December 18, 2009


Holiday parties are in full swing. Last night I joined my co-workers at a local pub for some after work brewskis. It was noted by several people that I was drinking diet pop. No worries, I still made an ass of myself even though I was stone cold sober. Save for a taste test of a half of glass of wine last month, I have been alcohol free since mid August or so (and honestly, the wine was good but I didn’t really enjoy it.) Some still ask why I stopped drinking and I always give the same answer: “I had too much fun driving my expensive sports car with one too many beers in me.” Is this the total story? It is not, but it’s a major component of it. I didn’t hit anything or anyone and I didn’t get stopped but I am proud to say that I knew when to stop before something bad did happen. I was acting irresponsibly and I was endangering people that I didn’t even know. That’s not a very good contribution to the world. Plus, I liked the buzz way too much. It’s why I never started smoking or doing drugs; nothing productive comes from it and I know that I would get addicted to it, therefore why start it at all? If I’m going to get through this life I’m going to do it without a buzz assist and see what my senses have to offer me on their own.

Some think that something much more scandalous happened while was I drunk and that’s why I stopped drinking. Please, I don’t need alcohol to do something scandalous. I’ve done many things that would make many people blush whilst I was completely sober. Inhibition is not a problem of mine.

Nevertheless, holiday parties are in full swing and I am occasionally offered a drink by well meaning hosts and friends. You know what, I’d be offended if they didn’t offer me anything! I am honoured but I decline and I mean no offense by it and my decision to not drink shouldn’t impact anyone else’s desire to drink. If you want to have a beer or a twelve-pack then drink up, that’s your business.

Just don’t hurt or kill anyone in the process and allow me to decline gracefully.


A few weeks ago when New York voted down same-sex marriages I read several comments across blogs stating that the unfortunate turn of events was “because of Upstate”. One person lamented that “it’s really nothing more than an Alabama with snow up there”, obviously typing from their cushy office chair, cushioned from the rumble of the subway moving folks several dozen floors belows them as they sipped on their mocha-cocha-la-la-latte vente.

That comment really bugged me. And it’s still bugging me.

Now I have never been to Alabama but I believe the gross generalisation the commentor was striving for was that we are all stuck in “Deliverance” up here in Upstate New York. Apparently we are wearing straw hats as we drive around in our pickup trucks with several shotguns in the window and we are longing for the days of the commie blacklisting. Oh, and we have a lot of snow too.

One of the beautiful things about the U.S. is our diversity and while we do have people that meet this description, we also have folks up here just as cultured, prim and proper (and snotty) as the some folks downstate portray themselves to be.

Every few years someone in government tries to drum up support of splitting the City of New York and Long Island away from the rest of the state. Upstaters screech that the city wouldn’t be sucking us dry with outrageous taxes nor taking away our liberties with all of the legislation that doesn’t really apply up here and downstaters claim that they won’t have to pump all of their tax money into our roads and prisons and welfare recipients.

Now I’m going to reserve comment right now as to whether I think the five boroughs and Long Island should somehow separate from the rest of the state (though if they did, I think they should take everything below I-84 with them), but I’m curious as to what my fellow Empire Staters think.

Should New York split into two states?