under this time around. I won’t bore you all by listing my resolutions here, but I will address what my resolutions will mean for The Bar Book Project.
I’m going to slow my rate to two cocktails per week. A struggle I’ve had with the project thus far is my attempt to arrive at a consistent pace in mixing and posting. Going into the project, I didn’t want to let the project overwhelm my life, but I also wanted it to be consistent. This has been a difficult balance to strike. But I’m working on it and I hope that going forward, with the newly regulated weekly schedule I’m settling into, I can also settle into a regulated schedule for this project.
And I’m cutting down on non-social and none-BBP drinking. Ideally, this will mean that I will have not much more than the two BBP cocktails I make per week. I went from being in really great shape on January 1st of last year to being a beached whale on January 1st of this year, and I’m tired of feeling that way, so it’s back to a regimen of what I like to call my “just don’t stuff your face with whatever you want all the time it’s common sense” diet. I’m continually aware of the calories and sugar I’m pouring down my throat in the name of the BBP, and I’m happy to keep doing so, but reintroducing good eating and exercise to my life will allow me to do so guilt-free.
So here’s to 2013. May it be productive, healthy, and full of spirit and cheer.
Oh, dear Bar Book Project, I have not forgotten you! Please don’t leave me! My absence from posting (and more or less from drinking) can be blamed on a perfect storm of major life changes, holiday season craziness, and pure old fashioned exhaustion. The good news? I have been hired into my very first ever full-time, career-path, benefited job. I’m now an official card-carrying member of productive society and adulthood. This puts to rest a year of angst-ridden but somehow at times carefree temping and freelancing, which I am both majorly relieved and also just the teeniest tiniest bit sad to see go. But the reigning feeling of the day is pure joy and relief to get this show on the road.
So I went through the interviewing and hiring process and am now wrapping up my second week at the job, as well as getting ready to throw a holiday party tonight and then get on a plane and fly home for the holiday tomorrow. All of this is to at least try to give some context to my 2.5 adoring fans who have missed my posts and to beg you to be patient with me while I adjust to my new lifestyle and, frankly, while I go home to my parent’s house and sleep as much as possible for the next ten days. It’s going to be a bittersweet Christmas for my family and me, about which I’ll likely post, but I’m hoping that the sweet will outweigh the bitter. My mom and I already have plans to do some cocktails while I’m home, so regular posting will resume here shortly. If you’re still reading, thanks for your patience, and happy holidays!