Seeking An Alternative to Happy Hour

Week 1 of 2014 Winter Term


Over the winter break I drank alcohol with regularity. A beer or two on most days when I was just hanging out at my partners’ parents’ place reading Atwood, with several more on my birthday, Christmas, New Years and at parties where it was just there for the taking. Rarely did I ever get drunk, myself considering the drinking that I did to only be in the spirit of imbibing in Texas brews while I was there. Somewhere towards the end of my trip I made the decision to quit drinking for at least a month, starting on the New Year, mainly because I wanted to practice greater self-denial i.e. I really like beer, so I should not have beer with high frequency BECAUSE I really like it.

At my partner’s friend’s on the last day in December I downed a beer as we counted down to midnight. And although we went to a party that went until 3 am, that was the last of it for me.

Until the following night when, at my partner’s parents’ house once again, having not shared my decision with my partner, she got me a beer from the garage fridge to have with dinner (I know, I know, I could’ve said something, but didn’t). Deciding then instead to switch my resolution date to the Saturday prior to the commencement of the new term, I downed two other beers that night while we watched recorded episodes of The Walking Dead.

The next day I left Houston, and had a beer at the Rogue Brewery at PDX once I arrived in Portland. It was a delicious stout named after Shakespeare, and it left me a bit buzzed after having not eaten anything since a Scholtzky’s sandwich much earlier in the day. Once I made it back to Corvallis, I went to the Safeway nearby my apartment to buy groceries, and while there picked up two microbrews for the weekend that I drank later that very night during a solo Orange Is The New Black marathon. The following night at some friends’ apartment I drank a couple small glasses of straight rum while we watched Before Sunrise, and a friend occasionally called Ethan Hawke’s character a jackass. Then on the Saturday of the new resolution I had a microbrew with a roasted chicken breast and rice I had cooked with Orange Is the New Black going on as I munched on the chicken’s skin, which fell off with ease. That night at the pre-term party, I had several cups of spiked punch to little effect, and woke up the next day with hunger as my only physical sensation.

Last night I went to the store again to buy groceries, and passed those lovely microbrews (in the aisle near my other minor vices bacon, sausage, and my favorite, cheese) with their complex flavors and clever names with an embarrassing amount of lust. Somehow I made it out of there alcohol-free. Grad school is even tougher when you’re trying to do it as sober as a sober judge.

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