Would You Like A Glass of Whine With That, Sir?

It’s been a while since I added a post in the Adventure Blog category.

And that’s mostly because I’ve been tethered to “full-time” employment for faaaaar too long a stretch. And by full-time I mean a consistent 50+ hours a week trading my soul for plastic dollars. My last real taste of freedom was many moons ago, touring Central America with nothing but a backpack and a reckless disregard for self-preservation. Fuck that was a good time.

Lemme backtrack here a second — the word tethered I used earlier is actually quite incorrect. That’s more of a word some whiny fuck (me?) might use to somehow suggest “I had no choice in the matter!”

But I most assuredly did.

No one backed me into a corner and said flip eggs or die. No one put a gun to my head to work 16-hour days when people quit or got fired. No one guilted me into working an additional 2 years after my 9-month notice came and went. All that shit was on me. There are no true have-to’s in this world, there are only choices.

The have-to people are the ones perpetually befuddled by the differences between entitlement, comfort, and free will…

“I HAVE TO pay my bills, or they’ll cut off my hot water!”

Uh, no, asshole. Incorrect. You don’t have to do any such thing — except maybe admit to yourself you prefer hot showers over cold ones, and then shut the fuck up about paying for services you’ve intentionally contracted.

“My rent went up again, I can’t believe I HAVE TO pay another hundred dollars a month!”

Um… you don’t, fucker. Maybe it’s more honest to admit you prefer a roof over your head versus living in a box in the woods. Surviving without a fixed address is very possible, just not high on your entitlement list.

It’s the same complaints with rent, cars, Netflix subscriptions, grocery prices, and all the worthless baubles shipped to us from Amazon in 24 hours or less. So you can either figure out a way to pony up the dough for the perks you’re addicted to and quit your incessant bitching, or learn to live without.

Granted, one might make the argument that choices are “easier” to make when a healthy bank account is involved — this I concede— but one must also realize that each and every previous choice we’ve made has determined either the robust health, or COVID-like fragility of our present-day finances.

I made a choice a decade ago to squirrel away a few bucks every month with the intention of funding an improbable (and somewhat idiotic) dream of buying a sailboat and traveling the world, and that decision has finally paid off, leaving me in a position where I can comfortably say Fuck You to the next taskmaster offering me some bullshit minimum wage gig. Suck my balls, massa.

Wanna know what I like about unemployment? What I like more than working 50 hours a week at a job I’ve lost passion for?


The air smells sweeter. The birds chirp more happily. Hell, even my roommate seems less irritating when he talks about leveling up his Ewoks to fight his Ewoks.*

[*Editor’s Note: That’s a complete lie. Conversations about weather patterns in Texas annoy the fuck out of me too, Johnny. Get a fucking life!]

I feel like my baseline has been reset. My atrophied sense of adventure and wonder has returned. Although no palm trees are currently involved in the equation, my waking days feel a lot like they did when I was wandering Guatemala for 2 months.

And one more unexpected quirk happened… I quit da beers. I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since the day I left my job. For a junkie like me, that ain’t too shabby.

Now don’t get me wrong here — I’m not mentioning this because I consider myself some superior, enlightened asshole who’s gonna start preaching to you the evils of running ethanol through your liver. Fuck that. There ain’t nothin’ worse than a reformed alkie talking about their 10 years of sobriety like they’re some kinda fucking hero. That’s almost as loathsome as trying to have a conversation with a hardcore vegan who just discovered CrossFit. Shudder.

This ain’t no “game-changing” moment in my life, just another choice.

So why mention it?

Because the timing was more than coincidence.

I probably sucked back, on average, 6-12 beers a night for the last 5 years. No embellishment. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Mostly more. The habit was part of my routine to numb my brain and escape the daily drudgery of my chosen commitments.

Breaking the habit was a simple realization:

Create a life for yourself you don’t feel the need to escape from.

I like those words. When you go to bed excited about the nutty things you wanna do in the morning, and wake up in that same mindset, there’s a good chance you’re on the right track.

I’m not saying I’ll never have a beer again, but for now, I’m good. If I do choose to partake in a tall, bubbly, golden, delicious beverage somewhere down the road (stop it Mike, stop it! haha), then I’ll do so with conscious intention and full awareness of the inevitable consequences that always follow.

Oh fuck, now I totally sound like a holier-than-though douchebag.

Sorry, my bad.


The name of the game in this post is still adventure, so let’s end with a quick (not so quick) story…

Just as I was on a roll getting my electronics installed in the boat, the weather took a turn for the worse. Or is it the worst? I don’t fucking know, but let’s just say the weekly forecast sucked some serious ass — too cold to work at the marina, and definitely too cold to mix epoxy on the boat.

The typical Mikey reaction might’ve been to brood about how Mother Nature’s timing was COMPLETELY FUCKING UNFAIR (possibly triggering a visit to the purveyor of spirits down the road to purchase some “mood-enhancing” juice), but an alternate choice of action presented itself in the form of a schizophrenic conversation…

Me: Fuck! Why a cold spell now? I’m in the fucking zone, this ain’t fair!

Other Me: Dude, shut the fuck up. You want s’more cheese with your whine? Do you own a generator?

Me: Yeah.

Other Me: Do you own a portable heater?

Me: Um… yeah.

Other Me: Super. And are you now able to deduce the course of action I’m suggesting without me slapping you upside your stupid fuckface?

Me: Hmm. Wait. Holy shit, I have a great idea!!!

Other Me: Christ what a moron. I don’t how I dealt with me all these years…

So I packed up my gear and off I went — into the sub-zero windstorm at the marina, hellbent on making whatever progress I could, glass of whine forgotten.

I fired up the genny, barricaded my cabin opening, and before I knew it, it was a balmy 8 degrees inside the boat. Sweet. As the windstorm raged, I felt oddly soothed. The vibration of the boat on my trailer felt a lot like just another day bobbing on the water. Double sweet!

As the gas in my generator dwindled down, and the sun (what sun?) began to edge t’ward the horizon, it was time to call it a day. I felt smugly satisfied for being the only nutjob at the marina getting a jump on an early lift-in.

What I hadn’t realized was that the accumulating snow was a tad more voluminous than anticipated.

Driving up the hill made me immediately aware of that.

The first leg leaving the marina is a modest incline, followed by a small, level landing, and then one more steeper grade before reaching the exit.

And so the adventure began…

Me: Fuck. Am I seriously spinning my wheels here?

Other Me: Yeah stupid. You’ve never actually driven this road in heavy snow before, what did you expect? Calm the fuck down, let ‘er roll backwards, and try again.

Now here’s something new I learned — fishtailing is a phenomenon that occurs both forwards AND backwards when you’re traversing a snowy hill. Apparently gravity is some kind of twisted sorcerer.

Other me: Just steer, stupid. You’ll be fine. Reassess the situation when you reach the flat part.

Some bonehead once told me that driving on winter tires in the summer eroded the rubber faster than in winter due to increased friction during hotter months. After I was done laughing, I thanked him for the physics lesson, and drove the fuck away.

Well, it seems Captain Physics may have been onto something. As I checked out my front tires (the winter tires that’ve been on my front-wheel drive car for a year and a half), they appeared to be balder than Patrick Stewart’s ass. Fuck, I hate when smarty-pants people are right.

Me: Okay, I’ll just back up as far as I can, and get a decent running start this time. Should work out fine.

Other Me: HAHAHAHA, I fucking love this moron!

Round 2 wasn’t much more impressive than the first run, but I definitely churned more gravel than snow this time…

Other Me: Oh boy, round 3! This should be worth the price of admission…

And the spectacle didn’t disappoint.

As the tail of my car oscillated left and right like a pendulum on crack, the peak of the hill inched agonizingly closer. Did I have the momentum?

Me: I got this.

Other Me: I dunno…

Me: No, I got this!

Other Me: You sure?

Me: Fuck. Fuck me! No wait, I got this, I got this!!!

And I gunned the motherfucker like no tomorrow as I laughed maniacally while reaching the top. The rush of adrenaline that hit me made me realize that naturally occurring body chemicals were a really cheap way to get high, no beer necessary.

Me: (still laughing like a psychopath) Yeah!! Fuck yeah! I’m gonna do that again!

Other Me: Sigh. Go the fuck home, junkie.

What's on your mind?