An all-girls education


There was period in my own personal history when I had happily already discovered the joys of enthusiasm, but was unfortunately still neither legally entitled, nor financially able to demonstrate this enthusiasm with anything like the flare it deserved.

I was not alone in my plight, and every Saturday night (among others, if I am to be honest) this tension presented a willing assortment of cohorts and me with a dilemma. And for better or for worse, our dilemma was, in fact, enhanced by the fact that we were trapped.

A 17-year-old girl pursuing a career in enthusiasm from within the confines of a Dorset boarding school, while attempting to pass an A-level or two has something of an uphill struggle ahead of her … trust me.  (Oops—there it is; a confession as to my true heritage from across the pond.)
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drinkwel field testing: Josey


The never-ending party is the most effective way to ensure no hangover. But once in a while it’s Sunday night and you realize you’re supposed to stagger through the doors of your workplace in mere morning hours, and that you should probably start sobering up. With visions of pounding temples and queasy bellies in our fuzzy brains we futilely chug glass after glass of water, swig Gatorade, and shakily nuke frozen pepperoni pies, praying for salvation in the form of grease, carbs, and electrolytes. Short of a pre-work Bloody Mary that could result in (depending on your job) certain termination should supervisors get wise, what’s a desperate drunk to do?

Mama’s greasy medicine.

Enthusiast HQ learned of drinkwel, a new and supposedly-hangover relieving multivitamin supplement from an UrbanDaddy email. We wrote the company in search of swag, and luckily, our plea resulted in free samples. Was I skeptical? Of course. The placebo effect is powerful. I needed a field test—and, another fantastic excuse to get insanely wasted for 48 hours.
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It’s for charity


There is one call to arms (and I am by no means implying there is ONLY one … but I am sure you will agree that this one has earned a particular gravitas over the years) that no Enthusiast can resist, regardless of their age, social standing, and even their level of comprehension of the greater cause. This reason for revelry, this justification for joviality—dare I say it, this Excuse for Enthusiasm (not that one needs an excuse)—has all but dragged people from their deathbeds.

So what is it? Only that inherent belief in the simple phrase: “it’s for charity.”

Sometimes there is the prerequisite of a small investment in the “charity of choice,” but sometimes there is not. All that is required of you is to show up, drink up and try not to throw up.

The traditional staging of these affairs opens with the arrival of a hoard of glamorous, young whipper-snappers, and a dappling of elegant, seasoned antiques at a venue quite unsuitable for those at either end of the age spectrum. This provokes a chorus of “oohs,” “aaahs,” and “wows” accompanied by a wave of theatrical expressions of surprise, wonderment and humble gratitude. Niceties over with, the focus turns to the proximity of the bar, and an enthusiastic urgency ensues. The hardened drinkers on the circuit hit the scotch, those tortured by an inner conflict between wanting to appear cultured while secretly wishing for an intravenous delivery system head for the gin mixers, and the floozies who skipped dinner giggle their way towards the champagne (or the closest thing on offer).

Some of these occasions even call for dancing in honor of charitable giving and this will inevitably be to a soundtrack of covers of the shockers your parents used to get their funk on to, and take place on a waxed wooden surface that is just aching to get its revenge on your stilettos; simultaneously offering you a view of the ceiling—while giving everyone else a view of your nether regions.

But dare you complain? No, it is for charity, and if that charity is asking you to party and imbibe, and party and imbibe … then a dedicated Enthusiast will follow that gospel.

As the evening wears on, however, and the open bar begins to claim it first victims; the illusion wears off, things disintegrate. Come home-time, the rag-bag crowd that stumbles out bears an uncanny resemblance to the crumpled, disheveled, sartorially oblivious exhibitionists seen ejected from an underage gathering on New Years.

This slithering descent from glittering superiority to infantile subservience can be blamed entirely on that simple phrase, “it’s for charity.”

I mean, if someone offers you a beverage in the name of Breast Cancer Research, who are you to turn down libations so loaded with altruism and generosity? If your very presence at the bar is going to lead to a breakthrough in genetic science, is it your decision as to how long to stay? Has vodka ever tasted better than when it is laced with pure, organic self-satisfaction?

And the best thing about benevolent drinking has to be the fact that no matter how late you show up to work the next day, how much like a distillery you may smell and how green a complexion you may have … a simple utterance of that invaluable phrase—the pained whisper of just four harmless little words, “it was for charity”—will instantly relieve you of any guilt, any remorse and any strenuous activities.


Bottles photo courtesy of  de la Ronde, flickr.
Bucket photo courtesy of tray, flickr.



An Enthusiast’s guide to drinking in public


Waking up to the hot-ass sun painfully penetrating one’s hung-the-fuck-over frontal lobe is enough to make any Enthusiast want to start throwing sheets to the wind. It’s summer, and street fairs, parks, playgrounds, public beaches, marathons, county fairs, and the slightly-less urine-soaked bus stop in front of your girlfriend’s stepmom’s apartment complex are looking ripe for the boozing in.*

In a pinch, any alcoholic substance within grabbing distance can (and should) be consumed outside—but there are certain hassles and risks involved when said outdoors is in what the courts define as “public.” So, if  you have some imbibe-preparation time, here are a few insights to help your load stay light and legal record squeaky clean:

1. A 16-hour supply of beer is bulky as FUCK. For the Enthsiast on the go, that backpack of beer is your cross to bear. Same problem with bottles of wine, and the bladder from the Franzia box is a tad too conspicuous.

2. Liquor is quicker—but let’s face it: flasks don’t hold enough booze. Even the stylishness of this sneak-a-swig doesn’t compensate for the fact that you’re going to be out of Early Times before your first funnel cake.  And you have to suspect that around each woven-goods stall in Anytown Main Street Fair USA a cop could be waiting—waiting—for you to pull that bottle of Taaka out of your bag so he can escort your enthusiastic ass across the car-blocking barricades in full view of curious, face-painted children and/or tipsy adults, uncomfortably waiting for Porta Potties.
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4 incredibly assed-out things that I do when I’m drunk


#4: Try to get your dog drunk.

Look, this one’s horrible. You should never give a dog alcohol. But when I get rippin’, I will try. (I could include high, but that takes a little work and let’s face it; if you are going to work that hard to get a dog to inhale a popper or swallow some X, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that you intend to fuck it. Good pet owners, shit, even bad ones—the kind they arrest on “Animal Cops”—have the foresight to remove their animal from your vicinity before said fuckage occurs.)

Anyway. Somehow cats have the foresight to get themselves the hell out of these situations, and go knock around the mouse turds on the top of your fridge, but dogs will walk into any goddamn room with people in it and start eating and drinking anything at their eye level. Ashtrays. Bongwater. And oh yes, that dish of Mickey’s I just poured.

Fucking relax. This is a close up of Joan Rivers trying to kiss her own reflection. In some bongwater I spilled.

Before you go call PETA, I should let you know that I have never successfully pulled this off. Apparently, dogs don’t like the smell of shame or failure, both of which emanate strongly from me and have permeated my clothing.

“I don’t love them clothes.”




“…the fuck, man…My dog isn’t moving, dude! What’d you do to him?

“Dude. Why are you talking to my girlfriend?”

“Um, yeah, man. It kind of is.”

“Hey, can you chill out just a bit? You need to calm down.”

#2: Find a way to sing “Baby Got Back.”


The kitchen was packed a moment ago….bitches can’t handle my hand of conga…

I’m not sure I need to elaborate on this much more…

#1: Piss everywhere BUT the toilet.

I don’t know what makes me think I am clever when I stumble into your bathroom and pee on every roll of toilet paper in there, but I gotta say, it’s funny as shit when I’m doing it.

In hindsight, I’m pretty sure that nothing puts a woman in a throat punching, stiletto heel heart stabbing, testicle crushing, murderous rage than having your skirt around your waist and grabbing a handful of piss sopped pulp to wipe with. Fortunately, you can gratify those throat-punchy, heart-stabby, ball-crushy urges practically instantly, because I’ll just be in the next room telling my “secret” to the dudes.

By shouting it.


Oh, wait.

(This may explain the sexual “Dry Spell” I went through from 1989-2009.)
Wipe that fucking smirk off your face. 2010 ain’t over yet.


Dog photo courtesy of Mike Fischer,  flickr.
Snoop photo courtesy of chicagofabulous,  flickr.
Drunk dancing photo courtesy of melle oh, flickr.
R Kelly photo courtesy of andrew steinmetz, flickr.
Joan Rivers photo courtesy of david shankbone, flickr.



The Nail


Today I’m going to tell you about something all Enthusiasts know about, have experienced, or are going to experience (for all you beginning your journey of enthusiasm).

It’s called The Nail.

Some of you might call it The Kicker, The Obliviator, The Long Kiss Goodnight or How I Met My Husband, but it’s the same thing the world ‘round: it’s the last drink that puts you over the edge. The one that makes you want to swear off drinking the next day, the one that makes you call and text everyone you know that you were with the night before asking:

It goes like this: all’s well, you’re out and about getting enthusiastic with enthusiasm. The drinks flow, the conversations are rolling. Typical effects of enthusiasm occur:

  1. I am a GREAT conversationalist!
  2. I am Hilarious! I should really think about going into stand-up.
  3. My God! I never knew I could sing this well!
  4. I am an AWESOME dancer! Yeah, I’m totally gonna talk to Rihanna ‘bout getting in her entourage …

And then:

“Less go get one more shot at the bar. No, ‘mfine, ‘swon more and then we out, promise.”

No matter what you end up ordering, the next drink you have is going to be The Nail.

The Nail. It comes in many forms:

  • A freebie of Fernet from the bartender
  • A shot of something you NEVER drink normally: “Gimme a shotta Aftershock, you got any a that? How ‘bout Goldschlager?”
  • Something super strong and expensive to keep the bartender from cutting you off: “He’s ordering a double Johnnie Walker Blue, I’m not passing up the tip on that!”

Whatever your Nail was, one thing is certain: you are done.

The next thing you know, it’s tomorrow. Your “recently dialed” log on your cell looks like someone put the thing on random autodial. Hazily, the fragmented conversations come back to you:

College buddy:

“Dude, dude, dude … did I wake you up? What’s up, man? Haven’t talked to you in soo long, bro, What’s up, man? Is someone crying? You have a daughter? Wow, man …What’s up, man? Did I wake you up?” Click.

Your ex:

(Softly) “Heeeey you …what’s happening? I miss you. … I been thinking about us a lot recently, you know, the times we had … man, I should have never let you go. Are you at home?”  Click.

Directory assistance:

“Um. Illinois. Shaumberg. Kendra Duck. D-U-C-K. Thank you.”

Girl from high school:

“Kendra? Kendra …’sat you? Oh man! Wow! It’s me, Jason! From East High School! What? Oh fuck, man I forgot it’s like two hours later where you are. …What?” Click.

“Hey! Don’ you hangup on me! What you wrote in my yearbook was a lie!! A LIE! Cocktease.”

Pizza place:

“Yeah, I’m gonna need an extra large with pep, onion and mushroom … um, and 30 wings. And then, um, six wings.”

“Wait, what? Do you want 30 wings or six wings?”

“D’you sell beer?” Click.


“C’you … C’yoo … C’you … um … uh … find me with yer Jeepy S?” Click.

The pieces come back slowly, but they are horrifying as they reassemble into the Assout omelette that was your night last night. You hope against hope that you didn’t drext.

Did you drext?

You drexted.

Your boss.

Same ex.

Dude you met just pre-Nail.

Your wife.

I think you get it. So rather than try to wrap up with a witty dénouement, I shall leave you with this parting shot:

Whether it be the one that’s coming for you next, or the one you just survived and are living down right now, know this: The Nail is ours. A Nail will come out, but its hole remains … so let’s love The Nail and embrace The Nail. The stories, the shame, the laughter and the adventures at the edge of Oblivion. Painful as it might be, enthusiasts, The Nail is our way of showing that we’re only human, after all.


First nail photo courtesy of Clearly Ambiguous,  flickr.

Quick update: This post was dedicated to Sean Chapman—the guy that introduced me to , and has served me many, many, many of The Nail. He’s a good friend, a great bartender and a kickass artist. Do yourself a favor and check out his work here.



Yes We Can: Black Russian

No, I am not talking about Russians electing this guy (I’m pretty sure they didn’t). I am talking about a new series in which I review Russia’s canned alcohol goods, because while the country doesn’t have a lot of black people, they certainly have a lot of booze in cans.

Up this week, the “Black Russian.” Most of you probably know the Black Russian to be a cocktail consisting of vodka and some sort of coffee liqueur, often Kahlua, and a relation of the White Russian, which adds milk or cream to the whole mix.

But this is Russia and they don’t give a fuck about what you “know.”

The tag on the can is in English on one side, Russian on the other, and while close, their translation doesn’t fully line up. The English side labels the drink, “natural cognac with almond flavor,” while the Russian calls it, “real cognac.” But that’s just what we call marketing: the hippies shopping at Whole Foods (or are you guys still boycotting that?) buy it cause its natural, and the Russian bydlos buy it cause it’s real.

The Black Russian. 8.7% alcohol, retails for around a $1.

The can lists a bunch of those weird chemicals you find in every soda, with the addition of cognac (I guess real, but unspecified whether natural), and almond flavor titled, “Almond Special Advantages.”

I opened the can and poured half into a glass to let it open up and allow me to really judge the bouquet. It looked like Diet Coke (not sure if that actually looks different than regular Coke), with a rather singular bouquet (more like a flower), and smelled like an almond cookie (maybe a macaroon).

As the nose seemed rather set, I took a big swig, holding the carbonated beverage in my mouth, drawing air slowly over it in order to bring out all its subtleties. It was nutty, buttery, and candylike—as in, it tasted like candy. To be more precise, it tasted like that Tootsie Roll in the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop; not quite as good as a normal Tootsie Roll, but more satisfying because you had to work for it.

The aftertaste was slight, and the light bodied beverage did not linger much on the tongue. Overall, the drink was rather thin and singular in flavor, but, by tasting like candy, it really brought up memories of childhood, and anything that brings together drinking and children is okay by me.

Be sure to check out their amazing and beautiful website. Click the Да on the left to enter: http://black-ru.ru/

Next time, “Hooch,” which I think has blackberries in it.

Reporting from Russia



For experts only

Living in San Francisco has its ups and downs.

The ups? Well, living in one of the best damn cities in the world.

The downs? Rent, taxes, food, and hookers all cost so much more here. But what really ends up punishing my wallet the most is also the thing I love to do the most.

Well, maybe not the most. But I’m learning discipline. Little by little.

And penis dry heaves are lessons that teach themselves. But I digress.

Yes. That is what we call it now. Fap.

I needed a balance between $220 bar tabs (that I only remembered the first $70 of) and spraying Lysol into the cap and shooting it.

Wait, what?

Yes. I just told you that I did that. You do know you are reading The Alcohol Enthusiast, right?

Let’s just say that I don’t curb my enthusiasm.

That’s why I turned to the Gate. The Royal Gate.

In your city it’s called such things as: “Eye Fuck” and “Rubbing Alcohol” and the cartoony yet foreboding “XXX.”

Look, this is the cheapest vodka I can get that’s still in a bottle made of glass. It’s $9.99 AND it’s Royal. I thought it might be a great way to save money by mixing it with Citrus Vitamin Water.

I thought it would be a good compromise. It was.

Of my consciousness.

And my bowels.

No, the camera is *fine*. This is how it always looks. Blurry.

Not pictured: me. For three days.

Oh, right. Like you don’t shit all over yourself sometimes. The only reason you kept reading past “Royal Gate” was to see if the same thing had happened to me.

But, hey…the upside was this: I had only spent about 12 bucks on booze that night/weekend/week. I had about $81 dollars in my pocket that I hadn’t just pissed away on teeny Fernet shots and overpriced watered down vodka tonics. What to do with my sudden windfall?

I could just see a movie…

fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap.

Forget about saving money in this city. It’s for experts only. And I, dear friends, am an enthusiast, not an expert.




To the drunkard go the spoils

Certainly drinking is its own wonderful reward. Wetting one’s whistle with the gods’ sweet nectar and being allowed passage to the pastoral paradise of perfectdom that is inebriation is second to nothing—so when tangible spoils come your way, they are but icing on a cake already made out of pure good times. I am talking about prizes: physical, no joke things that alcohol companies give you for the pleasure of enjoying their libations.

Of course the “civilized” US has put a stop to a lot of these amazing giveaways, but have no fear, because the rest of the world soldiers on. Just last night I won an amazing passport cover after drinking two beers. Two beers. That wouldn’t even get a toddler tipsy!

Has anyone else gotten down on the alcohol prize wagon? Are alcohol giveaways fully dead in the US?

I’ll keep searching over here, because really, regardless, to the drunkard go the spoils.

Reporting from Russia


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