Hello, happy campers! Here it is: post four (of six) that has been ripped from the cold, dead hands of my former blog. Re-posted here from 2007 for posterity, and may some relevant god have mercy on my sad soul. I give you Moral Turpitude. An Outrage.:

So, I was reading the RedEye this morning like a good little CTA rider, and I came across this small, glimmering gem of knowledge:

“One long-term study on rats showed that former binge-drinking rats—with a binge defined as exceeding the equivalent of a .08 blood alcohol level—had more trouble learning new things than rats that had never had a drop to drink. Tasked with swimming around a pool in search of a platform to stand on, the teetotaler rats were able to find the platform easily after it was moved, while the former binge drinkers—which had last been drunk three weeks earlier, the equivalent of six to seven human years—kept circling around the platform’s original location.”

Which just begs the question–if the average lifespan for a rat is 2-3 years, where are these rats being served? Clearly Chicago’s age enforcement for bars is not as stringent as we all thought. Shame on you, city enforcers. Shame on you. I move we discredit this study as unethical on the grounds that they must instead test on animals old enough to understand the effects of alcohol. Like turtles.

My Profound Apologies

July 20, 2011

Generally what looking over these old entries is like.

Entry numero trois in my series of recent posts that have been resurrecting old bloggity ghosts from my little blog graveyard where my former blog used to live a few years before I ever started writing this one. Let’s see if I can use the word “blog” some more. Blog bloggity bloggitude. Blog.

This post is actually decently interesting (to me), because it starts out as me around the year 2007, and then stretches back to my booze-soaked mindset around late 2005. And it is vastly different from the present, mostly due to slowly diminishing levels of substance abuse over those periods all the way to my current happy resting place of better emotional health. (Also, you’ll note I’m less snobby about online journaling now. Not related, but it bears mentioning since I have lots of current friends who use Livejournal and other things, and also since I’ve been much more emotionally candid on my own blog in recent years.) However, the message of my original 2005 post still resonates with me.

Isn’t that weird, by the way? When you find an artifact that proves the existence of a part of you you barely remember, but the artifact is still relevant?

So, anywho, here is my 2007 entry, My Profound Apologies (and, you know …my profound apologies):

I know I never actually post anything truly serious on here because I prefer to make my blog entries all very tongue-in-cheek, blatantly poking fun at the teary-eyed, attention-whore drivel that so many misguided, over-funded youths around me hammer out over weak-ass coffee and cigarettes they’re too young to buy and, likely, have to hide in the basement so their parents don’t find them. …Clearly I don’t speak from past experience or anything… I don’t post serious stuff because I live only very little of my life out of the public eye. Anything there is to know about me is pretty well-known by anyone I see regularly. There’s no need. Or ask me a question in person. I’ll give you an honest answer, and hey, probably offer to buy you a beer.

However, gentle reader (I’m going to go ahead and continue by the off-chance that there is possibly one of you out there who has made it tripping over the long-winded structure of my first paragraph. Bless your little heart), I will write this one serious blog post. Because I think it is a good thought.

I have kept a series of journals since I was about 14 years old. Back before Livejournal or Xanga or whatever else people use, when some individuals (myself included) had the idea that private journals were, well, private matters. My journals are full of most of the experiences I’ve had, many of the late teens/early 20s entries are substance-tainted (and the substances vary), and feature some pretty interesting poetry inspired by…well, inspirational quantities of liquor. The great equalizer. (Makes my poetry roughly as bad as the next guy’s.)

Yore.

Tonight I came across a few paragraphs that were the end of my very last entry of my college career. I have no remembrance of writing it (not unusual for me), but I thought it was truthful enough to bear repeating. So hear it goes; an excerpt of the life of a one-time rum-soaked harlot:

“I would really like to take the end of this experience day by day, not thinking about it as a whole. That way, I guess I’ll be less saddened or scared about moving on. On the other hand, I feel like if I don’t stop and really take in the weight of this time of my life–this time on the brink–that I’ll never be able to hold on to these moments like I’m supposed to. I don’t know which will make me a happier person in the long run, or if it matters. I’d like to take more pictures before it’s over. Open myself up a little more to the people I love. Breathe these occasions in. There just wasn’t enough time for all I wanted to experience with these people. Will all of life be so evanescent? Shimmering briefly, then going out as quickly as it had flared up?

Maybe someday when I’m dead these words will be read by a few. Or by more, god help them. They’ll certainly think me a lush and perhaps too liberal with my sexuality. I hope so much, however, that they find the heart in all of it. The love of freedom of expression, the appreciation of people who’ve touched my life, the drive toward actual substance, and the strain for meaning and understanding. That is what should be taken away from every single entry. That is what I put into them, every time, in the middle of all these nights spent writing. The enjoyment, the lunacy, the abandon, the grasping, and the pain. Telling it as I see it, whether it’s meant to be read or not. I wonder if someday I’ll have grandkids who stumble across these journals in a box and are appalled by the way I’ve lived my youth. I hope not, though. Because I sincerely hope they’ll have truly known me before I’ve died, that age will not bring with it the fear of truth and feeling for me. Anyhow, here’s to the rest of it. Goodnight.”

I’m pretty sure I passed out in an alcohol-induced slumber at that point, but you get the gist, yes?

For maximum effect, play this while scrolling down…slowly.

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“The drug of the day.”

I will be upfront and say that which is no surprise to anyone who spends time with me: I have an overactive mind and a really wild and hairy imagination. It’s true. And while encouraging parents will want to applaud this in you as a child, telling you it’s a gift, that you’re creative, that you’re special, I find that the only benefit I tend to get out of it is the ability to stare at a wall or out a window for hours on end without ever getting bored or running out of things to think about and elaborate on. (And yes, Anal Retentive Annie, I realize I ended both those phrases with prepositions. It sounded funny the other way.) On the other hand, I find it hard to shut up. Or to shut it down. And the mean reds tend to come all at once and out of nowhere, and can spend plenty of time turning my imagination into a nightmarish playground. It’s cute. Really.

This has led me to ongoing past attempts to either find things to shut all the over-activity up or to ride it like a wave. Alcohol was a steady fallback, for sure, for a grand old 6 years or so. Barbiturates, cigarettes, holy Christ—caffeine in amounts that made my ears ring, and some glittering, sparkling other things I’ve tried that swirled around in my head, attempting to fix it, stall it, or calm it down.

After years of desperately seeking a new drug of sorts—something that revs me up when I want revving up and calms me down when I want to rest, I have abandoned my former remedies nearly altogether (with the exception of a can of pop here, a glass of wine there). They usually never achieved the desired effect, as they all have undesired consequences. Alcohol—hangover; pills—grogginess and necessity of prescription; caffeine—crash. I tried other things too—walking five miles home from work in the evenings, electrolytes, cleansing fasts, altering my meal habits, etc. All were “eh.”

I seem to have recently discovered my new drug. The one I take which wakes me up, puts me in a phenomenal mood all day long, knocks me out at a reasonable hour, gives me tremendous energy, costs no calories, has no negative after-consequence, and doesn’t make me binge on sugar. And that is working out in the morning. Why it makes a difference to work out in the morning, I’m not sure. Some metabolism thing? Dunno. All I know is that working out in the afternoon or evening is….just working out in the afternoon or evening. Working out in the morning is the freaking answer to what we’re doing on Earth or something. Because, just, wow.

How have I never discovered it? I used to think those people who work out in the morning are total wack jobs. Truly sick individuals who must have nothing better to do. But really. Rather than doing it at the end of the day when I’m ridiculously tired, I do it before work. And I LOVE it. It’s like some mystical force I can’t explain. You know how the perfect cocktail just hits all the right places as it goes down? This is that cocktail.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a pain in the ass. But I love that the energy lasts all day; I love that I can sleep at night; I love the positive framework into which everything seems to fit afterward. Fuck. What have I been doing with my mornings prior? Sleeping? Ahahahaha!


And I’m not one of those obnoxious individuals who will walk around in track clothes or talk freakishly wide-eyed to other people about the gym or my workout habits. Really, it’s not an interesting subject, and I probably won’t mention it much to anyone at all outside of this post unless asked. It’s just that it occurred to me today that I should be in a really shitty mood.

I should. People have days; this one is not mine. But I worked out this morning. Sounds stupid, but I swear to god. The sun is still shining.

For instance, my thumb is killing me. Two days ago, I very nearly snipped the entire middle of the face of my thumb off while attempting to open a bottle of wine. …don’t ask. My thumb freaking hurts! But, like all I can think about with regards to it is “Eh. The pain isn’t that bad.” Or thinking about how after wounding myself and laying face-down on the ground for minutes with my thumb held up in the air (like a child) for my darling male companion to fix it, he then put a black pirate Band-Aid on it and we spent an enjoyable part of the evening fighting with his pirate Lego set afterward, since my thumb bandage had been inspiring me to yell “Yaarrrr!” and “Avast!” (and if you think it’s easy defending yourself with a tiny Lego sword and pistol when part of your thumb wants to separate itself from the rest of your thumb, you have another think coming). And that makes me smile. So. Intense thumb pain—fun with pirates. You see, I worked out this morning. Everything’s peaches.

Another example. I realized I hadn’t brought my lunch today and all I have at my desk is an old can of condensed soup. Also, I’ve been cold all morning. My reaction? “Hurray! I love when we have soup weather.” Then I opened a bag of crackers at lunch which proceeded to spill Saltine guts all over my desk and pants, and I laughed. In fact, I think I even had the nerve to give it one of those isn’t-that-cute smiles. Bills to pay—no worries. It’s all wonderful. Collection agent called. Have a lovely day! Rolled my ankle a little walking here from the gym–well, thankfully it wasn’t worse than that! Yeah. I worked out this morning.

This sort of optimism is really pretty out of character for me. Also, I’m relaxed, focused, and energetic. Rock my f’ing socks. So yeah, I’m going to attempt to keep trying for the morning. If you happen to see me in a pissy mood, remind me, yeah? Good stuff, people. Good stuff.