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Old 04-20-2007, 10:55 PM   #1
puduhead
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Default My thoughts on living the party life

[from a guy who partied regularly, if not hard, for a long time]

First things first - this is not a judgement editorial. I had many issues prior to taking my first sip of teh booze. So it didn't even impact on the negative scale going in. I was also in counseling at the time and taking the man's drugs as well - maintaining full transparency with my doctor so he could advise me - he simply said I could drink and he didn't see a problem with it.

In the beginning, it helped me out - the drinking that is. I hated my job (respectable software corporation) and knew I was a tool but was too scared of being perceived as unsuccessful to do anything about that. Then there was the ladies. I had had some girlfriends back in California, but they were pretty shallow and short-lived relationships. Nothing ever going past 2nd base and certainly never indulging my intimacy.

I couldn't handle intimacy. I was barely getting used to living alone in peace and quiet, after 20+ years of large family chaos. A stranger in a strange land. Feeling judged. Had just stopped going to church and was not looking back on that, but lacking that intense feeling of connectedness provided in many of America's houses of worship.

So the booze and the internet. I'd come home from work with a trusty 12-pack of beer. Drink about 6 beers to get me pumped up enough to eat something, and then just chat away online. It was crazy. Suddenly, I could talk to people - anybody. The fear-free anononymity of the internet plus the loss of inhibition as resulting from a drunken state equaled something new and exciting for me. Now it sounds pretty lame, like I'm hearing someone say 'get a life' in the back of my head. But we are talking about Baby Steps here and I needed them.

Eventually, I got in this routine whereas, that false-confidence never left my side so long as I tapped into it's power source regularly. I was getting more brash at work. Updating my wardrobe. Flexing my metrosexuality which was a new trend barely coming into focus in the post-Eddie Vedder flannel phase of the turn of the century. Things were at least looking up. I was flirting with a girl at work who I was training for my replacement as I was being promoted. Managed to coax her over for a visit under the premise that I would change her oil. That night turned into a weekend. What a relief.

Still nothing but praise for teh booze at this point. The relationship with the coworker ends quickly however not surprisingly in retrospect. At some point, I meet up with this group of geeky video game heads at local game shop. One way or the other, I manage to infiltrate. This was good clean fun and much needed social. None of the guys had anything to do with partying really.

Booze wasn't yet a daily ritual for me. I was still just glad that it seemed to be freeing me from some very rigid, overstructured burdens instilled in me since youth that were socially wreaking havoc on my ability to fit in. But somehow, as I became more involved in RL people for a change, the self-aggrandizing was starting to take shape with the aid of teh booze. It wasn't long before I was banging waitresses. We all know how that can turn out. But things were on the up because me and some pals had just signed the deal on a new joint-living-venture, later christened Halfway House, or The Halfway House for Troubled Teens.

OK so, i'm like 27 or 28 at this point and that's the name of my apartment. I drink a 12-pack of beer like every night. Shortly thereafter, I get laid off from respectable software company (not in any way alcohol-related) and now I can drink beer any time of the day with this nice thing called 'Severence Package'. The severence package is the man's way of either helping you through your transition to the next job, or in my case, paying for you to stay home with your delinquent, unemployed, or too-young-to-need-a-job friends, drink beer and play video games. All day, every day.

Wow, what a dream. And when that was over, there was this other thing called 'Unemployment Insurance', and I had racked up plenty of that in the years on the job. Making it a grand total of one year fully paid vacation. By the time my year of loafing was up, drinking had become part of my very essence. I never bothered to wonder if there was any physiological change transpiring whereby I was captured by this now well established habit. I just knew that I liked it and there was absolutely no reason to change that.

Except money was now getting in short supply. You need it to buy the booze. Enter young, dashing adventurer Jason, with his high-falutin plans of world-travel. He was looking for work and read up on working Alaska's fishing season. He did his homework, and soon landed us phone interviews on what would be our great escape north to America's last frontier.

Skipping a great many details to save for another story, let me cut to the booze. This was like a new paradise to me compared to Provo. These were fishermen. They lived to drink. Like walking into the seaport pub in your Favorite RPG, there were the characters. No religious zealots. No high-society types as found in abundance in 'the lower forty-eight'.

From that moment, it was like my life had now become the video game. And I was living in it. Hell, you would spend your dinner hour at the bar, then return sloshed to chop up more fish or unload more boats. It didn't matter. Like going back in time, there were virtually no scrupels about this kind of stuff as people tend to be hyper-sensitive about in much of America.

I'm 29 years old, finally having my unbridled college frat-boy experience of living for the party. Life was a party, and a grand, picturesque one at that. Jason never made it off the nasty processing lines and opted out for a flight attendant position in Chicago. Can't say I blame him. Plus I was on my own crew, and we did everything together, including party. An unfortunate rift that was unavoidable given my demand for drinking as much as possible.

I remember many nights, stumbling back to the equivalent of a dorm room on company housing. Piss drunk. Sitting in the shower letting the water pour over me. Work in just a few hours. Wondering why I stayed out so late, only to do it again the next day, and again, etc. OK, so a major pattern was developing to the extreme, but being that this was Alaska and there was virtually no rules other than 'unload those fishing boats' it didn't seem to matter or to phase me. I could come to the dock in the morning hung over and still drunk, and by noon, I'd have sweated it all out to the point of feeling restored to perfection once more.

Coming back to Provo was hard. I was excited to see my friends again, and to show off the greek godlike physique I had developed from 3 months of hard labor and long hours. But my drinking habits and the fact that I needed a job didn't factor in so well. In my absence, social climates had changed at the old Halfway House. And I had changed right along with them. Seeking refuge in a young gal pal, Sunny, her family decided I would be an acceptable guest in their home for an undetermined period of time.

Camper - enter stage left. The camper was an aged 20-something's last bastion of freedom from society's rules like: paying your keep or not drinking all day. I got to pay my dues for the privalige of living in the camper by running the family errands. Included in those daily errands was the trip to the liquor store. Yay. I was in good company. At this point, I was managing a weekly budget of somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 dollars. Not nearly enough for a regular supply of booze. But with the family's well-stocked provisions of Vodka and Whiskey, not only were my problems solved, they were solved much quicker than my previous beer had done.

Oh the times. The camper quickly developed its uber-undergound reputation among some of my more party-hardy friends. I think at one family get-together/party, we crammed something like 15 kiddies in there, complete with all my stuff. This party was bumpin'. Many parties were in fact, quite bumping, though usually on the smaller and more manageable scale of 2 to 4 people. This lasted for 9 months. If I hadn't already graduated as lord and master of teh booze after a year paid vacation to drink beer and Alaska's last frontier for alcoholics, this would certainly mark me as a contender.

Alas, getting another job was inevitable. The family was selling the house and besides, our agreement on the time spent there was coming up. An old contact from previous respectable software company had been laid off also and started at a much smaller company in the valley. He gave me word of a position open and I submitted my resume. I was nervous. I hadn't worked in the man's precious homogenized environment for quite some time, and since then, I had become master of partying. My very essence was now infused in the partying and nothing, not even a day job, was going to change that.

And it didn't. For over a year until quitting the job for more personal reasons than substance abuse alone, I ran a tight business by day, and moonlighted my alter-ego by night. I was good at it. There's some cocky, pushy bastards in corporate America. As it turns out, regular abuse of a substance like alcohol can really help you bully your way right back at em. Of course, it was also like choosing the dark path. Wherein eventually, I was so caught up in negativity on the job and being a slave to the sauce that I could no longer make heads or tails of my life, what any of this is for, and just how many schisms were being created in my psyche.

It was a bittersweet departure. They liked me. At least I know some of them did. I both loved them, and hated myself for being a bigger tool than at the first corporate job. And this time, mostly because my partying was off the deep end and I couldn't manage the two extremes of a job that ultimately was not for me, and a crutch that had outlived it's usefulness. Luckily, I had the most caring and loving woman in the world to help me out. And we whisked away to Alaska soon after quitting... the job and the sauce.

I didn't even know I was going to do it. Dawn had put up with me being a drunken fool every night for a solid year. She saw better in me. But never, ever judged me. Never ascerted her way in that regard. But on the ferry to Alaska, I stopped into the onboard pub and grabbed a couple of beers on an empty stomach. No big deal. Only this time it was a big deal. We were making changes, breaking out of routine, and this seemed to her like no time for me to fall again into my pit. She let me know this in no uncertain terms. I was confused and upset. But somehow, like an hour later it all made perfect sense.

And that was it. Other than sneaking a shot in here or there with the guys, or the time I got wasted when my best friend died, I haven't been drinking and have been the happier for it. My hat goes off to all you responsible social drinkers out there. It must be nice. Some people like me wouldn't know about that. I do everything extreme. At least, it sure seems that way. But I needed help. I needed a journey. Booze was a big part of that for me. And as such I can always be grateful.

In the name of MGD, Amen
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: My thoughts on living the party life

Real world, slice of life writing like this is always the most entertaining and useful stuff I read. Thanks for writing.
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: My thoughts on living the party life

Here here. Great read, nice to hear the story of someone who turned their life around like that.
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Old 04-21-2007, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: My thoughts on living the party life

Pudu, that was one of the best reads in quite a while. are you still in Alaska or are you back in Utah?
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Old 04-21-2007, 11:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: My thoughts on living the party life

> Pudu, that was one of the best reads in quite a while. are
> you still in Alaska or are you back in Utah?

Back in good ol' Provo UT for now. :P
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: My thoughts on living the party life

> > Pudu, that was one of the best reads in quite a while. are
>
> > you still in Alaska or are you back in Utah?
>
> Back in good ol' Provo UT for now. :P
>
heh, "for now".... think your going to go back to Alaska?
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: My thoughts on living the party life

> heh, "for now".... think your going to go back to Alaska?

That would be nice. But I don't know what I'm doing ATM.

My woman wants out of Utah more than I do. I could see myself doing 10 years here - going on 8 right now.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: My thoughts on living the party life

Utah's nice and vanilla. If you can stand the backwards substance laws, don't want much to happen, and would prefer people, in general, to leave you alone (aside from door-to-door missionaries), it's not a bad place to live -- especially if you love nature.

> My woman wants out of Utah more than I do. I could see
> myself doing 10 years here - going on 8 right now.
>

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