New (unnamed) cocktail (but now named)

I’d like to name this one Upside-Down New York Sour, because that’s what it is, but that’s just unwieldy.

A New York Sour is as follows:

New York Sour

  • 2 oz rye or bourbon
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz red wine

Combine the first three ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass. Float the red wine on top.

It’s a tasty, elegant cocktail; it served as the inspiration for my Rose-Colored G.

Now it has inspired this:

New York Sunset (formerly known as Inverse Sour)

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1-¾ oz oleo saccharum (recipe to follow)
  • ½ oz Barolo Chinato Cocchi

One is supposed to shake any admixture containing citrus juices, but I must admit I just poured the bourbon and oleo saccharum straight into the glass. More work is required. It probably could benefit from a lemon peel garnish as well.

So mix the first two ingredients, and then add the Barolo Chinato Cocchi. I had not considered that this fortified wine might have a different specific gravity than regular red wine, so I was a little disappointed when it didn’t float but rather sank to the bottom. (It occurs to me that this is more like a Tequila Sunrise in looks…)

No matter: It is a very tasty, sophisticated drink.

Note: It is also a fairly expensive drink, given the cost of the Barolo. But if you can swing it, it’s worth it.

Oleo Saccharum Sour Mix

There are multiple versions of this recipe online. This is the one I’ve settled on, but you can do all lemons, or any variety of orange instead of grapefruit.

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 large lemon
  • .4–.5 cup sugar
  • .5 cup lemon juice

Peel the grapefruit and the lemon. Place the peels in a medium bowl; add the sugar.  Muddle the peels with the sugar about a minute.

Leave for 4–6 hours.  The oils from the peels will puddle at the bottom of the bowl.

Add the lemon juice and stir to dissolve all the sugar.

Strain into a container. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Now to name it. Sour Sunrise? Barolo Sunrise? Barolo Sunset? Bloody-Bottomed Sour? Or how about plain old Newnan Sour?

UPDATE: Alan Brown on Facebook has suggested New York Sunset, which I think is perfectly cromulent. I’ll see if it sticks.

UPDATE 2: Having checked to see if such a cocktail with that name already existed — it does not — I am claiming the name for this drink.

Dishevelment update, 1/11/21

No, I still have not gotten a haircut.

It’s been a full year, and I’m rather enjoying my long, luscious locks, actually. They’re long enough to hit my shoulders now; when I pull it back with my Longhair Guys‘ hair ties, it now forms a man-bun rather than a stumpy little ponytail.

Yeah, I’m cool. Especially now that I have cut off the weird strands at my temples that looked more like a Seuss character’s sideburns than not. (Sorry, no photo of that phenomenon.)

Now I’m in the phase of figuring out what most women and dedicated longhair guys already know: how to maintain it so that it doesn’t always look like the mugshot of someone who believes Trump won the election.

The problem is that my hair has always been superfine, and it’s only since I’ve gone gray that it has had any body at all. If I had done this when I was younger, I’d be on my way to pulling off Jared Leto or Elrond at this point. But as you can see, it tends to wave, so I’m having to explore that delicate balance between the RIGHT SHAMPOO, KENNETH, conditioner, and frequency. NOT TO MENTION PRODUCT, KENNETH. Ugh. Too much work.

With vaccines here — I’ve had my first dose — it will eventually be safe enough to get a haircut, and then I will have to face the question: do I want to keep the long hair?

I don’t know. Probably not. It’s a lot to deal with, and I’m really over having to keep it out of my eyes. But I have enjoyed it; it’s been a great way to recognize the disruptive nature of the pandemic. If you can’t break down societal expectations during the plague, when can you?

Onward!

 

What does it MEEEEEAN???

I don’t think I’ve blogged specifically about this, but, you guys, I seem to have a cosmic connection with the New York Times crossword puzzle. Multiple times in a week, either in the daily puzzle or the mega-collection of Sunday puzzles I amuse myself with of an evening (I’m on my second book, thank you very much), something will evince itself in my life that is a direct reference to a clue/answer in the very puzzle I am working on.

It’s bizarre. My Lovely First Wife  is the TV watcher in the family,  and as we sit watching The Crown or The Good Place or whatever hellish Hallmark holiday movie she’s binging, I’ll be working on  a puzzle in my recliner, and pop! as I work on a clue, it’s referenced in Holiday Princess or whatever the hell we’re watching.

Don’t believe me? This just happened and I came upstairs to blog about it.

This morning, a former neighbor dropped by with some fresh-baked bread and a few other things. One of the items in the bag, which she oddly did not mention, was this:

This is a dragon fruit. I knew what it was, but what I didn’t know is what to do with it.

So off I go to the intertubes to find out. First stop, Wikipedia, which alas was all scientific without any regard to those of us who had to consume the thing.

The only thing Wikipedia had to say was this:

Dragon fruit is used to flavor and color juices and alcoholic beverages, such as ‘Dragon’s Blood Punch’ and the ‘Dragotini.’

Alcoholic beverage, you say? Show me that footnote.

Small, Ernest (2011). Top 100 Exotic Food Plants. CRC Press. p. 105. ISBN 9781439856888. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.

I followed the link, which led to:

Did you get that?

An Ivan Dragotini.

Yes.

Well.

Today’s (Nov 25, 2020) New York Times crossword:

THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME TO ME.

What does it meeean???

Dishevelment Update, 11/04/20

For those who are just joining us, I have not had a haircut since Jan 2020 because of THE PANDEMIC, KENNETH, and it doesn’t look as if I’m going to be able to get one any time soon, either. Yes, I know the salons are open, and I see guys every day who clearly have had their locks shorn professionally, but it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m going to be stubborn about this.

I last updated you five months ago, and since then I have moved past hairbands into hair ties, starting with a couple that my Lovely First Wife loaned me and then moving into actual boy hair ties, you guys. I came across the Longhairs last month, and I fell for their charming shtick and their cool products, plus their support of Children with Hair Loss. (I don’t think my hair will get that long, and I’m not sure how many kids want distinguished salt & pepper tresses.) Cool guys.

Here I was last month, with a hair tie.

And here I am yesterday, with my now-leonine dishevelment.

I have to say that this is pretty rakish. I like it. Took me eleven months to get here, but now it’s good.

Pro tip: last month a random encounter with another couple whose male half was also disheveling led me to the use of simple pomade to help control the hair and make it more styled. I bought two pomades to try, one with medium hold/matte finish and the other with light hold/sheen finish. Both work.

And as rakish as I look in selfies, the hair still bothers me if I have work in the labyrinth to do or supper to cook; on goes the hairband. And I have taken to wearing one of the Longhairs hair ties on my wrist like a bracelet so that I can whip that distinguished mane back into a ponytail if necessary.

Because I’m now one of those guys.

More useless

I received an email this morning that wanted me to know that a link on a post I wrote six years ago linked to a Flash game and, in the interest of staying ahead of the Great Flash Doom of December 2020, gave me the link to a safe HTML5 version.

I had no memory of the post or the game — I was still in a post-GHP haze when I wrote it — but thanks, person!

Of course I had to try all the links in the post, and the first one goes to the source: The Useless Web.

Buckle up, because I’m going to waste time this morning.

Labyrinth update, 10/04/2020

I have not enthused about my labyrinth in a while, so let’s do that.

Last night we built a fire and had a quiet evening outside. It’s getting chilly now, so the fire was most welcome.

I decided to get photos of some of the points of interest, so take a walk with me. First up, the southpoint: the element for south is fire, so we have a sculpture representing the sun, by Richard Hill.

Isn’t this area lovely?

It’s the men’s loo.

Somehow I didn’t get a photo of Apollo. Hope he’s okay with that; you know how touchy he can get. I’ll have to get one tonight.

The nook…

… with the Green Man…

… and the bench, this time with angel and windchimes.

The westpoint: water is the element of the west. (Bowl by Montgomery artist Brooks Barrow.)

The northwest corner, with the Dancing Faun standing in for Dionysus. He was looking particularly fine last night.

The northpoint: earth is the element of the north. Here we’re looking at the earthwork from the bottom of the bank, a small grotto lined with stone and now covered with peacock moss.

And from the labyrinth, a standing stone.

A wide shot.

Another wide shot.

The new fence was installed in 2016, and it was only recently that I realized that someone — either the representative from the First Fence of Georgia who drew the plans, or the young man installing the fence — had taken the trouble to center the fence on the two trees at the westpoint. A warm letter of appreciation is in order.

Eventually the fire, which was glorious all night, was down to embers. With only the standing stone still lit, it was a quiet ending to a quiet night.

Dishevelment update, 6/30/20

Let’s check in on my DISHEVELMENT, shall we?

For those of you just joining us, my last haircut was six months ago. I was due for one halfway through February, but because none of my friends had stepped up to claim the role of Adam in As You Like It I was forced to take on the octogenarian myself, and I thought the longer, more unkempt hair would be appropriate. After all, the morning after AYLI closed and we left  for Basel to cruise down the Rhine, surely I could get a haircut there, right?

Hahahahahahahahaha and also tee-hee.

Sure, Georgia Gov. Brian “The What Now?” Kemp opened up hair salons and tattoo parlors (and bowling alleys) sometime in the last 90 days, but do I look stupid? No, I look disheveled, and the basic reason is that I don’t intend to go into a hair salon until I feel safe in doing so.[1]

To my hair stylist, Sammie D., my apologies. I’m sure you’re doing the best you can, but you shouldn’t be responsible for keeping the virus out of my lungs. And as I’ve said before, I have always voted for the candidate most likely to institute universal healthcare and a social safety net that would have taken care of independent business owners and workers in crises like this one. Why should I feel guilty when it’s the rest of you who didn’t?

Anyway, all of this is to say that here is where I am:

It’s long enough to fall free into my face but not long enough to pull back into a ponytail, so I am now sporting a hairband when I can’t stand the annoyance any longer.

But Dale, I hear some of you cry, surely your wearing a hairband is a violation of societal expectations of gender roles too far? It’s a… girl thing!

Honey, please.

It is a utilitarian object, pure and simple. Society’s decision that it is necessarily or essentially feminine is without any kind of logical basis. My hair is long and keeps getting in my eyes. What does a woman with the same problem do? She wears a hairband. But I, because I am a man, am expected to forego that solution? I think not.

But Dale, you continue to whine, wouldn’t a manly headband do? Actually, no: I have a headband I wear while doing yardwork to keep the manly sweat from rolling into my manly eyes, but it does nothing to contain my luscious flowing locks. I’m good with my plastic hairband.

It all reminds me of the mid–late 60s when longer hair started coming (back) into fashion. My parents and their peers mocked the Beatles for their long hair — which was not that long, was it? — and many were the jokes about not being able to tell the boys from the girls. I remember thinking then that their concerns were without any kind of real foundation. Times change; fashion changes. And on the whole the changes — since the 60s at any rate —have been for greater personal freedom and greater personal choice.[2]

To say otherwise is to grant a single society’s prejudices a reality they do not actually possess and to grant that society unholy power over your comfort and style.

And do I look like the kind of guy who’s apt to grant society that kind of power?

Stay tuned.

—————

[1] I’m not getting any of the tattoos I’d like to get, either. The fact that my Lovely First Wife has forbidden them is not relevant to this discussion.

[2] Whenever I pointed out how long General George Custer’s or Thomas Jefferson’s hair was, and my parents said, “Well the fashion was different then,” my incredulous response was, “Well, the fashion is different now; what is so hard about this?”

Revel in the Dishevelment

REVEL IN THE DISHEVELMENT.

This is a phrase I coined sometime back in April or May — time has no meaning any more — to highlight the necessity of foregoing haircuts during lockdown. Make it a badge of honor that you didn’t risk your life or others around you just to look good, that kind of thing.

My last haircut was in February. I had not gotten one in March because I was forced to take the role of Adam in my production of As You Like It at Newnan Theatre Company, and I thought a shaggier look would be better for the octogenarian. I figured I would get a haircut in Germany after we left for our Viking River Cruise down the Rhine, the morning after AYLI closed on March 29.

And so here I am, June, no haircut in sight.

Yeah, I know, it doesn’t look bad. I’m glamorous that way. Just like Jake Gyllenhaal.

But my hair is the longest it has ever been, and certainly my beard has never been anywhere this long. (There are those who will claim my hair was this long back in the 80s, but that was when it was not gray and had no texture, hanging lankly about my ears.)

Now it’s beginning to bug me: it’s too long, and despite the flattering photo, it doesn’t really look good.

Here’s my point: WHY DO I NEED TO LOOK GOOD? 1. I’m in Captivity — who cares what I look like? 2. Let’s think about the pressure to LOOK GOOD.

LOOKING GOOD is one of those cultural/economic hoops you jump through to be “acceptable,” and you always have to ask yourself… to whom, exactly? The short answer is to other people jumping through those same hoops and who now firmly believe in their reality.

I’ve never been one to grant those hoops “reality” — I jump through them because I’m privileged and it’s easy — but I am under no illusion that a) I really have to; or b) I would be accepted as “acceptable” by gatekeepers whose gates I have no intention of going through.

So it’s easy enough to wear my hair uncut — and my beard untrimmed, even though I could keep that in check — as a symbol of my “purity” of intent, even though the way things are going I probably won’t be getting a haircut until August or September — if then. The important thing is that I continue to self-quarantine in order to do my best to keep myself and my family from being exposed to the virus.

I’m kind of looking forward to the ultra-dishevelment. New boundaries to transgress, old hoops to set on fire and not jump through. I’ll keep you updated.