Monday, May 9, 2016

Places Where I've Been Homeless

  • 125 Days Sober
  • Sunday Night Off To Listen To Red Sox Game
  • $16 Saturday
  • $42 Friday

Lake Johnson Park, listed in Raleigh, North Carolina, but I think part of it is in Cary, N.C.

The above is a path that I walked, in the early days of December, 2005, for about 3 weeks, before I moved on to Florida (due to lack of job opportunities in the Lake Johnson Park area)
There was a little canyon, made by a brook which fed into Lake Johnson, and about 300 yards upbrook, it had carved its way about 50 feet through the sandstone and had snaked in a way that there was a spot in the bends which was invisible, except from above.
That is where I made a nightly fire, the heat of which kind of lingered there in the crook, where the brook was about 10 feet across at that time. There was evidence in the faces of the cliffs that the brook had been much wider at times.
I cooked food over the fire and drank wine and enjoyed the scenery.
In the above, you can see the park's namesake lake to the right, through the mostly maple trees.
To the left the terrain ascends quite sharply, to a point about 250 feet higher, where it becomes flat and where are perched houses that overlook the lake.
My "path off of a path" (below) led to where I broke off of it, traversed about 300 yards of not very dense forest to a spot where the terrain began to descend to the creek which had carved the cliffs.

I was in the dollar store earlier today, and there was a "painting" there, for 15 bucks but it was about 3 feet square and looked almost like a painting) which I could swear from looking at, was a rendition of one of the wooden bridges that fjorded one of the small tributaries to Lake Johnson. It would be the one that I crossed a couple times a day, as I made my way to the library, and then to the little stores in the area.
So, I had to Google the park and was not able to obtain any images of that same bridge. I might, in a bold move, buy the picture, because of the chills that it gives me to look at that bridge.
It was one of my first ventures into living homeless and relying upon fire for warmth and cooked food. Those were the days when I drank one bottle of wine, down to the bottom of the label (about 87.5% of it) every night, with my meal. That amount always capped the evening's consumption. I very rarely drank more, and I very rarely went without at least that.
The little bit that was left in the bottle that I re-corked, would be used the following night as part of a comparison test against whatever kind of wine I managed to come up with.
In that way, I was able to determine just what the very best and cheapest wines were.
I found that, for 7 dollars, a bottle of Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon, was just fine and dandy; nothing wrong with it.
I used that as kind of a standard.
Old Standby
The Woodbridge was a "watershed" in that, there were always sub 7 dollar bottles in the store. Some of them had much more fascinating labels than the Woodbridge, and about half of them were better than the Woodbridge and the other half made you wish you had just gotten the Woodbridge and been done with it.
125 Days Sober
So, for under 7 bucks, you could do better than Woodbridge, meaning, you could find a wine that is closer to your personal preferences in the areas of body and "tannins" and "the nose" and "the finish."
I don't have a sensitive enough palate to discern such things as "hints of leather," or "graphite" in either the "nose" or the "finish" of wines so I just have to take the word of the Wine Spectator critics, but I do know when I luck upon a bottle for under 7 bucks that has something just on the tip of my tongue that I just can't quite identify as "a long lingering finish with hints of currants"
I've been sober for 125 days, give or take a few hours.

Giving the bottle's label a considerable amount of weight in choosing wines might have postponed indefinitely my ever trying the Woodbridge, but I did so on the recommendation of a wine seller somewhere who pointed out to me that the brand is the "house wine," at many eating and drinking establishments. And I could see it being that kind of a workhorse.
And, I wouldn't have gotten to the Mirassou, had it not been drastically reduced somewhere, due to my not liking the sun logo thing and especially that it (the sun logo) is a plastic kind of stick on decal, not even paper.
At least the Woodbridge, with its bland picture of a vineyard, has a paper label..and has "raised" writing on it.
I am thinking, after 125 days of not drinking, that it would be OK to go back to just drinking one bottle of wine down to the bottom of the label each night...
But, this ain't Lake Johnson Park, folk. This N'awlins!


alex carter said...

You drink a lot of California wine out there. Woodbridge is OK but Bogle's better, and a brand called 14 Hands "red blend" or "hot to trot" is good. There's also one called Apothic Red that's good, Apothic Black if you see it is a bit overbearing.

I was having to get shitfaced each night to sleep, er, pass out, and now I'm doing the soberness thing. I got by fine the first 25 years of my life without drinking and I think I can do without the hassle and expense from here on out.

Daniel McKenna said...

Yeah, I'm thinking of re-creating one of my meals, from the period of my life when I was healthy as a horse* by cooking/smoking whiting in olive oil over a red oakwood fire, with sauteed mushrooms and onions and garlic, basil, oregano on the side and maybe chips and salsa, and washing it down with "non-alcoholic" wine, just to see if I still feel like a million bucks afterward, without the alcohol

alex carter said...

I'm already feeling better, and I'm finding that instead of the same stupid stuff on YouTube I found fascinating when I was a drunkard, I'm getting interested in stuff like math and computer algorithms and neat-o stuff like that. It turns out people are teaching it in really fun ways instead of the brain-deadening ways they were taught in college.