Everybody seems to be doing this, and itís been quite some time since I last posted here. I thought Iíd follow the trend and get this up. Just be prepared to learn some facts about me you may not have ever wanted to know.
1 Ė Iím a pack-or-more-a-day smoker. I have been for quite some time, now. The only brand I smoke is Camel Turkish Royals.
I started smoking at age 17 when I was working at K-Mart (I recommend never working there, by the way). I remember going through some odd time as a teenager and having a fascination with clove cigarettes. After work one night, I drove into downtown and had the older friend of someone I knew pick me up a pack of cloves. I remember staying up that night until about two in the morning writing a story for creative writing, and chain-smoking, listening to Queens of the Stone Age the whole time.
This all was after my parents had sat me down a few weeks prior and said that they ďknewĒ I was smoking. I hadnít even started yet. They told me that I could be doing worse things, and that they didnít care. I just shouldnít smoke at the house. I took that as the green light to give it a try.
2 Ė My favorite soda is Cactus Cooler. For those that donít know, Cactus Cooler is an orange and pineapple flavored soda that was made for, originally, mixing with tequila.
Growing up in southern California, I was fortunate enough to be in the area this soda was distributed. After moving up to northern California, I had abandoned all hope of seeing that beverage again. I had, too, for a good twelve years, until I moved into the crappy apartment Iím in now. Around the corner from here is a liquor store that, to my surprise, stocks Cactus Cooler. I used to stock up on it there, until I found out, even more recently, that the Savemart grocery store about five minutes from here has the twelve pack cases of it.
3 Ė Iím part Native American, part Scottish, and no idea what else.
Iím part Chippewa Indian. Card carrying and everything. That, mixed with me being Scottish as well probably explains my love for scotch whiskey. Itís also a bad idea for me to have too much of it, as people who have seen me drink will tell you.
This next bit might get a bit darker in tone. Eh, whatever.
4 Ė I saw a psychologist for two years for manic depression.
As a preface for this bit, I need to explain that I started having some major issues starting around age thirteen or fourteen. I stopped sleeping normally and was averaging maybe twenty-four hours of sleep a week. I started having some issues with friends because three of my friends moved away in the same summer, and the ones who didnít move ended up being narcissistic little shits whose parents never punished them for anything. I remember becoming mostly introverted and socially awkward and starting high school made everything worse. I had a lot of anxiety problems as well. Mix all of that with suicidal thoughts and youíve got yourself a cluster-fuck cocktail of bullshit.
Anyway, to get back on trackÖ What led up to me seeing a psychologist was a short story I wrote. This happened in freshman year of high school. I wrote a short story involving a man talking to himself. He was arguing with a ďdemonĒ in his head about something or other. This went on for a page or two, and ultimately ended with the man killing himself. I had the misfortune of having an over sensitive teacher who, rather than pull me aside and ask me if everything was alright, took my short story straight to the school councilor and sheriff on duty at our school. I got called out of class two periods later and had to have a long, in depth discussion with them.
Long story short, they were worried that I would try and shoot up the school and kill myself, and my parents got pulled into the mix. It was a huge ordeal and I ended up going to a psychologist. I stopped going after it got to the point that I didnít want to try medication for things, my parents were against the idea as well, and I felt that I was getting nothing out of the entire experience. I still have issues, but Iíve learned how to manage things.
5 Ė I used to have an eating disorder. Itís something that I kept hidden for a long, long time, but it feels good to get it out in the open. Now Iím lazy and will eat almost anything, but I struggled with that for almost four years. Along with that were other destructive habits I had, but, like my other issues, I just learned to manage them.
Sorry for bringing anybody down with that. Hopefully this next one is a bit less of a downer.
6 Ė I wanted to be a psychologist, but dropped out of college. Twice.
To be fair, the first time I was stupid, and the second one was because of a car accident. I guess the car accident part is more interesting, though. Letís change that.
6 Ė I once did a barrel roll in a 1998 Chevy Blazer at 4:20 a.m. on April Fools Day. You read that right. Itís exactly what it sounds like, too.
Me in the driver seat of the Blazer. I wish I had one of it after the accident. Every window on it except for one exploded.
Four years ago, I was working overnights doing remodels for a retail store. The whole crew was built up of people from different stores in the retail chain, and we would work on one store for a week, and move to the next store the following week. It was all really easy stuff. We mostly shifted planogram sets around and added some shelving fixtures and that was about it. But, the bonus for doing all of this was an extra dollar an hour and paid mileage. I jumped on the as soon as I could. The only issue was I was still going to school during the day. My schedule ended up being I would go to work at ten at night (sometimes having to drive an hour or two to the store we were working on) and then once work got out, I would start school. I would then sleep a couple hours between two of my classes, and then get a bit of sleep after my last class, and start work all over again.
This went on for two months. But, on April first, in the early hours of the morning (it was 4:20 in the morning, too. I had just gotten gas at about 4:15 and was on the road maybe five minutes before my accident happened.) I dozed off while sleeping, went to correct myself, overcorrected, and then overcorrected one more time which caused one of my back tires to burst, the rim to dig into the road, and my car to just go rolling off the road.
I almost walked away from the accident with just some scrapes and cuts, but I guess I took a deep breath and held it the whole time and the impact from it all caused me to get a pneumothorax, or as most people who are not doctors would call it, a hole in my lung. This resulted in a hospital adventure like none other. I was in and out of there for a month and a half. Things were going fine, and then it turned into pneumonia, and three liters of fluid had to get pulled out of my lung cavity with a long needle through my back.
I would go into more details about all of that, but it gets pretty gnarly. But, I will say, when a needle has to pierce the lung cavity in your chest, they can only numb so far. After a certain point, you excruciatingly feel everything.
7 Ė A collage of photos of me is hanging in a photo studio somewhere.
The thing with this entry is that for our high schoolís senior portraits, we had to go to local photo studios to have them done instead of something at the school. The photo studio I ended up going to had some urban something or other package they just introduced, which ended up being photos in alleys around Old Town and such. They ended up looking really cool, but the whole thing was a bit odd at first. However, because I was the first person to go in and choose to do that package instead of the boring, ďHey, look at me sit next to a tree, or near some flowers, or some shit like that!Ē package, and the photographer was impressed with how well the photos turned out, he uses my photos as an example.
Now, every year when the street market starts in summer, a collage of photos of me get displayed in his window.
8 Ė In addition to video games, one of my hobbies is tracking down really old, creepy places with fucked up histories. I live in Grass Valley which is an old mining town in Northern California. To find it on a map, itís pretty much right in between San Francisco and Reno. But, because this is a mining town, thereís tons of really creepy historical places around here. Up in Nevada City (which is in California; it happens to be only a six minute drive from Grass Valley) one of the restaurants is built on top of one of the old mine shafts. The basement area is connected directly to one of the shafts and is used year round to store the wines and kegs of beer because it keeps them cool. Something a lot of people donít realize about that building is that the original owner of that specific mine (about one hundred fifty years ago, maybe more) decided he wasnít going to pay the Chinese immigrants he had mining for him anymore and just blew the mine up, caving it in on them.
One of the many mine shafts around here.
There are tons of places with fucked up pasts like that around here and I love tracking them all down. Iíve got a story about Dr. Anton LaVey, but itíll have to wait for another time.
9 Ė Iím going to be 23 in two months, but it feels like Iím turning 40. I wish I was kidding when I say that, too.
10 - I only have one testicle.
Last year I found a lump on one of my testicles and put off going to the doctor for a couple weeks. Finally, I got around to making an appointment. I put it off out of equal parts fear and denial. When the doctor I went to wasn't sure of what it was, I knew I was in trouble. I was then referred to a specialist for this type of thing.
The next doctor I went to, Dr. Kirby confirmed that it was cancer and that I should go and have some tests done. I was a bit disappointed he wasn't round and pink. I was even more disappointed he didn't suck me up and spit me against the wall.Anyway, after the test results came back, he scheduled me for surgery the following week to have that testicle removed.
Luckily, right now, after surgery and going through chemo, I'm at a 98% chance or so of it never coming back. I just have do to some follow up appointments over the next two or three years to monitor things. But, everything's looking good so far.
I would have a picture of the removed testicle in a jar here, but they didn't let me keep it. I asked, believe me. Even coming out of anesthesia and being doped up on dilaudid, I remembered to ask them. So, instead, a blurry photo of the paperwork I had to run over to the hospital will have to do.
11 Ė I may like a lot of music, but a certainly donít like everything. Some people may have a band that got them through a hard time, or maybe a go to album to help them feel better, or certain songs that make them happy. I constantly change what I listen to and rarely go back to what I listened to before. What I listened to ten years ago Iím not going to listen to again because itís so strongly tied to that entire point in my life and Iíd rather not deal with that. I just move sideways, music wise. I find similar artists and bands and branch out from there.
I will tell you what Iím currently listening to, thou8gh. Right now, loaded on my Zune is Brasstronaut, The Heavy, Innerpartysystem, Kill Hannah, Katzenjammer, The National, Queen Adreena, Ruby Throat, Say Anything, Corps Electrique, Modest Mouse, Nine Inch Nails, and Aesthetic Perfection.
Thatís it. I made it through ten things. Any questions, feel free to ask.
My girlfriend and me a few months ago.