Punctuate this, parents

My parents are too busy to do my typing.


Asked what they’re doing that’s so damn important, they are…vague. But my mum says it has to do with punctuation. She is playing grammar police on some mammoth document or set of documents, and apparently this leaves us no time for blogging.

I want to argue with her but, let’s face it, punctuation matters.


MICHEL TORNINO CUMA TORRONTES—Celebrating another Liebster

My Fellow Inebriates,

I was lucky enough to get nominated for another Liebster Award yesterday by the Lords of the Drinks.


It’s been a long time since I was included in one of these awesome award chains—probably because I’m usually too drunk to read a ton of blogs, which makes me a real douchebag as far as the blogging community is concerned. But I do appreciate the nod, and despite already having a Liebster on my mantel, I’m going to treat it like an Oscar and put the new one beside it, with the understanding that I can stockpile as many of these damn things as I want, and the caveat that someday the Academy will hate me for it.

The Liebster comes with 11 highly topical questions formulated by the Lords of the Drinks. Here goes…

  1. What country are you from? CANADA.
  4. What’s your favorite drink? GIN. AND RED WINE. AND BEER. AND SCOTCH. AND RYE.
  5. How many units of alcohol do you approximately drink per week? EIGHT, UNLESS I GET INCREDIBLY LUCKY.
  6. What kind of drunk are you (angry, sleepy, extra-social, horny, dramatic, dancing, etc.)? SOCIAL, EXTROVERTED, AMOROUS, HAPPY, SLEEPY, IN THAT ORDER.
  7. Is there any interesting local drinking custom, ritual, or game that you can share with us? LATELY I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT YUKAFLUX, THE CANADIAN PRACTICE OF FLOATING CHUNKS OF FRUIT IN A COMMUNAL TUB OF HARD LIQUOR.
  8. Describe your most epic drunk night. “MOST”? I WOULD NEVER REMEMBER THE MOST EPIC ONE.
  9. Which drink (or mix) is certain to screw you up? TEQUILA WITH AN ILL-CONSIDERED WHITE WINE CHASER.
  10. Got any tips on how to have a good (drunk) night for little money? STAY AT HOME AND DRINK CHEAP HARD LIQUOR FROM A PLASTIC JUG.
  11. Is there a relatively unknown drink you can recommend us? RECENTLY AN ISLAY GIN HIT THE MARKET. I’M SALIVATING TO TRY IT.
I'd like to thank the Academy, which I hope will note the tasteful way P's kelly-green gown covers my six nipples.

I’d like to thank the Academy, which I hope will note the tasteful way this kelly-green gown (who’s dressing me? why, Miss P, of course…although I am a boy bear, damn it) covers my six nipples so tastefully.

And how do we celebrate our second Liebster? Why, with a gorgeous, aromatic Argentine Torrontés of course. Not only is MICHEL TORINO CUMA TORRONTES (2012) organic; it’s also a bargain at $13.99.

Torrontés is fast becoming my favorite varietal, with its lush, floral aromas and easy drinkability. The name Torrontés actually describes several types of grape, all originating with Muscat of Alexandria and varying in degree of fruity aromaticity. CUMA grapes come from the Cafayate region of northern Argentina, a landscape of dramatic variety situated about 1,700 metres above sea level where Tannat and Chardonnay grapes are also grown with great success.

CUMA torrontesCUMA is on the Consultants’ Choice rack at our local booze shop right now, and for good reason. Generously aromatic with apple, nectar, honey, melon, and spice, its olfactory invitation simply can’t be ignored. Even my dad, after trying a sip from Mum’s my  glass, went to the cupboard for his own glass, then matched me sip for sip until most of the bottle was gone. CUMA goes a step beyond FINCA LOS PRIMOS TORRONTES with an additional layering of flavors, firm structure, and decisive minerality. The finish is middling, so you find yourself going for the next sip sooner than you otherwise might and getting slightly drunk as a result. In other words, all good.

What makes CUMA’s value extraordinary is its organic methodology. Indeed, the word “CUMA” means “clean and pure” in the pre-Incan Aymara language. Michel Torino adopted ecological “zero farming” practices back in the 1990s, using organic material from the soil and weeds to farm the vineyards, thereby minimizing the use of chemicals and fertilizers, and achieving organic certification in 2005.

CUMA’s finesse and sophistication go beyond its modest price. It was the perfect bottle to celebrate a second Liebster, although—let’s face it—once I was half-shitfaced I had no inclination to go through the formalities of passing the torch. Go ahead, call me a dickhead.


The year in review—late, disorganized, and inconclusive

I missed the boat on New Year’s Resolutions (as with every year). But this year there wasn’t even a reminder; the family (humans) went out, and we bears did what we do best. We had a staring contest—which Fluffy won. Whether he knew he was a contestant is another story.

So, instead of fragile resolutions, an LBHQ retrospective for 2012.

Dad went to work for the Man. He took a corporate job, which left me to my own devices during the day. Dad collapsed his 10-year-old business. We are still sorting everything out. (Which calls for alcohol.)
I met tons of great bloggers. At first WordPress suggested I follow bloggers and make comments, and so I did, but little did I know how many I would come to follow diligently…for the sheer awesomeness of the writing. What an amazing community we’ve got here, my fellow inebriates. I can’t keep up. There is such a lot of good writing out there. Plus I’m jealous of a lot of you.
I got to review 119 types of booze in 2012.


I drank them, and now they’re gone. And we might all be alcoholics now.

"Bearly had a chance," said my dad.


I retired my Facebook wrestler, LB the Alcoholic Bear. This felt like the right thing to do. Wrestler is a total waste of time, and I felt guilty every second I was playing. A sudden urge came over me, and he’s playing again.
Dad bought a BMW. At last! He has always wanted one. I didn’t get to ride in it until December. We bears were jonesing to ride in the Bimmer. Instead the movers seized us and stuck us in the back of the truck.
We changed headquarters. New (old) house, more space, closer to school, better for…well, drinking. The new LBHQ is awesome. Our move was so f#cked-up and unorganized that we actually left stuff behind. Not small stuff like toilet brushes (although we did leave one of those—doesn’t everybody?). We left big stuff, like a bed—a king-size bed. Mazel tov, new owners, enjoy your bed.
Paranormal events calmed down at LBHQ. For a while it was crazy around here, with Granny’s ghost haunting Fluffy. All kinds of things were bashing around in the night. Either Granny has adjusted to being dead, or she got lost on the way to the new house. Fluffy is now on his own. Totally blank.Fluffy possessed copy
Miss V started kindergarten. For the first time in seven years, the house is quiet between 8:00 and 3:00. Yeah, and I thought I’d have opposably thumbed typists at my beck and call. They went to work instead.
We Work Out Every Day. OMG! The insanity of it. But we have to process that booze somehow. OMG! The insanity of it. Steve Nash, are you out of money? You should fix the toilets at that gym of yours.
With both kids in school, you can actually read books without interruption. Finally, being able to sink into books. More books were read at LBHQ this year than in the last ten years. Did one of those kids take Glen Bear to school? He disappeared and never turned up. 😦

Glen as a baby, 2006

Freshly Pressed! It happened, it happened! Or maybe it was all a dream. Hell, I don’t know. Okay, so I took on 40% more followers, and yet maintained the same daily hits. Hmmmm. Oh well, what the hell—math is for the sober.
LBHQ got its first booze sample. Yes!! It was beer: a six-pack that disappeared in a flash. Apparently it’s not legal to courier booze in Canada, even across town. Naively, I wrote a post enthusing about the delivery, only to learn I’d implicated my benefactor in a crime. The $64,000 question: Will they ever send us beer again?
The world didn’t end in 2012. Sometimes I thought Scarybear wanted it to, but it didn’t. It still might. As Scary says, now we have “indefinite” time to contemplate how.

asteroid hit