I’m no quitter, but…

#CherryCasaraCappuccino #swingscoffee #alexandriava #hollywhitaker #quitlikeawoman

I’ll be posting to here, and my other blog on amanda-bellido.com, about what I’m currently reading. I’ll post a full review once a week once I’m done with each book. This should kick me in the pants to get this reading done, right? If you see me, don’t be afraid to ask what I’m reading.

Why would I consider a book about quitting the sauce when I write a blog called “drinkersblock”? It’s not all about alcohol, though I was drinking wine when I came up with the name, and have been a bartender for 17 years. Seems to suit, no? I have given enormous consideration to putting aside alcohol permanently in my life for a long time. I am done with the binge drinking aspect, and yes I’ll fully admit to that being a big part of my restaurant life. Of course, I never saw it as “bingeing”, just partying hard (same).

I do love wine though…

So why the book? It called out to me, to be honest. I’m curious as to what it’ll say to me, what this author experienced, and how I could possibly apply this to my own life. I have several sober friends, and guess what? Not drinking doesn’t kill your social life. It does keep more money in my pocket, my face from being swollen in the morning, and the wasteful hangovers are gone. It’s not the worst consideration. So will I do it? Or will I learn to just be more mindful of my consumption?

Stay tuned…

The birds are spies…

#oldtownbooks #alexandriava

So on a revised mental health day, I find myself in one of the busiest, and smallest, Starbucks in my city. My car was hit a few days ago and can’t go far, so I’ve opted for a beautiful 60° February day to walk by the water, take pictures of birds, and patron a local bookstore. Yes, it’s middle of winter, it’s warm, it’s sunny, and I snagged a hightop by the window. I’ve also got a really cool idea (thanks to a friend) to write about birds used as spies since I’m surrounded by seagulls here.

In my quest to be a more educated and broad-minded writer, this book checks a few boxes. It figures in well with my desire to become a food writer, and to see and consider food in a different way. As art, as more than just sustenance. I already see food in this way, but have never written about it. Food is the center of everyone’s lives, whether we admit it or not.

Also, I love independent bookstores, they are one of my happy places. You know you’ve hit gold when the owner/cashier/employee eagerly answers questions, offers advice, and generally looks happy to be there. So go patron #OldTownBooks !

Don’t knock it, we all do it…

#starbucks

Nothing nefarious here, just decided against a neighborhood, locally owned coffee shop for a change. There’s abundant tables, I can hear conversations other than English being enjoyed, and I really love their sous-vide egg bites.

So are you as tired as I am of everyone shoving “Buy local!” and “Support local business!” and my favorite “Don’t give to greedy global corporations!” I patron my amazing local coffee shops like 90% of the time. I buy from local pet food stores as much as possible with picky cats. I heard a small, independent (those words are just porn for the world’s do-gooders) dry goods grocer is opening up in town soon (bring your own bags and containers!), I’m all over it.

But really, seriously. Sometimes I just want to hide, be a ghost, invisible in my own city. As a bartender at a long time local restaurant for 10+ years now has its perks and it’s downfalls. I like making people happy. I do like interesting, thoughtful conversations with interesting, thoughtful people. I’ve met the best friends an adult could ask for. People are looking out for one another in a genuine, selfless way.

Sometimes, however, I just need to be left alone. My “me” time is more precious than gold (parents understand this more than most). Interrupting someone deep in thought, bent over a book, a laptop, a phone, to me is a huge privacy violation. Oh boy, I can hear it now “Well if you don’t want to be bothered, don’t go out” or “Gee SORRY I annoyed you”. When I used to go to the YMCA, I frequently saw a friend who gave me the briefest of nods as hello. Another would wait until I was done hating on the elliptical or treadmill before stopping by for a hello and a chat. It’s all about timing folks, and we’re all dialed in to our very short days and over-worked agendas. My point? Self-awareness folks, it’s never too late to develop this appreciated and well respected trait.

Has our self-awareness deteriorated as a result of the internet, smartphones, social media? I’m living the most oxymoronic life as I dive further into my online presence as a professional, and my increased need to get away from town (everyone and everything) and drive to the countryside to horses and hiking. I am certain everyone else is in this same boat.

So where do you go, what do you do to away from it all?

Thanks for listening!

🎶Hold me closer tiny dancer…

#StElmosCoffee

I have a bonus night off *cue fireworks*. I really should be working and generating some kind of income, but I’m still exhausted from New Year’s Eve. Bartending at 29+++ is taking, has taken, it’s toll. Getting home at 4:45am on *technically January 1st is throwing off my stubborn brain and body. Recovery takes FOREVER, I’m sure I don’t have to explain this to anyone in the “29+++” category. So I’m using my now free night to get some ideas down and do some research.

As you know, I’ve been reading Steven King’s “On Writing” and have been inspired to write a few short horror/suspense stories. Since I live in a super historical city where lots of ghost stories prevail (hot seat of Revolutionary and Civil War folks!) I felt it would be silly to not use this ocean of potential for my work. As a former reference librarian for Special Collections in Alexandria, I spent a lot of down time digging through the room on whatever struck my fancy. One of the more intriguing stories is of “The Female Stranger”. Her actual name and origins are shrouded in mystery, but what is known is she was a young woman who’s husband brought her to Gadsby’s Tavern, where she passed away suddenly from an unknown illness. Her grave is a large stone table at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cemetery, supposedly placed by her husband (name and origins also a mystery).

Edit: I wrote this post over a week ago, before “The Great Cold of 2020” took over my life. My delusional brain thought I had published it, whoops!

I plan on writing a ghost/horror story based off of the Female Stranger, as it has fascinated me for years. Historical city? Check. Mysterious dying woman? Check check. Ominous message left by disconsolate husband? Triple check. 2020 is going to be the year of mystery and horror!

“The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood

Very excited to start reading this novel, as was loaned to me by my friend, fellow bibliophile, Ann. What I know is it’s the follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale 15 years in the future from the latter’s events. Being an avid follower of the television series (can June BE any more frustrating?!), I’m very excited to see what Atwood will bring to the characters, their dilemmas, and the survival of Gilead.

I was told this is an engrossing and quick read, so looking forward to getting book #2 for 2020 in the works!

Anyone else reading this? Thoughts or comments?

Falling down the rabbit hole…

As I read The Hazel Wood my mind starts whirling, ideas start popping into my head. I love and miss that feeling of, what do we call it, creativity (!) that tends to lay motionless for long stretches of time in our subconsciousness. I’m excited, it’s exciting! Will this idea branch off from my already started paranormal murder mystery, or take a life of it’s own? My city of Alexandria, Virginia has ample history to build numerous stories from, historical and horror.

2020 will be a very prolific year for writing 😎

#swingscoffee #maplecardamomlatte

Just another (non) Manic Monday…

#SwingsCoffee #Cappucino #Hazelwood #RainyDayReading

Time to get back at it, not that I’ve stopped, but I’m notorious for starting books and not finishing immediately. I know the sequel will be in my mailbox shortly, and there’s a bonus booklet!

It’s another Monday off, and the weather has been less than stellar. Although like a disappearing magic act, the rain stopped, the clouds are melting away, and a gorgeous full rainbow took its place. I’ll take it as a sign. A new year starts in less than 48 hours, the temperature is warm, and wondrous hope has me feeling almost like a normal, happy person.

I wish everyone has such nice Mondays. Happy New Year to my fellow readers and writers.

Pitter patter 🙂

From a week ago…

Flat white at #KillerESP

At my old favorite coffeeshop by my old house in a busy part of town. First of several days to decompress and not have to fake smile, do small talk, doll myself up to look presentable and not my usual Medusa. But “to be fair”, I’m more the crazy lady who throws cats at people on “The Simpsons” than a woman with snakes for hair.

#KillerESP

#OldTownAlexandria

#ALX