Cheech and Chong get Doug with High

“I was black once.” Tommy Chong

One half of the classic stoner comic duet gets blazed with the prolific stoner stand up comedian and it’s hilarious.

Check out original youtube post here.


Sick kid.

A lot of times I want to curl up and cry. That sounds oh so mellow dramatic, but it’s true. At this very moment I have a half eaten apple on my desk. My stomach is making starving noises and I am very, very hungry. But I am very wary of eating anything. I’ve started taking Topamax again for my chronic blinding migraines. The major side effects that folks like to talk about are the weight loss (in combination with the drug phentermine, the FDA has approved it as a weight loss drug) and cognitive deficits (giving it the affectionate nickname “Dopamax”).

A lesser talked about side effect is explosive diarrhea and nausea, especially when one first starts taking the drug. For four days straight, every time I eat something, it comes right back out. It is extremely uncomfortable and anxiety inducing. I’m afraid to eat an apple for fucks sake.

Like with many people taking drugs with unpleasant side effects, once I started getting relief from the symptoms I started using the drug for, I stopped taking them. Which is stupid, because that means the drug works, Sherlock! I have a love-hate relationship with my migraine drugs. Since migraine is such a mysterious disorder, many different treatments, and no one tried and true treatment that is sure to work for everyone I have literally tried everything that has been marketed in the last 20 years for migraines.

I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not have disabling, mind altering headaches. When I was a little kid, my parents would just give me Advil and wait for me to puke. Generally I would feel better after that. When I got older and more self conscious about being the kid that throws up all the time, my parents took me to a headache specialist who prescribed me Imitrex. I was in middle or high school at the time.

I will tell you that this drug did not do shit for me. It’s what pain specialists call an abortive therapy, or a medication that you take when you already have a migraine. I believe that I took this drug twice. It made me feel out of it, not unlike taking a little too much Benadryl, but it did make my head hurt a little less bad. So, that was good. But a few hours later my headache rebounded with a vengeance. I may as well have stuck it up my arse for all the good it did me (to quote one of my favorite drug movies, Trainspotting). 

For the next ten years or so I dealt with the pain. I found that caffeine pills worked somewhat, and a few hits of some killer sativa would crush any pain or anxiety, but a lot of the time I found myself alone in my room, with all the lights out, willing myself to sleep.

I was first prescribed Topamax by my shrink, who assured me that in addition to preventing (prophylactic therapy) migraines it would help stabilize my moods. That was reassuring because I can be one moody bitch!

What he didn’t tell me that in combination with my ADHD medications, I would lose so much weight people would think I had an eating disorder. In less than a year I went from 5 feet even and weighing 130 to weighing 94 pounds. Before I stopped taking the drug in July I had been hospitalized three times and had 4 EKGs.

I kept taking Topamax because being dangerously thin was better than being in excruciating pain. But the pain became less frequent and the hospital visits became more regular, so I made the decision to stop taking the Topamax.

But then the inevitable happened. My migraines returned. I have a very stressful job so I’m not surprised really. So hear I am, back on the Dopamax, shitting my brains out. And I had just gained ten pounds. I was so proud of my ghetto booty.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Dear [withheld],

I know you think I’m a little nuts. Let’s be honest, a lot nuts. But truth be told, I have a feeling crazy is your type. I’m emotionally intense, impulsive, brutally honest, smarter than most people you know, and a beast in the sack. You know it’s true. Over the past year and half or so that we’ve known each other, things have not been easy. At all.

It felt so good to be pursued by someone as sexy, confident, and successful as you immediately after I had gotten out of a very long, disastrous, and emotionally abusive relationship. You even witnessed the wreckage and helped me settle into my new sketchy alley apartment. I felt so fucking special. I don’t know if you are even aware of it, but you played a major role in getting me over the asshole I dated for six years.

I thought this was an emotionally poignant time for you as well. During our second date your disclosure that your on and off ex of ten years that you “kind of loved” had just committed suicide was not general getting you know you type small talk. This was said post-coitus, in that context, since the suicide you were not able to perform sexually and jokingly said that she had “cursed your boner”. Well, I must be a cock magician because you’ve have had no problems getting it up with me, save a few ethanol soaked nights.

So in this way it felt somewhat mutual. You helped me overcome an emotionally abusive breakup, I helped you through the unexpected reaction to the death of a loved one.

It felt really good for a while. Drinking at your regular bar almost every night, getting to know your friends and  employees. Going to Colorado with your family. Then you started working on expanding your business.You started pushing me away and making me feel needy for wanting for foster the bond that was growing. You were too busy and overwhelmed to spend time with me.

Or maybe you were afraid of getting close to someone again. I get that. Intimacy is scary enough, scarier more when someone you once loved took their own life. And I was understanding when you got her face tattooed in an intimate spot.

What I don’t understand is the year of constantly pulling me in and pushing me away. Fucking me at night and ignoring my texts during the day, I’m starting to feel more like a dirty little secret than a friend. Don’t get me wrong, the sex is mind blowing and probably a big part of the reason I haven’t given up completely. Don’t let it go to your head, but you’ve raised the bar for a man’s sexual performance for me, and there are so many disappointments out there. So thanks for ruining them for me. But I digress.

There are those moments of tenderness that keep drawing me back in. Most recently when you were on vacation and drunkenly texted me how amazing it was where you were and how I was the only person you could think of who could appreciate the historical and cultural relevance of the city you were in. We had intellectual in addition to explicit conversations almost everyday. You got me a souvenir and I even picked you up from the airport. We fucked after.

“I was a little drunk. Not drunk in any positive sense but just enough to be careless.” —Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, 1926

That felt pretty intimate. I fucking hate picking people up from the airport. It was the first time in a long time I’ve had sex without getting stoned first. I was anxious and awkward but it felt so genuine.

But of course, when you went back to work, things were status quo once again. Ignored texted and hurt feelings. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe for you to start to open up to me again, be able to spend quality time having intellectual conversations over “apple beers” and Guinness, and then have wild sex.

I don’t know exactly what my intentions are in writing this aside from expressing how I feel. I wish I had the balls to tell you in person, or even in a text message. I can send you pictures of my tits and describe how I’d orally please you, but knowing you know know I feel is terrifying. It’s scary because I know the exact reaction I will get from dirty talk, but I have no idea how you would react to my emotions.

In a way, this is the most honest, vulnerable thing I’ve written. I hope it doesn’t back fire. Handle with care.


Hedonic Treadmill

No excess.

The Stories of Ray Bradbury

The Stories of Ray Bradbury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever read “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury? It’s a brilliant short story (a classic of science fiction literature, in my non-expert opinion) that takes place in a dystopic future in which a family lives in a home that is not only self sustaining but also completely fulfills the needs of it’s inhabitants. It’s a Happy-life Home!

In addition to cooking and cleaning, the house makes sure its tenants are comfortable and entertained as well. It’s completely climate controlled and has been retrofitted with a super fancy nursery for the happy couple’s two mischievous rugrats. What is exceptional about this nursery is that it has the ability to simulate whatever environment the user wishes.

Essentially they have the holodeck from Star Trek as a room in their house.

Now these kids are spoiled little shits. They are developing anti-social behaviors and don’t react well to “no”. And they have genius IQs to boot.The parents are upper middle class and privileged, though they do have a sense of guilt about it and what their opulent lifestyle is doing to their children’s developing psyches.

This is when things get weird(er). Mom thinks a shrink should come check out the nursery because something fucked up is going down in there and it’s got her freaked out. There is Africa in the nursery. Nature at it’s worst. These children hadn’t conjured images of island beaches or Lewis Carol’s Wonderland, but oppressive heat, sulking lions, hovering vultures, and the faint smell of death. Believing mom is just having woman’s hysterics (this story was written in 1951), dad goes to the nursery to take a look for himself.

Indeed, he passes the threshold of the nursery and is transported to Africa. Though he knows that it is an illusion created by the house, it seems scarily real; he can smell the gaminess of the animals and hear them eating. What really freaks dad out is an old wallet that looked like it had been chewed on by beasts. It had belonged it him. Things get too real when one of the lions lunges at him and he runs like hell and bolts the door behind him.

The parents meet with a shrink. They show him the nursery, which is still projecting a simulation of the African veldt all around them. The doc analyzes the scene. He correctly guesses that the children are over indulged and disappointed by their parents. He concludes that the children are using the nursery to act out their violent fantasies. Dad admits that he didn’t let the kids go on a field trip to New York and in his concern for the kids behavior, has become more of a disciplinarian. The doctor breaks it down for the desperate parents.

Where they had a Santa Claus now they have a Scrooge. Children prefer Santa. You’ve let this room and house replace you and your wife in your children’s affections. This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents. And now you’ve come to shut it off. No wonder there’s hatred here.

Deciding the the house has made the family lazy and spoiled, the parents decide they will turn the Happy-Life Home off for a while. Brush their own teeth, cook, make their beds and what not. They would take a vacation. The little demons do not take the news well. They throw a hysterical tantrum before convincing their parents to come enjoy the nursery one last time. Mom and dad see no harm in it and go to the nursery to join the children only to find the nursery empty. Expect for that eerily realistic veldt scene and it’s lions…

A family friend comes to take them all to the airport only to find the children sitting alone, drinking tea, the sound of their parents screaming in the distance.

There are so many facets of this story that fascinate me and I could analyze them all, but since I am responding to a writing prompt, “The Veldt” is an interesting look at the culture of excess and the psychological toll it takes. Not only on individuals, but culturally, and socially. The family in the story had integrated into their lives a piece of technology that ensures physical comfort and contentment. They don’t need to prepare meals, do their laundry, or even bathe themselves. Their Happy-life Home maintains perfect homeostasis. Without meals to plan or chores to do, the parents feel useless. The house even entertains the children for them, with it’s state of the art virtual reality nursery.

Maybe I don’t have enough to do. Maybe I have time to think too much[…] I feel like I don’t belong here. The house is  wife and mother and nursemaid.

The sentiment is not unfounded, as the children’s view of their parent’s existence expresses itself through the nursery, foreshadowed to by the discovery of the wallet in the virtual Africa. The children had also been harboring rage towards the parents for keeping them from getting something they wanted- at trip to New York. That incident made these too-smart-for-their-own-good kids realize that Happy-life Home provided everything they needed. They had never need disciplined before. Parents had only existed to provide.

We’ve given the children everything the ever wanted. Is this our reward-secrecy and disobedience?”

Who was is said, “Children are carpets, they should be stepped on occasionally”? We’ve never lifted a hand. They’re insufferable-let’s admit it. They come and go when they like; they treat us as if we were offspring. There’re spoiled and we’re spoiled.

In a way, the children and the home were dependent on each other. Bradbury leaves it up to the reader to decide whether the house is sentient and can make the projections in the nursery a reality. If this is so, killing the parents would allow the house to remain plugged in and thus “live”, validating the mother’s fears that she is purposeless.

But the parents became coddled to the point of uselessness by their own want for comfort and pleasure. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on technological upgrades to a house that took care of all their base needs, indulged every want of their children and never disciplined them. They literally gave their children everything and when the children’s ability to live excessively privileged lives was threatened, they removed the threat.

“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber

Pill head.

English: 180 3mg Mylan™ brand alprazolam exten...

Not many people know this about me, but I am an addict. Not the type that commits crimes to maintain a dangerous habit, but the medically sanctioned, socially acceptable type.

I should have never been prescribed Xanax. It’s both psychologically and physically addicting and doctors know this. But hey! It’s faster and easier than therapy and your doctor definitely recommends using it as an adjunct to talk therapy. So that worked for a while. That was over three years ago. I had been prescribed .25 mg to help with panic attacks and insomnia. I’m now being prescribed 90 2 mg bars a month. That’s 6 mg a day. For years.

What got me thinking about my physical addiction to Xanax was something that happened about two weeks ago. I stopped taking my meds cold turkey. During the day, I generally don’t need them as I’ve learned the skills I need to deal with my anxiety through a combination of DBT, CBT, and yoga. I’m a life long stoner, so I can usually rely on my good friend Mary Jane to put my out for the evening.

About 3 days without any benzos in my system, something very troubling happened. I started to withdrawal. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I was dependent on opiates after a bad accident so I’ve experienced junk sickness before, but nothing could’ve prepared me for abruptly quitting the Xanax.

Opiate withdrawal is extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable but ultimately, you’ll live you big fucking baby.

You can die from benzodiazepine  withdrawal. Hallucinations, grand mal seizures, dead. The way benzos affect the brain is similar to alcohol.

I felt like I was going to die. Every muscle was tense; I was having horrible muscle spasms. I was constantly nauseous and having panic attacks every day. I was so irritable I locked myself in my room for an entire week. Had I not realized I was essentially kicking a very dangerous drug I could have had delirium tremins, had a seizure, and possibly died.

I did realize what was happening, refilled my Xanax and immediately felt like a new person.

But I know it’s gonna be a constant battle, my psych drugs and I. My current cocktail is Xanax, Adderall, Vyvase, Topimax, and Metaprolol. The plan is to eventually get me off the Xanax by switching to Klonopin/medical marijuana and tapering off of the benzos all together. But how progressive is my shrink??

In case you’re curious, Celexa, Prozac, Seroquel, Wellbutrin, Saphris, Carbatrol, and Ambien have done nothing but take away my orgasms and make me fat.

That’s that story….