Posts tagged with "marijuana"

Strip Club Experiences

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a strip club. The co-workers of my first job, along with the president of the company, were the ones took me to my first. They made it a point to “initiate” me when they found out I had never been. I still look back on that memory fondly, because I was so young and green, and they wanted to get me over my inexperience.

But it was never something I did with any frequency. You always look at those guys, seating by themselves at the head of the table with a beer in hand, thinking, “Is this better than what you have at home?”

After all, strip clubs are never really about the girls. It’s about being out with your friends, when your parents think you’re at a movie1. They’re like concerts. You could sit at home and listen to a CD with studio quality sound, but there’s something different about the atmosphere of a live experience.

It’s easy to grow past the appeal of strippers though. There’s no personality there. Even Playboy models have likes and dislikes. The furthest a strip club goes is by saying, “Here’s Porsche, and she used to be an airplane attendant”.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the female figure. But there’s no appeal in a stripper.

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  1. Some of them had ringtones set for their home numbers, and just the ring would set off a round of teenage spite []

Present for the 27th

Eric, who used to work with me, introduced me to Brant Bjork, and stoner rock in general, about two years ago. It’s a genre that explores delightful repetition, where variations are subtle, but powerfully psychedelic.

[I]t is certainly accepted that the effects of marijuana and the often low or psychedelic riffs of stoner rock complement each other.

—Wikipedia, Stoner rock

I liken the idea to Plastikman’s debut album, Sheet One. Though of a different genre — trance — it features a perforated album cover, an homage to acid tab art, for which the LSD enhances the details of every single minimalistic beat (so I’m told).

While I’ve enjoyed Queens of the Stone Age, who are considered to be influenced by the stoner rock movement (indeed, Josh Homme and Brant Bjork formed pioneering band Kyuss while in high school), the sound is a little more commercial, less droning.

After I heard a few songs by Brant Bjork, I was hooked. I never associated it with a memory, which is what I do with almost all my songs, but it was good enough that I didn’t have to.

At Thanksgiving, during one of my trips through the mall with Andrew and Alex, I resumed my search for Brant Bjork’s solo album by the name of Jalamanta. It was a bigger city, a bigger place…maybe I’d have a better luck. Unfortunately, every music store gave me the same answer; it was an album they didn’t keep regularly in stock.

Alex asked me what I was looking for, the name of the album and artist, and I didn’t think anything of it.

Thumbnail: Brant Bjork

Yesterday, I found a package in the mail. Fragile — CD, it said. Inside was the Brant Bjork CD I’ve been looking for, which they found at an independent music store. Along with the CD was a card made from my Pollen Junkie photo (which was taken in their garden), with a message written on the back.

And as great as it is to finally hear the songs I’ve been missing, as nice as it is to have an original release, it’s nothing compared to the thoughtfulness, the effort they made to find me exactly what I was looking for.

Update: Julie bought me a lucky bamboo plant, along with a vase filled with decorative rocks and a cute hand-drawn card. Very, very nice! Definitely an effort spent acquiring all these things, and much appreciated.

A Year Of Sobriety

It’s coming close to a year now that I ended my affair with marijuana. As refreshing, productive, and lucid as it is to be sober, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss it.

THC has the delightful ability to make everything better: music, food, girls, writing, riding the bus, doing the laundry. There are also things that can only be appreciated after a joint. You don’t see, hear, feel things the same way.

It turned into a lifestyle, a word I like to use because it sounds so much better than “addiction”.

Between 2004–2006, I’d only be sober for about nine hours on weekdays.

Weekends were straight wake-and-bake, especially if there was a party, a camping trip, or some good old dim sum.

I was a complete light-weight too; it didn’t take much to have me floating for a night. As a result, one ounce of BC hydro would last me more than a year. An added bonus was that I never needed a dealer; there was always some convenient source through a friend of a friend. O Canada, land of the free, the Inuit, and the plentiful bud. I’m sure that Pierre Burton would agree.

Sessions were a habitual provider of great memories (from what my brain was actually able to retain). I still think of Darren at the wheel of the Civic, looking over at me and whispering “Vanilla Sky” as he’d taunt our mortality by letting the wheel drift the car into the oncoming lane. It was at once terrifying and invigorating, something you could only feel after a session in the park. Even a few of my favourite entries were either inspired by weed or written under the influence.

Food was also a big thing. Every meal was like nectar and ambrosia. I never really stopped eating over the course of the day, as I’d have food around me at all times. Pretty soon, I hit a satisfying all-time high (no pun intended) with my weight. Now that I’ve stopped, I lost it all. They won’t even let me donate blood anymore because I don’t meet the minimum weight requirements. This is what I looked like, circa early 2005, and this is what I looked like circa early weekend. How I miss the fullness of my face.

Sobriety is different. Everything is clearer, but toned down. Life gets evened out.

As much as I miss it, I won’t go back to smoking weed again. I had a hard enough time stopping in the first place, and the risk of getting addicted again isn’t worth it.

Maybe I was just getting older, but near the end, the side-effects started taking their toll on me.

Instead of the racing ideas and inspiration from when I started, I turned into a zoned-out waste. I’d be completely useless when it came to talking or thinking. I stopped liking myself when I was stoned. My stomach felt like it was slowly digesting a sack of pebbles, and my throat became sore and dry. Even now, I still come across the odd stash of honey lozenges in the back of a drawer.

It was especially scary in the last few months when I could feel my tolerance building up. I was constantly chasing after that head-tripping peak from the early days, smoking more and more, but it’d never last longer than a half hour. The weed would help me sleep, and when I stopped I turned into an insomniac. For a while, the will to do anything eluded me because nothing was entertaining.

Now I’ve quit my vices altogether. No alcohol, no caffeine, nothing. Sobriety is underrated.

I know I’ll never go back to that time in my life, but I sure do miss it.