Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jell-O Bells

Okay ... to be honest, I'm more the pop and pour type of drinker. Except for the odd kir royale for special occasions, I don't get very experimental in the cocktail department at home. And seeing as kir royale only has two ingredients - bubbly and creme de cassis - that doesn't make me a superstar bartender.

But I couldn't resist at least watching this YouTube demo and dreaming about a day when I'm ambitious enough to collect five or six ingredients together and then spend two hours assembling them into one of the most gorgeous cocktails I've ever seen!! Christmas Jell-O Shots.


Brought to us by the geniuses at Drink Lab, an Australian company that specializes in schmancy cocktails, this one will surely impress even the most fussy guests at your holiday get-togethers. Plus if you have one too many, you can't spill 'em!! Bonus! ;)

Speaking of spirits, did you know that Jingle Bells - that innocent Christmas standard - was actually a drinking song? The 'one-horse open sleigh' thing was really about a Justin Bieber-type drag race - only with horse carriages in the snow, not rental Lambo's in Miami. ;) Check it out!

I'm off to do Aunt Duty now, trying to find the last Elsa doll in the city for my niece. If you see me  looking harried, worried and stressed, Jell-O shots (or any facsimile thereof) much appreciated!

p.s. Loving this no cleanse days this, btw! 'Tis the season!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tis the Season!

Another hangover-free Sunday morning!! Yayy!! Good thing, too. With the holidays coming up.

The whole rationale behind the Cleanse System was to make my life more enjoyable - not less. As I started developing the plan, I realized it seemed self-punishing taking cleanse days during the holidays when everyone else is in party mode and it gets harder to organize your schedule. So part of the plan has always been: no cleanse days during the holidays!!

(Unless of course, you're on your long cleanse. You want to finish the full six months sober. It's not impossible! My first long cleanse went through the holidays and into the New Year - and you know what? It was fine!! Plus my skin looked way better in the Christmas pics. Plus I won all the family Trivial Pursuit games because everyone else was too drunk to remember their own names, let alone anything else.)

Anyway, the break-free break ends up being somewhere between 2-3 weeks (depending on when Christmas falls and when your normal cleanse days are). But as much of a perk as it is, it doesn't mean you should get plastered every night until after the New Year's Eve decorations fall down on their own. It's about enjoying the holidays like a 'normal' person - not ending up in a drunk tank. So be reasonable and look after yourself!

btw I wanted to sign off saying Cheers and Happy Holidays and whatnot!! :) But that song "Christmas Shoes" just came on the radio. You know where the little boy is buying shoes for his mom in case she 'meets Jesus' tonight? Oh God, like the most depressing holiday song ever. But for some reason I love it. If you feel like getting choked up - just to balance all the happy hullabaloo of the holidays - here ya go! With 5 million plus YouTube hits, it's tugged at the heartstrings of quite a few Scrooges I bet! (And it's only a film school vid!)



Sunday, December 7, 2014

On Helplessness

Lovely Sunday morning out there, a little milder than normal and very sunny. And I'm not hung over! Yayyyy!! ;)

I changed my cleanse days this week so we could go out for dinner with some old friends on Tuesday. I usually take Tuesday and Thursday as my non-drinking days. Just to make sure I could have wine with dinner, I switched my off-days to Monday and Wednesday.

Usually I avoid taking Monday as a cleanse day. I like the idea of softly parachuting down into the week. ;) But you know what? It was great to start Monday, like a Monday. I felt I had a better handle on the week. It was nice to go out on a Tuesday and enjoy wine with dinner & catching up.  Plus I just loved the idea that the weekend unofficially began on Thursday. The way every weekend used to for me as a kid. Of course, that turned into weekends beginning on Wednesday, then Tuesday ... then, well. It was eventually just one long weekend.

More than anything, I really loved the change. I think that's one of the biggest benefits to this system. Being able to change things up. It gives you a feeling of - for lack of a better word - control.

Control. That's a big thing to enjoy after thrashing around without it for so many years. It's funny - it's been almost twelve years since I started cleansing, but I still remember the way things were so clearly. Anyway, in The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind Twelve Step Programs and the Rehab Industry, Dr. Lance Dodes makes reference to that. He's now debunked 12-steps and rehab quite thoroughly. Including making light fun of 'equine therapy' at expensive rehab facilities. I sort of get his point. I love horses as much as the next person - even more - but am not sure how equipped they are to treat addiction. I'd love it if they could. It would be fun - if I wasn't allergic to them, that is.

Dr. Dodes is a Harvard professor and psychologist with 25 years experience treating addiction. Full disclosure here, he'd probably think I was bananas with this 'system.' It's pretty clear from this book that he feels the only way to really treat addiction properly is through individualized counseling with a registered therapist. Go figure. ;)

If you can afford therapy, or if it's covered by your insurance, I'd totally recommend it. Not necessarily for working through addiction problems, though I'm sure a good therapist could help tremendously. But professional counseling can help with many challenges in life. I think I've mentioned before that seeing a clinical psychologist in my late twenties was one of the most important things I've ever done. To tell yourself that you deserve to be happy and to go out and take a concrete step toward it is a really liberating thing for people with ... ahem, issues. ;) (i.e. most of us!)

But I can also tell you that I haven't undergone any kind of professional treatment these last eleven years (for better or worse!), so it's possible for at least some people to get control of their drinking without it.

There's that word again. Control. The word A.A. doesn't like to use when it comes to alcohol. The opposite of control - I think in general - is helplessness, isn't it? Well, that came up again and again in Dode's book. When he's counseling addicts - alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, whatever - the issue that seems to be at the heart of most of their problems is a feeling of 'helplessness.' Helplessness overcomes them for one reason or another and they reach for a fix to deal with it.

I completely agree with that. I've never heard it put quite that way before, but when I've tried to think what I was really feeling emotionally back then it was utter helplessness. I couldn't seem to help that I drank too much at night. Or all day by myself. I couldn't seem to help waking up in the morning and having no idea what happened the night before. I couldn't help myself! That lack of control was terrifying. It's as if somebody else has kidnapped you for the night.

Cleansing - and all the elements of the plan together - helped give me back control over that aspect of my life. I know sometimes - maybe a lot of times - I come off as Pollyanna, super-positive, cleansing makes your life perfect kind of thing. It doesn't. No. I still feel pretty helpless about a lot of things. Like getting older. Or dealing with crazy decisions I've made in my life (like quitting my day job to follow my dream of becoming a novelist. Hey! Great idea, Sher!)

** as an aside ** still waiting to hear back from my old agent about my new novel, btw ... She doesn't know this, but we did not have a single sober meeting or phone call when we were together. That's just how bad my drinking was back then. Yikes. btw sometimes I regret/question/fear the time this blog has taken me away from 'following my dream.' But I feel compelled to do it. I really do. I've always loved self-help and frankly, have gotten a lot from it over the years. So I'm not surprised there's that aspect to my personality as well. Especially since I'm so convinced cleansing can help people like me ...**

Anyway, as I said, alcohol cleansing can't solve everything. It won't help you win the lottery. It won't put a yacht in that slip down at the marina. But what it can do - at least what it's done for me - is take the helpless feeling over alcohol off your plate. Meaning you can have a drink (or a few) on a Saturday night and wake up feeling happy - not helpless - on Sunday morning. It's a small thing. But it's a huge thing. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Good News!

Here's a little more information about how and why that reheated pasta trick can help keep you slimmer. I just think it's so brilliant, it bears repeating. Especially since I'm not sure I explained the link between excess blood sugar and weight gain well enough.

The main reason reheating pasta can help keep you slimmer is because the body treats the sugars in reheated carbs more like resistant starches. This means less sugar in your blood - and it's the excess sugar in your bloodstream that gets stored as fat. For more info, here's a great article by Kris Gunnars: 4 Ways Sugar Makes You Fat.

And here's some more good news! Even though you might be a heavy drinker, you're probably NOT an alcoholic! Yay! Cheer! Yayyy!!

According to a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of all heavy drinkers do not qualify as alcoholics. The study was conducted on 138,100 American adults and found that only 10% of heavy drinkers can actually be classified as having the 'disease' of alcoholism (quotes added). This could have far-reaching implications for the treatment of alcoholism. Though the experts still warn that drinking too much can cause other health problems besides addiction ... so don't celebrate tooooo much k? ;) Here's more on the study from Medical Daily  and The Guardian.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Skinny Sketti?

Totally back in the swing of things!!

However, angels were not singing for me Saturday morning. No, they'd called in their evil cousins the Hangover Demons to throw garbage cans and rolling pins at the metal walls they spent all morning building around my bedroom. Whoa. Idiot, idiot, idiot.

Some friends invited us for dinner Friday night and the wine just kept flowing. Now I know - I KNOW - that you should always take it easy coming off a cleanse. But I didn't want to be an ungrateful guest, after all. (Ha!) Actually, I stupidly didn't even consider how close I was to ending my cleanse and I definitely overindulged. Unfortunately, I paid for it Saturday morning. And Saturday afternoon ... Ugh.



It's truly amazing how quickly your system adjusts and your tolerance levels change after a cleanse. So always remember - even if you have to put a temporary tattoo on your partner's face - take it easy coming off a cleanse! No matter what!

On a happier note, I'm having spaghetti for breakfast this morning!!

Bizarre, I know. But I love spaghetti any time - and often have leftover pasta for breakfast. I eat so much of this carb-rich treat, in fact, that it's sometimes hard for me to believe my BMI is about 19. (Yah, yah, I know - have a burger, right?!!) I'm not saying I don't have a health conscious diet, I do - but I recently learned that there may be another factor at work that allows me to chow down on so much sketti without busting the scale.

The scientist/slash/producers/slash/geniuses at BBC's Trust Me, I'm A Doctor have stumbled upon what I think is the miracle of the century. No, maybe the biggest miracle in the whole history of the world! Forget fire. Forget the wheel. Forget red wine being good for you or the parting of the Red Sea. Those are all small potatoes compared to this breakthrough: You can make pasta less fattening!

The trick is cooling it completely in the fridge. Just chilling pasta significantly reduces the impact of it on your blood sugar levels. But refrigerating it, then reheating it again takes out another 50% of the sugar load!!

For some reason - and the experts aren't quite sure why yet - cooling and reheating pasta, rice or any other simple carb makes it behave more like a resistant starch in your tummy. In other words, the body treats it more like bananas, beans or raw oats. You get the fiber, nutrition and the satiety of the treat - without the high spike to your blood sugar that simple carbs usually cause. Meaning it'll be much better for your waistline and general health, even reducing the risk of diabetes.

That's what makes so much sense to me. I'd say 50-75% of the pasta I eat is leftover and reheated from the night before. And I've been doing this all-my-life. Which might explain why it's been a pretty guilt-free indulgence for me.

Now not everyone can stomach sketti first thing in the morning. I get that! But why not take a container to work with you and reheat it for lunch? Or boil it earlier in the day, store it in the fridge and reheat for dinner. Why, the possibilities are endless!! And when it comes to pasta, that's a great thing.

Try to have some protein with it, too, though k? Protein always helps you stay feeling full longer.  I also swear by Catelli Smart Pasta. It's a light and delicious semolina pasta, just like your best friend's Italian mother used to make for you when you went to their house for dinner as a kid, but with the added benefit of oat hull, it has 8 grams of fiber per serving! Speaking of miracles. (If Catelli isn't available in your area, look for other fiber-enriched brands like Dream Fields or Ronzoni. There are quite a few on the market now.)


 ** Insert pretty photo of someone else's food here ** ;)


And if that's not enough ... keep in mind that carbohydrate-rich foods can help reduce the cravings associated with alcohol withdrawal. So it's really good on a cleanse - or even cleanse days. Just skip the wine on those days. And if you're having pasta for breakie, that's probably a good idea too. (Probably.)

For more info on this miracle or miracles, there's more info here @ Telegraph.co.uk and Medical Daily.com.

You're welcome! ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cue the Angels!

The cleanse is OVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!! YAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!

I grabbed that bottle of vino bianco I didn't open my last night of drinking (was it really a month ago?!!) and put it in the fridge to chill yesterday. Looking forward to popping it with brunch. I LOVE the idea of starting and ending a cleanse on a Sunday btw. This is the first time I've done it, but it feels perfect. Somehow, it seems as if you don't have as many full weekends to endure without drinking. ;) I think Sunday may be the stop/start for many cleanses to come.

Anyway, on Friday, I went out for my last mandatory wine-less lunch for the next five months! Though, honestly, lunch with Alisha is often wine-less because she doesn't drink. Which is amazing because I think I've mentioned that I've had friends in the past I couldn't even converse with if we weren't permanently scarring our livers together.

I meant to tell you, she got me the most incredible birthday gift this year and it made my cleanse so much easier and more enjoyable.

I've been a huge fan of David's Tea for years. I usually have their Organic Detox on hand during a cleanse, but this time I didn't need it. Because A. got me this incredible gift set from David's called Sweet Indulgence.

It includes twelve different teas with incredible flavors like Chocolate RocketMango Madness and Vanilla Orchid. I loved them all! Even found some new favorites. There was a great selection of types of tea, too - black, white and everything in between, including more exotic varieties like pu'erh and oolong. What's more, all teas are packed with anti-oxidants and phytochemicals, so they're actually good for you.

The tag-line for this delectable set is 'Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth' and they definitely got that right. Most of the teas were calorie-free, with one or two coming in at a whopping 10 calories. Yet, even without honey (they didn't need it!), they were SO delicious. Like dessert in a cup.

It was actually fun deciding which one I wanted to brew next. I had at least two cups a day, sometimes more. And there were so many flavors I couldn't get sick of them if I tried. I totally recommend this set if you're cleansing. Or even if you're just trying to shed a pound or two so that your skinny jeans don't threaten your reproductive future. Because this is a whole lot of yummy for zero payback in the fat/carb/calorie department.

Now I know I might seem a bit gushy for nothing more than tea, but finding healthy delicious substitutes for alcohol on a cleanse is a huge help. So thanks, A!! :)

(This is a Canadian company btw, but they ship to the U.S. And if you're elsewhere in the world, contact them @ David's Tea.com. Maybe you can 'sweet' talk your way into an order!)

btw I got so much work done on my witch novel this cleanse! I even started working on the sequel. Somehow I also found the (sober) courage to reach out to my old agent about it. For a million reasons, it just felt like the right thing to do. When we were together - twelve years ago - I hadn't started cleansing yet. In fact, I was at my very worst. Meaning I was drunk every single time we got together. Not falling down drunk (I saved that for when I got home). But I had definitely left 0.08 BAC way behind. Here's hoping we have a sober - or at least, less drunk ;) - future together ... I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for following the cleanse! I hope you're doing well! Stay tuned because with a little tweaking - including adding this info about the Sweet Sensations tea collection - the cleanse e-book is almost ready too! :)

So as I said, CUE THE ANGELS!!

(Here are some real-life angels singing 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.' I know it may be tad early for carols, but I'm feeling in the holiday spirit today!! Obvi!)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 21 - "Thanks Alcohol!"

omg - Day 21 is a huge milestone, one of the most welcome of the entire cleanse: 3/4 of the way through! One measly week left to go! Now is the time you start realizing how great life can be. ;)

Honestly, I have no complaints about this cleanse. It's been one of the easiest ever. I know I was quite fatigued for the first few days, probably partly because of the move, but it passed quickly and I've had tons of energy, clarity and positivity ever since.

It's also been great being in a new place. All the old habits are gone. Where you used to shop for alcohol, where you used to store alcohol, where you used to drink it - from pub patios to your living room - all memories. I think it's going to be very healthy for me to develop a whole new drinking pattern in the new place. So if you're having trouble controlling your drinking and don't want to cleanse ... consider moving. ;)

Alberta has just started running some controversial - and pretty hilarious - ads aimed at curbing binge drinking among youth. The campaign is called "Thanks Alcohol!" Little cartoon captions show everything from a young couple lying awkwardly in bed next to each other the morning after to a dude puking on a girl's dress. The caption of course - a thumbs up and "Thanks Alcohol!"

’Thanks alcohol’ anti-binge drinking ads hit Alberta

Hilarz!! However, Dr. Louis Francescutti a professor at the University of Alberta, author and public speaker, is doubtful it will have a positive effect on binge drinking among young adults. Not only because binge drinking is so entrenched in youth culture, but also because people under 24 are basically incapable of thinking long term - especially when it comes to their health.

(Ahhh. Fond sigh. I remember those days well. Sorta.)

For more info - and a few laughs - check out this article from the Edmonton Sun and ThanksAlcohol.com. Here's hoping the campaign helped a few kids avoid getting their stomachs pumped after Halloween parties last night. Because you don't want to be thanking alcohol for that.

btw no crazy Halloween parties for me this year - obvi. But I can toast the ghosts next week ... cuz only 7 days left to go!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 14 - Autumn Nights

Ok - super special milestone day. The halfway mark of the cleanse. I find the last two weeks go by much faster than the first two, so that's a real bonus. :)

I mentioned my niece last time. A sweeter angel has never drawn breath (though it's a tie with her big brother - both my godchildren, too).

Anyway, my niece loves pink. She loves princesses. She loves clothes - even shoes!! However, at just three-years-old, she's an absolute speed demon. If she's on a swing, she has to go 'higher! higher!' If she's on her bike, she has to go 'faster! faster!' She's basically a pint-sized Danica Patrick. 

Because I'm on my cleanse, our last visit to see them was not a non-stop wine day - which family visits usually are. (Yay!) I brought a Red Bull, in case my energy flagged, but I didn't even need it. My energy is right back on track, btw. I drank water - and only water - alllll day and night. :)

I spent most of the afternoon out in the backyard with the kids, using every type of bubble blower imaginable. Big, little, long, short. Then came supper and the kids calmed down - I thought, for the rest of the evening.

But as the adults took to the living room to enjoy their wine, Aunt Sheri was begged to go back outside. Since I cannot say 'no' to them - unless there's actual bodily harm involved - I put on a hoodie and scarf and went back out into the ch-chilly darkness. More running around, more laughing, more playing, more games.

We could barely see each other in the darkness, but I couldn't resist staying out there with them for hours. It reminded me so much of being young this time of year, late October. There's a special feeling to it. The school year is still fresh - but the novelty has worn off so you feel ultra-cool. Halloween is coming up which is always exciting for kids. The grownups are inside getting drunk. You hear their muffled laughter and see their shadows peeking out the window at you. But you're out with your brother or your sister or your cousins or your friends, not listening to anyone call you back. Squeezing all the fun out of a chilly autumn night as you can. And I'm not talking about being a teenager when fall nights start being about flirting, smoking - and, of course, drinking. I'm talking about that innocent younger stage. When staying out playing silly games in the dark was enough.

I'm not sure if I would have had the energy - or the desire - to do that if I had been drinking. I'm not fond of the feeling of wine sloshing in my stomach unless there's a dance floor involved. At the very least, I would've had to duck back inside the house for a few gulps of auntie juice every now and again which would bring a different vibe to the night. ;)

So I was glad to be able to be with them - without the (albeit enjoyable) distraction of wine. These are the kinds of things kids remember forever.  So if you have kids - or just borrow them, like me - use your cleanse to take advantage of the extra energy, time and clarity you seem to have. It's a priceless riot!!

14 days left to go!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 10 - Cozy Wozy!

Oh man, I always love getting to Day 10.  Leaving those lame single digits behind. :) It gives me a real sense of accomplishment. Reminds me that, yes, despite the fact I can't drink wine, life goes on.

I discovered a great new tisane (the post-graduate term for herbal tea) today. I'm out of my regular routine because I'm out of the old neighborhood, so I can't just quickly rely on all my old favorite substitutes for vino anymore.

I just ran out of my regular Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger yesterday. I have a cup of it every morning, steeped with Herbaria Milk Thistle tea (milk thistle is very mild, so the flavors work well together). This routine is especially important during a drinking cycle because ginger fights inflammation caused by alcohol and milk thistle is very healing for the liver.

But because I'm not drinking, I'm not very worried about getting my ginger every morning, so I decided to try something new - Bigelowe's Cranberry Apple. I had it with about a teaspoon of honey, maybe a titch more. It was soooo delicious, especially after a long walk on a chilly autumn day like today. It made me feel - as my niece says - cozy wozy. ;)

Eighteen days left to go!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 5 - Alive and ... wellllll ...

Haha!! Alive and ... welllllll. Get it? Like I'm not sure I'm 'well.'

I'm not gonna lie to you. This has not been the easiest start to a cleanse ever. I've said several times that cleansing when there's a major disruption in your life isn't recommended. Moving is - yuh - majorly disruptive. And it takes a lot more than two or three days to settle in which is what I allowed myself before starting my cleanse.

There are still boxes around. Still things to be sorted out. Still work to be done. Last night, for instance, the hubs and I were up building a bookshelf until 11:30 pm. (Okay, I was just on 'pass me that screw' duty). But I was dragging my slippers, I'll tell ya. I wasn't miserable. But I was tired. From the move, from the cleanse, everything.

The first few days of a cleanse can find you a bit more tired than usual. At least I've found that. Fatigue is a symptom of alcohol withdrawal. I think it's naive of me to think that with my past I'm going to be able to continue drinking - then stop - without having any reaction to it whatsoever. I was an alcoholic. And although I don't qualify as an alcoholic on any of the self-tests available anymore - and that's true - it's silly of me to think that alcohol will not have some kind of addictive effect on me. It's an addictive substance, I've had a history of alcoholism in my family - and, well, I've suffered from the condition in the past.

A couple of things to note here. First of all, the lack of energy associated with abstinence is a function of alcohol on the brains of heavy drinkers. According to the experts, btw, 'heavy drinkers' are people who consume more than eight (8!!?) drinks a week. Uhhhh ... ummmmm ... okaaaaay. That just sounds like a good night to me.

Good God!! I'm KIDDING!! I do not drink that much. On a regular basis. Vegas yah, for sure. And it's spaced out over the course of the day. You know, it starts with bubbly at the breakfast buffet and doesn't stop until the curtain falls on Donnie & Marie's last show. :)

Come on! I'm exaggerating. I do not drink with breakfast - not even in Vegas. But I've been known to sip a tipple poolside just before noon, that's for sure. But what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? So that doesn't count. ;)

The point is I have more than 8 drinks a week when I'm on a drinking cycle. But the key thing here is, when I'm on a drinking cycle. The whole foundation of cleansing is that you interrupt your exposure to this addictive substance on a regular basis - both weekly and during the year - thereby avoiding the pitfalls of dependence. The 'rules' help - not drinking at home alone, etc. - but the real magic behind this lifestyle is removing alcohol from your system on a regular basis. That's the genius of this plan.

You'll have to forgive my immodesty. Genius? But on Day 5 of what could never be my easiest cleanse because of the move, I still feel like I'm onto something here. Sure I was tired building bookshelves near midnight last night. But after weeks of prep, the move, the settling in, etc., I'd have been exhausted no matter what. However - I would've gotten an energy boost from a drink that I didn't get last night. But I was not shivering, hallucinating or nauseous with major withdrawal. I was just tired from a move and could really have used a little 'acetate uptake.' ;)

Which brings me to my starting point: alcohol has an energizing effect on the brains of heavy drinkers. It has to do with the metabolism of acetate for energy in the brain. Until recently, sugar was thought to be the only energy the brain could use. But recent studies have shown that heavy drinkers and alcoholics (and the two are two completely different groups, as I know) actually get more of an energy boost from alcohol than light drinkers.

The problem is, heavy drinkers become addicted to this source of energy. So there's another factor contributing to alcohol dependency problems. But that's why cleansing works. You can't really become addicted to this acetate/energy relationship because you do not use it all the time. Two days a week and two months a year, you're on your own.

Check out this post from last April about acetate and alcohol. And here's more info about this extraordinary relationship from the experts.

Btw, I'm happy to report that I have tons of energy today. I feel clear-headed, happy and healthy. Just thank God those shelves are built. ;)

23 days left to go!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Day 1 - Onward Through the Fog!

My fall 2014 cleanse starts today! It's day one. A beautiful sunny Sunday morning. I'm in our new place - we moved on Wednesday. What a week it's been. What a couple of weeks it's been actually. Weddings. Anniversaries. My birthday. And of course, the move itself which was a ton of work. I was definitely glad not to be cleansing during that. I don't recommend alcohol cleansing when you have enormous jobs to do - especially ones that disrupt your personal space. Like moves and major renovations. At the end of a hard day, you really enjoy that lovely little buzz a drink will give you. In fact, you could enjoy that at the beginning of a hard day, too. ;) Well, maybe not the very crack of dawn beginning, of course. ;) Though ... hmmmm.  Sounds good, too.

This is the first time I've started a cleanse on a Sunday. But I wanted to get through the move - with a few days of celebration to settle in. That originally brought me to starting my cleanse yesterday - Saturday. But we had friends in town and they wanted to meet up for drinks so I nudged the cleanse to start today, Sunday. You can do that. Your cleanse start day is not carved in stone. You have the freedom to switch the day any time - as long as you're not putting off the start date until - forever? But when something comes up - like an unexpected invitation you want to accept, if you feel comfortable, go for it! 

Last night we had our first 'real' dinner in the new place. Spaghetti Bolognese and - yes! - a bottle of red wine for the last time in a month. I had a minor moral dilemma when it came to the white however. There on the door of the fridge were 1.2 bottles. A full sealed sauvignon blanc - and a single glass of pinot left in the other. The dilemma of course was do I open up the new one and make a real night of debauchery (uh ... that was for Friday, actually ;). Or tuck the sauv blanc in the back of the cupboard until next month. Full of will power and self-control, I stuck it waaaaay in the back of the cupboard. ;) That's another one of my tips: don't leave alcohol lying around on a cleanse. 

So, the countdown begins once again. Four weeks or twenty-eight full days of not drinking. I won't be having wine again until November 9th. Exactly one month from now. You know what? Starting a cleanse on a Sunday feels nice ... I feel ready. I feel happy. I feel peaceful. I don't have any real negative feelings about not drinking for a month because I know it keeps me healthy. In control. And away from A.A. ;) 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

I'm right in the middle of a move so I don't have a lot of time to write lately! But looking forward to settling back down once ... well, we've settled down!

I've got a cleanse coming up next month. I haven't decided on the day yet, but it'll probably start sometime in the second week of October. I'm glad of the timing - I really didn't want to be moving on a cleanse. I've already mentioned that trying to do toooooo much (anything too demanding or strenuous) can make a cleanse more challenging. You really miss that relaxing/rush you get from a tipple when the day is done. What's even better :) because you don't have to take cleanse days in the two weeks leading up to a cleanse, I won't have to think about that during the move. It'll be non-stop party nights. (Uh-huh. Yeah right.)

Get this ... one of my guilty pleasures in life (which actually doesn't leave me guilty) is this: if I can't sleep and I've been lying awake for hours, which obviously happens when you have lots to think about - like before a move - I just give up and get out of bed.

I pour a small glass of wine - usually red, though last night it was white because we were out of rosso - and have a snack of some kind. I just can't sleep on an empty stomach. Seriously. Once 'Lono' starts grumbling (nicknamed after the Hawaiian god of thunder I thought. Though I just checked and Lono is the actually Hawaiian god of peace, making this a total misnomer, at least until I've made a sacrifice to him), I will not be able to sleep without eating.

So last night I grabbed some raspberries and leftover spaghetti. Raspberries first. Spaghetti second. Not together! I cracked open a bottle of white chilling on the fridge door and poured a teensy glass, like 3 ounces maybe. Usually I flip through something I'm reading or just listen to late night radio. I don't watch TV because apparently the blue light affects your circadian rhythm, stimulating your brain rather than relaxing it, which makes falling asleep harder (read more).

ANYWAY - last night I took my wine and snack into the living room and turned on a single lamp in the darkness. I cuddled up with what I'm reading - The Sober Truth by Dr. Lance Dodes. What a fascinating book.

So there I am in the middle of the night, by myself, reading a book about addiction and how 12-step programs and traditional rehab fail people ... while I'm sipping a glass of wine.  I gotta say, I couldn't help but smile to myself. Because the more I learn about classic addiction treatment, the more confident I feel that what I'm doing is right for me.  So I read a chapter or two, sipped my wine, ate my nibbles and crawled back into bed. Slept like a baby and even had a nice dream. Plus I feel great this morning, too.

btw - I don't make a habit of doing this - having a late nightcap when I can't sleep. And I NEVER do it on a cleanse day. If the clock has already struck midnight and it's a cleanse day, I forgo any wine at all and stick to the food and the book. Though ... it really doesn't work as well. Still, that's just how important I think it is to respect the two cleanse days a week.

btw - MORE controversy about drinking during pregnancy. If you live in Ontario, you've probably seen the LCBO posters warning women to "Love Your Body/Love Your Baby" and not to drink while pregnant. The campaign is in partnership with FASworld Canada, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Incidentally, the research continues to swing wildly between 'yes, light drinking is okay' and 'no, any drinking at all harms your baby.' I don't know how women deal with the situation today. It seems there's a new study contradicting the last new study every other month.  Anyway - here's an article about a woman who's taking the LCBO to task on what she feels is a condescending and misleading campaign.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Sober Truth

I promised myself to read a new book before the end of the summer - The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry by Dr. Lance Dodes. Dr. Dodes's CV is a long and impressive one. From Harvard University to the Boston Psychoanalytic Society to decades as a practicing therapist specializing in addiction, Dr. Dodes knows what he's talking about.

And what's he's talking about is this: 12-step programs don't work for the vast majority of people who use them. According to his book - and most published statistics - only 1 in 15 people who join A.A. will remain with the program. Everyone else will drop out. Some of them will return after a relapse - and most of  them will drop out again.

If these people go to their doctor for help - or are seen before a judge for some unfortunate reason - they will automatically be prescribed A.A. or another 12-step program based on the A.A. model. If they fail in that program, they will be prescribed the same program again. And again. And again. Despite the fact there is no scientific evidence 12-step models work in a consistent way. And lots of empirical evidence that they don't (i.e. the overwhelming failure rate).

I'm only partway through the book, but I find it riveting. Right now, Dodes's is chronicling Bill Wilson's early life. "Bill W" as he's known was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. A very religious man from a very religious background, he also suffered from other addictions. Including nicotine, which eventually took his life. And sex (his extramarital affairs are well documented). He was also part of hospital-supervised LSD experiments during the 50s. Fascinating stuff.

But I'm not passing judgment here. I know Bill W's faith-based philosophy still helps many people cope with alcoholism. And as I've said many times, I celebrate their success. But Dodes's point - and mine - is that 12-step programs shouldn't be treated as the only solution to addiction. Because there just isn't enough evidence that they work for everyone.

As for myself, I feel so lucky that I haven't had to go to A.A. or rehab. That I've been able to reverse my own problem naturally, simply - and cheaply! Because as Dr. Dodes points out, some rehab centers charge as much as $90,000 a month! Even without a consistent success record.

Time to put up a shingle!

JK!!

Sorta! ;)

But we really do need alternative methods for treating addiction. We can't just brush the condition under the rug by continuing to view 12-step programs as the only answer. We must keep searching for new alternatives. In the end, that's all cleansing is. An alternative. One of many that I hope will evolve as we learn more about addiction and how to help the people affected by it. But the only way these methods will see the light of day is if we accept that the present model is not perfect. We must find other ways. At least twenty other ways! Because if each of those helps just 5-10% of the people - the way 12-step programs do - then we'll basically have kicked addiction in the butt!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Checking In

ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas is re-entering rehab after struggling with alcohol addiction. I first talked about Ms. Vargas's battle with addiction last November, when she checked into rehab for the first time.

Her statement about the news was pretty clear:

"While on vacation this weekend, I decided to return to a recovery center. As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process. I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down, and for that I am ashamed and sorry. I am committed to battling and addressing this debilitating disease and want to thank everyone who has offered their unwavering support during this trying time."

Vargas hasn't tweeted since August 11th. Her last tweet focused on Robin Williams's death. 'I am so sad for Robin -' it read ' - and his fight with addiction. My heart goes out to his wife and kids.'

More news has come out about Williams's suicide - such a tragedy. His widow released a statement saying that Williams had recently been diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's Disease - something he was not willing to share publicly yet. He had also been battling depression and anxiety, though he was not drinking alcohol at the time.

I wonder if Williams's passing had anything to do with Vargas's desire to check into rehab again. Obviously, she'd started drinking at some point since her first rehab stint last year, otherwise why would she feel ashamed? But Williams's death - and his openness about his struggles with addiction - might have scared her into seeking treatment again.

Of course, I'm just speculating. But his death certainly ran a chill through me, too. I imagine anyone who's dealt with alcoholism felt it. Even though, in the interest of fairness, his suicide may not have been related to alcoholic depression at all - there were obviously many other stresses in his life.

At any rate, I wish Elizabeth much luck and success with her treatment. And a quick end to the shame! I understand the shame, I do. But I wish she didn't have to feel it - and publicly declare it. I wish that none of us struggling with addiction had to feel it. Because there's nothing to be ashamed about. Unfortunately, that's what 'falling off the wagon' makes us feel in abstinence-based programs. Which is one of the reasons I avoid the whole process altogether. Total abstinence should not be the 'go-to' treatment for alcohol addiction anymore. It simply doesn't work for everyone.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

:*(

So sad today. Such terrible news about Robin Williams.

Such terrible news, in fact, that I can't even think what to say without sounding maudlin. Williams had been struggling with depression and cocaine and alcohol addiction for many years.

I read an excellent article from the Hollywood Reporter (link below) quoting Williams as he talked openly about his  addiction problems. He quit for the first time in 1982 after being with John Belushi the night of that star's fatal overdose on cocaine and heroin.

Williams confessed to relapsing and sought treatment for alcohol addiction several times, including just recently at a Minnesota rehab clinic. In interviews, he joked about how quickly his drinking problem escalated, saying one pint of Jack Daniels soon led to so many bottles he sounded like a 'wind chime' walking down the street.

Here's more from that The Hollywood Reporter article.  And an ABC News report about his long struggle with addiction, including an interview with Diane Sawyer.

RIP&J, Robin.

Rest in peace - and joy. Because that's what you brought us.  :( xo


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mood Monitoring

It's a beautiful sunny day today (if a little muggy). It's also a Tuesday and one of my regular cleanse days of the week.

There's something special about taking cleanse days in the summer. Yes, it's fun to be able to have a glass of cold wine on a hot day or hit a patio for your libation of choice after work. But cleanse days have a more serene feeling to them. A calmness. A clarity. I really cherish my cleanse days sometimes. If nothing else, there's a 'different' feeling to them and I think that really helps with the overall quality of a person's life.  The same thing every day - even perfection - would actually become quite dull over time.

It's one of the measuring sticks I use to know that cleansing is still working for me. That I'm not depressed on cleanse days. In the old days, if I did try to 'skip' a day of drinking to get control (and I did try a lot of things before I developed this plan), I would be in such a horrible mood that I usually caved in and poured a glass (or five) anyway.

So to feel peaceful and happy on a cleanse day gives me confidence that the system is continuing to work for me. It's very important to me to monitor the quality of my moods when I'm not drinking. Because I remember very clearly the feeling of depression that overwhelmed me when I couldn't get enough to drink. An entire body-wide sense of despair would swoop and there was nothing I could do to turn it around. Except have another drink. Which stops working anyway. So I relish these days that I can feel relaxed and content without a drink. That's pretty cool.

btw - I missed the eleventh anniversary of my first cleanse last week - Sunday, July 13th. I started that first six-month cleanse on a Sunday too back in 2003 - meaning it was eleven long years ago to the day that I started cleansing regularly. And it's still working. :) Now that's super cool.

So belated Happy Anniversary to me. And just general summertime happiness to you. Enjoy the day - with or without a tipple.

Oh, one more thing. Another great benefit to feeling happy on cleanse days... is that you feel even better when they're over!! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Heavy Heart

I usually prefer to share good news about moderate drinking with you, but I have a bit of bad news today. Sure, it crossed my mind to sweep this new info under the rug - and maybe talk about Rob Ford's latest antics instead.

But I'm not going to 'hide' this new study because I believe it's important to have as much information as possible about how our habits affect our health - good or bad. So here goes...

Moderate alcohol consumption has long been associated with a lower risk for heart disease, especially reducing the most common form, Coronary Artery Disease, a leading cause of death in North America and the UK. For many years now, researchers have been telling us that moderate drinking was actually a way to stave off this killer - not to mention a fun way since having a drink after work is a lot easier than hitting the gym. 

But a new study co-led by the University of Pennsylvania contradicts all of that. 155 researchers from the UK, North America, Europe and Australia analyzed 56 different studies about heart disease and alcohol. More than 250,000 subjects were involved - all of European descent. 

Researchers found that people with a particular gene - alcohol dehydrogenase 1B - drank about 17% less than people who didn't carry the gene. (Alcohol Dehydrogenase is an enzyme that helps us metabolize alcohol.) 

People with the 1B gene are more sensitive to the negative effects of alcohol consumption, suffering from nausea, facial flushing and dizziness when they drink.  Naturally, these side effects make drinking less pleasurable which results in lower overall consumption. The critical factor found by the study was that carriers of the 1B gene also had a 10% reduced risk of heart disease. Based on this, researchers have concluded that less drinking equals a healthier heart. 

However, since this is the first study in a long time that contradicts the health benefits of moderate drinking on heart disease, some experts aren't completely convinced. Tim Spector of King's College thinks the findings are impressive, but that the study might have its limitations because people with the gene that makes them less tolerant to alcohol might also exhibit other tendencies that could lower the risk of heart disease - for instance, a healthier diet or exercise regimen. And these traits weren't properly measured in the study. 

Most experts feel the results are controversial enough to warrant more research into drinking, the B1 gene and heart disease, this time correcting for possible differences in lifestyle.

I'll be watching the developments with bated breath. In the meantime, maybe one less drink at this weekend's bbq might not be a bad idea. ;)  

Come on! It's not going to kill us!! 

(Or will it...? Hmmmm... I guess the jury's still out. But I'll keep you posted for sure!) 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Home Sweeter Home

I mentioned I was home for my mother's b-day party last month.  She lives in the same house my grandparents owned when I was growing up. The same house we moved into after my parents divorced. '65' as it was known, merely by its street number, became the scene of many 'Happy Divorcee' drinking parties after that. It was real Mad Men material. Mini-skirts. Men. Music. And muchos booze. Throw in a few packs of cigarettes for the mandatory smoky haze and you've got all the makings of raising your very own alcoholic kid!

It's where I got drunk for the first time and also the scene of countless (and, unfortunately, I mean countless) drag-down, no-holds-barred fights I had with my mother when one or both of us were drunk. In other words ... this is NOT a picture of my family.


But this time around - blessed be!! - it was a peaceful, happy loving trip. There were no drunk fights. No projectile vomiting. Not a single angry drunk word traded. 

That's not to say there wasn't drinking! God, no. We're still talking my family here. Though it's changed quite a bit since the old days (i.e. my uncle has given up drinking completely; incidentally, they rented an apartment at '65' for several years while I was growing up, so for a while there, it was multi-floor partying). As for my mom, she's become a very light drinker in her old age, so no problem there.

Me, on the other hand? Well, you know how you're supposed to 'know your limit socially and stick to it?' That's Rule #5 of the whole system!! Well, occasionally, I get cocky and say: "F*ck it!" Because even if I go overboard a bit - I don't fall overboard, if you get my meaning.  It doesn't become traumatic for anyone. Especially me. So it's a lot more fun to throw caution to the wind - on rare occasions. ;) 

The day started off with wine at the house in the afternoon. More wine with dinner at the restaurant. Then more wine at the house for gift-opening. At one point, sitting in the setting sun on the back deck, I had a glass of wine and a glass of champagne for toasting in front of me on the table. And holy crap, it was one of the fondest memories of my life. Not because of the wine (at least not just because of the wine). But because I was just buzzing with so many happy endorphins at a peaceful family get-together surrounded by people I loved so much. It was really just a perfect night. 

Unfortunately, I woke up with the kind of hangover usually reserved for Vegas. 

But strangely - unlike the myriad times I've woken up in my hometown after a bender - I did not feel guilty. Or worried. Or afraid. I did not say "Never again!" or "I've gotta quit this stuff!" Nor did I feel I had to pick up the phone (and/or roll over in bed) and apologize to anyone for being a jerk to them.

Instead, I said, "Holy crap, Ms. F! That was an awesome night!" Even the hubs was impressed. Because in the old days if anyone drank too much at '65' it usually ended up in ugly drama. 

Alas - it was sweet, super-fun and loving family reunion. I believe I can report such a victorious (if uneventful) trip home simply because of cleansing. It helps me to stay in a good mood the whole night. And despite the fact I amped it up a bit, I didn't 'lose control.' It didn't get sloppy or scary. Nor did I keep reaching for more to drink after I felt buzzed. There was even a bottle of wine waiting for me back at the hotel. In the old days, I'd have polished that one off asap.

Instead, I washed my face (believe it or not) and went happily to bed.

Wait, I swallowed some Advil and gulped some water - then I went happily to bed.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Rehab-ulous!

Well, Mayor Rob Ford is back in office after two months in rehab where he said he spent time battling his 'personal demons.' Since the schmancy treatment centre, GreenStone Muskoka, is located in Ontario's famed cottage country - a place known as much for its black flies as its multi-million dollar lakeside mansions - the Mayor probably had a few bug bites to battle too.

But he looks good - if not great - after two months of clean living. He also says he's ready to take responsibility for all the wrongs he's done to people while he was 'using.' The hubs and I are taking dibs on how long this will last. But I'm sure the talk show hosts will be waiting eagerly in the shadows for the next drunk YouTube footage to emerge.

Not that I want to make too much light of rehab. Addiction SUX. And so far a professional round of rehab seems to be the treatment of choice. Either that or A.A. In both cases, that usually means total abstinence.

However, there are some people who don't put a lot of stock in rehab or 12-step programs. People like Dr. Lance Dodes, retired Harvard professor and addiction expert whose recent book The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry is about ... well, the title says it all, doesn't it?

I still have to pick up Dr. Dodes's book, so I'll keep the review short here, but I'm soooo looking forward to getting it. It's going to be Ms. Functional's summer beach read of 2014. ;)

Mayor Ford isn't the only one on the rehab path today. After some seriously questionable behavior, Shia LeBeouf has just voluntarily checked himself into an undisclosed facility for alcohol dependence. The 28-year-old actor's peeps are quick to point out it's not 'rehab.' It's treatment. I have no idea what the difference is, but I imagine there are fewer black flies involved.

I've been of fan of Shia's for years - ever since seeing the young, but talented thespian in The Battle of Shaker Heights way back in 2003. LaBoeuf was a child star and had grown up working for the Disney Channel - although this was the first time I had ever heard of him. The film itself is spotty, since it was part of Project Greenlight, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's play-by-play of what it takes to get a first feature made in H'wood.  But I thought LeBoeuf was subtle, witty, natural - and adorable.

I loved him again in Disturbia, the 2007 flick about a young man under house arrest who thinks his neighbor is a serial killer. Totally creepy/funny flick!!

Unfortunately, that year also marked the young star's first appearance in the papers for something other than his acting: his drinking. At only 20 years old, he was charged with criminal trespassing for refusing to leave a Walgreen's while he was drunk. (more here)

His professional life seemed to be a leap-frog of first-run movies like 'Indiana Jones' and 'Transformers,' while his personal world started to become its own 'Temple of Doom.' There was a suspected DUI after a car crash in 2008 and then - bizarrely - claims that he plagiarized the content of his directorial debut. 

After the accusations, LeBeouf hired a sky writer to apologize to the alleged victim - a graphic novelist - and tweeted he was retiring from show business. But then he showed up on a red carpet wearing a paper bag on his head that read: I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE. Which was a sure-fire way to keep being famous, btw.

Then just last week in New York, he was arrested after being drunk and disorderly at a performance of Cabaret where he apparently heckled the other actors. Yikes. Not cool. That must've been the last straw because the 'He's Getting Help' press release was next.

Anyway, I wish the young star much luck with his not-really-rehab treatment and hope - like Rob Ford - he's back at work soon. Sans paper bags and addiction problems.

Speaking of addiction problems! Zowie! I went home for a family visit last recently! But more on that next time!

And just because I like the little drama prince, here's the trailer from Disturbia. It's one of those epic previews where you probably don't have to see the movie after you watch it because, like, practically every scene is in it. But it's still a fun flick for a rainy summer night.



Friday, June 6, 2014

Little White Lies

White wine lies, that is. ;) 

A new study by the Centre for Addictions Research at the University of Victoria has found that Canadians under-report how much they drink by about 75%.  

Wine drinkers are most likely to fudge the numbers - not because they're ashamed of how much they drink and/or are too drunk to remember, but because it's very difficult to gauge how many glasses of wine there are in a bottle. Things get tricky that way. Is it six? Is it four? Is it - two?!! Yeah, two - of those nice big honking summertime glasses of wine. Had a few of those in my time. ;) People in the UK also underreport how much they drink btw, so we're not alone. 

How do the science guys figure this all out? It's not mind-reading. It's simple math. About 75% more alcohol is sold in Canada than is reported by the study subjects. 

I don't know what to say about all this. I'm not surprised, that's for sure. Because if I were to tell you that on my first day of drinking last week (Sunday), I followed my own rules and only had two glasses of wine on my first drinking day (I recommend taking it easy coming off a cleanse), I wouldn't be lying exactly. But I would be 'under-reporting.' ;) And I definitely paid for it Monday morning. 

And frankly, well into the afternoon. ;) 

But this is a good thing!! When you drink all the time, I really think your body can start to adjust to what that kind of lifestyle feels like. You wake up in the morning, you have a headache or an upset tummy or whatever and you think - goddamn it! I knew I shouldn't have had that double-pepperoni pizza before going to bed last night. 

Only you know deep down it's not the pizza. It's the booze. 

Cleansing regularly keeps you honest. It keeps you in touch with your health and what it feels like to live without the negative effects of over-drinking all the time. That doesn't mean you won't occasionally do it and deal with the consequences - but, honestly, that can be pretty fun sometimes. 

(Sometimes!)  

btw, speaking of overindulging, do you think Montreal might be going a bit overboard with a new proposal to extend drinking hours just a titch? 

By three hours, actually - until 6 a.m. in the morning?!!

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is behind the idea saying, "If they can do it in Sydney and Berlin, they can do it here." That's kind of a paraphrase, but you get my point. 

Man, that would be one hell of a long night, no? And here's how it ends: 

Scraping car bumper along brick wall outside drive-thru. 

"Le egg McMuffin and le martini, svp." 

"Mais monsieur, it is only six in the morning!" 

"Oh. You're right. Make that a screwdriver." 

"But of course, monsieur! Drive through, svp!"  

Anyone heading to Montreal by any chance? I'll split the gas. 

I'M KIDDING!! 

I get plenty of drinking done before the sun comes up. ;) 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

One Word ...

So - the cleanse is over! It's a brilliant Sunday morning and - although still sober ;) - I'm absolutely elated. The end of a cleanse is like your own personal extra Christmases twice a year. A celebration. A festival. A victory. 

Am I exaggerating? 

Nope. ;) 

One word comes to mind - and that is:



hal·le·lu·jah

ˌhaləˈlo͞oyə/
exclamation
  1. 1.
    God be praised (uttered in worship or as an expression of rejoicing).
    "He is risen! Alleluia!"
noun
  1. 1.
    an utterance of the word “hallelujah” as an expression of worship or rejoicing.


To bring home my point, here's a selection of artists singing Leonard Cohen's classic song by that name.  From the Canadian Tenors (an 'Oprah Show' surprise with Celine Dion), to kd lang, to the Norwegian Pop Idols, to Lord Byron of Rock and Roll himself, it's such a lovely song, hope you enjoy at least one version! 

btw I've heard them all this morning - or at least part of them. Including Justin Timberlake's beautiful performance from the Hope for Haiti Now concert. But that one's kind of sad obviously, so maybe I shouldn't even mention it. Because I don't want to think of earthquakes today. Damnit. Now I'm thinking of earthquakes. And the 2003 Tsunami because it popped up in the YouTube list (as it sometimes does) when I was searching and I couldn't resist watching the extreme footage. 

(Again.) 

I really think Naomi Watts should've won the Oscar for her performance in The Impossible, don't you? That nail-biting flick about the disaster? I mean, I adore J-Law more than anything, and I thought she did a bang-up job in Silver Linings Playbook - and would've deserved to win the Oscar any year - other than the year Naomi was up for The Impossible. But that's just my opinion. 

Okay, now I'm thinking of poor Naomi Watts and how depressed she must've been to lose what could be her last shot at an Oscar to a new starlet half her age. Plus tsunamis. And earthquakes.

In a way, though, that's appropriate for this morning, too. Because even though I'm always trying to bring a little levity and iconoclasm to the discussion of alcohol addiction (somebody has to!), it really is a sad thing. And now I'm thinking about all the sad times my addiction once brought me. And my mother when she was drinking heavily. And so many other people. Oh, man. 

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I WAS IN SUCH A GOOD MOOD?!! 

Shit. Anyway, JT's version is gorgeous, so it's there too. 

Wow. This all took a turn for the worse, didn't it? Sorry about that. 

Where was I again? Oh yeah. ;) 



  1. Lenny!


    Celine & the Tenors


  1. kd lang


    The Norwegian Pop Idols


    J.T.