Monday Tea Blogging


This is almost a gyp, man.

I’d been worried about having a chronic alcoholism problem, and had been reading a lot of scary literature and case studies on this wonderful Internet that we all love so well. My routine for years has been to get ensconced at the computer, or at a party, or at many such occasions of various mood, and have a drink every hour or so — which adds up to a whopping lot of alcohol when you actually total it. A few hair-raising calculations on a Post-It note showed that I was having an average of nine drinks a day. And, of course, the literature is full of appalling descriptions of what happens to people with consumption levels like that, either if they keep at it, or if and when they try no longer to drink with such dilgence. The lists of withdrawal symptoms are quite sobering, as it were.

So. I had some dental problems last week, and I sort of forgot to drink alcohol for a few days.

And I’m like, drinking tea.

And I feel like doing push-ups or going for a run.

Now, this got so puzzling earlier today (because I’m thinking: What do I have to do to be an alcoholic, for goodness sake, if heavy drinking over a period of years doesn’t cut it?) that I decided to stick my head right into the alligator’s mouth and meter out an exact clinical dose equivalent to ‘one drink’ (containing 0.6 ounces of ethyl alcohol) and then drink it to see what happened. I stared at it for awhile. I made excuses to do laundry and clean the cat box.

The way these stories are supposed to end is that the alcoholic falls immediately back into his old pattern and pours another one, still kidding himself that he’s doing it for science. What happened was that I felt vaguely warm and pleasant, and then finished the laundry and made a pot of tea, and about an hour later I felt vaguely unpleasant and cranky — and an hour after that, I felt like doing push-ups or going for a run.

Right. So according to my schedule here, I should be pretty much at the peak of withdrawal symptoms this evening, howling for the bottle of Chinese cooking wine in the cabinet, yet instead I am led to conclude — and please help me here because I’m quite possibly missing something — that medical science in its entirety is all a lot of crackpot made-up stuff that isn’t true and is wrong.

As further evidence, I discovered yesterday that if you get into a car accident in or near Billings, Montana these days, the doctor who meets your gurney in the ER is Deniz Tek, guitarist of Radio Birdman. (See below). The band was more-or-less based out of a medical school in Sydney.

This all fits together into a Grand Theory of something; I’m not sure what or how just yet.

Update: Token astringent comment from one Mickey Finn: So you weere OK after a couple hours? Well, that settles that! You’re fine. Alcoholism, smalcoholism. Drink up Shriner!

Hey man, I’m drinking tea and I like it.


Comments: 30


Well, whatever you do with the new athletic impulse you have, just don’t try jogging.

I did that once, and damn if I couldn’t keep the olives from falling out of my glass while I ran.

Total waste of time.


Yay for tea! It’s so good for you, and yummy, too. If you can get your hands on some really good Golden Congou from China (email me for a suggested retailer), oh man. So good. I’m a big fan of Chinese black teas, like Keemun or Pu-erh teas. Maybe one of the reasons why you are not having withdrawal symptoms is because the healthful benefits are cancelling all the toxic stuff out.

But then again, what do I know. I’m just saying – keep drinking tea. It rules.

I just wish tea had the same effect on me and quitting smoking!


You can drink heavily every day and not be an alcoholic, or you can have one drink a year and be one. It isn’t the amount, it is the compulsive desire that defines the alcoholic (or any addict). Glad you are on the not alcoholic side…


There are probably several levels of dependence, and certain types of personalities are compulsive in a way where they can just turn it off.

I would suggest that you perhaps wait another week or so to see if the symptoms kick in, also maybe try something without so much caffeine as tea. you don’t want to replace the alcohol with something else, also do you already smoke? Could that be covering it?

Also, your liver will like it if you tone down the booze.


So you weere OK after a couple hours? Well, that settles that! You’re fine. Alcoholism, smalcoholism. Drink up Shriner!


Hell, you think that’s tough? Try getting addicted to tobacco. You’ve got to have some serious self-loathing to put up with that taste and smell for a crappy non-high.


If you only drink one drik an hour than surely your BAC would always be low (around 0.5), which would then explain why no withdrawal, right?


You guys better not be going all Puritan on us or something. Brad better remain a lurvable souse!


I grew up in Germany, had my first legal drink at 15, didn’t stop for another 20 years , excluding long stretches of time at sea. (Navy, U.S.)
One day, I just quit drinking and felt damn good after a day or so.
The first day I wondered why I felt strange, then realized I didn’t have a hangover.


beer is strangely enough the only thing that ever gave me hangovers(and let’s not even go near the gut)

If you like tea, check out Chai. unless of course you are lactose intolerant in which case for god’s sake stick to tea.


My only comment is that I’d like to see a whole lot more pictures of cats getting wasted.


I’m having tea right now, too; it’s so warming, so comforting on a cold, gray day. Of course, booze for breakfast was never really my thing, so this is not a major change for me. Upton Tea is a good online tea seller.

My advice on the booze(and what is a blog for if not for everyone to give everyone else advice to ignore?) is that if stopping makes you feel so great, stop. Otherwise, never drink alone(at the computer especially), set personal limits(I’ll usually only have one, but at 120 lbs that’s size-related), and learn to nurse one for a long time. Also, only ever drink really good booze; one glass of fine wine or good beer is far more of a treat than several servings of swill.

verplanck colvin

Steel Reserve excluded, tigrismus. Everyone gets one “out” for their swill of choice. I claim Genesee Cream Ale, otherwise it’s beer I brewed or a nice single-malt (Laphroaig for me, thanks).

Gavin, there are plenty of fine tea sellers online, so you can really dig your teeth into a wide variety of teas. Go delicate and get some white tea, or go dark and try some masala (spiced black tea), your options are wide open.

But running? Good god, man, chill out. Next thing you know you’re living off of spirulina, kale and tempeh, and worried about those CRT rays at your monitor. Then we find you holed up in the Catskills living out of a hollowed-out tree stump. What happens to Video Friday then, huh?


I haven’t had Steel Reserve, so I can’t judge whether or not it’s worthy, but don’t you be dissin’ kale!


isn’t there supposed to be a genetic factor; like some people can get addicted to alcohol, and others are just louses like you


you are my new favorite Gavin.


I did more or less the same thing. Nine per day might be on the high side, but I was damn close, for at least 15 years. I’m down to 2-3 beers a day. Some days I don’t have any, but usually a couple a day. I believe I can take it or leave it, but I’d rather take it.


Didn’t anyone tell you? Barley wine IS tea…really yummy tea.


I have found that there are two types of what the medical profession would designate “alcoholics”:

There are people like me and you, who enjoy drinking and can easily get into the habit of drinking more than is healthy. At the rate of 1 beer an hour, starting at 5:30 when I got home from work and ending at 10:30, never really catching a big buzz, I was putting away a 6 pack a day. Not only was this expensive, but bad for my liver.

At a get together, I’d get a good buzz going, but be having pleasant conversation the whole time, staying coherent, etc.

Now, the second kind I would call a genuine ALCOHOLIC: This is the person who is a real pleasant guy or gal, and then after only a couple of drinks, starts to go insane. Pretty soon, they are either telling everyone that they don’t understand them, or making out with some stranger. A couple of more drinks and they are repeating themselves over and over again, or breaking something, or taking of their clothes and yelling at people, or running out into the middle of the street. Vomiting and immediately getting another drink is another indicator of what I would call a genuine alcoholic, as is peeing in the corner. Also, deciding to go for a booze run when the stores stopped selling booze 2 hours ago, and not being able to understand that “THEY’RE NOT SELLING BOOZE RIGHT NOW, ASSHOLE!”

These guys are a real drag, because it really kills everyone else’s buzz to have to keep a lunatic drunk from hurting someone or something, or getting themselves hurt.

BTW – I cut down to between zero and 3 drinks a day pretty easily. No withdrawel or anything, just a change in habit.

It’s the second kind of boozer that has a real hard time controlling consumption levels and not totally bingeing.


My wife’s in recovery, which pretty much means I’m in recovery, but damn if my eyes didn’t light up at the sight of Young’s Old Nick. If it weren’t for the aforementioned wife, and the relative illegality of shipping alcohol into Pennsylvania, I’d gladly offer to take the rest of that demon brew off your tea-stained hands.

Prosit to you regardless of what you do.

Charlotte Smith

Congrats on the life change, if it makes you feel good. As the daughter of an alcoholic (and the niece of an alcoholic, and the granddaughter of at least one… it affected pretty much one whole side of my family), I find there’s a few good indicators of whether or not you are a problem drinker:
Do you crave alcohol?
Do you justify/rationalize/make excuses for your drinking?
Does your drinking get in the way of important things in your life?
Do you rely on it to get through hard or stressful times?
I’m paraphrasing here, of course. And I’m nowhere near any kind of expert. But it doesn’t seem like you’re exhibiting much in the way of addictive behaviour. I say have a beer or two and a few glasses of wine through the week, since each seem to have potential health benefits for men. And enjoy the wonderful world of teas!
(Remember – I’m not a doctor, I just have really messy handwriting.)


Did Brad ever kick ciggies?


dAVE nails it.

Though the jekyll/hyde of alcohol with some people is unbearable, it’s also usually damned entertaining.

Please tell me you only feel like doing push-ups.


Please tell me you only feel like doing push-ups.

Maybe some sit-ups later, but… Okay yeah, that’s bad, isn’t it?


BTW, I totally wanted it to be Monday Tea Bagging. very disappointing.


woo hoo! Thanks mdhatter! I nailed something!
Oh, wait. that didn’t come out like I intended.


“Beer! The cause of–and solution to–all of life’s problems!”


My favorite definition of an alcoholic (and there are as many definitions of that word as there are of any other political thing like ‘freedom’ or ‘love’ or ‘terrorism’) is someone who wants to quit but can’t. If you don’t want to quit, it’s not surprising that you can.

On the other hand, quitting because you’ve read lots of scary medical literature seems silly. When I decided to quit, it was because, on balance, life seemed better without a drink than with one. Of course, it helped to spend a month without so I had something to compare.


I did a pretty fair amount of drinking last night–8, I believe. I woulda drank less, but somebody bought me a few, 3, I think (2 shots and a beer). Oh, sure, I could have reduced my own expenditures to compensate for those three drinks, but, hey, they were free to me. I didn’t even have to blow anyone to get ’em.
In fact, the dudes I sucked-off didn’t buy me any drinks at all!


I’ve declared March a booze-free month for the most part … had a glass of wine at my mom’s birthday dinner t’other night, but that’s it so far.

Now it’s just the coffee, smokes and huffing Lee Press On Nail adhesive that I need to work on.


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