My Beautiful Hangover.


Here’s my first great life lesson of 2020 that I want to share with you: you and your best friend can’t drink three bottles of champagne by yourselves.

Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Also, you can’t. Because what you’ll end up with the next morning is one empty champagne bottle under the living room couch, one half-empty bottle left behind in the cat food bin when you were scooping out kibble for the kitties at some point in the evening, and another bottle that was half-full when you put it in the freezer to keep cold but forgot about so it exploded overnight and now it’s pretty much empty, but your freezer is full of champagne slurpee. It’s a waste of decent champagne, is what I’m saying.

The truth is, you can’t throw back like it’s 1993, and that’s OK.

That was Sunday when my BFF and I conducted our experiment with the bubbly time-travel juice. New Year’s Eve was Tuesday, which necessitated a follow-up investigation into the psycho-temporal effects of blanc-de-blancs fermentation, and Wednesday was New Year’s Day when we said Fuck it, let’s do bourbon shots.

Yesterday I woke up bright-eyed and full of reverence for the miracle of a morning-after without consequences and was good to go, but then our side of the street lost internet. In addition, it was raining. So I sat around and wondered if life was worth living.

In despair, I tried to read a book.

My BFF knows I’m hot for pretty much anyone anything Korean these days so she got us a novel about Korea to read together:

It begins with a 6-page prelude in the third person, then the real story begins in a first-person narration which I presume will carry us to the end of the book. By the third sentence the first-person narrator is taking a crap in a latrine in 1938. Her bowl movement goes on for seven sentences.

At that point, I wanted to personally shit on the book.

But I soldiered on for 36 more pages, and then I called my BFF and asked, Are we really going to read about turds?

She has a theory that the disgusting crapping sequence will be shown to be artistically necessary later in the plot (she has faith in literary fiction) and we agreed to keep reading, but not today. I’d had enough.

So I picked up the other book in my life:

This is a wonderful story about a woman who went to art school at age 64, eventually getting a master’s degree at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design when she was, I guess, 70. Before I continue, I want to assure you that Nell Painter is a thoughtful and deep-thinking writer and her book is a pleasure…sort of…to read.

What I dislike about her story is the stuff about art. If you ever wondered why artists have to go to art school, this book explains why; it seems that, these days, artists have to spend years in art school in order to un-learn an inherent instinct for beauty because, these days, beauty is the death of “art”.

Once you understand that beauty is banal, you then spend years learning that only wimps make figurative art, and only illustrators *sneer* care about making a gorgeous surface. If you can make something ugly, and do it poorly, then you have what it takes to make it in the Art World.

I don’t get it, but it’s instructive to have all that explained by such a smart and dedicated lady. I appreciate her sincerity and her quest to rage against the dying of the light…but her work stinks. It’s very art-schooly. Don’t tell her I said that because I’m probably wrong, and she does have an MFA.

The good thing is that I’m on page 155 and no one has taken a dump yet, so yeah, that’s a +.

Speaking of me sounding off about art, a Dear Reader emailed me last week because she remembered that, once upon a time, I did a blog post about Illustration v. Art, and could I find it for her and I said yeah, I kind of remember that. This is all I’ve found so far, and I think it’s lame, but I’ll keep looking, Vicki.


Have a great weekend, my fierce Dear Ones.









7 Comments, RSS

  1. Adrienne

    “If you can make something ugly, and do it poorly, then you have what it takes to make it in the Art World.” Sadly, I have found this to be so true.
    I checked out Nell Painter’s work. I thought it was awful!
    Am I the only idiot that actually googled the ages of the members of BTS?

  2. Sounds like Long Island is a good place to stay drunk, and have friends stop by to join in. Good luck, lady and Top Cat.
    Hope the furrys are doing ok. Show us pictures when you can, if you have the inclination. We love them, too.
    Enjoy champagne, eat well, sleep a lot, and feel great for the New Year. We love your happy blog.

  3. Two book thoughts: “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee takes place partly in Korea, all with Korean characters, though I don’t know if you would like it. “The History of White People” by Nell Irvin Painter is a fascinating book, on a completely different topic than her art school book which I haven’t read.

    I have loved all your posts on creating watercolor images. I am not interested in classifying them as “art” or “illustration” but I know what I like.

    Have a good year in 2020. I hope you do some posts on painting.

    best… mae at

  4. I once tried to share a bottle of champagne with my mom on New Year’s Eve. I don’t think we even got through half of it. She didn’t pull her weight, and I couldn’t very well quaff the whole thing in front of her, could I? I mean, she’s my MOTHER.

    Anyway, thanks for the continued K-Pop enlightenment. I still haven’t listened, I must confess, but I promise I will. I do get the treadmill thing, but to me, that’s what ’70s disco is for!

  5. Penny Herrington

    Of course I googled the ages of BTS and was wondering where I might score a large tub of this miraculous fountain-of-youth moisturizer when I also ran across the informative article on the Korean method of measuring age and now I don’t know if I am 18 or 180 years old, depending on whether it is 4:20a.m. or 4:20p.m. in this universe or the other one.
    All I am saying is if you handed one of them a hammer, he wouldn’t know his ball from his peen.

  6. I second Pachinko. And I’m all for champagne but I don’t think I could go three for three. I’m about ready to quit after half or maybe a bit into the second!

    Ah well, a new year!

  7. Kirra

    Impressive champagne effort! I think bottle 2 with a friend would be maximum for me.

    Good luck with the books and keep enjoying the K-pop!

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