Asperger's hates me... aka... I think that's just Asperger's...

I was going to extoll the virtues of music and its impact in my life, but unfortunately, my day (well, two days) were upended by Asperger’s. You see, one of the worst things that can happen to an Aspergerian person (if that’s what you call it) is they have to change their plans. This can show up in larger ways, like, say, having to work on your day off (like I did on Sunday, which is now officially football-only day even though I hate the NFL and what football has become) or in small ways, like, say, not being able to eat cottage cheese and kiwi after playing a show because we’re out of kiwis; true story. But, the sad thing is that both things are often equal to the Aspergian mind, as illustrated by this Sunday, where I had to work on a podcast instead of relax, and Thursday, where I had to eat cottage cheese without kiwi since someone ate the two I was saving…

But, this is one of the downsides of having Asperger’s. I’ve noted the upsides a few different times on this blog, and I actually believe having Asperger’s is generally a good thing, like probably 70% of the time. It helps me focus on myself and my art by not caring what others think. It helps me eliminate mindless decisions, as too many decisions leads to fatigue. It helps me focus on tasks with its borderline obsessive nature. But, it also takes the smallest things and renders me in almost complete Aspergian panic mode. Here’s an example:

Tonight, I was at a songwriters meeting. I have never attended a meeting by this group so I had no idea what to expect. My wife said I should be prepared to play a song as they often have new members play so they can give notes, give praise and/or just support each other. I was reticent as I was just attending to see what the meeting and the group was all about. Needless to say, they asked me to play a song. I didn’t want to but obliged. As my turn came up, I couldn’t think of what song I wanted to play because I was so in my head about having to play in the first place. I didn’t want to. I stepped in front of the microphone and gave an intro/backstory for a song I thought I was going to play and… played something else. I’m not sure why or how I landed on the song. It was a surprise to me and I could barely find the words to the song as I didn’t know what was happening. This wasn’t the song I wanted to play (or the song I’d intro’d) so I couldn’t keep up with the song. Since the speaker was on my right (my bad/Meniere’s ear), I started to have issues with hearing and worried I’d have a vertigo attack. I played and sang it about as poorly as I had in years. Since I play so often, it wasn’t unlistenable by any means, but it was in no way representative of my abilities and, since I had no idea what was happening, I was only along for the ride rather than controlling the performance. It felt weird. I felt disappointed in myself. I didn’t play or sing as well as I’d like and I should have known to have a song ready. I was angry until I got home turned on the TV to see Deshaun Watson and the Texans score a touchdown in 13 seconds only to see the Saints (whom I fucking hate, I’ll never forgive them for Bountygate and for essentially ending Brett Favre’s career, even though it was on the Vikings…) come back and win. Now, I was more mad about this than at myself for failing to perform to my standards.

My wife asked me why I was aggravated to begin with. Everyone has an off night. I’d been awake since 4am (thanks to my cat), which means I only got 2-3 hours of sleep so I shouldn’t have expected a brilliant performance from myself. But, that’s not how it works. I get aggravated when I have an off night practicing in my apartment. I’ve never expected perfection, but I know what I’m capable of and hate when I fall short. I especially hate when I fall short due to my mindset/Asperger’s. I hate that it can derail a simple thing like singing a song I’ve sang hundreds of times. Or when It makes me have a fight with my wife because I forgot to do something and now I’m just angry at everything. It sucks. But, even though I’m aware of it most of the time, that doesn’t mean I can control it. It still is what it is. It still controls me even when I know it’s happening. Just because you know it’s going to rain, doesn’t mean you can do much besides try and prepare yourself. But even then, it’s much stronger than I often realize and I still have Asperger’s whether I see it or not. Often, I know I’m doing its bidding but can’t do anything to change my behavior. It’s a helpless feeling. At least it doesn’t lay me up in bed for hours on end like Meniere’s…

I wish I had a great moral or ending to this story but it’s just another in a long line of Asperger’s moments. At least I didn’t have a full on yelling at myself, squeezing my head with my fists while my body shuts down and I literally (yes, literally) cannot move for who knows how long; so I got that going for me, which is nice…

Sorry for the short blog, but it’s so late and I’m already so tired. One thing they don’t tell you is how exhausting having an Asperger’s attack is. Although, I doubt that would help anything anyways…

(dictated but not read)

Meniere's disease and Asperger's team up... aka... just another Wednesday night...

Well, unfortunately, Meniere’s happened again…

So menacing, right? What happened? How bad was it? You weren’t playing music at the time, were you? Not in front of an audience though, right?

Yes. Vertigo attack. 7 out of 10. And yes, I was playing at the time. Yes, it was in a public setting.

I’m not sure what it is about shows that can trigger it from time to time, but it’s been probably six months since I last had any Meniere’s issues. For those unfamiliar with Meniere’s, it is an inner-ear disorder that results in tinnitus, hearing loss, “stuffy ear” feelings, which then cause balance problems and, if it’s bad enough, like it was this past week, full on, room-spinning, nausea-inducing vertigo; which, can sometimes trigger my Asperger’s brain to short-circuit and leads me to fully shut down (read: temporary paralysis), which is horrifying and even more panic-inducing than the whole vertigo thing, which can sometimes be a good thing as once my paralysis faded (about twenty or so minutes later) my brain was no longer focused on the vertigo so that got better (slowly, but still) as a result. See, sometimes awful things can have positive effects.

But, of course, I was playing music. I was done for the evening but things wrapped up early (when does that ever happen in musical situations?) and I got to go sing some more. I got up to go to the bathroom and something felt off. My head was not right. One and half glasses of wine over nearly 3 hours doesn’t do that. Hmm, I thought but brushed it off. Maybe it was the wine-americano-wine combo. I was tired and the caffeine sounded good. Maybe it was being outside in the warmer weather for a few hours. Maybe it was all of the above. It probably was all of the above, who am I kidding? Regardless, I was like “whatever, I’ve played through some dizziness/light-headedness before. No big deal.”

I got my guitar out and started to tune up (or check the tuning as my trusty Martin D-15 rarely goes out of tune). My vision was suddenly not what it should be. It wasn’t blurry but I could tell it wasn’t right. Was I nervous? That would be weird. Why would I be nervous? I’d already played earlier and did well. I was singing with Brianne and everything was sounding great. It was a cool spot and the sound was good, so why did I suddenly feel an impending doom?

As I walked towards the stage, the dizziness really set in. I was suddenly thinking “one foot in front of the other. Just keep going.” The guitar cord was underneath the mic stand foot, but I couldn’t get myself to bend over and get it loose. I wanted to make a joke about the song, but didn’t for some reason. I started playing and I could tell the tempo wasn’t right. I couldn’t keep it steady. I started to sing but I felt tone-deaf. I didn’t know where I needed to be and I couldn’t fix it anyways. My right ear felt like someone jammed in an ear plug and pushed it way too far in. Just get through it. I wished I was not singing with someone else at that moment because there are tricks you can do when your pitch isn’t quite right but I’d have to change up how I sang the song and there’s no way Brianne would be able to follow along if I started switching things up on the fly. Just get through it. I considered just stopping and walking off. But no, just get through it. I got to a break in the song where a guitar solo would normally be and tried to play it up to the crowd a bit but I felt like was gonna fall over. I could barely make eye contact with Brianne. Just get through it. Finally, the big ending to the song. I think I hit a couple of the big finishing notes sorta OK enough to make people forget how terrible the rest may have been. Maybe, maybe not, but at least it was over. I nearly fell down the stage steps while walking off. I could get my guitar into its case for some reason. It took about a minute or two to just set it in there and latch it closed. By now, I knew what was happening and what was coming.

I didn’t want to be a dick and just walk out as there was another singer up there for a couple tunes. I sat and tried to not look like I was gonna pass out at any moment (though I wish that was an option vs. the 3 or 4 hours of vertigo). As soon as they wrapped up, I thanked everyone and made a quick exit. I got home, got a glass of water and immediately felt nauseous. I had to turn off the ceiling fan as the whole ceiling was already spinning enough for me. Over the next hour it got worse and worse. I couldn’t move or it somehow got even worse. Then, after probably an hour or two (who knows?) the paralysis set in. I couldn’t move. I was thinking “this is easy, just move your fingers” but I couldn’t. My brain had shut everything down. It was overwhelmed and gave up. OK, this has happened before, I thought to myself. But, that quickly gave way to panic. What if it doesn’t come back this time? It didn’t last this long last time, did it? I can’t deal with this AND vertigo right now, can’t one of you fuck off for a bit?

As you can tell by my having typed this out, my muscles slowly came around. Funnily enough, and this has never been the case before, but it was actually my asshole that saved me this time. I felt nauseous and though I might shit myself and when a fart (or poop, I don’t know) was about to come out I was able to clench my asshole. I did it again to make sure it was under my control. It was. Since I could do that, could I wiggle my fingers? I could! Suddenly, it all came back to me. Thank fucking god! And since that had dominated my brain for the past half hour, my vertigo was on the decline. I still couldn’t sit up or move that much but I didn’t feel like I was gonna die at any moment anymore. Another hour later and I could sit up and drink some water. I was massively dehydrated by this time. And exhausted. So exhausted. But I still couldn’t close my eyes for more than a minute without getting super dizzy again.

Another 30-60 minutes (again, who knows at this point..) and I was able to stand up. I was able to go get some more water and walk back without running into things. It felt great. I slept until 1pm the next day. Still a little foggy and not feeling 100% until about 8 or 9pm that next night.

Sounds fun, right? Well, hopefully this means I’m good for the next six months or so (knocks on wood) but we’ll see. Isn’t it awesome when my Meniere’s and my Asperger’s work together to fuck with me royally?

So, anyways, if you see me playing a show and it sounds like I’ve forgotten how to sing and I look like I can barely stand up, I’m not just wasted beyond belief. I wouldn’t waste my or the audiences time with that nonsense. It turns out, I could be struggling horribly. So, be kind, accepting and buy lots of merch to cheer me up…

(dictated but not read)

allergies and hearing problems... aka... Meniere's is a bitch...

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. It’s been a rough go the last couple months, as evidenced by my previous post, and this week was no different. But, it did, at least, give me something new to focus on: my newfound allergies.

Around Tuesday or Wednesday last week, I was finishing up writing a song (about being depressed and drinking too much with girls; so, new topic… ha…) and trying to record a quick demo on my phone when my voice started to go out. I didn’t notice it at first but some of the quiet parts didn’t come out right and my voice was raspier than normal, which is pretty damn raspy. I thought maybe I had overdone it on the rehearsing/writing that night but, alas, that was not the case. I thought perhaps it was the “burger flight” I had earlier (real thing by the way. 3 sliders in your choice of flavors at a place called Chow in Eugene, OR), maybe too much salt and cheese (Lactaids are a godsend). That shit will get you phlegm-y right quick. But, alas, that was not the case. Maybe it was the lack of water and the lack of a lack of bourbon, Wild Turkey 101 at that. But, alas, that was not it either. Fuck…

No, it was my new friend allergies. I never had a single allergy (outside of a shellfish allergy which isn’t really an allergy, but more of an “eat it and shit your pants” kind of deal) until last year. I became lactose-intolerant, allergic to severe dust and pollen, and allergic to whiny, passive-aggressive, Portland hipster fucks. OK, that last one is made up…

And, of course, my allergies got so severe it made me sick. Not quite as bad as last year when I also fully developed my gestating Meniere’s disease, thank god. That was a two month nightmare followed by another six months of waiting for another nightmare, which would happen sporadically and without warning. Fun. Fuck, that band sucks, sorry. But it actually was grammatically correct there. Fuck Fun.(.) (Am I supposed to add another period since technically one period is just in their name? How does that work? Fuck them for making me think this shit.

For those of you who have never heard of, much less dealt with Meniere’s, you are lucky fucks. I’m sure everyone’s experience is slightly different but for me it usually started with a slightly clogged ear. It just annoyed the fuck out of you, but was more or less harmless. But over a few days, it gets worse. Suddenly, you can barely hear out of your (right, for me) ear. It’s very disorienting to not hear out of one side of your head. (It’s more disorienting to not hear out of both sides of your head, like if you had a severe double ear infection and both ear drums popped. True story, but not for today.) It fucks with your balance, vision and sense of well-being. Slowly, that clogged ear builds pressure. Sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, one time for almost two weeks. Then, suddenly, it’s gone. All the relief in the world as your hearing returns and your balance is starting to realign… when… never mind. Vertigo. Sometimes you just need to sit down for an hour or two, sometimes a day or two. Once they gave me sea-sick patches which temporarily took away my near-sightedness, which for someone who is near-sighted, is quite debilitating. I couldn’t see anything within one foot of my face. That was fun. That’s the other fun thing about this all. There is no medication to ease your pain. Nothing they can do to help you prevent these attacks. Low salt diet, less alcohol and caffeine. That’s what I got. They offered blood-pressure medication but since I have normal blood-pressure now, it made it drastically low which made me nauseous and dizzy, which I already was. But, sometimes, the vertigo got so bad all I could do was lay on the floor and try not to throw up as the room would spin wildly all around me. It’s like being really drunk but without all the fun before. The only thing that helped at all was some 1/2 CBD, 1/2 THC oil. It centered my body enough to relax a bit. It calmed my stomach so I could actually eat something and keep it down. It was a life-saver on more than one occasion. I shit on Oregon a lot, but this was one time it actually helped me.

Oh, and sidenote on medication: it doesn’t work the same for people with Asperger’s as it works for non-Asperger’s people. That’s right. So even any medication is a crapshoot. Half the time it doesn’t do anything for me other than make me sick, so that’s fun. Imagine being prescribed anti-nausea medication only to find out it actually makes you more nauseous. I’ve tried being open with doctors about having Asperger’s and how medications don’t react normally for me and they always say it doesn’t matter and for some reason I usually believe them. Usually because for me to actually go to a doctor, I have to be close to death or on my way. I stayed at home and slept it off when my intestines started to bleed out the last time. I don’t need morphine and two (very expensive) nights in a hospital. I can handle pain if it saves me money when there’s nothing they can do anyhow. But, I’ve officially sworn off doctors. Not once have they ever told me something I didn’t already know but they usually pick the wrong thing, then just prescribe pills that make me sick. So, then my ailment remains and I also feel sick from their stupid fucking pills. Thanks Doc!

But anyways, I guess what I’m saying is that even though I feel like shit, it could be much worse. I’m not out of the woods yet, so maybe it will get worse (who knows?), but I’m gonna take solace in the fact (and knock on wood) that it could be worse. Look, I’ve even forgotten, temporarily, as it were, how fucking depressed I was last week (see previous post). Not that that ever leaves me, but it was good to not have to think about anything other than trying to breathe without coughing, trying sleep without coughing and waking myself up and trying to not interact with a single human being since I lost my voice anyhow. Not interacting turned out to be the hardest one for some reason. Seems like people always know when you feel like shit and that’s when they need you for something…

But, looking back on the Meniere’s (which I still have but - knocks on wood - doesn’t affect me but maybe once in the past year), I think the scariest thing was not knowing whether I could play music again. For a while, it seemed like I would never have normal hearing again. But, I finally put together all those times over the years when suddenly I couldn’t find a note, hear myself and felt like I would fall over and pass out at any minute. I always assumed that was too much drink, too much drugs, too much exhaustion (which it may have been time to time) but it was likely the Meniere’s just poking it’s head out and testing the waters. But, when it was bad, it was bad. I honestly doubted I could ever play again. And I’ve played shows with the flu, bleeding intestines, a broken thumb, a broken foot, a fractured ankle and a broken nose. I’ve played shows high, drunk and everywhere in between. But with vertigo and severe hearing loss? I did it, but I always remembered those shows. They were fucking awful. Awful for me, not very good for the audience (although I’m told only one time was it noticeable to the crowd) and must have been weird as fuck for the band. They probably just assumed I had partied too hard before the show. Crazy thing is, those were usually the shows I was straight up til the show, probably because I didn’t feel good and sensed the impending doom. I remember throwing up in the green room bathroom (never a good place to even shit in, let alone bury your face in) after a show and blaming it on the Korean barbecue.

But, all that started up with some allergies last year (and a couple car accidents. Not my fault, rear-ended at a red light both times, swear to fucking god). Well, I guess it didn’t start there, but that’s when it went from once or twice a year issue to once or twice a week I feel OK issue. So, fuck allergies, but fuck Meniere’s twice…

(dictated but not read)

Taxes, Music Videos and Albums... aka the highs and lows of music

Now that it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year, tax time, I’ve been reflecting on what I spent my money on to further my music career in 2018. 2018 was a strange year. So was 2017… But that’s another story. 2018 was the year I made not one but two MUSIC VIDEOS, which is by far my best memory of 2018. If I could make a music video for every song I write, I would. But alas, they’re also quite expensive (even with our director taking on the duties, ha!, I said “doody,” of production, casting, editing, and lighting supervisor/camera work on “Luckey.” Kevin Pietila is an amazing man) and require an immense amount of pre-production, scheduling and luck (who thought it would rain in July?). I’m not sure I’m the best actor (though, I did do a pretty good zombie, I must say…) but I know I had a blast throughout both shoots. It’s been the most fun I think I’ve had making something in years…

Albums are stressful. They’re not fun to make (at least in my experience) as they are so personal, require so much energy, thought, time (in rehearsals leading up to, actual recording time, mixing, stressing about the mixes until your ears fall off and you’ve picked apart everything only to realize you should trust your mixing engineer more since he’s good at this and I have Meniere’s Disease and don’t always hear things accurately, stressing about which songs to put on vs. leave off, stressing about the order of the tracklist, the album art, the weight of the vinyl for pressing and pretty much everything else…) and, again, money. No album has truly sounded 100% like I had hoped going in. Though I believe that to be an unachievable goal. Each one has “felt” the way I intended but nothing can ever be perfect, even when the goal is imperfection like on “In My Youth, I’m Getting Old…”

I’m doing something no musician should ever do. It’s bound to drive you insane, which has started I confess. It’s a bonafide way to make you hate yourself, question everything you do and take way too long… But, I’m writing, recording, producing, mixing and art directing my next couple albums. I want to control everything start to finish (except mastering because I’d be wasting my time and energy since Ed Brooks can make my music sound eons, I know, a measure of time, not quality, but still, eons better than I could ever even dream of) and finally make something exactly how I want to. I’ve started and stopped recording the songs three times now, each time restarting with some new songs and new sounds. I think I finally have the group of songs and the sounds where I want them and am ready to do it for a fourth and final time. It’ll be a record for those who suffer from depression, loneliness, have Asperger’s or some combination of those three. No, you don’t have to experience those things (and I hope you don’t, except Asperger’s as there are some pretty great upsides since I’m not too far out on the spectrum) to understand and love the record. There are beautiful songs, stories and soundscapes to take in as well. There are also ugly songs, stories and soundscapes to absorb. It’s the first of three self-recorded/produced/mixed albums I have planned, including a project I’ve wanted to do since I was 18, which by the demos has been described as fun-but-depressing-folk-space-pop…

Anyhow, I’m in Phoenix enjoying some time with amazing friends so why the fuck am I still blathering on??

(dictated but not read)

Video Blog #2... aka Haha! Like Poop! Anyways, it's about Meniere's Disease and Asperger's... Big surprise...

Holy shit, Batman!  I actually came through on my promise to make videos more of a priority and make them on schedule.  Phew, thought I lied to your asses once again, but nope, I did it y'all!  I really am as awesome as I think I am.  OK, maybe enough self-congratulating for now.  Well, one more, look how handsome I am.  And for the record, although it appears my shirt says "Leto," I assure you I am neither a Jared Leto nor Thirty Seconds to Mars fan.  My shirt, in fact, says "Titletown," in reference to Green Bay, WI and my beloved Green Bay Packers' 13 (and counting...) World Championships.  I left in just a hint of green for y'all as a hint (but, shit I just spoiled it anyways...).

 

Watch the damn video either by CLICKING HERE or just look below these very words.

 

I highly encourage you to comment, ask questions (this is my "Ask an Asperger's" segment, like Dave Chappelle's famous "Ask a Black Dude" with Paul Mooney) as I promise I won't get offended by any questions and love to help people understand (and humanize) Asperger's and other mental health disorders like depression, addiction, insomnia, etc. which I, unfortunately, know too much about.  Let me help you ask the hard questions, and if you suffer from any of these things, know that you are not alone and it's not something to be ashamed of.  There are many like you and knowing and feeling that is what helped me to be more open about it; that, and my Asperger's...

 

Fucking music videos and being sick aka... fuck my (awesome) life...

Being sick sucks.  Like really fucking sucks.  I just might be the biggest baby when it comes to being sick.  I was sick before the music video shoot, kind of during (though adrenaline and the need to get it done are great masking agents; just like the double doses/four pills of NyQuil, a shot of bourbon and way too much coffee) and, of course, again after.  Staying up all night for two nights then waking up early (read:  six hours of sleep in three days) for the next day are not a plan for good health.  But, it is a plan for making a fun as hell music video.  The concept and script were fun as shit.  I felt bad as the director, DP (director of photography, also known as the camera operator, lighting director and eyes of the film) and second AC (second assistant camera), as well as the lighting and setup crew had to work their fucking asses off as I got to relish being an actor.

 

This video definitely allowed me to display my acting skills much more than the last one, by nature of the theme and script.  I fucking loved it.  I also happen to be really fucking awesome (read:  not bad) at it.  I am sad that we are almost done with the video (we have one more short night of shooting) but enjoyed every minute of it so far.  I wish I could tell you more but I don't want to spoil it and the surprises along the way.  Needless to say, it'll be great and you'll love it.

 

What you won't love is the Meniere's attack I had right before the filming, which went away during shooting (thank God!) and the fact that it's 8pm and I can barely keep my eyes open as the lack of sleep and illness is taking over.  Plus, somehow a wart on my face may (or may not) be getting infected as a barely visible mark is now swollen and painful...  Jesus, it's been a week.  Plus, I'm headed to Arizona to enjoy some of that 115 degree heat...  Not...  Well, I am going to Arizona, but no, I won't be enjoying the heat...

 

If I had more energy I would make one of those videos I promised on YouTube that I still haven't delivered on where I would rant about Kanye being the second most important artist of my lifetime or why I feel like all cats have autism...  Maybe next week.  This week, I'm glad I'm still alive and I'm going to go finish watching the new season of Kimmy Schmidt...  Fuck it...

 

But, here's a still of me and a beautiful girl in a car way too nice for the both of us from the (first) "Lookin' at Luckey" video which will be out in the next month (notice my doofy singing face. Singing is never graceful on stills...):

 

 

I know, that has nothing to do with the new video but you'll see this one sooner bitches...

Video blog, silly shit videos and music on Youtube... aka Bradley is officially multimedia muthafucker!

Hey Internet.  Bradley is going to start making videos!  And by "Bradley" I mean me.  Not sure why I said it that way.  Fucking weirdo.  Or am I?  Yes, I am, sometimes.  Anyhow, you can check out my very first post, the Introduction if you will, right the fuck HERE:

 

 

I will still be posting here on this blog as some topics lend themselves to the benevolence of the written word.  The videos on Youtube will be a mix of video blogs (or "vlogs" for those short on time, because who the fuck has time to goddamn say "video blog" when you can just say "vlog" and move on with your life?  Right?  Who's with me?  Now, I've taken up way more time to explain, henceforth ruining the advantage of the shortened "vlog."  Drat!), stupid/silly videos that have little to do with anything other than that I find them amusing, some absurd spoken word poetry (trust me, these will be hilarious; at least to me), some music playing/storytelling, and a lot of me ranting and raving about things that maybe wouldn't be the best written out and that really give you the full "Bradley Wik Experience," which may be the name of my next Rock N' Roll project...

 

So Subscribe (there is a big red button on the right that says "Subscribe" for those uninformed about the internet.  I had to figure it out myself just recently) to the BRADLEY WIK YOUTUBE CHANNEL to stay abreast (ha!) of my doings apart from what you see on here.

 

Anyways, that's all I have for now.  New videos/blogs coming soon!

Vodka or video games... aka what the hell are you talking about?

Is there any video game better than Metal Gear Solid?  The answer is "yes."  It is called Metal Gear Solid 4 and Metal Gear Solid 5.  But, that's not what we are here to talk about.  Or, is it?  I'm not sure...  Wait, this is my fucking show and I can write about whatever the hell I feel like.  Like, for instance, that my favorite vodka is Belvedere (fucking pay me!  I'll drink and talk about your shit all day).  It's so tasty, in a martini or my favorite, by itself.  Sometimes, I even break my own rule (the only thing you mix/add to booze is MORE BOOZE) and drink it with some delicious La Croix pamplemousse.  I know, I know.  Apparently, hipster girls love La Croix.  Well, shit, I've loved fizzy water (yes, that's what it's called) for the past 15 years, which goes back to the beginning of hipsters, so fuck that.  Y'all can duck a sick...  Wait, what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, nothing...

 

But, as I watch MELON THE FELON PLAY MARIO 3, I realize that I didn't come here to talk about my favorite video games (Metal Gear Solid 4, Metal Gear Solid 5, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 3, Metal Gear Solid 2, Mario 3, in that order), but to talk about... well... OK, shit.  I don't have much to talk about as my Meniere's has been playing nice this week and I didn't have any Asperger's breakdowns.  Life's been good.  My back did go out and caused me to be unable to move for two hours, but that is doing OK these days.  But, fuck, I was in fucking agony.  It was an hour before I could even physically move an inch.  I laid on the living room floor (which needed a vacuuming for sure!) face down trying not to pass out from the pain.  I was hard of breath of few times because of it.  I tried to take some ibuprofen but hurt so bad I couldn't move my head enough to drink a gulp of water or throw back the ibuprofen.  Luckily, it only lasted like 4 hours, then I medicated and felt a lot better.  Like, could move around enough to go to bed.  Then, I woke up and decided that I was going to be better and did.  Or, it was a weird spasm thing and went away (well, I still feel it today but was able to do "normal people shit" like work, call people, eat food, walk around, poop, read the newspaper, drink wine, write a blog, play guitar, be sad, eat some cheese, with a Lactaid, of course, hire your PR company to promote your videos/tour, do some mixing on your solo record, mentally take stock of your vinyl and determine your next targets; you know, "normal people shit") once I drank a fuckload of water, took a fuckload of turmeric (anti-inflammatory) and slept a fuckload.  Either way...

 

My lucks gone down ever since I started playing basketball again a couple months ago when I got my HARDEN 2S.  Maybe a short (5'8" on a good day), half-white guy who can't jump (thanks Injun blood) isn't meant to blow up the court but still, it shouldn't ruin my body and ear.  Just a coincidence that I buy the shoes of a guy I'm not a fan of (he's fantastic as a player but I hate the Rockets offense) and suddenly my health goes to pot.  Or, I'm thinking of this way too much.

 

Speaking of too much, have been questioning my Asperger's a lot lately.  I know that I know things, but for some reason, I don't trust myself.  Not sure what happened but all of the sudden I can't make decisions and shit like I normally do.  It's fucked up for someone who is always sure of everything all the time always (30 ROCK, ANYONE?).  But, it could be the mercury retrograde hippie bullshit.  Or, I could just be adjusting to getting out of this nearly 3 month long Meniere's issue (clogged ear, intermittent dizziness/vertigo, increased tinnitus, vision problems, etc.) which is getting better due to my chiropractic visits and lame diet (low sodium, low sugar, low alcohol, low caffeine, small meals, no packaged/processed foods), at least that's what I believe.  And, that's really all the matters, right?

 

Metal-Gear-Solid-4.jpg

 

(dictated but not read)

Good times... Not now, but here's some shit from back in the day

So, coffee was a bad decision.  Was coincidental that it helped for a few days.  Not a long-term strategy.  Turns out I needed to return to my more "natural strategies."  Anyways, I went to a chiropractor who worked on my "cranial imbalance," whatever that means.  But, it did help significantly with my ear.  Not sure how, but she definitely knows her shit.  I'm compressed in areas she says aren't good and that can be improved.  God, I wish I understood this better and felt confident that I wasn't getting ripped off but I do feel better, so I have that going for me, which is nice...

 

Seeing as I still don't feel great (going on 3 months of this shit, but even I'm sick of hearing/reading myself talk about this bullshit Meniere's shit), I'm going to repost an old blog from back in the day...  Enjoy as I'm struggling quite a bit.  I'm pissed off and my Asperger's is not fucking making this easier.  All I want to do is figure this out and fix it, but I can't do a goddamn thing...  It's infuriating.

 

Outside of Meniere's and Asperger's, I recently did my taxes for last year and that made me sadface.  Wish that I knew how to make more money at this shit than I currently do, but such is the life of an independent musician.  I pay rent and have money for food, so I shouldn't complain too much, but I still do.  Fuck it, I get to hate myself if I want to, that's my right.  There's nothing more depressing than quantifying your artistic pursuits while presenting it to the government so they can give you some back because you don't make what they deem enough for someone of your stature.  Sadface again...

 

Anyways, here you go, Bradley from back in the day (aka a few years ago):

 

This Old House and various other amusing things…

 

            So, I was initially going to try and make a slightly less angry and much more thoughtful blog, but that got sidetracked right off the bat.  This morning, right as I was ready to leave for band rehearsal, I had to poop.  Normally, I would squeeze it in and just head out but it felt like one of those “eight thirty in the morning,” “quick and light” shits.  It was not.  I hate being blindsided by my own bodily functions.  It threw my whole morning off kilter.  Now, I was fifteen minutes behind schedule, had to carry my guitar eight blocks in the rain to my car, which some drunken asshole, presumably a fucking Timbers fan, had decided to kick multiple times and put several dents in my drivers side door for which I now have to call the fucking cops about(there was a police officers business card on my window, I don’t know); and, worst of all, I still had not had a cup of coffee.  I currently have a pretty nice headache from my lack of caffeine intake this morning but that’s my problem I guess.  And so is the pooping and the door dents.  Well, not really the dents unless you count living in sort of shitty neighborhood my fault.  But anyway, there goes the less angry and more thoughtful.  I now want to punch a person that I have never met, in the back of the head, Homer-style, for kicking my fucking car and have already mentioned bowel movements.  Hot dog, we’re off and running…  But, on a more positive note, I just found out that the entire series of “Duckman”is on YouTube.  So, peaks and valleys.  Some people go out and have fun with other human beings on a Saturday night.  Others have no money, hate everybody anyways,  sit at home and watch “Duckman.”  I, sadly, and to my girlfriends dismay, fall into the latter category…

 

            What I wanted to talk about, before the unexpectedly large shit and the door dents, was memories.  Specifically, their subjective nature and the romance that we, as imperfect humans, project onto them.  So, where might a thought like that come from?  Well, if you’ll be patient, I’ll tell you.  Last night, I was getting drunk and playing guitar(one of my favorite hobbies) and started playing some songs I haven’t played in a while.  Songs that I had written that never really made the cut or songs that the band hasn’t played in a while; which is most of them.  BWC(Bradley Wik and the Charlatans, for the uninformed) has been busy getting ready to record our second full-length album, tweaking and obsessing over the same twelve or so songs for the past two or three months.  It’s fun…  If you could see my face, it would reveal the necessary Seinfeld-like look intended and widely used for indicating sarcasm.  But, in all seriousness, it isn’t all terrible.  It is kind of fun to see how far you can push a song before it sounds stupid and you throw out all the changes that you just spent six hours pursuing and implementing.  Its all part of the process for people like us.  That is to say, people too neurotic and anal to just leave it alone without first proving that any other way is just terrible(see:  Billy Joel’s alternate, “Reggae” version of “Only the Good Die Young.”  Just thinking about it gives me the shivers).  Basically, that’s been our band rehearsals for a while now.  And, because of that, we haven’t played hardly any of the old songs in a long time.  So, I dusted some of them off last night and played “This Old House” for the first time in months.  I forgot how good of a song it was.  Man, I’m so fucking talented.  So wise and full of insight as well.  I was so taken aback with myself that when I finished, I paused for a moment of reflection.  You want to know the first thought that popped into my head?  Probably not, but I’ll tell you.  I immediately thought of that episode of Wings, also entitled “This Old House,” where Brian and Joe find out that the house they grew up in is about to be demolished.   They go through the myriad of emotions that a lot of us do when confronting a large block of memories all at once.  It’s a really good episode.  Brian and Joe’s first reaction is to be angry that the house is being torn down, regardless of the fact that the soil around it is eroding and soon the house will plunge into the ocean.  Their next thoughts are of all the good times and happy memories they shared there.  They, along with Helen, their childhood friend, decide to take a cooler of beer and head to the house to reminisce and pay their final respects.  After a few beers and some good memories, the boys head upstairs to their childhood room.  Within a few minutes of talking about how much they love and miss the old place, they quickly realize that they also had a lot of terrible memories at the house as well.  From trying to sleep through parental arguments to the eventual divorce of their mom and dad and so on and so forth, they slowly see that they also hate this place.  They then decide to start the demolition of the old house on their own.  The cathartic smashing of the house allows them to keep only the memories they want to and let the rest fall into the sea with the decrepit, abandoned house.  But the joke is on the Hacketts because Fay, unbeknownst to Brian and Joe, and clearly for our amusement as the watcher, has convinced the historical society that the house be preserved as a landmark, forcing them to deal with their anger towards it and all the bad memories it encompasses.  That’s a lot of bang for your buck in a scant twenty or so minutes of network television. 

 

On a personal note, it was not even one year ago, so it’s still quite fresh in my mind, that the bank repossessed the house that I grew up in from my mom.  I have to say, I went through the same series of emotions as the Hacketts.  The anger, the fond reminiscing and eventually wanting to destroy the house with my  own hands.  Unfortunately, I did not get the pleasure of smashing the house to bits nor do I have the satisfaction of knowing that it will soon fall into the sea.   The hardest part of going back to the house was knowing that it would be the last time that I would.  It’s nice to be able to keep those chapters of your life open because sometimes you need the comfort of nostalgia and the remembrance of simpler times.  I lost that.  And I miss it.  I really do.  And, since the house still stands, whenever I go back to visit Wisconsin I see it; and I still remember all the bad stuff.  When I was going through all the old shit that I had left there, I found a bunch of old notebooks wherein I had written terrible song after terrible song, from when I was still trying to figure out how to write a song that wasn’t a total piece of shit.  Needless to say, almost every song was a complete failure on that end.  There are only a few songs that I wrote in High School that aren’t completely unlistenable.  But, as I flipped through the pages, I noticed how much sixteen to eighteen year old Bradley hated living in the tiny, redneck town he grew up in.  The anger, the depression and so on was hard to read.  I wanted it all to disappear.  I wanted to remember it differently.  I might’ve thrown out all those old notebooks, but the house is still there as a reminder of it all.  Slowly, as an adult, I have begun to accept and appreciate the childhood that I had.  After all, a lot of kids aren’t allowed to spend entire days going wherever they want, doing whatever they want with no adult supervision.  We left the house in the morning and didn’t come home until supper and then went back out til the streetlights came on.  Not too many of the people I know now were afforded the same luxury as kids.  The places they grew up didn’t allow for that.  So I got that going for me, which is nice.  Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to reconcile the bad with the good and realize I quite enjoyed my childhood.  Or, at the very least, call it a wash.  I don’t know, however, if I’ll ever be okay with my teenage years.  But, then again, who is…  Also, since we’re on the topic of going back to the shitty towns we grew up in, I recently re-watched “Young Adult” and somehow, as if by magic, I have some pertinent thoughts on that as well.  God, it’s weird how this shit comes together…  I must be a fucking genius or something…  On a side note, I’ve realized there are actually three types of people in the world:  those who go out and have fun with other human beings on a Saturday night, those who have no money, hate everybody anyways,  sit at home and watch “Duckman,” AND those who have no money, hate everybody anyways, sit at home and learn how to play “All for Leyna” between episodes of “Duckman.”  I, sadly, and to my girlfriends dismay, fall into the latter of the latter categories…  The last one…  If you couldn’t tell, I’m going through a bit of a Billy Joel phase…  Anyways, Young Adult…

 

This is a very strange subject for me.  There are a lot of conflicting emotions and thought processes happening all at once.  Most of the time, I’m not quite sure how to feel about it.  There’s a lot going on.  But let’s see if we can sort it out.  First off, there’s my fairly intense hatred of Diablo Cody.  I watched Juno for the sole purpose of being able to make fun of it and the people who like it.  People always like to throw it back in your face if you haven’t actually seen the movie.  I always hear “How can you hate it if you haven’t even seen it?”  Which, is dumb.  I know what I like and what I hate by now.  I’ve refined my Tick-like abilities to sense this shit as it happens.  Also, I wonder why whenever I think of an annoying person they always have a Long Island accent.  “When is Jerry going to see the baby…”  Anyways, with Juno sucking so much, I was unsure of how to proceed with Young Adult.  I liked the blurb on Netflix.  It sounded like a movie I would probably watch.  It was depressing enough.  It was set in the Midwest.  The character was going back to the shit town she grew up in.  And, best of all, it had Charlize Theron in it.  BUT, it was written by Diablo Cody.  So, that was all kind of a wash.  Then, I saw Patton Oswalt was in it and that intrigued me.  Now, I’ve never watched him do his standup, but I have seen him in a number of things that I like and he was always funny.  I’m talking about Reno 911 as the weird, nerdy guy, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee as the weird, nerdy guy, King of Queens as the weird, nerdy guy…  So, what the hell.  At the very least, if it sucks, and I mean sucks my dead grandfather’s hairy, German nutsack, it’ll at least add to my arsenal of Diablo Cody-themed hatred…

 

 

But, it really wasn’t that bad.  In fact, I might even venture to say it’s pretty good.  Not great, mind you; let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  It made fun of the fake superiority people gain when they leave a small town for a big city.  It poked fun at the notion that those people still living there would have to be miserable while everyone who got out is so much happier; which is also not true.  Most people who leave places for other places seeking happiness are doomed to fail.  Happiness is not a place, nor can it be found in one.  Now, to be sure, this rule does not apply to people who are being discriminated against, in shitty towns across this great country.  Like where I’m from, that would be a gay person or anyone whose skin is not white.  In that case, leaving is definitely the right move and they will certainly be happier almost anywhere else.  But the happiness that most people crave, when they leave a place in search of it, is usually a happiness that they have denied themselves.  I’ve found this out the hard way.  I’ve put my theoretical “happiness” in a “lock box” where the only way in is the loosely-defined “musical success.”  It’s tortured me for years.  I’m slowly, again, as I get older, beginning to reconcile this with my actual life and what’s happening to me.  Believe it or not, I’ve actually become less bitter and angry over the years.  My girlfriend has a lot to do with that.  I’ve found a lot of lost happiness in her and the way she makes me feel about me.  It’s nice.  Hopefully, someday, that will be all happiness that I need…  Whew, and all this from a Diablo Cody-penned flick.  Who would have thought?  But the major takeaway from the film was that hardly any truly shitty people get what’s coming to them.  Even after Charlize Theron’s character was terrible to everyone that she came in contact with and was beaten down and hating herself, as she should, Charlize’s character still gets an esteem boost from Patton’s character’s sister.  Patton’s character’s sister tells Charlize’s character that she is a good person and that they sort of idolize her back in the shit town; and Charlize’s character gets to not hate herself as much as she should.  Which is, oftentimes, the way things work out in real life.  It’s bullshit and I should really pay more attention to character names in movies…  Also, I really want to punch the asshole who kicked my car in the back of the head.  I’m kind of obsessed with that.  Oh, right, I’m less angry and shit.  This is my “less angry” and “more thoughtful” blog. 

wings cast.jpg

Kidneys or coffee... aka that is the question

Well, I think my two car accidents may have exacerbated this stupid fucking Meniere's.  They (and by they I mean "doctors") would like for me to take water pills for the rest of my life.  They say the diuretics will help stabilize and remove fluids from my body, including my ear.  Well, brilliant.  But guess what was the number one thing I gave up after the car accidents?  I'll tell you because otherwise you may never know as you don't live inside my fucking head, thank God, for you.  It's coffee.  After the accidents, and during the concussions, I gave up coffee.  Caffeine really messed with me and gave me (what I now know as) light vertigo and nausea.  So, I figured, why not just continue to not drink any caffeine or coffee, despite my previous love for it; up to five or six cups per day.  Guess what caffeine/coffee is?  A natural diuretic.  Holy shit!  What if instead of taking fucking water pills that may or may not damage my kidneys long term, I could just start drinking coffee, which I love, again?  Are you fucking kidding me?  But, it sounds good in theory, but would it work?

 

I'll tell you what, early signs are great.  I could barely sleep last night because my ear was so plugged up that the ringing in my ears was like a goddamn alarm clock all night.  I woke up and it was worse than it had been for days.  I could barely stand up without feeling woozy.  Then, I had a cup of coffee.  Then, another.  Soon, I was back on the phone/email doing some work.  I barely noticed it at first but suddenly I had to catch myself.  I felt 75% better.  I could still notice some "plugged-ness" in my ear but my balance was once again perfect.  I could drive no problem.  I could talk to people and not feel like I was going to fall down or throw up.  It was amazing.  I know, it's not a perfect solution as caffeine can aggravate my Meniere's but, guess what?  WHO GIVES A FUCK!  I don't want to ruin my kidneys to help with my ear.  The hearing and dizziness is a pain in the ass but without kidneys, it's lights out.  Plus, they said the average person has Meniere's for 10 years, but that's because muthafuckers usually die as Meniere's mainly affects old people.  I'm not signing up for 30 years of pills assholes.  I'm just fucking not.  I have a more natural way to help with the dizzies and I think I may have found a natural reason I was keeping this shit at bay for so many years.  So, praise be to Maxwell's House!  CHECK THIS SONG OUT IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD IT (of course, if I don't tell you what it is, then how the hell would you know if you've already heard it?  Well, I'll give you a hint:  it's an old blues song by one of my favorite finger-pickers.  OK, that may not be a good enough hint.  Just click the fucking link you would've already seen what it is versus reading all my nonsense and trying to figure it out from vague-ass clues.  It's almost pointless unless you know me, rough.  Seriously, why are you still reading?  I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore...)

 

Good luck, and Goodnight.

 

Maxwells house picture.jpg

Who's got Meniere's? aka I've got Meniere's...

Sitting here, watching MelonTheFelon PLAY OLD MARIO GAMES ON TWITCH (follow if you like games like Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, etc.), I can't help but think of... well, nothing; and, that's kind of the point.  Turns out I have Meniere's Disease.  Yay!  Wait, fuck that.  Needless to say, not a fun week.  I spent most of the week in bed or on the couch listening to the news (so soothing as they have the same stories over and over and over, and, as long as you're not watching Fox News or Hardball with Chris Matthews where they fucking yell a lot, it's easy to fall asleep to needless overanalyzing of everything despite the fact that maybe once in a while we could circle back to some stories like, oh, I don't know, how our fellow countrymen and women in Puerto Rico are doing, how are the Florida/Texas recovery efforts going, why it's so simple for people to buy assault rifles, what's going on in the investigation of the Vegas shootings and what's being done to make sure it never happens again, same with Parkland, etc., you get it).  Luckily, I've found some natural remedies for the dizziness, headaches, hearing issues, etc.  Otherwise, I would have been more miserable.  Miserabler?  Sure, that.  I get roughly 30-60 minutes every couple hours to try and get anything done before I fill miserabler again.  Anyways, since I'm still not 100%, or even anywhere remotely fucking close to that, I don't think I'll ramble on too long tonight.  Do have an MRI tomorrow to look forward to...

 

(dictated but not read)

You know doctors can't seem to figure out? Bon Jovi cures all...

So, you know when the doctor asks if you are allergic to any medications?  Well, I finally get to say "You betcha" in my best Tina Fey-impression-of-Sarah-Palin voice.  Not sure I'm excited about this fact but it'll make my (very few) doctors visits more interesting.  I am not a fan of doctors.  More often than not they just recommend to take some pills and go away.  My best example was when I was having repeated extreme acid reflux/ulcers, that were most likely stress and *cough* diet (or lack thereof or something...) related and they told 26 year old me to take a prescription heartburn medication each morning.  I said "For how long?"  They said "Probably everyday."  I again said, "But for how long?"  They said "From now on."  So, for the next 25-50 years I am supposed to just keep taking drugs that I may or may not need?  Needless to say, I was not very kind to them and the whole exchange ended with "Well, do whatever you want," as the doctor walked out the door.  I've never taken a fucking heartburn pill since and never had that issue again...  Turns out I was right the whole fucking time and cutting back on a few things (alcohol, cigarettes, stress, actually eating something beyond turkey sandwiches, tortilla chips and eggs and, some other things) and I've not had an issue since.  I was twice hospitalized with this condition (didn't pay for either trip to the ER's plus the overnight stays.  Tip to the young folks, find a private Catholic hospital as they have funding for poor people that come in and let them know you were raised Catholic and feel more comfortable in a hospital that acknowledges the Lord...  Trust me, it works...) and I figured it out my damn self.  Just like everything else in my life.  Doctors rarely give enough fucks to dig deep and figure this shit out.

 

Which, brings me back to my newfound drug allergy.  I have an inner-ear issue I've probably had since I was in my early twenties.  I've had degenerative hearing loss in my right ear which started out very slight and now is quite noticeable when compared to my left ear.  I used to barely hear a difference and think I was inventing it with my brain but not anymore.  It's also coincided with a rise in tinnitus in that same ear.  Again, I assumed this was due to many years of playing Rock N' Roll with very few years of wearing ear plugs.  Dumb as fuck, I know, but whatever.  It makes a difference to me and I can't sing for dick with ear plugs in.  I know, I'm not fucking Jeff Buckley with them out (or with them in, bada-bing! Sex joke...) but it makes a difference, trust me.  

 

This inner-ear issue was goddamn Fast and Furious style nitro-boosted after getting in two car accidents last year.  Both times I was rear-ended while at a red light and both times dealt with whiplash and a concussion.  Concussions are no joke and turns out if you've had one (or four or five) as a kid, they are way worse as an adult.  The second one lasted basically three fucking months, and, was timed perfectly with the release of my new album "In My Youth, I'm Getting Old..." so I missed the release and was unable to make any music videos/release singles to promote the record.  Not ideal when launching a record but God had other plans, I guess.  After reading some more shit on inner-ear conditions like Meniere's disease, turns out whiplash is a common trigger or can aggravate this condition.  It most certainly has.  I've now seen three doctors for essentially the same issue (clogged ear, balance/vision issues) and one said it was because of an allergy, one said result of a cold and the last one said there's some fluid from an infection that will dry up and I'll be fine, even after I mentioned this is the third time I've dealt with a similar issue in the past year.  She said there's a possibility it's Meniere's but it's highly unlikely since it's a rare condition.  Well, it's probably a rare condition since I've seen a doctor three times for the same thing and they still haven't even really entertained the idea.  They never diagnose it so it's rare.  Just like Autism/Asperger's was until they finally started to figure out how to diagnose it.  And, even now, I've met at least ten to fifteen people who have never been diagnosed who definitely live on the spectrum.

 

Oh yeah, my drug allergy.  It's a bit ironic that the drug that is supposed to help with dizziness, nausea and vertigo fucks with my eyes (lost my near-sightedness, which is scary as fuck since I'm heavily near-sighted, like almost fucking blind unless things are within four inches of my face with my contacts out/glasses off) and stomach (making me slightly nauseous not hungry) and, just for kicks, gave me a rash on the front and back of my torso.  Needless to say, it did not help...  I'm currently looking at natural, legal (at least in the NW) alternatives that are supposed to help.  So far, the information is promising...

 

Sadly, both Asperger's and Meniere's increase anxiety and depression.  So, in other words, not cool bro.  I'm still holding out hope that my ear issues are only temporary, though, based on the past six to twelve months, that is not the case.  But, maybe, it could...

 

Anyways, how about some good news?  Well, here you go:  we live in a world where a band called Bon Jovi made a record called "New Jersey" which has one of the greatest side-As (side-B gets a little hit and miss...) in the history of the world.  I mean, "LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME," "BAD MEDICINE" (fucking Sam Kinison, right?!) AND "BLOOD ON BLOOD" all on one side??  Come the fuck on.  How are we supposed to compete with that?  Now, while I don't compare women to a heroin habit, I'd argue side-A of "In My Youth, I'm Getting Old..." is pretty fucking good too.  "LOOKIN' AT LUCKEY," "LET'S GO OUT TONIGHT" AND "DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY" are pretty rockin' tunes as well.  OK, maybe not Bon Jovi level, but some of us don't do enough cocaine for that kind of shit...

 

New Jersey album cover.jpg

 

Anywhosal, have a great night/day/afternoon, whatever the fuck it is for y'all...

 

(still not 100% from the vertigo/inner-ear issue so, once again, dictated but not read)

Having vertigo whilst driving and Dead Indian Road...

Sitting here, underneath the covers at the Hampton Inn in Kennewick, WA, I'm feeling... fine.  After what was the second most harrowing driving experience in the past, I'm still recovering, though, and I'm not fully sure what is wrong other than it feels like I have another concussion but I don't, for once.  It's definitely inner-ear related the doctor said, but exactly what it is she was unsure.  I have my thoughts and she had hers.  I believe it to be Meniere's Disease that is getting worse.  She seemed to think the fluid behind the ear drum was a one-off, unrelated to my other symptoms as they weren't severe enough, I suppose.  The gradual hearing loss in my right ear, the tinnitus, the fullness of ear that comes and goes and the random hearing/balance losses I've experienced the past five to seven years apparently are unrelated.  I love doctors...But, anyways, I'll have to keep this one short as typing on the computer is certainly not helping.

 

OK. so, the second most harrowing drive this week started innocently enough last night.  I was headed to the Tri-Cities area when I stopped for gas.  I got out of the car to throw away some trash (you cannot, by law, pump your own gas in Oregon.  Which is both convenient and inconvenient depending on your situation) when I suddenly felt a little dizzy/lightheaded.  Thought it could be a blood sugar thing, so I ate a couple pieces of beef jerky, drank some water and was on my way.  A little while later, I started to feel weird.  Suddenly, it was really difficult to concentrate and it fell weird when I moved my head.  I thought I was just extra tired from playing a bunch of basketball this weekend, but wasn't sure what was going on.  I finally got to the hotel, and as soon as I stepped out, I swooned and nearly fell.  I was full on dizzy/lightheaded and started vertigo symptoms.  I quickly got up to my room and proceeded to try and stop the world from spinning for the next four hours, in addition to trying to fall asleep.  I was nauseous and feeling like fucking shit.  I was so glad it didn't get this bad while on the road.  It was not great during the drive but the really bad stuff was saved til I got here, fortunately.  Easily could have swooned behind the wheel and died, which only made it worse as my number one fear is dying behind the wheel as I miss a turn and drive off a cliff.  Which, made my number one most harrowing drive this next one...

 

Worst drive of the past week:  going to Klamath Falls from Medford.  It's a drive I've done before but not in the dead of winter.  I have a four-wheel drive Ford Escape and am pretty good at driving in the snow due to my Wisconsin upbringing, but we never had mountains and cliffs and unguarded corners leading towards hundred foot drop offs.  Not a thing in WI.  It was snowing pretty heavily along this extremely curvy and narrow road, which, by the way, is called "Dead Indian Rd."  No fucking joke, look at this:

 

Dead Indian Rd.PNG

 

So, there I am, driving like 20 mph and trying not to panic on Dead Indian Rd (for those new to this, I am one-half Native American, so...)  as my car slides all over the road and with my brakes are barely worth anything as I drive along.  Coming downhill towards a couple unguarded corner/cliffs was not fun for anyone...  Luckily, halfway across I got behind a plow and just followed him which helped a lot.  Was slow as fuck, but a much easier path for me.  So, yeah, snowy/icy conditions on a narrow road with some unguarded corners while driving over/through the mountains (again, my biggest fear in life is dying by driving off a cliff in an uncontrollable car...) was my least favorite thing to do in the recent past.  But, I survived, only to have a horrific bout of vertigo not many days later.  I wonder if the two are related as stress does make things worse, like my inner ear thing I've been dealing with until yesterday when it sort of cleared up then tried to murder me by giving me a touch of the dizzies whilst driving.  

 

The one thing that is intriguing though, is the fact that I've heard medical marijuana can help with Meniere's disease in addition to Autism.  I could regale you with stories of a girl and I who used to smoke to "feel normal" during some very tough times.  Times when we had no appetite, took too many drugs and became rather reclusive/co-dependent.  The weed made us hungry, social and reduced the massive stress we unnecessarily placed on ourselves to do something great and amazing with our lives.  And, it fucking worked!  So, we promptly stopped smoking and went back to other things and remained miserable during the limited time we spent together after those days of "feeling normal."  But, I won't for now since I'm already starting to feel dizzy again just staring at the computer screen this long... So, bye for now.  Hopefully, I can write more later this week.

 

(dictated but not read)