Monday, August 13, 2007

Off the Wagon

Here in the city, there's actually a bar named Off the Wagon, so maybe I should have gone there for my inaugural drink last weekend. Instead, I celebrated seven days of sobriety at a new Irish pub in my 'hood (not my usual hangout, the Bar that Shall Not Be Named) that has karaoke on Sundays. I sipped my Bud Light draft(s), chatted up some interesting fellows at the bar, including a fabulously good-looking chef, and sang the following songs:

"Black Velvet," by Alannah Myles
"My Favorite Mistake," by Sheryl Crow
"Why," by Annie Lennox (kind of a downer, but the crowd was sweet and attentive nonetheless)
"Don't Stop Believin'," by Journey

I felt my night was a rousing success and a fantastic entree back into the world of booze. It's my goal to respect the drink -- to harness its power and keep the abuse to a minimum. In the week that I've returned to drinking, I've only done a couple of dumb things -- namely frequenting the Bar that Shall Not Be Named a couple of times and sending some ill-advised text messages to a certain Brazilian bartender who's not having any of it.

But I'm working at getting past this awkward life stage.

I am trying -- as hard as possible, after this breakup and during this new life that I'm carving out for myself -- to be normal, which, for me, Jane, is sometimes hard. Much like the drink, I'm learning to respect my individuality and my quirkiness -- to understand when it works for me and cut it off when I go into overdrive. It's exciting, being single: I have new interests and new likes that I'm not sure would have been possible had life not been stripped down to its barest: just me.

So (because I'm such a huge fan of lists) here is what I'm digging right now -- what I've discovered now that I'm on my own and learning to get along with that:

New favorite bar: the Russian Vodka Room
- Stepping inside is like transporting yourself into the 1940s -- or the 1950s, at the very latest. They have a piano player who sings songs in Russian and a sweet veteran female bartender who will bring you a new drink, no questions asked, if you accidentally spill yours. (Not that I would know this firsthand.)

New favorite musician: Feist
- Check her out on iTunes. I'm listening to her newest album for the first time as I type this, and it's fantastic.

Old favorite musician who's going to blow up huge in no time flat: Sara Bareilles
- I saw her at the Bowery Ballroom a couple of weeks ago, and she's rapidly developing a fanbase that will preclude her from appearing at any more small venues for the rest of her career. I'm happy for her, but I'm sad that she's not my obscure little piano gal anymore. She's opening for Maroon 5 this summer, and I consider that a nail in the indie coffin.

New favorite vacation destination: Miami
- Can't remember the last time I took a vacation that didn't involve going to see relatives. A girlfriend from work and I are buying our tickets tomorrow for a trip to a place I've only fantasized about going. And the hotel looks beautiful and inviting.

New favorite TV show: Mad Men
- There are so many amazing things about this show that I can't enumerate them all here. This is AMC's original series about Madison Avenue ad execs in 1960, and it leaves nothing untouched, including the rampant sexism and racism of the period. Love the costumes, love the actors, love everything about it. It reminds me a little of one of my favorite books, The Best of Everything.

What fun things are you guys obsessed with right now? Do share if you feel so inclined.

And, of course, listen to Blogstein and me keep on rockin' in the free world Tuesday night at 9 on Blog Talk Radio. We'll be expecting you, so show up on time, pen and paper in hand, ready to take notes.

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Blogger Bond said...

Welcome bact to BlogTalk radio... welcome back to the world of drink...

I LOVE MAD MEN.. well, dad was in publishing and it was very similar to the ad agencies and well i was in the ad business in the 70's and it had not changed much by then, so I can relate to much of this...

8:50 AM  
Blogger NewbietoNYC said...

Isn't it fantastic, Bond? I might buy the episodes off of iTunes, I like them so much.

9:31 AM  

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