(Auld Lang) Syne of the Times

Ex Machina and into the BottleFrom the progression of light and dark bits out my window, it’s fair to assume time has passed since New Year’s Day. So it’s probably high time I get dressed.

Nah, I’ve been dressed in 2004. We were out depleting the bottle stocks at Spuyten Duyvil just last night, and I distinctly remember wearing clothes. Someone would have said something if I’d forgotten. Right?

The ghosts of New Year’s past:

  • 1999 – We don’t quite party like it’s 1999, but props to Prince for planting that song so long back that it’s instant future nostalgia until we get bored to tears with it. And we do, we do. I am about to come down with a six-week stint of severe bronchitis, which is nassssty hobbitses all around, and this is the last bit of real life before the sick thing hits.

  • 2000 – You can say “millenium” all you want, this is the year before the millennium. Bit of a flinch at midnight, remember that? We don’t have terrorism yet, but still. All those zeroes coming at twelve combined with Y2K doomsday hilarity makes for nerves. I head out somewhere small, cheery, and New Jerseyful for First Night with The Cucumbers and their two delightful cornichons, Jesse and Jamie, and see out the old year in the wholesome company of happy parents and giddy kids. I am the only single man without an instrument in hand for miles in any direction. A late train to the City puts an end to the wholesome part, and I ease back onto home ground in the East Village at d.b.a. until the chummy wee hours. Nothing much blows up, and we’re so relieved that we party like it’s 1999. Oops.

  • 2001 – Never saw September coming, did we? Who knew that these were going to be the good years? We who refused to say “millenium” in 2000 say it now. No one heeds. It is the last great shindig in these parts; no need to watch your back, and the future seems full of bounty. We make lots of “I’m sorry Dave” jokes and find the world has thoroughly and unjustly forgotten Stanley Kubrick’s majestic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which is a fine film like they used to make ‘em back before focus groups (here is a link to a fun if slightly shrill Flash version of the 2001 saga).

  • 2002 – If we don’t stay out drinking hysterically, the terrorists have won.

  • 2003 – Sean over at Micky’s Blue Room discovers that one bad apple can cause no end of woe at the pre-paid open bar if Patrón Tequila is part of the scenery, and if I’m the apple. It’s a sloppy night. It’s a grim morning. Whee!

2004? This year spins out as planned, and shortly after midnight I am up on stage at The Slipper Room with Miss Saturn, hula hooper extraordinaire, and a gang of adoring fellow hoopers (that hula hoop thing is a lot trickier than it looks, by the way, and not as easy as I remember). The indubitable Miss Delirium Tremens is a fetching Baby 2004, reprising her role from last year. I’m wearing the leather pants and get home well after 6:00 a.m. Yep. It’s the Noughties still.

The Word of DeuSI won’t say I found God last night, but I did find DeuS, Brut des Flandres, a fascinating “Méthode Champenoise” beer, which means it’s made (in part) champagne-style and it sells (in whole) at champagne prices – so thanks, Warren! Spuyten Duyvil stocks this mutant Belgian triple from Bosteels, which is brewed in Flanders and then shipped to France’s Champagne region for secondary fermentation. DeuS is served colder than most Belgians will want to be, in champagne flutes, and it’s a pale hybrid with a solid, persistent head. We agreed on anise and minty hints; Pierre found it overly spiced, Bill encountered vanilla-bean notes, and I thought the initial attack was reminiscent of rosemary. It is aggressively dry with an elusive, evanescent sweetness that dances on the palate but does not remain. Overall a treat, and at 11.5% ABV it is lightly-built on a muscular frame.

About Linus

The man behind the curtain. But couldn't we get a nicer curtain?
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