2009 Skelly Family Christmas
So won't you tell me you'll never more roam;
Christmas and New Year's will find you home.
There'll be no more sorrow, no grief and pain,
And I'll be happy, happy once again

Happy New Year!
But please! Not so loud.

Of war, the late Benjamin Franklin (who ought to have known) opined, “There never was a good one.” I feel that way about hangovers. The best to be said of them? As good an excuse as any for a Bloody Mary early in the morning. But I myself have never really needed an excuse, so of how much worth is that?

A hangover’s physiological effects are said to include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, diarrhea and thirst. There can also be psychological symptoms, like heightened feelings of depression or anxiety, dysphoria and an overall sense of wretchedness.

The late Frank Fitzpatrick’s rejoinder to a late morning’s greeting following a long night of revelry: “I’m shaking much better now, thank you.”

Hypoglycemia, dehydration, acetaldehyde intoxication, and vitamin B12 deficiency are all theorized causes of hangovers. But that’s just scientific mumbo jumbo. Sarah Palin would tell you, you tried to poison yourself last night and damn near succeeded.

In time, the feeling will pass, just as youth and beauty have. And the second it does, all thoughts of temperance, abstemiousness, moral rectitude and never-again generally pass as well.

But for those who cannot wait, who must do something in every situation, no matter how futile, herewith, some of man’s best thinking, gleaned from various sites around the internet. Results not guaranteed, In fact, probably none of these work.

Eating six raw almonds before imbibing, according to American Indians, helps prevent intoxication. (Yeah, they ought to know.)

Evening primrose oil helps prevent hangovers. Take two teaspoons.

Eating peanut butter before drinking is an African remedy

Take one tablet of activated charcoal per drink while you are drinking. The charcoal absorbs the impurities in the alcohol which are the cause of the hangover. The charcoal also absorbs important nutrients, so if you are a heavy drinker, don't use this remedy daily as you will end up with nutritional deficiencies.

Put a teaspoon of bifidus powder in a glass of water and drink before going to bed. Bifidus is the "friendly" bacteria that detoxifies acetaldehyde, a digestive byproduct of alcohol that is a major cause of hangovers.

Drink 2-3 large glasses of water before you go to bed. Drinking alcohol is very dehydrating and hydrating your system helps counteract the effects of the alcohol.

Take a probiotic supplement, such as acidophilus, to help restore the flora balance in your stomach.

Eat apples on an empty stomach the day after drinking.

Take B-vitamins before you go to bed. If you forget, take them immediately upon arising. B-Vitamins are important in aiding the carbohydrate (alcohol) metabolizing process and in dilating blood vessels. Take a high-potency B-complex supplement for this remedy to work (50-75mg of B-complex twice a day, ideally once before bed after indulging).

Chicken soup seems to work as well for hangover problems as it does for colds.

Take 500 mg of ginger capsules every few hours, or make a ginger tea, to soothe your stomach.

Make a banana milkshake sweetened with honey. The banana helps calm the stomach, and with the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels. The milk soothes the stomach and rehydrates the system. Bananas are also rich in the important electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which are depleted by drinking.

Take 2-6 teaspoonfuls of honey every twenty minutes upon awaking, depending on the severity of the hangover. Continue with the honey until you start to feel better, then take four teaspoonsful with your first meal. The potassium in the honey helps counteract the effects of the alcohol and will decrease the cravings for it.

Isoflavones, diadzin and puerarin in Kudzu extract can help relieve hangovers quickly, some studies have shown.

Add the juice of one lemon to a cup of black coffee and drink it unsweetened and without milk.

Add two teaspoons of fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of sugar to 8 ounces of water as soon as you wake up . Drink slowly. This concoction will help stabilize your blood sugar, which will be low after imbibing.

Peppermint, either in tea form or chewing the leaves, will relax the intestines. Peppermint is a carminative, which removes accumulated gas from the stomach and intestines. Make a tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb. Cover; steep for fifteen minutes; strain. Drink 1-2 cups as soon as you can.

Eat a raw persimmon for a headache.

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) extract relieves hangover nausea and dry mouth according to researchers at Tulane University and the University of California, San Francisco. It is known to reduce inflammation, and hangover symptoms are due to an increase in inflammation. Researchers found that C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, was 40% higher in the group that took a placebo. The extract was taken five hours before alcohol consumption.

Eat raw cabbage to dissipate a headache.

Drink sauerkraut juice with some tomato juice if you don't like it straight. Replaces lost nutrients.

Pull your hair in clumps so that your full scalp is stimulated. This remedy brings blood to the scalp and relieves the headache.

Silymarin, better known as milk thistle, protects liver cells from alcohol by preventing toxins from entering and helps to remove existing toxins. Take two 70mg capsules with a meal before or while drinking.

Make a thyme tea by lightly crushing five fresh or dried leaves; place in a cup and fill with water cooled to just below boiling; cover and leave to infuse for five minutes; remove leaves and drink.

Vitamin C stimulates the liver to break down alcohol. Take 2-10 gm per day in divided doses. Start at 1,000 mg an hour and build up to bowel tolerance. Caution: an excess of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, which could be counterproductive.

Painkillers provide some immediate relief, but long-term use can cause problems. Aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Ibuprin, Motrin IB, Nuprin) are hard on your stomach, while acetaminophen (Excedrin, Panadol, Tylenol) is hard on your kidneys and liver, too, which are already working overtime processing alcohol.

The Bloody Mary is lauded frequently as the ultimate weapon in any fight against hangover pain. The problem is you become progressively more useless, but then you weren't going to do much with the day anyway. Tomato juice contains fructose, to help your body metabolize alcohol more quickly.

A greasy burger & milkshake works like a charm, many claim, plus it also tastes good. Eating a meal high in saturated fat causes the effects of alcohol to peak earlier according to research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

New England clam chowder may seem an unlikely cure, but it has its adherents. If you can't get out to a place that serves it, just buy the Campbell's Chunky Soup version. Add pepper, eat, then fall back asleep. You will awake in an hour and remember nothing.

Sports drinks, high in electrolytes, will help replenish what the kidneys have excreted during drinking. Take before bedtime.

Exercise will help the body rid itself of toxins. The increased circulation gets blood and oxygen to your oxygen-starved brain.

Grease is the only cure for a hangover. - Cameron Diaz

My advice? Stay in bed and sleep it off. Try to make an appearance before the sun goes down and appear chipper. Then, when no one's looking, turn in for the night as soon as it gets dark. And if you’re willing to endure a hangover two days in a row, you’ve got a drinking problem.

So if it hurts so bad, why do people drink, or at least why to excess? If you have to ask the question, you’re probably never going to understand the answer. There are a host of pros and cons, but in the end nobody’s paying much attention.

In “The Sting,” Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) asks Henry Gondorf (Paul Newman), "So Why do you do it?" And Gondorf responds smilingly, “It seems worthwhile.” They're talking about grifting, but it could have been drinking. In fact, Gondorf was drinking when he said it.

The late Frank Sinatra once said, “I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.”

Some other thoughts from down through the years on man’s oldest reason for calling in sick on the first day of the year:

One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough. ~James Thurber

Drink the first. Sip the second slowly. Skip the third. ~Knute Rockne

Beer is the cause and solution to all of life's problems. ~Homer Simpson

Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness. ~Seneca

No animal ever invented anything so bad as drunkeness - or so good as drink. ~Lord Chesterton

Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony. ~Robert Benchley

Here's to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer and another one!
~Author Unknown

This is one of the disadvantages of wine: it makes a man mistake words for thought. ~Samuel Johnson

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. ~Ernest Hemingway

A woman drove me to drink, and I never even had the courtesy to thank her. ~W.C. Fields

How to make a Bloody Mary that almost makes a hangover worth having.

2 oz. vodka
6 oz Sacramento tomato juice (none other)
6 dashes Tabasco Sauce
˝ tsp Worcestershire sauce
juice of a lemon wedge
2 ice cubes

Pour into cocktail shaker and shake.
Strain into ice-filled glass (Burgundy goblet works well.)
Garnish with celery stalk, what's left of the lemon wedge and generous grinding of fresh pepper.

Continue to administer until desired effect is achieved.

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