There are more than just bananas in there...

Month: October 2021

Headless Horseman

Childhood fears are funny things. I am not sure we ever get over them, not completely. I’m a reasonably grown man, closing in on half a century of wanderings and I have faced and overcome many fears in my time. That’s part of growing up. The more we learn, the more we realize that the truly scary things in the world rarely go bump in the night and as a buddy likes to remind me when we are hiking in moonlit woods, “If anything out here really means you harm, you’ll probably never hear it coming.” Still, when those cold winds begin to blow rattling the dry leaves in the trees and the fire dances in the jack o’lanterns eyes, it’s funny how those old haunts can rise from their graves. So won’t you join me now as we listen to the distant clatter of hooves in the distance and we stand and make the Headless Horseman.

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Dark & Smoky

They say the devil is in the details. He is also, apparently, on my kitchen counter. If my upbringing is to be believed, which it most assuredly, is not; the devil is everywhere, all the time. It is not always clear what he is doing. Some say he is out running or just around the corner waiting to trip you up, others claim he wants to make a deal for your soul, although this most often happens at a crossroads, allegedly. Details on whether those crossroads are metaphorical, allegorical or physical are decidedly fuzzy, although the Jackson, Mississippi Chamber of Commerce claims to have the answer and a bumper sticker to go with it. I have often heard that he’s fond of wagers and fiddle contests, but I don’t have much musical talent or a hickory stump, so I can’t confirm this for myself. The point is folks have a lot to say about the devil, but little sympathy for him. So, have some courtesy and some taste as we stand and make the devil’s own Dark and Smoky.

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Witch’s Kiss

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” That immortal line from Shakespeare always makes us think of the weird sisters, that famed trio of witches from the Scottish play. The line is so iconic that it is easy to forget the line is not about them. It is actually spoken by one of the sisters, on the approach of the true monster of the story, the titular Macbeth. It’s funny how that happens, as the fire burns and the cauldron bubbles, things get crossed up and the wickedness, well, we tend to lay that at the feet of the witches, no matter who is really at fault. It seems we are always looking for blame, in all the wrong places; and there is probably a reason for that. Won’t you join me now and dig a little deeper as we stand and make the Witch’s Kiss.

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Bitter Heart

Some things stick with you, inexplicably. I have always been curious about that. How I can clearly remember staring at the clouds through the branches of a tree on my great aunt’s farm when I was 6 or 7, but I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. Or how I can remember the smell of the Shogun Warriors mask I wore for Halloween in 1978, but I forget my blood type. I don’t know why some things stick and others fade away. I do know why this drink made my spooky drinks list, when it is not scary in any way. It starts with a poem, an epigraph in a book that kept me awake all night many moons ago. Terrified, I kept turning the pages, pushing through the story, hoping that knowing the end would let me sleep. So, with a nod toward night terrors and carrying on because you can’t go back, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Bitter Heart.

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Cadaver Reviver

We reinvent ourselves all the time. Not intentionally, necessarily, it just happens as we grow. Growing up. Growing older. Growing wiser, hopefully. Growth is the driver for who we will become. We mostly don’t notice it, but when you look back over your life it is easy to see the people we were, the lives we have discarded when they no longer fit, as we have grown into something more. This is usually a good thing, but every once in a while, we lose a piece of ourselves in the transition and we wish we could have that part back, if just for a moment. That’s how nostalgia works. So, with a nod to those shadows on the cave wall of who we were, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Cadaver Reviver.

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Vampire’s Kiss

I am leaning in to Halloween this year. I don’t know why, but I am ready for all of the holidays and this first is always one of my favorites. So, I have been staring longingly at the leaves, willing them to change, looking to the north for a chill that does not come and waiting for that crisp bite in the air that announces the season of the witch. October took its sweet time about it, but finally here in the waning days that wind picked up and blew those leaves from the trees to announce that, indeed, something wicked this way comes. To kick things off properly, we made some chili, lit some candles and settled in to introduce the wife and child to some old friends from Santa Carla. So, in honor of those lost boys and the girls who love them, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Vampire’s Kiss.

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Pink Squirrel

Ferris said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So, that’s what have been doing. It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I have had a lot on my mind. Not the good productive sort of “lot on my mind” that gives me fodder for writing to share all those crazy thoughts. No, the other kind. The deep fears, the worries, that stuff you don’t share with your closest friends, much less tell the whole world. The upshot is I have not written anything or had a drink for the longest stretch since we began this journey over a year and a half ago. What can I say, I have been distracted. So, in the spirit of those little things that keep you from focusing won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Pink Squirrel.

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Fernet Ramos

I went to a funeral today. My great uncle passed quietly in his sleep at the age of 97 while I was out of town. I accompanied my grandma as she said farewell to her brother and could not help thinking how most of that generation is gone now. The people I grew up looking up to, the leaders of the family. All those great aunts and uncles, stepping up to take their turn as elders before moving on to whatever comes next. It gives one pause. Lin Manuel sang, “I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory” in Hamilton, and I get it. Though it never used to cross my worried mind, the older I get the mori memento-ing I find myself doing. So, with thoughts of that undiscovered country, I am not ready to explore yet, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Fernet Ramos.

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Harvey Wallbanger

I used to do a bit of acting. To be fair, I usually feel like I am still acting everyday, but no one gives me a script or pays me for that. Every once in a while I get the opportunity to get out there and trod the boards again and when I do, I relish it. It is a true privilege to be able to go out there and entertain folks, to help them forget the real world, if just for a little while. There is nothing in the world like being on stage in front of a live audience and feeling that circle of energy flowing. It is an addiction that can be hard to feed, so when I get the chance, I work hard and I savor every moment. I was fortunate enough to be cast in a “one night only” production last weekend at a festival and during the afterglow of the show, discussion turned to sweet Italian liqueur and the pure joy that sometimes happens when things go off the rails. So, with a nod to making it up as you go along, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Harvey Wallbanger.

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