Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Post-Groundhog's Day Lament

Huh? Whut? (wipes drool from mouth and rubs red, bleary eyes) Oh, it's you. Good to see you old friend. Sorry I haven't been posting, but I have been cultivating an alcohol-fueled stupor for a few days now and I think I've almost perfected it. God I love Groundhog's Day, but the post GHD depression can be a bit much. After all, I have to wait a whole year for it to return and that can be a bit hard to swallow on Feb. 3rd.

Screw it, I've got enough left over booze to keep me sauced until St. Crispin's Day. I had already purchased an extensive selection of cheap wine for the party-goers who didn't drink beer (who doesn't drink beer?) and Flannery brought home two cases of Budweiser, with two thirty-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon to chase it with. This was to be a bacchanalian festival. I bought a bottle of rum, gin, vodka, scotch, and bourbon early in the week, all top-shelf, but I made the mistake of taking some of it to Tiki and only the gin survived intact.

I needn't have worried, as everyone brought something to drink and when they left, they left it here. They left an expensive looking bottle of vodka called Vox from the Netherlands. I've learned from Ian Fleming that Russians and the Polish make the best vodka, but I don't see why the Netherlands couldn't make a good one too, as it touts that it's distilled five times. I haven't tried it yet as I'm saving it for a good martini when the mood strikes me.

They also left some beer. Budweiser's American Ale, which I haven't tried. I've seen it on the shelves for a while now, but I've hesitated to buy it because I figured Budweiser would just screw it up. I'll tell you how good it is after I've finished my PBR surplus. Flannery's buddy Jeff (as seen in the post below in my good pith helmet) brought a Belgium blonde ale called Abby of Leffe that I tasted and was deemed "purdy good". Like I say, I'll tell you more about it when my PBR surplus is extinguished.

My good buddy Err (seen in the post below in the Union blue forage cap. He looked so damn good in the thing I sent it home with him) brought four tall cans of Guinness and I couldn't pass up having one of those. I poured it into a cold pint glass and had a moment of silence for those of you that couldn't make it. Then I proceeded to give myself the biggest foam mustache in the room and savored the moment.

The biggest hit of the evening was the bourbon slushes that Debra brought. I had one and could have spent the rest of the evening sipping/munching these, but I knew after one that I should stick to beer, as Groundhog's Day is an endurance event and these would leave me slurry and stupid quickly. I'm not certain that I could describe them better than to say it had the consistency of a finely ground snow cone and a flavor like the touch of a knowing lover. They were that damn good! They will forever more be a regular part of our GHD party!

There were various wines sampled throughout the evening, but my favorite was a marvelous port from Portugal called Cockburn's that my new friend Erich brought. Erich was a high school chum of Flannery's that she hadn't heard from in twenty-odd years. He found her on Facebook and got in touch a few days before the party and she invited him out. He was going to be in town for a few days before he had to fly out to South America for a photo shoot, as he is a professional photographer, but he thought that a Groundhog's day party sounded fun, and would it be alright if he brought his camera along? "Sure," Flannery said.

Now I have to admit that I am a bit camera shy as I believe I have a face best suited for radio. I'm the worlds biggest ham, but I don't really want visual examples of it that could be used against me in a court of law. Erich lugs in this huge backpack and sorts through it for a minute and assembles a camera that looks like it would cost me a years worth of house payments and starts snapping away. At first I found it disconcerting but after a while you just treat it like a poorly timed strobe light. And I'm glad he did. He got some great pics! I'll share some once I sift through all 270 of them.

Funniest line of the whole evening: "I thought you said you were farting feathers!" Only Flannery could misunderstand me so badly. This became the running joke of the evening.

Per usual, we had silly hat night, which was convenient as I gave me the chance to unveil the new Top Hat I got for my birthday. It's cool because you can crush it and snap it out like a magician's hat. The only down side is that it has huge metal springs in it just for this purpose but they tend to dig into your head after a while. Oh well, whoever said great fashion wasn't painful was wrong.

We hopped in and out of the hot tub several times because this is required on GHD but it makes more sense when it is -7 rather than fifty degrees like we had. The neighbors looked at me funny when I fired up the snow blower to clear off a patch in the front yard to park the Jeep and Flan's car, but I wanted to make sure I had enough room in the driveway to park all the cars.

The food was excellent and I ate more than I have in three Thanksgivings. Flannery had originally planned to make BBQ pulled pork sandwiches but that changed when she got to the store on Saturday and realized that the pork would need twelve hours to thaw. The gyros she made instead inspired ooh's and ahh's. She also brought home a two pound box of Swedish Fish. Perhaps she had heard that someone was bringing vodka from the Netherlands, I don't know. I'm just glad she didn't buy sardines.

I was the last one to head to bed as I felt it was important to teach my nephew and nieces how to play the Indiana Jones Lego game so they would have something fun to do while the adults slept late in the morning. The adults slept later than usual but five children in a small house tends to quash most dreams of rising at noon.

Those of us still left from the night before convened in the lodge for morning coffee and rehashed our favorite bits of the wonderful GHD of '09. We finished our coffee but a thirst was upon us still. My sister produced a bottle of black cherry mead wine that she had brought especially for Flan and it was a great way to ease into the morning after. Sweet and warm as it goes down, I'd recommend it for your next brunch, provided you didn't have any plans to amount to something that day.

Lunch was served and it was shortly after this that beers were fished out from the snow-filled Budweiser tub that Flan brought home. It was after noon and refreshments were called for. No sooner did the empties hit the recycle bin than my brother-in-law suggested a return to the hot tub, if for no other reason than to work the kinks out from the night before. The warm water and bubbles managed to transition us all into a deep zen-like state. It may have been the mead coupled with the hot water but I prefer to think of it as zen.

I hated to see my friends and family pack up and leave, but all good things must come to an end.

I was just thankful I had two more days off from work so I could recover.



  1. Enjoy that Vox, it's good shit. One of the smoothest Vodkas I've found. Blends seamlessly into anything but still has a good flavor straight up.

    The American Ale isn't bad. The Belgians, miserable fat bastards though they may be, know what they're doing. It's like a Sam Adams Boston Lager with a Budweiser label.

  2. What a wonderful recap, I am so sorry that time and distance prevent me from attending.

  3. Great party dude. Swedish Fish would make the day any time. But don't knock the sardines. And if you were on Facebook (but don't join on my account) you would know that one day I enjoyed a lunch of sardines, cottage cheese and kimchi. Good times.

  4. It sounds like a hatload of fun! I need to see some video of your snap action top hat now!


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