Month: November 2018


"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES


Harsh reality

It’s fair to say that being an alcoholic makes most things more difficult.

Work, relationships, climbing short flights of stairs… all these things become meaningful harder when you’re either paralytically drunk or so vomit-sweatingly hungover your heart feels like its about to give up beating.

Still, during the decade or so I spent as an alcoholic, there was one thing that being a drunk actually made easier: Knowing who the asshole was in any given situation.   

In any given situation, the asshole was me.

Every obliterated relationship: My fault.

Every firing, or breached contract, or missed deadline: Also my fault.

Every vicious argument, every betrayal of trust: 100% me.

Every time I woke up in a police cell, or in a stranger’s bathtub: Nobody to blame but myself.

For over a decade I’d internalized this simple worldview: I’m entirely bad, therefore everyone else around me is entirely good*. Ergo, if I were to ever stop drinking, my world would be free of conflict, free of negativity, free of drama. Kumbaya.

So you can imagine how I felt, back in 2009, when I finally got sober and realized the hideous truth: I wasn’t the only asshole in the world.

Not ever sober person is nice, or kind or honest.…

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Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Palm Springs.

Sarah and the kids are splashing around in the pool while I sit watching from the balcony, tapping away at my keyboard. The kids devoured banana pancakes and whipped cream for breakfast, but I stuck to fruit and coffee. According to my Fitbit tracker I consumed roughly a month’s worth of calories during yesterday’s Thanksgiving Feast.

A trip to Palm Springs has become our family’s Thanksgiving tradition. We love it: The warm water and the waning summer sun and especially our annual ritual of seeing a new-release kids movie before heading to a fancy restaurant for turkey and a thousand side dishes.

This year we saw Ralph Breaks The Internet (four stars) then decamped to Mr Lyons, an old-school Palm Springs steakhouse which, like everywhere in this town, claims Sinatra as a former regular.

Then, as we always do, we paused between courses to share the list of things we’re thankful for.

Evie (above) and Eli went first — Eli painstakingly namechecking every member of his immediate and extended family and Evie proving once and for all that she’s running for office (aged 5) by announcing she was thankful for “God and my family.”

Her stump speech concluded, Evie turned to me and, using the voice of her stuffed toy Turkey, asked  “What are you thankful for, Apple Paul?”…

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