all this performing for other people

dear me,

all this performing for your husband, for other people, it has to stop. what’s clear is that as soon as the husband is away, you stop doing a bunch of things. when he’s here, you plan the meals (mostly) and usually try not to have fish two nights in a row, for example. why? because of how it looks. the good wife does this or that. nothing about the fact that the guy likes fish and when i go out of town the most exciting part for him is he can have it every night without me nagging him with: pork, fish, chicken, beef, vegetarian.

dear me,

arranging yourself to ‘look’ like you’re productive right before he comes home from work is nutty. he is not judging you. you are judging you. he truly doesn’t care. he doesn’t nag that you’re unproductive. that’s your shit. you project your shit on to him. (how nice it must be to be married to me.)

dear me,

all that fussing and angsting about a clean house, and his mess, and wanting clean surfaces. he’s been gone for 48 hrs and what have you done? worked. slept. ran. eaten when hungry (versus ‘preparing the meal’ like it’s some kind of scene in a play about married bliss’). no cleaning in sight. no meals in sight, either. slept late, breakfast at 11 a.m., lunch at 4:30 pm, and dinner at 10:30 pm is sticky rice and mango (yum).

all of the performing to try to look like some kind of person? he doesn’t care, there is no one watching, and there is no relationship meal planning police coming to inspect.

dear me,

delegating things empowers the other person.

dear me,

you’re pretty lazy. that’s ok. just don’t ride him so much when he looks lazy. admit it, sometimes you look around trying to FIND something to be cranky about. admit it.

dear me,

you being sober means that you have the ability to see some of this stuff, whereas when drinking, you didn’t/couldn’t/couldn’t be bothered.

dear me,

the only person you’re trying to impress is yourself, and you’ve put the bar so high that you can’t please yourself AND no one else is judging you, and your mother isn’t watching you. it’s just you. and if you get to set the bar anywhere you like, maybe set it somewhere where you can feel happy about what you’re doing most of the time. there is no ideal person/wife/partner/business owner/sober penpal. there’s just people being people.

dear me,

you should make him go away more often, so that you can have more revelations. you should have more alone time. clearly stuff gets clearer when the noise is removed.

(remove the booze, and then everything gets easier).

i rebel against me.

i’m doing my yearly offline for most of August thing.

and everything is like everything.

there’s a transition, a detox. what do i do with this time now that i’m offline and not glued to my computer. (who am i now that i’m sober.)

how do i unwind without a video game or a tv show or one more trip through facebook. (what do i use to unwind once the booze is gone.)

what’s the point of my life if i don’t get all of my meaning from being online? (who am i once the booze is extracted. once the anaesthesia is removed. how will i interact with friends.)

at first, all the time seems too large. like i’m not my real self. all the things i usually do require an internet connection (all the time i spend in the evenings or with friends requires alcohol.)

when really

it’s about self-care.

naps are fine. healthy food leads to more even moods. running leads to a brighter outlook.

and me? i balk at self-care. i don’t shave my legs, change the sheets, go to bed.

and what would happen to this i feel empty space if i filled it with self-care? shudder.

so yesterday, i did the following: went for a short 17 minute run, shaved my legs, put conditioner in my hair (!), went for a long walk, had a nap, and had a manicure (finally, it’s been 12 years since my last one).

but what does wolfie think i should do? remove the booze (remove the online connection) and wolfie encourages me to just sit here and roll around in how uncomfortable it is.

Why not write longhand.

Why not read or walk or photograph.

Why not cook something new.

Why so inert? Why so uninspired?

Switch to enough sleep. See how that goes. Try different.

I like this new me, I know it suits me. and yet i balk.

i rebel against me.

i resist that which will make me feel better.

can you go to france and not drink?

does it matter where you live? I don’t think so. are there some cities or cultures or places where there is more alcohol? sure, but you might be surprised at how it’s handled.

my experience. not fact.

in the US and in Canada there are whole events that are constructed – it would seem – solely to be places to drink. baseball games. musical ‘festivals’. the local block party will have an area tarped off to provide shelter for stuck together group consumption. where I come from, ‘want to come and watch the game’ means ‘want to come and watch me drink in my basement’. an invitation to play guitar around the campfire means ‘want to come watch me drink near live fire’. Can you attend these events and not drink? of course. they’re just boring. and long.

on my trips to London, i’ve found whole parts of the city that are basically outdoor bars. Drinking in the pub and outside on the street. You come out of a tube station day and night, and there are people drinking everywhere. It’s a sport in itself. It’s an event. can you go out in London and not drink? certainly. I’ve done it. but I’ve also seen one drunk guy trying to get another drunk guy home on the tube. and I had to get up and move to another carriage. drunkenness and public rail transit seems too dangerous to witness up close. I get it, you want them on the subway and not driving. so the message of ‘don’t drink and drive’ should be updated to include ‘don’t fall down the cement steps, don’t step between the train and the platform, don’t try to exit the train while the doors are closing, don’t start to hustle some young girl while her burly borderline personality boyfriend is sitting beside her’.

Can you go to italy and not drink? apparently. I haven’t been back since I quit. Can you go to spain? theoretically. I haven’t done that either. or Amsterdam. some places I have yet to revisit now that i don’t drink, to see what they’re really like. to have the real vacation. which I’ve up to now missed. like I want to redo all these places again, sober. to really be there.

but I have gone to Belgium sober. and all over France. and I’ve been to London and Scotland, Canada, the US. I’ve gone to Portugal sober. one great thing about countries like france, no one would ever ask you why you’re not drinking. way too impolite. you just do your thing. they do theirs. you’re worried about travelling to italy? you can remind wolfie that it’s always easier than you think it’ll be. remind wolfie of the many new brands of fancy water. remind wolfie of the – oh my god – desserts you have to sample. have to. must.

I was more interested in wine-o’clock than I was in life-o’clock

If you’re not on the micro-email list, then you missed this email I sent out last week. It got a LOT of feedback below. Thought I’d share it here today.

~

Saturday April 12th

from me

Mr. Belle and I took a day-trip out of town today. Just got on a train and went ‘over there’ – to walk around, eat greek sandwiches, share pie, sit in the sun, and enjoy being away from home.

The French would say “j’ai profité de l’après-midi” – or, literally, I “profited” from the afternoon. I found benefit. Found something.

I think I found money.

Here’s what happened.

[And this can only happen because I am sober. I am certain of this. When I was drinking I did not think like this. At all.]

So we’re sitting in the sun, drinking tea, eating pie. And I have a flash. Literally a moment of clarity.

Before we left the house this morning, Mr. B had said that he needed new clothes (which is true) and I agreed that I also hadn’t bought anything for months.

And I said to him “I’m sorry. I didn’t count on us being poor.”

I didn’t say this to make him feel guilty. We are in complete agreement that what we’re doing now career-wise is the right thing for us. We could move so that he could find better work, but we’ve decided to stay here and for him to make a go of the self-employed thing. But we’re in our 40s. We were used to being a double-income no-kids family.

So here I am, eating pie in the sun. And that phrase comes out of nowhere, what I’d said this morning, it starts to replay in my head like an audio recording:

“I didn’t count on us being poor.”

And it think, well yes, I guess I did count on it. I mean, I grew up poor. I have in my life started a few one-person companies, and I’ve always earned ‘enough’, but not really super gigantically successful. And frankly, I’ve always considered this to be an improvement on how I grew up.

Like, once you surpass the socioeconomic status of your parents, you can stop.

(And really, looking at how we grew up, that’s honestly not a very high bar.)

So yeah. The pie. The sun. The relaxed-away-from-home moment. I didn’t count on us being poor.

OK, first off, we’re not poor. It’s dumb for me to even say that.

Then I realize – here’s the flash – this is a message that I tell myself that is not based on reality. It’s one of the ‘stories’ that I tell about my life. It’s something that I just ‘say’ but it’s not real. It’s some kind of old, well-ingrained reflex.

And my flash was this:

What if I am in charge of not being poor. What if I am in charge of how great my life is. What if I am not limited by the income my parents made (or didn’t make). What if being sober has provided me with a gift, a space, where I can really and truly put down the backpack of rocks that I’ve been carrying all these years about my ‘poor’ childhood.

Who will I be if I stop telling this story?

Who will I be if I use this sober stretch of life to put down the backpack and do something else, something different.

In my weirdly defensive way, I’ve always said things like “I only work as hard as I have to, to maintain the standard of living that I want, and then I stop. It’s a work-life balance thing.”

It sounds good.

That sounds like noble poverty, doesn’t it.

But is that even true?

Or is it more likely that I’ve stopped myself right at the edge, every single time in my life, over and over. I’ve stopped myself from going further. Because I’ve set the bar too low. On purpose.

You know, in the past I was always more interested in wine-o’clock than I was in life-o’clock.

And today, I had the first really clear flash that it could be different. That I can be different. Sobriety has given me a gift of clarity.

Sorry. Long email. And for some reason this seems too personal to put on the blog just yet, so I’m sending it by email instead. Weird. Yeah.

What about you? What’s in your backpack of rocks that you’ve been carrying around that you could put down? What have you been carrying for a long time, that’s not even true, that sobriety could help you fix/uncover/resolve/grow?

I think for me it’s uncovered an assumed level of noble poverty. I “profited” from the afternoon. Holy. Can’t stand my own jokes.

~

Happy Day 50 to The Duchess!

Happy Day 50 to Fernie!

Happy Day 50 to Chavez!

Happy Day 50 to need2stop4real!

Happy Day 100 to Fit Fat Food!

Happy Day 100 to HeatherS!

Happy Day 100 to Alicia!

Happy Day 100 to Maria-Anne!

Happy Day 100 to Anna-Lisa!

Happy Day 100 to Kzee!

Happy Day 100 to abwalsh!

Happy Day 100 to ChrisAlys!

Happy Day 123 to SJP!

Happy Day 180 to Jec is Corked!

Happy Day 200 to Anna!

Happy Day 200 to Jocelynn!

 

 

what am i distracting myself from? my great sober life?

one of the things that i do when i’m at home on vacation, is i limit my computer time. i set up a schedule and i stick to it. why? reasons! like with lots of things, if there are no parameters, i find myself in front of my computer all day doing just about nothing, including playing video games, reading articles that don’t interest me, checking facebook, and then cycling back around again in an ADHD kind of loop: email, facebook, video game, bad tv, email, facebook, game.

this is part of the reason why i don’t have a physical TV. i would just turn it on and then i’d watch whatever was there. Honey i shrunk the kids, Clean sweep, Trading spaces, Littlest people weddings … and it’s not like i can just watch tv and be happy about it, either, i have to berate myself the whole time: “this is ridiculous, why are watching this, you should be doing x or y, finish this show and then turn it off, oh you just wasted an entire afternoon.”

so about 10 years ago i got rid of the tv. i still watch shows online, but individual chosen shows, not just “turn it on and see what’s there for hours.”

i’m the same with online stuff. Yes, i use the computer for work, and work has office hours. but i work from home. so i could be ever-on. and when on vacation, i could fill up my time in front of the screen instead of actually ‘vacationing’ (reading, making a puzzle, playing cards).

so for vacations (summer/winter) when i’m at home, i institute a computer rule. my particular rules are: i can be online until 12 noon every day, then turn it off, with only a half-hour at 6 pm to check in, and then off again until morning. If i sleep in, then i get less time … My husband is as bad as i am with online distractions, so he does this on vacation too.

yesterday, i got up, had bfast, caught up on all my emails from the 3 days christmas vacation away, wrote a blog post, prepared the micro email, got all the envelopes ready to mail bracelets and necklaces, and sent an email to my cardiologist. I wanted to record an audio, but i was out of time. at 12:04 pm my husband was standing in the doorway of the office saying “it’s time!” … i literally ran out of time to list all of the happy sober celebrations for Team 100 lovelies. Maybe i missed mentioning you. and you saw that i left you out. and you felt sad and a bit pissed. please know that i didn’t do it on purpose 🙂 please know that my husband is trying to help me stay the fuck off the computer while on vacation.

please understand that moderation in all things ‘compulsive’ is hard work. it’d be easier to give up online time entirely. (i don’t have a portable/cell/pda/ipad for just this reason). please know that setting limits and living within them is hard. it’s easier to have none (no booze). it’s easier to have none (no tv). and it’s a challenge to do what i want to do in the time allotted online each day. why? well, because i’m like everyone else here. i have more ideas on what i want to do than there is time. i know you can relate 🙂

so let me sign off with this. yesterday, after i turned off the computer at noon, i went and ordered 10 kg of bergamot lemons (hooray), i bought my fancy salon shampoo (finally), i picked up lunch from the bakery. i came home, had lunch, drank tea, read my book. i did two loads of laundry. i cleaned up the bedroom and unpacked my luggage from the trip. i finished one book and started a new one. i tried to make bread like we’d had on vacation. i made a list of all the things i wanted to do online beginning at 6 pm (including finding a new recipe for kugelhopf bread, the first recipe didn’t work well).i roasted a chicken and made mashed potatoes with cranberries (delayed christmas dinner). i had a shower. i played cards with my husband. we watched one hour of one tv show (on the laptop, in bed, no wifi). then i slept 10.5 hours.

what gets done when i turn off the computer/tv? everything else! the house is cleaner. i read more. i definitely sleep more (and better). we’re more likely to go for a walk after dinner if there’s no online distraction waiting.

distractions. hmm.

what am i distracting myself from? my great sober life?

Happy day 180 to Stacey!

Happy day 100 to Debbie!

Happy day 50 to Liberte!

Happy day 50 to Ozgal!

i need a shero (bonnie tyler?)

Hana (day 65):

Hope you’re having a wonderful vacation! Just listened to your prerecorded Christmas Open Call … great audio, I laughed, nodded, said yes to your questions, and even cried a bit toward the end. It’s the holidays so we can be emotional right? (: I loved how you mentioned not drinking in Sonoma, and talked a ton about yellow food, shot down the idea that when we act badly while intoxicated it’s our real selves, and the courage of those on the call was huge… Good, good stuff!!! Thanks for being you, this was really, really helpful as I wade through the seemingly endless holidays. This is hard shit but ya I’m proud to be sober, big time!

Erinup (day 173): 

“Things I learned on my first non-pregnant, over 21, sober Christmas.

— wrapping gifts at 11:30 on Christmas Eve is much easier sober.  Mostly because I remember where I hid everything and I am not falling asleep while trying to wrap.

— waking up on Christmas morning and being excited to see the kiddies open their gifts is better without a hangover. Better meaning it doesn’t even compare!

— arguing with the mother-in-law on Christmas day is much better when I don’t have to worry if I overreacted, said something I’ll regret — or even worse said something I won’t remember.  For the record: in previous years I thought she was being a bitch, but then I thought maybe I was being over sensitive because I was drinking. Nope, she’s a bitch.

— getting sick from food poisoning on Christmas night sucks, but it is better getting sick and not thinking or having other people think that the real reason is that I drank too much.

Nothing monumental, but everything was better.  Better =  easier, clearer, happier.”

Lynda (is it 38 years sober? or 39?):

“I’m beyond thrilled that you have sold out all the [new necklaces]. So many people are benefitting from your blog and its accoutrements — words on page, audio words, jewelry to keep our intentions in the front of our actions, emails to bolster when we’re feeling low, open calls so we can all hear each other if we want to speak out… You are amazing. Keep up the inimitable work you are doing that is keeping you clean and sober and dragging many hundred people with you. I have needed a new hero and you are the ONE !~! Shero Belle.”

Happy 200 days to Trish!

Happy 200 days to Patricia!

Happy 180 days to Beckie!

Happy 180 days to Emm Ce!

Happy 150 to Sharon!

Happy 150 to Erin-Kay!

Happy 150 to Jennifer!

Happy 100 days to Happier Like This!

Happy 100 days to NoWine4Me!

Happy 100 days to Emily!

Happy 100 days to Cat Girl!

Happy 100 days to Julieanne!

Happy 100 days to Carol!

Happy 50 days to Caro!

Happy 50 days to Norman!

Happy 50 days to Annabelle!

Happy 50 days to Ginger Funk!

Happy 50 days to Primrose!

facing things head on

I recorded a podcast today about having a sober Christmas. Thanks to Momma Bee (18) for the idea.

Last year was my first sober christmas, and like our first sober anything, it was a bit weird. This year we’re going to be in a hotel room on christmas day, so that’s a pretty big routine-change. It means no tree this year, no baking, no big meal, and no Christmas Eve or Boxing Day catering (phew!). It means, instead, i’ll be having my favourite kind of adventure: a vacation in a new place. Lots to look at, see, photograph, explore. And no kitchen, no baking, no cooking, no food prep, no cleaning out cupboards, no recipe testing. Oh and the apartment we’re renting has a TV. that’ll be a treat in itself 🙂

The key for me is to continuously create new routines that support me — do things, create things, set up things that make me feel better. Sometimes that means showering before 5 pm (!). But it also means (in future) going to the doctor sooner so that i don’t worry as much. It means dealing with things as they come up rather than stalling, procrastinating, waiting.

When i was drinking, i just let EVERYTHING slide – paperwork, trips to the dentist, paying my taxes. I was just too fucking lazy to do anything. (Well, i was too boozy after 6 pm to do anything.) Now that i’m sober, i’m slowly figuring out how to get things done.

and some of what i’m learning (this week anyway with my heart thing) is about facing things head on.Note to Belle: don’t be avoidant. just deal with it. call the doctor to ask a follow-up question. Wake up my husband at 5 a.m. if i feel weepy (which i did on tuesday). He said some amazingly supportive things and i could nearly cry now in writing this to describe the relief he gave me at 5 a.m.

Here I am now on saturday evening, symptoms 95% resolved, feeling better than i’ve felt in about 6 weeks. The brain space that was occupied with even 8% worrying, is now gone. Yes i could get squished by a car tomorrow. but my mortality can happily go back into the background again. where it belongs.

and lemme tell you, anticipatory anxiety is such an energy-sucker. worrying about impending doom is just sooooo depressing and never-ending. Just like putting off going to the doctor is crazy-making. Just like letting things slide (in some cases too long) is a kind of self-torture. Just like worrying about christmas instead of taking steps to ensure a good one is a recipe for disaster.

Look, it’s november 9th. lots of time between now and December 25th to get some new strategies in place to ensure that we are (I am) taking good care of ourselves. You and me both. Let me know if you want me to post an extract from the christmas sober podcast.

PS/ And yes, i’m taking it easy. i have a frozen lasagne in the oven as we speak. i haven’t cooked anything since thursday. i did shower before 5 pm. i went for a small walk to buy chocolate.

From my inbox:

Brett (day 3): “Belle, Zenmeg’s e-mail really hit home for me.  I struggle so much with finding happiness.  I think that’s why it’s so hard for me when I pass by others laughing and enjoying a glass of wine.  I immediately think it’s the wine that’s making them happy.  But it isn’t, and that realization is a wondrous yet terrifying revelation for me.  If it’s not the wine, then, ultimately, these people are just genuinely happy?  I have been turning to wine searching for happiness for so long, and it’s not there.  So that means I have an awful lot of work to do, to undo the wine = happiness fallacy and to redefine happiness for what it truly is.  The problem is, I don’t know what that is yet.  But I have a teeny little positive voice in my head that tells me someday I will find out…”

Matt S (12): “Every time I get here I start thinking about moderation also. It is such a mirage, such a myth. It’s like when you are in a fancy store and you wonder aloud how much something is because the price isn’t marked and your friend tells you ‘If you have to ask it means you can’t afford it’…. Moderation is the same way, if you find yourself thinking about it, it means you can’t do it.”

I’m in control of my energy, how much i have, and how much fun I have in my life.

I’ve just done catering for 7 hrs straight, finally finished, need to shower, I smell like a bagel.  a very good toasty bagel with cream cheese.  but a bagel nonetheless. That’s what happens when you have a convection fan oven. You open the door and “poof” you’re enveloped in a cloud of BAGEL. My skin literally smells like food.

I was just looking through my learning log and found this from 2 years ago.  It seems somehow appropriate for me to post this today.  It’s me talking to me.  And maybe I need to hear it again today. You?

August 20, 2011
(I had just spent the entire month of August learning to make bread.  The next month (Sept 2011) I started doing paid catering, so this was written just before I started.)

…I’m able now to create lovely loaves of bread with North American flour using NA recipes, and with foreign flour using foreign recipes. … Soon I’ll learn how to make bagels and cinnamon rolls with foreign ingredients.  But one thing at a time.

This lovely success set off a thought pattern of “what if i sold lots of bread? What do i need to know about doing some kind of catering thing ” — the thoughts of which i found very exciting! I spent a few hours yesterday online doing research, looking at recipes, brainstorming an “office-delivery-sandwich” business … then the next time I looked up it was 2 pm.

I realized i was getting spinny, too excited … and then it QUICKLY turned into overwhelm “there’s so much to learn, i could never do this, there are too many details, what about the health regulations, oh my language skills here aren’t good enough to do this …”

Then i heard a voice. Unfortunately it was my voice (hate it when that happens). And my voice said: that’s enough for now.

So i turned off the computer, showered (at 2 pm!), went out for a walk to the library, got a bunch of mindless reading, sat outside for an hour and read in the sun, came home and did the dishes, made supper, folded laundry.

The catering research will be there again tomorrow, and the next day.

If i get burnt out now, i won’t keep going, and i’ll take a good idea and i’ll literally kill it with too much attention, i’ll turn it into ‘work’ instead of fun.

[NOTE: this is like in early sobriety when we try to achieve too many things at the same time (like losing 30 pounds) … and then we get overwhelmed and say ‘fuck it’.]

With the catering, I’m more enthusiastic now to “save” my excitement — to think about the bread / sandwich making for only a little bit of time each day. [To plan for the future, but realize that the planning is most of the fun, and so i don’t want to get tired of it! Plan for the future but don’t get so hung up on trying to achieve it all right now.]

I get to spread out the exciting parts of this adventure (like making Christmas morning last for weeks and months instead of being over in 90 minutes).

I improve my chances that I’ll succeed by not burning out [and trying to do too much at the same time] and I’ll improve my chances of ‘keeping going’ because i’ll just deal with little bits of problems at a time, not trying to solve all of life’s problems in one-go.

I’m in charge of overdoing it, and I’m in charge of getting the help I need to remove roadblocks. I’m in charge of whether I choose to follow the advice of those who’ve been there before me. [gee, parallels with sobriety aren’t hard to spot here.]

Time to run, listen to NPR podcasts, and get home in time for Mr. B to make me bfast.

anyway, as I’m on the 2-year anniversary of starting the catering business today, this seemed like a good thing for me to read.  I’m still in charge of me.  I’m driving my own sober car. I get to do everything I want to do —– just not all at once!

[so if you’re a bit frustrated about progress, or timing, or why does this part take so long, maybe also be kind to yourself. And look that you’re not trying to do too much at the same time. You know what I mean?]

How’s that for a long post about almost nothing?

 

practising saying NO … to these people, to these places

From my inbox:

Paula (day 42):  Been working my ass off here. Not complaining, because I like it. I’ve been sleeping really good, like through the night. I’m not good at the whole counting sober days thing which I think is a good thing. I’m curious as to where I am but not drudging through each day. The first 10 days or so were tough. Now I feel like I’ve pretty much picked up where I left of with my [previous] long stretch of sobriety. But in a way it’s different this time.

Sobriety was very important to be before but now I feel gifted or something. Sobriety feels almost magic this time. I have truly learned that having a couple of years under my belt doesn’t make me immune to myself and my destructive behaviors. I can’t stress enough how terrifying that loss of control was to me. Especially after KNOWING [what a period of sobriety was like]. For me, looking at myself drinking, was like watching myself from above walking in front of a train. I truly felt unconnected and, shall we say, possessed. Possessed by some idiot who was trying to destroy me.

… This recent battle [to get sober again] removed any doubt in my mind (which already should have been removed) that I am addicted to alcohol. I am a fucking addict. This is dangerous shit and I don’t want to play around it. It will fucking kill me, there is no doubt in my mind.

Thank you Belle, for being there and believing in me, when I didn’t believe in myself. Luv, Paula

From me:

I’m now entering week #2 of working from a remote location, and i have to say i kind of like it. I really love vacations… lots of sunny, outside, walking around. Eating divine breakfasts and the best sandwiches. There are some things in North America that you just can’t get in Europe, and i’m trying to enjoy all of it while we’re here (and i’ve bought some supplies to take back with us, like plain Cheerios, baking powder, maple syrup, and ziplock bags).

This is my first time being sober and visiting a place where we used to live. It’s haunting, in that as I walk around, i think “i used to drink there, i had drinks there, remember the night at that place?”

The first few days were a bit disorienting, and I preferred to limit my time ‘out’ and stay in our rental home a bit more. To be fair, I’m enjoying being in a large home with two levels and a yard! it’s really a vacation for us compared to our tiny (darkish) european accommodations sans yard. I keep saying “i could live HERE” meaning in this house, if not ever again in this city …

Now that we’re into the second week, i’m doing better. It’s like i hadn’t yet practised saying ‘no’ here, to these people, to these places, and as we go along i realize that it’s fine. I may have an uncomfortable minute or series of minutes, but it’s fine. One great realization is that i have much less tolerance for stupidly expensive fancy trendy restaurants. Once you remove the $50 bottle of ‘vacation’ wine (“oh, we’re on vacation, oh this is a nice place, oh this is an ‘event'” (not to be confused with yesterday’s ‘event’)) – yeah once the booze is removed, those trendy places are just expensive and unnecessary. I’m happier with a really good pulled pork sandwich with tangy BBQ sauce that costs $8.

Happy 100 days to Shel & Tammy!

I’ve asked them both to share how it ‘feels’ to be on day 100, so stay tuned for updates from them 🙂

Team 100 update: Welcome to new members Pete (6), TV (4), Rob, June, Kathleen & Olivia (3), Irish Eileen (63), and Beckie (9).

“Gin and tonic?” No … tonic.

went out for the same shitty chicken dinner.  i ordered tonic to go with my quarter chicken meal.”i’ll have a tonic please.”

And the waitress is like “gin and tonic?”

me: “no. tonic.”

“You want perrier or soda?”

“no i want tonic … just tonic… in a glass with a piece of lime. and a straw.”

oh those weird tourists, they ask for the strangest things.

Then i stopped at the store and bought regular cheerios (we don’t have them in europe), and a big 24-pack of tonic in cans …

Hey, i’ve got 2 cans in the freezer right now.

yeah. that’s me. chilling my tonic.  Living on the wild side…