Rise and be Humbled!

“You can’t bullshit a bullshitter Aaron!” I remember that line because it was bizarre to me. Honesty was my hallmark, Sarah knew me. I wasn’t used to friends not believing me. She was angry too, “She’s young, she doesn’t know what she’s doing!” Then she accused me of “manipulating a young girl” which was funny. She gave me too much credit. I had no idea how to even go about manipulating a young girl, much less pull it off.

We were both 27 years old and at that time everybody else living in the house was under 22, half were teenagers. She said she felt responsible and even guilty for reassuring the girl’s parents she would look after her. Then she told me THIS ENDS NOW!! Despite her anger I felt pretty relaxed about the whole thing. There was nothing to end. She said she was going downstairs to have a talk with the girl. I figured that would clear things up and the whole confrontation just left my mind. However, a week later I remember suddenly being struck with the thought “Wait a minute, did I do something wrong?” The reason being because nothing happened afterwards.There was never an apology or even a follow up conversation from Sarah and I hadn’t even seen the girl. Was she avoiding me? It was like what would have happened if I were guilty of something. I didn’t dwell on it, but I remember having an uneasy feeling that maybe I was a bad person.

Early that next morning there was light tapping on my bedroom door. I could hear someone open the door and peek in. I kept my eyes shut and didn’t move. I didn’t want to hang out or deal with any problems. I had been to a show the night before followed by some post show drinking. A bottle of cheap vodka had been passed around. I felt broken. I thought “What did I do to myself? Why?” and “ I won’t do it again!” I was hoping to drift off a little, a while later I heard some far off laughter and the sound of footsteps charging up the stairs. I was thinking, “that sounds like too much action right now.” Someone burst into my bedroom. “Not cool!” I refused to acknowledge the intrusion, but then I felt someone jumping on the foot of my mattress and about 3 seconds too late opened my eyes. SHE WAS COMPLETELY NAKED… MID AIR, I bolted upright, the sway of her right butt cheek as she hit her apex imprinted on my mind, unfortunately it was her last ascent and in one move she landed in a run grabbing up her towel as she flew out of my room, loudly cackling her way back down the stairs. It all happened so quickly the normally riveting glimpse of side boob had only been a blur.

A few hours later, after a productive morning, I realized my hangover had vanished in that very instant. More importantly, I wasn’t a bad person.
Funny thing at the time I was mad at myself for having my eyes closed. Like what were the odds? However, 28 years later, thinking back on it to write this story I’m guessing her plan was to fling open the door, flash me and run out. It was only because I didn’t move that she jumped on my bed.

I’ll finish the story about how to manipulate young girls later on in the column. Originally that was the only idea I had for this post. I was going to call it “best ever hangover cure” or something. However, I’ve decided I need to update this website because 2022 was a new chapter in my drinking lifestyle. 3 years ago my old methods of living life as a heavy drinker stopped working for me, I blamed age. My plan when we last left off was to just eat and drink intuitively, to relinquish control and accept the slow downward spiral of age. I began to grow my hair long with plans to add a beard to hide the softening.

Sept. 2022

The good news today is I’m drinking heavily and I feel great! At 55 no less. The craziest part is this year I went from 206 lbs to 185 lbs while drinking every single day an average of roughly 7 double IPAs with no restriction on the amount of food I ate. No planned “diet” or intermittent fasting, just avoiding processed food and seed oils. I was surprised because like most people I believed the nonsense about “calories.” My old doctor used to point at my gut and say “just cut back on those beers!” I think she believed it too. Establishment medicine, indoctrination.

“Just because you lost weight doesn’t mean you are healthy” is the most common response I got. Another good one was “You must have lost a lot of muscle mass!” I get the skepticism. Drinking beer is unhealthy, there must be a catch. I think the same way. Unlike in past Brewznewz it would also be ridiculous for me to pass on this information as if it were advice. If I’m ever brought up in any context at all it’s likely to be a cautionary tale. On the other hand I do feel a need to push back a little. Drinking has become a more fraught issue than it deserves. Not only are many older people quitting alcohol but young people aren’t even getting started. Cookies and froyo have become the new Miller Time. Amazon Prime took over Thursday night football this year and has a policy of not allowing any alcohol to be advertised. Is that because Amazon is primarily a humanitarian corporation with a big heart who doesn’t want to profit off pedaling bad health choices to their customers? Possibly, but if too many people find out that beer makes them happy, it could be bad for business. The big money bosses are not betting on beer. This year Amazon invested 3.9 billion to own their own pharma company.

I’m the biggest pro alcohol advocate I know and even I fell into the trap of thinking alcohol consumption was my biggest health concern. “This Big Little Farm” was my favorite documentary. As a family we were already buying organic, especially meat, but I ignored correcting a few things about my diet, partly because I thought drinking was the main issue. Anyway, here is the main gist of what happened.

When 2022 began I was 206 pounds. I had got in the habit of sleeping on the couch because if I went to the bed I would wake up the wife with my snoring. I’m both a night owl and a morning person so taking car naps at work during my break is essential to getting through my day. Instead of the intense REM sleep I used to get I was gasping awake. Despite this I couldn’t see myself strapping a sleep apnea apparatus on my head everytime I needed a nap. I’m not that organized and I don’t have a bedtime. I pass out whenever. My original plan was a quick week of Ketosis to get me down around the Mendoza line so I could sleep and then be drinking by the next weekend. This time though, even after I ended Keto I decided to mostly avoid bread. However, I had my crock-pot made beans and rice every single day for lunch so it wasn’t a Keto friendly or even a low carb diet. I also kept doing family taco night with the fried corn shells, and turkey chili night using canned tomatoes, but other than that nothing pre-packaged. That next weekend I had around 20 IPAs so I was a little surprised to see I had dropped another couple of pounds. My theory at that moment was that the drinking had dehydrated me and the weight would pop back up the next day. This is the point I started weighing myself every morning. That’s how I learned that drinking several IPAs every single day had no effect on my weight whatsoever. During the first 3 months I only stayed sober for one night and I lost 16 pounds. I eventually dropped to 185. For all these years I thought I had a beer gut from beer, but it was the processed food.

That’s the main story. That’s really all I need to say. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. It’s not going to get any more interesting. However, I’m going to spend several more paragraphs writing about beer, food and life because the true story would be incomplete if I didn’t.

Failed Vegetarian

In 2014 I stopped buying sausage or eating pork because of the nature of pig farming. In general I wanted to eat less meat but pig farms seemed to be especially dystopian.
However, at the Farmer’s Market in Pleasanton there is a stand that sells nothing but pork products from a farm up in Amador county. They have a breed of pig from Spain that walks the oak tree covered hills eating acorns. So I’m back on the sausage, actually a lot of different cuts of meat. I’ve refrained from posting photos of them on Instagram, even when they’re perfectly cooked and picturesque next to a pile of green beans and a bottle of wine.

My old intention not to eat meat was not health inspired, I wanted to be a somewhat less evil vampire. I was more of a drinker than a foodie. I had a diet strategy based on how not to get hangovers. I almost never stepped on a scale. That is why I fucked up so badly when I made a weak attempt to go vegetarian. In 2018 there were a lot of new non-meat options in restaurants and in stores. The wife felt similarly so we converted some regular meals to fake meat. When it didn’t ruin taco night I figured I would be fine. I had a plan to make sure I could follow through on it for at least three months before declaring my new lifestyle choice. I lasted three weeks. The end came abruptly after my snoring almost ruined a family weekend in L.A. It was louder than ever and simply rolling on my side didn’t stop it. There is a healthy way to be a vegetarian but whatever I did was the opposite. I was a little startled when we got home and I stepped on a scale, 208.

Throwing Beer Under the Bus!
I was not honest about going on keto at the time. I made an announcement on Instagram. I declared that I would stop drinking until I got down to 194 lbs, which was true, and I did, but I didn’t publicly announce the reason I wouldn’t be drinking was because I was going on the keto diet. So I threw beer under the bus! I insinuated that beer was the reason for my weight gain. Wow, talk about shame! At the time keto seemed like a slimy shortcut. No montage of me exercising necessary. I just deprived my body of carbs so it had to burn fat. At 194 pounds I told the wife “take a picture of me because I’m never going to be this lite again!” I said that because even though it only took two weeks, not drinking sucked. That’s the worst thing about Keto, if you do it correctly it works very fast, but you can’t drink any beer at all so for me it was a temporary solution.

Exercise was not a factor. The last time I lost enough weight to wear a L t-shirt instead of an XL was during my three year stint doing lagoon maintenance 16 years ago. I used to wake up at 4 in the morning and quickly microwave a Jimmy Dean sausage sandwich from Costco, then I’d buy my lunch at 7/11, whatever was sitting under the lights. Horrible diet but I did strenuous labor for many hours each day so it didn’t matter. We also had two toddlers at home so there wasn’t any down time ever. When you’re not too old to be always on the move you can eat whatever. Now I have a desk job so I have a quick routine I do to keep myself upright and also some PT, but nothing strenuous enough to affect my weight.

As always, fuck establishment thinking but also don’t believe your own bullshit!

One weekend in June I bragged to several people that I could drink as much as I wanted without any consequences (how many times have I learned this lesson???). There had only been a few days that I didn’t get legally drunk in the first half of 2022. I was really feeling good too. Actually looking forward to waking up with the sun and enjoying my morning everyday. I felt like I had cracked the code. That weekend, we had a party for my son’s graduation on Saturday. The night before the only thing my wife said she needed me to do was to turn on the crock-pot at 4 am so it would be ready for the party at noon. My daughter, also a night owl, chimed in that she would take care of it because she was usually still up anyway. So I was like, hey cool, then I’m going to go see this band in Oakland. I’ll just have two beers while I’m there and come straight back, implying I was going to take it easy, which I did. It was a great show (Maggus!) but I was a little hyped from the show, with only two beers in me, driving home thinking of the double IPAs I had in the fridge. Next thing I know I’m in the kitchen with another beer when my daughter comes out of her room to turn on the crockpot. So almost no sleep, still up with the sun. Great party, friends and family, and drinking. I didn’t pull another all nighter the next night but was drinking pretty late as I remember. Then on Sunday. Devon Morf was in town. Actually he was hanging out at a park in San Francisco, close enough. It was a very nice mellow occasion, old friends and strangers, people sitting in the grass talking, the kind of thing I bring an ice chest to. It was great and I would have been fine if I had stopped drinking there but when we got home I wanted a bottle of merlot with dinner, then a nightcap of several more double IPAs. The next morning was sad. In denial of my state, hoping it would pass, I did my full slate of old man exercises and went to work, but I could feel I wasn’t well. Every cell in my body had exhausted itself to keep me functioning. I had hit a wall. It was my first real crash of the year. I paused for four days to recover for our big weekend in Carmel, then proceeded again with more caution. Truthfully, even though I’ve continued to drink heavily since then, I haven’t been the same. Reminds me of my trucking days, specifically that time I put 9 wheels in the air, dumping 4,000 pounds of tomatoes on the side of the onramp. I didn’t have a roll over so I kept my job and my Class A license. I kept on driving 19 hours every day, but mentally I was never able to whip those wheels around a turn the same way again. I will always be humbled.

I specifically remember when I opened that bottle of Merlot. I asked my wife if she wanted a glass. She made a comment about shouldn’t I slow down and I remember answering her that I didn’t have to worry about that anymore. The new me was impervious. I truly believed that at the moment. I was disappointed in myself in the days after. I had been blessed with a high functioning liver and I abused it totally. Possibly took out a third of it in one weekend just by not giving it any chance to recover.

How my wife sees me.

Everything was still great up until when the sun stopped coming up.
I noticed a downturn in how well I felt when mornings became dark and cold. By the end of the year, I went from cracking the code to dealing with crash days again. Not horrible, but it happened several times.
Thanksgiving and Christmas, friend party, work party, kids home = pizza. Then there was a giant rainstorm, only about 10 vendors set up in the rain at the farmer’s market so instead of my big Saturday fish lunch I bought fruit. Thankfully the wife put it to use and made a fantastic blueberry cobbler while we watched Miley’s New Year’s Eve. It was all good, good with wine. Life is good. Starting the new year I was back up to 192, but not concerned.

I have to write about my Mom

She died after my last post. I had a nice relationship with my mom but we weren’t close. My dad and mom divorced when I was 10. He eventually moved a half mile away and before 8th grade I moved in with him. My dad had an austere manner. He had a quiet, cold place and made weird vegetarian meals so both my mom and my little brother were miffed as to why I preferred to live with him. He didn’t neglect me, but he left me alone. My mom was a little too aware of me, that was all it was. When I quit high school after flunking for 3 years my dad said he’d have to charge me rent unless I went to community college. Next thing I knew I was transferring to Cal Poly a year ahead of my high school classmates, that’s where I started drinking a lot. My mom began writing me long typed letters about how horrible alcohol was. I still have them! Some of them are pretty extreme. She referred to it as poison. She also talked a lot about what a wonderful person her little brother was. He had started drinking and it ruined his life. She was really affected by her younger brother, “He drank himself to death!” she would say. The thing was he was the head of a motorcycle gang. He made many lifestyle choices beyond drinking. At age 44, he died suddenly of cardiac arrest while riding his motorcycle.

That’s also how my mom passed, though she wasn’t on a motorcycle. It wasn’t expected. She hadn’t been bed ridden or sick. She still had her faculties. She didn’t like her medication, “what’s the point of living a long time if I don’t feel good?” She may have been cutting back on her heart medication again. We asked if she wanted us to shop for her when Covid was in full swing “but I like going to Raleys!” was her answer. She wanted to be independent. She stayed single after my dad. She was self-employed for the last 50 years. When I was a kid I remember her teaching classes in our living room, whatever was trending in the 70’s she’d teach a class on it, psychic readings, reiki massage, a lot of very mystical stuff, but then she also had a scientific side and got certified for medical and physical therapy type stuff too. She got a Masters in psychology because she wanted to keep seeing clients at home but knew she would get too old to do body work. She died living in her own house, still making her own decisions.

In contrast, my dad lost his mind a full 5 years before he died. One day he stopped his car in the middle of an intersection, walked over to a gas station attendant and said “I don’t know who I am.” That’s how he lost his driver license, but after that he would walk 3 miles into town everyday, in his 80s. Ultimately being healthy only earned him extended time in a nursing home. Most people die within months of being admitted but he went on for 3 years. If he knew who he was or not he no longer had the ability to communicate it to us.

My mom used to worry I would die young, she even took out life insurance on me when I owed her money. Then I got married and quickly settled down to a new lifestyle. Shortly after she had grandkids and she was able to enjoy them without having to be responsible for them. She still hoped I would quit drinking but it stopped being as much of an issue between us. She knew I did “BrewzNewz” because of Keri’s facebook posts but she wouldn’t read them. Same with the Probe, she kept a copy of each issue but didn’t read them because she hated the stories about drinking.

The night after she died I woke up in the middle of the night with a fleeting impression of a dark figure leaning over me. I chalked it up to either my imagination or maybe my mom was just not well practiced at visitations from the dead. Then three days later I had an especially vivid dream of walking down our side yard on a very sunny day. I opened the side door to the garage, light flooded in and there was my mom sitting in a patio chair. She had a big performative smile on her face and then I woke up. I thought, “Oh, I wonder if she knew the first attempt was too dark so she went out of her way to make sure she left on a brighter note.” Then I thought, “Hey, she was sitting right in front of my beer fridge. Maybe that was the parting message?”

Did I clown myself with Vitamin B?

In previous columns I told everybody not to worry you can’t overdose on vitamin B, take a bunch of them while you’re drinking! Well, it’s true. Excess B is not unhealthy and it’s fantastic for aiding in recovering from excess alcohol. However, if you have Rosacea like I do, be careful. I woke up with a bunch of gnarly red spots on my forehead in November and just as they were starting to fade they came back even stronger in December. WTF! Not only that but I can feel them, especially the one next to my eye, they sting a little. So I dove into the internet and found some reports from dermatologists that taking a strong vitamin B complex supplement seemed to be the trigger for many patients. Rosacea is permanent and gets worse with age so I don’t think these new spots on my forehead are going away, hopefully they fade. I will not take the medication for it because it’s bad for the liver and I want it to focus on alcohol. The theory is that Niacin (B3) is what causes the outbreaks. The truth is, who really knows, everything that causes people to flush is listed as a possible trigger. I just remember reacting harshly to Niacin when I was younger so it made it sense. Because I’m getting old I’ll probably get covered with red spots and blotches no matter what I do but I went online to find B supplements without niacin and bought a couple of more expensive ones that were not synthetic. I took them last night wondering if I would notice a difference. After midnight I wasn’t sleepy yet so I put in a Netflix DVD, then another DVD after that. I had 7 double IPAs but wasn’t tired yet so I started watching “Check Please!” on YoutubeTV when I saw our bedroom light turn on. For a minute I thought I had accidentally pulled an all nighter, but the wife was just checking on the dog. Anyway, B vitamins can be powerful!! Who even needs amphetamines when we have vitamin B?

I used to wonder why some of my most epic drinking bouts were on steak night. It was because I thought all meat, not just processed meat, was hard on the liver, but I was eating organic chuck steak which turns out is restorative and not even inflammatory. I didn’t know that so I would take practically handfuls of B vitamins with my big steak, broccoli, potato and always two bottles of wine on steak night. One night, after the wine I was drinking Ballast Point Stouts 10 percenters, blasting one of my old video tapes of Reina Aveja in my garage, HIGH as fuck on vitamin B and when drunk out my mind everything sounds amazing so, and normally this is a bad idea, I pointed my camera at the TV to make an instagram post, trying to share the high with the world. This was back when you only had 15 seconds. I wanted to get Jen’s natural voice and crowd interaction before the screaming began but the video was too long with no edit option so I googled a camera app with a pause feature and successfully downloaded it. I somehow posted the video flawlessly. Anyway, I think of that sometimes because a big difference between me then and me now is I’m less functional when drunk. I’ve gotten better at trying to be a more conscious drinker recently, but many times in the past few years, my wife says I’m “gone,” she doesn’t like it. It’s something I’ve tried to work on, being in the moment and aware of the pace of my drinking, not chasing the high. She doesn’t want me to quit drinking, but she’s been unhappy when I get too far gone, which wasn’t the case a few years ago when the amount of $ for my IPA habit was her best argument that I should cut back.

Are hot peppers the key to health or will they ultimately kill me?

I am a daily drinker who gets very little sleep, but I almost never get sick. The last time I got sick was October 2017. It took five years before I even had a sore throat again after that. I had a slightly stuffy nose in December this year, for a day and a half. I used to get a fever and cold once or twice a year, sometimes lasting a week. Corresponding to this lack of sickness I’ve become increasingly obsessed with peppers and hot sauce. I buy a wide variety of peppers from the farmers market. I don’t put on gloves when I chop up these peppers so to make it easy I buy a lot of medium heat and sweet peppers then add hot sauce. Every single morning I like to get a good burn going to start my day. It’s hard to gauge because I always have a number of bottles open but I must go through an entire bottle of hot sauce every 3 or 4 days. When I have wings I use the extreme stuff that makes me cry, it also clears all of the fluid from my skull and gives me a hacking fit 5 minutes later. However, the health benefit is not because hot pepper “clears out” the mucus. On the contrary it helps stimulate it, The average person creates almost 2 quarts of mucus every single day, it is used to catch matter out of the air as we breathe. Our face is like a super sophisticated filtration system, developed and perfected through millions of years of evolution, winding airwaves catching every little microscopic particle in the air before it enters our lungs. The rare times something does manage to get through our body explodes the fuck out of it! Meanwhile the mucus we create is constantly pushed towards the back of our throat by tiny silica, twice every minute we swallow, even in our sleep, everything harmful we breathe in is destroyed by enzymes in our stomach. This same mucus then forms a protective layer that lines our stomach and intestines, keeping the harmful bacteria that we breathe or ingest from entering our bloodstream as we pass the toxic sludge out of our body. It’s easy to imagine how activating the mucus system may keep us from getting sick. When a former secretary of state was asked how she never got sick while only sleeping four hours a night, constant travel, and shaking hundreds of hands everyday, her answer was jalapenos. So I’m not the first person that came up with this nut ball explanation.

On the other hand nightshade vegetables contain Lectins. Not only do I eat peppers everyday but my crockpot beans are a constant part of my diet. Most lectins in beans you can get rid of by soaking and rinsing, and then cooking at high heat. However, even then you don’t get rid of all of them. There are a lot of reputable nutritionists who warn “take it easy” on the beans! Don’t overdo it on the nightshades because the lectins hit your intestines like boulders. Overtime they could thin the walls of your intestine, allowing bacteria into your bloodstream. It would be ironic if instead of drinking myself to death this super healthy diet I’m on breaks down my intestinal wall and kills me.

Okay, enough food talk!

It’s kind of hard to imagine this now but in the ‘80s and early ‘90 women’s asses were not even a thing. In fact, this seems crazy, but girls with nice butts were looked down on! When I was in college in the late 80s Cal Poly guys referred to girls’ “Poly Butt Syndrome” saying they arrived at school cute but the dorm food made their butts too big. “Yeah, she’s really cute, but she’s got a big butt” was something guys actually said. It was a disqualifier. And girls went with it, the ones who had nice butts would wear baggy mom jean shorts or dresses that did not hug their ass whatsoever. Yoga pants were unheard of. Big eyes, big hair, big breasts and small butts. The world was a completely backwards place. I’m not making this up or exaggerating, look at the movies at the time. It’s so bizarre to think of this now but I used to watch In Living Color, sit next to the TV and press record only when the fly girls came on. This seems ridiculous today, you can Youtube them. They had a lot of clothes on, the lighting was bad, the dances were simple and by the standards of today their butts weren’t even that big. However, it was the 80s and there was nothing else like them on TV.

Argghhh. I just want to finish up this story, keep things light and funny. However, just like last time I wrote one of these I’m having trouble putting a bow on this monster. The problem is I love the intro. It will pull people in. It’s funny, but I can’t just leave it there. Why was I worried I was a bad person? What was going on with “Sarah” and I’d come up with a fake name for the young girl too but 28 years later I can’t even remember what her real name was. I spent yesterday early noonish trying to finish this story. Then the wife and I went into downtown Pleasanton and enjoyed many drinks together. That’s really what I want to do with my life. I don’t want to spend a Saturday hunched over a keyboard like I’m trying to be Kurt Vonnegut or something. He witnessed the atrocities of war. I saw naked girls.

I’ll rush through it the best I can, life is complicated. “Sarah” was not some fuddy-duddy. Testimony she gave as a teenager put a man in prison. However, the most shocking thing was how little time the man did. She remained a trustworthy and caring person despite having reason to be angry with the world. Anyway, she was only concerned for the girl and she was right to be.

I was immature for 27 and it was the girl’s first time living away from home. Bright eyed, she briefly met a friend of mine who she later referred to as “the coolest person I’ve ever seen.” By extension she was under the misguided impression that I was cool. I had the master bedroom with a balcony and my own bathroom and shower. As a sub teacher I was getting home earlier than the other roommates. For a two hour window each day I was often the only other person in the house and she spent a lot of time talking to me so it wasn’t that weird that she came up to my room if she was having a rough night. She stayed until morning a couple of times. That’s what put Sarah on edge. We explained we had slept on separate sides of the bed, but she kept shaking her head like something was going wrong.

The day she yelled, “this ends now!” Sarah had just come home. The girl’s hair was wet, the downstairs shower was dry. The shower in my room had just been used. To make it worse, the girl and I had just shared an awkward moment. I was still processing it when Sara had accosted me which caused me to come across as defensive and guilty.

The girl had a serious boyfriend, he would drive across the Bay to visit her most every evening. Everybody in the house liked the guy, really nice and going places. I asked the girl, “Do you think he’s gay??” Seriously, in a very honest way I had wondered that because she told me whenever she did or wore anything sexual he would say “you don’t have to do that for me.” She was sure he wasn’t gay but it made him uncomfortable.
There was another time, I wasn’t there, but she was told a nightgown she liked to wear was too short and she needed to put some clothes on. I had assumed a girl told her that but then I learned it was a 19 year old dude. I was more upset than she was about it. For me it triggered memories of similar incidents in the dorms at college. I made it clear to her that I was truly flummoxed that a fucking dude would tell her she needed to put clothes on. In college I had been annoyed by guys like that, but under my own roof it made me angry. Later on I confronted him, “What in the fuck is wrong with you?!!” I wanted an explanation from him. At first he was confused. He sputtered something like “Dude, bro, I’m not scoping on my friend’s chick!!” which didn’t make sense, he barely knew her boyfriend. He seemed mostly confused as to why I was so angry. It took a full minute for him to even realize what I was talking about. Apparently he had thrown up his hands in front of his eyes and joked about what would happen if she bent over.

One time I got home and was sitting in the chair by the downstairs phone where I checked the messages on the answering machine. She walked in front of me in her underwear and then stopped and looked over her shoulder. I think she expected to see me with an approving smirk on my face, but when she saw that my jaw had dropped she collapsed in laughter.
That was the attitude, it was unserious. I was a good audience. At least I was until the day I blew my entire laid back facade. She had complained about 3 times that she needed to go down and take a shower but kept on talking, then suddenly in my bathroom, “This is nice! I’m going to use this one!” I perked up. She didn’t shut the door all the way, it swung back open a little on its own. When I stood up I could see her in the mirror and I forgot to be casual. She still had her shirt on but was bending over to pull off her pants. Straining to get as high as possible, I could almost see the top of her hip, (so close!) when suddenly we locked eyes in the mirror. I must have had a jarring look of intense desperation on my face, she stopped talking mid sentence. I dropped down, sitting on the bed again. I don’t think I said anything. After several moments of silence she said something like. “It’s okay.. I don’t care,” but she sounded rattled. Kicking myself for not being cool, I stayed sitting on the bed like it was a penalty box. Not a roll over crash, but humbling.

Okay, writing out that last part was painful. I’m glad it’s over.

A guy from India bought that house overlooking the entire Bay Area. 3,000 square feet. I wrote a rent check to him every month for five years but can’t remember his name either. He lived across the bay from us in San Bruno but never once did he check up on us, greatest landlord ever! We had amazing parties! $1500 a month for 3,000 square feet. I went through 28 roommates during that time.

Just heard tonight that an old friend, Joel Stites, died. Haven’t seen him in many years but very recently I told a brief story to my daughter and referred to him as an old roommate. After exchanging texts with OG roommate JD I don’t think he actually ever lived in the house. He was in two different bands that practiced in our living room during the same time period of the story above. I never liked the bands he was in which was an ongoing joke between us at the time. I would go to 3 or 4 shows a week but never to see his band. I still occasionally think about a couple of good stories he told 30 years ago. He died a musician.

Speaking of going to shows… no. This ends now. I have to end this monster, I had a whole segment to write about my hearing and how it affected what music I listened to later in life. The bigger news is, after consulting with an audiologist, I started going to shows again in 2022. Here’s a link of those shows that I’m really happy about.


My life is very good now, the best, I’m incredibly lucky and grateful.

I end these things with a YouTube video. Nobody gives me a hard time for being a Miley Cyrus fan anymore. Truthfully, I did wonder a bit myself what was going on with me. For about a 4 or 5 year period I hardly listened to any music at all except for Miley Cyrus, especially Dead Pets. I tried but I couldn’t get into anything else. I don’t like most music, or at least not the new stuff. The opposite of when I was young and used to blow all my money on records. My Miley Cyrus fixation finally ended when I discovered that every single Mountain Goats album was on Amazon Music, over 20 of them and for a year or two I listened to almost nothing but The Mountain Goats. Then the family canceled Amazon Music and I went to YouTube. There was a new Mountain Goats song there. At first I was just surprised I had never heard it before. It wasn’t on any of their albums, then suddenly I started crying. It was weird. I’m not an emotional person but this song broke me down and I’m not even sure why.