Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost There

I'm not sure what I am looking forward to more...having a drink or opening up 3 poker tournaments at once and degenerating on a Sunday afternoon. Probably the latter. Time will tell, but I have a feeling I won't drink as often anymore. And I suppose that is really the point of all these little take things away from it. Great things about not drinking:

1) Can drive
2) No hangover
3) Save money
4) Less beer - less belly fat
5) Increased energy
6) No drunken regret
7) Productive Weekends (not sleeping till 1)
8) Increased mental clarity
9) If you're not at a bar or party getting drunk and behaving like a moron, there is almost zero chance that someone will take a picture of you and post it on myspace so that the entire world can see you behaving like a moron...unless they are really good at photoshop...and they just don't like you.
10) Barack Obama Motherfuckaaaa!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sober at a bar

I know there are probably plenty of people that do it, but despite trying a few times I just can't seem to not feel a bit antsy and uncomfortable hanging out at a bar when I am not drinking. Such was the case this weekend as there was birthday party to attend on Friday at a restarurant/bar that we attended for maybe 1 hour at the most. Once the bass got pumping and the dancing got started, we headed for the door. The next night there was a company costume party scheduled that we did not even attend...anticipating the same scenario. We were a little bit worn out anyway having spent the entire day moving furniture and personal effects from Coronado to Golden event that already ran long and had us missing a movie night at a friends house.

Later that evening, my brother returned home noticeably intoxicated, as indicated by his performing a choke-hold on me, kissing my girlfirend on the lips, and then building a fort out of the living room furniture. I might have been a bit more irritated than I would have been if I was drunk. Later as I attempted to sleep I was kept awake by high volume conversations emanating from the living room. The three paticipants in that conversation were withing 3 feet of each other, yet nearly screaming. I guess alcohol makes you deaf too.

Next weekend will be entirely different. The conculsion of Sober October will be celebrated on Friday October 31st, at a Halloween Party, with a 10 second countdown to November 1st, at which point I will consume alcohol. Saturday is yet another birthday party in which I will again consume alcohol. Sunday I plan to play online poker ALL DAY.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OMG, content.

The sobriety is going along with much more relative ease than anticipated. Sure I think about having a beer sometimes, but it doesn't nag at me or drive me nuts. Poker hiatus has been more difficult. My self-exclusion from online has found me visiting the card rooms every now again, something I had almost completely stopped doing because of the atrocious rake structure.

I completely quit the Protein Power diet. This is not to say that it was too difficult or that it was not working. It was actually working too well. The initial stages of the diet put your body into a state of ketosis wherein it is not unusual to lose muscle mass as your body breaks down tissues for nourishment. At the time I started the diet I weighed 163 lbs. I am 6 ft tall, so that already is a tad bit light. I had been sick almost perpetually for 3 months leading up to the start of this experiment, which had led to some malnutrition and lack of exercise. After two weeks on the diet I was down to 154, and frankly was looking and feeling a bit gaunt. I decided to halt the diet and return to a regular balance of moderate carbohydrates and fat, but just increase the exercise considerably. I feel better already, and have begun to rebuild muscle that I'd lost while being ill and on the diet. Weight this afternoon was 163.5. Again, this is not to say the diet was bad... it just wasn't good timing for me.

I'd like to say that the time I would normally spend playing poker has been replaced by something more "worthwhile" and enlightening to you my loyal readers... but to be perfectly honest I simply replaced one form of entertainment with another. I've been busy watching the Red Sox (doh!), new episodes of the new HBO series "True Blood", and reading books. Really. That's it. I know it might be more compelling to read stories of night sweats, convulsions, withdrawals and feelings of desperation...but I've only had one or two evenings where I've been ansty and pacing around the kitchen longing for something "visceral".

"It's my life, it's boring" - Ron Burgandy

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Officially freaking out

The blog has had no pictures. That would be because my camera is MIA. I know where it is, but haven't had the opportunity to travel halfway across the county to get it. I do however have a few photos from the "80's" party that we attended this weekend. I was kinda digging the cheeseball mustache, but ended up shaving it anyway. I only have a few photos.

Melina and I stayed at the party for a short time. I had two tall club sodas, we mingled a bit, but were still home long before midnight.

It started over the weekend but has really kind of hit me today, and i am feeling the first of what might be referred to as "withdrawals". I feel like I've taken on a bit too much what with the restrictive diet, the sobriety, and poker hiatus all at once. I suppose I will be almost halfway there in a day, but man... I've been fantasizing all day about ordering a pizza, tearing into a six-pack of domestic beer, and spazzing around in cyberspace.

Instead I turn to activities that just tire me out. Like the "Rusterthon." This is a 10K round trip with a stop in the middle at the Balboa Park "Dog Park". It gets its name from its main beneficiary, Rusty the dog. We run him all the way to the leash-free area and then let him go. Then we run back (or walk). Its a great way to exhaust him on the weekends so that he will calm down a bit while we are at home.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Actual cravings

Last night was a tough one. Having already gone to the gym, eaten, and caught up on some programs on my DVR, I was left alone in my living room with not much of desire to anything but drink and/or play online poker. I suppose I could've read a book or played guitar but my mind was way too spastic to be able to accompish any of those things effectively. I was defnitely uncomfortable. I made due with what I could and managed to lick the poker bug by logging on and just watching the sickest of the sickos play at $2000/$4000 stakes online. That got old fast, so I went for a run to tire myself out, and hit the sack early.

Yes, this is the most boring blog....EVER.

This weekend will be tough. Two social engagments that will both have others drinking around us. Friday won't be so bad as far as drinking atmospheres go, but Saturday will be a themed birthday party at a nightclub downtown. I suppose I;ll just drink more energy drinks... having already formed a brand new addiction.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Weekend 1 in the books

Ok, so my friend was right. Not drinking is not that hard...(for me at least). I guess the trick is just to take yourself out of situations where drinking is the main purpose of the occasion. So obviously I don't go to bars or sporting events. I do have a party to attend this coming weekend, but I don;t think it will be too difficult. See they invented this great stuff called Monster Energy Drink. Its every bit a psychoactive drug as alcohol IMO. One of these things and I'm definitely in an altered state. I like it more than red bull as it doesn't seem to leave me as shaky.

I'm drinking the Low-Carb version because of course I decided to give up pretty much everything this month. Its like Atheist Lent or something. The diet is going fine. I went costco and loaded up on the right food. Its just a little difficult for lunch since I have to prepare everything. No big deal. WE have a grill at work and I use it a lot.

Not playing online poker is well...boring.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Friday is "Bagel Day" at Qualcomm. Its been a tradition in the company since the 80s when founder Irwin Jacobs used to stop at the bakery that was next to the original offices and bring bagels to his team of 5 or so employees. Now Qualcomm delivers 1000's to all the different offices every Friday. I generally skip breakfast on Friday's in anticipation of a Bagel. Today was no exception. I actually toasted it and everything before I realized, "Oh yeah... I don't eat bagels" DOH! I've been starving all morning.

Here comes the first sober weekend. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wow, that was harder than I thought it would be...

When telling him about my plan for a month of sobriety, a friend said to me, "Not drinking is EASY. Not playing online poker for a month...that's HARD." I laughed, but I knew he was right. So, I looked it up on the different poker sites that I play on and they do have a policy for self-exclusion. All you have to do is email them and tell them you want to be excluded for (insert time period) and it goes through. You cannot undo it. One site in particular actually has the options right there on the browser along with confirmation and everything.

Day 1

Apologies for not getting any more content up on the days leading up to October 1. I feel that photos make the stories more interesting, and I have none as my camera is MIA. I will take steps to fix that.

Last night at 11:59 I threw back a snort a 15-year Glenfiddich and savored the aftertaste. It'll be the last sensation of its type until midnight Nov 1. I will get an easy start to the sobriety month as I am sick right now and wouldn't be having a drink anyways.

Along with not drinking, I will be starting a different diet. It's very similar to the "Atkins" diet in that it focuses on no-carb and high protein. Since beer is not allowed, I figured this would be a great time to start. I hope to get over this cold so I can begin training again. I've been sick so much lately that I've not really had the energy for strength training. My muscles have atrophied and I am now under 160 lbs. Booo.

There are a few dates this month that would normally be accompanied with alcohol. There is a birthday party downtown where its certain that EVERYONE will be drinking except for Melina and I. Oh yes... my wonderful girlfriend decided that she would not let me suffer alone and is also climbing on the wagon this month. It will be a year since we met this October, but we will be toasting with water not wine. Then of course is Halloween night, which luckily for us, is on a Friday. All we have to do is hold out until midnight...and then...