Reading, Rumming, Rehab

I don’t think it’s any surprise to anyone reading this blog just how much I like to read. It is, essentially, my favorite thing to do.  If you’ve ever watched any morning show, you know that they frequently ask ridiculous “would you rather” polls. Generally it’s something along the lines of “would you rather be beautiful or have the ability to speak seven languages while drinking rum on a lobster boat?” The answer will always be whichever makes the American population to appear most-shallow.

*to be fair, I’d rather be beautiful than only be able to retain my polyglot capabilities while imbibing on a fishing vessel I have no desire to board.

If I were asked if I’d rather do _____ or continue to be able to read an insane amount of books, I’d give up most anything for words on pages. Almost anything. I’m not crazy–all the time.

To push myself to continue to interact with real people who don’t live in the fantasyland that is my imagination, and to get my ass off the corner of the sofa that I’ve claimed and noted for its perfect level of reading coziness, I made a new book club. We Ran, We Read, We Rummed is its name, and it’s on three platforms, goodreads, facebook, and on the twitter hashtag #ranreadrummed. We also have our very own tumblr RanREADRummed. Basically, we choose one book per month, read it, converse, encourage each other to get off our asses with fun workouts, and I make up a cocktail recipe/wine-beer pairing/sober sally drink.

This month we’re reading:

I’m about 2/3 into it, and liking it so far. It’s a historical, and of a time period I’ve not read much of previously. It is the story surrounding one young doctor’s daughter volunteering near the front of WWI. Once I’ve completed it, I’ll post a full review!

This is this month’s workout!!


Now for a review for a book I’ve recently finished. I’m a big fan of memoirs, I’ve read all sorts. From the journals of the founding fathers, to Audre Lorde, to ridiculous memoirs of comedians and everything in-between.

This past weekend, I downloaded a new one to my kindle on a whim. Ham: Slices of a Life: Stories and Essays.–Sam Harris

I was unfamiliar with the author until I googled his image and figured out through the incestuous community of theatre who I knew that knew him, etc.  He is a generation ahead of me in NYC, but there is always a bit of every group.

Headed into the read, I planned to read an essay or so each day as is typical of my style when reading a collection of essays. When memoirs are penned as a series of stories/essays they can feel a bit like a bricolage of hastily-drawn together memories, rather than a cohesive story. I sat down on Saturday morning after going to the gym to read a bit. Three hours later I realized I’d near finished this book, hadn’t showered, and I was really thirsty. Where the fuck did the time go? At some point while reading, I realized I was highlighting a metric fuckton of passages that sparked my funny meter, and tweeting screenshots of pages to my platonic soul-mate, Amy.

Sam Harris is BFFs with Liza Minelli. He knows umpteen other celebrities and isn’t afraid to name-drop or spill good secrets. He was stiffed by the Queen of Soul. (In the land of my birth, NEOh!)

But most importantly, he’s a damned entertaining story teller. His writing is engaging and well-paced. You never reach a point where you’re tired of reading his words. The snippets of his life are succinct, funny, and sometimes painful. Growing up a gay kid in Oklahoma who eventually wins Star Search, is thrown into a whirlwind of exposure, and falls into alcohol abuse–things are going to get to a dark place. The amazing thing is, though he admits horrifying levels of sadness, and extremes of emotion, the book doesn’t emote in a manner that you worry he’ll not end up better for his struggles and his successes.

Five Stars. (and honey, I do not give a fiver easily.)

And now….this month’s cocktail.

Strawberry-Cilantro Dark and Stormy

strawberry-cilantro dark & stormy

Strawberry-Cilantro Dark & Stormy

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Keywords: beverage

Ingredients (2 cocktails)

  • 3 oz dark rum
  • 1/2 oz canton liqueur (optional: could also sub frangola or strawberry moonshine)
  • 6 oz ginger beer
  • 2 tsp superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cup loosely-packed cilantro leaves (more or less)
  • 1/4 cup chopped strawberries


in the bottom of a shaker, muddle the berries, cilantro, and sugar

add liqueurs and fill half-way with crushed ice

shake well

split between 2 glasses

top with ginger beer


serve immediately

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4 thoughts on “Reading, Rumming, Rehab

  1. I always immediately add to my tbr list anything you rate 5 stars, because that is as rare as a unicorn sighting (well, not quite as rare as a unicorn sighting...I haven't seen one of those for these last 20 years for some reason). I haven't started our June book yet, but will be reading this weekend! And drinking cocktails!
  2. Love your blog! I just started my weight loss journey and blog. Hope to have similar successes. Congrats on the hard work!

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