The year I turned fifty-one I drank more than I have in any other year of my life.

Not a taste test. After a long night of drinking I found three different unfinished beers that I had misplaced around the house, yes I drank them.

For many years now I’ve continuously strived to drink as much as possible. When I first started on this quest I figured that being able to drink heavily without getting a hangover (along with the invention of the self-driving car) would be the pinnacle of drunken happiness. I was right. Hangovers are not an issue and my health is not an issue either. Still, I’ve decided to start drinking less. Money is the main concern, but my mental health is also in question.

When compared to wine high quality beer is inexpensive, but the price has gone up. For one, those hazy beers with the funny names often require double and triple the amount of hops and the fancy cans they come in can be expensive. Not only that, but similar to an issue I have with wine, I drink them too quickly. Brewing techniques (building up from a light malt instead of starting strong and using hops for balance) have progressed to the point that super hoppy beers are almost too drinkable. A bomber of good old-fashioned style double IPA lasts me longer than the big fancy four-packs.

Last May I drank a bottle of wine and three double IPAs before starting a 12 hour fast for a blood test. I wanted to get fair results by not cleaning up for a physical. I got a clean bill of health, my blood pressure is low, my liver is fine and despite everything I’ve heard about alcohol weakening the immune system, I haven’t been sick since 2017.

Anything that is considered food I eat. There is no cuisine that is off the table for me. However, I stopped eating sugar, no desert, no donuts, ice-cream etc. This seems to have improved my liver health and has shot my booze recovery time through the roof. I used to say the best reason not to drink too much was because you still want to look forward to drinking the next day. But when I stopped eating sugar I didn’t have to pay as much attention to how much I was drinking. Late night benders that used to put me out of commission for a day would only last a morning. At work I’d start daydreaming about my next beer right after my afternoon car nap. This meant more nights drinking as soon as I got home.

Which is always nice, but when you then keep drinking until 2am it cost money. Near the end of the year, even after I stopped buying the fancy cans and thought I was being thrifty with my beer purchases, the wife noticed the increase in spending. She had a talk with me about bills that needed to be paid down now so we could have room for some even bigger bills coming up in our future. It was the only talk I ever received about why I needed to drink less that survived scrutiny.

Not long ago we were raising two little kids, going back to school, getting new jobs, fixing up a home, money was tight, free time didn’t exist. From 2004 to 2014 planning ahead for any opportunity to drink beer was important, and difficult. Not anymore.

I’ve always been an aggressive driver. I don’t race other cars. We are all on the same team. My issue is I can’t stand the sight of unused road. It’s a waste, so if cars in front of me have unused road in front of them I’m compelled to get to that unused road. Despite the misgivings of some passengers, I always felt, strongly, that my driving has been safe and under control. Until this year, this year I crossed the line, repeatedly, and I did it almost absent-mindedly. I kept saying. “Holy Christ, don’t do that again!, then the next day I would do it again. Driving has been second nature to me all my life, but this year getting my driving under control is the reason I started praying to God again. It’s something I never had to worry about before. Now, before I get in the car I put myself in a mental state where I don’t drive like a boulder tumbling down a hill.
It’s a similar story with the drinking. Too much untethered momentum.

The art on our walls for this post.
A friend Brandi got this for my wife on her birthday several years ago. I wasn’t happy about it then. I thought it was dark art. I thought blood was coming out of her eye. Now I look at it and it looks like she just has a little bit of rosacea. What was I thinking? Of course, in this photo I took of the painting from the reflection off the glass you can see Melvin sitting in the lower left corner, that doesn’t help.

 

Music
The last several Brewznewz Youtubes have been punk rock, so I’m unapologetically going back to Miley Cyrus.  I don’t think most people appreciate just how hardcore Miley is. As a fan I’m always a little nervous. Chances are she’s not going to bat 1,000 forever and she constantly does new things on the fly.
This was a morning TV show, the fruited plane of perky hosts, choreographed dancers, and forgettable pop stars, even though everything was geared to be lame Miley was freaking amazing as always.

 

Recently my 1997 Subaru needed $600 in repairs so we traded it in and got a 2004 Camry. Ha, I’m moving up in the world. But it’s true! The Camry is truly a LUXURY sedan. I called the Subaru the dog car because the interior was so thrashed I didn’t worry about carrying the dogs around in it. It also had a broken stereo so I could only listen to my cell phone by putting it in my shirt pocket and pointing the speaker up towards my left ear. The interior of the Camry is really nice, I keep a blanket in the trunk to cover the back seat when I let the dogs in. It also has a tape-deck which is awesome because I have a cassette adaptor so I can listen to all the music and podcasts on my phone in full stereo. The windows roll up into the door so there is less road noise and the windshield-wipers work too. It does have an egg-beater for an engine but that’s okay as I’m trying to be a more subdued driver. While I will miss the go-cart like simplicity of the old Subaru I won’t miss traffic jams with a manual transmission.

Similar to beer I probably need to spend less time on Twitter. On one hand it can be great. Unlike Instagram, Twitter can be very impersonal but I’ve found some reporters and other folks I may not have discovered otherwise. I’ve also taken some deep dives into some dumb shit. Okay, thanks for checking out BrewzNewz Go A’s!

___________________________________________________________________________

Crap, I “published” this but it doesn’t feel done. I edited out the mental health stuff to make this shorter and less complicated. However after doing that it just ends with a thud and some of the things I wrote no longer connect. However, I want to be done with this so instead re-editing the entire thing I’ll just add this brief addendum.

Addendum

I had a problem this year losing focus and acting absentmindedly. I don’t know if my brain has been pickled or if I just reached an age where the governing portion of the brain becomes weaker. I just pushed my limits every night. I’ve tried to change a few things this year with some success, and also some failures. I know a lot of people my age are forced to make life changes. We had a little play-off football party at our house this year and half the people there had recently quit drinking. At the party I made plans with my friend Ernie, we were going to make watching the playoffs fun by starting the next day at 10am on South Main Street, heading North and having a drink at every place downtown with taps. However, that night I continued to drink until 3am and like a complete failure of drinker I had to text Ernie at 8am and let him know I was too tanked to continue on another day.  I’m an asshole I used to lecture at people and lose respect for them as drinkers for that kind of foolishness. Day drinking is the best drinking. I need to be better! I will be better!

The Goldfish incident, not much to see here, I deleted this post and could have got away with it if not for my obsession with not wasting food. That and over sharing, the next day the Ninja’s came to town and I told everybody. I don’t drink milk or eat Goldfish so I have no idea what I thought I was doing here.

Okay, that’s it. I’m just going. It’s spring, enough with this! I’m posting this and then the only reason I need to be on this computer is for fantasy baseball!