It’s Gonna Keep on Happening Until You Power Down That Bucket of Neuroses, Inebriation-Style

Tuesday night, Mom and I had our first TNT night out since her accident. The TNT’s, for those that don’t know, are otherwise known as the Dynamite Divas. In my head, I call them the Tuesday Night Supper Club, but it’s basically the Meatsuite mentality…just a couple decades down the line.

Every Tuesday, the TNT’s gather round a dinner table at a different restaurant. There’s laughing and crying and everything in between. I happen to be a member, even though I technically lack a vagina. Don’t mock, I paid my dues (which involved a coconut bra and grass skirt).

Mom did great, walking all the way from the car to the table (using a walker). Everyone was happy to see her out and about. Lots of laughter is a good thing.

At some point, the girls were discussing the obituaries. Half the girls read them daily. I suppose when *I* hit the ripe old age of 36 (the age my mother has claimed to be for decades now), I’ll have to read the obituaries every day, too. Isn’t that what old people are supposed to do? That, and eating dinner at 4:30pm, wearing shades that engulf your entire head, and donning black socks with shorts and sandals.

Seems a morbid thing to me, looking to see who died, but whatever. I’m not here to judge (outside my head, anyway).

The stress levels for me of late are through the roof. I maintain some vestiges of my mania, I think, though it’s getting harder and harder to tell. This Natural Calm shit isn’t making me feel very calm, but I’m still taking it…along with the multivitamins, L-Theanine, and melatonin. And my pharmaceuticals.

There’s this thing I do – a lot of survivors do it, actually – called Trauma Breathing. Essentially, it’s very shallow breathing, interspersed with a lot of breath-holding. I rarely breathe deeply. It’s a physiological manifestation of my PTSD. And from what I understand, it’s not good for me.

Somewhere down the road, and sooner rather than later, I plan to undertake meditation. I may find Meditation for Dummies somewhere cheaper than what I saw at Books A Million over the weekend. As an aside, I think it’s ridiculous that you’re expected to become a BAM “member” by paying $20, just so you can get 10% off all your purchases for a year. That means I need to buy at least $200 worth of books in order to make it worthwhile. And that’s a shitty business practice. Why not just GIVE me 10% off? I can already find everything cheaper online. Again, though, nobody ever consults me on these things.

The Resolution, right. Well, it’s not going well, I admit. But I did post my first work story yesterday, so that’s a good thing. (Please Digg and Stumble it, I’d be most appreciative. The more traffic I get, the better it is for me.)

A while back I started my Bucket List, which looked like this:

KARL’S BUCKET LIST

  • Great Fucking Road Trip
  • Bungee jump
  • Meet Flight of the Conchords and get them on my show
  • Go to Australia
  • Get my own medical marijuana card
  • Fix my smile
  • Write my story in a book. Have at least one book signing.
  • Do the largest dancing in my boxers video ever with dozens of women at least
  • Have some random stranger recognize me on the street in any place other than home
  • Meet Jaime Murray
  • Do a video with @jennyonthespot
  • Karaoke in Tokyo (EDIT: a country song)
  • Fall in love and get married
  • Party in Vegas
  • Get paid to do a talk show on radio

I’m going to keep adding to this and editing as need be. I really liked a post that Adam wrote a while back. He was contemplating all the things he wants to accomplish before he’s 40. Adam and I seem to have a lot going on at the moment in the Change Department.

I’m already past 40, but I think I’m going to create a second list of things I want to accomplish before I’m 50. Some of them may crossover onto my Bucket List, but that’s OK.

Making goals is not something I’m well-versed at. I’m not a future-thinking kinda guy. I can barely think about what I’m having for dinner tonight, let alone goals for the next 7 years. It’s a Survivor thing, I’ve learned. Just focus on getting through THIS MOMENT. Survival IS the goal. But surviving isn’t enough, people. That’s not LIVING, that’s just existing. Maggots do as much.

But still, this is the Year of Resolutions, a time when I’m working hard to make mental shifts. I want to see the positive instead of constantly focusing on the negative. Fuck, I want to be – dare I say it? – happy.

So here are some of the things I’d like to get done before I’m 50.

  1. Do stand-up comedy. My friend, Mic (who I still call Mike, but whatever), is doing this now in L.A. As a teenager, I’d walk to and from school with Mike and Rob and my brother, Chris. We’d make each other laugh constantly. And play Dungeons & Dragons. Mike’s been telling me I should do stand-up for a while now, and I’ve always pooh-pooh’d the idea because I’m laden with anxieties and neuroses. But lately, I’ve been feeling more and more like I want to try this.
  2. Finish and publish a book. Doesn’t have to be my autobiography, but it probably will be. Haven’t touched that damn manuscript in a decade, but I plan on changing that.
  3. Get back to England. I lived there for three years, and loved it, even if that was also the time that led to the end of my marriage. I have friends there still, and now I have NEW friends there, thanks to the InterWebz.
  4. Drive all of Route 66. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Big road trip.
  5. Become my own boss. I love writing, and I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunities to make a living at it. Ultimately, though, I want to answer to myself. Sure, I don’t know shit about business or even budgeting, but I can get there. And I’m hoping to get a business venture launched in the near future, something I’ve been mulling over for a while now. (That’ll come after I relaunch SecondHand Tryptophan, which is happening in the next month.) Ultimately, this is about not being poor any more.
  6. Move out of Sebring. I never intended to stay here this long. I’ve come to appreciate the town, but it’s not enough for me. I want to be somewhere else. Not sure where, exactly, but it needs to be bigger than Sebring. And it’s probably going to be somewhere relatively warm because I’m so not a snow person.

I think those are enough for now. Again, it’s another list in progress.

I’ll bring these lists with me to my Matrix Therapy session this afternoon. The MT was off last week, and I’m in heavy need of some therapizing. I’m also bringing my old IOP journal, the one that lists my med regimen, including the meds that were WORKING. If I don’t find some fucking relief, and soon, I don’t know that I’ll be in any position to get any of the things on my lists accomplished.

In the meantime, who needs a drink?

  1. Drive all of Route 66. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Big road trip.
20 Responses to It’s Gonna Keep on Happening Until You Power Down That Bucket of Neuroses, Inebriation-Style
  1. Tiffany
    February 12, 2010 | 9:48 am

    WHEN (not if!) you drive Rt. 66, which passes through Arizona, let me know and I’ll stand ya that drink! Great list and fantastic goals, Karl!

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @Tiffany, You have a deal.

    Reply

  2. Suebob
    February 12, 2010 | 10:20 am

    You don’t need a bookstore membership. You just need a friend with a bookstore membership. I used my exBFs for four years after we broke up, til he either quit the club or changed phone numbers…

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @Suebob, But then how will I get that smart-looking “free” tote bag?

    Reply

  3. Janer
    February 12, 2010 | 10:21 am

    And remember, Route 66 starts in Chicago so sign me up for a little “kick-off the roadtrip” party.

    Keep up the good work on you, Karl. You’re moving forward.

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @Janer, But of course! Would love to see you.

    Reply

  4. Mindy
    February 12, 2010 | 10:29 am

    You don’t need the Meditation For Dummies book silly. I already offered to teach you and I can even dummy it down for you although I doubt I need to. You’re a pretty smart fellow!

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @Mindy, I know, and I plan to get the info from you. But you know me…books, books, books. They always have the answers. :)

    Reply

  5. shiny
    February 12, 2010 | 11:10 am

    I know it’s not nearly the same thing, but there’s an I-66 which starts in the Shanendoah Valley in Virginia and ends about 80 miles eastward less than a mile from the Washington Monument in the Nation’s Capital. It may be more fuel effective to do that drive instead. :)

    (But not during rush hour…)

    And for the record — doing stand-up is on my list as well.

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @shiny, Heh, well, I do want to get up to Washington D.C. some time soon. Still waiting on the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol.

    Reply

  6. Finn
    February 12, 2010 | 1:18 pm

    Listen to Mindy. Basically you sit in a quiet place and just focus on breathing (deeply) for a few minutes. It takes practice to get your mind to focus for more than 2 seconds at a time (or is that just me?), but I find using a mantra (silently) helps.

    There’s no real trick to it except in the doing. I can’t imagine what about that would fill a book.

    Maybe you can write a book about that.

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @Finn, Focus for more than 2 seconds at a clip? That’s gonna take MAJOR work from me.

    Reply

  7. *lynne*
    February 14, 2010 | 12:04 am

    Heyya Karl,
    Meditation isn’t that hard, really. In essence it’s giving yourself quiet time for a few minutes, regularly, daily… the more you practice it, the calmer/deeper you’ll get. The challenge, as I blogged and you commented on recently, was somehow taking those 5 minutes daily and making them a new routine. My rational mind knows it’s good for me, abut my intertia/depression just keeps me clicking away at Minesweeper rather than turning away from the PC and turning inwards for a few minutes. :p

    I’ll be happy to point you towards a free online meditation resource which is part of the “school of thought” of meditation I subscribe to, if/when you’re wanting to explore further.

    Take care!!
    *lynne*

    Reply

    *lynne* Reply:

    @*lynne*, btw I commented without looking at the previous comments, whic I now realise also say “meditation is simple” lol sorry for the repetition!

    btw Route 66 passes thru Springfield IL, so if you make that road trip while hubs and I are still here, would be great to meet up!

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @*lynne*, Thanks, I’ll gladly take that link. My bud is a big meditation kinda gal, and she’s gonna give me some personal lessons. But I probably could use some guided meditation stuff. And when I hit Route 66, I’ll let you know. Would love to meet.

    Reply

    *lynne* Reply:

    @Secondhand Karl, here’s a link to a 10-part course | http://www.onlinemeditation.ca/ | completely free, and you can explore the course at your own pace. Hope it helps! :)

    Reply

  8. jennyonthespot
    February 22, 2010 | 12:52 am

    A video will happen… WILL :) And all that other stuff too. WILL :)

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @jennyonthespot, Damn straight.

    Reply

  9. Mic Duggan
    March 3, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    Seriously, Karl, you should get ON IT with #1 and #2. I know, I’m one to talk. I have started half a dozen books and haven’t finished them. But they’re percolating. Come to this neck of the woods sometime and I’ll MAKE you get on-stage. Be forewarned, dear old friend. But I’ll be cheering you on the whole time too… so that’s not so bad. I still remember those old days wandering around laughing so hard I got the hiccups. Remember that? You know you’d done it when I threw up.
    P.S. I was always ‘Mic’… but when we met I was too teenaged and awkward to admit it. So foreign… and weird. Whatever. So get on the page, mister.

    Reply

    Secondhand Karl Reply:

    @Mic Duggan, I may get out there this year, we’ll see. Right now, being almost jobless is keeping me from much travel. I remember the hiccups, heh.

    Reply

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