Monday, January 01, 2007

A little light reading for New Year's Day

I might have stayed up until 4:30 this morning, but I'm not hung over. I'm not much of a drinker, except for wine with meals (okay, last night I had half a bottle of Asti Spumante--but as Martini & Rossi's Italian sparkler is just 7.5% alcohol, as opposed to the 10 or 12% in most table wines, you'd have to try pretty hard to get drunk on the stuff), so I've never understood why people get drunk on purpose. Is it really so much fun to make a fool of yourself and then throw up on your shoes and then finally pass out, only to awaken a few hours later feeling like you want to die?

Never mind. I'm not writing this to make anyone feel guilty. It's just that even though I've never experienced a hangover, I got a kick out of this article in Today's Guardian:

A really bad hangover can only be dealt with in stages. There is a lot of groaning to get through. There is that first, crucial cup of tea to be drunk. There is fried food - or at the very least a slice of toast - to be eaten. There must be more tea. And then there is the retreat to bed.
This is the stage at which some sort of reading matter becomes essential. How else can guilty thoughts of the night before - dammit, the year before - be kept at bay? The radio is TOO LOUD. The television is TOO BRIGHT. The internet is TOO CONFUSING.

Obviously the choice of book is crucial, and severely limited by certain physical constraints - if you can lift your head off the pillow for more than five minutes then you haven't really got a hangover, have you. So you can leave that Pynchon on the bedside table - it's too heavy. Those Penguin Classics are going to have to stay on the to-read pile as well - the print's too small. Surely any kind of thriller is going to be too energetic - explosions, running about and hanging chapters are hardly the thing to set you up for a nice snooze.

If I had a hangover--which I don't, for the reasons outlined above--I might reach for my husband's copy of Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. I'd skip all the depressing stuff in A River Runs Through It and just read the beautifully crafted fly-fishing scenes. What would you read?

By the way, I collect English bone china teacups and saucers. Accompanying the Guardian article is a photo of a very pretty cup, and although I squinted to read the maker's name on the bottom, I couldn't see it on my little laptop's screen. Could one of you big-monitor people help me out?

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Laura Vivanco said...

We looked at it, tried expanding the picture, then enhanced the contrast and we still couldn't read it. The area with the writing is about 37 pixels by 28 pixels, which means it isn't going to be easy to see it as much more than a smudge. Maybe if someone had some really special software they could, or if there's another photo that's clearer. Or maybe someone will recognise the pattern for you?

Anyway, on the topic of books that are not too heavy for a person with a hangover to lift up and read, clearly what's required is a category romance.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Sorry! i looked too...All I can make out is a lower case script 'g' with a line thru the bottom loop. I looked at all my porcelain marks but couldn't find a match!

Happy New Year,my friend, and may God bless you richly in this coming year!

Linda L Rucker said...

Never could understand how people really enjoy making asses out of themselves! Most become loud, obnoxious, overbearing, touchy-feely, staggering, occaisionally falling down, bleary eyed, vomiting fools. And the bedspins, oh my God!! How can anyone enjoy laying on a bed that appears to be rotating faster than the Earth spins on its axis? Do you really enjoy the stomach lurching, eye rolling, room tilting effects getting drunk gives you?
Yeah, me too every now and again! Go figure!

Brenda Coulter said...

[Laura wrote] Anyway, on the topic of books that are not too heavy for a person with a hangover to lift up and read, clearly what's required is a category romance.


Thanks, Laura and Bonnie, for taking a look at the teacup. I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Linda, I take it you partied hard the other night?

Lisa Jordan said...

After two episodes in college twenty years ago, I declared never to drink again and I haven't, but also for other reasons. Why people get to the point where they have no control of their faculties is beyond me!!

A River Runs Through It is my hubby's favorite movie as he is an avid fly tyer and fly fisherman. The grace and beauty of fly casting is mesmerizing.

I grabbed hubby's coin magnifying glass and I couldn't get a clear picture of the tea cup maker. Gorgeous cup though.

Brenda Coulter said...

Thanks for trying, Lisa. It's not imperative that I know; I was merely curious.