Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lampshade Headwear



 Please feel free to cast your vote for chapeau haute couiture.

My brother and I are back at school. We decided to come back a day earlier than we absolutely had to in order not to have to fight the very worst of horrendous traffic, which we would have faced had we postponed our trip back until Sunday. It's technically already Sunday now, though I never consider a day to have ended and a new one to have begun until I go to bed and get up, even if it's only for a few hours that I rest. On those lovely days when I have so much studying to do that I never actually make it to bed, I arbitrarily look out the window at some point and see that the sun has risen, and I officially declare tomorrow to have happened. Isn't it delightful to have such control over one's environment as to decide if and when a new day is to start? This power exists, I concede, solely in my own mind. While I'm perhaps a tad delusional, I have at least a tenuous grasp on reality.

The trip home served as a sweet reminder that I genuinely love and like my parents. They're good people. Our relationships are far from conflict-free. My parents and I have always had disagreements, and Matthew's and my newly-attained adult status has in many ways only intensified this. The things about which we disagree, however,  are just that -- things, which money can buy. We're not Trumps or Gateses, financially or otherwise,  but we have enough money to pay for anything we really need. My parents (usually my mom, though neither is my dad shy about making his opinion known) may at times be a bit insistent about being heard when Matthew or I have decisions in this regard to make, but in the end, the decisions are made by whomever has the right to make the decisions, and we go back to the people we were before any disagreement interjected itself into our respective relationships. I acknowledge that it cannot be easy to bring children into the world and to be responsible in every way for them for eighteen years or so, only to cede that responsibility and everything that goes with it to those children. It's uncharted territory for all of us that we're navigating.

This week marks a milestone for my brother and for me. We turn twenty-one one Wednesday.  I plan to celebrate it by getting just a bit bombed. I have class the next morning, and I have a final exam three days after the big day itself, so just how deeply into debauchery I can afford to sink is greatly limited by the rather poor timing of everything. My mother could have planned the whole labor and delivery thing a bit more considerately. 

On the other hand, had Matthew and I been born six hours later than we were, we would have missed California's cutoff age for kindergarten entrance for the year. We finished school a year early in addition to narrowly squeaking past the cutoff date. This happened when we were promoted mid-year from seventh to eighth grade. There are probably very few circumstances under which any school system would have allowed my brother and me to be advanced two school years ahead of our chronological placement. It was arguably a bit crazy even to bump us up a single year when we were already the youngest children in the class. Regardless, had my mother dragged out the labor process any longer, right now we would presumably just be wrapping up our first quarter of medical school. First quarter now seems like half a lifetime ago. I'm glad it's in my past even if such means the I'll need to limit the magnitude of my twenty-first birthday drunken revelry in the name of academic sanity.

Up to this point, the most alcohol I've ever consumed at a time is when I drank one-and-one-half bottles of Guinness in order to deal with writing a particularly difficult paper. Those one-and-one-half bottles of Guinness gave me a noticeable buzz. This time I'm going for the ever elusive midpoint between buzzed and wasted. Here's to hoping I find that perfect stage of almost drunk.

P.S. If anyone who reads this knows Senator Marco Rubio and happens to run into him before Wednesday night, please tell him that he's invited to my birthday party. I'm not sure exactly where it will be held except that I know it will be in a bar somewhere around here. For the first time in my life, I will be allowed into a bar. Miracles occasionally happen.

 I may need someone to carry me home on Wednesday night.


  1. LOL... have fun! I turned 21 while working as the cook at a church camp in rural Virginia. I got drunk, anyway...

    1. You got drunk anyway? It must have been a mainline church camp. You were Presbyterian, were you not? Presbyterians could handle the idea that someone might want to down a few drinks on a birthday.

    2. Yes... I was raised Presbyterian (USA) and worked at a PCUSA summer camp. We used to sneak beer in and have parties in the hogans.

  2. Happy birthday! Drinking alcohol used to be illegal. Making it illegal is like making abortion illegal. People will just do at home with a coat hanger and many times the babies will reform and you still have it, when it was illegal. That is what Republicans should remember. It is not whether it should be done or not. It is whether it should be done at home by a butcher or done in a hospital by a doctor.

    You have a high IQ and that is a thing of nature. You got the genes. But how well you deal with drugs, like alcohol, is a matter of EQ that is not nature but nurture. So you might have the intelligence way above genius but become a drug addict.

    Now you got some Christian upbringing. What is the worse thing that Jesus said you can do? Well it is clear what Buddha said is the worst thing that you can do to yourself. To take drugs that will reduce pain, like alcohol. Many people do that and become heroin addicts since that is cheaper than medications. Pain is to teach something is wrong.

    Now you may be extremely smart but alcohol can turn you into a patient instead of a doctor. Robin Williams was a comedic genius. His try-out for Mork & Mindy was spectacular (first time to act). Mork was from another planet and Robin Williams seemed to be from another planet. Continued.

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  4. Many have drugs like Rohypnol that they can slip into drinks. The internet says "Since the 1990s Rohypnol has been used illegally to lessen the depression caused by the abuse of stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, and also as an aid for sexual assault. The so-called “date-rape drug” was placed unknowingly in the drinks of victims, often at a bar or party (“club drug”). Due to the strong amnesia produced by the drug, victims would have limited or no recollection of the assault."

    Maybe your dream is to write a book about how you had a promising career as a doctor and the your 21st birthday came around and you celebrated it by going to a bar and after that it went all down hill. I have an extremely high EQ.

    Internet says "Emotional Intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), is defined as an individual's ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions. People with high EQ usually make great leaders and team players because of their ability to understand, empathize, and connect with the people around them. IQ, or intelligence quotient, is score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess an individual's intelligence."

  5. There was an alcohol that had testimonials from thousands of American MDs, the president of the U.S., the president of France and the Pope. What was so great about that alcohol? It had cocaine in it that was legal. Coca-cola used to have coca plant (makes cocaine) in it and kola nut that has lots of caffeine in it.

    Why not find a kombucha bar that are popping up like crazy and have a party there.

    They have one in Venice and one in Healdsburg (less than 100 miles north of San Francisco). "Like kale, kombucha has hit maximum mainstream. Funky-hued bottles of the probiotic fermented tea line shelves at Whole Foods, and even fine dining restaurants are getting into the game of making custom blends.

    But what, exactly, is kombucha? The bubbly beverage begins with a mother starter known as "scoby," which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Similar to the way a bread starter feeds off flour, kombucha culture needs nutrients to survive, such as nitrogen, tannins and polyphenols. Sugar, too. Many of these compounds occur naturally in camellia sinensis, the tea plant. To brew kombucha, basically one adds the scoby to sweetened tea. Total fermentation time can be anywhere from ten days to three weeks or longer."

    My friend tried many things and said that these are the only thing that helped his digestion.

    1. Some people wold say I'm naive, chuck, but i'm not afraid of alcohol if only for the reason that I don't actually like the taste and have to plug my nose in order to get it down. i'm a super-taster, and if I don't like the taste of something, it really bothers me to taste it. i'l plug my nose and down it just as I plug my nose to down the two half-bottles of Guinness weekly for appetite and weight gain or at least maintenance, but i'm not worried about being tempted. some would say these are famous last words, but I'm not tempted after a couple years of the Guinness regime. as far as the fruity drinks tasting better and thus being a greater temptation, I'd just have the fruity drink without the alcohol, and I seriously doubt it will taste as good to me as Grape Crush does, anyway.

      I just hope no one holds his or her breath while waiting for me to become addicted to alcohol. I think I'd know by now if I could ever actually like the stuff. I'm doing the "get drunk" thing on my 21st as a rite of passage.

    2. I am sure that you can look it up and find some really bad rites of passage. You made it clear recently that you are very familiar with Forrest Gump. People would always ask him if he was stupid. He said that his mother said that stupid is as stupid does.

      I guess you know that you are responsible for anything that happens as a result of getting drunk. If anything really bad happens, I will write about it. The goal of life is to get to know yourself as Socrates said "Know thyself." Getting drunk is the opposite of that.

      I bet that at some places at some time it was a rite of passage to go out and rape a black woman. That sounds really violent but what you are doing is really destructive to yourself. The most precious thing that you have is free will. But you compromise that by getting drunk.

    3. Having two mixed drinks is not even close to raping anyone. i' should be too much under the influence to drive safely after two drinks, which is why I'll make transportation arrangements before, and have cab money on me plus back=up transportation I can phone if necessary. my level of impairment will not be such that I'm incapable of being responsible for anything else. My parents know all about this. They asked about my plans in terms of who would be with me and how I planned to get home, but they were fine with it. I'll know how I'm getting home before I leave the condo. I'll have a few good friends with me. I'm going to a friendly neighborhood bar. What I'm doing is not illegal or even irresponsible as long as I make all the necessary preparations in advance. I'm not a Mormon. Once I turn 21, I can drink in moderation if I so desire. I don't plan to drink even in moderation on anything resembling a regular basis other than to continue with the two half-bottles of Guinness each week.

      If anyone wishes to discuss this further, it's fine, but I've said all I care to say.

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  6. Be careful out there. The lampshade headwear is a nice touch and gives me some ideas for the New Year celebration.

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