1. My good friend Jeff Phillips, otherwise known as The Igloo Oven, just published a book called Whiskey Pike. Having known him for around three years now, seeing him steal the show with his knack for comedic timing in the play I co wrote and directed, The Loitering Hole, and knowing what a light-hearted fellow he is in his day-to-day life, I was not expecting such a dark tale. Yes, it's dark, but not just dark for dark's sake; it has something worthwhile to say about strained relationships in a family as they deal with greed, corruption, and alcoholism. I also like the cute illustrations Jeff did on his own that keep such a sad story grounded in the theme: "A Bedtime Story for the Drinking Mankind." So, pick up a copy at the website or at Amazon.com, sit back with a single-malt whiskey, and settle in for all 65-pages of booze soaked enjoyment.
2. Recently I got thinking about a bar that one of my best friends managed that was like my home away from home for around a year. I knew the whole staff, they knew me, and I always felt pressured to be funny when I came in there, coming up with bomb-ass one-liners like Norm on Cheers. There was a gal there who will probably always be my favorite bartender. She'd pour me a drink with like a four to one booze to mixer ratio that I could just sip on for an hour or two, and she'd say, "I put some stank on it." One day my roommate at the time and I were having a few there and helping that very bartender come up with names for a Christmas shot she had concocted. I'll be honest here because there's no other way to say it: It looked like a shot glass full of cum, but it tasted just like Christmas! Because it looked so much like spunk, all of the names we were coming up with were totally inappropriate, but so damn funny that they need to be shared.
I remember throwing out Santa's Baby Batter, and my roommate, always shocking me with the funny stuff he'd stir up in his head, being such a quiet fella, came up with Blitzen Juice. Blitzen Juice! I still laugh when I say it. Telling that story last night, I decided to text him those two words. I woke up this morning to a return text from him: Santa's Sleigh Load. Ha! Forgot that one.
3. I was watching COPS today, and as you know, I've been known to offer little tips here and there to help all of you Gancey Up Yourself, and I think this is one of my better ones: Watch COPS as a means of boosting your self-esteem. I watch losers getting arrested, and I think to myself, "Sure, I have a heaping pile of student loans, my writing career isn't taking off like I hoped, and my actual job doesn't pay a whole lot, but I have all my teeth, I've never smacked my 'old lady' around, gotten handcuffed shirtless on my front lawn with a knee in my back, cursing out cops who would moments later find a few grams of cocaine in my jean shorts. I got it pretty good next to those guys, and so do you, seven readers. Whenever you get down on yourself, just remember, even if your job sucks, be thankful you have a steady one, and you could be somewhere getting dragged out of your trailer and beaten with nightsticks while snarling police dogs bite your ankles.