Sunday, September 30, 2012

    -------------------------From Timeline of Kings & Queens from Charlemagne to Elizabeth II by Gordon Kerr --------------------------
    1387  Hungary and Croatia: Dowager Queen Elizabeth is strangled in front of her daughter, Queen Mary, by her husband, Sigismund on the anniversary of the murder of Charles III of Naples.   
    Makes one wonder if strangling someone was the customary way of commemorating Charles' murder every year. 
    1392  France: Charles VI becomes insane.  In one incident, he killed six knights.  He believed he was made of glass and would break if moved.  He roamed the corridors of his palaces howling like a wolf. 
    1410  Sicily: King Martin dies of a combination of chronic indigestion and a fit of uncontrollable laughter.
    This little survey about drinking has been making the rounds, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I picked it up from Erik Rubright's blog, Gambrinous With Griffonage:
    Are you a cheap date?  I guess so.  I like a glass of dry white wine with dinner every night, either at home or in a restaurant.  On occasion, depending on what the main course is, I'll substitute half a big bottle of Ommegang Brewery beer, either the Hennepin pale ale that's infused during brewing with a bouquet of spices and herbs,  the dark Abby Ale that is very robust, or the Rare Vos amber ale.  All are brewed with a second fermentation in the bottle exactly like champagne and are superb beers.
    What is your favorite drink? (you can have different ones for different occasions)  Above and beyond anything else, Champagne!  Very shortly after I met Fritz we discovered that we both love the stuff.  The favored champagne in this house is Great Western brut (the driest of the champagnes, crisp and very refreshing)  This is a genuine Methode Champegnoise champagne, not the carbonized white wine cheap type.  Great Western is a New York State champagne from the Finger Lakes region with excellent grapes and growing conditions.  The great thing about it is that it costs $7.98 a bottle so one can indulge.
    Worst experience?  A little difficult to talk about and to remember but, growing up with an alcoholic mother whose condition steadily worsened until her premature death.   My pleas for there to be some kind of help for her were always turned away; my father, her mother and sister steadfastly refused any treatment because if she were to go into detox followed by the other phases of treatment and then AA meetings, "everybody will know."  Of course, everybody knew anyway because hiding a serious alcohol addiction is virtually impossible, but it was thought preferable to have family life essentially destroyed, to live in communal misery, to watch her age to the appearance of someone twice as old, and to have her die young than to do something.  It is for this reason that I drink little or no hard liquor, ever, and don't drink wine in any great quantity.
    Beer Goggles?  I was unfamiliar with this phrase until this survey, but since I don't frequent bars and don't drink much, I'm not in the position to be self-deluded about other people's appearance that way.  I will readily admit that some people I've had to deal with looked much better on first introduction than they turned out to be eventually.
    What's the funniest thing you've ever done while drinking?  I was once painting a water color rendering of a stage set I was designing with a small bowl of water to wash my brush and a small glass of wine to my right.  As I "knew" where the bowl was, I didn't look but just dipped the brush to my right where the bowl should have been.   As you can probably guess, when I took a quick break and went to pick up the glass, the wine had "magically" turned a vibrant blue (I was painting a sky at the time). 

Crikey, that must have been tough, the family inaction over your ma. Sad to read.
So sorry to read about your worst experience. Hard enough to witness from a distance; a nightmare to have to live it. Glad you made it through without repeating the pattern.
I did not get past the strangling matter; it made me pause and think.
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