The Insane Energy Drink Experiment

(This was originally posted Sept 2009, but made me laugh when I ran across it again so I thought I'd repost. Enjoy.)

Sometimes, my energy drinks bore me.

The trouble is, I've grown accustomed to how all of this stuff works, and my "cycles" are just getting boring. So I figured, why not have a little fun?

I drink Red Bulls in the morning. They've got a little caffeine, but they keep me riding strong into the day. This is the "long burn" energy.
I drink Redline when I need a big boost, usually before working out - the extra energy while working out turns into more repetitions and calisthenics. This is a subtle but steady climb, followed by a slow and steady decline.
When Redline starts to dull out (and I get tolerant), I switch to N.O. Xplode. This stuff is sorta like Redline, but the "shock" factor is way higher - you don't just soar up to cruising altitude, you fucking take off like a rocket. And you pretty much crash the same way.

And so, I mixed three scoops of N.O. Xplode into two cans worth of Red Bull, and finished off the water bottle with a bottle of Redline Xtreme. An energy drink cocktail of epic proportions. And what do you get when you mix these?

Consumed at 5:30 PM.

Immediate effect: At first, nothing (of course). But once it hit my system, it was like jumping off a roof, in reverse. I got into my truck, began driving to the gym, and within 10 minutes, my heart was racing. I was physically shaking by the time I got to the gym.

During the workout: Holy jesus mary shit fuck. I was sweating like crazy, and where I normally begin to fatigue and experience some muscle tiredness around the 25th rep in a high-rep workout, I went on to 30... then 35... then 40 and finally stopped at 50, with almost no real "pushing through." ON EVERY EXERCISE. I was still racing when done with the weights (about an hour or so) and went into my cardio session thinking "I'll run as far as I can until the juice runs down." I normally run two, and at the end of the second, my body is ready for me to stop. I'm not "winded", just tired and ready to call it a workout. Tonight, I ran four miles, and could have done five, but was just fucking bored on the treadmill.

After workout: Just about everyone I talked to commented on my "good mood." I was pretty hyper driving home, but not heart-racing hyper. Just... hyper. Called a lot of people, got a lot of conversations done. Saw God. Told him hi for my mom, since she believes in him and I don't. Nearly ran over a cop on a motorcycle. He gave chase, I just plugged an IV from my arm into the gas tank and outran that motherfucker something fierce. Invented two new punctuation marks. Divided by Zero.

The rest of the evening: No "jitters" - but I've been working all night. It's now 4:06AM, and I'm not even the slightest bit tired. I've written two new stories for my book's website (to go up closer for the book release date), invented Joetonium which is 100x stronger than Adamantium but only bonds to cartilage, and fixed a leaky toilet. Don't hate anyone. Like everyone. Love you. Thank you for reading my blog. I want an iguana. I had one when I was a teenager, but he was a bit of a mean fucker, he bit me all the time. I can totally do cartwheels, watch.

The taste: Like a fruit-flavored 9-volt battery. N.O. Xplode is already pretty "sharp" tasting, but mixing it with the carbonation from the Red Bull made it practically shock my mouth with every sip.

Will I do this again? You're goddamn right I will.


Art and Artists in the "Real" World

For most people, art is magic, and they lost their belief in magic as they grew up and joined the "real" world. It's hard to hear ad nauseum things like this:

- "Why don't you get a real job?"
- "My kid likes drawing too."
- "You 'make' video games? That's a job?"
- "Painting is a nice hobby..."

And so on.

But when you realize the simple fact that they're tied up in a reality made up of rules set by other people, you no longer resent their questions and attitude. You instead pity them. You realize that they are playing a game called "how life is supposed to be according to everyone else" and unfortunately for them, they're winning it.

Artists, on the other hand, are too busy making art to play such silly games.


Stuck in the mud

Knowing that you are in the middle of something that hurts, which won't be over for a while, has its value. You shouldn't wallow in the pain like a pig in mud, but don't try to sprint through the mud the nearest shower to wash it all off either. You'll just tire yourself out.

It's pain, dummy. It's supposed to hurt.

Welcome to existing in the moment. Being aware of the self. Being in the experience and feeling it.

The only way out of it is through. Trudge on. Get to the other side. Try to learn something along the way to make it all worth going through (which is another reason not to rush to distractions, escapism and absolutes - when you do, you remove the possibility of learning a lesson and experiencing personal growth, which means the time you spent in pain - while shorter - was worth nothing, and you run the risk of ending up right back in the same pain again).


Simple = Hard

"Get over it."

"Calm down."


Simple things, to be sure. All you have to do to get over it is stop caring. All you have to do to calm down is stop being angry. All you have to win is be ahead of the other guy when time runs out.

Of course, it's not that easy. There's a ton of stuff you have to do to get ahead of that other guy before time runs out. There's a lot you have to get settled before you can stop caring.

It really is that simple. But it's usually the simple things that are the hardest to do. Never let anyone attempt to convince you otherwise. And if you really want to do those things, it's going to take work. You will not accomplish them without doing the work, period, point blank, end of story.

You can delude yourself into thinking otherwise. You can run. You can hide. But eventually you'll get caught. So instead of wasting that time, why not turn into the wave and ride it out?

It won't be easy. But it's that simple.