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I insist that if you are considering any prescription mood-altering drugs, that first you attend either one-on-one or (discounted or free) group psychiatric counseling and continue attending until you can halt the use of the drugs.
Dr.Malamud has been under a doctor's care since 1958 and only now, forty-eight years later, understands that fighting depression, for him, will be a life-long battle.
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July 2009 Journal Entries
I can see that the entry before this identified me a an addict, horseshit! I am a drunk. I promised myself to not drink after I got home at 11pm last evening and now, at 2:51am, I am sipping my
fourth fifth shot of Bushmills Irish Whiskey, which is good stuff, however, it is as expensive as French perfume.
I had to enter something on these pages, so you would not go into mourning at my (assumed) passing, and cause more excitement than M.J.'s recent suicide-by-prescription-medicine did. The world can handle only so much trauma at one time. I am alive.
I've got to hurry for I have less than twenty minutes for my $5.00, two day old Safeway fried chicken is done enough to gobble down while I watch the governor of California in the movie titled: "Eraser". He's probably wishing he could 'erase' his zillion dollar budget deficit about now, eh?
Yes, I am still sick. I believe this is the beginning of week four. Any normal person would be in an I.C.U. unit with more hoses coming out of him than a multi-mullah hooka in downtown Tehran. I've been afraid to challenge Dr. Abimelech during the last three visits, but next week, I will confront him with the fact that I've now been ill for most of a month. And that that is not normal.
I'm fairly certain that my ingestion of Irish Whiskey has nothing to do with my continued illness because whiskey is made entirely from natural ingredients, and everyone knows that anything that comes from nature, say the anthrax virus for instance, cannot be harmful. (Of course having 'anthrax' on my web page will cause the N.S.A. to start to pay attention to me, but that is okay because I do need more readers.)
And back to M.J.'s 'unintentional' heart-stopping drug overdose. As my readers know, I am somewhat familiar with prescription drugs, and the use of prescription drugs to, shall I say, step out of this world for awhile? Dr. Malamud is close to weighing 260 pounds and if I had been using the number of prescription medicines that Black/White genius was ... Where was I?
In any case, I am fine. I've only got to see it through the next twenty-six years (if I'm like my dad, or the next thirty-five years, if I'm like my beloved Uncle John) and I intend to do that. All the while giving my loyal readers the advice they need to avoid becoming like me.
Simply because I'm sipping Chardonnay poured from a pickle jar doesn't mean I'm a drunk; especially since after swearing off of alcohol well over 50 hours and 22 minutes ago.
When I got home midnight Thursday and stepped into my hovel situated amongst the law-abiding illegal immigrants, meth-heads and paroled felons, and with cool air striking my face as if I were entering an On-the-Run walk-in beer cooler, I almost panicked since summer electricity is so expensive.
But then, after studying my wall-mounted Sharp digital display Super-Accurate Atom time clock and temperature display and seeing it was detecting 84F/29C degrees, I realized I had left my air conditioning set to come on at 84F degrees rather than turning it off entirely, in order to prevent any higher temperatures from this asphalt coated area of the Sonoran Desert from melting the glue on the bindings on the books of my massive personal library.
At 11:57pm it was 97F/36.6C outside, so the 13F degree colder interior air did feel as delightful as cool spring breeze.
Yes, once again, I had promised myself to avoid the alcohol and once again, the bottle opener proved stronger than my will.
Finding only two iceberg-cold Sam Adam's in my refrigerator surprised me because, like all serious drunks do-I carried a running tally in my head of all the beer bottles in my refrigerator-and that tally came to more than two and less than five.
No matter, maybe Mainio came over and took some beers as I had told him to do after I had poured the contents of every brown, green or yellow glass bottle from his refrigerator down my gullet at his place on my last Tuesday night off while we watched Stargate (the movie) in Blu-ray and smeared grease on our hairy faces as we sucked down the soon-to-be-illegal Safeway fried chicken.
Tonight, as the first Sam Adam's 'Pale India Ale' sat bubbling in my stomach, its alcohol quickly leaching into my bloodstream and quite literally raising my spirits, I realized I enjoy drinking simply because I enjoy the way it makes me feel.
It makes me feel good without having to physically or mentally do anything to earn my good feeling.
Drinking wine from a pickle jar? In my effort to get well, pickled, when the beer ran out, I was forced to open a bottle of white wine that had lain unopened in my refrigerators for years. Once opened, I found the only stopper I had was one for champagne bottles, and being my 1980s-like East German refrigerator cannot handle a so-very-tall stood-up wine bottle, and since laying it down would flood everything beneath it, I was had to pour my remaining Chardonnay into an empty pickle jar that I'd kept around for who knows what reason.
E.T. aliens are forcing me to drink massive quantities of beer and Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey that I just bought at Safeway because it was on sale.
Well, the beer, a mixture of normal octane Heineken in the green bottles & the "Folly Pack" of New Belgium beer, which consists of two bottles each of six beers, ... What the hell! I sound like an ad! ... and here I am being forced to consume these alcoholic liquids almost against my will.
Yes, almost against my will.
I've started visiting Facebook and, realizing that everyone takes everything as 'gospel', especially probable future employers, I've come back to these Dr. Malamud pages which have served me so well over the past six years as I attempt to get over the bereavement that came with my wife leaving me so many years ago with the one year-old Mainio and the seven year old Aili as the last time I saw her she was stepping out the door in the summer rain to get a pack of Marlboro's...
The timer-beeper went off and I suppose these pale-skinned E.T.s will also force feed me day-old Safeway fried chicken dipped in Ken's Steak House Honey Mustard dressing, all of which I bought on sale.
No. You cannot go onto Facebook and just start raving about how effing drunk you are because E.T. aliens forced you to drink the beer you bought on sale. It's like, what? joining a church group and fearing banishment from Heaven, sitting around and talking about, what? certainly not: "For he who has not sinned, may throw the first stone."
But this new internet world, this internet life, this 'presence', has simply given us a chance to make 'mistakes' and have them forever saved on a cd disc somewhere in the bowels of, well, the internet.
Nobody can say a gawdamned thing or they will be forever branded, 'racist' or 'sexist' or 'homophobe' or 'a breeder' or a 'meat eater' or any of the things we used to consider as part of being a gawdamned American.
Personally, after two theophanies, each of which extended my stay on this planet longer than I had wished at the time, I believe God is more like us than we could ever believe.
Well, let's put it this way, Jesus is more like us than we could ever believe. He laughed, He got drunk, He got the (literally) holy shit beat out of Him for doing right, and the only thing He did not do is to get laid. And for my female readers, not getting laid is a monumental achievement for any male.
This is simply because all men think about is getting their urge inside of a woman's vaginal vault. We can do think it "24 hours a day" because we even involuntary dream about pubic penetrations during our sleep.
From their squeeking noises I can tell that it is now time for the E.T.'s to stuff my face with the Safeway day-old fried chicken, so I must say: "Ta ta for now."
Not taking into account the proof of liquor, or percent alcohol of the beer, after excruciating examination, contemplation, and compilation, I have calculated that one 750ml bottle of Scotch, or tequila, has the equivalent alcohol hit of 16 bottles of beer. (750ml is equal to 25.36 ounces.)
So now when I'm pricing say, Scotch (which is whiskey made only in Scotland) and I imagine the price is too high, I have a means to compare it with beer. Of course anyone who doesn't shop at Total Wine or such isn't too price-conscious to begin with.
The Safeway shelf says my Bushmills Irish Whiskey, which is scotch mellow enough so that it tastes like warm 10-30 weight motor oil smells, rather than the lesser-quality stuff that tastes like the above, only with the slight tang of jalepeño, and ammonia added in, will run $23.99 a bottle.
If we take the $24 bottle of scotch and divide it by 16 beer bottles we come up with the raw facts that buying this bottle of whiskey would be the same as purchasing 16 bottles of beer at $1.50 each. Or paying $9.00 for a six pack of beer. Which is pretty expensive beer when I can get Strawberry Blonde for $5.99 a sixer.
Some readers my imagine that I'm thinking all too much about alcohol. And they are surely correct.
I'm about four Dundee's Honey Brown Beers down and it's 2:16am and probably still above 90F degrees outside my 700 square foot hovel in the Mexicanville part of north central Phoenix.
I'm listening to a many decades old Perry Mason episode ("The Case of the Substitute Face") and I can't see it because what I'm seeing here is my typing, and hearing the show in the background. Although the show is crystal clear because it is displayed in a window smaller than the dimensions of a typical paperback book.
I am very disappointed with Facebook, as I expected to score some poontang after my first posting, and besides everyone is so scared to say, or post, anything that is anything but bland: "Well, I went to the zoo ..." "I washed my car" ... "I pulled out all the toenails of a pit bull's two front paws while it was gnawing on my forearm" ... just bland, uninteresting stuff like that.
And then again, I am reluctant to go onto the Facebook website when I'm in this condition. Beer number five is rushing by my tonsils, or more accurately, where my tonsils used to be, right about now. They were cut out at age 14 in 1965 at a hospital that no longer exists. Those were the days when if it didn't work, they'd just cut it out.
This Perry Mason show is hundreds of times better than anything on television I've seen in the past 20 years, so I've got to stop my typing to watch it. Man do I want to taste the tang of the poontang of Della Street' bad or what?
Geeze, now I've got to urinate again. Hold on because I cannot.
I have to admit I bought a bottle of Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, rather than the "Rye" version, because it was cheaper. I regret that. I have become such a whiskey counisour that this stuff tastes like rotgutt that even Joseph Kennedy would not have sold during Prohibition.
So I've actually had one and one-half ounces of this terrible whiskey and five beers. The whiskey probably should not count in the tally because it was so horrible.
But it has been at least three days since I've been drunk on my ass, so it is okay.
I worked all day yesterday on my mega-web-sites, about 15 hours, and apparently I was grinding my teeth the whole time, and stressing my neck muscles, because last night I could not sleep (100% sober) without three aspirin, my teeth were hurting so bad.
Here it was Thursday and I called my doctor's office and he doesn't have an opening until Monday even though I'm developing a thrumming in my ears, a headache and I often feel that I've just gotten off of a wildly spinning carousel. Of course a handful of chewable meclazine tablets takes care of the dizziness before it gets out of hand.
I will talk to you later, eh?
Now at least I have an excuse to drink.
Thursday, thinking I'd be able to get in Friday, I made an appointment-call to Dr. Abmimelech's office. He was already full-up for Friday, so I had to take a Monday appointment date, which worked out good since I have Monday off, I have enough money to be able to afford the doctor's office co-pay and the cost of any generic prescriptions that may be needed.
However, the pain is so bad that I am afraid I may end up in an emergency room before I see the good doctor Monday. Thank God I was stupid and rich enough to get Rolfed, for those experiences have forever given me the unique ability to handle pain as if it was just another thing, another bad thing, happening in my life. Not that I no longer feel it, but that my core being recognizes pain as being there, as being acute or chronic, but as also being able to be turned down, or even almost entirely ignored.
Sadly, on top of my other ailments, I've got two or three teeth in my upper and lower jaws on the left side of my face that need to be removed, or have "$800-per" root canals performed.
These teeth need to have root canals because, about a year ago, my dentist, the Dr. Brutalizer Maximus, using ground penetrating radar I think, found cavities in these same ivories, and drilled the evil dark cavity goop out, as if he were a 'fire & brimstone' Baptist preacher scooping sin out of my soul, and, as virtually every time before I've smelled the burning of molar enamel, he managed to so damage the now cavity-free crunchers, that only $5,000 of root-canal work (dental insurance pays 50%) will permanently remove the random, step-stopping, head slamming, brow-sweat erupting, shooting pains they occasionally blast out.
Three aspirin and/or three shots of Jim Beam (preferably rye) whiskey seems helpful in quieting down these painful bastards.
Alas, the pain has become so chronic, almost as if Mike Tyson is punching my left jaw and ear, I will soon have to get dental surgery.
And real-live prescription quality pain pills. I guess it's not all bad, eh?
8/10/2009 - After the Doctor:
Even though Dr. Abimelech is a D.O. we've been treating my pain and dizziness as a medical problem. And I haven't been getting better.
This morning, after ordering enough X-rays to determine my genome, he came to the conclusion my neck is way out of line and immediately scheduled me for his quackopractor partner. (Never in my life did I imagine a D.O. sending me to a chiropractor, but I'm certain it has something to do with insurance coverage, since in Arizona, plans must also cover chiropractors.)
After heating my neck for about twenty minutes, Dr. Slaphappy returned. He then snapped my neck once to the right, once to the left, and I instantly felt so. Much. Better. And, oddly enough, I felt my tooth-pain, fading into the background. What relief.
Dr. Slaphappy then explained to me that since many fluids going up to my head were routed inside the spinal column, and that some of these vessels were being crimped, bent or twisted, causing the pain and causing the balance problems that could not, and would not ever, be solved by antibiotics.
8/19/2009 - After the Dentist:
Turns out I had an abscessed tooth, which hurts about as bad as mid-procedure during a root canal done without enough novocaine. And hurts 24 hours, seven days a week.
When Dr. Abimelech was prescribing antibiotics in early June for what he thought was an infection of the inner ear, I felt immediately better because the infection on my tooth was being killed, and it was that same infection that caused the unbelievable pain.
However, I was still dizzy. And two months later, I still am slightly dizzy when my head swings in certain directions.
So on Monday I went to my appointment with Dr. Brutalizer Maximus, my dentist, after the visit the week before determined I had a severely abscessed tooth, and the nurse accidentally let me know that pulling the tooth would only cost me only $65, after my Prudential dental insurance paid off.
At that time Dr. Brutalizer Maximus also prescribed me antibiotics because the infection had to be under control before he yanked the tooth. I surmised the infection had been burning a hole in my face and my existence since early June, a period of almost two months.
Doctor Brutalizer numbed me up more than a Ted Kennedy on St. Patrick's day, remarked the tooth was so loose that I could probably have pulled it myself with a pair of vice-grips, and tugged and rocked and finally placed his left boot on my shoulder and then gently pulled the infected bastard out of its 57-year-old mandible home.
Using 800mg ibuprofen helped tame the pain over the next forty-eight hours. However, on day two I finally had to resort to whiskey to kill the discomfort. Today, day three, I'm feeling much better, but just in case I've had a couple or three shots of Old Overholt.
These three days off encompass the longest number of consecutive days I have not worked since I went back to full time employment on July 31, 2001. What a wonderful vacation. (Boo hoo for me, eh?)
8/19/2009 - After Fresh & Easy
Well, Mainio my boy, took me by Blockbuster and Fresh & Easy tonight. With five dollars to my name, (not counting the $33 negative balance in my Bank of America account), I let him purchase my dinner: a freshly made 'carne asada' beef burro the size of my forearm and a dollar forty five liter-bottle of Diet Coke.
We ended up at his apartment, watching the dvd movie Pathology, me, swilling the beers that I had left there days ago after I gave up drinking for the forth time. This year.
And, far too soon, I ran out of the beer I had delivered one week earlier. I began drinking the putrid Miller Light that Mainio had bought at Fresh and Easy. However, the bottles, covered with sweat and fairly warm, (since Mainio didn't bother putting the 96 pack-crate in the refrigerator), the guppy piss did resemble the flavor of real crafted beer.
So I guess the physical pain was not driving me to drink. Only the emotional pain was making me drink. That, or I am a drunk. An addict.
I ended up, as expected, stumbling back to my apartment in the same complex, hand in my backpocket as if I had a .25 calibre pistol hidden there, wondering how my life has turned out so wrong. So very wrong.
8/23/2009 - The nearly empty shot glass
Yesterday morning, at 3:33am I stared at my last one-third of shot of Old Humboldt's Straight Rye Whiskey in the joint. And I realized there was, at this hour, nowhere I could get my glass refilled.
I also realized I was a pretty serious drunk if I was thinking along those lines.
But, fortunately I was sated, and began the ending segment of my after-work ritual wind-down, which began almost four hours earlier, with posting to my Facebook accounts, chasing down e-mail queries, and searching to see if any new free porno sites had popped up that needed to be reported to the head of the anti-pornography league of Arizona.
Yeah, that's it: "The Anti-Pornography League of Arizona."
And, after filing my pornography report, I then finished off my end-of-day/bedtime ritual with left-overs Mainio brought me from his lunch at Red Lobster earlier in the day. By the way, Red Lobster 'microwaved' isn't that delicious, which explained why I used half a bottle of cocktail sauce during my dinner.
So that I for sure, wouldn't be faced with an empty shot glass Sunday morning, I happened to stop by the local Safeway on Greenway and snatched a bottle of Jim Beam Straight Rye Whiskey, on sale, off the shelf.
8/31/2009 - The book review
I feel like a dope. I've gotten a rare paying job to review a book outside of my specialty, which is neurolinguistic analog metric caliper adjustment under zero-G conditions north of the prime meridian, and what is the first thing I do?
After laboring two hours hand writing an awesome review, what do I do? I get home and drink so much of the cocaine-infused (I'm certain) Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey that all I can do is type on these web pages that no one ever reads.
In the nonfiction memoir I review, the female author 'discovers', via a single e-mail, that she is not an alcoholic, but rather, that since she can restrain her drinking for extended periods of time, she has merely earned the label of an 'alcohol abuser.'
Since I halted my drinking entirely from 1989 until 2003, I too can wear the sign of 'Alcohol Abuser'. Is there any coincidence the initials of an alcohol abuser are 'AA'?
Last century I attended an Adult Children of Alcoholics gathering led by (formerly-drunken, but still butt-ugly) lesbians whose 'greater power' was an effing oak tree. We all joined hands and kinda prayed to it...I was quickly disabused of finding any solace there. I'm certain my God was laughing his ass off as, head down, I silently skulked off to my far-away-parked Iceberg-White Mercedes 420SEL, that was costing a monthly lease payment of over one thousand, one hundred dollars.
It's 2:40am Monday morning, and I've finished listening to the rare Art Bell dee-jayed show on 550AM KFYI, and inserted the greatest sound track ever, from the mythic movie, Until the End of the World, into my 1990s pregnant-UFO-shaped, all-push-buttoned, CD Player and AM-FM radio that the very, very, weird Ron the Security Guard bequeathed to Dr.Malamud in year 2002.
Watching the single VHS of "Until the End of the World" under the influence of Pepto-Bismol sized gulps of liquid Lortab® in the 1990s, this audio-visual projection of life in the very near future often reduced me to choking sobs, as thumb-sized tears worked their way down, around, and over my pock-marked cheeks.
While the liquid (and opium infused) Lortab® rewarded with me such immense pain that I felt like Satan himself was using a 3 pound iron hammer to slam the very same chisel, that was used to cut the stones for all three Egyptian pyramids, through my skull into my brain's prefrontal lobes (creating dry-heaving-shivering-headaches that no pain killer could even wound, much less kill) and at the same moment convincing me forever and ever and ever, that opium (hydrocodone) would never, EVER, again, be my 'drug of choice'.
In this century, the only version of Until the Earth Stood Still that is available consists of 5 discs, and can only be played on dvd players manufactured in the former East-Germany during November & December of year 1991.
Tell me that isn't another Bilderberg plot to keep this soul-changing movie from me and you?
9/1/2009 - Counting
I'm pretty much a fall-down drunk just like my mother. Which if my father were alive would be reason alone to once again beat me with his favorite Adolph Hitler signature rubber hose.
And, for those of you who have never been caned, know this, a round object hitting the ass-cheek hurts approximately one billion times more than a flat object, such as a wooden paddle, or a leather belt.
(You Gen-X and Gen-Y'ers probably have no idea what I'm talking about, eh? "Oh, Angelo, it's okay that you took a butter knife into the garage and accidentally etched a forty-eight and one-half inch scratch down the side of daddy's Maserati. Just don't let it happen again. Ok? Now eat your Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald's, won't you please?")
To confirm the pain-full-ness of being smacked with a round object on the butt, simply review any of the caning videos on the porno ... forget it. Believe me, it hurts more than you want to know, and for about 15 years after being spanked with a rubber hose, any and all swear words from my pre-teen and post-teen vocabulary were vanquished. Such as my 1958 dinner table claim that brings back these painful memories: "Mom, this fucking salmon-loaf tastes like salmon shit!"
Yes, I'm a drunk. Sadly, all it would take is for some beautiful woman to suck this awful white puss out of my thing that is designed to be sucked on, to end my addiction to alcohol.
I used to beg the Mrs.Dr.Malamud to do it, and all she would say, as she exited the three-foot-off-the-ground marriage bed, was that "It spits," before returning, holding the seven-pound family Bible with both hands and proceeding to swing it in a slightly downward and horizontal direction slamming it up upside my head. This, literally, convinced me that it was God's will that I should never receive a blow-job from wifey.
I have come up with a rather clever way to keep track of how many beers I've drunken, and that is to count the bottle caps laying on the kitchen counter, since it is almost impossible to count the beer bottles in the trash can. And after about five hours, the cockroaches carry away the old bottle caps, so it's almost impossible to over-count my beers.
Speaking of 'the roaches', I've got two different bug sprays: One is 'oil-based' and other claims a 'non-staining' formula. When I hit the bastard-roaches with the oil-based Raid, the little em-effs fall right off the wall deader than Ted Kennedy.
However, when I spray these little six-legged bastards with the 'non-staining' bug spray, they raise four of their legs as if I am applying aerosol deodorant. Unbelievable.
9/7/2009 - Counting System Foiled
Remember my idea to simply count the number of beer bottle caps strewn across my kitchen counter in order to keep track of my drinking?
Well, the only thing I could afford the other night was a single bottle of beer. However, the bottle was a 1 pint 8 ounce Heineken hunk of beer as large as my forearm. Drat. My bottle cap counting scheme is thrown into a dither because the bottle I got tonight was 24 ounces, where the normal bottles were only 12 ounces.
Tracking my consumption, if I was to count the bottle caps of these Ted Kennedy-sized beers, I would end up swilling twice as much as is good for me. And, I'm not sure that even 48 ounces of beer is that good for me.
Problems like this are enough to make a person drink.
9/11/2009 - Comfy Drunkard
I've become comfortable with my daily inhalation of four to five bottles of small-brewery beers after work.
I was fooled the other morning by the craft-brewer-looking label of Shock-Top white wheat beer, and as I studied its label before my cataract-encrusted eyes blurred, right there under the Shock-Top name was "Michelob Brewing Co". But regardless, as much as I hate to say, it was awfully delicious as I worked through three bottles in way under three hours. Which, I guess would be a meaningful measurement if I were at a bar and planning to drive myself home. But with my notoriety and handsomeness, Dr.Malamud can no longer simply go out and enjoy a beer poured by someone else.
I've learned to rush my morning writing. Like an Indonesian native sprinting ahead of the huge tsunami-wave surging behind him, I hurry along my writing to keep just a little ahead of my draining of beers.
I do my most-needed web-page entries and corrections of last morning's drunken-postings first. Then I answer my e-mails from my one reader (me), next, I try to compose and upload my two Facebook postings before the serpentine belt of self-control slips entirely off its pulley, and I begin ranting, raving and making sexual declarations I could never fulfill. I'm so sorry my darling Michel, Sanna-Lena and Sofia. And then, worst of all, in my drunken haze, I make typos!
I've stopped beating myself up for being a beggar of the beer-buzz, comforting myself with the pathetic knowledge that over one hundred million Americans are experiencing the same habituation; probably the vast majority of them, not even aware they even have an addiction problem.
Near midnight, every shift change, as I drive home from work 110% sober, seeing all the crowded bar parking lots, I'm struck by the fact that these are places where people got to sit and consume alcohol. Now certainly there are other attractions to draw individuals to these enterprises, but face it, without booze they would simply not exist.
9/15/2009 - Drunkard Boss
I've discovered I am supervised by a drunkard boss. I've got to be careful what I say, because I actually control the situation. The boss does inexplicable things ... just like my mother.
I finally figured out how he could reek so badly of boozing after eight full hours at work. He simply brings his bottle with him. Hard to imagine we all smell this obvious at the bars as we hopefully work our way to early morning numbness and later to waking up facing a coyote-ugly, bar-found-friend.
A day without drinking and I felt great. I had went to Mainio's place to see Cash Cab and a Blockbuster-rented dvd with him as he played WOW, when he suggested we go out to eat. Which means we drive down to the Jack in the Box and fetch sixteen tacos for less than $9. Oh yeah.
Back at his place we each consumed our octo-tacos. Mainio, always setting the pace, had cleaned his plate by the time I was beginning my number five taco. My slathering of each taco with Jack's hot sauce did slow me down a bit.
Later, after the dvd, and after my waddle back to my own compartment-apartment, as is normal, I didn't feel the urge for alcohol. At all.
The following night, even though I did not have a yearning to revisit the unique taste of Kentucky straight rye whisky, or any need or reason to drink, I did so anyway.
Almost as if my drinking is some habit, (like always taking the same route to work, or when dressing, always putting on the left shoe before the right) and not even connected to the buzz or the taste.
As a matter of fact, my first shot of rye whisky tasted horrible. Almost as if I were not a learnéd connoisseur of the rott-gut. Following the shot of Jim Beam, my first Killian's Red beer was about as tasty as an iced tea made of Brussels sprouts and Dr.Pepper.
But at that point, nothing could slow me down from my mania that with each gulp the world would lessen it's already lackadaisical grip, or like riding a hot air balloon, with each ounce of alcohol consumed, I could loose a rope-knot and another sand bag of troubles would break free and fall to the ground.
Upon semi-waking the next morning, in the 84F (29C) degree summer warmth, with my always-running fan attempting to evaporate the beads of sweat off of my forehead, I lay with my heart racing as if had just outrun one of my meth-addicted neighbors, I began, for the thousandth time to step through my litany of all the bad things that accrue after drinking myself silly.
In the midst of my drinking, it would be different if I got some kind of headache or started puking or some kind of barrier arose that I had to punch my way through, but like Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark, there is apparently no limit to how much alcohol I can painlessly consume.
That's my super power. I'd rather be able to fly or have x-ray vision or snap my fingers and have all my dishes washed.
10/11/2009 - Moving the Alcohol
Thursday was the last day of my move to smaller quarters. Since my new manager banned all overtime, (so that the owner of the company could afford to fly another 15 hours in his private jet each month), my income dropped by thousands of dollars and I was forced to relocate to less expensive housing.
Could be worse, my Texas Ex, Hanna-Marie, altogether lost her job in the hospitality business. Yesterday, Saturday, I went to my local Ritz Camera store that had been there since the complex was constructed in the 1980s, and it was gone. I checked their too-damned-cluttered website and saw they've gone from multiple stores in The Valley of the Sun, to a single location. Across the parking lot to the west, a huge Mervyns sits as empty as a game-day Phoenix Mercury's basketball stadium. And is being transformed into a Hobby Lobby.
Regardless, from September 19th until the second week of October was spent packing, loading, moving, unloading, packing again, loading, cleaning, unloading, unpacking, re-assembling Chinese made furniture about as sturdy as a house of cards, hanging portraits, pictures, and awards inside my new and very tiny living quarters.
During the move what I discovered was, that unlike my paid employment in which there are absolutely no visible changes to the environment to indicate that anything had been accomplished, my relocation2 adventure caused me to feel good. To feel that I had actually achieved something. Something that I could see. That anyone could see.
Re-assembling the composite-wood desk donated by my son, I stood and stared at the pieces I had lain out and was thinking, "How the hell am I going to put this POS together without any instructions?" I was drawing a blank. Finally, I began to hammer and screw together the pieces, and was soon rewarded with a place to put my laptop, printer and other accoutrements. And I felt good.
My alcohol consumption also dropped considerably. And I'm wondering if I actually had a job where accomplishment could be seen and felt, alcohol's siren call would fade into the background like VP Joe Biden has.
10/14/2009 - Swilling the Alcohol ... again
Since I was off the following forty-eight hours, I figured I could have a little bit of alcohol Monday night. So Tuesday, around 2:43am, after I finished off the bottle of rye whiskey I had snatched off the Safeway shelf the other evening on my way home from work, I switched to Heineken beer. What a dope.
It used to be that I had a 'reason' to drink. Now, I have no possible need for a drink, but yet, I drink myself blind. What a dope. What an addict.
My stupidity beginning Monday evening caused me to write-off almost one-half a day of one of my only two days off, as Tuesday, I once again lay in bed with my heart racing and my perceptions so muffled, I felt as if I was cocooned by tightly-wound, mattress-sized sheets of bubble-wrap, asking myself why I chose to behave the way I do.
Somehow, terming a simple lack of willpower as a 'disease' or addiction, even when I sit alone accusing myself, somehow softens the blow. But in the end, destroying your body and warping your behavior via the overuse of alcohol is a choice.
Here it is two days later, and I feel worse than I ever did after a three day weekend of camping out in the wilderness ending with a three hour motorcycle race and an eight hour drive home.
Unlike the asthma that I was born with that tried several times to choke the life out me when I was a child in the 1950s, my enjoyment of alcohol, or abuse of alcohol is entirely up to me.
My choice. My will. My life.
10/26/2009 - Swilling the Alcohol ... again ... part 2
This is nuts. Saturday night I got blasted on my favorite Jim Beam Rye Whiskey, mainly (I kept telling myself), so that I could write about 'the experience.'
Eating left-over delicious Chinese food that Mainio and Mikaele couldn't finish I attempted to put out the fire on my tongue with Coke Zero and whiskey.
Later, I apparently even downloaded a couple of action photos from my seven straight rye shot sippin' session. I say 'apparently' because I have no recollection of doing it, which means I must have blacked-out.
When a person hears 'blacked-out', they rightly assume 'passed out'. But in this instance, I experienced an alcohol-fueled black-out, which meant I was doing things that I would probably never be able to recall.
Much like the time decades ago, when, in a Heineken haze, I modified the software programs, laying RT11 over RTS300, that made personal computers feasible, and only remembered doing so after my drinking partner Billy Gates started marketing Microsoft Windows.
And the worse part was, that since I've been on levothyroxine for my thyroid, my Wednesday hangover consisted of a overall tiredness and a mild headache easily mummed by a pair of Motrin.
11/7/2009 - Swilling the Alcohol ... again ... redux
Watching cable programs, free movies, and sipping rye whiskey rinsed down with Diet Coke, has been robbing me of the will to write. Been robbing me of the will to do anything.
My levothyroxine prescription has so normalized my hormones that I am able to drink every night until I run out of alcohol suitable for human consumption, and then, with eight hours of sleep, I am able to plod off to my awful job not feeling bad at all. Physically.
Emotionally, my heart aches and my guts are in a turmoil.
Every time I run out of liquor, at that moment, in the haze of another drunken stupor, I sorta-kinda-maybe-promise myself I won't step out and replenish my liquor as soon as my blood alcohol level drops below that of your average adult Russian male.
Then, the very next day, every time upon leaving work, after my eight hours of smiling and reading, I always seem to decide to drop by the Safeway on the way home to buy some incidentals, like hot dog buns. And beer. Not to be confused with the time I stopped to buy Grapenuts cereal. And beer. Or the time I stopped to buy some whole wheat bread. And whiskey.
And so it goes.
12/12/2009 - The Forever Drunk
Like a gawdamned idiot (or addict) I drank myself stupid Thursday night into early Friday AM.
Who knows how many bottled beers I poured into my mouth--the evilest-tasting ones of the variety-pack sliding down my throat like warm, spinach-cradled Oysters Rockefeller. Then, for a change of taste, I took my new bottle of Sauza® tequila from the cupboard and sipped down a pair of Texan-sized shots of the agave-based inebriater.
The bad part was that I hadn't felt well all day Thursday and when I awoke at 10AM Friday, I felt something more than hungover.
Then using my finest before-morning-coffee-rasp, I dialed work and simply my 'I woke up sick-sounding voice' convinced management I was terminally ill and soon to die. And I felt like it.
It helped knowing that I was certain another under-employed coworker would be delighted to fill in for me.
Even hungover and physically ill, the real reason I phoned in sick for only the fourth time in nine years, was that the job, such as it is, no longer excites me. Or calls to me to come in and perform amazing feats none of the other drunks feels moved to attempt.
12/28/2009 - The Sober Holidays
I yearn to write this about as much as I yearn for another beer.
Yes, it is entirely true that I woke up on Thursday, December 17th, 2009 and emptied my refrigerator of beer and stuffed their ice cold bodies deep into the trash bag. Then I took my nearly full bottles of Bushmills and Sauza and poured them down the sink.
And that very evening, as I was driving home from work at 11pm, Dennis Miller was interviewing the pilot who wrote the book "Flying Drunk", about his travails as a souse and his struggles to overcome his thirst for alcohol and regain his pilot's license.
All I can figure is that after months of waking up pseudo-hungover and asking myself: "Do you like feeling this way? Do you enjoy spending 10-12 hours a day sleeping in order to recover from your drinking? Do you look forward to being awakened not by an alarm clock but by your heart racing as if you'd just outrun a horde of zombies?"
I finally decided I did not benefit from my habit of drinking myself numb every night before bed.
Twelve days without an urging or a drink. No problem. Not certain what changed. Other than my mind.
Understand that when you've been in and out of the Winnie Ruth Judd Memorial Mental Hospital for months and months and as you're driving home from your last-ever visit there and you discover what has changed--other than making up your mind to change?
Well, that discovery has a profound affect on you and the rest of your life.
And one of its profundities is the immense time wasted not living the way I wanted to live.
Another profundity is that I simply could have changed my thinking without spending 18 months wondering who was on the other side of the wall-to-wall one-way glass in the group room.
But then again, I did not know, prior to my voluntary incarceration how to change my thinking, and most important, that it could even be changed at all.
I picked up a book at Barnes & Noble about alcoholism and, like so many writers, the author claims it is a disease. In any case, apparently what I've just done would be impossible if I were truly an alcoholic as defined by his conclusions.
I guess 3 to 4 hand-crafted beers, or 3 to 4 shots of tequila or scotch every night, and sometimes double that amount, for a period of consecutive years, is not the behavior of an alcoholic.
So be it.
1/28/2010 - The Drunk Everyday
Well, I fell off the wagon pretty quickly, about one day after I wrote my last entry dated 12/28/2009, I went to Chili's with the boy and had two Heinekens. I wanted more, but then the food came.
I wanted to take the ultimately cute waitress home, but the boy Mainio would not let me. We did not ask her of her opinion in the matter.
That afternoon I felt as if I'd drank a beer or two after having donated blood (which is not a smart thing to do) because you don't get higher, you just feel really sick instantly. In any case I shouldn't have felt as bad as I did, so I think something else may be going on.
But soon I was back to my three or four beers a night, reading about people with serious alcohol problems, that made mine look like a tequila shot in a beer barrel.
Then on the 22nd of January, after work, I purchased a bottle of my old favorite rye whiskey and emptied half a bottle down my gullet before I knew it, I was having that much fun. Alone. At two aye em.
The next morning, not feeling too good, I got up and poured a perfectly good six dollars of Jim Beam Straight Rye Whiskey down the sink. I swear I soon saw staggering cockroaches struggle out of the drain, but then again, that may be the hangover talking.
Now, I'm settled 'down' to maybe three or four beers a night before bedtime. I know if I get food in me I don't crave the beer nearly as much, but then I purposely avoid eating.
I'm sure if I had a decent job, a decent future, something to look forward to, a 'something' earned by my own effort, I wouldn't imbibe nearly as much. But, I'm sure, even though he's been dead almost two decades, my father's ghost continues to shout at me that I will never amount to anything--a prediction that seems to have penetrated my DNA.
But, we all have our troubles, don't we?
2/15/2010 - After Valentine
I am so sorry to leave you without any guidance. I've been posting to the 'social networking' sites and been getting no more feedback than I do from these pages. Plus, I've had to rein in my thoughts lest I be accused of being the homophobe, racist, bastard I am.
In my ears, I'm hearing the wonderful selections of pandora radio. Right now, I'm on the delightful "exotica/lounge" channel playing music that would be considered the opposite of Rammstein.
Two Heinekens and working on my second shot of Jim Beam Straight Rye Whisky. Feeling pretty good. Why can't the feeling go on? It's because I'm short-cutting the feedback process. If I'd actually do something in real life towards my goals I'd feel good without drinking. But having no goals and hardly ever not drinking I guess that's not going to happen.
Ouch, this "exotica/lounge" channel is playing heavenly music. Oh gawd, now they're playing some Henry Mancini soundtrack. This guy wrote all the music for the movies made in the 1960s & 1970s: Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, Moon River, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Hatari to name a few. What a blessing Henry Mancini's music will be through the ages. And this guy, Dr. Malamud, bought all the vinyl 33rpm records of his I could find.
It's really odd that at a time like this, with me closing in on 60, and death within the next quarter century this music is coming up that was played before I was twenty-five years old.
A huge flaw with the 'social networking' sites is that they limit your posts to 450 characters. What a joke. I take 450 characters to describe the weather, much less what the hell is going on in my fogged up mind.
It is such a burden to write where, well, the people know who you are. Not that, it's that, well, what if they find out I'm addicted to the BBC TV series Thornwood, and they think it's because of all the guys kissing?
3/12/2010 - Three or Four?
By all indications, I guess I'm a drunk. However, I am able to hold it down to three or four shots or three or four beers, or a combination of shots and ice-cold, craft-brewed beers numbering no more than four.
You don't think it's hard counting to four? Try it after three drinks. It's not as easy as it looks on paper.
Probably about half the time, I don't even get home feeling like a drink, but I grab one anyways. It's all a matter of will, it's not like my hands are shaking or anything.
Every now and then I'll lose count and wake up the next workday with an all-day headache and have nothing to drink that evening and consider it a victory tick in the abstention column.
4/08/2010 - Free
Back around March 8th, I pretty much consumed an entire 750ml bottle of Jim Beam in around 11 hours that Monday to Tuesday.
I thought I could get by with stopping at the mythical "2", but that just did not happen. And now, since I have my trazodone, a 1950s anti-depression solution, of which 1/2 a cut pill puts me to sleep for 6 to 8 hours, I don't have even the thin excuse to drink in order to put me to sleep. Why do old guys need help sleeping? Because, even with prostate medicine, we wake up every two hours to go to the potty.
If Frank Sinatra drank as much as it is rumored, no wonder he was so disagreeable. And if he hadn't drunk so much, he probably would've lived into his 90s.
Having extensive experience in the alcoholic world, while there are rare exceptions, and those that were are probably blown all out of proportion, I believe that very few people do anything better (other than sexual intercourse) under the influence of the drug.
And for those few who do do something 'better' under the influence, I don't believe the price is worth the cost.
March 10th and 11th were mildly tough not to reach out for a beer, or a whiskey, but I absolutely control what I do with my body, so I simply grabbed a Diet Coke or a swig out of the gallon bottle full of pasteurized whole milk. It really wasn't that hard to not drink alcohol. And I know that once I get away from it for a while if I do have a drink I begin to feel sick.
After my year and one-half visit to the funny farm back in the 1970s, I'll always remember driving home and being struck with the realization that I could've changed the way I thought 18 months before. Because, that's all it took. A change of thought patterns.
If you're reading this and also would like to quit drinking know that you can spend $30,000 a month on a treatment program and it will still end up with you changing your mind on how you behave.
I haven't had any alcohol since March 9th, 2010. And unlike many who 'stop' drinking, when I say I stopped that means all alcohol, not even an occasional beer. I'm thinking that possibly I'll chose to not have any alcohol again until the end of my life.
4/26/2010 - Zero alcohol + Diet
I'm having zip problems with staying 100% away from the alcohol, one reason is, that I feel so much better on waking up and while at work. I'm calm. My life is calm. Well, except the fact that the employer who hired my company is looking for someone cheaper. But that's life.
On April 15th, I had to call in sick because I couldn't stand up without throwing up, which was probably a combination of taking my trazodone sleep-pill and not allowing it 10 hours to leave my system, and my blood sugar being too high. No, I have not yet been labeled by Dr. Abimelech as being saddled with 'Adult Onset Diabetes,' but, after a "high reading," he did want me to come in to have my blood sugar re-tested.
On April 16th, 2010 I re-started with the Atkins Diet plan, I didn't weigh myself until a week into the diet, but I can tell from the way my pants fit, and the way the ladies are already staring at my tight ass, that in less than a week I've lost some decent weight.
And, oddly enough, the almost constant pain in my knees and hips went away so completely I didn't even notice until I sat down to type this up. The pain may have subsided because of the change in my diet, many more fruits and vegetables, my lowered weight, or both. In any case it is good. At age 58, I've realized there is a point at which I simply cannot pack on any more pounds without noticeable, numerous, negative consequences.
I'm certain this happens to everyone and I can't understand how so many Americans let themselves become so obnoxiously immense.
Last night at work, I felt a strange sickness, an unfamiliar sadness stalking me in my shadow. I interrupted my walk and I realized that it was the Atkins-Diet-generated depression that occurs along with ingesting too much Vitamin A that is contained in the high red meat component of my diet. Hopefully I'll figure a way to counter that dark cloud also, using diet, not pharmacy.