Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Be it ever so 'umble, there's no place like 'ome - and no bed like one's own. I am back in Stuttgart, both glad to be here and appalled at what "here" is. I must really change the way I am living: clean up this place, and get some decent furniture.

A good time was had by all, in the traditional manner: carols were sung, old stories were retold, party games were played, walks in the forest were discussed and then abandoned in favour of more important things e.g. eating dinner. What little snow there was melted in the unseasonal (for the Black Forest) +4° heat; the sky was overcast but quite bright, with mist (and the occasional dense fog) rising out of the forested valleys.

The seasonal overindulgences were as usual highly overindulgent. We ate at least four several-course meals per day, not counting cookies and crackers, and drank an astonishing amount before, during, and after the meals. The alcohol that we five put away in two days, would see my parents or my sister's family through a year. I consumed (by my own standards) far too much of it, but was nonetheless the spoilsport, the goody two-shoes of the party as usual.

There are two reasons why I drink so little. The first is that being drunk simply doesn't appeal to me any more, it gets harder each year to see the "fun" in it. The second, more significant reason is that I have a low tolerance for alcohol and a very small amount of self-control: like Dr. Johnson I find abstinence easier than moderation. If I didn't watch myself like a hawk, I would just pour the drink down my throat - and would then regret it bitterly for three days.

To the question "do you know what you're missing?", I answer "yes": I used to be one of the regular drinkers. Twenty years ago no party was complete without a falling-down-drunk binge, no day after without a splitting hangover and an ache in the guts. Somehow I just lost interest in that a few years ago; it wasn't a resolution or even a conscious decision, I only recognized in retrospect that a change had taken place. The game just wasn't worth the candle any more.

Today's Song On Infinite Repeat is Cryin' in the Streets by Buckwheat Zydeco, from the reconstruction-aid album Our New Orleans 2005. A mixed bag of a CD, half of it is quite good indeed - and it's for a worthy cause. (The Amazon page has Windows Media Player and Real Player links for all titles.)


Blogger ratchtaphol said...

oh! write good..

December 27, 2005 at 9:05:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

What? People ask you if you know what you are missing? I can't believe that. Wait, yes, I can. I get asked a lot why I don't usually drink anything stronger than water at karaoke. One of these days I'm going to respond with "Well, the court order says I can't drink anymore after I killed the last guy who annoyed me." But that would be wrong. It's all well and good to indulge every once in awhile but yeah, it makes sense to watch yourself.

I'm glad you had a great time. I'll have to check out the CD.

December 27, 2005 at 9:58:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger zhoen said...

My husband, who does not drink at all, when asked, says,

"Oh, I don't drink, SOCIALLY."

then mutters...
"... just me and Jack Daniels in the basement..."

I always spoil it by laughing. Can't help it.

December 28, 2005 at 12:56:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger brooksba said...

It sounds like you had a great time for the holiday.

I completely understand the want to control how often and much one drinks. I don't like who I become when I drink alcohol.

December 28, 2005 at 8:25:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Little Light said...

I don't enjoy spending time over the toilet, so I completely understand.

December 29, 2005 at 7:37:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

The holidays can sure take their toll on us, but I actually think the days after are better -they're when you're thankful just to be alive and recovery after all the indulgences. Happy New Years Udge!

December 29, 2005 at 8:51:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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