Re: The ongoing conversation

I need a drink.

I haven’t published a single word for over a week now.  This is despite my recent commitment to build better habits concerning that area of life, including joining a challenge for just that and that is  best I can come up with. A whole week of processing a long string of bad news, focusing mostly on uncertainties involving my housing status, which in the very long and short term screws with my finances. Literally, hours and hours of internal dialogue.

“I need a drink.” That’s what you got for me?

Really?

So I guess we’re going there, again.

I have grown quite tired of this conversation. I long ago have realized that drinking doesn’t solve any of my problems.

Except for the immediate one of wanting a drink. It might take two. Well okay, the usual prescription of about one gallon of beer and the better part of a pint of whiskey, that should do nicely.

The old habit is getting creative in it’s arguments with me. Citing real and imaginary statistics about relapse rates, as if some how I am entitled to backslide. I feel it is prudent to remind it how all those other times over the years I tried to quit count as relapses.

Shortly after I got married. Right before my daughter was born. After I fell and broke my knee. Every morning that I ever woke up and swore I wasn’t going to get hammered, but was ready for a party by sundown. All those times, yeah remember those.

The conversation eventually revolves around how much more entertaining life was when I drank.  I used to have a social life. I was a lot more fun to be around.

Yeah I was a fun drunk, that was true. I’m pretty sure I am still fun to be around. Quite frankly I am still the same lovable jerk that everyone laughed with previous to sobriety. I just have lost all taste for watching people get drunk around me. Admittedly I should get out of the house more often. Maybe join the PTA. That’s a funny thought.

But, it would be for my own good right. What about that article I read about drinking being good for the creative process. That sounds like it would sure help out with that writing thing there. They did a study and everything. It’s basically science.

I skimmed a 2013 article, which happened to briefly mention a study done in 2012, and now my drinking problem manifests a PhD in psychology. That’s really cute. It is equally adorable how it conveniently forgets that the subjects of that study were at a blood alcohol level of .075, my proclivities have lead me, at times, a bit closer to the area of .36. Let me say that again, point three six. That is roughly the equivalent of being under anesthesia. It’s kind of hard to write when you might slip into a coma.

I really do get bored with all this. The worst part about this ongoing argument is when it gets this loud it occupies too much of my head space. It pushes out other thoughts. I can’t concentrate. I lose focus. I become depressed. Well maybe I become depressed, and then I think about drinking.

Focus on that bit of circular thinking too long and you might go mad.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about this past week.

Happy Monday

RE: Exhausted Arguments

“With insomnia, nothing’s real. Everything’s far away. Everything’s a copy of a copy of a copy.”

Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk (1996)

I am tired.

Scratch that.

I am exhausted as of late. I am continually plagued by erratic sleep patterns brought on by late nights at work and days that start twice once at six in the morning to get the kid to school and then again a one in the afternoon to get her home and then me ready for work.  I am often kept awake by some minor aches and pains, as well as the usual collection of small worries that, I am sure, keep most people up at night from time to time. The pains I have are hardly new and are treated easily enough by a regimen of ibuprofen, fairly safe especially since I am no longer in the habit of drinking myself into the warm and tender embraces of oblivion each night. My overall state of weariness does afford me the opportunity to frequently stare at an open pill bottle and a half full glass of water and wonder if I was just about to take the pills, or if I have already taken them.

At some point in my life I was lead to believe that prolonged sleep deprivation, or other type of mental of physical strain could lead to great leaps of creativity. It’s probably utter bullshit and, since this has been going on for months I feel I may be looking at the bottom of the arc if there is any truth to it at all. Instead I think it leads me to stupid and futile thoughts dressed in the guise of something clever to say. Fortunately I manage to catch these before they make it past their second paragraphs, well as far as I know anyway.

Another thing I have found that lack of quality shut eye leads to not only talking to inanimate objects but, also getting quite confrontational with simple printed material. It becomes, at some point possible to have the following interaction with the  instructions on the package of a Salisbury steak dinner.

 Step 1) Cut slit in film over vegetables. I really didn’t plan on using a knife at this point in the evening. If you needed a damned slit in the film over the veggies why didn’t you do that at the factory? Microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. When was the last time I used a microwave on less that HIGH? There’s enough buttons on this thing that it’s freaking me out as it is, don’t go making me look for one I don’t need.

Step 2) Stir potatoes and Rotate steak one half turn. Now you’re just trying to get me to play your little game. Stir the potatoes? You’re just trying to give me stuff to do now, let me think I’m part of this whole process. What’s with this rotating the steak thing anyway, of course I’m only turning it half way. Rotating it all the way round would be wasting my freaking time!  Replace film cover. Replace it? What the #@$% are you talking about? When the hell did we even discuss taking the damned thing off in the first place. You’re just trying to #@$%ing confuse me now. Microwave on HIGH for an additional 2½ to 3½ minutes. For the love of… Look you son of a bitch, I’m not asking for much here, maybe just a little commitment on your part. I mean it’s late so, can you just stop trying to screw with me and settle on a number? Seriously you make fifty million of these things a year, you’ve tested  them over and over and you can’t just call it three minutes and be done with it. #@$%ing &$$hole.

Step 3) Let Stand 2 minutes CAREFULLY remove as PRODUCT WILL BE HOT!  Oh, imagine that. Something I placed in the microwave to be cooked will come out of it hot. You know, I’ve had rough night at work, and I don’t need this kind of crap from a piece of cardboard, that was, until recently, wrapped around another piece of cardboard that’s passing itself off as something edible. How about I do you one better than just waiting a mere two minutes. I’ll go ahead and make myself a god damned sandwich. I’ll come back when and if  I feel like it.

4)Check that product is cooked thoroughly. Seriously, go screw yourself.

I am not quite sure much longer I can put up with this slight degeneration of my mental state. The good news is, in just under two weeks the school year will be done so I might manage an extra couple of hours of sleep from time to time.

Then again there’s talk of piano camp and swim lessons over the summer.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.

Happy Monday.

RE: Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin

Another late start to my blogging week. Gee, thanks life.

So I have been thinking about writing, namely my experiences blogging. I am, in some way, amazed at how positive the whole experience has been. Being from a certain perpetually dismal outlook on life, I had to really work myself up to doing this. Besides just opening myself up to constructive and well intended criticisms, I was expecting, givien my general observations of human nature, a lot more negative reaction to my writing.

It would be very easy for my little site to be ignored or the subject of ridicule. Instead I have gotten a lot of interest, support, and encouragement from the people who have stumbled upon it. I have also received a lot of good advice from experienced bloggers, and from the staff at WordPress by way of the various challenges that I have participated in.

I would really like to (once again) thank everyone, specifically the regular commentators (is that the right word?) on my blog Our interactions do more to keep me engaged in this than project than most anything else I can think of. You know who you are so I doubt I need to call you out by name.

I was trying so hard to come up with a good quote to start this piece off with, but I kept coming up dry. When I was driving the girl to school this morning, we ended up listening to Sly and The Family Stone. It seemed a bit appropriate so here it is.

Anyway that’s what I’ve been thinking about this past week.

Happy Monday!

Re: Subjective Reality

“People are always talking ya about truth. Everybody always knows what the truth is, like it was toilet paper or somethin’, and they got a supply in the closet. But what you learn, as you get older, is there ain’t no truth. All there is is bullshit, pardon my vulgarity here. Layers of it. One layer of bullshit on top of another. And what you do in life like when you get older is, you pick the layer of bullshit that you prefer and that’s your bullshit, so to speak.”

Bernie LePlante, Hero (Film 1992)

As I continue this little endeavor of mine, this blog, this silly little writing thing that I do, it follows that the bulk of what I have done so far has mostly been memoirs and personal stories, commentaries or observations about the world around me. These writings would by and large fit, at least loosely, in the category of creative nonfiction.

I love that phrase. Creative nonfiction, it’s right up there alongside bipartisan cooperation on my list of favorite plausible oddities in the English language

No matter what my intentions are, when I’m writing about real life everything is filtered through my memory and emotions. Given the various things that I’ve done to myself over the last twenty some-odd years neither one of those things are can be relied upon for their accuracy or objectivity. It isn’t my nature to purposely mislead  my reader or misrepresent my self, it’s just the nature of telling the story.  The thing is I am not sure there can be any creativity with out embellishment or exaggeration. That’s the whole point I suppose.

We all look at the world through our own lenses, and relate it with our own voices. If you want an example just turn you TV to any major news outlet. Truth is an empirical thing but I don’t think  I can quite see it from here. In the meantime I think my version of events is much more entertaining than any boring old truth.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about for the past week.

Happy Monday.

Re: Spotting a potential problem

“No good can come of this.”

The Brain, from Pinky and The Brain

 

Last week I was at work and in a rare idle moment, I checked the internet on my phone. The first thing I encountered was a link to an article about a product that was approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Have you heard of Palcohol? It’s an interesting product, it’s powdered alcohol. Just add water and poof, instant margarita.

 

Margarita

a margarita, photo By John Sullivan, courtesy of P.D. Photo.org

Even after seven years it always seems so surreal when I see something and the first thing I think is, This concerns me as a parent. Now this isn’t just the prudish paranoia of an admitted alcoholic, so bear with me.

Of course given, the spectrum of people who work at restaurants, when I announced this to my coworkers the first question asked was “Can you snort it?” The answer to this was broadly yes, but the company has taken a precaution to make this unfeasible.

“We have seen comments about goofballs wanting to snort it. Don’t do it! It is not a responsible or smart way to use the product. To take precautions against this action, we’ve added volume to the powder so it would take more than a half of a cup of powder to get the equivalent of one drink up your nose. You would feel a lot of pain for very little gain. Just use it the right way.” -Palcohol website

Well thank goodness for sane thinking, however, I am not sure if anyone here has ever attended a keg party; this is the type of thing that seems like the makings of a wager between a couple of overly enthusiastic attendees of such an event that maybe are around the age of twenty something, give or take. This wasn’t the cause for my concern though.

A friend of mine had commented on the link about teenagers not needing better way of smuggling alcohol. Wait, but, teenagers aren’t allowed to buy alcohol. Having been a teenager I do recall it being no great feat to obtain it regardless of legality. Now with this product, instead of carrying bulky cans and bottles in backpacks and purses they can have little envelopes of powder tucked into wallets or socks or just pockets. A bottle of water at a movie theater may be a bit pricey but, now it may seem worth it to some. Still, this isn’t what worried me about this.

No, the thing that troubled me was: If you can add it with water, or your favorite mixer, can you add it to some unsuspecting persons already alcoholic drink. Could you make it so someone doesn’t know how much they’ve really had to drink?  It would seem to be an ideal, legal to obtain way of making a cocktail more potent. Could this product become the next big date rape drug? Alcohol is already pretty big in this department already, does it need to be worse. This is what worries me as a parent. Now I know my daughter has a long way to go before she might be in this potential situation, but as a father this was my knee jerk reaction.

I am in no way saying that Lipsmark, the company that owns Palcohol should be denied the ability to market or distribute it. As a long time worker the food and beverage industry I can see potential uses for this product. Smaller restaurants that would want to offer cocktails but don’t have the space or budget to install a full bar could easily benefit from it. It would also be useful, as their website says was part of the inspiration for its creation, to people going camping or partaking in other activities where packing extra weight and volume would be problematic. Ultimately I have no problems with people of legal age enjoying whatever they fancy in an appropriate environment.

I just thought I would point out the problems that might come up, and things that we parents might want to know about when children leave the house on their own. It is up to us, as always to talk to our kids and let them know about the dangers of not just drugs and alcohol abuse, but the ways that others might put them to abusive uses towards them.

As of the writing of this article Palcohol has lost its approval with the  Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau due to a labeling discrepancy and, is being resubmitted to the agency. Even with this approval the company would still have other legal obstacles to overcome before it could be sold.

Anyway that’s just something I’ve been thinking about this past week.

Happy Monday.

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