Hot Sauce and Aspirin

Some tips and tricks to survive a hangover.

Hello, my favorite drunkies! Happy March, hopefully wherever you are, spring is starting to peek out and help winter find the door.  I am in Austin today, and it is FREEZING.  Like, 30 degrees, going for lunch wearing a winter coat, wistfully remembering sunny days, looking longingly at the weather app, cold!  A strange thing has been happening lately, and as such I have not been nearly as good about writing.  After my hangover marathon in St. Barth, I have not had another one.  Did I crack the code? Am I drinking whatever I want and someone feeling fine? Is 40 the new 20? HELL NO.  I went to a party the other day and had 3 beers.  I went to a musical and had 2 drinks.  I went on a cruise and was never hungover.  So if I cracked the code, I would have to say it is this, if you are going to drink way too much, do it between noon and 6 PM, then stop drinking, eat, and stay awake until at least 9:30-10:00 PM.  We got the drink package on the cruise, and in order to break even on that bad boy you need to drink at least 6 drinks per day.  Which seems like a hard task, but not if you start at breakfast! The point is, I have been silent here because I have not been hungover.  I have however, been traveling like a crazy person, having great adventures, and dealing with a super long flare of IBD, which is not IBS, google it if you are curious.  So, that brings me to right now.  I hate not writing, not interacting with you all, not shamelessly promoting things, not feeling connected to all my readers and commenting super fans.  But, I hate being hungover and making this stupid disease worse too.  So, Hot Sauce and Aspirin, much like this writer, is going to have to evolve in order to stay alive.  Which brings me to you.  I travel almost without ceasing.  I have been home since Saturday evening, and I leave again on Wednesday.  I could definitely chronicle the travel aspect of my life, (which involves a LOT of Disney, a lot of beaches, and a lot of cheap air travel), in between the hangover stuff.  However, I have a lot of faithful readers, and don’t know that their interest would translate to that.  I promise, it would not be just another travel blog.  There would definitely be too much drinking, dealing with chronic disease, shameless self promotion, the occasional political rant, and a lot of pictures of the good, bad and ugly of it all.  What do you think?  Should I shut the blog down, except for the few times a year I actually make myself sick, or should I evolve my party brand into something more?  Sound off in the comments, email, facebook or instagram, @hot_sauce_and_aspirin.

And don’t lose heart, my drunkies!  I may be 40, and temporarily evolving, but that never lasts long.  #Cheers!

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It has been really tough to grab a free moment lately to write this post. I’m currently sitting alone in a cute little living room, with a large glass wall, overlooking a small courtyard and a cliff down to the ocean. I’m near the middle of a 2 week dream vacation, currently staying in a great little villa in St Barths. It’s gorgeous here, if you are trying to pick the perfect place for a honeymoon or tropical getaway, this blows every other place I have visited in the Caribbean right out of the water. The crowds are low, the beaches are gorgeous, food is delicious. It’s a little bit French, but I actually kind of like that rather than the normal chaos of the Caribbean.

But that is not why you are here, I’m sure! Not just to play where in the world is Eat Pray Julie. But to see what I’m drinking and how I haven’t died yet. This answer totally shocked me, but the internet already knew about it, so maybe you will be less shocked. On Tuesday we all got really drunk, at least a few of us did. We were drinking rum punch, heavy on the rum, starting at Shellona, where my dad thought the drinks were not strong enough so he started also getting extra shots of rum to add to them. Interesting side note, while we were at Shellona, we ran into the owner of Paul Mitchell and his entourage. I did not take a picture. After the awesome lunch we headed back to the house to swim in the pool and have more drinks. Which turned into our entire night, minus a well timed drunk journey to a local pizza place! (Here we are on the walk down the mountain to bring back pizza.) We devoured 3 pizzas, a ton of fries and maybe a salad, had a couple more drinks, and went to bed early. At 4:30 AM I woke up feeling like someone who had been drinking for 5 days, and not really hydrating. The issue was we had chartered a catamaran to take us out to some coves to swim and snorkel. And a hungover me on a boat all day, seemed to spell trouble. But either way I was not going to miss out, so I dragged myself up, drank a ton of water, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and got back in bed with an alarm set for 7:30. Unfortunately I never fell back to sleep, just stayed there being hungover wishing I was asleep. 7:30 came, I got dressed, and we started getting ready for the day on the boat. That was when one of the people in my group started handing out non drowsy Dramamine, in case anyone got boat sick. I don’t normally, but thought I might because my stomach was so unsettled. Before we even got to the port, the Dramamine kicked in and my stomach was 100% settled. It was amazing. It lasted around 8 hours, and I could tell when it was up because the hangover and upset stomach came back. But by then we were just getting back to the house, so it didn’t really matter! It was such an immediate and complete 180, that from now on, I’m adding it to my morning after routine. 1 less drowsy Dramamine, 1 Advil, 1 water, 1 coffee, and I bet, except for those really tough customers brought on by shots or champagne cocktails, I’ll be good. I even texted my husband to ask him to go buy some to bring for week 2 of the vacation, when he will be with me.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me! I can’t believe it’s been over a year with all you awesome drunkies! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at Hot_Sauce_and_aspirin and tag your party pics #HelloDrunkies so we can all follow along!

See you next time, probably from somewhere else in the Caribbean.

I would like to unofficially title this Groundhog, and why it’s best left to the kids.

I went to college at the not well known, but somehow prestigious, University of Dallas. It’s a little liberal arts college with an unassuming name that has some crazy traditions. Among the longest running, is the yearly Groundhog weekend. Originally, when the drinking age was 18, it was a school sponsored event where faculty and students would mingle over beer and celebrate the furry little soothsayer. As time went by and laws changed, the school decided it could no longer host the event, and the kids took it upon themselves to create under groundhog, move it off campus and act with all the secrecy of a drunk 19 year old. My glory days at the old philosophy factory fell during the underground days. My crew of miscreants actually put it on for 2 of the years I attended the hallowed halls. However, not long after we left, the school again dropped the hammer on the illicit fun, fearing lawsuits and alcohol poisoning, among other things. They said they would take it back over, making it an event for 21 year olds and up, and rebranding it as an alumni/student event. We didn’t go back for a while, not wanting to muddy the nostalgia with corporate money grabbing. But a few years ago, we decided it had been long enough, and went back. It was fun enough that we decided to go again this year, and minus the hangover have no regrets. As the years pass, more alums seem to be finding it a better excuse for a reunion than a stuffy formal reunion type event.

As you know, I’m trying this new thing of drinking low ABV beer, and not mixing different types of liquors or alcohols. A keg party that only lasts a few hours seemed like a no hangover guarantee. We drank quite a lot, it was only a $9 uber to the hotel, so we didn’t worry about moderation too much. But the beer was 4.4% ABV, and I had eaten 1/2 of a pizza a couple hours before the event. Plus, just in case, I took a milk thistle and drank some water early in the day. My fatal mistake was not drinking water during the night. At all. Not one sip. However, we got back to the hotel and I allegedly stole my husband’s water. And also allegedly, I stole another glass in the early hours. So, I am sincere when I tell you, when my body catapulted out of bed the next morning, barely making it to the toilet to throw up before I even registered that I was awake, it was a huge shock. It was also problematic, because once you start throwing up, what can you do? I’m seriously asking…WHAT? What I did was nothing. I tried to eat some toast, threw it up. I tried to drink some sprite. Threw it up. Finally, my brilliant husband turned the AC all the way on in the car (we had to drive home from Dallas during this misery) and somehow it let me fall asleep. I woke up once with severe kidney pain, drank a bunch of watered down sprite, and fell back to sleep. Then by the time we got to Austin I was about 50% better. Apparently there is some science there. The cooler temperature lowers your heart rate and calms your anxiety, which lets your body work on the problem at hand. Do I recommend it as a first line of defense? Heck no. You want to be awake before your body knows it is hungover so you can eat, take something like SB remedy, drink some water, then go back to sleep for about 30 minutes to let all that good stuff do it’s thing. But if you end up in a weird situation where it’s really too late, and you are stuck in a car, remember this tip, it might get you where you need to go. Bring a light blanket though, because once you are asleep you will want it!

Happy groundhog, my drunkies! I look forward to an early spring, next week, in the Caribbean. Thanks for hanging in with me for an entire year of this nonsense! And, not to alienate most of my readers, but great job on LIII, Patriot’s Nation!!!!

Y’all. I’m trying to remember my login info so I can stop writing this on my phone. You might not know it, but writing on a cell phone, while it technically works, doesn’t really work. Apparently I exceeded the number of attempts and now am in time out for a bit. But the real question is not, what is the password, the real question is, how are all passwords not saved on all devices at all times? “They” really expect adults who write entire blogs about hangovers to remember passwords? My brain is too full of Alanis Morissette lyrics to also hold passwords.

Anyway, it’s been like a month. I know, I’m the worst. But what a month it has been! (Also, I know it’s only been about 2 weeks, typing on a phone makes it seem like a lot longer.) Way back at the end of January I went to Florida to hang out with my sister, check on my sweet house, and experience my first ever Gasparilla. For a little back story, Jose Gaspar may or may not have been a real human pirate, nicknamed Gasparilla, who plundered the Caribbean near Florida. And so obviously once a year, everyone in Tampa has to get really drunk in order to welcome Gaspar back, or to make him believe we are all already pirates and so he can move along without pillaging. I heard different accounts from everyone I asked, and the Internet is also delightfully vague. I decided it was drunk Passover, and instead of lambs blood on the door, it’s pirate clothes and Jell-O shots!

Whatever your personal philosophy is, it’s a great time, and worth going to at least once. We were able to be on the water side of the road, where it was not crowded, though the bathroom lines were still long. The only issue was that on the not crowded side, there was also no alcohol. So once flasky Mc rum was empty, I was SOL. You know how on TV, one person brings a flask to a wedding and everyone is somehow drunk? That’s not real. A flask is like 4 ounces of liquid. If it were a toddler wedding, MAYBE, but for me, not so much. There were also dozens of Jell-O shots, but I feel like those don’t really count. Either way, my hearty crew left heavy with beads, but sober, and hungry.

I hope to bring Brian with me next time I go, and hole up with a cooler, or near a beer stand. If you have never been and are interested, you can bring coolers, flasks, handles, a keg… it’s a lawless free for all. Which is pretty fantastic. There are also concerts and brunches. I feel like I just scratched the surface this time, and really look forward to living there full time one day so we can really experience it. Hopefully that day will come before the powers that be reign it in and make it all sober and wristband check points and IDs. Which brings me to my next blog. Thanks for reading this not at all hungover hangover blog me hearty drunkies. I may be calming down a little bit this year, but then again, I may have been so hungover that I puked on a car dealership 2 days ago. You’ll have to wait and see.

Happy late January! And if you an American or a person living in the United States, congratulations on surviving 2 years, if it has driven you to drink, allow me to help with your hangovers. I have intentionally not been drinking very much, after that New Year’s Eve hangover I decided to give my body a much needed break. But yesterday I took a break from the break, so here we are.

Not wanting to recreate the events of January 1st, wherein I threw up 10 times and was hungover for 4 actual days, I have made a resolution this year not to mix more than 1 kind of alcohol into any drink. While vodka beer champagne punches are the things of angels, really the angels are hangovers filled with regret and vomit. So, I’m steering clear this year. I like to call that personal growth. Yesterday I did one better, curious to see how it would work out, and I drank one kind of alcohol all day. Namely beer. Specifically, fairly low ABV beer, that’s alcohol by volume for all you non nerds out there. I started out already screwing up having an agua Fresca and champagne with brunch. But it’s brunch, it doesn’t count. Also there were 2 glasses of water, queso flameado and pancakes to mitigate the damage from the 1 mimosa. I know, brunch with only 1 mimosa. I also like to call that growth. Or I would if I didn’t know how all this ends.

Brunch was at Gabriela’s Downtown. I recommend the piña mimosa and the queso. I do not recommend the La Alba Panqueques, they were rubbery and dry. Also they came out about 1 minute after we ordered and were already cold, so I think they make them in bulk and leave them out. But the queso flameado was the best I have ever had, and I have had it a lot. It’s worth the trip for it alone. Gabriela’s is at 7th and 35, in case you are in Austin. If you are not from Austin, it’s the east side that has been gentrified into an eclectic mix of the homeless, breweries, and establishments that manage to survive the takeover. Anyway, we parked on east 6th kind of up near the breweries, so after brunch we decided to stop off at Zilker followed by Lazarus for a beer in each spot, then head home. We did manage the only one beer in each spot part of that decision. And I used one of those zippy scooters! So fun!But….while we were at Zilker, we found the Austin Beer Guide, which lists all the breweries in Austin and has a menu of their beers. We found one we had never heard of, so we hot footed it over to ORF before they closed and snuck in a beer over there too. I can’t recommend their beer highly enough. They still had some Octoberfest, so I tried it, and Brian tried some really dark rhum beer. They are only open on Saturday from 12-5 and are hard to find, but it’s worth the effort.

After that, our day should have been done, it really should have! I needed to go to party city to pick up some pirate stuff for Gasparilla in Tampa next week, and I had every intention of not keeping on keeping on. Except that I didn’t have that intention at all. At this point, we were still sober, we had been out from 12-5 and, had eaten, had snacks, and waited about an hour between every drink. So, really common sense should have prevailed. But, after Party City we decided to go to our neighborhood bar, so we could walk home, and get some nachos and a couple more beers. I was still sticking with the low ABV beers, drinking water, and eating snacks, so I figured a couple more beers couldn’t hurt. At Vincent’s we met up with some neighbors/friends had some food and beer and decided to continue the party back at their house. See how quickly things went from 1 mimosa to after party? Anyway, but the time things wrapped up, around 11:00, I had consumed my fair share, but it was ALL low ABV beer. No liquor, no wine (except that first brunch drink), no high alcohol content IPA’s, just lagers and English pales that ranged from 3.5-5% alcohol.

Now, the important question, did it work? It certainly seemed to. I feel fine today. Not run a 1/2 marathon fine, (great job 3M runners!) but live my life, write a blog, read a book, don’t want to vomit, fine. And let’s face it, 2016 Julie I am not, even on my best day I would not be run a 1/2 marathon fine. I will continue this research, sticking to one kind of thing for a whole day, and report back. Most likely the key was the low alcohol content. If the one thing had been vodka, even spaced out over 11 hours, 9 vodkas probably would have done me in. But, I think I’m onto something. Next weekend I will be reporting from hopefully sunny Florida, where I will be partaking in Gasparilla, St Pete Brewing, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs…there will be so many opportunities to test theories, remedies, or restraint! Until then, don’t drink and drive, do follow me on Instagram @hot_sauce_and_aspirin, and #HelloDrunkies so we can all see your favorite hangover causes and hangover cures! Cheers!

Yesterday was rough. I’m not gonna sugar coat it. Though I do blame sugar. And vodka. Champagne. Beer. Wine. Myself. God. We hosted a very small New Year’s Eve party, but made enough alcohol for a much larger affair. The signature cocktail is what did me in. It was pink lemonade, vodka, moscato and sprite. SO MUCH SUGAR. I know better than that! But dang was it delicious. And I really tried. I drank at least 10 champagne flutes of water, plus 3-4 actual glasses, and a large glass before bed. I drank something made by the never too hungover people, I took milk thistle. It was no match for the sugar and volume. So yesterday I felt it all. I threw up 10 times. I tried SB remedy, to no avail. I tried Sprite and crackers, and it laughed at me. I was too sick to even bother turning on the TV until 7:30 PM. If the way you spend Nee Year’s Day is supposed to be foreshadowing of how the year will go, I’m completely screwed. I’m choosing to see it as a day to take stock of my situation and make some changes, like no more signature cocktails that have more than 1 kind of alcohol, or sugar. And if I am going to do a power hour, I’m not going to drink liquor before the hour starts. (I’m a grownup!) Also, the goal I had when starting this blog was to get guest writers to contribute with some of their experiences, so I’m not carrying the liver toxicity for everyone, so I’ll use this as an opportunity to put that out there! If you are reading this, and would be willing to write a guest post for me, I would love that! And as a thank you, I’ll send you a hangover kit that usually works, though is no match for vodka, moscato, lemonade and sprite, a power hour, champagne toast, and some white wine.

For the rest of my lovely drunkies, I hope your 2019 started with a whisper and a lot of love and happiness. The Hot Sauce 1 year anniversary is looming next month on February 7th, and if you are in Austin, I will be marking the occasion at 400 rabbits with a happy hour, starting at 6 PM. It would be great to put some faces to your comment names!

Thanks for spending 2018 with me, here is to a happy, and hopefully a much less hungover, 2019!

And if you are thinking, well, her makeup looks good anyway, the brushes I used for this effect are now on sale for $15, here is a link for you! You’re welcome! https://amzn.to/2s5r1qb

For your Christmas viewing pleasure, enjoy a photo roll from the last year of hot sauce and aspirin! Plus one from earlier that sums me up nicely. Have a happy and safe holiday, elves don’t let Santa drive drunk! Thank you for making hot sauce and aspirin part of your 2018, it’s been a fun adventure! I love you, drunkies!!!