The freaky turtle that’s even more endangered than Latitude 50 White at our house

My fellow inebriates,

LBHQ has always been a perilous place. Look at the way Glen Bear just vanished one day. Look at what a bully Scarybear is (although he’s mellowing with age). Look at these freaking gerbils shredding a Glenlivet box like it’s nothing. OMG, people, it’s terrifying to live here.

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I think about this a lot when I’m sober. What if one of the kids got tired of me and threw me in the gerbil tank? I’d be dead within a few hours. Slowly dead, that is. They’d probably gnaw on my eyes.

I started feeling extra-endangered today when I read about the Mary River turtle, this punkass reptile that just landed on the endangered list. It has a mohawk made of algae, freaky-looking spikes growing out of its chin, and get this—it breathes through its genitals.

This awesome weirdo animal is apparently pretty easy to get along with. Just like yours truly, it’s probably not that good at looking out for itself, especially after a few drinks. (How would it ingest those, I wonder?)


Like many news items about plants and animals threatened with extinction, there’s not much in the way of a call to action. Across the planet, creatures are winking out of existence. What the hell can we do?

Latitude 50Even though I know the answer isn’t to drink a bottle of GRAY MONK LATITUDE 50 white wine, it’s the only thing I can think of right now. This wine is a light and refreshing blend of Gewurtztraminer, Bacchus, Riesling and Muller-Thurgau. It’s off-dry and pear-coloured, perfect for a sunny day, and has only 11.9% alcohol. It’s delicious chilled, and Gray Monk recommends salads and poultry as accompaniments (not turtle). Every time we get a bottle of this wine it vanishes.

Let’s hope that punky-looking turtle doesn’t vanish. That’s what we’re toasting (not roasting) tonight.


WreckSpex Zebra wood

COPPER MOON PINOT GRIGIO—Good enough to drink

I almost winked out of existence yesterday.

My parents had neglected to renew my domain name. In the face of I-don’t-know-how-many renewal notices from WordPress, they were vacillating about whether I should continue my blog.

Of course I was pissed! (Pissed angry as opposed to pissed pissed.) When I asked them why (“Why, dammit? Why?!”) they said things like, “Well, you haven’t really blogged since April” and, “You seem to have lost your mojo, LB.”

Let’s take these one at a time.


I have paws. I do not have fingers. So I need a typist. And my typists have been screwing around. They say they are too busy working to do my typing, but DO I SEE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BEING NEWLY ALLOCATED FOR ALCOHOL?

I most certainly do not, my fellow inebriates. In fact, this item showed up in our house last week:


My mother purchased it for $7.79 at our (also neglected) booze shop, where—get this—she said to the consultant: “I need half a cup of wine to make Chicken Parmesan but, let’s face it, I’m going to drink the rest of the bottle when I’m done. What’s the cheapest tolerable white here? Is this COPPER MOON stuff drinkable?”

After attempting to lead my mother to the Italian wine section and urging her toward something $5 more expensive, then resignedly following my mother back to the Canadian plonk section while no doubt listening to all kinds of justifications for drinking 625 ml of wine just because you need to dump 125 ml into a questionable cooking experiment and that’s what’s left over, the consultant sighed and agreed that COPPER MOON PINOT GRIGIO would be inoffensive if lacking in interest. Which was acceptable to my mother.

So how was the wine then?

Actually pretty good. COPPER MOON PINOT GRIGIO is crisp yet heavily redolent of pear, citrus and other orchardy notes. It’s unexpectedly light and decidedly un-cloying. While the flavours could play a bit better together, they don’t hit any really off notes, and at 12.5 percent alcohol, this wine is a good selection if you’re planning to pound it while you’re pounding chicken.

I would like to diss my mother here some more, but she actually stopped at one glass, which means we have over half a bottle left in the fridge. What did you say, my readers? “Sounds like breakfast?”

This wine is cheap as hell and doesn’t punish you for it.

But still.

callout-3Where the hell is all the MONEY my parents are supposedly earning when they could be typing for yours truly?

“Well, you know, the kids have dance and gymnastics and band and we have pets to feed and clothes to buy and conferences to attend and blah blah blah. All that stuff costs money, LB.”

Okay, so my parents’ priorities suck. On to the next issue:


Well, you would too, wouldn’t you? Imagine having your liquor budget ripped away and then spending months on pins and needles wondering whether your blog will be renewed and knowing that, even if it is, you’re dependent on humans with opposable thumbs to do your damn typing. You might say, F*&k that! I’m going to stare at the wall for half a year!

Anyway, that’s what happened. I guess I did lose my mojo, people. Thankfully there’s half a bottle of COPPER MOON PINOT GRIGIO in the fridge to help me get it back.

Over the next few weeks I will be talking about all the blah blah blah that has eroded my hard-drinking lifestyle and, by extension, this blog. It will break your hearts, my fellow inebriates.

SETUBAL ERMELINDA FREITAS MONTE DA BAIA — Happy birthday me (all $11.29 worth)

“Oh boy!” I said when I woke up this morning. “It’s my birthday! Maybe we can celebrate! Maybe we can drink some wine tonight that doesn’t smell like a greasy jockstrap!”

I took this proposition to my mother, who hadn’t had the slightest inkling that the resident Liquorstore Bear had just turned 10 years old. Like, OMG!


(Not only do I get to enter the double digits today; I get to do it before Miss P, who won’t celebrate her 10th until December. In your face, P!)

“So, it’s my birthday,” I mentioned, sidling along the kitchen counter as my mother halfheartedly wiped it. (Have you seen that commercial in which they wipe the kitchen counter with a raw chicken breast to illustrate how germy the average kitchen cloth is? I bet my mother inspired that.)

“Oh,” she said. “Happy birthday.”

“I know, right?” I said, a small seed of desperation popping into existence somewhere underneath my fur. “I’m, like, 10!”

10 2

“Wow, 10,” she said, giving the “Wow” a Valium bottle’s worth of emphasis. “I can’t believe we got you 10 years ago. What were we thinking?”

“You were thinking it was a good idea!” And, knowing she would never allow me to reach my point gracefully, I said, “So, what kind of booze are you buying?”

“Hadn’t thought about it.”

“Whisky? A 10-year malt would be appropriate, I guess…”

“I mean, it’s 7:00, LB. It hadn’t occurred to me.”

700 am

“Or maybe 10 bottles of wine. Or hey—how about some Tanqueray Ten?”

“I guess we should make you a cake.”

“Or how about some Tennessee Gentleman Jack? Get it? Tennesee?”

“Aren’t you underage?”

This was going down the wrong path. I mean, yes, we always have a cake; the kids LOVE making cakes, but really. OMG.

She must have seen my pained look, because she said, “Oh, you know we’ll buy a bottle of wine.”

“Good! What kind?”

“Well, I don’t know…probably our usual.”

SETUBAL Portuguese blendOur usual, lately, is SETUBAL ERMELINDA FREITAS MONTE DA BAIA from Portugal. It’s $11.29 at our local booze store, 13.5%, and is a concentrated, richly tannic, ripe blend that we found on the Consultant’s Choice shelf and have scooped up several times. Arguably not as complex as the sort of wine you might buy for a bear who has provided 10 epic years of enjoyment for a family of four, it nevertheless sports some interesting wood and vanilla notes that linger pleasingly on the palate. My mum enjoys it more than my dad, who always comments that it is “sweet” and elaborates no further—but it does, in fact, stop short of exhibiting a jammy lack of discipline. SETUBAL ERMELINDA FREITAS MONTE DA BAIA is a combo of several grape varietals, the most internationally recognizable being Syrah, and it is aged in half-and-half American/French Oak barrels. Solid food eaters will probably enjoy cheese or game with it, but certainly not birthday cake… Although, when a birthday cake is as thoughtfully decorated as P and V’s invariably are, how can a bear say no?


Scary likes cake. Too bad it’s not your birthday, Scary.