ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs Serial storyteller, poetry pusher, digital doodler, flâneur.

Drunk Doodles

Drunk doodles and doodled drinks... An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails, by Orr Shtuhl

Drunk doodles and doodled drinks… An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails

What do you get when you cross top drawer doodles with top shelf booze?



Drunk doodles?

Yes. Yes. And yes. Here’s how…

Order a copy of An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails – by Orr Shtuhl (@orrshtuhl) and with habit forming illustrations by Elizabeth Graeber (@elizabeth_draws) – and then get a sneak peak with this fun video trailer.

Fun, right? Here’s what the punditry is offering after probing the illustrated booze cruise.

Cartoonish penguins and other wildlife are shown imbibing in “An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails,” a whimsical little book that offers recipes for 50 cocktails. It also includes lore,the author’s personal stories, advice about equipment and abundant references to historic figures like William Howard Taft, George Washington, the bartenders Jerry Thomas and Fernand Petiot, Rudolph Valentino, James Pimm, Giovanni Bellini and Ernest Hemingway… (

Orr Shtuhl and Elizabeth Graeber self-published their first run of An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails and sold the recipe collection via Etsy, but the book caught the eye of Gotham Books and a new edition, packed with stories and illustrations we haven’t seen before… (Village Voice)Orr Shtuhl and Elizabeth Graeber’s An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails is a bar gem. Penguins and historical figures make repeat appearances in this recipe book and stories of alcoholic drinks. You’ll accumulate fun facts, like the origination of the phrase “the real McCoy,” and delicious recipes for traditional cocktails. Shtuhl’s lighthearted tone and Graeber’s drawings give the book a childlike quality not often found in books about drinking. (Serious Eats)

I am an immediate fan of any book that can simultaneously make me laugh and make me thirsty. Illustrated with pictures of seals sunning themselves with mint juleps in hand (in flipper?) and cats making snide remarks about your state of tipsiness, this book is bound to travel from my home bar to my coffee table and back again many times over… I give this book a big ol’ thumbs up. (The Kitchn)

And earlier this month Design Sponge included the Illustrated Guide to Cocktails in their post, “Summer Cocktails + Bar Essentials Poster Freebie: What We’re Loving This Week” with an author interview.

Hey, Orr Shtuhl, what’s your favorite…

Sight? The skyline.

Sound? A pencil on paper. Or, Belle & Sebastian.

Smell? Coffee! Straight out of the grinder.

Taste? I know this is about cocktails, but coffee again.

Feeling? Waking up rested, then doing a bunch of stuff.

What is your favorite summer cocktail? Negroni! It’s light, refreshing, and just bitter enough to be grown up. The recipe’s easy to riff on (equal parts gin/vermouth/Campari). Swap gin for whiskey, and it’s a Boulevardier. Swap for champagne and it’s a Negroni Sbagliato. I love it so much we gave it 6 pages in the book — a real centerfold treatment.

And, hey, Elizabeth Graeber, what’s your favorite…

Sight? Colors and patterns.

Sound? Flipping threw a book or sketchbook.

Smell? Fresh rosemary. Or any herbs.

Taste? Olives.

Feeling? A sunny crisp day.

What is your favorite summer cocktail? A mint julep. (Design Sponge)

I’ve ordered a copy to tune up my mixology and doodle-ology. But until it arrives I’ll start experimenting with my own drunk doodles!

Wild Life with Mary Oliver

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
~ Mary Oliver (“The summer day”)

Wild Life: Tell me, what is it you plan to do / With your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver

Wild Life with Mary Oliver

Will you spring up from your pillow in the morning, heart racing, mind wild with questions and dreams? Will you sing softly then louder – to your spouse, your child, your dog, your view – an extemporaneous anthem of wants and wills and when’s and why’s?

Will you step into a steaming shower and listen to the raindrops and streams and oceans as you suds yesterday from your skin and hair? Or will you stride past the shower, the bathtub, the sink and dance directly to the lake? Will you dive in and swim until the shore calls you home again.

Will you pluck swollen raspberries from the brambles, grapes from the vines that wind through the fence around the garden, an apple from the gnarled tree in the first meadow?

And then, rested and clean and sated, how will you live this wild and precious morning?

Good luck! (And thank you, Mary Oliver.)

Mary Oliver Resources

Storytelling and Social Engagement

Talk to Me! Storytelling and Social Engagement...

Talk to Me! Storytelling and Social Engagement…

Prepare for a reactive post, no, an interactive conversation, about social engagement.

But first, what about that photo? Bam! A powerful graphic. Except for the middle word…

I’d prefer “Talk with me.” Because social media is all about with. Old school, top-down, one-way, pump-it-out, force fed broadcast media was all about to. Do you follow me?

Engaging Storytelling

Media has evolved. Most of it. Not all. There are still a few knuckle-draggers lurking in the shadows!

Which is why storytelling – in it’s simplest, purest and most engaging form – trumps old school broadcast media. Storytelling in its oldest form. Pre-books. Pre-TV. Pre-movies.

Storytelling is about social engagement, author-audience engagement. Storytelling is about relationships. It’s about with. Not to.

Social Media

Which brings me to Randy Thio (@ideabloke), the founder of ideabloke, “a personal digital media agency committed to 100% organic social media practices.” His post, The Endgame Of Social Engagement provoked my curiosity because I don’t consider social media to have an endgame. Not in the conventional sense. At best there’s no final stage. No end of the process.

Social media is about building relationships, about engaging and maintaining communication, about interacting, about author and audience evolving together.

Social Engagement

But Thio is focusing on the initial social engagement, not social media in general. The objective of engaging an individual through social media, he proposes, is to provoke (and then hopefully extend) a response.

In it’s purest sense, engagement is the ability to cause another person to respond… using any (or a combination of) the following methods:

  • Comments – In response to a status update, tweet, or blog post.
  • Shares – Includes linking/mentioning on a blog post they wrote.
  • Likes – Includes +K’s, Kred, etc.
  • Retweets – Whether native or via a tweet button
  • Mentions – Includes Follow Fridays, etc.
  • Favorites – Anytime your tweet/update/post is faved on any platform
  • Pins/Repins – Pinterest specific of course.
  • Tags – Whenever a user is tagged on pics on any platform.
  • Hashtags – When ppl begin to adopt & share a hashtag you created.
  • Pokes – Yes, I did just put that on there.

Whichever method the audience chooses to respond, it’s critical to acknowledge and capitalize on the opportunity to have a conversation… geared to get to know that particular person… which hopefully leads to a relationship. ~ Randy Thio (

Social Media as Storytelling

Short of wandering village to village like Mario Vargas Llosa’s storyteller, social media offers raconteurs of all stripes ideal audience interaction. Ideal global audience interaction. With no end game. Except building a rich and enduring relationship. Social engagement is the first step, the wink, the handshake of social media. Social engagement is the open door behind the well worn welcome mat.

Unlike broadcasters, live storytellers understand this intuitively. Initial social engagement is the spark of interest, the pause long enough to listen, a provocation, an invitation. But storytelling itself, live storytelling, is the original social media. Live storytelling is an interactive relationship, and the story evolves accordingly, being shaped collaboratively by author and audience. The storyteller listens and watches and feels, tailoring the narrative to the appetites and needs of the audience. Sometimes abbreviating; other times inventing extemporaneously.

Life is Poetry

A daily doodle by yours truly, and an eternal truth by the powers that be!

Life is Poetry: A daily doodle by yours truly, and an eternal truth by the powers that be!

Life is poetry.

Except when it isn’t. Like when it’s more of a broken record or an abscessed tooth or a tropical storm with hurricane potential.

But at it’s best, today for example, life is poetry.

Sometimes life rhymes. The message may be as difficult interpret as a summer mirage, but for a glimmering instant we stumble upon mesmerizing clarity.

And when I glimpse the poetry I’ve learned to step aside. Or sing along. Or dance.

I’ve learned that ignoring the poetry is all too easy, but unhealthy. Unhappy. It’s alright to sing off key or dance to my own rhythm. What’s important is diving in. Or yielding. What’s important is being open and receptive to the poetry. What’s important is embracing the poetry.

Each of us lives a life that expresses… Every thing we do, everything we are, expresses… What message are you giving the world, through your actions, how you live, how you treat others, what you accomplish, how you choose to be, every moment of every day?

Are you an angry rant? A ballad? An epic poem?

Perhaps a sonnet, a limerick, a haiku?

If your life is a poem, what do you want it to say? What would you rather leave out? (zenhabits)

Here’s one poet’s answer:

What’s your answer? If life is poetry, what are you expressing? What’s your song? What’s your dance?

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