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We’re getting back up to speed after the “holiday”. I’m putting “holiday” in quotation marks because it actually stopped being as restful as I needed shortly after I commented how nice it was to have a break. Due to various emergencies, mostly weather-related, I ended up logging almost as many hours on emergency calls as I typically do during a standard work-week. The Boss™ sprang for a nice lunch for all of us yesterday out of appreciation for our hard work.

It was a good reminder that, as much as he can drive us all nuts sometimes, it’s incredibly nice to be working for an actual human being who knows and respects us instead of some faceless, heartless subsidiary corporation which treats its employees as some kind of barely-tolerated parasites (I used to work in call centres, so believe me, this is a nice change.)

New Year’s Eve was a hoot — after spending the day dealing with a 7-hour emergency call, I hit the road with The Wife™ and we ended up at a house party hosted by friends. We were planning on hitting a couple of celebrations and ended up staying at that one; between a raucous game of SCA-themed Cards Against Humanity and The Wife™ demolishing an entire bottle of elderberry wine, we got a bit distracted ended up being at the first party much later than planned. I was the designated driver (and also still on call) so unfortunately I was unable to avail myself of our hosts’ impressive collection of single-malts. I’m pleased, and a little proud, that despite being drunker than she’s been in more than a decade (her words) The Wife™ did not boot on my dashboard despite the slippery ride home.

New Years’ Day was, predictably, very quiet. The Wife™, not being a heavy drinker, was coping with a rather more severe hangover than she’s accustomed to so I took pity on her and offered her the wisdom gleaned from nearly a decade of university experience: my patented hangover remedy. So for all and sundry, here it is: a shitload of water; a shitload of ibuprofen; a shitload of coffee; and a greasy truck stop “hungry man’s” breakfast. As I told The Wife™: if you can keep that down, you’ll be sitting pretty. The Wife™, demonstrating why I love her, held up like a trooper through the whole ordeal. She even managed to make a bit of fun of the two freshmen at the next table who were groggily trying to piece together their evening, complete with phrases like “I think you drank three of those” and “I really hope you used a condom.” (Ah, to be young again.)

The Wife™, I fear, is mildly embarrassed about the whole thing: she didn’t set out to get shikker, it just sort of happened (nobody else was drinking the wine.) I don’t think she has anything to be embarrassed about because everybody has to get unwound sometimes, and New Year’s Eve is an extremely socially acceptable time to do it. Also, she made sure she wasn’t driving. If you’re having fun at a party and end up drinking more than you planned, I’ve got no problem with that… especially if you’re still having fun, being responsible and not making anyone uncomfortable.

Certainly I’m in no position to be critical, even if I were so inclined: the first time that The Wife™ and I spent any time getting to know each other was at my first Trillium War, when I got rascally drunk on home-made mead and a few of us spent a couple of hours re-hashing our favorite Firefly moments around a campfire. (She’s since informed me that she was impressed by the fact that I could be that drunk, that charming, and that word-perfect on every quote.)

Some people do drugs; I’m a drinker. That’s just a personal preference: I know quite a few people who’re really into marijuana, for example, but it’s not for me; I’ve tried it, I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s just not my preferred vice. (I do support legalization for a wide variety of practical reasons, placing me firmly alongside the majority of Canadians.)

A Christmas gift: Wine-grape vodka.  Very interesting.
A Christmas gift: Wine-grape vodka. Very interesting.

I like booze, particularly brandy, scotch, or vodka, neat. Alcohol, particularly straight liquor, is my substance of choice. (For the record, though: I’m not an alcoholic… and that’s not self-delusion: I once asked a friend who’d been through AA if she thought I might be and she asked me: “Can you stop at one drink?” I said yes. She replied “Then you’re not an alcoholic.”)

I’ve never bought into the theory that there are “gateway drugs” or whatever; I think that there’s more of a “gateway personality.” If you’re going to abuse a substance, you’re going to abuse whatever substance is convenient to get your hands on. Being legal, alcohol is convenient, if you’ve got the money.

I enjoy a glass of booze, and most nights I have have one (or two.) I tend to treat it the same way I do coffee — life’s too short to drink crap, so it’s worth getting the good stuff. And if you’re drinking the good stuff, take the time to appreciate it because if you’re not enjoying it, what’s the point? Generally speaking I try not to get drunk if I’m not planning it, and when I do plan it I try not to get so drunk that I’m not enjoying it, either. As the unfortunate freshmen at the New Years’ day diner booth discovered, getting completely freightyarded isn’t necessarily all that fun (and believe me it takes a lot longer to bounce back at 35 than it ever did at 19.)

One of the most fun drunks I’ve had recently was when a friend and former roommate came up for an armouring weekend and we spent the Saturday night drinking mead and scotch and watching Your Highness, a movie which hilariously pokes holes in the self-important capital-F Fantasy genre and is definitely more fun drunk.