I Have Never Blacked Out

I Have Never Blacked Out

We’re blessed with excellent neighbors. This is not something to be taken for granted, nor overlooked. It’s also something you don’t realize until you’re older.

This past weekend we blocked off the street and all the immediate neighbors – and others – converged for a good little shindig. All the kids got to run around and take their bikes up and down the street. Good, down home American stuff. An opportunity to drink a few beers and chill out.

i have never blacked out

I ended up talking with one neighbor about drinking in college. Drinking happened for me. A lot. And I have a lot of great memories, some involve beer, some do not.

Anyway, we were talking about how some people could drink, have a blast, but stay in control and then there were others who always seemed to lose control – puke, black out, etc. I’ve always wondered if there’s a gene deep down in our wiring that controls this. Why do some people lose control and some don’t?

I’ve never taken alcohol lightly and this post isn’t about alcoholism or anything. It’s just about……control.

Me, I had a lot of drunken escapades and some of my college and maybe high school friends may very well fill in some blanks here (can’t wait to hear it), but I’ve never gotten to the point where I blacked out or can’t remember an entire evening or something. I’m not bragging, either. It just…..is.

never blacked out

That’s me, far right.

Oh, there have been plenty of times where I woke up near sunrise on the floor of my college apartment living room, winter coat still on and a pair of headphones on my head. And there are three occasions from drinking when I did actually throw up.

Three is not a lot, though. Interestingly, the three times were NOT even at college. I simply never let myself get out of control. And I don’t know why. I probably had every reason to.

I ruminated to my neighbor that it could have been because I was allowed at a fairly young age to grab an occasional sip of beer from my dad’s bottle, even in my young teens. While my parents didn’t open the floodgates at home or anything, it just wasn’t a huge sticking point or something they were super harsh, overly threatening or militant about.

I remarked to my neighbor that maybe it was the kids who grew up in the super-militant, obnoxiously strict homes who couldn’t handle the sudden freedom and liberation and easy availability of drinking. They just let it loose. Just a guess, though. No data whatsoever to support any of it and no judgement.

Here it is, though. There was (and is) always some trigger inside me that knew when to stop and “enjoy the buzz,” as my neighbor so succinctly put it. My only guess is that for me, it’s fear. I have a lot of fear when it comes to some things.

Fear. It’s the only thing I can think of. I can’t think of a worse potential outcome, in fact, than being out of control with anything in my life. Always been that way.

What do you think? What’s the difference maker between the ones who could just enjoy the ride and the ones who always took it to the next level?

For the record, this is NOT in any way a criticism or judgement of the people who drank too much and blacked out or whatever. At all. And it’s not a discussion on alcoholism – that is a whole different side of alcohol.

It’s simply an observation and a question about why certain people rode it out and some always went the extra mile! I wonder.

Social Media, 1991 Style

Keef

Keef

I love this picture. It is a glimpse into the mind of myself as a 19 year old. Sometimes I forget the phases I’ve gone through in my life. These pictures help me remember. This is a picture of one of the walls of my dorm in Prentice Hall at Kent State University during the winter of 1991. In this particular snapshot, you see Keith Richards on the right in the big poster. He’s got a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, a towel over his head and a shirt on that says “Who the fuck is Mick Jagger?” Classic Keith. I’ve never been a total Rolling Stones fanatic, but I have most certainly gone through phases. I was clearly in one of them here.

The three pictures on top of one another on the left are awesome. All of them are from Rolling Stone and the top two are pictures of people from the show Twin Peaks. Ah, Twin Peaks, how I loved you so much that first season. I specifically remembering how HOT all the ladies in that show were (except the pie lady). But it was Sherilyn Fenn who really knocked me out, the way she tied cherry stems in her mouth and all. Whew. We never saw enough of Sheryl Lee, either, who played Laura Palmer. Damn. The underrated Madchen Amick, too. Whew. It was an all-star lineup!

That’s Led Zeppelin in the third Rolling Stone picture.

Now, the pictures in the middle are personal shots. Best I can make out, there are three pictures of our family dog, Max, who was my favorite of all our pets growing up. One is from a summer party with some friends and the other two were taken by my friend Fernando Gonzalez (see post about Food World below) at Abbey Road in London.

Really fun to see these……posters were our social media back in 1991.

Bullets & Stock Tips

Ever since 1990 when I first attended Kent State, all my friends, acquiantences and strangers always had some kind of remark about the 1970 shootings. Lots of people told me things like “make sure you wear a bullet-proof vest” and “don’t get shot.” Never very clever, really, but still, I have to agree it’s a pretty easy joke to make. It also got old pretty quick. Whatever. But The Onion’s article this week actually did elicit a chuckle out of me, particularly the picture. Good stuff. I’ve laid off The Onion over the last year or so, so maybe I should start reading regularly again.

Stock tip? A few months back I started using Comcast’s OnDemand more than I had been previously. The reason? We cancelled Netflix when the babies were born, because the day they were born, the same four movies sat on the TV stand for about 3 months. It was a little sad, because I had been a member since June of 2000! But I couldn’t accept paying the monthly fee for dust collecting. We might subscribe again, but with Apple’s announcement and Comcast’s OnDemand, we may not need it.

Anyway, OnDemand requires a lot of backend…….stuff. That backend is powered by a company called SeaChange International, who handles OnDemand for many of the tier 1 and tier 2 cable companies in the U.S. I think it’s fairly clear that the cable companies will be a player in this stuff, so growth seems imminent. Now might be the time to hop on board SeaChange and get some stock – it’s at a very cheap price right now and they also just announced another deal with a top 5 cable TV provider. So I added them to my stable.

As a sidenote, 2 out of 3 companies I’m invested in are within 15 miles of my house. That’s one way to support the local businesses, I suppose.

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