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January 19, 2013
Posted at 12:19 pm

I started drinking again

I've started drinking again. As a blog title it beat out "I hate this fucking story" which was my second choice. Why? Partly because I'm a reserved and modest fellow who was raised in a Christian household with proper family values who would be embarrassed by putting the F-word in a blog title (or even saying it verbally or in writing) and partly because I thought of the other title first.

I love to drink, and I love to drink alone. That makes me sound like an alcoholic, but bear with me here. I was like everyone else I knew in college, drink till you puke and then wash your mouth out with beer. Dimes was the drinking game of choice for a while ... sit with a friend and alternate calling heads or tails, then throw three dimes on the table. Whoever got two out of three won and drank the lower of the two values while the looser had to dring the number of swallows showing on the most coins. It put an added dimension on simply tossing a coin and having to drink or not. Then came keg parties and tumblers. You know, those hard plastic cups that hold twice as much as a red party cup (Big Gulps for beer). I can still picture the herds of sorority girls with tumblers in hand walking across campus towards house parties.

Those were the days. Then came graduation, and like highly trained athletes who had retired, we became light weights. Guys, party animals just the year before, would come back for homecoming and be passed out before midnight.

I moved on and fell in with a bad crowd. Graduate students who were such snobs that they drank microbrew beer and looked down on anything in a can. Peer pressure made me one of them. And then came hard alcohol that didn't come in half gallon plastic bottles! And they drank it without mixers! They swirled and smelled it!

And since it was California, I had to drink red wine to fit in. At room temperature! I longed for the days of watching rugby and lacrosse games back east while sucking on two-liter plastic bottles of wine coolers with co-eds. Ice cold wine coolers! In the middle of the day! to lube up for the keg parties that started after dark.

I tried to fight it and held keg parties at my apartment on special occasions, like random Tuesdays, but had little success. Don't get me wrong, the keg was always sucked dry but the parties drew a bad element -- there were always wine and microbrew bottles to pick up the next morning hidden in amongst the red plastic beer cups.

Then I went down hill and started drinking scotch. The downward spiral was terrible and I hit rock bottom with Isley single malts. With age, alcohol associated health problems began to crop up. The yeast in beer and wine started to disagree with me and I now get a stuffed up nose and a headache from drinking them, so I was stuck drinking the expensive hard stuff, when I could get it. I moved to a new state and my suppler was gone, no longer could I walk into a grocery store (Ralphs, Albertsons, Trader Joe's) and put down $60 or $70 on a bottle of scotch.

Supply problems, and then money problems, set in and I had to switch to bourbon … the booze that dug the Erie canal to get at corn grown west of the Appalachians ... the booze that won the west, the booze of America (God Bless America should be playing in the back of your mind now unless you need to have your government chip replaced or take off your foil hat). It must be made of 51% corn or more and aged in oak. If you live in Tennessee and drip it through maple wood charcoal you get to call it Tennessee sour mash -- like that is in some way better than Kentucky or Missouri sour mash that sits in a charred oak barrel = bourbon.

Anyway, I started out my new drinking life with a bottle of Woodford Reserve, and frankly it was weak tea compared to good scotch. I decided that if I was going to substitute weak tea for strong coffee (good scotch) then I would save money and check out what was sitting on the bottom shelves. Old Forester was my bourbon of choice. It had a good price and a decent flavor that hung around in your mouth until you were ready to take another sip.

Now, I'm not a true bourbon or scotch drinker. I cut my room temperature dram with nearly equal parts water so that my taste buds are not singed by the alcohol. From what I can tell, that is too much water for real whiskey sippers.

Tragedy struck recently. I went to the drug store that serves as this town's state liquor store and they had jacked up the price on Old Forester, so I moved to other brands in its former priced range, Evan William, Ezra Brooks, et al. But frankly, they suck. Either they are fire water, or what decent flavor there is, stays on the palate for a few short seconds. I came upon Old Ezra seven year old 101 proof after deciding that the regular Ezra Brooks was one of the better liquids on that particular bottom shelf (and it had a fake cork stopper that I liked). For the price, the flavor and alcohol content can't be beat. Here-in lies my problem. I refuse to have to drink a quarter bottle of booze to get a buzz. If I stop drinking for several months then I can buy a bottle, pour two fingers, add some water and get a nice warm relaxing buzz watching TV or writing before bed.

My liver has memories of bygone glory times and over a couple of week's time it ramps up production of alcohol dehydrogenase, so by the time I start on a second bottle I'm up to four fingers or more to get the same buzz, and at tht point the fun is gone so I stop drinking. I drink two or three times a year because of it (not counting sharing a bottle of wine with dinner once every week or two, which is not an enjoyable buzz and gives me a headache. My month long drinking binges are glorious while they last, especially if I can watch MadMen with a glass in my hand. but alas, with a single or double bourbon nearly every evening the bottle doesn't last long and I'm back on the wagon drying out for the next four or five months.

So there you go. I'm all excited to let you all know that I have started drinking again and will probably be drinking for a month or so.

I also like to float a slice of dried Habanero pepper in my bourbon when things get boring. Actually I grow some exotic peppers and use a fruity little yellow thing call Cumari that will knock your socks off, but orange habaneros from the markets, quartered and air dried in our dry winter air works just as well.

Now for the part of the blog about the fucking story I hate, or the story I fucking hate (there is not much fucking in it. It's erotica, not porn, I am ashamed to say). It is the rewrite draft on the Ring Swords story. I like the plot but the characters are not a part of me like they are in most stories I have written so its hard to get inspired, and I get burned out working on it for too long.

Do you care? I doubt it. I keep reading blogs where authors make like their readers are hanging on every word about what they are currently doing with a story. "Hey fans, guess what. I came up with an idea for a new story." Or "this coming chapter has some very philosophical and life changing ideas in it." Get real. My readers don't give a shit, well maybe one or two do, but really, you need to get a life, stalk a celebrity or something. For my readers who care ... I spent a couple of weeks thinking about a 'civil war vet tuned Dodge City buffalo hunter' story and a 'Big Ten college stud turned porn star' story. But tht was just procrastinatiion from working on the story I fucking hate.

How do I know that I don't have a pack of people hanging on my every word. Numbers, baby!

Wilhan Dragonslayer, a blood and guts fantasy warrior story, had six thousand downloads per chapter. I followed that with Gorgo the Barbarian, a blood and guts barbarian warrior story, and it only had some six hundred readers. Why? Because it was short. That means over five thousand fans of my unparalleled writing ability didn't even open it to see if it might have been worth reading.

"The Proposal" A common sex story that appeals to the bread and butter of SOL readership, had less than four hundred people who were willing to open it … because it is short, very short. So I know that people don't really care what my trivial thoughts are on what I am doing writing-wise, or in my life in general. It doesn't bother me. I would be both flattered and creeped out if strangers in cyberspace did care. This blog is to let off energy that builds up in the creative process, and that is what authors are doing when they post updates. It helps make life better pretending that you care.

I'm going back into my hole now because after working on it for foru days straight I'm burned out on looking at the story that I fucking hate. I'll work on it again when I don't fucking hate it so much. The good news for the six of you reading this far in this blog is that I didn't start posting it and then stop, leaving thousands of loyal fans hanging. It will be at least fifteen chapters long so no matter how much my gilded verbosity sucks I will once again have thousands of people who care about the minutia of my creative thoughts, and life will be good.