Archive for August, 2009

Testosterone

August 19, 2009

A man wants to be the only man in the household. Given the singular nature, some adjustments are necessary to prevent men from killing each other in their quest to be “the man”. Thus evolved packs which further evolved to nuclear families as we know it today. The smart people of the Tamizh land further devised a plan to address possible flashpoints. They devised customs that mandated a man to never eat a meal in his son-in-law’s house and to never sleep more than two nights at a stretch in his father-in-law’s place.

The problem cannot be fixed but only worked around, imperfectly. In recent years, the increased empathy the father shows for the daughter and plummeting telecommunication costs have been cause for much alarm. The twice-weekly phone calls seem to discharge an inordinate flux of sentiments between the daughter and the father. To what end? The expansive conversations on health, sibling’s prospective matches, husband’s job stability and general future plans and the advices offered and received thereof create uncomfortable levels of testosterone. What is a man to do when his wife goes “enga appa idha sonnar.. adha sonnar”?

The imperatives of living two oceans across and gene propagation give an excuse for the wife’s parents to spend the summer months in the cooler climes of the son-in-law’s house. At the insistense of the wife, the man shares his cologne and after shave with his father-in-law and takes him out for t-shirt shopping. The father-in-law repays him in kind by changing channels when he is watching his favorite sitcom.

The simmering tension feels like an Islamic bomb about to explode in an Israeli elementary school.

Screenplay by I.

Steam Whistle

August 17, 2009

A name like that brings to mind a train driven by a steam engine, which is not incorrect about the background of this beer. There are a lot of really good Canadian beers. Steam Whistle is definitely one among them, a Pilsner.

Notes:  Bread, malt, hay and subtle hops. Lighter body than expected and a little salty near the finish. Very nice to drink and before you know it, you are down the third. Though Steam Whistle is nothing unique, it is better than most (all?)  local popular beers and some European imports in the same league.

Search terms…

August 17, 2009

flowery hip flasks,  videos of suga prasavam,  hip flask turned whisky green,  tree of life pomegranate wine,  does tj maxx have whiskey flasks?

Ardbeg Uigeadail

August 16, 2009

This whisky came highly recommended by the friendly guy at the local liqor store, who was candid enough to admit that he could not pronounce the name. I have been eyeing this for a while now, but at $120+, I convinced myself that I should wait for an occasion. It is funny how things turn up. The said occasion was my inlaws going on a week long bus tour. The guy at the store was being a pain in the ass and lectured me on the virtues of free trade and how he could not get some good whiskies from Canada even for his personal consumption. When I finally got home, I could not wait.

Notes — Peat, iodine and salty sea water. Tobacco. Sweet, overpowering and evaporates immediately inside the mouth leaving a minty feel. When a splash of water is added, it is more drinkable and one could feel malty and peaty tones.

Overall, pretty intense stuff at about 54% abv. It is definitely not the kind that you can have 3-4 glasses. I am not sure I liked it the first day, but I kept drinking a glass everyday for a week. It is either the complex and unwelcoming taste or the high alcohol content, this one has a dark allure to it. I will definitely drink this if I had the money and time again. The best Islay malt I’ve ever tasted.

Home

August 10, 2009

Driving home from work, I was mesmerized by the darkness of the roads. They were blankets of black, straight and winding (what are the odds!) at the same time. The rhythmic hum of the engine and the radio kept distracting me from the thought of beer and chips I’d have after I got home. Beer is harmless, easy on the liver and lands on the stomach like fluffy flowers. Soft like a newborn’s cheeks, the head of a North Indian who eats dosai with knife and fork, and soft porn.

An idiotic woman driver cut into my lane and an iPod punk took his own sweet time to cross the road, making me miss the green. Just as I got the green again, another idiot pedestrian jumped out from nowhere. I motioned him to go ahead and he smiled at me. That is when I realized how much I feel at home here. This is my home. I live, work, sleep, shit and drink here. This city is as comforting as a mother taking care of a baby, spinning a cocoon of warmth and coolness at the same time, maintaing thermal equillibrium. It shelters and houses me, like Michael Jackson took care of teenage kids.

I am not quite given to homely sentiments. But this city is same and different as Madras, yet it is 8600 miles away.

The best sign board ever

August 8, 2009

best photo

Ilk

August 7, 2009

Maha is going green not with recycling but with envy that a woman commended Sriram on sticking to his Brahmin roots. Maha blamed kali yugam (not the Prabhu film one hopes) and suggested writing about the woman and her ilk who agree with the views presented on that blog. Consider the below carefully:

1. Someone thinks that “views” are presented on Being/Empty Hip Flask
2. The insinuation that anyone would agree/disagree with those views.

Presumably, the ilk consists of people with earthy appetites. After all, who can have bigger appetites and who can be more earthly than people from the erstwhile Thanjavur district? Mangayarkarasi would write in her travelogues about the open gutters, dinosaurs pretending to be mosquitoes, outbreaks of filaria and the overpopulation of Iyengars, distinctive of — if not unique to — Kumbakonam.  But that would be unfair to the people of Kumbakonam. Someone should confiscate her free Railway pass and Internet.

Of booze, getting drunk and puke

August 7, 2009
As I am getting older, I can’t drink as much. The liver is working overtime but it can’t keep up.. Wait.. Poring over the pathetic sitemeter data, we figured that our prose is not flowery enough. And apparently, flowery prose generates readership and comments. We have decided to act —

Four years in America have meant that I no longer enjoy booze the way I used to. Drinking luke warm beer without chilli chicken or tandoori paneer to snack on. Drinking within the limits always mindful of the drive back home. What kind of drinking is it if you don’t get drunk? The American kind perhaps.

I am not a big fan of college years. I was glad that the awkwardness and angst ended. When someone talks of wanting to go to college again, I can’t quite relate to it. But sometimes when I drink, I am struck by the sudden memory of binge drinking.

Of being able to snatch money from unsuspecting classmates and buying a full bottle of old monk. Of being unafraid to throw up. Of being in possession of a healthy liver. Of being able to ingest large quantities of alcohol with a 1 Re. packet of pickles. Of being able to watch porn in a room and being unashamed of the erection and/or accidents. Of being unsatiated at the end of it all and wanting more.

To be fair, I could still do this at home. But the thought of throwing up and the resulting bad taste in the nostrils and throat keeps me away from it. This weekend when others in the family went on a road trip, I had a dozen cans of beer all for myself. Keeping me company was ppv porn on TV and carry out tandoori chicken from the local Indian restaurant.

When I woke up in the morning with a massive headache, I reconsidered my ambivalence towards college days. Perhaps there were good times. Just that I don’t remember them all.

(Plagiarized and adapted from a popular Indian blogger. Link not provided because we are afraid she might commit seppuku on reading this perversion.)

Smokehead

August 6, 2009

The bottle says, “Smokehead is a rich, seaweedy and intensely peaty whisky. The flavor is fresh, fruity and immense, with notes of sherry iodine, toffee, smoke and sea salt all fighting for recognition.” At first take, the peat overwhelms all other tastes and flavors. If you let the whisky stand for a few minutes, all other notes become more apparent. It kind of grows on you and you get to like the finish.

Notes:  Peat, smoke, tea, cocoa, honey and spicy-sweetness. Peatier than the average Islay malt, I’d think. The wife said I smell of kari kattai and isthiri potti after a few sips.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

August 5, 2009

I have had Samuel Adams twice before. The first time was about three years ago and I don’t remember what brew it was. It was horrible and tasted like chocoloates and vanilla and very unlike beer. A year later, when a bunch of us classmates met to spend the weekend going to strip clubs and casinos, a committed spoilsport changed our plans and took us to hooters instead. As if that were not enough, he ordered a pitcher of Samuel Adams winter lager. It was equally horrible and flat. I took my chances this weekend and ordered a Boston lager on tap at the local pub.

Notes — Nothing extraordinary and hence not unpalatable either. Hops and malt. Easy to drink, crisp. A decent failsafe option.