Creating is more exciting with a bit of booze
By Tim Protzman firstname.lastname@example.org
Boredom is the bane of modern American life.
We have all these channels. We have all these leisure activities and some of us still get bored. Maybe we have too many choices and the depth of the experience is worn thin.
Or maybe boredom’s the necessary counterpart of excitement. It’s here to keep us from turning into annoying little adrenalin junkies.
Despite all the things I’ve done to alleviate boredom, this weekend was the first time I invented anything to escape it.
I know lots of people who hold patents. It’s usually something esoteric like the formula to make viscous membranes semi-permeable. But Paula actually invented something. Something people buy. The general public.
Paula and I had an on again, off again relationship. She had a lovely home near the beach. We traveled and worked in her yard. But, like anything you have too much of, we soon got bored. We didn’t stay in touch. We didn’t talk on the phone. But I ran into her at a garden center and the last thing she said was: “You’ll have to come over some weekend.”
I was touched but not convinced. Then I got an invite. So I said yes.
The first day we spent at the beach. We cooked dinner and relaxed. We were on her patio. She got up to go into the house and came out a few minutes later.
“I forgot what I went in to get!” she said.
Most of us have done that before.
She told me her mother, sister and she had an idea for a wristwatch recorder that you could talk into and play back in the next room in case you forgot what you went in for.
You’d say “scissors” into the little recorder. It could be tape or even a digital chip and when you got into the next room if you forgot what you were after you could play it back to remind you
I thought it was a stupid idea and I told her so. What if you got up and forgot to record what you were looking for? Should you get two wrist reminders? One for what you need to remember and one to remind you to record what you need to remember? The weekend took a cold turn after that. The next day she took me to the hardware store. She needed me to rewire her dryer and washing machine.
Then six months later I’m bored. Nothing on television. Too cold to go out. But I see this 90-second infomercial about a wristwatch reminder that helps you remember stuff. I call Paula to see if it’s hers. It isn’t, but they’ve seen the commercial and they’re kicking themselves for not doing it first. She tells me all the plans she has for her garden and how she’s going to put in a fountain. Then she invites me over for a weekend when the weather gets better. And I can tell there’s going to be some fountain-building involved.
This weekend we wanted to sample some wines. We were bored. I suggested going to a restaurant and sampling a few wine flights, which are five or six small glasses of different wines, usually around a theme like “wines of Tuscany.” This was vetoed even before I could plead my case that a co-worker had dined at Panorama in Philadelphia and sampled an expensive wine flight that included a 2004 Barnett Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake Vineyard and a delicious little ringer from a Pennsylvanian vineyard that she doesn’t remember that name of. Forgetfulness and boredom are the bane of a wine writer’s life.
After torpedoing the movies (going and renting), making pizza dough, the pool hall, Starbucks and mini-go carts, Daniel told us about this drink contest. He found this Web site that’s soliciting recipes. First place prizewas a cocktail shaker!
We headed out to shop for ingredients, confident that something would jump out and say, “Buy me. I make the perfect drink!”
Soon grenadine syrup, tomato juice, cream of celery soup and strawberry/banana were ruled out.
Bouillon and mayo? Uh-uh. Anything blue was nixed. Pickles were verboten, as was anything with more than three different spirits in it.
What we came up with was not novel. But it was such a different twist on an old favorite that we’ve made a place on the bar shelf for the first-prize authentic Naugahyde cocktail shaker. And Daniel even came up with a stupid little name that shamelessly trades on another product’s branding.
1 bottle of I.B.C. root beer
1½ shots of white rum
½ shot of vodka
A splash of chocolate stout
1 scoop French vanilla ice cream
Pour the rum & vodka over ice. Chill. Strain and discard ice. Add half the ice cream. Add the chocolate stout. Fill the glass with root beer.
Maybe we won’t win the Nauga-shaker, but after one of these we weren’t bored. In fact we had a strange desire for kickball and Webkinz.
Here’s this week’s wine:
• 2003 Chateau Clerc-Milon ($27.44). This is a fifth growth Bordeaux, part of the Rothschild wine holdings. One part of the family produces Chateau Mouton Rothschild and the other side produces Chateau Lafite Rothschild. I expected a little more from this wine, specifically more definition. But the fruit was big and tasty. More Napa in style than Bordeaux.