Skip to main content

Dryanuary: Days Three & Four

As a way to atone for my holiday sins and cleanse my poisoned body, I've determined to abstain from alcoholic beverages for the entire month of January. Apparently a lot of people do this and it's called "dryanuary." This is my story...

Day Three

Now we're getting into the real meat of this experiment. Days One and Two were a cake walk; it was more about preventing myself from just reaching for a beer or a glass of wine out of sheer habit than actually trying to stymie any desires. Day Three, Friday, was a little different.

Out at dinner the waitress rattled off the tap list, a nice line-up of microbrew taps for $4, and then hit me with the real left hook: Three Floyd's Zombie Dust on tap for $5. By the way my eyes lit up she almost immediately put me down for a pint.

"What, you're not getting one? But it's Zombie Dust. For $5 a glass..."

Some of you, like my esteemed "Everything Geek" Andrew Soliday might turn up your noses and say, " can get Zombie Dust on tap for $4.75 at yada-yada-yada establishment" but I'm not a beer geek and I don't eat out that often. Therefore, the deal was hard to pass up. What's more, it was a Friday night and it was damn tempting to quaff a nice cold micro brew with dinner. But I resisted...and the story continues into....

Day Four

As I'm discovering, the real difficulty of this endeavor lies not necessarily in the abstinence from alcohol, per se, but in monitoring and changing my habits. I do not have some deep biological or mental need for booze; thank god I've been able to dance with spiritus frumenti for so long and come out relatively unscathed. However, as it is for most civilized gentlemen and women, alcohol is a big and enjoyable part of my life. Safe to say that in the normal course of events, few days go by when I don't indulge in at least a beer or a glass of wine with dinner. One of the enjoyable parts of becoming an adult is drinking for taste and appreciation rather than for effect; the goal is to compliment a meal or a gathering with friends, or just to unwind a bit, rather than to get hammered and loose control.

All which is to say: it's actually much harder now to go without drinking than it might have been when I was 24, because it's so much more a regular part of my life. When I was 24 if I wanted to avoid drinking, I would just avoid meeting eyes with the office Party Animal around Happy Hour on Friday. Now, it's a bit more tricky. All throughout my home lie exquisitely tempting beers, wines, and whiskeys. When you buy more than you drink, you build up quite a collection.

So again we ask: why give up something I enjoy? Even for a day, let alone a month? Well friends, I will meditate upon the answer to this question tomorrow.

Now, I shall repair to the living room (five feet away) and watch a movie, while I eat my pork chop and drink my WATER, and wait for the latest catastrophic winter blizzard to hit.


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review: "The Apologizer" by Milan Kundera

Issue: May 4, 2015

Rating: $$

Review: It took me five years and three separate attempts to finish Milan Kundera's famous novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but in spite of that, quotes and insights from that book still rattle round my head on a weekly basis. What I mean to say is: my feelings on Kundera are very similar to my feelings on Haruki Murakami. I enjoy reading his work, but in small doses, like this short story.

Like Murakami, Kundera uses elements of magical realism, but where in a Murakami story you might encounter a flying dolphin or a disappearing hotel or a person who has lived his whole life in the same room, refusing to leave, Kundera's magical realism offers more direct insights and perspective on real life.

In Kundera's worlds, time and space are malleable and everything that ever happened in history is happening at the same time, and the narrator is a completely omniscient, caring, witty, and hands-on god-like being.

And so it is with "The Apo…

New Yorker Fiction Reviews: "Meet the President!" by Zadie Smith

Each week I review the short fiction from a recent issue of The New Yorker. If you told me when I was 12 that I'd be doing this I'd have been like, "Dork. There's no such thing as blogs," and I'd have been right...

Issue: Aug. 12 & 19, 2013

Story: "Meet the President!"

Author:Zadie Smith

(Please note: I've developed a highly sophisticated grading system, which I'll be using from now on.  Each story will now receive a Final Grade of either READ IT or DON'T READ it. See the bottom of the review for this story's grade...after you've read the review, natch.)

Plot: Set in England, far into the future (lets say 2113) a privileged youth of 15, named Bill Peek, encounters a few poor villagers from a small, abandoned coastal town on the southeast shore. He meets a little girl named Aggie, who is going to her sister's funeral. Peek is cut-off from real life by a sophisticated video game system that is implanted in his head, therefore th…

A Piece of Advice I Learned From My Grandfather

My grandfather was one of the most learned men I know. He read widely and voraciously, and not just in the sciences (he was a doctor); he loved politics, philosophy, and great literature as well. Whenever he finished a book he would write his thoughts about the book in the front cover and then sign and date it. To this day every once in a while I will open a book from my bookshelf or my mother's bookshelf, or at one of my family members' homes, and there will be my grandfather's handwriting. He was also a great giver of his books; if you remarked that you liked a particular one or wanted to read it, you were almost sure to take it home with you.

Reading is a very solitary pursuit but my grandfather was not a solitary person. He relished having family and friends around him which is convenient because he was blessed with a lot of both. And he carried out his intellectual life in a very "public" way as well. He was, in some ways, an intellectual evangelist. If he r…