Drop Out, Smoke Crack, Get MBA post 17, part 1 (Austin)

This is part of a series, it is suggested that you start with post 1.

This post is from my older blog, which is catching up to todays date eventually. haha

Three more classes. That’s it. My project team is currently working on the BSG-online business simulation as part of our MBA capstone project. It’s fascinating, but there are so many variables to consider when making business decisions that more or less run the length of the supply chain. We’re making decisions regarding plant capacity, inventory, tariffs, social responsibility, manufacturing, product differentiation, marketing, private labeling, wholesale, retail, celebrity endorsements, etc. It’s so much fun to pretend for just a little while that we are the board members of this hypothetical corporation.

At the same time, I’m trying to learn step sequencing programming on my Korg Volca Sample. It’s the cheapest sampler that you can upload your own samples on, plus still have step sequencing, and the level of sample manipulation found on it. I know. I’m too old to be playing with music, too this, too that. Save that shit playa. I don’t live in a box other than my house. I’ve really also enjoyed messing around with some of the apps available like the Korg Electribe, just fucking around, listening to the beats and finding correlations, no words, it’s almost like sitting in a drum circle without hoping that I’m not allergic to patchouli or db manbuns.

I’m just trying to find creative outlets for my addiction to take roost. I’ve had school and it’s about to end. School has been my addiction, my line, my rock. When I say that something is my rock… not a good thing. Ha ha. I’ve said before that I could feel my addiction before I found cocaine, before I found alcohol, tobacco, or pills, as a child. I really could, it was in my nervousness, my thought process, my DNA. It was there the entire time. The recreational pharmaceuticals were just someplace else that my addiction found to live, take up residence, then move on and just occasionally show up at bad times, like it’s a poorly scheduled time share on a beach that is only available during the rainy season.

My addiction was showing itself early on in the way that I could fixate on things or food, in a way that is not healthy, just almost obsess over these things. That type of fixation is so unhealthy when it meets cocaine, but when it meets a difficult math class it can really be quite helpful. I unfortunately was mixing my drug use with my academics at first. Snort a huge line of cocaine, then start working on a math problem. Give yourself another huge line of blow when you’re done. That’s what I did during my time at Houston Community College and it got me through college algebra. I made a B. I was really coked up during my final, but I earned a 89 on it.

I don’t do coke anymore, because I really don’t want to anymore. I mean why do coke if you don’t drink? So, when I quit drinking, I chronicled it on my personal Facebook page and I’m going to make those public but I’m not sure how to incorporate them into this blog. Why don’t I just wait and let this blog catch up? Because most of my friends still use the most dangerous drug that I’ve ever consumed and a lot of them are addicts as well. Most of the people reading this still consume the most dangerous drug that I’ve ever ingested, a lot are most likely addicts, and I’m just now getting to my time being roommates with Man-Boobs. We still have a lot to cover in Austin, I’m already at about 60,000 words on this blog, when I add the other stuff, yes there are things that I’ve left out, we’re looking at over 100,000 words by the time I’m done with Austin. That’s skipping over a lot of relationships, dating, all of the workplace organizational cultures, shit-bag managers etc. Then I will start writing about my time in San Diego, my peak as a comedian and then my rapid descent towards rock bottom. How I was just a fucking drunk that couldn’t even make it to a gig on time or a commitment of any sort without smelling like a minibar had just been raided. That alcohol bloat just sitting there letting life just happen. The thought of me being successful academically would be said only in jest. So, I sat in my MBA class last night wearing my nice clothes, nice briefcase on my desk, MacBook Air with quantitative analysis results displaying on the screen, wondering if this is all real. Am I really sitting here during a lecture in the last month of an MBA program? But I’m just a fucking former addict, former drunk that started with one Spanish class. Now, I’m about to have my MBA. If I can do it…I mean seriously just think again about my past. I’m not alone either. There are a lot of addicts that get through the alcohol and drug addiction and then become successful. You can to. It gets better, so much better.

So, let’s get back to the late 1990s and living on the hill with Teddy and the others. I ate a lot of shrooms during the next year or two. They just kept appearing around me. Everyone had shrooms around Austin back then, well, not everyone of course, but since my circle of society was filled with fellow aspiring comedians, actors, musicians…. you know waiters, bartenders, ever been to a Thundercloud Subs?

My dive into shrooms really started over at Stonehollow (earlier post regarding Rabon) with having access to a lot of shrooms but being around Teddy back in the day was like having access to shrooms all of the time. Not from Teddy, ha ha Teddy didn’t have “go buy a big bag of shrooms money” and Teddy isn’t a hustler either. Teddy is an actor and an artist. Painting and shit and he’s bad ass, but not a hustler. I actually bought some of Teddy’s art a while back. I don’t really do that, I’m not out “buying art” on an afternoon, but his were inexpensive and fun. I have a shark eating a cupcake that I bought from Teddy. I’m smiling ear to ear just thinking of that shark right now. Isn’t that fucking great? That piece of art, that colorful drawing that Teddy created, probably in his spare time, just doodling as I’ve seen him do so many times, just as if everyone has his amazing abilities. His eyes focused intently on his work, never looking up, moving the thick hair out of his eyes and face, while the pace picks up just a bit. Then he is slowing down and he is complete. Teddy would look up to see us high as shit motherfuckers on the couch, up on that hill. We would just say shit like “Dude, that is so fucking cool.” “How do you do that?” “Is that Darth Vader doing stand-up?” Teddy would just look up and see us all, then Teddy would smile and ask “Oh, thanks. You like that?” or something as if he’s never been complemented before. Maybe he doesn’t hear those compliments. I don’t know. I’m not Teddy.

I was becoming friends with Man-Boobs from the KLBG morning show and his roommate situation was getting worse. His roommate was starting to get into screaming matches with the next-door neighbor when he was loaded, and my living situation was old before it started, but thank God I had a place to go at all. I had a decent little hustle going with a few people that I knew that smoked weed. There was a guy that worked on computers, a construction contractor, and a fledging comic like me who were all looking for ¼ pounds of weed or Q.P.’s as we called them, then I also knew a few people that needed ounces of weed. This was about every two weeks that I could run this hustle. I could hook all of these people up at the same time and have free weed for myself. Here was the deal though. I had to pick up some of the money first and then go run the errand of picking up a pound of weed and then splitting it up. It seemed fool-proof, but fool-proof doesn’t mean addict-proof. Fool-proof doesn’t mean fuck-up proof. And I was an addicted to being a fuck-up it seemed. I’m running this hustle and then my re-up dude takes my money and says that he needs to go pick up multiple pounds of weed, but that I’m going to get a lot more, since he’s going to be able to get such a great price. This is going to be just what I needed. I had saved a little money from my last few deals, so I went all in. I went back to the hill, to my room and grabbed the last money out of my Welcome Back Kotter lunchbox and I asked my roommates if anyone else wanted in on the deal. She said yes. My alcoholic roommate said that she wanted some. She gave me $175. I drove my uninsured Toyota Tercel over to meet my guy in a parking lot. I gave him my money and waited for my pager to go off. And waited.

There is a guy in my MBA program that is an addict. He’s a young guy that doesn’t know that I know that he’s an addict. I found out by accident. I was walking by as he was discussing his former issues with addiction and I just caught a short bit of the conversation, but it’s interesting to watch his mannerisms during class. He has a hard time sitting still, he always seems to try too hard during our class discussions and he is annoying as fuck. He reminds me a lot of myself, especially when I was younger, except that he already knows he has a problem. He still looks like an addict though, with his nervous shaking and stupid 24/7 grin for no reason. “WTF are you smiling at?” Anyone that smiley just seems like they are up to no good. I keep expecting him to do some shady shit like cough, squat, and now he has a prison shank in his hand. Squat, cough, stands up, no shank. I expect that type of shit.

I’m really trying to find a remote based sales or business development job with the MBA that I’m about to earn so that I can have some freedom to move about the country a little bit. I’d love to be able to live in a few places over the next few years, just working a day job, doing music and writing. I can’t wait to be able to put more energy into my writing, but I am also trying to remember to enjoy this time, the last moments of my time at the University of Houston – Downtown. I remember the last walk that I made across the campus at the University of Houston’s main campus back in 2015. I felt the cognitive dissonance regarding wanting to get the hell off of that campus before they changed their minds or just finding a bench to sit on in the middle of campus and not wanting to ever leave. I loved walking across that campus. I was still drinking heavily during those days, throwing up between classes, getting home and slamming three or four beers just to feel normal-ish. I made the Dean’s List and finished with a decent GPA 3.23 out of 4 on a plus or minus scale. Meaning my A was a 94 or better. No shit. Those were some tough fucking A’s to earn playa. If you get a 91-93…A-. WTF? Yep, A-. I earned a few of those. I had a professor that made a 92 in one of his last classes and he just missed getting a 4.0 for his entire academic career because of that grading system. That would suck so bad. I’m going to really enjoy my last walk I think, but I have cried on a campus before. At the University of Houston and at Houston Community College I sat down and cried. Both crying episodes occurred right after I learned of my grades in math. The first time was when I was handed a scantron with a 99 on it after a college algebra class. I thought that he had given me the wrong exam back and then I saw my name. I said thank you and just started walking and walking, just walking as fast as I could while tears started to well up in my eyes and roll down my face. “I made a fucking 99 on a college algebra exam?” Kept going through my mind. I finally made it to my truck, sat down and bawled. The second time was at the University of Houston when I found out that I made an 82 in Finite Math. I couldn’t make it to my car that time. I just cried on a bench. I couldn’t believe that I had made it through a class like that. I want to enjoy those last steps during the first week of August as I may never be a formal student again. I may never be handed another syllabus or buy another scantron, but then again, I didn’t fucking think that I would have ever be in the position to be clearing off space on my parent’s wall of frames for yet another degree from their youngest son. This one will say MBA. This probably will be my last walk across a campus as a student, but who the fuck knows. Life is weird.

There are three students at school that know about my past and they know about this blog. Well, there are four, but one person pulled a ghost move after reading it. Doesn’t want to talk, I guess. The others are very supportive, seem to find me entertaining and it’s nice to have a few people at school that are familiar with my background. I went to a neighborhood civic meeting the other night. Yes, I am a motherfucking member of the civic club. Problem with that? Ha ha. I know, it’s funny as shit to picture me at a civic club meeting, talking about median cleanup and neighborhood issues like speed bumps, which I really have to hold in a laugh when they are discussing not having enough bumps for everyone to be happy. You know that show Breaking Bad, where he said that he made meth because he was good at it? I started to get pretty decent at cooking up rocks, but I never really got to do it on a big scale, just small. I also never got really good at cooking rocks either. You see I hardly ever just bought a lot of blow just to cook up in order to make it all crack. That didn’t happen that much. I would end up doing a lot of lines and then crossing over to cooking it and smoking it around the end of a binge. I was a spoon cook, not a stainless-steel soup ladle chef. The weird thing is that if there was a bowling league for crack cooks I would join, just for the pleasure of making the rocks. It was that much fun to cook up rocks. I’d love to be able to do it as a legal, artistic, competitive, endeavor. I know.

I’ve been very conscious of my nervous leg twitching lately. I really don’t want to look like a drug addict, but I’m afraid that I do. That’s what I see in the mirror lately. I see a drug addict that has some college degrees. I don’t see an academic who used to do drugs. I hope that changes, but maybe it’s for the best. I don’t want to lose the connection that I have with where I have been. Education is powerful, so is money, and as time goes by, I’ll get used to being called Mr. Kendrick and I’ll have MBA on my business card right next to V.P of Bofa Deez. How many years will have to pass and how many business cards will I have to hand out in order for my reflection to trigger thoughts of success over the memories of struggle in my brain? You know, I’m not fucking sure, but I have the time and looking like an addict ain’t that bad. You just have to show your ID to school security until they get to know your face. “Oh, you are wearing a different hat today.” “It’s cool. I understand.” It happens when you are trying to rise above I guess. If I get confused looking at my own reflection in the mirror, how can I judge others for questioning what they see when they look at Steven Kendrick?

Back on the hill and I’m just waiting for my guy to page me back. It’s been several days now, and my friends are asking me why it’s taking so long. My alcoholic roommate is now turning her drunk, late night fits of verbal rage towards my direction. I can take the abuse, but it isn’t going stop until things are ok money wise with her. She’s not as mad as a couple of other people, so I am just trying to lay low and hope to God that my guy pages me back soon. The guy had just moved recently and so I’m not sure where he lives exactly, but I know what apartment complex. I’m so tempted to try to find his vehicle just to leave a note on the windshield. Fuck, man. I don’t know what to do. I’m fucked.

“Any psychology undergrad worth their weight should be able to plant a false memory into a subject by the time they graduate. I mean it’s unethical, but here’s how you do it.”

That’s what one of my psychology professors told the class during one of our class lectures. Ha ha now, that’s the type of shit that can help you out in life. I remember hearing that and instantly feeling like I was about to gain some amazing ability and it is very interesting how it can be done, it’s not at all universal, but over time there can be false memories inserted into people’s imaginations. “Bullshit” I can just hear you saying to yourself but go ahead, Google that shit and then call me a liar. Pffft. Psychology is really cool man and of everything that I’ve learned, my psychology education has helped me the most, to help me just figure out how to be me.

Don’t get me wrong I still feel lost as fuck now, but at least I’m not a lost dumbshit. I’m just lost, meaning I have no…ah crap. I have no real plan. It’s driving me fucking insane not knowing what I want to be when I grow up. I’m fucking 48 years old I’m getting an MBA really soon and part of my Capstone is that I need to present my professor with a 3 year plan. How the fuck do I not have a 3-year plan? “But you need a 5-year plan Steven.” Shut up. Here is my 3-year, 5-year, 10-year, next week, tomorrow, plan.

  1. Don’t fuck it all up.
  2. Don’t drink even when it’s really fucking hard.
  3. Don’t do blow.
  4. Don’t fuck it all up again if you’ve already blown #1.
  5. Don’t be found dead in a seedy motel.
  6. Don’t try too hard to fit in. It will just look stupid.

Well damn. It looks like my 3-year plan assignment is done. You know, the assignment is only 5% of my grade…might as well just turn this in and see what he says.

For the last 7 years my plan has been… “Don’t fuck up school.” There wasn’t anything else other than that. That couldn’t happen. I couldn’t fuck up school, but I had no long-term plan. I didn’t even know what my major was going to be until I was a Junior. At U.H., I had to start out as “Pre-Psychology”, then get approved to be “Psychology” after I passed a couple of required courses. Psych Stats and Psych Methods. In order to be a Business Administration minor I had to have a 3.0 just to be approved for the courses, meaning that I had to wait until I had a GPA. I couldn’t just declare my major or my minor. “I don’t where I’m going…I’m just floatin’”- Kodack Black.

So, my first year at the University of Houston was spent having no real plan, just hopes, and maybes. “Hope/Maybe = Fuck it.” That was my academic plan. “Fuck it”, I probably won’t finish, but they will have to kick me out. I’m not quitting this like I’ve quit the other stuff. It was going to be different this time. No, I was going to be different this time! This was too important. This was my lottery ticket. A really expensive lottery ticket that can be lost really fucking easily. Did you know that there are theories that support the notion that personality can be manipulated? You can change your personality. It’s difficult to do so but I was taught in Personality Psychology that it is possible. Isn’t that fascinating though? Wouldn’t that save a lot of fuss? Ha ha.

Back in Austin, during the late 90s at where we left off, I am waiting for my pager to start buzzing and making noise. I want to see the lights flash and for the vibration to cause a ruckus on the coffee table, but I keep dialing it myself every day just to make sure that it still works and that I haven’t lost service for unpaid bill. Stupid Pinky’s Pagers.

I’m in my late 20’s but somehow it’s almost as if I keep just being late to things in about every metaphorical sense. Born with a tardy slip. Late to class, work, life, maturity, just behind it all. I’m short, bald, no real skills, I can’t even fucking bartend and my glass washing skills leave the Band-Aid man in business. Of course, I want to feel good. Drugs, booze and comedy. Do those and wait to die. That was my every day, this week, next week, just tell me when it’s over, this fucking sucks, plan.”

I’m hoping to look at my pager to see my buddies phone number across the small digtal display, but every time that I look at my pager it’s just filled with the numbers of people wondering where their weed or cash is. I now have other shit to deal with though. Most of my shit is in a storage facility in Austin and I’m a month behind on rent. I had to put my shit in storage after I was roommates with Rabon and I got behind on the payment. I’m so fucking scared about losing all of my shit but that looks like what is going to happen. My parents have cut me off, but every once in a while, I hit my Dad up for a random lunch date. He works at IBM. He’s a success. I hit him up for lunch and we go to Wendy’s. I’m sure that I told him about the great shows that I’m doing, but his eyes seem so concerned. He doesn’t say much other than to smile and to tell me how proud he is of my comedy. I should bring him half of the next sandwich that I earn. (reference from previous post)

My father informs me that one of my relatives just got old and died. No big story, no cool ending, just sitting back in a chair. Not even a Lazy Boy of death, just a recliner. But, this cool motherfucker left me some money! What? You shouldn’t have, but I’m glad as fuck that you did. But, it was just a couple thousand bucks and my parents were concerned with me having that much cash. But why? Oh, yeah. Fuck.

Wait…Bonus, my Dad gives me $100 for gas money! He says it’s to help get me to my comedy gigs, but don’t tell Mom.  Man, how cool is that?

Now, I have a very short time to convince my parents that I’m not going to OD 24 hours after they give me this money. How the fuck do I convince myself of that first though? I need to get some blow and figure this shit out.

Published by Steven Kendrick

I'm a recovered cocaine addict that used to smoke crack. I went back to school when I was 41 starting by taking one Spanish class. Since that time I have earned an Associate of Arts from Houston Community College, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of Houston, a Grad Certificate in Business Development and Management, and I'm about to earn my MBA in August 2018. I have made the Dean's List and I've also been a research assistant for the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston. I've finally accomplished enough that I can tell everyone about my past drug addiction.

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