Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Maybe It's Neurasthenia...

It's been a pretty depressing week, outside of the fan mail, because I did something stupid: I tried to get ADD medication. I was diagnosed as ADD back in 1998 and have been off and on various medications since. Usually I haven't needed it, but now that I'm back in a 9-to-5 office job, it's starting to look like it was either medicate myself into cubicle-friendly shape, or lose my job entirely and try some job that requires no attention span at all, like Magpie Wrangler or Street Mendicant.

So I went to my GP's referral neurologist, and after a few minutes of interviewing me, this guy frowned and said, "I don't think you have ADD at all. How much caffeine do you drink every day?"

I had cut out caffeine until a year ago, when my usage started rising. It's a common ADD way of self-medicating. "Um...about a liter of diet coke a day? Is that bad?"

"My god!" he said. "No more caffeine for you. Also, I'm putting you on Paxil to see if this is anxiety." Then when I got the Paxil, I noticed that the label said, "Do not drink alcohol while on this medication."

So: no caffeine AND no alcohol. It's like I became Mormon overnight, and it's been hell. I go to a bar and there's nothing for me to order; I go to a party at someone's house, they say, "Would you like some wine?" and all I can say is, "Do you have sparkling seltzer or grenadine?" The only thing that depressing sentence is missing is "...and if you have any salt-free soda crackers, I'll just dip them in my drink; Dr. Graham says they're a vitalizing tonic for the digestion." Next step is to buy a one-way ticket to Battle Creek, Michigan in the 1910s. It's so unfair. If God had meant for us to not drink alcohol, he would have made it taste like O'Doul's.

On the plus side, I'm certainly saving a lot of money and drinking more healthily, since I pretty much drink water and more water all day. And I really AM doing a better job paying attention at work. So why am I not more thrilled? Oh, right; the suffering.



Blogger Jenny said...

You know, if you do, perchance, lose your job due to ADD, you can always make a fortune marketing T-shirts & bumper stickers that say, "If God had meant for us to not drink alcohol, he would have made it taste like O'Doul's. "

9/16/2007 8:32 PM  
Anonymous kentaro said...

Dave, allow me to be a bad influence here, and suggest to hell with the ubiquitous 'don't-drink'/'no heavy machinery' warnings.. the medications themselves are probably worse, and these drug companies are just trying to limit their liabilities... so drink up!

9/20/2007 2:58 PM  

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