It’s the morning of Day Six and I am up at 6:45 on a Saturday. Somebody alert the media.
I am sipping espresso with a splash of cream instead of my usual coffee drowned in Hazelnut creamer.
No pounding headache from too much gin and wine.
The usual regret of eating too much is absent.
Kids, I drank the Kool-Aid and it’s working.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This week has been tough. During the first three nights of this insane detox, I was sweating like a whore in church. Tossing and turning, going from intense heat to freezing cold. I actually thought refraining from sugar and alcohol was giving me the flu.
I had a meltdown on night Four. The day had been rough for me. I was craving chocolate, pizza, cheeseburgers and lots of wine. I was whining and pissy and fed up.
We were making “fried” chicken fajitas coated in cauliflower (I know, it’s extreme) and wrapping it in lettuce. Having never undressed Boston lettuce before, he simply was telling me how to do it right (I was failing at this very easy project) and I lost it.
Tears of frustration rolled down my face.
“I need sugar and I need a drink! I can’t do this anymore!” I cried.
Poor fiancé. He hugged me and we both laughed about it once my hysteria calmed down.
I managed to have my first sober lunch with a friend that I normally would have had drinks with. She showed solidarity and didn’t have any wine either. It turns out that good conversation can be enough. Who knew?
The sweating has stopped and sleep has been amazing.
We’ve lost a couple pounds and we’ve saved around $150.
My thinking is clearer and I feel pretty damn good.
I am, however, terrified that I won’t ever want to drink again. I know that I’m now entering the Honeymoon Stage and may feel superior to those around me drinking and acting like idiots. By week three, I may look down my nose at you and say something stupid like, “You don’t need to drink to have a good time.”
I’ve always wanted to punch people in the face who say things like that.
Don’t worry, this too shall pass. I enjoy my social life way too much for this to last forever. And giving up gin and wine and the occasional Belgium beer would leave a void in my life that I simply cannot fill with kale and cabbage.
In the meantime, I apologize in advance for being overly optimistic (I normally frown upon too much optimism) and excited about my new clean lifestyle. If I try to lure you in by telling you my mind is clearer and I have seen the light, just roll your eyes, have a good laugh and order yourself a drink.
Let’s talk about these favorite things of mine.
Right now it’s 6:52 pm on March 3rd and normally we would be picking out a bottle of wine for dinner. Instead, we will be having tea. Lots and lots of tea.Detox tea to be exact. And compared to wine, it really sucks.
We are both pretty angry about it.
All day I have had moments of daydreaming about a buttery Chardonnay dripping long legs of yumminess inside a white wine glass while I peruse the Internet. Or having a delicious salad and cleansing my palate with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. I’m Dreaming of sipping on a Hendricks and soda during Happy Hour at the local bar.
I’m not a huge carb person, but I do enjoy my Carr’s water crackers with chunks of cheese, an afternoon snack of Kashi Warm Cinnamon cereal, and my morning egg sandwich on an English muffin. I don’t crave pasta or eat plates of fries, but carbs are definitely slipped into a lot of foods, so it could be tough.
OMG. Where do I start? Lindt’s Classic Recipe Hazelnut Chocolate has taken up residence in our kitchen drawer for months. It’s there for me when I’m happy, sad, moody or just bored. It’s the perfect finish to a great dinner. Peanut butter. I am obsessed with peanut butter. I eat it by the spoonful, which is part of the reason I can’t squeeze into my size 2’s anymore. First World Problem, I know. But it is what it is.
There are fricking Girl Scout cookies in this house that the fiancé had to HIDE from me. They were even hidden in plain sight-the freezer-and I didn’t find them. He brought them out on Saturday, when we were tipsy and having fun. This is why they need to be hidden. We ate an entire sleeve.
I’m not going to lie and try to be optimistic about this. I am not going to promote this healthy lifestyle as something fun and energizing. I am going to die when I watch The Real Housewives of New York and they are drinking wine and eating chocolate. I will lash out at friends who are going out to enjoy Happy Hour.
This is simply an emergency situation (impending muffin tops and ass jelly) that calls for unfortunate sacrifices.
And so, I hold my cup of detox tea up to you and toast to juicing our vegetables, eating our lean protein and trying not to kill each other.
Photo: All rights reserved by d3_plus
It’s March 2nd, 9:47 pm. I have just finished scarfing down a large helping of Pad Thai and Panang Curry and a bottle of wine. My man has done the same.
We have decided to stop drinking for 30 days and it’s our last hurrah.
Emotion has overcome us and we are already pissed and upset about it and haven’t even started the process.
He just walked by the wine rack and huffed, “Quit pushing these bottles out to make them more appealing!”
We have complained about it all day. And by complaining, I mean we had a glass of wine and a beer at a restaurant in Union Square in between shopping for running shoes and a tea pot before coming home to polish off two bottles of Red while eating Thai and watching House of Cards.
Why would we torture ourselves with this nonsense?
We live in New York City and it’s socially unacceptable to not drink. What else is there to do in the winter but go out with friends, eat a delicious dinner and share amazing bottles of wine with?
But, newly engaged bliss has lent itself to eating and drinking too many empty calories and we are now busting out of our clothes. The wedding is six months away and its time to stop the fat insanity.
We are giving up a few of my favorite things: Alcohol, Sugar & Carbs.
Shit. Stay tuned.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/alsis35/5724009679/”>alsis35 (now at ipernity)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>
More change has happened since my last post. I am newly engaged. That man in my last story, that carried me to the train? He’s going to be my husband.
It’s pretty damn exciting and life has been really, really good.
I’m slowly adjusting to New York City. I spent the first couple of months trying not to get lost, in a daily, semi-panic that the newness of this massive place inflicts on you. So, the writer in me didn’t observe and relish all the delicious characters that had been laid out to develop and absorb. The people all seemed to have the same faces, and each street felt like the one before because I wasn’t paying attention.
Time has passed, and I am easing into a moderate comfort level in moving around the city. For the most part, I only get lost half of the time now, and it’s much less dramatic than the early days. I have a love-hate relationship with the subway. It is a well-oiled, functioning tube of transportation. It’s easy to understand, relatively safe, and marginally clean.
For the most part, the people follow the rules and go with the flow: let the people out of the train before pushing your way in, stay to the right on the escalators if you’re going to stand, and let the people on the left walk up. Make room, move over and squeeze as many people in as possible and try to be polite. Avoiding eye contact is best, but sometimes you have to look at their eyes. Because they all have a story.
A cloud of desperation and anticipation hangs in the air in and around the subway. Everyone is just trying to keep it together while being smashed like sardines in a can. The single mothers, dragging their kids around, the yuppies in their suits checking their email, the senior citizens holding onto their bags of groceries; all essentially trapped together, racing through a tunnel to get to where they need to go.
There is absolutely no privacy on the subway or on the streets. You are inches from stranger’s faces. You breathe in the exhales of coffee breath or a garlic-filled lunch, smell the body odor of the non-showered, and virtually taste the perfume of overtly saturated women.
There are no private conversations. Fighting and couples breaking up in public is a common occurrence. Business deals, first dates, parenting strategies, they all happen on the subway. Bring your headphones, or you will be an involved witness to this narration of life you did not even know existed.
But I think that this is all part of the rush of living in New York City and why people love it. The excitement, the anxiety, the energy, it’s the constant entanglement that keeps you going. You never know who is going to sit next to you or what part of your history they will be in your memory. They have a story, you have a story. You are all intertwined in each other’s lives for brief moments while speeding through time and passageways, waiting for the doors to open and continue on with your day.
From there take the 4-5-6 subway to 14th ST-Union Square.
Walk up the stairs facing the backs of hundreds, and feel the swarm of New York City punch you in the gut.
The air is thick with the aroma of hot dogs, gyros, pretzels, and anxiety. Oh, wait, that’s coming from me. Minus the hot dogs, gyros and pretzels.
I have moved to New York.
Many changes have happened since I last blogged. And fittingly enough, it was about accepting impermanence in my life, and what do you know? It turns out; Chicago was not going to be permanent.
I am loving it here. Truly. I could not be happier than to be surrounded by so much LIFE. So many restaurants, museums, parks, theatres, shopping; the list goes on and on. And I am here with the man who swept me off my feet in a matter of months and brought me here to land with him. What could be better?
Hmm. Well, there have been some complications. Continue reading
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.
Lately, these two feelings have been flowing through my blood stream, intertwining with each other and coming back to settle in my heart and brain.
Something inside me definitely changed when I turned forty. A switch went off, and suddenly, everything and everyone came into focus.
As perceptive of people as I thought I had always been, I now realize I have been very naïve, way too trusting and well, honestly, kind of a schmuck.
I have always looked for the good in people. It’s a trait from my grandmother that has been a blessing and a curse. That woman could find something sweet in an ax murderer. Unfortunately, I can be the same way.
Sometimes, always looking for the good in people blinds you to the bad. Those little red flags that I was always willing to overlook are now screaming at me as they blow in the wind.
I think people mistake my acts of forgiveness for being gullible. I get excited about promises made to me and then am actually shocked when people don’t follow through. I expect every man in my life to be as reliable and loyal as my father and it’s just not going to happen. I am learning this as I go. Hence, the disappointment.
Regardless of the glow of sarcasm that surrounds me, I am a people pleaser. I care far too much about what people think about me or how they feel. I am a sponge that absorbs other people’s emotions and energy. I carry around this extra baggage that is not even mine and it becomes a self-imposed burden that I can’t shake free.
Turning forty and becoming single has been terrifying and wonderful at the same time.
On the positive side, I am really coming into my own and figuring out who I am. This can only be achieved by being alone for a while. I am enjoying my creative side and embracing it. I am starting to surround myself with people who are also in the Arts and it feels like home. I am meeting people who share the same passions as me and we are having some really great conversations. I finally get to be me. I’ve never been a conformist and surrounding myself with like-minded people reinforces my desire to just do what I do.
With my newfound awareness, it’s amusing now when people treat me as they always have and their looks of surprise when I don’t respond like the ninny I used to. I’m sort of done with the bullshit.
I’m tired of making excuses for people and their behavior. That is on them. I will, however, accept responsibility for the way they treat me. People will test you to see how much they can get away with and for how long. I can’t control that, but I can control how much I tolerate.
Impermanence is understood by Buddhists as one of the three marks of existence, the others being dissatisfaction (Nothing found in the physical world or even the psychological realm can bring lasting deep satisfaction) and non-self (simply to promote the ideal of sacrificing personal interests for others’ interests.) I am working on accepting impermanence.
It is key to acknowledge this to be able to grow. Relationships don’t last, people come in and out of our lives, and we all die.
We hold onto to things and people far longer than deserved, just because it feels safe.
Life is unpredictable and as hard as we try to squeeze and grab the good things in our lives, the bad is inevitable.
Excitement is all around me though. I am embracing my fears by doing things I would have never done before. Sometimes it brings elation and empowerment. Sometimes it brings pain and leaves me licking my wounds the next day.
The point is, whether it be excitement or disappointment, I’m trying to remember that nothing is permanent and to stop holding on to people or ideas that don’t bring value to my life.
“Whatever is impermanent is subject to change. Whatever is subject to change is subject to suffering.”—The Buddha
Clarity. I am thankful that the fog has cleared and I am able to see people for who they are, and that includes me.
Self-control. I am thankful that I am changing the way I react to things. I am keeping myself in check where needed and trying to learn from past mistakes.
Balance. Not just in yoga handstands, but thankful for learning balance in life. The Ying and the Yang of work, fun, relationships, family, and everything in between.
Inner Peace. I’m not quite there, but I’m on the right road. I am thankful that I am learning to accept my faults and oversights and forgive myself. On the opposite side of that spectrum, I am learning to stop being excessively forgiving to those who continually hurt me.
Family and Friends. I have a great family and I am thankful for their support and love. They are always there when I need them. My friends are fabulous as well; they have seen me do the ugly cry, the happy dance and close their eyes as I drive down the wrong way on a one-way street.
Harrison. This crazy ass cat has turned my house upside down. He has ruined most of my shit, wakes me up at 4 a.m. every morning and poops non-stop. But, he is my snuggle buddy, my lover bug and my heart.
Bacon and Vodka. Well, do I need to say more??
I am also thankful for being healthy, having a job, and being able to share my passion of writing to all of you.
So, I hope today everyone enjoys their turkey and mashed potatoes, their uncles passed out on the couch in a tryptophan coma, flag football in the yard, too many crying babies, that drunk aunt who just won’t shut up, grandparents that you see not often enough, and most importantly…LIONS FOOTBALL!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
I have lived in the city for three years now and I finally got busted.
The parking meter gods at long last found me and took me down.
In a really big way.
From day one of living here, I have been pretty diligent about paying for parking. I always pay the maximum amount it allows, look at the time it expires and will leave mid-sentence in a restaurant to run out to put more money in.
In other cities I’ve lived in, getting a parking ticket was sort of a joke. In Ann Arbor, it was five or ten bucks. In Detroit, if your car was still where you parked it and had a ticket on the window, you just sighed with relief that it didn’t get stolen.
But in Chicago, I knew it meant big bucks. Fifty big bucks. That is money that can be spent in so many better ways. Fifty big ones could equal a haircut, a cute shirt from Banana Republic, a couple cocktails or even ten cups of over-priced Starbucks coffee. I can definitely be lazy, but for that kind of wasted cash, I always made sure to pay those damn meters.
In the back of my mind, I knew there would come a day when my luck would run out.
Of course, the night it happened, I just happened to be bragging to my friend’s at my local bar about how I had made it three years without a single parking ticket.
People were amazed and in awe (ok, maybe not in awe.)
The patrons were laughing about their own stories of owing hundreds of dollars for unpaid tickets, and how it took them one week in the city to start accumulating them.
Outwardly, I laughed with them. But, inwardly, I was appalled and it made my stomach hurt imagining all those fees racking up and having that kind of stress hanging over one’s head.
Someone even talked about a friend of a friend who owed four THOUSAND dollars in parking tickets. That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
So, when I initially pulled up to my favorite watering hole, it was happy hour and I only planned on staying for some food, a beer and to finish up some computer work.
I paid the maximum, and noticed it was only good until six o’clock. Knowing they check meters until nine, I tucked that time frame away in my head and knew I would have to come back out if I decided to stay longer.
I sat at the bar, ordered some chili and a beer. I pulled out my computer and started the energy sucking process of entering data about my day in the field.
After an hour or so, I was starting to fade and was about to close up shop and head home.
The problem with frequenting my beloved local bar (you know who you are) where everyone knows your name (Hello, Norm!), is that eventually, a friendly face always shows up.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Two of my favorite people walked through the door (they will remain nameless to protect their innocence and shameful drinking) and thus, changed the course of my parking meter history.
The conversation flowed, the music was great and there were copious amounts of laughter.
At one point, I looked at my watched and saw that it was almost six o’clock. I leaned over and looked out the window. My car was not even a full block away. The windshield was absent of any tickets and for the first time EVER, I shrugged my shoulders and said, fuck it.
Now, this is pure and utter laziness. It wasn’t raining, snowing, or even that cold out. The car was not a mile down the road, around the corner or under a dark bridge somewhere. I could literally read my license plate.
But, I just turned back around to my friends and continued on, mentally willing the meter maids away from my car.
So, here it comes.
My right of passage to finally becoming a true Chicagoan came an hour later, in the form of a bright orange envelope flapping in the wind under my wiper.
*side note: I realize that I need to do many more things to become a true Chicagoan. Like taking the bus, the train, and rooting for the Bears (will never happen.) I am working on it.
At any rate, I approached my car laughing, mad at myself for it finally happening, but figured, fine, its fifty bucks and now you’re official.
I whined about it to my friend whom we’ll call Wasabi Fred (don’t ask) as he grabbed them off my windshield.
Yep, that’s when I realized there was more than one ticket.
At first, I assumed they came by twice and double fisted me. So, great, now a hundred fucking dollars.
But as Wasabi Fred got into the car with me, I noticed he was being oddly silent as he reviewed the tickets.
“So??? Two tickets, a hundred bucks, right??” asks me.
That’s when he gives me the pity look. That look where the mouth takes that upward, sideways cringe and the eyes turn into puddles of, shit, I’m not sure how to tell you this.
Wasabi Fred then calmly told me that the second ticket was for not having the new Chicago city sticker. And that it was two hundred dollars.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I have always renewed the damn sticker. And when I say, always, I mean the last two years.
I saw it on the News months ago and knew that I needed to go get it and simply forgot to go do it.
TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS.
It makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.
But, here is where the story becomes amazing for me. And I didn’t notice it until this morning. As I was looking the tickets over, I started laughing as I realized how what I saw on the ticket encapsulated how really funny and ironic my life always is:
My “Officer”- aka Meter Maid- was: TLOVE
I’m sorry, but that shit is funny. It’s like P.DIDDY or ICE T or JAY-Z wrote me my tickets. I imagine TLOVE is a smooth operator. He wears dark shades and is always licking his lips, talking his game to the ladies.
TLOVE is an Officer of the City by day, but he is all party at night. I just know it.
Or….TLOVE could be a middle-aged woman who hates her job because everybody hates the Meter Maid.
Regardless, I now have to go buy the new City sticker for $100, plus the $250. Family members may be getting jars of olives for Christmas this year.
I wanted to be a little “citified” by getting ONE parking ticket, but instead I am probably contributing to a manhole cover for Michigan Avenue.
New State line sign proposed by me:
“Welcome to the City of Chicago, where, just when you are ahead in life, we drain your bank account.”
Thanks to my laziness and TLOVE, I have arrived.
I had the pleasure recently of puking and driving.
It was this past summer. I was headed to Michigan for the weekend. I was hung over and tired.
As I was driving down I-55, I noticed in the back seat that I still had leftovers from my dinner the night before. It was some kind of chicken wrap.
Now, being that my car is parked in an underground garage, I justified it had been cool enough in there all night and my sandwich was probably fine.
So, I had a couple bites. About the third bite in, I realized it just didn’t taste right. And not just not right, it was terrible. At first, I was mentally crossing that menu item off the list of things I would never eat at that restaurant again.
Then, as I could feel the physiology of my body start to change, two thoughts came to me immediately:
- Shit. How much did I drink again last night? My memory flashes to a medium-to-heavy vodka night and eating had not been a priority. Stale liquor is swishing around in my gut, and my liver is refusing to do any type of detoxifying at this point.
- Did you just eat a couple of bites of a left over in-the-car-all night sandwich that has some sort of cream sauce on it?
I am starting to sweat now, my stomach is starting to roil and the panic is setting in. I am flying down the interstate, going about eighty, cars are passing all around me and I have to puke.
The stretch of highway that I am on has very little shoulder on either side. Not enough for me to pull over and not be at risk of having my head sliced off by a passing car.
Things are about to get really gross, so if you have a weak stomach, I highly recommend you click around my site now and find a more fluffy topic (Try, “Like it or not, it’s here to stay”.)
I start looking around the car. Specifically, the carry out bag that contained the poisonous, vile cream filled chicken wrap.
I pick up the plastic bag first. What is it about plastic bags that they always seem to have little holes in the bottom? Always. I know this from cleaning out the cat’s poop box and having a trail of litter follow me down the hall. Ridiculous.
Anyway, the bag is obviously not an option. The thought of chicken and vodka streaming through those holes onto my lap makes the urge to hurl even stronger.
Now, I’m not really sure at this point, what the hell I was thinking. I had two more options. Option #1 was the aluminum bottom half of the take out container, which is obviously larger. Option #2 is the lid. I have included photos so you can really get into the story with me.
A smart person goes for Option #1, the bottom, right? Well, a real hot mess does not. The remainder of the chicken wrap was sitting in the bottom and I guess I figured there wasn’t enough room? I don’t remember. All I know is that I made another poor life decision. I grabbed the lid.
A lid that was about 2 inches thick.
Follow me in slo-mo now.
I grab the lid with my right hand, steering with my left, trying to keep my eyes on the road and the bile down.
Of course, as soon as you know you have to vomit, it’s only a matter of seconds before, well, the puke hits the fan.
Still keeping up with the flow of traffic, I hold the lid with my left hand now, and re-enact the scene from The Exorcist, minus the head spinning.
I was shocked to see the amount of stomach contents spewing forward into this thin, plastic puke-tainor.
I am still driving at this point, staying in between the lines might I add, and another horrible realization hits me.
What the hell am I going to do with this shit now?
Still no shoulder to pull over to and I am literally balancing this thin lid of stomach lining on my hand while avoiding pot holes and hoping no one slams on their brakes.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever been that close to your own puke before. Normally, you have some personal space when you are calling Ralph on the big white telephone. You can step back, put the lid down, and reassess your situation.
When you have a container of barf two inches from your nose that you can do nothing with, the natural response is a doozy. You are going to puke AGAIN.
Yep, I sure did. And that container and its lack of volume was sending me into a deeper panic.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see cars passing me and can only imagine what I must have looked like, balancing my take-out lid on one hand and projectile vomiting on I-55.
I had to hold that lid in that position for at least a couple miles before I found a shoulder to pull over to.
Once I pulled over, I had to put the car in park with my left hand. Again, I am still holding the lid, which is filled to the brim and sloshing around. Then, I lower the window.
Very carefully, I glide the container to the open window and dump the contents of a very rough morning.
I can tell you that I’m surprised as anyone who knows me that I did not spill that muck all over myself. My porcelain god was watching over me that morning.
The moral of the story?
Do not eat leftovers that have been sitting in your car all night, try to eat something when you’re drinking, and always, always, pick the bigger part of the container to puke in.