Tag Archives: Vonnegut

WhiskeySitting down at a desk to write is a gentlemanly act. Even if you’re gifted with an X chromosome in place of the Y version I carry, sitting down to write is still an elegant experience. To plant your posterior in a chair, poise your fingertips over the keys, and open your mind to the possibilities – it’s adventurous and brave. It just is.

Of course there are staples of the writing trade. Pens and pencils come to mind, as do pads of paper, keyboards, Macintosh computers, Michael Dell, the fine people who created NeoOffice, Word, Wordperfect, Scrivener, and a slew of other useful software products. And alcohol.

Of all the alcohol laden options available to a writer, I will state unequivocally that whiskey is the most noble and productive of libations. This, after an exhaustive scientific study that ranged from my desk to the other side of my desk and back again. There, over near the calculator I picked up at Staples on a whim, is a glass of chilled golden liquid that will almost certainly result in this evening being more enjoyable than it might have otherwise been.

Whisky, or as it is referred to it in America, Canada, and Ireland, whiskey, is also a preferred drink of lawyers. Or it should be. Because the rules that distinguish whisky (Scotch) from whiskey (Irish) from Bourbon (American) from Rye (American or Canadian) are a legalistic jumble that no enhanced level of sobriety could possible decrypt. For instance, while American Rye Whiskey must be derived from a concoction of no less than 51 percent rye, Canadian Rye Whiskey may or may not have seen even a single grain of rye involved in the distillation process.  Read More →

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In the late 1980s I lived in New York City. My apartment was in Greenwich Village, in keeping with my basic philosophy of NYC. My philosphy is this; if you’re going to live in New York City, live in Manhattan. If you’re going to live in Manhattan, live in the Village. In my case, the apartment was on Bleecker St. Specifically, 177 Bleecker St. Three members of my band lived in the same small, roach-infested apartment, where our Super, a well-worn Jamaican named Johnny referred to my roommates and me collectively as, “Beeeeeaaatlessssss.” His voice was low and rough from years of smoking things he really shouldn’t have been smoking. It dragged on forever it seemed. “Beeeaaatles,” he’d say every time he saw one of us in the hall or on the street. For all I knew the Fab Four were the only band he knew. I’m not aware of him ever seeing us perform, either. But still, Johnny religiously referred to each of the three of us, individually or in a group as, “Beeeeaaatles.”

It was kind of flattering in a weird, not particularly productive kind of way. Still, flattery is almost always appreciated on some level, and we did appreciate the humor of Johnny’s perspective on who he thought we were, or who we might be in the future.

To be clear, my band never made the former Beatles sweat about their legacy. Not for a moment. Although we were pretty good. But that’s another story altogether.

The New York City memory I cling to most had nothing to do with music, or live performance, or much of what I was up to in those days. No, my favorite memory has a literary twist to it. Read More →