Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Early January

O.K.  I wasn't going to tell you, but what the hell?  I just did my first Dry January day.  It was fine.  It was good.  Until. . . I didn't sleep last night.  Don't know if it has anything to do with not drinking or not.  I just lay in bed thinking from about two o'clock on.  Well. . . on until four.  That is when I got up.  I had gone to bed early enough that I had what some people would consider a night's sleep, and I thought I would just get an early jump on the day.  I'm not lifting weights at all this week.  It is my end of the year break.  Still, I'll be in the gym when it opens at six, probably, for a bout of stretching and cardio.  I think that I will sit in the steam room and sauna, too.  Sweat it out every way I can.  I feel good about not drinking, but it has consequences.  Last night, I got a call from my neighbor.  He had invited me over for cocktails Christmas night, but I was already obliged to partying with my mother's neighbors.  Last night, he invited me over for drinks tonight.  

"Are you available at 5:30?"

"Ah. . . sure.  But, uh. . . I'll be drinking soda water.  I just started my Dry January."

"What?!?  It's not even January yet."

"I know.  I like to get an early start."

So, yea. . . first day of Dry January comes with a nice invitation.  Lying in bed last night, I thought of the travel I might be doing to tropical locales in January, and then I thought of doing that sans alcohol.  Maybe that's why I couldn't sleep.  But it is one month out of the year.  Four weekends.  I don't know.  January seems like a good time for it.  Nobody likes January, I would guess.  It can't be anyone's favorite month in the continental U.S.  It is simply a month to be gotten through.  


I started doing this when I was working.  It was easy then because we all did it.  It was a group thing.  Oh, man. . . we couldn't wait for February.  It was a big laugh.  We'd all hold out our hands to see if we had the tremors.  

I kept doing it when I retired.  It was more difficult then, of course, but I am a pretty disciplined guy.  Yesterday, I found more motivation.  I had to search through old photo files for a picture of me with my stolen camera bag.  This came as a request from the Detective Deckard which I take to be a good sign that maybe they are going to arrest the crooks.  I was having a hard time finding a picture, though.  I looked through many photographs of me over the years.  Holy shit!  Yea, it was good motivation for Dry January.  

I've also cut my calories for this first week to 1,200 a day.  I thought about fasting the first day, but decided a 1,200 calorie diet was good enough.  Breakfast was two eggs and a container of yogurt.  I had a cafe au lais in the afternoon.  Last night was a grilled boneless skinless chicken thigh, some brown jasmine rice, and broccoli.  Easy.  At night, I drank hot ginger tea.  

A few days of this and I'll look like your skinny baby sister.  Ho!

In truth, I doubt I'll lose much weight.  I think a pound a week is normal, so maybe four pounds.  I need to lose twenty, but I don't want to do this for twenty weeks.  If I could run, I'd lose a lot more, but whatever.  We do what we can.  

Now I know I just pissed a lot of people off, if they are anything like me.  Nobody likes a goody two shoes.  A little vice makes a person more attractive.  A Puritan is nothing but a reproach.  People who don't drink are a drag.  So, I know. . . I know.  It's just something I have to do.  

"Why do you do it?" asked the son in law of the woman who hosted Christmas dinner.

"Just to see if I still can." 

That drew a chuckle.  

I don't seem to have the shakes this morning, nor a headache.  Maybe I'm not a drunk after all.  

The other oddity to my first Dry Day was that I had a message from the Liberator creator who is repairing the camera.  When I called him back, he couldn't talk long.

"I'm in a meeting with my buddies," he whispered.

His buddies are his A.A. group.  He has been sober, he says, for twenty years.  Still, he goes to meetings.  Fellowship, I guess.  A sense of purpose and community.  The same thing that made them barflies to begin with, I presume.  I, on the other hand, have never drunk much in bars.  The nights at home alone, however, are problematic.  

I guess I'm not such a social guy.  

The photo at the top of the page--WTF?  Yea, it has nothing to do with Dry January.  I was reading the Times online when I got up and saw an article about the Times' top 59 photos of the year.  I looked through the images.  Not much soul there.  Studio pictures of actors and artists and some reportage that was meant to pull at the old heartstrings.  It was like looking through a 1960's issue of Life Magazine.  

So this photo of Rachel Brosnahan as "Mrs. Maisel" struck me as ironic.  But it was also the only photograph in the bunch that had any depth, I thought.  Is it out of focus, or is it a slow shutter?  Whatever it is, it separates the photograph from the rest of the collection.  It seems almost vernacular.  I may have been swayed by my love of the show, too.  As many accolades as it won, they were not enough.  There was an artistic unity to the five seasons of the show that is hardly matched.  

There was one other photo that I enjoyed.  

 Maybe because it was more audacious than the others, but probably because it is something I might take.  I could do that photo in my sleep.  Hell. . . I could do both of them.  Why the hell am I not famous?  But that isn't what I meant to say.  

It is not yet six.  I am not going back to bed.  I will write a few "letters" and check on some things, then get dressed and go to the Physical Fitness Society.  It will be an especially early start to what I hope to be a productive day, ending with soda water with the neighbors.  They will hate me, I know.  

Wish me luck, if you can.  I am never sure I can make it through the month.  I've never started this early before, but there was no reason not to.  And by god, looking at those photos yesterday was every reason to.  If I can find some gene therapy that will help. . . . 

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