Lips Like Sugar

A new day, a new chapter to start! Now that’s the way to wake up.

Well, that and copious amounts of coffee. And music! I found this yesterday:

I love SoundCloud. It’s better than Pandora sometimes because I can queue up what I want, and absofreakinglutely better than Spotify, which mystifies me. Also, Spotify yells at me to hook up to Facebook, which I already have in the hopes that it would stop yelling at me to do so. It still yells at me. It is like a bad relationship. The kind where someone goes, while arguing, “You ALWAYS drive too close to other cars. Do you know what you need to do? You need to. . .” except in this case it’s more like, “You ALWAYS make me nag you to connect to Facebook!” Ugh.

But back to writing about my writing, before I actually get back to writing the writing. I am excited for my new chapter. The body has been found. Suspicions have been cast, and there are more suspicions to come. And due to a yoga-induced dream, I’ve managed to achieve a natural tension between my two main characters without devolving into simple bickering.

While artistically I’m pretty happy, I am pretty unhappy that I don’t get to go to this Trentemøller show in San Francisco. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself, all alone. Navigate and park, alone, in San Francisco? I would end up on a streetcorner somewhere. I get lost in Fresno at the mall, which is SHAPED LIKE A LINE.  But the SFMoMA is like a beacon to me, for some reason, and I’d probably wander over there and ask passersby where the show was. Drop me off anywhere in SF, and that’s where my feet take me. Go figure.

I am, like, two seconds away from posting an advertisement on Craigslist to find somebody to go with me. Seriously. How pathetic!  Speaking of Craigslist, do you ever read the Missed Connections? They are awfully entertaining. And when I gather up my courage to check out the Strictly Platonic section, it is hilarious to see how very nonplatonic the requests are. The courage is needed because reading these things can either make you Very Depressed About the State of the Human Race, or you can Crack the Hell Up. There isn’t a very neutral response to be had. Really, I don’t think the people who advertise on there know what platonic actually means.

The weather here has turned early. Usually Halloween has a bit of rain, and everybody wishes they had worn warmer costumes. But last night it was cold– well, cold after having 100 degree weather for a while. From 100 to 50 in just about a week is a little hard to adjust to, but I don’t mind, because I love it. Bring the drizzly, grey rain! The tule fog! I love it all. Now I can knit in earnest and drag out all my coats. Lord, I love my coats, and I don’t care who knows it.

Here is Pola Negri wearing a fur coat. J'adore Pola Negri, but je déteste fur anything. Still, it looks like she loves her coat as much as I love mine.

But anyway, because the weather has turned, tonight I’m having a friend over and we are going to make Drunken Hot Chocolate. Once, when I was about 14, I was complaining over the phone to my grandmother that I had a cold and it had me all angsty. She asked what liquor I had in the house, and I had Metaxa, apricot brandy, ouzo, and peppermint Schnapps. We basically only had liquor that you cook with, since my mom is not technically a teetotaler, but still manages to practice being judgmental at Olympian levels when it comes to having a drink with dinner. I suppose most Greeks actually drink Metaxa, but we only cooked with it.

My grandmother listened to this list and suggested the peppermint Schnapps in some hot chocolate. To a 14 year old, but whatever. That is just how she rolled.

Since I was 14, I had no idea how to portion this stuff out. With the phone receiver between my shoulder and my ear, I doctored up some hot chocolate.

“Eugh!” or something to that effect, when I sipped it. It had smelled so nice and chocolate-minty, too. She asked me how much I’d put in. I told her I’d put in about an inch, and she cracked up, because an inch of Schnapps in a mug is kind of a lot for someone who has never actually had alcohol that wasn’t subsequently cooked.

Lips like sugar, sugar kisses. This is what happens if you have too many hot chocolates. You get kissed in a castle by a man with a feathered hat and a cape, and it's ALL downhill from there.

So, the first time I messed it up, but over the years I have perfected Drunken Hot Chocolate. First tip? Don’t use peppermint Schnapps. Use plain brandy. Definitely don’t use Hungarian plum brandy! Trader Joe’s has some French brandy that’s superstrong, but this time we have a cheap-O brand from Vons. That’s okay, since the chocolate will cover a multitude of vices.

Drunken Hot Chocolate

These directions are for only one cup, but you can definitely do more than one cup at a time. Do not adjust the directions, or you’ll end up with powdery drunken cocoa bubbles, and they’re no bueno.

Put some water in a kettle and heat it.

In one large mug, put 2 teaspoons of Ghiradelli sweetened cocoa powder (or, if you don’t have that, use 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tsp sugar). Don’t use packaged hot chocolate powder like Swiss Miss! It would be better just to drink the brandy straight and skip the chocolate experience altogether.

Add a teensy amount of milk and stir it into a paste in the mug. This is how you avoid the powdery cocoa bubbles. Then add a little under half a mug of milk. Stir well, then nuke in the microwave for a minute or two, until almost hot.

Add the heated water, leaving about two centimeters up at the top.

Stir.

Top with brandy.

Stir. Cheers!

It’s so simple, but I’ve tried adding whipped cream and marshmallows, but they seem so extraneous. Cookies, on the other hand. . .

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