Archive for November, 2004

November 11, 2004

Bday Bash, Hospital, Things getting better…

So much to say. It’s always when I have the most things going on in my life that I don’t update my journal. I guess just don’t have the time and feel like I don’t even know where to begin.

Saturday, Oct. 30 – My Bday Bash/Halloween Show. Getting through the day was tough. It was hard to prepare for the show. I wasn’t really thinking too much about it, but I started having breathing issues and chest pains again. I ended up getting there a couple hours later than load-in. I felt so bad but I had to do my breathing exercises when it happened. So I got there. Had to go to the bathroom a zillion times due to drinking way too much water.
I was so happy once I got there. I hadn’t seen anyone in forever. I was feeling kind of guilty before because I had to miss the Shorebirds Stadium show in Salisbury, MD. Luckily a friend of ours Sharon Parker – who rocks – filled in. But I really wanted to do it and plus Agents of the Sun and Goldmind Squad were there, too. And it was Halloween themed – there was a haunted house and stuff. That night I had a bad attack anyways, so if I would have traveled down there even though I knew I shouldn’t, that would have been really bad.
Anyways, it felt really great to be playing again and to be out in a social setting again. I had so much energy when we were on stage. Not only because I was looking so forward to the show and I love Halloween. But because the crowd’s energy was so great as well. Seemed like everyone was watching and was dancin’/rockin’ out and singing along. I loved it. It was one of the most rewarding times I’ve had on stage. I didn’t feel sick at all when I was up there and felt the happiest and most confident I can remember. Everyone was so nice and supportive – and all the bands rocked. Marino, To A Science, Oddzar, Eat Your Neighbors, Swath.. the list goes on (there were 13 bands). I even got presents! I got nominated but didn’t win the costume contest. It’s okay – the guy that looked like a woman was hotter anyways haha. I was dressed up as someone in a mental ward. A lot of people thought I was supposed to be from “Silence of the Lambs”. The shirt had these straps and is all bondage-like. I think I might wear the shirt just in general haha. And I had this mask on. Which really sucked since it was so hot in there that night, but I needed to cover my face. See… I was on steriods for when I had an ear infection and so my face is puffy and I have a lot of acne. That’ll probably go away within a month (I’m hoping… wish it could be sooner). So anyways, it covered that up.

Sunday, Oct. 31 – Couldn’t really do anything for Halloween like I had planned. But that’s okay, the show the night before was my fun. But I did manage to go to the 98 Rock station and give Matt Davis the copy of our new song “Muckraker”. I talked with him for a bit. He’s so friggin’ awesome. Then I did a recorded promo thingie with me talking and introducing the song that he played before he aired the song. Did I mention I love Matt Davis? Oh and they also aired Muckraker that night on DC101 I believe.

So things were going well but at the same time not. The medication I was taking I thought was making me feel better. And it helped me sleep really well at night. But starting on the Thursday before Halloween weekend, I could barely sleep. See… I’d sleep, but not really. It’d take hours to sleep. My back automatically cramped up when I laid down. And my heart would start racing and my mind was thinking a million different things. And no matter what I tried to do to relax, or even when I finally decided to take sleeping medication and pain medication that would work any other time, it didn’t help. When I finally did sleep, it was only half-sleep. And then I’d wake up with my chest hurting, heart racing, a random thought, or I’d have to pee. And even though I was so tired, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

Then on Monday I had the worst attack I’ve had to date. It was so scary. Usually I can kinda predict when they are going to happen. My heart will start to race and I’ll just do breathing techniques and it’ll go away. This time it came out of nowhere. And it started with an intense pain in my heart/chest. It last for a couple hours. It was violent. It felt like my heart was skipping. It felt like what I would think a heart attack feels like, though I’ve never had one of those. The pain was so bad and I was crying through it. I was so scared. No matter what I did to try to control it and make it go away, it would get slightly better and then come back again even worse. This happened at work. It was awful and embarassing. I didn’t want everyone to see that. But one good thing is the people at my work are so nice and supportive. And my manager’s daughter has the same thing I have, so he knows what I am going through. It’s really hard to explain to someone who isn’t dealing with it. So he was there to help me out and comfort me and give me advice while I was going through this. I went home that night. The heart pains kept coming back really sharp, though not as bad as what happened earlier.

The next day I went to go vote. Then I went to the hospital. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was getting worse and still not able to sleep. I was seeing spots and blobs that didn’t exist because I went all that time without sleep and my mind was going a little whacky. I wasn’t crazy or anything. But I wasn’t me anymore. I was there for at least 14 hours – plus I had to go to the pharmacy and all that so it was hours and hours before I could complete this. They ran a bunch of tests on me because my blood pressure and heart rate was so high. And in the past few days prior, I’d feel so hot and sweaty even though the weather was cold. So they kept checking my temperature. They a few blood tests, a urine test, and put all these wire things and stuck these electro-pads things on my chest and did some kind of test with a machine. I don’t even know what most of the tests were or what they were for – I was so out of it. Then I went to a different doctor who evaluated me for an hour or a couple hours (my perception of time was off at that point) and found out I was having an adverse reaction to the medication I was taking. So he prescribed me a different medicine which is similar but not the same.

By the time I left the hospital (I got there Tuesday afternoon/evening) it was around 8 AM Wednesday morning. So I went to Papermoon and ate breakfast. I was so friggin’ hungry! I sat there alone, sometimes with my head resting on the table and stuff. And I looked a mess. I think the people there thought I was crazy. Whatever haha. Ate my food and tried to kill some time before Rite Aid opened. When I got to my car I was sooo out of it. I had to wait in my car ‘cuz I would half sleep and couldn’t function or focus at all. So I stayed there for a while. Went to Rite Aid, came back in an hour and my prescription had been done. Thank God. Went home. Took my meds. Waited around and did some things around the house. Then went to bed. Actually got three hours of sleep. When I first woke up I felt like the me that was on the old medication. But as I started waking up and some time went by, I felt so much better. Still tired but a lot more calm. Relax. Chill. Still not 100% me but the most normal I’ve felt in a month. That night I got 4 hours of sleep.

I feel so much better now. I’m still having some muscle pain at night but it’s a lot better than before. I can actually fall asleep! But I’ve been having muscle pains throughout the day. But compared to what I was going through before, I feel sooo much better. I’m still not “well” but much improved. I feel like the old me again almost. Thank G-d. As each day goes by I’ve been able to get a little bit more rest. The longer I take the medicine, the better I should be able to get rest. Right now, my sleep is still interrupted, but I have an easier time falling back asleep. But I’ve been having some whack dreams! The medicine also makes you drowsy as a side effect, but in my case that’s a good thing. It helps! The only thing that sucks is sometimes during the day I’ll get extra drowsy. But again, I’m in a better situation than before.
Since taking the new medication, I haven’t had an attack. Here and there my heart will race slightly or I’ll have chest pains, but not an attack. And it’s mild. It’s nothing compared to before. I feel like I have so much more control over my life now.

The thing about this past month is that even though I’ve been sick, I’ve been the happiest I’ve been since I can remember. Just knowing why I’m sick and being able to get treatment and learning how to deal with it actually makes me feel like I have more control over my life in a weird way. It’s also made me realize how much I have. I have so many supportive people around me. From my friends, family, my bandmates, the fans, and my co-workers. There are a few people who don’t understand and don’t care. But that doesn’t matter. I am so lucky to be surrounded by some amazing people and it’s really made me realize who and what is important in life. And what really doesn’t matter. I realize how much I have and how great my life really is. I feel like I enjoy life and each day – even if I’m not doing anything special, exciting, or noteworthy. I love the band and it’s been going great. My new job is so awesome. I’m lucky to be living with a great friend who understands me and is just a great person. I couldn’t really ask for much more.

One thing I want to mention is that what I have is really complicated to explain. If you have what I have, you understand what I’m talking about here. If you don’t, it’s really hard. Not that I don’t want to explain it more, but it’s really hard to understand. Before I was going through all this and someone else I knew was having these problems, I just didn’t get it. Now I completely understand.

I’m going to have to see a doctor on a regular basis and be on the medications I’m on for a while. How long? I dunno. Could be months, could be years. Sucks to know you are depending on medications to get by but at least there is some kind of treatment as opposed to none. No cure, but treatment.

I want to point out that I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me! People say that to me and I’m like NO! Going through all this sucked. Especially the past couple weeks. But like I said before it’s made my life better in the weirdest way and it brought my family close together when I thought that would never happen. This whole thing was a blessing in disguise.

I have so much to look foward to – the band has some great shows coming up. And soon I’ll start going out again. This weekend we have out of town shows where we have to travel a few hours. I get to travel again! Go on a road trip without having to really worry about anything happening or if I physically would get dizzy or not be able to handle it. I’ll be able to do it.

I’m not gonna let this thing get to me. I’m gonna kick its ass. Things are only going to get better for me and my life is gonna get even better.

November 6, 2004

The end of Bi-partisanship

Subject: The end of Bi-partisanship
Mood : guilty
Music : The Music "Freedom Fighters"
The point of this entry isn’t telling you who you should have voted for. The point of this entry is that people should vote for who they agree with most – not who is the lesser of two evils. In this election however it was very important (in my opinion) to get Bush out period – whatever it takes. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans who voted did feel that Bush was the best candidate and now we are stuck with him for four more years. If I had voted for someone outside of the two-party system, it would not have effected Kerry’s chances of winning any more due to the electoral college system that is in place.

Also, this post isn’t necessarily to convince you of either Nader or Kerry’s views and plans. If you want to find out more, visit and (Whether you agree with them or not, it’s good to be educated on what the different candidates stand for. A lot of people who are against Nader don’t even know what he’s about, they just don’t like that he’s not Democrat or Republican or because they blame him for Gore losing in 2000. If you agree or disagree with Nader or Kerry, that’s fine and that’s your opinion. The point is people should be educated. And that I should have voted who I felt was best.

We need to get rid of the bi-partisanship. People should vote for what candidate they believe is the right candidate. Not just the lesser of two evils. Or just because they are part of a certain party. In 2000, that is why I voted for Nader. And even know that he is not a Green but is now independent, I still believe he would make an amazing President. It’s about him and his beliefs – not political party nonsense. That whole bullshit with people saying Gore lost due to Nader is false. Gore lost because people didn’t want to vote for HIM. It’s not supposed to be the about the lesser of two evils, (Even though technically Gore did win but that’s a whole other topic).

This year I did vote for Kerry – a decision that I kept changing my mind on , even at the last second. I actually feel that Kerry is a very good candidate (much better than Gore was) but not the Best candidate. My mind kept switching between him and Nader. I was very scared at the thought of Bush winning that at the last minute I decided to vote for Kerry. I am not sure if I did the right thing. Especially since Bush won anyways. And with knowing that Maryland is a Democratic state anyways I should have realized my voting for Nader wouldn’t give Bush anymore of a chance. But I was scared at the possibility that Bush could still win Maryland. I think I should have voted Nader. Nader was the one I was for. Not who was the lesser of any evils.

There are so many reasons why getting rid of Bi-partisanship is important. The one obvious reason is that the more competition there is, the more the candidates are going to have to work harder. Another reason is because there are more than just two ways of thinking! Politics is so complex that I don’t how if you believe one thing you automatically support everything else that fits into the category of that political party. Just like with religion. Could you imagine if there were only two religions and you had to choose one? How can your beliefs fit into one of two categories? And what’s really important is that we grow and evolve. Our political party was not always Democrat/Republican. Many years ago it was the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. After that it was Federalists and Democratic-Republican Party. After that it was National Republican, Anti-Masonic Party and the Whigs. I could go on and on and on about the different parties and how they changed. It was because of the "oddball" candidates running that knew they weren’t going to win this time around… fighting and having a grass-roots campaign that things changed and eventually turned into a "major" party. If it weren’t for them, we’d still be fighting over decisions should be made by the state or the federal government. This is why it’s so important right now to vote for who you think the right candidate is regardless of political party. We must evolve.

A co-worker of mine told me she is a Republican. But she still voted for Kerry this election because she said based on his plan and his history, she felt he was the best candidate and that’s why. It didn’t matter his party. She is appalled at Bush. She did the right thing. She voted for the candidate and not the party.

People don’t realize there are the Green, Democratic Socialists of America, Libertarian, Natural Law Party, The New Party, The Communist Party, Reform, Socialist, The U.S. Taxpayers Party, and even more. It’s not just Republicans and Democrats. And of course there are the independents.

Another reason why I voted Kerry is because I felt that change should be gradual. In 2000, we had a Democrat in office. Believing that another Democrat would win anyways I felt people would eventually change and Nader in several years would have a good chance of winning or if not winning getting a lot higher up in the polls. Well right now we have Bush in office and he won. Most of America sadly supports him. Getting Nader to get up in the polls is going to take a lot more work and a lot more time. But I do believe it’s worth it and he did do the right thing by still running this year. However the reason I voted Kerry was because I felt like you can’t convince someone who’s drinking and smoking to quit both at the same time and expect it to work. You try to eventually get them to quit one first. Then they can quit the other one. I felt voting for Nader who is way on the opposite spectrum of Bush… when the majority of people are in favor of someone completely opposite of Nader would be pushing too hard and asking too much. And that Kerry was somewhere between that and that was more of a realistic goal – to get Kerry to win. (In 2000, I felt Bush and Gore were almost the same. And in some ways, so are Bush and Kerry. But that’s a whole other topic). I knew no matter what – in 2000 or this year that Nader wouldn’t win. That’s not the point. Gradual grass-roots change and voting for who you believe is the best – not the lesser of two evils.

But the bottom line is I should have voted for Nader. And I didn’t. And I SUCK.


November 4, 2004

American Idiots

There’s so much I want to say I don’t even know where to begin. Green Day’s “American Idiot” sums up a lot of what I’m feeling. I am so angry and disappointed in the American people.

How could so many people vote Bush? And why were there issues in Ohio?! The same issues Florida had back in 2000. Ohio was still using the old punch cards with the pregnant chad issues, yada yada yada. COME ON! Why didn’t they fix this? Hmm…. lemme see… because Ohio is such a big state with many electoral votes. Coincidence?! And we all know the issues with Florida. I don’t know if I should be more angry if Bush really did win this election or if he really didn’t win it like he didn’t really win it the last election. What would make me pissed? I dunno. But I am angry he is our President and that he will continue to be for another four years. You know what they should do? If they re-instate the draft, the people who voted Bush should be the ones to go. Not the people who voted for Kerry, Nader, etc. I could go on and on forever about this but I’m not going to because I will just frustrate myself.

I am very disappointed in the many states that put restrictions on gay rights. Ohio voted yes to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. I used to live in Ohio for years and was planning on maybe someday moving back. I’ve suddenly changed my mind on that.

The only good thing I can say is that there was a high turnout of people voting. I’m so glad everyone voted. But I am afraid the overwhelming majority of voters were not educated at all at what they were doing. You don’t have to know everything about everything but some people just really had no clue as to what their candidate was about.