Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Joy Of Pillz

If you have been following this blog over the last month, I have been pretty open about my battle with various anxiety issues. Cognitive therapy starts in November, but until then the good doctors have put me on Celexa, a drug designed for people with anxiety issues.

The pills are supposed to take about 4-6 weeks to work, and so far I really haven't noticed a significant difference. I have noticed that my outlook has changed on life a bit, but I am not sure if that is my own doing. I don't feel the daily anxiety subsiding at all, so it is really hard to figure out where my improved optimism is coming from.

Perhaps one change is the weight that I have lost. About three months ago, I looked at myself in various pictures, and it kind of disgusted me. I never really considered myself "fat," but I had packed on some pounds. I weighted myself at the beginning of July, and I tipped the scales at 230 lbs. I am pretty sure it is the heaviest that I have ever been. I felt gross. So I started dieting and exercising a little bit. 3 months later, I am down about 30 lbs. I may need to buy new pants, but I suppose that is a good problem to have. Plus, I probably moved up a few levels with the ladies I could potentially pursue. Progress.

However, there have been some pretty gnarly side effects from these pills. The first, and most obvious, is the lack of sex drive. Granted, I am single, and have not made any effort to pursue the opposite sex. Before I used to break my neck to check out any half-breathing female that I crossed paths with. Now, I don't give most women a second look. I noticed that I don't have much of an interest in pursuing the opposite sex either. I am no social dynamo, but I really do not feel like being anywhere near a potential romantic relationship.

I have found that I have also been having some vivid, gut-wrenching dreams. I honestly cannot remember details about them, but I woke up feeling like shit, and the dreams put me in a terrible mood all day. A few I vaguely remembered involved my recent ex-girlfriend. Some involved some kind of death or terrible situation. I thought about keeping a pen and a notebook next to my bed to jot down the details, but I haven't gone that far. Vivid, realistic dreams are a side effect. So are suicidal thoughts and actions. I'll be sure to post when I slit my wrists.

I am trying to be more optimistic and I think it is working. I am naturally a pretty negative person. I expect the worst out of people and any situation. I am a nice person, and I always treat everyone I come across with respect, but I always have doubt in the back of my mind. Perhaps it some sort of defense mechanism? Just more fodder for a doctor, I suppose.

At the last doctor's office, he asked me if I had any questions. I asked how will I know when the medication actually starts working, or how does the medication actually work? He gave me some scientific explanation that went over my head. I guess I will know when I do not feel as paranoid in certain situations. The fun has just begun.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The NHL Is Fucking The Pooch!

The NHL has never meant much to me. Perhaps it is because I am a San Diego kid. People here do not play  hockey, and I honestly cannot say I have ever met a native San Diegan who loved the sport. Since we cannot play it shirtless, or in flip-flops, we push it to the wayside.

Last year, I attended a Bruins/Kings game at Staples Center. Everyone has always told me that one must see hockey in person to truly appreciate the sport. They were right.

My birthday was about as epic as they come last year: I saw a Clippers vs. Grizzles game in the afternoon, followed by a hockey nightcap. I honestly think I had more fun at the Kings game -- this coming from a guy who has a raging hard-on for Blake Griffin. There were big hits, exciting action, and the game actually kept my interest. I missed two goals when I was picking my nose and scoping out the babes. I had a blast.

My interest in the NHL has never been higher. I was hoping to check out a few Ducks games this year, and perhaps adopt a team to call my own. I watched much of the Stanley Cup Finals on television, and I found it to be intense. I do not understand all the nuances of the game, but I feel like I could learn, and fall in love with the sport.

However, the dips that run the NHL are in danger of losing another season, due to greed. Interest in the NHL has never been higher. The Winter Classic has been a boon for the league, and the NHL has no choice but to pimp the sport, since they lost the rights to the MLB and NBA. It seems that the NHL and NBC sports need each other.

Ratings were pretty solid last year for the playoff games, and the West Coast actually got involved with the success of the Kings. If the Kings become a power in the NHL, it will only benefit the league. However, the league has committed a series of boners that make a novice fan like me scratch my head.

First, why the hell has the league expanded into so many weird towns? Nashville, Columbus, Raleigh, Tampa Bay. I do not think hockey when I think of these towns. Hell, the Atlanta Thrashers failed and moved to Winnipeg. Too many damn teams in the league.

The owners got over on the last labor dispute. The salary cap was reduced by 24% and salaries were dramatically reduced. The newest rejected proposal had the players and owners disagreeing to a 50/50 split. Some sources say that the owners would still have 57% of the revenue, and it would gradually decrease over a five-year period.

Hockey cannot afford another black eye in my opinion. The sport is growing, and has a huge following in many East Coast towns. A California native like myself is interested in the sport. A missed season would likely make me apathetic. The sport needs new fans in order to continue to grow.

The NHL is missing a golden opportunity to keep the momentum they built in the playoffs last year. Another missed season could kill the sport for good.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Aftermath

I decided to wait a few days before posting my thoughts on the latest Chargers debacle. This is not a Chargers blog, but the situation is just too ridiculous to not post my two cents. I actually attended this game(the first Chargers game I went to since 2005) and I can compare my journey to the experiences of a heroin addict.

Naturally, I was stoked before the game. I got up, ate some breakfast, did the 3 S's(shit, shower, shave), threw on my Philip Rivers and I was ready to go. I hooked up with my best friend and his uncle(both Broncos fans) and did all the things that you do when you prepare to attend an NFL game.

We got some sandwiches, beer, water, and took the 10 mile pilgrimage to dilapidated Qualcomm Stadium. The parking lot was filling up, and it was quite the site. Hot chicks, the smell of food, beer and a ton of trash everywhere. There were several guys collecting cans and bottles, in order to recycle them for money to buy their own liquor. The circle of life. Hell, as soon as you finished that last drop of Bud Light, Rufus was in your face snatching that empty bottle. I contemplated throwing several bottles in their direction, in hopes of them fighting over it. I relented.

Inside, the game was electric. As much as people believe that San Diego has an apathetic fanbase, Qualcomm was mighty loud, despite the overpopulation of Donkey fans. The crowd was loud and enthusiastic. The Chargers were gifted 10 points early on, and built a 24-0 lead at halftime.

Personally, I don't believe the Chargers played well in the 1st half. They could not capitalize on a number of Denver's mistakes, and the running game never evolved. Perhaps Jared Gaither is just that good, or undrafted rookie free agent Mike Harris is just that bad.

Naturally, Charger fans were feeling pretty good. As was I -- however, I am not one to run my mouth. Nothing worse than celebrating prematurely. I will keep my smart-ass comments to myself, until the game commences. Plus, any team that has Peyton Manning is never really out of the game.

I felt myself poo a little when the Broncos marched right down the field for an easy touchdown. My initial fear was exacerbated when Philip Rivers had a fumble returned for a touchdown, and Denver pulled within 10. It was a pattern that I had seen too many times.

This Charger team cannot finish games. They could be 5-1, and the class of the AFC if they could hold a lead. They blew a 24-point lead at HOME. In fact, Elias tells us the Chargers are the first team to lead by 24 or more points, only to lose by double digits.

The team has no leaders, no identities. I love Philip Rivers, and this is the first time I have ever questioned his ability to lead a team. I know that the offensive line us beat up, but no elite quarterback turns the ball over five times in a half. The defense played gutless, uninspired football. I am no expert, but teams with great character do not allow the opposition to score 35 unanswered.

San Diego needs a leadership change. The team whacked Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season, because "he took them as far as they could go." Insert Norv Turner, who failed in two previous coaching destinations. The team has gone backwards, and frankly Norv needs to go.

After the game, I felt like I had been kicked in the crotch. It is an empty feeling when you witness one of the greatest collapses in NFL history. Denver fans pointed and laughed. What I could I say in retaliation? We had your number in the first half! Hey, at least my head coach looks like Al Gore banged Freddy Krueger! Nope, I had to take my medicine.

My Denver friends and I hit up a little 24-hour diner for a late-night meal. I hoped some chicken-fried steak, or a greasy burger would soothe my battered soul. As we walked in, the restaurant was populated with two tables full of Denver fans. They laughed at me, and slapped high-fives with my chums. Bastards. Some 10-year old kid took solace on my pathetic soul, and gave me a high-five. Thanks, kid. At the table, two hotties came over to the table and laughed at me for wearing a Rivers jersey. You would think that I would be used to having girls laugh in my face, but it did sting a little.

The Chargers are a laughingstock, and it hurts like hell. I love this team, and I just want to see them be successful. It seems that the ship has sailed. Time to clean house.