For the uninitiated, it starts with your hands trembling or a simple headache. Tonight, for me, it was that my gums hurt. The reason for this is because alcohol dries everything out and your entire body is dehydrated. That’s why the majority of my college years were spent with a water bottle always within arms reach. I could feel it in my head too, unable to concentrate very well or remember certain facts that you always have memorized. I remember it scared me one time someone asked me which book Hemingway wrote after The Sun Also Rises and I couldn’t answer. This is the sort of trivia I always knew ever since my obsession with literature peaked in my early twenties, but whatever this terrible drug does, it did then. Thankfully all this wears off after a good night’s sleep and a few meals. But even now I feel words fleeing away from me as I write. It used to scare me but now I’m used to it.

I’ll never understand why binge drinking is socially acceptable in America today. Actually, it’s not just acceptable, it’s encouraged. If you look up the definition of an alcoholic in a medical dictionary, you would be describing the average twenty year-old in this country. It’s honestly disgusting, and it’s not even interesting to figure out why, since it’s not like I can do anything about it. I came here to write about my year, not about my thoughts on drinking. The reason it came up in the first place is because all this anxiety that I have is because of the chemical imbalance that’s torturing me right now. But I know it will all go away soon.

Anyway, I spent the last half of 2017 completely sober and in a good mood, which is surprising given my track record. I attribute it mainly to my therapist (something I’ll probably never go into here: it’s very cliche) and also to me just doing shit that doesn’t depress me all the time. I drank like three times in the past thee months. Also, quitting my job in September was the greatest move of my life. If you’re out there working a job that you hate, just do it already. I’m telling you, it’s worth it. So I poured myself back into my two great hobbies yet again: film and poker. I spent most of Q3 and some of Q4 playing online poker and absolutely crushing the micro- and low-stakes. I made a few videos on my YouTube channel (check them out!), and that really motivated me to make more videos since a lot of my friends and some other random people from the internet really liked them. But as usual I lost interest in the game itself and videos too. I know why I lost interest in video making: I want to make a real movie. The reason I lost interest in poker is because the game is torture, like most difficult things in life.

One of my favorite movies this year was The Meyerowitz Stories by Noah Baumbach (he’s becoming one of my all time favoites) and in it Adam Sandler’s character says something very relatable and very true: he’s asked by his brother why he quit playing the piano seriously, for when he was young he was very talented. Sandler responds by saying, “…it was like walking barefoot through broken glass to get to a milkshake. I loved the milkshake but, you know, my feet were…bleeding.” This here perfectly sums up my life. I hate to admit it but it’s true. Why didn’t I make it in poker? Why have I stopped writing seriously? Why don’t I go all in on just that one thing? My feet were fucking bleeding, you know?

I don’t know how to rate this year. Something like that is sort of dumb. It seemed pretty good though, and from what I remember, it was better than the year previously. I could talk about all the movies this year, but wouldn’t that be sort of dumb too? I’m feeling a bit apathetic, can you tell?

I’ll say one thing about movies though. Star Wars sucked. I mean it was pretty damn bad, bordering on unwatchable-bad. At least the Force Awakens was entertaining. This one…. I don’t know…. I miss George, is that so hard to admit?!

I finished watching most of Stanley Kubrick’s filmography, and I have a theory that he’s the greatest director of all time. But it’s just a theory….

My motivation to keep writing is wearing off. This happens in most of these blog posts, but usually I push through the lulls and hit my second stride and ride that out. Also, I get sick of writing about myself, it’s too self-indulgent, and that grosses me out. All I want to get out of this blog is to be honest and true. There’s too much dishonesty in this world. Literally everyday of my life I see it, and it gets annoying. It’s like we tell ourselves we can’t be human. Then we watch movies and we drool over the characters that actually are. Why can’t we all admit that we got totally fucked up on Saturday? Come on, it was New Years Eve! No one wants to work this week….

What will 2018 hold? I hope just happiness. That’s all that matters. I’ve decided to make my own film production company since I don’t want to work for anyone else anymore. Not that I didn’t enjoy working for other film companies, but I can’t stand these ridiculous “jobs” I had just to make some money. Like working in that warehouse this summer. I can’t believe I actually did that. Money, money, money…. If I wanted to be rich, I’d already be by now…. Right? At least this new venture motivates me. It’s a great way to make some money, and hone my skills as a filmmaker. Probably going to do some weddings and small commercials first. I already got a commercial gig for a jewelry company this week…. Being free is perhaps the only thing I ever wanted. Freedom and validation. That’s the rub, isn’t it.

I’m done. I’m spent. “Sleep is thine enemy.”

Happy New Year everyone. I really mean it.

— Nick

Writer and Poker Player