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"I'm gonna wake up, dress, and go, I'm gonna kiss some part of, I'm gonna keep this secret, I'm gonna close my body now, I guess I'll die another day, I guess I'll die another day, I guess I'll die another day.."

Opening with a song again. That's "Die Another Day" By Madonna. You are listening to The Rockin' Ranch Hour, which airs Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to 4PM, a national radio broadcast, hosted by me. [insert show jingle].

God I hate that jingle. Also, we air for 7 hours...I hate our name. This is stupid. Do I even get paid at all?

Okay, I had to open with something. I don't know.

Um...I don't know...topic? Topic? Topic?

Beer!

Okay...beer. Um. I didn't drink growing up. Sometimes I find that some do. I didn't. I wasn't allowed. I come from a strange "follow the laws" household where...uh...I had to follow the laws but...not everybody did. Still, okay, it was also one of those where...I got drunk the first time...in my senior year. I was a senior in high school...I think...or was I a junior? Man, I can't remember. I went by an old friend's place that I didn't hang with much...I might have been a junior...well, it was odd...I got there and all these slightly older people were there that I didn't know at all...like, they might have been seniors...but from where? Or, man, I've never seen these people before...and there was beer...and...my first time...Mickey's Big Mouth. I got drunk on that...one guy was wasted and kept saying "come here!" I'd say no. He chased me around a tree. I was drunk.

I kind of liked it. Didn't happen much more before graduation however. Just...that didn't happen again.

Beer is odd...my first drunk was beer...I didn't mind it...then I had years where...ew...how does anybody drink this foul tasting shit? Like, I had forgotten the first time...but I'd try. Oh yeah, and one guy, when I was 20 or so, yeah, 20...talked me into trying some "brew it yourself" stuff that was "new and hip" back in, like, 1993 or 1994...suddenly you could buy these plastic set ups and packs...and literally easily brew your own beer. I did that...it was like sometimes I was...not liking the flavor...and other times I'm brewing my own beer and...eh...once or twice and...never bothering to do this again...not into it.

Or, other times, like, I remember trying stuff. Like, there were odd old brands. Little Kings. I used to pick up some Little Kings because...curiosity...wasn't bad...I think they are gone now. I had times where I actively drank beer in my youth as an adult and other times where...god, how does anybody drink this? It was strange.

Then...years of no beer. I could go YEARS back then without beer. Years. I didn't drink a lot beyond my early work years. For the record I used to do liquor...I liked liquor...hehe...when I was 18 or so. I would drink liquor...straight out of the bottle back then...it was like I didn't notice it...then...one day...FUCK! THIS SHIT TASTES FUCKING AWFUL! My taste buds changed...like, I still have that problem...I taste liquor too well these days...I can't do what I used to do...concerning liquor.

Anyway, beer.

It was like all that vanished in my life and...I got used to not drinking hardly ever as the years rolled on...then, um, it was...Wendy's...2003...working...had just spent 2 years almost entirely out of work...no car...living on a couch...walking around looking for work...landed a job at a fucking Wendy's...some Mexicans working there got me drunk once or twice and...there was an evening where...hey...beer...finally makes sense. It was so hot...sometimes the heat was just ugly and...I was on my feet all day...and for the first time...beer made absolute sense.

I still didn't drink much but I could get drunk on a whim. Only did that once in a while.

Later I hit a new problem. I had this internal pinch with beer. Like, if I started drinking beer near a meal or during a meal...if it happened I'd get this strange internal pinch that was so uncomfortable...I knew 2 things...I either need to stop and let it pass or I need to drink A LOT and get so drunk that the internal pinch relaxes...but I felt so ugly...it felt ugly...I didn't know what it was...can't remember when it started...just remember that it was there...and it involved beer. Don't remember that in my youth at all.

Some years later that pinch disappeared. Haven't felt it in a long time now but in my 30s...sometimes.

The oddest or...well, to me, it was so abnormal...I just don't think about it...I was working in Dallas in 2009 and a cousin and her family and her parents, an aunt and uncle, were taking a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama and for some reason invited me. Hm. Um. I'll ask. Got a week off at work. It was my 2nd year there. I was a solid worker. I chipped in and purchased a few extra days...so we'd be there all week into the next weekend...it was inexpensive...

...and once we were there...by day 3 or so the eldest just shrugged and cracked a beer at 10 AM one morning.

10 AM.

Bud Light.

Just ate eggs and breakfast...10 AM...Bud light?

Eh, fuck it.

Man, the rest of the week was like that...I liked that...I liked that a lot...10 AM and its drink...drink...drink...drink...oh, go eat dinner, then drink...drink some more...and it was a good old week in that regards. I enjoyed that trip. It was actually my first real "go somewhere" vacation in my adult life. I was...in my 30s.

Nice trip. Drank a small truckload of beer...god, if weed had been legal...woo! But no...I can dream. someday...yes, I expect and demand that the someday happens, yo. Ahem. You'll need it. I want it.

So...life carries on...I got really sick again in 2010. Hit some pains in 2011. Those...were bad. Took until 2014 to beat them.

Wasn't drinking much at all. During those years...4th of July...I'd drink that night. I might drink the night before my birthday or the day of...just because...sometimes I could have a six pack in the refrigerator for weeks without touching it and wonder why I bought it. I was sick, in pain all the time...just...didn't desire the drink. Worried.

I beat a specific recurring pain in 2014 and the oddest thing happened. A different pain that was separate but had been around since 2013 suddenly began manifesting every day and every night. It wasn't as painful but it hurt and every night...I mean it...every night I hurt...it was an upper body pain that felt like tension...was it muscle tension? I don't know...it was hard to define but it felt like it...chest area and shoulders but mostly chest...it would hurt and hurt and hurt for hours...I could take it...the pains of 2011 to 2014 were much much worse...this shit was...different and...I could take it...but...god...up all night for hours in pain...don't understand what is wrong with me...mental illness is still fucking me hard...and I am so tired of being in pain...so tired of it...I'd feel up for beating one pain and down for still being in pain and mentally crippled...just...god...does this shit ever end? inexpensive wedding dresses

Late in 2014...fuck it...this ain't that other shit...I'm getting drunk...so late one night I tore into a six pack or a twelve pack...my tension pain was raging...god this sucks...I hate this...fuck it...I'm getting drunk...hm...I'm drunk...I feel drunk as hell...hey, my chest feels AWESOME SUDDENLY!!!!! DAMN, YO, BEER IS MEDICINAL!!!!

Dude, I totally found a medicinal use for beer.

I'm that badass.

It worked every time too. Every time. The problem being...that tension pain hit EVERY FUCKING NIGHT, yo. That shit was sorry but I could take it...but it is such a downer...it really is...but...like, I had a few nights of beer and...this is working...then, one night, the pain was worse than normal...almost like tears could be happening...and...I'm staring at beer #1 and...there's no fucking way this shit is going to work tonight...it hurts so bad tonight...it hurts!

4 beers later...it worked. DAMN!!!!! This shit works. I began trusting the beer. I really did. It worked on this one pain.

Eh...it wasn't fun. Yeah, 2 months later...I'm so sick of beer...I am...so tired of this pain...I'm reduced to drinking at night just to go to bed pain free and...get some sleep! The victory some nights wasn't what you'd think...drinking alone...every night...ridiculous...some nights...I'M SO SICK OF THIS FLAVOR...I HATE THIS TASTE...but then I'd finally be drunk and my upper body would feel so good and...I'd be humming...

...and...god...the adjustment...oh yes...I got it all...emergency bathroom moments...yep...you know what those are called...yep yep...waking up and...feeling blitzed a bit...and...god, this still works...and...I am so sick of the pain...I am so tired of being in pain that...god...I'm drinking every night.

I was solid. I never drank during the day. The pain would hit during the day too...usually for a while then subside...then every night...hours of it...like clockwork...and...um...I really really really hate this...so...I kept drinking.

Ended up drinking every night for about 2 years.

I'm not joking. 16 ounce cans. Minimum 4. Sometimes...hell...sometimes I'd get through 4 and...hey, why not 6 tonight? Hell yeah...woo! Drunk! All alone and it's 2 AM and I'm drunk...god...this is awful.

I usually didn't drink until midnight or so. Just...that's how I got going...and that pain...took...2 years to really die off...it was slowly diminishing but taking its time...as if every few weeks...it was weaker...but still doing its thing...and a few weeks later...it is slightly weaker...and I drank pretty much every single night in 2015 and 2016.

I have drunk a small ocean of beer in the last 3 years. I began backing off this year because the pain was finally...beat. It's virtually gone...but I liked drinking...so I began working on...I got down to mostly just twice a week this year...and finally had some nights of sobriety for the first time in 2 years.

It wasn't all that fun. It really wasn't but...hey...I had some nights where...I liked being drunk.

I got more and more used to beer being in my system regularly...less problems after year 1...year 1 was...um...god, this is sometimes gross...year 2 was...like my body adapted...it was odd that way.

Beer. I had some last night. It had been...over a week? I'm backing off more and more right now. I chose to do that.

Yeah...beer. It's medicinal...in some cases. In at least one case. Hey, it is what I had access to.

Beer!