Monday, June 18, 2012

Mr. Mojo Risin'

We watched the most amazing documentary about The Doors this weekend - "When You're Strange" by Tom DeCillo. It was absolutely brilliant, working in home movies and masses of rare concert footage.  We've all seen the Ed Sullivan performance - but to watch some of the lesser known concerts was incredible.

Mr. James Douglas Morrison was every inch the rock star. Charismatic, powerful, unique. And, for some reason, the police seemed to hate that about him.

There were so many scenes of him on stage with the police circling or watching from nearby. In 1969 after apparently "pulling it out" on stage in Miami, he was charged with lewdness and simulating masturbation among other things. Jim had been in trouble with the police before. But the documentary suggested these more serious charges - which caused mass concert cancellations - might've made Jim feel he was no longer invincible.

It was never proven that Jim really flashed what God gave him on stage that night. The documentary had only still shots and audio - and yes, he did have his hand in his pants. And yes, you do hear him say something like: "I know why you came here ... you didn't come here for the music ... you want to see my cock." So Jim was definitely pushing the boundaries. But the cops seemed to have it in for him even before that, circling like so many wolves.

I think authority figures absolutely detested Jim because he absolutely detested authority figures. His dad was in the Navy and, as most Morrison fans know, completely discouraged his interest in music, even writing Jim a letter that stated he had absolutely no talent in that direction. It wasn't until - get this - Jim was dead and buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery along with the likes of Oscar Wilde and Moliere that his father finally came to understand how famous he was. Jim had been pushing his father's buttons - the ultimate authority figure, especially considering his naval training - most of his life. It was natural he'd be able to antagonize the police, too.

At any rate, Jim was in Paris in July of 1971 because he was trying to concentrate on poetry and filmmaking. He wandered through Pere Lachaise Cemetery just weeks before he ended up buried there. He was drinking two or three bottles of whisky a day at the time. Even the documentary suggested that as the other members of the band were cleaning things up, Jim was drinking more and more and that he was often intolerable when he was drunk.

The French death certificate stated that "heart problems were aggravated by the abuse of alcohol, followed by an abrupt change in temperature." (Jim had taken a bath.) It was a really sad, anti-climactic end for an extraordinary soul.

His was the third and final in the Holy Trinity of rock deaths at the time, including Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. All of them were gone within a year. Before he died, Jim was actually known to have said: "You're drinking with number three."

By the way, the Morrison family has purchased Jim's cemetery plot at Pere Lachaise in perpetuity so we can all continue to make that half-drunk university backpacking pilgrimage forever. The Morrisons also bought a steam cleaner for the graveyard - to keep the graffiti down to a minimum. A steam cleaner for  his grave. I wonder what Jim would've thought of that.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Make Mine A Double

I haven't written in a while because I've been working on a writing project I needed to get done! I managed to finish, but I really missed it here. This has become such an important part of my life ... I didn't realize it ....

Anyway, when I talk about 'making mine a double,' in this case I mean taking my two weekly cleanse days in a row.  As I've said, I usually take Tuesday and Thursday off. But with this project I've wanted to be really clear headed and there's absolutely nothing that will get your head clearer faster than simply taking your two off days together.

For the last month I've been taking Wednesday & Thursday off. By the time Friday rolls around, you are literally the way God made you. Innocent and joyous and full of anticipation (for your next drink, among other things). But in the meantime you have really been able to deliver solid work because your focus is just that much better when all-out partying isn't in the mix.

Speaking of which, taking your two off-days in a row means you do get five drinking days straight. By the fifth, seriously, it can get messy. ;) But I've never been more convinced of the two days off a week rule than I am right now, not in all the time I've worked with it. Because after doing a month of double-off days, I really "felt" in my whole being the foundation of this plan and why it works so well.

When you party five days in a row (this excluding your fun weeks, of course) you really NEED two days off to re-set your system. If you're taking your off-days apart, then the most days you could have been drinking in a row, is four. So you only need one to recover.

And when I say recover, yes, sometimes I'm talking about getting over a hangover. Though, I must say, I was extremely responsible this month because of this project. Hangover recovery is short-term. And frankly, sometimes the best cure for a hangover is another drink. At least that's the way it feels.

But what I'm really talking about is the bone-deep, system-wide healing your body constantly needs in order for you to continue to be a "healthy drinker."  This is especially true if you've had a "problem." If you're drinking five days in a row, you'll see that two days off will really help you rebound. Your dopamine production will stay on track. Your liver will thank you. Your psyche will thank you. Because taking two off days is also an emotional gift to yourself. Once you get past morning #1 (and you do that with a smile, a couple of deep breaths and possibly a fantasy about your next drink), you'll see that each hour brings you a sense of joy and well-being. Emotionally and physically. You'll be so freaking happy the third day, that everyone you know will be forcing you to have a drink because your bliss will be pouring out of your system and making them all jealous.

Seriously. There really is a gift to double-off days. Try it every now and again, or when you need extra focus on a particular project or goal. The formula really does work. Five days on? Two days off. Four days on? One day off. As I said, I've never been more convinced of that than I am now.

Btw - it's Tuesday and I believe I'm going back to my one-off day. Just to see. Plus it's a real treat to know that I'm not staring down the barrel of two off-days this morning. Because as I said, if there is a challenge to double-off-days, that's when it is. That first morning.

So breathe. Smile. Be grateful. You've got another drink coming way sooner than you think.