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The things we do - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 7th, 2011

09:35 am - The things we do

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First is in the vet today. This morning they will sedate her and then x-ray her head. Hopefully this will reveal whatever's going on in her nasal cavity. Then they'll call me and we'll make a decision about what to do next. *crosses everything*

As part of the examination on Saturday, the vet found a lump on one of her mammaries. These kind of lumps are usually benign, but it's come up really fast - last time I checked her for lumps was only a couple of months ago and it wasn't there then. Anyway, if they end up having to anaesthetise her, the vet said they could remove the lump at the same time, and that would definitely make me happier.

And after all this I'm going to go home and cuddle my dog a lot. She, meanwhile, was all *tragic look* "If I must" as I told her to get in the cage at the vet's. She's such a good dog. One who will probably poop in there later in protest due to nerves, and nobody will see her do it.

*cough*


On Saturday night a small group of friends and I gathered for the first in what will probably be a series of experiments entitled "Get Tats drunk." This stems from a previous conversation with tieke in which she described some aspects of alcohol as a social lubricant that I thought might be worth investigating further. One of my issues with alcohol has been an inability to achieve a state that I enjoy without there being negative side effects, and I was musing about whether there's a way I can do it without that. Also, I'm the eternal optimist and forever thinking that maybe this time it'll be different.

We decided to approach it scientifically - there was a spreadsheet recording type and volume of drink, time started, time finished, food eaten, comments about feelings etc. I had prepared by going to the supermarket and buying a dozen Coronas. Yeah, I know, a dozen wtf? I only really wanted about four, but you can't buy them in singles or small numbers at the supermarket so I got to experience what it feels like walking around in public carrying a Duz. It feels weird when you've never done it. I felt like I should be sneaking furtively, but there's no way to sneak furtively when carrying a large box that's labelled BEER! LOOK, BEER! HAVE YOU NOTICED? THIS PERSON IS GOING TO USE DRUGS! From my perspective I might as well have had a flashing light and a siren as well, but anyway.

So I now have a record of my alcohol consumption. In future there might be graphs. Anyway, the conclusion that was reached from Experiment 1 is that I don't like beer enough to drink it sufficiently fast to achieve any kind of altered state. I averaged just over one hour per bottle, and that was with me focusing on trying to drink it fast. After one I developed a fuzzy feeling around the outside of my face, and after three I might have been a little more garrulous than usual, but at no point did I feel like an uninhibited party animal that's 10 feet tall and bulletproof. There were tests involving standing on one leg, touching my nose and reciting the alphabet backwards, none of which proved difficult.

So then I tried sake. Sake being about three times the percentage by volume as beer, we thought that might work. After the beer it seemed pretty palatable but about half way down the glass my throat started to close after each mouthful and it was an effort to finish it. By this time it was after midnight and so we all went to bed.

Woo, party on!

I woke up feeling brain-fuzzy but with no other ill-effects. So while I failed to get drunk, I also avoided having a hangover. I guess that's a win. There will be more experimenting in future, possibly with a stronger type of alcohol if I can find one that I can swallow without retching. I can generally smell whiskey from across the room and there's nothing in that smell that makes me want to put it in my mouth.

So why am I putting myself through this? Because everything else I might use for the same purpose is illegal, and I think that occasionally it would be nice to just be able to indulge in drugs openly. It makes me sad that people are given no choice of recreational substances so folks who don't like alcohol are expected to just go without an outlet for their natural desire to sometimes alter their mindstate, or sneak around as if they're doing something bad. Fuck you, prohibition.


Meanwhile, we got our winter firewood delivered on Saturday. There was stacking and now our woodpile looks reassuringly big. Then it turned nasty-cold yesterday, but since I haven't heard back about whether the firebox is safe to use (it's had tiles falling off and this is apparently usually a sign that the internal box has been breached and too much heat is escaping) and we didn't want to risk burning the house down. I pulled out my feather lined slippers and my giant wool jersey instead.

WTF weather? It's March. It's not even the equinox yet. I demand more warmth! Now's good.

Comments:

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From:tyellas
Date:March 6th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for chronicling your experiment. My own attempts at social drinking were less scientific. In my 20s, when my social life involved lots of gay bars, I would try drinks occasionally. Traditionally non-stressful drinks: a Fuzzy Navel, a Bailey’s, a screwdriver, Malibu rum and pineapple juice. I never managed to finish a single one of these – after I sipped with a screwed-up face for an hour, I'd either abandon them or hand them to a friend, who would finish it nearly instantly. "What was this again? Malibu and pineapple? I'm going to have another!"

I've also had occasional sips of Extremely Expensive Wine, which I found more drinkable than any of those other alcohol vectors.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 6th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
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Whereas I, as a teenager, tried desperately to be like everyone else by forcing myself to drink all sorts of things that were supposedly good. I did discover that once you're well and truly in your cups, things appear to taste better. But then in my early 20s I was just "Why am I doing this again? I really don't like it." So I stopped.

I have made periodic attempts since then, none of which have brought alcohol very far up my list of fun things to do.
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From:misshapen_fro
Date:March 6th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Have you ever had a margarita? It's a mixed drink with tequila, and it's one of the only alcoholic beverages I've ever actually enjoyed. Mixed drinks are the way to go if you can't stand the taste of alcohol. I can't either. I can only drink beer after I'm already drunk and my tastebuds aren't functioning properly.

I used to get really bad hangovers, but I discovered that if I eat a lot while I drink and drink A LOT of water (I try to drink equal volumes of water and beer/wine/mixed drink), I don't get hangovers. But I pee constantly.

I totally agree about prohibition, though. About 99% of the time I would rather just smoke pot, but I'm forced to drink alcohol instead just because it's legal. I hate it.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 6th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I've tried margaritas - I found myself continually adding salt to the rim after licking it all off because the salt would kill my taste buds enough to stomach the drink.

I have been known to swig tequila straight from the bottle (see also: Afrikaburns), but really? It's one of the most foul concoctions known to man and taints everything it touches with the flavour of a million bitter great-aunts.

I vaguely recall butterballs being relatively palatable - that was bayleys and buttesrscotch schnapps.
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From:helianthas
Date:March 6th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
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If you're going to try hard liquor, splurge and get the good stuff. It really tastes different and has fewer impurities.

I'm quite picky with taste, liking things neither too strong-tasting nor too sweet (most "cocktails" are too sweet for me.) For you, I might suggest wine first (people seem to like red cabernets) but for a nice, quick buzz, that actually tastes good (to me) and without having to actually drink too much, my drink of choice is Ketel One brand Vodka on ice with club soda (or other bubbly seltzer-type water) and a splash of cranberry juice. A splash of grapefruit juice instead is very refreshing. Plus I believe it's called a greyhound, which is fun to say. Don't forget the straw!!! This is crucial. Good luck!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 6th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
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I drank a glass of wine once. It was red stuff (no idea what kind). I think it took about an hour and at the end of it I clearly remember knowing that I was feeling something but not being sure whether I could accurately judge what I was feeling.

Which I imagine is why so many people end up drinking too much... I stopped because it made me uncomfortable to be not in control of my faculties. And yes, this sounds funny coming from someone who's experimented with all sorts of substances - but it's my experience that no other thing has affected my ability to judge my own mental state in the way alcohol does.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 6th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
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You just like talking about lubrication.
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From:heartofawarrior
Date:March 6th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
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I'm not a beer fan either, and never managed to cultivate a taste for wine. Smirnoff Ice Raspberry is pretty good, though, and I've become a fan of Captain Morgan & Coke (Cap'n goes pretty nicely in Dr. Pepper, too).
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From:pombagira
Date:March 6th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
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love your icon, *grins*.. i might have to make one that says, i need coffee and an axe, mostly cause like tats i don't drink so much and well coffee makes me an angry drunk.. bwahahaha!!

err yeah that was random..

*grins*
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From:rivet
Date:March 6th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
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I'm holding out for the simplest, least alarming outcome for dear First.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 6th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
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Me too *hugs*.

I will let you know later whether the outcome of the vet visit will affect our planned hooping mission tonight.
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From:wildilocks
Date:March 6th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
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I can't stand beer either, but rather like cider, which is maybe an option worth trying?

Also, NZ does have pretty copious availability of legal party pills etc, so compared to Oz and many other countries (including the ones where alcohol ain't condoned, but then there's the whole burka thing so really, I don't think theres any win there..) NZ really is a lot more drugs-other-than-alcohol friendly ;)
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From:tatjna
Date:March 6th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
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This is true, on both counts. I haven't really tried cider. Is it apple-ey?
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From:pleiadeslion
Date:March 7th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
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Am I to take it that you've never much gone in for alcohol because you find it difficult to drink? Bloody hell I need to catch that. I find that just about anything alcoholic goes down so easily it's frightening. The only things I really can't drink are port, brandy, sherry, whisky and tequila.

But I also took a while to get used to drinking beer. I would only ever drink it at Flying Nun gigs just to look like I fitted in (and that I wasn't 3 years underage), and I think I was about 21/22 before I started to actually like it, ie, about 5 years after I started drinking regularly. Also, was the Sake warmed? Because I always find it much easier to drink that warmed. And I second the suggestions of cider.

I'd like to get some writing from such a perspective ('experiments with booze by a non-drinker') in Filament in some point in future actually. Do you think you might be willing to share? A similar experiment, one of my friends who really likes her liquor tried to go 100 days without alcohol recently. She gave in at 60 days but she came out of it with interesting observations and a sense of perspective on the drinking culture that we all inhabit.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 7th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I could do that. Although I'd need some guidelines to work within or it'd just turn into a ramble reminiscent of manymany Tats-style blog posts. ;-)

Yeah, I find alcohol hard to stomach. There was cake in the work kitchen today for sharing, I took one bit and was all 'ew' because it had brandy in it. Having said that, I gave it a damn good go as a young adult and have had all the usual experiences with drinking too much. Being married to a binge-drinking alcoholic probably didn't help with my dim view - I got to know the stages of drunkenness really well and it wasn't until the last few years where I've been around people who can stop drinking when they've had enough that I've come to be comfortable around people drinking.

See? Ramble. ;-)
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From:crsg
Date:March 7th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
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*nods* Cold enough here to bust out the trackpants this morning for this first time since winter. Mind you, I am a top-class wimp when it comes to the cold, so that might not be saying too much.
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From:danjite
Date:March 7th, 2011 09:09 am (UTC)

Re: BOOZE! It's what I do.

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Happy to help and offer our bar in the process, but if one doesn't like the taste of the thing, then one just doesn't.

Based on the descriptions of reactions to various alcomohols and the dislike of sweet, I think cider is the best likely tool of choice.

If another alcohol delivery system is required, I'd go for the simple expedient of good vodka diluted in a large glass of soda with a wee bit of something like St Germain (Liqueur made of fresh wild elderflowers picked in the Alps) in the prettiest bottle ever- see below) to hide the remaining edge.

That said- Rhi: Did you know one of the world's current fad Rum blends comes from wee Wellington? I tried this stuff some Friday last at a tasting at Moore Wilson's and later at Hawthorn in a Blood & Sand, swapping the Gunpowder Rum for the Scotch to great success.

Now, St. Germain:


My love for floral apertifs is wholly masculine, I assure you.

Edited at 2011-03-07 09:10 am (UTC)
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