Sorry, love. Not a lot of goodness going around here lately. Planning a wedding and juggling a business at the same time isn't exactly the kind of schedule where a blogging hobby and drinking habit can thrive. Dammit. In the meantime... Here are photos from an Internet photography service called Instagram.
The lady is out of town and I've been productive enough with work to not be distracted with writing posts for this place. Instead, what you get is something from here at the local coffee shop. It's a transcript of what I had hoped was going to be a text conversation between me and the Mrs. in Vancouver. No replies to be heard of, it turned out awfully one-sided. It's text message style and stream of consciousness so forget about grammar or sense...
i need to film this family at the coffee shop as a cautionary tale.
three kids. the parents are juggling humans.
one keeps smashing the table, he's gotta be... 4? 5? he's old enough to know better, i can tell you that.
the girl is maybe 4? maybe he's 5? i don't know. they're all less than 5? maybe 6? i can't tell their ages, they all just look like monsters.
the one that was smashing the table non stop is now wandering in the parking lot while one is spinning in circles around an umbrella and the other is just yelling about her food, or something. her english isn't quite there yet.
the dad is sitting on his iphone, thumbing away.
WHAT! there are four of them! the children are multiplying.
the noises! they sound like squeak toys with beating hearts.
they were just grab-assing at everything inside in line in front of me. i didn't know if they were in line, if they weren't in line... or what!
grabbing every snack, poking at sandwiches then a cup falls from the merchandise area. now they're across from me on the patio.
this is vacation?!?
JEEESUS. the three year old just darted out into the driveway of the parking lot.
get ropes for these things.
or like... do they have portable electric fences? you know? you put it in your purse... you can only go 3 metres before getting zapped. it may hurt a little and get you scorned from other concerned citizens, but it's better than a dead 3 year old in mexico. that'd ruin your vacation more than this lunch.
Sumbawa, Indonesia. There have been a few days of torrential rain and the brakes on my motorcycle are fucked. A new local friend offers to take my bike to his mechanic buddy to get a brake job. "Sounds good," I say as I toss him the key. He returns the following day with the cracked and corroded discs of the old, and plastic wrap and receipt of the new. The cost? Four dollars. Plus, an invite to attend the local cockfights that evening with the mechanic and his pals. They pick me up at 6 p.m.
We convoy on our bikes for a while and end up in someone's backyard on the outskirts of the village. There are at least 50 people there, all yelling and crowding each other around a little ring. Yes, like a boxing ring, only smaller. Little men swarm me. They're all holding roosters in front of my face and yelling at me. I want to be polite and put some money down. I came to play. But I don't understand the process and get the impression that we need to buy our own rooster in order to participate. All of a sudden my friend is holding a haggard looking white rooster in his hands and telling me we need to pool our money together, buy the bird and throw him in the ring. We try to make the purchase, but figure out we only need to choose a rooster to bet on. We don't actually need to own our own fighter.
There are at least a dozen birds of choice. Their respective owners are each holding them, fluffing feathers and craning necks in effort to show us their value. I remember the only advice I've ever heard about a cockfight: Bet on the smaller one.
Odds are against us. We bet large because we don't really know what we're doing. Everyone else bets on the big bird. There must be fifty guys betting against us. The roosters go three rounds in aggressive attack. The crowd roars, they argue, they increase their bets, they turn away, and they turn back. We're all into it. Late in round three, the big bird tires. One leg drops, and then the other. Next, his head starts to droop to his chest. Our little man circles and takes a final jab and the big body sulks to the ground. The little hero turns his back on his defeated opponent in honour, triumph, pride and respect. Fifty pairs of eyes burn into us from around the ring as we hug each other and praise our little rooster. Aside from us, it's silent. We cash in and as the daylight recedes, the crowd disperses.
We take our dirty money and head back to town for a drink. Indonesian cockfights… It's violent. It's savage. It's a testosterone fest with no women allowed. I don't even eat chicken. But the cockfight is a cultural thing. It's about the working man coming together and celebrating sport through their faith in a rooster. Sure, it's a little weird and even primitive, but it's pretty cool. You may even win some cash.
I'll spare you with the words here. Lately we've had story posts, recipes and travel tips. How about some nice photos for you to digest instead? If you're a frequent visitor of Love & Rum, you'll recognize the image below from a previous post about the J. Tillman / Slowcoustic cover album.
These photos were taken by Tom Nugent at a semi-recent show of Father John Misty's at The Commodore where he opened for The Walkmen (those photos coming later). I love the different looks and stages you get through this small selection of shots. From the top image in this post to the last, you can see the progression happen...
As a man who enjoys his drink from time to time, I've had a share. I've been through the marathons and I've done the ground work. Specialty, blended, traditional, simple mix. With that, I've prepared this recipe for you, to be used in times when you don't know what to pour and in times when you do.
As a rum drinker, if you're not sipping neatly on one of the finer breeds, you're likely to want to mix it, depending on how numb you are at the time.
Rum and coke or any sugary soda drink is years behind you. Not because you're too sophisticated. God no, I'd never suppose something like that. More so, you just can't take the damned sugar anymore. It's too much. You don't remember exactly when it happened, but you're sure you can remember polishing off a 2L Coke through the night, mixing it with whatever had a spout. Those days are gone.
Blended drinks, who needs that noise?
Specialty mixes, okay. You can get behind some of the finer rum cocktails from time to time. When you prepare them on your own, it takes a spark of motivation to get everything prepped, but mostly you ask yourself, "Who has the time or the inclination?" Out at the bar, at $10-13 for an ounce of liquor mixed in with some citrus rind you wonder, "Who can do that in good conscience? "
So what then?
The 50 / 49 / Lime. Now we're talking. It's easy to make, refreshing and as thick as you can pour one without getting your eyes wet. What is the 50/49/Lime, you ask? Traditionally, I've always made it with a mid level rum like Matusalem Classico, Cruzan, Havan Club Añejo or some of the aged Flor de Caña varieties. You can get away with it on that Bacardi swill or well booze, but it helps if you're already halfway there to kill the sharp taste of ethanol. Never white rum.
How to make the 50 / 49 / Lime
- Throw some rocks in a glass. The cubes pictured below were prepped with mint leaves which is something the lady likes to do. I approve. Mint is delicious.
- Pour it to the best of your ability, filling 50% of the glass with your rum of choice. This will become tricker as the evening (afternoon?) progresses.
- Top it up 49% with S. Pellegrino sparkling water. Or, as pictured below, for a little extra magic is my favourite non-alcoholic drink around: Aranciata. I also would stock up on Pellegrino's Pompelmo flavour if I were you.
- For the final 1%, squeeze in your lime and toss that wedge over your right shoulder, drink up and don't look back.
Now enjoy, and let me know if you have your own combo of the 50 / 49 / Lime that you favour.
Drink up, me hearties!