L

Archive for the ‘Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive…’ Category

How I Got AF AF

In Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive... on October 16, 2020 at 4:56 pm

Ahhh! The first drink of the evening…. so breezy, so relaxing….the clink of the ice, a shot or two (or three!) of good vodka- a spritz of fresh grapefruit juice. Mmmm. What a way to end the day, welcome in the evening, clear my mind! The soothing effect after the first gulp…like if maple syrup were made of peace and tranquility, slowly-so slowly- dripping from my throat to my toes. Literally saying ‘Ahhh!’ out loud because it feels so good.

A little while later- say an hour (or is it five minutes?) it’s time for drink #2. Drink #2 doesn’t have half the magic of the first. I mean- it’s good and all, but there’s no….relief. Instead it’s more of an assumption- it is loaded in to maintain a feeling that it already gone-that was gone in less than five minutes, that needs a full night/day/night cycle to return. Regardless- I keep drinking to drink #3 which is my ‘limit’…unless its say, a holiday, football Sunday, a barbecue, or (especially) a pandemic.

I’ve been drinking for many years. Not in the morning, not hard liquor straight out of the bottle, not getting DUI’s, not ruining my life (although much of the drama of my twenties, and even thirties could be attributed to it, if I were willing to look with a critical eye! If I, like most humans, didn’t make up stories in order to live!) I’ve been in on the ‘wink!’ that motherhood and womanhood is so much easier with beer, wine, mixed drinks…whatever your ‘poison’. I’ve laughed and laughed at memoirs about women dealing with life ala alcohol and quite frankly, they’ve made me feel better about myself…because if we’re ‘all’ doing it, it’s a ‘thing’, it’s acceptable.

In the back of my mind though….there was always this tiny, unsettling feeling that there was something ‘off’ about drinking. I looked so forward to my evening vodka-grapefruit that there was a sense of the rest of my life being something I needed to ‘get over with’ so I could clear my chores and activities to do the one true thing I enjoyed: Drink. And once I sat down with the nightly drink, all other things were off the docket- except maybe reading before bed.

Drinking caused me to be bloated, and once buzzed I gave myself permission to open up the refrigerator and grab a little something (or three) because alcohol stimulates the appetite and decreases inhibitions, which is the perfect storm for bad eating decisions. I’m not talking about being skinny or vain or embracing being curvy. I’m talking about being reasonably healthy and not waking up feeling like a puffer-fish. A puffer fish with a headache!

Now add in the Pandemic and we’ve got a recipe for-if not disaster, then at least the worry that when it’s all over (if it’s all over) I’m going to be emerging as a lumbering alcoholic with negative self esteem. Understand that I have nothing against drinking other than the fact that in some instances I have no off switch and so drinking is not a take it or leave it for me. It affects my diet, my sleep, my confidence and my energy level. This is not the case for many others and I envy them their casual relationship with spirits!

How did I do it? On May 7th I stayed alcohol free, put a gold star on my calendar and began reading books about people-mostly women- getting sober. I read about 20 of these books- everything from ‘Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp, ‘Dry’ by Augusten Burroughs, ‘Lit ‘by Mary Karr, ‘The Recovering’ by Leslie Jamison, ‘The Sober Diaries’ by Clare Pooley, ‘Un wasted’ by Sacha Z. Scoblic….and many others. I owned some of them, I bought some, I got some from the library. I read every night for at least an hour, often more.

I’m making it sound easy- of course it was a challenge at times, longing for a drink. But as the number of alcohol free days grew so did my determination. Today is Day 162 and I have not had a sip. I sleep like a bear and have amazing dreams, eat normally and feel very in control of my life. It’s as if there is are embers glowing inside my chest, the feeling of well being so comforting. It’s NOT boring. In fact, I think that the feeling I was searching for through alcohol was actually already installed- only my drinking kept putting those embers out! Also-Bonus: no more social anxiety! Which is huge! I realize that being in quarantine makes that a little easier, but when I do go out-wearing a mask every time- I have no anxious feelings or weird ‘am I worthy’ conversations in my head. I know it’s a little early, but I honestly don’t see myself going back to booze, something I never thought I’d say. Five out of five, highly recommend.

October ’20

In Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive... on September 26, 2020 at 11:12 am

Ok, so I’ve been working on a new blog for waaaay too long and decided to set this old one to public again rather than struggling with the importing, etc. Some posts here quite dated, others not so much. I’m not happy with the moniker ‘Kick In The Cornflakes’ anymore, but blah-blah-blah. Hopefully the new one will be ready soon.

And as always- If you read anything of mine- ever!– thanks!

Jake Chronicles: Part One/5/04/15

In My Stories, Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive..., The 80's on May 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

I push my way through the crowd up to the bar where I order two drinks- one for me and one for Carly. The Night Raven is filled to capacity, thick with cigarette smoke and sweaty bodies, the usual turnout for Twisted Sister- a band out of Long Island that plays here once a month, always on a Thursday night.

You can’t get through the crowd without bumping into people-it’s standing room only- but luckily Carly and I snag a table tonight. I grab the two Greyhounds- house vodka and grapefruit in cheap plastic cups (classy!) and gingerly try and make my way back to the table with minimum spillage. Nothing like not getting to guzzle every last drop of your fifty-cent drink- tomorrow’s headache depends on it!

When I arrive back at the table, Car makes a big show of it, screaming ‘THANKS FOR THE DRINK,  SWEETIE” – grabbing hers out of my hand and almost blowing out my eardrums in the process. She gulps it down in a split second, then slaps it down on the tabletop in celebration, staring at me with raised eyebrows like she’s done something great- won a race or the Pulitzer Prize. I think of cornball platitudes about celebrating the small things in life, and figure this must qualify. I give her a thumbs up. And tell her the next round’s on her.

I decide to do a lap around the club to see if Jess has arrived. I tell Carly to save our seats over the blare of the club’s sound system, currently blasting Aerosmith’s ‘Same Old Song And Dance’ my friend. I stand up, put the palm of my hand over my plastic cup to prevent spillage ( a drunkard’s makeshift sippy cup), and say I’ll be right back. Carly winks and throws up devil horns.

I walk down the four stairs that lead to the bar, scanning the crowd. No Jess, or anyone else of note. I turn to check out the back room, filled with pinball machines and Asteroids games, when SLAM!! someone knocks into me, hard. I barely hold onto my drink, which splashes all over my palm, and through my fingers. I grimace, instantly irritated. Shit!

“Oh my god! I’m so sorry!” says a male voice loudly and when I look up I am eye to eye with none other than “Adonis’ himself. My motorcycle mystery boy, right here in the flesh! My heart beats like a baby bird’s, as Aerosmith segues into UFO pleading ‘Doctor, Doctor, please!’. Things have just taken a good and unexpected turn for the better, half spilled drink be damned. And the music’s cooperating, too!

I quickly look him up and down (better than I even imagined- and what I imagined was p-r-e-t-t-y good)  He flashes a Kodak smile and I inwardly swoon. Nothing hotter than a good smile on a nice face atop a body to die for, amirite? Sand, streaked dark blond hair, straight, gleaming white teeth, blue eyes and a golden tan. Could it be I have a type? Even if that’s true- I’m fairly sure this guy is any girl’s ‘type’.

He wears a blue Hooker Headers t-shirt, faded jeans and high top Nikes (black swish) His arms are built, his body an inverted V. He doesn’t seem to be a guy you’d have to fight with to use the mirror (no eyeliner or hair products). Up close, he almost reminds me of my screen crush, the leader of the Warriors street gang, from the movie of the same name. I fight the urge to break out the catch phrase “Warriors…Come out and play-yay-yay’, but it’s too specific a reference, and it might fall flat.  I’m a wise ass, but he’s making me second guess myself just by looking so good. All in all he has rendered me speechless. I tell myself to breathe. We lock eyes and it feels like electricity flows between us. And silence.

Finally, he extends a hand  and smiles – “Hi! I’m Jake!’ he says loudly. It figures! I love the name Jake.

I shake his hand (nice and mildly calloused- he must work!) and introduce myself as well. I fight the urge to plant my lips on his, just in case the opportunity never again presents itself. I’m telling you, It would totally be worth it, regardless of outcome.

“Can I get you another drink?” Jake asks, yelling (it’s loud!) pointing to my cup and then to the bar.

“You don’t have to!” I yell back, sipping what’s left of mine through the red and white swizzle stick, the vibrating slurp of what’s left of melting ice cubes, as if I’m really getting any.

“No- I want to!” he insists, smile lighting up the room.

“Okay….then I guess a Greyhound would be cool” I shout.  The whole time we are in the middle of crowds of people, but they are just a blur. I point towards the back room, and indicate I’ll wait there. I definitely want to corral  him to where I might have him to myself for a bit. He nods his head okay, and pushes up into the crowd at the bar in front of us, holding up a fistful of bills.

I walk towards the back room, mindlessly bumping into people, a goofy smile plastered across my face. I love how shit happens when you least expect it.

Jake Chronicles: Part Two/5/03/15

In My Stories, Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive..., The 80's on May 3, 2015 at 10:43 pm

I float dreamily across the game room on the fumes of anticipation. Beat up pleather bench seats line the perimeter of the room, and a large group of rockers are watching a lone player on the Kiss pin-ball machine. I’m not a Kiss fan (too comic-booky) but even I can see they are perfectly suited to a pinball game. I  scope out a place towards the back of the room, where we can sit and get to know each other (I hope) I gulp down what’s left of my drink-just ice chips and a drop of water. (This drink has been through the mill and I need to stop expecting anything from it) I sit  and wait.

I hear loud, annoying feedback, followed by  raucous, drunken cheers. Twisted Sister is taking the stage. They’re sinister and hard rocking -though not exactly my cup of tea. Maybe it’s the costume and ridiculous makeup they wear. Sort of like the band I was just talking about. (Regardless, I’m sure they care what I think. After all, I’ve paid my admission and thus, paid them)

Plus, they have a couple cool songs, I’ll grudgingly admit.

The crowd around the pinball machine disperses, leaving behind only the solo gamer. A few seconds later, Dee Snider, as over-modulated as can be (is he eating the mike?) growls ‘SO HOW ARE YOU, MOTHERF**KERS TONIGHT” then roars like a wild cougar in a 1970’s car commercial. The crowd goes crazy, as the band slams into ‘Shoot ‘Em Down’.

Then, like a vision, Jake rounds the corner, and my heart flips. He’s holding a bunch of drinks unsteadily. I jump up and meet him halfway. The pinball player looks over at us, in between flips. We’re the only other people back here now. Jake’s smiling as I get to him (how many watts is that? Enough to run the whole fucking town for a good hour!) I quickly grab a drink and a shot out of his hands.

“I got us some shots, too!’ he says, “Alabama Slammers. Do you like them?” he asks.

“Like ’em? I looove ’em!” I say, as we clink shot glasses and pour the red liquor down our throats. We both let out synchronized  ‘Aaaahs!”, and start giggling like school girls. I lead him over to our newly designated ‘spot’ and we both sit down. We’re so close we’re almost, but not quite, touching. We keep glancing at each other and smiling like simpletons. My face is flushed, and trust me,  it’s not the Elizabeth Arden Blush-On. When Jake’s arm accidentally brushes against mine, I get chills and feel the current between us. I feel like a cartoon bomb, like my fuse is lit and I’m set to explode, sparks flying everywhere.

I’m asking him stupid questions like ‘where are you from’ (his answer: ‘around here’) and then I cut to the (literal?) chase.

“Haven’t I seen you at the Beach? I ask. “On a bike?’

“Yes!” Jake exclaims, the floodgate to admitting our head game really happened, flung open.

“And I’ve seen you down there for sure. You have the blue Cadillac, right? With the music always blasting out?’

Ding! Ding! Ding!

In the background, Dee Snider is screaming  ‘Death to Disco’ and breaking Donna Summer records to thunderous applause.

“Yup!”

“I saw you there Thursday- with- was that your boyfriend?” He’s talking about Jess, and the moment when he drove by us on the bike real slow, just as Jess was trying to get me to sip his flask. (For real. Not in an ‘is that what we’re calling it now?’ kind of way) He remembers this as much as I do- validating it all. Wow! I’m flattered to even be in his sightline, to take up space in his mind.

“No, no- that’s just my friend, Jess!” I answer, waving my hand like I’m shooing away flies.

“I don’t have a boyfriend’ I state, loud and clear, just to emphasize the point.

I take a sip of my Greyhound, and look at his arms. There’s a tat- a rose with a crown of thorns, well done. His arms are defined but not steroid and protein powder big. I love the faint ‘v’ of his upper arm muscle to his bicep.

Jake asks me if I want to go watch the band for awhile- and if I’m upset to be missing the show.

“Oh-pshhht! -I’ve seen this band a million times already!”I say nonchalantly, waving a dismissive hand. Right now I  wouldn’t want to leave this room if Black Sabbath was onstage.

(Author’s note: That’s clearly an exaggeration made in the heat of the moment)

“Wanna go for a ride?” he asks- and it sounds like the best idea ever. I can see us flying down the road on his motorcycle,  our hair flowing back in waves, the bike dipping low into the asphalt as we whip through hairpin turns. I’m up off my seat in a flash.

Jake Chronicles/Part Three/ 5/02/15

In My Stories, PRINTED, Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive..., The 80's on May 2, 2015 at 12:55 pm

We step outside the Raven into the parking lot which is abuzz. People are everywhere, heading into the club, away from the club, standing in groups around cars, loitering, flirting, getting high.

Sounds carry: peels of laughter,  shouting, the revving of car engines, the whoosh of the traffic whizzing by on the main street out front. The muffled sound of the band thuds from inside the bar, like it’s bubble wrapped in a box.

I let Jake lead the way, checking him out thoroughly while I have the chance.The parking lot is flooded with white light from its many street lamps, the sky a dark void above.

A gang of guys-inebriated Twisted fans- pass us by on the way in, all bluster and bravado, chanting ‘SMF!”(Twisted Sister has a fan club- the ‘Sick Mother Fucker Club’ of which I am surprisingly not a member) A thin guy with brown wavy hair, wearing a Zeppelin tee, lunges at me and says ‘Hey, Baby!” Jake turns around abruptly and glares at him. The guy flinches and speeds away, his friends laughing at him. Jake extends his hand and I happily grab on. This makes me incredibly happy- to be holding hands with him, kicking the tires of the couple we might become.

I’m scanning the lot for Jake’s Kawasaki, but all I see are cars and Harleys. We stop walking and Jake clears his throat.

“I have to tell you something” he says in a tone that makes me think: Ut oh.

“Yeeeahh?” I ask, wide eyes and lilting voice, as I let go of his hand.

“I don’t even have my bike here,’ he says.

“Whaaat?” Wtf?

“I know….I just wanted to get away from all the commotion and talk to you” he says, sheepishly. “I shouldn’t have lied” He looks around, avoiding eye contact.

It strikes me as unsettling, and that warning signal I feel when something’s off shoots through me. Intuition? Perhaps. I do hate liars. But then again- maybe I drove him to lie by participating in this month long flirtation dance. Or  maybe (and more likely) my anger towards liars operates on a sliding scale that fluctuates depending on physical attraction, availability, and interest. Either way- we all know I’m going to blow it off and move on. Which I do. Immediately.

“It’s okay” I say. “Wanna go stand by my car?” I suggest, like it’s the place to be.

“Why not?”

I point towards the back of the lot, as a group of giggling girls walk by us, dressed in what looks like lingerie. They say ‘Hiiii’ to Jake in high pitched baby voices, and turn around to look at him as they pass by. Their spike heels click-click-click on the pavement. I picture extending my foot and tripping them, watching them fall like slutty dominoes. He pretends not to notice them at all and scores back any points he lost by lying.

The back end of the Cadillac is hanging out of its slot just a bit too much, and I make a mental note to move it forward. It’s such a boat. Jake laughs when he reads the bumper sticker: ‘Everybody Wants Some’ over the Van Halen logo.

“You really do love your music, huh?”he asks

I furrow my eyebrows and say ‘Ummm….yeah” I mean-duh! What a kooky question! Who doesn’t?

We lean against the side of the car, close but not touching. I fold my arms and look up at the dark sky. Jake’s thumbs are hanging from his belt loops, and he’s looking over at me, probably thinking of something to say, while I pretend not to notice. He leans into me lightly,  our upper arms touching and I want him to stay there forever. I’m aware of him with every fiber of my being.

Then, he stands up straight and faces me, pushing the hair gently out of my face, hooking it behind my ears, his hands on either side of my face. We plunge into a kiss like we’re diving into a cool swimming pool on a hot summer’s day. It feels divine. And I’m thankful that he’s a good kisser, swirling his tongue like he’s writing cursive love letters in my mouth, and I’m very, very glad that Carly’s persistence that I come out and party tonight has turned into this.

%d bloggers like this: