Barack & Me, Xeroxing It In

I got to thinking a few weeks ago: Did I swipe the name of this blog--My Year of Drinking Heavily--from the subtitle of Julie Powell's book Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously? I was aware of the book pre-January 1st, 2008. I'm not sure I knew at that point what the subtitle was, though.

So I figured maybe I'd read the book, and early this week I bought a "like new" used copy on amazon. No use further enriching Ms. Powell. Today a bubble envelope with no return address arrived in the mail. Is it ticking? What did I buy this time and forget I bought? Lo and behold, the paperback edition, actually like new, and a smiley face inked in on the packing slip.

I dipped into it after lunch (or what passed as lunch: ground turkey with garlic and curry powder, since we're talking about food). Just a few pages, said I. About 30 minutes ago, I stepped out of the end of it, pg. 305 or thereabouts, sopping wet after swimming the Verrazano Narrows (though she lives in Queens; anyway).

It certainly wasn't what I expected, but I couldn't put it down. Ms. Powell is a brilliant writer. I broke out laughing several times, to the dogs' wary glances. And she loathes George W. Bush in no uncertain terms, so she is a genuinely wonderful human being too. (There's a great line about "plutocrats.")

But did I swipe my blog title from her? While checking for the latest Oscar buzz after I finished reading the book, I noticed a sidebar advertising A. J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically. And that's when I remembered: I swiped my title from Mr. Jacobs, not Ms. Powell. I'd heard him interviewed on NPR late last year. The same day or shortly thereafter, my minister mentioned the book in his homily. A great believer in signs and omens and picking up pennies, I took that as a sign. I didn't know of what. But when I bought my now famous cocktail of the day calendar, the title of Jacobs' book came to mind, and the mental Xerox machine kicked into gear.

Back to Ms. Powell for a minute. She and her husband (long suffering doesn't need to be said, but my dogs don't say the same thing) frequently ordered bacon and jalapeno pizzas from Dominos when they needed a break from homemade food with even more cholesterol. You can tell the Powells are from Texas. I'm a Dominos fan too (no Papa John's for me, thanks), and I like bacon on pizza, but I'd never tried it with jalapenos. So I ordered one tonight (with onions as my 3rd ingredient; I wasn't going to be kissing anybody). Not bad, but I like banana peppers and provolone better.

On the other hand, over the course of The Project (sounds like a Tom Cruise thing) she and her husband frequently drank vodka gimlets. So I tried one of those (admittedly with lime juice, no Rose's at hand, and Smirnoff, not her Stoli). Yuck! And I've rarely said that about a cocktail thus far this year. I hope they use Rose's, or at least a little sugar, though even that still seems like just an attempt to prevent scurvy and get a buzz at the same time. Stick to cooking, lady, Mr. Jacobs can stick to whatever he does biblically or missionarily, and I'll hasten me back to my cocktail shakery.