Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Members Journal
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-10-2013, 11:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
air quote
 
Engine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: pollen & mold
Posts: 3,050
Default Entering Las Vegas

This journal is a chronicle of an experiment that I am conducting on myself. I have decided to quit drinking for one week. If you didnít catch it the title is a reference to the film, Leaving Las Vegas, in which Nic Cage plays a man who has decided to move to Las Vegas with the express intention of killing himself with alcohol. He estimates that he can do it in about one month.


I never drank anywhere near that heavily, or with the intention to end my life, but I have been a habitual drinker for over four years. In fact, if any of you MB members have ever been amused by, irritated by, confused by, bored by, or even noticed any of my posts here, I can probably thank my alcohol habit for helping me write them. My daily intake ranges from a lot to way too much. I have no intention of quitting drinking for good, just to break the habit and then proceed to drink like a normal person. I figure one week is enough to see what happens without alcohol in my life.

The reason I decided to do this is not profound. It was simply that I found myself short of cash recently and my first thought was about how I was going to fund my next supply of spirits. I had some money coming in a couple days so I decided that I would just wait until then, and that sparked the idea of the week-long trial.

Yesterday was day one, and the previous night the last song that I heard was ďIím Gonna StayĒ by The Moxies. I had never even heard of the band Ė the song randomly came on the radio when I was driving, thinking about the week ahead of me.


The songís protagonist is a man who swears that he wonít let his girl go even though heís been told that sheís no longer interested in him. I immediately thought of the guy as alcohol and myself as the girl, wondering how my mind and body will treat me after telling alcohol that I need my space. Weíll see. Itís also a pretty good song that Iím glad I discovered. When I got home I looked it up and discovered that, ironically, the b-side to the songís record is called ďDrinkin' WineĒ


As today is day two, Iíll recap day one now and submit day twoís entry later tonight. I woke up pretty early and quickly decided that I would do nothing important or stressful because fatigue set in. I tried to do some work and listened to Swordfishtrombones by Tom Waits. It was an interesting choice because as I listened, I realized what a great album it is for drinking to.


Soon enough I decided to simply lie on the couch and watch Netflix all day. I watched a bunch of movies that I donít even recall right now. I do remember watching one called ďThe LedgeĒ which stars the guy from Sons of Anarchy. I kind of liked the movie but was pissed off about what a one-trick-pony actor Charlie Hunnam is. Also, heís been a working actor in America for at least 15 years, I think, so why in hell canít he manage a decent American accent?

I didnít really experience any cravings but I felt like shit all day. I intend to update this journal daily in order to keep myself on track. I just said that there will be at least seven entries so if there are not then I have fallen off the wagon and failed my test. Iím using this week to get my general shit in order on top of the alcohol cessation so I do not intend to fuck up. Weíll see.
__________________
Like an arrow,
I was only passing through.
Engine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2013, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
Nobody likes my music
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: In Cognito
Posts: 21,742
Default

Interesting idea, Engine. Did you notice that when you put the A and B sides of that single together you get "I'm gonna stay drinkin wine"? Hopefully that's not a warning to you. Best of luck in your endeavours: your writing has never come across to me at any rate as alcohol-fuelled, but if you think you need to cut down then I hope you can manage it.

One point: Charlie Hunnam not having a decent American accent? You don't think he does a great drawling accent in "Sons of Anarchy"? He is British after all. I think he's very convincing.

Here's one from Waits you may enjoy...
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2013, 09:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
air quote
 
Engine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: pollen & mold
Posts: 3,050
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
Interesting idea, Engine. Did you notice that when you put the A and B sides of that single together you get "I'm gonna stay drinkin wine"? Hopefully that's not a warning to you. Best of luck in your endeavours: your writing has never come across to me at any rate as alcohol-fuelled, but if you think you need to cut down then I hope you can manage it.

One point: Charlie Hunnam not having a decent American accent? You don't think he does a great drawling accent in "Sons of Anarchy"? He is British after all. I think he's very convincing.
Yes I did notice the interesting placement of the single's titles. And thanks, I know for sure that I need to cut down. It's not about my writing or general behavior so much. I isolate enough that when I'm blackout drunk I stay away from the computer, phone, and car keys. Also I try not to get wasted in public but it is to the point that, when I am with people, there's a 50/50 chance that I'm going to say or do something embarrassing or otherwise regrettable. Mostly it's that I know I can't keep the habit without serious health risks. Also I know I'm self-medicating and I feel like I should check on how many and which kind of demons surface when I'm not drinking.

Also, I don't think that Hunnam is a terrible actor, and his accent is definitely passable on SoA but in this film I watched it was like he was barely even trying not to sound like a Brit. I may have just been in a hyper-critical mood when I watched it.


On to Day Two

I woke up early this morning feeling pretty optimistic having finished day one. I didnít sleep very well or very long though. About every three hours I woke up from a dream but I only remember the last one. It involved one of my best friends from high school who died a few years after we graduated. In the dream he never died and was working in some kind of travel agency. I told him that I needed a plane ticket to somewhere in Europe (I forget which city I would be flying into), that I needed to leave today or tomorrow, and asked if he could get me something inexpensive. He told me that he could get me a ticket for $70 and I was thrilled. Then I went and met with another old friend of mine and told him about the situation. This friend says, ďthereís no way that he can do that, that ticket would be at least $700!Ē I replied that I was told that I could come by and pick up the ticket right now. Other friend warned me that this would definitely get him in trouble at work. I decided that the best course of action was to grab the ticket before it was too late. Then I woke up feeling sad about my dead friend in general, and worse that I was willing to fuck him over like that.

But I chalked that up to simply a bad dream and got up feeling pretty positive. I had a protein shake and did some half-assed cardio bursts that still brought buckets of sweat. I did this while watching the last available episode of Sherlock (S2E3), which was pretty great. I had plans to do a lot of things today to keep myself occupied but I soon got fatigued and started the laying around like I did yesterday.

This time I didnít watch anything on TV at all. I lied there doing nothing at all other than spending some time talking to a friend who I hadnít been in touch with for a while, which was nice. When I got hungry I made a meal, ate it, and felt nauseated about 15 minutes later. This happened yesterday as well. Today it was to the point that I thought I might actually vomit but the feeling passed. I had a slight case of the sweats so I cranked the A/C down to a profligate level and this made me feel better.

I only listened to one album today, several rotations. I didnít want anything too upbeat or too depressing so I settled on Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown, 1973-1980, an awesome album that Iím sure Iíve discussed somewhere here on MB at some point. Itís a collection of reggae covers of soul and R&B songs. Highly recommended:



Here are two by Ken Boothe




My appetite never came back and I still donít feel like drinking but I donít feel like doing anything else either. After I post this Iíll probably go back to bed.
__________________
Like an arrow,
I was only passing through.
Engine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2013, 05:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
The Sexual Intellectual
 
Urban HatÄmonger ?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Somewhere cooler than you
Posts: 18,449
Default

Just last week I was listening to John Lydon sitting in for Jarvis Cocker on his radio show and he played Ain't No Sunshine and was singing Ken Boothe's praises saying he owned everything that he had recorded.
__________________



Urb's RYM Stuff

Most people sell their soul to the devil, but the devil sells his soul to Nick Cave.
Urban HatÄmonger ? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 12:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
air quote
 
Engine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: pollen & mold
Posts: 3,050
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban HatÄmonger ? View Post
Just last week I was listening to John Lydon sitting in for Jarvis Cocker on his radio show and he played Ain't No Sunshine and was singing Ken Boothe's praises saying he owned everything that he had recorded.
I almost forgot about Lydon's obsession with Jamaican music. It's interesting that he mentioned Boothe because there are so damn many of those musicians who made such great stuff. I can't keep track of them all but based on his recommendation, I'll probably look deeper into Ken Boothe.


Day Three

Well, I after I submitted that last post I did go back to bed but I did not sleep very long. I got up in the middle of the night unable to sleep and tried to figure out what to do with myself. Nothing was working though Ė I was bored. It wasnít just an average type of boredom but a deep, mind-numbing boredom of the kind that doesnít allow you to enjoy any activity at all. This is one of the demons I had been waiting for. I remember feeling this way quite often before I started getting intoxicated. Along with this boredom comes guilt born from the fact that a part of me feels that boredom is a symptom of being spoiled and overprivileged. I also have memories of a teacher I had in high school who told my class that bored people are boring people. I know he was just trying to get kids to pay attention to his Biology lessons but something about that always made sense to me. So, while Iím clearly not physically addicted to alcohol in any significant way, Iíve got some psychological dependence and one reason for that may be that I am a boring person. I drink because Iím boring. Oh well, demon one recognized.

Eventually I decided to listen to some music. The thought of The Red Sea by ISIS popped into my mind and I initially resisted because I didnít think I really felt like hearing any kind of loud sludgy stuff. Then I remembered that anytime an idea of what to listen to pops up, I should follow that instinct. Otherwise, Iíll spend 10 minutes or more trying to decide, never being satisfied and usually ending up putting on what my mind told me to in the first place. So I went with it and this was a good idea. I havenít listened to the album in a long time and when I heard it, it dawned on me that this album is actually now very nostalgic and transports me back to a certain time and place in the late 90s. It was a time when I was a lot more carefree than I am now, and also when I hadnít heard a thousand bands use this sound. It felt good to be back there.


The vocal samples in that song are from dialogue between Crispin Glover and Alicia Witt in the episode they did of David Lynchís old HBO series, Hotel Room, which was awesome but only 3 episodes long. The Crispin/Alicia episode (#3) is definitely the best but the one with Harry Dean Stanton (#1) is also really good. So I decided to watch those. The boredom was mostly gone and that was good.

The shit, Moe, the shit!

Interestingly, in the Stanton episode, he orders a bottle of Jim Beam (my current drug of choice) and it definitely made me want some. I hope that I wouldnít have had any but I canít know because thereís none in the house and no liquor stores were open. I assume I wouldnít Ė the craving wasnít very intense, and I could have as much as I want in four days.

Later in the day I got really sleepy and kind of against my will took a long nap right in the middle of the day. This sucks because now Iíll be up all night and have thrown off my sleeping schedule yet again. Luckily I seem to be having slight physical reactions to quitting booze because since I stopped I havenít felt fully alert for very long, so I should be able to get my sleeping back on track soon enough.
__________________
Like an arrow,
I was only passing through.
Engine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2013, 09:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
air quote
 
Engine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: pollen & mold
Posts: 3,050
Default

Day Seven

One of my downfalls is that I often donít finish what I start. In the first post of this journal I mentioned that I would update it daily for seven days and that if I did not it would mean that I didnít make it through the week. Well, I did stay sober but I failed to update this thing daily. I suppose I didnít post anything on days 4 Ė 6 because I didnít really have shit to say and I didnít feel like submitting journal entries with no content other than ďdidnít drink again today.Ē

So here I am, late in my final day as a teetotaler and I may as well share some reflections of the week. I enjoyed the experiment and Iím certain that my liver is happy to have had a break from its hard work. I learned that I am not an alcoholic, just a bored reveler, which I suppose is fine. Iíll admit that a part of me was hoping to gain some deep insights into myself or a moment of intense mental clarity, orÖ something. But the truth is, other than some very mild withdrawal symptoms early in the week, I felt no different at all. No better or worse physically, mentally, or emotionally. Kind of disappointing really.

On the first day I decided that I wanted to read something inspirational in case the cessation was difficult. I would have probably gone for The Brothers Karamazov, which Iíve wanted to re-read for a long time but I didnít want fiction. I decided on philosophy and immediately thought of Alan Watts but he was a hardcore drunk for most of his life and I would have found his writing and general outlook to be too colored by that. So I decided on Nietzsche. I generally pride myself on being able to look past (or maybe through) his harsh language that makes him appear fascist or whatever and instead find great inspiration, hope, and even compassion for the world in his words. So I picked up Beyond Good and Evil and started reading. It wasnít really working. I couldnít see through his writing this time for some reason. I probably should have chosen a different work. I found myself thinking over and over ďthis guy is just an assholeĒ but I kept reading because I knew that something would hit me the right way. It finally did when I got to aphorism #29, which reads:

Quote:
Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it even with the best right but without inner constraint proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring to the point of recklessness. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life brings with it in any case, not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes lonely, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience.
I read that part many times until it was embedded in my mind. This inspired me to exercise inner constraint and not be torn apart by a monster.

Anyway, itís currently less than two hours away from the end of my experiment and I can hardly fucking wait.



__________________
Like an arrow,
I was only passing through.
Engine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 02:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
Melancholia Eternally
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: England
Posts: 4,922
Default

This was an interesting read, Engine. I'm glad you got through your experiment. Where do you go from here? You've said you don't intend to stop drinking altogether, but do you plan on keeping your experiment going, as far as resisting your impulses when you're reveling in your boredom, as you put it?
__________________

Last.FM | Blank Slate | Echoes and Dust
Mojo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2013, 08:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
air quote
 
Engine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: pollen & mold
Posts: 3,050
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
This was an interesting read, Engine. I'm glad you got through your experiment. Where do you go from here? You've said you don't intend to stop drinking altogether, but do you plan on keeping your experiment going, as far as resisting your impulses when you're reveling in your boredom, as you put it?
Thank you and I'm happy that you enjoyed it, Mojo. You raised an interesting question: Where do I go from here?

First of all, and not to be nitpicking, I don't revel in my boredom. I'm often bored and also a reveler but those things don't intertwine (may the gods help me). I aim to expel boredom from my life in general. I don't want alcohol to cure or compliment my boredom. Quite the opposite. I want to live a life free from boredom inasmuch as possible and fit my drinking habit into that life because I'm not actually ready to admit that I'm a boring person. In fact, drunk or not, I feel excited to be alive and I am happy about who and where I am. Despite all of it's horrendous faults, I feel that the current chapter of human life on Earth is a thrilling space to live.

How will I live free of boredom? I'm really not sure but it definitely involves a foray into the unknown. I may become a corporate slave (please gods, not this!). I may do otherwise. I don't know what I'll do but it's coming soon and I'll be drinking happily when it does.

To answer your question more specifically, I don't have a concise plan but I intend to refrain from drinking daily. That's the main thing. Second to that is controlling the amount that I drink when I do indulge, at least some of the time.

My experiment showed me that I love my life, that I want certain things, and that I'm determined to have them. Alcohol is one of those things.

I don't live in England but other than that, this song describes my feelings today: Can't Be Sure

__________________
Like an arrow,
I was only passing through.
Engine is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



© 2003-2019 Advameg, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.