Friday, November 17, 2017

Fallen Leaves and Drinking Games

This is what our garden looks like now. We've pretty much just let it go -- we saw Mrs. Kravitz out weeding and raking a few days ago, and she said something like, "What happened to your garden?!" We told her that in the fall, we let nature take its course.

I probably do need to rake those leaves at some point.

Wasn't the news from Australia encouraging? I'm so happy marriage equality passed there by referendum, and by such a solid margin!

On the other hand, I've been reading about the college students around the USA who have died recently from alcohol poisoning. I was just talking to my boss about this the other day -- she was saying that some students at the school where we work have needed hospital treatment because they've had too much to drink at parties. Maybe I'm naive (likely) but I never heard of this phenomenon when I was in school. I mean, people got drunk, sure, but I didn't know anyone who had to have their stomach pumped or who suffered any long-term effects.

The students in my dorm, in college, turned drunkenness into a game. We had a weekly "puke award" that hung on the door of whichever resident of our floor got the drunkest at the weekend. This was not only sanctioned by the RA, I think he might have started it. Can you imagine such a thing happening now? (For the record, I never won the "puke award.")

My boss said that in our day, we drank with mixers, but she thinks kids today (particularly girls) don't like to use much mixer because they're worried about extra calories. So they wind up drinking much stronger drinks. And fraternities, in particular, seem to use drinking as a rite of initiation that often goes wrong.

Anyway, I'm glad high school and college are behind me!

Apropos of nothing, the other day I was walking down the street past a woman and a little girl, and the girl, seeing a pigeon, started crowing at it like a rooster. "Cock-a-doodle-DOO!!" she yelled at the pigeon, over and over. The mother said, "Dear, that's not a chicken." But the girl just kept right on crowing.


  1. I warn my freshman in college son about this all the time and can only hope that he makes the right choices and doesn't do anything stupid. I went to a big party university in the mid=80s, and plenty of people got drunk or so wasted that they'd black out. I was never into that -- nor was I into drugs -- but I do wonder how everyone survived. Then again, many didn't.

  2. When I was at university, there were nights when I drank to excess - as if there was no tomorrow and nights from which I woke not remembering what had happened in the early hours. Looking back, I wish I could have reined my younger self in, pointing out the obvious error of my ways. Nowadays I am so glad that I drink in relative moderation, have drink-free days and never wake up with any kind of hangover.

  3. I think your garden is absolutely beautiful, fallen leaves and all.
    Mrs. Kravitz needs to tend her own garden and her own business as well.

  4. In my 20s I couldn't stand the smell of beer, so that kept me away from many parties. I didn't drink, except for a few sips of sweet vermouth (which I thought was a very sophisticated drink) so I didn't feel that I was missing much by not being around a bunch of drunks. As you can guess, I didn't have a lot of friends either. While everyone was hanging out at loud frat parties I was in my room listening to the BBC World Service, making collages or writing long letters. Luckily, the '80s came in at just the right time for me to have a second chance at fun. I'm glad I waited: the '80s were awesome.

    Here's a tip for dealing with neighbors or other manipulators like Mrs. Kravitz. Always answer a question with a question. "What happened to your garden?", she asks. You volley back: "What do you mean?" Better yet, you go: "Excuse me?" It takes practice but when you get the hang of it, you'll never let yourself be put on the defensive again.

    I think your garden looks poetic.

  5. You know, this is kind of strange but, I don't recall many drinking events when I was in college. Maybe that's because I went to a home-town college and lived at home. I do remember that I got plied with liquor after I started working. Usually be men hoping to get lucky. They didn't.
    I, for one, love the way your garden looks. It's perfect for the season!

  6. The garden is stunning.

    The drinking is a problem and the Greek system needs to do something. Just like gun control, how many people have to die before we wake up? Frustrating.

  7. I think the garden is beautiful and what is that brilliant tree in the back? there is a beauty to fall, in the dying of the summer's greenery. rake those leaves into the flower beds and let them mulch down.

  8. I also don't like or understand the binge drinking that goes on . Much liquor that's sold is like pop and it goes down easily. Enjoying a drink has little meaning for the partiers .

  9. Your garden looks enchanted. On the day in history that Queen Elizabeth the first too the throne I can imagine her being drawn to your garden bench. I'd drink to that.

  10. That's a lovely picture of your back yard (garden, whatever. Ha!). I never liked alcohol & didn't go to any parties in college, but even at my small Baptist school there was a lot of drinking going on. But no deaths that I'm a aware of - just a lot of grumpy people on Mondays :)

  11. Here, at least, the drinking culture seems to be getting worse among young people. When I went to university, Friday and Saturday nights were when you did any heavier drinking (which I'm not saying is necessarily right either) but now they start on Wednesday night and go through to Saturday (second-hand information from three sources who were at university recently). It also seems that young people, including parents of little kids, are drinking more. I don't think they think of it as a drug, but it is.

    ANYWAY . . . I like your yard; it looks about like ours, I'm sure Mrs. K wouldn't approve :) and I love that story about the little girl crowing at the pigeon!! I'm glad her mother didn't try to impose the truth on her beyond a simple correction.

  12. Mrs Krawitz could do with a mixer now and then instead of shouting over your garden wall.