My Six Months on the Wagon

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Let me start by describing what scientists have deemed “The Fear.”

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Ahh, The Fear. A feeling most of us are all too familiar with. It’s that feeling you get when you abruptly awake from the nightmare that was your previous evening. This untimely wake-up call is usually accompanied by your head in your hands and your decision to never drink again. The Fear is brought on by the distant memory that you’ve done something… to someone… at some point… somewhere… But you don’t know who, what, where, when or why. The appropriate response to this is being scared of running into anyone. The Fear.

Then there’s me. Who got so deeply intoxicated one fateful night in LA last April, that I was beyond waking up with any fear. Just a deeply misguided recollection that last night was normal. The only distant memory I had was from the drink that pushed me over the edge. You know the feeling. You can’t taste it on your lips or smell it in the air, but the flavor and scent of your last beverage is forever ingrained in your throbbing brain. For me it was some sort of grape disaster. I had managed to make it upstairs to the loft where they only served cocktails (so LA) opposed to the bud light I so classily attempted to order, so I told the bartender to surprise me. Mistake. He brewed up grape liquor, banana peppers and sadness into yellow Koolaid that I regrettably downed. And then I woke up.

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Needless to say as I rolled over on the mystery tiles I had clearly spent my coma on, my first thought after where am I and where are my sunglasses, was that I’m never drinking again.

And apparently I had a hint of brain power left because I realized that everyone always says it and no one ever does it. So I wanted to put my money where my mouth was and actually go six whole months without drinking. Which I proudly did. My six months ended on Friday without having a single drop. I responded by ripping shots of tequila at 6pm, but that’s besides the point.

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What I learned over the course of my six months sober was that I’m a thousand percent cooler and have a million times more fun when I’m not drinking.

Sober Sally

Sober Sally

Sober Sally

My game was absolutely on point. I stayed out later, and felt so much better waking up alive and being productive over the weekend.

Productive Saturday Sober Sally

Productive Saturday Sober Sally

I lost weight and kept it off, my mood dramatically improved. Overall, my quality of life became that much better.

The only negative result I found from this experience were peoples’ reactions to me as the sober girl at the party. A lot of people assumed that since I wasn’t drinking I wasn’t partying on the weekends, but actually my social life was really busy and fun-filled.

Sober Sally & Friends

Sober Sally & Friends

Oh ya gotta have friendsss

Oh ya gotta have friendsss

The worst part was when people felt uncomfortable around me because I was sober and they felt awkward like I was judging them – and that really made me sad.

Aside from running into that kind of thing every now and then, I think it was honestly the best 6 months of my life. We’ll see how I move forward, but after 6 months having it not be a priority it’s a little bit off my radar. Plus who has money to drink in New York?

#Yolo #Yesjustaredbull

Shows and Toes and Shoes, Oh My!

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I’m going to attempt to explain the allure of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) to non-believers.

I want you to try and think about when you’ve had a really good, really intense emotion or feeling. Like when all you need is a hug and you finally get enveloped in someone’s arms and you feel warm all over. Or when the person you like touches you and the hair on your arms stands up and your whole body is filled with the most invigorating chill. Or when its 90 degrees on the perfect summer day and you finally jump in the water and you’re consumed by the intense feeling of cool refreshment. Or when you play with a baby tiger or a litter of puppies and you’re so overwhelmed with cuteness all you can do is laugh and squeeze the baby animals.

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Now mix all those feelings together and add the confusion of being blinded by strobes and the excitement of being mesmerized by colored lights; with the feeling of the bass vibrating your rib cage and the rhythm guiding your body in movement.

Photo cred: Alex Pierson

Photo cred: Alex Pierson

For all you Beethovens out there it’s like a crescendo but for the whole song. Or for you literary nerds, its the climax of the story for half the book followed by the falling action which then leads to another, more shocking climax.

I think it was Bob Marley who said “when music hits you you feel no pain” and if you’ve ever been punched in the face by a beat dropping, you’d know exactly what he means. If you pay close enough attention you really can feel music. Especially EDM. Those sounds are designed to flow through you, and cause such an overwhelming sensation that you just have to jump and wave your arms in the air like a gorilla during mating season to express everything you’re feeling.

That being said, that same euphoria can be stripped away from you in a split second when Shrek fee-fi-fo-fums all over your baby toe.

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I think EDM shows should have the same kind of height requirements they have on rides at theme parks, only if you’re “this tall” you can’t come in.

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The ogres are always the most unsteady at these concerts and they’re always the ones to put the drunk girls on their shoulders right in front of me so that I now have Jack in the beanstalk trampling my feet while his tramp uses my head as a stool. It’s why I think banning Hagrid from these shows all together is probably the best move. Or at least give him a special “people over a thousand feet tall” roped off area.

With such danger afoot it is impossible to find the right pair of shoes to wear. Without a quality pair of steel toed boots consider yourself done for. Plus with style evolving into such weirdness these days I bet it wouldn’t even be that off-putting to show up in a pair – if they even make those for women… I wore a pair of pink leopard print canvas sneaks to Steve Aoki this weekend, which I thought were perfectly badass, but as it turns out with Lurch in the crowd they were insufficient. Since I’m not ready to fully take the plunge into “manual labor chic” I settled to purchase a cool pair of colored high tops from Urban Outfitters.

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Fresh Kick

I’ve been meaning to make the switch into being cool enough to pull them off for some time now, and I think I’m one sad toe past being overdue for a style upgrade. Hopefully, these will add an extra layer of safety while still being fresh ta death.

How I’ve Been Conditioning my Mom with Dubstep

Could this guy grow a beard or what?

Could this guy grow a beard or what?

Meet Ivan Pavlov. For those of you who don’t know, Ivan Pavlov is a Russian psychologist who is famous for conducting research with dogs, on what’s called a “conditioned response.”

Pavlov would ring a bell every time he fed the pups which would elicit an association between the sound they heard and the meal they received. He noticed that after a while when the dogs heard the bell they would begin to salivate and ready themselves for meal time even if no food was presented.

Funny things these responses – wouldn’t ya know you can condition people too.

Meet subject X:

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My Mom.

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Since I majored in Psychology, I decided it would only be irresponsible not to pursue it after college. And since I would be returning home and would be able to conduct my field research 24/7, subject X was the perfect candidate.

Hypothesis: By the end of Spring, I will be able to control the mood of subject X by playing 1 of 3 dupstep songs.

Independent Variable: Choice of three songs:

I love it – Icona Pop (not really dubstep at all but it’s my jam)

Sierra Leone – Mt Eden

Crave You – Flight Facilities

Dependent Variable – The state of subject X’s mood: annoyed/angry, tired, or generally good/happy

In the beginning I had to have her grow accustomed to feeling the emotion while the song was playing in order to one day, hopefully, achieve my dream.

A common encounter  follows as such:

“Hey Megan, have you seen the shirt I was planning on wearing today and don’t have time to re-accessorize before my presentation?”

“Why yes Mother dearest, I took it yesterday without asking and it was ripped off by wolves so you may be running late.”

And as I’d notice the steam rising and her face getting redder, I’d cue up Icona and start dancing wildly, innapropriately close to her face.

The seed was planted.

…I don’t care. I love it.

The experiment continued similarly along the three emotions I was hoping to manifest in subject X’s brain.

If she woke up tired I would blast Mt Eden in her face, and if she woke up excited about the day we’d rock out to “Crave You.”

This went on for about a year until one fateful morning. I was listening to Icona Pop at a screeching volume as I got ready for work and attempted to subliminally reach my sleeping mother, when all of a sudden she emerged from her bedroom scratching her head in confusion.

“What’s wrong?” I said.

“I’m really irritated and I can’t think of why… I feel like I’m missing something.”

And just as they crashed their car into the bridge and watched and let it burn, the music slowed; my heart grew louder and I realized… I had done it.

I had successfully manipulated a conditioned response of annoyance in subject X by the subconscious association with Icona Pop.

My name should be published in the Scientific Journal next to Ivan Pavlov himself.

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I’d like to thank the electronic dance music revolution for providing such quality variables for my experiment. Also, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst for their dedication in giving me such a top notch understanding of what it means to be a Psychologist. And of course subject X, without whom this experiment wouldn’t be possible.

And also, sorry I’ve been scientifically manipulating you for the past year.

Although, I think you should be thanking me for putting my higher education that you so generously paid for to good use.

Signing off,

Megan Deford, PhD in Psychological Studies and Lying