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 V.13 No.35 | August 26 - September 1, 2004 

Bottoms Up

A Booze Hound's Guide to Fall Crawl

Fatherly advice for hitting the hard stuff

Fall Crawl should be memorable for many reasons, none of which are blowing half of your paycheck on strippers, becoming hideously bloated or falling face first into a pool of your own filth. We've been doing this for a while now. So while you're out enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Downtown's biggest yearly gathering, keep at least a few of these hints handy. You'll come out of it feeling svelte, savvy and a little smarter for it.

Decide how many drinks you're going to have before you go out and stick to it.

Avoid drunken overspending by leaving your credit and debit cards at home. Dealing in cash will prevent you from opening a tab and, as an added bonus, you'll rest easier if your wallet disappears. You can probably get by comfortably on two or three 10 dollar bills.

Hunt down a sober sister to do all the driving. Make sure everyone in your posse has her number programmed into their cell phones.

In the event that your friends are all untrustworthy drunkards, you might consider using a taxi service instead. Your choices consist of Albuquerque Cab (883-4888), Checker Cab (243-7777), Yellow Cab (247-8888) and Giant Cab (293-4222). Shop around for some round-trip rate estimates.

Or you could always catch a ride Downtown on the city bus (call 843-9200 for service times and locations), which will run until about 9:45 p.m. Arrange for a cab or responsible buddy to come collect your tipsy ass.

Be sure to make a nutritional pit stop once you've landed downtown. Alcohol lowers blood sugar levels, so carb-counting drinkers who try to fill up on booze instead of food will only get hungrier as the night goes on. In the end, you'll chug down more high-calorie cocktails and chase them with a late-night breakfast binge at the Frontier. Noshing on fats and proteins for your pre-party meal will slow the alcohol's absorption into your system, which will keep you out of the hungry and hammered loop.

The pullout section of this week's Alibi includes a profile of Downtown's abundant eateries, where you can find them and how late they're open. Check it out and thank us later.

Alcohol doesn't contain fat, but it does interfere with your metabolism's ability to burn fat. When you drink, your body switches over to oxidizing the booze instead of stored fat cells, which is about the same as eating fatty foods.

Alcohol is high in calories. One gram of the stuff comes in at seven calories, compared to the four calories found in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. Moderation is the only surefire way to stave off a beer gut.

Memorize these numbers: A 16 ounce pint of beer has around 200 calories, while a 12 ounce can of the same stuff is about 150 calories. A 12 ounce can of light beer only comes in at 100 calories. A 1.5-ounce shot ( jigger) of 80-proof gin, rum, vodka, whisky or tequila will run about 100 calories. Tack on 25 more if it's 100 proof.

Avoid creamy drinks and sweet liquors, or cocktails that combine both. The worst offenders (Mudslides and Long Island Iced Teas are among them) can rack up between 400 and 500 calories a serving.

Most popular liquors (vodka, rum, gin, tequila and whiskey) are completely carbohydrate free.

Cut your cocktail calories in half by asking for a low-calorie mixer. Try a rum and Diet Coke or vodka and soda. You won't be able to tell the difference after you've had a few, anyway.

Sip your drink slowly. Ordering drinks "tall but not double" can help. You'll get a bigger drink with only a single shot of alcohol for longer sipability.

Have a Screwdriver or Bloody Mary, both tasty ways to sneak in some good some nutrients with your buzz.

Try to follow every alcoholic drink with a nonalcoholic one, preferably water. It'll help cut back on booze calories and kill your hangover before it starts.

Keep track of how many drinks you've had. If you can't remember the exact number, then you've already had too many.

With tons of music and no end to freshly-lubricated inhibitions, you might as well shake your ass. You'll drink less, become more aware of the alcohol's effect on your body and burn off calories as you consume them. At about 35 calories burned for every 10 minutes of moderate dancing, you can shake off your light beer in about half an hour.

Avoid salty foods (unfortunately, that means beer nuts and pretzels)—they'll just make you thirstier, which you'll probably try to "correct" with more booze.

You'll probably pee more than usual because alcohol is a diuretic, not because you're drinking more fluids than usual. Diuretics lead to dehydration, which is the primary reason you feel like a dirty dog butt the next morning.

You can nip a wicked hangover in the bud by avoiding booze for the last hour or two that you're out. Replace your drink with water, which is free and exactly what your body craves.

Today's Events

Mysterious New Mexico

A reading and signing with writer Benjamin Radford.

Let's Read Shakespeare Out Loud! at Loma Colorado Main Library Auditorium

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