Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Drink’

From The Workshop: The Rock Bottom Story

August 06, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Drink, Workshops 1 Comment →

We give writing workshops at the Ayala Museum. The workshops consist of three two-hour sessions of lectures, exercises, and group discussions held over three weeks. The most recent workshop, on The Personal Essay, concluded last week. The next one, Writing Boot Camp, will start on 3 September 2015. For more information or to make a reservation, email Marj Villaflores,

This month we are featuring, with their permission, essays by the participants. The last batch was half-standup comedy, half-trauma ward. We encouraged everyone to get over their fear of exposure, embarrassment and “What will people think?” Here are some of the results.

* * * * *

Christmas Morning in Lincoln Heights Jail Drunk Tank, 1952

The Rock Bottom Story
by Cristina de la Paz

I’ve been trying to write a book for some time. I’d like to call it an autobiography of sorts. It doesn’t have quite the right beginning since I can’t really tell where everything starts. I could just start from the middle but where is the middle? As for the end. . .there are many ends, I just don’t know when and where to stop.

This is my story. Not a chronological series of events from the day I was born to the day I die, but a collection of moments in between that would make for a really good story. The kind of story that folks would think was based on a movie and not the other way around, like a life-imitating-art kind of scenario. I heard stories like those where I ended up, and I thought the same exact thing: “Boy, that sure sounds like a plot for a movie.” But then I get to my story and all film comparisons go flying out the window.

I’ve been trying to tell a story about how my life turned to absolute hell. That moment where I crashed, burned, hit rock bottom and dragged myself, bloodied and torn through a wasteland of drama and disillusion. Where does one start with such a tale? The beginning is a blur, the middle a sea of confusion and the end—well, the end is where I am.

So I guess I start at the end.

I have been off booze and drugs for a year and a few months. It would have been three years and a few months had it not been for an errant Negroni during a trip to the US, but that’s a moot point. Really. I had gone a long way to get to that point in California and, after I finished that drink I realized I made a mistake and swore it won’t ever happen again, and it hasn’t.

Things to do in Normandy

November 06, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Drink, Places, Traveling 2 Comments →

fresh air
1. Overdose on fresh air. We’re in Villedieu-les-Poeles, founded by the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. The name means “City of God of Pots and Pans”, though if you mispronounce it sounds like “City of God of the Naked.”

2. Go fishing. Our friend’s place is called The Mill in the Forest. Because there’s an old mill and a forest. (“Trouble at the mill.” “What kind of trouble?” “I don’t know, I wasn’t expecting a kind of Spanish Inquisition.” “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Every time we hear the name we have to do this.) There’s also a pond teeming with carp. Does anyone know about carp? Does the pond have to be cleaned? Isn’t it a self-regulating ecosystem? City slickers need help.

3. Recreate the Allied landings. Which happened on another beach, but close enough. This trip is turning out to be a WW2 retrospective, backwards.

4. Befriend a direwolf. This is Gaspar, the biggest German shepherd we’ve ever seen. He guards the calvados (apple brandy) distillery.

5. Drink calvados (KAL-va-dos). It cures sore throat instantly. They also make cider and pommeau—cider and calvados.

6. Do not get freaked out by the silence. It’s so quiet you can hear the neighbor’s refrigerator, and the nearest neighbor is a mile away.

7. Sleep early in your cozy attic room, because tomorrow you’re going to Gondor.

minas tirith
The island fortress of Mont-Saint-Michel was the model for Minas Tirith in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Rules to drink by

December 21, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Drink 3 Comments →

There’s only one way to get through this season without shoving a karaoke microphone up a happy reveler’s nostril. Drink. Read The 86 Rules of Boozing at Modern Drunkard.

80. Anyone with three or more drinks in his hands has the right of way.

81. If you’re going to drink on the job, drink vodka. It’s the no-tell liquor.

82. There’s nothing wrong with drinking before noon. Especially if you’re supposed to be at work.

83. The bar clock moves twice as fast from midnight to last call.

84. A flask engraved with a personal message is one of the best gifts you can ever give. And make sure there’s something in it.

85. On the intimacy scale, sharing a quiet drink is between a handshake and a kiss.

86. You will forget every one of these rules by your fifth drink.

Hitchens on waiters who interrupt your conversations

September 18, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Drink, Food No Comments →

Cartoon by Donna Barstow

Recently we wrote about waiters butting into our spoken stream of consciousness at the table to ask us if everything is all right. Obviously it was all right and we were scintillating until he rudely broke in. (However, since this is the Philippines, we would be considered the rude ones. Argh.) Here is Christopher Hitchens’s piece on that subject. It’s included in his new essay compilation Arguably, which we need immediately. (Thanks to Jackie O for the alert.)

Notes on Etiquette from From Leonardo da Vinci’s Kitchen Notebooks

The other night, I was having dinner with some friends in a fairly decent restaurant and was at the very peak of my form as a wit and raconteur. But just as, with infinite and exquisite tantalizations, I was approaching my punch line, the most incredible thing happened. A waiter appeared from nowhere, leaned right over my shoulder and into the middle of the conversation, seized my knife and fork, and started to cut up my food for me. Not content with this bizarre behavior, and without so much as a by-your-leave, he proceeded to distribute pieces of my entree onto the plates of the other diners.

No, he didn’t, actually. What he did instead was to interrupt the feast of reason and flow of soul that was our chat, lean across me, pick up the bottle of wine that was in the middle of the table, and pour it into everyone’s glass. And what I want to know is this: How did such a barbaric custom get itself established, and why on earth do we put up with it?

Leonardo: Top Chef, Old Master in Lapham’s Quarterly

There are two main ways in which a restaurant can inflict bad service on a customer. The first is to keep you hanging about and make it hard to catch the eye of the staff. (“Why are they called waiters?” inquired my son when he was about 5. “It’s we who are doing all the waiting.”) The second way is to be too intrusive, with overlong recitations of the “specials” and too many oversolicitous inquiries. . .

Read Wine drinkers of the world, unite in Slate.

Your gay friends and your straight friends

July 03, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Drink, Places, Traveling No Comments →

They’re called pornstar martinis because they’re dirty (contain olive juice).

I had just spent ten days at Kate Middleton’s father’s old school living the life of a ten-year-old prep pupil. Up at 6 am, sitting down to a healthy breakfast at 7, school by 8, home by 5, dinner at 6, in bed by 8 pm. I’d never been so wholesome in my life, not even when I was ten.

My Gay Friend reacted as if I’d just gotten out of prison. “We must go out!” he declared, so my first night in London was spent purging my systems of all that goodness.

First we went to a gay bar named G-A-Y. If I were to open a bar called S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T would that be discrimination? G-A-Y serves San Miguel Beer on tap. I had a glass of wine sitting next to two burly men smooching. Someone’s Saturday night was off to a flying start, and the sun was still out.

In Emotional Weather Report, today in the Philippine Star.

Meet and greet with Jon on Saturday the 11th

December 04, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Drink 22 Comments →

Jonny will be awake for the meet-and-greet, we promise.

We’re planning a meet-and-greet with our straight guy columnist Jon Morales of the national men’s rugby team on Saturday, 11 December, 7-9 pm at La Cuisine in Salcedo Village, Makati.

It’s the craziest time of the year and everyone has a party to attend, but what the hell. P100 gets you beer and bar chow. If you ordered 10+ copies Twisted 9 you can collect and pay for your books at the meet (Assuming the copies are delivered by then, our toes and fingers are crossed).

Sign up in Comments.

La Cuisine is on the ground floor of Paseo Parkview, Sedeno corner San Agustin Street, Salcedo Village, Makati. It’s near Makati Sports Club and the Salcedo weekend market. On the Makati-bound side of Edsa, turn right on Buendia (Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue), left on Paseo de Roxas, and right again at Citibank. Turn left at the second intersection, which is San Agustin. La Cuisine is at the end of the street, on the left side.

Come to Cabaret Night at La Cuisine on Tuesday 7 December and Wednesday 8 December. Starring 30-year Broadway veteran Tony Mariño and his back-up all-girl trio, featuring English and French songs from the 1930s to the 50s. The show starts at 9pm. Book early! Call 501 5202 or 752 0335.