in a page such as this, i must pay homage to the form of drunkeness that most people attribute to the very word: good ole alcohol-induced intoxication.

there is definitely something to be said for a good buzz, or from time to time, a hefty drunken stupor. mostly, tho, the fuzzy-as-a-peach state is what i prefer and recommend.

as greg once noted to me in the wee hours of the morning during his visit to berkeley - people are more likely be themselves, uninhibited, when they are inebriated to some degree. they will say what they mean, which is all to often not that case during our sober moments. he likes to stay up late, drink with friends, and philosophize till the dawn. when i would eat lunch at howard's house in nicaragua we would open a bottle of wine with our pizza and talk for maybe five hours, rejuvenating ourselves with kahlua or just the intoxication of full stomachs. it is a pleasant thing and should be done with good friends when the time is right.

to share a bottle brings people together, to toast gives you a common dream, to finish the bottle together promises that it won't be the last one.

"To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists;
and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due."

it can also be fun to be really loud, to lose fine control over your volume and perhaps motor controls, get exuberant, laugh boisterously, yell in spanish. just like yourself, only more so.

drinking excessively will make you swear to yourself that you'll never drink ever again, even tho you probably won't keep that for very long. hangovers suck: drink lots of water. better yet, know your limits... but write them in pencil.

as a public service message, drink responsibly. europe's got it all figured out... give it to them young and hopefully they'll learn to use it right - it won't be a rebellion thing, which is the wrong reason to drink anyway. my family has always told the waiters to serve the kids too. i have come to love and respect wine - that taste is a great pleasure to me, and i can drink a good amount without ever feeling ill effects. it treats me well. gotta love it.


Two gallons is a great deal of wine, even for two paisanos. Spiritually the jugs may be graduated thus: Just below the shoulder of the first bottle, serious and concentrated conversation. Two inches farther down, sweetly sad memory. Three inches more, thoughts of old and satisfactory loves. An inch, thoughts of old and bitter loves. Bottom of the first jug, general and undirected sadness. Shoulder of the second jug, black unholy despondency. Two fingers down, a song of death or longing. A thumb, every other song each one knows. The graduations stop there, for the trail splits and there is no certainty. From this point on anything can happen.

-John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flats