Wednesday, October 21, 2009
When the Cat's Away....
I went downstairs to the basement, opened the refrigerator door, and just stared at them. There they were, resting snugly inside their little temperature-controlled compartment. They looked so happy, content. The bottles of Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA stood stoically in a row. Next to them, three offerings of Troegs Hopback Amber Ale waited patiently. And lodged majestically in the corner in all its voluminous beauty lay a 22-ounce selection of Hoppin' Frog B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout. They appeared to be solemnly gratified. Yet, I know, secretly, that they longed to be brought out from their semi-arctic reclusiveness, allowed sufficient time to basque in their new surroundings, and then have their contents carefully deposited into a perfectly-chosen glass. However, trying to strictly adhere to the laryngopharyngeal reflux manifesto, I sadly closed the refrigerator door, went upstairs, and rewarded myself with a generous helping of apple juice.
I find myself going through this little exercise several times a week. That's what you do when you're a craft-beer lover and you've been forced to endure over 5 weeks without a precious libation. It's also probably a good thing that Donna doesn't drink beer. If she did, I'd be harrassing her for the occasional sip, I'm sure. I've been on this journey several times before but always managed to find a way to eventually retrieve one of those lonely bottles from the refrigerator below. However, this has been the longest period of time that I've gone without regularly imbibing. Do I feel better? Not really. The LPR pundits tell me that true healing may not occur for several more months. Great. Three more months of staring at the 'fridge.
I've been a bachelor again, as Donna is spending the week in Tennessee helping out her son and his wife. During her absence, I'm always amazed at what a dull routine I involve myself in during the week. During the day, I'm fairly immersed in work. Since I'm not supposed to have regular coffee, I usually start the day by brewing up a batch of Teeccino. It's supposedly healthy for you, semi-organic, and completely caffeine-free... which means it tastes absolutely nothing like coffee. If the only thing left to drink were some black sludge in the bottom of a pot that had been sitting on the burner all day, I'd choose it first over my new-found concoction. But, in my attempt to stay on the program, I silently slurp my Teeccino while ingesting the day's top stories from Robin Meade and CNN Headline News.
Of course, the work-day is a mish-mash of various projects. Today, for instance, was quite busy. We had liner and copy requests from our client stations in Milwaukee, Greenville, NC, Richmond, IN, and Champaign, Illinois. I also participated in several auditions (none of which were successful in obtaining the gig) and some automobile spots for a small agency we work with in Nova Scotia. Between projects, I try to use some time for marketing (which is to say I send un-invited emails to prospective clients that invariably wind up in somebody's spam folder) or fine-tuning some demos for the website. Before lunch, I might lay down occasionally to rest my voice, where I generally fall asleep and dream about....beer.
When the work-day ends, Maggie the wonder-dog and I usually go for our power-walk. This past month, I've been doing more walking instead of running. I'm not sure why that is, exactly. I've been a runner (or, better put, a slow jogger) for the past 15 years or so, mainly so that I can claim an exemption from the sedentary lifestyle. I generally loathe it, though. The past two years my hips have really bothered me from the pavement-pounding. So, I started to do some research on running vs. walking and found out that, although running is probably a bigger calorie-burner, the cardiovascular benefits of each are about the same. So, I've been walking. Quickly. And Maggie has had no trouble keeping up (although I'm sure she'd prefer to run), so it's actually been enjoyable.
Then, the evening gets particularly crazy. I usually take a shower, feed Maggie, and then pour myself my nightly offering of apple juice. There are those times when I might take an unexpected diverent path and opt for cranberry-pomegranate juice, but apple juice has generally been a staple lately. The insanity continues when I grab my Kindle, put on the "Soundscapes" music channel, and read while Enya serenades me. I usually pop an anti-reflux pill, too, which really adds to the chaos. After that, it's dinner time. Yes, a sumptuous feast of broiled salmon, a few Tostitos chips and a bottle of water is generally enough to move this party into high-gear. When I can feast no more, I grab the remote control and really kick the excitement up a notch by... flipping through the channels with reckless abandon, deftly moving from some esoteric college football game over to a movie that I've probably seen a half-dozen times. Things evolve to a stunning climax when I blow out the candle that I've lit, turn off the television, set the house-alarm system, and casually put on my CPAP mask, typically falling asleep while pining for...beer. Now I know what you're thinking. "Does Donna know about the madness that fills up your life while she's away?" No, and I prefer to keep it a secret, if you don't mind. The less she knows, the better.
Oh, sure, I could turn my time of bachelor-hood into complete lunacy by, oh I don't know, raking leaves, cleaning the bathroom, or, God forbid, leaving the house and driving to the mall! At my age, though, I'm not sure I could handle that. With the big 5-0 looming, I need to conserve my energy, play it safe, make smart decisions, and not do anything that might put me on You Tube. So, when Donna forces me to become a bachelor, that's why I usually confine myself to the basement, where I can take occasional breaks from studio work and wander over towards the refrigerator and stare at the bottles for another 5 weeks or so.
* Why not grab your favorite beverage, cop a squat, and groove to some DEMOS at www.mattmultimedia.com