Saturday, July 19, 2008

TTFN: Dumbass v2.0 Released

Just got back from a 1.5 hr walk with the dog. After 2 blocks, I'm like, "this heat is brutal". No biking tomorrow, I don't think, maybe a short walk. The latest cold front from Canada is now stalled as an east-west stationary front over the Great Lakes. My prediction is we will be into drought for the rest of the summer. The cold fronts just can't fight their way south through the warm, moist Gulf air. The farthest south they get is Indianapolis.

Got 4 good CDs from a young coworker:

  • "Blueberry Boat", The Fiery Furnaces, 2004. Nicely eclectic, might be changed to "unclassifiable", long narrative songs, I'm sure some 4 stars.
  • "You Forgot It In People", Broken Social Scene, 2002. Again, nicely odd stuff.
  • "At Mount Zoomer", Wolf Parade, 2008. Very nice stuff, like their 1st one.
  • "Rubber Factory", The Black Keys, 2004. Cooper thought I would like this one the most because of a Captain Beefheart cover (I still haven't figured out which track). My least favorite of the 4, the most bluesy.
Read last weekend "Dark Integers and Other Stories", by Greg Egan. Five stories, I had already read three of them. His grasp of physics, particularly quantum and astro, and computing, makes him by far the best hard science fiction author out there.

I'm currently reading "Brasyl", by Ian McDonald. Not bad, but dragging a little.

I've started impulse buying movies on iTunes: "Jumper" (guilty); and for my future grandchildren (no jinx), "The Golden Compass" and "The Spiderwick Chronicle". All were OK films.

Now to our title topic. Dumbass v1.5 is just not working out. The central existential feature of Dumbass v1.5 was, "stay drunk all all the time". Unfortunately, ever-increasing alcohol tolerance make this an unobtainable goal. I was averaging about 4 oz alcohol a day, and not getting a decent buzz on until I got to about 8-10 oz -- too much. And, no hangover, but about 6-7 the next evening, man would I be thirsty, my throat would be so parched, mildly headachy, and that 1st drink would really address these symptoms nicely -- not good.

So, in a fit of existential spontaneity, I have conceived Dumbass v2.0. The central feature, no alcohol. I have such an addictive personality, I really have a problem with moderation approaches. I was up to smoking 10 or cigarettes at O'Neills on Wednesday nights. No drinking implies the proscription of the following drinking-related activities:

  • dining out in the evenings -- I have gone to cooking in the kitchen every 2-3 days, the old dishes I used to make when the kids were here;
  • grilling out;
  • entertaining (our minimal number of) friends; I have never been social. Stimulants always helped to lubricate interaction with others;
  • playing music in public. Summed up nicely by "Don't Go To Nightclubs Anymore", Van Morrison, "Keep It Simple" CD. Plus O'Neills has gotten successful to where it's down to 3 songs a night. Last time I was there, "One Way Out" got done 3 times (I played bass on one). I mean, I don't mind the song, but 3 times in one evening?
  • blogging -- you knew half of the posts were drunken, right?
  • travel, particularly long car trips. If anything makes you want a drink, it's the frustration of flying, or spending 10 hours in a car.
So Dumbass v2.0 was booted last Sunday. Day 7 w/o a drink. Still a little headachy and throat still parched, but no biggie. I canceled the August swing up east, I'll veg at home, my wife is talking about driving to Ithaca with her sister for one daughter, and then flying to NYC to visit our oldest.

What are the fun features of Dumbass v2.0, you might ask? Sounds pretty boring, doesn't it? But, I don't think it's inappropriate to be stop trying to be the coolest 57-year old in Lexington, KY. Instead, I will just enjoy the following Dumbass v2.0 features:

  • reading -- my reading had gone way down;
  • walking;
  • cooking in the kitchen;
  • playing music in the basement (I think);
  • an occasional movie or sit-down concert;
  • birdwatching;
  • vegetable gardening (next year);
  • getting more massages and variously reallocating the $1500 a month I've been spending of dining out, bars, and alcohol.
By February, I may feel secure enough to hazard going to St. Martin. Maybe my old "no drinking before 4 pm unless you're in the Caribbean" could morph into "no drinking unless you're in the Caribbean" -- or "on vacation" -- or "on vacation or on birthdays or holidays" so I am not totally a sober sad sack. We're also talking about returning to Manzanillo for my wife's birthday in mid-November.

As I get towards retirement, I also want to find some activity where I can give back to the community -- my rearing nags at me if I don't. My youngest has told me that the Fayette County public schools could find something for me to do. I also ran into Henry Wu ("Mr. Wu! Mr. Wu!") a few weeks ago. He was trying to recruit me to come back to soccer refereeing. He's 65, been retired a few years, and refereeing 80 high school games a year. Aubrey Cashman he said is 74 and still reffing. Well, I'm now down below 210 for the 1st time in maybe a year. If I can get down around 180, maybe I'll think about it. Nothing like some good old-fashioned referee abuse to imbue oneself with the love of one's fellow man.

Well, I guess we've come to the end. Those of you paying attention may have noticed that blogging is a proscribed activity under Dumbass v2.0. So this post, #150, a nice round number, is the last. As I mentioned last time, I think I'm out of piquant existential insights. I do think there have been some in the 5 year, 2 month history of this blog, but, again, I think they're mostly all there, not too many left in my brain only. And, there are plenty of higher-bandwith bloggers out there so who can give you music and book recommendations. I have nice point-to-point communication going with several family and friends, I will continue on private channels.

So, TTFN, and good luck to all!

Chris Heinz
Lexington Kentucky
July 19, 2008 12:10pm

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