Tag Archives: unbook club


I was at a friend’s home the other day. It was her turn to host our Unbook Club – where we don’t read or discuss books, we just eat and drink and gossip. (Saves time and energy, don’t you think? Why bother going through that intellectual charade when everyone knows that we all just want an excuse to have a couple of glasses of wine mid-week?)

My buddy Meshka and I usually take turns driving to these “meetings”, as we live fairly close together and are pretty close friends, too. It was her turn to drive, which meant that I didn’t have to think too hard about my alcohol consumption – other than to remember that I did have to go to work the next day! Neither of us really drink copious amounts, but we both are rather easily affected by alcohol. One glass of wine per evening is usually enough for us, but she who isn’t driving can have two if she wishes. (Yes, I’m living right on the ragged edge, aren’t I?)

One of the women at Unbook Club had had to be dropped off by her husband, as her own car was out of commission. At some point during the evening, she mentioned that she was going to have to call him to come and pick her up when she wanted to leave.

“Oh, don’t do that,” I said airily. “Someone here can take you home, I’m sure.”

She looked at me expectantly.

“I could drive you home,” I continued. “You don’t live that far out of my way…”

My voice trailed off as I realized that I wasn’t driving tonight, that Meshka had driven.

“… or Meshka can take you, since she drove me tonight.”

She looked at me quizzically. Apparently I was offering her a ride home with someone else who didn’t even know I was doing this. Brilliant.

And this was after maybe half a glass.

Who knows what I might have suggested after a full glass? A helicopter, paid for by our host, perhaps?

(And ever the gracious gal, Meshka did indeed drive our carless friend home. And she just laughed at me. This is another reason she is my friend.)


Worst. Sleep. Ever.

I was at my Unbook Club the other night. It’s just like a regular Book Club, except that we don’t read books. That gets in the way of all the drinking and eating and socializing, you see.

Anyway, this was our annual Christmas “meeting”, so we had our gift exchange as well as our usual drinking and eating and socializing. And, since it wasn’t a school night and it’s Christmas, after all, everyone had arranged for rides home. A good time was had by all, needless to say.

My friend Meshka’s husband George picked up the two of us shortly after midnight. We were silly and probably quite loud – as all middle-aged women are wont to do when let out of the house with a bottle of wine and a corkscrew. He calmly ignored our prattle, dropped me off safely, then drove on home to pour Meshka into bed.

Once in the door, I apparently talked DD’s ear off about what a fun time I’d had and the latest news and gossip from my circle of friends. That’ll teach DD to keep such late hours, I think. She’ll know better next time: if she’s still up when I get home from an evening with friends, I’m sure she’ll hop into her bed and at least pretend to be asleep!

So I got into bed around 12:30 am, fell asleep almost immediately, then woke up with a start. It was 1 am.

And that was it, till I dozed off around 6 – but only for another half hour or so. I never did actually sleep, and eventually thought, “Fuck it, this is stupid” and got out of bed at 9.

I am not exaggerating. I KNOW that I didn’t sleep that night, because I had my bedside radio on the whole time and the late night (early morning?) program that is on from 1 am until 5 am featured Erin Brokovitch for the whole four-hour show, and I heard the whole four-hour show. Then there was the early morning drive-to-work program that runs from 5 am till 8:30 am. I heard all of that too, except for that half-hour that I drifted off around 6 am.

The funny thing was that I actually was rather tired. You know sometimes when you can’t sleep and you’re totally wide awake? That wasn’t me. My body really did want to sleep. My mind wasn’t racing, I was warm and comfortable and relaxed and tired. I just wasn’t sleeping.

And why had insomnia come to visit me that night? Who knows? Typically, I don’t have that problem when I’ve had a few glasses of wine. Nor do I have difficulty sleeping when I eat late. I seem to have a cast-iron stomach and alcohol and food rarely affect me that way. Perhaps it was the three cups of coffee I had drunk at the end of the evening? Maybe I now react very strongly to caffeine (assuming the coffee wasn’t decaf – which, with a bunch of women, is almost a gimme nowadays. We all drink decaf once the morning is over.) There’s always the possibility that my recent cold (which is still lingering more than I’d like, by the way) was affecting my sleep patterns – but why that night, when the worst was over with? I’d been able to sleep reasonably well throughout, except for the coughing spells, of course.

Or maybe I was just practicing for Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve? I never have been able to stay awake long enough to peek at him …

I need space!

It was Unbook Club last night at my house. We were a smaller group than usual, which was great because the conversation could then include everyone. Also, there’s plenty of food left over, so I won’t have to cook all weekend, maybe.

Lainey was telling us about a “slight disagreement” she was having with some of her colleagues at work. Now, Lainey is one of the most intelligent women I know, and also one of the funniest. No one can tell a story like Lainey, especially when she’s had a couple of glasses of wine.

Their “slight disagreement” began with the fact that way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we were in high school being taught how to type, we were told to double-space after a period. Yes, yes, the Unbook Club wimmin nodded, double-space after a period.

Lainey went on to tell us how she had tried to convince her workmates that nowadays, with the advent of those new-fangled computer-things to type on, you no longer double-space after a period. Only a single space is now required. This is apparently due to the fact that olden-days typewriters gave every character the same amount of space, whereas word processing programs on computers can automatically adjust the spacing according to the character. They just know to leave additional space after a period, you don’t have to do it manually. Her colleagues argued with her, and apparently it got a little heated, with Lainey eventually deciding that they were just stupid.

We listened to this story, unconvinced and sceptical. No double-spacing after a period? What heresy is this? We all double-space after a period. Was there a memo to no longer do that? Did we accidentally delete that e-mail? Is this even true?

I called in the reinforcements: DD. DD is in a professional writing program at college, and is currently interning at a company downtown in their technical writing department. DD would know about this sort of thing, and if she didn’t have the information at the tip of her tongue, she would certainly know which reference manual would have it. She would also likely own the manual, too.

And DD confirmed what Lainey was saying. She said that there were only one or two styles in which it was acceptable to double-space after a period. Then, just this afternoon, she checked further and specified that this was only for drafts, never for published work, and that this has been the case since 1990.

So I guess the people Lainey works with aren’t the only stupid ones. I may also be in that category too – and even more so, because despite my new knowledge, I am STILL double-spacing after periods. On purpose.

Is that bad?