FEENEY’S IRISH CREAM—For breakfast, while being watched

My fellow inebriates,

I promised you a sob story revealing why my typists (aka Mum and Dad) have left me to twiddle my thumbless paws for over a year now while my blog wallows in the lowest reader stats it’s ever seen.

But then I had breakfast (aka FEENEY’S IRISH CREAM), which had been lurking in the back of the fridge since Christmas. Obviously my mum was the last tippler, because the top was barely on (she has no idea how to close anything; either it’s barely on or it’s hopelessly misthreaded and you have to bash it against the sink to get it open). Anyway, it was my mum’s incompetence that enabled my miraculous Feeney’s breakfast.

An odd breakfast, you say?

feeneys-2You wouldn’t say that if it was in a morning coffee on New Year’s Day, would you? Then it would be okay. Or if you were camping. If you’re camping anything goes! To further make my case, I had no idea what date it was today. For all I knew, it could have been New Year’s Day. I don’t pay attention to calendars. So I slipped the top off the Feeney’s, inserted a straw, and…OMG, my fellow inebriates, what a yummy breakfast! You have to try this, people. Never mind what day it is. I suggest doing it just because it’s a day.

A 750mL bottle of Feeney’s sells at our local booze store for $20.99. That’s $6 less than the more famous Bailey’s Original Irish Cream. So how does it compare?

If you ask my dad, who immediately noted the price difference, he’ll say Feeney’s has nothing on Bailey’s. Ask my mum, presumably responsible for the half-bottle’s worth missing before I discovered it for breakfast, and she’ll say it’s practically identical. Made with cream and aged Irish whisky, Feeney’s is rich and luxurious, smooth and slightly chocolatey. Perhaps it tastes different (better?) than Bailey’s—but who knows? I’d have to urge my parents to buy both at once, and that’s about as likely as an asteroid hitting the house. Nope, the holiday season is over, and we probably won’t see either beverage until next winter.

2016-12-17-09-41-57Totally aside, but just to give you a small update of what’s been going on at LBHQ, while I consumed my delicious Feeney’s breakfast, I was observed by GERBILS. Yes, for the past 13 months, gerbils have been living with us. They reside in a gigantic glass tank in the dining room. At first I was afraid they would make similar fridge forays to mine and finish off the booze before I could, but then I realized they’re confined to their tank. My dad says they don’t feel confined because the tank is huge, but hey—who knows what they’re thinking? (Except Miss V, who can channel them.)

To be frank, I’m a little jealous of them, because when we first got them my mum said: “Wow, it’s great having animals in the house. They’re so animated, aren’t they, LB?”

And then she said to the kids, “Make sure you never put LB in the gerbil tank. If you do, they’ll chew him up in no time flat.”


V is for Valentine

My Fellow Inebriates,

Five-year-old Miss V was so delighted to receive a heart-shaped Kinder Egg box this morning that she threw a fit about not being allowed to eat the chocolate before school. Mum figured V’s class had a sugar frenzy planned in lieu of lunch and was therefore disinclined to deposit V at kindergarten prematurely overloaded with sugar. The kid was already up until 9:30 last night (“I can’t sleep, I tried for a whole minute”) and was already exhibiting hair-trigger temper.

This is exactly the type of unreasonably controlling parental crap Mum pulls on me. When I asked whether we could make raspberry martinis this morning, she didn’t even answer.


It had taken me considerable courage to visit Martha Stewart’s website for this recipe, she being the second most terrifying entity I know.

Fluffy still wins.

Fluffy still wins.

Stealing onto her webpage is equivalent to nudging open the door of a haunted house. What a freaky ice queen Martha is, and my mum should realize it—if Martha ever saw Mum attempting to cook lemon bars she’d probably put a pickaxe in her head.

What is society’s problem with booze for breakfast? Is it related to Mum’s problem with Kinder Eggs before 9 a.m.? Why has Mum never, for example, popped the cork on some Chardonnay before walking the kids down the hill to school? What would happen?

“Dude,” she says. “Get some brain cells.”

Just for that, V and I are dedicating a special Valentine to our mother. (This photo has cracked V up since she was four; she requests it often.)

fail valentine 4

We don’t really mean it. At least I don’t.


PHILLIPS BLUE BUCK ALE—The missing part of Family Day

My Fellow Inebriates,

What’s not to love about British Columbia’s inaugural PR-driven Family Day?

family dayThe day off work/school? For my dad it’s not much of a day off; all day long his phone continues to ring. For my mum, it’s more of an extra day on, given that everybody’s home. And for me it’s just terrifying. In addition to P & V running apeshit through the house, we also have their cousins C & R accompanied by Auntie H and Uncle B (who don’t know I call them that). It’s Family Day, so the family is together—whether it frightens bears or not.

My mum has already screwed up by suggesting a family bowling outing and then failing to call the bowling alley in time to book a lane. Every freaking family in Langley thought of bowling before her, so every alley for miles is booked all day. One idea per day is about my mum’s limit, so everybody’s at LBHQ, doing family things.

Even if bowling’s not on the menu, the kids are happy. Happy, that is, without turning their attention to yours truly. Instead, Auntie H has decided to examine me and ask, “Have you ever put him in the washing machine?”

“No,” says Mum. “He has only two brain cells; if he came out with just one he couldn’t write his blog.”

Says Auntie H, “R’s bunny has been in the wash tons of times. You could put LB in. If you used the gentle cycle and a delicates bag…”

And my mother says: “Hmmm.”

Hmmmmm!! OMFG, my fellow inebriates, it’s fine to love your family but you have to draw the line somewhere. This is the part where Mum should be kicking Auntie H and her brood out, don’t you think? But she is still reflecting:

“His ass is full of beans; they’d never dry out.”

“Bunny’s full of beans,” says Auntie H. “He does fine in the wash.”


pope-benedict-xvi-feb-2013-2Meanwhile, Uncle B is obviously not well. He looks like he’s fighting something off. He declines lunch, he looks tired, and only when my mum starts bitching about the pope’s resignation does he get a little animated. Mum is incensed that the Catholic Church’s head honcho, chosen by God and ordained to die in the saddle, would resign. She sees it as a big PR attempt to give Catholicism a makeover by allowing a pope with a chequered past to exit stage left before any more of his dirty underwear gets exposed. Whereas Uncle B and I think it might be good for Catholicism, and that flouting 600 years of tradition might be a sign of increasing adaptability to a modern world. To which my mum says, “The church doesn’t adapt.”

When you’ve attended a high school that once made you spend all day being a human rosary bead for a “living prayer” ceremony, you might carry this impression of the Catholic Church. But I’m hanging with Uncle B on this one—it might be good for the Vatican. If the Catholic Church gets the opportunity to revamp itself, it should take it. Pope Benedict is super-creepy—a real cosmetic liability that’s only going to get worse as whatever age-related condition he hasn’t disclosed deteriorates in his dotage.

But here’s where my solidarity with Uncle B ends. Get this: he’s allergic to alcohol. I didn’t even know this was a real thing until I googled it. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Alcohol intolerance is caused by a genetic condition in which the body is unable to break down alcohol. The only way to prevent alcohol intolerance is to avoid alcohol altogether.”

Holy crap, what kinds of people have alcohol intolerance? People with the gene ADH2*2, which produces a highly active form of alcohol dehydrogenase that tends to discourage heavy drinking. The gene is common among Ashkenazi Jews like Uncle B. Symptoms include flushing, racing heart, and a mean game of chess.

Which meant the beer didn’t flow this afternoon at LBHQ. We had to break it out later. No harm done…just minor DTs…

phillips blue buckAnd the beer? Once again, from our Phillips sampler pack: BLUE BUCK ALE. Once again, 5% alcohol, but we won’t hold that against it. The color is amber-brown with a light cream head. The nose is hoppy and slightly floral with some bready notes and background fruit in moderation. On the palate it packs middle-of-the-road satisfaction, middling mouthfeel, and a good mix of malt and hops—some toffee if you’re concentrating. Nothing overly complex going on here: just a damn fine beer.

Family Day would have been better if the family had got into the BLUE BUCK about eight hours earlier than they did. After all that talk of washing machines, I needed a beer. I say to R’s bunny, however many times it’s been through the wash, You’re a stronger animal than I am. Too bad you live with teetotalers.