Memories in alcohol

Walking through an absurdly large and diverse (product-wise) Kroger today, I was struck with a sudden and momentary shift back to Japan, as I passed one of the drink aisles….

There was something about its seeming chaotic orderliness, and its crowded feel that took me back to the alcohol aisles in the store near my house in Japan, and, at first, of this one particular store near the train station in a nearby town where I went to help with English stuff…

And the memory was really nice… it was a very good feeling of transportation, and I felt very much at ease, belonging, and comfortable…

Weird to see Japan as such things, but I also totally get it – it is part of me, and certain points of life were stable there that are not stable for me here and now, thus the feeling of stability and comfort from the memory, despite the fact that Japan as a whole was kind of nuts and really hard on me… 🙂

The aisle…

It is definitely more spaced out in the middle than Japan’s comparable aisle, but the setup and feelings were quite the same for me… who’d’a thunk alcohol could be so warm and fuzzy for me? 😂

Post-a-day 2019

Advertisements

Hipster Imposter

We went to a donation-based fundraiser yoga class the other day, which was focused on raising funds for a certain local pet shelter, while giving practice to some newer yoga teachers.

The class took place in a brewery.

I did not always understand what the teacher wanted me to do, and the people around me weren’t always too helpful with what they were doing, so I was behind at times, and I did some guesswork at times.

I generally feel that yoga teachers keep students in downward dog for far too long – like, I’m about to pass out by the time they start to mention maybe moving out of the position… and this is just about every time.

This brewery yoga class was no different, and even a bit worse at times on the downward dog front, so I regularly switched into child’s pose or baby pose, and then returned to downward dog whenever the teacher began whatever was next.

I also breathe so much more slowly than teachers seem to believe long, deep breathing takes… approximately three to five times slower.

I did a decent job of everything, especially considering how I didn’t know what was going on throughout half the explanation time, because I didn’t know the names of postures, and the teachers kind of took a while to clarify what I was supposed to be doing.

The class was enjoyable, nonetheless.

There were discounted draft beers afterward.

I, of course, drank my water, but we hung out for a bit so my friend could mingle with her friends, and I could be distantly social,… kind of like being social by association.

At one point, a yoga teacher came up and talked with us.

“I really like your practice,” she said directly to me.

…..

I graciously accepted the comment and, I imagine, compliment, and aimed not to laugh or be ungracious or ungrateful.

Since then, I haven’t really stopped wondering what on Earth she could have meant – I mean, did she like how I basically did my own thing every time we went into downward dog?

Because that’s kind of the only thing I did differently that could potentially be a positive….???

Haha

I have no idea, but the comment was positively hipster, and it alone made me want to burst out laughing.

Yes, I know that I am all sorts of hipster with all sorts of things in my life… I’m just not that level of hipster, you know?

But, who knows?

I did just complete my yoga certification exam today, so, I’m well on my way to achieving yet another level of hipster in the very new future… oh, and didn’t I buy a bright red scooter just the other day?

So, I guess I’m not exactly an imposter…

Like I said, I’m hipster, but I’m not beyond finding the hilarity of hipsterhood, and laughing heartily at it all. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Wasted

I wonder what it is that has people do the whole ‘hard core party scene’, filled with drinking, sometimes marijuana, and even the occasional illegal drugs.

Is there something we are seeking, and we search in the self-losing experience of extreme alcohol consumption?

Is there something that feels inadequate, but seems to be fulfilled when under the influence of increasingly strong effects of alcohol?

Are we afraid of or hating something in our lives, and we avoid the thoughts of it through alcohol’s removal of clear thinking?

Are we full of worries, and the alcohol pushes them out of our mind so well, we keep drinking more and more, until the law of diminishing return has been ignored so long that we hardly even function anymore?

Is it something else entirely?

I had a brief time of drinking in certain settings as a sort of camaraderie, or a group participation activity… sometimes even as group participation with ‘the cool kids’.

(I say ‘the cool kids’, but am definitely talking about adults… I wasn’t into law-breaking when I was under 21, and I definitely am not now.)

However, it didn’t last very long.

The worst of it, which was really only a matter of being tipsy in certain group drinking settings, not even drunk, was when I was very much hating something going on within that group setting, and I kind of wanted to avoid it while, at the same time, getting to be one of ‘the cool kids’.

(I did have a wonderful time of regular alcohol consumption at one point in life, and I believe the traditional German (and European) attitudes toward alcohol could prove quite helpful to the US… Biergarten evening drinking in summer in Germany is wonderful… but I didn’t even always drink then.

Anyway, the reason I was mentioning the Biergarten is that I do have positive memories and associations with alcohol… I just don’t much care for it.

I can have it, sure, but I wouldn’t be in the least bit concerned if I never had it again in my life.)

I’ve never understood what drives people to the degrees of drunkenness at which they are not functioning human beings, but merely stumbling babies all over again, twenty-plus years after the original state of babyhood…, but I have wondered much about what drives them to such a point in alcohol consumption.

And I’ve wondered, too, about if there is something comparable for me and my life… I haven’t come up with anything, but I haven’t looked too deeply into that specific piece of the idea.

We even call it being “wasted”…, yet do we consider that it could be a small piece of life that we have, indeed, wasted by being in such a state?

Just a thought, but it’s getting to me tonight…

Anyway… happy life, happy night

Post-a-day 2019

Twenties to remember

As we discuss the concept of drinking alcohol, he says, “[…] What else do you do in your twenties?”

The irony of the statement misses neither of us, as we simultaneously recall that neither of us spent our own twenties drinking alcohol.

😛

I mean, it isn’t that I’m necessarily opposed to the drinking of alcohol, even for myself… I just kind of don’t do it… especially if I am going to be driving, because that, to me, requires a 0.0%.

My friends never mind it, of course, because this has made me a natural and willing designated driver, ever since my first year of college. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

Beer & Cigarettes

Chatting with an acquaintance recently, I sort of weasled some interesting information out of him.  The weasling wasn’t exactly intentional, – I was genuinely just curious – and it was more that he opened up after I shared information about my family and friends, as well as the general population in the US.  But it was still some info that he was obviously super-hesitant to share.

It all came from our chit-chat about nothing special, and our never-ending back-and-forth about his smoking.  We both agree that smoking is something terrible, both for individuals and the world at large.  And we both agree that he is 100% addicted, and doesn’t really feel like he’ll fall to bits in his early- to mid-forties.  So we occasionally have little goofy bits of conversation, which leave us both tickled and chuckling, usually as he goes off to smoke a cigarette.

A recent little anecdote was when he asked how I was doing, since he knew I’d been sick.  I commented that I was doing alright, but was tired and had a bit of a cough still.
“Oh, me, too,” he said, accompanied with a coughing gesture.
“Oh, you’ve been sick, too?!” I express, concerned.
“No…  Because I smoke.”
We both laughed.  And coughed, actually.

And so goes our acquaintanceship, for the most part.

Recently, however, as we were chatting about the browning of his teeth, and that it does not match the obvious effort he puts into his daily physical appearance, I happened to ask him when he even started smoking.  He smiled, and got real quiet for a minute, and I wondered if he was figuring out what to say.

“Twenty,” he finally said.
I raised my eyebrows.
“When I was twenty,” he repeated.
Really?” I declared with pure doubt.  (Think SNL’s “Really” skit from Weekend Update.)

He then reminded me unnecessarily that 20 is the age in Japan for smoking, I asserted my knowledge of the fact, and we moved on.  I talked about how I remember my brother discussing his secret first cigarette, shared with siblings in the backyard as kiddos.  I described the general standard for kids in the US with their first cigarettes and first drinks of alcohol, and how everything pretty much seems to happen around high school.

Eventually, this acquaintance, with a lowered voice, suddenly had a new story.  No longer was he the follow-every-rule individual he initially (albeit hesitantly) declared himself to be.  He was, in fact, just like all the kids back home.  First drinks (beer) were at 16, and the first cigarette was not long afterward.

Now, there are two main things I pulled from this conversation.  1) I wonder if this is standard for Japan, the way it is for the US.  2) Was this bit of honesty a step towards our becoming friends, instead of just remaining mere acquaintances?

I, of course, know the answer to neither of those inquiries.  However, I have a mind to figure them out!  Plus, I’m really glad he opened up to me with the truth of it all.  Not that it’s necessarily any big deal, but with how closed off people have felt to me here, it was really refreshing to have some openness, and on something that seemed rather sensitive.  (Okay, there’s a third things that came out o f the conversation: What is the Japanese viewpoint on breaking that law of ‘No one under 20’?  How quiet he grew and how unsure he was at first about answering my casual question really make me wonder…)  😀

 

Post-a-day 2017