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Look, I’m not going to lie to you — the holiday season is any sorry excuse for a journalist’s most favorite time of year. You see, the holidays are when lazy navel-gazing hacks like me take a break from doing anything that might pass as actual work and instead compile LISTS! Lots and lots of lists. Ridiculous lists about nonsense such as the movies we saw, and famous people we wished we dressed like, and obscure indie bands we pathetically pretend to like to come off sounding cooler than we could ever hope to be (by the way, check out the new Zee Avi record… it’s dope!)

And, of course, there’s that most ubiquitous and cynical of all species of holiday list — the ones wherein scruples-deficient media types suggest you go out and buy shit that companies gave them for free. We call those “Publicist Payback” lists. At worst, they’re a complete sham, and at the very least a violation of everything ever taught in a journalists ethics class.

Okay, then, here’s mine:

Tall Boy Cruzers
When I first got wind of this joint venture between the iconic skateboard manufacturer Santa Cruz and the Pabst Brewing Company, I wrote it off as yet another lame corporate venture aimed at separating dipshit hipsters from their cash. After all, the brands emblazoned on the boards — Pabst Blue Ribbon, Colt 45, and Schlitz among them — are the officially sanctioned “bronsons” of self-styled bohemians.

Ah, but then I rode one, and it dawned on me that any truly affected dicks that deem themselves deck are far too fey to actually ride a skateboard. Now, every time I step onto my 43.5-inch PBR pin tail and cruise the Venice Boardwalk, it’s like firing a shot across the bow at all the ironic indie-idiots who have so brazenly co-opted my grandfather’s favorite friggin’ beer. Plus, the longboard is really easy to navigate, even for old cranks like me.

Available at better skate shops or online.

A Shiny New Colon!
Whether they’re ready to admit it or not, between booze and bar food, the average recreational drinker puts more nasty shit in their body than a Bangkok hooker. Some of the more toxic stuff tends to stick around for the long haul, which is why it is essential for the committed tippler to give the old innards an industrial-strength cleaning from time to time.

For my money (though we’ve already established that it’s not) the Blue Print Cleanse is the way to go. You pay them a modest fee, and in return they deliver a variety of surprisingly tasty juice mixes to your door. You subsist on those for a few days, eventually inducing waves of peristalsis that feel like coked-up gremlins juggling grenades in your digestive tract. And then, ahhh, the cleansing comes…and keeps coming and coming and coming. In the end it is — and I mean this quite literally — some really fantastic shit.

For more information and to order visit here.

Fruit of the Vine
Now that you’ve purged your tummy of impurities, it’s time to start filling it up again. With adult beverages, the hard stuff can be a little, well, hard. Especially post-cleanse. I suggest you ease back into it with some smooth and soothing red wine from the great state of California. Now, I’ve tasted a lot of sublime vino this year, but these two stand out:

Tor Kenward 2008 Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon
Came across this single vineyard gem at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival back in May and it just floored me. Embodies everything that’s wonderful about Napa Valley cabernet.

Kosta Browne 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 
Wine Spectator just tabbed this one as its Wine of the Year. With good reason. If you can find a bottle (and good luck with that) it’s $52 you’ll never regret spending.

A Series of Words and Punctuation Marks
Far be it from me to sit here and shamelessly self-promote my critically acclaimed memoir: “Living Loaded: Tales of Sex, Salvation and the Pursuit of the Never-Ending Happy Hour particularly when there are far more famous people willing to do it for me…

“There was once a great tradition of smart, funny writers who told drinking stories: WC Fields, Kingsley Amis. They got replaced by self-pitying AA-memoirs. I’m so glad I got to read Dan Dunn’s smart, funny, drinking stories book and not his next book, which will undoubtedly be a self-pitying AA memoir.” – Joel Stein, Time magazine

“Dan Dunn’s writing is like kickass, balls to the wall rock n roll cranked to ear-bleed levels — makes you feel great and really pisses off the neighbors.  I can drink to that!”
— Sammy Hagar, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Cabo Wabo Tequila Founder

Read the previous installment of The Imbiber on Food Republic.