Thursday, December 19, 2013


Ok then. Finally recovered from that frightening debacle on TV last week and don't you think it's just about time to talk about some of our FAVORITE things from this year? Yeeeeess. Unfortunately for you, sometimes my FAVORITE things are kind of horrendous and/or weird. Maybe inappropriate.

So let's dive in with a really nice one, kind of the best one:


1/2 Viryta (recipe here)
1/2 ROOT
The Viryta is heavier than the ROOT, but that doesn't mean we should go ahead and shake this over ice. No, just put both in a rocks glass with two ice cubes and stir real good. 

So looky that! I FOUND A USE FOR THE ROOT! Listen, the Viryta is heaven and sex all at once, but it is a little intense in the sweetness area. Like, lip-licky roll-around-on-the-rug did-someone-roofie-that-chick intense. And the ROOT is just kind of vile, in its own bark-beer peppery way - it's totally like some kind of puddlewater liquor they distilled in District 12 and used for flavoring at Peeta's bakery. But put 'em together and they were made for each other.


Speaking of Peeta, this NPR Monkey See article that everyone saw is one of my favorite things of 2013. That columnist describes how Katniss - laconic, emotionally unavailable Katniss - is the boy of The Hunger Games and Peeta, who helps and helps and draws her out and then needs rescuing - is the girl.

And I would like to think that Suzanne Collins wrote it that way in order to SUBVERT THOSE ROLES, but I bet you any money that she had the whole thing half-written with Katniss as the baker's daughter before she switched things up. Peeta is good at ART and BAKING for chrissake. He's a girl.

Cosmopolitan magazine, of all things, has a cocktail inspired by Peeta. I had to laugh - it is literally weak tea and pear juice (ok, plus bourbon) and... a cherry. Ouch!
Peeta's Pear Punch (James Labe for Cosmopolitan mag)
1 Numi Honeybush teabag
2 oz. bourbon
4 oz. pear juice
Garnish: maraschino cherry
Infuse tea bag in bourbon for 30 minutes, then remove bag, squeezing out excess liquid. Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake, strain into a glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.


Random image. Not associated with any book.
Now everyone seems to have read the Hunger Games books, but I am betting I read some stuff this year that you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot gaffi stick.

I've come to an interesting conclusion about some of the books I've read. I think that being assigned semi-random books to read (by the periodicals I review for) (fuck you preposition) actually gives me a big advantage over people who only read books that they select themselves.

Oh you could read The Fault in Our Stars, sure, and I'm sure you will love it, but how much more would you love it after having read All that Trembles (not its real name) or Cleopatra Comes Back! (also a fake title). How much more savorsome would Julie Berry's diamond prose be if you read it knowing for a fact that paragraphs like this existed in the world:
"As much as I tried to brush it off, if there was one thing I had learned in my family it was this: there are no coincidences. If it makes us pause, if it seems to have meaning, it probably is."
Is... it?

Bring Me Bonsai - what is German for "funny"?
"In a spirit of relaxed affability she extended her right hand and ____ gracefully took it and with great urbanity, bowed saying enchanted and gently kissed her hand and stated that my dear lady it is with particular pleasure that I make your acquaintance. _____ inquired, rhetorically, are you a supercilious fellow?"
Not de facto supercilious, but I would go with grandiloquent. And perhaps uninfected with any malady symptomatic of a hyperabundance of punctuation.

Some of the best bits are when an author tries to describe his or her character in a fancy way. As if it's cheating to write, "He had dark eyes and she had fair skin":
"The salient features of his incredibly handsome face was a pair of soothing dark eyes which appeared to glimmer as they pierced the inner being of the target of their gaze."
"I may have inherited _____'s spirit, but I definitely did not inherit her darker complexion. Nope, I was stuck with my fair Irish skin, which reacted like a bad report card burning in the fireplace - curling up at the edges. My head was already steaming, and it was only nighttime."
My head is steaming too, but not because it's hot in here. So sure, I drink.


Amidst the brouhaha surrounding the replica baby Prince George doll, I feel that we are in danger of forgetting the true creepiness of dolls, a subject that we are committed to raising awareness of here on Your Neighborhood Librarian. Let's just take a mo and contemplate:

Weirder than the Prince G doll: faceless felt royals on Ebay.

Weirder than the Prince George doll: reborn baby dolls.

Weirder than all this shit put together,
but paradoxically less disturbing:
reborn zombie baby dolls.

And ladies and gentlemen, the best thing I have seen all year:
the custom Zombie Divine reborn baby doll by Krypt Kiddies.

There's a marvelous story about Divine on the night he died. Coming back from dinner with friends in Los Angeles, he paused outside his hotel room, leaned over the balcony railing, arms up like Eva Peron, and sang "Arrivederci Roma." That is style right there. Ever since I heard that story, I've taken to doing the same thing on my deck before going up to bed, just on the off chance I die in my sleep. You never know.

I don't know what "the Godzilla of drag" drank, but this one's for you, sir. It's strong and kind of tacky and most importantly, it's pink.

Divine Champagne Cocktail
1 white sugar cube
2 dashes bitters
¾ fl oz cognac
champagne (pink champagne! do I have to spell everything out to you people!?)
Place the sugar cube onto a spoon and add the bitters.
Drop the soaked sugar cube into a champagne flute and add the cognac.
Top up the glass with champagne and serve.


I read all the new picture books that come into our library, right? Just about all of them. So when I find something like Mommy's New Tattoo: A Bedtime Story for People on the New Picture Books shelf, it feels like an Easter egg left there just for me by our book buyers.

The rhymes are pretty terrible. Try to ignore that. The art is excellent. I almost wish someone would use Coney Island tattoo art style to illustrate, you know, just a picture book about a mermaid going shopping or something. Pirates who learn how to cook. After all, most of the moms I know have tattoos, and to my knowledge, none of our children has ever questioned them.

Obviously, a dramatic reading of Mommy's New Tattoo calls for a drink made with Sailor Jerry spiced rum. The original Sailor Jerry was a grizzled tattoo artist and radio host in Honolulu. His bold lines and open curves directly influence the style seen in this book.
Sailor Jerry flash.
Rockabilly Juice
2 parts Sailor Jerry
½ parts Lemon Juice
1/3 parts Orange Curacao
2 parts Black Tea (iced tea)
Build over ice in a tall glass, squeeze and drop in a lemon wedge


THIS was part of the middle schooler's Spanish homework tonight. I love that Spanish teacher.

Billy la Bufalda is the hero and role model of anyone who ever secretly wanted to date twins. And I'm not saying that I'm one of those people - shut up with your freakish accusations about my feelings for Fred and George Weasley - but if I were, I'd probably need to know Billy's secret. You gotta have stamina when you're stringing two boots along at once.

A swaggering Latin lover like Billy will have no problem downing a Prairie Oyster - it's a meal on the go and a shot of confidence at the same time. Sally Bowles drank 'em and I have to confess, this is something I'm going to try real soon.

Prairie Oyster
1 whole egg
1 ounce vodka
2 dashes of vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ketchup
2 dashes thin hot sauce (like Crystal or Louisiana the Perfect)
a little salt and pepper
Carefully crack the egg into an old-fashioned glass, taking care not to break the yolk. Add the remaining ingredients and drink in one gulp.


Now I will deny to my grave ever having harbored impure thoughts about Fred and George - they're just teenagers! but I do tend to plummet down the Weasley K-hole whenever I go looking for a picture of them for a post. Have you ever seen this? It is the cutest thing you will clap eyes upon in your whole life:

Is that a juice box? I'm dyin here she's so cute.

But this is what I'm going to leave you with today:


So I guess this means we're drinking with the Weasleys tomorrow! Join me for Round Two of What Would Amelia Bedelia Drink? aka Half-Pint Orders a Pint: Ginning it Up With Your Favorite Children's Book Characters.