Hot Sauce and Aspirin

Some tips and tricks to survive a hangover.

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!!!!

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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!!!

First off, happy Friday, you sly dogs!  You made it to the weekend again, and I drank too much on a Thursday again, so we are both killing it.  Yesterday was the holiday party for a few local democratic clubs, and I helped organize it, thus was in attendance.  It ended really early, so rather than do the responsible thing, we went to a bar, but I figured, it was for research, right?  At the party I made some traditional holiday punch with vodka, cranberry juice, ginger ale and frozen cranberries.  Once it ran out I switched to Shiner Cheer, because it is festive.  After the party we went to Vincent’s and I had some drink with 2 kinds of vodka in it, then 2 drinks that had vodka, beer and champagne in them.  Go big or go home!  Eventually I did both of those things.  Once I got home, I did what I could to take the pain off the morning, took a milk thistle, drank a glass of water, and watched TV so I could sober up a little before I went to sleep.  I knew it would help, but that I would likely still be doomed.

If I am being honest, (and why would I ever lie to you?) I didn’t have a lot of faith in the remedy I had lined up for today. Peppermint oil seemed too easy, too hippie, and too far fetched.  But, I said I would try it, and so I did.  I woke up around 9 AM, thankfully not feeling too bad, but I was queasy and wicked tired.  As far as the right hangover for the cure, this was hand delivered to me.  The peppermint oil is supposed to help with nausea and energy.  Could it be the thing to save me?  Proceeding with caution, I applied some to my wrists and my stomach.  I also resorted to sniffing the bottle.  Honestly, that helped the most.  However, it did nothing for the energy factor, I am still exhausted.  But it did make it so I could get up and brush my teeth and not feel like throwing up.  That’s something.  After it wore off, fairly quickly, a second application went on, and even a third.  Can you overdose on peppermint?  Eventually I realized that slightly less queasy was the best I could hope for and I ordered Denny’s to deliver me pancakes, hash browns and OJ.  I decided that rather than leave you, and me, with a failed attempt, I would power through and try the greasy food and OJ method.  If we are going with percentages, I would say the peppermint oil made me feel about 8% better, and the food added another 17%.  I’m still a long way from feeling great, but I have a car to unload, a party to plan and a sister in town, so hungover or not, the world waits for no drunkies.

A lot of people swear by both of these methods, so if you have had a good experience with them, let me know. Every body is different.  Silver lining, it’s nice to smell good when you are not feeling good, and I think smelling the peppermint activated some hunger receptors.  Usually if I am hungover I will go until around 6 PM without eating, and that does not help matters.  At least the peppermint made me eat early enough in the day to not make things worse.  So, maybe the 8% isn’t fair, I would say it directly contributed to the 17% and that as a two step process, it all gets you about 25% less hungover.

Enjoy your weekend, be safe at your holiday parties, and don’t drink and drive!  But do #hellodrunkies or #hotsauceandaspirin on instagram so we can all see what you are up to! And follow me @hot_sauce_and_aspirin on Insta.  Until next time, my favorite drunkies!

Today is Friday, which is perhaps not the traditional day to be hungover, but I live in Austin, we are all just a bunch of drunks here.  It’s a full time job.  Yesterday, being Thursday, I finally was able to make it to some plans I had to cancel due to sickness for over a week.  My friend Lisa, who is moving soonish, and I went to Midnight Cowboy, a speakeasy on dirty 6.  And it really is on the dirty part, the doorway next to the secret entrance stunk of pee and had some homeless people sheltering in it to get out of the rain.  The homeless population of our fair city is it’s own problem, and were this not a hangover blog, would be deserving of it’s own series of posts.  But, if you are hungover and also inclined to help, visit Frontsteps.org to donate or volunteer or learn more about it.  Anyway, we went to this awesome little place, where you have to press a secret buzzer and they let you in or not depending on reservations and if they want to.  It was fun to see them turn people away at the door throughout the night, it added to the exclusive and secret feeling.  More importantly, the drinks were strong and delicious.  These were not your standard vodka soda or beer, these were handcrafted, hipster delightful, prohibitionesque masterpieces.  We reserved a spot for 2 hours, and had 3 drinks.  After our time was up, they unceremoniously gave us the polite boot, but it was only 10:00, so we wandered into the world, and found a new bar.  The next bar was not adorable, hipster, handcrafted delight, but it was cheap and they had cranberry deep eddy, so I was set.  We hung out there for a couple rounds and made another reservation back at Midnight Cowboy.  By this point, Lisa was less than sober, and her husband had arrived to escort her about the town and then safely home.  Back at the speakeasy I had a rum, rhum, rummy punch, then headed back out into the rain in pursuit of pizza and a cab.  (6th street closes down to traffic, so drunk people don’t get run over, which makes it challenging to Uber, so they have good old fashioned cab lines.)  

Having learned last week that water was key, but also really wanting to try this new remedy I found on instagram, I drank a couple of glasses of water throughout the night, but not enough to completely ward off a hangover.  I do this for you, so you better appreciate it.  I also took a milk thistle before heading out, wanting to somewhat mitigate the effects of 4 very strong cocktails and 2 vodkas.  So, prepped and pretty sure I would be hungover today, I drank a small glass of water and went to sleep.

This morning, around 8:15, my bleary eyes opened, I took stock of my situation, and for a second I thought, “hmmmm, am I actually OK?”  Then I moved, and I was not.  Bizarrely, because all the prevention stuff has been working so well, I was kind of fine with being hungover.  At least I could finally try this remedy I bought almost 2 months ago.  The Remedy, is called SB Remedy, which stands for Sober Boost Remedy.  I don’t work for their marketing and naming department, or legal department, I don’t know what to tell you.  The claims of SB Remedy are that it will sober you up the next day, give you energy,  and make your stomach feel better.  The ingredients are pretty spot on for those claims, there is caffeine anhydrous, milk thistle, b vitamins, thiamine and activated charcoal.  The strange thing, though it makes sense from a science place, is that the ingredients are in different pills.  I think if you put the charcoal with the vitamins it might take down the vitamins in an epic dark versus light, good versus charcoal battle royal.  So, important takeaway, there are 4 pills you have to take.  And they are not vegetarian/vegan friendly, they have gelatin capsules.  I’m a terrible vegetarian and often take supplements with gelatin, unless they have a humane option.  Anyway…I am totally landing this plane, but I’m super caffeinated right now.  Wait, spoilers!

Once I realized I was really and truly hungover, I first thought, “if remedy this doesn’t work, I am SO staying in bed and watching Netflix all day.”  I then thought, “Oh my gosh, am I about to throw up?”  I didn’t, phew.  What I did do was swallow down those 4 pills and think about trying to nap until they kicked in.  So, I snuggled back down and kind of got right to edge of a nap without really letting it take over.  Around 9:00 I had the strange sensation that I was vibrating, I also had the strange sensation that I was less hungover than I was minutes earlier.  But the vibrating was a more immediate concern, so I rolled over and grabbed the packet the pills came in, rolled back the other way and grabbed my phone, and I googled Caffeine Anhydrous.  It’s basically pharmaceutical grade caffeine.  The little pill has several cups of coffee worth of caffeine in it.  It’s worth nothing that a teaspoon of the stuff is lethal and equal to like 28 cups of coffee.  I went to check their website today to get an official photo and description for you all, and it is down.  I assume it’s because they claim to “sober you up” which has some ugly legal ramifications due to drinking and driving, operating machinery, etc, and there is no disclaimer with the “sober boost remedy” that it can’t actually sober you up if you take it while drunk.  (If you read my first post, you know legal issues around alcohol are a real and serious thing, and that none of my “research” is backed by medical advice, and is likely contrary to it!)  That and they have pretty serious levels of caffeine in their product.  But I’ll tell you what, I am GLAD I bought a 5 pack of the stuff, because I feel AMAZING right now.  The caffeine high got me out of bed running around, motivated and happy.  The charcoal sucked out the bad stuff.  The b vitamins, milk thistle and thiamine work like they always do to improve mental clarity and kick start the liver.  All in all, if you aren’t sensitive to caffeine, it’s the perfect product.  It looks like it is still available through Amazon, even though their website is down.  I reached out to the company for an update about that, and will let you know if/when they respond.  But if they did go out of business, and I hope they did not, you should buy this stuff while you still can!  I am going to get a 10 pack of the SB Remedy in case this is the end of it.  I sent 1 pack to a lucky reader last week, maybe I’ll add another pack into a prize around Christmas.  Either way, the stuff is awesome, though I feel the caffeine crash sneaking up as I type.  Hopefully they did not go out of business, because it’s a game changer! So, if you are unlucky enough to have a hangover despite all the ways I have shown you to avoid them,  I hope you are lucky enough to have a packet of this hangover crack handy, it will save you from having to use a sick day, and make you want to organize your CD collection!  Alphabetically and by genre!  

Happy Friday, my drunkies!  Have a wonderful and safe weekend, don’t drink and drive, make good choices!  Oh, and while you are out celebrating or getting into mischief, #hellodrunkies or #hotsauceandaspirin your photos on instagram, twitter or facebook, so we can all see what you are up to! And follow my instagram page Hot_sauce_and_aspirin. If your weekend gets away from you, remember I am here to help you feel better!  I just received a new product in the mail to test that I think will be a crowd pleaser, especially among the organic, yoga, oil types, so stick around for that.

Update from the folks at SB remedy:

They are still in business, working with Amazon right now while they get some issues worked out with their web hosting. But never fear, hangover crack is not going anywhere. Also good news to you fellow vegetarians, they are changing the capsule soon to not be made of gelatin! As for the theory that they had some legal troubles with the vagueness of their claim that “It will sober you up after a night of having any kind of partying fun…” they are confident no one will be dumb enough to assume it’s something that can actually make you sober. And their Instagram page does clearly market it as being for hangovers now, so they are definitely heading in the “avoiding a lawsuit” direction. I am paraphrasing their message, they were much more corporate and pragmatic about it. However, look at our president and any Florida news story. If it were my amazing product, I would still change that wording to be “Nothing exists that can sober you up while you are still under the influence but we can help you in the morning after any kind of partying so you can …” Regardless, my faithful party goers, this stuff isn’t going anywhere, and I for one am very relieved to hear it! Thanks for the update, SB Remedy, good luck with your website and let us know once you have a new home!