Perchance to Dream

 

 

I miss sleep.

 

I’ve been having trouble staying asleep at night. Again. I struggled to sleep since I was a small child. It barely went noticed, though, as everyone else was always dead to the world, while I, alone, fidgeted in the dark, hoping to drift off. Those sleep troubles lasted all the way up to a few years ago. I don’t know what happened, exactly, but I began sleeping through the night and it was grand. I still had an occasional night of tossing and turning, but for the most part, I was rested.

 

Then the U.S. elections hit in November of last year and my sleep began suffering again. For several weeks, I was maybe getting four hours of restless sleep per night. And that took its toll, to be sure. I decided to drink more (for reals) and I started sleeping a bit better. Not the best cure, I admit, but as I was mostly walking dead for a few months there, I took the alcohol as treatment. And it helped.

 

Once January rolled around, I climbed aboard the wagon, just as I do every year. The goal is to start the new calendar with a dry month. Ordinarily, that’s no big deal, but my sleep troubles have returned and I don’t like it. The nighttime wakefulness is aging me. And being tired doesn’t do much for one’s outlook, either. The word unpleasant, while apt, doesn’t begin to cover the problems associated with poor sleep. Poor sleep, in and of itself, leads to poor living.

 

I’m trying to wear myself out, as best I can, and hopefully that will lead to a few nights of good slumber. I surely need it. And if not, well, I’ve only committed to not drinking for this month. In twenty days I’ll be off the wagon.

 

To sleep, perchance to dream…

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

 

 

Betro and Aniela told me about it, but I barely believed them. It just didn’t sound right. Or real. Or something. All I knew was I wasn’t buying it. So they stopped at a liquor store and showed me what’s what.

 

 

Oy vey. What is the world coming to, people? Are we so desperate to get our drank on while getting cavities that we’ll resort to this? If you’re planning to imbibe this Halloween weekend, please do so responsibly. With a beverage that doesn’t need a “Z” to make it cool. And with a modicum of decorum. I mean really…

 

Where to Begin?

 

 

Okay. Deep breaths. Keep it together, Mikki…

 

I’ve been cleared to drank! Hallelujah! Hand to God! Preach on, brother alcohol!

 

Actually, I’ve been cleared to drink, not drank. I have to keep a rein on the old drinking pony. Don’t want to undo all the healthy good that’s been accomplished.

 

But for now, I’m wondering where to begin? The bar is my oyster!

On The Wagon

 

 

 

This month I’ve parked myself on the wagon. In other words, I’m abstaining from alcohol until February 1. That’s right. I won’t be drinking until Super Bowl Sunday. Which is also the day I’ll be chicken-winging. And possibly potato-chipping.

 

I’ve made this decision mostly because the last few weeks of 2014 were alcohol-soaked and food-heavy. And as wonderful as that was, it took a toll. I guess this is my month to pay the piper. Whoever that greedy guy is.

According to Chemistry…

 

 

I saw this sign outside a pub in London. It made me giggle.

 

After an extended bout of the London Croup, I am now (mostly) recovered and off the wagon! During the worst of it, I abstained from drinking as I didn’t think it would do a dang thang to help. But now that I’m better… Wow! Oh! Alcohol! How I’ve missed thee!

London – The Weekend

 

 

“When I was a child, running in the night

Afraid of what might be.

Hiding in the dark, hiding in the street

And of what was following me…”

Kate Bush

Hounds of Love” from Hounds of Love

1985

 

 

When I woke Saturday morning, I was still floating from the joy of the previous day’s Harry Potter adventure. I was also still dragging from the London Croup. Mister had kept quiet so I could sleep in a bit, and I greatly appreciated that. But I knew it wouldn’t be enough. I was willing to try and muster up the energy to tick a few items off our to-tourist list, so I bucked up and put my big-girl pants on.

 

 

 

As it was post-breakfast and I knew I couldn’t handle one more day of skipping meals, I practically begged Mister to go out with me for a nice Indian lunch. The way I saw it, some hot, spicy curry might help the symptoms of my evolving London Croup. It was worth a shot, right? So we made our way to the Covent Garden area to Dishoom. When we walked in to find nearly half of the customers resembling folks of Indian descent, we knew we were in the right spot. After feasting on a lunch of amazing food, we were incredibly happy with our restaurant choice. If you’re ever in that area, I highly recommend Dishoom.

 

 

 

After lunch we walked and talked, taking our time. There was no place we had to be, so we simply roamed. At some point we decided to refer to our list of things we wanted to do in London.

 

 

Our next agenda item was The Courtald Gallery, located in Somerset House (which has a fairly interesting history in and of itself). This is one of those places we would never have known about, had my art teacher not recommended a visit.

 

 

It’s not as vast a gallery as The National Museum, but it’s still impressive. Now that I think about it, maybe the fact that it’s more manageable in scale is part of its attraction. We saw the whole joint and it was pretty danged cool.

 

 

From there, we walked in the direction of our hotel.

 

 

As we neared the hotel, Mister’s curiosity could wait no longer. You see, each day we would pass a pub called Bag O’ Nails and each day Mister wanted to go in. I wasn’t completely against the idea, I just thought it would probably be a little too touristy, as it was across the street from the Tube. (I do realize we ourselves were tourists.) As we were still fairly full from lunch and would not be ordering food, I said okay. So the Bag O’ Nails it was. Mister ordered a pint and I ordered tea – London Croup and all.

 

By the way, have I mentioned that I had my last drinks after the Harry Potter experience? I tried, thinking a bit of alcohol might serve a medicinal role. That didn’t hold true, however, and I was therefore off the drink. Sad. Sad, I tell you.

 

Back to the Bag O’ Nails. Mister had his pint and I had my tea and by then we’d both had quite enough. It wasn’t a terrible place, but it wasn’t grand, either. It was, however, checked off. And that meant a short walk to the hotel and sleep.

 

 

When Sunday morning arrived, I was more rested. I was also more ill. I mean really, London Croup! What the hell? Anyhoo, against all odds, Mister and I woke during breakfast hours. And we actually had breakfast! Can you imagine?

 

 

We ate and then walked around a bit before heading back to the hotel, via Buckingham Palace. Food had helped, but I was beat. I encouraged Mister to head out on his own, so as not to waste the day, but he’s not that kind of guy. He stayed in with me and we did a bunch of nothing. For reals. Just - nothing. We read a bit. We watched telly. We chilled. And it was awesome. By early evening, I was more rested, but also tired. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s how I felt. And I couldn’t have appreciated Mister’s willingness to let me off the hook any more than I did. Honestly, that day in felt like it saved my life.

 

 

At some point we thought to go out for dinner. It was one day before the official start of Autumn, but London seemed to have already crossed over. The air was crisp and the temperature dropped. We walked around the corner to our “local” – The Phoenix – for one last meal. As it was Sunday, we ordered The Roast (for 2) and dug in. For those of you keeping score, that meant we ate 2 meals that day. A record!

 

 

After dinner, it was still fairly early, so we opted to walk a new-to-us route back to the hotel.  There were some interesting sights along the way.

 

 

Back in our room, we made plans for the next day, knowing it was to be our last in London.

 

 

With full bellies, we settled in…

 

 

To be continued…

L.A. Story

 

 

This past weekend, Mister and I decided to walk about a mile or so to dinner. By walking, we would eliminate the need for one of us to be the designated driver and therefore we could both get our wine on. It was a simple plan. For a simple night. Simple, of course, never showed up.

 

 

We did indeed walk to dinner. This being L.A., our 5:30 arrival time was too early for the kitchen. So we sat at the bar and ordered glasses of champers. We also ordered cheese fritters (the only “bar” food available), and waited patiently for them to arrive. By the time that little schmibble was placed before us, we had finished our champers and were drinking white wine. We finished off the fritters (awesome, by the way) and then shared a tray of oysters. You’d think that was enough, but nooooooooo. After the empty oyster shells were removed, our real food arrived: roasted quail with white truffles for Mister and whole fried red snapper for me. And an entire bottle of red wine.

 

 

We feasted and drinked-ed. By the time we had taken our last bite and drained the bottle of red, we had made so many friends at the then-packed bar that we had to say goodbye to folks on all sides. (I don’t know what to tell you – drunk Mister and Mikki are fun, y’all). We headed out the door, with the intention of walking home. But when we reached the nearest street corner, we saw a lot of nightlife going on down the block. So we zigged instead of zagging, and before we knew it, some dude on the sidewalk was telling us we should saunter into a small theater, where a free show was about to take place. We were just drunk enough to bite, and so we went inside and found a couple of seats.

 

Mister and I love theater, but we don’t actually go too often. It’s tricky, because there are about a jillion theaters in and around L.A., and – with all due respect – not everything is good. Most of it, in fact, is probably forgettable, with some of it being downright abysmal. We usually don’t risk it, and instead wait for someone to tell us about a play or show we should see. So far, that’s working. When we found ourselves sitting in the less-than-50-seat venue this past weekend, I was unsure. We were told the show would be about an hour and a half, and that there would be 10 performers, each doing a one-actor piece. I asked Mister if he wanted to bolt before the house lights went down, but he was game to see what might happen. So we stayed.

 

 

Remember on Friends when Chandler ends up at a one-woman show, alone, because everyone else is at Joey’s rooftop party and they all completely forgot about him? And when the actress takes the stage to begin her show, she screams her first line: “Why don’t you like me?” I’m not gonna lie – I was braced for a similar experience. But that isn’t what happened. The 10 actors took the stage, one by one, and performed their individual pieces. Nothing was particularly memorable, but nothing sent me to my mental “bunnies in a field” safe place either. It was just a thang. And when it was finished, Mister and I should have made our way back down the street, toward home. But our night was already an adventure, so we moseyed to another restaurant, sat at its bar, ordered a late-night pizza and a couple of drinks (I kid you not) and kicked it old-school until we were sufficiently stuffed and puffed. We asked the maitre d’ to call us a cab, which pulled up shortly thereafter and then we headed home.

 

 

After chug-a-lugging a ton of water, we conked out. Woke the next morning, feeling fine.

 

I don’t want to get blotto-ed too often, but it’s nice to know I can still pull it off with little to no pain. Maybe the secret is good food. And lots of it. Maybe it’s starting off in a good mood. Maybe it’s being open to adventure. Whatever the secret, it was a good night. Weird, sure. But mighty good. And a whole lot of fun.

House of Booze

 

 

I packed most of the liquor yesterday. It won’t all fit, and for some reason that makes me very happy. And I’m not even drinking right now!

 

Actually, seeing so much alcohol made me wonder about a few things. Like, where did all this booze come from? And, am I not acknowledging a problem here?

 

Then Mister and I realized something very important: we keep our booze right out in the open. Many people with alcohol problems go through a lot of effort to hide their drug of choice. We, on the other hand, put our drink on display for the whole wide world to see.

 

I think the thing that strikes me as the oddest is the fact that I often forget alcohol is even a beverage option. I just don’t drink that much. Maybe seeing it in my living space has turned it into decor. If that’s the case, it’s a pity. Because there’s some mighty fine drank up in dem boxes, yo!

Breaking the Fast

 

 

For the entire month of January, Mister and I were on restriction. We didn’t eat meat (we did eat fish) and we didn’t drink alcohol. None. Zero point zero percent.

 

Our plan had been to break the fast on Superbowl Sunday. We knew we’d have a feast that day – pork ribs, chicken wings, sausage-stuffed mushrooms – and beer. But when a friend called and invited us to dinner the night before, we decided to bend. And so we broke the fast a day early. And I couldn’t be happier.

 

I’m a light-weight when it comes to drinking. I’m not a light weight, mind you, but for some reason my body just gets super-smiley after only a drink or two. I like that about me. Anyhoo, I expected to be double-susceptible to the effects of alcohol after a month away from the stuff. But you know what happened? I didn’t get drunk. Not even a little bit. Go figure.

 

I did get sleepy though. I mean, it was as if I’d gotten some old-person condition in one month. I could barely keep my eyes open, yo!

 

But I persevered, and had another glass of wine. And then on Superbowl Sunday, I had my share of beer. And I loved each and every drop.

 

And then I immediately fell asleep.

I Smell Meat

 

 

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this or not, but Mister and I have been abstaining from alcohol and meat. We felt we’d overdone it the last week or so of December, and figured it would be good for us to keep it lean and mean during the month of January. The plan was to stay away from alcohol entirely, and to be “Veg-Aquarian” where food was concerned. We’ve pulled it off. We’ve had nary a drop of liquor and we’ve not eaten any cow, fowl or pig. (We do have fish once a week, though, and thank goodness for that. It’s saving our lives!)

 

It was a good idea. And for the record, both of us lost that end-of-the-year bloated feeling during the first week of 20 and 13. That’s a good thing, y’all.

 

But now it’s starting to drag. Everywhere I go, I smell meat. Specifically, I smell the fat of meat as it sizzles in some nearby restaurant/backyard/kitchen. And y’all, meat am be smelling good, um-kay?

 

As for the drinking thing, I don’t know what to tell ya. I’ve wanted to have a drank here and there, especially during stressful moments. But the truth of the matter is, I often forget to drink even when I’m allowing myself the privilege. I guess when it slips your mind, it’s one thing. When you deprive yourself, it’s another.

 

So here at the end of January, I’m looking forward to chewing a big old piece of meat and washing it down with a big old glass of wine. Here’s to dining well, yo. May we all be so blessed.