It’s that wonderful time of the year. Autumn is just around the corner and tailgate season is underway. While football is not my favorite sport, I still like it and the CSU Rams have been great to watch the past few years. This also affords me the opportunity to hang out with some friends I don’t get to see as often as I would like because things like life happens. But every other Saturday for 3 months I have a standing obligation with some decent dudes and darling dames.
I always thought I would quit drinking when I was much older and on the verge of complete liver failure, or in order to save a rocky marriage, or I was dead. Turns out it would happen when I’m 31 and having only slight liver issues. I don’t know where this will lead me, but hopefully it’s not full retirement from booze, but more of a small break, like a vacation or sabbatical. Yes, like a drinking sabbatical, wait I think that’s the opposite of what’s happening.
One of the main reasons I chose to study psychology was because I was incredibly fascinated by where thoughts come from. I’ve been a semi-professional writer for several years and there is always that sense of what am I going to write. Sometimes articles have to be forced, other times it is easy to focus on current life events, and other times unexpected inspiration shows up. It’s this unexpected inspiration that I like looking into and trying to understand. And that brings us to something that happened last night.
When you’re a child your concept of time is all sorts of wacky, so you have no idea what eight weeks means. When you’re an adult you have a better idea. And when you’re an adult who is having medical problems and you have an eight week screening process to find out about a clinical trial that you hope will help you feel as close to your normal self as possible then you know exactly how long eight weeks is. Even with all that going on, or because of it all, these last eight weeks went by pretty quickly.
When I started writing this article it was going to be a piece about the joys and boringness of spending 16 some hours by yourself in a car. But that mostly turned into a boring piece about how excited I was for a new playlist I made. I had hoped to gain insight and figure out a few things while I was so alone with my thoughts. As it turned out the best thought I had was about the word “dickwad” and that ended up sounding a lot like Louis C.K.’s bit about a bag of dicks. However, what these 16 hours did provide were idea seeds. Tiny little thoughts got planted and over the next month they bloomed into actual ideas and insights. The first one to bloom bright in my flower garden of insights was closure.
In “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” with impending doom, Keira Knightly’s character grabs several records before fleeing her home with the hopes of listening to them one last time. The Essentials is an ongoing series about the ten, in no particular order, albums I would grab in such a similar situation.
In 2012 Strung Out went on a tour where they played their albums Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues and Twisted By Design in their entirety. These are both strong albums, and honestly I would see Strung Out if they were playing a Barry Manilow album. My pal Jon and I went and were not disappointed. As we walked back to the car after the show I made the weak joke that for an encore they should have played their album An American Paradox. Jon continued by saying or at least the song “Velvet Alley.” Then I added another, then he did, until we named most of the album. It was at that moment that I realized just how much I enjoyed An American Paradox.
The thing about having a chronic medical condition is you can’t always guarantee that you’ll keep it in check. That is an issue I recently had. My colitis decided it had had enough of lying dormant and it wasn’t digging its daily dose of drugs. It wasn’t enough for the colitis to rebel against me, it decided to get the liver involved. All of this was causing huge problems, mostly a good dose of light headedness, which is fun at first, like some wonderful drug trip. Then it started affecting my day to day.
I took all this information to my doctor, he couldn’t quite pin down what the problem was, but had some ideas. First idea was to have an ultrasound of my liver, and see what’s going on there. Then follow that up with another colonoscopy. My second one and I’m only 31 years old.