A Drynuary Diary: Week One

A Drynuary Diary

Week One: It’s a challenge, but it’s also a gift.

by Jolie Kerr and John Ore

Jolie Kerr: Bon L’(h)iver, John! I’ve actually been looking forward to this Drynuary! I know, I’m as surprised as you are! But it’s because, unlike last year, I don’t see this month as a desperate attempt to dry out… despite the fact that December basically looked like the picture above, taken by you, at a certain holiday party.

This go-round, my attitude is that this is an opportunity and that feels pretty cool and exciting. When we last chatted, I mentioned that 2011 had started out as a teenaged butthole of a year, and it sort of ended that way too. But! There were some awesome and important things that happened in the middle of the year, and one super strange experience in a labyrinth in Mexico where I’m pretty sure a higher power spoke to me via a wind chime and showed me how to navigate my life path and I’m going to stop now before you have me committed. The point is that I feel all aglow with the promise of the future, I think the month without booze will help me regain some of the clarity I found in that labyrinth. 2012 is going to be my year. And then the world’s going to end. And how are you feeling?

John Ore: Merry Drynuary! I’m happy to report that we’re on the same wavelength: I didn’t limp into this Drynuary, holding my liver in a doggie bag. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the holidays, and partook of the tradition of indulgence that I like to carry into, say, a random Thursday in April. I didn’t look at Drynuary as a reprieve, but more as a welcome ritual of self-improvement. Because everyone knows there’s nothing more important to a married father than his vanity. But before we get started, I need to clarify a few things for the uninitiated.

First of all, it’s Drynuary or Bon L’(h)iver. People need to stop trying to make Janopause happen. What do the Brits know about moderation? They can go eat a bag of knives. And it happens in January, not July or February. Like the Rose Bowl always being on January 1st.

Second, it’s a month long because it is ambitious. It’s not a week, or a couple of days, we’re not dabbling here. It’s meaningful. It’s a challenge, but it’s also a gift. Show some respect. Hey, let’s take a gander at our Drynuary Vital Signs Chart!

Week One

Alcohol Consumed (units)
Jolie: 0
John: 0

Jolie: Forgetful (“Oh wait, I’m not drinking….”)
John: Wary

Irritability (scale of 0–10)
Jolie: 3
John: 2

Jolie: Bemused acceptance
John: Cautious optimism

Jolie: You don’t think the twitching muscle in my upper left arm is cause for alarm, do you?
John: Steady as a rock. But I shoot with THIS hand.

Smugness (scale of 0–10)
Jolie: 1, lest I fall
John: 1, too early to lord this over people… just… yet.

Sounder Sleeping
Jolie: Yes!
John: N/A, I have a 15-month-old.

Substitute Activities
Jolie: This week’s cleaning column bumped up on a 3500-word count.
John: Drinking tonic water with lime, swearing I can still taste the gin.

John: So, what did was your 25th Hour drink? Champagne for your real friends, real pain for your sham friends?

Jolie: I went down in a blaze of white wine, pills and crack brownies, just like the Good Lord intended. I was so mellow one of my friends told me he thought he was on sedatives. And unlike some people, Bon L’(h)iver started for me on the first. No hair of the dog, no hangover brunch, just coffee and toast and much sighing. But! I do have to confess that this year Drynuary ends on the 27th for me, because I have reservations at Luger’s and hell if I’m not going to have a martini with my steak.

Now then, I know because the internet tells me so, that you went out in much more fashionable form. Care to take us through your bloody mary bar?

John: Breaking Drynuary at Peter Luger’s? I’ll allow it! Since our Drynuary typically ends on my wife’s birthday on February 3rd, I’ve broken Drynuary at Peter Luger’s a little early as well. Because, sometimes a Saturday lunch reservation is the best you can do.

This also gives us free rein to BLOW IT OUT on New Year’s Day, which is way more fun than the Forced Death March of New Year’s Eve. Loads of chili. Bloody Marys are front-and-center, but the full coterie of cocktails is on offer. It’s open-house style (I’ll leave my address in the comments for next year, y’all!), so friends, family and neighbors wander in for a bowl of chili and a hangover remedy. It’s not a race to midnight, it’s a nice, long, slow burn, filled with sports.

(At this point I will pause, chalk this up to withdrawal irritability, and offer a giant “Fuck You” to Roger Goodell for filling my Last Day As A Free Man with meaningless NFL games, and forcing me to watch the Winter Classic sober the next day.)

I may or may not have consumed the following beverages in the two days leading up to Drynuary:

  • beer
  • red wine
  • Champagne
  • dry vermouth
  • sweet vermouth
  • rye whiskey
  • Irish whiskey
  • vodka
  • calvados

All in a bucket!

So, who have we recruited to join us in our Noble Quest this month? Any virgins we need to publicly sacrifice?

Jolie: I have virgin blood, I do! (OH GOD STOP LAUGHING.) I recruited two newbies, who we’ll call Jack and Jill because I’m basically just waiting to see which one falls down first and then how long it will take the other to go tumbling after.

John: Nursery rhymes are so appropriate for this. Or is that a sitcom? Let’s just say that my lone recruit folded like Kramer in “The Contest” yesterday.

So, who’s with us? “Tell us in the comments!”

Jolie Kerr isn’t sure what to do with all this ice now. John Ore still smells like a distillery.