Events in San Francisco
Boozy movies: Sugar

Literary hangover

The New Yorker dedicates five pages to the hangover. Most of the information is not new, but there are some interesting cultural anecdotes:
Elsewhere on the international front, many people in Asia and the Near East take strong tea. The Italians and the French prefer strong coffee. (Italian informant: add lemon. French informant: add salt. Alcohol researchers: stay away from coffee—it’s a diuretic and will make you more dehydrated.) Germans eat pickled herring; the Japanese turn to pickled plums; the Vietnamese drink a wax-gourd juice. Moroccans say to chew cumin seeds; Andeans, coca leaves. Russians swear by pickle brine. An ex-Soviet ballet dancer told me, “Pickle juice or a shot of vodka or pickle juice with a shot of vodka.”
...and a bit of discussion on what cures may work and why. Many of them one researcher dismisses as distraction cures:
Many of the cures probably work, she said, on the same distraction principle as the hair of the dog: “Take the spicy foods, for example. They divert the body’s attention away from coping with the alcohol to coping with the spices, which are also a toxin. So you have new problems—with your stomach, with your esophagus, with your respiration—rather than the problem with the headache, or that you are going to the washroom every five minutes.” The high-fat and high-protein meals operate in the same way, she said. The body turns to the food and forgets about the alcohol for the time being, thus delaying the hangover and possibly alleviating it.
Milk thistle as a liver helper comes up again. That's the only thing this article made me consider changing about my lifestyle. Lately, I've hardly been experiencing any hangovers. I attribute this not so much to reduced alcohol intake, but to two factors:

1. Drinking in venues where they serve a glass water with drinks.
2. Not staying out too late. I've noticed that even when not drinking heavily I feel worse after a late night out than I do after an early one with many cocktails.

The New Yorker story mentions Kingsley Amis, the British writer of three books on drinking that were recently compiled into one volume called Everyday Drinking. I have the book, and it's a riot. The Wall Street Journal's Eric Felten also wrote about this book in a story last weekend called The Hangover Artist.

Esquire's David Wondrich also reviews the book in the June issue. He says, "Kingsley Amis’s drink writing is better than anybody else’s, ever -- even though there wasn’t a single cocktail or category of booze he could write about without making a grievous factual error."

Playboy takes on Amis as well, saying that in the book, "Many quaffs are more interesting in theory than in practice... but the old boy is charming enough to make you think about trying them anyway. " They include a recipe for the Salty Dog, a cocktail with gin, grapefruit juice, and salt.

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