Sunday, June 26, 2016

ADULT SWIM

I was pulling into the parking lot and this dude in a truck nearly hit me. I stopped, hoping he would see me before plowing into me. He saw me just in time, looked embarrassed, and made an "I'm sorry I'm an idiot" gesture.
I smiled at him, made a "Thats OK" gesture because even though I haven't been in a wreck in almost 40 years, I still fuck up sometimes.
So I passed him by, grinning, and that's when I saw her, walking across the parking lot towards the swimming pool.
I had to laugh.
No wonder he nearly hit me.
And "Damn, Girl!".



Friday, June 17, 2016

A TURKEY

"When you think that an egg is just a potential chicken, and that a chicken is just an ersatz turkey, and that a turkey is just a potential president of the United States of America, it kind of changes the way you look at an omelette."
Unremitting Failure







“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types -- the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins.
GK Chesterton


"...ITS ALLOWED, NOT DECIDED..."

I’ll say God seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I’m not crazy about. I’m pretty much anti-death. God looks by all accounts to be pro-death. I’m not seeing how we can get together on this issue, he and I.
― David Foster Wallace

Gathered at Live and Learn



I posted this quote to FB. There were some interesting comments, including one from a girl that cares about me who thought maybe I was about to off myself. Or something.


Of more interest is this, from my friend Terry:
“Don’t lay so much on Him … He is a loving God. Sometimes bad things happen, there’s reasons for it in it’s own time. But make no mistake, it’s allowed, not decided. To think elsewise is to believe something is bigger than God … or whatever you want to call Him.”


And this from my friend Diana, a cancer survivor:
“I think we are born dying so live life to its fullest. I, personally, have had a few close calls to death….I want to live. God, whatever you call the supreme being, has let me down lot’s of times but hey, I’m still here and kicking and surviving…So I talked to the Man pretty much everyday…or cursing him, whichever the case may be, I believe in Angels too and have a few looking after me. Peace Out!”


And my reply to both of them:

“David Foster Wallace was a brilliant writer and a troubled soul who committed suicide in 2008.
I’d seen this matched up with Orlando on a blog. It made me think of a lot of things.
It made me think of the story of Job.
It made me think of the scene in Pulp Fiction where Jules and Vincent survive untouched a spray of bullets and Jules calls it a miracle.
And it made me think of all the things God has allowed man to do in order to prolong and improve life, like Diana’s cancer treatments, and possible common sense gun legislation.
God seldom steps in and stops bullets. We cant blame him for that. But he gives us the good sense to do something about it ourselves in time.
Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.”


"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."
Jules, Pulp Fiction

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A SMATTERING OF FAITH AND DOUBT



"Great Faith and Great Doubt are two ends of a spiritual walking stick. We grip one end with the grasp given to us by our Great Determination. We poke into the underbrush in the dark on our spiritual journey. This act is real spiritual practice - gripping the Faith end and poking ahead with the Doubt end of the stick. If we have no Faith, we have no Doubt. If we have no Determination, we never pick up the stick in the first place."

Faith and doubt are supposed to be opposites, but the Sensei says “if we have no faith, we have no doubt.” I would say, also, that true faith requires true doubt; without doubt, faith is not faith."
- Sensei Sevan Ross, director of the Chicago Zen Center


"Faith and doubt in the religious sense are both about openness. Faith is about living in an open-hearted and courageous way and not a closed up, self-protecting way. Faith helps us overcome our fear of pain, grief and disappointment and stay open to new experience and understanding. The other kind of faith, which is a head filled up with certainty, is closed.
Doubt in the religious sense acknowledges what is not understood. While it actively seeks understanding, it also accepts that understanding will never be perfect. Some Christian theologians use the word "humility" to mean about the same thing. The other kind of doubt, which causes us to fold our arms and declare that all religion is bunk, is closed."
Unattributed

With thanks to "Alive On All Channels"

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ALLIGATOR TALES

Prayers for the little boy and his family out in Orlando.
I was in Orlando, somewhere about 1994.
I took my fishing gear. Left the hotel and got on a tour bus with two rods and a tackle box. I had the driver stop and drop me off in a secluded area between stops. I stepped off into the lagoon, casting a spinnerbait.
“There should be some big ones in here” I thought to myself.
The lagoon narrowed, and I found myself up to my chest in swamp water.
It was about that time it dawned on me that I was wade fishing in the Alligator Capital of the World.
Unwise.
I headed for shallower water.
I casted my lure, and caught a fish.
At this point in the story I usually might tell you that as I was reeling in the fish, I saw the swirl of a tail, and suddenly a 20 foot gator was heading straight for me, his jaws wide open, and I would be gator food if weren’t for the aboriginal looking fellow who swung down from the trees doing a Tarzan yell and armed with nothing but a knife fashioned from an old Florida license plate and a lost Frisbee, wrassled, killed, cleaned, cooked, and ate of the gators flesh right there on the spot, offering me the prized “alligator cheeks” and a tasty remoulade and a Jax beer to go with.

But the reality is that as I reeled the fish in one of those tour busses that dropped me off came by and stopped, and people took pictures of me, the idiot wade fishing in the Alligator Capital of the World, fighting the fish. I tried to drag it out as long as I could and when I pulled my prize from the water it was only about 6 inches long,  and I held it high while everyone on the tour bus cheered.

And I got the hell out of that swamp. 


Saturday, June 11, 2016

PULLING OUT SOAPBOX

On my Mom's birthday, June 11, 1982, she had a real bad stroke. I had gone in to work at 3:00, and got a phone call from the hospital at 6:00. She was in ICU. I left work to go see her. She was in ICU for a few weeks. She made a good recovery, was able to walk and talk and drive, but it took months of therapy.
The thing is, the day she had the stroke, on her birthday, I had not called her. I didn't have a card or present. I cant tell you for sure whether or not I even knew it was her birthday.
I would bet, at the age of 25, I was completely oblivious to her birthday. It haunts me a little, and it haunts me more on June 11ths.
I want all you youngsters to understand this:
Never forget to recognize your mama's birthday.
Ever.



Tuesday, June 07, 2016

LIKE IT AIN'T NO THANG

I went and had dinner with a girl last night.
She says “I like to go to the beach”
“Really? Like Galveston?”
She scrunches up her nose… “Eewww, no”
“Maybe Mobile?” I say.
“Nope”
“How about Pensacola then?”
“No way”
“So where then?” I’m dying to know.
“Oh Cozumel, or the Bahamas. Somewhere I can go topless on the beach”
I didn’t spew my tea or anything, but I swear I cant get the picture of her out of my head, walking topless down a sunny beach, like it ain't no thang.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

WHAT DO PRINCE AND MY SISTER HAVE IN COMMON?


FENTANYL.
My sister and Prince both died of accidental overdoses of a drug called Fentanyl.
Fentanyl is an Opioid, one of the strongest painkillers available and commonly used to treat cancer patients. If you look it up, every other word is "fatal", "overdose" or "respiratory arrest".

Those who knew Prince said he had been addicted to pain-killers for a long time.
Those who knew my sister Lisa suspected that she might be.
As of yet no one knows where Prince may have gotten his Fentanyl, or if he had a prescription..
As of yet, no one knows where my sister Lisa got hers. All that is known is that she did not have a prescription and that the Medical Examiner found two "patches" on her body. We dont know if a friend had given them to her, or if a doctor had supplied her with samples. Apparently, this is not an uncommon practice.

A month ago I did a post about this drug. (Click here)
At that time I wasnt ready to tell the world, or most of my friends exactly what had happened to my sister Lisa.
But with the death of Prince by the very same drug, and at the urging some loved ones, the truth should be told.
As the article above indicates, addiction to painkillers has reached epidemic proportions in this country. People start out popping a few Vicodin's for a toothache, and the next thing you know they are stealing hydrocodone from their friends medicine cabinets, then they turn to heroin on the street because its more powerful and cheaper, and in some cases even easier to get.

Or in the case of Prince and Lisa, they moved on to Fentanyl, reportedly 50 times stronger than heroin and easy, very easy, to get too much of and die. According to the article above, it can also be purchased on the street, manufactured in China and marketed as China White.

But I really doubt Prince or Lisa went to the street for theirs. The stuff from the doctors will kill you just as quick.

When Lisa came home from California, some of her friends had expressed concern over her meds.
I remember telling them that if I had any indication she was having trouble, I would frog march her down to the Narcotics Anonymous Group that helped save my life.
But it doesn't work that way.
Something has to bring the addict to admit their powerlessness, and I was never able to do that for Lisa. Addiction is a cunning and baffling enemy of life, and Lisa wasn't able to do that for herself.

If you have to take painkillers, please follow Doctors orders.
And if it gets out of hand, listen to the message I heard back in 2008:
"That any addict can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live"

If you knew Lisa, you know she was smart, funny, warm-hearted, and loved life. She had spent her life in service, saving kids from the horrors of addiction, and counseling families struggling with these issues. She would want her story told; that no one is immune.
We all miss her so.




Thursday, June 02, 2016

MY MIND PLAYIN' TRICKS ON ME


"Here they come just like I figured
I got my hand on the mothe****ing trigger
What I saw'll make your ass start giggling
Three blind, crippled and crazy senior citizens
I live by the sword
I take my boys everywhere I go because I'm paranoid
I keep looking over my shoulder and peeping around corners
My mind is playing tricks on me"



Wednesday, June 01, 2016

THE BEST PEACH ICE CREAM

A few weeks ago I was helping her in her room. There on the dresser were tickets to a music show at the Hard Rock, for Friday May 27th.
I thought “Well, she hasn’t invited ME to this gig. Who is the lucky guy? I’ll kill him.”
But the days and weeks passed, and while it stewed in my mind a bit, I wasn’t exactly ate up. For one thing it wasn’t the kind of show she would normally go to. There is really no telling how she came by these tickets. I learned a long time ago to fret over such things is a real waste of time, and can be pretty destructive to your soul.
And I did pretty good, putting it out of my mind, at least until the 26th of May.
Suddenly I remembered it was tomorrow night, and there was not a mention from her of this music show.
In fact she had said she would be going to a funeral visitation that night.
Are you kidding me?
A funeral visitation?
That’s the oldest trick in the book!
So what did I do?

I got online to price a ticket to this show, in anticipation that I might show up and find out who this mystery man might be. Maybe if I wear a cowboy hat, or a suit and tie with a black wig, or my black tooth I carry with me for good luck, she might not spot me in the crowd!
I didnt buy the ticket. I knew better than to go. I learned a long time ago not to park down the street, knock on the door, peek in a window. You don't want to know. You THINK you want to know, but you really don't.
But, I'm human. I turned it over and over in my mind, just like I did during break-ups when I was 17, or 24, or 40 when I was going thru a divorce.

So the day of the show I talked to her. I asked her what she was going to do after the “funeral visitation” (yeah, right) after it was over at 8:00.
It was then she threw me for a real loop.
“How about if I come over and we make Peach Ice Cream” she says.
Peach Ice Cream?
Is she putting me on?
I call her bluff.
“Sure, come on over, I’ll get the ingredients”.


I got to tell you it was some really good ice cream, and we watched "American Masters: The Highwaymen", and I’m a real idiot.



Tuesday, May 31, 2016

THE SKY

"There are people who are always in love with the sky, no matter the weather. One day you will find someone who’ll love you the same way."
n. m.from a book in progress (via wnq-writers)