Me vs. My Throat: Chokedown Showdown

“So I smoke another cigarette, as the sun rose over the city, but it didn’t shine on me.  Sleep has never made me happy.  What’s left for me here?  Another lonely winter night, street lights and a sleepless dream.” –  Restless by The Broadways 

I kept thinking about how I wanted to start this post.  The lyrical quote above will suffice, however what I really wanted to say was, I NEED TO FUCKING SLEEP.   I could just end it there.  End of post.  I will have to come back and delete these few sentences, unless by the end of writing this post, I am passed the hell out on this keyboard and drooling all over the space bar.  I mean what I really need is a self induced state of torpor and a summer long hibernation.  But things never seem to work out they way I expect them.

The problem with my sleep happens to do with a little thing called obstructive sleep apnea.  I mentioned this in one of my first posts.  I don’t know exactly when it started, I always snored to some extent, and instinctively always slept on my side.  Sleeping on my back has occasionally left me with a swollen uvula which is incredibly annoying.  At any rate, I know that about 5 years ago, I started getting very tired during the day, especially at work.  At the time, I was sleeping a full night, and I was also abstaining from all mind altering chemicals, including alcohol, however I did take a psychotropic cocktail of antidepressant drugs each day.

Occasional day time fatigue is not uncommon, but this was day in and day out of nodding out at work.  It effected everything, and still does.  After going to a doctor, participating in a sleep study, I was diagnosed.  I asked my most recent ex at the time, why she didn’t tell me I stopped breathing in my sleep and she said she thought it was a side effect of my medication. I think she was waiting for me to die so she could harvest my organs and sell them on the black market.  After all, I do have a ginormous heart.

When talking to someone about this condition and the weight it holds on my soul and being, they usually say, “well, get more sleep.”  “You should exercise more so you can sleep.” “Go to bed earlier.”  among other ill informed banalities.  They don’t realize that “apnea” means temporary cessation from breathing.  It’s like drowning in ones sleep.  Depending on the frequency of my apneas, my body is in a constant state of heightened arousal, and not the fun kind.  It’s easy to tell when I am fighting for air in my sleep because it comes out in my dreams.  Every dream has this huge sense of urgency, like the world is going to collapse any second.  I’ve had dreams where my dog is attacked, or another one where I was gunning down this smoking hot chick, in the shallows of a tropical beach and all of the sudden huge snakes were in the water with us.  Basically, I ask myself, was something crazy happening?  Oh it was, then you were choking son.

Also, while I agree the epidemic of  poor sleepers resulting in the cash cow that is sleep drug industry is a self fulfilling prophecy, my disorder is different.  It’s not a matter of being able to fall asleep.  I can do that standing up, and often times when I really need sleep, I do it in a recliner or chair because sleeping at a 30 degree angle helps alleviate some of the pressure on the air duct, which is where my problem lies.  According to my quirky sleep doctor, there are four generalized types of throats based on their tissue content.  As we are all aware, no blow job was created equal, the same thing goes for throats.  I have been blessed with a stage 4 type throat.  I tried to find some images but came up empty.  Stage 4 is a fleshy ass mouth.  I had approached the doctor to get some sort of oral appliance that would alleviate my symptoms but according to him, because of my fleshy gullet, it would not work.  My only option is a constant positive air pressure (CPAP) machine, and I just can’t sleep with that thing.  I find it on the floor in the morning.

All this really means is, No REM sleep for me.  Or, when I do get it, it amounts to around 35-45 minutes for an 8 hour sleep period.  Sleep deprivation has been linked to reduced cognitive function, irritability, hallucinations.  In fact, here check out this image from wikipedia on sleep deprivation and I’ll save my breath:

Yeah, that's the shit.

Impaired Moral Judgement, now I have the best excuse.

My body just shuts down.  I unwillingly fight it off during the day time when I’m working, but after hours it’s a whole different ball game.  The chair by my computer is common place for me to wake up, as well as the couch.  Last night, I was laying on the floor messing with my dog, and that’s exactly where I woke up a few hours later, face down, on the carpet.

Even though I have been losing weight, getting in shape, you know, living the dream, it is quite possible I won’t ever be rid of this condition.  That is fucking terrible.  It is possible I could reduce the impact of this on my sleep by losing more weight and playing the didgeridoo, but there’s a reason I call it a didgeridon’t.  Also, reducing my alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking would help too, but if I am choking in my goddamn sleep, who fucking cares?  I do find some humor in a girl waking up naked in my bed, only to find my dog there with her and I am asleep in a chair in the living room.   I have to find some light in a shitty situation.

Stop Stepping on my Dick

As much as I hate to accept it, I find that Wall Street Playboys writings about loser mentality and picking friends are spot fucking on.  Although I have work to do in the seven steps of advancement, I possess qualities that I look for and admire in my friends.  No one is ever perfect, and if every day is a hunky-dory agreement fest, one is probably not pushing the limits.  I’m a regular offender of regular people.  I say things that are uncomfortable to digest.  Truths get pointed out when needed.  It is not agreeable but truth is hard to circumvent without copious amounts of denial.

Those with thin skin, who act out aggressively to some humored jiving, really grind my gears.  They grind them to the point where I actually act out in response.  Of course, not so directly as to go into calling names, but to the point where I end up calling someone out in a not so gentle manner in an non ideal environment.  Do you see the hypocrisy there?  I react in the same sorry manner to the actions that anger me.  Obviously my skin is not as thick as I thought it.  I let insults, anger, haters, loser, roll off my back like water, but sometimes it comes from someone I respect and that’s where it gets complicated.

So what can I do?  Again we’re back into territory that the WSP covered in their post “Nobody Cares About You.”  If I were to truly embrace this ideology in an uninhibited manner, then the issue of thick skin would not matter.  Those carelessly, often, without any forethought, thrown insults, backhanded bullshit, would not get a rise out of me in any matter.  They could be laughed off, ignored or forgotten.  Their meaning and place in my life is none.  My thoughts should be clean of them.

But that’s not the case.  I don’t like people stepping on my dick.  That’s where emasculation begins right?  When going about the ritual of modern courtship and a salty lass throws a ‘shit test’, isn’t that her way of stepping on my dick?

“I see you have that, but I don’t want to acknowledge it out right.  In fact, I’m going to see if it’s just a stain I can smudge into this carpet.”

Replace “it’s”, with “you’re”, in the above sentence and there’s the whole litter in one bag.

Should a requisite of a penile “tackle box” be attached to the whole dance?  Probably not, it is good to challenge, you know, because that’s what people do to over come oppression.

Hello, Don’t be Afraid

Well, what do we know?  Today (well yesterday) is a big dick day.  The kind of day I just want to walk about with my man meat on display for the whole world to see.  Let them all gasp in awe of it’s mighty pulsating tumescence. With my head held high, a bit of swagger in my step and my  penile mastodon bouncing jovially between the tree trunks that are my legs, I am now beginning my second year of this blogging shit.  That’s right, one year ago, I looked in the mirror and decided I needed change (can you spare a quarter?) and that I was going to talk about it some on here.  My actual words, and I’m pretty sure I said them out loud, were “I am so fucking tired of being a fat fuck.”  True goddamn story.

However, this is not a fitness blog.  I know that a year ago, the thought of running a 5k was a terrifying thought, so blog posts on that sort of thing were necessary in documenting my progress.  This past April I ran my third 5k mud run.  This one was called Mud Factor.  Everyone bailed at the last minute, and I ended up running alone.  That was fine, but it’s quite entertaining to watch a buddy fall into a mudpit, so I did miss it.  At any rate, this run was, by far, the most organized and well designed course.  The obstacles were challenging too, not solely due to a back and chest workout I had completed the evening prior.  I found that the height of the obstacles were intimidating.  There were a few 15 foot wooden pyramids to climb with an intimidating gap between inclines.  Climbing on a 2×4, 15 feet above the ground, with shoes caked in slippery mud, is quite a breathtaking experience. Though the feeling of accomplishment was great that morning, I didn’t feel the need for an exclusive post on it.  It just didn’t seem like there was much to report.  I ran, climbed, sweat like a pig, got filthy, gasped for air, over came some minor fears, and had a  metric ass ton of fun.  The end.

I’m continuing to hit the gym on a regular basis.  As an on going experiment, I force myself to go even when I don’t want to.  Even on days when my body and mind are in full agreement that a night of booze would be more fulfilling.  I know that equals a falsehood and it’s always by the end of my first set, that I get that head change I so desperately need.  Even anger directed at my job, or whatever, seems to dissipate and leave my thoughts after a good workout.  Considering that, about a year ago, I stopped taking a cocktail of psychotropic prescription drugs that were given to me to address self deprecating mental habits and thought patterns,  I seem to be doing something right.  I truly believe that my previous DSM IV diagnoses were due to poor diet and a lack of adequate exercise.

One of the things that has aided me in this new direction is an acceptance of myself. Even though I was quite the delinquent in the past, deep down I was a people pleaser.  I could never live up to the expectations of my family or the people around me.  This would eat me up.  It started long long ago as a young kid and lasted into early adulthood.  I still catch myself wondering what another person thinks of me, then I remind myself, that it doesn’t fucking matter.  That’s part of the tragic beauty about this technological age; even by being able to connect to some degree with people through a variety of platforms, one is still essentially alone.  That feeling is multiplied when my time is being spent with someone who I don’t really want to be around, but do subject myself to it, for the sole means of getting off.  It’s much easier to just be alone.

Supremes

Which brings me to something I realized recently.  I’m not afraid of a relationship, however, I am unwilling to expose my own vulnerabilities and emotions to someone I do not trust, and I do not trust easily.  This seems to be a huge roadblock in the romances I have had this past year.  To me, it feels like each of these girls, even though they didn’t say it verbatim, were on a fast track to trying to tie me down.  A cornered dog is not a friendly encounter.

Thus, for the future, I plan on continuing my road to fitness.  I will continue to make healthy food choices.  Music making, fishing, reading, biking, and skateboarding, will be my go to activities.  I will maintain this blog, and attempt to post more often.  I have a ton of stuff sitting in draft form, but that is my curse.  It’s the follow through that matters, and I get so distracted by the new songs I am writing, shit with work, social life, etc. that I don’t finish a draft, and then all of a sudden, it’s a month later and the material is out of date.  Like my review of the new Die Hard, which I never posted.  Maybe I will.  However, don’t see it.  It’s crap.  At any rate, it sounds like a good focus to follow through and complete my tasks, to break the habit of having multiple unfinished projects going on at the same time.  However,  it’s baby steps that are needed; finish rhythm guitars, refine the drum track to accent the melody hits, review the vocal melody, back up vox for the chorus, add organ, complete the mixing, export it.  Just like going to the gym.

Organization has never been my forte.  That comes with the OCD tendencies of being a music writer.  Something gets lodged between the walls of my skull and that is all I can think about, until the next thing gets stuck there.  I’m not narrow minded, I just have a singular focus and a short attention span.  To remedy that part of my thinking, I have been practicing meditation.  I haven’t talked about that here, but I might in the future, especially if there is some interest in it.  Anyhow, thank you to everyone who has read my stuff over the past year, I look forward to interacting with you all in the future.

 

 

 

Work Related: HR Edition

Really Rojo?  Another rant about HR?  Don’t worry your pretty little heads, I’m not going to go full standard rage here, because what recently happened was a victory in my eyes.  Though I have to admit, it’s really hard not be filled with rage each and every day at my work place.  I watch the inanity of these decision making dunces attempt to make this place more efficient, but it’s the equivalent of a meth’d out tweeker trying to recite prose to a thorn bush.  Actually, it is an ex-tweeker and a workaholic trying to bang out process and work flows.  It gets real ugly real fast.  You can see the eyes of the people who are supposed to be learning from these two glaze over as Corky and Quarto pummel them with every possible tedious detail.  Then the two shittiest teachers on this planet get pissed when people don’t understand.

I’m the opposite of those two. I’ve spent years doing that same fucking work, even though I have no part in it now, and I know that when people need learning in order to do their job, they need to know how, in the most bare bones manner possible.  The folks that have to regurgitate these lessons in the form of a work day, do not get paid nearly enough to give a flying fuck about what these two have to say.  Whenever I trained folks, I gave them the one road to victory in simple terms. I didn’t veer off into unjustified tangents, nor did I scour all possible outcomes that may arise.  Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of the human race, but I believe people will attempt to get their shit done, or ask how to do it if they are unsure, or at least fuck it up trying. They don’t want to lose their job and they surely don’t want to hear some tweek minded asshole walk chaotic patterns during a supposed learning conversation.  I digress…

The saga of our trollic HR manager began about a year ago.  I was the first victim in her reign.  She was fresh out of some school with a degree in Human Resources and looking to exert her authority.  I think she had a masters in HR.   What a useless fucking degree.  At any rate, she arrived, and in no short order, established a cold, condescending aura to all those she supposedly served.  Her efforts in securing an affordable health plan for the workers was an immediate failure.  It didn’t effect me because I have no bastard spawn, or baby momma to take care, and my dog doesn’t need health benefits. However, as a guy who has to deal with everyone at my workplace in some manner, at some point, I heard the numerous complaints rising.  Most stemmed from the ratio of their pay to what they were paying.

Her scorn of the male species was obvious to me.  As I outlined at the end of this post, she could not handle even common interpersonal niceties, even when they were not directed at her.  The essence she tried to instill in the place of my work was a robot like, eyes forward, non questioning automaton driven ethic.That’s where the Californian work place has been going.  She was fresh out of school, having drilled laws into her blubbery jowls, and ready to enforce what she had been taught.  That road is a dark and empty trail that leads to a total lack of humanity.

Her contemptuous behavior not only effected those who were directly addressed in the form of disciplinary action, but also those outside of it’s direct repercussions.  Idiot males I work with started saying shit like, “that’s inappropriate,” “I’m going to go to HR about that,” or “That makes me uncomfortable,” while expounding on other things that would rightly fall into their new moral high ground as not appropriate for work.  If something could be construed as innuendo in any way, one colleague of mine would immediately jump onto that horse, even when it was fully a matter a stating the job.  The same guy in turn came to me whining one day about having to leave early because his eye felt weird underneath his eyelid.  I said to him, “dude, you have pink eye.” To which he squawked, “It’s not pink eye you faggot.”  All this while I am in my office.  How about that for “inappropriate” behavior.  Luckily for him, I am not a vindictive or sensitive manboob, nor do I give a fuck what that guy thinks.  To me he’s a walking goddamn vagina, and should not be working here.

At any rate, a few weeks ago a link went out to all of our staff asking them to fill out a survey on HR’s performance.  I know I am not the only one who filled out the questionnaire honestly, as at minimum the few I trust around here did the same.  A final notice went out to fill out the survey, and that following Friday, HR was no longer part of the company.  That’s right, that troglocunt got the fucking boot.  Though I am not one to typically wish ill will on someone, the amount of elation I felt at the moment was quite intense.  I couldn’t help myself in thinking “what goes around comes around, BITCH,” even though I believe that kharma is established at birth, and that we are just living out of fuckeries of the previous incarnation of our oxygen.  You know, since we’re all oxygen factories and eventually end up in the dirt.

Fuck yeah!  Now to the rape cave!

Fuck yeah! Now to the rape cave!

My belief is that there was enough shitty feedback on that survey that she ended up getting canned.  However, as things go around here, there is a high possibility that none of that actually mattered and it was just a beef between our fearless leader and HR over HR’s struggle for power.  It is my hope that this is the last HR rant I am to write for a while.  It’s really a down right sad subject, but in the typical workingman’s life, it is an ever present force if there is one at said business.  The work related series will continue as desire to write about the bullshit rises, but for now, the troglocunt has bit the dust, and I am hanging up this phone.  Rojo, out.