Fri, 12 Feb 2010 11:57:02 -0800
I'm perched sideways across two bus seats, coming back from a quick mid-week Tahoe trip with the Intergrouplets (the bargain: I keep the Pythonic masses stylistically in check; they take me to some fabulous resort once every year and a half). Lulu's year-in-(p)review recommendation, Sin Fang Bous' Clangour, resonates on repeat into these new, treble-heavy earbuds; I'm online, as we drive through the snow (which quickly fades as the bus descends through the giant pines and birches from 6200 feet, down by the thousands as the scenery goes from piles of powder to wet scrub), through the graces of my WAN card. I considered not going on this mini-trip -- it took two of my work days; I'm not drinking in February anyhow, and I do love the wine-soaked dinners that are always a part of these trips -- but then I recalled that I'd be oncall not only this weekend (I grabbed the Valentine's Day shift before it was even assigned, pleased to opt entirely out of the saccharine heart-shaped brouhaha or its yet-stronger-in-SF backlash of bar crawls and singles' parties) but also next, and the week after that; and that I didn't need wine to snowboard for half a day or to stay in a plush resort. Work hard, play hard; I'll put Germany back together this weekend, in between naps on my red down couch, pots of tea, and chapters of the His Majesty's Dragon series, my latest Kindle-fluff.
It's been interesting, teetotaling this month (yes, it's something of a New Year's resolution; yes, it is partially because February is the shortest month (though it does make me miss out on Strong Beer Month in the city)): observing with my Pelligrino & lime, I watch my friends' social filters drop away, watch the threads of their stories unravel more and more quickly over the course of an evening. They text me in the mornings, saying they wished they'd shown more of my restraint the night before, and hoo boy aren't they paying for it now. But strangely, I still feel that which I have heretofore called hung over: underslept; sour mouth; thick head. Perhaps I should have taken care to not vary my caffeine intake as a consequence of my alcohol abstention. It appears, though, that I just need sleep more than anything. That would be a challenging month: one in which I resolved to get 8 hours of sleep every night.
The first quarter of the year is not quite half over, and though I feel that nothing's happened yet -- no trips to Dublin or the desert; no eyes caught and bells chimed from across the room -- I do feel productive. Not drinking this month is a Thing To Do, a small life-hacking project; so too the things I break at work in the name of progress, paid for with bottles of bourbon and Islays on the desks of the primary-oncalls I've paged, messages from the escalator in fixed-width font packing-taped to their long glass walls. And at least right now, I feel balanced: even while waiting for something, here are three days of work and there's a few hours on my snowboard on the mountain, not carving with the speed and fearlessness of a 19-year-old but nonetheless not stumbling off the tops of lifts, not catching edges, just zipping between trees, not getting people paged as my knee, now 11 months post-surgery, remembers how to twist, and my quads how to support it. And then more hot tubs under tall trees, my new moisturizer whose small-blue-flower aroma mixes with the leather of my red Kindle cover as I read under a blanket, and six soft pillows on a bed someone else will make in the morning. Pleasure as a value. Though I have a list of life-hacky ways to improve upon it, I do so like the status quo.