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Tag Archives: Trainspotting


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Image credit: Trainspotting, 1996

As a film studies student in college, I used to have an incredibly cliche poster of the opening quote from this week’s film Trainspotting (DVD/Download) tacked up to my wall. You know the quote, “Choose life, choose a job, choose a career…” – almost as a warning of the kind of life I didn’t want. Well, let me tell you, enough nights worrying about when your next paycheck was coming, hungover mornings, and cheap microwaved food, and suddenly the stuff on that poster doesn’t seem so bad. I’ll take low cholesterol and dental insurance over gross apartments and toxic relationships any day of the week. Heck yes.

Trainspotting is a rebellious classic that spoke to an entire generation of young people upon its release. It’s selfish people wreaking havoc on the lives around them, and not giving a damn. It’s junkies in a vicious cycle of getting on/getting off heroin, so frequently that you wonder what “normal” even is for them. It’s friends betraying friends, wild nights in clubs, Iggy Pop music, and drug deals gone bad.  Danny Boyle’s wild ride through the seedy underbelly of Edinburgh is deliciously fun to watch. I feel cooler just being in the audience.

As a young skinny heroin addict stumbling toward redemption , this was the movie that put Ewan McGregor on the map. He’s not a bad guy, just….. an addict. He needs help; maybe an antibiotic (or five). So while watching Trainspotting, I recommend drinking a Penicillin cocktail.


2 oz blended Scotch whiskey

¾ oz lemon juice

¾ oz honey syrup (1 part water + 1 part honey, boiled)

¼ oz smoky Islay single malt scotch

Fresh ginger

Muddle ginger at the bottom of a shaker and add blended Scotch, lemon juice, and honey syrup. Add ice cubes, and shake well to chill. Strain into a glass with a large ice cube, and float the single-malt scotch on top.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend seeing this film’s sequel T2 to find out what has become of these iconic characters.  In my opinion, this is one of the best sequels ever made, and such a perfect grace note to original. Thinking back to that poster, I may have chosen DIY and wondering who the f**k I am on a Sunday morning, but still, I chose life. And it’s a damn good one. Cheers!

Top Five Movie Hangovers

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We’ve all been there. Waking up only to find that your tongue has been replaced with sandpaper, someone is squeezing your head with a vice, and oh yeah- your room is now on a tilt-a-whirl axis. No matter how much water you thought you drank the night before, sometimes it’s just never enough.  Of course we’d all like to look as fabulous as Holly Golightly in a men’s tuxedo shirt and satin eye mask first thing in the morning, but reality is a very different beast.  What follows are my Top Five Movie Hangovers, in no particular order.

1.  Long Duk Dong, Sixteen Candles

Image credit Sixteen Candles, 1984

Image credit Sixteen Candles, 1984

Oh, high school.  So much time spent trying to get booze, and absolutely no thought given to the morning after.  The Donger need food.


2.  Alma the maid, Pillow Talk


Image credit Pillow Talk, 1959

Alma’s daily cure all- tomato juice and tabasco.  And the sweet soothing sounds of Rock Hudson on the piano.


3.  Elliot Garfield, The Goodbye Girl

Goodbye Girl

Image credit- The Goodbye Girl, 1977

No amount of meditation and wheat germ can take away the sting of a night of heavy drinking.  Or a bad review in the Times.  Capital P, Capital U, Capital TRID.


4.  Stu, The Hangover


Image Credit The Hangover, 2009

Sure everyone in this movie was hungover, but I think Stu had it the worst.  Waking up to discover you are suddenly responsible for Heather Graham AND a baby?  THE HORROR.


5.  Spud, Trainspotting

Image Credit Trainspotting, 1996

Image Credit Trainspotting, 1996

Choose life.  Choose a job.  Choose a career.  Choose never drinking so much that you wake up to discover you’ve crapped the bed.