Whiskey Business

my first St. Patrick’s Day – 1968

Nowadays if my Mother posted this on Pinterest she’d probably get arrested, or at the very least, an online smackdown.  I have to admit, the one time having a child ever entered into my vodka-soaked brain, it was because of the appeal of dressing it up, so I have no problems whatsoever with this but then again, I have never been known as a Beacon of Appropriateness.

My other favorite thing about this picture (besides the airplane whiskey) is that my Mother had GIVEN BIRTH forty days prior to this picture being taken and she and my Dad were not going to let a thing like the arrival of a fresh new leprechaun jack up their party schedule.  IT WAS THE SIXTIES, people.  My Mother probably didn’t even remove her dangling cigarette from her lips as she was positioning my wee pipe.

One could say that I never had a chance by looking at this, one of the very first pictures ever taken of me. Can you be destined to be an alcoholic? I don’t know, but the one thing I do know is that the one thing I DID inherit from my parents was a exemplary sense of humor and that’s gotten me through everything so far which also begs the question why my Mother is NOT GOING TO FIND MY POSTING THIS FUNNY AT ALL.

I love you, Mom.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

I see eleven sides to everything and not just when I’m drunk.

Oh for fuck’s sake, y’all. So much is swirling in my head and being a grown up just bites sometimes. I hate this adulting thing. This week has (already) been one of uncertainty, financial douchery, and temporary employment ennui.

My recovery process has been amazing, don’t get me wrong – I have learned so much in the last 949 days.  Seriously, I think anyone could benefit from working a 12 step program, addict or no. The funny thing is, when I learn something that I feel is life changing and substantial, I always think to myself, “boy, won’t it be awesome when I can use this knowledge in real life? I can hardly wait until a situation presents itself and I can choose to react like __________.” You can insert whatever you like here; “a mature adult” or  “a calm and rational grown-up” or my personal fave, “like I have some fucking home training and common sense and don’t need to go all fetal in the corner somewhere because I don’t know what the hell to do and I’m terrified”. I’m paraphrasing, of course.

Except that IT IS NOT awesome when it happens and you have to ‘use your tools’.  My first reaction is NOT to pause and breathe, I’ll tell you THAT. My initial reaction is to pour about 13 ounces of straight vodka into a glass and to SIT AND HOLD THE FUCK UP FOR A MINUTE before my entire head pops off its stem and lazily rolls away from my body while it, in turn, implodes. I hate change. I hate limbo. I hate grey, I prefer black and white.  But nooo…my whole life right now is an ever-changing mass of complicated limbo while languishing in various unsavory shades of grey. What’s a drunk  gal to do?

Be decisive.  Right or wrong, make a decision. The highway of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision – Unknown

Well, this is where I have to pull out the resources I’ve been taught. My first reaction is ALWAYS fear, in one form or another. Fear of change, or fear of failure. Fear of manipulation, or loss of control. And here’s the thing about that; I’m not in control of much. I am merely in control of myself, and my choices and responsibilities. There’s amazing freedom in relinquishing control, and believe me, I cannot even believe I’ve just typed those words.

Hear me out:

It’s true. I have learned (and am still actively learning) the process by which you recognize your lack of control and that, my friends, is a gift, if you can choose to look at it that way. Once I realize this, some of the fear abates.  I am NOT in control of whether or not these folks offer me a permanent position. I am NOT in control of the abysmal traffic getting to and from this hellhole. I AM in control of negotiating a salary if said job is offered to me. I do not have to accept said job if I feel it isn’t a good fit for me. Guilt, as a dear and wise friend reminded me yesterday, is a useless emotion. I have managed to fret over a circumstance that may or may not arise, for the last couple of days.  This is very counter-productive to my time and mental stability, yet I find myself obsessing (once again) over and over at EVERY possible scenario and how it will inevitably end in certain disaster, or with me hanging limply from a ceiling fan. I realize that I get my needle stuck on this point (see below post) but it bears repeating.  Recently I’ve heard it said that if you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, you’re probably holding it.  THIS IS SO MY LIFE YOU GUYS.

Ever thought you might land a job you don’t want? What would it take to relinquish your creative soul to the corporate devil? Big salary? Benefits? Desperation? Sometimes we have to do what’s necessary and that’s the part of adulting that seems to stick in my craw. Let me say here that nothing I’m referring in this post is a life or death decision, and I do tend to have a penchant for the dramatic, of course, BUT, having said that – I did mention that part of the purpose of this blog is to help me LIVE SOBER and living sober often requires making decisions and not flipping the F out. Every. Single. Time.

Well, I don’t know what the future holds. What I do know is that I’ve survived 100% of the shit I’ve been through so far, so really, the odds are in my favor I’ll get through this as well. Maybe that’s how I need to look at things – through my liver filter.  Through the liver filter, almost everything looks rosier because almost everything is better than dying from liver failure. . . amirite?!?

How do you process your decisions?  Do you freak out initially and weigh your options? Do you go with your gut reaction?  Do you plunge in wholeheartedly and see where it takes you? Do you follow your heart or listen to your head? Do you just crawl under the covers with some peanut butter cups and wait for an epiphany because I totally think that’s going to be my strategy going forward.

In a onesie.

Y’all can comment down below – all feedback appreciated-you do NOT have to have an account to do so and can even just type in your name and comment and hit enter and no one is the wiser. JUST SAYIN’.

I (over) think, therefore, I am. . .somewhat neurotic.

Recently, I found myself in a drunk yoga class. . . as opposed to being drunk in a yoga class. Been there, done that.

Let me back up.  This week I attended a “Yoga for Recovery” class that combined core yoga poses with some reading and light meditation, specifically geared for people in recovery. I really enjoyed it and plan on going back for the entire series. Upon returning home, however,  I noticed that skin on my right side (around my waist band) was reddish and angry, presumably from my brand new yoga pants I had purchased for my Arizona trip, but not yet worn. I thought nothing of it and slathered it with Campho Phenique* and that, was that.

But that wasn’t that.

The next morning I awoke to a blistery rash starting to circle around to my belly and around my back from my hip.  WHAT THE HELL.  You know who loves looking at weird and gross things on my body?  MY HUSBAND.  Well, not really, but my Mom is 3 hours away so he was up to bat by default.

“Eeewww”, he stammered as he peered at the red cluster of blisters forming on my hip. He squinted and  stepped away from my torso. He walked over and opened his laptop.

“What?  Why did you say “ewwww”?!? Did something bite me?” I asked. “Is it Poison Ivy?”

At this point I had more than a few worst case scenarios buzzing through my mind. Here’s a fun fact: alcoholics are obsessive. We like to churn things over and over in our heads until we can conjure up the WORST possible outcome and then we take that and make it worse. By constantly obsessing about situations, we trick ourselves into thinking we’re in control of them and of course, that is never the case. We keep at it though, the proverbial dog chasing its own tail. It’s exhausting and counter-productive, really.

However, that does not stop me. I’m sober, but not completely sane, remember. In the few minutes it took my sweet husband to consult Dr. Google, I had:

  1. Been poisoned by a gang of minuscule (yet freakishly deadly) spiders who somehow got trapped in the waistband of my yoga pants and obviously bit their way out. Spiders are assholes.
  2. Developed a rare strain of AIDS that had previously been dormant for 23 years that I assume I contracted after kissing a rather sketchy “drummer” by the Hollywood sign (that’s another story) but was clearly manifesting itself in a display of open sores on my hip. Back then I couldn’t decide if the dude was homeless or just into grunge, but clearly I was paying for my youthful frivolity.
  3. Been infected with that flesh eating bacteria like that poor girl in the rain forest or Congo or wherever, but she lost both of her hands and one foot. My body is literally cannibalizing itself from exposure to some third world bacteria that I probably got from using the bathroom at the fucking mall.

As I started to flail about the kitchen in sheer panic, my husband glanced up from his computer with a weak smile.

“IT’S LEPROSY, ISN’T IT!?!”, I screamed. “I KNEW IT. I bet I got it from the self-scanner at Lowe’s. That thing is always streaky…probably with toxic waste and boogers.”

He rolled his eyes and sighed. “No, honey.  It’s not Leprosy. What you have is a classic case of Shingles. Welcome to your fifties!”

Shingles?!? Okay. I know two things about shingles. They are heavy as fuck when they are in a cardboard box and you are a smallish girl assisting your father in building a garage. YOU try carrying an entire box of shingles sometime, trust me. Heavy, rough, and scratchy. However, to this day I know how to adeptly use a post-hole digger, so there’s a skill to put on my resume.

The same father I’m referring to above used to eat something horrific called “Shit on a Shingle” when I was in the same age bracket.  This, evidently, is a military delicacy and was NOT to be made fun of in our household, no matter how badly it smelled.  Now, my Mom had no part in the Shit on a Shingle nights at our home, nor did I.  This was a “treat” my Father saved for himself when she was out for the night with other plans, and my little brother and I were splitting a can of Spaghetti O’s. For those of you blissfully not in the know, I have ascertained that SOS is chipped beef poured atop toast, or in my Dad’s case, a frozen waffle.

I would rather eat a live Praying Mantis. Seriously.

I know nothing of this other type of shingle. However, I do recall seeing commercials featuring elderly people (supposedly with shingles) happily playing golf.  Fantastic, I’m already behind – I don’t know the first damn thing about golf. 

So, I have made an appointment at the clinic and have subsequently executed my Last Will and Testament to prepare for the inevitable.  Please donate my “WWJD” flask to The Great Museum of Alcoholism so that it can be gazed upon as a holy grail of sorts for our times.


*Campho Phenique. Remember in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the father thought Windex cures everything? Well, my sweet Grandma felt the exact same way about Campho Phenique.  It didn’t matter what was wrong with you, Campho Phenique could calm it, soothe it, and remedy it.  My Mother once casually remarked to me during a game of Gin Rummy that for the last thirty or so years, my Grandmother would put a “dab” of Campho between her buttcheeks after bathing, as a hemorrhoid preventative.  “I didn’t know she suffered from hemorrhoids”, I said naively.  

She didn’t”, my Mother replied.


Then and Now

I have just returned from a life-changing and restorative getaway with my three best friends, The Douchebags. I’m still processing and collecting my thoughts on all that I learned and experienced there, so in the interim, I offer you an another tidbit from my old (while I was still a “practicing” alcoholic) site, Girl, Corrupted. I had just returned from a trip with the gals in California. My drinking didn’t always end in misery, you guys, but if I was in misery, my drinking was always involved. This trip was one of the last we’d have before I got sick. This last trip was a trip of a lifetime and you know what?  I was there.  I was present.  And I remember. . . everything. 


I read once that the best trips aren’t going to somewhere, they’re going to someone.

That’s always the case when I get together with my three lifelong best friends. You remember the DB’s, right? Of course you do. Here we are then.

OMG I was a fetus

Yep. That’s the four of us, circa 1993, I’d say. Yes, we were smoking and OMG, look at the time in the background… it’s 10:45 pm. Nowadays I’m in bed with a kleenex tucked in my sleeve lying next to a dude sporting a “Breathe Right” strip by 9:30pm. Livin’ the dream, people!
Us, this past weekend.

Winos, clearly

That’s the DB4 at the Rubicon Winery and Vineyard in Napa, California. We jetted off to Cali for a whirlwind weekend of wine tasting, hot tubbing and fine dining. Oh, and lots and lots of laughter. We’ve been friends over 20 years now and boy, you can certainly tell if you’re ever unfortunate enough to be around us as a unit. We’ve had a good run, lately. If you’ll recall, we went to Cancun last March and then to Colorado and The Stanley Hotel in August as well. Now we can add San Francisco and Napa to our list of fantastic forays. It was ridiculous fun, I’ll be honest. Wine and more wine. Fine cheeses. Delectable dinners and absolutely decadent desserts.

Who cut the cheese?

Cheeses, apple slices, candied walnuts, nutbread and marinated onions. Delightful.

Also known in Napa as your first course. These people know how to live. And drink.
Mind you, this was my individual portion. The four of us were allowed to customize our own menu for the evening and it was exquisite. They paired a glass of wine with each selection so between that and my early evening martini, I was well on my way to one of the finest evenings of my life. Now it *may* also be said that the finale of this particular night was my doing the “chicken wing” dance to the Black Eyed Peas in a million dollar resort in Calistoga, but that would lead to my flying to various states and rabbit punching a trio of women right in their throats. AM I CLEAR, LADIES?!?
*ahem* Okay, where were we?
Oh, that’s right. Here.

Huevos Rancheros done right, y’all

I don’t get this delicacy often and Schell and I both took advantage of this opportunity coupled with a bubbly mimosa at brunch. Heavenly. Now Jane will tell you that I proceeded to burp this fantastic meal for the remainder of the day. And she would not be wrong. Blowing said burps directly in her face, *may*have been.
I digress.
We picked up a spare DB along the way. Stacy’s little sister, McKenzie has been an honorary douchebag for around five years now. She’s a DB in “training” one could say. She excels at her studies, I should mention. The below picture makes me so happy.


We call her “sunshine” and I don’t think there’s any doubt why. Just look at her. She’s
bubbly and beautiful and smart and funny. If I didn’t love her so much, I’d totally hate her. I think this photo was taken right after I said something inappropriate about anal sex, but I can’t be sure. I think talking at all about anal sex could be defined as inappropriate but then again, these are my best friends and sometimes I will do almost anything for a laugh.
So, yet another photo.

Girl Corrupted herself at the Golden Gate Bridge

A very atypical gorgeous clear afternoon in the Bay. And as if I couldn’t be more clear myself, I’m one very lucky gal. I’ve always said that the best things in life are the simple things and this trip specifically drove that point home. Wine. Food. Friendship. Laughter. Soul mates. Did I say wine?
All in all, pretty simple things. But put together? Absolute magic.
The icing on the cake? The other thing I miss most about my Hollywood, California days/daze besides the cheap drugs and the carefree incredibly hot sex?
In and Out.

my kingdom for a double-double

Holy shit, this is good food. A burger, fries and a chocolate shake. Heaven on a red plastic tray. Like I said, sometimes it’s the simple things.
So, simply put…I love you – Stacy, Jane and Schell. And Sunshine. Still and yet. Again and always.
(you douchebags)