The Beginning

Every year for at least the last 10 years, I've had a 365 day calendar in my kitchen. One year it was a dog a day, another year the Joy of Cooking, one year French phrases (how many of those do I remember?), in 2007 a Don't Sweat the Small Stuff calendar (or how many of those?). I'm a bit of a calendar freak actually. I have this kitchen counter calendar, one on the kitchen wall (this year artistic riffs on Snoopy, my childhood hero) (who wasn't in the Dog a Day calendar), a calendar on the wall in my office (this year a Men's Health one, since I've decided I need to get healthy so I'll live forever), and a desk calendar that I tend to use as a diary/journal. This year it's an exercise calendar. I'm taking no chances on the Living Forever bit. Like the 365 day calendars, this one has had a different theme over the years (Ansel Adams, lighthouses, Shakespeare). I used to buy little monthly desktop calendars for the bathroom, but I decided a while ago that if I was going to obsess over time, I already had a mirror in there.

So, my 365 day calendar for 2008 is The Ultimate Bar: Essential Cocktail Know-How for Every Day of the Year (I hate long titles), by one Mittie Hellmich. Amazon says she’s a columnist for The Oregonian and lives in Portland; I’d drink a lot if it rained all the time too. I really didn't see a calendar until I came across this cocktail one that really excited me. I didn't want to learn and forget a phrase a day. I didn't want to fold a different paper airplane every day. I almost bought the Bon Appetit one, but then I'd have to wash dishes. (And I'm already a good cook.) Then I saw this cocktail one and thought, Saint Anthony of Bourdain would go for this. The wine one I'd had a few years ago was pretty worthless, since most of the wines were hard to find around here and frankly above my budget. $14 wines are only bought for very special occasions around here.

But cocktails are cheap, and I already have a small supply of bottles of ingredients at hand. A cocktail a day in the evening (or in the morning if one looks really good) could be fun. Some weeks I might get busy and have to save five days worth for the weekend, but that won't be so bad. If one day calls for some exotic liqueur that I don't want to pay $30 for just to make one drink, I can rip off the page and hand it to some friendly bartender, and put out $30 for the drink and his tip.

So today is January 1st, and the drink today is: I don't know. I don't have the calendar. It hasn't come yet. You think I actually go to stores and look at calendars and buy them? Actually, I did with the Snoopy one, but I was spending quality time with my niece. I'm expecting it to come tomorrow, or I'll be very unhappy with Check back tomorrow and you'll get (I hope) a report on my first 2 mixed drinks of the new year.