How to Dry it Out and Up


There’s got to be some anxiety out there about this going dry in January thing.  In our case, it’s called the Ready to be Thirsty Challenge.  All over the world, interested parties are prompting drinkers to forgo the parties – at least for this January.  Or, at least keep those parties dry and you can watch your friends get all tipsy and daft without you…

Maybe your office’s seasonal cheer is a gonzo freak-show like Office Christmas Party, I don’t know.  But maybe any and all of us deserve a break from the madness, following all the Yuletide gaiety.  And if so, here’s a few suggestions on how to do it right (according to Marie Claire – always take sobering advice from a fashion magazine):

A. Do the challenge with a friend – why go it alone?  Strength in numbers!

B. Focus on your hobbies and other interestsyou’ll have time to learn silk weaving, or learn about cosmic string theory.  Read a book, go snow-shoeing, try something new.

C. Get busy – keep involved in your passions, unless your passion is vodka

D. Treat yourselfsave your booze bucks and get your nails done.  Or buy a real screwdriver instead of a Screwdriver.

E. Stay away from your triggerslike, say, the bar/restaurant, or meals that typically would inspire beer or wine

F. Let people know you’re doing it – if you’re friends know you’re off the suds, they are less likely to tempt you!

G. Eat healthy, live healthy – If you’ve stopped sipping for January, you might fill the gap with all the chocolate you got for Christmas.  Instead, make the challenge part of a larger scheme to lose some weight, get active.  It could change your whole approach to winter…

Read the whole article here


The Upside of Situational Sobriety


When you look at the picture above – do you see a glass of water or a vodka on the rocks?  Very telling, kiddo!

Never one to shy away from skepticism, I thought I would do a little digging on the potential benefits of going Dry for a month.

After all – there must be a point to this walk through the dry desert in January, this Ready to be Thirsty challenge.  I ain’t doin’ it for the good of my health, right ??  Oh, wait….

Check out this article from Good to Know. You’ll see that the potential benefits of going dry for 31 days are numerous and huge:

  • reduced sugar intake
  • weight loss
  • improved sleep
  • increased clarity (or reduced ‘brain fog’)
  • better hydration
  • heightened sex drive
  • enhanced mood

All in all, there are 15 listed benefits.  So if it’s even half true, you’ve got seven-plus reasons to give this a try.   Thirsty is as thirsty does, folks – I’ll be liver-deep in benefits and invoking my sober spirit after Christmas, drinking tea and watching my spleen get leaner by the minute.

Join me on the journey and reap what you didn’t soak.


A Dry White Season Reason


Once again, not against my better judgement but actually using my better judgement, I will attempt to GO DRY this January.

Yep – January this year.  Like the Brits, doing their Dry January


Or an amalgam of Canadian charities doing their Dry January


Or a British Columbia charity, BeYouPromise.Org, hosting their Dry January:


Seems like everyone is doing this sober thing in January.  Makes sense.  In December you’ll be doing some serious indulging.  You’ll be gorging yourself on butter tarts and beer, turkey and tequila, whiskey, wine and wasabi.   You’ll be engorged with the Holiday Spirit(s)!

And then you’ll be spending time whooping it up on New Year’s Eve, either at a party or parties, or strangely alone on your couch.  Any which way, you’ll have tied it on, soaked it up, drank it down, ate the roast beast and otherwise heard the Whos who-whoing down in Whoville.

And maybe, just maybe… you’ll need a break from the boxes and soxes, the drinking and slinking.  If you do pause from boozing, it’s weight you’ll be losing.  If you break from misbehaving, it’s money you’re saving.  And if you stop getting wetter, your sleeping’ll be better…

Don’t make me steal the sobriety alone.  Go Thirsty this January.


There’s No Road, That Ain’t a Hard Road

I was listening to a Sam Robert’s song this morning on CBC2, and I began to think about how I handled this past February in the Ready to be Thirsty challenge.   How I fell off that one time for the Superbowl, and how I cheated one time after that…on the 14th (with the wife, Valentine’s Day, watching Downton Abbey, of all things), and I felt terrible the next day…no lie.

I was remembering how hard it was to give up booze for the first couple weeks, and how I was tempted so intensely.  I think about how it’s not as difficult now, and how not drinking during the week has become the normal thing.

On the whole, I lost ten pounds and I often sleep better (well, for me).

Now the challenge is to manage consumption for the rest of the year.   There’s those pesky Low Risk Drinking Guidelines.   Yeah, that’s the goal I should be aiming for…in fact, I am pretty much already there.

But the temptations will come when the weather turns – opportunities to rejoice, to celebrate, to get carried away.  Campfires and camping and canoe trips and cajoling with friends in the backyard.  But even then, the challenge continues – to be a gregarious, mostly-sober host, and make a great time out of moderation.

Remember, especially when the company’s not the best, the conversation’s not the liveliest, the mood’s a little dark, or the plot of the movie’s a little dim…that there’s no road, that ain’t a hard road, that’s worth travelling on.

Finish Lines !!


Wow.  February 29th, that extra day you get every four years*

Today is the last day of the Ready to be Thirsty challenge!

If you attempted the challenge – then, congratulations.  If you didn’t, well, we would like to extend our sincere invite to join us in 2017.  Or, you could take on another ‘dry period’ of your choosing – whenever it suits you.  If you do, feel free to tell us about it on Facebook:

We’ll be there, prepping for next year, getting ready to hear your stories and share our own.  Any which way, we hope you gained some perspective, shed a few pounds, and learned about yourself.

Take the time to really think, even just for a few minutes, about your health, your energy, your alcohol consumption.  Carry those lessons forward – take them with you.  We think those notions will actually make you wiser, more insightful…just a little, even when the time comes when you want to have that beer, that glass of wine.  Enjoy it sensibly, moderately.

Life is about learning, from successes, from set-backs.  Take pride in your accomplishments and we’ll happily see you when we see you next!


Photo by Steve Garfield, via Flickr, Creative Commons, no changes. 

Pondering Imponderable Challenges


In last evening’s sleepless semi-coma, I began to think about alcohol as a means to temporarily transform.   After all, that’s what drinking is – an adjustment of our headspace.

George Carlin once said that if we lived in a world with no drugs, people would spin around on their front lawns until they fell down.  Such is our relentless desire for altered consciousness.  At times, we want to change how we think, what we think, if we think.  Who we are.

Many people use alcohol to compensate for stress – a lubricant for relaxation.  Personally, that’s not my thing.  Alcohol generally either ramps my emotions, or…numbs me.  Depends how much energy I have, going in.  If I have good energy, then watch out…I perceive myself to be bloody hilarious.  If I have low energy and then I drink, watch me become somber, contemplative and perhaps a bit melancholy.  A boor or a poet. That’s who I become.

Whatever a person’s reaction to alcohol, it’s about some kind of escape from the current space.  A key to a door, leading to somewhere else.  Yet, for the month of February, I’ve been taking the Ready to be Thirsty challenge.  Dry for 29 days.   So instead of transforming, I’ve just been…myself. Heading into the last weekend of the challenge, I am still just me.  Tired, cranky, restless.  Content, energetic, collected.  Joyful, thoughtful, ponderous.  The whole beautiful mess of human feeling.

In some ways, then, a dry month is like holding up a mirror to the true self.  With 72 hours to go, I can say it’s been interesting getting to know that person a little better.



Overhaul the Alcohol !!

Here at Thirst, we look at alcohol from all the angles.

Big Picture:  A new plan just unveiled is changing how wine is being sold and distributed in Ontario.  Akin to how beer entered grocery stores in the past few months, we are about to see wine do the same, and be more available than ever.  This is another change in the overhaul to our alcohol distribution system.

That’s big picture stuff , systems at work – and maybe you’re happy about it – maybe it will save you a trip, I don’t know.

Small Picture: You and your community.   More access to booze means more consumption and more problems…not necessarily for you (okay, maybe you) – but perhaps for your daughter, your neighbor, your friend…and then, maybe for the cops, the jail, the hospital. You see, when you care about your community, you’re actually caring about yourself, and those you love.

When you look at both pictures…and maybe your own consumption, your own health, it starts to meld into a larger sense of knowing.

Figure 5