Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Drinking Game to Ease the Pain

Those of you who have known me year-round for at least one year are aware that, every so often—usually in the fall—I come down with a doozy of an allergy attack. It usually lasts a full month, and is accompanied by deep, painful-sounding motor-starting coughs that rack my chest, wake my roommates, and cause people around me to say, “Dear God! You should go home!” Which, of course, I can’t ever afford to do for that many weeks. My other option is to dope myself up on Benadryl or similar HCL-based antihistamine, which is not only expensive (I go through the pills at maximum speed, so the average packet of Benadryl only lasts three days) but it also makes me want to sleep all day, and reduces my productivity by at least 50 percent.

But the first day is the worst, and today is that first day. The whole thing sweeps over my body like the flu, and right now, right on schedule, my body feels like one huge bruise, like I’ve been in a bar fight that made me really sleepy. I find I talk to myself ("hoo-boy!", etc.) and I have to seriously weigh decisions like whether to settle for what's on or actually lift the damn remote. Like a kid huddled on the couch and sipping Kool-Aid, I’ve been hunkered under the covers on my bed, watching my TV. And today, two days after Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the Sci-Fi Channel.

I’m too miserable to read, too tired to solve puzzles, but TV takes away some of the pain. And the Sci-Fi Channel, at least on weekends, seems perfectly designed for mindless watching. They always string together tons of cheesy monster movies in mini-marathons, usually with some theme or other. Today’s theme seems to be dinosaurs and reptilians. I just finished watching Dinocroc, and now Raptor Island is playing, which will be followed (Lord willing and my gorge don’t wise) by King Cobra, Pterodactyl, and Basilisk: King of Lizards.

In fact, I’ve suffered through so many of these movies that I think it’s time for another drinking game, which I call...

The Sci-Fi Channel Monster Movie Marathon Drinking Game

*Drink as soon as it becomes clear that some of the characters form a group of commandos.
*Drink whenever a B actor is brought in to add credibility. (First appearance only.) (Raptor Island has Lorenzo Lamas, King Cobra features Pat Morita, and Pterodactyl promises none other than Coolio!)
*Someone says “That’s impossible!”
*Someone says, “Are you all right?”
*A woman announces, “I’m a biologist!”
*A bad guy commits sabotage in an attempt to protect the marauding creature.
*The bad guy gets ironically killed by the monster.
*And, in the closing credits, have a shot for every three actors who have Eastern European surnames.
*Oh, and a bonus shot every time the monster and the human actors are clearly in separate camera shots to save money on special effects.

Of course, to actually play the game, you have to be as miserable and bed-ridden as me. So I kind of hope no one does. May things improve soon.

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