Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’
I’m tired this morning. And a little crazy.
But you went to sleep last night at 10pm! I know you are thinking. How in the world can you feel tired?
Okay, so you schlepped kids around all day yesterday, attended a pool party in the heat, cleaned the house and went to a barmitzvah party in the night.
Okay, so you drank a really strong vodka drink (after you promised yourself you wouldn’t drink, hello?!) and you ate about four pieces of cake (kids, can you say, sugar crash?) and you woke up at five AM this morning.
Wait… did you say FIVE? AM???
Ahhhh… now, we’re getting somewhere.
Was it a child who woke you up? Pee pee in the bed, perhaps? A nightmare, like the other morning when Esther woke up telling you “the car floated away and then I got in the car and it came back!” – ?
Gentle readers, I woke up at 5am this morning, and 5am about 4 days out of last week, and about 4 days the week before, and so on, because this week marks my fifth week.
SEAN T!!!!! WHAT’S UP?!!!!
Sorry. I think I’ve been brainwashed.
But yes, I’m waking up at 5 a handful of days each week, and most other days I’m fitting it in before lunch, and when I say “it” I mean 45 minutes give or take of the hardest ‘boot camp’ style cardio workout I’ve ever done.
About three weeks into it, I realized I needed to change my diet too, or else all these washboard abs I’m surely creating will never see the light of day from beneath the “is there a baby in your tummy?” fat on my stomach.
Thanks, kids. Thanks a lot.
So I’m kicking sugar and alcohol for a while, too, except for a once-in-a-while cheat day, of which this past entire weekend melded together and became just that – a Big Fat Cheat Weekend.
So I’m tired. But I’m pushing through.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
If you’re one of those people who say they don’t like Karaoke, I challenge you to go out with me one night to a karaoke bar and not have fun. I mean, come on, I’m a cowboy? On a steel horse I ride! Or, Yeah, push it, p-push it real good! Or my all time fave, Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears…
TURN AROUND, BRIGHT EYES!
Whew! Sorry, folks. I always get a little carried away when it comes to karaoke. Karried away. Hee hee hee.
Now, wait a minute, I know it’s talk like that that makes people who already hate the idea of karaoke want to run screaming for the Shania Twain-free hills. But you’ve got the wrong idea! Yes, karaoke can be terrifying for those who hate to sing in front of a crowd. And it can be equally terrifying for those with perfect pitch to have to sit and listen to those of us who do not hate to sing in front of a crowd.
Isn’t just magic, when you hear the occasional angel sing My Heart Will Go On better than the diva Dion herself? Especially when the angelic voice comes from a completely non-Britney Spears-looking person. At the karaoke dive bar where I used to go – uh – every single Saturday night, more or less, for like a year or so, there was this one old Vietnamese dude who brought down the house each time he sang Frank.
That place, the Smog Cutter, was everything a karaoke dive bar should be – tons of cigarette smoke, cheap alcohol, lots of opportunity to get up and sing, and (goes hand in hand with the last point), a bribe-able person in charge of the karaoke microphone. My friend Caroline (a classier, prettier, and way more beautiful singer-version of Britney) used to go with me each week, and we’d bribe the guy who had the key to our super-karaoke stardom that night with tips and Heinekens.
Yes, I know, there are the drunken frat boy karaoke singers of the world, and we can put those duds into the same category as the punk rock karaoke night that my old chef boss from back when I was a waitress hosted on New Year’s Eve. (Then again, that probably would have been fun if I hadn’t had to serve a bunch of narcissistic rock stars that didn’t tip and then have the owner steal a chunk from the rest of my tips from that night. Hmmm….)
What are you waiting for? See you in the spotlight…
Billy Ray was a preacher’s son, and when his daddy would visit, he would come along…
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
On the self-same night I single-handedly discovered the secret to instant sobriety, I also discovered something else: GrownupGirls (who are not married and don’t have kids) live like broke college students.
My husband and I did our pre-Purim drinking at the apartment of 3 friends of ours – 3 hot mamas (“mamas,” not “mommas,” all btwn the ages of 23 & 35 ish) who live together in order to save money, live safely and not be lonely.
And while each of these GGs (GrownupGirls) is, individually, beautiful, smart, socially savvy, spiritual and hard-working, collectively, they nonetheless keep their apartment looking like my Freshman dormroom. Not pretty. Correction: it isn’t messy like my college dormroom was (nor does it have those wacky Freshman year roommates I had – the Born Again Christian who confirmed that I, being Jewish, had a ticket straight to hell; the other ticketed passenger, our Canadian Jewish roommate, who went bonkers and was sent to a “psycho single” after she was found panting and salivating on all fours one day; or our bulimic soccer player roommate who let her heart get torn out once a week by the resident Freshman movie star-turned-Yalie….) But it was like my frosh dorm room in that no one takes responsibility for its appearance, no one decorates, no one puts out candles or pictures or fresh cut flowers…
No one buys any spoons, for God’s sake.
Apparently, the last spoon had gone missing months ago, and instead of just buying a new pack of spoons, the Three’s Company GGs just pilfer extra plastic spoons whenever they buy takeout (every day). When they run out, they make do eating their cereal or whatever with their forks. Or knives. Who knows, maybe they just eat the cereal dry, straight from the box.
Their handful of cups had also run out after my husband and I had been served our drinks, so our other friend had to drink his tequila from a soy sauce bowl. And let me tell you – watching a hedge fund manager who summers in the Hamptons and winters in Aspen drink fine tequila from a soy sauce bowl is almost as fun as watching his face as he is told there is no ice in the house but would he like a frozen bag of peas to cool the cup down?
Maybe it’s just the ‘roommate’ thing, where everyone who lives together is friends but no one wants to take financial responsibility for the others. Maybe it’s the fact that these particular GGs are in fact so broke they cannot afford a single set of spoons for about $5.99. But in the end, I don’t think it’s either of those things – I think my friends don’t bother to make their home a home because they are trying to “inspire” themselves to get the fuck out of there as quickly as possible. Ideally, by making loads of money, or getting married, or both.
Good luck, Grownup Chiquita Bananas! My drink was delicious, even if it was mixed with a chopstick and served in an old water tumbler.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Gentle readers – this is unbelievable. I’m telling you, I have discovered the answer that has plagued scientists, worried mothers and dorm monitors for decades… centuries!
How do you sober up a drunk person – instantly? Coffee? Bread or French fries, to soak up the alcohol? A shot of olive oil, pre-party? (Good God, please don’t try that last one. I already tried it for you, last Purim. It doesn’t work. Unless your goal is to get drunk and throw up at the end of the night and get teased by friends who saw it all coming.)
No, my friends, none of these techniques even begin to work, let alone instantly. But I – yes me, little ole me – have inadvertently found the holy grail of instant sobriety.
Someone you trust must tell you terrible, unexpected news that you are expected to immediately address.
Case in point: Purim this past Wednesday. For those of you who haven’t gotten on the Purim train, this is the (Jewish/Kabbalistic) holiday during which it is MANDATORY to dress up in costume, party with your friends, and drink until you are drunk. Oh yeah, and sit for an hour to listen to a Hebrew scroll, the Megilah.
So, as any good kabbalist (who isn’t pregnant, breast-feeding or on the AA train) would do, I started early. Who wants to sit through the entire Megilah stone cold sober? This year I was part of a group who had been planning and rehearsing a flash mob – a surprise group dance to “spontaneously” erupt right after the Megilah reading, so obviously I had even more incentive to make sure I was nice and saucy even before I stepped inside the building.
My husband and I went to a friend’s place and had some drinks. Me, the lightweight, had about one giant drink, and my husband had who knows how many shots because I left to reserve seats while he was still shooting them.
Throughout the Megilah I continued to swig from my girlfriend’s bottle of “water” (vodka), and by the time the flash mob dance was finished, I was already flying high – on the alcohol, the party, the atmosphere, and the dancing. Hurray for spiritually-approved drunkenness!
One of the younger teachers of the Kabbalah Centre sought me out in a panic.
Have you seen your husband? I hadn’t. Not since I left him doing vodka shots an hour or so prior.
You need to take him home. Now. I’ve seen normal at a party and this is not normal.
You see, two years ago on Purim, my husband had gotten so falling-down wasted from vodka drinks that I had spent the entire party cleaning up his messes, apologizing for his blunders, and mostly just trying to make sure he didn’t hurt someone or himself.
Last year was much better – he was more in control, I was more out of control, and everyone had a blast. This year… ?
Turns out, he was fine. I found my husband, and yes, he was really drunk, but he could still talk to me and listen to me and he wasn’t falling down or making a scene.
And that’s how I made my brilliant discovery. Because the second after that teacher told me I needed to take my husband home – never mind that I didn’t need to take him home – he had succeeded in tapping into a deep-seated worry and fear within me. And… POOF!
Every single eencey beencey bit of drunkenness that I had been enjoying and experiencing… gone, without a trace.
Yes, the party was pretty much ruined for me. I tried to build back up the joy and excitement by dancing. But I didn’t even attempt to drink any more alcohol – somehow I just knew that instead of helping to get me drunk, it would only succeed to get me sick while my mind stayed paranoid-ly clear.
So there it is, folks. Use it with caution, but use it when you must. You are welcome.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Alcohol = seduction device. Alcohol = depressant. Alcohol = addictive. Alcohol =
My system is so bizarre. Yes, too much alcohol makes me throw up and get hung over and gain weight like any other red-blooded American. But why in the world does it make me wired? Aren’t people supposed to pass out after drinking?
Lord knows my dear husband doesn’t have a fight to pick with our bed after a few glasses of wine. And I don’t recall alcohol being particular ‘stimulating’ for me in my drunken youth – though I co-sponsored my drinking days so often with mind-numbing pot that perhaps I mistook my heavy slumber for alcohol-induced when it may have been in fact, sticky-wicky induced.
But that all said… it does seem rather strange, that in the two times in December when I drank a bit of alcohol – a large glass of vodka/soda being the one instance (at my office party) and a small glass of white wine plus one very bourbon-soaked eggnog (at my friends’ Christmas Eve party) – I proceeded to spend the entire night alert, awake, and yes, completely wired.
Okay, as I’m writing this, I’m remembering that those two incidents also both occurred on Saturday nights, and- on nights following me drinking a Starbucks VIA coffee at around 3pm.
But then there was my friend’s dinner party last Saturday. I don’t think I had coffee in the afternoon. At around 7:30 I drank one giant cocktail (a Cosmo, if you must know, and yes, it was delicious). Everyone else had about forty glasses of wine on top of their one cocktail. We lingered until after 2am, smoking (them), drinking (them – after the Cosmo I dried up) and talking (all of us).
By the time we got home, it was almost 3 am.
By the time I fell asleep, it was around 4:30.
I’m not saying I’m going to mix myself a martini the next time I need to pull an all-nighter…
Or am I saying exactly that?
That’s for me to know, dear readers. And for you to know, too – once I start the 4 am drunk-Facebook posting.
When I was around 24 years old, my friends and I created an exclusive membership-only organization: Cocktail Club. My girlfriend Nicole was the President, Richard was either co-President or Vice President, and I was probably the Secretary or something like that.
Here were the rules (as I remember them, which means maybe this didn’t happen at all, but if it did, it went more or less like this):
- Once a month, a Cocktail Club member would host a cocktail party. I think it was always on a Thursday night.
- The host chose the venue, and supplied things like cups, napkins, food/hors d’oeuvres, juice and other mixers.
- The guests brought the alcohol. Entrance to a Cocktail Club party was only allowed under 2 strict conditions: 1. The invite, and 2. Each guest had to bring one unopened bottle of alcohol. Vodka, Rum, lots of wine, cases of beer… entry was denied to any guest who showed up – member or non-member – who didn’t bring their “entrance ticket.” Didn’t matter if you came as a couple – two people meant two bottles. (With this system, even though people drank a lot at each party, the host was always left with a bottles and bottles of leftover wine & alcohol.)
- Members attending the party were allowed to bring one, and only one, non-Cocktail Club member.
- The host, on the other hand, could invite anyone he/she wanted. So the parties always had completely different feels to them, depending on who was hosting, where they were hosting, and who their crowd of non-Cocktail Club member friends were.
I asked Nicole if she had the original copy of the RULES but sadly, she didn’t. She did, however, remember two rules I had forgotten:
- 1. Only clear or light-colored liquids allowed. This rule, I believe, went into effect following the party at our friend Katie Brown’s Hancock Park mansion (rented from the King of Malaysia, if memory serves) where I gracefully managed to spill my glass of red wine all over her white sofa. This was the same Katie Brown who went on to give Martha Stuart a run for her money with her cooking TV shows, workshops, etc… Whoops.
- 2. As soon as the party was over, people had to leave immediately. No stragglers. This way, the host would never have to worry about dealing with energy-suckers after hours.
My friend Caroline hosted her event at the Chateau Marmont, supposedly in the same bungalow where John Belushi died. One person hosted his at a comedy club. Another outside, in a lush garden. I hosted my event in my Spanish style, hardwood floor apartment. People like Margaret Cho showed up and got drunk with the rest of us.
What happened to cocktail club? In a word: Rehab.
Two of our core founding members went into AA and Al-Anon, others of us “cut down” or completely stopped partying, and the whole thing promptly fizzled.
And in another word: Love! (My friend Caroline met her future husband and the father of her 2 kids at cocktail club, too.)
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Altering one’s consciousness. Loosening up. Drinking alcohol. Let’s call a spade a spade: It’s easier to be free, to ‘vibe’ with people, to show your funny/sexy/sassy/groovy side… when drunk.
On the other hand, drinking can be messy, throw up-y, dependency-forming, relationship-hurting, and hangover-inducing… and I see no room for any of these items in my current adult life.
No big deal, right?
And yet… I dare you to go try standup comedy without a little liquid courage.
I did it.
Yes, gentle readers – readers, whom I sure would have laughed harder than the collection of corpses (to be specific: corpses who became animated for 3 minutes each, to grace the stage & tell horrifically misogynistic and unfunny jokes) did the other night at the Comedy Store (yup. I got up again) – I have now done a grand total of 6 minutes of what could loosely be defined as “standup comedy.”
In that I was standing up in front of a crowd and attempting to make them laugh.
It actually is as terrible as it sounds.
Terrible, and terrifying. And stupid. And not fun.
Why in the world do I want to keep trying this?
My jokes aren’t that funny (YET – I’m working on it, ya know?!) – but in front of THESE crowds – these Hollywood-y, comic-y-er than me, obsessed with sex and body parts and way raunchier-than me crowds – my poor little jokes don’t have a chance. The MC at the Comedy Store was harsh – he asked me if this was my first time ever doing standup, said he was going to “ream her, except I looked into her eyes and now I’m in love,” and then he announced the comic who went up after me as “The first comic of the night.”
I’m not saying he was altogether wrong. After all, it WAS almost my first time ever (it was my second). I was nervous again, I hadn’t rehearsed my opening jokes and they were kind of long and not so funny.
On the other hand… NO ONE (with the possible exception of the MC) was remotely funny either. Not the seasoned comics, not the guy who worked at the Comedy Store and supposedly just got back from touring with Pauly Shore, not the guy who opened the night whose name was “Sperm Douglas” (talk about a sign; I should have walked out right then and there), and not the drunk kid who went on after Sperm & before me –a kid who was heckled so obnoxiously that the MC shouted at the drunk kid to stand up for himself, then kicked the heckler out.
So I guess you could say I was in good company. Or, to be more accurate, terrible company.
Which begs the question… why am I doing this again?
I think I’ll go have a chocolate cupcake. Which is as close as I get to alcohol sugar these days. Sigh…
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Every Friday, I will post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!
And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memories, word for word, photogenically, I say:
What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!
If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.
Do you ever drink so much that you have a total and all-out blast?
And then get alcohol poisoning the next day?
I’m ashamed to admit that that was a semi-often occurrence for me in my earlier adult life, say from the age of around 17 up until the ripe older but still young age of 27.
Every time I was dizzy and throwing up, I would swear to myself that I’d never do that again. For about 10 years, I wasn’t so good at keeping that promise to myself.
But ultimately, as my life changed, I grew into a much healthier version of my old self (yes, therapy, yes, yoga, yes, discovering God and spirituality, yes to every other cliché you can think of, but hey, if it works, it works!). So that, combined with having 3 kids & the lack of drinking that automatically goes with being pregnant and breastfeeding, meant I had all but cut the stuff out of my life.
Every heard of Purim? It’s a Jewish holiday – or in my world, a Kabbalistic holiday, where you are supposed to dress up, listen to “the whole Megilah,” and drink. Or more specifically, get drunk.
As I mentioned, over the past 7 years, I’ve been either pregnant or breastfeeding every single Purim, so I haven’t been able to fulfill that last requirement. But this year… I am still breastfeeding, but not much. Time to get drunk, I said to myself!
And so I did.
And I had fun! I danced. I flirted. I badgered my husband mercilessly, and he was a great sport, he took it all in stride and we had fun together. I (allegedly – this part I didn’t remember at all until I got some mysterious texts and messages later “thanking me” for the talks, and then it all started to come back) – took friends aside and told them what they needed to change about themselves in order to reach their true potential, and generally did all the other fun things that you can only get away with when you are drunk and everyone else is either drunk or at least understanding of your drunkenness.
And then came the barfing.
All day Sunday. Heaving. Even when there was nothing left to throw up, I kept throwing up. (Sorry, to those of you who just ate.) My head spun. My skull felt like it was about to crack open. My husband racked up about a thousand Husband Points (yes, we do keep track, men, we have a whole secret scoring system) by letting me stay in bed all day and taking care of the kids even though he was also hung over and had only slept about three hours.
I felt badly that my daughter missed her beloved ballet class that day. I was too sick to take her. I felt stupid for mixing about 5 different kinds of alcohol and skipping the food – my 20 year old self would have rolled her eyes at my naïveté. And I was annoyed at myself that I didn’t remember until half the day was over that I needed to take a particular homeopathic remedy – Nux Vomica for all you alcoholics out there – that rapidly and most excellently erases all signs of alcohol poisoning (along with another 3 hour nap) .
But mostly? I was glad that I had gone a little crazy. Just for one night, and for a good cause. I guess sometimes we have to act like a stupid teenager again to remember why we’re so glad we are not stupid teenagers anymore!
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Awww… I just found this list I banged out a few months ago, and I thought I’d better share it with all of you, since you probably have no clue when you’re stressed (vs. when you’re just happy go lucky).
You are welcome.
So here goes… YOU KNOW YOU ARE STRESSED WHEN:
- You have a flash-fantasy of leaving home and running away to Paris
- Your back spasms to the point of 4-Advil pain and three+ day immobility
- Your back thigh muscle Charlie-horses on you
- You dream of writing a “You Know You’re Stressed When” list and actually sneak to the computer to write it while your husband is putting the kids to bed & you are supposed to be doing the dishes
- You are crazy tired
- You think of all the things you need to get done and decide the most important thing is to watch Grey’s Anatomy episodes back to back (thanks to the wonders of Hulu)
- You eat too much chocolate
- You eat too much cake
- You go out and buy chocolate or cake so you can eat it
- You get in a giant ugly fight with your husband (his fault, natch, but why does he keep blaming me?)
- You can’t take a deep breath
- You’ve started to gain weight again
- The thought that ‘the worst possible outcome is death,’ actually has a reassuring and calming effect
- You start comparing yourself to other people, your husband/relationship to their husband/relationship, and your income/financial stability to theirs
- You inadvertently sigh with relief when you find out someone you thought had a perfect husband/relationship/job/financial life is actually experiencing chaos in that area of life
- The piles of papers and crap on your home office are rivaling the towers of papers and crap that still need to be sorted in your office-office
- You are exhausted so you stay up until 1am or later watching too many Law & Orders.
As it turns out, I’m presently traveling through a healthier (physically & mentally) phase of life right now – yippee! – but that doesn’t mean I can’t remember those recent stressier days.
P.S. you probably won’t hear from me again until Monday because I’m going to NYC tomorrow – without my husband & kids, WHOO-HOO! Um, I mean, uh… sniff, wipe tear, whoo hoo…
P.P.S. I told my husband that I don’t drink alcohol and I’m not even eating desserts right now so the main thing I’m looking forward to, going to the Big City on my own, free, no children to stop me, is…. SLEEPING.
Hey, a Grownup Girl’s gotta do what a Grownup Girl’s gotta do! (to get herself some beauty rest)
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Oh lord, fine, more about Spain… if I MUST… Sigh…
Lived with Tatiana who back then was just Tania. I was still Shana. We went to the Jesuit Saint Louis University in Madrid, and our best friend was Lamar, a black queen who regaled us with stories about his time spent in the non-Madrid version of St. Louis University, (the one in Missouri), where, in Lamar’s words, “there ain’t nobody gay except me and the priests.”
Tatiana and I learned to cook one and only one Spanish meal: boil spaghetti, dump out the water once it’s done, add tomato sauce from a can and a can of chickpeas.
It’s all we ever cooked, even when we entertained guests. (Yup, you guessed it, also for our secret penis-photo snapping guests too. Hmmm… maybe the photos were revenge for the meal they were forced to consume?)
In any case, the disgusting Spanish red wine was always poured nonstop (as an alternative to the vile whiskey cokas we always drank at the bars and clubs), and the cigarette smoke filled our cement apartment like a Spanish cloud.
Tania and I watch Spanish TV constantly, with the sound reasoning that it would help us learn Spanish more quickly. Our favorite was Chicas De Hoy En Dia, and I can sing you the theme song right now if you want me to. The Venezuelan import Abigail, a tele-novela, ran a close second.
We were also on TV – Spanish TV – in a couple of different capacities. One was a music video shot in a warehouse, where we had to dance for like ten hours straight, with lights flashing as they filmed all of us. The producers gave us all ecstasy and whiskey cokas to help pass the time, but it still felt like it took forever.
I also remember that one of us – Tania or I – auditioned and got a role on this one major dating game show, but we chickened out before it came time to actually shoot the episode. We did, however, get stopped on the street once & asked to take part in a televised public service announcement having to do with imploring the slutty Spanish youth to at least cover up if they were going to sleep with everyone they met.
We happily complied, and a few weeks later, we caught ourselves on Spanish TV – holding up colorful condom wrappers and saying “Pon te lo!” “Usa lo!”
Towards the end of our stay, I got so sick to my stomach that I actually took a bus to see an acupuncturist who was recommended by a soft-core porn actor we were friends with. Turned out the acupuncturist doctor was 100% blind and spoke perfect English. Of course it was the blindness I was concerned about, given that he was sticking needles all over my body, but we made it through our session without him puncturing any of my major organs.
His advice to me was not to eat any cold foods, stay away from the whiskey cokas for a week, (One week! Dios mio!) and to switch from Marlboro Reds and Winstons (my cigarettes of choice) to “blue tobacco cigarettes” which are these indescribably vile types of cigarettes (some of you bratty world travelers probably know them best as Gauloises).
I must have followed at least most of his advice because I did recover. (Notwithstanding the fact that now, according to my current holistic doctor, Dr. Ed, I now need to do major detoxing from all my prior alcohol, cigarette and drug use…)
Gentle readers, to wrap it up, here is a Grownup Girl tip: If you want to quit smoking and you love throwing up, force yourself to smoke Gauloises.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)