Friday, December 30, 2005

Lamictal, Week 5

I’m beginning my fifth week on Lamictal, and this is doing wonders for me. I’m not worried about stuff (although I should be…), I’m not getting angry, I’m not feeling any signs of depression. In fact it seems to have stabilized my moods and lifted the bottoms without affecting my highs. I still get somewhat hypomanic. And this is the best of the bipolar world – to control the bad stuff without taking away the fun of the highs. This is as good as it can get.

Side effects are zilch. Everything that was so terrible with Cymbalta and Seroquel is absent with Lamictal. I do get an occasional headache, but it’s nothing major. I have put on some weight, and can’t seem to steer clear of over-eating. I’m going to have to work on that one. The weight gain is probably a side effect, but the eating is not. That’s all me.

I’m having to work on my last 2 days of vacation this year, but I don’t much give a shit. I’m getting some stuff done, people know I’m not supposed to be here, and they mostly leave me alone. I have the headphones on, and the iPod playing the Beatles. “Ev'rybody had a hard year, Ev'rybody had a good time, Ev'rybody had a wet dream, Ev'rybody saw the sunshine. Oh yeah, Oh yeah.” No matter how much I hate living in the past musically, every once in a while you need to pull out some Beatles to appreciate how incredibly significant they were to popular music and rock. And it just feels good.

I work the second job this evening, but after that I’m taking the wife and the daughters out for pizza. Any boys hanging around the house can come along also, but hanging around with your parents and kid sisters on a Friday night is social suicide. So I imagine it will just be us 4, and that’s OK.

Have a good weekend, and if I don’t get another post made, a great start to 2006 for all.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Great Night

Had a great time last night!

First of all, let me preface this by saying that so much of last night was completely out of character for us.

First of all, yesterday Karen bought a new pair of hip-hugger jeans and a low cut sweater. She's very conservative (in many ways ;-) ), we rarely spend money on ourselves, and rarely buy clothes that are not on clearance. But she looked GREAT. From the front it was difficult to look her in the eyes, and from the back you'd follow her anywhere.

We went to a local night club where the festivities were taking place. We got there about 30 minutes before game time, and were one of maybe 10 people there. We grabbed a good table and ordered up our first round. The people trickled in through the evening, but a guy sits next to us early on with a couple of ladies. Crazy mofo. He introduced himself, and we had fun all night. This guy was a gas. Towards the end of the game, my boss showed up with her date. She's as crazy as any of them, and a lot of fun to party with. The Huskers came from behind and won, and the place was PACKED AND ROCKIN' by the end of the game. Big Red scored 4 touchdowns, which meant 4 free shots. Some combination of red vodka and schnapps. Very tasty. One of the members of The Iguanas is from our town, and his father was in the crowd. The father is also a musician, and was walking around during the game with a mariachi trumpet playing the "Charge!" song, and the Cornhusker fight song. The crowd was into it. But the game didn't get over until after 11:00 and our state's closing time is 1:00 AM. We only got The Iguanas for a little over an hour.

But the band was great. They found a couple of old friends in the crowd to join them, so they added an extra percussionist, a trumpet, and a clarinet. Yes, a clarinet. And these guys COOKED. Excellent players, they stepped right in and blew some great solos. The Iguanas, of course, are always good. From the first tune to "Para Donde Vas" (from the Phenomenon soundtrack) closing out the night, the dance floor was shoulder to shoulder, and people were having a great time. People were dancing in the aisles, and those not dancing were on their feet moving anyway. And like all Iguanas shows, the crowd varied from kids to people over 70. All dancing, moving, and having a GREAT time. Something about their music bridges ages, everyone seems to enjoy it.

It was one of the more enjoyable evenings I've spent in years.

We slept in this morning, and got up to a terrible headache (surprise, surprise). I counted my money, and found I spent a hundred dollars last night. This was on drinks and 2 $15 tickets. No wonder we had such a good time. I know many people drop a hundred bucks (or more) each time they go out, but for us this is HUGE. I have my bipolar spending tendencies reigned in tightly. But you know what? It was worth EVERY CENT. We don't do this often enough.

If The Iguanas ever come to your town, see them. Grab someone who is not afraid to dance, and have fun.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Iguanas!

No matter how bad things go at work, and it HAS been unbearable, no matter what goes wrong today, it's going to be a good day. Two things tonight will make it all worthwile.

First, my Cornhuskers play their bowl game tonight. The wife and I are going to a club not far from home to watch the game. Free food, free shots for each Nebraska touchdown - it will a great time.

Then immediately after the game, performing live...

The Iguanas!

Seeing this band live is as much fun as you can have with your clothes on. Hailing from New Orleans they have been voted New Orleans best party band many times. Their music is a mix of cajun, Tex-mex, Mexican, blues, rock, country... Don't try to put them in a box, they won't fit. Guitar player doubling on accordian, 2 saxes, bass, drums. They have a sound that's very unique. Los Lobos meets Morphine, infused with a beat that you can't help but dance to. Any band that can get this overweight, gray haired 46 year old on the dance floor is impressive, and I'll be dancing my ASS off.

Here's some samples from their web site:
Flame On
Oye Isabel

Eat your hearts out. :-)

Great Blog

I've blogged about this in the past, but I want to bring it up again.

Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments is a blog with GREAT information. For those of us with bipolar or other disorders it's a great way to keep up with information important to us every day. Today is a post about antidepressants for children. Very good post.

Make it a daily read, and if you're a blogger, link to it. It's an excellent resource.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Depressionhurts Wrap-Up

A final note on my Depression Hurts posts - post 1 and - part 2:

My Google rankings have plummeted since making my last post. If I were a cynical man (oh wait! I am!) I'd say that Lilly did some arm twisting of Google based on advertising dollars.

Oh well, if I got the word out to a single person about that piece of shit drug Cymbalta, it was WELL worth it.

Monday, December 26, 2005 Part 2

I have been getting heavy traffic on this blog for this post concerning Eli Lilly's TV ad for their Depression Hurts web site. It is a page one result on a "depressionhurts" Google search. In fact it's number 3 as of this moment. I'm glad to see this, hopefully people will take notice at the tactics being used by pharmaceutical companies. This post will take a moment to hit the high points of this once again.

First of all, the depressionhurts web site is a thinly veiled front-end to Lilly's new anti-depressant Cymbalta. The ad seems to be running heavily in response to holiday depression, which can be so prevalent this time of year. The ad tries to look like a public service ad, but many of the links take you directly to the Cymbalta web site. It contains a checklist you can print out and take to your physician, presumably for your own prescription to Cymbalta.

The insidious thing about this, they are able to bypass the disclosures otherwise necessary in drug ads. And with Cymbalta, those disclosures would be significant.

As any regular reader of this blog knows, I suffer from bipolar disorder. I have been on a handful of medications over the years. Earlier this year my physician prescribed Cymbalta. It was a DISASTER. This drug turned my life inside out. From completely killing all sex drive, to killer headaches, to suicidal thoughts. Raging manic highs to debilitating lows. This was far and away the WORST experience of my life. And then my doc took me off cold turkey. The withdrawal was almost more than I could take. I was physically ill at times.

I am currently on Lamictal, and it has been an incredibly great drug for me.

For those landing on the blog as a result of a depressionhurts search, ask LOTS of questions. Don't let your physician prescribe this without a psych consult. Get a second opinion. Look at other more proven products first. But once again, get the psych consult first. Let a professional make that diagnosis, prescription, and follow up. Don't trust this to your physician. Your life is too important.


Remember that James Stewart movie, "Harvey"? About that mild mannered, well liked man who had an imaginary rabbit as his friend. At least we assume he was imaginary, because nobody else could see him. Somebody had a shot he could take that would make him "normal". Should he do it? Conform to society, and accept the responsibilities of an adult in that society? I was left with a deep sadness at the thought of this charming person forever changing.

Is there a divine reason for those of us with bipolar? A reason a certain percentage of the population is bipolar? Are we blessed with this, or are we mutants? If I put myself, with my obsessions and drive to succeed at my chosen obsession, into a less advanced society what would I be? I don't have a good attention span, unless it's my obsession, then I have intense, unwavering focus. I don't take orders well, and am somewhat of a loner. I need very little sleep (of course), and have an endless supply of energy for my obsession. Farmer? Hunter? Soldier?

Should we be looking at our "disorders" and tailoring our professions and lives around our "strengths" or "disorders"? Isn't this what they would have done in an older society? Rather than pound our square selves into round holes, why not work with us at things that would fit our personalities?

Perhaps in that older society we would have been the crazy guys that lived on the streets and screamed obscenities at those who passed by? Madness is a fine line...

Christmas Is Over

Christmas is over, and the relief is immense. I feel like a million bucks. The house is still a mess, but it's getting better. Post holiday blues? Not in a million years for my wife Karen and I.

It was a great Christmas.

First, we have made a rule for our kids about gifts. All gifts given by them to us or their siblings MUST be from the Goodwill or other thrift or secondhand stores. This does include estate or garage sales, which comes into play later. There is a 5 dollar price limit. Gifts can also be handmade.

Cut to last summer: My oldest is home from college, and is drinking from this enormous mug. We comment on it, and he says there's a competition going on between some of his buddies on who can find the biggest mug. He said his buddy had one bigger.

Fast forward: My 17 year old son is taking vocational automotive body classes as part of his high school curriculum. He has an idea, and starts to work on it. He gets a 5 gallon bucket and begins to grind off the handle, lips, and all external features. He finds a short handicapped bathroom handle, very heavy duty, and bolts it to the bucket. He then heaps on the Bondo (automotive body putty), and starts to contour and smooth the bucket. When he was done, it was perfectly smooth, and it looked like the handle was a molded part of the bucket. He painted it, clear coated it, and put on letters that said "Too Much Mug To Chug". He had created a 5 gallon mug for his older brother.

Christmas Eve: Older brother opens the mug gift, and laughs harder than I've seen him laugh before. A look of pure enjoyment on his face. As a parent it was the most satisfying feeling imaginable, to see our kids so happy and anxious to give and please.

Cut to last summer: We're at an estate sale. Find an autographed baseball in a display bubble with a base. There is other White Sox memorabilia there. Kyle is a HUGE White Sox fan. I'm not a big baseball fan, but look over the ball for familiar names. Frank Thomas is there, I know "The Big Hurt" is a White Sox player. Price is five bucks. I tell my daughters that would make a great Christmas gift for Kyle.

Fast forward to fall: The Sox win the World Series. Kyle is ecstatic.

Christmas eve: The ball is a HUGE hit. There is NO WAY we would have been able to purchase a White Sox souvenir like that after they win the series. We add a fitted Sox cap Karen had to look high and low for. Kyle had one before, but after his attack it was blood soaked, and the police kept it. He loves the combination.

Other memorable gifts: One of the boys gave his youngest sister a Shrek Donkey stuffed animal. The grin on it's face and the expression had us laughing all night.

Another gave her a stuffed warthog that looked EXACTLY like a mounted boar I have in the basement I shot with Ted Nugent. We all laughed about that.

Another boy found a picture for Kyle at the Goodwill that was part of a 2 picture set. Huge picture, framed, weighed about 40 pounds. About 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Done in a wood carving pressing fashion, but with lighted highlights and shadows. The picture was of Mark Twain. Stern looking, prominent features, big cigar in his mouth. You look at it and just burst out laughing. Kyle loves it.

One of the kids got me a fisherman bobblehead. Holding a cold drink in one hand and a carp, yes, an actual carp in the other. This describes me exactly these days. My serious fishing is over, and I'd rather relax watching a carp pole with a cold beverage in my hand. The kids say it even looks like me.

Karen got me a cribbage board, deck of cards, and a MASH movie video. We had agreed not to exchange gifts with each other in favor of getting more for the kids. But she cheated a little, as did I. The girls (through me) got her a nightgown and some panties from Victorias Secret (not thrift store stuff, in case you were saying ewww...). Karen has lost weight lately, and looks like a million bucks. Not that she didn't before, but she's trying hard and it shows. I'm proud of her, and she really does look sexy.

All in all, it was a great, memorable, christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas, how's everyone doing? Attitudes good?

In our house Kyle has NOT been doing well. He is not working, so has no money for Christmas. He has no transportation to get anywhere, and I doubt his girlfriend will take him to sell plasma for gifts (it's rumored he's done this before). And he is SUCH a generous person it really hurts him when he can't give the way he'd like to give. No matter how many times we tell him it really does not matter to us, that we just want HIM there with us, it doesn't help. He still gets angry and manic. That's not pleasant when that happens.

2 evenings ago, he went over the edge. This doesn't happen often anymore, but when it does it's awful. He was banging things, slamming doors, yelling obscenities, screaming, and so forth. He finally went outside and started screaming the "F" word at the top of his lungs.

When Kyle gets this way, I'm better off just walking away. If I try to confront him, he turns on me and either verbally hammers me, or gets in my face. This has been the source of the few physical confrontations we've had in the past. But when he's outside screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs, there was nothing else I could do.

I went outside and told him to keep quiet. He went off on me.
"Oh, right. Good talk. Good weekly talk with me. Give me more wisdom. Good talk."
I said "Kyle, the neighborbors don't want to hear this."
He said "No YOU don't want the neighbors to hear this!"
I told him "Nobody wants to hear this."

Then showing significant restraint, I turned and walked back inside. Pre-medication I would not have been able to walk away from this. He did shut up after that, thank goodness.

This is not a unusual exchange, it happens every month or so. But this time was unusual in that Kyle came up to me and apologized a few hours later. He has NEVER done that of his own accord. I think my wife may have had something to do with this, but it doesn't matter. He never does this.

Even given this, he STILL refuses to stay on his meds. We're not going to be able to tolerate this forever.

But given all this, it will be a wonderful Christmas if Kyle is there and in a good mood. He adds SO much to our family. I'm looking forward to our Christmas Eve celebration.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Festivus Wishes

Ever hear about Festivus? "A Festivus for the rest of us!"

Festivus is celebrated each year on December 23, but many people celebrate it other times, often in early December. Its slogan is "A Festivus for the rest of us!" An aluminum pole is generally used in lieu of a Christmas tree or other holiday decoration. Those attending participate in the "Airing of Grievances" which is an opportunity for all to vent their hostilities toward each other, and after a Festivus dinner, The Feats of Strength are performed. Traditionally, Festivus is not over until the head of the household is wrestled to the floor and "pinned."

Order your own Festivus pole from

Can't say that Festivus will replace Christmas in our house, but it was hilarious the first time I saw this.

The source? Seinfeld, of course.

Politically Correct Season's Wishes


Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all...and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "America" in the Western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual orientation of the wishee.

This wish is limited to the customary and usual good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first. "Holiday" is not intended to, nor shall it be considered, limited to the usual Judeo-Christian celebrations or observances, or to such activities of any organized or ad hoc religious community, group, individual or belief (or lack thereof).

Note: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

* This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all.
* This greeting is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting.
* This greeting implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for the wishee her/himself or others, or responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the implementation or non-implementation of same.
* This greeting is void where prohibited by law.

(Original Author Unknown)

The Best Things In Life Are Free (Or Nearly So)

Technology is amazing. There is SO much you can do, and do for free. Since I have a large family, the wife and I have very little money to spend on ourselves. So I have developed an obsession with free technology and computer tools.

Here are some of my favorites.

At the top of the list is G-mail. Google's free email service. Incredible. Throw away your ISP based email, I don't use mine any longer. I have moved completely to G-mail. Access mail from anywhere. The best spam filters. The best virus protection. The best interface. Over 2 gigs (that's right, GIGS) of storage. No ads on outgoing mail. Best of all? 100% free. If you are not a Gmail user, let me know and I'll send you an invitation. It's still not available to the general public, but I've been a beta user from the start and have hundreds of invitations I can distribute.

Firefox. If you are still using Internet Explorer, STOP! Really, just step away from the browser. Go here: and download the latest version of Firefox. It is SO much better than IE. You don't get the adware, spyware, and other trash so prevalent with Internet Explorer. I'm not just blowing smoke here, it's THAT good.

AVG Anti Virus. Are you still paying for Norton or McAfee subscriptions? While they are good products, there's a LOT of overhead, and also that damn money thing. AVG is free for non-commercial use. Download it here: AVG does not interface directly with Outlook Express, but it does with Outlook. And if you are using Gmail as described above, your virus problems are solved anyway. But this is a good product, and easy to use.

Ad-Aware and Spybot. Ad-ware can be downloaded at and Spybot can be downloaded at Both are indispensible at finding and ridding your system from adware and spyware. Both are completely free and easy to use. Of course, if you use Firefox, there is not much need for these...

Blogger. No further explanation is necessary.

Web hosting. Web hosting is so inexpensive these days it's almost free. (Begin shameless plug)I have a webhosting company, HomePage Webs. Your own web site can be had for just a few bucks a month (end shameless plug.) Your own domain name can be had for less than ten bucks a year, see for that. On this site, you can go to my blogger site,, or to my domain, The site is the same either way, although my domain is hanging up when loading today. And that's so simple to accomplish! Believe it or not, there's the single line of code to do that, but I haven't figured out how to escape code to post on blogger.
What this does is pull your blogger site into your home page. Your links take you back to the blogger site, but that doesn't matter. WAY cool. Let me know if you want the code to accomplish this.

I could go on forever about open source, freeware, and yes, even piracy and cracking. This stuff is what drives me today. I've become a geek. Sheesh! Who woulda thunk it?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Best Rudolph Character?

Everyone's seen it, the Bass and Rankin animated classic. One of the greatest animated specials ever made. Great childhood memories. Back when you had to wait all year to see a show, and if you missed it, you waited another year.

Who's your favorite character? Rudolph? The reindeer coach? Hermey? (yes, it really is Hermey and not Herbie), Yukon Cornelius? Personally, I like Yukon Cornelius. The Abominable Snow Monster used to give me nightmares when I was a kid. Of course, so did the witch in "The Wizard Of Oz", another once-a-year show.

Anyone remember the girlfriend's name? Come on now, think! How about "Clarice"?

How about your favorite scene? I like the Bumble putting the star on the tree.

I just purchased the DVD, we'll watch it on Christmas. See if my kids like it as much as I do. Doubtful.

Christmas Music, Part 2

More Christmas favorites:

Jingle Bell Rock. It's hideous. No matter how well it's covered, it sucks.

Jingle Bells. Have you ever stopped and listened to this song? It's awful!

Feliz Navidad. Jose Feliciano came up with a winner with this one, but after 2 million listens, it suffers from major suckage also.

Little Drummer Boy. No matter carefully how you cover this, "Pa rum pa pum pum" really bites.

I could go on forever, but I'm belaboring this point.

I just listened to Canned Heat doing "Christmas Blues", and it's great! Rocking blues. A good listen.

Listening now to Roy Milton doing "Christmas Time Blues" from 1950. This is fantastic. Killer tenor sax solo. They don't do blues like that today.

By the way, I got my Messiah album last night. The London Symphony and Chorus. Very good orchestra and chorus. I'm very happy with this one. I feel real guilty about it, spending twenty dollars at Christmas time. But I made an agreement with the wife, I'll burn it, load it on the iPod, and she'll then wrap it and give it to me for Christmas. Along with another purchase I made last week, that most classic of animated specials, "Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer" on DVD. Don't be baggin' on The Bumble now...

Enough for now, I'm off work today and taking the girls to meet the wife for lunch today. Can't spend much during the Christmas season, but we have a Cicis Pizza in town, and it's opnly $3.99 for all you can eat. Heck, you can't hardly eat at home for that.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Music Sucks

No, I'm not being a scrooge or a grinch. Christmas music really does suck. Now that being said, I'm a sentimental guy, and will be in tears Christmas eve listening to my daughters sing with the church choir, and when we all sing Joy To The World. But in general, how many covers of Jingle Bells can you tolerate?

John Lennon did Christmas songs, and I appreciate them. They're not as overplayed as others. But Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" makes me gag.

Perhaps the most retched Christmas song was sung by George Strait, called "Christmas Cookies". It's worth owning as a substitute for Ipecac in the event of accidental poisoning.

Mannheim Steamroller does as good a job as any in covering Christmas songs, but even those are becoming old.

I stumbled on a disk called "Blue Yule" and popped it in this morning. Good stuff. Original blues tunes done by blues masters with a Christmas theme. Highly recommended.

But for true holiday music, nothing touches Handel's Messiah. I heard a broadcast of our local symphony orchestra and choir doing a performance of The Messiah the other night, and it left me with goose bumps. Spectacular. For a community the size of ours (half a million or so) we are really blessed with the quality of fine arts available.

When I was in high school we had a class required of all people in vocal music called "Oratorio Choir". It was a combination of all classes, all grades. We had a large school, so we had in excess of 500 kids in that group. We performed Handel's Messiah with the school orchestra, and it was a great musical education and experience. They couldn't get away with that today, and that's a shame. It was one of those few high school education experiences that has stayed with me my entire life.

I'm hoping to leave work early enough to stop and purchase a CD of "The Messiah". I know it's heresy to spend money on myself at Christmas, but I've wanted this for years. But I'm particular on what I'm looking for. I want an entire orchestra, not a harpsichord as accompaniment. And for orchestra, I'm not talking about the Sioux Falls symphony. And I want a full choir, not a small group, not the Voices of Dubuque, and not the Vienna Boys Choir. I want the best from New York, or Boston, or London. If anyone has a suggestion, leave me a comment.

That would really make my Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Embarassed the Kids - Again

The wife and I and 2 kids were at a grocery store yesterday. This is not a normal grocery store. It's small, sparsely staffed, and carries few items, but the items they carry are so cheap it's unbelievable. For what they carry you can save 50 to 65% over a normal grocery store. It can be crowded, especially the first of the month when the welfare comes out.

We were in a long single line that snaked well back into the store. There were 2 cashiers, and just when we start to get close, they opened another register. The guy calls out "Can I help the next in line?" A lady 2 places behind me quickly jumps in. Everyone else in line looks at each other and rolls their eyes. But I wasn't going to let it go. I speak up "Now was that fair?"

She ignored me, but everyone else is looking at us.

I say it again. "Was that fair?"

She looks at me and says "I don't know what you're talking about."

I said "There is a single line, he called for the next in line, and you jump right in. You are obviously in a bigger hurry then anyone else here."

She's obviously flustered. The guy in front of me gives me a big smile and a wink. The old lady in the next line says disgustedly "it happens all the time." The cashier, who hasn't smiled at ANYONE gives me a smile when we get up. My wife says, to me only, "once a princess, always a princess."

And the lady? She left at almost a dead run.

I haven't done that in years, although I used to be the king of confrontation when something wasn't right. I never went looking for trouble, but if someone tried to take advantage of me or anyone else, I called them on it in a heartbeat. NEVER did I get physical, that's not my style, but I have a tongue that can cut deep.

It felt pretty good. :-)

Bipolar View Of Their Spouse

Here's how a bipolar's spouse appears to them:

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I Don't Know...

I don't know whether to be embarassed or amused.

In addition to my career, I work a part time job as a front-end supervisor for a major national retailer. I was training a new kid the other day. He graduated last year from the same high school my kids attend(ed). When we had a break in the action, I chatted with him. I asked if he knew my youngest boy, a senior this year. He was a year older than my boy, and said he vaguely knew him. I then mentioned Kyle. He gets this big smile on his face. "Kyle Lastname? Yeah, I remember Kyle Lastname." He goes on to say that he was standing in the lunch line his sophomore year, and here comes Kyle streaking through the cafeteria. Hundreds of kids cheering, and Kyle's wearing nothing but running shoes. He allegedly hurdled the teacher that tried to tackle him and made it out the door.

What could I say? I just admitted "Kyle was somewhat of a challenge to raise".

As much as I want to be upset by this, I'm laughing on the inside. Only Kyle...

I just saw a TV ad about depression. It was an attention grabbing ad, well produced. At the end we see it was made by Lilly. When you go to the web site, it prominently shows a logo for Cymbalta, Lilly's hot new anti-depressant. It has you take a test, and has a link that prints out your results you can take to your Doctor. Of course, it heavily plugs Cymbalta, in fact links you to the web site for all questions and further information.

I feel cheated. I thought this was a caring, compassionate, ad. Instead we have a pharmaceutical company trying to convince as many people as possible to try their product. In fact, I'll go so far as accusing them of trying to MANUFACTURE depression to sell product. And what a piece of shit product it is. The time I spent on it was miserable. Side effects that were unbearable. Mania, depression, suicide thoughts, vivid disturbing dreams, and more. With this manner of marketing, they don't have to disclose ANY drug side effects in their ad, which of course, would take the entire ad time for Cymbalta.

Fucking bottom feeders.

Sat Down With Kyle

Had a chance to sit down with Kyle last night. He tried to justify missing his counseling appointment by saying the counselor is an idiot. We've heard this about every professional we've ever taken him to. He gave an example of saying he can't sleep. The counselor says, in an excruciatingly slow voice, "Many people with your condition suffer from this. You might try, um, say, reading a book?" To be fair to Kyle, I can understand how this would set him off. He is brilliant, and I'm sure he knows as much about his condition, and very possibly more, than the counselor. We convinced him to continue to go, but I can see the time coming where he gets bored and starts playing games with the counselor.

As far as meds, he gave us several reasons he wouldn't take meds. I ended up telling him of my youth, and how I lost jobs, and did things that sabotaged careers. That several former peers from one job stayed together while I got bored and had to make a change, and they are all retired now in their mid forties to fifties. I told him how, had I been diagnosed and properly medicated, my life could have been SO much easier. He wants to find a job, and the stress of that single task, the pressure of walking into Starbucks and asking them for a job drives him into a manic state. I tried to show him how he's going about this backwards. Get on the right med, and everything else in life becomes easier. I don't know if I got through to him, but I did see him take his first Risperdal(?). We'll see if it continues.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Kyle Issues Again

Well, it's been how long? Three weeks since we've had an issue with my 21 year old son Kyle? That's as much as we can expect.

Today he had a counselling appointment. His grandmother was coming over to pick him up at 2:30 PM. Late enough for him to be a typical bipolar and stay up all night, and still get some sleep. But this morning he's not here. Grandma comes over, he's not here. Throughout the day, my wife is getting calls.

His girlfriend calls my wife, says they had a big fight. Says Kyle is off his meds. Again. He's never been able to stay on medication for more than a few weeks. She says she's done with him. I don't know if this would be good or bad, she's violent, but he listens to her.

When he's gone all night, it's because he's drinking. He called my wife this afternoon, and sounded surprised about his appointment. He knew about it, but was either drunk or stoned when he called. He was at a friend's house that is a big drug user. I don't think he has a friend that is not a heavy drinker and/or a drug user.

I get home and there's a note on his bedroom door, his girlfriend obviously walked in and left it. She asks him to either call with an explanation or call to tell her to pick up her stuff.

So here's where we stand. Kyle has broken several rules of our rooming agreement. He is welcome to live in our house forever, provided he doesn't drink, keeps his Dr appointments, and stays on his meds. He knows where he stands, and I don't think we'll see him for several days. Then he'll come back, apologetic, and make another round of promises.

It's a circle that has no end.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Internet Addiction 2

I just made my post on my internet obsession, and I read a post from someone I link to. This is from the blog Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments, and it speaks directly to some of my issues.

It's a great read, in fact the blog in general has very good information for anyone who has any psychiatric issues, or supports a loved one who does. It's a valuable daily read.

Internet Addiction?

A blogger that I read regularly, and link to, has declared herself addicted to the internet, and she has unplugged.

That causes me to take pause.

My leisure activities have always been obsessive. No matter what it is, I have thrown myself full-body into it. I had been avoiding the conclusion that my internet use is an obsession. I call it writing, and I am writing. I call it programming, and I do program. I call it business, and I do have a web hosting business that brings in a little money. It is all of these things, but it's also an obsession.

This scares me, on several levels.

First, I earn my living programming, managing programmers, and as a technical business analyst. I am very good at what I do, primarily because my technical knowledge gives me an edge over the others I work with. I have this knowledge through my drive to be technically knowledgeable, to be adept at several programming languages, and my need to be the best at what I do. But this all feeds into an internet obsession. If I were to walk away from this obsession, I would give up my edge. With my personality I would find another obsession, and that obsession might just sabotage my career, as has happened in the past.

So, as I see it, I do one of 2 things. I continue as I am today, spending most of my free time on the computer, or I climb off the technology treadmill and find a new career. It really does seem to be black and white for me. I guess that's the downside to my personality. The upside is my drive to be the most knowledgeable, the most competent, and really the best at everything I do. Hence, the obsession. I just cannot do anything half way. It's balls-to-the-wall, or I don't bother.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lifetime Meds? I Don't Think So!

My baby bring me champagne when I'm thirsty
That little girl give me good reefer when I wanna get high
...Muddy Waters

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this medication thing, and I’m wondering where it stops, or if it stops. First, my bipolar is NOT that bad. Now that I have an understanding of it, I am able to watch out for the behaviors that have been damaging to me in the past. My main concerns with my bipolar disorder are as follows:

My anger, and how it affects those around me.
Depressions seem to be getting worse, even though they are quite infrequent.
My lack of concentration.

I have suffered from obsessive behaviors in the past, but I’m now aware of the condition, and that it can cause this. In the past I seemed to sabotage myself sub-consciously on jobs for some unknown reason, perhaps to maximize my time on my obsessive activity. But I see this now, and am able to watch for it. Although this blog, made in the middle of the day; is not a good indicator.

From all the questions I’ve been asking, and all the research I’ve been doing, it appears that the medical community will want to keep me medicated for the rest of my life. I am not comfortable with this. What are the long term mental and physical effects of these meds? It can’t be good. And I would assume that a given med will lose effectiveness over the years, resulting in higher dosages and more risk. And when I am off my medical insurance coverage in 20 years, will I be able to count on medicare or medicaid to pay these?

Why am I not better off self-medicating? When I get manic why shouldn't I smoke some pot or take a drink? Provided I don’t develop a dependance on either, what would be the difference? I don't smoke pot, and it's been a while since I have, but is anyone really going to tell me that twisting one up a few times a month is more harmful to me than a mind altering medication every day for the next 40 years? I am really not at risk for alcoholism, I have spent times in my life where I drank like a fish, and I never suffered from withdrawals, or never craved it. I did it because I wanted to do it. When I was younger and smoked a lot, it did become obsessive, but when I decided to walk away, it was no problem. I fully believe, actually KNOW, that I can handle these on an infrequent basis when and as needed. I can’t help but believe my long-term well being would be better served without a lifetime prescription to a mood altering med.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


On my last post I said there was a story about my grandfather to tell.

Let me preface this by saying I'm not a believer in the occult. I've never believed much in ESP or other types of extended senses. I am a Christian, and believe in the Christian concept of heaven.

First, my grandfather was one of the worlds most fun people to be around. But he was no saint. He smoked like a chimney, drank like a fish, and caroused around like there was no tomorrow. I loved him dearly. I was with him a few hours before he died. Until I got there, nobody would acknowledge death to him, and I don't blame them. But I knew he was going. I had a chance to sit and tell him some remembrances, and while he couldn't talk, he did make noise and nod his head when I hit on a good memory. When I told him he better have a thermos of coffee, a bucket of minnows for crappie fishing, and a goose hunting spot ready when I got there to join him, his eyes opened, and he managed to croak out "I will". It was the last actual words I heard him say. And there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he will be waiting.

But now the story.

First of all, my grandmother (also mothers side) preceeded Granddad in death by about 8 months. One night my mother saw her, and talked to her. Mom said it was like a dream, but wasn't a dream. Grandmother said she was having a wonderful time with the 2 daughters that had already passed on. Mom asked about Granddad, and my grandmother said that there was a little problem, and he hadn't been able to join her yet. Then she was gone. My mother told us this, and we laughed hard. Not that we necessarily believed her, but it was SO Granddad it made a great story.

My youngest brother lives alone in Manhattan. He is gay, not an outdoors lover, and had little in common with Granddad. It was always a strained relationship between them. Little bro has achieved incredible success, he is at the top of his profession, and is known in his field around the world. He has a friend that is a psychic. This is not a quack who reads palms under a neon sign, he's said to be just a normal guy with abilities others don't have. I could tell several fascinating stories about this guy, but for now you'll have to do as I did and try to swallow it. Just before Thanksgiving he was visiting my brother, and the two of them were talking. During a lull, the psychic kind of drifted off. My brother didn't bother him, but after a few minutes he got concerned, laid a hand on him, and spoke to him. The psychic shook his head like he was waking up, and said "Sorry, I was having a conversation with your grandfather."

My brother takes a quick step back, and said "my grandfather?!" The psychic said it was a tall man, gray hair, LOTS of gray hair, wearing khaki pants and a plaid shirt. Well, that was definitely him. Keep in mind my brother had no pictures of Granddad, and had never before mentioned him to the psychic. Brother mentioned that Granddad would never visit him, he'd go to the other brothers instead, they had more in common. The psychic told him that Granddad said that he wanted to tell him that he loved him, and he was proud of him. Then the psychic told my brother that Granddad was going to stay for a few days - he didn't want him to spend Thanksgiving alone. Granddad always was adament about families being together on holidays.

Upon telling our mother all this, Mom said that Grandad had told her that he was very concerned about dying before he could tell my brother this. Obviously Grandad had this, and maybe a LOT more to accomplish before he can join his wife and daughters in the afterlife.

One by one, the events of this tale would be meaningless. But together, it makes a damn believable story. At least to me.

Back to more conventional posts tomorrow.

Bipolar and Family Histories

Don't ask me to quote these sources, as my wife brought this home from one of my son Kyle's meetings. But I know this is right.

There is a 1 in a hundred chance of a person in the general population having bipolar disorder. I'm not surprised about a 1% rate. If you have a family history of bipolar, there is a 1 in 10 chance of having it. Looking at my family I'd say that's a little low. We seem to have at least one per generation.

My son was the first person in our family diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I am the second. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I am absolutely convinced my grandfather (mother's side) had bipolar disorder. Iloved my grandfather like I love my own father. And growing up I couldn't see his personality clearly, and I wouldn't have thought anything wrong anyway. Granddad was a born salesman, but was a person everyone loved and trusted. He loved to have fun. He partied hard, drank like a fish, chased women, and caroused. But he was also a VERY loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. I don't recall him ever being depressed, but I do remember his rage from time to time, and the way he would swear a bluestreak. Man, when he tore into you with that sharp tongue, it was something you didn't forget. But his anger didn't last long, and he could always let it go. He smoked like a chimney, but that didn't kill him. When I was younger I could ALWAYS count on Granddad to have some fun. I'd be in college, and would stop by his house frequently. Before long we'd be out hunting pheasants, or fishing, or in a smoky bar drinking and shooting pool. No matter what we did, it seemed to end in a smoky bar somewhere. Grandad was one of my favorite people that ever lived.

He had a large family, my mother was the oldest of 5 kids. 4 girls, then the youngest a boy. My mother has bipolar tendencies, but I don't think she has full-blown bipolar. But I am absolutely certain my uncle has it. He is very much like my grandfather, and is so much fun to be around. I have spent some of my most drunken times with my uncle. Everything we did ended up with us drowning in beer, and sometimes passing a joint or two. He's been married twice, he couldn't stop running around, and he was quite the ladies man. But he is very sentimental, loving, and sensitive. You can't help but love him. I have seen him depressed, and I've seen him hypomanic. I haven't seen him angry, however. He drinks very heavily, and also smokes. I suspect he still uses marijuana from time to time. He has held many jobs over the years.

In other words, we're all very much alike in our bipolar tendencies. I've avoided running around on my wife, thank goodness for that. But outside of that we're all from the exact same mold.

I need to figure out a way to let my kids know what to expect when they start raising their own families. I guarantee they'll run into this.

BTW: This is a story that needs it's own post to do it justice. Grandad is still wandering around out there, he hasn't yet made it into heaven, or whatever form of afterlife you believe in. This has been verified by 2 different and unrelated sources. It's a hell of a story, but one I won't begin tonight.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bipolar Top Ten List

Top Ten indicators that you might have Bipolar disorder

10. You think Robin Williams should Perk Up.

9. You just bought the Kenny G and Berry Manilow box set just

8. You think going to bed on Monday and getting up on Friday is a
good rest.

7. What do you mean you're tired -- I had only 3 orgasms!

6. You can not remember the number 7.

5. You know the names of at least three antidepressants and fifteen
mood stabilizers.

4. Your cat's name is Kay and your dog's name is Jamison.

3. You bring your own research to the doctor's.

2. You think a drive from Vancouver, BC to Miami is something to do
in four days.

And the Number One reason you may be Bipolar is:

1. Last night you understood the secrets to the universe and this
morning you are contemplating whether the jam goes on top of the
peanut butter or under it.

Friday, December 09, 2005

It's Fridayyyyyy......

It's been a short week for me, but I'm still fired up about being Friday.

A few things today:

First, my Lamictal experiment is going very well! Absolutely no adverse side effects yet, and I'm loving that. I'm still a few weeks away from a "therapeutic dose", but with other meds I've been on I noticed side effects almost immediately. I will say, though, that right now I'm hovering on the brink of hypomania. I almost feel too good. I feel like partying tonight, but that, of course, would not be good.

Next, from
An open letter to Larry The Cable Guy, written by comedian David Cross, in response to a verbal spat the 2 have going. I spent quite a bit of time over my vacation being "dumbed down" listening to Larry The Cable Guy. Now I'm not complaining, at a base level he is pretty funny. It's not always my kind of humor, however. But my host was enjoying it, and I have to admit, it was funny at times. This letter is long, but is pretty funny, especially if you're not a lover of LTCG.

Finally, I was just exposed to Sarah Silverman. She was a staff writer on SNL in the early 90's but got fired over a skit she wrote that referenced, "Chinks." Most recently, she starred in THE ARISTOCRATS and SCHOOL OF ROCK. But be sure to see her new movie, SARAH SILVERMAN: JESUS IS MAGIC, which chronicles her stand-up.

Check-out the trailor:

"Strippers should be role models for little girls...if only for the fact that they wax their assholes."
"I was licking jelly off my boyfriend's penis and all of a sudden I'm thinking, 'OH MY GOD...I'm turning into my mother!'"
And just as funny, a quote from my gay brother:
"Too bad that Sarah's boyfriend is Jimmy Kimmel because if I were a woman I'D marry her."

I guess the above material kind of points to my borderline hypomania today, huh? ;-)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Back From Vacation

Back from vacation. I worked my ass off, sat outside in sub zero wind chills, and got up at 4:00 AM every morning.

I also enjoyed it immensely.

My dad is 74 years old, and won't be doing this forever. We sat around in the goose pit trading stories, barbs, and jokes. It didn't matter if we got any ducks and geese, it was the camaraderie that was the key. It certainly wasn't the weather. It snowed one day, and we drove home in TERRIBLE weather. 50 mph winds blowing snow into a white-out condition. There were times we couldn't even see the interstate center line. Wind chills well below 50 below. If we'd had vehicle problems in these conditions we would NOT have survived out there. It's amusing (in a very warped way) to watch the California cars driving the interstate in these conditions, stopping at the truck stops and gassing up in t-shirts. Instant hypothermia.

Out there along the river are many incredible people. In my journeys to this place we have spent time with a person who owns and runs one of the most respected lutheries in the country. We have spent time with a person who owns and runs some of the most repected music festivals in the world. We met and spent time with a pilot freshly home from Afghanistan while between assignments for a private consultant. Businessmen. Ranchers. A well known wildlife artist. Athletes. Politicians. All with chapped lips, hands rubbed raw from the work and the weather out there, all with wind burned faces. And all there because of their love for the outdoors. Great people, all.

While out there I finished my first week on Lamictal. To be honest, I've noticed very few side effects. Racing heart sometimes, nodding off sometimes, but not much more than normal. Except for dreams. I am dreaming much more again. It's not as pronounced or vivid as when I was on Cymbalta, but it is noticeable. Also, my sex drive has not gone away like it did on Cymbalta and Seroquel. This is a VERY good thing.

Kyle was given a prescription, the med's name escapes me right now. But he has no way of paying for it, and it runs over a hundred dollars a month. They gave him the name of a charitable pharmacy that can dispense meds at a greatly reduced price, but he'll still have to call them and fill out an application. He's not capable of doing that, so the wife or I will have to get involved. Again. No big deal, really, we'll do it gladly. But the place we pick them up is many miles away and in a very bad part of town. I wouldn't trust Kyle to bus there, so we'll need to take him there.

But I'm not complaining, Kyle seems to be doing well, and I'm doing well, and the entire family's doing well. Life is good. For today, anyway.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I'll be leaving on vacation in the morning, and won't be back until probably Monday night. I'm looking forward to relaxing...

This was a decent day. I was supposed to be off work all day, but ended up working half a day. That was OK, it's easy to work when you know you can leave anytime, and when your lunch vendor for the day is Popeye's chicken. Their spicy chicken and red beans and rice is like a food orgasm.

This afternoon I took Kyle to his first counseling appointment. He had several sheets of paperwork to complete, and 45 minutes later he's still struggling to complete them. This is exactly what made school such a challenge for him, if he couldn't do something perfectly he did not hand it in - homework, tests, or anything else. I finally convinced him to stop after 45 minutes and hand it in, he was going back and changing his answers by that time. But he left the appointment upbeat, and we had a very nice talk. We drove back in a blizzard, and it took an hour to get the 12 miles or so from downtown to our neighborhood. We then stopped at a sporting goods store, and browsed around. He really enjoyed looking at the archery equipment. When they were younger, our kids spent most of their days in our store, an outdoor sports store. We had an archery range in the store, and when he was quite young he was shooting competitively. He was pretty decent for his age. We bow hunted for deer a lot back then, and I took Kyle along every time I could. He truly enjoyed being out there experiencing nature. At the end of the hunt I always had my kids tell me what they saw from their tree stand. Not deer, we'd talk about that later. But other things - squirrels, raccoons, sights, sounds, and everything that makes nature what it is. After all that, we would talk about the deer we saw. Kyle loved being out there, but he didn't enjoy bow hunting - too much stress for him. When a deer would get close he would get so flustered and nervous he just couldn't hit it. It caused him a lot of embarrassment and loss of confidence. It also caused him to give up archery. He's recently expressed an interest in getting back into target archery, and he really enjoyed looking at the equipment. We stopped at church on the way home to pick up my girls from choir, and he went in with me to get them. It's been so long since he's been there, I didn't think he would go in. It made me feel good that he was comfortable enough to walk in, he has been too self conscious to go to church in the past.

On another note, I did have my first official psych eval the other day. As if it's any surprise, I was diagnosed Bipolar 2. I told Kyle the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, although his symptoms are more severe, an easy BP 1. I really didn't like the guy I saw, I thought he was a prick, although a soft spoken one. He was mild mannered, polite, then would slip a zinger in on me, and I'd think, "yeah, he's right, but what a prick for putting it that way". But this being said, I still made a follow up appointment with him. He suggested Lamictal, and I decided to start on it. I wasn't planning on any med regimen, but decided I'd give meds another try. Although they've been nothing but trouble for me in the past. In 30 days or so, he says we'll add Depakote also. I'll see how it goes. But he told me NO alcohol, no tobacco, and start cutting back on caffeine. Well, screw that. I absolutely do NOT have a drinking problem, and never will. People don't understand this, they think with my personality I must have alcohol issues, but I really and truly don't. I am going on vacation, and I will have a glass or two of wine with dinner, and a cocktail or two in the evenings when we're sitting around talking. I will also have a cigar or two while I'm at it. Outside of vacations I smoke maybe 2 or 3 cigars a month, and do not use any other tobacco products.

I'll talk to you all again next week.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Kyle's Day

I couldn't give many details earlier today about Kyle's day, so I'll try to catch up.

First of all, he was able to sleep last night. Kyle really doesn't sleep much, if at all. I suspect it was the Seroquel, it did the same thing to me. But today he got so manic he had to leave. His heart was racing, he couldn't concentrate, he felt caged. He witnessed an epileptic seizure. He then saw a girl develop an allergic reaction to a medication that caused her throat to swell almost shut, it was life threatening for her but she ended up OK. He had another man make a pass at him. It was, in all, a horrible day for him. I understand why he walked out.

He was walking distance from his grandmother's house, so he walked there. She took him back to get his things, and the people there helped him get counselling and psych appointments lined up. So the end result wasn't all bad. I'm willing to let him come back home provided he doesn't miss a single appointment. Which will be difficult, the appointments are in a center that's in the worst part of our town. Kyle doesn't drive, and I'm not sure how we'll get him there. I don't want him taking the bus in that neighborhood, so we'll have to figure this out somehow.

Sometimes I get very judgemental, and it's hard not to with Kyle. I have to remember the Purple Dogs, and try hard to put myself in his shoes. He faces devils, demons, and challenges every day that we can't begin to understand. As parents, Karen and I try to do what we can to help him along. This was one of those things. It didn't work out like we hoped, but maybe it will be better in the long run. All we can do is go day by day - that's all Kyle's capable of doing anyway.

Kyle Walked Out

Our 21 year old bipolar son Kyle walked out of treatment today. They gave him Seroquel and Depakote, and one of them made him so manic he had to leave. He said his heart was racing, he couldn't sit still or concentrate, and he had to get out of there. So he walked out. I can't get him to go back.

This isn't good, because he now feels depressed, and like a failure.

I don't know where he'll end up, he knows the treatment was part of the criteria he had to meet to continue living in our house. So this is probably feeding his mania.

More later...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Kyle Admitted For Treatment

Today I was outside trying to get Christmas lights up, and the trash collectors came. Someone else had taken the cans to the curb, and when they dumped them I heard the unmistakable sound of numerous bottles being dumped. I knew immediately that my 21 year old bipolar son, Kyle, was drinking again. I don't know how many beer bottles were in the trash, but I'd guess 20 or so. It made a lot of noise.

You may remember the post made about 2 weeks ago where we tell Kyle he needed to stop drinking and get treatment if he wanted to continue living with us. He left for a few days, then came back and promised us he would comply with our demands, but did NOT want inpatient treatment. He said he was job hunting, and didn't want to miss calls. Against my better judgement, we gave in. And until today, we had no evidence he was drinking again.

We sat him down this afternoon, and told him his options. He either went into inpatient alcohol treatment, or he left. Period. He flat refused. My wife is more insightful, and saw a fear of incarceration. He has been in jail in the past, and he appears to have a strong fear of incarceration since then. Kyle said he needed counseling, but not detox. My wife floated another option, inpatient psychiatric treatment. He didn't shoot it down, we were getting somewhere. By late afternoon we were at the center. At the center they said they were concerned about alcohol withdrawal, but were willing to talk to him. They generally only take someone in crisis, but when they started to talk to him all the emotion and anger from his attack a few months ago surfaced. A few months ago he was attacked by some kids he asked to leave his apartment, and was beaten to within an inch of his life. Here are some links about that attack: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4. When that anger and emotion surfaced, they realized he WAS in crisis. Neither my wife or I understood that until now. They admitted him, and he'll be out probably Monday.

Let's hope this is the event that turns things around for him.

Cross posted on Living Bipolar (Living With A Purple Dog) and Bipolar Support.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving List

Every blogger in the US will be blogging their list of things for which they give thanks. Who am I to buck this trend?

My top 10:

1. My wife, without whom little else I'm thankful for would be possible. Who's stuck by me through good and bad, and who continues to stick with me, and I have no doubt will be by my side for all my living days.

2. Our boys. The greatest kids a dad could ever dream of having. My companions through some of the greatest experiences of my life. We worked side by side, we played side by side, we experienced life to the fullest at that time. They are at various stages of early adulthood, and I love, respect, and envy all 3 of them.

3. Our girls. God's gift to us, for a reason I've yet to understand. A second chance at this parenting thing, an opportunity to correct mistakes made the first time around, and an excuse to slow down and enjoy life.

4. Our house. 3.5 years ago we were in a small house, 7 of us in a small 3 bedroom house. We had our downstairs seperated with office dividers to give them some measure of privacy. I got it in my head that we were going to move, even though we had just dumped a failing business a few years before, and our credit wasn't perfect because of that. But with the help of a couple of brothers, one of hers, one of mine, we made it happen. I found a big house a few doors away from the house where I spent most of my teenage years. Priced well under market, at the upper end of our price range. Several things happened that almost made it not happen, but it came together. 5 bedrooms, plenty of room, steel siding, new roof, big deck, beautiful yard, sprinkler system - it's got everything we could ever want in an incredible neighborhood. Walking distance to all schools, a short stroll to a beautiful park, some great neighbors. It's perfect.

5. My job. It's been very unpleasant lately, and it may get worse before it gets better (if it gets better) but it's still a good job for me. I'm making more money than I've ever made, and the benefits are pretty good. And I enjoy the work most days.

6. Those serving our nation in the armed forces and other volunteer services.

7. Our church. We went last night, and it's an incredible place. Music is such a large part of this church, and our daughters both sang last night. It was wonderful. The adult choir is very good, and I love listening to them. I sang with them for a few years, but ended up quitting when my schedule got too hectic. But I love listening to them. And the people at this church are so friendly and genuine. I truly like all of them. I spent some time talking to a physician and his wife who both have taken multiple trips to Afghanistan tending to their people. They had a relative from Norway with them, and he was interesting also. But this church helped us when we had financial difficulties a few years ago, also when our son was in jail, and nobody was never judgemental.

8. Technology. I truly love technology. I'm sitting here at the computer, blogging, listening to KPIG Radio in California playing Madeleine Peyroux - this is SO sweet! I love to write, it's my outlet, my therapy. Without Blogger, and another website devoted to my writing, I would have no outlet for this writing. I also love to program, it's an outlet for my bipolar charged mind. I have the opportunity to sit down in my bedroom and do ALL of this. Technology is SO cool!

9. My family, such as my parents and brothers. My wife gets upset with them, but that's the nature of an inlaw relationship. They're all, in their own way, part of my support chain and lifeline that keeps me going.

10. That I live in the USA. There may be faults, but it's the greatest country in the world. The fact I can sit here and complain about the faults and our leaders is evidence of this. I know that if desired, I, one person from The Heartland, can make a difference in this country and it's direction. That's the great thing about our country, with our form of government, one person can ABSOLUTELY make a difference. Our natural resources are incredible, our country and scenery incredible, beauty is everywhere. Happiness can be pursued in so many ways.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Better Day

It's a better day today, but I feel guilty. And embarassed. Guilty for the frame of mind and emotions that had me so wrapped up yesterday. Embarassed for allowing this frame of mind to get the best of me.

It's only been recently that I have learned what is happening to me, researched the symptoms and impact of bipolar disorder, and gained an understanding of my feelings and emotions. I'm not trying to shift blame here, I am ultimately responsible. But hopefully by understanding I can head off bad situations. Although I can't help but wonder if my research and understanding is feeding these symptoms.

Yesterday, my wife read my blog entry and had the house clean when I got home. In effect, read my mood and nipped a bad situation in the bud. I can't tell you the relief I felt walking in and seeing that clean house. I'm not comfortable with this at all, this blog should not be a method of communication between us. I DO NOT want this to become a manipulative tool. But it's embarassing to admit that my emotions have the best of me and I'm walking a thin line.

Last time I was in, I asked the doc if I just needed a kick in the ass. He told me all the kicking in the world won't change a chemical imbalance. I'm still not convinced that this can't be overcome by willpower and the right attitude. It has worked for most of my life. I'll continue to fight the good fight where this is concerned.

Monday, November 21, 2005

This Blows

I'm sitting at work, it's after 8:00, and I don't want to go home.


If I go home, I'll find the house a mess. Guaranteed. My wife is incapable of keeping a clean house, or even asking anyone to pick up after themselves. I'll go home, I'll get upset, and before long everyone will be mad or scared. I'll start ordering people around, may start yelling if things don't get done to my approval or speed, and if it goes really bad, may break something when I fly into a rage. My son's home from college, he'll think it's the same as it always was when he was growing up. It's not, I'm trying hard to be a different person, but when I get like this it's VERY difficult. It's days like this when I wish I had another place I could stay. I'm tempted to get a motel room, but I don't have the money. I don't have anyone else I can stay with, so I'll work as long as I can stand it.

I hate it when I get like this. I turn into the world's biggest prick, and the family pays for it. So, I'll try and wait it out. But that's backfired on me in the past, I've flown into a rage when I got home late and awoke the family to clean in the middle of the night.

I can't help my rages. No matter how hard I try. I can just not talk or say anything, but that's as hard on my family as when I blow up. When the rage comes I'm powerless to do anything about it. My head starts spinning, I semi-black out, and I'm in another zone. I don't get physical when this happens, although it has happened the few times I've been pushed to the limit.

It's times like these when I need medication. I realize and understand that. But the only thing that has ever helped this has been seroquel, and the memory loss that gave me made it impossible to do my job.

With a little luck something will happen to change my frame of mind before I have to leave for home. And with a little luck I can win the lottery too...

Tough Day

What a bitch the last 24 hours have been.

First some background. My oldest son is a 5th year senior in college, at a major Midwest state university. Non-resident from our state, of course. He got it in his mind he wanted to go to this school, even though we had zero clue how he was going to be able to afford it. Well, he set his mind to it, and between him and my wife they got him in, and got major financial aid for him. After the first 2 years, we weren't qualifying for as much financial aid, so he started on the student loans. Bottom line, he's sitting on about $50,000 of student loans. This is one hard working kid. He worked his tail off all through school. Was president of his fraternity. Worked in town. While his richer fraternity brothers were off partying on weekends, he's working. He is SO responsible, and has gotten SO much leadership experience between his fraternity experience and his work experience he will be a HUGE find for the employer lucky enough to hire him.

A month ago, he heard about an old Honda Civic being sold by the family of a fraternity brother. He scraped together his food money and bought the car for $250. He was excited, he finally had transportation so he could come home and see us (and his girlfriend) when he could squeeze out some time. The same night he brought it home he drove it to work, and somebody broke out the windows. It cost him more to fix that than he spent for the car. After he got that fixed, his radiator blew. Saved up again, bought a radiator, and friends installed it for him. The next day he starts for home and didn't get 10 miles out of town before the engine went out on him. My wife got a call from him. Our normally upbeat, always optimistic kid was crushed. He put ALL his money into this vehicle, almost $1000 now, and it's sitting dead on the side of the interstate. By now it's probably been towed by the State Patrol. We went and got him, and he's as low as we've ever seen him. I feel so sorry for him I'm sitting in tears right now. He's had it, and was planning on just letting the state impound the car. This is one of those things I just can't do anything about - I can't pay him for the money he put into that. I'm going to give him the hundred dollars I was going to spend on my wife's Christmas present. But as a parent, wanting to make it right and not being able to for financial reasons is a terrible feeling.

Yesterday I'm at the part time job, and my wife calls and tells me about the car breaking down, and says she's on her way to pick him up, 3 hours away. Then she calls back and says my youngest son needs to go to the emergency room because of an infection in his tooth that had the entire side of his face swelled up. So I had to leave work and take care of my youngest son. Nothing antibiotics and a follow up won't take care of, and he did go to the dentist today.

I won't even go into the mess at work today. It wasn't pretty.

If I didn't have a chance to let off steam last night, I'd be a basketcase right now. Actually, I pretty much am a basketcase right now anyway.

Crossed Another Off My List

I've blogged about my love of music in the past. The wife and I love seeing live shows. Unfortunately, with the craziness of life, we only end up seeing a handfull of shows a year. And when I say shows, I don't mean arena shows. I abhor arena shows. There's no way in the world I'm going to pay $75 + bucks to sit with 20,000 other fools, needing binoculars to see the stage. No, the best acts touring today are touring smaller venues. And with the miracle of the internet, you can find these acts, and stay in touch with their schedules.

Just crossed another off my list of musical acts I'd like to see. Added it also to my "must see" list.

Billy Bacon And The Forbidden Pigs. A great mix of tex-mex, rockabilly, country, and blues. These guys are the real deal. Billy Bacon playing either a stand-up bass, or a classic Danelectro electric bass. A great guitar player, Phillip Shoemaker, and a rock steady drummer (whose name I've forgotten). These guys were great. It was one of those shows that wasn't tightly scripted, they based it on the crowd. And even though they are not from this area, they're from California via Texas, they still knew several people in the crowd. "Silverbud - come on up here and play with us!" They were professionals, and knew how to perform. And they had chops! Billy could slap that big upright as well as anyone, but could stroke it also when called for. He was a good bass player. And the guitar player could cook. And in the venue we saw them, we sat 20 feet from the stage, and was able to talk to the band before and after the show.

Now that I've mentioned it, I'll post my "must-see" show list. This is not necessarily in any kind of order, other than the top 2. And I've seen MANY more shows than this, this is just the recent "must see" list. I may have left one or two off, I'll edit it if I remember others.

1. Robert Randolph And The Family Band. The greatest band touring today, bar none.

2. The Iguanas. My favorite party band, based in New Orleans.

3. Lyle Lovett. Saw him this summer, and really dug the show. Highly recommended.

4. Split Lip Rayfield. Punk bluegrass is the closest description. These guys are not to be missed. Ever.

5. Billy Bacon And The Forbidden Pigs. An American treasure.

6. Fred Eaglesmith. An incredible singer/songwriter.

7. Dirty Dozen Brass Band From New Orleans, keeping this musical tradition alive.

8. Blind Boys of Alabama. Don't know if they're still touring, but incredible.

Next, I'll have to list artists I want to see:

1. Delbert McClinton. One of my favorites. I'd especially love to do one of his "Sandy Beaches" blues cruises. Wouldn't that be a gas? A cruise in January with incredible music the entire time?

2. Willie Nelson. Am I the only person in America that has not seen Willie? It would have to be without the wife, she doesn't like him at all.

3. Dave Alvin. Quite a musical history with Dave, he's one of the greatest American musical legends you've never heard of.

4. Junior Brown. Country? Rockabilly? Who cares, I love this guy.

5. Jimmy Thackery. Jimmy Thackery is primarily a blues artist, but has quite a musical range. I love his recorded stuff.

6. Duke Robillard. One of my favorite blues artists, based on recorded music.

7. John Hiatt. Another American treasure.

8. California Guiter Trio. Truly amazing musicians.

9. Southern Culture On The Skids. Seeing SCOTS would be a trip.

10. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Featuring the worlds greatest bass player, Victor Wooten.

11. Los Lobos. The original, the legends.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Against My Better judgment (A Political Post)

I should know better than this, I'll alienate people, but I have to blow off steam. I've recently run into Iraq war supporters that have my head spinning.

First of all, I'm a registered Independent. I lean left, but hold several right-wing views. I don't fit in either political box. Liberals call me a conservative, conservatives call me a liberal. Isn't it funny how, if you don't completely match someone's political philosophy, you automatically, unceremoniously, and with much derision, get dumped into the other box?

First, it absolutely blows me away that people are still spouting off, in regards to Iraq, "we remember 9-11." I remember 9-11, it sent me into a 6 month depression. It was also the responsibility of bin Laden, and had nothing to do with Iraq. No matter how deep you dig, no matter how hard you look, the links are not there. The administration has admitted so. Publicly. And when you explain this to people, they shut down. They'll go so far as to say "I don't care". It's like you are challenging their core beliefs, telling them they have to become liberals if they think otherwise. Why is this? How did the country become so totally and completely polarized that people are THIS AFRAID to change their views on an issue for fear they'll end up in the other box?

Next, for those who understand the above paragraph, you'll get the argument that we are there for human rights reasons. We are grand liberators of this country. The fact is there are numerous dictators that were every bit as deserving as Hussein of our military attention, and some more deserving. There are countries that are MUCH more volatile, and hold MUCH more of a risk to the US. Not to mention that this was NOT a stated reason for going to war. I think it was a huge political mistake for Bush to not use this excuse from the start, but he didn't. He's using it now, as an afterthought.

Finally, there's the stated reason of WMDs. Evidence is surfacing that the administration actually manipulated intelligence on this point to support the military action.

Does anyone doubt that the US is MUCH worse off now than we were when Hussein was in power? He was a terrible man, there's no question about that. But there are several terrible dictators around the world. And Hussein posed no credible threat to the US.

So, what's left? How could anyone who is capable of independent thought support this war? I would really like to hear a SINGLE valid reason for this war. In response to this question I actually had someone tell me that this was the plan - to create instability that would lure in terrorists so we could kill them. Riiiiiiight....

OK - rant over (for now, anyway). I'm a very politically conscious person, so I can't promise we won't be back here again, but I'll try to keep politics out of my posts.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

My Daughters

My daughters are 10 and 7, and the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

My wife and I had our first son at age 23. Followed by 2 more boys. We were done before we hit 30. Or so we thought. Sometimes no matter how careful you are, or how many precautions you take, kids happen. It's like God has a plan that no amount of mortal intervention is going to change. 7 years later, the wife is pregnant again, and we're horrified. We were not expecting this, were not prepared for this, didn't even have health insurance, let alone maternity coverage. Because of my wife's age (36) the doc insisted on an ultrasound. We're told it's another boy. We expected nothing less. We even had a boy's name picked out, named after my father and best friend (talk about killing 2 birds with one stone!) Then the time came, and guess what? A girl. It was the most incredibly emotional experience of my life. There wasn't a dry eye in that delivery room. The doc, the nurse, my wife, myself - we're all weeping like babies.

I didn't know what to expect, or what to do. I had 2 brothers and no sisters, then 3 boys. I wouldn't BEGIN to know how to act with a girl. But it worked. 3 years later we had our second girl. I went in shortly after that for my vasectomy. But that's a different story, remind me to tell it if I don't remember to do that in the next few days.

From the womb, these children were way different than boys. I didn't think that would be the case, I thought environment played a larger role. There was no mistaking the difference in the genders. I used to think there was NO comparison to watching little league football. It was the ultimate weekend activity for the father. But I was mistaken - it doesn't hold a candle to 6 year old girls soccer. Or basketball. Or volleyball. It does edge out dance recitals, but not by much.

Tonight, the girls talked me into watching a movie with them. We popped in Finding Nemo, and they fought to see who would snuggle in next to Dad. I put my arms around both of them, and we settled back to watch the movie. It was hard to see sometimes through the tears, just like it is now, but it was a fine movie, made special by the company I was with.

I love my sons, they are all incredible boys. We had experiences and memories that I'll cherish forever. But I'm a different person now than I was then, and it's a different experience this time around. It's like I was given a second opportunity at this parenting thing, and I'm going to enjoy this to the fullest.

Period Of Normalcy

It's been a period of relative normalcy lately. While it's not as much fun as hypomania, I'll take it over anger or depression any day. My life doesn't usually stay normal for long, something will push me one way or the other shortly, it always does.

My wife told me something at dinner tonight that hit home. She said the first 25 years of our marriage were mine. The next 25 years belong to her. She said it in a playful way, but she's absolutely right. The first 25 years were all about me. She tried so hard to please me, but it was always just expected by me. It was MY life, she and the family were just along for the ride. With my realization of my bipolar condition came an understanding of this. They have every right for happiness and good memories, but that wasn't important in my previous life. It has been lately.

This being said, I leave for a vacation in 2 weeks. Every year my father, brother, uncle, and a friend or two meet for a duck and goose hunting trip. My brother has a lodge on a major river in the heartland. It's actually a pretty historic place, or as historic as you're going to find in our part of the country. It was the servants quarters that once served a larger hunting lodge just up the river a short walk. That main lodge has housed MANY famous and historic figures over the years. It's such a cool place, a huge fireplace, rustic furniture, stove large enough to cook for an army. The original guest book has lived through the years, and paging through it reading the comments is fascinating. Bro's lodge isn't nearly as nice as the main lodge, but it's OURS, and it is a very comfortable and inviting place. When I say lodge, it's misleading. In house terms, "bungalow" more accurately describes it. But it's a wonderful place to relax. I often threaten to not even take a gun on these trips, I couldn't care less if I never shoot another bird. It's the conversation, the cameraderie, the stories, the entire package. To feed the stereotypes, the drinks do flow, but only after the guns are put away for the day. NOBODY gets sloppy, nobody drinks to excess. We eat well, sip bourbon or scotch in the lodge at night, smoke cigars, and talk. Great conversations - about anything under the sun. This includes memories. Memories of relatives or former companions that have passed on. Memories of past hunts and good times. People drop in, from other lodges up and down the river, our lodge is a gathering place of sorts. They share their harvest, as do we. These are people from around the country, from professions widely varied, laborer to physician to executive. Every one the highest quality person imaginable, but not based on title, or income, or any outward indicator. Solely on character. The experience would tolerate nothing but. That is why I feel so honored to be a part of this. Below is a pic of the lodge. Not much to look at, but once again, it's the character that counts:

Friday, November 18, 2005

Bipolar and Smoking

Anyone ever notice that a large percentage of bipolar sufferers are smokers? It's in our nature, our personality. I no longer smoke, but I did for many years. It was probably the most difficult thing I ever did to quit.

I read a book one time, a newer autobiography, I'm trying to remember the author, but he hit the nail on the head. He said he was kind of a messed up kid, nervous tics, no confidence, then he discovered cigarettes. Smoking completely took care of those issues. It was the same way for me. It was like my nervous energy needed an outlet, and smoking was it.

My bipolar son smokes, and I have to say it seems to help him. He used to be a marathon runner, now he smokes. That's pure bipolar - from one extreme to the other.

Some experts speculate that nicotine use may be a form of self-medication because of its specific effects on the brain. This absolutely makes sense to me. Another study says "Smoking was less prevalent in patients who were less symptomatic". Yet another study states the following: "These data coupled with the literature strongly suggest that juveniles with BPD (Bipolar Disorder, not Borderline Personality Disorder) need to be carefully monitored for the early initiation of cigarette smoking and substance abuse."

All I know is that when I was smoking it seemed to help me immensely. I quit in 1989, and 16 years later I STILL miss it. If I were to ever pick up a cigarette again I'd be hooked for life. I don't think I'd have the willpower to quit again. It's not a perceived link, this link is very real.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Random Notes

I'm still not enjoying this colder weather, but I'm getting a kick out of co-workers overseas trying to understand it. I lead a technical team based in India, and these are all kids 25 and under who have never left their country. They just don't grasp the concept of snow. It's so funny listening to them trying to understand our weather. 70 degrees one day, then later that same week we have snow on the ground. Try explaining a snow plow to someone from a warm country, it's a hoot!


My boys are the greatest. They have the greatest taste in movies, music, and so forth. They have talked the wife and I into some of the greatest movies we might never have watched otherwise. Gems like Office Space, Fight Club, The Big Lebowski, I (Heart) The Hendersons, and tonight, Anchorman. What an off the wall movie! Hilarious! I can't imagine what life would be like without our kids.


And speaking of movies...

An old man and his old wife were sitting on the couch watching a movie. A steamy scene came on, and the wife nudged her husband. Whispering in his ear she says "remember when that was us?" The husband nodded longingly. The wife said "It's been so long, let's run upstairs and make love!"

The husband sat there for a moment, then replied...

"Pick one or the other."

(I'm ashamed to say I'm starting to understand this...)


I signed up for a trial account with eMusic, an online music download service. Office Depot has a special, if you buy a 50 spindle of Verbatim CDs, you get a 100 song free trial membership. So far I'm liking it. If you're a top 40 music person, don't bother as there's very little music you'd like. But if you like offbeat labels, indie artists, and lesser known music, this service is for you. I'm having a great time browsing through the library. So far I've only downloaded 2 albums (they offer single click complete album downloads), I'm limiting myself to one album a night. I've grabbed a band called Cross Canadian Ragweed, kind of a punk bluegrass/country band from Texas. Good stuff if you like that kind of genre. Also, a band called The Black Keys, which I'd classify as grunge blues. Also very good stuff. Tonight, I'm looking for more "punk bluegrass". The Gourds? Hayseed Dixie? Split Lip Rayfield? Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Winter In The Heartland

It's snowing. The wind is blowing, and it's snowing sideways. I really don't like winter any more.

It wasn't that many years ago, I would have been rejoicing. I was an outdoors experience junkie. With those of us who are bipolar, we tend to obsess on activities, experiences, and thrill-seeking. For me it was outdoor recreation, mainly hunting and fishing. My hunting and fishing exploits and experiences would have made Ted Nugent jealous. Actually, I have hunted with Ted, but that's a different story. No condition was too extreme, or preparation too much work. Nothing exotic as I have never had an extra dime to my name, but if it was an outdoor experience possible in The Heartland, I've experienced it. I've had experiences millionaires couldn't BEGIN to buy. I've lugged many pounds of gear and decoys for miles in waders for the chance to shoot a duck. Carried treestands for miles for a chance to shoot a deer with my bow. Won MANY bass tournaments and many hundreds of dollars fishing, I could have made it as a professional if I'd dared to subject my family to that. Waded rivers for miles, swatting biting sand flies and burning to a crisp for a chance to catch a few catfish. Been ice fishing when it's been so cold you couldn't fish more than one hole as they'd freeze closed too quickly. Been in snow so heavy you could barely see the end of your gun barrel when it was at your shoulder. Been fishing at night when it was so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Been treed by wild dogs, stalked by mountain lions, followed by racoons and turkeys, fallen through ice, flooded waders and almost drowned, seen does nursing fawns from a few yards away, been outrun by a 3 legged coyote, been shot at, chased, and threatened. I've taken game and fish with bullets, shot, arrow, spear, and by hand. And virtually everything I've taken has been respectfully treated and consumed by my family. I tried very hard to beat the "Bubba" stereotype.

My outdoors experiences are mostly behind me now. I write about my experiences as the memories come back, but I have lost my desire to continue that lifestyle. Partly it is the failed business (the wife and I owned and ran an outdoors store for 10 years) that we sold for a huge loss 7 years ago. Make your hobby your business and it can cease to be a hobby. But mostly it was the realization of my bipolar condition. I know now how prone I am to obsessive behavior, and I'm scared to even dabble in those activities again. I lost jobs due to my obsessions, and my family suffered. Now I will say my older sons often joined me and have had experiences very few kids could dream about, but they don't seem to appreciate it. I think they'd have preferred to have me around, working in the yard, throwing a football to them. This is why, with our younger daughters, I feel I've been given a second chance. We had 3 boys, then seven years after our youngest boy we had a girl, then 3 years later, another girl. I work 2 jobs, but my free time belongs to my family today.

But the point of this post? Damn if I haven't forgotten by now. Oh yeah, the weather.

As soon as I post this I'm jumping out to our company's job postings and checking out the Jacksonville and Orlando positions. I'd move in a heartbeat these days. I really don't like snow and winter any more.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Good News

At least I hope it's good news.

Kyle (my 21 year old bipolar son) called my wife yesterday, and asked to come home. He said he stopped drinking, and would follow our rules. We of course, welcomed him home. He is job hunting, and asked not to do inpatient treatment. He said he'd do outpatient, or AA, or whatever else we asked, including psych treatment. We were excited to hear this.

But last night, I heard him yelling. I wasn't sure if it was inside or out, if he and his girlfriend were having a fight, if he was just manic, or what. But I'm worried he was drinking again. We'll have to look at that, if he was drinking he's out again.

I really hope he's found the motivation to turn it around.

But IMO, it's critical to get him in for psych treatment. He needs to find a med he can work with. I try to tell him if he finds the right med he won't feel like drinking all the time, and it won't affect him negatively like all the past meds have.

This has been cross posted to Bipolar Support and Living Bipolar (Living With A Purple Dog)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

New CD

If you've been reading my blogs a while you're familiar with my "eclectic" taste in music. I love music, it's my art consumption of choice. Some like visual arts, or dramatic arts, or other sensory stimulation. For me, it's music. And depending on my mood, it might be Miles Davis, or John Prine, or Hendrix, or Fatboy Slim, or Big and Rich, or....

While listening to Radio Paradise the other day, I heard a band I wasn't familiar with, "The Scissor Sisters". To hear a band I'm not familiar with on RP isn't unusual, but I loved the tune. A few weeks later I saw them on SNL. I decided to order their CD. I love it! Highly influenced by the gay club scene (as might be obvious by the band's name) the music is a mix of club, dance, and pop. Kind of like Franz Ferdinand meets Elton John.

Here's a sample:

Gonna take your mama out all night
Yeah we'll show her what it's all about
We'll get her jacked up on some cheap champagne
We'll let the good times all roll out
And if the music ain't good, well it's just too bad
We're gonna sing along no matter what
Because the dancers don't mind at the New Orleans
If you tip 'em and they make a cut

Good stuff, secures a place in my already-full 30 gig iPod (I don't know yet what will be removed to make room), and gets my thumbs-up of approval.

Here's a link to the listing on The Scissor Sisters