AlcoholMastery

A channel I recently came across and have been watching the last couple of days, AlcoholMasteryTV:

I get where he’s coming from SO MUCH in that video above in terms of how he used to be as a drinker. His story gives me hope.

“Keep the alcohol out of your mouth.” Yep. Personal decision.

Personally not interested in purchasing his (or anybody else’s) course, but he has a bunch of videos up for free on his channel that are useful.

His channel is a good resource.

Saturday afternoon journaling in June 2017

Now on day 4 of my commitment toward change. Arm muscles are finally back to normal. Can extend them fully once again. Had dinner with my former partner last night and he said I had just awakened muscles in my forearm that probably had never been stressed so hard, then allowed them to get dehydrated and fatigued the day afterward, so there’s nothing really to worry about there. That’s good. Was nervous for a couple days there that I had damaged a tendon or ligament or something. But all is fine now.

Of course I’m still thinking about what all has transpired recently and why and how I feel about it. That last night out (Monday the 12th), the one where I mentioned the older lady bartender at the calmer bar seeming slightly nervous toward me, keeps running through my mind. The bar was dead that evening. A couple here or there would roam through but otherwise I was sitting in there alone, drinking and playing music on the jukebox. Wasn’t being rowdy or anything, just didn’t want to go home. And it’s that fear of going home that keeps perplexing me. Felt it so many nights while out and about. Like I’m afraid to be with myself, to sit there with my troubled thoughts and ideas and ruminations. That’s been the driving force for me in the barscene for as far back as I can remember. Just didn’t want to go home and be alone. And once it came time for me to return home, I’d want to be “set” to where I’d go to sleep shortly. Put myself out. If I didn’t drink enough at the bar to do the trick, I’d drink more once I got in. And I recall doing just that in my early 20s and here I am in my mid-30s still attempting to do the same thing.

That’s a lot of years of running from something. But what gets me is that I do look at my past and examine it in as much detail as I can. Always have done so. And I do look at what I’ve done wrong and let myself feel it deeply and acknowledge it for what it is. Just because I think about it, though, doesn’t make it go away. Worked it all out as much as I could hope to and yet here it always remains. Back another day to remind me. My thoughts are there when I drink though too. They don’t disappear. Might go under the radar for a while when distracted by others, but they crop back up as the night wears on. Not uncommon that by the end of the evening I’m actually fairly depressed or melancholic (as I prefer to call it). In other words, I didn’t remain a fun drunk for long many nights. I know that. Others knew that too. Told me so on occasion.

So the alcohol didn’t even fix what it was intended to fix, not even temporarily. Not even throughout the full evening of drinking. The thoughts always rise back up before all is done and said. And I believe it’s those thoughts I’ve been aiming to escape from all these years. I don’t know what to do with them. Don’t know how to tame them. But it’s clearly evident by now that adding alcohol to the mix not only doesn’t sufficiently eradicate them for long but also provides breeding ground for new reasons to be upset with myself.

I see it. I understand. More now than ever.

Not sure why I seem so afraid of sitting alone with myself for too long. Why it makes me stir-crazy and uncomfortable. I’ve known me long enough by now to recognize that these are simply thoughts, memories, and that they can’t do much more than pester me. Seems they wish for some sort of expression, some outlet, some way of being concretized, so to speak. And actually, if I’m honest with myself, I have known this for a long time. Guess I haven’t wanted to do it. Didn’t want to have to sit with them so intimately and try to fashion them into something else. Maybe it feels too personal, too sorrowful, too impossible to remedy. But they’re just emotions, and life could’ve been much worse. Not dealt the worst lot here. Just an awfully emotional person who feels these things so deeply that that worries me. Made me think these emotions might capsize my little ship eventually if I took up too much time with them all. So instead I opted for a “slow death” (as I call the drinking lifestyle), which is no better. Not one bit better. Very likely much, much worse. Dangerous for myself and others and completely unproductive in the big scheme of things.

So there’s no choice here right about now. This is what it is, and this is calling for what it wants. Maybe taking up these concerns and finding a way to make use of them will eventually satisfy that internal “gremlin” a bit too. I always return to what Erich Fromm wrote about our options as people: we can either find a productive path or wind up becoming destructive (whether toward others and/or ourselves). I’ve always known his words to be true, and yet I ran anyway and created this situation for myself. Reasoning alone apparently isn’t ever enough.

But I hear it now. Understand more than before, now that there are so many more memories added to the heap, generated within the last several years. New forms of destruction and chaos that were sparked by my hands and my words this time around. Teaches me about the dark side to one’s being. Our capacity to cause harm, whether we deliberately set out to do so or not. And that’s been a valuable lesson. Gotta thank something out there for showing that to me in the ways it has.

Seems to be true that we start to really strive toward heaven once we have reckoned with hell. Otherwise we don’t know what we’re even striving for. But, then again, most roads to hell are paved with good intentions. Maybe dealing in our own versions of the abyss is what helps clarify what’s actually better, more worthwhile, truly healthier, less idealistic and more real.

I can’t regret these years fully since they’ve provided a treasure trove of opportunities to observe others and myself. Lots of shocking material there. Parts of myself I wouldn’t have believed existed had I not witnessed it directly, and same goes for plenty of others. We humans are far more complex than we can imagine, because life is far more complex than we are capable of imagining. Consciousness is a trip, to say the least.

It is what it is. And I’m here to explore it amongst all of you. No one’s perfect, nor is it worthwhile to expect anybody to be. Not even sure what perfection really entails anymore. Just no longer want to toss chance to the wind and act like I’m not responsible for any outcomes when that’s so obviously not true. Such a strategy is an attempt to hide from reality. But we know how that goes…we can run on for a long time, but sooner or later we will be cut down…

True. And it’s okay. I know these days that I can take the pain. Besides, there’s nowhere else to run. And so be it. This is a blessing in disguise, I do know that and appreciate it as such. Just a transition period right now is all. Gonna take time to get my bearings and to form new habits and whatnot. Still, this is FAR better than the road I’ve been on, even if this winds up being treacherous for a spell. So far it is not, but I am preparing myself for that possibility and will accept it if it comes. Because it’s just life. This is how it can roll. Still better than the alternative I had been pursuing. That was monotonous and nihilistic and was tearing me apart. Turning me into something I didn’t want to be. Don’t want to go back there ever again. Not like that. Too pointless and painful and chaotic and uncontrollable. Became useless. Frustrating and saddening and pitiful and not much else.

Why do we fear life and living? Why do we try to hide out and not be seen for what we are? And why have we humans been attempting this since the dawn of time? What are we so afraid of? Rejection? We’re going to be forced to deal with that regardless. Pain and suffering? Same deal. Failure? I think that hits closer to the mark. Existential guilt and confusion.

Anyway, time to move on to something else.

Forward-moving gameplan

Briefly, a few goals to focus on in the immediate future.

1.) Wake up earlier (and hopefully head to bed earlier as well). James Altucher sounds like he knew what he was talking about when he wrote about his decision to sober up years back requiring him to shift his sleep schedule. The night time is the right time for gremlins to run amok. I am up today at 7am. Fell asleep last night a little after midnight.

2.) Tend to my health, particularly through exercise. Fell off that wagon over the winter and have been trying to get more active in the last couple of weeks. Until I hurt my knee again, I was on a roll for a minute there. But I worked with my trainer on Monday and am still sore as the dickens in my arms and back. It’s a better kind of pain, worthwhile pain. The aim is to work out vigorously 3-4 times each week from hereon out.

3.) Embrace thriftiness. Time to save money. Used  to be able to set money aside in savings and need to get back to that.

4.) Take some downtime. Stay home more doing things that need to be done around here. De-stress from all the BS.

5.) Regain contact with some of my people, especially my Grandma. Haven’t been calling her much over this past year. My best girlfriend’s grandfather recently passed away. My buddy in Omaha called the other day but I missed it. Another buddy in Mississippi has reached out to me on occasion, but I’m never around. Haven’t talked to my Dad on the phone in many months because I kept missing his calls. Haven’t heard from my brother either. Or my uncle. Or my cousin. Gotta eventually reconnect.

6.) Stay away from certain places and people. Bad influences who stress me out and bring little to nothing to the table of real value. Tired of dealing with idiots and assholes. Took up too much of my time in the past.

7.) Play in healthier ways. Ceased transcribing portions of books years back. Ceased painting and creative writing attempts. Ceased learning to make videos. All are better uses of my time and energy now.

8.) Resume counseling. Been about a year since I quit. Call her up again and schedule visits.

9.) Form better habits and routines. Like keeping up on my various email accounts more regularly. Taking time for writing and watching lectures in the morning hours. Go on walks now that the weather permits. Keep up on my schedule and improve on what needs to be done. This one will require more detailed planning from day to day.

10.) Imagine the possibilities. A lot of opportunities await the future. I miss dreaming of constructing a better reality. Been too bogged down day to day. It can become much better without that monkey on my back pulling the strings. That gremlin only has as much power as I afford it. Those days are over now. Thankfully come to my senses. It can be better from hereon out.

The writings and podcasts of James Altucher didn’t fall on deaf ears and blind eyes, even though I’ve been stewing on them for a couple of years now. He’s a godsend in his own right and I’m glad people like him exist to share their stories and provide ideas to others in similar straits. Lots of interesting resources available out there. Many good books have come my way and deserve deeper scrutiny and attention paid. I miss that side of myself who used to could focus for long spells on such matters. And I understand this transition won’t be easy. But it feels so necessary, so entirely overdue. It’s worth making a change, for myself and my loved ones. I know it’s going to be okay.

Tuesday morning journaling

My knees are so jacked. And if I quit falling on them it would probably help immensely. Oy.

Drunken me. Can’t recall everything I got up to last night but know I was in safe company. The night before I was just as bad yet not around the right people. The word was that I took a couple hits in the face by a guy whom I know as a barpal who claimed to want to teach me a couple fighting moves. He’s a married man and ex-cage fighter. Apparently he fucked me up a bit, and publicly. Don’t remember it hardly at all and luckily my face didn’t hurt the next day, though my knee did. My knees have been put through entirely too much over the years. Between walking in snow and ice and being a barhound my poor knees have taken a beating.

Been dealing with idiots for far too long. People can say we’re all equal all they want but the truth is that some are dumber than others. Apparently I give time to retards more often than I should. Thinking their hearts are in the right place, but no, they’re too stupid to behave properly. Hence why a guy, so says the bartender on duty that night, got jabs in on me in my face while claiming to be teaching me something. Didn’t teach me jack, just fucked me up. My fault for trusting the idiot for a minute.

And it’s nights like those when I wonder most about what I am doing in this life.

At least last night I was in safe company, but even still I intended to come home 12 hours ago to eat dinner. Got distracted by alcohol and entertainment, like usual.

I surely am an idiot for allowing my life to become this. No question there.

There are so many things I’d rather share on here, like my reading material, and yet this is what I keep having to report on. Because I’m fucking up, relentlessly. Middle-aged barhound with no direction at present. Just recovering from the past while making stupid decisions day to day.  I know.

This “asshole” speaks (a.k.a. pregnancy and motherhood ought to matter, but does it anymore?)

All right. I’ve had a little time to cool down (and sober up) since my last posting about the late-term pregnant bitch drinking in the bar. And yes, I call her a bitch intentionally, though I do not know her personally or her situation and don’t give a damn what her excuses may be. Anyway, I’ve discussed this matter with a few of my people as well as a few bar-pals. Come to find out, the barpals don’t take issue with this like I do. In fact, they seemed more disgruntled with me bringing it up than with her actions. No bar-pal (though all my other friends were pissed about this pregnant woman reportedly (i.e., taking my word for it) observed drinking AND smoking either cigarettes and/or herb on her night out) had shit to say against her decision to drink and smoke while pregnant but me. So, once again, I come across as the asshole. Must be simply picking on a poor pregnant woman for no reason whatsoever. Apparently. What a jerk I must be.

The bar-pal (and off-duty bartender) who was playing pool with the out-to-here(!) pregnant woman claims she was only drinking wine spritzers. But I could’ve sworn I saw her drinking a blue drink and we have nothing in that bar to turn a drink blue that doesn’t contain liquor. And that says nothing about her smoking weed and/or cigarettes as well. Either way, probably not a safe place to hang around in when you’re that pregnant. Too many fights break out in that bar. Kind of a rough joint. And no one is bound to look out for your interests there, not the bartenders or your fellow patrons. We all go in there with the understanding that we’re on our own. Won’t likely find any backup if problems arise. Just every human for him/herself in there. The type of place it is. Very different in that regard than other watering holes I typically frequent.

Anyway, I understand this isn’t just about one woman misbehaving. Goes deeper than that on a few levels for me. First off, I do tire of certain women being given a free pass from judgment and scrutiny and exempted from criticism. Look, I get criticized all the time, and quite publicly and loudly sometimes. People like to tell me they think I can handle it, that I can “take care of myself.” Well, so can other women. That’s how we learn to do so, by being exposed to getting our feelings hurt and being challenged. Lord knows I get challenged pretty regularly, particularly by men. And a part of me does wonder how come other women seem to be granted a pass in this department, especially when they’re fucking up in arguably worse (and more immediate) ways. But when I ask people about this I tend to receive a bunch of excuses in the other woman’s favor. She somehow can’t help it. Perhaps she’s hurting right now. Perhaps she’s looking for something she’s lacking. Perhaps she doesn’t know any better. Perhaps this outcome is somehow better than her choosing to abort instead. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. But I have to wonder where these white knights are when I need backing and help. AWOL. Why? Because I apparently am obviously capable of fighting my own battles and discerning right from wrong, they like to say. Okay. Interesting how that winds up being a double-standard. Especially when I have a proven track record of NOT screwing men over with unwanted pregnancies or using a baby to extract income from a man or the State. And I do aim to remain as reasonable as I can, however well I accomplish that.

But that aside, I’m mostly perturbed because I see the writing on the wall for us as a society, and I also comprehend that womenfolk are just as much responsible for where we’re (collectively) actively headed as the menfolk, if not a tad more so. Motherhood is a major responsibility not to be taken lightly and those who act selfishly and drop the ball in a major way leave lasting psychological scars on their offspring, as should be clearly evident by now. This is an important role, perhaps THE most important when it comes to a child’s well-being and proper development. And yet I look out and see so many skanks behaving poorly, treating their youngens like lottery tickets to cash in so as to make their own lives more comfortable. I see men abandoning responsibility too, so don’t get what I’m saying here twisted — just that a grave responsibility lies with mothers in particular since there is truth in us being the ultimate gatekeepers when it comes to sexual access and opting to bring pregnancies to full term. And we know this. Not a secret. We women are not simply victims of circumstance. We have options that we damn-well can pursue if we want to, that being the beauty of the technological age we live in. Yet we squander so much of the power we do possess and instead like to try playing the victim more often than not. It’s embarrassing to observe and reflects poorly on the Feminist movement as a whole, that much is for sure. Gives the distinct impression that plenty of women aren’t actually interested in achieving “equality” but instead would rather corner the market on power to benefit themselves, even at the expense of men, their children, and society as a whole. Winds up looking awfully selfish in the end. The entitlement complex is unbecoming no matter who is sporting it these days…

Then there’s the moral question pertaining to bringing life into being that we don’t actually want and/or respect and, conversely, are using to suit our own ends. Not about the child or the other parent. More about our own egos and feelings of righteous indignation that leads to subversive actions taken against respect for the importance of family. Suddenly it’s all about one parent doing whatever she wants, everyone else be damned. If you aren’t going to fully respect and appreciate the child, why bring them into being? And if you are only going to harm them and possibly dampen their IQ due to your own recklessness, then you are the true asshole. Your selfishness has gone too far, and I don’t care what your girlfriends might like to tell you inversely. They are trying to justify their own problematic behaviors and choices. Misery loves company — that never ceases to be true. Children require love and proper guidance — that too never ceases to be true.

Pay attention to how many children are coming up these days in inadequate conditions in single mother households. You might like to believe your household may prove to be an exception, but the odds are against you. And any thinking woman can see that in advance. Pregnancies and motherhood aren’t something to treat casually, and I say this as someone who’s reckoned with these concerns all my life thus far. It’s not always easy. I’ve had opportunities to fuck over men and play the State as well, yet I opted not to, not because I am a wonderful person but because I am cognizant of how bad and deficient as a parent (particularly as a single parent) I would likely prove to be. Got enough issues. Yet most women don’t take time apparently to consider this deeply. Won’t. Refuse to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror and change course. Will not do so. Why? Because of wishful thinking? Everything will somehow magically fall into place the way you’d like it to simply because? Because you deserve to have it all? Because you believe yourself to somehow be above fucking up a kid psychologically and emotionally just by virtue of you being you, with no deeper introspection given to the matter? Because you figure kids are all resilient and are capable of walking off any and all damage done to them in childhood? Really it’s because you’re not stopping to think deeply enough on these matters and would rather throw your hands in the air and let the pieces fall where they may as if you have no real say or control in the situation. And THAT’S a serious problem with the victim mentality permeating our society at present.

The last thing we need right about now are more thugs and broken people added to the mix. Have enough of them already. Enough people get hurt by them as is. Yet women are the predominant gatekeepers capable of reducing this problem, if we so choose. But few care to take the matter seriously, as is apparent. “Fuck it,” they like to say. “Not my problem,” they say. Well, whose problem is it then? Always pain paying forward. Current generation doesn’t want to take responsibility for shit, so just let the next sort out the matter on their own, like a bunch of baby-boomers. Don’t want a youngen coming between us and our good time, right? Don’t want to exercise self-control when it’s most needed since that is hard and less fun.

I know. Seen it all play out time and time and time again. We all have. And it’s sickening. Yet we’re not supposed to pipe up and say shit lest we be considered assholes for doing so. I do know. Been down this road many times now and nothing ever changes. The stupid keep procreating like mad and don’t give a damn about the consequences. The reasonably smart try to avoid such pitfalls and then get blamed by others for not procreating since some are concerned about the number of idiots who are (procreating must remain a competition, even in this day and age). Can’t win for losing anymore. But to hell with most folks and their ridiculous expectations. Not worth paying mind to half the time, particularly when they argue for such drivel. A child deserves to be brought into a situation where he or she is wanted by both parents, and hopefully extended family as well. Otherwise they wind up behind the 8 ball right out the gate, and how is that worthwhile?

All they need is to be used as pawns by adults with agendas who are more concerned with their own security and comforts than the healthy upbringing of their children.

And yet I am the asshole for pointing this out. Okay. Whatever.

To paraphrase a Chinese proverb, if we keep on this way we’ll indeed wind up where we’re headed. Just wait and find out. Go ahead and try to hide your head in the sand until your day of reckoning rolls around…

Dispatches from the barscene

Because I am apparently incapable of or at least uncooperative about getting sober at this point in time.

Tonight I witnessed a woman who was visibly pregnant (asked her and confirmed it)  DRINKING AND SMOKING while out at our bar. Fucked me all up to witness it. I don’t give a DAMN what your excuse might be, that is seriously FUCKED UP. That unborn child has to live with the ramifications. No question. That IMO is WRONG AS HELL. Not that this is the first time I’ve encountered a late-term pregnant woman up in a bar choosing to behave this way.

Makes me hate myself that I am even there to see it. That I am even breathing the same oxygen. FUCK YOU if you are that kind of mother-to-be. FUCK YOU ENTIRELY! To hell with you. Ain’t nothing better gonna stem from this.

She was a white woman. Stating it plain. Last one I dealt with was a black woman, so let’s keep it all straight. Obviously only cares about herself, about what welfare benefits she might access. No fucks given for her unborn child. I watched her tonight. Interacted with her. No FUCKS GIVEN FOR THAT POTENTIAL CHILD. And her belly was big enough that her navel was protruding, hence why I even asked about her state of being and felt confident I wouldn’t mistakenly offend her.

That is UTTER BULLSHIT. PERIOD. Your body is the unborn’s first environment. YOU KNOW THAT! Not a secret. Fuck this irresponsible BULLSHIT. I don’t have kids myself because I at least recognize my own lackings in that department. My own irresponsibility. Therefore, I do everything in my own power to not get pregnant. Yet we have these fucking bitches out here in society who give no fucks and have kids willy-nilly, often with men who don’t desire the kids, while behaving like jackasses throughout their pregnancies. Very tough to observe.

And yet they like to act like they are morally superior for not undergoing an abortion? But how so??!! YOU ARE THIS POTENTIAL CHILD’S FIRST ENVIRONMENT. If she can’t maintain that respectably, then what can you justifiably expect from her thereon?? The unborn are entirely dependent ON YOU. Yes, motherhood matters. More than some apparently seem to realize. Yet our criminal justice system can’t stop them. And yet nobody is willing in this PC culture day and age to say to these women that this is FUCKED UP. PERIOD. Not okay. No excuses. Don’t care how bad your ex mistreated you, nor how poorly you might’ve been raised. Doesn’t matter now once you assume responsibility for raising another human being. That’s a HUGE obligation, hence why I personally choose not to undertake it. Yet the vast majority do and some don’t seem to care if they damage their youngens’ chances right out the gate. That cool with the rest of you out there?

People like to tell me how immoral of a woman I am for having been an escort in my 20s. Had to listen to a guy cuss me out about that just a week ago. In my mid-30s now. Doesn’t seem to matter how long ago I gave that up or what I care to say about it. And yet I still had the sense to recognize early on that family planning is important and that I didn’t want to wind up being a single mom. I understood that during my early teen years. However, so many mothers like to act like I am some kind of “sell out” for not following in their footsteps and choosing to experience what they have. Which is insane, flat out. Why would I wish to be wrapped up in family court with a man who wants no part in helping raise a kid he didn’t expect to create? Why? Who is this truly fair for? Not the kid(s), not the father(s), and often not the mother either despite her holding more control than the other parties involved.

Worth pondering on.

I get sick of this shit. Would like to go out drinking without a pregnant woman showing up and injuring my morale. Fucks up my spirit. Makes me feel like a bad person for even sharing space with such individuals. Hence why I left promptly. Such bullshit. How is that NOT a crime?? How come so many people accept that nonsense? How come we as a society continue to ignore such behavior just because a female commits it? How do we ignore that? How do we pretend it doesn’t matter?

Yet, let a father fall behind on child support payments and we all get our pitchforks out.

It’s messed up, that’s what I am saying.

The Joys of Public Drinking

A.K.A. more reasons to avoid the barscene:

1.) Drunks are DRAMA. Whether they mean to be or not. Comes with the territory, unavoidably so.

2.) It’s expensive. You’re paying a high premium for the social atmosphere itself. The alcohol is far cheaper if purchased at a grocery store or gas station and taken home. Consider the average cost of a beer at a bar: $3 for a 16-oz. (or less) draw. Add $1 for tip. Multiply that by 4-6 on any given outing. Now, multiply that by however many outings per month. Adds up quickly. (And that’s not even factoring in the cost of shots.)

3.) You’re subjected to others’ musical tastes (and jukeboxes have become very expensive as well, many now charging $1 per song). Any day I manage to get through without listening to modern country (pop) music is a good day. Or the latest rap music.

4.) Idiots abound. The barscene serves as a refuge for some of the least responsible and most obnoxious persons out in society, especially after 10pm. Fights break out. Drinks get spilled. Stupid comments are made, especially by those seeking hook-ups. And arguments can and do occur over the most trifling matters, including sports teams and random trivia. As one bartender said to me in recent months: his job winds up feeling like babysitting adults with mental problems.  lol

5.) Avoiding DUIs/OWIs is a high-risk game. Cops prowl around waiting for barhounds to drive off. The only way to avoid this is to befriend someone who doesn’t drink who’s willing to drive you home (good luck with that) or to pony up even more cash for either an Uber or a cab ride. Walking home would also be a viable option if not for risking public intoxication charges (a favorite routinely doled out by police in this city).

6.) Dangers to one’s health and safety. Setting aside concerns for our livers and kidneys, there’s all sorts of other risks we take while drinking out in public. Like falling down. Steps are a bitch some nights. Or pissing off a hothead and getting knocked out (witnessed that happen to a guy fairly recently and, once down, other bar patrons began filming his unconscious body with their phones, snickering about posting up the footage on SnapChat — how lovely). Not to mention the number of brain cells we’re probably burning off on a regular basis even while managing to remain upright and otherwise uninjured.

7.) Gossip is the norm. The only saving grace there are drunk people’s tendency to not remember all the details. But then the stories just wind up morphing into fantastic fiction, like a garbled game of telephone.

8.) Public drinking is directly linked with impulsivity. Already have impulse control issues while sober? Drinking is guaranteed to magnify that! Perfect way to wind up saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, spending more money than you planned to, or thinking that booty call with a stranger is a good idea. Been there, done that (especially in years prior). Got the t-shirt and all the medals on that one. Waking up with regrets isn’t much fun.

9.) Hangovers suck. Sipping a few brews at home while trolling the internet is one thing, but out in public we have the added pressure of drinking among others, plenty of whom want others to share in taking shots. Can feel difficult to resist, especially when the shots are bought for you. I do believe Hank Williams Jr. was right about how hangovers get to hurting more than they used to — oh joy, so much to look forward to in years to come. Nothing like waking up with a raging headache and foggy eyesight and needing to go about your workday in such a condition. Then we discover that one cure for a hangover is simply to have another drink (after work). Oy. And the cycle continues…

10.) Bar food only tastes good when you’re drunk. Any other time you’d likely avoid it like the plague. Another waste of money on crap calories that tends to leave you with regrets the next day.

11.) Political discussions are discouraged. Even private conversations among relatively quiet patrons who are keeping it calm and friendly. Why? I don’t know. Guess it’s viewed as likely to instigate an argument. The notion of pubs as Public Houses has gone to the wayside in American society apparently. But you can still openly feud over sports, sans the stigma.

12.) Beer Goggles are a real phenomenon, and so is Beer Ego. She looks better after you’ve had a few drinks, AND, thanks to liquid courage, you now have the cojones to saunter up and tell her that — boldly, blatantly, without apology, despite swaying and slurring in the process. And if she turns down your advances, well, she must be some stuck-up broad deserving to be told that too!

13.) Dude, where’s my car? Where are my keys? Where’s my debit card? How much money did I spend last night? How did I get home? How did I land in this ditch? (All legitimate questions after a night of heavy drinking.)

*Pulling from my own experiences and others’ in compiling this list.