The Plight of the Post-Doc


A Boozy Interlude

It's been a productive weekend.  In addition to watching a ton of baseball, I sent out five job applications, several of which I'm actually really excited about and think would be a good match for me, and have one more ready to go into the mail.  Yes, the MAIL mail, and they want copies of all my re-prints; clearly they didn't get the environment memo?  I also finished my poster for the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago next weekend, and while the poster may be a leeeeeeettle light on data, it has got to be one of the nicest looking posters the conference will ever see.  There are pie charts, okay?

I strongly feel that when you've worked very hard on sciency things it's good to reward yourself by engaging in one of your non-sciency hobbies.  Hobbies have been on my mind recently, because I noticed that I have friends who knit, or belong to soccer leagues, or have book clubs or some such thing, and I wondered to myself what my hobby was.  Then I remembered:

Oh, hai home bar (and hai Yankeez)!  My hobby is cocktails.  The Prohibition-era speakeasy is a real fad here in NYC, but if a fad results in a multitude of classy places for me to have a delicious drink that was invented 50-100 years ago, it's a fad I can get behind.  Seriously, 100%. 

There's a substantial cocktail blogosphere here as well, and I've met several of the scene's bigwigs at various spirits tasting events that I've managed to sweet-talk my way into.  What's interesting is that they are almost as nerdy as we scientists are, only about booze instead of neurons.  The history, the revival of lost or forgotten spirits, the rare whiskey batches, the debates over the proper recipe for the Martinez Cocktail...there's a lot to geek out about.  They are awesome people, and their lives pretty much rule.  Can you imagine if your job were simply to drink fancy drinks and write about it?  That would be nice.

One of the number one reasons I'm looking forward to the SfN meeting (I can have more than one number one reason, can't I?) is that Chicago's got one of the country's top destinations for serious cocktail enthusiasts:  The Violet Hour in Wicker Park.  So if you are stalking me, there's a good chance I'll be there pretty much every night.  After the ALCS games, of course.


MGS said...

You and I will have to geek out over cocktails together at SfN next year if we meet at some point (I'm only a first year grad student this year, so I'm not going this year). I love your bitters collection.

Do you have Harrington's book Cocktail? I heartily recommend it. Back in the day (up to about 2000?) Harrington had a cocktail page up on Wired. I adored it but they took it off and I couldn't find it. Finally he wrote a book, and it's great. There are lots of classic recipes and a historical blurb about them. My husband and I have done taste comparisons between classic cocktail recipes from Harrington's book and others we find online, and the classic recipes always win.

Since you're a neuroscience person, too, you might like a cocktail I created that reminds me of mouse brains. I wrote about it at

Becca said...

Thanks for the recommendation, MGS! I'll definitely look into that book. I checked out your mouse brains drink...WOW. That is not for the faint of heart! I love a good Negroni, though, so I may have to give it a shot. And I'm all for a little cocktail geeking out at next year's SfN, though San Diego doesn't have a super excellent scene. We'll find something!

Comrade Physioprof said...

That's a serious fucking bar!

Becca said...

Yes it is, and I'm headed to Kalustyan's tonight for more bitters!

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