Aug 252013

Liquorature Gathering #042 – “A Confederacy Of Dunces” (John Kennedy Toole)Dunces

Date:  July, 2012

Host:  Bauer

Whisky:  BenRomach Peat Smoke, Glen Elgin 16 y.o. Cask Strength, Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition, Glenglassaugh ‘The Spirit Drink That Dare Not Speak It’s Name’

Rum:  Gosling’s Black Seal


Oh boy.  Another one of those ultimately polarizing tales.  The guys either hated it or outright detested it.  No, I kid.  Sort of.

A couple of the crew (Clint and Chris, in particular) have a bit of a softspot for the more ridiculous stylings of this type of absurdist humor (hearken back to ‘Catch 22’, if you will), and as could have been foreseen, quite enjoyed this odd little romp through the opium fields.  Those of us with a more serious bent (read: better taste) found this barely palatable.  About as appealing as street vendor dogs when one is craving a nice filet, might be an apropos analogy.

As we pulled up to the digs for the evenings festivities, we were greeted by the great hotdog slinger himself, Bauer.  More Ignatious than John Paul Ziller, this guy.  Banner flying, literally, and hotdogs a’steaming (boiling? grilling?…can’t quite recall), we were led into the den of the absurd.

With a somewhat smaller crew than usual, we were able to crowd around a few seats in the cooler basement, and oh, darn…unfortunately had extra portions of barley juice to consume.  I know there was a rum on offer this eve, but for the life of me I can’t recall why.  Sage Surujbally was one of the absentees for this ‘Confederacy’ meet, so the rum may have taken a little knock or two, but not much more than that.  Proper respec’ to da whisky, as it should be.  (Sorry, Lance.  😉  )

So, the book.  Wow.  What a trial in suffering.  I kinda think I’d opt for a coin toss between crucifixion and a re-read of the sour unpleasant life of Ignatius J. Reilly.  Truly an insufferable c*** if ever there was one.  I won’t expound on the virtues of the author’s capturing of dialect or time and place.  It becomes irrelevant in the face of such an insurmountable obstacle as tolerating the protagonist (can he actually be considered a protagonist?).  Instead, suffice it to say that this is one of the top three most-want-to-punch-in-the-face characters ever written, and for that alone the novel was an exercise in enduring revulsion.  Tough read.  (In case you’re curious…the other two in the top three are Holden Caulfield and Doctor Leet).

Even with an abbreviated crew…great night.  Clint and Chris in fine form.  Lotsa laughs.

Cheers, Bauer.  For the soiree, if not the book choice.  😉

The randoms:  The Doors … “OG God” … “I wanna party on your p*ssy” … some Clutch … small crew … a few good laughs … acoustics … Ani DiFranco.


– Curt


Aug 232013

Liquorature Gathering #034 – “The Godfather” (Mario Puzo)

Date:  November, 2011

Host:  Clint

Whisky:  Caol Ila 12 y.o., Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition, Ila 10 y.o. Unpeated

Rum:  ?


About time we got a little gangster on.  A few of us are absolute junkies for the genre, so this choice was bound to come about at some point.  To be honest, however, I assumed it would be Robert who eventually Puzo’d us.  Not so.  I do believe Robert mentioned that he was indeed planning to pick it for us sooner than later.

We arrived to the smells of gloriously rich gourmet pizzas cooking and a counter laid out with a few bottles of Caol Ila, one of my favorite distilleries.  Ummm…ok.  The night was already a win at this point.  For the life of me, though, I can’t recall what the rum was on offer for this one.  When I asked the other lads, they seemed to have the same bit of selective amnesia.  Perhaps we’re all subconsciously blocking out anything to do with the Cane Juice (c’mon, Lance…had to get a dig in, right?).

The pies, as they were pulled from the oven, were scorching hot and utterly delicious.  A roomful of hungry lads, about to dive deep into a few bottles of whisky….hmmm…I wonder why the food didn’t last long.  All joking aside…these were f*cking fantastic pizzas.  Clint never does anything half-assed when it comes to food though, so this should be no surprise to any of us by this point.

Now…forgive my lack of detail here, but the sands have time have not stood still since this eve.  Clint mentioned something along the lines of an ‘Easter Egg’ hidden in the house.  As a few of the more cerebral members of the crew meditated on what this could be, others immediately began circling and searching the place.  It was Scott, moments later, who strode out of the washroom firing a cap gun that had been taped to the rear of the toilet, re-enacting one of the more famous scenes from this Sicilian saga.  Well played, Clint.  And well played, Scott, for having the wherewithal to figure it all out.  Not just a hat rack atop those shoulders, huh?

As to the book itself?  While not a favorite of any of ours at this point (I don’t believe so, anyway), I don’t recall much negativity in regards to anything about this one.  We all loved the story, of course…the writing was decent (if a little mundane, maybe)…the characters, iconic…and it was simply an enjoyable book to pick up.  Pretty much a ‘can’t lose’ sort of book choice.  The discussion on the novel itself was maybe an hour and a half or so, with a few related conversational tentacles taking us out over two hours, I believe.  from there it was simply a night full of good friends, good drinks and good laughs.

All in all, this evening was a home rum.  Well done, Clint.


Randoms:  “The Mangina Monologues” … “Punch in the c*nt” … bacon whisky … Some o’ the best pizza pies in Calgary … Clint’s little Easter egg … “Omerta, b*tches!” … “The bad news is…get the f*ck out!” … Tito Corleone … “Going to the mattresses”


– Curt

Aug 232013

Liquorature #012 – “The Catcher In The Rye” (J.D. Salinger)

Date:  January, 2010

Host:  Clint

Whisky:  Caol Ila 12 y.o., Highland Park 12 y.o.

Rum:  English Harbour 5 y.o.


There is something deeply and darkly humorous about both of the evenings Clint hosted being among the best, while his book selections generally considered among the worst.  I say ‘generally’.  We all know the hazing he received after ‘Blood Meridian’ (though some of us loved it).  I would venture to say that he has not redeemed himself in the eyes of a few with ‘The Catcher In The Rye’.  Clint…you’re still aces in my book, buddy.

A brilliant night really.  Cozy setting around the living room…fireplace on…nice and dim (lighting, not the participants).  Clint’s culinary skills are still unparalleled.  Bacon wrapped bacon, anyone?  Phenomenal selection of beverages.  Interesting to note, the rum was the first bottle finished.  I wish I could attest to its quality, however before I could sample…poof!  Gone.  Alas…no tears, as I was cuddled up with the Caol Ila 12.  Stunning dram.

And the book?  Well…a general animosity.  Think the highest opinion was perhaps a 7 out of 10, and even that was generous.  We struggled to justify the profound impact this book has had on so many people, but truly only came up with theories.  A moment of insight regarding the negative impact (think Chapman – Lennon) that ‘The Catcher In The Rye’ has had was rather nifty though.  Topic conversation about two hours, and a few follow-up bits.

Few other notes…cameras in full force this eve…discussed the site (as this was our first meet since it came online)…Robert’s next selection revealed (hang tight for details)…raised a glass to the late Howard Zinn and J.D. Salinger who both passed this week.

Another very enjoyable evening in the books (pun fully intended).

A photo below from Lance: he was testing out his new wide angle lens.  From left to right: Ruminsky, Pat, Clint, Bob, Bauer, the Last Hippie and Scott

– Curt