Kita – Chapter 17 – Asian Glow

Last week when I was out with Kita, she declined a glass of wine because she said she had Asian Glow. I had never heard of it before so I decided to do some investigating on my own.

Some Asians have a natural condition that discourages them from drinking alcohol. About 50 percent of the Japanese, Korean, and Northeastern Chinese population experience a phenomenon called the Alcohol Flush Reaction (AFR), or what is commonly known as “Asian glow.” AFR is usually associated with flushing of the neck and face, but the condition also results in symptoms such as heightened heart rate, headache, and nausea, even after consuming as little as one alcoholic drink.

Typically, alcohol is metabolized in the liver, where it is oxidized first to acetaldehyde and then to acetate. Most people who experience AFR, however, flush after drinking because they lack the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydro¬genase (ALDH2) enzyme that converts acetaldehyde, resulting in an accumulation of acetaldehyde up to 10 times the normal concentration. The exact genetic nature of the deficient enzyme appears to be the presence of an allele (ALDH2*2) that inacti¬vates ALDH2 enzymes. The allele is, in fact, dominant, although heterozygous individuals show much milder reactions to alcohol than homozygous individuals.

There have been several drugs that stop the flushing, such as histamine and the over-the-counter drug, Pepcid AC. However, these drugs only mitigate the “glow,” i.e. they do not prevent the acetal¬dehyde accumulation, which is suspected to cause long-term liver problems. Thus, individuals who drink often and use drugs to suppress the flushing are at greater risk for liver diseases.

Even though the vernacular term for AFR is “Asian glow,” Asians are not the only ones who suffer from the often embarrassing “glow.” It turns out that Ashkenazi Jews often lack the aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme as well.

Maybe it’s time, then, to think of a new name for “Asian glow.” Seems a little insensitive.

 

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Sabrina – Hopeful

Poor girls and their substance abuse.

So the dust has settled and Jill is back tanning her ass at the salon and all is forgiven. She shows up with hot Sabrina the other night and I totally want to date her. I’ve actually been texting her that we should go out and do some sober fun things.

I figured it would be good for the blog. Drunk dude takes drinkie girl out for sober date and ice cream.

I have been talking to this old guy that comes in and tans and he works at the Walnut Street Theater. He wants to get me tickets because I helped him with a problem he had with his new phone and I’m the only one that listens to him complain. (He’s said this to me!)

He has access to tickets to shows at the theater and I want to take Jill’s hot friend Sabrina to them.

Thing is, Sabrina lives in a halfway house with Jill and is an addict like her. I talk to Sabrina and Jill clears the way with the coolness factor. But all drug addicts are liars and so is Sabrina. It’s ok. She says that her last boyfriend got her into drinking and it just took her like Jill. I get that. It’s okay. It happens, you have the gene and that shit takes you. I’ve met dozens of addicts.

But one day Jill is tanning and she tells me that with Sabrina her thing is heroin. Holy fuck. She’s super hot. She doesn’t look like a former junkie.

What do I do?

I go out with her. She’s been clean for over seven months. So could she have a drink or will the high of alcohol make her want to go up to Kensington and score some smack? I need to find this out before I go out with her. Maybe I’ll just stick to a show and some ice cream.

I’ll write more when and if the date happens.

 

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Wildwood Daze – The Union Jacks – Dirty John – Part 1

“Okay, He’s freaking out like a retard. Put him in his bed and we’ll go.”

I had been to the restaurant where Brian our drummer worked part-time as a busboy. I don’t remember, but I had been there to meet up with him once for some reason. I do remember Brian telling me the bartender there liked my “friend with the big eyes.” (Me.) I don’t remember that person and quickly dismiss it in my mind.

One night Brain wants to bring us to the restaurant where he works for drinks. We get there and the band sits at the bar. Brian introduces us to the bartender, Frank. Or, as Brian calls him, Frank the Fag. Now I get it. Frank fancies me. It’s a compliment, but I’m straight.

We all order bottles of beer. Frank is being Frank but he’s nice as could be. We’re all just chilling at the bar and it’s nice to all go out and have a drink as a band. It’s like we’re somebody now. People recognize us when we’re out and I like it.

We’re sitting there for about an hour chatting about music, when Frank presents me with not one, but two large tumblers filled with a frothy pink liquid.

“What’s this?”

“It’s called a Dirty John.”

“Thank you, but I never drink hard liquor. I just don’t do it. I’m a beer guy only.”

“I’ll drink it!”

Jim is the youngest and newest member of the band. I think he wants to show that he’s a bad ass that can hang with the older guys.

“That’s really not necessary Jim.”

“No. I want to.”

Jim proceeds to chug the drinks.

We settle up and walk outside. Brian and Mark say they’ll bring the car around. I’m smoking a cig waiting with Jim. Brian doesn’t allow smoking in his car so we wait.

“I gotta take a piss.”

“You could have gone in the bar, Jim. Actually, I gotta go too. Beer goes right through me. There’s some tall hedges behind the restaurant. Let’s go back there.”

We walk back and are standing next to each other as if we’re just a couple of students pissing in the urinals in the Boys bathroom at Wildwood High. I suddenly hear this rustling noise and a thump. I glance to my right and Jim has vanished. I zip up my fly and go to the spot where he was.

There’s Jim, face down in the next yard. While pissing he literally just collapsed forward between the hedges. What the fuck was in that drink? Whatever it was, it hit him like a sledgehammer.

Brian and Mark pull up in his yellow ’77 Ford Mustang II.

“What the fuck’s up with Wolfie?” (Brian sometimes referred to Jim as ‘ Wolfie’ because the way he brushed his hair back, it resembled Lon Chaney’s monster.)

“Guys get over here!”

Brian and Mark scramble from the car and run over. We get Jim to his feet and he is just gone. Slurring and stumbling and we get him to the car. It takes all three of us.

“He went from buzzed to black out in a matter of seconds!”

Brian’s driving. Mark’s riding shotgun, and of course I’m in the back with drunk boy. He’s really out of it. Conscious, but super fucked up. More drunk than I’ve ever seen anyone ever in my life.

Brian’s driving him back to his house. “He better not fuckin’ puke in my car! I swear to god!”

We get to Jim’s house and I’m about to get him out and he pukes all over me. He doesn’t even know I’m there. Now I’m wearing the Dirty John meant for me.

Thankfully his parents weren’t home when we dragged our new guitarist back into his house.

We carry him through the door, in front of at least a half dozen siblings. They all look on in utter horror. I assure them their brother isn’t dead. He’s just sick and we’re taking care of him.

The kids know me from school. I’m the kid that comes and waits for Jim each morning and lets my glasses steam up while watching the Today show waiting for my friend so we can walk to school together.

 

It’s a mess. The little kids are clueless. We are simply a group of guys bringing their older brother home because he’s sick. Everything’s fine. Just like in any household in the 70’s. It didn’t happen.

We bang Jim up the stairs to his bedroom. When I say, bang I mean he was dead weight and me, Brian and Mark did the best to get him to his room.

This is all new ground for all of us. We’re new musicians, but we don’t know anything about but extreme behavior even if it’s accidental.

My best friend is so sick. I am wearing his puke. We try to run his head under the shower to revive him. He cries out like a molested child so we withdrawal.

“Okay, He’s freaking out like a retard. Put him in his bed and we’ll go.”

Brian was always so pragmatic.

“Turn him over on his stomach.” (I say) Put his face at the edge of the bed.”

“Why?”

“Umm… Bon Scott….” (See: Tales of Rock – Bon Scott) 

“He’ll be fine.”

” Dude. Hendrix died choking on his own puke.”

“He’ll be fine.”

We leave our lead guitarist in his bed and all go home. It’s bee a fucked up night.

My best friend got poisoned by a drink meant for me. What was Frank’s plan? Get me drunk beyond recognition and take advantage of me? That’s kind of evil.

But the worst part of it is… Was Brian in on it?

 

 

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Sun Stories: Jill – Trish’s Replacement – Hired

Trish lasted almost a year here at the salon. But she’s so unstable she can’t do the job anymore. I hope she gets the professional help she needs to deal with her mental psychosis.

We end up hiring Jill to work at the salon. At this point Achilles doesn’t know about the incident with Trish. Jill has industry experience and catches on quickly and is happy to have a job. She’s sweet to the customers and is up for any task in the salon. Being a former client, she’s happy to now enjoy the benefits of free tanning!

I really get to know her and she seems to have had a difficult life based on some bad decisions. I also discover that she’s had some real problems with alcohol. She’s currently living in a halfway house with some other women in recovery. I don’t know what she did to get there but at least she’s trying to get better.

Halfway Houses are transitional living places for those in recovery from drugs or alcohol. In some states, because of legal requirements, the term “sober living house” is used. Some people go to halfway houses from a treatment center, prison, or a homeless situation, while others go there to be in a sober and clean environment to begin the recovery process. Some residents are in halfway houses due to court orders.

Most halfway houses require residents to pass breathalyzer and drug screening tests as they aren’t equipped to deal with withdrawal symptoms from drugs or the DT’s (Delirium tremens, which are associated with severe alcohol withdrawal). If you can’t pass these tests, a treatment center might be your best option.

 

How a Halfway House is Managed

Many halfway houses are run by people who themselves were at one time a halfway house resident. The houses accommodate either men or women.

Most people who don’t seek recovery from alcohol or drugs will end up on “skid row,” in jail, an insane asylum, or dead. If you are concerned about a friend or family member, an intervention can be the best help for them if they’re not yet in recovery. The good news is that 85% of interventions that are properly carried out result in the person seeking some kind of help. Most interventions carried out without help from people well versed in addiction fail.

 

Determining the Primary Addiction

In seeking recovery from drugs or alcohol, it is important to identify which is the primary addiction — alcohol or drugs. Due to economics, halfway houses are set up to house both alcoholics and drug addicts. In order to obtain optimal results, the person in recovery should focus on either the program of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, depending on what the primary addiction is. A person who is addicted to alcohol will relate better to AA and the person addicted primarily to drugs will relate better to fellow drug addicts.

 

How to Choose a Halfway House

In choosing a Halfway House, ask around local AA or NA meetings about those with good reputations, or check with a respected treatment center. Also, choose one that is reasonably near the meetings you will be attending. Most halfway houses accommodate residents until 6 months to a year or two of continuous sobriety or clean time. Houses that have a range or recovery time for people currently residing at the house, such as someone with one month, 90 days, and 6 months are preferable to one with all residents with under 30 days in recovery. Also, those with a live-in manager are generally better choices. Some houses have a democratic process, in which the residents choose who will be coordinator or manager.

I hope everything works out with Jill on our team!

 

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Tales of Rock – Eric Clapton

Universally hailed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Eric Clapton spent much of his early career furiously inhaling massive quantities of alcohol and drugs, possibly worried the world’s supply was about to run out. Did it interfere with his music? Yes and no. In his own words:

“I’d wander off the stage and somebody would have to try to persuade me to go back on. There seemed to be a postpsychedelia drunkenness that swept over everybody in the entertainment business during the early 70s. To be on stage, you were almost expected to be drunk. I remember doing one entire show lying down on the stage with the microphone stand lying beside me, and nobody batted an eyelid.”

That’s right: Eric Clapton was just lying down during a rock concert and that was perfectly cool. Encouraged even. The amazing thing is, he probably just killed that set too.

A Typical Day If You Were Eric Clapton’s Personal Assistant

Eric Clapton: Look, I’m going to finish drinking this children’s pool full of rye whiskey, and you’re going to get 80 feet of high strength fishing line, then learn everything you can about the art of puppetry, and meet me at the show in three hours. OK? Break!

You: Man, there has got to be a better use of my Liberal Arts degree.

 

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Adalyn – Crazy Is As Crazy Does

“I’m in my date’s bedroom, she’s lying on her bed, drugged and intoxicated, she takes off her top (now topless), grabs my neck and starts kissing me. Her mom, who is standing there, leaves the room to give me some privacy to do what can only be considered date rape.”

I’ve been using Tinder for over a year or so now, and I’ve always been pretty lucky. However, this incident was a different story.

Flashback a day earlier, we matched on tinder. I’m chatting with hot Adalyn. Raven hair, tan skin, and dark eyes. From her pics, I can see she has a smokin’ body. She’s definitely on the right side of twenty-five.

I suggested we skip the long chats and go for a drink, she suggested we chat on the phone first. We did for an hour and it was nice. Some laughs, some flirting and we agreed to spend the next morning in the park. We met, everything is going great and all signs are saying we’ll end up having crazy sex very soon. Left the park, had lunch and then agreed to go back to my place. She said she needed to pass by her place to change and get some stuff. No problem.

Things were moving quickly.

She introduced me to her mom, her dog, her cat and some neighbors. Seemed like she was getting a little too cozy for a tinder date. Then she said: “change of plans. My mom is going to spend the night at my brother’s place. Would you mind spending the night here instead?” I thought, why not? I’m getting lucky so I don’t care. She started preparing dinner and I started drinking. She started pounding drinks as well. I was feeling pretty good, but I could see she was already getting pretty banged up. Turns out her mom is going nowhere, and I had too much to drink. So in my drunken mind I decide to stay with them for the night.

That’s when things started to get crazy. The dinner table had shrimp and oysters with bacon (which I hate). So I started eating the shrimp, when my date offered some oysters. I politely declined and said I was happy with the shrimp. She insisted so much it got awkward, so I took it. She asked me if I liked it, I smiled and said nothing. She started getting angry, and yelled at me that I should be more direct and speak up. I told her I didn’t like it. It might be good but it’s not for me. She started yelling at me and demanding an explanation why I don’t like it.

That’s when her mom jumped in and tried to defuse the situation. To my surprise, Adalyn grabbed the shrimp plate and threw it across the room straight into the wall. Then she stormed away into her room.

That’s when her mom explained to me that Adalyn had been in and out of rehab because of depression and alcohol abuse. She also had two suicide attempts, and that she was on medication. She was not supposed to have any alcohol.

Now I’m feeling really sorry for her.

After awhile, she came out of her room, laughing as if nothing happened, and brought out some dessert and more champagne. Things seemed to be cool now. I tried to relax. But then, quite suddenly, she stood up and challenged me to a fight. She started throwing punches at my chest and stomach and then to my face. I was blocking or slipping all the punches and asking her to stop. Then she got really vicious, and started adding kicks to her attack. I grabbed her arms, put my weight on her, and took her to the ground. She totally collapsed and lay there unconscious.

I carried this poor deranged thing to her bed. When she opened her eyes, she smiled and then all of a sudden took her off her top, (now topless) grabbed my neck, and started kissing me. Her mom, who was still standing there, left the room to give me privacy to do what could only be considered date rape. (which I obviously didn’t do) I pushed her away, and started walking backwards out of the room, when she gave me a final kick to the stomach goodbye.

I ran out of the house and down the street. I called an UBER and was on my way back to Rittenhouse.

Not crazy enough? I woke up the next morning to a few missed calls from my date.   A couple of voicemails with a casual apology, and a couple of ideas for our second date.

What?

 

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